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Outer shock tower braces

Old 09-17-2015, 10:55 PM
  #1  
guitarman376
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Default Outer shock tower braces

Just wanted to share my experience the past two days with the start of my outer shock tower brace install. I'm referring to the steel plates that triangulate the front subframe with the shock towers outside the engine bay.
To begin, my install will turn out much different than most because I dropped my control arms 1.5" since I have negative wedge kit installed. This meant that the plates were in the way of the arms a lot so I had to do much more trimming than normal so I could install the plates more horizontally and out of the way.
Although I have little fabrication skills, the general shape of the shock tower side of the plate was still a good fit and left it untouched. Where most of my time was spent was cleaning the area from the decades of ball joint grease and the factory undercoating my car had. Not kidding this step took a very long time since I'm doing this with many parts still installed on the car and there are tons of little areas for grime to hide.
I'm only cleaning and painting the areas that will be hidden after the plate install, since access later on would be impossible. I went a little higher up with the paint/prep than I needed so that the job can be completed properly for the entire car body later on. Used automotive primer then a spray epoxy paint. Will post pics later.
This is one of those jobs that takes a long time and nobody would ever notice I did it. For the love of jot rodding I guess...
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Old 09-24-2015, 07:11 PM
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http://s411.photobucket.com/user/guitarman376/media/Mustang/20150924_133133.jpg.html

This is the first plate done, just resting in tower for now. From the picture you can't tell but I trimmed the plate a lot on the long straight side, and of course did lots of grinding so the curves fit better. If it helps stiffen the front end at all it'll be worth it, the plates barely weight anything. I will be posting pictures of my subframe conn. installation in a new thread fairly soon. Have a monte carlo bar and a tubular engine crossmember with lca slots, so the car should be fun and ride better than before.
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Old 10-09-2015, 01:56 PM
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As promised here is the updated photo. Finish work is all that's left...I'm stoked with how it turned out.
<a href="http://s411.photobucket.com/user/guitarman376/media/Mustang/20151009_114821.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i411.photobucket.com/albums/pp195/guitarman376/Mustang/20151009_114821.jpg" border="0" alt=" photo 20151009_114821.jpg"/></a>
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Old 10-10-2015, 12:31 AM
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agb_abq
 
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Very nicely done. I'm no longer interested in posting pics of my own as yours looks much better and serves as a great example of the finished product

I agree this takes longer than expected as the pocket has to be fully cleaned out and primed before you can fit and weld the pieces in. And I have all the front suspension stripped out, which makes it easier to work in there. I purchased my plates and trimmed to fit, but after receiving them, I'd recommend just fabbing a set at home. If you can cut 1/8" metal, you can make these.

One difference I see is you welded the entire perimeter whereas I left the corners slightly open - I wanted to be able to flush the pocket out to keep crud from settling and resting. Not sure it's going to make a difference, as I'm pretty sure I'll just stay home if it's raining out.
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Old 10-10-2015, 02:01 AM
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guitarman376
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Thanks for the kudos. My car is almost rust free (original) and whatever rubberized undercoating certainly made its way into the old pocket. Plus years of grease from the original ball joints and road dirt. I spent a ridiculous amount of time cleaning, prepping, painting, then prepping for welding again. I might drill a hole or two at the low points on the side of the frame rail extension (the vertical edge in picture). If water builds up that should solve any issues.
I bought my plates, and even though my upper control arm drop required them to be trimmed a lot I would still recommend the already fabbed ones for most people without a ton of metal tools. I can't imagine having to start with cardboard templates...talk about a project! To each their own though.
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Old 10-10-2015, 05:28 PM
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68SCode4speed
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So when are you going to start the project...? All I see are a row of dimes laid one upon the other !
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Old 10-11-2015, 01:47 AM
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guitarman376
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@68 I think thats a compliment? Haha
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