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Hell is about to freeze over


junkyardjeff

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I have been pondering this for the last couple of weeks and I think I am going to put my 55 Ford convertible as back to original as I can,I have never been satisfied with the modifications that I done to it so its back to somewhat original. There are going to be a couple things I wont change back like a dual master cylinder and 12 volts but its going to be changed back to the stock ride height and will get rid of the disc brakes too,I thought I was doing it right by buying dropped spindles and lowered springs but it has bump steer and rides like crap so all that stuff is coming out. The guy that assembled the 351-w put in the wrong cam and used some junk smog heads so it will cost me as much to go through a Y block as to repair it so its going to get a 272 or a 292 depending on what I can find reasonable,I wish now that I would of kept the original parts but now I am on the hunt to find others. Anybody know where I can find a rough 55/56 with a 4 bbl 272 or 292 and automatic trans I can use for a donor,I thought I would never say this but I wish now that I would of left it alone.

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Guest DeSoto Frank

Jeff,

Sorry to hear you went to all that trouble and didn't like the results.

On the plus-side, sounds like you'll be undoing mods that were "reversible" (bolt-on) in the first place.

With everything in first-class shape, your Ford should be a very driveable car, just the way it left Dearborn. The '55-'56 Ford engine & tranny are strong and reliable, and the Bendix brakes are among the best of the era ( inexpensive to source too ! ).

I'm still regretting selling my '59 Edsel wagon (essentially a rebadged '59 Ford)...

I've been DRIVING 40-50 year-old stockers ever since getting my license over 25 years ago, and have never had to "resort to" grafting Mustang II IFS, discs, etc, etc, blah, blah, blah...

Heck, I've yet to "need" to do a 12-volt "upgrade" on a six-volt car, and I've had plenty of them !

Good luck with your project - hope it goes well !

De Soto Frank

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All my 6 volt vehicles get 12 volts so I can have a decent sound system,we have no AM stations that play music and I need tunes when I am on the road and now that I work for a place that sells car stereos I get everything at cost so I can build a system cheap. I am going to watch for a parts car but can get everything I need out of a couple junkyards but the ride height will be coming up this winter and the motor/trans might be changed later as I will need to go through them. I am going to make improvements for drivabilty and parts availability but not like I did the first time,after having mid 50s olds with hydromatics I never liked the original trans as when left in drive it starts in 2nd so I will have someone modify the original trans to start in 1st or adapt a later FMX and the teapot 4 bbl will be repalced with a modern 4 bbl since I have a 57 intake. Even though I want a more original drivetrain I do want it to run good but as I would like to have it back in now its not going to happen over night but I will get it to ride better first and then build the motor.

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Yes I attend the friday night cruise and it will be going back to stock with improvements,since I cant leave nothing alone so I am going to tweek the motor and trans for better performance but it will have a original type motor and trans again. I might keep the disc brakes if I can get them to stop better but it seems its not any improvement over the original but I could have the wrong master cylinder on it and will try another before giving up on the discs. Its definately going to get another Y block and the aluminum wheels are coming off and steel rims are going back on along with white walls so it will look like it should.

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Jeff,

I have mixed feelings about mod vs. stock. My 55 t-bird had a 312 Y-block and a fordomatic tranny. Neither one was original to the car, therefore I was not concerned about matching numbers and keeping it original. It had scary moments when trying to stop and the steering had bump steer problems as well. The dampener came loose one day and I was told the crank was broke and didn't find the loose dampener until I pulled the motor out. Well the rebuild was a complete modification with a crate 302 (350 hp), 5 speed overdrive tranny (TKO 500), mustang II front end with coil over shocks and disc brakes all around, 9 inch rear with a four bar suspension. I couldn't be happier with the performance, handling and braking power of this car. I have had some critizism from some of the old timmers; but now it drives like a real sports car; the way is should have when it came out over fifty years ago.

On the other hand, my 57 buick super will remain stock. Its a heavy car and a new suspension my not help the handeling that much. The 364 should have 300 hp after its rebuilt and it will be a nice cruiser, but will still take off like a herd of turtles. So, I think it not only depends upon the personality of the owner, but more importantly the type of car that is being rebuilt.

But hey, this may be an excuse to get another car and rebuild it stock.

Good luck and Happy New Year!

Craig

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I like the way my 55 looks being lowered but it rides rough and the bump steer is annoying so something needs to be done so I will start with the suspension first and get it sitting up close to where it should and see if there is any improvement,I got alot of money in the disc brakes and lowering and hate to throw it away but its not like I was hoping it would be. Since its a convertible it should be a cruiser and not a hotrod and with the way it is now I dont think I would want to take it on a long trip and I cant haul too many people or its bottoming out and the tires rubbing,the late model motor might have to stay in a few years untill I can get a Y block built but this winter I hope I can get to ride better and see if I can get it to stop a little better. I think since my dad bought it new that is why I am having regrets doing what I done to it so I want to put it back close to what it was.

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Jeff,

mustang II front end with coil over shocks

Good luck and Happy New Year!

Craig

Don't forget to get that car up on a lift once in a while, to look for stress cracks on the M2 crossmember as well as the lower A arms.

Many aftermarket M2 setups are not designed correctly.

Do a google search for Mustang 2 front end failures...or M2 front end failures.

There have been many failures, some caught in time, and some rollovers.

The better kits have a lower rear strut arm just like Ford designed in the original M2 and Pinto cars.

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