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Unread 11-15-2017, 12:13 PM
modernbeat modernbeat is offline
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Default S197 Mustang Strut Tower Opening

The S197 Mustang has a fairly small strut tower opening. This is fine if you can configure the strut to slide under the lip, but if you have a hose coming out the top, or an adjuster sticking up, the camber and caster adjustment is limited by the edge of the sheetmetal.

Our camber plates can adjust far beyond the lip of the opening. And we often trade off some caster to achieve more camber. The geometry of the opening restricts both adjustments.

The accepted solution is to trim the opening. Before doing this, make sure the rules you compete under allow cutting. Some classes restrict cutting the tub in any fashion, but many allow reasonable trimming, and some have no restrictions. If you aren't competing under a rule-set, then anything goes!

The factory BOSS 302-S cars turned the circular opening into a slot. They just stretched the hole down the inside of the tower to allow plenty of room for adjustment. See this gallery for pics of the 302-S: https://vorshlag.smugmug.com/TechArt...02-S/i-nxTj9qf





That modification is pretty obvious, and takes some care to cleanly cut and finish the hole.
We've devised a way to open up the tower that isn't as extreme, and is easier to execute with only moderate skill.

We built this jig, that bolts into the tower and provides a pilot hole for a hole saw right in the center of the opening.


The original tower opening is about 1 7/8".


We remove the strut and camber plates and bolt our jig into the tower.


Using a 2.5" (reasonable opening) or 2.625" (extreme opening) hole saw, insert the pilot bit in the jig, add a little metal cutting oil and start cutting the tower opening.


Inspect your cut as you go to verify that your cut is centered, and not tearing up the hole saw or the tower. You can see the dark kerf left by the saw is centered on the opening.


Once you get through the sheetmetal, stop! Going further will just damage the jig.


The ring of metal removed from the opening.


Clean up all the metal shavings and cutting oil. Then remove the jig. Now is a good time to dress the edges of the hole with a deburing tool, file, or rotary sanding drum. Then a small amount of paint on the edge will protect the steel. You can see the thickness of the metal here.


Since we removed metal evenly from all sides of the opening, it still looks like it could be factory made. The hole is now 2.5" (or 2.625") allowing an additional 0.31"-0.375" of travel. Enough to make a difference.


With the strut and camber plate installed, you can see they have plenty of clearance for more camber and caster adjustment, and plenty of room for an adjustment knob.

Last edited by modernbeat; 11-15-2017 at 12:18 PM.
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  #2  
Unread 05-16-2018, 11:43 PM
Delor Delor is offline
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Default Re: S197 Mustang Strut Tower Opening

Great write up man. Nice stuff
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Unread 10-20-2018, 03:46 PM
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Default Re: S197 Mustang Strut Tower Opening

You gotta do what you gotta do...



We now sell this S197 Strut Tower Fixture cutting tool at a very low price:



This is for sale here.



We make this one for the S550, above. Also for sale cheaply.



There is a detailed instruction gallery for the S550 tower cut here.



Cheers,
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