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Your vehicle’s chassis holds everything together. Your engine, transmission, and suspension components all mount to your vehicle’s chassis. Increasing horsepower or improving handling with aftermarket parts is very common, however, your chassis becomes a limiting factor. There is only so much power or cornering load a chassis can handle before it flexes excessively, which can quickly lead to loss of traction. This is where aftermarket chassis bracing come into the picture.
Why Chassis Stiffness is Important
The chassis is your car’s foundation and every suspension component is attached to it. If your chassis is flexible, your braking and steering ability will not be as responsive. On top of that, total grip is limited with a weak chassis. If you want to maximize your vehicle’s potential, improving chassis stiffness is a must.
When the suspension responds to roughness in the road’s surface like holes, railway tracks, speed bumps, etc. the shock can be transmitted towards the chassis through flex. Preferably, these bumpers should be absorbed by your car’s wheels, shocks, springs, and bushings. However, a portion of the force can be relayed to the chassis. The effect is a wobbling or shuddering car body during a chassis flex.
When you’re driving hard on a canyon road or track, the chassis flex effect can lead to poor handling characteristics which can’t be tuned out with suspension. You may also find your car incapable of driving smoothly in long, wide corners and you will have to correct its position to stay on the correct driving line. In severe instances, the chassis flex can be serious enough to affect your vehicle’s wheel-alignment while under load, dramatically degrading its cornering ability.
This is why it’s very important to stiffen your car’s chassis if you want to maximize its potential. To put it simply, a stiff chassis offers a strong foundation for the suspension to work with. This is turn allows the coils and dampers to function correctly, which results to improved handling and ride quality. This applies to the front and rear of your vehicle.
When You Need to Install Chassis Bracing
It would be best to install chassis bracing after you have installed aftermarket suspension and sticky tires. The increase load of sticky tires and the higher spring rates of aftermarket suspension results in significantly more chassis flex compared to a completely stock vehicle. Different types of chassis bracing include strut bars, fender braces, subframe connectors, roll cages, and many more.