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302 motor mounts for 1956 Fairlane

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Guest Jim_Edwards

Though I know 302/5.0L engines have been dropped into earlier model Fords, I don't know that I've ever heard of a motor mount kit for it. Everything I have ever seen is a somewhat cobbled up mess using hot rod type mountings. The big problem is the "Y" blocks were front mounted and the 302/5.0L are mid block mounted and there is virtually nothing in a '56 in the right place adequate to weld a new mount to.

Potential pit falls: 302/5.0L exhaust manifolds may bang into the steering box if you can figure out a less than Jackass way to get it done. If the '56 has an automatic, it will not bolt right up to a 302/5.0L so you're not just talking about an engine swap but a tranny swap as well along with a different length drive shaft.

Personally, unless you're wanting to use 302/5.0L speed equipment I'd stick with a 292 out of a '60-'61 Mercury or a 312 out of a '58-'59 Mercury.

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Thanks for the reply. I am going with the 5.0 with fuel injection and using a 5 speed also. I can fab up mounts, just thought bolt in kit would save time. I am very surprised how few after market parts are available for mid to late 50's Fords and Merc's. Maybe I'll make a few sets up for anybody that want to do the same mod. Being a rear steer front end I have talked to 2 vendors about a Mustang II style power steering conversion also,which looks very promising.

Thanks again for info, Jack

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I found a Hemmings "Classic Cars" magazine at Barnes&Noble this afternoon. In it's a '57 Ford Custom 300 2-dr sedan into which a 2003 Mustang Cobra supercharged V-8 motor has been installed. Not a simple "adapter mount" situation, as they fabricated the Mustang K-frame mechanism to the existing Ford frame, plus the shock towers. NOT an easy thing to do, for many people, even those on weekend morning cable/satellite television shows!!!!!!!

The "good thing" about using this approach is that it gets the complete front suspension and brakes from the donor car, which is of a very similar total weight as the '57 Ford. This means that, unlike the Mustang II system, which was designed for a compact car, the 2003 Mustang system is more up to the challenge, reliably and safely so. Plus the brake upgrades, too! They used a Tremec trans from the 2003 Cobra, too, plus the independent rear suspension set-up (which also completed the total brake system upgrade).

It MIGHT (key word) be able to fab a front-mount set-up for the later motor. In drag racing, they call it a "motor plate" which is a plate which goes between the two front frame sections and bolts to the front of the motor/block. It's quite common in the faster drag racing classes, which are usually Chevies. In the World of Mopar, they call it "elephant ears" (which might also relate to "426 HEMI = Elephant Motor", just as the small block Chevy is "mouse" and big block Chevy is "rat").

One neat thing about the Chevy small block casting is that it still has the mounting bosses and such for back when they had front mounts (circa 1955) although they haven't had a front mount chassis (other than medium duty trucks) for decades. This is why it's so easy to put a later small block in the earlier cars.

Unfortunately, the Ford 302 enging family came along well after front mounts were commonly used. Plus, the basic block is so short, finding a good attachment point would be difficult.

Personally, rather than go to the trouble of fabbing a 302 into the car, I'd find a better camshaft profile, a 4bbl intake, some headers, and top the Y-block with a bolt-on "carb-style" TBI unit. Then add an electronic ignition (Pertronix or similar), a good undercar exhaust system, and you'd be good to go with a blend of correct and upgraded-to-modern parts.

As for the steering, get the suspension bushings replaced with new ones and then see if you can get one of the newer street rod-type steering columns which has electric power steering in it. Check "Street Rodder" magazine's vendors for this item.

Also, consider upgrading the generator to an alternator, probably one about 100A or so, for good mesure.

I know "Cut, chop, rebuild" is a way of life for some people, BUT . . . the closer you can stay to factory architecture in many areas, the better things can be in the long term.

The 302 is a good bit lighter than the Y-block, which could be a good thing, BUT you'd need a rack set-up which is designed to work with the weight on the nose-heavy Fords without causing problems. Well past the amount of weight on a Mustang II front end!!! (which is what many of the rack/pinion gear set-ups seem to be designed around).

It might be possible to cross-breed the steering box internals with something newer, so you can get a faster steering gear ratio.

Just some thoughts,


Note: Above color priint is "edited" material, after I looked at the magazine article.

Edited by NTX5467 (see edit history)
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From what I have heard the fox body mustang and 80s truck mounts will bolt a sbf in a 55/56 Ford,I bought a kit from a hotrod shop to drop the 351 in my 55 and wish I known about those mounts. 63/64 galaxie 289 mounts will also work but a 1 inch spacer will be needed between the block and mount,I am going back to a Y block soon since the 351 just does not look right in the 55 to me.

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  • 1 month later...
Guest Fairlane 55

I am putting a 5.0 and T5 in my 1955 Fairlane but the T 5 seems too big to fit in the Trans Tunnel, have you fitted yours yet, looking for advice

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