Rear seat brace vs bulkhead.

Clone TIE Pilot

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Many of us already know about the rear seat brace some G bodies came with as well as various aftermarket ones. On another forum someone suggested that just riveting a panel of sheet metal from home depot would work just as well. I asked him about if the panel should have ribs or beads added to improve rigidity only for his reply to be a string of personal insults. Knowing that any future discussion with him was likely futile I wonder if a flat panel forming a bulkhead would work just as well as any of the different versions of rear seat braces?

There are four types of rear seat braces available.

The OEM brace which were spotweld in Grand Prixs and riveted by ASC for GNXs. As you can see these have big reinforcing bends almost like angle iron fence posts

1700865162300.jpeg


Tubular aftermarket braces that bolt in are often considered the least good version of seat bracing. They are usually painted black and come in four pieces. Supposedly the tubes tend to develop stress cracks over time.

1700865372768.jpeg


Tinman rear brace which is built similar to factory rear braces. This brace is constructed out of 14 gauge steel with shallow reinforcing ribs pressed into it to improve rigidity. The bottom corners are double plates spotwelded together, the rest is single plate. Tinman braces come galvanized which gives them a silver appearance. These can either be bolted, riveted, or welded in. As you can see this brace comes with mounting bolts. This is the version I plug welded in years ago.

1700865557975.jpeg


Lastly another model I have not heard of until recently, the Turbo Farms rear brace. These are constructed out of 11 gauge steel which is thicker than the Tinman brace but lacks any pressed in ribbing . Though being a thicker gauge they may not require ribs. Also unlike the Tinman brace it comes predrilled for fasteners which is handy. The Turbo Farms brace comes powdercoated black instead of galvanized and can be bolted, riveted, or welded into place. Moreover, these braces come with 1/4 stainless rivets. There is an aluminum version also available.

1700865756890.jpeg


There is also an old discontinued rear seat brace that was made by Kenne Bell years ago. I can't find pictures of it but it is supposed to be similar to the Tinman brace.


Here is a aftermarket rear seat delete panel or bulkhead for G bodies. Notice this professionally made one has reinforcing embossing stamped into it to add rigidity.

g-body-rear-seat-delete.jpg


A simple homemade bulkhead without embossing or ribs would look something like this generic picture. I don't know how rigid it would be without ribs or beads. I also heard that an unbossed panel like this can vibrate like a drum which can be unpleasent. You would need something like an English Wheel to add ribbing to a large panel.

images


Lastly, I assume its possible to use both braces and a bulkhead panel together which would probably add a lot of weight. To me it seems the OEM braces are probably the best option?
 
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Rt Jam

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I would say tubular is the strongest but they will be only as good as the fasteners holding them.
There is some bracing in my 87 GN, something aftermarket was installed before I bought the car. It's way thicker than sheet metal. Similar as tubular, I'm sure you can fold it but tension and compression, it is strong.

Sheet metal and rivets. Just for looks or to seal the trunk compartment. There is zero strength there. Another thing to consider is weight. You want the strongest but not at the cost of weight.
 

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Clone TIE Pilot

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I would say tubular is the strongest but they will be only as good as the fasteners holding them.
There is some bracing in my 87 GN, something aftermarket was installed before I bought the car. It's way thicker than sheet metal. Similar as tubular, I'm sure you can fold it but tension and compression, it is strong.

Sheet metal and rivets. Just for looks or to seal the trunk compartment. There is zero strength there. Another thing to consider is weight. You want the strongest but not at the cost of weight.

That one looks like a Turbo Farms brace.
 
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abbey castro

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This is my set with steel stock riveted at both ends and at the factory crossbar
 

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Coltsfan1

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Nov 25, 2023
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Let me chime in here.....My name is Chad Dickey and I am the maker of the Turbo Farm (GNX) Rear Seat Brace. Unfortunately this post is missing some very important details.

I made the Turbo Farm brace after buying my silver T and seeing that the x "tube style" braces were cracked. These things are garbage and that was where they ended up.

So after buying a GNX style brace to replace the tube garbage it was basically tin foil with holes..
so thats when I decided to make my own....THE RIGHT WAY.

The Chad Dickey/Turbo Farm Rear Seat Brace is made from 11 GAUGE STEEL (not14.) It does not need rolled inlays for rigidity because its 11 GAUGE STEEL. Nor does it need a extra piece spot welded on the feet.....the tinman does because its so thin. All 13 holes are predrilled and the brace is POWDERCOATED not painted. My Brace comes with 13 STAINLESS STEEL STRUCTURAL RIVETS. (1/4") , instructions and link to the YouTube install vid. I strongly suggest in addition to the rivets you use a body panel or metal on metal adhesive. When this is completed it is INSANE how solid it is. There is no comparison.
Total weight is 10.3 lbs. I sell these for $250 SHIPPED. Feel free to contact me anytime. 815 695 5290
 
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Coltsfan1

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Nov 25, 2023
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I also offer this Chad Dickey/Turbo Farm brace in ALUMINUM. Weight is 5.1 lbs. This brace is not always in stock. Special order. Price is 310.00 SHIPPED.
 
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Coltsfan1

Not-quite-so-new-guy
Nov 25, 2023
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One more thing I forgot to add. The x tubes are garbage mainly because of two keys points.
1 They are very thin, and 2 they dont tie into the floorpan....thats key. If you have them get rid of them before you find cracks in ur roof.
 
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Sweet_Johnny

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Thank you sir for chiming in and adding some clarity to the situation. It sounds like you make a nice brace.
 

Clone TIE Pilot

Comic Book Super Hero
Aug 14, 2011
3,899
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Galaxy far far away
Let me chime in here.....My name is Chad Dickey and I am the maker of the Turbo Farm (GNX) Rear Seat Brace. Unfortunately this post is missing some very important details.

I made the Turbo Farm brace after buying my silver T and seeing that the x "tube style" braces were cracked. These things are garbage and that was where they ended up.

So after buying a GNX style brace to replace the tube garbage it was basically tin foil with holes..
so thats when I decided to make my own....THE RIGHT WAY.

The Chad Dickey/Turbo Farm Rear Seat Brace is made from 11 GAUGE STEEL (not14.) It does not need rolled inlays for rigidity because its 11 GAUGE STEEL. Nor does it need a extra piece spot welded on the feet.....the tinman does because its so thin. All 13 holes are predrilled and the brace is POWDERCOATED not painted. My Brace comes with 13 STAINLESS STEEL STRUCTURAL RIVETS. (1/4") , instructions and link to the YouTube install vid. I strongly suggest in addition to the rivets you use a body panel or metal on metal adhesive. When this is completed it is INSANE how solid it is. There is no comparison.
Total weight is 10.3 lbs. I sell these for $250 SHIPPED. Feel free to contact me anytime. 815 695 5290

I updated my post with the corrected information for your product.

As I said in my original post that this discussion was prompted by a poster on another G body forum who jumped in a discussion about adding rear seat braces there and gave a flip answer that just riveting a panel of steel from a home improvement store would work just as well as any aftermarket or OEM braces. When asked more detail about this strategy he went right into personal insults instead of answering. Personally I don't see how just a flat panel would be as good as actually braces, perhaps just better than nothing? There does seem to be a odd sub group of G body owners who are anti bracing and anti Blazer brake swap.
 
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