The Cowl Stabilizer Braces work their magic by triangulating the area above the shock/spring package on the Miata to the lower frame via the door mounting bolts, one of the strongest areas of the Miata. This is an extremely common practice in the automotive world. Performance cars from the Toyobaru FRS/BRZ to the Mitsubishi Evolution run these braces from the factory. Lord knows OEMs try to save money wherever possible, so for them to add the material, it has to be pretty important.
The cool thing about V8 Roadsters’ Cowl brace is their design makes sense from an engineering standpoint. V8 Roadsters does their best to limit the amount of fabrication required for the customer, and of course there are compromises when adding bracing to a factory car, but V8 Roadsters does a hell of a job working around them. Steel is strongest in tension and connecting from the lower door bolt to the upper frame rail portion in a straight line works with the strengths of the material's properties more so than many other companies’ designs. I’ve seen so many braces that connect the upper frame rail to the upper door bolt, in a straight line, which offers almost no added benefit, or designs that connect the upper and lower door bolts, then use a bent tube to connect from the lower door bolt to the upper frame. If there's a bend, it's much easier to flex the material. This adds up to more weight with little additional chassis rigidity. It’s very refreshing to see a well thought out design and that’s why I went with their product.
Installing the fender braces isn’t overly difficult and a fun way to learn little surprises about your Miata. First things first, enlist the help of your friend Ian and remind him that in the last chapter of our Miata story, he got to spend hours on track beating up the Miata and it was now time to return the favor. The first bolts to attack are the obvious ones visible right up top under the hood. Next, we worked our way down to removing the inner fender liner, which was surprisingly well intact for our classic car. Removing the plastic pins is always “fun”, but yields access to the first bolts we have broken on the Miata due to rust. I knew the day would come. There’s one additional bolt that the front bumper hides, so you need to politely shove the bumper out of the way to reach it, but in no time flat, the fender can be removed and you’re ready to put on new parts.