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About MikahB

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    Jack Wagon

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  1. Ha, different Mikah! I think OST is Micah though I haven't met him.
  2. Hey guys, late to the party as is normal for me. Honestly, just don't get on forums too much anymore - not enough hours in the day! Anyway, just wanted to clear one thing up - nobody at Dodge/FCA had anything to do with ripping off my Harness Bar design for the Demon - it was 100% Razors Edge and their new "parent company" Speedlogix. I am still in touch with many of the folks at SRT (the ones that are left anyway!) who we worked on the GRAND-AM project with and they are all really stand-up folks who are genuinely interested in building bad-ass cars for the rest of us to play with. So, thanks to all of you for the support, and assuming our suspension parts don't get ripped off by another company (I am hearing they will be), we will be sending about $2500 worth of goodies to the next ChallengerFest for raffle prizes. Really hope to make the event in person, but we have relocated to Kansas so it's a bit longer haul than it used to be!
  3. Late to the party (normal for me) but for anything and everything electrical, www.delcity.net rocks.
  4. I am a little surprised that Dodge is letting this happen as I've been hearing from Dodge folks for almost 2 years about how they are going to re-focus their commitment to motorsports. Mopar is putting some money into NHRA stuff (cool, but not my cup of tea) and TORC but the resources they have put towards GRAND-AM (Rolex and Continental series) are a small fraction of what they were putting into their NASCAR stuff, which obviously was a small fraction of what others were (and are) doing. I have heard some rumblings about Fiat leadership having no interest in supporting non-Fiat related cars in motorsports, and even though I don't understand that, it seems to be ringing true. I believe what Ralph has said - to myself and others - but I'm ready to start SEEING some of this newfound commitment to motorsports. Apparently Roger Penske was tired of waiting also.
  5. That's not a stupid question at all, it's a very good one. Wish I could give a well-informed answer, but all I could do is speculate, and that can quickly and unexpectedly turn into the aforementioned talking from the wrong orifice. I will say that I know Chrysler does some big-boy serious FEA crash analysis work on some aftermarket parts. I can also say that I would feel absolutely, 100% safe pushing a car to the limit with any of these parts in it.
  6. Make no mistake about it - I spend plenty of time talking out my ass, I just have to cherry pick when a topic comes along that I can contribute to! If you were building a track day toy, I'd recommend doing front, rear, and subframes all at once. For a daily driver(ish) car that you want to tighten up, you will definitely feel the most bang for the buck with a front strut tower brace. After that, when you're ready to spend more money, I would probably do subframe connectors before I'd do a rear strut tower brace. That gives you more stiffness (I expect subframes add more stiffness than a rear bar, but that's a guess not a fact) and keeps your whole trunk usable.
  7. I can't comment on which product is better than the rest - all 3 are good and all 3 will look sharp as well as stiffen the front structure up some. Here's some generic strut tower thoughts, though. There are two main deformation types that occur in a car chassis: torsional and longitudinal (looking at the car from the side, the frame/body bowing up or down in the center). Of the two, torsional has the greatest impact on the ability of the suspension to consistently and precisely do its job and is directly addressed by strut tower braces. Automakers go to great lengths to add torsional stiffness, but their ability to do so is limited by many factors - notably door sizing for ingress/egress. When you read about new supercars, they often tout a "lb-ft per degree" or "newton meter per degree" figure that is higher than the next guys; that's torsional stiffness they are bragging on. I always like to give extreme examples to help people visualize the issue as this one is not entirely intuitive. Imagine a small model car about a foot long consisting of only a front and rear independent suspension, nothing connecting them; just suspension and wheels. Now, add a 2x4 piece of lumber connecting the front to the rear - this represents our perfectly rigid example. If you lift up on the left rear suspension, you expect weight to transfer towards the right front (mostly), and some to the right rear, and probably a little bit to move off of the left front, correct? And that's exactly what would happen. But now cut the 2x4 in the middle (separating front from rear) and install a rotary joint such that the front and rear can rotate independently of each other; this represents a perfectly NOT rigid example. Again, lift up on the left rear tire, but now it simply picks up, shifts its weight only to the right rear tire, and the front never really knows what happened. Now imagine you add large anti-roll bars to the 2nd car with the rotary joint... Not a whole lot accompished there other than making it easier to break traction! The point is that the less rigid the chassis is in torsion, the less able the suspension is to react properly to the "big picture" of what's going on dynamically with the car. Obviously these cars (and any cars really) are closer to the 2x4 car than the hinged one, but the jist of it is the same. Anything that you can do to add stiffness to the chassis gets you closer to the 2x4 model and will noticably change the feel of the car even with no other suspension modifications. Front strut tower bars should add torsional stiffness by triangulating forward load-bearing points (strut tower tops) with something more rigid - ideally the firewall. In doing so, you effectively shorten the length of the chassis that is able to flex and thus, reduce the overall torsional flex of the vehicle. On the GRAND-AM car we built, if you placed a floor jack behind the front tire to jack the car up, the rear tire would come off the ground when the front tire was less than 1" off the ground - that's the kind of stiffness that can only be achieved with a full cage, but you can't imagine how different the car feels when things are tied that tightly together. I haven't heard about the body panel dimpling issue mentioned earlier, but it seems entirely plausible as I know these chassis can flex an amazing amount. They are long, heavy cars with long, heavy doors (and the large openings to accomodate them). So, pick the strut tower brace that you like best and go for it. Some do a better job of others of adding stiffness, but any of them will make the front stiffer and improve the situation.