Three options for strengthening the body: choose the best
The car body, despite its apparent integrity, is a complex structure consisting of dozens of welded parts. It is on the body that the maximum load comes from the suspension and units that cause internal stress in the metal. If you add to this the influence of the external environment, it turns out that the body is not at all as monolithic as it seems.
What prevents designers at the production stage from creating more rigid and durable body options? First of all, most models are created for ordinary, driving, and not racing competitions. Secondly, high-strength steel increases the mass of the car and its cost. Separate parts, such as front spars, are made of soft alloy for safety reasons.
Stiffness is inevitably reduced during operation, which leads to a slowdown and an ambiguous reaction to steering turns. “Tired” metal is more susceptible to deformation, tension and corrosion. In general, there are many factors that reduce the strength of the body, as well as the consequences to which it leads, the question is how to strengthen it. Let’s consider several solutions to this problem..
Spacers, perhaps the most popular version of tuning the body. They are simply mounted in regular places without any special modifications, in order to tie together the most loaded and moving body elements. These, as a rule, include glasses of struts of a suspension bracket, points of fastening of levers and units.
Parts for strengthening problem nodes are made to the configuration of each specific car model. Most often resort to the strut front struts, which are subject to maximum loads from the power unit, steering and poor road surface.
The cost of such tuning is relatively low, and the result is noticeable immediately, especially if the car is no longer new, although additional amplifiers cannot replace the full repair of the old problem body.
The advantages of this tuning option include the following:
- simple assembly / disassembly;
- affordable cost;
- noticeable improvement in handling;
- wide range of struts for any car model.
But, as in everything, the struts have their drawbacks:
- vehicle weighting;
- take a place under the hood or in the cabin;
- for worn strut bodies, only a temporary solution.
By integrated gain is meant refinement without the use of additional parts. The essence of strengthening the body is to refine the factory settings. In particular, this can be reinforcement with additional welds of factory welding, the addition of duplicate layers of material at the attachment points of aggregates and levers. To strengthen the places of bending of standard metal and protection against vibrations, jumpers and “scarves” are used.
Integrated reinforcement is usually combined with body repair and is used in preparing cars for competitions. The price of the issue is determined not by the details, as in the case of struts, but by the amount of work. Integrated reinforcement often involves partial disassembly of the car, and high-quality welding.
So, the advantages of this type of tuning include:
- extends the life of individual parts and the body as a whole;
- does not take a place under the hood or in the cabin.
The disadvantages of this option are as follows:
- labor input;
- relatively high cost;
- violation of the deformation zones provided by the manufacturer.
Safety cages are among the most radical ways of tuning the body and are used only in car racing. The main goal of the frame of cold-rolled steel pipes is to preserve the living space in the car during collisions and upheavals.
Depending on the level of competition, frames are made of several pipes connected by bolts or create so rigid and durable welded structures that it is almost impossible to get into the cabin without dexterity.
The advantages of such a complex amplification option include:
- preservation of living space during accidents;
- better handling and body integrity.
The shortcomings of the safety cage are relatively relative, since it is intended only for racing, which imposes some limitations:
- the high cost and complexity of installation;
- vehicle weighting;
- unsuitability of the car for civilian use.
It is best to resort to strengthening the body, combining it with the repair and replacement of parts that have accumulated voltage. If there is a lack of responsiveness in control due to the bodywork, then the best option is to strengthen it using struts. As for cars designed for sports competitions, here you can use a whole range of measures to strengthen stiffness.
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