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Projects 1962 Mercury Monterey Custom Wagon

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by FrozenMerc, Jan 18, 2015.

  1. Over the last 5 years, I have posted many pictures of my 1962 Mercury Monterey Custom Wagon build. But, I have gotten numerous requests to post a build thread and compile everything in one spot. So now is time to do one on the HAMB. I have had a realtime running build thread on the Suedes Car Club board since 2009, so if you want, check it out.

    http://www.suedescarclub.com/smf/index.php?topic=2952.0

    This project started back in 2007. After recovering from the shop fire in 2006, we were moved into a new home / shop and ready to start another project. My wife and I have always liked wagons, and we started searching for one that would work. This particular car was listed in the MSRA Linechaser for sale, and was only 60 miles from home. We went to look at it on a cold January Saturday in 2008. It was parked in a tree row, buried in snow up to the windows. I got the shovel out, and felt around the car the best I could. I could tell there was some rust issues, and the little old lady who owned it, made sure to tell me that it ran great when it was parked in 1975. Nice, but I assured her it would not run now. Anyways, the price was right and I promised her that I would return in the spring and pick it up. I figured for $800, I could always part it out if it was too rough and get my money back on the FE and big 9" rear if nothing else.

    I brought the car home in July of 2008 and got to work on tearing it down and seeing what was left to work with. The original plan was to build a nice driving mild custom that we could pack the family into and cruise across the country if we wanted.

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    Teardown Begins

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    Last edited: Oct 16, 2017
    kiwijeff likes this.
  2. By now it was starting to get quite obvious that rust was pretty extensive. The car had sunk into the dirt and the bottom 8" or so between the firewall and rear axle were heavily corroded and damaged. Not unusual for a Minnesota car. At that time, I had more time then money, so I figured I would give it a go to see if I could bring this thing back.

    I started with the chassis. Please forgive me, but I did not take very many pics of this process. The plan was to repair the frame, build a triangulated 4 bar for the rear, and convert the front to rack-and-pinion power steering and disc brakes. I also repaired the center sections of the frame, and ground out and re-welded the center joining weld along the frames entire length as it was rusted, cracking and starting to seperate in many places.

    The rear 4-bar mocked up. I used the original spring and shock mounts to keep it simple, and fabricated my own bars using a universal bushing kit from Energy Suspension.

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    Painted Frame

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    Front suspension with rack and pinion.

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    For you '62 Merc fans, you know about the Anti-Harsh front suspension that Mercury used on these cars. The lower control arm has a special set of inner bushings that allow it to move laterally as well as pivot to help absorb hard impacts. This is the one place where the chassis differed from a Galaxie. Since these bushings are very expensive to replace, I decided to convert the car back to the much cheaper Galaxie setup.

    I made a set of weld-in plates that would support the Galaxie bushing.

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    Completed Chassis

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    Last edited: Oct 16, 2017
  3. By this point, it was time to get motor tore down and off to the machine shop. The FE turned out to be a fairly generic 220 hp, 2 bbl 352. The plan was to convert it to 4 bbl, and build it up with an emphasis on low end torque. The wagon is a big heavy car, and I wanted the power down were I could use it. Also, there was talk of maybe using the car some day to pull a nice camper.

    Dennis Roy in Grand Forks, North Dakota started the engine work. Dennis was an old time Ford guy and had built more FE's in his life time then I could imagine. If you walked into his shop, he had a 410 FE on the stand in the doorway that you had to squeeze around just to get into the place.

    Cylinder #1 needed to be sleeved due to some rust that would not clean up at 0.030. Other then that, the block was in good shape.

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    Unfortunately Dennis ended up having a massive stroke and passed away a few months later. My engine was now stuck in legal limbo as his children went through the business and tried to figure out were he had left stuff. Dennis was the type that kept everything in his head and never wrote anything down, so this took awhile to figure out. Finally I got the disassembled, motor back. Cylinder #1 still needed to be sleeved, and the block needed to be relieved to fit the rather large valves Dennis had stuck in the heads. So I brought the parts up to Hultgren's Engine and Machine in Hallock, Minnesota so they could finish the work. Gary and Stephen finished up the machine work, and discovered that the heads had been ported too far to fit the large valves, they would not be comfortable running them and recommend replacing the heads. So, a set of Edelbrock heads were ordered.

    Iron heads with the stainless 427 MR valves.

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    With the machine work done, I brought the motor home and did the final assembly.

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    Completed and Ready to Run

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    Finally, by April 2012, we got the motor on Hultgren's pump and broke it in.

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    Final Combination

    1962 352 FE
    Bore: 4.030" Stroke: 3.5"
    9.5:1 Compression - Silvolite flat top pistons.
    Elgin 966P Hydraulic Cam
    FPA headers
    600 cfm Holley Four Barrel Carb
    Edelbrock Heads and Performer RPM intake
    Petronix Distributor and Ignition
    325 Hp, 375 ft-lbs of torque, with over 300 ft-lbs from 2500 rpm to 5500 rpm
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2017
    Sparked and kiwijeff like this.
  4. While the engine was away at Dennis's Engine Shop, I figured I had better get started on the body as there was ALOT of rust repair to do.

    There was no way I was going to tackle the floor repair on this big of a body with out a rotisserie. Once again, I was a bit short on funds, and I wanted a big heavy duty rotisserie, so I designed and built one.

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    Now, I could get the body stripped and see just how extensive the rust was.

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    Sand blasted clean.

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    As can be seen, new rockers, quarters, and a floor were in order.

    Piece by piece, it came back together.

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    Last edited: Oct 16, 2017
    kiwijeff likes this.
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  5. Eventually I got the floor, rockers and quarters replaced and was able to get the body back on the chassis.

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    Using the chassis to stabilize the body, I could now replace the windshield and tailgate headers that were rusted out from mice nests. I ordered a rust free roof from a junkyard in Arizona and got to chopping.

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    This is what the original windshield header looked like. Not good. The tailgate header was actually worse.

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    All Better now.

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    With the headers replaced, it was time to start fitting up the motor, trans, and other under the hood components.
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2017
  6. Motor in for fit up.

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    Steering Clearance

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    Accessories mounted. The wife wanted air-conditioning, and I didn't want a big old ugly compressor sitting up were it was the first thing you saw when the hood was opened. So, I mounted it in the original generator location and put an alternator above it. Now the compressor is down low and out of view.

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    Last edited: Oct 16, 2017
  7. The original fuel tank was a study in corrosion, so it had to go. The problem was that wagon tanks are not reproduced. 2 or 4 door, no problem, lots of options, wagon - not so much. So I decided to make one.

    The original suspect.

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    Top and bottom.

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    Flanged

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    Bead Rolled for stiffness.

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    Sides

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    Welded.

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    Finished and ready for paint and interior coating.

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    At the same time, I also ordered a trans from Broader Performance. I have a rule about building cars, and I never build one with out an Overdrive transmission. So, Broader built up this AOD with the original Cruis-O-Matic bellhousing specifically for the Merc.

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    Final Fit up.

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    Last edited: Oct 16, 2017
    kiwijeff likes this.
  8. With the final fitup complete, the body came back off so I could finish the rolling chassis. 2.5" stainless exhaust, new drive shaft, and all the plumbing.

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    Rear suspension

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    A Roller.

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    The body went back on the rotisserie for under coating and firewall paint.

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    Last edited: Oct 16, 2017
  9. I knew this project was starting to get out of hand after I found my self cutting and polishing the firewall and rad core support over my holiday break.

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    Time to finish up the plumbing.

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    By this point, the car had a date with the painters and I need to finish up the doors and front fenders. A little sand blasting, some more under coat and paint, and the wagon was starting to look like a car again.

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    In June of 2013, I dropped the Merc off at Northern Muscle in Reynolds, North Dakota for final body work and paint.

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    The plan was a two-tone panel paint job inspired by Watson and few of the other greats of the early 60's. Interior Sealed and Fat-Mat applied

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    Filler being applied.

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    In the booth and ready for primer

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    Last edited: Oct 16, 2017
  10. Masking and Primer

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    We used the guide coat to start laying out ideas for the scallops, and two-tone

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    Color Time.

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    Pearl White Base Coat

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    Door Jambs

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    More Masking

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    The roof

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    Let the fun begin

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    Paint Complete.

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    Last edited: Oct 16, 2017
    Ranchero59 and kiwijeff like this.
  11. I brought the car home Feb 2014, and started final assembly.

    Bellflowers, of course

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    Stainless all polished and ready for glass. It also needed a new set of shoes. 15" Supremes and pinner white walls should fit the bill. At the same time, JR Plating in North Branch, MN was working on all the pot metal, replating it and getting back to perfect.

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    The end was getting close, but the interior still needed to be finished. In July of 2014, I brought the car down to Stich Bitch Upholstery in Stillwater, MN for the deluxe interior treatment. The interior pattern would follow the original patterns, but with colors to match the car.

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    Headliner (prior to trimming)

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    Carpet and Floor mats.

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    Door panels.

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    Back Seat.

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    Cargo Area

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    By October, Stich Bitch had worked her magic, and I hauled the car home for one last time. It still need the dash and grill to be finished up.

    Stainless tube grill.

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    Dash

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    Last edited: Oct 16, 2017
    Ranchero59 and kiwijeff like this.
  12. And here we are, present day, lots of snow on the ground, and I am waiting for it to warm up a bit so I can take it in and get the front end aligned and AC charged. I have driven the car a bit, for shake down and to burnish the brakes. So far, it drives really nice and should be a fun cruiser this summer. I will keep this thread going as the last few things get updated.
     
  13. 76ironhead
    Joined: Mar 12, 2009
    Posts: 504

    76ironhead
    Member

    Awesome build love the wagon that is a great color. The car turned out great
     
  14. oldrelics
    Joined: Apr 7, 2008
    Posts: 1,723

    oldrelics
    Member
    from Calgary

    Love it. Good job.
     
  15. 2manycars2littletime
    Joined: Jul 1, 2009
    Posts: 70

    2manycars2littletime
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Love it. Great color!
    Those Merc taillights are so cool.
     
  16. Un fuckin believable!!! Bruce.
     
    kiwijeff likes this.
  17. Wow! What a result.
     
  18. Thanks guys, '62 was an off year for Mercury, and the Monterey's are fairly rare, with the wagons being even more so. Even though they share alot of components with the Galaxie's, there is still alot of Mercury specific stuff, and on numerous times, the good people of the HAMB pointed me in the right direction.

    2manycars:
    Your right about the tailights. Most customs have the taillights changed, but I just couldn't do that with these lights. They were a '62 Monterey only tailight and changing them would have been a crime.
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2015
    kiwijeff likes this.
  19. motoandy
    Joined: Sep 19, 2007
    Posts: 3,262

    motoandy
    Member
    from MB, SC

    Great post, and great wagon. Thanks for sharing. Pure determination.
     
  20. Holy Cow,this wagon is amazing,beautiful work. HRP
     
  21. Any tips on making that grill? Great car
     
  22. nice 62 Wagon ! had a 62 Monterey 2 dr hardtop....
     
    Bondo Slinger likes this.
  23. WOODEYE
    Joined: Feb 21, 2010
    Posts: 283

    WOODEYE
    Member

    What Bruce said X two! You sir are a tr
     
  24. Kustom Komet
    Joined: Jun 26, 2007
    Posts: 609

    Kustom Komet
    Member

    There is Nothing... Not a thing... None of the things... that I don't like about that wagon.

    -KK
     
    kiwijeff likes this.
  25. Amazing results considering what initially started as what most woould consider barely a rusty parts car, or less.
     
  26. Nominal likes this.
  27. Pulled the Merc out of the garage this morning and loaded it into the trailer. I brought it back down to Northern Muscle for a final detail job before it's first show in a couple of weeks. I am going to display it at the Duluth Motor Head Madness show and then 3 weeks later in Grand Forks at the Prime Steel Car show. It was a nice cool morning, so I also snapped a few pics and took her for a drive around town before loading it. -15 deg. F makes sure nothing is melted and the car stayed clean.

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    Duluth Motorhead Madness
    http://motorheadmadnessmn.com/

    Prime Steel Car Show - Grand Forks
    http://www.primesteelcarclub.com/annualshows/
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2017
  28. Eagletucky
    Joined: Feb 21, 2005
    Posts: 710

    Eagletucky
    Member

    So freakin awesome!!!
     
  29. No_Respect
    Joined: Jul 27, 2005
    Posts: 1,165

    No_Respect
    Member
    from So-Cal

    WOW make me want to work on my 63 country sedan. The Merc turned out awesome
     
  30. vwdave30
    Joined: Nov 21, 2009
    Posts: 457

    vwdave30
    Member

    Love it man i had a 63 colony park wagon
     

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