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Are they worth it?

6
15
Exp. Type
Autocross
Exp. Level
Under 3 Years
Topeka, KS
I'm new to S197s but I've owned 6 or so SN95s that I've done open track and autocross events with. I'm going to the MCA HDPE event at the beginning of October and I wanted to stiffen up the chassis in my new-to-me 2014 GT. I bought it with SR Performance lowering springs and Koni STR.T struts (stock rear shocks). It also had a different pan hard bar and lower control arms. In the SN95s, body-twist seemed to be an issue and I'm guessing it's similar with the S197. I'm looking at a few Steeda parts to bolt on prior to the event and wanted to know your experience with these parts or something similar.

Billet Strut Tower Brace - 555 5726 WHP - I've got the FRPP supercharger on it, so the factory STB was removed
Chassis X-Brace with Rear Seat Retention - 555 5093
3-point Torque Box Frame Rail Brace - 555-5551

3-point.JPG

X-Brace.JPG
 

Bill Pemberton

0ld Ford Automotive Racing Terror
5,897
4,501
Exp. Type
W2W Racing
Exp. Level
20+ Years
Blair, Nebraska
I am sure you will get some answers from some of the guys with the experience they have had with their Supercharged Stangs, but I want to also invite you to consider coming up to Lincoln, Ne. to autocross in the future. There are quite a few members on here that run up from KC, Topeka, etc. to run their Stangs through the slaloms. Feel free to drop me a note about running on the Nationals site and good luck on your question you just posted.
 
3,945
3,999
IMO, yes, these cars were built with crash structures to reduce driver injuries. The on going problem with these vehicles is that is usually the same place they flex. Although these are not the flexi flyers of the old SN95 days, the cars do flex in those areas.
 
619
842
Exp. Type
Time Attack
Exp. Level
Under 3 Years
SoCal
I'm new to S197s but I've owned 6 or so SN95s that I've done open track and autocross events with. I'm going to the MCA HDPE event at the beginning of October and I wanted to stiffen up the chassis in my new-to-me 2014 GT. I bought it with SR Performance lowering springs and Koni STR.T struts (stock rear shocks). It also had a different pan hard bar and lower control arms. In the SN95s, body-twist seemed to be an issue and I'm guessing it's similar with the S197. I'm looking at a few Steeda parts to bolt on prior to the event and wanted to know your experience with these parts or something similar.

Billet Strut Tower Brace - 555 5726 WHP - I've got the FRPP supercharger on it, so the factory STB was removed
Chassis X-Brace with Rear Seat Retention - 555 5093
3-point Torque Box Frame Rail Brace - 555-5551

View attachment 67923

View attachment 67924
Read this article - Part 1 in @BillyJRacing ’s build up of a 14 Mustang GT. The torsional stiffness of the S197 is really pretty impressive when compared with these other models.

https://motoiq.com/project-budget-400whp-s197-mustang-track-car-intro/2/

B9004A04-3338-4803-AB7B-12FE90F13992.png
 
6
15
Exp. Type
Autocross
Exp. Level
Under 3 Years
Topeka, KS
Read this article - Part 1 in @BillyJRacing ’s build up of a 14 Mustang GT. The torsional stiffness of the S197 is really pretty impressive when compared with these other models.

https://motoiq.com/project-budget-400whp-s197-mustang-track-car-intro/2/

View attachment 67941
That was a good read, thank you. It looks like my ignorance and assumptions of the S197 when it came out in 2005 really didn't have any basis. Looks like I've got some more reading to do with the other 6 parts of his build!
 
116
83
Just another reference point, Maximum Motorsports doesn't recommend them for the S197:


But then complicating things a bit, this list has a 2003 Mustang at 16,000 nm/deg, which if accurate seems like a pretty solid number yet everyone seems to agree that chassis really benefits from the braces?


That MM link describes the different construction of the S197, with the front subframe extending further backwards, so maybe that is the reason they don't recommend the braces for that chassis?
 
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3,945
3,999
Keep in mind that the factory racing mustangs were all seam welded, in the cars that I'm familiar with, there was no export brace (incorrectly called a strut tower brace) but all those cars had been seam welded so...
 

Grant 302

basic and well known psychic

Are they worth it?​

Simple answer is: No.

Just wasting money that would be better put toward a proper roll bar, cage or whatever else IF you are inclined to do so in the future.

I’ve had 3 SN95s and they absolutely need bracing just to prevent damage to themselves. Even with low power and grip levels in either handling or drag applications, the frames are easy to damage as I’m sure you know. No such known issues with S197.
 
6
15
Exp. Type
Autocross
Exp. Level
Under 3 Years
Topeka, KS
Simple answer is: No.

Just wasting money that would be better put toward a proper roll bar, cage or whatever else IF you are inclined to do so in the future.

I’ve had 3 SN95s and they absolutely need bracing just to prevent damage to themselves. Even with low power and grip levels in either handling or drag applications, the frames are easy to damage as I’m sure you know. No such known issues with
I'm not caging it anytime soon. I drive it to work several times and week and the kiddos are still small enough to fit in the back seat. It sounds like I will probably forgo any chassis support and just send it at the track and see what happens.

I appreciate everyone's insight.
 

Norm Peterson

Corner Barstool Sitter
939
709
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
5-10 Years
a few miles east of Philly
There may be a bit of improvement coming from an export/strut tower brace and the X-brace, But my money is on the improvement being one of driver confidence rather than on any measurable gains in chassis performance. I'm looking at the driver + car combination here, where improving either raises the potential limits as driven. Greater driver confidence make it easier to exploit into the last few scraps of available performance.

A lot of this comes from chasing a few structural vibration modeshapes off to where they are less noticeable, which makes for a more solid-feeling chassis - probably on a near-subliminal level. Some years ago, certain GM cars above Chevrolet came with strut tower bars, and it wasn't an effort aimed at helping that car chase max lat-g's on the local Interstate on-ramps.


Norm
 
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