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1961 Mercury Meteor 800 restore


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Today me and my neighbor did the 3rd member.  He was working on a VW transmission for a customer, but he's at a stopping point until he gets parts. He decided to work on my stuff while I made a mount for his lathe so he can mount a small post grinder on it for grinding pinion shafts.  Tomorrow I get to put it in the housing along with the axles and backing plates.  Have to run to the auto store and get some supplies.

 

 

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Thanks Paul.  Looks like your moving along on yours also.  I got the rear differential all ready to go when I get the body back on the frame.  I also have the front spindles all done too.  Didn't get to the auto parts store to get some brake fluid so I didn't do the wheel cylinders.  Now it's time to work the firewall.

 

 

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Well it was another hot one.  Had to put up the pop up to give me some shade otherwise I would have turned into beef jerky by the end of the day.  I spent the day sanding and more sanding of the firewall.  I managed to get it all sanded and primed.  I will do the final sanding of it before I apply the paint.  I should be picking that up this coming week.  While sanding I came across another set of markings that I will have to apply back on.  Have the rear drums coming tomorrow.

 

 

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"Time to make the doughnuts"  I got out the new body mount bushings to see what I need to do to get them ready after the firewall is painted.  They don't make a kit for a 61 so I had to buy a 63 kit.  The upper ones are the same, but the lower ones are a lot smaller than the stock ones.  So I decided to make a fixture that can cut them out.  I turned some pipe on the lathe to get a thin wall diameter and did the same with a smaller piece for the center.  I then sharpened them up with a little grinder and welded a 1/4" flat strap on top.  I made sure I had a hole in the center so I can push the rubber center out and enough room on the sides to push out the bushing.  I had a big piece of 3/4" rubber so I cut off a piece and went over to use the press at my neighbors.  I sprayed some silicone spray on the die and it cut it like butter.  The sides are a little curved in, but they will work.  They are the same size as the factory.  Cost was great too.  $0.00.:)

 

 

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Water is the best cheap "rubber" lubricant. Make sure you clean off all traces of that silicon: it attacks rubber (but maybe it doesn't attack more modern "rubber" made from petroleum).

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Thanks Keiser.  Thanks for the tip Spinney.  Going to pick up paint tomorrow.  $120 for a quart of paint, clear, hardener and reducer.  Good thing the original color wasn't a red or black, or even worse a metallic.

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Another day of progress.  I got the firewall painted today.  Very pleased with the results.  Had a gun issue at first and it caused a few little runs, but I switch to the gun I used to paint the dash and it came out nice.  The firewall originally had a lot bigger runs here and there.  Cars were still painted by people back then and not robots.  Makes it look authentic.  The clear coat came out with the same look as the factory.  I will be adding back the markings in a couple of days.  I started to go thru boxes to find some of the little firewall mounted items.  Next will be putting the insulation back on, the heater box and motor.  I had to remove the insulation before I painted.  Got ahead of myself.  I will have to order the big flange gasket for the blower motor along with some other items I need.  

At least I'm heading in the right direction.

 

 

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Edited by Laughing Coyote (see edit history)
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Thanks Paul.  Your car is coming along nice too.  The paint is Limco.  It's made by BASF.  http://www.refinish.basf.us/  I used a conventional paint gun and compressor type set up at first.  It wasn't a high dollar paint gun so I guess you get what you pay for.  Then I switched over to my Capspray 9100 unit.  It's a 4 stage turbine compress and a HVLP gun.  I bought it a long time ago for painting my iron products.  It flows out the paint really nice and the air output is always consistent.  They're pretty pricey.  I paid $900 for mine.

 

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Edited by Laughing Coyote (see edit history)
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Thanks for the comments.  I'm getting all the mounts ready and should be ready to mount the body this weekend. I also have ordered all the parts needed for installing the firewall insulation again and the heater box. 

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It's official.  The car has been re-married.  The body and frame are now back together.  I also managed to get the rear differential all done too.  I just need my two rubber bushings for the anti harsh ride for the rear.  They have to be made since they are not available.  I having them done by the folks that did my trans mount and brake pedal pad.  I was putting my fire wall insulation back on, but wasn't able to finish.  The metal clips that were just like factory are not up to par.  Must have been made in China.  Not OEM that's for sure.  They bent and broke and the ones that did go in just come back out.  I will be calling the vendor tomorrow to see what we can do.  Still have a lot of little things to do yet.  Next I will be getting the engine ready to fire.  I have to get the radiator cleaned yet and get the engine test stand ready. 

 

 

 

 

 

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Fellow, your attention to detail is awe inspiring. Mine is not. That will be one incredibly good looking and performing ride when completed. You are being meticulous in your restoration. 

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Thanks for all the compliments guys.  I'm just trying to preserve the car to the way it looked when it came off the lot in 61.  Anytime I come across something that can be duplicated or repaired without changing the car from stock then I give it my best to make it the same.  I know it can only be original once, but I want to give the car a second chance and let other people enjoy what a car like this was years ago.  Thanks for following the posts and I hope to add more soon.

Edited by Laughing Coyote (see edit history)
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Thanks John.  I hope so soon too.  I didn't know you got that hot out there.  It's been averaging 102 - 105 with about 30% humidity and a dew point over 50.  It gets pretty darn hot.  Looks like you never have a slow day there.  You're always working on something.

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  • 3 weeks later...

It's been a while since I posted any progress.  Still waiting on the rubber bumpers so I can install the rear axle assembly.  I got the firewall insulation in, but I need to purchase the rubber sleeve that connects the fresh air vent on the passenger side before I can install the heater box. I manage to pick up a new toy.  No it's not a car (I wish it was), but it's a 75 watt laser engraver/cutter.  I will be using it for the business for the plaques and awards that I do along with the iron work.  The nice thing is that, say if someone needed a gasket that is not available I would be able to design and cut one.  The possibilities are endless of what I can use it for.  So I'm in the process of building a air conditioned room in the shop so I can get it set up in there.  Other than that the Mercury progress has been slow, but not totally forgotten about.  I did get a price one redoing the radiator. $120 complete.  Not a bad price.

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Your work is really inspiring for the rest of us.    Shows what can be done with some patience and attention to detail.  The final product will be well worth it and I'm sure you'll be heavily rewarded if you plan on showing it.  They should just mail you the Grand National Award now.

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That's a good question Bleach.  I just spoke with the company on the phone and asked if they can re-do a radiator from a 1960's car.  I will ask them about a re-core once I get ready to get it done.  If not I have another company I can try. 

 

Thanks for the compliments hursst.  It's been a fun adventure so far and I hope some of the tips will help other folks out there on their projects.  I do plan on showing it, but as far as a Grand National Award you never know.  Looks like you have a really cool MG your working on.  That will be a neat little car to zip around in when it's done.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Just a little update on the old Merc.  I had to do a little stencil job for the powder coaters just recently.  They where in a need for two templates so they can apply a special coating to two round disc's that were gold plated and polished for a telescope project for the U of A.  I was able to make them a nice vinyl mask like I did on the car frame and firewall.  So in exchange for making the templates I had them blast all my bumper brackets.  One of the front brackets needs a little attention.  Someone decided to make a hole a little bigger????

I also have been working on my laser room so I can get that up and running in a week or two.  Been a flurry of activity.  I hope my mounts get done soon.  What to get back to the car.  

 

 

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That bumper bracket probably needed a little extra room in the hole to get the bumper adjusted correctly.

 

Man oh man Martin, that car looks beautiful underneath! I would be afraid to drive something that pretty :).

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Thanks Paul.  Yes, I will be driving it and maintaining it just like if I bought it new.  Can't keep them in a glass case.  Have to enjoy your hard work and efforts sometime.  

The bolts that held on the front brackets have an elliptical shoulder by the head so all you have to do is loosen the nut and turn the bolt and it would raise or lower the brackets inside the oblong hole.  No need to cut holes bigger.  Those engineers sure had things figured out way back then. ;)

 

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Looks like I will be able to do a little more on the car this weekend.  I had my heater box seal come in so now I can get the fresh air tubes installed and the heater box finally.  I will also be painting the bumper brackets as soon as I repair the one hole. While looking over the local CL I found a set of take off mufflers from a new Mustang.  They will work out nice for the engine run stand when I get closer to running the engine.  Can't beat $30 for the pair.  

 

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Edited by Laughing Coyote (see edit history)
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  • 3 weeks later...

I got an update on the cushion links for the rear suspension.  They should be completed next week.  Then I can get the rest of the suspension hung and get the car back on the ground.  I finally got some clips that will hold the firewall insulation in place.  The metal ones that are supposed to be OEM quality just bent and fell apart.  The ones I had to use are plastic.  Not to thrilled about that, but what can you do when you can't get quality anymore.  Once I get them all in then I will hang the heater box.  Have some other things I will be working on while I wait for the cushion links.

I've been trimming my 80' of oleander bushes the past few days and my other neighbor that owns a rock company told me when I get done to get the cat.  The key is in it.

 

 

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Edited by Laughing Coyote (see edit history)
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Yea.  It gets the job done really quick.  Doing some repair work on his Cat skid steer.  I got some great news today.  My cushion links are done and were shipped out today.:D  Now I can get the rear suspension finished and get the old girl back on the tires.  Can't wait.

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Update:  My package arrived yesterday with my new cushion links.  They look great.  This afternoon I decided to cut off of work a little early and get the car back on the ground.  The cushion links went into the mounts nice.  The hard part was getting all the bushing shafts thru the new rubber bushings.  Once I got that done then I was able to bolt up the front of the leafs and then work the backs.  Took some effort to get everything all back together, but it's done and on the ground.  Have to go buy the rear shocks and gear lube.  Next stop getting the engine running.

 

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