6-pt subframe brace rivit issues- whoa, long - The Saab Link Forums

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Performance Modifications for the NG900 / Old 9-3 This forum contains PERFORMANCE related Q&A's for the NG900 and 9-3. This may also include suspension.

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Old 08-21-2008, 01:38 PM   #1
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6-pt subframe brace rivit issues- whoa, long

I've thoroughly read the rivit install guide on Genuinesaab.com but I'm still having issues with the installation of those little buggers.
http://www.genuinesaab.com/psi/files2/rivetnuts.pdf
I purchased my subframe brace second hand yet never used. Both the brace and hardware were still wrapped up. I'm hoping one of you gents can enlighten me and help me to become more rivit savvy.
The installation hardware I received didn't seem adequate. I had the install bolt, one washer, and one regular nut. In the install guide it mentions a "modified nut" but mine was just regular. I went to Lowes and found a nut like the one shown. In the subframe brace install how-to I think it mentions a threadless nut so perhaps I am to drill out the threads hence the "modified nut" ???
Anyway, my attempts to install the rivits with the regular nut as well as the nut I purchased from Lowes (unmodified) have failed. I've applied so much torque both nuts have rounded to an extent.
Here is my install setup at this time. I'm going to get another nut from Lowes and drill out the threads. Perhaps that will help.
Notice I have many washers on the install bolt. The single washer didn't seem adequate. It seems to me the unthreaded shank of the bolt needs to be covered for it to work. The two smaller washers are to space things so my wrench will fit and not become pinched.


Am I way off here? I'm almost to the point of sliding under the car and hoping I can actuate the tig pedal from that position in order to weld those things in.

I have pm'd Nick but he simply pointed me to the rivit install guide. Can't say I blame him since I didn't purchase it directly from him.
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Old 08-21-2008, 03:41 PM   #2
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You should only need 1 rivet, the rear passenger side.

There should be a short bar with a nut that works on the rear driver side, slides in from the side.

I spent about 9-10 hours trying to get my rivet to work, ended up paying someone to weld a nut in place for me in the end.

The special nut has some shark skin like fins on it, to prevent it from turning one way but not the other, like a ratchet.
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Old 08-21-2008, 06:44 PM   #3
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The kit comes with two, one of which is modified. The instructions show two being used. Not an issue however. How to install one is my concern
It has been mentioned that I need a nut of larger size than the install bolt I'm using. I'm going to drill the threads out of the nut I have and see if that works.
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Old 08-21-2008, 07:46 PM   #4
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Makes sense to have a nut with no threads that is flanged... This is just so you can put a wrench on it to hold it close to the frame while you crank down on the bolt. I don't think you need that many washers. One good sized washer should be enough. Have you tried putting a dab of grease on the washer?
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Old 08-21-2008, 08:53 PM   #5
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iirc doesn't one nut slide over the bolt (threaded part) and is held with a wrench (used kind of like a bushing), while the 2nd nut is actually engaged to the threads and is turned?This force of the nut being threaded onto the bolt pulls the rivet towards the nut and deforms it into the shape required to form the locking feature. Then you just unscrew both nuts and the bolt and you are down. Rivet should be locked to the subframe at this point. Mine came out fine. I think the key is to knwo when is enough. The rivet is aluminum I think and bolt and nuts are steel, so if you keep going with it you could break the rivet or strip out its threads.I think you can kind of check it as you go by backing off the nut a little and wiggling the bolt to see if it's tight. Does that make sense?
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Old 08-22-2008, 05:03 AM   #6
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iirc doesn't one nut slide over the bolt (threaded part) and is held with a wrench (used kind of like a bushing), while the 2nd nut is actually engaged to the threads and is turned?This force of the nut being threaded onto the bolt pulls the rivet towards the nut and deforms it into the shape required to form the locking feature. Then you just unscrew both nuts and the bolt and you are down. Rivet should be locked to the subframe at this point. Mine came out fine. I think the key is to knwo when is enough. The rivet is aluminum I think and bolt and nuts are steel, so if you keep going with it you could break the rivet or strip out its threads.I think you can kind of check it as you go by backing off the nut a little and wiggling the bolt to see if it's tight. Does that make sense?
Speaking from experience, if you "keep going" the bolt shears in half.

For me the rivet never stayed tight to the subframe. If I would try to unscrew the nut from the rivet, the rivet would just spin in place. I kept making it tighter then the bolt eventually snapped off.
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Old 08-22-2008, 06:39 AM   #7
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Early models I don't think came with the "3rd" insert plate. They used 2 pop rivets.
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can be prone to failure due to increased localized stresses in the hole penetrations
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Old 08-22-2008, 09:14 AM   #8
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Oh there's a 3rd plate now? That would make things easier I suppose.
I still haven't gotten around to attempting the rivit install again. I'll let everyone know how it goes.
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Old 08-22-2008, 09:59 AM   #9
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The 3rd plate goes on the LH or (drivers) side of the subframe if I remember from stevewwj's car.
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can be prone to failure due to increased localized stresses in the hole penetrations
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Old 08-22-2008, 11:08 AM   #10
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The 3rd plate goes on the LH or (drivers) side of the subframe if I remember from stevewwj's car.
Yep much like I said in my first post.
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Old 08-29-2008, 04:01 PM   #11
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I installed the rivits today. Piece of cake when you drill out the threads from the nut! That was my problem.
Bolting on the brace was the hard part. I thought it would be the easiest part of the process. The center bar (perpendicular to the car) was probably 2-3mm short on each side. I had to enlarge the holes in the subframe (grinding inward) so the bolts would clear and fit through the brace inserts. I also used a jack and applied pressure to help align things. No mention of those mods in the install guide. Perhaps mine was unique in that respect.
I haven't taken it for a spin yet but I'm looking forward to it
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Old 08-29-2008, 04:51 PM   #12
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Are you sure this is a GS bar as i don't think I have heard anyone having to enlarge the holes in the subframe.
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Old 08-29-2008, 09:38 PM   #13
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Here was the guys ebay description:
"This is a subframe brace that I bought from Talliferro Saab or Genuine Saab.com. It is primarily for a convertible. I never installed it and I no longer have the car. My loss is your gain. Mounting hardware is included."
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Old 08-29-2008, 09:53 PM   #14
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i heard the earlier ones were a bit harder to install, the one i just installed this summer went on very easily. so maybe this ebay guy had it sitting around in his garage for some time?
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Old 08-29-2008, 10:04 PM   #15
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I would say that's certainly possible.
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Old 09-01-2008, 11:08 AM   #16
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Just thought I would report my impression thus far. I feel as though the car is more level through turns so flexing would have to be minimized to a degree. It seems to me some forces, perhaps transfered due to subframe flex, have been taken off the tie rod ends because there is a bit more play in the steering than I had prior. I think this can be reduced or eliminated with urethane tie rod bushings.
Anyone who feels this brace does nothing must be out of touch with their car in my opinion.
With uerthane engine and tranny mounts, a steering rack brace, engine torgue brace, and 6-pt subframe brace I think it's time I pay attention to the rear of my car and purchase an upgraded rear swaybar when I have the cash
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Old 09-01-2008, 03:53 PM   #17
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I call it a partial placebo effect..
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Old 09-01-2008, 04:07 PM   #18
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I was certain to take the car for a couple spirited drives before installation to have the feeling fresh in my mind. I'm confident things are different. To what degree I can't necessarily say but the feeling of the car, the handling, has definitely changed in some fashion and so far I'm happy with the change.
Maybe there is a small element of placebo but it's partial as mentioned.
Why would saab have designed a similar brace as noted on the brace install guide on genuinesaab.com?

Last edited by Heath; 09-01-2008 at 08:58 PM.
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Old 09-01-2008, 07:56 PM   #19
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Why would saab have designed a similar brace as noted on the brace install guide on genuinesaab.com?

I think as it said, they were only put on convertibles. Since they have no roof for bracing they also used a similar sub frame brace to hold the car together.
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Old 09-01-2008, 09:07 PM   #20
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Maybe so but is that to say it won't benefit a hard top?
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