Fender Braces for Information

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Larry Witherspoon
First Gear
Posts: 97
Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2002 4:08 am
Location: Torrance (Los Angeles), California

Fender Braces for Information

Post by Larry Witherspoon »

I am very close to having a few fender braces, and I don't have a price - Rite now I am willing to trade material for knowledge

They look like these Simply Subie braces in the Parts Shed Vendor Garage, but without the three big holes - viewtopic.php?f=23&t=34447

Simply Subie was no longer making braces when I went looking, and wanted more for the CAD/CAM file than I was willing to pay

So I got hold of a stock fender brace, to make an engineering blueprint by taking careful measurements

However the stock brace hole diameters are 12 and 14 millimeters, two mm and four mm LARGER than the 10 mm, M10-1.25 threaded bolt holes in the chassis

I don't know if that's because the chassis manufacturing tolerance was so wide the braces needed room for variation

And I didn't feel like I could depend on the stock brace and chassis holes to be concentric

So I managed to get an actual chassis section with the brace attached so I could measure the chassis hole pattern directly, and made what I believe to be an accurate engineering representation

At a glance it appears the hole centers form a parallelogram, but they do not...none of the lines connecting hole centers are parallel !

I took my drawing to a metal fabricator, who converted it to a CAD/CAM file, and I was able to have braces CM machined, duplicating the chassis hole pattern to +/- 0.015 in (0.38 mm)

The braces have not been tested for fit on a car, and you probably know about Murphy's Law

But I don't know if the chassis section I had is held to a close tolerance so as to trust that ALL are the same

And even if they WERE identical off the assembly line, after cowboys have been jumping, crunching, rolling and Evil Kineveling their car all over the place, where is that chassis alignment now ??

Even on the section I used to make the drawing, there is a slight fit problem. I can get all the bolts thru the brace and started by hand into the chassis threads, but cannot tighten them all the way with my fingers.

I got some long bolts so I could try to determine whether the holes were axially parallel and guess what, it turns out they are not quite. The frame section is slightly out of kilter.

I can slip the long bolts all the way through the brace holes, and tighten the bolts into the chassis with the brace up at the top of the bolts, then slide the brace down to the frame section, and see how it slightly deforms

The machined brace holes are very nearly concentric with the chassis/frame section holes, but we can't do much about the out of parallel condition, and I think it helps explain the oversize holes in the stock brace

Fortunately, the imperfect alignment and fit is not so severe that it would cause problems using something better to tighten than fingers

And perhaps that slight misalignment preload would actually assist in resisting movement between the two parts of the chassis these braces are intended to tie together

So I am wanting to find out if my existing brace holes that just barely allow the bolts to slip thru, are adequate in the real world, to fit the braces to the chassis, or if not, how much oversize they need to be

I would like to find somebody who is willing, and able to remove their fenders, and stock braces, and try the ones I had fabricated, in trade for free braces

They are 6061-T651 Aluminum plate 1/4" x 3-5/16" x 16-7/16", laser cut and drilled to my blueprint

I think the best use of mine would be to fit them UNDER the stock braces, so BOTH are used to stiffen the chassis, if there is room.

I am not actually starting a manufacturing and supply business, there was a minimum order quantity, and I have a few paperweights I don't want to go to waste, that might be worth a few dollars to the community if they work well.

Simply Subie indicated the below fitment info

ALL 90-94 Legacy Sedans and Wagons
ALL 02-07 WRX Sedans and Wagons
ALL 99+ RS Models
ALL 04-07 STi Models
SOME 93-01 Impreza L models will require two holes to be drilled and tapped.

Please reach out and touch me

Larry Witherspoon

p.s. - I am also wanting to buy for my 92 Legacy - in descending order of importance

Left Hand Front Turn Lamp Assembly
84441 AA090
(the whole 92-94 left front turn signal assembly)
Left Hand Front Turn Lamp Lens and Body
84912 AA610
(just the plastic 92-94 left front turn signal lens body)

Right Hand Front Seat Reclining Lever (cover) a.k.a. Seat Back Recliner Adjustment Handle (cover)
64282 AA080
and attachment screw
90472 0001
not the whole metal lever mechanism - just the little plastic part that goes over the end of the metal lever

Left Hand Front Mud Guard / fender liner
59120 AA030

Left Hand Front Arch Protector (paired with the mud guard / fender liner)
59121 AA090 to 92 Jan (my preference, but will try any)
59121 AA091 92 Feb - 92 Mar
59121 AA170 92 Apr - 92 Aug
59121 AA190 Sep on
Larry Witherspoon
Torrance (Los Angeles)
92 Turbo Legacy Wagon
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