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Old 03-05-2009, 08:54 PM
z48 z48 is offline
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48 merc

I have a 48 merc sedan and am looking for the easist and cost effective way to put independent front end under it. any ideas and suggestions will be gratfully accepted thanks

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Old 03-10-2009, 08:19 AM
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Originally Posted by z48
I have a 48 merc sedan and am looking for the easist and cost effective way to put independent front end under it. any ideas and suggestions will be gratfully accepted thanks
This might sound bad, but the easiest and most cost effective way to put an IFS in a 48 Merc is to buy it done.

Anyone working on a vehicle has three options: good, fast, or cheap - pick two! If you want it good and cheap, it will take time. If you want it good and done this week, it wont be cheap. anyway, I'm sure you see where this is going.

I guess the question I have is, are you doing the work or is someone else? If your welding skills are good, you have the equipment, the time, and a place to work... then you can probably tackle the job yourself. If you buy a "kit" IFS (like a mustang II IFS), they usually are more expensive, but you are starting clean with all necessary parts and often made to your application.

If you go with a vehicle for the same stuff (ie a mustang II IFS), you would most likely have to replace all the wear items, but everything is there for you and the assembly is usually cheaper (I was given a Pinto, and at a local auction, they couldn't even sell a pinto - free for the taking but they both had a mustang II IFS so keep your eyes open!)

There is also the subframe option... I bought a 81 Olds cutlass for $250. I cut the front half of the frame off and was able to weld it to the back half of my 47 oldsmobile. They fit perfect together and cost me the $250 for the donor, $20 for the welding wire, $10 for cut off / grinding wheels, $25 for new calipers, $55 for new rotors and pads, $60 for new ball joints, $80 for bushings all around. I could have bought a "pre-done" Nova subframe to do the same thing from a catalog, but at a much greater cost.

These are some options that you will have and decisions you will have to make.

best of luck
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Old 03-10-2009, 11:32 PM
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I have to agree with lbr about using the parts from a donor vehicle. I've done it that way for 50 years basically because I'm too cheap to pay the money for someone to have engineered the thing for me when I'm capable and also because of all the extra parts you get with buying a whole donor car. The icing on the cake is that you get to sell off what you don't use and recoup some or all of your investment. I've even ended up on the plus side on a few projects over the cost of the donor.

You have to pay attention to the front track on your car and the donor so that you don't end up with the tires sticking out too far or tucked back into the fenders too far to look right. If I remember correctly, the front track on your Mercury is 56.5 inches. Here's the track on the G-body GM vehicles....
front 58.5, rear 58.8 -- 78-86 Chevy Monte Carlo, Malibu, El Camino, Olds Cutlass, Pontiac Grand Prix. So the front tires would be out 1.0" further each, the rears 1.15" each if you decided to use the rear clip also (I would). If you wanted a stock look to the car, Stockton Wheel could provide steel wheels with any backspace or width you might desire.

I was just looking on craigslist.com Vancouver to see what might be available.....

That last one might be the most attractive to me, with a running 305/powertrain. I might retire the flathead and put it in the corner of the garage wrapped in plastic and a tarp. I would however, un-lower the front end before using the clip.
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