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  • camadsen_1
    started a topic T- Bird Bra

    T- Bird Bra

    Can any members that have experience (own) a front end bra please share comments good / bad or otherwise as to fitment etc? I'm going to try to get one custom made without the license bracket & running light provisions. 'Wondering which brand might be a good starting point, & the down side to any of them. Thanks in advance! - Craig

  • Skip
    replied
    Have used the Ford bra on mine since it was new in 2001. Most recently in late June. Use it for long road trips only. Put it on the day before, take it off the day after we return. It fits and looks great. I don't have an issue with the license plate bracket as I have a custom made front plate bracket instead of the factory bracket as I didn't want to use the factory issue bracket as it required holes in the valence panel. I can remove just the plate or the entire bracket easily. Went without a front plate until I got stopped for not having one. It took six years for that to happen, but that is a story for another thread. Plus the bra fits well around the new bracket.

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  • 007Cruiser
    replied
    Originally posted by camadsen_1 View Post
    well I've screwed around long enough, I can't get the one I want in time for the trip. - Guess I'm going without! Probably a joke there somewhere..
    Donít worry, be happy.

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  • BLACK BEAUTY
    replied
    You still got Tomi

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  • camadsen_1
    replied
    well I've screwed around long enough, I can't get the one I want in time for the trip. - Guess I'm going without! Probably a joke there somewhere..

    Leave a comment:


  • 2K2BIRD
    replied
    Craig, when I had the netting replaced on my Ford one, I had them add netting to the supplemental light openings as well.

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  • camadsen_1
    replied
    Dot- Paul- Jerry- Thankyou all, the fact that there's no netting over the Aux light area eliminates the Ford one for me. Now I'm just torn if I should just go without or not.

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  • SugarDaddy
    replied
    We bought the Ford bra in 2002, and still have it. We use it primarily on long trips, not around town.

    You do need to take the bra off when you get to your destination because there are usually small bugs, debris and things caught between the bra and the car body. A light rub line is visible on the hood and fenders after I remove the bra. Typically, I thoroughly clean the backside of the bra and the front, after arriving at our destination. Then, re-install the clean bra before heading home. Once home, clean both sides of the bra thoroughly (vacuuming the backside) before putting it away in a cabinet.

    Like Paul, the screen mesh over the grille area eventually wore out and tore. I bought some heavy mesh screen material at a local hardware store and took it to my auto upholstery shop. They cut out the damaged screen and installed the replacement screen about 6 years ago. I never had any other problems with the front screen mesh after that.

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  • 2K2BIRD
    replied
    The screens in the Ford bra were definitely a weak point.

    With regards to dealer installing the bra. I'm not sure if it is still the case with new Fords, but when we bought the T-bird in 2001, any Ford accessories that were bought (and installed) when buying the car was covered by the same 3 year 36K warranty the car was. I bought the first Ford bra with the car, so when the screen mesh tore up a couple of years or so later, it was replaced with a new one by Ford. By the time the screen tore on the second one, the one year warranty (usual warranty when not bought with the car) was up and I decided to have the screen replaced by a local upholstery shop. When that screen bit the dust a few years later, I bought some stiffer, pet resistant screen at a local hardware store and had it used as a replacement. I think that was 5 or 6 years ago and there is no sign of the screen breaking down at this point.

    I find myself using the bra less and less. It is hard to keep bugs, dust, debris and small stones out from under it and if they are there a rub is possible. Next to being out of focus, it is absolutely the best way to ruin a picture with the car in it. It is problematic when it rains. I'm debating as to whether I will use it for the trip to Minnesota and down the Mississippi.

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  • BirdsAndBugs
    replied
    Originally posted by Gobird View Post
    I can't agree with anything said above. Ours isn't an every driver any longer but when it does come out of the garage it's for a 10,000 to 15,000 mile road trip and I wouldn't leave home with out the bra on the car. Yes, I hate the looks of it but it has saved many a stone chip on the front end. When the trip is over the bra comes off the car.

    I have the stock Ford Bra.
    Clearly you DO agree with everything I said Spence. The bra is fine for preventing rock chips during highway driving on road trips. I just don't recommend leaving it on permanently as many people do.

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  • 5bird7
    replied
    Originally posted by RBIRD View Post
    Dot, have you had any issues with the bug screen covered license plate cut-out? Ours has torn.

    RBIRD
    Robert, We've had issues with the screen when used "OVER" the license plate bracket but there was no screen in the area of the license plate, just vinyl. The license plate area was solid vinyl when it arrived and was useful for those that didn't have a front license plate installed. The screen above the plate area has torn on both Ford bras we've used because of the added stretching of the netting caused by the protrusion of the plate bracket (George didn't want to cut the vinyl at that time and also didn't want to remove the bracket and license plate) . It has also torn on the bra that you see in the picture above which George cut out all of the license plate frame area, I suppose from just age and use on the road. The screen is more or less there to keep the rest of the bra taut on the car so tears reduce it's effectiveness in that department. I plan to replace the screens "someday"


    Craig, the running light loops are attached to the screen at the top and could be cut off and more screen added in those areas. There is no screen in the area of the running lights anyway, it just protects the body painted receptacle for the lights itself.

    There was an instruction sheet that came with the bra and anyone could install it. I don't recall anyone using their dealer to install the bra. There were instructions on this site on how to install it but I assume those pictures are now lost on the site. Talk about the procedure probably ended well before you joined and the thread was never brought up in any searches you may have made. I'm sure I have old pictures of part of the procedure but it would take some time for me to find them.

    Most wanted the Ford bra because it had the Thunderbird emblem embossed and colored on the nose piece and it appeared to fit the best of the bras available at the time, with no wrinkles.

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  • camadsen_1
    replied
    Thankyou Dot for the picture. It appears the both Colgan & the Ford have the "protective loop" (fabric) above the running lights. That would be counter productive for me if I were going to try to modify either brand. The netting would be lost in that area and, fitment probably compromised as well. So, it looks like it's either no bra, or the Lebra. The upside is the Lebra isn't that expensive, so if I botch it, I'm not out a small fortune.. I don't see myself doing the clear thing. Just need to decide. Thankyou everyone!

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  • RBIRD
    replied
    Dot, have you had any issues with the bug screen covered license plate cut-out? Ours has torn.

    RBIRD

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  • HKS
    replied
    Originally posted by 5bird7 View Post
    Craig, this is the closest I can get for you of the Ford bra. It came with instructions on how & where to cut for using with a license plate but we placed our license plate bracket differently using tie wraps. I think George just cut some slits in the lower piece to accommodate the plate holder. Ford had reinforced the license plate area to keep slits from spreading out. We have used the bra on numerous long distance trips with the Inca with no paint problems. In fact I don't know of anyone that has had issues with their paint when using the Ford bra. The only problem you'll have is finding the Ford bra since Ford no longer carries that product.

    btw, this photo was taken last year in WA state.

    {"alt":"Click image for larger version Name:\tIMG_0940 teapot_800.JPG Views:\t1 Size:\t85.2 KB ID:\t1060953","data-align":"none","data-attachmentid":"1060953","data-size":"full","title":"IMG_0940 teapot_800.JPG"}
    TBN was not this helpful, years ago when I was looking for a bra. No one mentioned the Ford cut out and instructions. I imagine a Ford Dealer was supposed to install it.

    HKS

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  • 5bird7
    replied
    Originally posted by camadsen_1 View Post
    Well the folks @ Covercraft/ Colgan don't want to work that hard. The excuse was they couldn't guarantee fitment. That's what Rochel said the design team told her. I call B.S. for whatever reason, they don't want to be bothered. I doubt seriously it has anything at all to do with final fitment - its pretty much a standard T- bird bra. So, lebra is the next logical choice unless I can scare up a Ford one. Id really like to se a photo of the Ford model on a car - see if it looks like it can be changed as easily as the Lebra model - anyone?!
    Disappointing..
    Craig, this is the closest I can get for you of the Ford bra. It came with instructions on how & where to cut for using with a license plate but we placed our license plate bracket differently using tie wraps. I think George just cut some slits in the lower piece to accommodate the plate holder. Ford had reinforced the license plate area to keep slits from spreading out. We have used the bra on numerous long distance trips with the Inca with no paint problems. In fact I don't know of anyone that has had issues with their paint when using the Ford bra. The only problem you'll have is finding the Ford bra since Ford no longer carries that product.

    btw, this photo was taken last year in WA state.
    Last edited by 5bird7; Aug 4, 2019, 09:13 AM.

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