As part of the plans to stiffen the chassis, I came across a coming out of Adelaide called Zenith Tuning on the NissanSilvia.com web site. They're mainly focussing on bracing of all sorts and the first of many items I've picked up is the front 'Guard Bracing'. This has already been tried and tested in the heat of competition drift and is fitted to reduce chassis movement vertically at the front of the vehicle giving better suspension and braking response. The bracing is fitted from the front door hinges and fixed to the top of the inside guard structure, with a diagonal brace stretching from top of the guard to bottom door hinge as can be seen in the pics. The construction is of the brace is from aircraft grade aluminium making it extremely strong and extremely light.
The only downside is in the installation of the top bolts. This is where you need to get smart about getting a washer and bolt down a very narrow channel.
Some pics of the install:
- Zenith Guard Brace
- Zenith Guard Brace Door Mounts
- Zenith Guard Brace Top Mounts
- Access Hole 1
- Access Hole 2
Installation was relatively straight forward, encompassing fitting the door hinge mounts first with the extended bolts supplied. Drilling the holes in the top mounts - choosing a top and side whole for my setup (no rule of thumb here). Then last but by no means least, getting a washer and nut into a very tight space using a long spanner, some sticky goo from the interior door panels and many choice swear words.
In the end they really look the goods and can't wait to feel it the difference too. There is a caveat on fitting these with 'widebody' guards though. As most of these wide aftermarket guards come with vents behind the wheel arch, these braces will foul on them. There are two choices open to you at this point, either hack into the vent or as what I've done, have someone remove the vents altogether (Tom came to the rescue again on this).
Other bracing that I have so far are front and rear Cusco OS strut braces, Zenith Boot Brace and Zenith C-pillar brace (still yet to determine if it will fit as it's for a 180SX). Also got some Zenith aluminium pineapples for the rear subframe and a Zenith Steering Bush to give better steering response. All these bits should tie the chassis together quite nicely.
Update: As of a few hours ago, the guards have been refitted, and the front bar is being cut to suit the intercooler. A lot of preparation has already gone into the body, so the painter has been called to come down and check out the amount of work required. The choice of colour has been with me for some time, and I've chosen Mazda's 'Velocity Red'. It's a beautiful red with a slight orange tinge as well as a small fleck to boot:
Should know a bit more by the end of the week, but I'm pushing to get it in for paint prior to Christmas so I can do more work over the break.