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S2000.org Mods - Installing an X-Brace

Author: Todd Marcucci

The S2000 chassis is very stiff from the factory, yet there is still some flex. Owners who install the Spoon, "Mingster" (Import Development), or MG Racing x-braces report quicker turn-in, more predictable handling, and better cornering ability. Some reports from S2000 International forums indicate quite a great deal of flex in the mounting points stock, and even with certain braces installed. While it is hard to put a math to how much it's worth, this article will at least will show you how to install it.

The "Mingster" Brace
Mingster, who operates Import Development.net, created his own brace that is similar to the Spoon unit. This install will be based on this particular bar. The idea between different bars is the same, though, and the install procedure will be the same. The only difference might be the size of the bolts used to secure it in place.

What You Need
- 14mm socket, extension, and ratchet
- 8mm Allen Driver (for the "Mingster" brace)
- Torque wrench

To install the brace you will need to jack up the front of the vehicle far enough to get yourself under it. We will be working directly under the oil pan, so a good 12" will be needed there, maybe 10" or so at the front lift points. Raise the front of the car at the front/center lift point, then place jackstands on either side at the side lift points. Unless you have an ultra-low jack, you will likely need to drive up onto wood blocks or lift one side enough to get the jack under the center lift point.

Once you have the car raised (be sure it is secure), slide under it and remove these four bolts using the 14mm socket and ratchet:

Once these four bolts are removed, you will need to line up the brace and hand-thread the new (longer) bolts in place:

It might be necessary to thread them in a few threads each in order for them to all fit properly. The brace used here was slightly warped, which required some slack in the bolts for the bolt holes to line up right. Once they were, the brace went on and tightened down just fine. Be careful when threading them and starting to tighten the bolts that they are not cross-threaded. If the bolts don't go in fairly easy, back them out and try again. You might need to put them in again with the bar out to make sure they are not crossed and thread fine. You do NOT want to strip the threads on the body!

Unless your install instructions state otherwise, the bolts should each be torqued down to 28 ft-lbs, the Honda factory torque spec. Once you torque them down, you are ready to lower the car and take it for a test spin. Enjoy your new, stiffer chassis!

As always, feel free to email the author with comments, critiques, etc.

This page last updated 10/24/01.
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