Vintage Mustang Forums banner

1 - 20 of 30 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
208 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
What is the easiest method to get rid of the export brace connections on the shock towers? I don't have a cutting torch but I do have a grinder and cut off tool.
760877
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,613 Posts
Takes about 5 minutes with a spot weld cutter(which is a specialized drill bit) and an angle grinder, however, if you dont have a welder, if you use a spot weld cutter you need to be very careful as far as depth goes to make sure you dont cut into the shock tower metal(or if you do, you will have to use body filler to fill it back in). Alternatively, instead of a spot weld cutter you can actually just use an angle grinder to grind away the spot welds, but again, you will need to be careful on depth. The best tool to use for what you want to do is one of those little finger belt sanders like this:



This one is just a Harbor Freight special costing around $40, but if you plan on doing more spot weld removal in the future, its worth the investment(though a better quality one if you intend on doing a lot of spot weld removal down the road)
 
  • Like
Reactions: BlakeTX

·
Premium Member
1968 coupe, 1968 vert, 1966 coupe
Joined
·
726 Posts
I’d use a spot weld drill but if you do it right you’ll just cut around the spot welds and then you’ll be left with just the weld to grin/sand now and no holes to fill.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,613 Posts
I’d use a spot weld drill but if you do it right you’ll just cut around the spot welds and then you’ll be left with just the weld to grin/sand now and no holes to fill.
The problem with spot weld cutters is that it is very easy to go too deep(and sometimes the spot welds aren't clean little circles requiring multiple cuts) which is why I suggested the finger sander if no welder to fill in minor holes...much easier to control the depth with the sander. A steady enough hand with an angle grinder and a good flap wheel will do the trick too(though it will probably take somewhat longer because of the increased surface area). If using a spot weld cutter, make sure to pick up a good centering punch....those things like to skip sometimes.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Bernnstang

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6,277 Posts
Passed on to me by a very experienced body guy (and used by me umpteen times during my build) leaving a perfect surface easy-peasy; Use an angle grinder with a 40 grit flap disc on the spot welds. You'll know when to stop when the metal immediately surrounding a spot weld glows bright orange. That tells you the metal of the piece to be removed has become paper-thin. Then pry or twist off the piece. Grind down the remaining spot welds smooth to the surface. This is like a five minute job with a nice smooth outcome.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,035 Posts
66Stangguy, you ARE going to replace the braces with a nice one piece later, aren't you ? LSG
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
35,493 Posts
Really, I wasn't kidding. With even average hand skills, hit it with an air chisel and you are done. I've had them come off so smooth no grinding was required.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,201 Posts
1966Stangman, you don't reveal your location. I'm in Marshfield, MA. If you need an air chisel and are nearby, you're welcome to borrow mine.
 
  • Like
Reactions: capemustang

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,261 Posts
It takes about 10 minutes (5 each side) with a 4 1/2" angle grinder. One just needs to be careful. A chisel help when you get the metal near the spot weld thin. Use a big ole screw driver if you must.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6,957 Posts
I am truly amazed at the depth of knowledge and variety of tools.

I just braced my hips against the shock tower (with no engine present) or against the fender, and pulled them off with my left hand, gloved of course.

I never thought about using a tool.

I am now educated.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
208 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
Thanks for the tips. I don't have a air chisel but I do have regular chisels. I'll try the chisel method and then grind smooth.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
653 Posts
I was going to drill out the spot welds, until I grabbed the mount with my hands and saw it was flexing pretty badly.
I put a large adjustable wrench on it and lifted it up, and then down. The spot welds let go and the bracket was fine.
I think the spot weld guy on the line that day was half asleep.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
208 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
I was going to drill out the spot welds, until I grabbed the mount with my hands and saw it was flexing pretty badly.
I put a large adjustable wrench on it and lifted it up, and then down. The spot welds let go and the bracket was fine.
I think the spot weld guy on the line that day was half asleep.
I think the spot weld guy on the line when mine were put on had OCD...they are tight. Tried using a chisel to break them free but they are solid. I think I'll just use a cut off and cut in contour with the shock tower then grind them smooth. Or maybe just leave them...I'll be installing a solid export brace which will pretty much hide them when installed.
 
1 - 20 of 30 Posts
Top