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1961 Mercury Meteor 800 restore


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Martin,

Great project, I've been following along since your first post and really like the work that you've done. Using what's been done so far as the example of what is still to be done you're going to have a great looking car there. I do though have a question, with the amount of detail work that you've done so far has the rod for the gas pedal not bee cleaned up yet? It does look out of place against the clean floor and I'm thinking it will still be visible after the carpet and pedal are put in. Just asking. Scott...

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Thanks for following Scott. I know it looks ugly compared to the rest of the restore so far, but I will be removing everything off the firewall when I pull the motor and transmission. Everything that comes off the car gets blasted, sanded, checked and painted. Hopefully I will be removing the motor and transmission soon. :)

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Thanks DJ,

Roger,

The insulation I pulled out from uner the dash was thick and yellow. Looked like old stiff house insulation without the paper on one side. The dash is gold on both sides and the insulation didn't have any gold paint on it. I guess if they would have painted the dash with the insulation on it, it may have had glass shards getting stuck in the in the paint. That's my guess. :confused: Would of liked to see them build these old cars on back in the day.

There are some YouTube videos of 1962 Fords being built in Dearborn. I'm sure the body and assembly details will almost duplicate what was done on yours. Go to youtube.com and use the search function to find those videos if you are curious. And keep up the good work. My projects are have all been old AMCs so far so I like the uncommon projects. Joe

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Thanks for the info Joe. I will check it out. Always like learning about how the older things were made. Technology is nice, but something about the older stuff I like. It must be the style, simplicity and the quality that went into it.

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Well I got the paint and clear today for the interior metal parts. Getting excited to spray it. I have all the pieces that will be part of the dash as a whole when I do the first run on paint. Then will be doing the steering column and other interior metal trim after that. I have the pieces sanded, primed and ready for paint. Just have to clean out the paint shop so I can minimize the dust and dirt. They look good so far. I also put some insulation in under the dash. :D

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I got the dash and additional dash parts all painted. Looks great. The color looks a bronze gold color in the shade, but has a nice gold color in the sun. I'm starting to assemble the dash with some trim pieces, radio, glove box and etc. I can't put the upper trim pieces on until I get the new dash pad. That one is going to hurt a little ($300) from Mac's. In the meantime I will get what I can assembled and get the instrument cluster all ready. The chrome trim pieces make it pop. I can start on the steering column and steering wheel too.

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Hi, first of all I have to say that I love this project. My first car was a 61 Mercury Monterey convertible that I totally restored, and I also restored a Monterey 2d ht many years ago in the same color as yours. So I think I can say I know these cars pretty good. One thing I wonder about is the clear coat on the gold dash parts, the factory used a semi gloss paint, or almost flat. It is not easy to see in the pictures, but it looks like you have used a clear coat on your dash with more shine to it or is it just that the pictures were shot before the clear had time to cure?

Edited by Mercurys4fun (see edit history)
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The clear does have a shine to it. I asked the paint guys about getting the semi gloss look and they gave me a flettening agent to put into the clear. Told me that it will flatten it out. They went over on how much to use per the amount of sprayable clear. I followed all the directions to the letter and it didn't flatten out very much. I even went back over it with more coats after it dried with more flattening agent and it still didn't flatten out. It still looks good. Just more shinny than what I expected, but at least the color is correct.

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Well I did some more dash assembly today and painted back the silver areas that where in the instrument housing. I started disassembly on the steering column. Should be able to assemble the guages as soon as I get a printed vinyl sheet my buddy is making up for behind the speedo lens. Have to order the glove box and rubber bumpers.

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  • 2 weeks later...

61 Merc progress report. I have the steering column all painted and ready to put back together, but waiting on the rubber column boot so I can then put the steering shaft in and get it all secured back together. I finally got my line decals printed for the back panel on the dash. The panel goes between the plastic lens and it covers up all the gauge clusters. It looks pretty darn close to factory. They didn't have anymore chrome, but used bright silver instead. Now I have to wire up the whole thing again and set it aside until I can get a dash pad. In the mean time I'm going to remove the front windscreen and clean up all the area for the new seal. The steering wheel has a ways to go yet. Pick at it from time to time. Anyone know of a good source to find a "Mercury Man" dash emblem?

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New to the forum but I am loving this thread. I started my latest project last year. It is a 1961 Mercury Meteor 600 2 dr. It is black with a red and black interior. For power it has a 292 V8 with three on the tree. The car is 100% complete but needs lower corner repair on both front fenders and wheel lip/lower quarter rust repair. The frame is good. The under body is good as well. The paint is aged with decent gloss considering it is still the original. It has 54000 original miles.

The car was purchased new in 1961 by my wife's grandfather. I have the original owners manual and invoice. Both are in very good condition. It has been in her family the entire time. When he passed away it sat in garages in PA and here in MI for 25 years.

Last year was solely focused on making it road worthy and cleaning it up. After that the only focus was to drive it. I just showed it at local gatherings as a sort of barn rescue and enjoyed the heck out of it. I put about 400 miles on it

I am starting to get a plan together for what to do first (body work) but will keep it in driving condition and enjoy it as I go along. All of my prior projects ( all Mustangs) were multi year projects in the garage without being able to drive them. This time I am trying something different. Spring Columbus is this weekend and I have my list ready to go.

Sorry for the long post but I am fired up after ready through this thread. I really look forward to the future updates.

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Welcome to the forum! A lot of nice folks around here and very knowledgeable. Cool that you have a 600. Those are really rare. I always thought they came with the 6 cylinder engine. Must of been an upgrade option. Great that you're restoring it and getting to enjoy driving it too. It's nice to have a car that has been in the family the whole time and you know the history of it. I can't wait to get mine finished so I can start driving it. Will be a while still. :( If you get a chance load up some pictures of the car and keep us informed of the progress. Liked to see how it comes along.

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Thanks. My fruit based tablet wouldn't let me upload pictures for some reason. Most are on our fruit based laptop anyway. I will try that tonight. From the invoice the car was built with the optional 292, optional defroster, and AM radio. According to my wife it must have been on the lot that way because her grandfather wouldn't have spent the extra money!

My biggest challenge will be the sheet metal. I am no where near as skilled as you are so it will take me a while. I may be able to use '62 sheetmetal since I don't need the full skin. There is also evidence of lapses in judgement of clearance to surrounding objects by her grandfather on the drivers side that I have to bump out (about 6 feet long!!). I wish he would have had side view mirros installed. This car never had any. Only the inside rearview.

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Here's one that is the most flattering picture of your car from your gallery.

Looks like you had some luck uploading them.

I'm almost thinking the lower sheet metal from a 61 Ford might also work but that is from only a casual glimpse.

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Edited by Bleach (see edit history)
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I believe you are right if I can find 61 Ford sheet metal. I have had little luck finding anything for the areas I need.

Regarding the pictures, I did get a few to go up into my gallery but 80% of the time it fails. Mostly and invalid file error or the files were too large. Trying one at a time is no luck so I guess that is all I can upload now. The picture shown is after a quick wash the first day I had it home. The front wheels are still locked up and it didn't run yet. It is also compressed in size.

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I really like your car and I see a lot of great potential there just like Martin's car. Your car deserves it's own thread so you might want to look into figuring out your photo problems. I use a Macbook for all of my posting at home. The rest are done from a PC at work. I find it's much easier to get things done on the Mac.

Here's just an idea of what's out there for patch panels. I'm not sure of their quality but parts are available out there for the same year Fords.

http://c2cfabrication.com/product-category/ford/ford-galaxie/

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Flyermark,

Since the sheetmetal is the same on the 800 model I know that Big M auto parts in California has a gold 61 800 sitting at his yard. I got parts for mine off of it. The front fenders are on it and the rear quarters are very straight. Straighter than mine. Give him a call and see what he can do for you. He may be able to cut out the pieces you need or be able to tell you what will interchange or where you can get the pieces you need for your repair. Worth a shot.

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Thank you Bleach and Laughing Coyote. I will look into both.

Regarding the pictures I don't know what the issue is. Ipad and Macbook are a no go. The pictures i did get uploaded were from my work Dell. I will try that some more tomorrow though I ran into the same issues after I got these to upload. I'll get it figured out so I can start a thread. I don't want to tie this one up.

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Thanks edhd58. What project are you working on? I bet your doing great work on your project too.

I saw the your thread on your project. Looking good from what I see so far. I will follow your thread as you go. It all takes time and money. :)

Edited by Laughing Coyote (see edit history)
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Thanks. It's been a fun project so far. I managed the pull out all the old headliner material today and remove the old roof insulation. I need to do a good check on the roof to make sure there are no dents I can see before I put the new insulation in. Waiting for some small dash parts to come in so I can finish what I can on that. I also put some more adhesive on the steering wheel so I can start sanding on it and get it ready for the next round of interior itmes for painting. Have the front wind screen loose and ready to come out, but I'm goiong to buff the outside of the glass first before I flip it out. Steering column is all back together and waiting to go back in. I will load up a picture in a few days.

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Thanks Martin, all because I saw what an awesome job you're doing I decided I could do better too. I say that as a compliment. I was gonna just kinda make my dash look better. Then darn it, as I am out there taking parts off to get ready to sand them and put them in primer I just couldn't leave the dash alone. It's now out and on the floor of the garage in among the pile of "ready to sand" stuff. I know I'll be more satisfied doing it right anyway, I just had to kid you a little though.

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It's all good edhd58. You got to laugh and enjoy life. Goes by way to fast. I know what you mean. I look at things to work on and before you know it the parts are every where. It may be more work, but in the long run you know that it's been done right. Keep working at it everybody will notice the extra effort you put into your project. :o

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Meteor update: Not much going on with the project. To much work going on. I did get my dash parts in and put them on. (glove box and bumpers, ash tray bumpers, and my turn signal knob) Not very exciting stuff. If I get a chance in the morning I'm going to get some insulation for the roof and see if I can get that in. I did manage to buff out the winshield and got the wiper haze marks out and some other smaller scratches. Still have some others that are a deeper. At $600 for a new window I will use this one for awhile. It doesn't have big chips or cracks and polished up pretty clear. Hope to have more excititing post here shortly.

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Thanks for all the positive reinforcements guys. Seems like most of the time lately I get to look at it for a few minutes and don't get to do anything because of lack of time. (business, family, house, and other vehicles) There's no time left. I won't give up on it. Just have to stay focused and slate some time for it.

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Well during the past couple of days I managed to remove the headlight housings and work on them. I tore down the drivers side housing and got it all cleaned up and polished up. Put some paint back on it where it use to be and put it all abck together. Looks pretty good. I will start working on the other side later this week. Still have to get the roof insulation so I can get that part of the project completed. Since the back of the car is going to need more body work and TLC I'm leaning towards doing all the front of the car from the firewall forward. The fenders are in good shape so not a lot of body work to do. The most time consuming part would be the frame and suspension clean up, repaint and assembly. Looks like I may have to get an engine stand soon.

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