Mark Houlahan
Tech Editor, Mustang Monthly
August 8, 2007

When the weekend comes around and that long list of chores is staring you right in the face, you usually want to get through it as quickly as possible so you can have some fun in the time left before dragging yourself back to work on Monday. As the owners of classic performance cars, we often have vehicle maintenance on our list of chores, including things like replacing leaky valve-cover gaskets, performing tune-up work, brake jobs, and so on.

These maintenance jobs can take longer than necessary because of other parts in the way or because of already-installed aftermarket parts. As a prime example, tall valve covers (to clear roller rockers) and stock shock-tower supports means the supports must be removed to R&R the valve covers for gasket replacement. How about that brake job? Don't you curse the shock tower support as you try to not spill brake fluid when topping off the master cylinder? Of course you do, just like me. Even when changing spark plugs, the shock tower supports are either in your line of sight so you can't see to thread the plug or they are in the way of the spark plug wrench handle.

While the stock braces are removable, you're talking at the least eight bolts to remove, more with the standard export brace. Every time you wrench on these bolts, there's a chance of mis-threading them, hitting a painted surface with the wrench, and losing the hardware. Wouldn't it be easier if you could simply pull a couple of pins and yank the braces out of the way for your maintenance work? Well, now you can with the Quick Release Export Brace kit from MPG Head Service. The quick-release mechanism is a hearty 3/8-inch pin with a ball-release locking mechanism. The export brace itself is made from clear-anodized aluminum with 3/8-inch adjustable left and right radius rods, and while it is lighter than the stock parts, it is much stronger. MPG sells versions for '65-'70 Mustangs and Cougars, PN 111, $149.95; Falcons, PN 111-F, $159.95; and '71-73 Mustangs, PN 111-71, $189.95. Trick T-handle quick-release pins are available as an upgrade option for another $50.

Check out the great looks and easy engine-bay servicing as we drop one into a '68 fastback we spied at Classic Creations of Central Florida. Classic Creation's Merv Rego swung the wrenches for us, and the MPG export brace system was installed in about 20 minutes without a single hiccup. See for yourself with the following photos.

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