Good catch, Bill.
This photo from the Front Page today, Tuesday, shows that the brace is supported at the right end by an Adel clamp. As shown, this support does nothing.
What happens is that if the brace has a forward load, the Adel clamp can rotate. This is because the force from the brace creates a torque about the pushrod. The pushrod, being round, can do nothing to prevent the Adel clamp from rotating. So the brace doesn't brace the baffle.
The pushrod can’t even prevent the brace from sliding towards the center of the engine. All there is, is friction. And especially with vibration, friction is very unreliable. It’ll hurt you if it can and leave you with zip if it gets a chance. In between those things, it'll tease you and pretend to be good.
The net result is that the brace DOES NOTHING.
Do-nothings, as I call them, are worse than dead weight. They give the illusion of doing something useful while actually doing nothing at all.
[ed. Intersting observations and input.
My data point to add to the convos:
I've been putzing around in RVs for about two decades now, and have flown in a few dozen solo, and this particular RV-8 is by far the smoothest flying one I've been in. Almost everyone else who has flown in it ends up describing it with the same word....'Turbine'. I'm told the purpose of the braces is to keep the baffle rigid while putting the cowl back on. I do know that the pilot can control the oil temp within a single degree (highly mod'd cowl flap). I'm not an expert my any means and don't profess to know much about harmonic resonances, but I do know this RV is the smoothest I've ever experienced.
There are many little mods that have been added over the last decade, from oil cooler to baffles, to exit area, etc.
He's worked on a few hundred RVs over the decade, so he has a better idea than me where they tend to wear.
I think the continual little tweeks just add to the enjoyment....this plane gets a lot of love.
my .02. v/r,dr]