Building Export Brace

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Building Export Brace

Post #1 by 1966Mustang » Wed Mar 20, 2013 11:45 pm

While I can buy one, slap it in, and call it a day... Looking at my garage of tools, I figured I should justify their usage of space by using them. I'm starting the export brace build mostly because I have found the most amazing fastner and miscellaneous stuff store on the planet. American Maintenance Suppliers in Chesapeake, VA.
I bought (2) 3" I.D. x 1/4 plain steel washers for $3.50 there. They have zinc plated too and have several boxes of each. They have all sorts of interesting fastners, all sizes, grades, etc. Its pretty amazing/overwhelming. :nod: Automotive fastners, heavy solder on terminals, cable clamps, retainers, rivits, absolutly anything. And they are very inexpensive. (I got this idea for using washers off a comet/maverick site)
The 3" ID washer fits perfectly on the shock tower hole, but needs a minor trim along the fender side. It gives a great platform to weld something to. I've already drilled the washers to the shock tower pattern. It was a relaxing evening of 250rpm driling. (the wife was napping). I didnt fire up the chopsaw to nip their rounds flat... The night is young though.
Anyhow, I'm not going with heim joints for the connectors. For the connector struts I think I'm going to try schedule 40 1.25 dia black steel pipe (home depot). I have some stock of 3/16 x 2" crs plate to make ears and tabs to make it removable.
I was thinking... depending on what sort of left or right handed couplings/nuts and rod I can find.. Does anyone have an opinion on adjustable export braces? Good to have?
was thinking about single strut connectors, but could do 2 i suppose. smaller dia tubing?
I was reading about the66mustang harrie's kit. seemed like a lot of history with his stuff in the past. It looked good though. what materials did he use? looked like heim joints. Can you just adjust your stangs suspensoon load in the front by increasing tension?
Anyhow, gimme some thoughts before I sink more than $20 into this project! lol.
thanks.
total so far: $3.50
'65 Mustang Coupe, C4, DUI, CompCams 260, Addco 1", StreetOrTrack Front Bilstein Coilover System, Bilstein Rear Shocks, 4-1/2 leaf springs.

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Re: Building Export Brace

Post #2 by bubba22349 » Thu Mar 21, 2013 1:10 am

:thumbup: Like you thoughts except maybe the 1.25 black pipe part it for sure would work it's just bigger and heavier than you probably would ever need. don't have experience with the adjustable braces do think they look great and might give a little bit more room to work on the engine in the car. However I can't see any real handling advantage with a single bar over the old original Export Brace and a Monte Carlo Bar. The exception may be if it's a double bar kit this would also triangulate to the Monte Carlo bar in front of the spring tower it is bound to help some by stiffening the tower even more, plan to make one these setups for my next project. One other though to think about, Spent some time years ago on a 1966 Mustang Fastback project alining rewelding the spring towers and reinforcing with extra plate stock for UCA (like on the 1969 & 70 Boss Stangs) It was worth the effort, was the best handling Mustang I ever had.
A bad day Drag Racing is still better than a good day at work!

I am still hunting for a project car to build but with my current low budget it's not looking so good. My Ex- Fleet of Sixes these are all long gone! :bang: 1954 Customline 223 3 speed with O/D, 1963 Fairlane project drag car with BB6, 1977 Maverick 250 with C4, 1994 F-150 a 300 with 5 speed.

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Re: Building Export Brace

Post #3 by 1966Mustang » Thu Mar 21, 2013 8:36 pm

Thanks for the input. I'll probably go with 1" pipe. Maybe slightly smaller.

One thing I don't like about the store bought export braces is that those edges are sharp! I remember getting shredded by the one I installed on my 66 with a 302.

What areas did you end up reenforcing on the 66 shock towers? Poking around the engine bay last night, I start to notice all sorts of little spots that can use some additional tin knocking and welding...

Thanks,

Perry
'65 Mustang Coupe, C4, DUI, CompCams 260, Addco 1", StreetOrTrack Front Bilstein Coilover System, Bilstein Rear Shocks, 4-1/2 leaf springs.

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Re: Building Export Brace

Post #4 by bubba22349 » Fri Mar 22, 2013 3:04 am

:hmmm: I hear yeah on the sharp edges that is a very good reason to make the tube type. I first used a porta power to get the towers standing up straight again, these type front ends all seam to sag from effects of age and gravity. When you get them right weld them good at all the factory spot welded seams in engine compartment side and in the wheel well. you can stitch weld them next to the factory spot welds it only needs about 1/4 to 3/8 inch welds and skip section or if you want a cleaner stock look drill holes through top metal were the factory welds are then Rosette weld them and grind smooth, don't have any pictures as it was a long time back. It's very easy if the engine is out but it can be done even with a V8 engine installed. Then make the extra reenforcing plates and weld in. I think have pictures of the Boss Mustang towers saved in my other computer to give you idea what the reenforcement plates would look like, will post those tomorrow. If I ever get to build another hot rod unibody car will be rewelding all the chassis spot welds to tighten it up like new. How's the weather back there? I have grandchildren near your area so been to Va. a few times. Take care.
A bad day Drag Racing is still better than a good day at work!

I am still hunting for a project car to build but with my current low budget it's not looking so good. My Ex- Fleet of Sixes these are all long gone! :bang: 1954 Customline 223 3 speed with O/D, 1963 Fairlane project drag car with BB6, 1977 Maverick 250 with C4, 1994 F-150 a 300 with 5 speed.

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Re: Building Export Brace

Post #5 by 1966Mustang » Fri Mar 22, 2013 7:59 am

I do have a factory manual, so I'll start measuring and checking the underhood dimensions. And stitch welding sounds good enough for me. On my last mustang I remember using a bottle jack and threaded rod to push towers apart and pull stuff in. Using t-rod is simple and effective, just get some that spans the bay and use some preexisting holes or make a couple new holes place nuts and washers inside or outside and torque em up till you're back to spec. I did read a post on here that it didn't really matter to get the towers back right... I didn't really agree. But, there's a reason the factory at least attempted to keep the towers where they should be and I suppose 45 years of fatigue and modern tires and fat swaybars make a difference to bend stuff a bit. When driving, I put my hand on the top corner where the vent window meets the roofline, I can feel the movement between the two. Suppose frame rail connectors will be on the list shortly.
The weather here has been pretty mild all winter. Today it's a tad chilly... my thermometer says 30, it's probably going to be in the 50s. We did have non-stick flurries yesterday :). This is far better weather than my parents and brother in CT have been through this year - i think theyve been averaging 10" of snow per storm.
'65 Mustang Coupe, C4, DUI, CompCams 260, Addco 1", StreetOrTrack Front Bilstein Coilover System, Bilstein Rear Shocks, 4-1/2 leaf springs.

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Re: Building Export Brace

Post #6 by CoupeBoy » Fri Mar 22, 2013 11:24 am

A while back a forum member routed me to this URL..
Install a Custom Export Brace for EFI Upgrade to 65-66 Mustangs
If you scroll to the bottom he has links to a company that sells varying lengths of premade, pre-threaded aluminum tubing.
Speed Partz
I made my own.. I came up with the measurements and had another forum member create CAD files and then cut my first set out of scrap at work
Image (free, just the leg work required)

In regards to the shock towers, you can take a look at the repairs I had to do.
Mustang Upgrades this week (Month)
And if you want to see what the Boss mustang shock tower modifications look like
On the wheel side
Shock tower bracing

This is what the full kit looks like, and one of the places you can buy it
Mustang Shock Tower Repair/Reinforcement Kit
You can also buy them through
OpenTracker Racing Products
I know where there is a link to a full install but the website is currently down (sadface) he said all the parts are 1/8" flat plate and that he had to do a lot of reforming to make it fit and if he had to do it again, he'd just start with flat plate and make his own..

While you are in the mood for making your body stiff... why not check out this also.
Modified Mustangs and Fords -- Subframe Connectors Installation Do-it-yourself and Save Cash

Sorry I meant to reply earlier, but I kept reading your and bubba's updates at night, and I hate replying via phone or tablet... (its tedious)
1968 Mustang Daily Driver Rebuild (on hold for the Season 3/1/2015)
1963.5 Falcon Convertible Build (just getting started 3/15/2015)
Case 1830 Skidsteer FordSix Repower Thread (started 4/4/2015)
1970 170/C4
1967 200/C4
1965 240/bellhousing/flywheel/clutch/3.03 bell pattern
1975 250/flexplate
1975 300/flywheel

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Re: Building Export Brace

Post #7 by CoupeBoy » Fri Mar 22, 2013 1:11 pm

Found it
StangFix.com -- Shock tower reinforcement - Day 2
Image
[edited to fix link to stangfix 2-23-2015]
Last edited by CoupeBoy on Mon Feb 23, 2015 4:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
1968 Mustang Daily Driver Rebuild (on hold for the Season 3/1/2015)
1963.5 Falcon Convertible Build (just getting started 3/15/2015)
Case 1830 Skidsteer FordSix Repower Thread (started 4/4/2015)
1970 170/C4
1967 200/C4
1965 240/bellhousing/flywheel/clutch/3.03 bell pattern
1975 250/flexplate
1975 300/flywheel

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Re: Building Export Brace

Post #8 by bubba22349 » Fri Mar 22, 2013 3:01 pm

I did read a post on here that it didn't really matter to get the towers back right... I didn't really agree. But, there's a reason the factory at least attempted to keep the towers where they should be and I suppose 45 years of fatigue and modern tires and fat swaybars make a difference to bend stuff a bit.


LOL yeah over the years have heard some responses like that too. I learned from my Dad who was a General Contractor that if your foundation isn't right (square etc.) then you will be working harder building a room or house to me this is the same for a car chassis. Truth is it maybe all right to leave it and you can see that in many of the Fords on the road with the big stacks of shims to get the alinement somewhat close. There are also some that can't be alined right, but if we are talking about building a car for any type of performance handling then you need to be much closer. I think the tolerance on old cars chassis was if it's within a 1/4 inch it was good enough I believe the late model stuff is at 1/8 inch. I try to get mine to 0 to 1/16 inch. Some old car are a lot of work to drive sawing the steering back and forth to keep it going straight, it's my OPinion this is chassis set up, on my old 66 it was a joy it tracked straight without touching the wheel for miles on a freeway.

When driving, I put my hand on the top corner where the vent window meets the roofline, I can feel the movement between the two. Suppose frame rail connectors will be on the list shortly.


Yep in use the body's are moving all around. I used to drag race a Falcon Ranchero (4 speed) with my uncle in the late 60's after making a pass with our new built-up motor the paint was chipped at the door corners. The next week we had a set of sub frame connectors, bonus was the car reacted a little quicker off the line and ran a bit faster time. Bottom line I run them on any of my performance cars.

X2 CoupeBoy excellent just what was talking about and more :nod:

Boss 302 Towers
http://s54.photobucket.com/user/bubba22 ... sort=3&o=0

http://s54.photobucket.com/user/bubba22 ... sort=3&o=1

http://s54.photobucket.com/user/bubba22 ... sort=3&o=2
A bad day Drag Racing is still better than a good day at work!

I am still hunting for a project car to build but with my current low budget it's not looking so good. My Ex- Fleet of Sixes these are all long gone! :bang: 1954 Customline 223 3 speed with O/D, 1963 Fairlane project drag car with BB6, 1977 Maverick 250 with C4, 1994 F-150 a 300 with 5 speed.

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Re: Building Export Brace

Post #9 by 1966Mustang » Sat Mar 23, 2013 11:52 pm

Update yay! Armed with tools and ambition, I was able to make some progress today. I have a bunch of pipe in my backyard, which was here when I moved in 3 years ago. Its gavanized, so its not too rusty.. and wouldnt ya know its the perfect size.. plus I have about 100 feet of this stuff. I chopped off a length with the sawzall. squared em up on the chopsaw. And started figurin figures. I'm treating it more of an art type project... I 1/2 lapped the tab extending off the ring under the ring a bit. figure thatd gimme somethin to weld n blend. I'm just using the old ST brace stub to give me a guide and a rest. thatll be removed once im confident I have what I want. Also cut and drilled the cowl tie in piece. need to make tabs for that too.

Here's a galley I have... I, like CoupeBoy have a friggin tablet handy... Iswear they make things 10x harder... And I work for a company thet makes an app for tablets... hate them. so, heres a link, cause I can't seem to get a img link right...

http://clarks.cowhill.net:88/gallery2/v/mustang

notchin the pipe for the export brace gave me some ideas for how to connect the subframe conns when I get to making them.

these export braces will be adjustable by slots n bolts. figure 1" of movement will be allowed for tweaks fore n aft. I'll finish the design of the drivers side tomorrow. Then dupe the parts. maybe I'll make several...
I'm thinkin about how the final shaping of the tabs is gonna look. Needs good feng shui. I think the finish part will be cats meow. also thinkin about adding tabs for the monte bar. I think its gonna have to be straight though and end up just past the oil fill. the passenger side fender wall has some funky kick in it past the solenoid that'll need to screw up a nice symmetric design.

I looked in my shop manual for a good dimension for what the tower spread should be. It wasnt obvious to me. Anyone have a good way to get a reference? I think I know where the center line of the car is... 1/2 way between the export brace inner holes... guess I can reference that to a someplace on middle of the radiator support. Knowing that would at least lemme know how fallen in my shock towers are.. I'll hafta evaluate reenforcing the shock towers majorly. maybe I'll do the easier accessible reinforcements for now and finish the rest down low stuff when I pull the engine which isnt necessary right now.

-Perry
'65 Mustang Coupe, C4, DUI, CompCams 260, Addco 1", StreetOrTrack Front Bilstein Coilover System, Bilstein Rear Shocks, 4-1/2 leaf springs.

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Re: Building Export Brace

Post #10 by 1966Mustang » Sun Mar 24, 2013 8:36 pm

Got around to making more pieces and finalizing measurments today. Then the weather got cold, sleet and rain were making everything a mess. So I didn't feel like doing anymore work. Found out that a tile saw comes in pretty handy to cut metal... sure beats slitting pipe ends with the chopsaw!

Posted pics in my gallery, more to come.
'65 Mustang Coupe, C4, DUI, CompCams 260, Addco 1", StreetOrTrack Front Bilstein Coilover System, Bilstein Rear Shocks, 4-1/2 leaf springs.

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Re: Building Export Brace

Post #11 by CoupeBoy » Sun Mar 24, 2013 9:01 pm

Looking good, any chance you can measure the cowl bolt spacing for me?

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Re: Building Export Brace

Post #12 by 1966Mustang » Sun Mar 24, 2013 10:29 pm

Its bolted up for mockup right now, but it looks like 1-7/8 and 4-7/8... so i measured from the bolt head centers. I made my cowl part 12" long. 2x3/16 flat bar. I'm mounting below the cowl lip, and making a contoured plate for the top to sandwich the cowl lip. and a plate to the firewall. like in the links you attached. that looks good.

Spacing:
[ -○ 1.875 --○ -------4.875------- ○-- 1.875 ○- ]

-Perry
'65 Mustang Coupe, C4, DUI, CompCams 260, Addco 1", StreetOrTrack Front Bilstein Coilover System, Bilstein Rear Shocks, 4-1/2 leaf springs.

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Re: Building Export Brace

Post #13 by 1966Mustang » Tue Mar 26, 2013 7:55 am

Work continues... I got my daily dose of FE. Rounded the tab ends by rotating the part about its bolt hole at a fixed distance from the face of the sanding disc... (one of those 2 in 1 disc/belt sanders from harbor freight.) And made the other slotted tab that goes on the firewall piece.
Pics on page 3 of my gallery.

Later,
Perry
'65 Mustang Coupe, C4, DUI, CompCams 260, Addco 1", StreetOrTrack Front Bilstein Coilover System, Bilstein Rear Shocks, 4-1/2 leaf springs.

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Re: Building Export Brace

Post #14 by bubba22349 » Tue Mar 26, 2013 6:17 pm

:thumbup: looks like you are making good progress.
A bad day Drag Racing is still better than a good day at work!

I am still hunting for a project car to build but with my current low budget it's not looking so good. My Ex- Fleet of Sixes these are all long gone! :bang: 1954 Customline 223 3 speed with O/D, 1963 Fairlane project drag car with BB6, 1977 Maverick 250 with C4, 1994 F-150 a 300 with 5 speed.

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Re: Building Export Brace

Post #15 by 1966Mustang » Wed Apr 17, 2013 9:33 pm

Updated pics!!! I had to figure out an easier way other than slitting pipe at odd angles to
line up the struts between the attaching points off the firewall and shocktower.
This is what I've come up with.
Hopefully I'll be able to finish this off this weekend. Enjoy!

http://clarks.cowhill.net:88/gallery2/v/mustang/2013-04-17_20-56-39_482.jpg.html
http://clarks.cowhill.net:88/gallery2/v/mustang/2013-04-17_20-57-20_840.jpg.html
http://clarks.cowhill.net:88/gallery2/v/mustang/2013-04-17_20-56-50_986.jpg.html

- Perry
'65 Mustang Coupe, C4, DUI, CompCams 260, Addco 1", StreetOrTrack Front Bilstein Coilover System, Bilstein Rear Shocks, 4-1/2 leaf springs.

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Re: Building Export Brace

Post #16 by 1966Mustang » Sat Apr 20, 2013 9:04 pm

Getting closer - The passenger side strut is tacked up, the shock hole
and firewall mount points are done. Spent some time with a die grinder
on the driver's side. Enjoy!

http://clarks.cowhill.net:88/gallery2/v ... 4.jpg.html
http://clarks.cowhill.net:88/gallery2/v ... 7.jpg.html

- Perry
'65 Mustang Coupe, C4, DUI, CompCams 260, Addco 1", StreetOrTrack Front Bilstein Coilover System, Bilstein Rear Shocks, 4-1/2 leaf springs.

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Re: Building Export Brace

Post #17 by bubba22349 » Sat Apr 20, 2013 9:13 pm

Looking real good :thumbup:
A bad day Drag Racing is still better than a good day at work!

I am still hunting for a project car to build but with my current low budget it's not looking so good. My Ex- Fleet of Sixes these are all long gone! :bang: 1954 Customline 223 3 speed with O/D, 1963 Fairlane project drag car with BB6, 1977 Maverick 250 with C4, 1994 F-150 a 300 with 5 speed.

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DONE!!! Building Export Brace

Post #18 by 1966Mustang » Wed Apr 24, 2013 11:34 pm

Done done done! Buncha pics too.

Took a ride and it certainly seems to have stiffened up the front as expected. Dunno if its worth the effort to do a monte carlo bar. Might make one quick straight one this weekend to see.

[url]http:/clarks.cowhill.net:88/gallery2/v/mustang/2013-04-24_22-34-01_723.jpg.html[/url]

Enjoy!

- Perry
'65 Mustang Coupe, C4, DUI, CompCams 260, Addco 1", StreetOrTrack Front Bilstein Coilover System, Bilstein Rear Shocks, 4-1/2 leaf springs.

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