Author Topic: Installing an export brace in 65 Coupe  (Read 3014 times)

Offline rocket289k

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Installing an export brace in 65 Coupe
« on: June 21, 2012, 12:09:59 PM »
Hi everyone,

I'm installing an export brace in my 65 coupe.  However, I've run into a problem I've never experienced or read about.  Normally, the shock towers need to be spread apart as they sag inwards over time (1/4" to even 1/2" is common).  On my car, the export brace fits great at the cowl and it's very close on the passenger shock tower. However, it's 1/4" out on the driver's side. 

Upon closer examination the brace itself is a 1/4" longer on the driver's side than it is the passenger side.  It's a good quality brace (the Scott Drake brace modelled on the Ford blueprints).  Has anyone seen something like this before?  I thought the brace was supposed to be symmetrical with each "arm" of the brace being the exact same length.  Has anyone experienced this before?

Ron


Offline jwc66k

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Re: Installing an export brace in 65 Coupe
« Reply #1 on: June 21, 2012, 03:05:46 PM »
Just out of curiosity, what points did you use in your measurements?
Jim
I promise to be politically correct in all my posts to keep the BBBB from vociferating.

Offline rocket289k

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Re: Installing an export brace in 65 Coupe
« Reply #2 on: June 21, 2012, 03:33:35 PM »
Hi Jim,

I've attached a picture that illustrates where I measured the export brace.  I used the outermost bolt holes that mount to the cowl/firewall and the inner bolt holes (closest to the engine) on the shock tower portion of the brace.

NOTE - The original width measurement was INCORRECT.  It's actually 30 3/4" (on center).  I uploaded a new image to reflect that change.

Regards,

Ron

« Last Edit: June 22, 2012, 10:12:45 AM by rocket289k »

Offline Brian Conway

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Re: Installing an export brace in 65 Coupe
« Reply #3 on: June 21, 2012, 05:41:57 PM »
Well, using your chart, here are some numbers to play with.  Outer measurements are 19 3/8" and  30 1/4" across.   At the cowl, center lined, outer bolts are 8 11/16".  These measurement are from the brace on my 65.  Never really checked/measured an export brace before just assumed all was equal/equal.  Also never heard of one arm being longer than the other.  Suggest you call Drake and ask.  Brian
5RO9A GT  4 Spd Built 5/29/65
9TO2R SCJ 4 Spd Built 9/19/68
San Diego, Ca.

Offline rocket289k

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Re: Installing an export brace in 65 Coupe
« Reply #4 on: June 21, 2012, 07:16:38 PM »
Hi Brian,

Thanks for the measurements from your export brace.  I hadn't thought to measure an export braces "arms" before today either.  I too had assumed that the brace would be completely symmetrical and have equal lengths on each side.  I have reached out to Scott Drake and they are going to get back to me.  I'll continue to update this post as I get any additional information.

Regards,

Ron


Offline J_Speegle

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Re: Installing an export brace in 65 Coupe
« Reply #5 on: June 21, 2012, 10:57:57 PM »
Just as a side note the export brace was originally installed with a welded in reinforcement on the firewall/cowl where it attaches. ;)

Also originals require redrilling those mounting holes since the bolts are equally spaced - unlike the later (67+) that were staggered like the standard firewall/cowl holes
Jeff Speegle

Anything worth doing is worth overdoing ;)

Offline rocket289k

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Re: Installing an export brace in 65 Coupe
« Reply #6 on: June 22, 2012, 10:09:43 AM »
Hi Jeff,

There are actually two styles of export braces for 1965 (one with equally spaces bolts at the cowl and one with the standard staggered bolt holes to fit the thin original equipment braces.  With regards to the welded in reinforcement that's only required with if choose to go with a Shelby style brace which has the equally spaced bolts.  You can choose to weld in a brace for the staggered bolts - but it's optional.

Regards,

Ron

Offline rocket289k

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Re: Installing an export brace in 65 Coupe
« Reply #7 on: June 22, 2012, 10:14:14 AM »
Hi Brian,

I forgot to ask you.  Is the brace on your 65 made by Scott Drake as well?


Regards,


Ron

Offline J_Speegle

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Re: Installing an export brace in 65 Coupe
« Reply #8 on: June 22, 2012, 10:39:44 AM »
Hi Jeff,
There are actually two styles of export braces for 1965 (one with equally spaces bolts at the cowl and one with the standard staggered bolt holes to fit the thin original equipment braces.  With regards to the welded in reinforcement that's only required with if choose to go with a Shelby style brace which has the equally spaced bolts.  You can choose to weld in a brace for the staggered bolts - but it's optional.

Understand that both are available now - just offering what was original and available in 65-66 ;)

You could have purchased one across the counter and added it but from the line it would have been part of the export package and in turn received the matching brace as engineered.
Jeff Speegle

Anything worth doing is worth overdoing ;)

Offline jwc66k

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Re: Installing an export brace in 65 Coupe
« Reply #9 on: June 22, 2012, 11:21:58 AM »
Hi Jim,

I've attached a picture that illustrates where I measured the export brace.  I used the outermost bolt holes that mount to the cowl/firewall and the inner bolt holes (closest to the engine) on the shock tower portion of the brace.

NOTE - The original width measurement was INCORRECT.  It's actually 30 3/4" (on center).  I uploaded a new image to reflect that change.

Regards,

Ron
Ron,
  It is possible that the four firewall mounting holes are in the wrong location. If they were located as little as 1/8inch to the right side in your picture, the "hole to hole" measurements (and fit) would be right on. I would make a different set of measurements based on the brace sitting vertical on a flat surface and measuring up to each hole and corner, and to each hole and corner from a datum edge. You might consider these measurements overkill but that's the way a metal shop would lay out the item to be formed, and quality assurance to check them. That being said, place the brace in the car and attach it to the shock towers first, and then see how far the four firewall holes are off. Enlarging them may be a solution. 
Jim   
I promise to be politically correct in all my posts to keep the BBBB from vociferating.

Offline Brian Conway

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Re: Installing an export brace in 65 Coupe
« Reply #10 on: June 22, 2012, 11:37:57 AM »
Hi Brian,

I forgot to ask you.  Is the brace on your 65 made by Scott Drake as well?

The export brace on my car was purchased from a local Ford dealership sometime in the 70's.  So, I' am guessing it would be a Motorcraft after market piece.  Brian




5RO9A GT  4 Spd Built 5/29/65
9TO2R SCJ 4 Spd Built 9/19/68
San Diego, Ca.

Offline rocket289k

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Re: Installing an export brace in 65 Coupe
« Reply #11 on: June 22, 2012, 04:55:29 PM »
Ron,
  It is possible that the four firewall mounting holes are in the wrong location. If they were located as little as 1/8inch to the right side in your picture, the "hole to hole" measurements (and fit) would be right on. I would make a different set of measurements based on the brace sitting vertical on a flat surface and measuring up to each hole and corner, and to each hole and corner from a datum edge. You might consider these measurements overkill but that's the way a metal shop would lay out the item to be formed, and quality assurance to check them. That being said, place the brace in the car and attach it to the shock towers first, and then see how far the four firewall holes are off. Enlarging them may be a solution. 
Jim

Thanks Jim - that's the route that I'm going to go.  I'm going to modify the firewall/cowl bolt holes with a brace and modify the brace itself (pull it in slightly) to properly fit the car as opposed to modifying the geometry of the shock towers on the car.  The car has been measured with a laser and it's completely straight (it's within 1/8 of an inch).

One point of clarification, the actual brace itself is not symmetrical.  The measurements that I provided were of the brace itself (not the measurement of the cowl to the shock towers on the car).

Offline rocket289k

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Re: Installing an export brace in 65 Coupe
« Reply #12 on: June 22, 2012, 04:56:18 PM »
I want to thank everyone for all of their feedback and assistance. I really appreciate it.  It's all been very helpful.

Offline rocket289k

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Re: Installing an export brace in 65 Coupe
« Reply #13 on: June 22, 2012, 04:57:36 PM »
Understand that both are available now - just offering what was original and available in 65-66 ;)

You could have purchased one across the counter and added it but from the line it would have been part of the export package and in turn received the matching brace as engineered.

Sorry Jim - I misunderstood that you were referring to specifically what was available in 1965.

Thanks,

Ron

Offline rocket289k

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Re: Installing an export brace in 65 Coupe
« Reply #14 on: June 22, 2012, 05:07:19 PM »
One more question,

If the export brace was dealer installed in the 60's would a "L bracket" brace would have been welded in at the cowl (to reinforce it) as well?  In addition, would the small brackets welded to the shock tower have been removed?  Original cars that I've seen to have braces welded in and some do not have the "L bracket" braces welded in.  However, in general the small brackets welded to the shock towers always seem to be place with an export brace (other than on Shelbys) and haven't been removed.

Has that been the experience of other people as well?

Regards,

Ron