1994 Cougar XR7 DOHC/5-Speed
I’ve been in MN12s with them and MN12s without them. I used to think 300lbs worth of of tubing bolted every which way did something, in fact I may have been an early endorser of the V and L bracing behind the rear seat(did it in 2007), but the cars I thought felt so good compared to mine, surely because of the bracing, turned out to feel the way they did because of the springs, shocks, sway bars, and tires. Sure enough, matching those one by one make my car feel the same with nary a brace added, including the non measure of stiffness by jacking the corner of the front and the rear tire lifting - yeah, my car does that too. Sway bars =/= Tower bars.The front of the bird is so flimsy it’s not even funny how much flex is there. All you gotta do it look at the cheap spot welds on the shock towers. And I totally understand XR7-4.6’s point.Cars who use a strut tower brace were designed that way from the factory, to use those bars. Our cars were NOT designed with them in mind. One thing I will say is, all the bracing I’ve done has helped out a ton, and I don’t see why a little more reinforcement would hurt.
I currently have both braces under the front of the car, subframe connectors, REAR STB, rear lower cradle brace and I’ve also recently added a mark 8 X brace along with the factory V and L braces.and I can safely say that this car is stupid flimsy. View attachment 45748
These aren’t the strongest chassis in the world but they are not flimsy. Least of which the front end which is full of interlocking box structures, flimsy to me is what you find in much older 60s-70s unibodies, where the fenders are structural and the frame rails serve as the primary structure, in fact it was these types of designs that facilitated the need for STBs in the first place. MN12 front structures are very modern, everything is anchored to the cowl structure from top and bottom. And as for cheap spot welds, cheap spot welds are the primary form of welding cars, even high end cars don’t have a stack of dimes to be found anywhere in a unibody, it’s about where they are, how many there are and if they get the job done. If the front end was half as flimsy as you say they would commonly be separated, right? Even on cars with severe rust where the sheetmetal towers under the fingers is gone you rarely see evidence that the shock towers separated and moved, you’d surely see rub marks between the hood and fenders, no?
As for Steeda, remember that this is an aftermarket company that began as a tuner/parts supplier for Foxbodies, a chassis that is, well, pretty legitimately flimsy. Mustangs have come a long long way since the 70s and the benefits of substance for the aftermarket in this area is diminishing every year that passes. Sorry but the braces you showed is Steeda selling snake oil to stay in the business of souping up Mustangs. A lower STB is absurd, traditional STBs at least have the benefit of the doubt that the towers can move via leverage, but there is no ******* way the frame rails are moving towards or apart to each other, not gonna happen.