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Summer 2009
Restomod Magazine

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Installing the Mustangs Plus Chassis Strengthening Kit
By Ron Bramlett


     Before we get started, let me explain why there are two different colored pictures.
     The yellow primered car, which is a 1966 fastback, had the Chassis Strengthening Kit installed in 1995.
     At that time, I took the black and white pictures of the kit and a series of pictures for the installation instructions.
     The other car pictured is Colt 351 to which the kit was installed earlier this year. The combination of these pictures give a straightforward look at how the kit is installed.
     Follow along as we add a ton of backbone to Colt 351.
One of the areas that needs attention when building a performance Mustang is the uni-body of the car. Since there is no actual frame and the uni-body is made up of sheetmetal, there is a lot of room for improvement.
     Richard wanted to make sure that Colt 351 would not twist or flex during acceleration so we decided that a Chassis Strengthening Kit (part #04202) would be just the ticket!
     The Chassis Strengthening Kit was used to strengthen the uni-body on our 1964 Mustang Retractable and the Ronster before cutting their tops off.
     Since Richard is leaving the top on Colt 351, it will be even stronger! A lot stronger then using subframe connectors!
The Chassis Strengthening Kit is great for Open Track racecars or Pro-Street cars. (By the way. Do you know that "racecar" spelled backwards is racecar?) It adds about 65 lbs. to the bottom of the car but keeps the car from twisting, bending or flexing better then any other product on the market.
     Installation is very easy. If you can weld and have replaced any sheetmetal on your car, this will be a piece of cake. But, installation does requires some modification and fabrication to the parts while installing. Someone with this experience should do the installation.
    The kit comes with complete, easy to follow instructions, for those of you who wish to purchase one. Now, follow along as we hit the highlights of installation on Colt 351.
 

Colt 351 as it sits on the rotisserie after the installation of the Chassis Strengthening Kit. As you can see, we've got a long way to go!

#1) Colt 351 as it sits on the rotisserie after the installation of the Chassis Strengthening Kit. As you can see, we've got a long way to go!

 

All of the pieces of the Chassis Strengthening Kit. The instructions that come with the kit identify all the parts by name.

#2) All of the pieces of the Chassis Strengthening Kit. The instructions that come with the kit identify all the parts by name.

 

Three strengthening plates per side are welded to the inside rocker panel below the door opening and up into the cowl area.

#3) Three strengthening plates per side are welded to the inside rocker panel below the door opening and up into the cowl area.

 

Be sure to clean all the paint and undercoating off the metal so that your welds will be strong.

#4) Be sure to clean all the paint and undercoating off the metal so that your welds will be strong.

George

#5) George "persuades" the Torque Box Plate to fit properly.

This is how the Torque Box Plate looks once it is welded in place. It ties the inner frame to the top and bottom of the floor and inside rocker panel.

#6) This is how the Torque Box Plate looks once it is welded in place. It ties the inner frame to the top and bottom of the floor and inside rocker panel.

 

The next step is to lay the Outside Frame Rail against the rocker panel and floor to add support for the full length of the body. Notice that it is ribbed on the bottom, up the middle. This makes it much stronger then if it were just a square piece. Drain holes are also visible.

#7) The next step is to lay the Outside Frame Rail against the rocker panel and floor to add support for the full length of the body. Notice that it is ribbed on the bottom, up the middle. This makes it much stronger then if it were just a square piece. Drain holes are also visible.

The Outside Frame Rail at the back of the car. It can be left open or you can make a small piece to block it off.

#8) The Outside Frame Rail at the back of the car. It can be left open or you can make a small piece to block it off.

The Outside Frame Rail must be fitted to the bottom of the car. This picture shows how the inside is trimmed to clear the rear seat area.

#9) The Outside Frame Rail must be fitted to the bottom of the car. This picture shows how the inside is trimmed to clear the rear seat area.

Now the Frame Rail Joining Plate is installed. It firmly ties the Inside and the new Outside Frame Rails together. And I do mean firmly!

#10) Now the Frame Rail Joining Plate is installed. It firmly ties the Inside and the new Outside Frame Rails together. And I do mean firmly!

Next, the Torque Box Cover Plate is welded in place. Your inner fender plate will still fit perfectly.

#11) Next, the Torque Box Cover Plate is welded in place. Your inner fender plate will still fit perfectly.

The last step is to weld in the Frame Rail Joining Plate End Cap. Repeat the procedure on the other side and you're done!

#12) The last step is to weld in the Frame Rail Joining Plate End Cap. Repeat the procedure on the other side and you're done!

George and Richard stand next to Colt 351 after finishing the installation. Colt 351 is now ready for body and paint and a power plant!

#13) George and Richard stand next to Colt 351 after finishing the installation. Colt 351 is now ready for body and paint and a power plant!