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1961 Mercury Meteor 800 restore


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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks James, I have a area picked out for my photo shoot when I get it all finished. I did some more work on the rear quarter on the passenger side today. I know it's nothing exciting. Believe me I'm as excited doing it as getting a root canal, but it has to get done. The smoke from the fires has cut down on the blazing heat and sun so it's not bad. I got the panel as straight as I could since that side got pretty beat up. Applied a skim coat of filler and started sanding. More sanding to do yet, a lot more. I also had a small rust area under the rocker I forgot about, but patched it up and got it ready to be primed when I lay down another coat. I got a nice tool for my birthday to help with all the sanding. 

 

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I'm pretty good on a fire buffer. Surrounded by lots of concrete and rock. The trees that I do have are on the outer parts of the property and not close to the house.  We're getting a lot of smoke from the California fires. The sun is orange during sunrise and sunset. Just grey during the day. Here's the sun at 5:30pm

 

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

More progress on the Mercury today.  Did more sanding and filler.  Looks pretty good, but will see how it sands out after it's primed.  I'm sure I will have more to do.  I discovered a repair that was done long ago on the lower rear quarter just in front of the rear wheel.  With all the things I have found on the car by taking it apart it had to come off the road at one point .  The panel got damaged along with the lower rocker, the oil pan was dented and scratched deep, so was the transmission cross member, trans oil pans had scratches, the U joint ring on the drive shaft had a big chunk taken out of it, the rear axle on that side had a newer bearing and seal, the rear leaf spring hanger in the back was bent, and the rear diff had a broken roll pin in the spool.  So apparently the guy like to drink and smoke and had a few to many and went off the side of the road.  With all the beer can openers I found and butts in the ashtray.  Fun times.

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Last weekend I finished up the filler work and didn't bother posting since it still looked the same.  Today I pulled the old Merc into the shop that I do all my painting and clear coating in for the business.  I'm glad I had taken down the tree. I would have never been able to get the car in.  I had to drive up the hill and make the turn to get it close.  It still took me about 6 times going forward and back to get it into the shop.  Big car, tight area.  So today after getting the car into the shop I was able to lay down 3 nice heavy coats of primer.  It looks pretty good, which I was surprised at since it was so beat.  So next weekend I will be sanding both sides with 220 and see how much more little things need to be addressed.  Once I'm happy with it I will lay down a few more coats.  Then sand 600 and be ready for color coat.

 

 

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On 10/11/2020 at 3:41 PM, Bleach said:

Looks like your car had a similar fate as this one.

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Oh man. I LOVE that photo! I know the plate, says Conn., but that picture could've been taken in my old neighborhood in the 1960's.

 

I would definitely not envy the person trying to restore that car. Both front and rear bumpers for the '61 full size are very difficult to find in nice condition...at any any price. After a dozen years I'm still kicking myself for not buying the very nice replated front bumper on eBay ...for $185!!☹️

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Thanks John.  Now that the weather has started to cool a bit (under 100 at least) I'm starting to get some steam back and get rolling on the car.  I also started making a Pontiac Service wall sign that lights up to put in the shop.  I know I don't own one, but you never know.  Actually I have a few more lighted signs I'm going to be making to jazz up the place.

 

 

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7 hours ago, Laughing Coyote said:

Finished up my lighted sign this morning.  Came out sweet.  Going to have to make some more for sure.

 

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Wow! You work fast! (And still achieve great quality.) Congrats on the sign.

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Thanks guys. It's pretty easy with the plasma table. Design it, cut it, clean it, weld it, and add some paint.  Takes a day or so for the rusting effect otherwise It would have been done sooner, but I like the weathered look.  I had a LED strip left over from another sign I made for a customer and have plenty of lens material so why not use it.  

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  • 3 weeks later...

Didn't get a change to get to work on the car since I had a pretty full weekend, but I have been messing around with a new sign for the shop in the evening hours.  The original one is suppose to have neon tubes on it, but I'm going to do it like the other one.  I'm hoping to have time this coming weekend to get things progressing again.  

 

 

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Thanks John.  I didn't get to the Mercury this weekend since the weather was a factor.  Extremely windy and had some rain, plus the paint shop is chuck full of product I'm working on.  I did get the Mercury sign almost done.  Still have to do the LED's for it.  I also picked up a 5C collet spin indexer, tail stock, and another fixture off of CL.  Started to get them cleaned up since they were all gummed up with old oil and grease. Couldn't pass up the price.

 

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Thanks James.  Shoot me a PM of what you're interested in and we can discuss.  It was a nice day in the 80's and was able to work on the Merc today.  I went ahead and put in a filler piece on the passenger side door sill. Who ever did the body repair decided to punch a hole in the sill so they can hammer out the dent in the rocker from when the car came of the road.  The rocker just needed a little filler since I already pulled as much as the dents out a while ago. Just have a little touch up on it and that pretty much does it for all the beating, grinding, and banging on the quarters.  Now it's time for sanding, sanding, priming, and more sanding.  I think I'm going to have to address the passenger door before painting though. It's out of alignment and the lower rear corner is way to close the the body and I don't want it to rub the new paint. New door bushings will be in order for both doors anyway.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks Gary. Since the last time I worked on the car and pulled it into the garage I smelt gas.  So after looking around I discovered the accelerator pump is leaking out of the bottom hole.  So I guess the diaphragm has a hole in it.  I did a complete carb rebuild before running the engine, so I guess I will be doing it again.  Post more what I find out, but pretty sure that's it.

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After taking the carb apart I noticed that the accelerator pump diaphragm had a bunch of cracking on it. I guess the ethanol in the gas is tearing things up.  I used some Simple Green Aviation cleaner to see how it would do on cleaning it.  I mixed it per the directions and let it soak overnight.  No strong fumes or flammable qualities.  I removed the parts and hosed them off.  Then blew everything off with air and made sure all the passages were clean.  The choke assembly was what the carb looked like before I cleaned it.  It did clean it up quite well.  So I guess it worked. Now time to get it all mounted and adjusted again and see what happens.

 

 

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Mounted the carb and got the car running again. Big difference in how it runs. I had to order a heat riser for the passenger side exhaust manifold. The original one was frozen and wouldn't turn when it got hot. So I removed the disc figuring I wouldn't need it out in Arizona, but when the choke is properly set it takes it awhile for the hot air to get up to the choke to make it lean out and come off of the high idle. So I ordered a new one and that should fix that little issue. I also have a little stumble when you rap the throttle. Normal throttle it's fine. I'm thinking it has to do with the timing. When I stabbed the distributor in I think I was a tooth off since the vacuum advance is rotated more toward the passenger side instead of being more forward facing like the old engine pictures show. I may get a new one anyway since it's the original one and I'm sure it could of used a new bushing and cam gear which I didn't do when I rebuilt the engine.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Received the heat riser part late last week and purchased new exhaust gaskets so that is ready to go on.  I also should have the new distributor here this week. It's a new one and not a reman with no core so I can keep the original one and mess with it later on.  Once it arrives then I will get the engine back at TDC and get after it.  

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  • 2 weeks later...

A little update on the Merc project. When I was switching out the heat riser this weekend I noticed that on the exhaust gasket under the old heat riser showed signs of a little blow by.  After battling trying to get the new heat riser on, just like any non OEM part I had to drill the holes to the next size bigger to get it to fit.  After finally getting it on and tightened up I ran it to see how it does.  Of course it has a little blow by in the same area.  I think the pipe flange may have a little low area on it.  I will get new gaskets and some sealer and see if I can get it resolved.  The choke didn't seem to open any faster so I may have to do some more adjustments on the linkage or buy a new choke cap and coil spring.  I will look into more.  Didn't get to the distributor yet, too many things going on right now. And on another note I also bought some new door lock rod covers.  They are the polished cast ones, and a course they didn't thread on the rod. Why?  The company didn't even bother to thread the hole.  Geez, what's up with this stuff now a days?  I did manage to free up the old heat riser shaft and while starting to clean it up I noticed it was cracked.  Good times. 

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On 10/16/2020 at 1:20 PM, Laughing Coyote said:

Finished up my lighted sign this morning.  Came out sweet.  Going to have to make some more for sure.

 

 

One of these days I will send ya my order for one of those! 🙂  I have to get the car finished first, then I can get the signs of that caliber. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

It's been a while since that last post.  I've been doing a lot of home improvement stuff. Had some time today to run the car again and did a few more tweeks on the carb and got it to where it's set. I still have to get the new distributor installed yet.  I still have a little stumble when you rap the throttle , so I do believe it's timing related. I did manage to get the exhaust leak fixed. While I had the exhaust out of the way I could feel a little bump on the pipe flange where the gasket goes. I was able to run a file across it and knock that down. I also used some high temp copper exhaust sealer on the gaskets. The heat riser is working the way it should be. Didn't seem to move when the exhaust was blowing by. I will get back on the body work with pics when I get the new distributor in and all set.  

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On 1/17/2021 at 1:42 PM, Laughing Coyote said:

While I had the exhaust out of the way I could feel a little bump on the pipe flange where the gasket goes...The heat riser is working the way it should be. 

 

Martin, just curious: Do your exhaust manifolds have donut gaskets or flat gaskets between the manifold and pipe? I've lately discovered that they apparently changed to donuts just prior to '61, but some early '61's like mine came with the flat gaskets (and heat riser valve.) Just wondering what your car has. 

 

As I mentioned to you earlier, I've spent some time looking for a passenger side exhaust manifold to replace the cracked one on my '61. I'd actually been looking for one that would fit for a few years.

 

Happily I just found one on eBay with the exact same casting number: 5751204. The guy selling it moves a lot of FE exh. manifolds and says these are difficult to find, so I feel lucky. It would be interesting to know if yours has the same casting number. (It wouldn't if it uses donuts.)

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James,

My exhaust manifolds take the flat gaskets. Make sure all the areas are clean and flat so you won't have any exhaust leaks.  Glad you found a manifold that's going to work.  Yes, things seem to be getting hard to find everywhere.

Since I'm on here I got the tool so I can get the #1 cylinder back at TDC and I can proceed to swap out the distributor.  Hopefully this weekend if it's not to cold. 

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Sunday was a good day. I got the car set to TDC and was able to get the old distributor out and the new one in. Had to swap out the points and condenser since all the new stuff is China cheap and I put my old stuff in. I also noticed the plugs are all covered in black. Not oil, just burning rich. I'm going to run a hotter plug to help the burning better and adjust the mixture screws a little more. I still have to reinstall the water pump pulley, fan, and belt. Then I will be able to fire it back up, time it and should be ready to go. 

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