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post #1 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-25-2004, 01:44 PM Thread Starter
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Chassis Stiffening

OK, I'm going to throw this out to just get a feel for the supply/demand.

I have a very good friend that owns a large welding shop. (He does all my fabrication/welding) I am going to have him build my chassis stiffening braces for my T'Bird very soon.

I plan on using moly round tubing and designing it so it can be bolted up utilizing existing holes. I haven’t taken a close look yet (nor have I researched JL’s braces) to see exactly what I need to do. I’m really wanting a “X” shape to tie the left and right sides together, but I don’t know…

Anyway, my question is: If everyone is interested, I can have him jig a frame up to manufacture these on an “on demand” basis.

I have no idea on price (or even if he would want to do it), but he’s “going” to do it for me… (he just doesn’t know it yet.). I might use steel tubing, or square, etc. I haven’t completely decided.

And lastly, are there frame differences between each year? Or would one jig work for 89 – 97?!?

Thoughts/opinions/suggestions….

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post #2 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-25-2004, 02:05 PM
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Whatever you do......LET ME KNOW. I just got done having the floorpan in my 90 SC replaced and I am wanting to do some chassis stiffening myself.

-Josh

1997 LX Sport 4.6L 2.73 , MODS=SCT tuned/J-Mod/Trans Cooler/Dyno max Cat-Back/NgkPlugs/Mac cold air/March UD's/FRPP aluminumcarrier3.73's(spare for strip use)/ PI cams + PI intake manifold w/adapter plate/ Mark VIII Convertor/80mm L-Maf/70mm TB/ Mark VIII 1 piece shaft/Cobra R' wheels/ Kumhos 235/60/16 - White leather w/ blue cloth seats - white face gauges in 95 cluster
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post #4 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-25-2004, 03:37 PM
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SO you are thinking of a big X that goes from the rear subframe mounting brackets up to somewhere on the rails up front? Where are you putting them in relation to the exhaust?

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post #5 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-25-2004, 05:07 PM
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sounds interesting. But I'm going to need a little more to go on before I can say yay or nay

math > pasta
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post #6 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-25-2004, 09:27 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally posted by 4 Cam Bird
SO you are thinking of a big X that goes from the rear subframe mounting brackets up to somewhere on the rails up front? Where are you putting them in relation to the exhaust?
That's the plan. What I'm thinking about is something along the lines of a pair of "C's" with the centers facing each other about a foot apart in the middle. Then the area to clear the exhaust would be "as needed" based on the clearances. The "attaching points" would be the front and rear frame sections and then in the middle, the seat belt attaching locations and the OEM cross brace in the rear.


Also, keep in mind that this is just a "what if" question. I'm not asking for any money, commitment or anything. It's just that if I'm going to do it for mine, and there is enough interest we'll just make sure we keep all the necessary measurements for future fabrication.

I sent this link to my friend so he can keep a look at it. (I also told him he would be building my braces. )

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post #7 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-25-2004, 10:30 PM
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I think I would have to see a sketch, I'm lost. I already have JL's stuff by the way, I was just getting a feel for how this thing was going to run.

Former owner of 94 Bird with DOHC 4.6L swapped from a mark VIII

2011 CTS-V Wagon
1968 Torino was an original 289, C4, fully documented numbers matching car. Now: DOHC 4.6L/T-56 swapped, Cobra intake, IMRC delete, BBK long tubes and H pipe. Dynotech Aluminum Driveshaft, 9" rear with TrueTrac and 4.11's.
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post #8 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-26-2004, 05:51 AM
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4 cam,

How do you like JL's stuff? Do you have a link to his site?

Josh

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post #9 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-26-2004, 08:14 AM
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I don't think he has a site. It all seems to work well. I did so many suspension things at one time though that I don't know what did what so it is hard for me to comment on his bracing specifically.

Former owner of 94 Bird with DOHC 4.6L swapped from a mark VIII

2011 CTS-V Wagon
1968 Torino was an original 289, C4, fully documented numbers matching car. Now: DOHC 4.6L/T-56 swapped, Cobra intake, IMRC delete, BBK long tubes and H pipe. Dynotech Aluminum Driveshaft, 9" rear with TrueTrac and 4.11's.
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post #10 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-26-2004, 08:35 AM
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Well what I wanted to know is, you haven't noticed any cracking, over stressing, etc. because of the extra rigidity?

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post #11 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-26-2004, 08:45 AM
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Nope, I just did it over the winter and have only put on around 6000 mile since though. There are people that have been running them longer though and I have never heard of any problems at all.

Former owner of 94 Bird with DOHC 4.6L swapped from a mark VIII

2011 CTS-V Wagon
1968 Torino was an original 289, C4, fully documented numbers matching car. Now: DOHC 4.6L/T-56 swapped, Cobra intake, IMRC delete, BBK long tubes and H pipe. Dynotech Aluminum Driveshaft, 9" rear with TrueTrac and 4.11's.
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post #12 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-26-2004, 08:47 AM
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Do you have a phone number for him? I'd like to get a look at his stuff and get a chance to talk to him about what is going on with my bird.

1997 LX Sport 4.6L 2.73 , MODS=SCT tuned/J-Mod/Trans Cooler/Dyno max Cat-Back/NgkPlugs/Mac cold air/March UD's/FRPP aluminumcarrier3.73's(spare for strip use)/ PI cams + PI intake manifold w/adapter plate/ Mark VIII Convertor/80mm L-Maf/70mm TB/ Mark VIII 1 piece shaft/Cobra R' wheels/ Kumhos 235/60/16 - White leather w/ blue cloth seats - white face gauges in 95 cluster
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post #13 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-26-2004, 09:12 AM
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He posts as Johnny Langton on here. Look him up and drop him a PM or an e-mail.

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1968 Torino was an original 289, C4, fully documented numbers matching car. Now: DOHC 4.6L/T-56 swapped, Cobra intake, IMRC delete, BBK long tubes and H pipe. Dynotech Aluminum Driveshaft, 9" rear with TrueTrac and 4.11's.
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post #14 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-26-2004, 09:21 AM Thread Starter
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Here’s what I’m looking at doing (keep in mind that this is just from a drawing and I have yet to crawl under the car to finalize pickup points, clearances, etc.):



One thing I plan on doing is bracing the rocker panel similar to the brace that was available for the Fox platform. Looking at the drawing, it looks like the attachment points should be the front and rear frame sections and then the transmission mount and the rear cross brace.

These would be a total of 6 pieces (the 2 “outer” pieces for each side that support the rocker panel and tie into the frame sections, the two “inner” pieces for each side that tie into the transmission mount and the OEM rear “cross brace”, the 1 piece to replace the rear cross brace, and the one “V” shaped to tie into the front “K” member)

Does anyone have a photo of JL's braces as installed on the car. I'd be real interested in his attachment points.

But again, after I crawl under the car, I’ll have a better idea.

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post #15 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-26-2004, 10:44 AM
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I have pictures but I'd have to find them and they wouldn't be very good anyway.



The blue lines are his braces. Where they touch the rails of the car there are tabs welded on to bolt to, the other locations they are bolted to things. The rear-most point of my blue lines connect to one of your red lines there, your red line runs exactly where the factory subframe braces are and with JL's braces those remain there. The rear stuff are his subframe connectors. The stuff I drew in up front are his front suspension/engine cradle braces.

Former owner of 94 Bird with DOHC 4.6L swapped from a mark VIII

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1968 Torino was an original 289, C4, fully documented numbers matching car. Now: DOHC 4.6L/T-56 swapped, Cobra intake, IMRC delete, BBK long tubes and H pipe. Dynotech Aluminum Driveshaft, 9" rear with TrueTrac and 4.11's.
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post #16 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-26-2004, 11:32 AM Thread Starter
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Excellent! Thanks!

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post #17 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-27-2004, 08:40 AM
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I guess # 1 it depends on how much HP and TQ your puting out to even need these. a unibody car like ours is pretty strong to begin with and you also have to take into consideration that youll be doing more alighnments than normal from the car being so stiff. I might consider this some day when I need it but I dont feel im in any need for these right now. My friend has one in his LS1 firebird and he said its so stiff and feels really tight but he has to do an alighnment like every three months.

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post #18 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-27-2004, 09:33 AM
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How do subframe connectors cause your alignment to go out?

FYI on the diagram we are drawing on, it shows a break in the rails even with about the backs of the cats there. That doesn't actually exist, the rails are continuous from the front of the car to the area where it shows them stopping just behind the 3rd cat. I don't know if that changes your design idea, I imagine it could.

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1968 Torino was an original 289, C4, fully documented numbers matching car. Now: DOHC 4.6L/T-56 swapped, Cobra intake, IMRC delete, BBK long tubes and H pipe. Dynotech Aluminum Driveshaft, 9" rear with TrueTrac and 4.11's.
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post #19 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-27-2004, 10:09 AM Thread Starter
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96bird PM'd me a lot of JL's braces and they look great, especially from the pick up points.

Based on the photo's, what I'll probably end up doing is using round tubing and make the pieces all one piece with the proper bends in them. I talked to my welder buddy (named: Buddy ) this morning and he has an industrial tubing bender that will cold bend 1 1/4 x 1/8 thick wall moly with no problem. It won’t crimp it or anything, nor will it require any heating (which was a concern of mine if using moly tubing)

So between JL's pieces and the tubing bender… we should be in good shape.

Oh, and just so everyone knows, I'm not trying to take anything away from JL in anyway shape or form. JL’s items are great and I don’t want any hard feeling.

But I need braces for my car and have access to a local fabrication shop.

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post #20 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-27-2004, 11:26 AM
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I have the full set of JL braces. Clearance on the gas tank is tight and mine needed a bend added so it would not rub the gas tank. I also had an exhaust clearance issue with the IRS brace - 3 inch single pipe wouldn't go through it.
JL's pieces are great, but he doesn't put them out very often. My package was done with Addco 1 1/4 bars at the same time and really stiffined up the car. If turn into a steep incline at an angle one wheel will slip because not enough flex to let the outer wheel touch the ground.
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post #21 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-27-2004, 10:10 PM
 
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I have JL's rear braces on my Mark VIII, and they really did suprise me on how much they stiffened the chassis. I didn't think they would do that much because, even though they are 1" square tubes, the ends of the braces are just plate metal. The plate metal sections can be bent very easily, so I assumed that the braces wouldn't help that much because they could always flex at the ends. The still worked, but I would think braces could be even better if the tubing continued all the way to the mounting point instead of changing to a plate.

The only other problem I had with the braces is that the braces would scrape alot. I had to raise my car a little to prevent this. Just keep this in mind when you make them- ground clearance can be an issue on lowered cars.

Also something to consider- JL braces only stiffen the car in two dimensions- but you can stiffen a car much better if you brace it in all 3 dimensions. A good place to do this would be to put an X brace vertically in the trunk behind the rear seat. I was going to get a brace like this welded in custom.
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post #22 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-27-2004, 11:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by mastiff0
Also something to consider- JL braces only stiffen the car in two dimensions- but you can stiffen a car much better if you brace it in all 3 dimensions. A good place to do this would be to put an X brace vertically in the trunk behind the rear seat. I was going to get a brace like this welded in custom.
Does a rear shock tower brace help in this matter?
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post #23 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-28-2004, 12:46 AM
 
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Rear shock tower will help, but I'm thinking about something more substantial. Think of the frame of the car as cardboard box without a top and bottom, just hollow. Its just a ring of cardboard, not very strong and still able to flex. Then you add the top and bottom to the cardboard box, now its much stronger. A crossbrace behind the seat would essentially act as the top and bottom of the box, attaching the corners to each other so they cannot move.
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post #24 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-29-2004, 12:44 PM
 
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Been there, done that...about two years ago, I put some1"x2" steel tube togrther in the trunk....Had a crosspiece welded to the shock mount hardpoints, just foreward of the shocks.....another crosspiece welded to the pkg shelf,, two outboard verticals welded to the crosspieces, and a "V'' brace from the bottom corners to the center of upper crosspiece... Everyone thought I was nutz till a few tried driving it afterward, and were amazed by the handling... that and the kenny brown pieces allready added made a superb handling machine...After that, I had a custom chrome molly 8 pt roll cage added, and it added no apparent chassis stiffness , go figure
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post #25 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-29-2004, 04:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Lazania
you also have to take into consideration that youll be doing more alighnments than normal from the car being so stiff.
Quote:
Originally posted by 4 Cam Bird
How do subframe connectors cause your alignment to go out?

Former owner of 94 Bird with DOHC 4.6L swapped from a mark VIII

2011 CTS-V Wagon
1968 Torino was an original 289, C4, fully documented numbers matching car. Now: DOHC 4.6L/T-56 swapped, Cobra intake, IMRC delete, BBK long tubes and H pipe. Dynotech Aluminum Driveshaft, 9" rear with TrueTrac and 4.11's.
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post #26 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-29-2004, 06:07 PM
 
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I'm building some rear STBs on Wednesday if anyone wants one. I'll try to get some pics up Wednesday night when I get back from the shop. They are really nice pieces. $75 will get you one.
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post #27 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-31-2004, 03:04 PM
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When you post a picture and I may be interested.
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