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  • 57 Fairlane Sedan

    So - this happened.
    We've been missing the mild mannered cruiser 54 belair we sold to be able to afford to jack up the corner of our house.

    So - since this four door was much cooler (but rougher and priced accordingly) and owned by a friend who needed to downsize.... I brought this home, and it will remain sitting on the trailer with mothballs in it at least until the barn addition is done.

    Most likely it will end up powered by a mild 390 FE and a C6 unless I decide it's a good idea to spend nearly $900 on an adapter to run a more modern transmission with overdrive.
    From there, we'll see if we can fit the seats from a 97 town car into it, put a scarebird front disc conversion on it and an appropriate dual master cylinder, and hopefully drop in an after market AC system without hacking into the well preserved (still has the factory radio) metal dashboard.

    From there - swap out the busted driver door window, fix what needs fixing - and - DRIVE IT.... similar to what Squirrel did with his Edsel, fix what needs fixing, upgrade for safety's sake where appropriate, but at all costs - avoid the temptation of project creep.... and Take Lee to school in it as often as possible.


    There's always something new to learn.

  • #2

    Re: 57 Fairlane Sedan

    Yes!

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    • #3

      Re: 57 Fairlane Sedan

      It does exist! Looks pretty darn good. I think your plan is a great one, drive and enjoy with the younger generation. Build some memories.




      Is that car a manual or auto shift? Or should I ask which do you WANT it to be?


      Have you looked at Hughes adapter plate # HP5294? It requires a simple grinder modification to a stock starter, and running an (ahem) GM 700R4 transmission, but if you can stomach that idea it may be an overdrive option?

      http://www.hotrod.com/articles/0405c...cr_tranny_10_z

      http://hughesperformance.com/?s=ADAPTER&lang=en
      Last edited by STINEY; December 5th, 2016, 11:46 AM.
      Of all the paths you take in life - make sure a few of them are dirt.

      Comment


      • #4

        Re: 57 Fairlane Sedan

        This one will be a fun build.And.....its really solid. I had no idea the 57 Fairlanes all had fiberglass front fenders.
        HRPT LH- 09,10,11,12
        DW- 12,16,17
        "Stay thirsty my friends"
        The worlds most interesting man

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        • #5

          Re: 57 Fairlane Sedan

          ... I had no idea the 57 Fairlanes all had fiberglass front fenders.
          They didn't!

          Deaf Bob likes this.

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          • #6

            Re: 57 Fairlane Sedan

            This one sure does. I stand corrected-it was info given to me free..
            HRPT LH- 09,10,11,12
            DW- 12,16,17
            "Stay thirsty my friends"
            The worlds most interesting man

            Comment


            • #7

              Re: 57 Fairlane Sedan

              hmmm - we'll this one seems to have 'glass front fenders - heck what do I know - it's there!

              I am NOT in any way attached to a ford transmission - if a 700R4 makes more sense - so be it! Hopefully the Hughes piece isn't near $900 at the one I looked at recently.
              I bet I could get a 700R4 cheaper than a Ford OD anyway - and regardless - I'm getting drive shaft work done.

              This car came from the factory with power brakes, power steering and an automatic transmission. I plan to keep those intact.
              I'm not sure the -03 up crown vic front end swap would make any sense on this car or not, it seems to be very popular with the old pick up truck folks.

              At first I was considering putting this body onto a town car chassis, but I don't think I'm going to go that route - too much risk for it to be locked in project jail for too long.

              The car is relatively solid the way it is, it was driven regularly up until a year ago when the drive train was pulled - it had a 312 Y block.
              58 was the first year for the FE engines (I believe) so - getting mounts for a 58, headers, etc. and the 62 Thunderbird 390 engine I got free
              (assuming I can break it loose and make something usable out of it) and I'm on the way to a cruiser / tow rig - something about pulling the falcon on the trailer to nostalgia drag events using this car appeals to me a great deal. Fab a hitch, put in a brake controller, and aftermarket AC.

              Anyone know the best place to get glass and seals / weather stripping for this car?
              There's always something new to learn.

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              • #8

                Re: 57 Fairlane Sedan

                Weatherstripping - Dennis Carpenter
                Glass - should be available from a number of glass companies - front windshields where source out of Brazil the last time I checked

                I have a pretty good list of suppliers for 57 Fords - send me an email address and I will send it to you.

                Comment


                • #9

                  Re: 57 Fairlane Sedan

                  I am slowing developing a plan for that '56 I drug home recently.

                  Since it came with an extra frame (complete with stock front suspension) and the original frame under it has been repaired (creatively solid but still butchy) this is a good time to blast the frame (again, it was blasted recently but has weathered since) paint it and just start swapping parts over cleaning and painting as I go.

                  Buy a completely assembled aftermarket floor, bolt to frame, hack old ruined floor out of body, drop on new rolling chassis and weld new floor in. Do the same with the nasty original trunk floor.

                  And presto - - I'll be right up to the point you are starting at.

                  I'm slightly envious right now. You have a nice start and your plan is beautiful in its simplicity.



                  Is that Thunderbird engine completely complete? Are you planning exhaust manifolds and all? Keep in mind I have a spare FE from the Jetboat project, its a 352 but its all there AND it already spins freely.....story goes it was mothballed because it smoked a lot.

                  After learning how the drainback holes in the corners of the head under the valve covers on a FE like to sludge up, I have very little doubt that the only real issue was the valve guides being awash in a pool of oil. Exactly like my 390 was.

                  Of all the paths you take in life - make sure a few of them are dirt.

                  Comment


                  • #10

                    Re: 57 Fairlane Sedan

                    .
                    I'm not sure the -03 up crown vic front end swap would make any sense on this car or not, it seems to be very popular with the old pick up truck folks.
                    Not sure the CV would be that easy on the 57 as the frame is pretty different that the truck frames.
                    Here is what we did on mine:

                    Click image for larger version

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                    You should reach out to Lars. He has an FE in his 57 with headers (I believe)
                    milner351 likes this.

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                    • #11

                      Re: 57 Fairlane Sedan

                      ^^^ Is that a modified mustang 2 type set up? Did you put in rack and pinion? You're running a 460 based engine as I recall - which makes more power than three of the engines I'm looking at building.


                      Aaron has a pile of FE parts we are bartering over, he also has the engine mounts and a set of headers that should work.
                      FE manifolds - other than the ridiculously pricey "iron headers" appear to be absolutely horrible for flow - so headers seem like a no brainer.

                      I have a line on some parts not far from my folks place in IL that could make things better for not a huge investment - he's got roller rockers, mild roller cam and lifters, electronic distributor and some other bits for a good price - I hope to pick that up around the Holidays.

                      The 62 Tbird engine is still bolted to the transmission - which I THINK is a 2 speed fordomatic, I have not run the numbers.
                      The engine is complete from intake to pan with valve covers, fuel pump, carb is missing - and what makes me nervous is the spark plugs are out - so - it's likely rusty and will take a long soaking in ATF / Acetone and then the BFH to get it apart. Time will tell.
                      Last edited by milner351; December 7th, 2016, 07:19 AM.
                      There's always something new to learn.

                      Comment


                      • #12

                        Re: 57 Fairlane Sedan

                        This one will be a fun build.And.....its really solid. I had no idea the 57 Fairlanes all had fiberglass front fenders.
                        J. C. Whitney used to sell fiberglass replacement fenders for these cars way back when. Lots of rust issues in late '50s sedan bodies.

                        Comment


                        • #13

                          Re: 57 Fairlane Sedan

                          ^^^ Is that a modified mustang 2 type set up? Did you put in rack and pinion? You're running a 460 based engine as I recall - which makes more power than three of the engines I'm looking at building.


                          Aaron has a pile of FE parts we are bartering over, he also has the engine mounts and a set of headers that should work.
                          FE manifolds - other than the ridiculously pricey "iron headers" appear to be absolutely horrible for flow - so headers seem like a no brainer.

                          I have a line on some parts not far from my folks place in IL that could make things better for not a huge investment - he's got roller rockers, mild roller cam and lifters, electronic distributor and some other bits for a good price - I hope to pick that up around the Holidays.

                          The 62 Tbird engine is still bolted to the transmission - which I THINK is a 2 speed fordomatic, I have not run the numbers.
                          The engine is complete from intake to pan with valve covers, fuel pump, carb is missing - and what makes me nervous is the spark plugs are out - so - it's likely rusty and will take a long soaking in ATF / Acetone and then the BFH to get it apart. Time will tell.
                          Yes, it is a Art Morrison Tubular IFS (which is a prettied up Mustang II setup). Click image for larger version

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                          This is going to sound a bit weird but one of the main reason we changed the front suspension was for header clearance. The stock upper control arms are MASSIVE and don't leave a lot of room for a properly sized set of headers.

                          Yes it has a power rack and pinion.
                          Yes I am running a 385 series engine - a bit bigger than 460 but the same basic architecture.

                          Did you get my message with the suppliers list?
                          Last edited by cstmwgn; December 7th, 2016, 09:27 AM.

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                          • #14

                            Re: 57 Fairlane Sedan

                            J. C. Whitney used to sell fiberglass replacement fenders for these cars way back when. Lots of rust issues in late '50s sedan bodies.
                            Yes! I spend hours searching the internet & junkyards for a usable set of fenders for my wagon. They were very bad about rusting out above the headlight buckets and in the lower corners by the rockers
                            Last edited by cstmwgn; December 7th, 2016, 09:32 AM.

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                            • #15

                              Re: 57 Fairlane Sedan

                              Here's another option for putting a GM overdrive behind the FE.... opinions? Anyone used something like this?

                              http://www.wilcap.com/wilcapstore.ht...egory=14420225

                              There's always something new to learn.

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