Braces and body mount questions

eagleguy

Member
Hey guys, my 86 T Type is getting picked up tomorrow in TX and will be here in FL in a few days. I would like to stiffen things up after she arrives. Where and what do I look for in my local parts yard for under hood braces before wasting $ online, who has the best rear seat stiffening set up and where can I get the recommended extra body bushings. I would like to do this right the first time around. Car has solid roof.
 

Chuck Leeper

Toxic old bastard
Staff member
Cantor Auto has the body bushing kits. Carid is a source, also. I got the last set there. I also got the poly bushing kit for the rear suspension there. The kits include the "GNX" bushings.
Try a search for the frame/body braces. This gets discussed frequently.
 

novaderrik

Well-Known Member
if this car is new to you, maybe wait until the car is there to find out if anything has already been done to it... the front frame braces out of a Monte Carlo SS bolt up in 5 minutes, and the rear seat brace is a pretty common thing to add. someone might have already done the body mounts, too..
 

626gn

Well-Known Member
Having had most of the Kirban braces at one point or another, I wouldn't waste time with the under hood braces imo. For the rear seat braces the GNX style is supposedly better but is a little more involved to install. The Kirbans rear seat braces are better than nothing even on a hardtop car. The front frame braces are worth adding as well just make sure you have a stock intercooler if you decide to use the Kirbans connecting front brace. Other options are: http://scandc.com/new/node/632 http://www.gnsperformance.com/#!bodyframe-g-body/c15ae
 

scojack_2001

Livin' Like A Refugee
I'll agree that you should wait to see what you actually got. I have had the Kirban rear seat braces in my GN for years. They work great. I'm actually going to convert mine over to the GNX style over the winter. And the SC&C brace, you can't go wrong with it. Yeah, its expensive but it works. Kind of a pain to install, but oh so worth it. Sucks it hit my PTE SLIC. Really tightened up the front end. I have the Kirban front under hood braces, and I dont think they do much. Except make you battery hard to remove.
 

Gene Van Horn

Active Member
If you want to really stiffen the ride go with the poly body mnts, if you want stock like new use the stock rubber ones. Kirbans has both including the extra gnx mnt. I put the polys in my car, difference of night and day in the handling.
 

Undercover87T

Maryland MAGNA Rep
Staff member
Kirban is pretty much a one stop shop for this stuff and will save you from wasting time going from yard to yard. The front frame braces would need to be bent or a drop bracket made if you have a large stretch SLIC. Kirban sells both types of rear seat brace, one bolts in and the other must be welded I believe. The under hood braces are somewhat effective at reducing the core support moving and cracking the header panel. I have the carbon fiber ones from GNS. If you have to remove the battery, remove one bolt and they swing out of the way, no big deal. Poly bushings will be the stiffest for the body mounts but may transmit more vibrations into the car. For that reason I used the rubber kit from Kirban with new hardware. Wound up having to weld a repair disc in one hole so be prepared for that possibility.
 

dank GN

BlackArts Automotive (661)993-8277
I did poly mounts with the GNX brace , I also got some steel from Home Depot for like $10 and welded some rear seat braces in then I had the frame out and trianglated the rear .
image.jpeg
image.jpeg
 

GNRick

Retired member
Be aware that all this stiffening takes away from the comfy ride that our cars had when new. Unless you are into autocrossing or a serious drag racer I really don't see the point.
 

1KWIKSIX

Well-Known Member
Don't forget that you can tighten up the back end too.
GNS Performance sells a rear frame rail brace kit consisting of a pair of brackets . Due to manufacturing tolerances of our frames you must install these and measure your own then cut and weld steel tubing to suit your cars specific requirements.
Here's a pic of mine (just tack welded at the moment). Will remove and have final welds done , then off to the powder coaters.
In addition to a UMI rear shock tower brace.
Both of these items will firm up the rear frame areas considerably .

RearFrameRailBrace1.JPG
UMI Performance Rear Shock Tower Brace.JPG
 
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BuickMike

Money pit
I'll throw my 2 cents in here since I've done quite a few bracing methods in the 19 years I've had mine.

The rear brace mentioned above that connects where the bumper attaches is a big deal. Hell, I made my own bolt in one out of some spare bar and it worked wonders for limiting the "G Body shuffle" when going over bumps.
The X brace for the back seat that Kirban helps. I guess the GNX style is better, however I think it is best welded in. I could have sworn I saw one in a Grand Prix at the junk yard.
The Joust braces that connect the engine cross member to the frame help with understeer. I've pulled them of a Cutlass Supreme. Monte Carlos should have them too.
The Grand Prix will have a single brace that you can use to triangulate the joust braces, but I think it hits something. I drilled separate holes and mounted mine in front of the radiator on the frame.
The under hood braces can also be found on the Grand Prix. They are good for reducing the upper front end wiggle from the radiator support.
All this stuff has most likely been picked clean at the junk yards, so it could be easier to get at Kirban.

You can get a steering column off a '96 (I think) Jeep Grand Cherokee and make it fit. It uses a U joint instead of a rag joint for less steering slop. There will be a little vibration transferred to the steering wheel.

Also, I would avoid the poly body bushings unless you have a serious hard on for really tightening up the car and don't care about weird vibrations or resonances. I did them and it basically transformed the car into a 3rd or 4th gen F body. Super responsive but the odd vibrations (although minor) really annoyed me after awhile. This was really amplified by the steering column and the HR Parts poly motor mounts. I eventually got the rubber body bushing kit that has the GNX Bushings in it. Kirban has this too. Although there is a little more sway in the body, it is minor and my car is back to being a nice smooth / quiet Buick GN. I am so much happier this way. I'm still keeping the poly bushings incase I ever build a G Body for Auto X one day.

Hope all this helps. Read my build thread below for more goodies.
 

Dennis Kirban

Well-Known Member
kirban 2 cents worth:

First, I appreciate the various posts that plug my company. I disagree with the one post about a comfy ride. most turbo regal owners probably agree Buick did little to the suspension to handle the low end torque our cars routinely deliver. In many cases on the 1986 Turbo Regals I found they forgot to install the last lower body bushing on the cars. I know having installed missing body bushings on over 300 of these cars I sold.

The other four lower missing ones makes you question why when Monte Carlo models got them. The post about the GP having a rear brace is correct I seen it. Appears Pontiac engineers where a tad bit smarter....even though the GPs are the least sought after G body models.

We duplicated the Monte Carlo bars when GM ran out of them. My son designed the cross brace that connects them All our bars are powder coated.

We also sell the GNX style one. The under the hood ones really don;t do much per say but other G body cars had them so my kid made them also years ago.

My car is a hardtop and I did all the braces years ago.....its super tight which is what you want in a performance car. Go back to the 1960s convertibles in most cases had frames that boxed frames.....heck years ago Pontiac discovered rear control arms where twisting so they issued a brace to correct it we made that brace for the GTOS sold many many of them. The 1968 and up GTOs it was part of the suspension. This was ONLY on the four speed cars.

My point is had Buick kept making rear wheel drive turbo power Regals I am sure some of the upgrades now made today would have been incorporated into production besides a useful full useful gauge package and eliminated the T-Top option. Ford was smart enough to eliminate it late in the fox body production. T-Tops and low end torque lead to problems period.

As far as braces go the biggest seller is the rear seat brace set (4).....it makes a difference you will notice within a few miles.

denniskirban@yahoo.com
 

Turbo6inKY

Short Guy
Be aware that all this stiffening takes away from the comfy ride that our cars had when new. Unless you are into autocrossing or a serious drag racer I really don't see the point.

That shouldn't be the case. Stiffen the body, but make sure all the suspension articulation points move freely. If the suspension can move, then stiffening the body will improve comfort, not reduce it.
 

Dennis Kirban

Well-Known Member
That shouldn't be the case. Stiffen the body, but make sure all the suspension articulation points move freely. If the suspension can move, then stiffening the body will improve comfort, not reduce it.

I will change my choice of words to you want to eliminate a soft ride... Bilstein shocks is a great upgrade also along with replacing rear springs.....

denniskirban@yahoo.com
 
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