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Technical 1954 Mercury needs steel wheels after disk conversion

Discussion in 'Traditional Customs' started by Analog, Jul 5, 2018.

  1. Analog
    Joined: Jul 5, 2018
    Posts: 6

    Analog

    I didn't know that my original steel wheels weren't going to fit over the new rotors of the disk break conversion that I ordered. I don't know what replacement wheel to use. Any help would be great. The car is sitting on the rack not able to be moved since the original wheels won't go back on.
    The original steel wheels are 15"x 5.5 with a 5 x 4 1/2 lug. Breaks were drum. I ordered drop spindles and break conversion kit from FAt Man. The rotors are 75'-80' Granada. The center of that rotor looks to be 70 mm. I'd like to not have to machine the rotor to fit the old wheel if I can get a different steel to fit. The wheel is painted and has olds hub caps so only a small part of the wheel shows.

    I already have the diamond back 215/75/15 tires.

    Any help would be great. Thanks
     
  2. Granada wheels. At least to get off the rack and back home. I've found about any American 5 spoke wheels will clear disc brakes...even the old 14" wheels made for drum brakes.
     
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  3. goldmountain
    Joined: Jun 12, 2016
    Posts: 1,815

    goldmountain

    Get later disc brake type wheels. Years ago I did a Chrysler Cordoba/ Gibbon Fiberglass front crossmember swap on a '41 Fargo and the wheels wouldn't fit. Since we had NOS Fargo hubcaps, we really wanted to keep the old wheels. Ended up finding later Ford pickup wheels at the wreckers, cut the centers out and spliced in the Fargo centers in the Ford rims.
     
  4. Analog
    Joined: Jul 5, 2018
    Posts: 6

    Analog

    I was worried 14 inch granada wheels wouldn't fit at all to get it off the rack. Maybe even those smaller spare tires would get it moved today? I hope to find out what wheels might work so I can buy one set rather than one set for today to get it off the rack and one later that actually works. The 54 ford has 5 inch wheels rather than 5.5 so what worked for a ford should work for the mercury in case someone has done this conversion on a ford.
     
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  5. williebill
    Joined: Mar 1, 2004
    Posts: 2,557

    williebill
    Member

    Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do. Step 1, get it off the rack today.
    Got a pull-a-part near you? Go buy some cheap 15s.
     
  6. If you want 15" wheels, that will restrict you to full-size car wheels. By about '74, pretty much all Ford wheels were for discs. Do check the center hole diameter as Ford changed these during this era, the Granada rotors should be the 'medium' size hole. The earlier wheels used the small hole like what you have now.

    Where you'll have an issue will be width; most will be 7", you might be able to find 6" but don't hold your breath. If you can find some, the '69-72 full-size Ford wheels will be the closest fit.
     
    brad2v likes this.
  7. DIYGUY
    Joined: Sep 8, 2015
    Posts: 866

    DIYGUY
    Member
    from West, TX

    I have Granada spindles and calipers and the 14 inch Granada wheels clear. In my experience 14 inch wheels are plentiful, 15's are tough to find. I have been looking for awhile. The other day I looked for trailer wheels and lo and behold I found a set of 15's to fit for a $100. I thought that was a score and they are on the car now. (Oem style wheels)
    The easiest way might be to order new from Summit or the like. $85 I think for oem style and you pick the width you want.
     
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  8. Analog
    Joined: Jul 5, 2018
    Posts: 6

    Analog

    Thanks for the ideas. I'm thinking machining the rotor to fit the old wheel might be the best option. Any negatives?

    I thought of summit but they do 5 inch or 6 inch wide wheels and I'm worried that might cause other problems in some way since originals are 5.5.
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2018
  9. Atwater Mike
    Joined: May 31, 2002
    Posts: 10,074

    Atwater Mike
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Just look for mid '60s to '79 Dodge wheels, (car, Dodge Diplomat type)
    The wide wheels are Highway patrol (police) and taxicab.
    The center bore is large, the bolt pattern is 5 on 4-1/2". Wheels are 6" wide and 7" wide. They come solid or 'vented'...police type. Cheap at an independant tire dealer, or older American wrecking yard.
     
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  10. Analog
    Joined: Jul 5, 2018
    Posts: 6

    Analog

    Wheel vintique has 15x5 5x4.5 spacing and 3.00 backspace. Wheels are lug centric so the center hole is wide enough for disk break rotors. Would that work? Sorry for the lame questions but I need to get this done today and I'm at work and can't get measurements off the car right now. Again, sorry for being lazy on this. Local junk yards didn't have temporary wheels except one off a ford ranger but it's 7" wide and it would be $120 for two where the wheel vintiues are only a bit more, brand new.....so Id rather buy once. Thanks again for the ideas.
     
  11. The aftermarket will be the best place to get a off-the-shelf 'correct' replacement. The Wheel Vintique wheels you mentioned will work.
     
  12. Moriarity
    Joined: Apr 11, 2001
    Posts: 18,060

    Moriarity
    SUPER MODERATOR
    Staff Member



    look at the back of your original wheels. see how the hoop tapers as it gets closer to the center? this is where your caliper will more than likely rub. disc wheels are a larger straighter diameter on the back to make room for the caliper
     
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  13. goldmountain
    Joined: Jun 12, 2016
    Posts: 1,815

    goldmountain

    The clearance problem is the caliper, not the rotor.
     
    brad2v likes this.
  14. miker98038
    Joined: Jan 24, 2011
    Posts: 465

    miker98038
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    FWIW, the front disc conversion most of the Thunderbird suppliers sell uses a Granada rotor, turned down to fit the smaller center hole on early rims. Assuming that’s the only interference. Don’t know specifics about a Merc or 54, but that might be the easy option.
     
  15. The only problem with that option is if you need to replace a rotor, it won't be off the shelf at the local parts store.
     
    Hnstray likes this.
  16. AldeanFan
    Joined: Dec 12, 2014
    Posts: 549

    AldeanFan

    I used the kit from scarebird on my ‘54 Country Squire.
    It uses 80’s Lincoln rotors.
    I have rims from an 80’s Crown Victoria on my car and they fit perfectly.

    I’ll measure the diameter of the hub on the rotor tonight


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  17. AldeanFan
    Joined: Dec 12, 2014
    Posts: 549

    AldeanFan

    My wheels have a 2-3/4” hole


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  18. Jalopy Joker
    Joined: Sep 3, 2006
    Posts: 24,903

    Jalopy Joker
    Member

    Last edited: Jul 5, 2018
  19. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 26,861

    Mr48chev
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I Have no idea of where you are at but here locally the tire stores sell "snow tire wheels" Those are oem style steel wheels that may or may not have a dual bolt pattern but aren't very expensive.
    Stock Ford car rear wheel drive disk brake wheels the right size should be easy to find, I think I have a set of 79 Monarch wheels out here that are 15 inch that you could have for hauling off if you were close by.
     
  20. junkyardjeff
    Joined: Jul 23, 2005
    Posts: 7,394

    junkyardjeff
    Member

    I am using original 55 rims on my sunliner with Granada discs,I just had the center hole machined out to fit the rotor.
     
  21. Brand Apart
    Joined: Jan 22, 2011
    Posts: 626

    Brand Apart
    Member
    from Roswell GA

    Will wheel spacers help? Pushing the wheel farther out helps sometimes. If not swap meet steelies to get it off the rack.
    I had similar issue with. A Mopar and found some 15" 70's steelies that worked after the 14's didn't.
     
  22. brad2v
    Joined: Jun 29, 2009
    Posts: 1,648

    brad2v
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I once had a '59 Ford wagon that had a Granada disc swap when I bought it, and presumably, the Granada's 14" wheels on the front. Some cheapie Moon 14/15 Lancer knock off wheelcovers solved that.
     
  23. 1946caddy
    Joined: Dec 18, 2013
    Posts: 1,662

    1946caddy
    Member
    from washington

    I would think a call to Fatman fabrication would tell you what wheels work with his disc brake conversion kit. ;)
     
  24. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 26,861

    Mr48chev
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    You aren't looking for "temporary wheels" those are usually those butt ugly oversize "rins' that some guys like to run but are verboten here.
    What you are looking for are just plain old Ford car 15 inch disk brake wheels. it can't be all that difficult unless you work at making it difficult.
     
  25. Analog
    Joined: Jul 5, 2018
    Posts: 6

    Analog

    I'm in the SF bay area and the junkyards were lacking older car parts. I was only able to get 2010 Ford Ranger wheels and we were able to get the car off the rack so the mechanic is happy. New steel wheels should arrive today from Summit which was fast. My old spare won't fit on the front and the rear wheel won't fit on the front due to the disk break conversion but at least it get's it done, I hope.
    Tried wheel spacers and it didn't work.

    Fat Man did not know or suggest a wheel to go with the conversion. They thought it was fairly common knowledge that you have to change wheels. I had checked on line before the conversion purchase and I don't think I ever saw anyone say that there was a wheel issue. I hope others looking to do this conversion are aware so they can deal with it before hand. I'll post a picture on Tuesday showing how the conversion turned out for anyone interested. It's a 2.5 drop spindle with new stock sized springs. My old custom made 3" drop springs left no travel and the car was bottoming out for years. This new ride should be much better. If you don't mind a rougher ride and want a cheap set of used 3" drop springs.....let me know.
     
  26. DIYGUY
    Joined: Sep 8, 2015
    Posts: 866

    DIYGUY
    Member
    from West, TX

    Thanks for the update.
     
  27. I used steel Vintique wheels on my '59 Ford after I went to front discs. The center hole in the wheel is bigger than what I need, but 8000 miles later the wheels stay on tight.
     
  28. Analog
    Joined: Jul 5, 2018
    Posts: 6

    Analog

    IMG_1320.JPG
    The steel wheels worked. Tires are diamond back, fatman 2.5 drop spindles, stock spring size from Jamco, disk brake conversion. No power brakes or steering but it all seems to have made a huge difference in performance.
     
  29. williebill
    Joined: Mar 1, 2004
    Posts: 2,557

    williebill
    Member

    Good looking car.
     
  30. LM14
    Joined: Dec 18, 2009
    Posts: 1,932

    LM14
    Member
    from Iowa

    Looks like it worked perfect! Beautiful car, I understand your concerns better now.
    SPark
     

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