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1961 Mercury Meteor 800 restore


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Martin, the Merc will be done before you know it, and as much as it is fun for you  building, and us seeing the car coming together, the real blast will be driving it. This build has been inspiring for me, and  getting my Studebaker back on the road. Thanks, John

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I put the final prime coat on the wiper cowling yesterday and was able to do a final sand with 1500 today. This afternoon I was even able to paint and clear it. Looks just a nice as the fender. My parts came in the mail too. I'm going to let it sit for a few days and cure up since the weather is cooler and drying times will be reduced some. I'm getting excited to start putting shinny parts back on. I will have more pictures shortly. This coming Friday I will get with the paint store and see what they have for polishing.

 

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On 12/6/2018 at 1:13 PM, Laughing Coyote said:

It does feel nice. Just seems like it can't go fast enough, but taking the time to get it right pays off in the long run. I can't wait to see some paint on your Olds and how the paint booth worked out.

My paint and body guy was here today and brought a gallon of Matrix high end primer. He did some 400 sanding of all the etch and has two small areas needing a little more work which he’ll do tomorrow then his plan is to prime it all up tomorrow. Originally he said by Christmas so he’s about two weeks ahead of his own schedule! Now that makes me happy. Not going to take up any more of your thread. Great job and great color choice on your car.

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It was a good day today.  I was able to put the cowling on this afternoon.  I ran a heater in the paint shop for the day to help it along on curing.  You can see how tight it is to mount the cowling if the fender was mounted first.  Now if I can get some time tomorrow I will try to install the fender.  

 

 

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Martin, the Mercury is coming along nicely. The color on the fender, cowl ,  and firewall, match perfectly..  I  came across an earlier post  of the   1961 AMT Mercury that you built of your car. You're just a talented fellow. John

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Thanks for all the comments fellas.  The wife and I hung the front fender Monday after lunch and I finished up with adjustments and securing it in place today.  Everything lines up nice and has the right gap, and best of all I didn't scratch it. :(  This weekend I hope to paint the other fender so I can do a repeat.  Getting a little closer.  Part by part.  

 

 

 

 

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Thanks. The gap was really close. I just had to tug here and push there and tighten bolts down. The fenders had indentations where the bolts were and they lined back up in the same spot.  When you look in the paint can it looks tan with a rose tint to it. Then when it goes on it looks tan, and depending on the light it can have a yellow hue to it. 

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Don't worry Roger. I will be pulling the doors before doing any work on them. The way the hinges mount I can pull the door to the rear of the car to remove them. If I had a big enough shop area where I could do a whole car things would be different.  Just doing the best I can with what I got. It will all work out.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I was able to make more progress today. The weather has been nice and warm (70's) so I decided to get the other front fender painted and cleared. It turned out just a nice as the other one. After talking with the auto paint guy I'm going to do a cut and buff after the car is completely painted. So if it sets until Christmas it should be cured enough to hang it. 

 

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Martin, love your work. Cut and buff when the car is all painted  and back together is the best way to do it. The Studebaker should be back on the road shortly after the New Year. Again, thanks for the inspiration. Hope you and your family have a Merry Christmas, and a Healthy New Year. John

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After a half day of work in the shop I had my lovely assistant help me hang the other front fender. Came out just like the other one.  Nice gaps and no scratches.  I'm pleased with everything so far.  Now the next phase will be the big roof.  

 

 

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Getting close to finished.  That engine color looks really good against the body color, too.  This will be one interesting and unique car when it's all back together.  You'll never see another one.

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Thanks for the comments guys.  I'm getting there a little at a time.  Hursst, I still have a ways to go yet. I think yours will be done before mine will be. I was hoping to get more done this week and next, but this cold weather that came in is killing me. Not use to it.

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The car really is turning out awesome! I just love the color...the paint job looks fantastic so far.

 

I have a question: What is the rectangular black metal enclosure sitting at an angle in the engine compartment forward of the master cylinder (on the fender well)? My '61 Monterey doesn't have one of those.

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Thanks James. It's a vacuum tank.  The car came with power brakes. Does yours have power brakes?  I figured the Monterey would since it was the top of the line model.  If so there is a Tee fitting on the back of the booster that has a line that goes to the tank.

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I do have power brakes, and I'm sure my car has a vacuum reserve tank, but not in that configuration. The car's in storage, but if I get a chance, I'll take a picture of what I've got and post it. I hate to admit it, but I can't exactly remember what the tank looks like.🙄

 

Hemmings won't let me post the exact picture, but here's a '61 Monterey that also doesn't have the tank. (Go to the engine bay pic.) Wish I could remember how mine's set up. I'm guessing Meteors maybe had a slightly different system, or maybe they sourced units from different suppliers during the model year. That's been the case for different parts on other cars I've owned.  And of course, despite my car's originality, it may have an aftermarket replacement.

 

https://www.hemmings.com/blog/2018/12/29/hemmings-find-of-the-day-1961-mercury-monterey/

Edited by JamesR (see edit history)
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That's a different style than mine.  The one I have is a Bendix brand.  Not sure what they went to after that.  Mine could be an earlier set up and they changed them in mid production which got rid of the can.  I'm not sure on that though.

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Okay, I plead ignorance on my own car. I was confusing it with the '63 Olds I sold a couple of years ago. It had a vacuum reserve tank. I looked and couldn't find one anywhere in the engine bay of my Mercury. I have the same type of vacuum power brake booster that was in that other Monterey convertible I posted pics of, and like that car, there seems to be no obvious vacuum tank. Maybe it's somewhere else(?) If anyone else knows, please let me know.

 

Sorry for the lack of cleanliness in my engine bay. I will clean it up. That's on my list. I put an aluminum radiator in the car - it's only non original component along with radial tires - and haven't had time to mess with other stuff. (I'm also rewiring a different car and I bought a T Bird.)

 

I did include another pic to give an indication of the overall condition of the car. It has 54,000 original miles. It's got a 352 and a two speed auto transmission. Oh, another non original item I have is a small tach so I could see how many RPM's my two speed is making my engine rev at highway speeds. Paint and interior are original, as is chrome. You might be able to tell from the photo that my interior upholstery still has the tight fighting clear plastic covers over the seats that came from the dealer when new. It's kept them in excellent shape. There is a sizable bumper ding and small piece of missing trim on the other side.

 

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That's nice!  Your booster is a Midland Ross style.  Both are cars were built around the same time in 1960.  It's got me thinking if the LA plant where mine was built was installing the older style boosters to use up stock and haven't yet received the newer ones that were being installed on the cars back east. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well the weather has finally broke to a point where the sun is out and warming up some.  We had 6" of snow for the 1st and 2nd day of the new year followed by rain every other day mixed with cold temps.  When the weather was somewhat decent I had a ton of work to get done for the business.  Since the weather was nicer today I decided to repaint the front rock guard.  I had it painted and cleared a while back, but the clear ran bad and I wasn't happy how it came out.  I resanded it and got it repainted and cleared and it looks nice like the fenders.  Now I'm debating on if I should put the grill and headlight pieces on after I put the rock guard back on.  I will be able to mask and cover those pieces when I get ready to do the cut and buff so they won't get damaged and dirty or be in the way.

 

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Love the snow pics Martin! (Our son in Scottsdale sent us a few pics of one of the golf courses at Desert Mountain with snow from the same storm......)

 

Still enjoying your reports on the progress of the Merc, keep them coming. Paint is coming out beautiful!

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The weather was great today.  Sunny and warm.  I know you back easter's don't want to hear that.  After hanging a new glass shower door for the Mrs. I then was able to work on the car.  I painted  the black on the front of the fenders.  They used a brush on them from the factory, so I used a brush and the same gloss black paint for the radiator core.  I guess the reason for the black is so that the slots in the head light housing will show up better and to match the black in the center grill.  I then installed the front rock guard, filled the tank with some gas, and took it out for a ride around the block.:D Still running great.

 

 

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I think these are the first pictures I've seen of the painted exterior surfaces outdoors in the natural light. That color looks great in real daylight, too...very "1961."

 

I forgot to ask - did you need to replace major body panels or bumpers? (Probably in the text somewhere, but I haven't read everything.) If so, can you share your source? I found a refurbished and replated  nice looking front bumper on ebay back when I bought my car a dozen years ago. IT WAS ONLY $185...but I thought, nah! Dumb move that I regretted. As I've said before, my front bumper has a sizable ding on the driver side.

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Lahti35,  Don't give up yet.  The warm weather will be coming.  I lived in Michigan and Wyoming when I was younger so I had my share of the freezing cold temps.  Thanks for the comments.

 

JamesR,  I didn't have to replace any of my body panels thank goodness.  It's just going to be little patches here and there and knockout dents.  Since it's a one year model it's very hard to find fenders, hoods, and trunks.  There's no sources I know of making any big repair panels.  My bumpers are beat up, but still solid.  I'm going to heat up the bad areas and bang out what I can and have the chrome shop do the rest.  

 

Just some information for you.   I had "Then and Now" make the original style E brake pedal pad from my old worn out one.  I wanted the correct one and you can't find one anywhere.  He has them for sale if you need one.  They also made the special rubber blocks for the front of the rear leaf spring mount.  

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