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1961 Mercury Meteor 800 restore


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Thanks Roger,

It's going to take a bit of time, but at least I will know for sure what was under all that crud. Removed some more today. Your Lincoln model is looking fantastic. Keep up the good work.

I have all the pistons cleaned and will be ringing and installing them next week. I'm also rebuilding the steering control valve, but waiting on a new sleeve and that will be ready to go. Have a tranny and differential guy lined up. Hoping by this time next year the engine, trans and all the driveline will be in and the car will be back on the frame. :rolleyes:

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Hello all,

I thought I would start a thread for the 61 Merc project that I'm starting to tackle. I have allready started tearing into it and I will post pics as I go. The car has 89000 original miles on it and 100% all there. Hope you enjoy the progress.

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Edited by 1961 mercury
HELP WITH RESTO OF 1961 MERCURY (see edit history)
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Hey Trev,

That's a nice looking Merc you got there. Matter a fact I viewed it several times online when I was considering on buying the one I have.

This Sunday is going to be the day to do the pistons and get them all installed and ready to go. I got the timing chain set in the mail yesterday, so that's another plus in the project. I have the control valve all rebuilt, but the new band that holds the rubber boot is a bit smaller than the original so I will clean up the old one and reuse it. I will post pictures when that's all wrapped up. I started to clean up the starter that I have been tripping over for the past year. Started to clean off the old grime and uncovered the factory inked label for it. I'm going to have my buddy make me up a new sticker like I did for the regulator. I posted my tools of choice for this restore. I have been using these things from day one. They are very handy and you can get into some tight areas with it. It's just a painters putty knife that you can get at a local hardware store. The Husky one is very rigid and the Hyde brand has some flex to it. I also have been using foam ear plugs to fill in on the small holes on things when I do my painting. It's to much of a pain to try and mask off small holes. You just rotate them between your thumb and finger and insert them into the hole. Wait about a minute and they expand and seal it up. You can get them on ebay or at hardware stores too. No more paint in the threads or ???

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Edited by Laughing Coyote (see edit history)
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Trev,

It has the factory 352.

It was a bit chilly this morning 36 degrees. Had some ice on the trash can lids. I got all the pistons installed and ready to go to the next step. The timing chain that I recieved is the wrong one. The dowel pin that goes into the cam is off 180 degrees from the factory one and is to far in. Not even close to the original one. Bummer. I have the starter apart and noticed several surprises. The armature is scraped up from the bushings being worn. The brushes are shot and there was a short on one of the brush holders on the back cover. I can get a rebuild kit simple enough, but the rear cover would be hard to get by itself. I will have to see what I can come up for a repair. Control valve is complete and ready. I also included some shots of my other tools of choice.

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Edited by Laughing Coyote (see edit history)
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I figured out that the timing set that they sent me was for a 64 not a 61. :mad: I can use the chain and crank sprocket not the cam sproket. The company does not offer the right sprocket as a set and the cost for the sprocket was more than the whole set including shipping. The correct one is on the left and if you look at it the dowel pin hole is farther away from the center hole. The back on the correct one is flat and doesn't have the big step on it. I checked it over with the original one and we're all good now. I have the starter end cap all repaired and have the case and other parts all cleaned and ready to go. Just have to order the rebuild kit and that will be done. I'm going to order the oil pump and pan gasket next so I can get he bottom all buttoned up.

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After a hard days work I decided to put the timing chain on the engine. It worked out great. I will have the oil pump in the morning and will be ready for that to be installed. I also attached pictures of the starter repair. I machined some nylon spacer to make the rivet insulator and then I used three thin strips of platic I had laying around and sandwiched them together with some silicone. After they were all stuck together I drilled it and used some split rivets I got from the local hardware store and peened them down. Looks like it will work just fine. I also got the starter case all cleaned up and ready for the rebuild kit. The decal my buddy made has the part number a bit bigger than I would have liked, but it will do.

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I managed to get the oil pump, screen and oil filter block installed today. Going to install the timing cover and fuel pump some time tomorrow. I have to order the head gaskets, intake and oil pan gaskets yet. Also have to order the lifters and push rods. I can't wait to get this engine back together and see how it's going to look.

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Have a little Merc update. Ordered the head and intake gaskets. Should be here this coming week. I have the front of the engine done minus the water pump and balancer. I will be getting the lifters and push rods later on this coming month. I did manage to win a bid on Ebay for two NOS headlight bezels. Got the pair for less than $20. So the others I will keep as spares. I also had to turn some flat sockets head bolts on the lathe for the starter. Getting those square head bolts out was a bear and a few didn't come out as nice. Used and EZ out on some. I know the hex head is not like the originals, but will be alot easier to put in and tighten down. Other than that just trying to stay warm. Had a few nights where it got down to 24 degrees. Way to cold for me.

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Coyote, That beast is looking good. You have so much patience it is incredible. As for those foam plugs, thats a great idea, I would have never thought of those and yet I have a bunch in my junk drawer. Well, guess I am off to the garage to clean up 4-1/2 gallons of antfreeze.

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Thanks edhd58,

Your car sounds nice. Can't wait to get mine running some day. Hope the antifreeze mess wasn't too bad to clean up. Well I decide to start working on the water pump. It was pretty nasty and the bearings are shot. I did manage to find a rebuild kit for it so once I get it apart I will check it over and see if it is even worth a rebuild or just a new purchase. I have the head gaskets in so I'm going to get ready to install the heads. I also purchased some NOS rocker arms that I couldn't pass up because the price was so low. Just 13 more to go. Other than that just trying to get back into the swing of things again.

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Trev,

It has the factory 352.

It was a bit chilly this morning 36 degrees. Had some ice on the trash can lids. I got all the pistons installed and ready to go to the next step. The timing chain that I recieved is the wrong one. The dowel pin that goes into the cam is off 180 degrees from the factory one and is to far in. Not even close to the original one. Bummer. I have the starter apart and noticed several surprises. The armature is scraped up from the bushings being worn. The brushes are shot and there was a short on one of the brush holders on the back cover. I can get a rebuild kit simple enough, but the rear cover would be hard to get by itself. I will have to see what I can come up for a repair. Control valve is complete and ready. I also included some shots of my other tools of choice.

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Awesome Bridgeport!! Lathe looks nice too. It must be great having those around.

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Thanks Jeff.

It's actually a 1962 Series 1. Just a year newer than the Merc and looked the same when I got it. Did alot of cleaning and maintenance on it, even rebuilt the entire head assembly. Works great. The only thing is the ways are worn, but I can still hold a .001. There is a company in Illinois that can redo the ways for around $3000. They build them up and rescrape. They told me that the original Bridgeports ways can be redone over and over, but the imports can not. It's that good old iron. The lathe is an import. Couldn't find a good one that wasn't worn out. They do make things easier when you need to make something. I did get a report today from Barry's guy that does the mounts. Mike is going to try to do the rubber part tomorrow and get it finished up. Can't wait to see the final result.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Merc update. It's been a busy week. Been jumping all over the place on the car project. First thing I worked was the steering gear. It's in great shape, isn't loose or sloppy at all. I just cleaned off all the grease and gunk and gave it a fresh coat of paint. It will need a new oil seal, but simple enough to get. Very pleased how it looks. I then worked on the steering cylinder that has been laying around. I purchased a rebuild kit a while ago and when I started to do the rebuild I noticed that the piston shaft was pitted very badly and was just going to tear up the new seal kit. So it fell to the back burner. I can buy a new one for around $100 or so, but today I decided since it's broke then cutting the end off and trying to replace the shaft with a new one shouldn't be all that hard. I will just buy a drill rod shaft and machine all the ends to match the original. A lot cheaper that route. I did noticed that the cylinder had a good hit on the outside of the case, but it didn't go deep enough to effect the piston from sliding up and down the inner tube. Actually it has a really good seal on the piston. I made sure I had everything measured before cutting it apart. I also started to pick apart the core support. Pulled some brackets off, sandblasted them and painted. I have one more to pull off then it goes to the powder coater to sandblast it in the big booth. Then I will finish it up with a coat of paint and start putting some parts back on. I finally got the heads installed too. Engine is looking better and better. Can't wait to get the tins back on it and give it some color.

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Well I have been picking at different parts on the car and I decided to pull out the heater fan motor since it was easy picking and not alot of work to remove it. Went to check it out and no go. Disassembled it and found the the board that holds the brushes was broken. I repaired the board and reassembled it and it works nice now. Cleaned it up and repainted it. Looks like new. I also pulled the heater housing of the fire wall. It had a good size hole where some on kicked it. I repaired that and in the process of the final detailing of the housing. I will post the pictures of the progress. Found alot of goodies in the defroster vents too. Suprised they even blew out any air with all the stuff in them.

HI THERE FROM TREV IN AUSSIE ...I THOUND LISTED IN USA A ORIGINAL 1961 FE BLOCK FOR YOUR COUPE ...THEY ARNT NUMBERED JUST STAMPED C1...........

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The weather wasn't the greatest today. Cool and windy so I picked at some items on the car. I cleaned up one of the front seat glide rails and painted it. Cleaned up the rear bumper bracket mounting bolts and media blasted the fuel door. I do have a tip that may be helpful. If you want to paint a spring and you want to make sure you get paint coverage in the inside coil just hang a paint can from it. It has to have two hook ends obviously. Just hook one end to a suitable wire or cable, then hang a paint can or some thing with a wire handle to extend the spring enough to get paint coverage. You don't want to hang something too heavy that it ruins the spring ends. Just gauge the weight. If you really want to cover yourself put a garbage can under it so if the spring breaks then you don't have a big mess to clean. I also use those wire shower curtain hooks to hang alot of the pieces when I paint them.

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Well I got the core support back from the powder coaters. It's all nice and new metal again. I originall painted the core support end brackets with the Rust Oleum professional grade rattle can and looked good, but I couldn't find it in a qt can. I ended up buying the gallon size from HD in the gloos black. I sprayed the core support and it looks good, but I noticed it had more gloss than the spray can. So the next day I ended up doing a light scuff on the end brackets and repainted them so they all match. They look like they were coated with a high gloss powder coat. I thinned it with Acetone like it said and had good results. ALso have some shots of the seat rails. Hope to get more stuff done here shortly.

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Thanks fellas. I just try to do my best and hope for good results. Speaking of results here is what the rebuilt steering cylinder looks like. It's now ready to go to the completed pile with the rest of the parts so far. I also media blasted the battery tray yesterday and put a fresh coat of POR15 on it to help with any rust issues. I was able to top coat it with the same Rust oleum professional paint I used on the core support.

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Thanks for the link. It's pretty neat to see what the differences are from the US version and Canadian. Well I hate to say it, but it's been in the high 70's :rolleyes: and working on the underside of the pan scrapping away. Looking pretty good. Still have to order the lifters and pushrods yet. I got sidelined and had to purchase a few very hard to find NOS trim pieces before they got bought up. So now that I have them I can look at purchasing the engine parts again. Other than that nothing really exciting.

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It's super bowl Sunday and I'm not much of a football guy so I decided to work the car today. This past Friday I put down the seem sealer and pulled the brake peadl linkage. After dis assembly I had two of the nylon sleeves break apart. I was going to order them until I saw the prices of them. I thought it's just nylon not gold plated. So I took a trip the the local hardware store and see if they had some in the hardware isle. Nope out of luck, so I looked around the store and the nylon barb fittings caught my eye. I went thru the selection until I found the right ones that would work. The hex was a little smaller, but good enough. Spent $8 in parts. Got home and got on the lathe and started turning. About 45 minutes later I had all my bushings. Then I got to put the brake linkage all bake together and off to the next project. I figured I would clean up the brake pedal mount bracket and paint it. Well one thing led to another and now the instrument cluster is out and I started to clean it. Then I pulled the steering column and then decided what the heck, pull everything. So out came the dash too. Have plenty of room to work now. This weekend I will be putting down the POR paint on the floor and the next weekend lay down some color. From under that dash all the way to the back seat area. :)

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I wish I had 1/4 your talent.

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We had ou 352 in a 59 retractable rebuilt and cannot get rid of a head gasket leak. The guy has tried two different types of gaskets. I've read some folks won't use any gasket at all. May I ask, are you going gasket-less?

Also, if Mercurys are like Fords, when you get her running, beware they can pop out of park while idling into reverse. Quite common. While your steering column is apart you can purchase what is called a detent plate. It replaces the worn piece that keeps the car in park.

Edited by exbcmc (see edit history)
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