• Welcome to SVTPerformance!

Is steeda working w/ the maker of the IRS cover brace?

Discussion in 'Driveline' started by 04MystiCobra, Jan 9, 2005.

  1. mjchip

    mjchip Just Some Guy Established Member

    Messages:
    2,940
    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2002
    Location:
    Chelmsford, MA
    What's up boys! Let's make this thread a party. Like Doug said, pass word along to anyone you know of that is running the BF IRS brace and tell them to get in here and sound off!!!!

    MJ :pop:
     
  2. 03 DSG Cobra

    03 DSG Cobra Car Guy Established Member

    Messages:
    92
    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2003
    Location:
    Kingwood, TX
    This may not mean anything to you guys, but my father was a NASA engineer for 40 years. When I showed him Doug's pulley puller and installing tools and we used them on my car he was very impressed. This really demonstrated to me that Doug's products were VERY high quality.

    I installed Doug's brace a couple weeks ago and my father and I were just as impressed with the design and quality. I bought his brace when it was his original price ($200 I think) and I would do the same today due to the quality design and workmanship. Doug shouldn't have to sell for less when his products demonstrate higher quality than the rest. It really shows the quality person he is that he is going out of his way to offer such a low price for the highest quality product out there. :beer:

    Thanks Doug!
     
  3. Mech. Junkie

    Mech. Junkie New Member Established Member

    Messages:
    35
    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2004
    Location:
    Kansas
    You all are tough! It’s not good to bash the competition.

    I'm green to this posting stuff but looking at the pictures here are some facts that Doug may want to address with his brace.

    1) Steeda brace has an extra "dog leg" portion on top of the pumpkin.
    2) Steeda top gusset runs the full length of the side plate.
    3) Steeda has a secondary gusset at the bottom of the brace.

    As far as the welding; someone should flog Steeda's CNC programmer. :0)

    Doug does have a nice part too; keep up the good work Doug.

    Oh by the way, differential bracing has been around for a long time.
     
  4. JaKaL

    JaKaL New Member Established Member

    Messages:
    272
    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2004
    Location:
    West Seattle, WA
    Well said Sir.

    While I’m generally in favor of competition, it seems pretty clear that credit has not been given where it is due, to the initial development work. And though I don’t personally own any BilletFlow products, I do intend to some day. His loyalty and support for this forum is proven almost daily and the accolades he and his products receive speak volumes for his credibility.
    That said, I do own a Steela Cat-Back which, although not built by Steela, I am now embarrassed to admit I like.

    Accordingly, I have changed my signature to reflect my displeasure with them while providing some small measure of permanent support for Doug.

    My apologies in advance to those searching for cat-back sound clips.
     
  5. mblgjr

    mblgjr Pay Attention Boy! Established Member

    Messages:
    14,001
    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2003
    Location:
    Central Alabama
    They both are good, Doug was the first to market with the piece, Steeda will no probably go and try to get a patent on it like they do with all of their other parts. Kind of reminds me of Borla getting the copyright to "cat back" so now the magazines can't print that.

    Mongrels.. :cuss:
     
  6. dougwg

    dougwg Active Member Established Member

    Messages:
    10,847
    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2002
    Location:
    Taylor,MI
    First I'd like to say, Thank you for the kind words

    but to address your post

    1) Steeda brace has an extra "dog leg" portion on top of the pumpkin.
    just extra weight, it's not needed at all
    The BilletFlow IRS Diff Brace has injoyed a 0% failure rate
    We also looked at doing this and found it was un-needed


    2) Steeda top gusset runs the full length of the side plate.
    just extra weight, it's not needed at all
    The BilletFlow IRS Diff Brace has injoyed a 0% failure rate
    It's called "overkill" and is un-needed


    3) Steeda has a secondary gusset at the bottom of the brace.
    just extra weight, it's not needed at all
    The BilletFlow IRS Diff Brace has injoyed a 0% failure rate
    I have made 2 with this "extra gusset" but have dismissed the idea because it is not needed (These 2 braces are in the field being used)


    Just because it is bigger does not mean it's better! ;-)
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2005
  7. mjchip

    mjchip Just Some Guy Established Member

    Messages:
    2,940
    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2002
    Location:
    Chelmsford, MA
    Well, do you really want to know where the idea came from? There is this crazy Texan named Joe Lynch (ha, ha, just kidding Joe) who used to drag race his 99 Cobra and who has broken just about every piece of that IRS before coming up with an idea for a rear cover brace. Joe the mechanical engineer took some strap steel and welded up a very functional but ugly brace and that eliminated his cover breakage.

    Now, Joe is a customer of Zone-5 (my company) and since he has switched over to a live axle in order to pull his 1.4X short times, he agreed to send me his brace so I could do a DFM (design for manufacture) on it. Joe is such a sport that he never asked for any credit or a penny in exchange for loaning me this brace, he just said "figure out how to make it in mass quantity and stop all of those '03 Cobra guys from breaking their IRS pumpkins."

    So, I took Joe's design, improved upon it, and build a prototype. I then sent him pics of the prototype and he recommended I add that 5th attachment point (on the bottom). I built another prototype, test fit it on my car, and worked out a deal with Doug to bring them to market.

    Doug hand manufactured 6 of these braces which we sent to some serious drag racers running '03 Cobras with IRS still intact and we waited while they tried to break them. None broke. One guy Jay Knott from Texas ran several low 10's (10.00 I think) with this brace during the prototype test phase of this project.

    Once the testing was complete, Doug and Ken (BilletFlow) took the initiative, invested a whole lot of money and time, helped further improve the design, and manufactured the first batch of 300 braces. Obviously the first batch sold like wildfire thanks to all of you folks!!

    We all made money on the first batch of product but I felt that my job was done and that the product had a better home at Billetflow than it did in my company (Zone-5) because we specialize in electronic gizmos. So, we worked out a deal and the "exclusive" design rights were transfered to Billetflow. The rest is history.

    It took a year or so since the release of the product but the idea has been copied twice thus far. RPMoutlet.com now sells an exact copy of MY design simply fabricated out of a different material (machined from billet aluminum versus fillet-welded 1/4" plate steel). If you hold the two designs side by side you can see how exact the copy is.

    Steeda claims to have designed their own brace but some obvious design cues are there which show its true heritage. To their credit they tried to improve on the design in two ways: 1) increase attachment points and 2) make it cheaper. The first change which adds an attachment point on the top of the brace does VERY little to strengthen the design because the upper portion of the brace is in compression and not extension. The other change they made is to truss the lowest attachment point and this will help make the brace more rigid. Unfortunately, this extra metal is not necessary. I had this same truss in the original prototype design but after studying it in SolidWorks I decided that the extra weight and mfg. cost was not necessary. The testament to this is 350 braces sold to date and ZERO breakage!!!!! The other thing Steeda did was make the brace from thinner steel to reduce the cost at the expense of rigidity and strength.

    So, I have no problem with Steeda because they did not EXACTLY copy my design. They took the idea and "tried" to make it better and to undercut us in order to steal some market share. I guess this is the way of capitalism and time will tell how much business they actually get for their brace. After all, Doug just lowered his price for a piece of MUCH higher quality and strength.

    On the other hand I have a REAL PROBLEM with RPMoutlet.com because they simply copied my EXACT design and is selling it as their own. In my opinion, they are one of the bottom feeders in this game (along with UPR and a few others.....you know who you are).

    Finally, I'm not sure if you folks realize it or not but it is because of YOU that this brace exists at all. I originally designed this piece for my car and had no intentions of making more than a few of them. However, after putting up a post here on SVTP and Modularfords.com, there was such OVERWHELMING response, I decided to make the design available to you all. In order to make this happen Doug and I had to spend money and time upfront and take a risk that a large batch of product would sell. Well, you folks did your part and purchased all of the braces very quickly. Thank you. Please continue to support Billetflow and the other innovators because with their success comes the money and energy required to bring other needed products to the aftermarket and ultimately to your vehicle!!!!

    Best Regards,

    MJ
     
  8. dougwg

    dougwg Active Member Established Member

    Messages:
    10,847
    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2002
    Location:
    Taylor,MI
    just like this

    2003 Cobra Blower Belt Tensioner*
    *Patent Pending :fm:
     
  9. mjchip

    mjchip Just Some Guy Established Member

    Messages:
    2,940
    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2002
    Location:
    Chelmsford, MA
    Yup.

    MJ
     
  10. MidLifeC

    MidLifeC PCa Survivor Established Member

    Messages:
    1,942
    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2002
    Location:
    Livonia, MI
    MJ,

    I would be interested in hearing what Joe has to say about Mathis claiming to 'invent' the brace. Interesting that both claims date to 1999.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2005
  11. Mech. Junkie

    Mech. Junkie New Member Established Member

    Messages:
    35
    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2004
    Location:
    Kansas
    Whoa! The third page of this post disappeared. Doesn't matter was off topic.

    Just wanted to say - nice post "mjchip" that is great information. Maybe someone can get their hands on MCAD/solid models of the IRS? Can we make it work - no more wheel hop?

    Again I would like to thank Doug for bringing great products to market. Keep up the good work!
     
  12. Joe Lynch

    Joe Lynch New Member Established Member

    Messages:
    434
    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2001
    Location:
    Midland, TX
    I have no idea if the fellow broke the cover and made a brace in 99, and don't care. All I am sure about is that we had a weakness, it was common to all the IRS cars, I kinda fixed mine, sent it to MJ and said, here, Mr. Entrepreneur, help some people and make some money if you can, I have other things to do.

    The conclusion seems to be that Doug's is the best design, its available at a good price, so my hope is that it will be the survivor in the market. Now you guys see why I didn't want to fool with it, LOL?

    Best of luck to MJ and his buddies. They are the best.

    Joe
     
  13. dougwg

    dougwg Active Member Established Member

    Messages:
    10,847
    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2002
    Location:
    Taylor,MI
    Thanks for the support Joe

    And thanks for thinking up such a great product!
     
  14. marcseidler

    marcseidler New Member

    Messages:
    417
    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2001
    Location:
    Finksburg, Md USA
    I am always confused at how you guys feel threatened by competition. If you had it your way there would only be 1 Cat Back, 1 Set of Headers, 1 CAI, etc for sale. Let the free market play out. Decent stuff for a fair price marketed properly will survive and cheap crap or overpriced stuff will go away. Now if junk is marketed better than good stuff it may win. That is up to the management. Part of being a manufacturer is being able to market/sell what you make. If your specialty is manufacturing or design and not marketing then you better hire someone experienced to market (get the word out) or you will not be in business long. Sorry but this is just a fact of business. Unless you have a patent or some other type of protection any good design will be replicated. The better the product the faster the copies will make it to market. These are typical business cycles. IE: KP and Whipple, BFG, MT& Nitto, DR's. We all benefit from competition. It controls price and in many cases the copier gets to improve the product by looking at the origional for a while.
     
  15. Joe Lynch

    Joe Lynch New Member Established Member

    Messages:
    434
    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2001
    Location:
    Midland, TX
    At the time, all I wanted to make sure of was that I never embarassed myself that bad at a drag strip again. I dumped 2 quarts of synthetic lube on the starting line and had to pay a local guy to trailer my car back home....125 miles away. All in front of a bunch of Corvette guys. Never again, LOL.

    Best of luck to you guys.

    Joe
     
  16. mjchip

    mjchip Just Some Guy Established Member

    Messages:
    2,940
    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2002
    Location:
    Chelmsford, MA
    I for one am NOT threatened by competition so you can't be referring to me. What I am is adverse to having my *actual design* copied EXACTLY and sold under the guise of being developed by someone else. The IRS girdle was not my idea but the MJ/BF version was MY design (now Doug's). It came out of my brain with input from folks like Joe Lynch and Doug.

    As I previously mentioned, I have no problem with Steeda doing an IRS brace but I do have a problem with RPMoutlet COPYING my exact design and pretending that MotoBlue designed it.

    Bullshit. See above.

    Thanks for the business advice. It's good advice and I agree with you.

    Your examples are not the same as my case. The KB and Whipple are two totally different designs. Yes the basic rotor principle is the same but even the rotor design is different, so are the bearings, the case, etc.. One is not merely a copy of the other. Tell me what BFG, MT, and Nitto tires have the exact same design? Of course they all make DRs but do any of the two have the exact same tread pattern? How about the internal belt design? See where I'm going with this?

    Regarding patents, there simply isn't enough money to be made by small businesses like ours to go getting and enforcing patents. It's sad but it's true. In the end competition is good for business. I've witnessed this first hand. However, theft of intellectual property is not and will lead to you folks having LESS innovative products to choose from as small but talented companies get frustrated and decide to stop contributing to the aftermarket.

    MJ
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2005
  17. mjchip

    mjchip Just Some Guy Established Member

    Messages:
    2,940
    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2002
    Location:
    Chelmsford, MA
    And now you're a Corvette guy too! LOL

    To tell you the truth, if I didn't only have a 1 car garage and had the money I'd be buying a new Z06 (and keeping it stock) when they come out. They are going to be downright sick. However, I won't sell the twin turbo '03 Cobra to buy it nor would the Cobra sit outside under a car cover so.....the Z06 is out.

    MJ
     
  18. mjchip

    mjchip Just Some Guy Established Member

    Messages:
    2,940
    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2002
    Location:
    Chelmsford, MA
    Nice avatar dude, can I be an A$$HOLE too? :rockon:

    Your pal,

    MJ
     
  19. dougwg

    dougwg Active Member Established Member

    Messages:
    10,847
    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2002
    Location:
    Taylor,MI
    we're all a$$holes at heart ;-)
     
  20. dougwg

    dougwg Active Member Established Member

    Messages:
    10,847
    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2002
    Location:
    Taylor,MI
    Do you not think that we sell our Brace at a decent price?

    Do you think we are "over priced"?

    What price do you think is reasonable for our brace?

    I am getting the word out about our Brace... I am a paid advertising vendor of this message board. Steala is not! I have the RIGHT to promote my products on this website how ever I see fit, and I will continue to do so.

    I see you have the inferior "Steeda Aux Idler 90mm"

    I was told on the phone, by someone.... lemme see.... how can I say this so that you can see that it was a reliable source yet not get that person in hot water... I was told by a person that is either working for or was working for Steala and that they were there when Steala received one of my Snub Idler Brackets. They also told me that critical dimensions were taken from MY PART to make their design and they "Tried to change it as much as they could so it did not look like a copy"

    Well guess what. They messed up...one critical dimension was changed resulting in a weaker design that is pron to failure. The other is the fact that they use a 90mm pulley on the bracket instead of using a 100mm pulley which will improve the belt wrap and decrease the parasitic drag resulting in a greater HP increase.

    With that being said.... I guess you bought "Crap"... sorry!

    Thanks for the business advice though. :bored:
     

Share This Page