Shock Tower Brace with Full Cage? - TCCoA Forums
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-11-2018, 09:03 AM Thread Starter
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Shock Tower Brace with Full Cage?

Does it make sense to worry about a front or rear shock tower brace if you are running a full cage (e.g. connected to the front and rear shock towers plus all of the usual connection points)?

Debate.

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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-11-2018, 09:55 AM
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Can you be more specific what you mean when you say "full cage"?

In my case- I have the dreaded rust by the rear shocks in the trunk. I plan on needing a 6 point to facilitate my goals of running 10's. I talked to several people including Dave Dalke about it, and the plan is to find a competent shop that can cut out the rust, build the cage, and tie rear towers to the cage to both fix and strengthen that area.

As for the front end- I think I notice a trend on this site with the people who develop cracks in the firewall area also have front bracing and firmer suspensions. This is making me believe that unless you have a full strategy for how to support the whole car, bracing has a chance to build harsh forces in specific weak areas.

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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-11-2018, 10:55 AM
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They’re placebos with or without a cage
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-11-2018, 11:16 AM
No, Mr. Lemmywinks, No!!!

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I can feel the difference in the heavy curves, or could before I bent mine.

I can feel the flex in the towers, especially the one with the konis, on my favorite drive.

I seem to remember a discussion by Duffy Floyd; he indicated the flex in everything was planned, and helped keep things on the ground.

That was mostly related the the stock bushings, but I think he touched on bracing.

I'll see if I can find it.


EDIT: That wasn't hard:

http://www.sccoa.com/forums/archive/...p/t-22596.html

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Last edited by Grog6; 10-11-2018 at 11:23 AM.
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-11-2018, 11:24 AM
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Could you feel all that feeding back at you just under your right butt cheek? That inexplicably seems to be the place where such things are most noticeable, the bracing must shift the stresses there

-Matt
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-11-2018, 11:50 AM
No, Mr. Lemmywinks, No!!!

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Not really; I keep my wallet in the front pocket, lol. (Keeps you from losing it on a bike)


At really hard loading, about where the front starts to drift, you can feel the outside shock tower and camber shift on that wheel, and it changes the amount of drift. It may shift the other front wheel, but there's not enough weight on it to tell.

Most people would never notice; they only drive straight lines, And don't push that hard...




MM is going to be pushing like crazy, so he'll have it going on, whether he can feel it or not is another question.

I did a test before I put it on; I tied a piece of heavy cotton string from bolt to bolt really tight, across the towers, so it didn't hit anything.

Then I went for a drive; it broke the string before I even got to the road I was going to to test it, so there's more than 1/2" of shift.

Try it for yourself, I rarely take other's words as 100%, you shouldn't either.




EDIT: Did a bit of looking; it may make a huge difference on Lazarus due to his "Rough Life" and all the random broken spotwelds.

The Tbird is a lot stiffer, chassis-wise.

EDIT2: Damn! I forgot S4Gunn stuffed a upper ball joint thru the shock tower!

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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-11-2018, 12:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grog6 View Post


Try it for yourself, I rarely take other's words as 100%, you shouldn't either.




I did and I don’t. It would be a lot easier for me to not argue about the uselessness of mods that everyone thinks are must haves.

Yes, there is chassis flex, No, these braces don’t solve it. What little they offer won’t overcome the weight penalty of having them is the conclusion I came to.

-Matt
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-11-2018, 01:17 PM Thread Starter
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OK, as desired, I opened a small can of worms. The bright side is that it gives me something to think about and time to consider it.

In my case, I have a full cage that is at least 8 points to the floor of the car. The doors are X bars. The roof is full halo, behind the seats is a full hoop with a horizontal crossbar and a diagonal crossbar from driver roof to passenger floor and a crossbar at the dash. There are bars from the main hoop to the rear bars that attach in the trunk and there is a cross bar between the shock towers where the bars from the main halo attach. There are also bars that attach from the point of the crossbar in the dash to the front shock towers which also have diagonal bars that also connect to the floor where the front bars from the halo attach.

Long story short, shock tower braces are no longer necessary for my application.

"When the only tool you have is a hammer, suddenly everything looks like a nail."
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-11-2018, 01:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaddMartigan View Post
OK, as desired, I opened a small can of worms. The bright side is that it gives me something to think about and time to consider it.

In my case, I have a full cage that is at least 8 points to the floor of the car. The doors are X bars. The roof is full halo, behind the seats is a full hoop with a horizontal crossbar and a diagonal crossbar from driver roof to passenger floor and a crossbar at the dash. There are bars from the main hoop to the rear bars that attach in the trunk and there is a cross bar between the shock towers where the bars from the main halo attach. There are also bars that attach from the point of the crossbar in the dash to the front shock towers which also have diagonal bars that also connect to the floor where the front bars from the halo attach.

Long story short, shock tower braces are no longer necessary for my application.
I can lift my entire tbird up with just two points (it might sway like a teetertotter but it will go up without anything lifting two corners. It's also really obvious if you have one side of the car on jacks and you can lift the other side of the car by just jacking up one corner.

I suspect your car will do the same.

Post some pics of your cage; I'd like to see it.
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-11-2018, 01:44 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by S4gunn View Post
I can lift my entire tbird up with just two points (it might sway like a teetertotter but it will go up without anything lifting two corners. It's also really obvious if you have one side of the car on jacks and you can lift the other side of the car by just jacking up one corner.

I suspect your car will do the same.

Post some pics of your cage; I'd like to see it.
-g
I've attached two that I have easy access to uploading. I think it generally makes the point.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMG_20180609_212446.jpg (469.9 KB, 6 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_20180610_154625.jpg (1,009.6 KB, 5 views)

"When the only tool you have is a hammer, suddenly everything looks like a nail."
"Nothing is foolproof because fools are so ingenious."
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-11-2018, 02:47 PM
No, Mr. Lemmywinks, No!!!

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I used this as an excuse to go do some testing.

The results depend on which car I'm driving.


Lazarus has flex in the front, the Tbird does not, in the same corners, at the same speed.

So, Your Mileage May Vary, lol. It all depends on your car.


Lazarus does Not have the same rear end feel; I think understand what Duffy was talking about now.

Also Lazarus has a locking diff, so it feels different under acceleration in a curve.


The poly bushings are way less compliant, changing the way the rear acts in a corner; I'm not really sure which I like better.

Poly seems to transition to oversteer a bit quicker, as the rear slides a bit. Our cars don't oversteer, normally, but they will, if you try hard enough.

I also have Way better tires on Lazarus (BFG comp-2), so it takes more effort to move it the same way as the Tbird. (BFG T/A's)

The way the front of your car is modified, and the cage are going to be completely different too, so you're not really going to know until you get to drive it around a parking lot.

I need a skid pad...



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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-11-2018, 03:15 PM
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I just picked this up for the rear from one of the FB TCCoA members. Said he's here too, but rarely. R. Tannis.

I'd be in on a group buy from SCP if SCP ever does another one....or if someone else just fabs one up for us.

Anyway, I like what it has to offer, but I'm curious if it would be better if it also did the "triangle' thing for lateral movement.

I won't be able to test until I get my car on the road, and that won't be for some time. But when it's done, I'm taking that road to that little town......just to make sure everything is working right

Obviously, Pearl will be a totally different car at that point from what she is now.
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-11-2018, 03:38 PM
No, Mr. Lemmywinks, No!!!

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That's a rear STB; I have those in all cars.

I think racecougar made the ones I have; it looks just like that one.

I think they help.

Red '96 Cougar XR-7 240k mi. '02 4R70W, PST DS : '03 PI engine, 04 maf, 24lb injectors, 2.5" exhaust, '02 4r70w + Jmod, DirtyD0g TC + cooler + 3/8" lines, 255 walbro fp. Alpine system.
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-11-2018, 04:01 PM
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Here's my trouble with the rear ones: The argument for the fronts is that the towers flex to the point of messing with camber gain(UCA is bolted to them in our case, but also applies to MacPhersons), it's a sound rationale and truly effective on older cars before the advent of computer modeling like old Mustangs, and most importantly they look cool. But on these the rear suspension is entirely housed within a cradle that is fully isolated from the body by thick and flexible rubber bushings, none of the strength you debatably gain in the unibody is going to transmit to the IRS, it only links the "towers" that are only under shock loads(and if they move, the wheel houses move, and if the wheel houses move the rear window is going to frequently shatter...)

-Matt

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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-11-2018, 04:17 PM
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On my Lemons car, I never ran a front shock tower brace because it would have hit either the hood or the upper intake manifold. I did however have a rear one that was tied into the cage, which I didn't notice any difference but then the car had a full cage, so it was already pretty stiff. What did make a big difference for me though was the front suspension bracing, and the brace that goes between the rear lower control arms under the diff that ties those together. Having that bracing made the car much more predictable, which meant we could push it harder and faster through the turns.
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post #16 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-11-2018, 04:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MadMikeyL View Post
On my Lemons car, I never ran a front shock tower brace because it would have hit either the hood or the upper intake manifold. I did however have a rear one that was tied into the cage, which I didn't notice any difference but then the car had a full cage, so it was already pretty stiff. What did make a big difference for me though was the front suspension bracing, and the brace that goes between the rear lower control arms under the diff that ties those together. Having that bracing made the car much more predictable, which meant we could push it harder and faster through the turns.
I forget, Lazarus has that one, as well as the one that ties the rear lcas together, so the two cars are totally different.

The only bracing not on Lazarus is the subframe connectors and kmember braces.

Red '96 Cougar XR-7 240k mi. '02 4R70W, PST DS : '03 PI engine, 04 maf, 24lb injectors, 2.5" exhaust, '02 4r70w + Jmod, DirtyD0g TC + cooler + 3/8" lines, 255 walbro fp. Alpine system.
Black '96 Cougar XR-7 (Lazarus) 210k mi PI Intake, '02 4R70W, Jmod, PST DS, GrogTune, Konis, Mark LCA+Poly, racecougar Custom Engine Chain, and JL and racecougar Bracing.
Black '97 Tbird Limited Edition, '02 4R70W, 255 walbro, PST DS, PBR Brakes&SS lines, Toicko Blues & Springs, GrogTune.


"War Is Peace. Freedom Is Slavery. Ignorance Is Strength." - George Orwell.
Truth Isn't Truth. - Rudy Giuliani, 2018 Award winner, “Most Outrageous Diversion” by MSNBC for this quote
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