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Discussion Starter #1
I had my brace off for about a month while i was rebuilding the steering/suspension/brakes and now I can't get it back on. I've had the car hanging off the cross member on a jack for two days, trying to get the shock towers to relax, but it still isn't lining up. It was about an inch off when I started, and now I still need about another 1/4 inch to get the holes to line up on the shock towers. I've been checking it regularly, and it doesn't appear that the towers are going to relax any further using this method.

I'm running out of ideas, and patience with this thing. Do any of you guys have any other tricks to try when installing these things?
 

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Get a big old pry bar and a couple of your friends and go at it. I'm serious. Worked for me.
Stan
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Where did you pry at, on the export brace itself or on the shock towers? I've been trying to pry on the brace and slip it over the studs on the tower, but this thing doesn't have a lot of play in it.
 

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Try using a rod/pry bar in one the export brace mounting holes and pull or press the brace into alignment. May need a persuader (large hammer/sledge) to help get it in there. Alsan's group effort idea should make it happen for you! Good luck!

You'll love the difference the ride makes once its installed!

Yukon
 

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I had to take mine to a suspension shop to get it in. They used a big turnbuckle device with wood blocks against the fender aprons to spread it.
 

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If you have to spread apart, use a bottle jack and an appropriate length 4x4 to jack the towers apart slightly....
 

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Discussion Starter #7
If you have to spread apart, use a bottle jack and an appropriate length 4x4 to jack the towers apart slightly....
That's what I'm in the process of trying, except my motor is still in, so it's kinda hard to get a jack in there. I stuck a couple of boards down inside the shock tower, that stick up about six inches, to give myself something to jack against. I'm gonna have my dad come over and see if we can't try some brute force on it too. If that doesn't work, I may try taking it to a shop and seeing if they can get it on. If I had known what a pain this was going to be, I never would have taken the stupid thing off. Thanks everyone for your suggestions, I appreciate it!
 

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I've installed alot of export braces.I'm unclear is your brace currently laying flat on the firewall and other shock tower? If so are you able to take it off and lay it onto the shock towers but can't get it flat onto the firewall? If so I have a trick for pulling it in. When it doesn't line up with the shock towers I usually lay it on one enough to start one nut.Then I pry between the upper shock tower and the brace(picture is better than description in this case) until I get it to pop onto the other tower.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I can get it to line up on the firewall, and go on one shock tower, but I'm about a 1/4 shy of being able to get the bolts on the opposite tower to line up with the holes in the brace. What you're suggesting sounds like what I'm doing. I've tried prying against the brace from the hole on the shock tower, but I just can't quite get it, this brace does not want to cooperate.
 

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brace install

We used to do a lot of these at the shop and here is the easiest way we found-
Jack under motor brace and raise until wheels hang. Place ends of brace at shock towers and use 2 nuts to hold brace in place. Take a long threaded rod and place in firewall hole and thru brace hole. It will be a bit off center, but as long as it fits both holes, it will work. Tighted rod bolts until it lines up holes and use the other 3 bolts now. Remove shock tower nuts and replace shock tower and bolt on. We only had 1 69 428 car that needed a port-a-power and 5 guys hanging on the fenders to unstall a brace!
 

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I did just what PonyDoc said. A 10" or 12" drift pin helps to line up the other 3 holes at the fire wall. Start with the shock towers first and worry about the firewall last. If you're using a bottle jack to spread the aprons be careful and taper the end s of the 2 x 4's to match the angle of the aprons.

It also helps to have a few extra sets of hands.
 

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If you have to spread apart, use a bottle jack and an appropriate length 4x4 to jack the towers apart slightly....
This is what we did when installing the export brace and monte carlo bar. It only took a little to make it go together.
 

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When I installed mine, I had the same problem getting the right front end of it to line up and I ran across a post here which advised to jack up the left rear (or right rear) at the front spring perch......ended up jacking so high the left front tire was almost off the ground.....BUT IT WORKED!
 

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Shock towers first, then firewall. I used a big drift to get one of the holes close enough to get a bolt in it. Then one at a time from there.
 

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We used to do a lot of these at the shop and here is the easiest way we found-
Jack under motor brace and raise until wheels hang. Place ends of brace at shock towers and use 2 nuts to hold brace in place. Take a long threaded rod and place in firewall hole and thru brace hole. It will be a bit off center, but as long as it fits both holes, it will work. Tighted rod bolts until it lines up holes and use the other 3 bolts now. Remove shock tower nuts and replace shock tower and bolt on. We only had 1 69 428 car that needed a port-a-power and 5 guys hanging on the fenders to unstall a brace!
This is the exact trick I've been using for years.This is what I was getting at,it's easy for me to visualize but hard to put it into words sometimes.Lol.I've installed many and never had to use a porta power.
 

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Ponydoc,

Is that two nuts on EACH shock tower, or two total? Thanks. I am going to do this for the first time in about a month or so. The only step I am nervous about is jacking up from the cross-member, thinking it will slip off and destroy something. Some people suggest trying it first with jack stands under the firewall on the frame rails.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Hallelujah, I finally got this thing on, what an incredible PITA. I ended up just prying the hell out of the brace and using a screwdriver to pry against the bolts in the shock tower until I could slip the brace on the bolts. Of course then I had to contend with getting it to bolt onto the firewall, which turned into a huge mess. In my frustration, I made the stupid mistake of prying against the cowl to try and line up the bolt holes and put a dent in it. I'm pretty unhappy about that, but I'll fix it. I ended up using a huge center punch I had as a drift pin, and that finally did the trick. All in all, not a fun job at all, I'm never taking that thing off again.

Thanks to everyone for your replies, I sure do appreciate it!
 

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Hallelujah, I finally got this thing on, what an incredible PITA. I ended up just prying the hell out of the brace and using a screwdriver to pry against the bolts in the shock tower until I could slip the brace on the bolts. Of course then I had to contend with getting it to bolt onto the firewall, which turned into a huge mess. In my frustration, I made the stupid mistake of prying against the cowl to try and line up the bolt holes and put a dent in it. I'm pretty unhappy about that, but I'll fix it. I ended up using a huge center punch I had as a drift pin, and that finally did the trick. All in all, not a fun job at all, I'm never taking that thing off again.

Thanks to everyone for your replies, I sure do appreciate it!
I'm curious, how hard was it to take the export brace off in the first place. Did it just come right off, or did you need to pry/hammer it? I want to change my valve covers & the brace needs to come off.
 

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Who was it that said, "Give me a long enough lever and I can move the world." :)
I know that my dad used to usse that expression all the time....and did what he preached.. :)
Tom
 
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