After my recent research into what mechanical changes Nissan had made to the R34 vs the R33, and finding that basically, other than aerodynamic improvements, a lot of effort was put into improving body rigidity, I began to think about what I could do to improve the rigidity of my car.
Granted, it’s a Series 3 so there already is additional factory bracing in the rear trunk area, and I have already installed the Nismo underfloor bracing (both front and midsection), but what else is there?
Obviously, a roll cage is one solution, but I want the solution to be invisible. I have heard of foam that you pour in that hardens when it dries, but I have also heard that it can trap moisture, leading to rust, and that if not done properly it can, upon expansion, distort the sheet metal around it! Also, some people point out that it could cause the body to act in weird ways during a crash.
Spot welding is another option, but that of course should be undertaken with a full repaint, if you want to do it properly (although I will be looking into this). So, my choices at the moment are limited to bolt on braces.
I searched on Minkara, the popular Japanese car-related website, in their “Parts Review” section (where readers post their reviews of parts), and found one part that received universal praise, and almost always the full 5 stars (out of 5 stars). The Gacchiri Support from Nagisa Auto. Nagisa Auto is an Osaka based tuner that specializes in various small parts, but mostly suspension and body rigidity items.
“Gacchiri” in Japanese means “solid.” The Gacchiri Support is a triangular shaped (patented!) fender brace that gets fitted on the door hinges area extending forward to the top part of the inner fender. When the package arrived, I took out one side for a photo:
And for Nissan cars: http://www.nagisa-auto.com/products/gacchiri/nissan.html
MINKARA Parts Review on the Gacchiri Support
Also there are some better photos of how it looks installed (apologies for no photos here as my tuner installed it and I was not around...)
Anyway, I’ve only driven the car a short distance, that is back from my tuner. And yet, in the few kilometers back home, I DID feel a difference. It’s somewhat hard to describe, but basically, the car feels more responsive to steering input, and strangely, it feels smaller.
This weekend I may be attending an event on a track, in which case I will be able to get a better feel for this, so will update in my next post!