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Projects 1953 Mercury Monterey

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by vt-spike, Aug 16, 2015.

  1. vt-spike
    Joined: Mar 7, 2014
    Posts: 34

    vt-spike
    Member

    So, I picked up a 53' Mercury Monterey last night. Pretty excited to finally have a decent start. The P.O. already put in a 351C with a freshly rebuilt 3 speed auto trans. New white walls, New brakes, lines, and a dual cylinder reservoir, New gas tank, fuel pump, radiator, dual Flowmaster exhaust, 12 volt conversion, and a few other odds and ends. Runs, drives, and stops, awesome. Trying to hook up with some other 50's Merc guys in case I need some advice along the way for fixing up what is left. Here's a video of a quick walk around.
     
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  2. malcolm1943
    Joined: Sep 28, 2011
    Posts: 239

    malcolm1943
    Member

    Looks like a nice solid car. As with all these older cars don't be surprised if you find some areas that will need attention. Look under the carpeting, the trunk floor, and wheel well areas for signs of rust and corrosion. The engine bay looks like it could use some TLC and some paint as a start point for you. Nice car enjoy it and make it your own, and make sure it is safe.
     
  3. gatz
    Joined: Jun 2, 2011
    Posts: 1,579

    gatz
    Member

    Dark green 4-dr '53 Merc was our family car in the late 50's, early 60's

    I think the engine was a bit different tho' lol
     
  4. I LIKE IT Nice look and soundin ride Good luck with it!!!! Bruce.
     

  5. vt-spike
    Joined: Mar 7, 2014
    Posts: 34

    vt-spike
    Member

    Thanks guys! Took it for a drive yesterday. Amazing how much you get noticed driving old cars. Guess speeding its out for a little while. ;)
     
  6. buford36
    Joined: Feb 7, 2007
    Posts: 220

    buford36
    Member
    from Maine

    IMG_0888.JPG IMG_0889.JPG IMG_0887.JPG IMG_0886.JPG Here's mine. 55 Pontiac side pieces, 54 Merc taillights and 1/4 panel ends, 57 Caddy caps with Mercury Comet gas caps for centers, Caddy interior, 351 Windsor and C6 tranny and 9" rear. Tom... IMG_0888.JPG IMG_0889.JPG
     
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  7. vt-spike
    Joined: Mar 7, 2014
    Posts: 34

    vt-spike
    Member

  8. Jalopy Joker
    Joined: Sep 3, 2006
    Posts: 26,955

    Jalopy Joker
    Member

    Congrats - Cool. my first car, before having a driver's license , was a '53.
     
  9. vt-spike
    Joined: Mar 7, 2014
    Posts: 34

    vt-spike
    Member

  10. vt-spike
    Joined: Mar 7, 2014
    Posts: 34

    vt-spike
    Member

    So, driving around today. At day seven of ownership,I noticed the car was idling rough at the stop lights. Kind of surging. I figure it was probably a carb adjustment, cause the exhaust smells like gas wicked.
    Adjusted it, and got no real improvement. I decided to look for any mysterious vacuum leeks, and noticed the vacuum advance was disconnected. I am thinking this may be the root of my problems.
    Borrowing a timing light from a buddy tomorrow, and replacing the missing vacuum life to the advance to see if it gets better. I'll let you know if it worked out. ;)

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  11. maybe it is not set up for ethanol, it kills old cars quick
     
  12. vt-spike
    Joined: Mar 7, 2014
    Posts: 34

    vt-spike
    Member

    Using non ethanol gas.

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  13. FrozenMerc
    Joined: Sep 4, 2009
    Posts: 2,733

    FrozenMerc
    Member

    The vacuum advance setting shouldn't effect idle if the vacuum line is connected to a ported source (no vacuum at idle). If the vacuum line is disconnect from the distributor and open to manifold vacuum, then it will create a vacuum leak and affect your idle quality. The vacuum advance is primarily used for cruising at 1500 - 2500 rpms and small to moderate throttle openings. The increased vacuum advances the spark, improving engine efficiency. However, many guys like to hook the vacuum advance to a manifold vacuum source, which will advance the timing at idle and could be the source of your problems.
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2015
  14. vt-spike
    Joined: Mar 7, 2014
    Posts: 34

    vt-spike
    Member

    So, I connected all the vacuum lines where they go, and plugged the ports not used. Running about 18 for vacuum on the gauge. Set the carb to factory presets, set the timing, and it still idles the same when it is idling in gear. It surges. In park,or under power it seems to do great. Still kind of puzzled here.

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  15. FrozenMerc
    Joined: Sep 4, 2009
    Posts: 2,733

    FrozenMerc
    Member

    Does it still smell really rich when idling? You don't mention what kind of carb, but if it is a Holley, it may have a torn power valve diaphragm that is allowing fuel past when it shouldn't (like idling). This would cause the idle mixture to go pig rich and stink like fuel. The engine would smooth out as the power valve normally opens under load anyways.
     
  16. vt-spike
    Joined: Mar 7, 2014
    Posts: 34

    vt-spike
    Member

    It is a 2 barrel holley carb. And it is running richer than hell. The exhaust is black, clouds up the neighborhood, and smells like gas something fierce. I think you may be on to something. Now to figure out how to fix it.

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  17. FrozenMerc
    Joined: Sep 4, 2009
    Posts: 2,733

    FrozenMerc
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    Power valves are an easy fix. Lot's of videos on You-Tube to show you how. The 2 barrel procedure is basically the same as on a 4 barrel.

     
  18. vt-spike
    Joined: Mar 7, 2014
    Posts: 34

    vt-spike
    Member

    Thanks! Got a power valve from summit. Told them I had a 351c, and they sent me a 5.0 valve. The one I took out is 9.5. Seemed all well and good. Set the mixture screws and timing for max vacuum on the gauge. (17)

    starts well enough and runs well as long as it is in the driveway. Both in park and drive. Doesn't smell like fuel anymore and doesn't have the cloud of black smoke either.

    Now while I am driving it surges pretty bad, and has a lack of power going up hills. :( I changed the plugs today. (3 of them were wet, 5 were white) it runs a little better. Emphasis on little. Hardly any really. Wires are coming in a couple days. Hopefully that helps, I don't really know. Just don't want to keep throwing money and time at it, and not gain anything.

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  19. FrozenMerc
    Joined: Sep 4, 2009
    Posts: 2,733

    FrozenMerc
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    If you are setting your timing for max vacuum, you could have it advanced too far, and that could lead to surging and poor power. Set the timing so you have a total advance of 32 to 36 degs at some where between 2200 and 3000 rpms, depending on the distributor curve. It is very easy to over advance a motor by setting the timing based on vacuum alone.
     
  20. vt-spike
    Joined: Mar 7, 2014
    Posts: 34

    vt-spike
    Member

    So, just to be clear..you are saying 32 BTDC with the vacuum advance plugged in and at 2200-3000 rpms, checked with a timing light?

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  21. vt-spike
    Joined: Mar 7, 2014
    Posts: 34

    vt-spike
    Member

    Right now it is at 6-10 at idle in park. No advance hooked up. Seems to idle faster in park than in gear though. I don't think it would effect timing as long as the vac advance isn't hooked up. It may be normal to do that. I don't really know. I am really just a at home tinkerer trying to learn as I go.

    Changed the plug wires today, and checked out the sight plug on the side of the carb for the hell of it. Fuel level was a bit low, so I raised it up some. It seems to go better now. Up and down my little road anyhow. I'll have to wait until tomorrow for a decent test drive.

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  22. FrozenMerc
    Joined: Sep 4, 2009
    Posts: 2,733

    FrozenMerc
    Member

    Yep, 32 to 36 degrees with the vaccum advance hooked up. Slowly bring the rpms up off idle, and the amout of timing advance should increase smoothly with rpms. At some point it will stop advancing (most likely between 2200 and 3000 rpms, again depending on the distributor curve, but maybe as high as 3500), that is the total advance. It should be between 32 and 36 degs. With what sounds like a bone stock 2bbl Cleveland, I would imagine it should be closer to 32 than 36 degs. You don't want to exceed 36 deg's, and the engine won't much like it either as you will probably start to get some knocking (per-detenation).
     
  23. vt-spike
    Joined: Mar 7, 2014
    Posts: 34

    vt-spike
    Member

    Think I got it all figured out. Changed the needle and seat and got rid of my surging/ loss of power. My power valve got rid of the smoke screen, and some of the surging.

    I ended up going with a 8.5 per valve. Put in new gaskets, new wires, new gapped plugs, re-adjusted the idle mixture, idle speed, timing ended up being around 8 at curb idle, and set the float level. (Not ask at once mind you, just sitting the process)

    Runs like a dream now. Thanks for all your help.

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  24. vt-spike
    Joined: Mar 7, 2014
    Posts: 34

    vt-spike
    Member

    Went to my buddies house a couple weekend ago, and put on a receiver hitch to pull vintage campers with. Subneil56 did a great job hiding it as much as possible. It would have looked much worse if left to my own devices.
     
  25. vt-spike
    Joined: Mar 7, 2014
    Posts: 34

    vt-spike
    Member

    Took some pictures last night to spruce up the thread a little.
     

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    Last edited: Sep 21, 2015
    FrozenMerc likes this.

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