Vintage Mustang Forums banner

1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hoping for some sage advice here. I am going to install an export brace On my 67 convertible. I’ve read the forum, watch YouTube and they all appear to say make the shock towers fit the spec of the brace. I am about 1/4” off center to center tower bolt holes. I spoke with a local Mustang shop and the owner said, if the car tracks straight, which it does, modify the brace. He said it will knock it out of alignment and that the braces really aren’t to spec and the cars all differ. Of note, can’t really see any accident damage that is visible. I need to pick the correct path. Suggestions? Thanks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,419 Posts
That sounds like bad advice..Have you jacked the car up and let it sit on jack stands on the frame rails a little behind where the firewall comes down...that may let your car sag back into a position where the export brace will drop in place easier. There are cheapie braces and that may be the case, but....what brace do you have? I have 2 nos export braces that I would be happy to measure so you could compare. Show me a picture with a tape measure and I will do the same on the one that has never been used on a car other than to test fit it on the 65 hard top I am working on. It is off the car on the floor of the garage at the moment! I put the other on my 66 back in 78, had to spread the towers a little with a port-o-power...one of the most noticeable changes I made to the car.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,726 Posts
I also have a 67 GT conv that has an NOS style export brace on. My 67 had lots of metal resto prof done before I got the car. But when it came time to add export brace, I just lifted car a little from bottom, brace went right into place. Maybe a hole was a tiny bit off, nothing a round file couldn't fix.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
1967 Mustang Convertible
Joined
·
973 Posts
I just installed a one piece export brace and mine was off by 1/4", I also had to lift it up from the bottom brace and eventually it fit in. It did make my car feel more solid when going over train tracks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,576 Posts
1/4" isn't much. Just get a pry bar or screwdriver in there to make things line up. Mine were way more off than that. I do my own alignments anyways now. Sears NEVER got it right even with a lifetime wheel alignment I had used umpteen times over several decades.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
That sounds like bad advice..Have you jacked the car up and let it sit on jack stands on the frame rails a little behind where the firewall comes down...that may let your car sag back into a position where the export brace will drop in place easier. There are cheapie braces and that may be the case, but....what brace do you have? I have 2 nos export braces that I would be happy to measure so you could compare. Show me a picture with a tape measure and I will do the same on the one that has never been used on a car other than to test fit it on the 65 hard top I am working on. It is off the car on the floor of the garage at the moment! I put the other on my 66 back in 78, had to spread the towers a little with a port-o-power...one of the most noticeable changes I made to the car.
Ok, thanks for the reply and info. The brace I got was from CJPony. It was the only one they had in black and about $60. I measured it from the closest bolt hole and it was 30 1/2” center to center. I measured same bolt on my car before lifting, 29 3/4” and after lifting, and after lifting at 29 7/8”. I’ll let it sit overnight lifter on stands and see if I get any spread.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,660 Posts
There's an easy way to fit an export brace on your car. That "advice" to cut it to fit means that you should avoid that shop in the future! They obviously know little about Mustangs. Anyway- here's the easy way to install the brace. Jack up the car using the bar under the motor, until the wheels are off the ground. Remove the shock tower caps and set the brace on them- without the cap- and lightly tighten a not or 2. Take a long- about 12"-15" will do- threaded rod and place it, with a nut on the bottom- into 1 hole in the firewall and then put it into the corresponding hole on the brace. Start tightening another nut from the top until the brace is down on the firewall. Place 2-3 of the bolts in the other holes and lightly tighten them. Now you can remove the nuts on the tower caps, put the cap back on and replace all 3 nuts on each side. Now you can tighten everything, remove the rod and use the 4th bolt. Unless the car is seriously out of sync, this should make it an easy install. I guess we did a few hundred this way at my shop. Only 1 car needed a lot more effort- a 69- 48 car with front end damage. This took a port-a-power, 4 guys hanging from fenders and a big hammer!
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
There's an easy way to fit an export brace on your car. That "advice" to cut it to fit means that you should avoid that shop in the future! They obviously know little about Mustangs. Anyway- here's the easy way to install the brace. Jack up the car using the bar under the motor, until the wheels are off the ground. Remove the shock tower caps and set the brace on them- without the cap- and lightly tighten a not or 2. Take a long- about 12"-15" will do- threaded rod and place it, with a nut on the bottom- into 1 hole in the firewall and then put it into the corresponding hole on the brace. Start tightening another nut from the top until the brace is down on the firewall. Place 2-3 of the bolts in the other holes and lightly tighten them. Now you can remove the nuts on the tower caps, put the cap back on and replace all 3 nuts on each side. Now you can tighten everything, remove the rod and use the 4th bolt. Unless the car is seriously out of sync, this should make it an easy install. I guess we did a few hundred this way at my shop. Only 1 car needed a lot more effort- a 69- 48 car with front end damage. This took a port-a-power, 4 guys hanging from fenders and a big hammer!
Appreciate the feedback. I will give this a try. Two questions. 1) what if the brace doesn't fit the two shock towers initially? 2) Does this method typically require an alignment afterwards? Thanks again,
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,660 Posts
Appreciate the feedback. I will give this a try. Two questions. 1) what if the brace doesn't fit the two shock towers initially? 2) Does this method typically require an alignment afterwards? Thanks again,
Like 2nd 66 said- make the car fit the brace. Unless there's been serious damage to the front, it should fit or be very close. A port-a-power is a last resort. The brace is designed to lock the factory specs into place and stiffen the front end. If it just won't fit, there's something else wrong. If it's a bit short of the towers, let the car hang for a few days to see if it moves a bit. In hundreds of export brace installations, we only ever had that 1 that fought us.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
185 Posts
Put the car on jack stands and the suspension should settle so that you can put the brace on.....it seems like a REALLY bad idea to modify the brace...it isn't 53 years old, your car is!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Like 2nd 66 said- make the car fit the brace. Unless there's been serious damage to the front, it should fit or be very close. A port-a-power is a last resort. The brace is designed to lock the factory specs into place and stiffen the front end. If it just won't fit, there's something else wrong. If it's a bit short of the towers, let the car hang for a few days to see if it moves a bit. In hundreds of export brace installations, we only ever had that 1 that fought us.
PonyDoc, Thank you for the advice. Wanted to let you know I got it all installed. Jacked the passenger side up and it fell into place. One bolt in the firewall was a little difficult. Took about 4-6 swipes with a round file, and it fell right in. Appreciate you help. Great forum for us still learning. Cheers!
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top