I (almost) have a new car!

Fred Cantin

Daily Driver
Hi all,

I came across those strut braces (I and II) while browsing the web, searching for parts for my X1/9.

I first emailed Henk (the store's owner) to be sure that, once in place, the front brace doesn't interfere with the storage of the targa top; once it assured me that it wasn't the case, I've ordered both braces.

They arrived about a week later, the installation was a breeze, they bolted right in place on my '81 X (and yes, the top still fits nicely in the front trunk).

Man, what a difference those braces make! The car is WAY more stiff, the handling is really improved. There's less chassis flex, especially during cornering. The ride is still comfortable. It's almost like I got a new car :cool:.

I think it's the best 400 CAD that I spent on the car so far.

I'm not affiliated or any way associated with X1/9 Parts Holland, I just wanted to let you know that thoses braces did the job for me :).



 

Dr.Jeff

True Classic
Fred, by chance is there any way to help quantify the difference they made (timed laps, cornering G's, slalom course, etc), maybe from a cell phone app or such?
 

ecohen2

True Classic
I installed the front brace and noticed that it made a huge improvement. Unfortunately my rear coil-overs don't have enough thread at the top to accommodate the rear brace :(. I also like the way it changed the handling... Definitely for the better!
 

Dr.Jeff

True Classic
I'm sorry, but I don't race or autocross
Thanks Fred, I don't race either and I'm not sure just how I would try to quantify a change like that. But wanted to ask just in case you had more input. Seems I've read so many opposing views on things like sway bars, strut braces, poly bushings, etc, for these cars. Glad to hear you like the change. :) Thanks, Jeff
 

ricar

True Classic
I would expect the rear to have pretty minimal effect. I may be wrong, I base my expectations on the rear of the car being quite stiff already with the engine bay being pretty much between the towers. The front I would expect to make the bulk of that noticable difference. Nice to see the review, this is in my car's future!
 

carl

True Classic
One test is to leave the mounting nuts a little loose and see if the paint is scratched or the mounting holes show signs of the bar moving as the chassis flexes and thus the mount rings are moving a bit back and forth.
 

ricar

True Classic
The car I currently own is very much rust free, it has obviously sat a lot. It's a 78 with 37000Kms on the odo. With that said, the flex that I find in the car is through the mid section of the car. With the roof on and pushing the car around the driveway (the engine was in the car but the process for removal had been started and a 65lb girl steering) I could feel the flex between the targa bar and the top. I have heard many comments from people saying the car feels noticeably stiffer with the top on the car, but short of a roll bar is there a way to stiffen this section?
 

Dr.Jeff

True Classic
I have heard many comments from people saying the car feels noticeably stiffer with the top on the car, but short of a roll bar is there a way to stiffen this section?
Some time back we were discussing 'light weight' tops for the X. As is typical the conversation covered several related topics, including what you've just said - how to stiffen the chassis through the top.

The idea of designing a carbon fiber "X" brace that either replaces the top entirely, or can somehow be used in conjunction with it was suggested. The idea being to tie together the four corners of the windshield frame and targa bar more rigidly. An example of what the concept might look like was given from the Lambo engine bay brace:
Xbrace.jpg


Another related suggestion was to remake the top out of carbon fiber with similar reinforcements incorporated into its design. But that would only benefit the chassis when the top is in place. The prior idea of a separate cross brace could be used both with the top removed or in place.
 

DanielForest

True Classic
In my previous experiences, the windshield assembly was the weak point. With both doors opened and the top removed, if you could easily move the windshield assembly back and forth, it's not a good sign. Look for rust at the bottom of the windshield or trace of repairs. If repairs were done only on the visible part (without removing the windhshield trim and windshield) you may have corrosion in the hidden part, underneath the windhsield. That is weakening the windshield portion.

I had one car like that. Sold it. Saw it in ad in the for sale section, for part, a year later. The windshield had collapsed inside.
 

ricar

True Classic
I was wondering how strong that windshield section was, obviously not strong enough. I had actually considered running a roll bar up the door pillar and reinforce that. My dash is trashed anyhow, maybe a hoop around the windshield and tie it to a hoop towards the targa bar.
 

DanielForest

True Classic
That's an option, but if you have rust around the windshield I would suggest to take care of it instead of fitting a "roll bar hoop".
 

Ulix

True Classic
For quantifying and documenting chassis flex, I have considered installing a tape measure between points of interest and mounting a GoPro or cell phone to film the tape sliding in and out of the case while driving hard.
This could answer the question of need for a strut bar once and for all.
 

RZSR X

True Classic
Glad this actually stiffened up the front of your X! I purchased one for mine which is still in restoration and showed a pic of it on this site and was told the metal was too thin to do anything at all. Guess that expert was wrong!
 

carl

True Classic
any racers here with cut off windshield should be able to step in with a description of how a windshield frame is built. If this car was built to meet US rollover standards (that were never implemented) then wouldn't the windshield frame be rather robust?

After a Camry tried to run over my X, this is what the frame on the driver side looked like.

IMG_0733[2].JPG
 

DanielForest

True Classic
Still related to the windshield section, here are some old pics of the restoration of my X19, in 1999. From the outside, with the windhield in place, there were only a few bubbles around the corners of the windshield. Excuse the quality of the pics. Those are old 35mm camera printed...

The welds (second pics) were made by my best friend (who's also my mechanic. Can't say which one was first...)
20200420_214830.jpg


20200420_214837.jpg

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20200420_214900.jpg
 
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