Steeda Rear Chassis X brace - Mustang Evolution

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Old 04-19-2015, 07:41 PM   #1
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Steeda Rear Chassis X brace

Has anybody used this? How much would it help at autocross/mountain roads? Was planning on ordering this when ordering my Ford Racing Adjustable handling pack. Thanks for any help! Car is a DD that is autocrossed and taken to mountain roads


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Old 04-21-2015, 12:54 AM   #2
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Noticeable difference in chassis stiffness. I installed it at the same time as I installed a Steeda adjustable rear sway bar and the combination of the two was a huge difference.


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Old 04-21-2015, 08:35 AM   #3
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I will mention that one of the biggest issues with this chassis for road racing and autocross is that the unibody is actually too stiff for its own good, straight from the factory. When you put some decent tires on it, you will pull your inside front tire off the ground during hard cornering. This is caused by the unibody being too stiff to twist to account for the significantly stiffer front end vs the soft rear end (my lateral spring rates are currently 842 lb/in front and 275 lb/in rear, and I am considering adding 250 lb/in in front spring, and maybe removing 100 lb/in in rear sway bar to let me throttle in the whole corner). Unfortunately, this cannot be fixed with a super stiff rear sway bar, because by the time you do that, the rear end will just skitter out form under you if you even think about turning the front wheels.

I also suggest that you check the SCCA rulebook, because that brace will move you up to an uncomfortable class (4 point braces are illegal for street, street touring, and street prepared). This would be a pretty embarassing reason to get forced into street modified (600 hp all wheel drive rocketship class that the new GTR is uncompetitive in), or C prepared (stripped out race cars).
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Old 04-21-2015, 07:51 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jande063 View Post
I will mention that one of the biggest issues with this chassis for road racing and autocross is that the unibody is actually too stiff for its own good, straight from the factory. When you put some decent tires on it, you will pull your inside front tire off the ground during hard cornering. This is caused by the unibody being too stiff to twist to account for the significantly stiffer front end vs the soft rear end (my lateral spring rates are currently 842 lb/in front and 275 lb/in rear, and I am considering adding 250 lb/in in front spring, and maybe removing 100 lb/in in rear sway bar to let me throttle in the whole corner). Unfortunately, this cannot be fixed with a super stiff rear sway bar, because by the time you do that, the rear end will just skitter out form under you if you even think about turning the front wheels.

I also suggest that you check the SCCA rulebook, because that brace will move you up to an uncomfortable class (4 point braces are illegal for street, street touring, and street prepared). This would be a pretty embarassing reason to get forced into street modified (600 hp all wheel drive rocketship class that the new GTR is uncompetitive in), or C prepared (stripped out race cars).

Very interesting and definitely will consider that. I can't imagine a bar like that not improving the cornering though. I'm no expert but I would like to get the Steeda Rep in here to discuss it


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Old 04-22-2015, 07:56 PM   #5
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Click image for larger version

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Mine came today after a few weeks back ordered
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Old 04-23-2015, 07:18 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by oxford5pointoh View Post
Attachment 180880

Mine came today after a few weeks back ordered

Sweet, tell me how you like it. I bet it'll help with cornering and putting power down


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Old 04-23-2015, 08:11 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DylanWhisnant View Post
Very interesting and definitely will consider that. I can't imagine a bar like that not improving the cornering though. I'm no expert but I would like to get the Steeda Rep in here to discuss it


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The important thing to understand about suspension is that adding pieces does not inherently make the car turn "better," it simply makes the car turn "different." Now, if you're previously understeering and add a piece that brings the car back to a more neutral setting, and that allows you to drive faster, then yes it may be "better" but only because it is "different" than it was before.

For example, when i was racing my mustang, i had to have a real tight rear end, because i could steer the rear with the throttle a little if need be. My miata on the other hand, i need to have a little more loose in the rear, because lets be honest, there's no throttle steering a miata haha. So obviously, i approached the suspension for both these cars in two completely different ways. Cant just add stiffening, braces, bars, and what not and expect the car to handle on rails. It very well may, but it may not be what you want. Just something to consider.

I also strongly advise against getting a suspension package, especially an adjustable one, and slapping it on all at once. If the car is under/oversteering, and you've just replaced 1/2 of the suspension components, it will be very difficult for you to iron out exactly where the problem is. I know its hard, and you want to just spend money on the car to make it "better," but trust me after struggling with this for months myself. Dont add parts until the car is holding you back, not the other way around. These cars are pretty fantastic on a road course with very little work done to the suspension.
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Old 04-23-2015, 08:33 AM   #8
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these don't work with the mach 1000 sub package
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Old 04-23-2015, 09:13 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Voltwings View Post
The important thing to understand about suspension is that adding pieces does not inherently make the car turn "better," it simply makes the car turn "different." Now, if you're previously understeering and add a piece that brings the car back to a more neutral setting, and that allows you to drive faster, then yes it may be "better" but only because it is "different" than it was before.

For example, when i was racing my mustang, i had to have a real tight rear end, because i could steer the rear with the throttle a little if need be. My miata on the other hand, i need to have a little more loose in the rear, because lets be honest, there's no throttle steering a miata haha. So obviously, i approached the suspension for both these cars in two completely different ways. Cant just add stiffening, braces, bars, and what not and expect the car to handle on rails. It very well may, but it may not be what you want. Just something to consider.

I also strongly advise against getting a suspension package, especially an adjustable one, and slapping it on all at once. If the car is under/oversteering, and you've just replaced 1/2 of the suspension components, it will be very difficult for you to iron out exactly where the problem is. I know its hard, and you want to just spend money on the car to make it "better," but trust me after struggling with this for months myself. Dont add parts until the car is holding you back, not the other way around. These cars are pretty fantastic on a road course with very little work done to the suspension.

I know the weaknesses and I believe the FR parts are the way to go. Just curious of the X brace



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Old 04-23-2015, 09:54 AM   #10
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I was going to install mine with the entire suspension upgrade I have. Since I will already be swapping the shocks out. So I'm not sure I will know exactly what effect it specifically will have on its own if that makes sense. Here is a list of the parts I am installing all at once

Koni yellow adjustables
Steeda sport springs
Steeda adjustable panhard
Steeda panhard brace
Steeda g/trac bar
Steeda UCA bracket & adjustable UCA
Steeda billet LCA

And this x brace. Lol. So it's going to be drastically different but I'm not sure I will be able to tell you how it changed my car before and after.
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Old 04-23-2015, 12:10 PM   #11
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It will stiffen up the chassis and reduce flex in the chassis.

Any time you reduce flex, you theoretically keep more of the tire planted on the ground.

More of the tire planted on the ground equals improved cornering.

Each car and chassis setup is different.

Also, please note - While it can be bolted-in, welding will produce a stiffer chassis.

Hope that helps! If you need further support, I can put you in contact with one of our veteran sales professionals that does Auto Crossing in his free time.

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Old 04-23-2015, 01:28 PM   #12
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A quote from the SCCA SOLO Rule Book (regulates autocrossing, which OP mentioned interest in):

Section 15.2
C. Strut bars (per Section 12.18) are permitted with all types of suspensions,
subject to the following constraints:
1. A 2-point strut bar may be added, removed, modified, or substituted,
but only with another two-point strut bar.
2. A triangulated (3-point) strut bar may be removed, modified, or substituted;
substitution may be with either a triangulated or a 2-point
strut bar. The connection to the chassis (i.e., firewall, bulkhead) must
be in the standard location.
3. Lower suspension braces must be attached to the lower suspension
pickup point locations on the chassis within two inches (2โ€, 50.8 mm)
in any direction of the actual suspension attachment to the chassis.
4. Except for standard parts, no connections to other components are
permitted.

This was taken from the publicly available copy of the rulebook from the SCCA website, and has the latest update taken into account (4/20/2015).

What that says is that a four point brace is completely illegal to run in the street prepared category (meaning that it is also illegal in any lower category). The only four point brace that would be legal would be the OEM Laguna Seca brace. Since this does not have a Ford part number, it is not covered by Update/Backdate (if you try to pass this off at a national level event, you will be protested).

I will say though, that I have always been pleased with the products from Steeda. They have always been very high quality, and there have been no fitment issues (unlike my LCA brackets, which I had to both re-bend, and re-drill, but they were not Steeda gear).
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Old 04-23-2015, 05:21 PM   #13
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The question I'm curious about is if I will get better times with it. It would be paired with BMR relo brackets with LCA UCA Panhard, FR adjustable suspension package and 275 MPSS tires all around


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Old 04-23-2015, 05:42 PM   #14
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In theory:

Less body flex= better traction through corners= better times.

Right? I mean this isn't why I bought it. I bought it just to handle better. I like doing mountain driving. I do it a few times a week and right now (stock) my mustang handles worse than my Tacoma x-runner I had before this car. Granted it had a better suspension than stock, but it has a rear x brace from the factory and that thing cornered like it was glued to the road. Seriously. Like 40mph turns (posted warning/recommended) taken at 95mph. I'm hoping my car will be similar once I have all my mods installed
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Old 04-23-2015, 05:51 PM   #15
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Unfortunately, as an engineer with experience in motorsport suspension design, it is really not that simple, especially when a solid axle is involved.


The problem is that Ford subscribed to the soft coil spring, and tight torsion spring (sway bar) method of maintaining acceptable cornering levels while minimizing the harshness of the ride. Unfortunately, all of the aftermarket coil springs that sit on the factory style strut are still soft enough that you need a sway bar to maintain enough lateral spring rate to keep the geometry off the end of travel (and you need a LOT of bar due to the low rate of the springs).
Now that we have determined that you have more sway bar than the spring can overpower, once the rear end articulates around the axle, your outside front tire pushes into the wheel well due to geometry and weight transfer. This causes the front bar to rotate upwards, and it will encounter resistance from the inside front coil spring (which will fail to overcome it). Since the S197 unibody is so very stiff with respect to torsion, the car will not twist about the longitudinal axis enough to maintain inside front tire contact with the road, resulting in loss of traction at the front end (read understeer). At this point, you have two options, either decrease the torsional rigidity of the car, or drastically increase the front spring rate to negate the need for a sway bar, but the amount of spring that you would need would prevent the car from being streetable.


To answer your question simply, the brace will do nothing to improve the cornering of an S197 Mustang without significant supporting work.
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Old 04-23-2015, 07:48 PM   #16
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I will take your word for it. Some of that went over my head.

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Old 04-26-2015, 12:25 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rockhillgt View Post
these don't work with the mach 1000 sub package
I'm in the same boat as you.

I had a pair of these welded in: Steeda Mustang Three Point Frame Rail & Torque Box Brace (05-14) - Made in the USA 555-5551 - Free Shipping!



I also had my LCA's installed at the same time.. both of those together made it feel like I had a new rear end suspension. It made it feel like the rear springs were stiffer - if that makes sense... I noticed it immediately when driving down the highway.

Good stuff.. I highly recommend them.
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Old 04-26-2015, 08:17 PM   #18
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Old 07-22-2015, 10:05 PM   #19
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Just installed Steeda X-brace on my Stang. The installation is very straightforward.

-I was able to loosen the Strut nut by using a vise grip to hold the bolt.
-No need to jack up the car to fit the brace in initially.
-I drilled the holes on the sheetmetal using the holes on the brace as a guide. Never had a problem of misaligned holes. Try to drill it through quickly to avoid damaging the holes on the x-brace.

Question. How do I torque my strut nuts to 30 lb-ft? I do not know how to hold the bolt, while torquing the nut.
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Old 07-22-2015, 11:25 PM   #20
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Did you put the nut on the inside or outside? I put the nut on the inside and once you get it tight enough you can torque the bolts without the nut spinning on the inside.


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