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Old 02-07-2011, 10:23 PM   #1
untangle
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Initial Unibrace feedback

I posted my initial thoughts re Unibraces on this vortex thread (Post #254) today.

Here's what I said:
I am a graduate-level engineer. I own a 2011 GTI and am new to the VW forums. I also own an XB and UB. I have driven everything from a GSXR-1000 to an F/A-18 Hornet (USMC). I'm new here, but now you know my biases.

1. Some things are unmeasurable. Heisenberg proved that.
2. Some things are measurable - but only at great cost, effort, and sometimes only destructively.
3. Some things are best measured with a human-in-the-loop (e.g., a flight control system).
4. But most things are, blessedly, pretty easy to measure (e.g., power increase of a tune).

I believe that the Unibraces are in categories #2 and #3. Prospective buyers just kinda have to live with that. If you can't (or don't want to), fine. But that's the way it is.

For example, I could:

1. Undo the bolts on one side of the XB and/or UB
2. Jack one corner, and measure bolt-hole displacements
3. Then repeat on all four corners
4. Then maybe repeat every 5000 miles or so, as the chassis responds to strain

But I won't. I don't believe I need to. I can just drive diagonally over a speed bump and feel the added rigidity. And hear the attenuation of squeaks going down the freeway. Or wonder about why I'm all of the sudden paying more attention to my front suspension. Maybe I'm imagining those things. But I don't think so.

There's also considerable 'prior art' indicating the efficacy of strut tower bracing and subframe bracing. Hell, if it was doable I'd probably investigate bracing the front towers too. (Maybe the firewall is rigid enough?)

I guess it's also important to point out that I installed both at the same time. I did this because I believe that they are a system - two cooperating planes of stiffness. Two planes describe a 3d space. Thus, most axial and torsional modes are at least partially addressed by having two planes. I believe this. You may not. Cool - don't buy.

I do not believe that any particular wisdom will be gained by asking VW anything about the two dinky pieces of crap that form the OEM system. VW was not even *trying* to build the car that I want, so how could they answer even if I found the 'right person'?

I want a comfortable and practical sports car.

They build a comfortable and practical car that performs well.

What are you building and how much are you willing to risk to get there?

Bob
I felt compelled to post there immediately due to some of the stuff being said. But since my comments are Mk6-related, I thought that this might ultimately be a better place for it.

Bob
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MODS: Revo Stage II, EVOMS Intake, 42DD DP, S3 IC, AWE TOP, STS Coils, Unibraces, OZ Legs 18", Conti DW

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Old 02-07-2011, 11:23 PM   #2
mikochu
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Bravo.
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Old 02-07-2011, 11:28 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikochu View Post
Bravo.
Thanks. Some of my content and phrasing addresses particulars in the vortex thread, and may look a bit opaque here.

Cheers,

Bob
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Old 02-08-2011, 12:18 AM   #4
Tetsuei
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I like it - Bob came to very similar conclusions that I did. That makes me feel so much better about it...
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Old 02-08-2011, 12:25 AM   #5
DRedman45
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nice little review...side note the strut brace is out of the question...you would actually have to trim parts of the strut tower to make it work...the only company that actually made one openly admitted it is purely for looks and you will more than likely lose rigidity especially with such a strong firewall haha
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Old 02-08-2011, 02:40 AM   #6
untangle
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DRedman45 View Post
the strut brace is out of the question...you would actually have to trim parts of the strut tower to make it work
Understood. I became intimately familiar with the strut brace towers after my coilover install... LOL.

Bob
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Old 02-08-2011, 08:48 AM   #7
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Great great post Bob!!
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Old 02-08-2011, 08:55 AM   #8
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But I just got the cat-backs so maybe ill invest in some nice downpipes in the future
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Old 02-08-2011, 09:36 AM   #9
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Excellent post man; nice!
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Old 02-08-2011, 09:42 AM   #10
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God I love when you engineers use your education to everyones advantage. Thank you for you knowledge.
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Old 02-08-2011, 11:25 AM   #11
untangle
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Thanks, guys.

I'm not trying to pimp these things, but their theory of operation was being challenged in what I believe to be bizarre ways.

As I see it, they are soundly designed and do what they promise to do.

It's up to the buyer whether they want those benefits.

Bob
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MODS: Revo Stage II, EVOMS Intake, 42DD DP, S3 IC, AWE TOP, STS Coils, Unibraces, OZ Legs 18", Conti DW

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Old 02-08-2011, 02:34 PM   #12
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Thanks for the thorough review Bob.
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Old 02-08-2011, 03:09 PM   #13
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Great post, Bob. You're offering important contributions to improvement of the GTI. I happen to agree with you that you have to do some real work to convert the MK6 -- good as it is -- from an agile, capable vehicle to a more finely tuned, more agile, higher performing sports car. Like most others here, I'm enjoying modding this car, but I'm enjoying the results a bit more. Thanks for your detailed insights. -- James
(USMC '68-'72)
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Old 02-08-2011, 03:28 PM   #14
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Always a pleasure!
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