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Chassis Strengthening

by Superior Engineering

Michael Hayes explains why these innovative new coil tower braces are a must have for every vehicle under load.

For those of us who use our 4WDs a lot, whether it's loading them up for that big trip or using them as work vehicles, at some point we have all been guilty of overloading them with gear. With our rigs full of camping gear, passengers and even a camper trailer hung off the back, we often need to look for ways to get the ride height even and reduce the sagging in the rear end. So in go those heavy duty springs and maybe even a set of air bags! But have you ever thought where the extra load is going or what impact it might have on the chassis?

GQ and GU Nissan Patrols are undeniably some of the toughest off road vehicles ever made, but even they have their Achilles heel - while the chassis are fairly strong, their weak point is the rear spring mounts (towers). They bend up into the floor pan, busting brake lines on the way and bending the body. They are easy to check by looking through the wheel arch, make sure the tops of the towers are flat, horizontal and inline.

Superior Engineering offer two solutions to reinforcing the rear coil tower in Nissan Patrols. For the utes there is a compact pressed-section brace that allows both towers to share force and transmit loading equally across the rear chassis section. For the wagons where the confined body space make fitment more difficult, a revolutionary patented coil tower brace was developed to allow easy fitment and adjustability to suit most models. CAD (computer aided design) designed to ensure a perfect fit within the minimal space available and FEA load tested to guarantee optimal loaded durability, the Superior Engineering coil tower brace is a must in any outback tourer that carries a load over corrugated roads. The coil tower brace offers up to five times more load capacity than other bolt on bracing kits as well as the ability to be adjusted to fit and correct, bent or partially damaged towers.

Beware fitting bolt on chassis braces that do not supply any protection to the fuel and brake lines once lifted, as the nuts or end of the thread may rub through the line causing catastrophic failure. Superior Engineering provide a pair of friction resistant poly spacers with their entire range of tower brace kits (both ute and wagon styles) which lift and protect both the fuel and brake lines from damage.

Late model IFS utes are particularly prone to this problem (HiLux, Triton, Navara, Ranger, BT-50) partly due to the chassis size and thickness and the remarkably high 'rated' towing capacities. Towing and carrying loads that are not ideally distributed can accelerate cracking and failure. Superior Engineering has produced a range of weld-on chassis braces that dramatically increase the sectional strength of the chassis in critical areas. This style brace is currently available for Nissan Navara utes (Spanish and Thai built) with other models being released shortly. It is worth noting, that any welding to the chassis should always be performed by a certified welder and all modification or repairs should be certified/approved according to the rules and regulations of each state or territory. Also contact your insurance company to ensure compliance with terms.

Weld on brace kits are often a great alternative if a welding repair of the chassis is being done or some preventative measures are added when a lift kit is being installed. These kits are generally fitted once the chassis has torn or become badly deformed. The repairer can utilise pre-cut/shaped sections of plate to add significant strength to the chassis and the damaged area. Like any chassis repair, consult your local authorities as to the requirements.

There is a lot to consider when loading your 4WD to avoid making it dangerous and unroadworthy, air bags or extra heavy duty springs don't solve the problem and if not combined with the appropriate chassis mods may end up an expensive or dangerous mistake. As with any modification, contact your local suspension specialist for help in getting the right parts to suit your vehicle.

Coil Tower Brace and Rubber Brake Line Protector for Patrol Utes
Compact pressed-section brace that allows both coil towers to share force and transmit load equally across the rear chassis section.
Coil tower brace for Nissan Patrol wagons
Where the confined body space makes fitment more difficult, a revolutionary patented coil tower brace was developed to allow easy fitment and adjustability.

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Phone: (07) 5433 1411
1/116 Lipscombe Road
Deception Bay Queensland 4508
Australia
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Date Published: 2015-11-05

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