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1961 Mercury Meteor 800 restore


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It's been awhile since I've posted any progress on the Merc. I have been swamped with work and haven't had much time to do anything. While I have been waiting to get some time I ordered a folding stand so I can work the trunk and any other panels easier with out killing the old back and working over head. I've seen some other wood creations by Luv2wrench and decided to make a base for the stand so I can tie the parts down with a strap so they won't fall off while I move it in and out of the shop to work on them. It even has a nice pull rope. Tomorrow I'm going to pull the trunk, put it on the stand and get working on it.

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I put a stop block at each leg so it wont slide of the wood frame. I will strap it down when I move it around.  I will add more pics when I get the trunk lid on it. I put eyelets into the wood frame to anchor too. If I had more room I would have made a wood table to work off of. Should be fine in a perfect world. :unsure:

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I managed to get the trunk lid of today with some help from the Mrs. I put it on the handy dandy cart and worked out fine. I didn't apply killer torque to the strap, but just enough to keep it there. I really didn't need it, but it's always good to take precautions. I started working on getting the rust cleaned up . I have a few pin holes that need some attention and the rear lip has to be worked some too. It's a good feeling to start getting something done again.

 

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Edited by Laughing Coyote (see edit history)
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Paul, Yes shade is a good thing during the summer. I'm actually working just inside the shop by the big door with the cooler blowing. The temps have been in the high 90's. Phoenix is 100 or so.  Are you still planning on coming out to see your son or have you already been out and back?

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2 hours ago, Laughing Coyote said:

Paul, Yes shade is a good thing during the summer. I'm actually working just inside the shop by the big door with the cooler blowing. The temps have been in the high 90's. Phoenix is 100 or so.  Are you still planning on coming out to see your son or have you already been out and back?

 

Ahh, you must have one of those big swamp coolers? Those are so 'cool' :), and so effective in your area. Wish the humidity was low enough in NC to use them (humidity today at 75% and will probably get higher by late afternoon........and this isn't hot summer yet).

 

Already been out and back home. Unfortunately, driving one of my Studebakers to AZ and back didn't work out, the car was not ready. My optimistic side says I'll do that this fall, but most likely it will need to wait until next spring. :( 

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To bad you couldn't have taken the Studebaker. Let me know when your heading back out this way. Well I had another 3 hours or so to devote to the trunk lid. I have the pin holes all welded and ground, fixed the edge that was split, and did some filler work where the big dent was that I pulled out. I applied some Ospho to the rusted pitted areas and will see how they look tomorrow. I will be using a high build primer in those areas to help fill some pitting and see how it turns out. Once the bottom side has been all worked and sanded then flip it over and get the top side done. 

 

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Edited by Laughing Coyote (see edit history)
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Making more progress today. Was able to get the trunk lid sanded and primed. I will let it cure out a day or so and then flip it and do the top.  After I get the top side all sanded, primed, sanded , and primed again then I will finish up the bottom and get it ready for reinstall. I will be painting it on the car the same as they did at the factory.

 

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How effective do you think OSPHO is?

 

I have used other phosphoric acid treatments and been disappointed. I asked the www "how effect is ospho?" and found this web site:

https://www.ncptt.nps.gov/blog/comparative-study-of-commercially-available-rust-converters/

 

They tested Rust-oleum®, Rust Reformer®, OSPHO®, Corroseal®, RCx427 and a solution commonly  used by conservators, 10% tannic acid, under accelerated weathering.

 

The best was Rust-eleum® Rust Reformer®. There is a pdf paper downloadable. They were following on with tests in salty environments.

 

I have no affiliation or connection with any of these companies. Just looking for the best product.

 

Your work looks very good. How did you repair the bottom edge?

 

Edited by Spinneyhill (see edit history)
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Ospho seems to take a while to work and leaves a sticky film.  Doesn't really seem to dry fully.  Not to impressed, but I will try the Rust Oleum one next.  Not to worried about salty air since I'm in Arizona.  Really dry here.  I cut the lip on front edge and made a new strip, welded it in, and did a final grind.  It was only a 6" section that was really bad.  Thanks for the info on the Rust Oleum.

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Well summer has begun. It was 105 today and suppose to be around that the rest of the week. I think I need to move to a cooler climate. I did manage to get the trunk lid flipped over and got it sanded down with the DA sander.  I marked some areas that need some attention. I have a few high spots and some little dimples here and there. Nothing major. I still have to clean up the rear lip still. I'm going to order a long board and paper so it will make my life easier when I have to sand the primer. The red color is not rust, but red oxide primer with a coat of grey and the tan finish coat.

 

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Edited by Laughing Coyote (see edit history)
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I managed to get the little dings and dents fixed over the weekend. I ordered some Dura blocks and sand paper so I can sand it once it's primed. When I'm happy with the top of the trunk then I will flip it again and get the bottom side sanded and a final prime, sand again and start on the trunk area of the car itself. Once that's all been done and primed then it's time to put it back together and paint the trunk lid bottom and jamb. I say I should be at that point by............Fall, winter time frame.:unsure:

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It was a great day for working on the old Merc.  I knocked out the house stuff first thing this morning and decided to get some car time in.  I did the final prime coat on the trunk lid and it came out great.  I will flip it over in a day or two so I can work the bottom side again.  I managed to sand the rear panel, the left wing, and the trunk water rail on the left side.  I still have more to do on the water rails.  A lot of hand sanding and clean up.  When I went to put the car in the shop to work on it I gave it too much goose and it left a little signature on the drive way.  The Mrs. wanted to know what the heck I was doing.  Makes you feel like a teen again when you do that kind of stuff. :)

 

 

 

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Thanks Keiser and John, 

Bleach,  I'm going to paint it a brown color after the lid has been installed and re painted.  Something close to what it is.  To change it out it would be a lot of work.  The fiber material is a big square almost the size of the whole lid and it's sandwiched between the top sheet metal and bottom frame work of the trunk lid.  It's like an anti rattle sheet.  It's still in good shape so I'm trying not to damage it while I work the trunk lid.  The hood material I will have to replace since it's shot.      

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I had a car that had all it's underside areas of the trunk and hood sprayed black. I eventually resprayed the inside of the trunk lid the body color. I had a heck of time matching paint to resemble the fiber material. I think I ended up using a type of model paint for it.

Good luck LC.

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My neighbor across the street took off for 3 weeks to Ohio to see family so I moved his sand buggy into his house garage and brought the Merc to his shop to work on it there.  It's a much bigger shop than mine and i don't have to keep pulling the car from my house garage to my shop to work on it.  I can just leave it there and just walk over.  I have been working an hour or two on it a day.  I have the water rail all cleaned up and applied some Corroseal on it to neutralize any rust pitting I couldn't clean up.  It works very well, a lot faster the other stuff I tried.  Turns the rust black instantly and in 10 minutes it's dry.  I'm sure the 106 degrees helps some too.  Now the next step is to do some skim coating and fill any deep spots and sand, sand, and sand some more.  The sanding blocks help a lot and saves the tips of my fingers.

 

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The work still continues.  I have everything sanded I wanted and if permitting I will be priming the areas in the morning.  I also made a tool for removing the tension on the trunk rods so I will be able to remove the trunk arm mounts and get them all cleaned up and ready for prime and paint.  I found it in my maintenance manual and picked up the stuff from the local hardware store.  They didn't have a 12" piece of 3/8" pipe so I had to use two 6" pieces.  Worked good. 

 

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I'm glad you like the progress AURktman.  I'm trying to make daily progress and speed things up by at least working a hour a day on it.  Even if it's something small, it still counts as progress.  There is still plenty to do.  This morning I was able to primer the areas that I have been working on.  I applied a healthy coat on the water rails so it would fill in the slight pitting it had and will add a better corrosion barrier.  Now it's time to pull the trunk hinge brackets and start to get them into work.

 

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A little more progress this afternoon.  I removed the trunk brackets and bead blasted them.  Cleaned them all up to make sure they didn't have any grit in the moving parts and then primed them.  One more thing off the list.  Also while I was looking around I found a marble in the left hand corner of the trunk right behind the back seat metal panel.  It's even red, white, and blue.  I gave it to my son as a keep sake.  He put it in his stash box along with his VW bug knife my neighbor gave him and all his other treasures.

 

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Still making progress on the Merc.  Had a week that was pretty busy so I had to side line the hour a day until I had some work wrapped up.  I managed to get the rear fenders wells sanded and primed and under the package tray also.  My neighbor will be heading back home tomorrow so I will have to move my car out and put his buggy back in his shop.  It's been raining a lot lately so I think I'm going to get the front fenders out of storage, knock off the heavy undercoating and send them to the powder coater so they can blast them.  I can work on them in my shop along with getting the trunk lid finished.  I have other things to do like working stainless trim pieces and interior trim too.  Plenty to do.

 

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Thanks John.  I took my hour today and got the undercoating off the front fenders and any misc. hardware.  If I get time tomorrow I will drop them by the powder coaters for blasting.  Also I added some pictures of my neighbors buggy.  He's had it since the 60's.  It's a blast to drive with the Corvair motor in it.

 

 

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I was able to get the fenders dropped off at the coaters Thursday.  I told here no rush, just when she can fit them in.  I received my piece of rubber sheet I ordered today for my rock guard pieces at the back of the frame.  I got them all cut and holes punched and ready to install tomorrow.  I had to sacrifice a Chinese socket for the punching tool.  Cut the holes out like butter.  Had a rain storm come by and it looked ugly.  We just caught the edge of it, but had some scary pieces of hail that hit the ground.  Good thing there was only a handful of the big ones.  That would've cause some serious roof issues if it all was that size.:o

 

 

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Edited by Laughing Coyote (see edit history)
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That is one sweet looking dune buggy! And the Corvair engine adds quite a bit of horsepower over the typical VW four cylinder -- bet that thing really scoots!!

 

Martin, where exactly do the rock guards attach? Not sure I understand their function, are they to 'protect' the frame from rock damage (seems like it would need to be a pretty hefty rock to damage a frame), or to keep rocks from accumulating inside the frame somehow?

 

EDIT: by the way, I like the idea of sharpening a cheap socket to make a punch. I've used various diameters of scrap copper water pipe before, with the end sharpened.

Edited by r1lark (see edit history)
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Paul, The rock guards as I call them attach to the rear of the frame.  I don't think they block any rocks since they are in between where the wheels are located.  Not sure the purpose.  The rear bumper has a rubber strip that attaches to the rear panel and fills the gap between the bumper and the body.  I just put back on what came off.

Jeff, The socket has an outside bevel edge and I used a center drill bit to cut the inside out since its pretty had material. Anything that has a sharp edge can be used as a cutting tool.

 

I will be posting pictures later tonight.

Edited by Laughing Coyote (see edit history)
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Here's where the mystery flaps (guards) mount.  They will hang below the bottom of the rear bumper some.  Maybe they are designed to disrupt air flow to keep dirt ans dust from getting all over the back of the car.  I'm sure the engineers had a plan.

 

 

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