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Author Topic:   Export brace problem
Fastback68
Gearhead

Posts: 874
From: Sucat, Paranaque, Philippines
Registered: Jul 99

posted 06-03-2001 11:50 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Fastback68   Click Here to Email Fastback68     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I've scanned the old threads on problems to do with fitting export braces, and can't find anything that covers this.
After jacking the front end up to relax the shock towers, I finally managed to get the ends of the export brace over the studs. So far so good.
Now the holes in the firewall side of things won't line up. They're a good third of an inch out. I tried a screwdriver to lever it into alignment, and then I jacked the car up overnight just behind the firewall to see if the car would "relax", but no joy.
I know Mustangs are famous for collapsing inwards - shock towers closing in. But do they also collapse back to front?
What should I do? Redrill the holes in the export brace?
Many thanks,
Simon

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Scott (69Mach)
Gearhead

Posts: 356
From: Walnut Creek, CA USA
Registered: Jun 99

posted 06-04-2001 01:01 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott (69Mach)   Click Here to Email Scott (69Mach)     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I tried for days jacking, relieving, using rams, swearing, praying, chanting and finally gave up with factory braces. I went with the Total Control Products setup that is totally adjustable. If fit like a glove and looks damn nice as well. I figured the front end had sagged beyond the point of no return and the best I could do was lock it in where it was.

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Fastback68
Gearhead

Posts: 874
From: Sucat, Paranaque, Philippines
Registered: Jul 99

posted 06-04-2001 01:31 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Fastback68   Click Here to Email Fastback68     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Aaah Scott, at least you made me laugh You have no idea how much trouble I had getting this danged thing back to the Philippines! Northwest tried to charge me $175 because I had three items of luggage instead of two. After much protesting, they let me take it on as hand luggage. Then some fascist wouldn't let me take it through the X-ray scanner without unwrapping all the Duck tape I'd put on it. Then I had to rewrap it (after I'd begged them to give me some Duck tape). Then when I finally arrived at Manila, this thing stuck out like a sore thumb and they tried to charge me import duty on it! On top of all this, I was ripped off in the US. A day after I bought it, I found the same item for $15 less!
I'M GONNA MAKE THIS THING FIT! (Famous last words, huh??? )

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richard bohm
Gearhead

Posts: 370
From: tucson,az-luray,va
Registered: May 2001

posted 06-04-2001 02:49 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for richard bohm   Click Here to Email richard bohm     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
mustangs are notoriuos for being dimensionaly inaccurate. all you can really do is use all the new cuss words you learned in the states as well as make up a few. try questionins the ancestry of the people who didnt put the export brace on every mustang in the first place. a porta power helps also.

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bluetech
Gearhead

Posts: 238
From: Far and Away
Registered: Feb 2001

posted 06-04-2001 04:11 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for bluetech   Click Here to Email bluetech     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Welcome Back Simon! If I were in your shoes, here's what I am going to do. Go to a shop that does body works and let them have a shot at it. As much as possible, don't let them drill holes. They'll find a way to install your brace. Let me know how you did it because I might need the information for my future acquisition (67 GT Fastback).

Regards,

Ed

------------------
71 Mach 1
68 Torino GT Fastback

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Fastback68
Gearhead

Posts: 874
From: Sucat, Paranaque, Philippines
Registered: Jul 99

posted 06-04-2001 06:19 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Fastback68   Click Here to Email Fastback68     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I dunno, Ed. I guess a body shop could force it to fit, but I don't feel that's the right way to go. I think along the same lines as Scott. If it's sagged, it might be better to lock it in where it is, rather than weaken it further by forcing it back into shape. Alternatively, Richard might be right - it might have been out of whack from Day 1.
I've pretty much decided to get the holes in the brace redrilled, and put a steel brace underneath the lip of the firewall for extra strength. I mean, the car's not gonna fall apart whatever I do, right?
Chime in now guys, if you think I'm making a big mistake!
Oh yeah, Ed, I've got a spare Monte Carlo bar that fits everyone's 67-8 Mustang except mine, if you ever need one!
Simon

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69maverick
Gearhead

Posts: 742
From: Thomaston,CT.
Registered: Jan 2001

posted 06-04-2001 07:16 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for 69maverick   Click Here to Email 69maverick     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I just put one on my son's 68 coupe and the front mounts went on pretty easy but the rear one was a pain! but not to bad! The way I did it was to use longer bolts on an angle
smaller diameter to. Then draw one down then the next take out the long one put in the right one and move o the next one.It wasn't easy but it only took 45 minuts or so!!

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bluetech
Gearhead

Posts: 238
From: Far and Away
Registered: Feb 2001

posted 06-04-2001 07:19 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for bluetech   Click Here to Email bluetech     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Are you serious in selling your Monte Carlo bar? Is it black or chrome, straight or curved? Please e-mail me. Thanks.

------------------
71 Mach 1
68 Torino GT Fastback

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mellowyellow
Gearhead

Posts: 4608
From: So. Fl.
Registered: Aug 2000

posted 06-04-2001 08:22 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for mellowyellow     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I had trouble with a 66 cvt that was a major problem. For one thing I had the hood off so that I could attack the problem straight down and not an angle. I used grade 8 bolts {always do on these} A third of an inch should be doable. I wouldn't re drill as you are transfering the cars weakness to the bar. A porta power at a body shsop or alignment shop should be able to help you.

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69maverick
Gearhead

Posts: 742
From: Thomaston,CT.
Registered: Jan 2001

posted 06-04-2001 01:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for 69maverick   Click Here to Email 69maverick     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I was thinking about this for a while and what if you had a motor lift just pick up on the motor to relieve some of the down pressure on the chassis would that open up the top of the fire wall?

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TomP
Gearhead

Posts: 4055
From: Delta BC Canada
Registered: Dec 99

posted 06-04-2001 02:19 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for TomP   Click Here to Email TomP     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I had one of those things on my 67 Mustang, used to have to take it off to get at the valve covers.

Jack the car by the crossmember and bolt it to the shock tower studs,then if the firewall doesnt fit use jack stands under the torque boxes and lower the jack,pry with a tapered punch and get one bolt in,then the others fit...sorta, i had to slot the holes too.

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Doc
Gearhead

Posts: 466
From: Redwood City, Ca. USA
Registered: Jan 2001

posted 06-04-2001 05:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Doc   Click Here to Email Doc     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have to put on one or two a year. I get the car fresh from the paint booth and if I scratch it I'm dead meat . I hang the car from the front of the doors for 4 or 5 days and they are only off about 1/8" as a rule, I had one that I hung an extra 400lbs on the nose to get it on, they are supossed to be preloaded, if you drill new holes your defeating the purpose.

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Fastback68
Gearhead

Posts: 874
From: Sucat, Paranaque, Philippines
Registered: Jul 99

posted 06-04-2001 05:35 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Fastback68   Click Here to Email Fastback68     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks all! The redrilling plan has now been officially scrapped! So I'm gonna remove the hood, find myself a tool of some kind, and kick up a sweat!
Hanging the car by the doors for five days, like a side of beef - now there's an idea!

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Doc
Gearhead

Posts: 466
From: Redwood City, Ca. USA
Registered: Jan 2001

posted 06-04-2001 05:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Doc   Click Here to Email Doc     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
LOL

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wvcat
Gearhead

Posts: 123
From: New Cumberland,WV
Registered: May 2001

posted 06-04-2001 05:47 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for wvcat   Click Here to Email wvcat     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
So this is what I have to look forward too. I ran into a bargain on a chrome export brace and I am waiting for it to arrive. This guy bought it and couldn't get it to line up so he sold it to me for 30, I fugured such a deal so I will be trying my luck at it real soon. I hope it goes easier than you guys are talking. Has anybody had one line up easily?
Thanks

------------------
Thanks
John
(wvcat)
http://www.geocities.com/wvxr7cougar/wvcat_01.html?989286238390

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Billgear
Gearhead

Posts: 178
From: Concord,CA
Registered: May 2000

posted 06-04-2001 06:35 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Billgear   Click Here to Email Billgear     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I had the same problem, I placed jacks stands
behind front wheels, then placed 10 50 lbs bags of wood pellets on the front of the car.
The next morning the bolt holes lined right up. Hood was off!

------------------
Regards,
BillGear

1966 Coupe
Balanced 302
AFR Aluminum 165cc heads
Custom FTI Cam [email protected]
Weiand Stealth Intake
Hooker Super Comps
T-5 Transmission with 3.55 gears
All the suspension goodies.
www.289mustang.com

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jkilroy
Gearhead

Posts: 1546
From: Vicksburg, MS
Registered: Dec 99

posted 06-04-2001 06:48 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for jkilroy   Click Here to Email jkilroy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thankfully my car came with the one piece export brace from the factory. However I have not found a good Monte Carlo bar yet, I am either going to make my own, Total Control style, or buy theirs. Personally it would be more fun to make.

------------------
Jay Kilroy
68' Fastback GT 390
"No such thing as a cam thats too big"

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SteveLaRiviere
Administrator

Posts: 24286
From: Saco, Maine Toys: '70 Mustang Mach 1 - '72 Mustang Sprint - '94 F-150
Registered: May 99

posted 06-04-2001 08:20 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SteveLaRiviere   Click Here to Email SteveLaRiviere     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by wvcat:
Has anybody had one line up easily?

I've had the ones on my '72 dozens of times. It fits perfect.

------------------
'70 Mustang Mach 1 M code 351C 4V/FMX/3.50 open
'72 Mustang Sprint Coupe 351C 4V/FMX/4.30 Trac Lok
'94 F-150 XL 5.8L/E4OD/3.55 Limited Slip
'97 Probe GTS 2.5L DOHC {Wife's car...}
All Fords since 1977

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SteveLaRiviere
Administrator

Posts: 24286
From: Saco, Maine Toys: '70 Mustang Mach 1 - '72 Mustang Sprint - '94 F-150
Registered: May 99

posted 06-04-2001 08:23 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SteveLaRiviere   Click Here to Email SteveLaRiviere     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Simon, just lever it in place with a drift punch or large screwdriver.

------------------
'70 Mustang Mach 1 M code 351C 4V/FMX/3.50 open
'72 Mustang Sprint Coupe 351C 4V/FMX/4.30 Trac Lok
'94 F-150 XL 5.8L/E4OD/3.55 Limited Slip
'97 Probe GTS 2.5L DOHC {Wife's car...}
All Fords since 1977

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JAAZZY
Gearhead

Posts: 723
From: Bay Area, CA
Registered: Apr 2001

posted 06-05-2001 12:40 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for JAAZZY     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Mine lined up with no real issues. It wasn't exact but close enough that I could force the bolts through and then tighten it into the correct spot. The Monte Carlo bar was fairly easy as well.

quote:
Originally posted by wvcat:
So this is what I have to look forward too. I ran into a bargain on a chrome export brace and I am waiting for it to arrive. This guy bought it and couldn't get it to line up so he sold it to me for 30, I fugured such a deal so I will be trying my luck at it real soon. I hope it goes easier than you guys are talking. Has anybody had one line up easily?
Thanks


------------------
65 Stang - TFS SH Stage III Heads, Nash 5 speed, Fuel Injection, etc...
2001 - Z06

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mellowyellow
Gearhead

Posts: 4608
From: So. Fl.
Registered: Aug 2000

posted 06-05-2001 03:17 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mellowyellow     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
But..when you get the brace and bar in with a beefy sway bar and gas shocks, that ol' pony suddenly got an attitude adjustment!! It'w well worth the effort!

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T5owner
Gearhead

Posts: 522
From: Germany
Registered: Apr 2000

posted 06-05-2001 04:55 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for T5owner     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hi, with all that hassle, just buy another 68 stang to wrap around the export brace.
Now, more serious, I have an export Mustang with no more export brace in it. Now that car is still straight, at least I think so. I would drill new holes, when you've jacked up the crossmember a bit.

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SteveLaRiviere
Administrator

Posts: 24286
From: Saco, Maine Toys: '70 Mustang Mach 1 - '72 Mustang Sprint - '94 F-150
Registered: May 99

posted 06-05-2001 05:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SteveLaRiviere   Click Here to Email SteveLaRiviere     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Sorry to disagree, Wolfgang, but I would definitely not drill new holes. Find a way to get it to line up, and keep the dimensions correct.

------------------
'70 Mustang Mach 1 M code 351C 4V/FMX/3.50 open
'72 Mustang Sprint Coupe 351C 4V/FMX/4.30 Trac Lok
'94 F-150 XL 5.8L/E4OD/3.55 Limited Slip
'97 Probe GTS 2.5L DOHC {Wife's car...}
All Fords since 1977

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kid vishus
Gearhead

Posts: 2633
From: not where I want to be
Registered: Oct 2000

posted 06-05-2001 06:35 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for kid vishus   Click Here to Email kid vishus     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The export brace on my 70 lined up perfectly, no mis-alignment what-so-ever. The same brace on my 69 fit terrible though. I think I made up some new swear words trying to make it fit the first time.
I definatel would not drill new holes regardless of how bad it fits.

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Fastback68
Gearhead

Posts: 874
From: Sucat, Paranaque, Philippines
Registered: Jul 99

posted 06-08-2001 04:45 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Fastback68   Click Here to Email Fastback68     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Erm, I'm getting a little worried I've got the front of the car jacked up and 500 lbs of concrete spread across the front. It's been there two days, and I've managed to get the two bolts on one side of the back of the brace in. But now on the other side of the car, something ugly is happening. At the point where the last piece of sheet metal of the inner fender meets the firewall / cowl, it's started to separate - not much, maybe a twelfth of an inch. Is this OK? Is it just something I can tighten up again once I'm done???
Thanks, Simon

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mvierow
Gearhead

Posts: 149
From: Bay Area, Ca
Registered: Apr 2001

posted 06-08-2001 06:17 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mvierow   Click Here to Email mvierow     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Can someone explain why drilling actually defeats the purpose? I can understand the extra holes would weaken the piece of metal the brace mounts to but if you back this up with another peice of metal underneath that wouldn't the weaknesses be defeated? I would much sooner drill out those holes and weld in some extra support underneath than I would hang 500 pounds of concrete from the front of the car..

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SteveLaRiviere
Administrator

Posts: 24286
From: Saco, Maine Toys: '70 Mustang Mach 1 - '72 Mustang Sprint - '94 F-150
Registered: May 99

posted 06-08-2001 06:33 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SteveLaRiviere   Click Here to Email SteveLaRiviere     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
You would alter the position of the upper part of the shock tower, in addition to weakening it.

Simon, do you have both ends of the export braces loose?

------------------
'70 Mustang Mach 1 M code 351C 4V/FMX/3.50 open
'72 Mustang Sprint Coupe 351C 4V/FMX/4.30 Trac Lok
'94 F-150 XL 5.8L/E4OD/3.55 Limited Slip
'97 Probe GTS 2.5L DOHC {Wife's car...}
All Fords since 1977

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Fastback68
Gearhead

Posts: 874
From: Sucat, Paranaque, Philippines
Registered: Jul 99

posted 06-08-2001 07:38 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Fastback68   Click Here to Email Fastback68     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Yup, Steve, both ends are loose and the studs are as far forward as they can go. No, wait, maybe I'm wrong. I can't get at them now 'cos they're covered with planks and concrete, but I remember that two of the three studs on top of each shock tower could be moved forward and back. One on each side seemed to be fixed. I'm now wondering if one bolt on each side was actually stuck up.
The concrete's coming off until I know what the situation is
Simon

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Fastback68
Gearhead

Posts: 874
From: Sucat, Paranaque, Philippines
Registered: Jul 99

posted 06-09-2001 04:31 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Fastback68   Click Here to Email Fastback68     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
OK, here's the end of the story - it might benefit someone one day. You know those three adjustable bolts on top of the shock towers, right? They should give you a little play when lining up the export brace. I checked mine and two of them (one on each side) had been welded in place - to give strength, I guess. So basically I was fighting a losing battle trying to stretch my car. I ended up getting the following bolts in the firewall side of things (from one side to the other): 5/8, 5/8, 9/16, 13 mm. Not a pretty solution, but heh, I'm tired
One tip I have for when you're trying to lever the back of the brace in line with the holes: of all the many tools I used, none was better than an old shock absorber. Nice long bolt and a good, hand-sized grip with a bit of weight.
Sighmon

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Scott (69Mach)
Gearhead

Posts: 356
From: Walnut Creek, CA USA
Registered: Jun 99

posted 06-09-2001 02:57 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott (69Mach)   Click Here to Email Scott (69Mach)     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Congrats on sticking it out and solving the problem. Sitting back and downing a cold one after weeks of problems solving feels real good, eh?

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