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Discussion Starter #1
Hi Folks,
While I have my 70 convert up on the lift at the exhaust shop, I want to put in a set of subframe connectors. While I've seen them advertised in a few different catalogs, I'm not sure if bolt on square tubes are an option, or are weld-on/round tubes the only way to go?

Also, (again, while it's there) I'm considering going w/ a traction bar setup-"Traction Master" Shelby-style welding to the torque boxes. Since I'm not lowering this cat, I want to avoid some of the dreaded hop. While my T-boxes APPEAR to be in good shape, I'm inclined to have the ex. shop do some extra tacking on them to ensure they can take the added stress of the bars.

Anyone with experience on either setup would be greatly appreciated....and any vendor recommendations are welcome as well. Thanks, -Bud
 

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Contributing Sr Motorhead
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Take a look at the homemade subframe connectors that my buddy Terry whipped up for AlphaCat in my photo gallery. They are a whole bunch better than any connectors you can buy. They are made out of .120 wall 2" square tubing. Also, mine are welded into the floor in the front seat and rear floorpan area, making the whole thing that much stronger.

Yeah, Yeah, 'But I have a convertible.' Bunk! Terry is going to do the same thing to his 73 Mustang convertible (also in my gallery) when he gets the chance. He's replacing the carpet and seat upholstery at the same time. The upholstery is on backorder, so that's the holdup right now. He's putting the subframe connectors on his convert because the car was basically rebuilt from the ground up, with new torque boxes, new inner rockers, new floors, new frame rails... The car has a lot of body flex right now and he wants to stiffen it up a bit.

Traction bars
You won't find any store bought bars that will have the correct axle bolt pattern or overall length to fit our long-springed Cats. Terry is whipping up a set for my car. Gee, it sure is nice to have a buddy with a chop saw, mig welder... :)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I already have similar connectors to yours. On converts, were these already included by the factory, or did the previous owner put them in? The ones I have been looking at are external, and under the car app's. Total Control round tubular types are an option I've been considering. But, do I need them?

So, you say that the Traction Master bars are too short, and won't fit the axle pattern? Damn...I don't have a friend with the tooling setup yours has, but ca$h tends to help make new friends.
Thanks for the response. -B
 

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Subframe connectors

Bud,

No, your convert doesn't have frame connectors from the factory. What it does have is a 1/4" thick bolt-on brace that connects the two front seatpans across (below) the driveshaft tunnel. Convertibles also have an auxilary inner rocker panel, meant to help stiffen the chassis. Hardtops dont need them because they have the front and rear of the car tied together at the top -- by way of the roof! The problem is when rust weakens them, they need to be replaced because your car will start sagging in the middle!!! If you look at your door gaps, they will start to close up at the top. When you're driving down a bumpy road, you definately don't want to put your finger in your rear door gap!!

The subframe connectors that Terry welded into my car run from the end of the front framerail (that ends by the driver's feet) to the rear framerail, actually overlapping the bottom of the first 8" of rear framerail across the rear torque box. This will stiffen the chassis immensly, especially since the back two-thirds of the new connector is welded to, and inletted through the front seatpan area and rear floorpan area. I did not install full floors in my car because they were not available at the time when I put the short front and rear floor pans. Even those floor sections were for Mustangs (and Cougars) up to 1970, and had to be modified to fit the 71-73s. Of course, in the last couple of years, they are finally repopping floors for our 71-73s. It figures! :rolleyes:

We have used this same type of subframe connectors in Terry's brother Keith's 71 Mach 1 (also seen in my photo gallery) with the 484 inch motor. The body (chassis) doesn't flex at all on that bad boy. Of course, the rollcage helps quite a bit with that too! LOL
 

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I just installed the total control bars on my 1970 Conv. XR-7 a few weeks ago. They went in perfect with no modifications at all. Your car will really feel different after they are installed. I noticed the difference right away. As for traction bars, I also installed those about 3 months ago. I used the competition engineering ones that fit a 1969-70 Mustang. They as well went in with no problems at all. Seems to be a good setup for my car.

Good Luck.

Kirk
 

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Kirk, does your cat have an export brace or Monte Carlo bar? Reason I ask is, I have both of these in my 69 std. convertible (351w 2v) and I've noticed quite a difference, a lot of rattling is gone now. So, I'm wondering if anyone who has added subframe connectors to a convertible that already had the export brace/Monte Carlo bar setup has seen much of a difference since adding the subframe connectors...
 

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hey fastcat,
can you post pic,s mostly of the left front.
i am puting them on my 69, but need to cut the front
by a inch. off.
thanks
 

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I can say I noticed a major difference in the way the car feels as soon as I drove it off the rack. I used to race cars pretty serious so I understand the importance of stiffening up these cars chassis'. My Total Control bars went in with no problems at all. We did have to cut the emergency brake cable bracket to mount the bars but we welded it back to the bar when we were finished. I did a lot of research before even ordering them. I measured my friend's 1969 Mustang and anothers 1969 Cougar hardtop for the differences. The convertibles are pretty different underneath than the hardtops. My car already had a monte-carlo bar installed. I have run them on every classic ford I have owned and they make a world of difference in the handling characteristics of the car. I will try to take some digital pictures of the bars under the car this week if you like. I like em!

Kent you should not have to cut anything at all, you mean cut the bars?? You want a picture of the drivers side front yes?

Kirk

http://www.mercurycougar.net/gallery/showgallery.php?ppuser=1392&cat=500
 

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OK, I feel like an idiot having to ask this, but what area are you referreing to as "torque boxes"? :eek: :confused:
 
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