I'll take a stab at this... If the towers are sagging, I would assume this would affect the geometry between the top of the towers and the firewall. I don't know if you already have a monte carlo bar and one piece export brace, but I would think that you couldn't bolt these in if the geometry was off. If you don't already own the bars and you purchase them and they fit, then you'll know that everything is O.K. and the bars will help keep it that way. If you buy them and they don't bolt up, then you know not to invest more time and money into the car without some serious consideration and the bars could be sold...
Does anyone else out there see a flaw in this?
How is your suspension and the steering alignment?
The export brace(s) is the original two-piece and there is no Monte Carlo Bar. I will start checking the catalogs for those pieces and especially for a Monte Carlo Bar that has a pre-set size.
Reading the manual again I see measurements for re-aligning the body after an accident. (The car has not been in any accidents) It is not yet really clear to me, from which point to which point the measurements go. I will read the section again and try my luck with the measuring tape.
The springs are more than ready for replacement both front and back. The left upper A-arm is starting to crack. Assuming that the shock towers are not sagging I will replace the upper and lower control arms on both sides + springs front and back shortly.
The stering alignment is fine and there is no unusual tire wear.
The springs and A-arms suffered severe abuse 12 years ago
when I lived on a rural road that was curvy with long sloping bumps and almost zero trafic.
When you install the Monte Carlo Bar and Export brace there is a PROPER way to do it. You should raise and support the front of the car by the engine crossmember bar (curved bar under the engine) and let the vehicle set for several hours this way to let the shock tower "rest" themselves. If it is on its wheels it makes it harder to install the parts. I was told this by several different Reliable sources (Old Shelby book, Tony Branda at Branda Performance [specializes in shelby Mustangs]). It Makes a difference sometimes but not always...
I ordered the one-piece export brace and the Monte Carlo bar from John's Cougars this morning. According to him they should bolt right on with the car sitting on the tires - if the shock towers are as they should be. With some sag the method of lifting on the engine cross bar is necesary. In his experience shock tower sag was mostly rust related, so I expect to be in good shape.
Martin, Be preparred to jack up your on the crossmember under the oil pan. I expect you'll have to "hang" the car over night due to the big block. First, take the old braces off, & pull shock tops. Test fit the Export brace. I suspect it won't fit, but if it does your a lucky one. The "monte worthless bar" won't fit, and won't line up with the holes. A bend in the middle of the bar for clearance around the dist, only make this a spring at best. Spend the money on a real Ford Export brace!
What is the difference between a "real Ford Export brace" and the one-piece export brace sold by every Cougar and Mustang parts dealer ?
John actually sold me the straight Monte Carlo bar. Now it will be interesting to see how it will fit. It looks like it will need to go under the air cleaner. If the straight Monte Carlo bar is too wimpy or won't fit I will make one myself - if I need it.
I posted 2 pic's of the 2 braces. http://www.mercurycougar.net/gallery/showgallery.php?ppuser=12&cat=500&thumb=1
The differences are very noticable in hand. The Ford one is made of a much thicker guage steel. The also go through extra stampings. That means the steel has higher ridges and edges, giving more strength to the part. Look at the pic's, you can see the differences. Is it worth the extra money?? ($150 vs $50) Most would say no, but since you are going with a straight Monte bar, the "repops" should work ok. Take a look at the book "Boss & Cobra Jet Mustangs". They show the racing Boss car with a removable one. That's they style I plan on installing someday. Good luck with the install, and I hope your towers have not "fallen" too much. keep us posted, and take a pic' or two for us!!
OK Cougar Bill Im confused. Is the Ford one the lower one in the picture? If so I bought a Chrome one from Tony Branda that Looks exactly like it (The higher ridges and warped looking mounting flange where it goes on the firewall) for less than $60... It is WAY heavier made than the factory shock tower braces on my 67 STD were. It looks to be of very good quality to me???
Scott, The bottom one is a Ford original. Sound like the one you bought was a Ford one, but chromed. Great buy! I just got a brace that came off a Shelby. This one fit on top of the old Ford one I have. So, the process of making these must have worn out the dies &/or they decided not to hit the braces many times with the press.
Evilmess, The total control looks to be a very useful item, as it is adjustable & removeable. If your not concerned about "original looks", I would go with TC. I have their sub-frame connectors and like the quality.