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54 ford frontend swap!

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Mainline54, May 28, 2010.

  1. Mainline54
    Joined: Mar 25, 2010
    Posts: 16

    Mainline54
    Member

    Looking for help swapping the frontend in my 54' Mainline. As of now we are running a 460 with a c4. The k-member has been a pain in the butt anyway you look at it and I would really like to swap the whole front from a cheap doner car. So... Whats a good match up?
     
  2. tony31a
    Joined: Aug 6, 2006
    Posts: 152

    tony31a
    Member

    There really isnt anything wrong with a 54s front suspension and there are many kits and direct replacement parts to put disc brakes on them so the cheapest thing would be no swap at all.
     
  3. Mainline54
    Joined: Mar 25, 2010
    Posts: 16

    Mainline54
    Member

    The biggest issue im having is motor mounts. where the mount is for the motor sits back past the K-member. If i slide it up the radiator is to close.
     
  4. Captain Freedom
    Joined: May 6, 2009
    Posts: 262

    Captain Freedom
    Member
    from Upstate SC

    1978-88 GM G-body
     

  5. Mainline54
    Joined: Mar 25, 2010
    Posts: 16

    Mainline54
    Member

    really now? so i could just cut the front off my ford and slap a reagal or cutlass on? is so...thats about as cheap as you get! But is it all the same size? and how the hell do i but it all together and it work....sorry if im sounding like an idiot but i have never done this before.
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2010
  6. DougHH
    Joined: Jun 24, 2009
    Posts: 273

    DougHH
    Member

    i would recommend possibly changing the way radiator mounts if thats the case. if you can get help IRL from someone who's handy then maybe it would be worth doing. not trying to be a d*ck here but its not a small job first time 'round. once you've done it a few times yeah but prolly best to learn off someone standing right next to you.
     
  7. junkyardjeff
    Joined: Jul 23, 2005
    Posts: 8,239

    junkyardjeff
    Member

    Use a 6 cylinder radiator as it sits in front of the core support and will give you alot more room,the splash pan will need to be cut some. I done this on my 55 when I installed a 351 and got about 5 more inches of clearance and gave me plenty of room for a good fan,dont know if I will leave it the same when I put a Y block back in.
     
  8. I have a 54 Ford and I mounted my V8 radiator in front of the support instead of behind it,,I gain a few inches of clearance,,I also opted not to use a clutch fan and that helped too.

    The 54 Front suspension is a well built and designed unit,,I just rebuilt mine with parts from Kanter.

    The photo below shows the radiator support circled in it's now reversed position,,HRP

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2010
  9. Ole don
    Joined: Dec 16, 2005
    Posts: 2,915

    Ole don
    Member

    Parts to rebuild the stock front end are cheap and easy to get. It is one of the best designs ever for an American car. Granada spindles and brakes like in an article in Y Block Magazine show you all the parts and how to do it. An aftermarket heavy duty sway bar will put the car in the 21st century. The radiator will mount on the front of the stock brackets with a little work. A 460 will sit on the stock frame holes with truck motor mount rubbers. Not trying to be a dink here, but you are planning on way more time and work than is required. Its nearly a bolt in.
     
  10. tony31a
    Joined: Aug 6, 2006
    Posts: 152

    tony31a
    Member

    If your trying to make room for a 460 the gm clip wont help you anyway. I have a gm clip and a 460 in my 55 truck and the crossmember is right where the oil pan wants to be. Its not a problem on the truck but you would probably run into clearence problems with your hood because of how high the motor would have to sit. Lots of cars benifit from a gm clip but yours is not one. If the 460 wont fit use a different motor 351w are cheap and fit great but clipping your car is alot of work for no reason.
     
  11. Mainline54
    Joined: Mar 25, 2010
    Posts: 16

    Mainline54
    Member

    I think the biggest mistake i ever made was cutting my K-member. We notched it to make room for a front sump pan. I should be taken out and shot for that! Btw none of you are coming off as dicks. I really thank you for the help. Ole don, wanna move to SC? lol The big reason i went with this motor was the fact i knew the car it come from. Its a lincoln 460 from a MkIV. It has 48,000mi's on it, never smoked, used oil, dripped oil, and to be honest the oil was honey when we pulled the dip stick! That, and it was free.
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2010
  12. Squablow
    Joined: Apr 26, 2005
    Posts: 15,947

    Squablow
    Member

    Granada disks are supposed to swap over and Aerostar van springs bolt in to give a 2 1/2 inch drop for like $60. I think you're better off relocating the radiator and reworking your motor mounts.
     
  13. Mainline54
    Joined: Mar 25, 2010
    Posts: 16

    Mainline54
    Member

    Granadas are picked clean around here. Havent found one in years that had its front end. I was told a couger would work as well. Not sure though, they look about the same. We have about 10 Aerostar vans in the local pik-a-part. What years work best?
     
  14. 73RR
    Joined: Jan 29, 2007
    Posts: 6,722

    73RR
    Member

    Sounds like you would be better off patching up the k-frame and fabbing decent mounts. If the pan is the issue they can be modified alot easier than clipping the car.
    Don't make work for yourself.

    .
     
  15. Mainline54
    Joined: Mar 25, 2010
    Posts: 16

    Mainline54
    Member

    I have heard some talk of using a truck rear sump pan. Thank god I saved what i cut out of the K-member.
     
  16. I used spindles and rotors/calipers from a '72 Mercury Montego, these parts are the same as late '60s big Fords with disc brakes, on my ' 55 Ford (same front suspension as your '54). Bolted right up. Nothing wrong with the Granada spindles and brakes if you can find them, but the big Ford brakes are a lot beefier.
     
  17. tony31a
    Joined: Aug 6, 2006
    Posts: 152

    tony31a
    Member

    My 460 is out of a truck and has a rear sump I guess I thought thats what you were dealing with. I think you will have alot of problems with the front sump no matter what you decide to do with the frame. I would suggest finding a pan and pickup from a truck and welding your crossmember back in. Steering may be another issue I had to do some looking around to find a drivers side exhaust manifold to clear the steering box when I put a 351 in my old 54 customline I can only imagine a 460 will be worse.
     
  18. Mainline54
    Joined: Mar 25, 2010
    Posts: 16

    Mainline54
    Member

    To be honest it not that bad around the streering box. The local Pik-a-part is open monday, so im skipping out on the lake and fishing to look for an oil pan.
     
  19. 73RR
    Joined: Jan 29, 2007
    Posts: 6,722

    73RR
    Member

    How about some pics ??

    .
     
  20. Mainline54
    Joined: Mar 25, 2010
    Posts: 16

    Mainline54
    Member

    Im heading to the shop monday. The car is torn down right now. But I do have a few saved ill dig out of us filling the trunk with PBR lol
     
  21. junkyardjeff
    Joined: Jul 23, 2005
    Posts: 8,239

    junkyardjeff
    Member

    Unless I am reading this wrong the front sump oil pan is what you would need since the frame is very similar to the 55 and 56s,with that said could this 54 be made in Canada since the flathead was still used in 54 and the frame might be similar to the 52 and 53 and then I can see using a rear sump pan.
     
  22. Squablow
    Joined: Apr 26, 2005
    Posts: 15,947

    Squablow
    Member

  23. Mainline54
    Joined: Mar 25, 2010
    Posts: 16

    Mainline54
    Member

    Its an American made 54 that came with a OHV S6. The front sump sits on the K-member.

    and thanks for the links!
     
  24. 19customline54
    Joined: Feb 15, 2008
    Posts: 42

    19customline54
    Member

    keep the original, box in your rails and get granada spindals and disc brakes. good as any other front end out there. getting ready to do that myself.
     

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