Motor Monday


Figured we could cover another day of the week with this thread.

Evolution of motor view in my 06.
I don’t have a photo of stock look.

So we pick up still kind of early on though with Ford blue valve covers over FR Hot Rod cams, with C&L cold air and FR throttle body.
BBK long tubes already in there as well.
If you squint and close up on the strut tops, you can see Maximum Motorsports CC plate hardware.


The second look is not much different from the first except for the bigger diameter and plastic composite JLT air intake.
I also deleted the charge motion plates and did a new tune when I added the JLT.
The engine responded really well.
Measurable double digit power increase and improved throttle response over previous setup.


The third view is the current view.
Biggest visual queue is the taller Ford Racing intake manifold and absence of the strut tower brace, which had to go to fit the intake.
What is not visible is that the intake now sits atop Livernois ported heads and more aggressive, stage 3 Comp Cams for NA setup.
This setup bumped the redline up to 7500 rpm with support from a higher capacity oil pump and larger oil pan, and was good for another 50 hp gain but did lose a bit of down low torque.
That was pretty much remedied with a taller set of gears, going from 3.73 to 3.90.

Note there was no actual loss of torque.
Rather, the meat of the torque moved further up the rpm range from around 3000 closer to 4000 rpm.
This issue is a known consequence of going from a long runner intake, which the OE intake was (good for low end torque), to a short runner intake, which the FR intake is (better at supporting high rpm power).

You may recall a similar result when Ford came out with the Boss in 2013.
At the time the Boss intake manifold was a much vaunted piece of hardware.
It too could support power to a higher rev limit of 7500 and was credited with having a big part to play in the Boss laying down 444 hp compared to the 420 of the same era GT engine.
But the Boss made 10 pounds of torque less then the GT of the day, being rated at 380 lb/ft versus 390.
In that case too, Ford played a bit of a hot rodding trick to compensate for the torque difference by giving the Boss stock 3.73 gears compared to the 3.55 gears that the GT was born with.

Last edited:


Here is the bay of my ‘15 for this week.
Stock view first.
Since this is a straight GT with no wheel upgrade or any other packages, there was not even a strut tower brace.


Second view is as it appears now.
JLT CAI and Ford Perf. strut tower brace and K brace combo. Part of K brace can be seen in front of brake fluid reservoir where it reaches to connect to the firewall.
There is the same bracing on other side but it can’t be seen because it’s hidden by the plastic battery cover.
Also, if you zoom close on strut towers you can see hardware from Maximum Motorsport CC plates.


Mineral Grey

Well-known member
Here's my old 3 valve. A before (when I bought it) and after of mine, the Ford Racing strut bar (from Marc)made a huge difference in driveability with the 20" wheels. The Maximum Motorsport CC plates really helped dial in the alignment. Added a plenum cover, and used my old center caps as engine fluid caps. Screenshot_20220124-203434.png

05 gt 5spd

On the road again
Another take on a 3 valve. I don’t have a before picture but Marc’s almost stock picture would be a close match for what I started with. I took a different route with the Western Motorsports cold air kit, which relocated the coolant bottle. Rad support extension covers fill in the spaces over the headlights . A Ford Racing strut bar tightened the front end shakes over tracks, CDC hood struts made the hood prop rod go away. Black powder coated valve covers came next, soon followed by the ribbed coil covers and fuse box cover. The plenum cover didn’t want to fit under my strut brace so it went to someone else - and the intake stays exposed. Strut bolt center covers are a “ Dad’sGarage “ creation surrounded with some eBay machined strut mount bolt covers. Battery and Master cylinder covers from Mustang Direct clean up the rear of the compartment .
Last edited:


I found it interesting that both Al and Gerry mentioned the difference their strut tower braces made for the handling or NVH of their cars.
Respectively with larger wheels and going over train tracks.

At the risk of sidetracking the thread I started, I can add to that.

When I first added my brace to my 3 valve car, suspension was closer to stock.
It only had a rear sway bar, rear LCA’s and Panhard.
Springs and dampers not touched yet and nothing at all done to front.
Biggest change really was GT500 wheels and tires.

When I put the brace on, I think there was improvement but it was subtle.
Everything else was still factory soft.
Bushings, springs, dampers and front sway bar.
It was probably as much a placebo affect as a measure-able difference.

Then I went all out on suspension.
Springs, dampers, sway bars front and rear, CC plates, Panhard bar and brace, rear LCA’s with relocation brackets, and K member bracing.
The strut brace followed along as it was already there.

This was an exponential and amazing transformation to the car’s handling and character.
I loved it as much as an extra 50 hp.
It was a whole new car all over again.
Like the feeling you get the first time you get a CAI, tune and power adders such as pulleys and gears.

Then came the engine transformation you see above that necessitated the removal of the brace.
I tried to retain a brace.
I tried a V6 brace which is the one in Mike’s picture above.
It’s slightly taller than the GT brace because the V6 intake manifold is taller than the GT’s.
That’s why it can clear the GT plenum cover like in Mike’s photo.

It still wasn’t quite tall enough.
It required washers to shim it up and by the time it cleared the intake, it interfered with the hood closing.
Then I tried a Boss 302 brace.
It cleared the intake nicely but also prevented the hood from closing.

So I drew a line there.
No brace over getting a cowl or similar tall hood.
I like the retro look.

It was then that I noticed how much difference the strut tower brace made to the overall handling package.
I noticed and missed it the very first corner of the very first drive I took after losing it.
I still miss it now.
I miss it most on turn in and then tracking in corners and curves.
I miss the initial bite stability or confidence on turn in.

So they do work and they shine more as increasing suspension mods are made to the car.

Moment of perspective: with all I have done to the car, it is still a crazy handler for a solid rear axle car, and leaps and bounds ahead of stock, but I miss the brace.

This is the Boss brace for reference.


This the bracing to the K member underneath.

A MBR A arm support at the back of the K member.


A Whiteline A arm to sway bar brace is what it’s called, but it’s a brace that joins the front of the K member to the radiator support.


After I lost the brace I tried to compensate elsewhere.
We all know conventional wisdom dictates that a good handling chassis is a stiff chassis.
BMW has a long standing reputation of this characteristic, for example.

So I got an X brace in the trunk from Steeda that anchors both rear shock towers, including the shock itself, and braces to the chassis above.
I’m sure it helps with chassis rigidity but it has not managed to replace that turn in confidence that the strut brace provided.

Last edited:


Staff member
On my Fox with the higher intake I would have to mod the bracing of the hood
IE: cut part out, I am not sure if that is an option on the S197
otherwise like you said different hood.

WHen I did the super charger on mine S197 the brace had to go.
I never noticed as much as you, but it does lose a little.
Biggest difference ( improvement ) I found was front sway bar and
shocks / springs. for stiff and turn in. Mine were adjustable
and I had the set quite firm. Not as nice for comfort, but great for handling :)


Ho yah, same here.
Springs, dampers and sway bars take vast majority of credit for improvements.
No doubt
And the result is leaps and bounds ahead of stock.
With or without the bar.
So the bar is not an absolute must like you say.

My biggest revelation was that when I first put the bar on, when car was mostly stock, I thought it was more eye candy for the engine bay than useful.
Maybe even a rip off.
Didn’t really notice it much like you say.

It’s when I took it off that I had a haha moment, realizing, ho that’s what it does.
And yah, I miss it and would put it on if I could.
But, like I noted, not at the cost, nor the look of swapping my hood.

Car handles great and hood swap is not even a consideration.

So I guess that’s how much I miss it. Lol 😄


And on my car,it fits, doesn’t hit, and helps the convertible shake less on roads that many here would avoid.

The one you have Gerry is the GT brace as they called it back then.
It’s designed to fit over the GT intake manifold, just like you have it there.

If you had wanted to keep that plenum cover you say someone else now owns, you would have had to use what they initially called the V6 brace, like Mike has in his picture.
It’s slightly taller to fit over the V6 intake manifold.

They stopped calling it “the V6 brace” because they used it somewhere else.
It’s the brace they used on the 08 Bullitt from the factory.
They stuck a Bullitt number plaque over the Ford Racing logo and it became a star attraction in the Bullitt.

See bellow in a Bullitt.
Same brace as Mike above.
Can see that it is taller than the GT brace on your car, and my old setup.



Well-known member
If you had wanted to keep that plenum cover you say someone else now owns, you would have had to use what they initially called the V6 brace, like Mike has in his picture.
It’s slightly taller to fit over the V6 intake manifold.

They stopped calling it “the V6 brace” because they used it somewhere else.
It’s the brace they used on the 08 Bullitt from the factory.
They stuck a Bullitt number plaque over the Ford Racing logo and it became a star attraction in the Bullitt.

See bellow in a Bullitt.
Same brace as Mike above.
Can see that it is taller than the GT brace on your car, and my old setup.

Right on the money as usual Marc, FRPP "V6" brace it was. (y)

Mineral Grey

Well-known member
I suspected as much.

So there is probably a bit of contact when you get on it and the engine twists a bit on the mounts under load?
When I first put it on, I did rev the engine to make sure it wasn't hitting. But I should check it this spring. As I never really checked the under load movement. When I did the headers and took it off I didn't really check or notice 🤔


I would think it’s not that big a deal even if it touches a bit.
The cover is plastic.
It’s going to be the weakest link.
It’ll give a bit, and then likely crack if things get real intense, before anything else happens.
The bar can take a bit of flex if the cover pushes up on it.

I don’t think that cover is mounted to anything delicate.
It should not affect your fuel rail, injectors or coils even if it flexes a bit, or worse, were to crack.

You’ve gone this long with it now.
Just remove it if it ever cracks.