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Old 11-08-2012, 03:12 PM   #1
Modshack
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Unibrace RB review....>>

Since there's a GB going on in the Vendor section, I thought I'd repost my comments here since I'm the first with a production model:

Last week I installed the RB. Simple install (easier than the Stern). As has been noted, this would be the last one to add to the Unibrace Trio as far as Chassis impact.
Early last week I removed my Stern, and noticed a difference...It is subtle and keep in mind I'm very sensitive to chassis dynamics. After adding back the RB the car came back together. It certainly compliments the XB/UB but realize it does different things than they do. Triangulating the Lower rear suspension arm mounts with the rear subframe ties this area together and reduces any flex from hard cornering and flex/pressure from the lower control arm mounts. The XB/UB are really Chassis stiffeners and deal with limitations in the body structure....and do that Quite well I'd say. The RB is for the guys looking for that last edge in handling and optimizing suspension actions.

Install was easy and all dimensions are spot on for no RSB or exhaust conflicts. Mine was a pre-production as I was working with Bruce on finalizing dimensions and fitment. No interference noted anywhere, even heavily loaded (4 passengers on the way to dinner Saturday).

Over the weekend I ran about 240 miles in some real twisty stuff. The car is buttoned down. A friend with a stock GTI and I swapped off for awhile and he was wowed with the combination of APR RSB's, DG springs, and The Unibrace trio. His car felt loose and soft in comparison. He immediately asked me what he needs to do to get his like mine..

Install is simple, requiring dropping the exhaust a bit, fitting the brace in place, then pivoting it up for the final bolt in:

Fully mounted:



As noted earlier, start with the XB for best immediate impact and Stabilizing the "Box" structure


Then the UB to handle the chassis "Twist":


The RB is icing on the cake. Here it is compared to the Stern Bar. Almost 2 lbs lighter too...




As far as function compared to the Stern I could detect no differences. They both do the same thing with the advantage going to the RB due to increased exhaust clearance and easier install...

All the install and fitting and beauty pics here:

http://public.fotki.com/ttschwing/gt...ff/rb-install/

The trio is highly recommended for those serious about their cars.

Some general thoughts on braces in general:

I've had a few cars (63 or so) and done braces on more than a few of them.

My take:

The Golf is basically an economy car. It was never designed as a high performance piece. Given that you must assume some limitations in the basic chassis and structure..

XB: Consider a shoe box with the end cut out of it...The box will be pretty flexy side to side. The hatch does little to stabilize that since it just latches and is hinged at the top...No real stability enhancing structure. Take the XB, tie the strut towers/Structure together, and the box gains stability. The flex is countered by the Triangulation of the Brace. Biggest win on this one.

UB: Take that same shoebox and twist it...Lottsa flex. Double the structure on the bottom and the potential flex is reduced. If you think the light Sheet metal tie bars do anything you're delusional. Adding to the bracing, spreading it over a wider area and the chassis twist is reduced. #2 on the Bracing hit list.

RB: Most of the cornering forces are transmitted through the lower control arms. While this area (stock) is pretty stiff, gusseted etc, Tieing those forces together and triangulating them to the rear subframe stiffens that whole area up. Flex is reduced and forces spread over more attachment points.

They each do something different, but in combination, make the car far stiffer than originally designed. A stiffer chassis allows the suspension to do it's job. Sway bar changes result in more precise control, and Spring rates are not absorbed as much by the chassis, but rather allowed to do what springs are supposed to do. Everything gets more precise. Some of these changes are wasted on the average street driver, but if you value precision and drive your car a little harder than average, you'll appreciate the differences...

That's my story and I'm sticking to it...
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Old 11-08-2012, 03:50 PM   #2
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thanks steve for a comprehensive review! can't wait for the RB
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Old 11-08-2012, 05:14 PM   #3
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Very nice review, and another quality piece from UB. I wonder if this is the mysterious piece that Plac was working on with a vendor?
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Old 11-08-2012, 06:07 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by project92raddoslc View Post
Very nice review, and another quality piece from UB. I wonder if this is the mysterious piece that Plac was working on with a vendor?
Thanks.....looks like Ihad Pre-production piece #3 and the first in the US for final fitment confirmation to my knowledge.

Last edited by Modshack; 11-09-2012 at 09:25 PM.
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Old 11-08-2012, 07:12 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Modshack View Post
Thanks... Plac (RIP) had noting to do with this..I had Pre-production piece #2 and the first in the US for final fitment confirmation to my knowledge.
Clearly Plac must then have Pre-Production piece #1.
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Old 11-08-2012, 07:32 PM   #6
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Thanks for the review, ordered the RB to complete the bracing trifecta.
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Old 11-08-2012, 11:46 PM   #7
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Thank you sir Steve.
I have the UB and feel the same way in regards to the chassis feel and improvements you have noted.

The unibrace product line is certainly made for the tastes of a refined driver.
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Old 11-09-2012, 12:41 AM   #8
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So xB is still the winner?
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Old 11-09-2012, 12:57 AM   #9
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no big difference from Stern to RB?
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Old 11-09-2012, 01:14 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by arcboy2006 View Post
no big difference from Stern to RB?
Main differences are in weight, ease of install, and resistance to rust. RB wins in all three cases. Also looks much cooler but that's just a non-essential bonus. Performance-wise they are very similar.
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Old 11-09-2012, 01:32 AM   #11
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I ordered the UB I already have XB but price is what's holding me back for now on RB but stern is so much cheaper but RB is so much nicer...

I'm so sad torn apart can't choose
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Old 11-09-2012, 03:53 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arcboy2006 View Post
I ordered the UB I already have XB but price is what's holding me back for now on RB but stern is so much cheaper but RB is so much nicer...

I'm so sad torn apart can't choose
I'll sell you my stern bar after I get my rb in..
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Old 11-09-2012, 09:26 AM   #13
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Send me Pm with amount
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Old 11-09-2012, 10:57 AM   #14
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Thanks Steve!

For the record Plac was instrumental in troubleshooting prototype #1. Frankly, I had really messed up the dimensions and the prototype didn't fit. He very tenaciously performed multiple surgeries on it, hacksaw in hand, until it got close enough that I could re-test it, hack away some more, and make the final adjustments to develop Prototype #3, which I sent to Steve (I test fit Prototype #2 in Taiwan when I went there for the Grand Re-opening of my distributor and made a slight alteration before developing #3).

So, as you can see it has been a LONG road. But I can safely say without each twist and turn and the help of the community, this product would not be on it's way to all of you. Bruce
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