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Over 300 detail and descriptive articles with thousands of pieces of vital information specifically crafted to help you repair, maintain, modify and improve your Superformance car! We spend a significant amount of time, money and effort to produce this specialized and unique service and support for Superformance owners to increase the value of your car, and value of your ownership experience.   Please Enjoy the complimentary Technical Article Below!

SCOF Tech Article: No. 005 of

SUBJECT: Failure Resulting From Frame Cross member Alterations

PROBLEM: Cutting out the factory welded cross member to facilitate transmission removal can dramatically affect the integrity of the frame design

DETAILS: Time to time people attempt to re engineer the Superformance's center cross member to facilitate easier and quicker transmission removal (even though removing the tunnel makes transmission access, removal, installation and repair so much easier). Currently a welded cross member is located directly beneath the rear of the transmission requiring some articulative effort to remove the transmission from the car.

Even though it appears that the removal of this cross member would allow easier access, it doesn't compared to the removing the tunnel. However,
it will dramatically reduce the integrity of the chassis and make the car unsafe at any speed. Even if an elaborate plating system for remounting the cross member using bolts and dowel pins was incorporated, the original design would be dramatically reduced in strength and integrity resulting in adverse handling and reduced safety.

SOLUTION: Here are some issues to consider that will result from any unauthorized frame modifications to this area…

1.  Warranty is a concern. If a modification is done to the frame, warranty is void (
page 76, section B, item 7 of the new Superformance Owners manual)
2.  If an accident should occur and the modified center frame is involved and there is any question regarding this affect to the incident, Superformance would
     not be responsible in any way and legally waive any liability at all and your insurance company could challenge you on the coverage due to an unauthorized
     frame modification that the factory specifically recommends against.
3.  Drilling in the main frame rails to re-fasten a cut out cross member significantly weakens both sides of the main frame rails as well as the cross member
     itself, decreasing overall frame integrity even further.
4.  There's only 3 cross members in the entire car, one in the very front, one in the very back, and the center cross member under the transmission. Therefore, the
     transmission cross member is a very important link and must not be compromised in any way.
5.  Bolts (used on this re-designed cross member) can and will break, a good weld will not. During a high stress situation or accident this central link could
     collapse after the bolts stretched or sheared from being exposed to the additional stress forces.
6.  Modifications to the frame resulting in any loss of the frame's integrity could result in increased tensional movement which could eventually cause stress cracks
     in the body and paint as well as affect door, hood and trunk fitment as well as aggravate stress related glass breakage later on.

Superformance HIGHLY discourages any unauthorized frame modifications
under ANY circumstance, period.

...Consider this... if you had the strongest sky scraper in the world, even then you certainly wouldn't want to take out the bottom brick, no matter what..."

EXAMPLE: The structural principles at work here are similar to that of a ladder… and no coincidence as to why the Superformance calls it called a ladder frame. Imagine having a 10 foot long ladder (the length of a Cobra frame) and two guys were holding it, one on each end . With the ladder parallel to the ground and each person trying to twist it in opposite directions. It's is nearly impossible to get it to twist at all.

Now, take out all the ladder rungs except
three, one on each end and one in the center. Now try to twist it again. You can feel it giving a little, bit but still pretty stiff.

Finally imagine removing the permanently fixed center rung of the ladder and using relatively small bolts to re-attach it. The ladder now twists very easy now. Almost like a rubber band. Just the very small clearance needed for the bolts to fit into the holes will allow the center rung to move even just a millimeter which can result in INCHES of movement out at the ends of the ladder. This same movement of the frame rails of your Cobra during the normal torsional twist of turning hard with sticky tires and hundreds and hundreds of horsepower could lift an inside tire inches off the ground, not to mention all sorts of other instabilities as a result.

The twist stress is so significantly amplified at the center rung (or cross member), even the
slightest allowance for movement would result in a dramatic increase in twist at each end of the ladder, or frame. This torsional twisting force is primarily what this center cross member controls and contains, and what will be directly affected. It is a very important and crucial structural basis for the entire car's strength.

Below is an example of an unauthorized frame modification which resulted in deteriorated handling characteristics, mysterious vehicle shake, and other undesirable side effects.