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1976 Mercury Montego MX Brougham

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Don V. View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Don V. Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: 1976 Mercury Montego MX Brougham
    Posted: 08-July-2017 at 8:45AM
Because my oldest granddaughter got bit by the bug early and has hung out and helped in garages all her life she's been told that when the time came she could pick out a car and it would be her turn. That time has come and I never imagined this would be the car. I assumed an M3 or TT or something but not this boat. It's OK, she's earned it.
The car scares me though. The suspension and drivetrain have to go. The 351M and FMX transmission are worn out and not worth rebuilding. The car has 100,000 miles but that all came before coming from the Carolina's to Michigan in 1990. In Michigan the car was plated then put in a barn where it has been since. Structurally the car is very sound. Cosmetically is another story. The body work needed is minor but a lot of small parts need replacing. If what I've been able to find on the internet so far is any indication of what's available this is going to be a long process.
 
I hope resto-mod isn't an offensive word here because that's the direction this car will be taking. We've talked to Ford Performance and AutoMeter so the drivetrain is solved except for some disagreements between us over transmissions.
 
I'm hoping the participants here can help us with experience, advice and opinions about the suspension. You know this car a lot better then I do. I'm thinking one of the many Mustang II clones in the front. For the back we have a complete 2016 Mustang GT IRS rear end subassembly with numerous options for putting on the car. The rear wheel track of the 2 cars have just over an inch difference between them. In 76 Ford\Mercury went back to a perimeter frame doing away with the unibody which will create some issues\options though. Another potential issue is the 315 rear end from the Mustang. I'm thinking 355 or 377?
 
Again, any advice, experience or opinions about our plans would be appreciated.
 
On another topic, I found a place with 2 complete sets of the 5 volume, 1976 Ford\Mercury shop manuals for $39.98 plus $8.00 USPS standard ground shipping if anyone is interested. I've ordered a set which leaves one. Notes and drawings can't be added to CD ROMS. The last set I bought was for F150's and was north of $300.  
 
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Big Bird View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Big Bird Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08-July-2017 at 10:47AM
Sounds like you have an ambitious plan. Sounds like you don't mind getting into a project either.
I'd think twice about the mustang II-based front. This is a lot of car. Have you considered Ford Panther-chassis clips/swaps? 02-up Crown Vic seems to be a popular idea, and a Coyote 5.0 could be fun.
Good Luck and welcome aboard.
The above post should be read in a "Grumpy Old Man" voice.
Almost forgot: "Get off my lawn!!!"
Randy
1979 T-Bird
2006 GMC Sierra
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Don V. View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Don V. Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08-July-2017 at 12:33PM
Originally posted by Big Bird Big Bird wrote:

Sounds like you have an ambitious plan. Sounds like you don't mind getting into a project either.
I'd think twice about the mustang II-based front. This is a lot of car. Have you considered Ford Panther-chassis clips/swaps? 02-up Crown Vic seems to be a popular idea, and a Coyote 5.0 could be fun.
Good Luck and welcome aboard.
 
Big Bird,
 
I really appreciate the thoughts. I never considered a newer full size sedan like the Crown Vic. I see large modern sedans and I still see 65' to 85' and that's just not the way it is. I'm not familiar with their engineering but finding out can't take to much. I think the suggestion has opened up a lot of options. A frame clip wouldn't be a problem. I adapt the Audi Quattro system whenever I can. Unfortunately the Quattro programming won't understand the Montego. The initial problem is with the massive front and rear overhang on the Montego. The movement of the CoG is too far out of range to manipulate. I may be better off now then what the Quattro would default to.
 
The Coyote is what we decided on. We're not decided on which one yet but I did give a lot of thought to a push rod engine. A 427 was tempting and if this was my car it probably would be the choice. We argue over the transmission though.
 
I am interested in hearing more of your thoughts about the Mustang II front end clones though. They do seem to invoke a lot of opinions.
 
Thanks again Big Bird.
 
Don 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Big Bird Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08-July-2017 at 1:22PM
Well, the mustang II is a "small" suspension form an econobox. It's a nearly 50 year old design that was ahead of the Falcon suspension, but that's not saying much.  Front end under the Torino chassis is same ere, actually a little older, but is meant for the size and weight of the car.
I know guys who used them for their pro-street cars back in the day, and they were never that good. Mostly, those cars were trailer queens and really sketchy safety-wise.Best results came from replacing the lower control arm with a dedicated A arm to eliminate the strut rod, but brakes still needed upgrades, then you are looking at scaling up for a larger chassis, reconfiguring ackerman and anti-dive. If you have to put that much work into something, at least it should end up an improvement.
The above post should be read in a "Grumpy Old Man" voice.
Almost forgot: "Get off my lawn!!!"
Randy
1979 T-Bird
2006 GMC Sierra
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Don V. View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Don V. Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09-July-2017 at 2:38PM
Originally posted by Big Bird Big Bird wrote:

Well, the mustang II is a "small" suspension form an econobox. It's a nearly 50 year old design that was ahead of the Falcon suspension, but that's not saying much.  Front end under the Torino chassis is same ere, actually a little older, but is meant for the size and weight of the car.
I know guys who used them for their pro-street cars back in the day, and they were never that good. Mostly, those cars were trailer queens and really sketchy safety-wise.Best results came from replacing the lower control arm with a dedicated A arm to eliminate the strut rod, but brakes still needed upgrades, then you are looking at scaling up for a larger chassis, reconfiguring ackerman and anti-dive. If you have to put that much work into something, at least it should end up an improvement.
 

Big Bird,

You alluded to weight in your prior post and I wondered if you had experience or an opinion specific to the '76 frame. I can't disagree with what you write concerning the inherent problems with both the Fatman and Heidts designs that dominate the off the shelf MustangII "kits" regardless of manufacturer. I'm not going to give the "kits" much deference because most fall in to economy buys. You're absolutely right on some combination of towers, crossmember and control arms falling short of their design standards. I won't be looking for a "kit" but if I were would I even find one for the car? If I did it would have to be for someone looking to narrow the front track which makes no sense for street use with the car. That might work with a mid or rear engine car with a perimeter frame but not a front engine. The front tires would be inside the frame with the weight of the engine sitting on them. Outside of the basics I know very little about drag racing but that's the only place I can imagine someone might be able to dial in a viable front suspension with this setup. On the street the front suspension would depend on the torsional strength of the frame and going inboard would be a bad idea. It does raise some wheel alignment questions though. Camber would be interesting.

The front suspension I'm referring to would be made for the car. The value in the Mustang II design is my granddaughter knows it and the design is well covered by suspension software. It's my fault but if anyone handed her a timing light or tach dwell meter she wouldn't have a clue. Hand her a VCMII and an IDS computer and she'll tear into a Ford. Add a breakout box and there's not much she can't do.

You do now have me thinking about a stub now. I don't know with the perimeter frame but I will find out. Ultimately I'm after a safe car she understands. My fear is a situation where she will think, or without thinking, this car will act like like the modern cars she is use to. If she could drive the car now she would get a lesson in what terms like dive and roll really mean.

Your sedan\Crown Vic has got my attention though and is going to get a lot of time. It makes so much sense. It also reminds me of how habits can be defined as comfortable blinders. I missed the obvious and a salvage yard find would save a lot of the budget that can be used elsewhere.

Thanks again. You've helped a lot.

Don

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GranTorinoSport View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GranTorinoSport Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11-July-2017 at 7:18AM
Congratulations on getting the car and you've come to the best place for help and ideas!
Scott Eklund

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Don V. Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12-July-2017 at 10:45AM
Originally posted by GranTorinoSport GranTorinoSport wrote:

Congratulations on getting the car and you've come to the best place for help and ideas!
 
Thank you for the welcome. The site and it's users are impressive in their knowledge of the cars. We've learned a lot reading past posts and Big Bird's suggestions have really helped. My granddaughter and youngest daughter, a 70's Chevy Monte Carlo enthusiast, have been busy with a tape measure and visiting local salvage yards together. Those two working together has meant a lot to us all. 
 
Thank you again.
 
Don
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Don V. Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29-July-2017 at 2:41AM
My granddaughter "Mad," for Madelyn, got her drivers learning permit yesterday. She's excited and impatient but will do today what she can, wash it.
 
Her dad went nuts over the coyote Thursday night. Appears we are starting over with the coyote out. I suggested an old school 427 and it seems that might be workable. Wink
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote californiajohnny Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29-July-2017 at 4:32AM
Old school is so much easier to work on IMO

Edited by californiajohnny - 29-July-2017 at 1:19PM
JOHN
74 GRAN TORINO S&H CLONE
74 CORVETTE COUPE CUSTOM
90 S10 BLAZER 4X4 LIFTED
77 CELICA CUSTOM
75 V8 MONZA SUPERCHARGED
79 COURIER VERT. SLAMMED
75 VEGA V6 5 SPD
70 CHEV C10 P/U
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Don V. View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Don V. Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29-July-2017 at 5:05AM
Originally posted by californiajohnny californiajohnny wrote:

Old school is so mu h easier to work on IMO
 
Oh I agree,
 
Mad's parents are divorced so this will be interesting. Her mother left a few minutes ago and her only engine concern was not one of those that's never done because there's always something better. I just told her every engine is like that. Then she brought up MPG's. I couldn't stretch anything truthful with that so I didn't even try.
 
BTW, I did look into a Cleveland and around here at least people apparently think sometime between 76 and now they became gold plated.


Edited by Don V. - 29-July-2017 at 5:09AM
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