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New-Old Idea For Strut Tower Brace


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Time again for one of our favorite subjects, why won't the strut tower fit with..(fill in the blank). This goes for super chargers, at least the whipple and kenne Bell and also the E-Force and the FRPP intake manifold. A long time ago I suggested someone making a brace (are you listening Robert, et al) and put the Shelby name on it. The August 2011 issue of Mustang Monthly had an article where a company is remaking the old export brace used on 65-67 Mustangs that were going out of the country. This type of a brace is mounted to the firewall and then separate arms to to the strut towers and should not interfere with the super charger or the intake manifold. The magazine article showed what appeared to be a billett type finish and really looks good. The article also showed how the brace is adjustable and there is also a separate Monte Carlo bar. Just what we need. I do not know how to download the article or the photos but I hope someone else here will. And yes SAI could put their name on it and sell quite a few. No investment, just sales and profit. OK Robert, time for your review and to put the ball in motion.

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Respectfully disagree. The same reason that a race car has a roll cage and tube frame is to strengthen the rigidity of the entire vehicle. Now we do not need it for the street, but it does add to track performance. And this framing in the magazine article also looked great and was relatively inexpensive, less than 500.00 for the strut tower brace and the Monte Carlo brace.

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Here is a link to the article in Mustang Monthly, with photos. The brace is adjustable and basically would go around the sc. I made a suggestion on this site for a similar brace about 2 years or more ago. This was the type that Shelby used back in the mid-60's.

 

http://www.mustangmonthly.com/techarticles/mump_1108_how_to_shock_supports_install_a_tcp_export_brace/index.html

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For the strut tower brace to work properly, it does need to be tied into the firewall as in the one pictured in the article. The stock SGT brace is quite useless, as it transfer the load from one side to the other during hard cornering which isn't doing anything.

 

A three point brace would be the way to go, but unless you are racing full time, it is basically eye candy!

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The real problem is not making a brace that will fit over the manifold/supercharger. The problem is making a brace that does so and still fits under the OEM hood. As for a brace to the firewall, the problem in the S197 is that the actual firewall where you would mount to in the engine bay is not structural and cannot support the load. There is a gap/valley under the cowl for the wiperarm linkage. You would need and additional brace under the cowl.

 

Edelbrock actually made a brace like this at one time. I'm not sure if it's still available.

 

http://i598.photobucket.com/albums/tt63/EL_SHLB/2d0f26e9.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

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As for a brace to the firewall, the problem in the S197 is that the actual firewall where you would mount to in the engine bay is not structural and cannot support the load. There is a gap/valley under the cowl for the wiperarm linkage. You would need and additional brace under the cowl.

 

That's an excellent point, demonstrated perfectly by the photo. Putting a three-point brace in without reinforcing that part of the engine bay and then racing the car could easily cause serious and permanent damage to the car's structure, instead of preventing it as originally intended.

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The S197 is a unit body construction. The secret, according to the article, is to place a piece behind the firewall and in front of the firewall, that way the stress is transferred to the rest of the unit body construction. We need Chip Beck to weigh in on this subject!

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I've heard many arguments how the STB is not really necessary, especially of those who

supercharged, all of it anecdotal. Has anyone seen/read hard facts on this one way or

another? And I don't mean racecar this, or raceshop that, or even from seasoned racers.

I mean specific measurements taken when hard cornering. Not that I buy into Ford Racing

doing it either when they can sell a bunch of them based on looks and heritage. I have seen

facts way back when for my beloved flexy fox mustangs. And I know that the modern heavier

cars are much more rigid, so I'm speculating like everyone else that it's probably minimal.

Now I may have missed something concrete, so I'd love to be shown something.

 

I will be willing to bet that the cost/benefit ratio for something custom or low-volume brace for

S/C applications is not worth it. But I'm not willing to judge anyone who wants to spend $ on

the look. We all have that vice.

 

-Tom

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I've heard many arguments how the STB is not really necessary, especially of those who

supercharged, all of it anecdotal. Has anyone seen/read hard facts on this one way or

another? And I don't mean racecar this, or raceshop that, or even from seasoned racers.

I mean specific measurements taken when hard cornering. Not that I buy into Ford Racing

doing it either when they can sell a bunch of them based on looks and heritage. I have seen

facts way back when for my beloved flexy fox mustangs. And I know that the modern heavier

cars are much more rigid, so I'm speculating like everyone else that it's probably minimal.

Now I may have missed something concrete, so I'd love to be shown something.

 

I will be willing to bet that the cost/benefit ratio for something custom or low-volume brace for

S/C applications is not worth it. But I'm not willing to judge anyone who wants to spend $ on

the look. We all have that vice.

 

-Tom

 

If you put a supercharger on a SGT, are you going to drive it very hard around corners or just very fast in a strait line?

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I agree it is just eye candy unless you are racing. But so is Shelby lettering, stripes, dash plaques, rear spoilers, etc. But this would allow those with sc to have a brace and, in my opinion, a very good looking brace. I am surprised SAI has not looked further at this since it is retro and would still be a good fit today.

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If you put a supercharger on a SGT, are you going to drive it very hard around corners or just very fast in a strait line?

 

 

Obviously you will corner just as hard supercharged or not... all I'm speculating

(and it's just that until I see some facts) is that the cost may not be justified given

the benefit. Someone may argue that even the smallest factor is worth it, but that

would be a subjective determination. Again, I could be wrong if some data shows

a big increase in rigidity during cornering. But given the large number of s/c cars

out there, you'd think that market opportunity would have provided a solution.

 

-Tom

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I have a Paxton Supercharger so I have no issue with my Shelby Aluminum STB which I love! The Paxton setup is great for the road tracks as you send most of the time in the higher RPM ranges where it is most efficient. Sorry I went off topic!

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I've heard many arguments how the STB is not really necessary, especially of those who

supercharged, all of it anecdotal. Has anyone seen/read hard facts on this one way or

another? And I don't mean racecar this, or raceshop that, or even from seasoned racers.

I mean specific measurements taken when hard cornering. Not that I buy into Ford Racing

doing it either when they can sell a bunch of them based on looks and heritage. I have seen

facts way back when for my beloved flexy fox mustangs. And I know that the modern heavier

cars are much more rigid, so I'm speculating like everyone else that it's probably minimal.

Now I may have missed something concrete, so I'd love to be shown something.

 

I will be willing to bet that the cost/benefit ratio for something custom or low-volume brace for

S/C applications is not worth it. But I'm not willing to judge anyone who wants to spend $ on

the look. We all have that vice.

 

-Tom

 

 

I'm in your camp as to putting some science on this. The closest I've seen (and lost the reference to, now) is a test by someone who mounted a STB and during the mounting placed plasticene (modelling clay) around one side of the mounts, so that if the bar moved it would leave a footprint. That side of the bar had the nuts torqued down to contact, not to tight. The experimenter reported more than an eighth of an inch of lateral-to-travel-direction movement in the bar, relative to the chassis. He (and I) interpreted this as evidence that in hard cornering the chassis did flex, and that if secured by a STB, that eighth inch of flex would not occur. Presumably, in a car with concomitant modifications to bushings and whatnot, the elimination of that amount of flex would be significant.

 

My testimonial based on hands-on, purposeful experience isn't as sensitive, but I swear that before-after-before tests with three different bars* on two cars reduced the dreaded convertible cowl-shake on a test section of bad local road from intolerable to barely tolerable. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

 

* Two of the bars were Shelby's that use four bolts and lock on to the shape of the strut towers. I'm a believer.

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