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Discussion Starter #1
I need a new export brace, mine is the 2 piece style and was bent by the previous owner, maybe for access to the plugs?

Anyway, on my car the export brace was installed above the firewall lip. But on that sweet blue Cougar in the most recent issue of Mustangs and Fords, it was installed below. Which is correct?

Also Mustangs Unlimited sells an extra brace that looks like a piece of angle iron with 4 holes in it that apparently bolts opposite the brace and strengthens the firewall lip. Can I just buy a piece of appropriately sized angle iron, drill some holes in it and use that? I'd hate to pay $14 for a chunk of angle iron.

Neal
 

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I am going through the same thing. The shock towers were cracked on my '68 resto and, after replacing them, one of the ways to prevent a repetition is supposed to be stronger export braces. I bought the one-piece from Autokrafters and also the extra "angle iron" brace that you talked about.
The export brace attaches to the top side but I couldn't figure out how to install the extra brace so I called the tech line. The tech said to "throw it away unless you were going to race it". He said that it goes on the top and is welded to the firewall. On mine that would require cutting out a flange on the lip and I decided to take his advice.
Tom
 

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tlchaffin, i hate to change the topic here but could you give me some details how you changed your shock towers.

did you do it yourself or pay someone?
was it a PITA?
did it cost a lot?
was it easy to obtain new shock towers?


I'm have to replace my right shock tower at some point .
:rolleyes:
 

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Original Braces

Your original two piece shock tower braces attach beneath the cowl lip. The one piece export shock tower brace lays on top of the cowl lip.
 

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Shock tower replacement

Evilmess, I bought the shock towers from John's Classic Cougars ($250 for the pair I think). I did not install them myself because I was having some overall body work done and so he just included this as part of the job. There is a piece in TCCN about suspension repair and it includes instructions for replacing the springs and also the shock towers. The key thing is safety and it is important to use a spring compressor.
Good luck.
 

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I bought my one peice export brace from the Paddock. Mustang catalog. It fit in fine. You have to use a jack and 'split' the shock towers apart a little since over time the cougars tend to 'cave' in.
That with a monte-carlo bar really strengthen the front end of the car. Helps eliminate the twisting effect and give you better handling.
 

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Hi Guys, I have also been playing with export braces recently.
I bought a 1 piece brace to replace my original 2 piece, however ended up not fitting it because it didn't line up with the shock towers properly. I assume this is the " cave in " problem.
Just looking for suggestions as to the best way to overcome this, in order to fit the 1 piece brace,

Thanks,
Chris.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I've heard that you should jack the car up and support it with jack stands under the frame rails. Let the car sit for a couple hours and the towers should settle in towards each other.

Apparently this takes the weight of the car off the towers and lets the towers return to the correct spacing.

Let me know how it works I'll be doing it next weekend when my brace comes in!

Neal
 

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Discussion Starter #10
It needs to settle out, huh? I guess I can't see how it would when its sitting on the jack stands, but that is what was recommended to me, so I'll give it a shot. I think I recall seeing something in the Mustangs Unlimited Cougar catalogue about this too.

Anybody have other suggestions for getting the needed spacing for the new brace?

Neal
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Another question, I've heard 2 different opinions on this one. Can you use a Monte-Carlo bar with A/C on the car? I've heard the stock compressor won't clear the bar.

How about if you convert to a Sanden compressor, does the bar fit then?

Neal
 

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mustangs unlimited says

To install the export brace properly you need
to lift the front end of the car by the eng. crossmember
to take the weight off of the shock towers.

you may have to wait few hours for them completey relax.
 

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Your shock towers may not 'settle out'. You have to think that they have been making their way inward from the weight of the engine and movement of the suspension for over 30 years! I supported the car where the torque boxes are so the front end could 'sag' down. This will help if you have a slight problem with the distance between the firewall and the shock towers; it opens it up a bit. This also takes the weight off the the shock towers allowing them to be pushed out. If I had waited for mine to 'relax', I would still be waiting 15 years later! I used a jack with blocks of wood and split them apart. This means removing the carb' to give yourself some room to work.
 

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exort brace and monte-carlo bar

I had no trouble installing a one piece export brace in my car ('67 289). However, the car had been on jackstands for six weeks while I rebuilt the front suspension. I was surprised it lined up perfectly on a 35 year old car with 200K miles.

I do not think the regular monte-carlo bars will clear the facotry A/C compressor. They might clear a Sanden, I have seen a few Mustangs with monte-carlo bars and Sanden compressors.

I purchased a Global West Suspension monte-carlo bar, which to my delight cleared the factory A/C compressor. Gobal West did not know if it would clear, I bought the bent monte-carlor bar but it looked like the straight bar might clear as well. The are a little pricey, because they use rod ends.
 
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