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1950 Merc - trigger pulled, a story, some stupidity, some Q's and lots of pics.

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by timdhawk, Nov 10, 2011.

  1. timdhawk
    Joined: Aug 21, 2010
    Posts: 109

    timdhawk
    Member

    The story:
    Last week I posted about possibly buying this Merc. Well, I pulled the trigger and drove out to get it with my 2 young kids (4 and 6).Here's the basics about this car: 1984 Buick le Sabre front clip. 2 air bags with wood blocks in front, and a hastily done ratchet shifter. I have all the chrome , trim and interior pieces save for the bumpers and original front seat. All metal look to be in suprisingly good shape.
    I will condense the story for brevity's sake. As you will see in the pics this car was - how do i say it - dropped Joe Dirt style. Maybe 2-3 in off the ground, maybe! I rented a u haul car trailer and as you can probably imagine had one hell of a time getting it up on there! That's before the shifter cable broke and got stuck in reverse off the trailer!
    After having the prior owners wife rustle up some friends who knew about the car we were ultimately able to get it up on the trailer. I will say that it was very much a Keystone Cops routine!
    After getting it home, getting it off the trailer by myself was equally an exercise in comic futility. Angles and clearances get very tricky on a car 2-3 " off the ground. car gets "low" centered half way off trailer and the only tire to spin is the passenger rear and its balder than a newborn babies ass! Oh yea, and the rear u-joint shackles broke and dropped the drive line!!! I'm still half way on the trailer.:eek:
    I finally get her off the trailer using some tactics I know to be stupid, but they worked. So i have this car with no drive line and no e-brake sitting half way UP my drive way ... yes, its up hill!!!:mad: So now I'm trying to get a "push party" organized to get it into my garage before the shit weather hits!

    The Stupidity:
    The u-joint shackles broke because i had been up for the last 24+ hours (i work nights) and didn't have a functioning "smart" brain cell working. I loosened up the PO's makeshift u-bolts holding the rear axle to the lowering blocks thinking that would allow the leaf springs to bow down a bit more giving me some more clearance. Instead it allowed the rear axle a lot of leeway to rotate down and snap the shackles as i tried to back her off the trailer! Who knew, right!:eek: Not my proudest moment!

    The pics:
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    The Questions:
    1. Do those u-joint shackles look like the factory Merc ones? I'm not sure it they are from the 84 Buick or not. If they are Merc, where can I source them? Unobtainium?
    2. If I'm looking at this as the best time to change out/upgrade that rear end, what or the most common ones for a 50 Merc that people have had great success with?
    3. Am I correct in thinking that font clip mating joint leaves a lot to be desired?

    Thanks guys.
     
  2. r8odecay
    Joined: Nov 8, 2006
    Posts: 787

    r8odecay
    Member

    3. Am I correct in thinking that font clip mating joint leaves a lot to be desired?


    Downright horrifying.
     
  3. mrconcdid
    Joined: Aug 31, 2010
    Posts: 1,157

    mrconcdid
    Member
    from Florida

    Congrats on your new project
    Next time your stuck on a trailer chain/rope/strap the car to a tree and drive the trailer out from under it. If your alone be sure and put some blocks of wood on the ground to act as a brake BEFORE the car hits what ever you chained it to. This is a crude and last resort kinda way of doing it. But it is very effective.


    MrC.
     
  4. JeffB2
    Joined: Dec 18, 2006
    Posts: 8,116

    JeffB2
    Member
    from Phoenix,AZ

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  5. slddnmatt
    Joined: Mar 30, 2006
    Posts: 3,678

    slddnmatt
    Member

    Ya those are stock merc u joint cups, look up c&g Ford parts they'll have it. Do some good measuring on the front suspension, by the way the job looks on it I wouldn't trust they new how to read a tape measure. The body looks in really good shape which is a bonus. Just clean up all the hoaky was stuff and start enjoying!!
     
  6. This has been driven??!! How the hell did that front end stay in there?

    Downright horrifying? Why be that nice about it?

    Scary, very very scary.

    Doc.
     
  7. timdhawk
    Joined: Aug 21, 2010
    Posts: 109

    timdhawk
    Member

  8. 48 Chubby
    Joined: Apr 29, 2008
    Posts: 1,015

    48 Chubby
    Member Emeritus

    First off you should realise that I am prejudiced against frame swaps and front clip jobs, so what I am about to post comes from that view point. The reason being that I have seen too many botched efforts like this. In my mind what you have is a pile of parts stuck together that perhaps, with careful dissambly and refurbishment, can become a decent Mercury project. The first thing to hunt up is a decent frame and start from there.
    I don't mean to be a butt hole, but you asked and I'm being honest with you.

    Whatever you do don't follow the previous owner's example of short cuts and shoddy work.
     
  9. Jalopy Joker
    Joined: Sep 3, 2006
    Posts: 24,653

    Jalopy Joker
    Member

    congrats on new project - has a ton of potential - yes, checking the square of front clip installation and eye balling what it will take to make to safe - if it turns out to be worse than what it looks like in pictures it may be best to cut it off and start over - hopefully not - after you get all front end stuff, even the radiator, set up properly then move to rearend - join the Merc Club here - search here for lots of info posted on best rearend, etc. Oh ya, deep 6 the steering column and bucket seats too, in your spare time.
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2011
  10. timdhawk
    Joined: Aug 21, 2010
    Posts: 109

    timdhawk
    Member

    No offense taken! That type of info/opinion is what I'm looking for so i can appreciate the work ahead of me and to enlighten me to some different directions I may need to take!
     
  11. Lowmerc50
    Joined: Apr 25, 2008
    Posts: 588

    Lowmerc50

    looks like a great start...Good luck
     
  12. There r8odecay, I fixed that for ya...

    Yup, new frame time...A Camaro stub MIGHT let you graft on further back, but PLEASE know exactly what you are doing or take it to someone who does. Don't even TRY to fix that mess...
     
  13. Restorex
    Joined: Jan 29, 2011
    Posts: 16

    Restorex
    Member

    Wow that's damn low without even channeling the body over the frame. If you are going to change the frame. You may want to drop that body ( channeled ) onto a '83 Buick Park Ave frame with the running gear still in tact. I just did that to my '49 Merc and it sits low enough just being channeled 5 inches. Later on I will be installing air bags.
    But it looks like you have a great start to your project. I like it. It looks damn mean sitting like that.
     
  14. r8odecay
    Joined: Nov 8, 2006
    Posts: 787

    r8odecay
    Member


    It is that low because it has blocks of wood where suspension bits should be...:D
     
  15. banditomerc
    Joined: Dec 18, 2005
    Posts: 2,154

    banditomerc
    Member

    wow! I hope you didn't "pay" for this car.All kidding aside,for the sake of safety...you need to go through this car and redo it.maybe cheaper to get another frame and start fresh so you know what's done and how it's done.my 0.02
     
  16. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 26,564

    Mr48chev
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    If the handiwork on the rest of the frame looks as bad as the stub job you might want to look for another frame.

    When I stubbed the 51 I had I used a rear steer Nova/Camaro stub. The rear steer stub will slip right in where your frame is cut off and the back end of the stub can be tied into the Merc X member. The Olds engine and trans drop right in after you build some mounts and the ones on the Lesabre subframe can probably be made to work. The Steering comes damned close to mating up with the rear steer stub and the stock core support will sit right on the front cross piece of the stub with a couple of rubber pads to mount it on. That or completely redo and plate what you have there, that looks like a wreck waiting to happen

    I had a 350R out of a 72 Olds in my 51 and put a hell of a lot of miles on it including a trip to Texas and Bonneville. That is probably a 307 but they are hell for good engines for a road going Merc.
     
  17. cfnutcase
    Joined: Nov 29, 2008
    Posts: 1,033

    cfnutcase
    Member
    from Branson mo

    WOW! Sitting that low makes it look like the roof grew! LOL Anyways I am a huge advocate for the stock suspension, I love the way these cars drive with the stock stuff, they ride very nice and drive great, NO reason in my opinion to chage things, but others will disagree I am sure. I myself would just slide a good frame with stock suspension under the body, that would be a great time to have the stock frame blasted paint it and rebuild everything on it, like the suspension, brakes and such, then you know you have a great foundation for your nice body. I have several mercs and all of mine have stock suspension with lowering blocks in the rear and the lowering plates from night prowlers in the front with aerostar coils, that gives me 4" all around on my cars. Jim
     
  18. Don's Hot Rods
    Joined: Oct 7, 2005
    Posts: 8,319

    Don's Hot Rods
    Member
    from florida

    This may not be a HAMB friendly suggestion, but years ago the popular swap was to put a full size Olds frame and running gear under these Mercs. They used mid 70's as I recall, and there were articles in magazines of where to cut the firewall so the whole shibang slid right underneath. The WB and track were right on, and it gave modern ride and power to an old Merc.

    Just one thought of how you might go. I wouldn't trust the setup you currently have to go 5 feet.

    Don
     
  19. A splash of gas and 4 new tires and I think your ready to go to your 1st car show!!!!
    All I can say is WOW. Great potential you have there! Good luck with the Merc. You can turn it around and make it right in no time.
     
  20. 40StudeDude
    Joined: Sep 19, 2002
    Posts: 9,405

    40StudeDude
    Member

    Talk about half-assed work...was anything on the car "finished"...or is it all done only half way...???

    I think you've got a long road ahead...I'd start by diassembling the whole car, then starting over from scratch.

    R-
     
  21. Where can I get that OAK lowering kit? Does the wood rot over time giving you a lower ride in the years to come?
     
  22. Mercchev
    Joined: Dec 22, 2004
    Posts: 605

    Mercchev
    Member

    x2! That being said, it's a lot easier to do a whole frame swap with a mid-80's GM A body...yeah I know, not HAMB friendly, but easier to get on the road.
     
  23. koolkemp
    Joined: May 7, 2004
    Posts: 6,007

    koolkemp
    Member

    Nice body shell to start with but after seeing the frame "graft ":eek: I would redo EVERYTHING the last owner touched ...that frame is downright horrifying!!
     
  24. Wow, that's scary. Every reason there is to not clip a frame all on one car.

    Well, you've got it, now it's time to fix it right. Your choice whether to re-clip it or round up another frame, either way is going to be about the same difficulty.
     
  25. Don's Hot Rods
    Joined: Oct 7, 2005
    Posts: 8,319

    Don's Hot Rods
    Member
    from florida

  26. "If I only do it halfway, I can get twice as much done!":D

    It looks like a great project, with lots of potential.

    Your kids are just the right age to help out, and remember it forever!!!
     
  27. timdhawk
    Joined: Aug 21, 2010
    Posts: 109

    timdhawk
    Member

    Thanks for everyone's input so far! Let me clarify that I have no intention of driving it like it is. I knew when I got it that I would need to do something about that clip. Even though that clip is atrocious (and the "lowering" leaves a lot to be desired)so far everything else seems to be in okay shape. I bought it because I knew it needed some Bitch slappin' and TLC and that's what I wanted to start with for me and my kids. I plan on getting the body off and going over the frame and looking into another more "merc" friendly clip as well as setting it up correctly for air bags.
    I have a lot of searching, reading and learning to do before then but Im excited as hell to do it! This looks so much better than my last "project car": a 1956 Austin Healey BN2. That car went away looking just like when I bought it.
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  28. well man look like you have your hands full here. Let me know if you may need anything I have a but load of parts and extra cars too. I can feel you pain I am having one redone that is in worst shape and it gets to be a big headache some times but like the good people of the HAMB tell me. Keep you chin up it will get better. Remember it is a long road and there is a light at the end, wherever it is. lol good luck in your verture and hope the kids enjoy it too. It is always good to see kids involved in things like this. It is better than any video game ever made, and it keeps the old cars kicking. I will be following along as you go, and again best of luck in you endeavor
     
  29. I see some nice looking sheetmetal there, the trunk and floor pans look great in the pics... Score!
     
  30. StLouisSled
    Joined: Feb 9, 2008
    Posts: 118

    StLouisSled
    Member

    all 50 Merc's deserve to be saved... Good luck with it....any progress?
     

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