Solstice / Sky Backbone Brace by DDMWorks
All convertibles have an inherent weak center section in the middle of the car between the front of the door opening and the back of the door opening. This weakness is because the section height of the car is the smallest at that point compared to other parts of the car. The entire section height of the car is only as high as the top of the center tunnel of the car. The shorter this section height of the car is, the more prone it is to twisting and bending. If you compare the short section height of a regular modern sedan that extends all the way to the roof of the car to our car, you can see how much shorter of a section height we are dealing with as a convertible, and also why modern sedans are stiffer than convertibles.
For those that are not familiar with it, the center tunnel of the car is an upside down "U" shape channel that has the drive shaft and exhaust running through it. GM boxed in this "U" channel with a stamped steel piece that is ".060" thick that runs right down the middle of the car. When you remove it from the car to install our Aluminum DDMWorks Backbone brace, it becomes pretty obvious how flimsy the stock piece is. You can easily bend and twist this piece compared to the backbone brace. There is no weight advantage with the new piece it is actually heavier than the stock piece. The real advantage of the DDMWorks backbone brace is that you are stiffening up this short section height "U" channel and making the chassis stiffer allowing the suspension to work better and not twist as much. Some people with added power have actually cracked windshields on the car because of the chassis twisting.
Once we installed the first prototype on the car it was immediately obvious that we improved the torsional rigidity of the car after a short drive down the road, the car responded quicker and took a set into a turn quicker. With this brace and the Pro-beam on the car the handling difference is very noticeable from a stock car. Where the stock car feels slow to react, cars with both the Pro-beam and the backbone are faster to react to turns and feel much more solid.
We also did some torsional testing here at the shop with the old test mule, Randy's car. The procedure that we followed was as follows:
- We started out with the stock piece in place and put the car on the lift so we could raise and lower onto jack stands.
- We then lowered the car onto 3 jack stands, 1 jack stand was located at the drivers side front suspension pick-up point, a 2nd was located at the passenger side front suspension pick-up point and the third was located at the passenger side rear suspension pick-up point.
- We then used the jack and lifted the car by using the driver s side rear suspension pick-up point. We took a measurement of the distance between a fixed point on the car in front of the rear wheel to the ground, and made note of it.
- We then used the jack to raise the driver s side rear until we could move the front jack stand, and then made note of the distance that we had to jack the car.
- We then repeated this process several times to get a good range of values and make sure that they were consistent.
- Once we took these initial measurements and had a good average of distance to lift the car, we lifted the car straight up using the lift, and swapped in the Backbone, lowered it back onto the jack stands and repeated the whole process above.
- Fits: 2006+ Pontiac Solstice and Saturn Sky
- Made from 6061 Aluminum
- Stiffens up short section height "U" channel and making the chassis stiffer
- Allows suspension to work better and not twist as much
- 30% improvement over stock
- Installation note: torque specs are 13-15 ft lbs of torque
- Base 1/4" and Performance 3/8" are solid pieces
- Race/Track 1/2" version has cut-outs allowing it to weigh the same as the solid Performance 3/8" version but with more stiffness
I installed the Pro Beam first, then I installed this backbone after about 2 months. I feel the Pro Beam makes more of a difference in ride and rear stability, the backbone makes a difference in stability when putting stress on the frame. That means you notice the difference when braking and turning, especially at high speeds. It is much harder to under/over steer now. The tires feel much more planted onto the ground and it fills you with much more confidence than before. I can still get it to under steer sometimes, but it is pretty much avoidable now.Reviewed by: Kapsol from Midwest. on 9/20/2015
What a diff. in the handling of my Solstice. Once you take the OEM off you will see what I'm talking about. I installed the venom brace and the back bone brace along with the pro beam. The car handles like a slot car. I installed everthing in my driveway on jack stands. These products work and are easy to install.Reviewed by: Jay Blobner from EL Paso Texas. on 2/9/2013
30 points will be rewarded to you when you buy this item.