Laughing Coyote

1961 Mercury Meteor 800 restore

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Well as I tear more into this engine I'm finding more crusty oil caked in all the passages and places it would be to hard to clean out. The old oil is just like liquid graphite with coal chuncks. Brake cleaner barely cleans it up. I decided to do a complete rebuild on the engine. My friend is going to take the block to an engine shop and have them put it in a vat to deep clean everything when I get it all the way torn down. Glad to have connections for this stuff. I did get the paint for the valve covers, air cleaner and oil fill cap. I guess I will clean them up and give them a new coat of paint and put them on a shelf for later. Oh well, just means the engine wont be done by June. Plenty more stuff to work on in the mean time.

Deere842,

I will be putting in new shafts. The shafts that came off the heads were bowed pretty bad and had a lot of wear on the underside of them. Miced them out per the manual and they are worn beyond specs. The rockers I will have to check the bores on them yet. Thanks for the offer though. If I change my mind I will PM you.

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You might want to considor having the rotating parts of your engine balanced. I had my 1960 352 balanced. My rebuilder said it wasn't necessary if I was not going to race it. I'm glad I did. It is smooth through all rpm ranges. It runs like an electric motor! Keep up the goog work. I'm enjoying your thread.

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Thanks Rick. Yes it would be nice to have it all balanced, but don't want to shell out the extra cash. If I was doing a performance car like a Mustang, Vette or something like that than I would consider it. I have attached some more pics of the progress. The aircleaner is done. I used engine primer on the intake and it's ready for when I get ready to install it. The heads have been stripped down and ready to hot tank them to cean them up this coming week. Still have a bit to do to get the block broken down all the way. You can see the sludge that is on the oil pick up.:P Still have to clean up the valve covers. Still caked with that nasty old oil. Just doesn't come of easy. I made up some trays to hold all my valves, springs and bolts. That way I can keep them all in the order they came out of the heads. Have lots of cleaning and checking to do on them. The sand blasting cabinet is almost ready. Just in time for me to put it to work.

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I would like to start of my update with a salute to those brave souls that fought a horrific battle on this 6th day of June 1944. God bless them all.

I did get the heads all hot tanked today and cleaned up. I have one bank of valves all cleaned up. I measured them all (stems and guides) and are within factory specs. Going to give them a quick hand lap and get them ready to go back together. The sandblasting cabinet is done and works pretty good. The gun works okay, but could be better. (Cheapy import) Need to look for a better one. I picked up the decals from my buddy that goes on the air cleaner. Other than that getting ready to do some more measurements before I tear down the rest of the motor down. Been pretty hot here. 108 for a few days. Takes the energy right out of you and you dont want to do much. Kinda like when it gets to -50 and tons of snow for the folks in the cold areas.

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hello did you complete your restore? I'm looking for a few parts wondering if there was a place that you were able to locate parts. Thank you.

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Nope, A long way from done on this project. If your looking vor parts look on Ebay for a lot of the hard to find stuff. Mac's auto parts, Obsolete classic auto parts, Concourse parts. You can search on Google too. Lots of stuff out there. You just have to dig for it. My car came with all the hard to find trim and pieces.

While I'm posting I will update the progress. All the engine tin has been painted and ready to go. The intake is ready for paint. The oil pan is painted and ready. The valves have all been lapped and ready to back into the heads. Have to get the new valve umbrellas and keepers so I can get them back together, primed and painted. Pulled all the pistons and they are waiting to be disassembled and cleaned. Going to pull the crank, cam and timing stuff this weekend. Been really hot and busy with work.

Oh, figured out why the blast cabinet wasn't working to well. Had to add an additional tube to the pick up tube to create a vacuum effect. Works like gang busters now. Rips the rust and paint right off.:D

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Oh yes, the first day of summer. So lets go put the swamp cooler on the roof of the shop when it's going to be 105 degrees. Always had it in the back of my mind that this thing has to get up on the roof before it gets hot. Oh well too late. I just couldn't take it anymore having it in my way when I have to work and rolling it around makes it a pain to deal with. So I just had to get it done. I ended up getting the duct material at the local steel yard and drew up the design on the plasma software. Had it cut out and ready to go last week. I removed the wheels from the frame and put legs on it. Had to get the neighbors tractor to lift it to the roof and slide it off the bucket. Fun times. Still have to do some sealing around teh duct bottom, but i have a few days before any chance of rain. At least it's finally up, nobody got hurt and I can check it off the list. Good thing, it's going to be hotter this coming week. I posted some pictures of the job and some shots of Tucson and the mountains out back.

As for the car I haven't done much. I removed the sway bar, front brake lines and some small brakets. Going to try and get the heads together this week and get them into primer. Been sandblasting the other headlight parts so I can get that assembly back together. Need to get some 1/2" thick rubber pad for the front body mounts and then I can finish istallin gthe others and be done with that part. Just been really busy with the job so the car time has slowed some. :cool:

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Edited by Laughing Coyote (see edit history)

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Well I got the cranked pulled out and just have to get the cam out. The oil deposits around the bearings are keeping it held in. Going to have to use a little more umph. I was using a gear puller to pull off the balancer but it would just pull the outer ring forward. (putting a new balancer on anyway) Since I didn't have the proper puller I just used some chain links and removed the jaws and put the links in their place. Used the balancer front pully bolts and it came right off. Timming chain had about an inch of slop in it.

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Edited by Laughing Coyote (see edit history)

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Martin, good idea on the chain links!

How is that swamp cooler performing?

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Martin, good idea on the chain links!

QUOTE]

I agree. Why didn't I think of that?

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Paul, the cooler works great. Makes working in the shop a lot nicer. Sure beats working in a oven. Hope the little trick with the puller may be of use to someone else down the road.

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Merc update. Finally had a little break in the work schedule. I got the cam removed. It was stuck in there pretty good. I'm looking at a new one anyways. The block is going next week to get cleaned. Can't wait to get it back so I can start working on getting it back together. I also have been kicking around the idea of pulling the body of the frame. All I have to do is make some supports and lift. It's all ready to go. Since I've been getting so detailed on this build I might as well go all the way. The timing cover has been cleaned, checked and repainted. Still need to paint the intake yet and put the heads back together. Going to do some engine part shopping tonight. I will post some pics soon.

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Thanks Fredrick. Love restoring it. I did manage to get some photos of more work. The intake is finally painted and ready. Cleaned up and painted some linkage parts for it. Had to set the carb on it and see how it looks so far. I did get the heads together. Had to wait on the valve seals. Now they are ready for prime and paint and it will be off the list. The block is ready to go to the engine shop to get hot tanked. My buddy is picking it up on Monday. :D Now I have a few more things to get ready so I can lift the body off. Need to make sure my body stand are stout enough. Don't want to drop a body. Not good.

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Edited by Laughing Coyote (see edit history)

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Been plugging away at the Mercury. Got the heads all painted and ready to go. Cleaned all the main bearing caps. Still have to clean the crank and pistons. Kyle was going to stop by to get the block today, but we had some bad rain and wnd storms the night before and his carport and roof got ripped off of his rental house. I told him don't worry about the block right now. He will be by at a later date. In the mean time I will be cleaning more parts and getting ready to lift the body.

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Well I have been working on a few things here and there. Cleaning up some brake lines. Sandblasted and painted the torque converter cover. Nothing really interesting or pictures worth posting. Still trying to get some time to lift off the body. The work schedule has been really busy lately. :(

Edited by Laughing Coyote (see edit history)

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It's Friday and the block is finally going to be picked up tomorrow. Yeah. I've been doing alot of cleaning of little parts and the transmission. I have all the trans cooler lines cleaned, speedo cable, linkage, bell housing and some other misc. car parts. Took about 3 hrs to clean all the grease and grime off the transmission, but now I will be able to work on it without getting really dirty. It will be nice to re-assemble the car and not be covered in grease and dirt. Have a little bit of work left on the car body stands and I will be ready to lift the body. The Mrs. has been having me do home improvements lately so it's cutting into the car time. Like they say "Happy wife, happy life".:o

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Well the block is still at the engine shop. My buddy said that they tanked it twice and it still has a good amount of crud in it. They told him it was due to cheap oil and no oil changes back in the day. They're going to put in the acid tank to get it cleaned. Once it's cleaned they're going to mic it and check it for craks with some dye or something. At least I will know exactly what I will be working with. These guys build high performance racing motors so I think they know what their doing. They're also going to him other tips and tricks for better oiling and other stuff. I will get the info on it when he drops it back off. Been cleaning up the rest of the engine parts and getting things ready.

Edited by Laughing Coyote (see edit history)

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Well the block is still at the engine shop. My buddy said that they tanked it twice and it still has a good amount of crud in it. They told him it was due to cheap oil and no oil changes back in the day. They're going to put in the acid tank to get it cleaned. Once it's cleaned they're going to mic it and check it for craks with some dye or something. At least I will know exactly what I will be working with. These guys build high performance racing motors so I think they know what their doing. They're also going to him other tips and tricks for better oiling and other stuff. I will get the info on it when he drops it back off. Been cleaning up the rest of the engine parts and getting things ready.

Martin, that is similar to the "Magnaflux" process where they used metal filings that gathered around cracks. The dye just goes into the cracks and they stand out under black light. The company I used to work for used that process on turbine parts. If they build racing engines, they'll likely balance yours. Amazing smoothness results.

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My buddy dropped off the engine block today along with two 80# bags of media for the blast cabinet. Told me if I need more let him know. Has 3 more bags laying around. That was a nice surprise. Now I can blast parts for a while. The block looks good after two hot tanks and two times in the chem dip tank. Just didn't want to let go of the old grime. They said everything checked out good and can use all standard bearings and rings. So I guess it's time to start shopping. I will be running taps in all the holes and double checking all the oil gallies to make sure nothing got over looked. hopefully by the end of the year i will have it all done and looking pretty on the engine stand. :cool:

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Sounds like the 89K miles were easy ones on it.

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Yes they were. Thank goodness. I think if he would have changed the oil more often it wouldn't have been sooooooooooo bad to clean up.

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Well I got the cylinders honed and cleaned up casting flashing that was restricting some of the oiling holes. That will help the oil flow better from the lifter valley back to the oil pan. Now I have to blow out all the oil gallies and make sure the block is super clean before I start the rebuild. I have the cam coming this week along with the new cam bearings and some other smaller items. I've also been sand blasting small brakets and getting them painted. Been really busy with the job so haven't had much time to do anything dramatic. I guess that's life.

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I got the cam and it looks nice. The block has been honed and is ready to go. Have the cam bearings so now I just have to put them in. Well after watching numerous videos on how they put them in I decided that I would need to get a bearing install tool. The auto parts stores don't have one to lend and after searches on Ebay I decided to make my own. So after several evenings in the shop on the lathe I think I got something that may work. It has a 1" solid driver bar with an aluminum bell that centers on the block and bearing spud to hold the bearing. I even put an o ring on it so the bearing surface doesn't get torn up. Now all I need is to get some time. Oh time. Seems like I don't get any of it to work the car, just the business. :( I guess that's life, but I will get my day to work the car some more. Hey, Labor day is coming. That would be a good day to labor on the car! :o

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Edited by Laughing Coyote (see edit history)

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Well Labor day came and went. The Mrs. had me do stuff around the house. The in-laws are coming in for the up coming holidays and she has a list of things she wants done before they get here. Not to mention the business has been very busy. So no I didn't get the bearings in yet, but they are the next thing on MY list. I did manage to cut off work early this afternoon so I can raise the body. I didn't go as high as I was thinking, but it has enough room for me to get things cleaned up and painted up. Call me scared, but I didn't want to have an issue and screw up the body. Once I get it on jack stands it will be even higher to work under. This way it will make it easier to rool in and out of the garage. That way when I paint it I can put a big tarp down and paint outside without painting the garage inside. Is it considered a frame off if the body is not touching the frame technically?:rolleyes: I have been working in smaller parts too. I did the inner fender splash panels. DIdn't have any of those factory staples so I used rivets and back ups and painted them. You won't be able to see it anyway. Posted a few photos for your enjoyment.

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It is imperative that you get the oil galleries as clean as possible. Dip tanks and blow guns are not enough. Gritty dirt likes to hide in there. I use a small diameter wire brush on the end of a drill motor, along with an aerosol can of brake or carb cleaner. Wear proper safety attire. Don't skimp on time or effort. Do it once, and then do it again, and maybe a third time for good measure. It is a pleasure and quite inspiring to follow your progress. Continued good luck!

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