[TR] Tabcon1 Photobucket Picture sequence---RATCO Frame

A Daniel Cronin adcronin at ameritech.net
Wed Mar 17 13:15:41 MST 2010

The site above was pointed out by Bob Adams a day or so ago in an email about
Restomods.  ( http://s779.photobucket.com/albums/y77/Tabcon1/ ) and contained
photos of a very nice upgrade of the TR four cylinder motor---along with four
frames showing RATCO's newly manufactured frame for this TR4 "restomod".  I
noticed that a couple of the photos had a red cross bar spanning the rear
shock mounting brackets and since I also have one of Tony's (RATCO) new frames
for my "restomod TR2 project" I inquired about this unfamiliar connector
link.  Here is the story:  RATCO also makes tube shock conversion kits for
TR2/3b's and rear sway bar kits.  When the k as installed on some original
frame vehicles there were isolated incidents of the shock brackets breaking at
the frame joint, so RATCO set out to rectify the problem or stop selling the
kits for original framed cars (no problems with the new frames as they are
much stronger).  I will quote from Tony's
 response as follows;
"The rotation force of the lever shock on a stock frame is longitudinal and
the rotation of the tube shock conversion on the bracket/frame is transverse. 
That places a different set of forces on the frame rails which in any case,
connects the shock system to the structural base.  The new tube shock mounts
also have a longer are and hence a greater rotational torque.  In old frames,
if the weld between the shock bracket and frame has lost some structural
integrity, then the chance of a break is possible.  The red cross bar in the
photos on Tabcon1's site was designed to transfer some of the shock pulse to
the other side of the frame.  The forces in the tube conversion rotate around
the longitudinal axis so this brace transfers force to the opposite side
during a pulse to any one side.  When a simultaneous shock is hit, the effect
is nilled by the brace which then takes the full force of the pulse.  This
"fix" will not help however if an original
 frame is structurally unsound."
I am passing this information along in case anyone out there had preformed the
tube shock and or rear sway bar upgrades on an original frame TR and is
looking for a bit of "insurance" is unsure of their frames true condition. 

Dan Cronin

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