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Chassis Upgrade: UMI G-Body Rear Shock Tower Brace

When you’re looking to stiffen up the rear of your chassis on your turbo buick, it use to be that you had to weld in braces between the frame rails (in front of & behind the shock towers). Which means that you basically need to do a body off to accomplish this task (unless you prefer incomplete welds!).

Thanks to the technology & development from UMI Performance though, they have now produced a brace that mimicks those effects instead of having to go thru all that hassle. And it’s an easy bolt in unit too!

It mounts at the top of the rear shock towers, and connects the two sides together, in effect, strengthening this portion of the G-body frame.

We acquired a stealth looking black (it also comes in red) powdercoated brace for this 1987 Buick Regal Grand National that we are installing it on.

This item really is a superb looking piece, much better than you can actually see in the advertisements for it. The center bar I expected to be basically a hollow tube, but once receiving it and examining it close up, the ends are sealed & welded expertly all the way around onto the triangular ends. (see pic)

This is no foreign made junk either, UMI Performance utilizes USA craftspeople to manufacture it & their parts are produced from U.S. made raw materials. (surprisingly, considering the costs of their parts, items aren’t really that expensive for what you are getting – “Made in the USA”)

From their description:

* Manufactured from 1-1/4” USA Tubing
* CNC laser cut 3/16” mounting brackets
* Grade 8 hardware included.
* Easy bolt in installation with basic hand tools.
* Powder coated for a durable long lasting finish.
* Made in Philipsburg, PA – USA

A sturdy unit indeed, which should hold up well & do the job it was meant to do!

There’s only 4 bolts that hold it on, so installation is relatively simple.

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The only drawback, the new grade 8 bolts UMI includes are slightly bigger than the OEM bolts that hold the shocks on.
Meaning you will have to drill out the existing holes in the T-bar (that holds the shock in at the top), and we also had to enlarge the holes in the shocks that were on the car (3 way comps).
Not that big of a deal, took about 10 minutes to do it all (and we even removed the shocks from the car to accomplish this task).

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[NOTE: the OEM exhaust hangers (which aren’t being utilized in this vehicle) were in the way on this 1987 Buick GN, so they needed to be removed before installation of this new piece could begin]

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TIME REQUIRED:
* Less than an hour (assuming nothing is in the way of installing it).

PARTS:
* rear shock tower brace {part #3055}, about $150 (including shipping)

TOOLS NEEDED:
* socket & wrench, 9/16″ in size for new bolts; 13mm for OEM’s
* drill with 3/8″ bit

HOW-TO:

1. Jack up the car, or put it on ramps, do all the regular “safety” stuff, etc.
2. Mock the brace up in place, to make sure all is ok, since every car is different.
You “should” have plenty of clearance all the way around, but it’s always good to check beforehand!
3. Remove all 4 shock bolts.
Start on passenger side (it has the slotted ends) & set the bar on top of tower & attach using the supplied nuts & bolts, but don’t tighten all the way until you attach the bolts from the other side!
4. Tighten the drivers side down & then go back & secure the other side.
5. Lower the car to the ground… then go take a test drive!
(because that’s the standard thing to do whenever you mess around with upgrading your turbo regal…)

You can now enjoy knowing that your chassis is a bit firmer than it was an hour ago!

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Pretty nifty & quick to install chassis upgrade part, huh?
You can get one for your own Buick Grand National, Buick Turbo T, or Regal T-type direct from UMI Performance! (click on their banner to be taken to their website!)

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