Fast Monty's Garage Install and Review of G Force Next Gen Crossmember
Hey guys. Welcome back!
Fast Monty's Garage.
I'll try and find a picture and put it up, it was much beefier. Weighs twice as much as this one and this one is stronger.
So, I'm excited to try this out. If you missed last episode by the way, I put in some ultimate headers, low profile band clamps right off the header into the x-pipe. I already have v-band band clamps on the rear of the x-pipe. And, during that video I discussed my issue was my exhaust is too low.
Because I have a Tremec TKX, I used to have a TKO. It's the same problem. The transmission sits lower, that brings the headers at a lower angle and i'm scraping almost everything. So, I want to raise it back up and in part of that process I wanted to find a brace that has some really nice clearance. This one does. So, not only do we get to strengthen our rail-to-rail support on the frame, I get more leeway here for future projects. Maybe upgrading to three-inch exhaust. I need that room to do that so I'm excited because the TKX is now has more room in the tunnel I can push it up higher than the TKO.
So that's going to be a pretty simple task to raise the transmission. The hard part is actually getting this to fit. I say that because these are built to GM spec for hold to hole spacing. The problem is our cars are 50 years old and who knows what kind of abuse they've gone through.
For example, I know my frame was put on the wrong type of lift one too many times and the frame is bent in certain sections along the rail. Doesn't mean it's out of whack but the holes are further apart than these spec holes.
So we're going to have to make some modifications to my frame. Now one of the tricks this system comes with 7/16-inch bolts or half inch bolts. Depending on which one you get. You can actually downsize the bolts to like a Grade 8 3/8th 8-inch bolts which I’m going to do that. Saves you a little bit of room but we're probably have to open up those holes a little bit. And, if you want to keep the half inch bolts you're definitely going to have to open up your current holes. So, that being said let's get the old transmission brace out and do a side by side comparison to show you guys the differences. And, and if you haven't done so you're going to have to pull your exhaust.
I know it's a pain in the ass but you're going to have to do that. Support your transmission with a jack stand, pull that brace, and we can start working on the new brace.
Here's a side view. It's the starting shot before we make any changes this is how much room we have so the width of a two by four plus about three quarters of an inch. Maybe five eighths, but that's we're starting with.
I would love to get another half inch higher. I think that would be an ideal target.
All right top view first. As you can tell we have, it's a little bit narrower through the top section. This is the front this is front. So, this is oriented the same way it would go in the car. And you can see the width here for the exhaust path. This is what I had to struggle with on the last video is my exhaust was bending right here. So, I had to move the whole exhaust system back four inches. This is also four inches or three inches back from this front of the transmission support. So hopefully, fingers crossed, we have room for our exhaust. Will still fit through here and then bend. So that aside is what it looks like
top view. Pretty straight forward. Pretty clean.
Let me show you the view from the exhaust side. All right here's passenger side. I have the stock brace which is in the back shimmed so it's sitting on the same height on the frame as the new one. So, here's our clearance from the ground, or from the floor, or the deck I’d say. So it's almost 3 ¼ for the G Force and 2 ¾ or 2 5/8 at the highest point for the stock brace.
That may not seem like much guys, but when your car is low like mine every millimeter counts or every fraction of an inch. So, really looking forward to that.
Let's jump to the driver's side. All right driver's side—3 inches three and a 1/16 maybe 2 ½ . So there you have it. So, here's what the holes look like just for reference for you guys. I like how there's a slot. There's a slot on the other side as well and you can tell my stock brace has seen better days. I had to modify it when I had to move the brace back for the Tremec. So, I had to add a hole and barely on the edge there. So, with any luck we'll be able to utilize these same holes. But if these are a little too narrow we're gonna have to increase the hole size. Maybe make a slot in the frame. So we won't know until we put it in.
So let's go do that. Well team it looks like I might be in luck. Now this is not perfectly straight up and down obviously this one's got this one I can move around. But it's like this on both sides so i'm actually going to try with my 3/8 Grade 8s and washers. I’m going to try and tighten down both sides and see if it is able to straighten itself out or I can get a good firm seal.
I'm looking for the fit on the flange to make sure it's all the way across and man I might be in luck. Without modifying anything. But this is exactly what I was talking about if that doesn't work I would just make this hole more of a slot like a die grinder and a deeper a burr tool. And just make that slotted so this goes straight up and down like this one. Like this one's like nice and free to move. So I'm gonna give that a shot. I'll let you know what happens.
That totally worked. Look at that. I'm flush on both sides. Oh man! Awesome and yes I forgot a washer. Not to worry guys, I'll pull this bolt and add a washer. But I wanted to see if it lined itself up. Totally did.
Now let's transition over to the transmission brace portion and lock this down. Here's the transmission mount. Here's where we need to go to. Yeah, that's like almost two fingers right there. Now I need to shim it. The cool thing is you can get these shims from G Force.
Check that out. I actually don't think I have enough so I have some shims that I made for the last transmission brace that I’ll, I'll add in there and see if I can make up the difference. If not, I’ll just order more but that's what I have to contend with now. Because this is where I want the transmission to be I still have like an eighth of an inch to the uh floorboards. And, uh man this is getting exciting. It's getting easier than I thought.
I changed my mind. I totally forgot I had this 3/8-inch bar stock laying around from a project where we did the tow hook. I'm gonna go ahead and make two shims out of this and then fill in the gap. And that's pretty easy and then I can show you guys the only tool I have that's professional shop tool.
Ah no, this is not my professional shop tool. This is actually a cool product from Swag Off Road. It converts a pipe cutter. So, this is DeWalt. Also fits Milwaukee's. I'll leave a link below but I love this thing. Hang it up on the wall when I’m done.
One down. Two down. Yep this is the professional tool. Talking about a drill press and I finally get to use it again. Let's get to work. Oh yeah. All right there we go. I got them both done.
I'm going to test fit them and assuming, of course, they're going to work right guys. Deburr them, degrease them, prime them, and then put them in. Show you the end result here.
There we go. Primed and ready to go. So, I'm going to throw them in the car. Probably have to add a couple more of the standard shims on top and see how it looks.
Look at how many shims went in here. So, all four of those aluminum shims, my two shims, I just made, and I added washers in between. Oh my god, I should have made three of these. Crazy but that's about max. There's only about an eighth inch from the top of the transmission. What makes it difficult is, um, this is the the brace is not loaded so when you shim it then drop the transmission it loads the brace. So, it throws off your measurements but this 2x4 right here is what I had it. Uh, I can still squeeze it in here which is good because that was my original support that I was measuring off of. So that's awesome.
Let's go ahead and take another side view and see what our post measurement is. All right guys, what would we have before like ¾ - 5/8 of an inch now we have one inch. That is awesome. That makes me happy.
Uh so next step we're going to put the x-pipe back in. And, I'm still worried about this back edge of the the brace to see if we make that turn. It better because, oh my god, more welding x-pipe fits.
Oh my god. Look at this. I can put my whole hand in here. Crazy! That means I can upgrade to like a 3-inch exhaust. I could raise the transmission even more if I wanted to but I would have to do a tremendous amount of tunnel cutting. I don't want to go down that path again. As you guys know I did that with my TKO.
For the shims I called Silver Sport, my favorite team to work with, and talked to Shane again, of course. And they have a taller mount I can get from Energy Suspension it's a two-inch-tall mount that gives us another 3/4 of an inch of shims we can remove. I'm actually not comfortable with this amount of shims. They also have billet shims you can get. So I'll leave a link to Silver Sport below, but call them if you ever have any questions. And, if you guys don't know that's where I got my TKO originally and that's where I got my TKX. Fantastic
team to work with.
Now as far as the G Force brace is concerned, I'm super excited. I love it. The, uh, hold a hole spacing in case you're wondering is 53 and 5/8 inches. When I measured my whole spacing from left to right was 54 inches. That's why I was concerned. I thought we had to do some modifications. Luckily the 3/8 inch Grade 8 bolts did the trick.
Super excited. I used two hardened fasteners on top to cover the 5/8 inch holes and it can go from there. So, give G Force a call. Look up their products and you guys know the drill.
Until next time—build them fast, drive ‘em faster.