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Well I am back again with another post on my experience installing an aftermarket part on my 2008 Saturn Sky. My previous posts included the illuminated door sills, the cup holder console, and the iPod adapter.

The Backbone Brace from DDM Works is a part I purchased during the 12 days of Xmas special. I installed it and want share my experience. Keep in mind I am average guy with some tools in the garage nothing special or fancy. Ok lets get to it!

I had to purchase Rhino Ramps from auto parts store (O'reilley) $32.00. These ramps are plastic and will hold 8000lbs! Place the ramps behind the rear wheels and back the Sky up on them. You will need a 13mm socket/ratchet. There are 6 bolts on one side and 6 bolts on the other of the stock brace. Now all the bolts came off easily except one. It took me several sprays of WD-40 and tapping the bolt to finally get it free. I must admit i was afraid I going to break the bolt. Patience and WD-40 are golden!!!!!!! There is one bolt in particular that the socket will not remove. It is located toward the front of the brace on the drivers side. You have to use an open or closed end 13mm wrench.

After the bolts are off I suggest spaying them with WD-40 and apply a little anti seize just to make them go in easier and smoother. Now in order to get the stock brace off you have to remove 2 15mm bolts that hold the exhaust pipe system in place. This was very easy to do. The pipe comes down and you remove the stock brace and install the DDM Works Backbone Brace. Place it in its position and put the exhaust bolts back on. Now screw in the 12 bolts tighten nice and snug and your done!!

I did the job alone and did need the assistance of a floor jack to lift the passenger side just to allow room to remove the exhaust bolts.

Drove the Sky around the block to check on a difference in handling but did not notice anything earth-shattering. Maybe as time goes on I will feel a difference.
Well thats it. If you do this modification have fun if it were not for the one bolt it would have taken about 1 hour to do the whole job. Till next time.
Drive Topless :)
 

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Launch the car or slide it around a corner. Probeam/backbone take out all the wheel hop and make the frame more ridgid.

You wont notice it in a short drive, but if you drive the car hard around some twists and turns, you will notice a world of difference!

Hope you enjoy it! and wait until the crud is off the road before you go sliding around a corner :)
 

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All this is in your imagination....I have it and I have the front brace,,,,guess what? Makes no difference. This is just a placebo.
 

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All this is in your imagination....I have it and I have the front brace,,,,guess what? Makes no difference. This is just a placebo.
I’ve wondered about the upgrade...... thought about it...... appreciate you sharing your experience.
Going to sit back and see if your comments have stirred up a hornets 🐝 ........ 🍿😋 ..
 

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I’ve wondered about the upgrade...... thought about it...... appreciate you sharing your experience.
Going to sit back and see if your comments have stirred up a hornets 🐝 ........ 🍿😋 ..
You OBVIOUSLY have no idea who you are talking about. That is the only reason he posted!
Stay tuned.

Bert
 

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You OBVIOUSLY have no idea who you are talking about. That is the only reason he posted!
Stay tuned.

Bert
You obviously have no idea yourself....his comments are genuine and his own, there is no doubt about that. There was no intent to cast aspersions on both his character and intent....My intent was and is, that it could spur conversations differing from his own experiences........and I would sit and watch those conversations with differing viewpoints and perhaps learn something. It does make me wonder what your intentions were/are........with your comment....
 

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I’ve wondered about the upgrade...... thought about it...... appreciate you sharing your experience.
Going to sit back and see if your comments have stirred up a hornets 🐝 ........ 🍿😋 ..
I had great results from the ProBeam. The backbone stiffens the car, but my experience was that it made the car harder to drive fast, so i took it back off. The front brace made absolutely no difference, as far as i could tell.
 

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Too bad you don't have another kappa to jump into and compare. The difference is night and day. I don't have a probeam. I got in someone else's car (that had 50k more miles then mine) immediately after mine and the difference is astounding. But not certain that it could be that noticeable unless you go from one car to the other immediately.
 

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Having just installed the back bone, I find the car is stiffer and takes bumps in the road differently. Seems you feel the road a little more. As far as handling, don't know.
 

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Too bad you don't have another kappa to jump into and compare. The difference is night and day. I don't have a probeam. I got in someone else's car (that had 50k more miles then mine) immediately after mine and the difference is astounding. But not certain that it could be that noticeable unless you go from one car to the other immediately.
When I got my RL I had already had the ProBeam in the NA for a couple of years, to the point that I really didn't think about it any more. Even after a week of not being in either car, the RL's lack of the ProBeam was noticeable. It may depend on the roads being driven, as I have back-country twisties on my drive to work every day so it is easy to notice differences.

On a contrarian note, my NA is consistently faster than my RL over the same sections of road, assuming that acceleration is not a factor.
 

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I noticed the difference but I put on all the braces, coil overs, and anti-sway bars all at once. Together they neutralize a LOT of chassis flex. On three jack stands I lost about 1/2" of droop and the chassis is nearly level when on three jack stands. This tells me the chassis is no longer doing the work of the suspension.

As John mentioned, this is not always a good thing as on very bumpy roads, if your suspension isn't set up right it can cause handling issues.
 

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The only honest thing u can say about the ddm backbone....after removing the GM backbone,,,,u can view how cheap it was made...not saying that the GM backbone did not do it's job....just indicates how GM made all parts to a minimum standard....cost engineering
 

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I've got the brace set on both my Solstices and continually recommend the set to everyone I see. I think that it makes a huge difference. Stiffens up the body, lessens greatly the body roll and makes curves and handling feel great. I wouldn't own a kappa without this investment in the brace package. But to each their own!
 

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We are joy riders, not performance drivers. If the DDM Works front and rear ProBeam braces eliminate most of the creaking and squeaking through increased body stiffness, then I may consider them.

To all of you who replaced the stock braces with heavy duty versions, do they significantly reduce body creaking and squeaking? Or do they stiffen-up areas that don't squeak and creak to begin with?
 

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We are joy riders, not performance drivers. If the DDM Works front and rear ProBeam braces eliminate most of the creaking and squeaking through increased body stiffness, then I may consider them.

To all of you who replaced the stock braces with heavy duty versions, do they significantly reduce body creaking and squeaking? Or do they stiffen-up areas that don't squeak and creak to begin with?
At this point in my life I’m not too sure the body creaking and squeaking is just coming from my car..... 🤔
 

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We are joy riders, not performance drivers. If the DDM Works front and rear ProBeam braces eliminate most of the creaking and squeaking through increased body stiffness, then I may consider them.

To all of you who replaced the stock braces with heavy duty versions, do they significantly reduce body creaking and squeaking? Or do they stiffen-up areas that don't squeak and creak to begin with?
My car doesn't really creak or squeak, so I cannot speak to any personal experience there.

The ProBeam removes some rear suspension instability in cornering, without otherwise affecting the ride. I recommend this to virtually everyone.
The BackBone stiffens the car (and the ride) substantially. It made my car feel faster (and less comfortable) but my stopwatch said that it actually made it slower.
The Tower Brace had no discernable effect at all when i tested it during what i consider spirited driving.
 
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