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1961 Mercury Meteor 800 restore


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5 hours ago, Roger Zimmermann said:

The jacking instructions are more detailed than the ones for the Mark II in the owner's manual. As far as I know, there is no jack card/instructions in the trunk, but I may be wrong.

Nice work with your scanner!

 

The owners of the Mark II probably never changed their own tires. ;)

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  • 3 weeks later...

I finally had some time yesterday to clear the trunk after running errands all morning.  The clear came out nice. It's kind of hard to see the sheen. Today I ran the wiring for the taillights. I need to get some cloth tape to tape them down. There was some on the wire that went to the fuel sender. I'm thinking gaffers tape, but I need good adhesion so it won't lift up over time. I though about black duct tape, but don't like the look of it. I guess I mat be over thinking the whole thing since it won't be seen unless you lift up the mat. I need to get moving on painting the fenders and trunk lid while the weather has been really nice. 

 

 

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Astounding work on a fantastic car! I've just started posting on this forum a few days ago, but I wish I'd seen this a few years ago. As an owner of an original survivor '61 Monterey four door sedan, I can't tell you how thrilled I am to see a 1961 full sized Mercury restored back to original specs. And to such a high level...you have incredible craftsmanship. That year of Mercury is so often overlooked and underappreciated by people in the old car community, yet ordinary people on the street are always telling me how dramatic and stylish my car is. Also, it's wonderful to have the photos of the disassembled car before and after parts were refurbished, replaced or restored, as that may really help me and others if major work ever needs to be done on our cars. It looks like you're close to completing your project, but if there's any useful information you think I might be able to provide, please let me know. Thank you!  - Jim

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Thanks for the comments Jim. It's been a long road so far on the project and still have a ways to go. You're right about the cars.  I haven't seen another around here. There may be some out there stored in a garage, but who knows. I think a lot of them may have ended up in the scrap yards just because they weren't a really desirable car and were just considered an "old car" when they were used up. It's great that you have a survivor and are enjoying it. I can't wait to get mine on the road. The body work takes the most time. I just have to keep at it and it will get done. Keep motoring.

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5 hours ago, Laughing Coyote said:

I think a lot of them may have ended up in the scrap yards just because they weren't a really desirable car and were just considered an "old car" when they were used up.

They aren't a '57 Chevy or a Mustang, so who cares? (said teenage boys back when they were recent second hand cars.) I'm personally glad they weren't molested and/or abused as much by hot rodders like many of  the '57's and Mustangs were. And I like that people don't often know the year of my Merc. It's more interesting to them because of that.

 

Another reason that you don't see many of them today is because '61 wasn't a good sales year for the big Mercury. Why not? Because '61 was the year that FoMoCo went back to making full size Mercury's and Fords from the same basic platform (as they more or less did in the 1940's...til '49.) If you look at a Meteor and a Galaxie from '61, you can see some of the similarities (though the Mercury is a bit more attractive, to my eye.) By contrast, if you compare the 1960 model full size Fords with '60 Mercury's they aren't very similar at all. Nevertheless, Ford still tried to upcharge significantly for the '61 Mercury, as they did in 1960, but the public would have none of it. They bought the lower priced Ford instead. I believe Mercury sold a lot of the small Comets, though.

Edited by JamesR (see edit history)
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You are correct. Galaxie and full size Mercury's of that year do share a lot of the same parts. The chassis is the same, engines, and the dash along with other minor pieces are the same. The major difference is the body panels . If I can't find parts under the Mercury listing I choose the Galaxie and they are the same item. Trims are a different story. Since it's a one year body style that takes a bit of hunting. Thank goodness I have all of what I need for the car.

 

I started to do some more sanding up by the windshield cowl area. Still have more to do, but it's better than nothing. I did take it around the block today. It runs so nice. I went through my maintenance manual and reset the throttle rod, transmission rod, and carb mixture and idle screw settings. The transmission would hit hard when I would put in gear on idle, but since I adjusted everything per the manual it's all good now. Should of read it sooner.;)

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Thanks John.  I received my radiator support wire grommets for the headlight wires and the ones for the front inner fenders where the turn signal wires go through.  I also got my inner fender well splash apron.  There is only one for that year and it goes on the starter side. 

 

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This afternoon I did some sanding on the upper cowl and the sides of the door jambs. I applied some of the corrosion stuff to take care of the little bit of rust that wouldn't sand out completely.  I have a little more to do then it goes into primer, a quick sand, and paint and clear. Then it will be time to spray the front fenders. Once painted, then install along with the front rock guard. Then I can start putting the grill in with the lights and so on. May start to look like a car again.

 

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10 hours ago, Laughing Coyote said:

I taped the plastic to the outside on the window lip. It's almost the same color as the paint so it's hard to see. It's that optical illusion thing. :D

 

Gotcha.. I see it now, the tape is nearly same color as the frame.  It really looked like you had some fancy plastic with sticky edges and all you had to do was press it down... I wanted me a roll of that!!

 

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Thanks AURktman. At least you get to drive yours and work on it at the same time. I have a ways to go before driving regularly. I was running my errands today and stopped of at a local chrome shop to get a price on them to polish the top and bottom stainless trim that goes around the windshield. He quoted me $110 to take the few dents and waves in them out and polish them back up. Not bad. I did manage to finally get my car paint today and was able to put primer on the areas that I sanded. I just have to do a light sand on it and paint it. I hope the wind stays at bay. 

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Thanks Keiser, I'm going with the original style that came on the car. I have the set that came with the car originally and a good set that I scored on the "Bay". I'm pretty much set. Thanks for offering. Looks like you have a lot of cars covered with those piles. 

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  • 2 weeks later...
2 hours ago, Laughing Coyote said:

Just the inside of the trunk. I'm using automotive grade paint on the exterior and jambs.  Looking at an inflatable paint booth since weather is always windy. I need to get it so can get this thing finished.

 

Can you rent time in a paint booth? 

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I haven't really looked into it. I would have to take time off from the business. Rent a trailer, load the car.  Then drive it to the place, unload, paint.  Then come back to pick up the car and bring it back and take the trailer back.  I would rather be able to pull the car out and pull it into a booth, paint, wait and be done.  Then put the car back in it's spot after it's set for a bit to cure. I have a huge concrete driveway so plenty of room to set up a temp booth. I really only get time on the weekends anymore to do the big stuff that takes more time.  Then if down the road I stumble on something else to restore I will have one at the ready. 

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Today was a good day. I took advantage of the sunny, warm, no windy morning to paint the upper cowling of the car. I stopped worked and told the Mrs. it needs to get done today since the next 5 days will be colder with rain off and on. Now that I have that area painted I can work on painting the front fenders and other pieces. I have a shop that I can paint that stuff in so weather won't be an issue. I'm sure by the early months of next year I will have to invest in a paint booth to do the bigger sections on the car. I will have plenty to do through this year.

 

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Gary, I may do 2000 and then polish, but the way the clear is curing it looks as good as the factory paint on my wifes suv.  It has that faint ripple effect, but still smooth.  If that makes sense. I may just polish it out and go with it.  The factory paint texture under the rear sail panel on the car has the same paint texture/effect.  I'm just happy to get some color back on it and get closer to being done.

Edited by Laughing Coyote (see edit history)
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Looks great Martin! I really love that color...very original looking.

 

Looking at the cowling and the wiper mechanism inside made me wonder: Does your car have vacuum or electric powered wipers? My '61 Monterey actually has vacuum operated wipers. My understanding is that it was one of the very last Mercurys to have a vacuum style unit. I've read that they changed to electric wipers sometime during the '61 model year. My car was actually produced towards the end of 1960 - November maybe - so I guess it would be considered an early production car.

 

Do you know when your car was made? As I recall, I found out from the VIN, but I can't remember for sure.   - Jim

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The color is the original Tawny Beige for that year.  Yes mine has the vacuum wiper assembly too.  The car was made on the 12th of October.  Not sure if it was October of 1960 or 1961. The serial number tag shows it's a 1961 year car.  

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52 minutes ago, Laughing Coyote said:

The color is the original Tawny Beige for that year.  Yes mine has the vacuum wiper assembly too.  The car was made on the 12th of October.  Not sure if it was October of 1960 or 1961. The serial number tag shows it's a 1961 year car.  

I think the 62 model year would already have started by October of 61.  I think the plant shutdowns for model changeover were typically in August.   Your paint looks good.  A little orange peel will make is look more authentic.

 

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Today I sanded and primed the wiper cowling.  I will do the final sand tomorrow and hope to paint and clear it by the weekend. I decided to do this part next since I need to install it first, then the fenders since it will be a little tricky to put the end screws in with the fenders mounted.  I also had to order the cowl weather strip and some other little pieces.  So it should be ready to go in by the time the pieces show. Then I will mount the fender and finish painting the other one. 

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