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Technical what is a torque box? (fairlane)

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by B Ramsey, Jan 20, 2015.

  1. B Ramsey
    Joined: Mar 29, 2009
    Posts: 646

    B Ramsey

    I keep seeing references to the torque boxes. what the heck are these? how do i tell if its wore out? what do it do? 1962 new to us Fairlane.

  2. it is where the front of the rear spring attaches if I am not mistaken.
  3. The torque box will be a roughly square sheetmetal box welded between the inner frame rails and the inner rocker panels, designed to tie the two together. Various pics here:

    Ford didn't always install these, depending on the model. Many six cylinder cars didn't get them, as Ford felt the weight/power levels involved didn't require them. Some got them only in the rear (six cylinder wagons, Rancheros), some at all four corners (V8 cars, convertibles/some hardtops). They are prone to rotting out, and really need to be repaired to maintain structural strength if bad. If the body isn't equipped with them and you're planning on a V8 upgrade, you should install something and/or install subframe connectors.
    tb33anda3rd and Hnstray like this.
  4. Mike VV
    Joined: Sep 28, 2010
    Posts: 2,347

    Mike VV
    from SoCal

    B -
    It's normally additional material added to weaker areas on the form of a "box" section to provide additional strength
    Like the above note, material is added to the front spring attachment area to stiffen/strengthen the surrounding attachment point(s). Aften, the manufacturer will add box sections from lower horse power chassis when installing higher power engines. Also going from automatic transmissions to manual.
    In a lot of cases, it's got a lot to do with spring wrapup during acceleration.

    Another place torque boxes are used is in larger sections of unsupported floor, normally layed out front to rear. Also see them used in convertables floors...again additional strength.


  5. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 48,664


    I even added a couple to my Chevy II....

  6. See told you I was probably wrong but it got everyone involved. ;)
    Joined: Jan 13, 2004
    Posts: 2,758


    I thought it was the green metal box that my torques sockets came in
  8. I was thinking something completely inappropriate and way off base. Easy to tell if they are wore out though....
    tb33anda3rd and lothiandon1940 like this.
  9. mgtstumpy
    Joined: Jul 20, 2006
    Posts: 8,759


    Here's a 66 Fairlane as an example
  10. I asked my friend who's a Mustang guy this same question. He said when you look under the car, it's the things that are always rusted beyond hope!:D
    tb33anda3rd and volvobrynk like this.
  11. volvobrynk
    Joined: Jan 30, 2011
    Posts: 3,587

    from Denmark

    I would never have figured it out!
    I thought that a torque box was a gearbox for a torque tube.

    We call them "travers", they comes of the longdigital "rail" on a not frame based body.

    Where is the car you ask about :)
    lothiandon1940 likes this.
  12. JEM
    Joined: Feb 6, 2007
    Posts: 1,040


    On the Falcon/Fairlane-chassis cars, the term 'torque box' refers to a boxed section that ties the front subframe rails out to the rockers at the base of the firewall.

    Don't know early Fairlanes well enough to advise, but on, for instance, the '64-66 Mustangs (and probably Falcons of similar vintage) only the V8s and convertibles got them, the 6cyl cars did not (and the convertibles got some other reinforcement as well, those cars were so weak that every little bit helps...) There are repro kits available to add the torque-box pieces.
    X38 likes this.
  13. aaggie
    Joined: Nov 21, 2009
    Posts: 2,531


    On a Fox body Mustang it is easier to reinforce them before tearing them out of the floor. Ask me how I know.
  14. Late '60s Dodge Darts and Barracudas had them when the big block (383, 440 or HEMI) were installed.
  15. lewk
    Joined: Apr 8, 2011
    Posts: 812

    from Mt

    I learn something every day. All this time I though that a torque box was the lady parts on a female body builder.
  16. You can see the boxes on my old 383 68 Dart10.jpg Dart. They have the rectangular holes in them....
  17. Bruce Lancaster
    Joined: Oct 9, 2001
    Posts: 21,682

    Bruce Lancaster
    Member Emeritus

    Ford engineering began serious development of salt traps with the spectacularly effective headlight hoods on the '57.
    As I recall, there wasn't an intact one of those north of Atlanta...
    A big problem was that lots of good salt just fell off of the floors after a few miles...torque boxes were developed to give it a secure place to roost.
    wingnutz and lothiandon1940 like this.
  18. B Ramsey
    Joined: Mar 29, 2009
    Posts: 646

    B Ramsey

    thanks, guys. will check them out this weekend.. We actually have two cars, a v8 2-door, and a 6 cyl 4 door parts car. both with suprisingly little rust.

    Attached Files:

  19. Can't speak to the Mustangs, but I know for a fact that in addition to the torque boxes being added on some models of Falcons/Comets, when the boxes were added Ford also increased the metal gauge used for the subrails and rockers; from 18 to 12 IIRC; the six bodies are a lot flimsier. I suspect the Mustangs were the same. This is why when I see early six-cylinder cars converted to V8s without subframe connectors or other bracing added I worry about safety of the owners. FWIW, Mercury decided in '64 to use only the 'V8' body for all Comets due to better rigidity and lower NVH.
  20. .................You're killin' me Bruce.:D:):D:):D:):)
    volvobrynk likes this.
  21. Ford couldn't let Mopar have a competitive edge..... LOL
  22. Relic Stew
    Joined: Apr 17, 2005
    Posts: 1,136

    Relic Stew
    from Wisconsin

    Straying a bit off topic, but when big block Fairlanes were offered in '66, a 1/4" thick reinforcement was added to the strut towers where the upper A-arms attach.

  23. Ralphies54
    Joined: Dec 18, 2009
    Posts: 749


    I think torque boxes were always used on unibody cars not very often on full frame cars.
  24. Jem is correct. You can see them in the pic from mgtstumpy.
  25. Dodge... Plymouth... had torsion bar suspension and when the torque box rusted out your car instantly became a low rider then a donor for drivetrain components!
    lothiandon1940 likes this.

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