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Discussion Starter #1
Hey all, not sure where this would really go, seeing as its a chassis question, directly related to a motor. Probably a lot of drag racers could help, but im not going to drag the car regularly, if at all so it doesnt go there either. So....

Im building a 63 hardtop right now. It has a heidts mustang II front, TCI torque arm on order for the back. Im going to mini tub the car and run some sticky wide street tires, but never plan on putting a full race tire under the car. The motor I have built is an LS3, right in the neighborhood of 550-560 hp n/a, with a small-ish Turbonetics T-78 to go on top of that. Goal is 700 hp on pump gas ( through a t-56 ), shouldnt be tough to reach that mark.

Now with that said, im having a hard time deciding on whether or not to cage the car. Obviously a cage would strengthen things up considerably. Im not planning on launching the car at the track more than a few times, if ever. Will I tear the car up if I skip the cage and just run that much motor? I know these cars are far from rigid from the factory, and I know SFC's should help, but I really dont know much beyond that. Id rather skip the cage just for the sake of comfort being a street car, but not if its going to ruin the car every time I hit the loud pedal. Keep in mind this wont be a big block twisting the car up hard from a dig, but it will have a soft hit once it gets rolling, somewhere north of 500 Lb ft of torque. Any feedback or a suggestion where it might be better to post this is greatly appreciated!
 

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Frame connectors and out some tq boxes in and you will be fine. Remember more people die in head trauma from getting head on cage during street wrecks. If your not planning on racing it don't cage it.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Frame connectors and out some tq boxes in and you will be fine. Remember more people die in head trauma from getting head on cage during street wrecks. If your not planning on racing it don't cage it.
interesting fact about the cage and head trauma. I never even thought about how dangerous it was to have all those bars near your head while not wearing a helmet.

Thanks for the replies so far everyone, I will do a bit more research on a few things and go from there. I havent heard the term torque boxes since I was researching turbos and spent some time looking through the mustang websites. Ill look around, but is there someone who produces a prefab version of these or is it all one-off?
 

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I have one sunmmer of my LS 427 in my 67. About 550 at the crank.
Heidt four link rear and Heidt superide in front with subframe connectors. I built brackets to tie the subframe connectors to the floor pan.
Mash the throttle from a stop and it goes straight. No buckling of the frame.
If I was building a truly safe high HP car I would add a 6 point cage.
First reason the added stiffeness means a consisitent car. Easier to drive with large amounts of HP.
Second is that consider Nova's are sheet metal cars that crumple on impact. The hard top with those skinny "A" pillars do you think a cage wouldn't help in a roll over? You can pad the cage for protection.
Third take a look at all the upper end autocross cars. All running some type of cage for stiffness and protection.
With your planned HP one trip to the drag strip in the low 11's and they will ask you to go home and add a 6 point cage.
No doubt our cars are great fun. Gobs of low end torque. Break the tires loose at 40-50 mph. Can be a bit scary!
Good luck with your build.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
does anyone have pictures of torque boxes in one of these? Type the words "torque boxes" into the search function and you can read every thread ever posted about an engine.... I am going to meet with a guy soon who has been building mustang II clips and other parts since before they were marketed for these cars so im hoping he has some good ideas short of a cage but we shall see. cage isnt out at this point but it is a last resort.
 

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I was going to suggest a tiger cage, but it doesn't look like they make them for that year Nova. There are definitely ways to make the chassis more rigid without going the route of a cage. Just beef up the under carriage, suspension and mounting points where the suspension contacts the chassis, I would think that would be enough. But then again I am on 2 hours of sleep right now, so take my advice with a grain of salt...
 
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