Mark Houlahan
Brand Manager, Mustang Monthly
April 13, 2011
Photos By: Courtesy Total Control Products

Bolting an upgraded suspension to your early Ford isn't going to help things much if your chassis is flexing all over the place. The suspension needs a firm foundation to work off of, otherwise the suspension's movement transfers directly to the flexing chassis. Instead of a better handling car, you get a ride that is unpredictable in the corners and twitchy over anything but perfect roads. (And when was the last time you saw a perfectly paved road? We thought so.) We've actually raised early Mustangs with a floor jack in the front and have measured shock tower deflection. This is why Ford installed simple stamped-steel braces from the shock towers to the firewall in the first place. But spirited driving needs more supportive solutions, which is why the export brace and Monte Carlo bar were used more than four decades ago and continue to be a popular upgrade today. Now Total Control Products (TCP) has gone a few steps further in updating the classic chassis-stiffening devices, making them stronger, tying them together, and making them adjustable too.

TCP begins by whittling its mounting brackets, clamps, and other small items from 6061-T6 1/4-inch aluminum stock for the utmost strength, while offering a lighter weight system. The aluminum is also clear anodized to resist corrosion and give the system a long-lasting, great look. All bracing is made from 6061-T6 tubular aluminum utilizing swaged ends for strength in threaded mounting areas. The system can be installed in stages, with the main tower export brace being the basis of which the other optional bracing ties into. There's an optional Monte Carlo brace, and a pair of forward triangulation truss braces as well. Every tubular bar in each of the three kits is threaded for rod ends, making the whole system adjustable for easy installation. We'll be installing all three parts of the TCP shock tower bracing system on TCP's '65 Mustang coupe here, but the system is available for '65-'70 Mustang, '67-'70 Cougar, and '60-'65 Falcon models as well.

Export Brace Installation

Photo Gallery

View Photo Gallery

Monte Carlo Bar Installation

Photo Gallery

View Photo Gallery

Project Cost
In keeping with our first story that we published in our Jan. '11 issue, we're tracking the total cost of this Mustang's suspension and braking upgrades. To date, the investment has been $11,736 for the power rack-and-pinion conversion and associated options/upgrades along with our February issue's coilover front suspension addition and our March issue's coilover rear suspension. This month we add on our shock tower brace package:

ProductPart NumberCost
TCP Mustang Tower Brace PackageTCP PKG-TWRB-01$459
Previous Total$11,736
Total$12,195

Truss Brace Install

Photo Gallery

View Photo Gallery