There's a reason purpose-built race cars are manufactured primarily from round tubing. For the weight, round tube chassis provide the safest and stiffest automotive frames. Unfortunately, you just can't duplicate the performance characteristics of a tube chassis car with a unit-body car that's made mainly from sheetmetal. While unit-body, or unibody as it's commonly called, construction has come a long way since the first cars manufactured by this method, the fact is that unit-body cars like the new LX cars from Mopar are still prone to body and chassis flex, which is counterproductive to good handling.

While the most recent vehicles from Chrysler and Dodge certainly hold their own in terms of handling performance when compared to similar new cars, there are several reasons you may want to stiffen the suspension. First, you simply want a better handling car. There's nothing wrong with that. Second, you'd like to add stiffer sway bars and stickier tires. Adding components like these will only add to chassis flex if you strengthen the frame, so you'll get more benefit from upgraded handling components by stiffening the chassis first. Third, you plan to upgrade your Hemi for more power and you want to have a suspension that can handle the extra ponies. It's no fun to go for a blast down that back road in your Charger, only to realize your car is going too fast for the upcoming corners or to stop at the next intersection. So, improving the suspension and brakes is always a good choice when you add power to your vehicle.

Fortunately, there are ways you can stiffen your new Charger, Magnum, or 300 for better handling. Last month we installed a set of Razors Edge Motorsports subframe connectors on a Charger R/T to stiffen the underside of the car. This month we'll install their front and rear shock tower braces to tie both the front and rear shock towers together side to side. These shock tower braces have been shown to help handling by reducing both chassis flex and body roll, improving the handling performance of both stock and modified cars. By adding these braces, the suspension is effectively boxed side to side with frame members made from lightweight and strong round tubing.

Installation of the Razors Edge shock tower braces is straightforward, requiring mostly general hand tools as well as a reciprocating saw with a metal blade and a torque wrench. The kits come with all the additional hardware needed for installation, and the instructions are clear and concise with lots of pictures (we like wrenching, not reading). The front brace replaces the flimsy factory brace, tying it in with the shock towers. Since both braces bolt into place using mostly the factory provisions for the front and rear struts, they accent the engine bay and trunk so nicely they could be mistaken for a factory installation. Once installed, the improved handling and reduction of body roll is quickly evident during aggressive driving. Better yet, the car is now a better platform for future performance enhancing upgrades.