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Export Brace

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I'm trying to install one in my '66 but the shock towers don't line up (too close together). Mustang Monthly had an article saying to use a Porta Power to move the towers apart. But I just got my car back from the body shop, with newly painted engine compartment. I can't make myself use a PortaPower--afraid I'll scratch the tower paint at least or at worst have something slip and really %$&* everything up. Is there a better--potentially less damaging--way to spread the towers?
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· Premium Member
3,358 Posts
A number of posters have placed their car on jack stands and let the car "sag" for a while and then have been able to install the export brace.

1966 Red Conv (200)
1966 White Pony Int.(289)A Code
1966 Coupe (289) C Code
MCA 36048

· Gone but never forgotten
25,083 Posts
It's not an easy job, but should be doable (is that a word?). When I installed mine, I just started all the shock tower bolts on each side, then gradually tightened them all down (no bolts in the cowl area).

Attack the cowl bolts last. I used the biggest, baddest phillips screw driver I had, and wedged it into a cowl bolt hole, then pried on it 'till I could squeeze a bolt in. Do this for a couple bolts, and the last one or 2 should then go in with "minimal coaxing". Good luck .... it's a PIA.

If you always do what you've always done,
You'll always get what you've always got

· Registered
1,271 Posts
I have the EXACT same problem as you. I am taking a more sophisticated approach. I just fab'd a tool made up of the following components: One 1" turnbuckle, two lengths of 1" all thread and two non-slip rubber footed swivel leveling feet. Essentially it is a large jack screw. I will place it between the shock towers (with wedges of wood cut to the right shape to match the shock towers center area where it is flattest) and slowely crank the towers apart. If you can wait another day, I will post a pic and a brief explanation of how it worked.

Come to think of it, it may be a tool that gets shipped from VMF guy to VMF guy should it work well enough.

Shannon a.k.a. The ShanMan! /forums/images/icons/cool.gif
66' Vintage Burgundy C-code coupe
1966 coupe and 1970 sportsroof
5,535 Posts
35 years of your shock towers swinging around freely causes them to sag inwards with the weight of the engine. I jacked my front end up and let it rest on jack stands for a few hours. Still needed 2 huge screwdrivers to 'persuade' the brace in.

Pain in the arse but the handling is sssooo much better!



Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I had my car on jack stands for one week. After it "sagged" I finally installed the export brace. It looks real good hanging on the wall just above the garage door.

I wasn't willing to "force" the shock towers apart. Looked to me like too many other areas could be altered.

· Supporting Vendor
3,951 Posts
If you jack the car up and put the jackstands under the car at the firewall the shocktowers will come
together. It you put the jackstands under the radiator they will spread apart. If you need more pressure,
lift the back of the car up and put some stands under the rear frame rails instead of under the rearend.
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