1954 merc project. Mii or subframe? - Hot Rod Forum : Hotrodders Bulletin Board
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Old 09-29-2007, 06:39 PM
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1954 merc project. Mii or subframe?

Hi i ve got a 54 merc 2 dr ht i just got and want to update the front susp.Im building a mild kustom and want to go with a sbc and gm a/t with front discs.What would be easier/better?. A subframe swap or go with a Heidts Mii kit? Thanks.

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Old 09-29-2007, 07:43 PM
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Check the wheelbase/ track width of a '90's Crown Vic/ Merc Grand Marquise. I'm pretty shure it would fit under the '54 Merc with little trouble. you could easilly sell the 4.6/ tranny for a little recovery money, and bolt in a SBC/ TH350 fairly easy.
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Old 09-29-2007, 07:51 PM
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What about front

sheetmetal mounting,core support,etc.What would be easier ll frame swap or mii.? What about cost ?
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Old 09-29-2007, 08:06 PM
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depends on the MII kit price. it would probably be like $2,500 or so for a complete MII kit, should be able to just get the correct MII X member, and put it togther peice by peice, but I'm not shure on cost diffrence.

with a frame swap, such as the Crown Vic, the cars can go in the ballpark of $800 if you, I know person who bought 3 for that price.

You would have to weld in new body/ sheetmetal points, and rework somthing for the core support, but that's pretty much it. The Crown vic frame is almost like a 2"x3" boxed frame. you would gain laddar bar/ trailing arm rear suspension, 4whl disc brakes, and a Ford 8.8" rear end.

ither 1, there is welding involved.
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Old 09-29-2007, 08:07 PM
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Take a look at the 54 ford I have posted in my photo album. We have already installed a SBC and 700r4. We used the stock steering and suspension. It drives quite well. No it's not a Lamborghini, but they sell a sway bar that you can put on the rear suspension and a upgrade for the front sway bar. We haven't gotten those parts yet but will in the future.We used the factory installed 54 power steering and a GM Power steering pump with a flow/pressure reducer.There is a lot of work involved in changing the body to another chassis . If you decide to keep the stock suspension and use a SBC and automatic. Send me a private messange and I can give you the exact details of how to install it. Lots of work went into making it all work correctly. Good luck with whatever you decide. Brian
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Old 09-30-2007, 12:37 AM
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I swapped a first series Camaro (also 68/72 Nova stub) with the Rear steering box in to my 51 Merc about 30 years ago with great luck. I know the 52/53 frames are a bit different but they may pretty close to the same.

With a bit of trimming the Merc frame rails slid right over the Nova subframe and the back tips of the subframe tied into the Merc X member with just a bit of trimming. The core support came down inline with the front cross piece of the subframe and bolted on with a just a couple of small spacers.

The Sub frame rode at stock hight while the body sat at the correct low height.
This was due to setting the subframe on a block the same height as the crossmember clearance on a stock Nova. The Merc was sitting blocked up at the final height that I wanted it to sit at. With measuring, trimming an leveling we got it tacked together in a couple of hours to where we could bolt the wheels back on and roll it to a better location for final welding and a couple of boxing plates. There were the usual tweaks to do but the final product was a great driving car that would cruise at 80 comfortably.
I don't remember if I took any photos when we were doing the swap but I will check my box of old photos.

We put in a late model tilt column with little effort and ran a 70 something GM booster and Master Cylinder along with the 72 Chevelle disk brake setup.

I would shy away from complete frame swaps as a lot of the structural strength of the early cars was in the X member of the frame and the floor boards don't have the built in extra strength pieces that the later cars have.
Also most Fords have a front sump oil pan that sets in front of the crossmember and the crossmember will interfere with the Chev pan.
Measure the width of your frame rails about 2 inches behind the mounts for the control arms or at the first place the rails are straight close to that and then measure the width of a Nova subframe in the same area.

The custom front suspension setup would be nice if you are willing to spend the money though.
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Old 09-30-2007, 09:16 AM
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1954 Merc project

I don't know how much time or money you want to put into your Merc, but if it was me, I'd give brian0605's offer some real serious thought.

Youngster
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