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Old 01-30-2008, 05:14 PM   #1
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Default FM Frame Rails/Butterfly Brace

I just installed my Hard Dog roll bar and I also ordered some FM frame rails since I've been wanting to install the butterfly brace I've had sitting around for some time.
After getting the roll bar in, I noticed a really nice difference in the ride quality and how potholes and bumps were less harsh than they were. So now I'm wondering if it's even worth it to install the bracing, since they're advertised to help the stiffness and ride quality. That, and I'm pretty content on the ride now.
I've read the reviews that I found on FM and m.net, and most people seem to agree that having a roll bar is great, but after installing the frame rails and butterfly brace, they noticed that things were even better. But the reviews that basically said, "Noticeable difference, but not huge or worth it" have me wondering.
Anyone here start with a roll bar and then add the bracing? Is it worth it to go ahead and install, or just go ahead and sell the package?
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Old 01-30-2008, 05:20 PM   #2
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I started with a hardcore DD and then added just the FM rails. The addition of the rails tightened up the front of the car. I wouldn't add the center section, the clearance with exhaust and loss of ground clearance aren't worth it. But the rails are nice.

Jay
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Old 01-30-2008, 05:24 PM   #3
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Let me know if you sell the rails, i would buy them off you. I also have a HDACE, i wouldn't mess with the butterfly brace myself due to clearance issues. Keep in mind my height is 12.0 front and 12.25 rear. If i were stock suspension i would add both braces.
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Old 01-30-2008, 05:28 PM   #4
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has anyone on here looked into the Bossfrog front fender braces???
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Old 01-30-2008, 05:35 PM   #5
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I don't think that there will be an issue with clearance either way, they seem to be pretty certain that they've made it well enough to avoid alot of issues, and I don't drag anything on the underside of my car unless it's a really big speed bump or odd driveway. And just in eyeballing things, I don't think there will be a problem.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jayc72 View Post
I started with a hardcore DD and then added just the FM rails. The addition of the rails tightened up the front of the car. I wouldn't add the center section, the clearance with exhaust and loss of ground clearance aren't worth it. But the rails are nice.

Jay
I have a 3-point strut tower brace that did a really nice job of tightening things up front. So considering that, was the addition of the rails on your car extremely noticeable? Like I said, I'm pretty happy with the handling now, I guess the addition of the bracing in my mind is to help take the rest of the ride harshness away since I do daily drive my car.

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Originally Posted by Doppelgänger View Post
has anyone on here looked into the Bossfrog front fender braces???

My thread! lol

Last edited by RotorNutFD3S; 01-30-2008 at 05:45 PM.
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Old 01-30-2008, 07:58 PM   #6
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I've had the roll bar, and then added the frame rails only, very noticable difference, I like it very much, put it in. I also have the autoexe 3 point strut bar, very nice piece too, tightened things a lot on the front, I likey too.
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Old 01-30-2008, 08:04 PM   #7
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Yea, I could use a roll bar then. When I pull into my driveway at a 45 degree angle to the mouth of it I can hear my hard top creak as both sides of the car change height because of the crowned street and angled driveway.
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Old 01-30-2008, 08:07 PM   #8
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Almost everything I've read has said that the frame rails do most of the stiffening and the butterfly brace is mostly unnecessary.

I'm planning on building some frame rails myself and welding them on. Just need to buy some material, and find a welder, and find some time, and wait for it to warm up outside, etc.
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Old 01-30-2008, 08:12 PM   #9
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I did the same as most of you, Hard Dog rollbar and FM rails, no butterfly. I am eventually going to stitch weld the door seams and stop there. Car's also got the OEM 1996 bracing. No shock tower bar.
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Old 01-30-2008, 09:22 PM   #10
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I went front having the boss frog clearview to full butterfly brace and the results were great. Adding the rails are good, but the butterfly prevents a lot of twisting loads from front to rear. Go for the butterfly install, you wont regret it.
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Old 01-30-2008, 09:37 PM   #11
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I installed a butterfly brace a few months ago and it made one hell of a big difference.What I suggest you do is to install the center section also and try it out for yourself.If you don't like it,then sell it.

The center section does not hang any lower than the exhaust system.
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Old 01-30-2008, 10:03 PM   #12
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For the center sections bolt holes, they are slotted so you can adjust the ground cleance anyways, pending on exhaust section of course.
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Old 01-30-2008, 10:11 PM   #13
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Well in all the butterfly braces I've seen locally everyone of them was the lowest point on the car. It's a fine line between getting the exhaust/cat not to rattle and losing ground clearance. You don't think it was just a coincidence that FM changed the ride height on their springs just after releasing the BF brace? My car is very low (not JDM low), I see scrape marks on my FM frame rails from the steep incline on my driveway.
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Old 01-30-2008, 10:24 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jayc72 View Post
Well in all the butterfly braces I've seen locally everyone of them was the lowest point on the car. It's a fine line between getting the exhaust/cat not to rattle and losing ground clearance. You don't think it was just a coincidence that FM changed the ride height on their springs just after releasing the BF brace? My car is very low (not JDM low), I see scrape marks on my FM frame rails from the steep incline on my driveway.
How low is your ride height? I noticed some scraping when my car was lowered to 12.125 Fr & 12.25 r. Now I'm at 12.5 r & 12.75 r with no scraping
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Old 01-30-2008, 10:47 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doppelgänger View Post
has anyone on here looked into the Bossfrog front fender braces???
well to answer your question, the AE86's have a problem with a lot of flex in this area, and the boss frog ガッチリ Supports (gacchiri, i guess you can call them fender braces) help a LARGE deal with flex. It made a huge difference on my friends car, so i would say they would definately be a good addition. tuckin99 also makes one of these if you care about weight savings, theirs seems less beefy, but they look exactly the same as Ueo's for the corolla. Boss frog's seems really beefy.
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Old 01-30-2008, 10:58 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mr_mazda329 View Post
How low is your ride height? I noticed some scraping when my car was lowered to 12.125 Fr & 12.25 r. Now I'm at 12.5 r & 12.75 r with no scraping
~12"F/12.25"R ... probably a bit lower with me in the car.
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Old 01-30-2008, 11:17 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jayc72 View Post
~12"F/12.25"R ... probably a bit lower with me in the car.

Sorry to ask this, but have you ever tried going over bumps and into driveways at a 45* angle. I most cases of going straight on and scraping, going at a 45* reduced scraping incidents a lot.
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Old 01-30-2008, 11:27 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mr_mazda329 View Post
Sorry to ask this, but have you ever tried going over bumps and into driveways at a 45* angle. I most cases of going straight on and scraping, going at a 45* reduced scraping incidents a lot.
Yes, but my driveway is really steep. And it doesn't help when I'm running 13" AutoX wheels
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Old 01-31-2008, 12:03 AM   #19
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13's, good point. I guess there in lies the point if you want a DD more than a track car and vice versa. LOL
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Old 02-01-2008, 02:55 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jayc72 View Post
Well in all the butterfly braces I've seen locally everyone of them was the lowest point on the car. It's a fine line between getting the exhaust/cat not to rattle and losing ground clearance. You don't think it was just a coincidence that FM changed the ride height on their springs just after releasing the BF brace? My car is very low (not JDM low), I see scrape marks on my FM frame rails from the steep incline on my driveway.
I put them both on at the same time, and noticed a decent difference. Ground clearance isn't much effected, but here's my solution: Now that I know what's scraping, I just don't care. :-) So it becomes as much a car-shield as it does a brace.



Also, I think my OEM exhaust was lower than my new one, with the factory resonator in it:



And for the record, yes, I already had a rollbar. I noticed a big difference, but since I did the Skip Cannon brace at the same time as the butterfly it's hard to tell what did what.

And whoever it was not running a shock tower brace, you're crazy. Even my old $3 one was awesome, made a huge difference in bumps around corners, and my CD player stopped skipping on bumps in the straights. Seriously.
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