Stern Subframe Brace

I bought this bar from a forum member for 65 bucks.  Great deal!  They are usually around $150 new.  This triangulates the lower control arm pickup points and the sway bar mounting points.  I can’t say whether it’s the Eurosport rear stress bar in conjunction or this alone or some combination of the two, but the rear end feels great!

Swaybar Reinforcement Point

 

Impressions

I like how this brace tightens up the rear end.  It’s not a massive difference but those with aftermarket swaybars will soon realize how flexible the rear subframe is.  The rear end feels much more planted and solid in turns with the brace installed.  Increasing chassis stiffness allows the suspension to do its job more effectively.  I occasionally carry heavy loads in the hatch (camping, road trips) and the creaks from the rear have been reduced or stopped completely.

How it works

Unlike the pricey aluminum front subframe, the rear is all stamped steel.  A uprated swaybar will flex the subframe, especially with the larger bars (27mm BSH, APR).  If you take a peek underneath the car, it isn’t hard to see why this brace helps.  The sway bar brackets sit on thin stamped sheet metal.  The control arm mounting points are also located in stamped steel but the stress on them in the MKV’s suspension design will not flex the steel.  This brace connects the two sway bar bracket points and uses the control arm mounting point as the top of the triangle.  Now the individual brackets and control arm pickup points are tied into one piece creating a nice solid platform for the suspension.  Any forces affecting one side are spread over the pickup points.

Installation

Installation takes less than an hour.  Here are the official instructions from PureMS’ website.  The only issue I’ve run into is that the clearance for the stock exhaust system is very minimal.  It rattled on the brace during startup.  Right now, I have temporarily wrapped rubber around the brace but I’ll be finding a more permanent solution in the future. Your experience may vary on this.  The fuel tank heat shield may also need to be bent a little.  This isn’t a deal breaker for me and I don’t think it should be for you.

Other notes

The brace I bought did not have the bolts supplied so I ordered them from PureMS.  They are not on the site so you’ll have to email them if you need a replacement set.  Unfortunately I cannot recommend you order them from purems.  I paid 24 dollars for a set of stainless steel M8 and M10 bolts.  I thought these would be specialized for the set but when I received them, they are standard sizing.  If I had went to the hardware store, I could’ve found them for a grand total of 5 bucks, stainless.  A large part of the cost was shipping, but come on, 10 dollars for bolts?  Two stamps and an envelope would’ve sufficed.  Speed would not be a problem because they’re perhaps 2 hours away from me.  Not that I wouldn’t do business with them again, just this experience could’ve been cheaper.  Word of advice, if you ever need replacements, try the local hardware shop first.  The M8 bolts need 2 washers and a locknut.  The M10 bolts need to be matched up to the correct thread size.  You’ll also need a regular washer and a split washer.  I’m going to guess the bolt is M10 x 1.25, but take the brace to a hardware shop to try on the bolts.

Triangulation Point

 

Based on the time I’ve had with the bar so far, I love it.  The rear end of the car has tightened up considerably and follows the front end with much more stability.  If you have any questions regarding this brace, send me a comment or email.  Remember, my car is approaching 100,000 miles and the chassis may have loosened up a little bit.  If you can find it used, it’s a great deal.  At the new price, it’s an ok piece. 120 shipped is far more reasonable than the 150 plus shipping it currently warrants.

Excuse the pictures, it was impossible to get a good shot.

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5 thoughts on “Stern Subframe Brace

  1. Pingback: Eurosport Rear Stress Bar « markFive GTI

  2. Pingback: BSH Sway Bar – Review « markFive GTI

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    • Honestly, with stuff like this, you just install it and forget about it. I haven’t touched it ever since I installed it. It’s been awhile since I have driven without so I cannot do an A/B comparison. Car drives great so far though. 120,000 miles and still chugging along!

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