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Discussion Starter #1
While I'm welding in the new rad support, front cross member & battery apron, I wonder if I should go ahead and weld up the shock tower to the reinforcement plate (probably not the correct name, but you guys know what I'm talking about). I do see that the front of both shock towers have a bigger gap than the rears. When is it too much gap to weld shut? Can I bang the plates closer to the towers before I weld or will this create too much stress?

I know others such as Garner67 installed a Pro-Motorsport shock tower repair/replacement kit which sounds neat but I'm not trying to replace anything. It's simply one of those "while I'm at it" situations.
 

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I did mine then grinded the welds smooth. to me it looks a lot nicer.If you going resto mod i say why not if your staying stock or worried about it being stock then i wouldnt.
 

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I dont think it would hurt, Dustyrelics had a cool post a while back when he was building his clone. Lots of great pictures.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I'm trying to find Dusty's post. Did a search by his name but so far nada.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Dusty, is that all mig work? I have a strong 1/4" gap between the shock tower and the front reinforcing plate. How on earth would I be able to fill such a gap without blowing holes through the tower? Cram a filler piece in between and weld all 3 pieces together?

Love the work you did.

Craig
 

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The shock tower is pretty thick and unless you stand on it too long you won't blow through. Even with a larger gap all you need to do is start by laying a bead in the very deepest part of the crevice all the way down and then laying another over top of it. Once the gap is almost filled you can used a back and forth motion to fill the very top of the gap and melt it all together smooth. Yes it was all done by mig.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Very artistic indeed
 

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cmayna said:
Dusty, is that all mig work? I have a strong 1/4" gap between the shock tower and the front reinforcing plate. How on earth would I be able to fill such a gap without blowing holes through the tower?
Get a port a power and spread out the shock tower before you weld it up.

If you've got the engine out, it's pretty easy. If you don't, I suggust you pull it out anyway.

I just went through this on my car. You might want to inspect the inside of the shock tower behind the spring, in the area where the spot welds are. After wire brushing mine, I found a 6" crack. The spot welds were totally compromised. I drilled them all out, put a portapower in the engine compartment, spread it out and tacked it (where the crack is, in front), and then made sure I could align the car before I gave it the business and welded it up completely. I don't think it'll break again.

Here's a link to a thread that might be helpful on "another forum".

Shock Tower Thread
 

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I had over 1 3/8" of shims on the PS front side UCA bolt. You're just putting it back to tack it.

I went to the trouble of setting my car back up at static ride height (with the springs removed) and making sure I could realign it before I tacked mine.

Also, I bought a plate from Delta Bay that fit inside the shock tower and boxed it in a roughly 45 degree angle from the frame rail to the back side of the shock tower. You could make your own but I think mine were like $30 or something, and already laser cut.
 

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I would also recommend this 'trans am' brace that goes on the inside of the shock tower for reinforcement. I like it because it strengthens the shock tower and isn't readily visible unless you're looking closely. Here's a photo of the one that I did for my car. I have the cardboard templates saved if you choose to make your own. Let me know if you're interested.

Vic

http://forums.vintage-mustang.com/files/attachments/1193552684-IMG_3451.JPG
 

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I put similar plates on the spring side of my shock towers as you can see from the pic link I posted. I too think that this is a much needed and so often overlooked simple modification that goes a long way towards stiffening the front substructure. It also eliminates that hollow tray that collects water and mud on the top of the frame rail. I highly recommend it.
 

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If you're taking a modified approach on Shag, I highly recommend welding your shock towers. I mean, why not reinforce an area that was weak in the original design... isn't that why many of us install frame connectors?

When I found a couple of hairline cracks, as well as the crudely cut access holes, in my shock towers, I decided to purchase and install the Pro Motorsports shock tower reinforcement kit.
http://www.pro-motorsports.com/content/prod_shocktowerrepair/MSS.gif

As you can see, the kit included quite a few plates for the engine compartment, including the large wrap around pieces that you see in the boss cars. Also, there are a couple of pieces that connect the frame rail to the inner shock tower on the wheel well side.
Here's pic of the frame rail to shock tower support piece installed...
http://memimage.cardomain.net/member_images/3/web/2379000-2379999/2379107_10_full.jpg
Although those pieces will probably provide sufficient support between the shock tower and frame rail, I really like what 65Stang0_1 did to completely cover the open pocket so dirt and debris won't collect there.
http://forums.vintage-mustang.com/files/attachments/1193552684-IMG_3451.JPG

The Pro Motorsports kit was ok, but waaaaay too expensive. Plus, I did have to massage some of the pieces to get a good fit. If you have access to good cutting tools (like a plasma cutter), it would be easier and a heck of a lot cheaper to just fabricate your own support plates.

Like dustyrelics said, the shock tower metal is fairly stout, not like floor pans, so it can hold up to welding ok. I had just learned to weld when I took on this project and my welds weren't great looking, but I didn't blow through the shock towers. I just had to spend some time cleaning things up with the grinder. Also, just like yours, the gap between my shock tower and reinforcement plate was about 1/4" on the front side and 1/8" on the back side. I welded that gap closed before welding the reinforcement plates on the shock towers. It took 3 different passes to get the gaps filled.

As far as using a port-a-brace to spread the shock towers apart goes, I decided to leave mind as they were. Combining the sag of both of my shock towers it was less than a 1/4" and the original export brace fit ok, so I figured that's close enough. Why risk throwing something out of wack, when an alignment shop can easily address wheel alignment issues.
 

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I like the por-sport kit as well as others out there, but like you said, WAY too expensive for some plain bent metal that I could fabridate myself out of thicker stock and a look i like better. I HATE the "L" shaped brackets that come with the kit that you are supposed to weld on the front and rear of the towers to the frame rail in the engine compartement. Really looks like an ametuer band-aid.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
This is all good stuff. Michael, somehow you, your car and I are hooking up this coming weekend. Get ready.
 

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Supposedly there were extra welds connecting the plate to the shock tower on the K and S code cars. I took it one step further and welded the gaps all the way up on my coupe. The metal is pretty thick there and you shouldn’t have a problem with burning through.
 

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dustyrelics said:
.... I HATE the "L" shaped brackets that come with the kit that you are supposed to weld on the front and rear of the towers to the frame rail in the engine compartement. Really looks like an ametuer band-aid.
I completely agree. I decided to not even bother installing those pieces. It just looked too sloppy for my tastes. With all the other bracing plates, I didn't think those pieces added that much additional support. I'm not trying to build a competition track car, but I do want it to be stiffer for non-competitive open track events.

Craig, would Saturday or Sunday be better for you this weekend?
As it stands now, Sunday is looking a little bit better, but if I plan now, I could probably come by your place either day.
Lemme know.
 
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