Bracing shock towers?

Big Block A body Tech

  1. Baxter61

    Baxter61 Well-Known Member

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    So I read over on Moparts.com that when you remove the inner fenders that you must brace the shock towers? I have a 76 duster, original /6 car, now with a 440. While the motor is out, I decided to finish cutting out the fenders. So is it necessary to brace the shock towers? Whats some of your ideas to brace them? Pics are nice. Car is street/strip so I do drive and race it. Thanks!
     
  2. ramcharger

    ramcharger Dismember

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    One expensive yet thorouly effective solution is to replace your existing K-frame with an AlterKtion K-frame. :)
     
  3. Baxter61

    Baxter61 Well-Known Member

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    I thought about it! But then I looked at my bank account and its got 4 figures, but theyre separated by a decimal point!
     
  4. blue440duster

    blue440duster Well-Known Member

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  5. bOb shingler

    bOb shingler Well-Known Member

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    let's think about what will be holding the front frame etc. on your hotrod after you remove the innerfenders. 2 bolts at the front of the doors, 1 at the top and 1 at the bottom on each side. a bunch of spot welds where the frame meets the torsion bar anchors/trans cross member and some spot welds on top of the frame to the floor next to the trans tunnel. seems a tad suspect to me. so that being tought about i'd highly recommend the strut bars at least welded high on the firewall to the shock towers and down to the frame.
     
  6. 68gts340

    68gts340 Well-Known Member

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    ever consider a 10 point roll cage?
     
  7. Boxer

    Boxer Well-Known Member

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    I am just finishing installation of the alterkation and RMS tri 4 link. I used the XV shock tower braces and the radiator brace.

    front.jpg
     
  8. fstfish66

    fstfish66 Well-Known Member

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    Yes Bob Seems To Be A Great Guy,, I My Self Am Dealing Wit Hhim Right Now Also,,
     
  9. RedFish

    RedFish Well-Known Member

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    The later model A-bodies had tubular braces from firewall pinch weld out to fender bolts forward of the shock tower. Something similar would work if it doesn't get in your way.
    I still question the need for the shock tower or brace with alter-K. Looks like you could delete the shock tower and smooth away the hump in inner fender too.
     
  10. 10secdemon

    10secdemon Active Member

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    if you are running a coil over shock, you should brace the shock tower to carry the extra load that you place on the tower(if you system uses the factory towers) the trans crossmember was designed to carry the load.

    if you are just running shocks it doesnt need a brace for the shock tower but a brace to make up for the missing inner fender that was removed, it was designed as a complete front stucture, and by removing the inner fender you weaking the frame rails and over time will bend the frame rails up if not braced right.

    ive fixed a few a body's that has had the inner fenders removed and has bent the frame rails up.

    heres a body i done, when you would place the lift under the back part of the frame rails and would lift the car, the frame rails would sag almost a 1/2 before the suspension would move.

    Bob

    IMG_1614.JPG
     
  11. Baxter61

    Baxter61 Well-Known Member

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    What would you think about running a u-shaped brace bolted to the frame? Would I run into the same issues with bending the frame?
    Here's a illustration(lame as it may be) but I think you get the idea. Bend some tubing up and over the shock tower and bolt it to the frame on each side. [​IMG]
     
  12. fstfish66

    fstfish66 Well-Known Member

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    Looks Good To Me For A Street Car
     
  13. Valiantsignet20

    Valiantsignet20 Well-Known Member

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    Your subframe would still flex like 10secdemon is talking about. Remember your box rails are sheetmetal not steel beems like a framed car.
     
  14. 68dodge

    68dodge Well-Known Member

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    Take a look at Magnumforceracing.com
    Look under the chassis section.
     
  15. 68dodge

    68dodge Well-Known Member

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    Forgot the picture. here it is.

    image.jpg
     
  16. Burntorange70

    Burntorange70 Well-Known Member

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    Here is my .02 There is no need to remove your inner fenders then put in a bunch of bracing if the bracing adds more LB than the inner fender. That is why you are wanting to remove it?
     
  17. Baxter61

    Baxter61 Well-Known Member

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    I removed them because they looked like swiss cheese and were all hacked up from the previous owner. I did this a couple years ago and did not know that I needed to brace them and I just recently started working on the car again and this topic came up. I was considering putting a cage in but since I just quit my job thats most likely out of the question. So now Im kinda looking for alternatives.
     
  18. Burntorange70

    Burntorange70 Well-Known Member

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    Ok I see now. Your idea looks like it will work just fine to me for now. Then
    you could allways put in a cage a little down the road when you get the money if you wanted to.
     
  19. slantscamp

    slantscamp Well-Known Member

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    these cars are pretty flexible in stock form. if it were me. i would leave the inner fenders. and even add bracing to that since you are running a big block. but if you really want to cut out the inner fenders, you should at least brace the frame rails with a piece of tubing from the frame to the firewall. like someone else stated. the load isnt really on the shock towers, but directed to the crossmember through the torsion bars.
     
  20. TONY GTS

    TONY GTS Well-Known Member

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    I love how everyone talks about the frame on a bodies being only sheet metal... WTF do you think inner fenders are made out of ??? they are just sheet metal, if its going to twist without the inner fenders then it will twist with them.

    I know WTF im talking about, i went 170 MPH with this & its still straight.... i've also hit many pot holes at about 40 mph too.

    [​IMG]
     
  21. Baxter61

    Baxter61 Well-Known Member

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    This is a good point. Although I could see the inner fenders tying into the body offering some extra support. But I like to hear real world tests of running like this. This is a street/strip that I presume will run 11.50's or so. And for those curious why I want to cut them out, read the whole thread. Plus this will give info to guys considering it.
     
  22. slantscamp

    slantscamp Well-Known Member

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    first off i wouldnt brag about hitting potholes. its not something to be proud of. second, has your car been on a frame machine? if not you dont know that its straight. my scamp had its bumper hit and the frame got bent. but thats not the point. i agree with your point that your car will twist WITH or WITHOUT the inner fenders in. thats why i said i would leave them in, AND brace it. since these cars are so flexible. not add to it, by cutting even more sheetmetal out. but i could be wrong. i am still learning. have a nice day and good luck with the potholes.:)
     
  23. fstfish66

    fstfish66 Well-Known Member

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    if it was rusty it would of fell apart on the first pot hole,,
     
  24. bOb shingler

    bOb shingler Well-Known Member

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    here's your sign :wack:
     
  25. mrtires24

    mrtires24 Well-Known Member

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    I think that will be fine if you were to put in frame conectors too. But to be sure, I would do frame conectors, and properly brace the tower. You will not be happy Once your doors don't shut because you didn't streigthen the car.

    I don't understand people that think you can cut parts out of a unibody and think its OK. Some people have heard me say this befor, But personally, Fenderwells look discusting. The only reason you would need them is if you are making a Strip car for race porpose only. You won't feal the difference in flow with fenderwells or underchassi on a street/strip car.

    I read the hole post, and I understand where you are coming from with the swiss cheese inner fenders. I have a '72 demon project with just that. But I would replace them with new innerfenders any day of the week. They are cheap, and will help your engine bay to stay cleaner..and cleaner looking (not a hack job) You could sell your fenderwells for a good buck, and buy some B body headers and make them work as shown here
    http://www.bigblockdart.com/techpages/BBody.shtml

    Like I said...I just dislike fenderwells, and why everyone and there dog thinks that they are way better, and are needed for flow with a 440 in an A body, just bugs me.
    Let me tell you, chargers came with 440's stock, and you don't see people ripping the manifolds off and putting in fenderwell headers do you? They might put headers in...but not fenderwells. Now I'm getting on a rant.

    Sorry

    Back to your car...it sounds like you have allready cut them out. so your only options realluy are...

    1. Buy or make proper suports from K member to firewall
    2. put in frame conectors, and your idea of the loop above the shock tower
    3. buy inner fenders and put in underchassi headers
    No matter what you choose, I would recomend fram conectors with either one.

    I am guessing TonyGTS has Frame conectors...and if your car is as rusty on the inner fenders as you say they are...don't think the rest of your car can hold up without added suport.

    Good luck with the desision makeing

    Phil
     
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