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Customs Went to Ct. and got me a daily driver! My '51 Merc project.

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by UnIOnViLLEHauNT, Oct 7, 2010.

  1. UnIOnViLLEHauNT
    Joined:
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    Near the BEACH! Howell NJ.

    UnIOnViLLEHauNT Member

    Ok, I know, this isn't much to look at and frankly doesn't make much of a thread, yet. Hell, even the work I have put in so far only really made one car look way worse than it did before I touched it, but....sometimes you have to make your room messier before it gets clean. Right? That, and Im super excited!

    So, took a loooong ride (traffic) up to Bethany Ct. and bought this dreamboat. The plan is to cut if off the Merc floors, which are utterly wasted, and put it on that there '79 Olds you see next to it. The Olds sports the same wheelbase, albeit a little wide in the front, and has a 350/350 I believe, with some highway flyin' gears. I got it from a friend who lives in SC but had the car in NJ, and he said I should restore the car and drive it since it was the sweetest driving car he ever drove. I tried to convey that it would be in fact, unaltered driveability wise, the same car...but I don't think it got through. The problems with these swaps seem to be the front tire clearance, so my plan thusfar is to use some '54 Ford wheel lips I bought from Ether for this very swap years ago, and use some '49-'54 Chevy wheels. I think they will bring the tires in off the fenders about 3/4" per side or so. The problem is this is a 5x5 wheel pattern car (they came in both) so Im figuring a unilug spare should correct that when I swap the rotors to Chevy pattern.

    As for the Merc, I am thinking some kind of headlight/tail light business, not sure what yet, and around a 3 1/2" chop, straight pillar, lengthened quarter window and maybe using the '51 back window. I really normally don't like that look but I may be chopping another Merc and donating my '50 back window opening to that car, so whatever I have left I have left.

    Obviously rot repair is kinda A-1 priority with this thing, and that coupled with this car being on the back burner priority wise will make it a slow growth thread, but never hurts looking at someone's crappy project!

    Here is the ol battle axe. :)


    [​IMG]

    Straight, nice gaps, rust free!

    [​IMG]

    "Mouse" rod.

    [​IMG]

    This is pretty nice, I think Im going to keep the 51 dash in it.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
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    It's transplant. I hope it doesn't reject any organs, or at least any expensive ones.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Thats about that.
  2. Look like the good old Connecticut salt got to that one.I hate rust repair but good luck to you and keep us posted.
  3. enfieldjoe
    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2009
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    802
    Location:
    Savannah GA

    enfieldjoe Member

    Chris:
    51's ROCK, let me know if I can help you with any of my parts. I won't use everything. It will be interesting to follow this thread because of your talent with Merc's and the tech detail you provide during the build.
  4. JAWS
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    Maui, Hawai'i

    JAWS Member

    Um.....You sir are about to be counted among the greats, at least in my mind, of those skilled persons who can make resurrection from rusted out hulks happen.


    Stefan T, koolkemp and others come to mind..........I will definitely be watching this.

    Thanks in advance.
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  5. captainjunk#2
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    massachusetts

    captainjunk#2 Member

    im going to follow this build sounds very interesting , rock on
  6. koolkemp
    Joined:
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    Nova Scotia

    koolkemp Member

    Congrats on the coupe score! Looks alot like the piece of crap I am going to pick up next month even seems to be the same light blue /rust 2 tone lol! Not sure how rotten this one is below the snow line(pics are from last winter) supposedly the frame is still good.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
  7. UnIOnViLLEHauNT
    Joined:
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    Near the BEACH! Howell NJ.

    UnIOnViLLEHauNT Member

    Looks like we are the only two invited to a "POS blue Merc" party! Wow, I can't get over the similarities! I think you may have a little less rust, but WOW that roof is jacked! What happened, kids I guess? Even that door hangs reverse-lambo style like mine! I looked at mine for a few minutes today, took the hood off, that was about it. The trans was supposed to be overdrive, but I don't think it is, bummer too, I was looking forward to that.

    What are your plans? Are you going to keep it on the stock frame? I don't know Id ever go this route again swapping floors/frame, it's been a ton of work thus far and I'm not even into the hard work yet, but it's A. complete, B. was free, and C. the little mechanical shit after it's all together drives me nuts....bolt and nut hunting, radiator hoses, blah blah.

    Can't wait to see what you do with this!
  8. hvychvy
    Joined:
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    Dewey,OKustom

    hvychvy Member

    I'm with Brant on this,can't wait for updates!!!!!!:)
  9. slddnmatt
    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2006
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    3,429
    Location:
    riverside ca.

    slddnmatt Member

    dood you have issues.. your supposed to find mercs with less rust each time you buy one!! i dont think you would know what to do with a rust free car! your the merc savior!!:eek:
  10. enfieldjoe
    Joined:
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    Savannah GA

    enfieldjoe Member

    I remember thinking my 50 Merc was a challenge, but mine is nothing, when compared to the effort and talent necessary to resurrect these 51s.
  11. That's a tad more rust than some of us are willing to deal with. You may as well plop it on the Olds chassis to save some work as I'm sure that the chassis rot isn't far behind the body decay... or possibly ahead of it.

    You are a brave soul, keep us posted on progress.

    Bob
  12. koolkemp
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    koolkemp Member

    I am not sure exactly of any plans yet...I have a similar blue 4 door as well lol see below

    [​IMG]

    My original plan was to make one from the 2...but being the fool that I am I could get 2 cars outta them, parts are so hard to find around here for them, small population and the salt air and overall moisture eats metal pretty fast . If the orig Merc frame on the coupe is salvageable I would like to use it and make a nice chopped driver that could be improved over time...the sedans missing a foot or more of the frame on the drivers sidein front of the back wheel, the idiot that I got it from took the motor and wheels off it and left it in the dirt this is how I found it :

    [​IMG]

    I have a pretty nice 85 Impala that I was thinking of using to make a quick and dirty year round beater from the 4 door , although thats what my 47 Ford started out as lol I can get side tracked sometimes ! I am hopefully going to pick it up on the Rememberance day week, I got 4 days off in a row, oh yeah I gotta drive almost 7 hrs to get it :D The things we do for rust! I will do a thread and post the adventure .
  13. UnIOnViLLEHauNT
    Joined:
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    Near the BEACH! Howell NJ.

    UnIOnViLLEHauNT Member

    If ya be needing a clean frame, I have a few here. I'm sure it would be a beast to ship, but I have one bare clean frame, if you can find a way to get it to you, it's all yours.
  14. mazdaslam
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    Scotrun Pennsylvania

    mazdaslam Member

    Nice!! gonna call you Mr.Merc from now on!
  15. Fermiumhalo
    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2007
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    Location:
    Japan

    Fermiumhalo Member

    so Mr. Merc after working on so many other mercs you finally get one of your own!! Congrats looks like your typical POS starting point... Id offer you a sawzall but your probably ok using your hands:) Knowing you it will turn out awesome!
  16. koolkemp
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    koolkemp Member

    Man why do I gotta be so far away !! Anyone for a frame relay to Maine lol!!
  17. gas pumper
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    Boonton, NJ

    gas pumper Member


    Does the ferry still run? Portland to NJ is 6 hours.
  18. koolkemp
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    koolkemp Member

    No, our new socialist ndp provincial govt shut it down last year ...at least I can say I didnt vote for them!!
  19. 29nash
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    colorado

    29nash BANNED

    I'm encouraged by, (what seems to be a lot more than usual), mercs coming out here lately. My fave car all. Maybe I'll come across one that I can afford one day.
  20. UnIOnViLLEHauNT
    Joined:
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    UnIOnViLLEHauNT Member

    OK, a few days ago I finally got some time to put in to this thing. This winter was brutal, we havent gotten that much snow in our parts the past few years save for last year where we were pounded, and this year followed in fashion. Even where we are by the beach we get less, except for a Noreastern, which there were a few of this year. Everything has been under a ton of snow, now my yard is juuust about melted out.

    Moving right along, this thing is an utter pile. The passenger side wheelwell is completely gone..from floor quarter panel lol. Floors are toast. When I bought the car it was supposed to have an OD trans, as it was definately an OD car and freezing cold when I went to get it, I took the guys word. Someone swapped out a regular 3 speed in there at some point. Booo. Then, after doing all the work to strip down that Olds yet not liking the wide track width stance it would provide, I decided to collect some parts to keep it on the 60k original mile frame it was on. I crawled under to unbolt (read-CUT) the last two bolts holding the front sheetmetal off under the rad support, and found this. Frame is trashed up front. Damn. I got the car cheap so I really dont care, its just a setback. I have a drum brake Chevy subframe of unknown vintage that measures out perfect for this, I just have to post a thread and see if anyone knows what it is so I can order steering and brake parts for it. I also have to get a diner tray with plastic food on it and a 'Lost in the 50s' sticker now that my Merc is going to have a Chevy subframe.

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    I pulled it over to a concrete pad in my yard and rolled over my engine crane. Hooked it up and started twisting the body to get the doors back in their door holes and after some creeking and squeaking, they reluctantly started to fit. I think we will be OK and itll be a car at some point. There is nothing holding the B pillar in and has about a foot of flex in and out, coupled with no inner wheelwell the quarter panel is all over the place, so between twisting and plank of wood it started to take some shape.

    [​IMG]
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    Got the inside stripped and here is the starting point. Going to be a lot of cutty/bendy/weldy to make this thing a car again.

    [​IMG]
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    This is the money shot. Look at this hot mess haha.

    [​IMG]

    Heres a shot of the other side, I have yet to fool with that at all, this door is trashed. I have some solid 4 door doors I may try and use to fix these, literally tho, I have no plan as of yet. I would love to replace this door, but coming across one under a zillion bucks is unlikely.

    [​IMG]
  21. edwardlloyd
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    edwardlloyd
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I don't like your donar chassis. I'd consider something newer and cleaner like a late clean Crown Victoria or similar. You'll have enough work on the body!
    Ed
  22. UnIOnViLLEHauNT
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    UnIOnViLLEHauNT Member

    Crown Vic is even worse width wise, it would look more at home going muddin' than trying to be a custom car.

    I am going to try and use this Chevy subframe, if anything I will pull the engine and trans out of the Olds donor so it didnt die for nothing.
  23. cobramerc
    Joined:
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    Pine Island N.Y.

    cobramerc Member

    Wow looks like you got your work cut out for you, I will be following this build. Dave
  24. schwerko
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    bristol ct

    schwerko Member

    RrrrrrrruF!
  25. mazdaslam
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    Scotrun Pennsylvania

    mazdaslam Member

    I love it! Looks almost as bad as mine was.....almost..
  26. edwardlloyd
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    edwardlloyd
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Somewhere, I think it was here a read a build up of a Mercury on an older square shape CV. I think it fitted well. You can still find really clean ones cheap.
    Ed
  27. pimpin paint
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    so cal

    pimpin paint Member

    Hey,

    Well, at least with this build you don't have to fix someone else's work prior to getting started with the chop/build.

    I'd cut out those rotted areas in the oem frame, and stick weld in new metal, way before I'd do another frame swap! The Olds & Clown Vic frame swaps both have their share of engineering shortfalls.

    Good luck, and have fun whenever you can!

    " Life is not a Disney movie "
  28. Pro Stock John
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    Chicago North Side

    Pro Stock John Member

    I'd guess that the frame/floor swaps are a lot of work for the first one, but there are probably guys out there that have done a bunch and know how they are going to cut and fit them. I think my SC-sourced Poncho framed Merc is probably one of those it looks all stuff under the dash. Good luck! You do a lot of this stuff, you should see if you could partner with someone to make patch panels, batches of 20.
  29. enfieldjoe
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    Savannah GA

    enfieldjoe Member

    Wow Chris, that my friend, is a BUNCH of work.
  30. fuzzybear
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    warrnambool victoria australia

    fuzzybear
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    HOLY CRAP!!!! ive given up on better than that rust wise.(maybe im just a sook) hope you got what it takes to pull it off. good luck. o yeah and remeber to post alot of pic of the whole ordeal. thanks

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