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A and B Pillar connections to RR Cage?


TMO Intermediate
My 2012 GT track car is getting a full RR cage right now. This car sees 25+ track days a year, but is not raced. Almost every FR500 and FP350 I see out there has gussets that tie the A and B pillars to the cage. On the other hand, looking at a lot of pix out of Watson Racing, their cars don't show the gussets.

Seems to me that gusseting at the pillars would add rigidity to the body and be a good thing. Are there any negatives, other than weight and cost?

Thanks for any feedback !!



TMO Intermediate
No gussets are good! But a proper cage design is most important. If my chose was 095 wall tube and gussets or 120 wall DOM no gussets, I would take the 120 wall. Better is gussets regardless of the tube size. But I'm not real wrapped up like gussets or I don't race. I'm building my car now fabing my own cage. I design so I can weld 360 degrees. It is easier to weld the front head tube to A piller with front glass out and that is the only good way to weld a gusset plate. But I break windows annually from rocks and bolts on track flying around. So I have choosen to race without gussets until I have to replace the glass. When the glass is out I will weld the gussets and put the new glass in. It is a minor thing, minor compromise. The WR cage design is OK but has some compromises like halo bar too low and unsupported nascar bars. Is that unsupported nascar bar strong enough and halo bar far enough away from your head? It depends.


TMO Intermediate
fr500c cages done by multimatic plates added at both d/p side windshield pillars also main hoop by door lock.


Go Big or Go Home
Supporting Vendor
Plano, TX

Check your racing class for any restrictions of additional points of contact with the chassis. Many if not most classes do allow additional gussets from the cage to A- and B- pillars. It is a good idea.


Get yourself a set of dimple dies and go make some gussets and tacos.


Some cage designs allow the A-pillar bar to touch the chassis along a line - in which case stitch weld right to the cage. Otherwise a gusset plate is a better idea.


Stitch welding is the key - don't try to seam weld the whole thing, as that won't make much difference.


S197 with two A-pillar gusset plates stitched in.


And you can do the same at the headache bar - top of the windshield.


You don't need thick gauge steel sheet to do these, especially if you can incorporate some bends and dimple dies into the gusset plate design.



TMO Addict
gussets.. one thing to keep in mind is that many places will not allow you to use chromoly tubing because guys have welded on it and had issues with them coming apart, IF..IF you can use chromoly you can use a thinner tubing or smaller diameter to save weight and you will save a ton of it, along with TIG welding which is also lighter than the more common MIG. weight that high in the chassis acts sort of like a pendulum, which is also why a lot of guys acid dip the roofs and quarter panels.
All of this is probably moot because they border on the grey area or unless you are brand X and have a company notorious for this kind of thing build your cars.
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Epic Contributor
Pleasanton: 1/2 way between Sonoma and Laguna Seca
W2W Racing
20+ Years
Lots of ways to skin this cat.
When class rules and available space allows, I like to weld the bars directly to the chassis, then I add the gussets. The less span between the tube and the car the better.
This is a very strong method and also gives you a nice clean tucked in cage.
Just make sure you are able to weld 100% of the connections. Planning is everything.
Coming from oval track stock cars, I am one for more bars of thinner material.
All the required bars are regulation thickness. (.095 in my case) everything thing else is .085 or .065. You can get a very stiff structure without adding a lot of weight this way.


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