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Projects My 1951 Mercury Restoration Part II

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Pro Stock John, Jan 9, 2011.

  1. Part I of my build story is here:

    To recap, I had the exterior of my 1951 Mercury stripped to bare metal and repainted.

    • Removed Briz bumpers front and rear. Bought, re-chromed and installed 1950 front and 1951 rear bumpers.
    • Car was red with yellow flames. Car is now Lyons blue that has been customized into a custom mix that is darker. It has no metallic.
    • Added Hudson fuel filler door setup.
    • Removed 1959 Cadillac tail lights. Modified body to accept 1953 Chrysler tail lights.
    • Bought replacement hood. Original had major bondo in frontal area and was flimsy. Added extra supports to replacement hood.
    • Had Max (51Gringo) rebuild hood hinges, they are amazing now.
    • Bought replacement deck lid. Original had been pushed in a bit, and the body was improperly repaired as a result. The lid did not actually close properly and had gaps. Once we had the replacement sheet metal, we realized that some of the bodywork had to be redone.
    • Tail pan section had a lot of bondo and bad repairs, and was repaired.
    • Removed mechanical fan, added in slim puller fan. Car had run hot when I had driven it.
    • Passenger side rear quarter panel needed some additionally welding. It was only tack welded in place.
    • Driver's side rear quarter panel was a mess. Once stripped found major bondo. That panel had been pushed in a bit in an accident, and the body was not pulled out to a good standard. About a half inch of filler was removed in a big area.
    • Doors, rockers and fenders and bottoms of quarters were all in nice shape. The rockers on the car were replaced a while ago.

    Okay so now I'm at part II.

    I have a list of items to knock out:

    • Install windows with or without trim.
    • Have floating grille mocked up, and then then send out for chrome.
    • Pick some hubcaps.
    • Find replacement dash for the car.
    • Swap in bench seats I have during an entire interior redo.
    • Source over rider style bumper guard for the rear bumper.

    I'm debating whether I go through all the trouble to use the factory stainless for the front and rear windows. Or should I just skip it or use something else.

    I'm bringing the car to Voodoo Larry to install the glass and potentially mock up the grille if he has time. I visited his shop this past Saturday with my crew (3,5 boys). Luckily has he has similar age kids so mine got to hang out with his in a side room and watch some shows. His shop really exceeded my expectations. It was extremely clean and organized. For an indecisive schmuck like myself, seeing his wall of hubcaps was pretty interestng and I hope to study it some more.

    If you Chi-landers see a dark blue Merc on a flatbed this month, that would be Project ______ (I'm working on a name for the car).

    Last edited: Jan 9, 2011
  2. Da Tinman
    Joined: Dec 29, 2005
    Posts: 4,227

    Da Tinman

    Project "this took a lot longer than I hoped!"

    Glad to see your finally getting to the end.
  3. JAWS
    Joined: Jul 22, 2005
    Posts: 1,846


    Project rerun?

    BTW, I love your car John. I didn't really mind it the way it was prior, but now I really like it.

    Glad it is out of paint jail.

  4. Brant, I thought about just fixing this'n that, and keeping the old paint scheme, but there was so many little issues that the car was going to end up in half primer.

  5. BrerHair
    Joined: Jan 30, 2007
    Posts: 4,745


    Subscribed. Great stuff so far, love where you're headed.
  6. enfieldjoe
    Joined: Jun 5, 2009
    Posts: 839

    from Eustis, FL

    I'm greatful that you are document the build. It gives me inspriration and great ideas for my 50 & 51 Merc builds. Just reading this thread, I picked up the name (51Gringo) of a HAMBer that can rebuild my hood hinges.

    Keep up the great work and keep sharing your knowledge. I'm subscribed.

    Happy New Year John !!
  7. slddnmatt
    Joined: Mar 30, 2006
    Posts: 3,682


    the front stainless is really easy john, so is the rear unless you want to do something custom on it.. or are ya talking about the side windows?? all i know is it turned out damn PURTY!!!
  8. Thank guys, appreciate the positive waves (what movie am I paraphrasing :) )

    Matt thanks again for all your help being out here in the MW there are no Merc experts like you (and Anthony and Rik etc).

    I was just in the garage, a nice balmy 32F. I am spacing out as to whether I was going to get stock (rear) quarter window trim and cut it down, or make it from scratch. I'm going to have to go over the list of gaskets...

    Front windshield: I have a stock gasket. I have stainless needs to be cut down. Where might I find the "cheater" bands to cover the shortened ends? The front stainless pushes into the T channel, and then is secured by some screws into a bar on the inside?

    Rear: I have a stock gasket. I have stainless. I had 5 clips, I hope they are with the car cuz I didn't seem them in the box. Rudy Rodriguez told me he instead of running the three lower pieces, ran a strip of T push-in style 78 Dodge truck front windshield trim.

    Rear Quarter window windows: I have some of those chrome strip stuff that I was talking to Matt about. I have a long strip of gasket that maybe I ordered for these windows. My windows are fixed.

    Side windows: I have the fuzzies and they have a chrome strip. Am I missing anything else?

    Front vent windows. Mine are fixed for now. Not sure the gasket deal ugh.

    I want to order a big strip of that '78 Dodge truck windshield stuff I want to see what it looks like in person.


    I put all my floating grille parts into a box and it's ready to go. I have a complete '51 Ford grille, and another set of the ribbed rear trim metal. I talked to Larry about fabbing up one piece of metal for the center if it looks nicer so I have a backup plan.


    I'm eying the bench seat and rear that I picked up from a '68 big Chevy. Since I'm running a GM frame and floorpans I figured the front at least would bolt right up. I'd like to add 2-piece lap belts too.

    Hmm what will I wrench on? I'd just stay on the mechanical and suspension side of the deal where I have experience. Car lacks swaybars so I will at a minimum add a rear one but if I can find front and rear then I'll do that. Car will handle awesome. I'll also be thinking in the near future about the stance. Since I'm again running a GM frame, I have coil springs in back. I need to check and see if my shocks are bottomed out in back. I've cut coils before and the ride was fine so I'll probably mess with that.
  9. slddnmatt
    Joined: Mar 30, 2006
    Posts: 3,682


    on the windshield i will tig the pieces back together and smooth them out not hard for someone that tigs. they just slip in the rubber after the windshield is installed and the center division bar caps the ends so you do not see them. im getting ready to do glass on one next week ill take a bunch of pics for ya...
  10. chopnweld
    Joined: Apr 16, 2009
    Posts: 429

    from Nor Cal

    Way to stick with it John. You have made very good decisions, and you are consulting the right builders. You got a really nice Merc now.
  11. Matt and Anthony shook all the devil out of me, I will be putting the stainless trim when the glass goes back in. ;)

    I gotta finish finding all my stuff as I am missing the clips for the rear stainless and the front stainless is in storage.

    Matt thanks again for your consulting on my car I do not know how I'd be figuring out all of the small stuff on the car. I'd tell any guy doing up a Merc who is getting stuck on stuff to consider working out something with Matt. Most of our last three convos have started out like "Hey Matt how does work exactly?"

    Hey are you guys who have recently put your glass back in used the $128/set rear quarter gasket sets from Mercuryland or sourced a big long piece of something else and improvised? I have a Mercuryland catalog if anyone wants me to look up stuff. For example they sell the two sets of gaskets for the rear quarter windows, one set for the pop-out windows, the other for fixed.
  12. chopnweld
    Joined: Apr 16, 2009
    Posts: 429

    from Nor Cal

    yes, slddnmatt is the real deal; a true Mercologist.
  13. X2! Can´t wait to see this one done.:cool:
  14. Great to hear of your progress and credit for sticking with it and bringing it back from the circus act it was.

    are you sold on those peep mirrors? can't convince you to consider the 49 ford units? Great to hear you're going with the stainless

    In regards to names....? don't, if it wants a name it will tell you, not the other way around.

    and a nice guy who's passionate about mercs....;):)

    and kangaroo's...


  15. I'm not solid on the mirrors, planning to sort that out later. The peeps were so small that I'd also consider running none. :)
  16. All, I've continued to look for correct era bumper guards and over riders. Rik, I'm thinking a Kaiser over rider, a rear one, would look good on the rear of my car. I think some bumper guards, preferably something that would not be too big and compete with the planned float grille would work. I'm just echoing what you suggested to me before. I was looking at that Kaiser over rider on eBay and it looks like a front one which I don't think would look that good on my car... Thoughts?
  17. Yeah something like that is my plan for the front, thanks for the link Ian.
  18. A complete 51 baby-Lincoln rear bumper is also a premium choice!
  19. I should have the car over by VooDoo Larry by next Friday. He is open on Saturdays 10-2pm, so if the car makes it over there I'll try to swing by and some new pics. I think I've got everything now except we might have misplaced the clips for the rear window trim. If I can't find them supposedly I can use spider clips instead.
  20. I see how the rear bumper is different, that's cool...

  21. Doctor Detroit
    Joined: Aug 12, 2010
    Posts: 1,020

    Doctor Detroit

    I'm in Chicago and I'm looking forward to seeing your Merc in person when summer rolls around. I really like what you've done with it.
  22. Was gonna flatbed the Merc to VooDoo Larry this Saturday but we had this ol' blizzard. We''ll push this off a little so we don't get the car all salty.
  23. My friend "Wolf" use a '51 Lincoln rear bumper on his '51 Merc and I will of course use my Lincoln bumper on my '51 Lincoln converted to a '51 Merc...

    Attached Files:

  24. Thanks for that pic RPW, I'll keep an eye for those they look great.
  25. mikes51
    Joined: Oct 4, 2001
    Posts: 2,195


    The peeps come in 4" and 3". I had 4" before I chopped my top. I went to 3" because they looked more in proportion next to the smaller top. Just a personal preference.

    You are right though, they are much harder to see because of the size.

    I notice there are some even classier looking mirrors that the big name builders use but I don't know what they are. They are very small rectangular chrome ones that are mounted on the main door and not the frame.

    from one of rikster's older posts

  26. Yeah mirror will be on my list once I get through this stuff. I might run only one mirror.
  27. 51 Leadsled
    Joined: Nov 23, 2007
    Posts: 954

    51 Leadsled
    from NC

    Looks like you on a roll! Stick with you plan sounds great!
  28. slddnmatt
    Joined: Mar 30, 2006
    Posts: 3,682


    shoebox mirrors look pretty slick john.. or i did a custom no no and went older..;)

    Attached Files:

  29. chopnweld
    Joined: Apr 16, 2009
    Posts: 429

    from Nor Cal

    Those both look sweet!^^^^^^ Even the "no no's" look right.

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