Mustang II crossmember strong enough? - Hot Rod Forum : Hotrodders Bulletin Board
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Old 09-04-2007, 08:51 AM
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Mustang II crossmember strong enough?

When I started this project three years ago it was to be a basic hot rod and over time it's morphed into something totally different. I started on a limited budget and the purchase of the car also included an original mustang II cross member and hardware witch I decided to use to save a few bucks.

Well, shortly after I started the fabrication I became a member here and read a few treads concerning the strength of the mustang II cross member. I had already spent so much time reinforcing and installing the cross member I didn't want to change it.

I initially intended on using the original lower struts but space issues and the purchase of lower control arms for air suspension changed that. I respect the knowledge of several members here and after all this is my first fabrication attempt and I'm no engineer so, after reading several opinions on the strut portion of the front end I added another brace at the end of the lower arm.

The lower control arm kit came with a pieces of tubing that had to be welded inside of the cross member and outside on the backside where the lower strut is held in place with the 5/8" pin. They included a small brace to be welded to the outside piece of tubing and the cross member. I didn't use that because it wasen't very long and the cross member isn't very thick so, I made a brace that runs the entire length of the backside of the cross member and connects the left and right pieces of tubing together.

I also added a brace between the top of the tubing and the bottom of the frame. When I welded the pieces of tubing inside the cross member I completely removed the piece of sheet metal on the bottom of the cross member to get more access to weld them in. Then, I made a new bottom out of 3/16" plate, punched a few lightening holes with a hole saw and welded it solid.
I had to trim a fair amount of material out of the spring perches also to clear the air bags so I reinforced the outside of those and added 1 1/2" tubing from the perch tops to the roll cage.

If I had to do it over again I would have purchased an aftermarket kit. It would have been so much easier, a lot less time, and probably stronger.

Anyway, I thought I'd run this by some of you guys that are more knowledgeable about these things than me and maybe set my mind at ease . I believe it will be plenty strong but I have no idea what this car will weigh when finished, I'm guessing around 3000 pounds.
The motor has a decent set back. The front spark plugs are about centered with the cross member so, that should take some weight off it.


Thanks for taking the time to look.

Ed
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Old 09-04-2007, 11:03 AM
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I'm no engineer either, but I can usually see what will work and what won't.

With the way you have the brace crossing from side to side and the tabs coming down from the frame rails to pick up the outside of the control arms I'd say you have no problem with strength.


Run it.

One thing I do see though, is the use of a continous solid line from your hydroboost on the firewall down to your rack.. Some kind of vibration loop or "S" section or a short section of flexible line installed at the ends would be a good idea. I don't know how you intend to use your car, but I always like to see some provision for movement between the frame and body and the things that are mounted to them.

Later, mikey
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Last edited by powerrodsmike; 09-04-2007 at 11:08 AM.
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Old 09-04-2007, 11:45 AM
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Looks like very clean work. It appears to be plenty strong. The thing to remember about the OE cross member, ford put millions into engineering it. Some of the aftermarket (not so much) enough said.
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Old 09-04-2007, 12:06 PM
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I did think about the hydroboost lines mickey, but I figured since the body and frame are one, welded together, and the full cage makes it pretty stiff, I didn't think it would be a problem. I guess I'll find out. The lines are .035 wall stainless maybe that will help. Any lines going to the motor I used braided hose for flex.

Thanks for the input guys.

Ed
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Old 09-05-2007, 11:58 AM
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We don't use a loop generally. We fasten them, very regularly, to avoid wiggles, and have had no problems. I doubt, the average hot rod is ever subjected to 200K of miles, for metal fatigue.
Dave Tallant Hot Rod Shop KC Mo
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Old 09-05-2007, 01:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wildman1932
We don't use a loop generally. We fasten them, very regularly, to avoid wiggles, and have had no problems. I doubt, the average hot rod is ever subjected to 200K of miles, for metal fatigue.
Dave Tallant Hot Rod Shop KC Mo
Everyone has thier opinions about how well to build something.

I'd rather build something all the way right. Not providing a place for some movement to occur is just asking for trouble. That's my opinion, anyway.

You can assume that your cars will not see enough miles for something like that to fail, but I'd rather build stuff to outlast me.

Later, mikey
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Old 09-05-2007, 02:17 PM
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I've installed dozens of aftermarket Mustang crosmembers. I refuse to install an original Ford crossmember. They are very thin and designed to work with all of the other unibody componets. However, you have reinforced all of the critcal areas so I think you will be good to go. Very nice work.
Bob
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