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1961 Mercury Meteor 800 restore


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I crawled under the car today real quick with a wire that had an alligator clip at each end. I clipped it to the metal fuel line and the fuel inlet at the sender and checked the to see if the gauge worked. It Does! I'm a happy camper. To bad I changed out the gauge with out checking this first. I now have a spare. I still have to pull the sender since it's leaking around it. I may need a wider gasket material since the other one is pretty thin and don't have much surface area. Thanks for the help guys.

Edited by Laughing Coyote (see edit history)
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There is a guy on the SDC forum that will say "It's probably a grounding issue" just about any time someone asks about a weird electrical issue, especially lights and gauges. Good grounds are one of the first things I check for now on old cars. For example, I've been amazed at what a inconspicuous ground wire to a good tested ground will do for a horn (especially a 6 volt horn) -- sometimes the increase in volume and tone is significant.

 

Martin, looking forward to more pictures when you get time to get back to the Merc!

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I'm just glad it wasn't anything else where I had to tear into more wiring or other electrical issues. I'm hoping to get back on the car here real quick. This month has been a killer and January is already filled up. Paul, when are we going to see that new engine you were working on run? I know you had an engine stand almost ready to go.

Edited by Laughing Coyote (see edit history)
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1 hour ago, Laughing Coyote said:

Paul, when are we going to see that new engine you were working on run? I know you had an engine stand almost ready to go.

 

Well Martin, I got sidetracked on another Studebaker that I'm planning to use to drive to Arizona in the Spring. Here is a link to the thread on the Studebaker Drivers Club forum:  http://forum.studebakerdriversclub.com/showthread.php?100618-1964-Daytona-Hardtop-Rescue-Effort&highlight=studebaker+rescue

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Well I took sometime to work the cars gas tank issue. After getting all the gas out and dropping the tank I had a nice surprise why the tank was leaking. The sender seal was leaking. The reason why it was leaking is because the tank lock ring. When you cam the sender lock ring around into place to lock the sender it puts pressure on the tank lock ring that is spot welded to the tank and smashing the seal tighter and tighter to form a leak proof seal. Well it must of been to much pressure on the crappy spot welds that hold the ring onto the tank. They popped loose when I installed the sender originally. Of course it was the top ones so I couldn't see anything. You just can't buy anything worth a sh_t anymore. It's all junk. Now I have to purge the tank so I can put a real bead of weld on it so I doesn't leak. I also welded a wire terminal to the sender so I will have a ground when I finally get it back together AGAIN.

 

 

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Edited by Laughing Coyote (see edit history)
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Haven't had a chance to weld up the fuel tank yet, but itching to get it fixed and back in the car. I did manage to finish up my vintage Mercury sign. I have made others for my shop too. I can make all kinds of vintage looking signs. They have a real rusted patina with a flat clear top coat. I used the same script as what's on the Mercury. I'm going to make several gas signs next.  If anyone is interested in something let me know.

 

 

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Edited by Laughing Coyote (see edit history)
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Yesterday I took time out from my annual shop cleaning and welded up the sender ring on the tank. I also added some B 1/2 sealant (if you worked around any modern military aircraft you know the stuff) around the ring to make sure there will be no leaks. I then added a fresh coat of paint and ready to go. I checked the sender to make sure it's all good before I put it in the tank and re hang it. We're all set now.  I just need to get some gas and hopefully be back on track. ;)

 

 

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Edited by Laughing Coyote (see edit history)
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Thanks wldavis. Today I took some time and built my front seat. I used the method that Roger did and made a wood seat. They may not be covered in fine leather, but I think the old patio cushions go well with the tan and gold. :P The only thing there is no adjustment in the seats, but it's a lot better to sit in and not chase cushions around when trying to drive.

 

 

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Edited by Laughing Coyote (see edit history)
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Gary, I have the original ones stored away until I get further along on the car. After the car is painted then I will get the seats and door panels completed so I can just put them in without having to store them. They're stored in my shed out of the elements, but not an idea place for newly upholstered seats. As I do the body work I keep the engine, dash, etc  covered as not to get it covered with dust, so the less stuff to cover the less I have to worry about keeping clean. 

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I think Martin went to a lot of bother to make that fancy seat for the short term.  I used an upside down drawer and throw pillow for me and a galvanized bucket with a cardboard box on it for the passenger on my Ply.  Ah, to be young again...    Great work!     frank

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks, Frank. It didn't take long to make. I had purchased the material a while ago, just had to find the time to get it done. I purchased my anti squeak seals for the front fenders. I have one installed and the staples are not too easy to work with, but got it figured out. One more side  to go. I also purchased some primer for doing the body work. Progress has been a little slow, but hoping to get back on it soon.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Not too much progress on the car lately. I've been busy with work, but I did manage to get the other fender seal done. I still have to install the rubber seal that mounts to the battery tray by the frame area. I also received my 1/4 turn battery caps today.  The company sells a sleeve that inserts into the fill holes on a battery and then you install the 1/4 turn caps. They have a nice rubber seal so I don't have to worry about battery acid leaking out and getting all over the battery tray and eating it up. They are made by Flow systems. Plus it gives the battery that vintage look with out paying $400 for a vintage battery. Even though it's not correct it will work for local shows when I get there.

 

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  • 1 month later...

It's been awhile for an update. Work has been really busy so that was the biggest factor in not getting much time on the car. I did have an issue with the rear main seal. It started to drip pretty good and I wasn't a happy camper.  I was able to unbolt the oil pan and have enough room to slide it forward and have access to the rear main cap. After changing out the seal and getting everything all bolted back up it was good to go again. No more leak. So it's time to start on the body work again. I started working on the trunk. The rear edge (closest to the rear window) had a big dip in it about a 1/4". I managed to get that back into shape with a sledge hammer and a 1/2 x 1 piece of aluminum bar stock. Now that it's back where it needs to be I'm going to work on the lip of the rear panel. It's pretty beat up and dented in. I'm hoping with the nice weather were having that I will be able to get some stuff done in the evening hours. :)

 

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Well thanks John S. I did a little work this afternoon on the trunk rear panel. I had to do some beating and bending to get it back into the correct shape. Now I have to work the top area where the rubber trunk seal rests. It looks worse now, but I will get worked back into place. The bracket that was spot welded inside of the trunk latch area that rest on top of the filler neck tunnel was loose so that will have to be welded back in also. Starting to get things done no mater how small the progress.

 

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Thanks guys. I worked some more on the car this morning until lunch and then the winds picked up. It had to get worse. I ended up having to cut out the worst section so I could work it better. I had to do a lot of beating and banging to get it all straightened out again. After getting it hammered back into shape I then jigged it up and started to weld it all back together. I still have a lot more welds and clean up, but it came out looking good. Once all the metal work is done then a skim coat of filler and finish it up for primer. 

 

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Edited by Laughing Coyote (see edit history)
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Broke off of work early today since the weather is great. Nice and warm. I decided to tackle the big dent under the trunk lid by the latch assy. I used the same stud welder gun and puller like I did on the rocker. Still have to grind the stud ends down and finish it out and see how close we are. I think it looks pretty good. Then back on the rear finish panel with welding and grinding. I also went into town and got some more gas in the can to put into the car and the fuel gauge actually works now. Imagine that. Better yet it's not leaking either. :P

 

 

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Wow Martin, great work. You are getting into repairs that I don't think I'd try to tackle. Don't think I'd have the nerve to cut a back panel apart to straighten it and hope to get it all welded back correctly. :o

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Thanks Paul. I hope your projects are moving along. Good thing the car is made of metal and not wood. Cut, weld, grind. I didn't get a chance to do anything on the car today, but I did finish up some vintage signs I was making for the shop. I will probably start and run the car tomorrow to keep everything moving. I don't like letting it sit long if it can run and move. I may get some Merc work time in too.

 

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Another update on the Merc project. I was able to get the trunk lip panel all welded and ground today. Then I applied the skim coat of body filler and sanded it out. I sprayed it with some high build primer and will do the final sand and fill on any little spots to finish it up. Then remove the trunk were I can work on it on a flat surface. It's a lot easier on the back that way.

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi Laughing Coyote,

 

Beautiful car there you have to restore.   Nice job on the trunk floor too.

 

I haven't had time to read through your entire thread yet.  But I wanted to ask you a question about the ash trays you mentioned in post #7.

 

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That looks like a brand spanking new ash tray!  How in the world did you do that?  If you've already answered this question in this thread my apologies for not reading the entire thread.  Perhaps you could point to the post number where you describe what you've done with this ash tray?

 

Did you chemically clean this?  Or was this accomplished with some form of mechanical cleaning?  That's just amazing how well you were able to clean that ash tray up.  

 

What are those ash trays made of?  Is that solid aluminum?  Or stainless steel?   Something you were able to sand down and buff out?   But even then, getting into the inside corners must have been quite a tedious job.  Did you use something like a Dremel tool to polish the inside?  Great job whatever you did.

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AntiqueCraftsman. I used a buffer, a buffing wheel and buffing rouge. The buffer I picked up at Harbor Freight. Is the ones that look like a bench grinder. You can find the buffing cloth wheels at Amazon, ACE, car paint supply stores, etc. They are chrome plated steel. I too was surprised at how well they cleaned up. The inside I cleaned up the best I could and sprayed it with chrome paint. I'm not a smoker and anyone riding in the car won't be smoking in it either so I wasn't too worried about getting the inside perfect. I suppose you could use a Dremel with the small white cloth wheel and rouge and see how that does. Hope this answers your question.

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Wow!  They must have put the chrome on pretty thick.   That's amazing they buffed out so nice.   I was thinking they must have been solid aluminum or stainless steel to buff out that nice.  Yep, some pretty thick chrome plating to be sure.  Nice job.

 

And yes, the painted interior answers that mystery.   I'm with you on not smoking in the car.   Anyone lights up in my car they'll soon be walking. (ha ha)

 

 

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