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Tried to order one from Jegs and they called back to inform me Hotchkis had discontinued them. Called Summit and got their last one in stock. So if you are thinking you might like one of these at some time you better get to searching for one asap.
 

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No offense.....it's about time this product goes away. Hotchkis made lots of money on something that really served no significant purpose.

I'm not "down" on Hotchkis with my comment--they've done many good things for us (B-body community) and the enthusiast aftermarket. I also don't think I'm the first to make this basic observation, and if Hotchkis wanted to redeem themselves, I'd like to see them make something like THIS since the maker isn't really interested in tooling up for a B-body version.

Flame away.....
 

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They look kinda cool but are useless.
 

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Take the enigne out of the car and you can "squeeze" the frame rails together by hand. It will deflect more than 1/2 an inch. Doesnt look useless to me. I just have no use for it. Then again for the low price and good pics. If it helps the feel of the car, I'm all for it.

Wait a minute, wheres Tad? He'll bolt anything on!cwm4

Chris
 

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[Referring to NavyLifer's post] Thanks Bill. I've always been concerned with the disturbing amount of frontend flex I notice every time jacking up my son's '88 Monte. Interesting to see it's a widely seen problem. Ima seriously considering that brace for his b-day or something.

I've seen credible gauge aftermarket cross tiebars for cars with prominent shock towers. But, I've heard numerous times over the years the Hotchkiss brace does not really answer the mail for our car in that regard.

But a question: Has there been anyone rigging up a stout homebuilt frame brace like you linked but for a B/D body, -- that has reported notable handling improvement afterward?
 

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I will say it again......

Nothing on my car says Hotchkis.

Never will.
 

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Take the enigne out of the car and you can "squeeze" the frame rails together by hand. It will deflect more than 1/2 an inch. Doesnt look useless to me. I just have no use for it. Then again for the low price and good pics. If it helps the feel of the car, I'm all for it.

Wait a minute, wheres Tad? He'll bolt anything on!cwm4

Chris
its because of the open frame rails. I bet his track car doesnt do it now :D

jack a b-body up and support it at the frame at the rear of the front wheels.
the front end will drop down from its weight enough to where the doors will just about scrape the fenders if you open them.
the hotchis is a bandaid but I loike it.
 

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No offense.....it's about time. Hotchkis made lots of money on something that really served no significant purpose.

I'm not "down" on Hotchkis with my comment--they've done many good things for us (B-body community) and the enthusiast aftermarket. I also don't think I'm the first to make this basic observation, and if Hotchkis wanted to redeem themselves, I'd like to see them make something like THIS since the maker isn't really interested in tooling up for a B-body version.

Flame away.....
Remove the front sway bar. Use a piece of steel one inch thick, as wide as the frame rails, long enough to be welded across the attachment points where the sway bay used to mount. Drill it to mount the front sway bar one inch lower than it used to be. Use slightly shorter end links to keep the bar OEM level.
The car feels much more solid, steering response is very noticably faster, fewer sqeeks/rattles and the ride improves. All positive changes and no negative one's. Takes an hour, cost next to nothing, I've now done it on all of my B-bodies, is especially noticable on the 1 1/2 inch solid front bar. Without this, anything larger than a 1 3/16 solid bar is bending the front frame rails, wasting the potential benefit of the larger bar.
 

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[Referring to NavyLifer's post] Thanks Bill. I've always been concerned with the disturbing amount of frontend flex I notice every time jacking up my son's '88 Monte. Interesting to see it's a widely seen problem. Ima seriously considering that brace for his b-day or something.

Has there been anyone rigging up a stout homebuilt frame brace like you linked but for a B/D body, -- that has reported notable handling improvement afterward?
Bob, there are probably many ways to address this. The question is who is willing, since I've discussed this with Mark @ SC&C--while he thinks it's a great idea, he's not interested as an investment in a design that doesn't pan out in the business side of the equation.....in other words, it's not worth tooling up and stocking something that "too few" B-body owners would be interested in putting on their car(s), and I even asked about the possibility of a "pre-sold" GP, and still could not convince him. We'll either have to do it ourselves, or create something that can make sense to a supplier/fabricator to do in any quantity, thus my mention of Hotchkis perhaps picking this up and doing something with it--sort of an "amends" for the engine bay brace....

Remove the front sway bar. Use a piece of steel one inch thick, as wide as the frame rails, long enough to be welded across the attachment points where the sway bay used to mount. Drill it to mount the front sway bar one inch lower than it used to be. Use slightly shorter end links to keep the bar OEM level.
The car feels much more solid, steering response is very noticably faster, fewer sqeeks/rattles and the ride improves. All positive changes and no negative one's. Takes an hour, cost next to nothing, I've now done it on all of my B-bodies, is especially noticable on the 1 1/2 inch solid front bar. Without this, anything larger than a 1 3/16 solid bar is bending the front frame rails, wasting the potential benefit of the larger bar.
There's one answer for you, Bob--Scot, pictures would be most helpful for anyone here who has read your postings--the testimonials you make are valid and I know there is much that can be done. The things we need to be careful about are just throwing something on the car and thinking it will help, as opposed to properly placing the reinforcements, the size and thickness of material, as well as the consideration of added weight vs all of the above.

A further concern at this point is just how many of our B-body frames have "issues" in the under-engine crossmember (K-member?)area from past impacts, and how will that affect mounting of some pre-fabbed design for a chassis brace--and what about northern cars with significant frame corrosion? Ideally we do want something that bolts on so it can be removed for access/service of existing components--Scot's suggestion to weld in a tube between the rails doesn't violate that, and, in addition to the sway bar mounting, it could serve as the anchor point for braces that DO bolt on that extend between the bottom center of the stock under-engine crossmember up to the welded-in brace.

Just thinkin'......the problem is just how few (of us) are able or willing to go in this direction with something WELDED to the car as opposed to something that can be bolted on, similar to the relatively few folks who are OK with cutting knuckles to be able to go to a big brake upgrade.

CRSSDCM--just delete your post, as it serves no useful purpose in this thread.
 

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Good riddance to that brace. It had no effect on frame stiffness and just added extra weight in the front.
 

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CRSSDCM--just delete your post, as it serves no useful purpose in this thread.
Sure it does Bill.

John and Co. knew all along that the engine bay brace that was made for our application was a $400.00 pretty paperweight and still they claimed it stiffened up our cars front end. A lot of folks bought into that BS and dropped hard earned money on a flat out dishonest claim.

Hard to trust a company after that one.

I apologize for telling the truth here and I will not post again in the thread.
 

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its because of the open frame rails. I bet his track car doesnt do it now :D

jack a b-body up and support it at the frame at the rear of the front wheels.
the front end will drop down from its weight enough to where the doors will just about scrape the fenders if you open them.
the hotchis is a bandaid but I loike it.
Now that we think about it, Tads windshield has been a structure point fro some time. I wonder how much has been stressing the engine mount area on his car? Or others with great amounts of force on the front steering suspension. Scot brings up a valid point about lowering the anti roll bar in the front to gain mechanical advantage. I'd be willing to build both pieces and take pictures and even give before and after impresions on driving. It might take ma awhile to get to that point though.

Chris
 

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Now that we think about it, Tads windshield has been a structure point fro some time. I wonder how much has been stressing the engine mount area on his car? Or others with great amounts of force on the front steering suspension. Scot brings up a valid point about lowering the anti roll bar in the front to gain mechanical advantage. I'd be willing to build both pieces and take pictures and even give before and after impresions on driving. It might take ma awhile to get to that point though.

Chris
guess what part of the body is ^^^ where the open frame begins.
chassis stiffness is only as good as the weakest point, I agree with what Tad is doing.
 

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guess what part of the body is ^^^ where the open frame begins.
chassis stiffness is only as good as the weakest point, I agree with what Tad is doing.
Oh dont get me wrong. For the purpose of this particular discussion i was focusing on the frontal frame area. I have several whole extra frames outside the shop right now getting ready to be put on a jig to start boxing in the frame. I totally agree with what Tad is doing as well. Anybody remember the check your frames thread i posted a while back?
http://www.impalassforum.com/vBulletin/showthread.php?p=2342245&posted=1#post2342245

Chris

EDIT: My apologies to all. The piece I am referring to isnt the Hotchkiss brace. I was commenting on the Lower frame braces the Bill posted a link to. My ls Monte Carlo didn't have them but my Monte SS did. Same with some of the body braces on the 9c1 b bodies.
EDIT.
 

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Navy Lifer

" The things we need to be careful about are just throwing something on the car and thinking it will help, as opposed to properly placing the reinforcements, the size and thickness of material, as well as the consideration of added weight vs all of the above."


I've boxed the frame of every B body I've owned. This does add some weight, but does far more long term good for that weight. In addition to the front brace that changes the sway bar mounting attachments there are two other similarly very low weight/large gain things worth doing.
At the ends of the rear frame rails. Take a 40" piece of 1 1/2 stainless exhaust pipe, put a small bend in the middle to clear the fill pipe, weld on one side at the wide spot at the end of the frame rail, wedge the other side(with a big hammer) into place and weld. Now the frame rails are rigid at the back, similar to the effect of the brace welded to the front. Then add a set of DMR#5029-w rear frame braces. Total weight gain, less than three pounds, very noticable improvement even with a previously boxed frame.
I've posted ALL of this previously, with pictures.
Do all four of these additions and the perception of solidity, improved steering feel and faster steering response, improved roll control and reduced pinion angle shift change the whole car for the better. Even with boxing the frame, everything adds less than 50 pounds.
 

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.........

EDIT: My apologies to all. The piece I am referring to isnt the Hotchkiss brace. I was commenting on the Lower frame braces the Bill posted a link to. My ls Monte Carlo didn't have them but my Monte SS did. Same with some of the body braces on the 9c1 b bodies.
EDIT.
Chris, this brace? It's the one I was referring to also and along the lines Bill linked to.

It hits the root of the issue we're discussing, but I notice when relieving the weight off the crossmember onto the jackstands there's still WAY too much observed flexing fore-aft -- even with this oem added brace. I dread how much there would be with no strut installed.

To be totally effective you'd need something much stouter, plus welded to the mount points -- IMO. Plus, that bend in the tube (for convenience) drastically weakens the strut's compressive abilities and just begs to induce flex -- again IMO.

Anything beefier adds even more weight overhanging the front which is likely why GM picked the material and design they did for this particular 'applique patch'.
 

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Buick roadmasters had a rear brace from the factory.
Only the sedan, not the wagons. But the fully boxed frame on the wagons is a big +.
 

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No offense.....it's about time. Hotchkis made lots of money on something that really served no significant purpose
they make junk...plain and simple
C5's break their sway bars in half
GTOs break their sway bars in half
I orderd big block springs for the Elco
the fenders sat on the tires an the Elco weights 3500lbs has a small block ans zero creature conforts
THEY DO NOT QC their own springs
THEY DO NOT HAVE A TOOL to test springs
Hotchkis is OFF MY LIST
I'm ready for Darwin to $tep in and do it's job.

Wait a minute, wheres Tad? He'll bolt anything on!cwm4
easy EASY easy
not anything
in the last 6 years I'm making most of my part from scratch by hand.
As for testing products and technology I'm in
lets try something new and move forward

I've boxed the frame of every B body I've owned. This does add some weight, but does far more long term good for that weight. In addition to the front brace that changes the sway bar mounting attachments there are two other similarly very low weight/large gain things worth doing.
At the ends of the rear frame rails. Take a 40" piece of 1 1/2 stainless exhaust pipe, put a small bend in the middle to clear the fill pipe, weld on one side at the wide spot at the end of the frame rail, wedge the other side(with a big hammer) into place and weld. Now the frame rails are rigid at the back, similar to the effect of the brace welded to the front. Then add a set of DMR#5029-w rear frame braces. Total weight gain, less than three pounds, very noticable improvement even with a previously boxed frame.
I've posted ALL of this previously, with pictures.
Do all four of these additions and the perception of solidity, improved steering feel and faster steering response, improved roll control and reduced pinion angle shift change the whole car for the better. Even with boxing the frame, everything adds less than 50 pounds.
this is right were I sit on this topic
lets add some weight were it counts
and have a much more stabe platform

Frame and Body is a Bridge
how do you want to build your bridge
 
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