Car Life>> Fitting Rigid Collars To The Gt-r

Ok this will probably have most of you guys scratching your heads, but yes that's a GT-R driving out of the Spoon Sport's Type-One workshop in Tokyo. It's actually my R34, and the reason I brought it over to Ichishima-san was to have it fitted with something that has intrigued me ever since I heard about it a little over a year ago, the Rigid Collar. The constant pursuit of perfection is something every enthusiasts tries to achieve with his prized possession, and when it comes to my car I'm extremely picky with what I fit it with. I think Ichishima is exactly the same, that's why Spoon Sports has made such a name for itself and when he came up with the Rigid Collar he knew it would benefit pretty much every single car out there, therefore decided not to limit himself on providing it only for the Honda community.

And that is indeed a very good move, as these little aluminum 2-piece collars have been attracting all sorts of cars to the Type-One workshop as the application list continues to grow. "Sometimes we get up to 12 cars in one day," as Yamada-san, the person in charge of fitting the collars to the Skyline, tells me. "We get anything from Porsches and BMWs to Subarus and Toyotas." And it seems everyone is so happy with the result, which makes me even more excited about getting these things onto my car. The concept is very simple, basically the Rigid Collars act as guides for the bolts that hold the chassis and subframes together, so that there is perfect alignment between the two holes the bolts are passed through. These holes, to ease assembly, are usually much larger than they should be, which over time allows the subframes to misalign throwing the car's geometry out the window. But enough with the theory part, let's take a look at how they are fitted, pictures will tell the story far better than words can.

So first thing was to place the GT-R on the lift, remove the wheels and lift it up.

The R34 is fitted from factory with a front diffuser, which helps generate front downforce and smooth airflow over the front portion of the car. It looks cool and very racecar-like but it requires to be removed pretty much every time you need to do anything on the car, which is why I have gown to hate this damn part! On top of this it's actually made pretty badly and a few unavoidable scrapes here and there (check out the opening picture to see what I mean!) it will eventually split open along the seam where it has been fused or glued together. I'm currently on my third one, and they aren't cheap!!  But enough moaning.

So with the diffuser off, Yamada-san and the Type-One mechanics got to work in undoing the four big bolts that hold the front subframe to the chassis.

Removing the diffuser revealed a greasy mess around the passenger side drive shaft caused by pretty large split in the rubber CV boot. This is currently getting fixed up over at Pentroof. 

As all four bolts were loosened up…

…it was time to hold the subframe in place with an hydraulic transmission lift…

…before the bolts began to be loosened further.

This picture perfectly shows the problem the Rigid Collars address. You can see how the subframe has moved around and the bolt is far from centered, not to mention the offset bolt marks left on the subframe.

This is what the rigid collars look like. They can be very different in appearance depending on application or whether they are made for the front or rear subframe.

These are the ones that were to be used on the front. As you can see they are cut down the center and can be split by hand. This is so they can be fitted without removing the subframes from the car, making the fitting procedure far simpler and quicker. 

A little copper grease is placed on each half of the collars… 

…before they are carefully placed on each side of the exposed threads. 

And there you go, all four halves in position on one side of the subframe. 

Using the hydraulic gearbox lift the subframe is carefully lifted up into place while checking the collars snap into place.

There you go, perfect alignment obtained. Next step is to fit the bolts back on, tighten them and torque them to factory settings. The washer part of the collar will squash and deform to form a perfect, even and flat seal between the surfaces of the chassis and subframe. If you watch this video you can see this further explained by a few diagrams and animations.

With the front done it was over to the rear, and like the front the rear undercover had to be removed to expose the rear subframe.

Again first step is loosening the bolts…

…which, after 12 years, were pretty tight!

With rubber bushings being used on the rear mounts of the rear subframe the Rigid Collars required are slightly different…

…one regular thin one on the upper part to seal and align the top cup to the chassis…

…and a second bigger one underneath.

The Rigid Collar in place around one of the front rear subframe mounting points.

With the collars in place, all bolts torque checked and front and rear undercovers back on it was time to fit wheels.

I had them rotated to keep front and rear wear as equal as possible. Those Bridgestone RE-11s do wear down quite quickly!

One of the mechanics took the car out for a quick drive to check everything was ok…

…and found the steering needed to be re-centered now that the subframe was aligned properly with the chassis. Even driving the car around you can instantly feel an improvement in the car's dynamics. The first manhole cover I went over I instantly noticed the suspension felt far more compliant when dealing with bumps and steering feel definitely improved off center, where it had always felt a little vague. On the limit is where the changes can really be felt, with the alignment now perfectly squared up, the car feels far more precise and planted through corners while direction changes are more progressive when tire grip eventually begins to let go.

As soon as my car was done this Mazda Axela MPS was lifted up ready to be fitted with the Rigid Collars.  Feeling the car come alive and more communicative is extremely rewarding and I am very happy I decided to go for this upgrade. Now the question is, what's next because as we all know this tuning bug never really ends does it!!

Rigid Collar

Spoon Sports

-Dino Dalle Carbonare

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85 comments

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1

Those collars should be made out of steel. Aluminum is soft and over the years it will break.

Not to knock on this product, but the idea is nothing new. True race cars always get their soft-rubber bushing changed with solid metal inserts.

2

Pure Genius.

Small details like this add up to the perfect driving machine!

3

Awesome detail! Thnx for the info!

4

@JDMized



I think you are misunderstanding what the item does. Its not replacement bushes, its correctly aligning the subframes by forcing them to locate in a more direct fashion, which results in proper geometry. Over time the subframes drift as there is nothing to keep them located except bolts, the holes for which are much larger than required....fuck im repeating the article pretty much,,, cant you read?



I have spherical bushes ('solid metal inserts') in some places on my car. They dont even fall into the same category of chassis parts as this product.



Having said all that, what material would you suggest that wouldn't wear over time? Adamantium?

Im pretty sure Spoon knows whats up in the handling department, so while you are missing out, ill be ordering my set.



5

Dino you so boss! Nice mod and coverage, Miss that car and cruising to Nismo fest!! biggup!

6

Nice Job! I like the Nissan Skyline!

7

The bolt holes are made wider so that you can align your subframe, centering the bolts prevents this.

It's a mass produced car, why would anyone think centering the bolts = optimal alignment?



@ Long, thats exactly the type of blind faith they're hoping for...

8

Hey thanks for the info Dino! I never knew about Rigid Collars before this article. Very handy! I'll look it up and see if I can get any here in the Philippines. Perhaps I can have em installed in my car. Thanks!

9

See, i knew you went to spoon because of the rigid collars haha

10

@Shin



Actually... they are right. I, being an engineer, can tell you that while doing the engineering of the car, you have to take into account production. The dead space between the bolt and the walls exists to ease the construction process as they cannot waste time and money aligning the car perfectly, also it's incredibly practical and it's an industry standard norm (which you can find in construction books)...



What spoon is doing might not be on par with perfect chasis alignment (awesome process tbh) but it's pretty much an excellent solution.

11

Interesting, its the little things that count... so simple to..



Happy Birthday btw... keep up the good work.

12

Brilliant idea and such a car...you really have the life, Dino.

13

thats a very sexual exhaust there dino.

14

i must say, that car is fukking amazing, i would do things to have that here in teh states

15

dude, on your 6th picture your subframe looks split, you might wanna get that checked out.

16

Damn! i need to start importing these babies!



And fit them on some EDM cars! my Seat Ibiza could use some of those!

17

Everyone has a different idea about why the holes are much larger than the bolts, an alignment shop will tell you in case of accident damage it allows them to realign the car. I did these on my s2000 and there slightly different there a single piece and the part that goes into the two ends for centering is at least 1/2 inch longer. I felt it actually made the car stiffer which was good too.

18

What an interesting Entry all about RIGID COLLARS =D

19

Does anybody know a shop which ships rigid collars to EU-countries? The idea is very intresting...

20

"This picture perfectly shows the problem the Rigid Collars address. You can see how the subframe has moved around and the bolt is far from centered, not to mention the offset bolt marks left on the subframe."

_

The picture in question shows a perfectly circular scar from a knurl bottom flange nut taking the paint off of a painted subframe mounting surface. If this were proof of the subframe moving, it would show horizontal scratches and non-circular scarring, in the directions that the subframe moved.

I completely understand and appreciate the idea and theoretical value of preventing subframe movement. However, another caption reveals that this is not in fact happening on this particular vehicle:

"...which, after 12 years, were pretty tight!"

If the nuts and bolts are torqued per factory specification, then the clamping force between the face of the fastener and the chassis prevents any movement.

_

This product certainly provides significant placebo affect, but on this particular vehicle, the supposed evidence proves nothing but that a knurled face flange nut takes paint off the subframe when installed and removed.

21

Dear JDMized,



If the collars were made out of steel then you would not have to have them replaced when they wear out, and that's not very smart from a business standpoint. This entire article is the equivalent of just saying "hey buy this thing my friends make".

22

To quote JDMized - 'Those collars should be made out of steel. Aluminum is soft and over the years it will break.' - and deform as repetitive maximum sideways and lateral force is applied. Steel insert tube sleeve collars will not deform, as fitted to many hard-charging European circuit cars for 30yrs+. Combine steel sleeve collars with neoprene bushes and really feel the difference...

23

What a excellent after market part.



Alignment is key... beginning with the subframes.



Perfect like cherry blossom!

24

Dino, get an alignment done because moving the subframe that far will have thrown the specs well out!

25

damn, i want those for my 180sx, i hope i can order them up sicne i live in Canada it would be hard to take the car the spoon

26

The GT-R looks nice and the moods look awesome!

Do a full feature of your car; I think it deserves it!

27

I can't see this providing results as described, they sound way to far fetched!

28

Nice write up Dino, as usual!

29

Nice exhaust Dino.....you are so lucky

30

This is the most technically inaccurate article I think I've ever seen on SpeedHunters. Poor show.

31

Now if I could just read Japanese, place an order and get a set for my S13 and S14 :(

32

where can i buy this in the usa, i have an evo x??!?!?

33

@Long. Lol, funniest converstation I have ever read on speedhunters. I think the guy is too JDM Hyped (AKA COOL) to be able to read english.

34

also with these you need to have the alignment checked not just the steering re-centered mine change quite a bit.

35

placebo affect for sure.

If someone really cared enough to do what these little collars are claimed to be capable of, one would have to start by finding points on the car to measure from. All newer cars have these reference points for auto body shops to use when restraitening a bent chassis. From these points, the correct location of the wheels could be calculated, then the subframe could be moved to obtain a perfect chassis to wheel alignment.

Simply centering it is pretty pointless.

Plus, if one was to think that while driving, a properly torqued subframe is sliding around, back and forth with every decent bump, man hole cover or whatever on the road. Then the constant metal on metal wearing would be a huge concern for both corrosion and metal fatigue. Screw the prefect handling aspect, these collars prevent subframes from just all out failure due to every day driving.

36

wow thats mad! what a big difference a little thing that makes! nice car btw!!

CE28Ns+R34= :O

37

Some of you guys really need to watch the youtube video he linked to that shows how these work. They are DESIGNED to deform, they are not bushings etc, hence why they are not steel. Read up first.

38

@JDMized you are the biggest tool i have seen in a long time. Like can the staff @ speedhunters ban this guy or something? Im just sick of this guy.

39

Spoon Sports Europe stock these.



Thinkin of doing them while I rebush my DC2.



40

placebo affect for sure.

If someone really cared enough to do what these little collars are claimed to be capable of, one would have to start by finding points on the car to measure from. All newer cars have these reference points for auto body shops to use when restraitening a bent chassis. From these points, the correct location of the wheels could be calculated, then the subframe could be moved to obtain a perfect chassis to wheel alignment.

Simply centering it is pretty pointless.

Plus, if one was to think that while driving, a properly torqued subframe is sliding around, back and forth with every decent bump, man hole cover or whatever on the road. Then the constant metal on metal wearing would be a huge concern for both corrosion and metal fatigue. Screw the prefect handling aspect, these collars prevent subframes from just all out failure due to every day driving.

41

@Mokoto - before you call this a "placebo" - two questions for you. 1) do you yourself have them installed on your car (if not, then you have absolutely no credibility to make this comment), and 2) would you not agree that Dino, who's probably driven more cars than you have (and I'm not counting those on a PS3), and further is a well respected, world famous motorjournalist - has the experience and qualifications to tell us the before/after difference.



Furthermore, your analysis does not make sense. How in the world would there be horizontal scratches caused by this bolt? If the subframe did NOT move once built at the factory, then there would be only 1 line - that is, 1 clear outline of the bolt head. Here, if you look closely you can see the overlapping outlines.

42

I can see that several people find it difficult to believe that a relatively simple fix can result in a change in how the car feels. And for the poster that called this "technically inaccurate" well I would love to see your technical credentials, as well as to know exactly what you think is technically inaccurate about this article?



Full disclosure - I have these installed on my car as well, and can tell you that there certainly is no "placebo" effect as someone else mentioned. My car's steering definitely feels sharper on the road, the "dead zone" right off center is significantly reduced, resulting in a much more sharp handling car. The suspension feels firmer in the back too. So, they work.



And no, I don't work for Spoon, nor have anything to do with them other than having had the Rigid Collars installed. Thanks.

43

Very interesting article Dino, and your Skyline looks great as always. Maybe you should do a trip to the Daikoku Futo PA someday and take some pictures of it; your BNR34 is pretty close to the dream one I have in my mind.



But anyway, after reading these comments I'm not entirely sure who to believe... I don't really know anything about subframes and other chassis stuff. Still, I would be interested in a set for my old crap Fiat (IF it can be fitted with these...)

44

Wow makoto, you seem to know exactly all that is happening on this car eh? like you were there or something.... could you Really tell us

“If the nuts and bolts are torqued per factory specification, then the clamping force between the face of the fastener and the chassis ALONE prevents any movement”,

even on the best performance machines from across the globe? for all cases?Over time? REALLY?

45

Funny thing, for 20 years we've been using various thicknesses of shims, between the chassis and cross member, to fine tune the four wheel steering to adjust oversteer and understeer. Spoon's little collars act as shims identical to those we have been using. And Spoon either didn't tell Dino, or they don't know, that their product changes the suspension geometry and, depending on the shim thickness, changes the handling at transition and steady state of cornering.

46

Dino, did you receive the rigid collars free in exchange for mentioning them on this website, or did you pay for them?

If you did pay for them, did those snake oil salesmen try to get you to pay for replacing your muffler bearing or piston return springs? Or maybe they tried to sell you a fuel saver magnet, groudn strap for your exhaust system, or electronic grounding optimizer?

Do you have the word "Sucker" written on your forehead in English and Japanese, or just English?

47

I hope you got the LED wiper nozzles to go with those. About the same effect. What people will spend their money on...

48

@Voice - Spoken like a high school dropout who delivers pizzas in a Yugo with a Vornado installed in the intake system.

49

I now understand how and why they continue to sell electric superchargers. There is no shortage of fools to be separated from their money.

50

i read auto publications since i was a seven years little boy, but i have to say that Speedhunters is simply the best, beautiful post and incredible site. Congratulations!

51

Thank you Dino, for being a typical stupid foreigner in Japan.

52

If the nuts and bolts holding the sub frames on these vehicles are allowing them to slide around, then they are loose enough to completely un thread and fall out, allowing the sub frames to fall completely off of the cars. Can anyone cite a documented incident of a sub frame falling off of a vehicle? How many Skylines have lost their suspension on the road or on the track? And since this is apparently so common to all of them, has Nissan initiated a recall to correct the problem?

More importantly, what does this rigid collar do to prevent the nuts and bolts from becoming loose? Or is the rigid collar just another fancy washer to rattle around for the few seconds between the nuts and bolts backing out, and the entire suspension of the vehicle falling off onto the road beneath the car?

53

@ Honto Ni It's not a matter of the subframe being loose, it's about them being misaligned from the point of assembly... noob.

54

I'm looking at images 015.jpg and 025.jpg,

If the problem is the over sized hole in the sub frame, then why does the collar extend into the chassis, and not the sub frame? That is going to do nothing to reduce movement.

55

I have some high beam fluid I can sell you, A++ sure to improve your night time visibility!

56

Why all the hate against Dino? Do I sense some jealousy? Or perhaps fear? Or immaturity? Or just stupidity? Let's just enjoy this article for what it is, a report on a beautiful Skyline - which most of us will never have (jealous, yes!) and some interesting parts we can't get in the US. If you don't believe in these collars, ignore. If you do believe they work, well then this article will help to justify your purchase.

57

Did dose baaaaad meeeeen sell u V-tec stickers for your Nissan?

58

nice to see a few members from the hate federation turned out to represent...its amazing to see how such a simple device just doesnt make sense to them, inherent incapability?....am i wrong?

59

Yeah you're right markerpens... Some people are just jealous because they can't handle the truth that some can spend for such little mods. Let alone Rigid Collars. Get a life HATERS! Tune your own car to your own spec then show it to speedhunters.

60

The proof is in the pudding, so let's see the pudding. Need For Speed has all those race cars that Speed Hunters keeps writing stories about. So how many of the NFS race cars have these rigid collars installed, and how much did they reduce their lap times?

61

I'm sold! I'm going to call up my broker Bernie Maydoff and tell him to sell all my Enron stock and put the money into rigid collars!

62

Amazing, not a single person on this website is even remotely familiar with manufacturing and machine work. Everything built has tolerances. Plus or Minus X number of fractions of an inch. The bolt holes in the automobile unibody and the bolt holes in the sub frame are not made on the same machine, by the same person, or to the same exact dimension. The holes in one might be 26 inches apart and the other might be 26 1/8 inches apart. The holes are large or slotted so that the two pieces can be bolted together. The alignment is done with the tie rod ends and the variances in geometry are measured in thousandths of an inch.

Ignoring the totally worthless nature of these rigid collars, unless each car and assembly is measured and the collars made with eccentric center holes, then even the theoretical value is nil.

63

@Chris_Mispeed, the description says that the subframe scratched paint off itself because it is moving after installed on the car. That's not misaligned, that's loose and about to fall off. Honto's question is valid. How many of these cars fell apart on the road or at the track, and how does Spoon's product keep the nuts and bolts from coming loose?

64

André F.'s seventh birthday was June 28th, 2011! He just graduated from the second grade, and hopes to get his license to drive in another nine years! Yaaa André F.!

65

I own a torque wrench and use it. Subframe movement is not an issue for me.

66

I'll have to get those rigid collars installed right after my monkey bars brand roll cage, or is it faux cage...

67

Don't listen to them Dino, I think you made the right choice!

68

Just don't make the mistake of filling the blinker fluid with high beam fluid. I did that and now I blind everyone when I use my turn signal.

69

I thought Spoon was a respected company. What are they doing selling this rice boy junk?

70

So many sheeple. I have a wagon full of ab-dominizers, ab-busters, ab-flexes, q-ray bracelets, and pocket fishermen. Everyone line up with your money out and ready to hand over.

71

Are all Skyline owners so gullible?

72

IMO only japanese guys hsould be allowed to touch the mecanics of a Skyline, they look so rigth under that car

73

SH = Stooge Hunters

74

here is an upgrade Idea.

370Z/G37 brake swap.

75

The supposed evidence of movement looks like quite the opposite. You'd expect the wear pattern to be oval if movement was occurring. Also, as if centering the crush tubes in the rear subframe mount makes any difference; its still got a huge, flexible rubber mount between the crush tube and the subframe!



Absolute load of bollocks.

76

It's not the collars that are causing a felt difference, the alignment done afterwards is what is making the change.



77

I need some for my Saturn, Lol.

78

Hey Dino, had these fitted to my GE8 Fit awhile back.  You probably don't remember me, but we met at Honjyou Circuit back in 2011 for the HondaStyle track event.  Hope things are well with you.

79

Hey Dino, had these fitted to my GE8 Fit awhile back.  You probably don't remember me, but we met at Honjyou Circuit back in 2011 for the HondaStyle track event.  Hope things are well with you.

80

Such a simple idea with such great results. I mean, it makes perfect sense but its not really something the average wheel-nut thinks about when wondering how to make his car handle better. Japanese innovation all the way =)

81

Such a simple idea with such great results. I mean, it makes perfect sense but its not really something the average wheel-nut thinks about when wondering how to make his car handle better. Japanese innovation all the way =)

82

This Car has great Engine.

83

Going by the price list http://www.rigidcollar.jp/wp-content/uploads/documents/compatibility_table_pdf.php the cost, for a v36 skyline for example, is $430 feels like a lot

84

so glad to see this is also available for the 3 MPS!

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