Unibrace XB DIY - No Trim or Seat Removal Necessary
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Thread: Unibrace XB DIY - No Trim or Seat Removal Necessary

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    Default Unibrace XB DIY - No Trim or Seat Removal Necessary

    I just finished installing my unibrace XB and thought I'd put together a quick tutorial. With some guidance from Bruce I did it without removing any trim or the seats which saved lots of time. I also installed the XB without removing the child seat tethers (LATCH) (sometimes called grocery bag hooks) which is a big plus if you need a child seat in the back.

    After the install I took the car for a quick spin and all I can say is WOW! The rear end is so planted. Its amazing. It feels like a completely different car.

    I highly recomment this mod to anyone interested in performance driving. Its important to know that this install does take patience and care since its hard to rectify a problem once you've started drilling into your car. Here the adage measure twice, cut once is particularly apt.

    Before we get started please know that you do this mod completely at your own risk to both yourself and your car. I am in no way an expert in this area and am only sharing my own experience for other's information. If you feel uncomfortable doing this type of work get a professional to install the unibrace XB, as this does require some care and experience.

    Here's my new Unibrace XB just after it was delivered. As many others have already said, the fit and finish is amazing. A really well constructed, high quality piece.



    First step, clean out the back.



    Place some tape over the area where the unibrace XB will be mounted.



    Check fitment with the seats up. Ensure that the seats lock in place properly with your unibrace placement.



    In my case I was also careful to ensure the unibrace cleared the child seat tethers. You don't need a huge amount of clearance. A few mm is probably fine.



    Once you've determined the right placement use some bungies to keep the unibrace in place.



    Fold the seats back down and mark the mounting points for the unibrace XB with a sharpie. Top



    And bottom.



    Put the unibrace to the side and use a craft knife to cut flaps at the mounting points.



    If you just cut 3 sides the trim can be put back in place afterwards with some glue for a clean appearance.



    Put the unibrace back in place, secure with bungees and check the fitment again.



    Mark the center of the first mount point with a punch. Only do one mount point for now. We will do a single nutsert at a time and then fasten that mount before punching any more mount points. This increases the chance of getting a good fitment and as Bruce puts it, prevents the accumulation of errors.



    Drill a pilot hole, and then progressively work your way up to a 1/2 " hole. I actually found it easier to do this in 5 steps, by gradually increasing the drill bit size each time. This was faster and led to a cleaner, more symmetrical hole. FYI for the top mount points I used only regular drill bits. For the bottom mount points the nutsert wouldn't go in as the hole was too small. I used a tappered drill bit to slightly enlarge the hole until the nutsert fit. Using new, sharp, carbon titanium drill bits will make drilling through the car much faster and easier.



    The nutsert tool confused me at first. You need to thread the long bolt through the main piece of the tool. I find it useful to then thread the nutsert onto the end of the bolt and use the tool to push it into the hole snugly.



    Use an open ended spanner or similar to hold the wider part of the nutsert tool, and prevent it from spinning around. I used a 22mm spanner I had left over from a previous coilover job.





    Then use a 11/16" socket wrench to turn the smaller part of the nutsert tool clockwise. This will cause part of the nutsert to be squashed and expand inside the hole like a rivet, locking it in place.



    Now fasten the unibrace at that mounting point with the provided bolt.



    With the first mounting point fastened, repeat the process in the second mounting point. Again use the punch to mark the drilling point, remove the bolt from the first fastening point and put the unibrace to the side. Drill a hole at the new fastening point to 1/2". Install the nutsert. Fasten the first two points and move onto the third point and so on. Remember to fasten the unibrace at all existing points before using the punch to mark the next point. This takes a few extra minutes but significantly improves your chances of getting a good fitment.

    Finally fold the carpet flaps back in place, use glue if you like, and bolt the unibrace in place on top of the carpet.

    Go for a ride and have your mind blown!



    A big thanks to Bruce for taking the time to describe this approach to me. Not removing the trim and seats saves so much time, and makes it easier to get a great fitment as well. I hope you found this useful, and please share your own experiences with the install.

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    Default Re: Unibrace XB DIY - No Trim or Seat Removal Necessary

    I eyed one of these the other day. Would love to do it.

    Great DIY, will sticky.
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    Default Re: Unibrace XB DIY - No Trim or Seat Removal Necessary

    I've had mine sitting in the box since I got it in a group buy on GolfMk6. Mainly because of 2 things. The first being that I was told that you will lose those hooks when installing the Unibrace, and I plan on using them in the future. The second being that I have heard nightmares of it not fitting properly and the tearing out of the interior being a pain in the ass.
    I may venture to try and put it in this way, but I am always wary of the nutsert install, as I have heard the nightmares of having them not crimp properly and just spin in place.
    2012 Shadow Blue GTI with DSG, R8 oil cap, GIAC Stg 1, DriverGear DSG springs, Neuspeed P-flo intake, Bilstein sport shocks, H&R 26mm/22mm swaybars, Tyrolsport Subframe collar kit.
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    Default Re: Unibrace XB DIY - No Trim or Seat Removal Necessary

    Quote Originally Posted by BillyBob View Post
    I've had mine sitting in the box since I got it in a group buy on GolfMk6. Mainly because of 2 things. The first being that I was told that you will lose those hooks when installing the Unibrace, and I plan on using them in the future. The second being that I have heard nightmares of it not fitting properly and the tearing out of the interior being a pain in the ass.
    I may venture to try and put it in this way, but I am always wary of the nutsert install, as I have heard the nightmares of having them not crimp properly and just spin in place.
    I'm going to try this method as well.
    I just purchased an xb off a guy local last Wednesday, brand new, who was nervous about the install too. Drilling holes, removing seats and the like.
    I think the benefit outweighs the risk. Just wish I had more time this weekend but I didn't want to rush.
    2011 MKVI TR 2-door ~
    ~ Unitronic Stage 2 ~ R8 coil packs ~ Unitronic intake ~ GFB DV+ ~ Nuespeed intercooler ~ Nuespeed throttle body pipe ~ Nuespeed turbo discharge pipe ~
    ~ SPM custom TBE ~ Unibrace XB ~ P3Cars VIDI ~ HPA SHS Coilovers ~ H & R rear sway ~ VMR 701's ~ BFGoodrich Sport Comp 2 ~


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    Default Re: Unibrace XB DIY - No Trim or Seat Removal Necessary

    Anything that lessens the creaking of the doors rubbing against the body is a winner for me.
    2012 Shadow Blue GTI with DSG, R8 oil cap, GIAC Stg 1, DriverGear DSG springs, Neuspeed P-flo intake, Bilstein sport shocks, H&R 26mm/22mm swaybars, Tyrolsport Subframe collar kit.
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    Default Re: Unibrace XB DIY - No Trim or Seat Removal Necessary

    Woohoo. About to go on a test run.
    I followed this DIY to a T and the install went perfect. Just take your time. The only thing different I did was I cut my hole flaps opposite. So they fold out towards the exterior of the car. Now they are folded back over the bolts and sandwiched between the brace and the seats.
    Big props to speedracer for this great DIY!
    Thanks bud. :beer:
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    2011 MKVI TR 2-door ~
    ~ Unitronic Stage 2 ~ R8 coil packs ~ Unitronic intake ~ GFB DV+ ~ Nuespeed intercooler ~ Nuespeed throttle body pipe ~ Nuespeed turbo discharge pipe ~
    ~ SPM custom TBE ~ Unibrace XB ~ P3Cars VIDI ~ HPA SHS Coilovers ~ H & R rear sway ~ VMR 701's ~ BFGoodrich Sport Comp 2 ~


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    Default Re: Unibrace XB DIY - No Trim or Seat Removal Necessary

    Hatch mat and car-go liner still fit with no issue? That lower bracing looks like it's in the way.
    2012 Shadow Blue GTI with DSG, R8 oil cap, GIAC Stg 1, DriverGear DSG springs, Neuspeed P-flo intake, Bilstein sport shocks, H&R 26mm/22mm swaybars, Tyrolsport Subframe collar kit.
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    Default Re: Unibrace XB DIY - No Trim or Seat Removal Necessary

    Quote Originally Posted by BillyBob View Post
    Hatch mat and car-go liner still fit with no issue? That lower bracing looks like it's in the way.
    Yep. No issues. They fit fine. Pic doesn't show it obviously, but theres still about a 1/8" gap.
    2011 MKVI TR 2-door ~
    ~ Unitronic Stage 2 ~ R8 coil packs ~ Unitronic intake ~ GFB DV+ ~ Nuespeed intercooler ~ Nuespeed throttle body pipe ~ Nuespeed turbo discharge pipe ~
    ~ SPM custom TBE ~ Unibrace XB ~ P3Cars VIDI ~ HPA SHS Coilovers ~ H & R rear sway ~ VMR 701's ~ BFGoodrich Sport Comp 2 ~


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    Default Re: Unibrace XB DIY - No Trim or Seat Removal Necessary

    Quote Originally Posted by BillyBob View Post
    Hatch mat and car-go liner still fit with no issue? That lower bracing looks like it's in the way.
    I can take some more detailed after pics if you would like.

    I'd be lying if I said drilling holes into your beloved car wasn't nerve racking, but it was pretty straightforward. Reading about all the nut sert fails on some forums made me a bit nervous but I do similar kinda stuff at work so I was fairly confident, took my time, and measured way more than once.
    2011 MKVI TR 2-door ~
    ~ Unitronic Stage 2 ~ R8 coil packs ~ Unitronic intake ~ GFB DV+ ~ Nuespeed intercooler ~ Nuespeed throttle body pipe ~ Nuespeed turbo discharge pipe ~
    ~ SPM custom TBE ~ Unibrace XB ~ P3Cars VIDI ~ HPA SHS Coilovers ~ H & R rear sway ~ VMR 701's ~ BFGoodrich Sport Comp 2 ~


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    Default Re: Unibrace XB DIY - No Trim or Seat Removal Necessary

    Did you file out the holes or did the nutsets fit in snug?
    I went out and got a brand new titanium set and punch just for this.
    Last edited by BillyBob; 09-08-2014 at 09:14 PM.
    2012 Shadow Blue GTI with DSG, R8 oil cap, GIAC Stg 1, DriverGear DSG springs, Neuspeed P-flo intake, Bilstein sport shocks, H&R 26mm/22mm swaybars, Tyrolsport Subframe collar kit.
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    Default Re: Unibrace XB DIY - No Trim or Seat Removal Necessary

    Quote Originally Posted by vwrabid View Post
    I'd be lying if I said drilling holes into your beloved car wasn't nerve racking, but it was pretty straightforward.
    I think we drilled at least 7 holes for air ride, plus the frame notch.

    I would like to install this, but not sure it would work with my current management setup.
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    Default Re: Unibrace XB DIY - No Trim or Seat Removal Necessary

    Quote Originally Posted by csmith1957 View Post
    I think we drilled at least 7 holes for air ride, plus the frame notch.

    I would like to install this, but not sure it would work with my current management setup.

    Your cables should still fit under the bar.

    I'd love to do this, no way the gf would let me drill holes in the car though.
    02 GTi - Totaled
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    Default Re: Unibrace XB DIY - No Trim or Seat Removal Necessary

    Quote Originally Posted by boostedJTi View Post
    Your cables should still fit under the bar.

    I'd love to do this, no way the gf would let me drill holes in the car though.
    More concerned about the box and wood floor.
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    Default Re: Unibrace XB DIY - No Trim or Seat Removal Necessary

    Quote Originally Posted by csmith1957 View Post
    I think we drilled at least 7 holes for air ride, plus the frame notch.
    One of the main reasons I won't do air is this. Because I live in the rust belt, and don't trust ANY drilling of the body to expose the sheet metal to the elements. I don;t care if they say prime and paint to prevent, in a few years, it will bubble and rot. If I lived in a similar climate as you, I'd probably be on air.

    Quote Originally Posted by csmith1957 View Post
    I would like to install this, but not sure it would work with my current management setup.
    I would imagine it would clear. Your wood floor clears your seats, no?
    2012 Shadow Blue GTI with DSG, R8 oil cap, GIAC Stg 1, DriverGear DSG springs, Neuspeed P-flo intake, Bilstein sport shocks, H&R 26mm/22mm swaybars, Tyrolsport Subframe collar kit.
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    Default Re: Unibrace XB DIY - No Trim or Seat Removal Necessary

    My floor sits a few inches higher than normal with zero space between the floor and seat. Probably just require modification to the floor. It looks awesome! I like the red one.
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    Default Re: Unibrace XB DIY - No Trim or Seat Removal Necessary

    Quote Originally Posted by BillyBob View Post
    Did you file out the holes or did the nutsets fit in snug?
    I went out and got a brand new titanium set and punch just for this.
    I used a brand new bit and they were almost too snug to fit. I just kinda rotated the drill motor around ever so slightly until I could force them in with a couple taps. But yeah, a round file might have been smarter.
    Install it yet?

    Quote Originally Posted by csmith1957 View Post

    I would like to install this, but not sure it would work with my current management setup.
    Anyone you know have one? Easy to remove and do a test fit maybe.
    2011 MKVI TR 2-door ~
    ~ Unitronic Stage 2 ~ R8 coil packs ~ Unitronic intake ~ GFB DV+ ~ Nuespeed intercooler ~ Nuespeed throttle body pipe ~ Nuespeed turbo discharge pipe ~
    ~ SPM custom TBE ~ Unibrace XB ~ P3Cars VIDI ~ HPA SHS Coilovers ~ H & R rear sway ~ VMR 701's ~ BFGoodrich Sport Comp 2 ~


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    Default Re: Unibrace XB DIY - No Trim or Seat Removal Necessary

    FYI- Unibrace Group buy over at GolfMK6. We only need one more person to commit so it can be official. Sale is about 15% off MSRP, with combo pricing of UB+RB or XB+RB at around 22% off. Shipping is included in price.
    It's being run by the creator of UNibrace, Bruce Levin. Very Legit, but only happening till the 20th of Nov.
    http://www.golfmk6.com/forums/showthread.php?t=85446
    Last edited by BillyBob; 11-11-2014 at 03:25 PM.
    2012 Shadow Blue GTI with DSG, R8 oil cap, GIAC Stg 1, DriverGear DSG springs, Neuspeed P-flo intake, Bilstein sport shocks, H&R 26mm/22mm swaybars, Tyrolsport Subframe collar kit.
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    Default Re: Unibrace XB DIY - No Trim or Seat Removal Necessary

    Quote Originally Posted by BillyBob View Post
    FYI- Unibrace Group buy over at GolfMK6. We only need one more person to commit so it can be official. Sale is about 15% off MSRP, with combo pricing of UB+RB or XB+RB at around 22% off. Shipping is included in price.
    It's being run by the creator of UNibrace, Bruce Levin. Very Legit, but only happening till the 20th of Nov.
    http://www.golfmk6.com/forums/showthread.php?t=85446
    Thanks, don't have the cash now though, hopefully he'll do an other in the Spring 2015.
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    Default Re: Unibrace XB DIY - No Trim or Seat Removal Necessary

    Quote Originally Posted by kootenaydub View Post
    Thanks, don't have the cash now though, hopefully he'll do an other in the Spring 2015.
    Not a problem. It's not like I was planning to solicit. Issue is we're just on the cusp of meeting the minimum unit number. Once we reach 30, Bruce is sending out the orders.
    I'm stuck in limbo right now, as I have the UB and RB ordered through it. All we need is one or two more units.
    2012 Shadow Blue GTI with DSG, R8 oil cap, GIAC Stg 1, DriverGear DSG springs, Neuspeed P-flo intake, Bilstein sport shocks, H&R 26mm/22mm swaybars, Tyrolsport Subframe collar kit.
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    Default Re: Unibrace XB DIY - No Trim or Seat Removal Necessary

    Quote Originally Posted by BillyBob View Post
    Not a problem. It's not like I was planning to solicit. Issue is we're just on the cusp of meeting the minimum unit number. Once we reach 30, Bruce is sending out the orders.
    I'm stuck in limbo right now, as I have the UB and RB ordered through it. All we need is one or two more units.
    PM me if it comes down to the deadline and you need one more, I'm interested in the UB and XB, but would rather spend the cash int he new year.
    '08 BMP 4dr DSG - Stage 2 - powered by element 105
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    Default Re: Unibrace XB DIY - No Trim or Seat Removal Necessary

    It is recommend to drill at least 7 holes on the rack.!

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