66 equalizer bar issue - not aligned?

Discussion in 'Classic Mustang Specific Tech' started by joemamma, Dec 10, 2003.


  1. joemamma

    joemamma New Member

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    My daughter's "new" 66 289 coupe has a strange problem. The equalizer bar will not align with the bracket on the frame, slanting down to the meet engine pivot. I bought two new "ear type" motor mounts in the hopes that it is simply old, tired mounts that have lost their shape and size causing the problem.

    Is there a good chance this will solve the problem, or is there something I'm missing?? Please don't tell me the frame is bent...
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  2. 68GEETEE

    68GEETEE Member

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    are you sure the equalizer bar is the correct one for your vehicle? THere were several bars for the sixties mustangs. Is it a new bar, or are you reinstalling the old one? Frame could be a factor given the age of the vehicle, but I would recheck to make sure I had the right eq bar first.
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  3. coolblue65

    coolblue65 Founding Member

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    ahh yes I know this problem...as soon as you figure it out let me know!

    Seriously though, I noticed this problem after having my stang for 5 years or so. After installing a heavy duty clutch- I bent/twisted an equalizer bar...so I sent it back blaming the manufacturer and put another one in only to see that it was angled downwards...thus changing the geometry enough that the additional stress from the heavier clutch is what caused the bending of the first two Equalizer bars. So I bought another clutch with less effort and it eliminated the problem with the bending. But it is still on an angle, and I can not figure out why, I can feel the change in geometry in the pedal also...it works but just doesnt feel "right" when pressed.

    Unfortunately I have not really had the chance to really investigate it yet, so please keep us/me posted if you figure it out
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  4. D.Hearne

    D.Hearne Banned

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    You would have saved a lot of work by reinforcing the "z" or equalizer bar. I had this same problem too 20 years ago, I cured the bending by welding another flat bar the same size to the curved part of the Z bar, doubling it's thickness. I think he may be on the right track with the motor mounts. I would also check each and every bushing in the clutch system from the pedal to the pivot in the bell housing. Check the pedal support bushing up inside the dash especially. They're pot metal and do not last forever.
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  5. joemamma

    joemamma New Member

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    After spending a chilly evening under the car trying to change both mounts, I'm not quite done sewing things up.

    I did notice that the drivers side mount (the "low one") appeared shorter than the new Belkin mount in total height. The passenger side was approximately the same size as the new ones.

    I haven't sewn it all up yet (it's after 1AM here), but it looks like I'm going to have a bit of a struggle getting the new mounts into their saddles. A little here, a little there...

    One thing I did noticed while I was raising the engine was the amount I had to raise it (with the pass mount loose, but installed) to get the Z-bar perpendicular as it should be. Probably an inch or so, and the difference old and new driver's side mount wasn't near that much.

    I'll post again if I get a) the time and b) complete the motor mount install tomorrow night.

    I need a bigger garage...with HEAT.
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  6. joemamma

    joemamma New Member

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    Well, I thought of this, but since the "pipe" of the Z-bar is what is out of whack (that is, the engine pivot is lower than the frame pivot), any of them would exhibit the same angle.
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  7. geegee

    geegee Founding Member

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    You can move the engine pivot point. Use a bracket like used on 5.0L swaps do. Its a bracket that attaches to the bell housing bolts that positions the engine pivot ball.

    Use a golfer's pencil (short, with square back). Rest it on the frame bracket end and point towards engine. With pencil level and pointing at engine note where engine ball needs to be positioned. It should be at the point of the pencil or just 1/4" below it so as to allow the motor to torque up and allow perfect alignment under motor mount stress.

    Now that you know where the pivot needs to be, weld up your pivot bracket to match. You can also buy a 157 or 164 tooth bell pivot bracket from California Pony Cars. You may have some welding or adjustment to do on the CPC part to it to get a perfect alignment.

    Always start with new saddle-style motor mounts installed. Once the z-bar is squarely aligned with the car and motor, you'll be surprized at how much less pedal effort is required.
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  8. coolblue65

    coolblue65 Founding Member

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    I fully understand what you are saying, and wish I could do the same, but I do not know how to weld (let alone have the equpiment) or know anyone that does. So at the time, it wasn't an option for me to consider.

    However strengthing the bar does not CURE the problem at hand with the alignment being off-it just keeps the bar from bending. I need to pick up some motor mounts so that I can compare them to the ones I have on now. I have already replaced/checked all bushings applicable to the clutch system...actually EVERY PART of the linkage.

    I also do not believe that relocating the engine mounting point is the exact answer either- all though it will serve the purpose. There has to got to be some reason why it is not aligning in our cars. :shrug:

    One of us will get to the bottom of this.
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  9. D.Hearne

    D.Hearne Banned

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    Even with all the clutch operation parts in good repair and aligned, most high performance pressure plates will have springs strong enough to cause the Z bar to bend. If you want yours reinforced, ship it to me and I'll do it for $15.
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  10. coolblue65

    coolblue65 Founding Member

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    well that would be awesome, i just may take you up on that, although I probably will not get around to it till I finish my current project...so maybe sometime after the first of the year.
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  11. D.Hearne

    D.Hearne Banned

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    I have a welding shop and it'll only take 15 minutes or so to reinforce it.
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  12. joemamma

    joemamma New Member

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    Well, good news.

    I slide back under the car (after letting the space heater take the "edge" off the cold garage), and loosened everything up on both sides. This included the two 3/8" bolts that mount the pad the saddle mounts bolt thru, which ended up being the kicker.

    I got the wood block and floorjack back under the pan and lifted. With a few turns out on all the bolts (the "pin" bolts that hold the mount into the saddles were the only ones out), I jockied the engine back into place, aligned the Z-bar to be parallel between the frame and engine pivot, and tighted everything up. Starting with the drivers' side. After tugging on the last bolts, I eased the engine back off the wood block. Everything stayed put.

    I still need to loosen and move the frame pivot towards the engine...it had too much side play, allowing the Z-bar to drop off the bushing and onto the metal to begin with.

    More (Sunday) when I get time to finish the details.

    Thanks for all the input!!
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  13. coolblue65

    coolblue65 Founding Member

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    Why do I feel like I am missing something here? I guess I dont understand how just loosening, and then retightening the mounts raised the enigine to align it.
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  14. joemamma

    joemamma New Member

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    I had loosened all the holddown bolts and removed the ear bolts from the mount pads, and then lifted the engine into the proper alignment before tightening the bolts up. This, and the new mounts, seems to have solved the problem.
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  15. coolblue65

    coolblue65 Founding Member

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    joemamma-

    I could understand how loosening and retightening could have fixed the problmem, ....missed the part that you said you bought new mounts! -duh- Did you actually compare the mounts while they where both out of the car and if so how much thicker where the new ones?

    Also, what is the brand and part # of the mounts you bought?

    thanx
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  16. joemamma

    joemamma New Member

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    I bought new Belkin (NAPA) mounts (1151's), same number for both sides.

    I did compare them once they were out of the car. My initial impression was that the drivers side mount looked a bit shorter than the passenger mount, and had some "tearing" diagonally across the rubber. Closer inspection after the fact showed that the installed height was approximately the same to the frame ears, but the metal portion that bolts to the block was designed with a flatter look to it. There is less movement with the new mounts...so they are tighter. The drivers mount could have started tearing the rubber.

    I have the whole thing back together, and took her for a spin. The whole range is much smoother and feels firmer. There is still a click at the top of the movement when the play is removed before disengagement, but that is just a light pop. I still need to hang a spring over the fork end...where the heck does the other end go? Somewhere near the mounts??
    #16

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