Re: Convertible subframe connectors
There is a lot of good and bad info out there about all the various mods we are all making. The convertible cross brace helps stop the tunnel from acting like a hinge when the suspension at each wheel is working to control the cars ride. It's part of the arsenal of factory fixes for the missing roof structure. The Hotchkis cross brace is designed to allow for exhaust clearance more than anything else.
Subframe connectors tie the front and back of the car's substructure together kind of like a full frame vehicle but the ones I have seen and have experience with don't add any cross members to the overall structure. My Colorado truck has the same frame as the Hummer H3 but the H3 has I believe 2 more cross members and is a little shorter in total length. The H3 is far more capable off road for just this difference.
The convertible already has a reinforced rocker panel compared to the coupe, more of the factory fixes for the lack of roof structure. Anything you can do to add rigidity to the frame structure will help some but the fact that they run front to back only is limiting their benefit.
Subframe connectors (weld in or bolt in) provide some stiffness over not having them at all. I don't think welding subframe connectors to the front subframe is a good idea unless you have your own welder and the skills to undo the welds if you ever need to work on the sub frame. On the other hand the rear of the connectors can be welded to the frame rails (Hotchkis instructions suggest this) without issue of interfering with any other components on the car...
From experience I have a convertible, with Hotchkis subframe connectors and their cross brace. Trying to run 275 tires out back without rubbing when the body would flex going in an out of driveways at an angle is not possible. With 255's it is great unless I have back seat passengers. Then I discovered the Hotchkis frame brace they sell with the rear sway bar! What a great piece, with or without the sway bar. It's a bolt in frame cross member! What a difference, it has greatly reduced the side to side flexing the car experiences going in and out of driveways at an angle to avoid scrapping the belly in a lowered car. I am ready to put the 275's back on the car, (like fit on a coupe) I don't think they will rub now.
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