Register now to get rid of these ads!

Projects Saving a 54 Mercury Custom 2 Door Sedan Build Thread

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by The 39 guy, Dec 31, 2015.

  1. The 39 guy
    Joined: Nov 5, 2010
    Posts: 2,660

    The 39 guy

    Thanks Loudbang!

    Some more small items:
    Since we are installing cruise control we need to switch from the stock hydraulic to an electrical switch. Anew bracket to hold the switch to the column support was welded on. and stop plate was bolted on to brake peddle.



    New gas peddle:
    Don bought a Ford Ranger gas peddle assembly to use on the merc. Of course it was a long way from being what he needed. The first thing to do was turn a piece of stock and thread it on both ends,

    We fabbed a bracket to support the pedal
    We had to add a shim on one side to make the peddle sit flat on the firewall.

    Not shown here is the stock Ranger throttle cable that was modified to fit the Mercury's application.
    This is the throttle cable bracket we made up for Ranger throttle cable.

    We finally welded these brake line holders I made a while back.
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2017
    chryslerfan55, loudbang and joel like this.
  2. The 39 guy
    Joined: Nov 5, 2010
    Posts: 2,660

    The 39 guy

    We removed all trim from the trunk but Don wanted to maintain the stock trunk lock. The cover for the lock was missing though so Don did some research and found this cover for 55 merc.lock. Of course it does not fit the 54.
    It is a die cast pot metal piece. We decided to try to make a cover using the stem from the new piece and and a piece of 1/8" stainless plate.

    I traced an outline of 54 lock onto the stainless and cut it out with a cut off wheel.
    The stem was cut off the die cast piece and the plate and stem were tapped and threaded to fit a 6=32 stainless screw. That little bulge on the stem has to be aligned correctly so that the spring loaded cover opens and closes correctly when used.
    Sorry for the fuzzy picture. The stem was then tapped for a size 4 screw to be used as a set screw.
    After much grinding and polishing we end up with a cover new stainless cover.
    Once were certain of the clocking of the stem thread locker was applied to the thread and the set screw was cut off.

    Yes the end of the stainless screw shows but I think it will be one of those things you have to look for and if you are looking that close at the car I am alright with that.

    Attached Files:

    chryslerfan55 and loudbang like this.
  3. joel
    Joined: Oct 10, 2009
    Posts: 1,514


    MY first thought at reading your last 2 posts was you must be getting past the big stuff, because you're deep into the small details. I say well done on both counts. I like seeing things like the gas pedal rework versus just buying Lokar etc.
    loudbang likes this.
  4. The 39 guy
    Joined: Nov 5, 2010
    Posts: 2,660

    The 39 guy

    Don is definitely old school and he hates cracking his wallet to let out any of those greenbacks.He would rather search a wrecking yard for hours and then spend even more hours re-purposing a part to fit the application. I like to do that too, just not to the degree he does. Consequently his project will probably come out money wise at least 10 grand less than I spent on mine. He is a great guy and we share an enthusiasm for making rusty this shiny again.

    We have finished the major fab work and the last few weeks have been spent on repairing and polishing the stainless trim for the car . Don has moved on to polishing the the glass. You read that right. Polishing the glass. I think I got him to give up on the windshield (too many rock chips) but he is determined to save the rear glass. He is into it about two weeks now.It is surprising how many rock chips you can get in a back window.

    We also went through the 351 W and that it is a low mileage engine that will not require a rebuild.It will just receive a new water pump and some gaskets along with a paint job.

    We have also taken my flathead apart to look for a perceived bearing noise. We have found nothing wrong with the bearings so far. We did find that the valve job was not done correctly though explaining the variety of compression numbers we were getting. I'll post more about this on the 40 thread when I get deeper into that project.

    I also took the front and rear bumpers and grill apart so Don can take them to the chrome shop later this week. Oh and I spent the last week having surgery for and passing the remnants of a 7mm kidney stone. Not a recommended entertainment. This will be my first afternoon in the shop in over a week and I am looking forward to it. Just hope my body is.
    loudbang likes this.
  5. joel
    Joined: Oct 10, 2009
    Posts: 1,514


    Ouch on the kidney stones; my son had 2 and they broke them up with ultrasonic finally. I hated watching him suffer. Take it easy and drink water. We both drink a lot more water now.:)
    Chrome shop..... Don will really be watching the greenbacks fly.
    loudbang likes this.
  6. mcsfabrication
    Joined: Nov 26, 2006
    Posts: 790


    Nice car, great meticulous work. Read through and can't find info on what steering box you used. Saw where you reworked the column to attach it, but don't know where the box came from. Any info on what it is and what it took to get it in there would be appreciated. Thanks.
    loudbang likes this.
  7. The 39 guy
    Joined: Nov 5, 2010
    Posts: 2,660

    The 39 guy

    Thank you MCSfabrication, Yep guess I missed that important detail . Don bought the Borgeson unit through Summitt he says. So he could make use of the free shipping. He also bought the PS pump from them. Part number and web address is below.

    Yes I got the deluxe surgery package for my 7MM stone. i mentioned to the doctor that it did not seem like they should have released me that night. Poor wife had to listen to me moan and carry on while bringing me things. Would have felt better asking a nurse to do all of that...... Oh well the wife was good to me.

    As to chrome Don says he is just taking the front bumper for now to see how the guy does and to gauge from that how much the rest will cost.
    loudbang likes this.
  8. fulltimeforester
    Joined: Jul 2, 2008
    Posts: 65

    from california

    I've been following your build with great interest. I had a '53 merc and really liked it. It's good seeing your work to save your car. Outstanding work
    loudbang likes this.
  9. The 39 guy
    Joined: Nov 5, 2010
    Posts: 2,660

    The 39 guy

    Thank you fulltimeforester! Hope you keep watching as we have lots of work to do yet.

    Don chose to keep the original radio but have it modified so he could have the modern conveniences such as AM/FM Bluetooth and a USB port for a thumb drive or I pod. We had limited space to install this hybrid radio and it took some serious fabrication so lets get on with it.

    Don stripped the radio down,removing all of the old tubes before sending the unit off for it's modernization.

    This is what we got back. All of that fancy stuff on the right side of the picture is the heart of the radio now. It kind of reminds me of the way computers have been miniaturized over the years.
    This is the guy that did the modifications. It was very expensive to go this route. We tested the unit and it works as advertised. Due to some miscommunication we had to do a little additional wiring in order to provide some power to the power antenna. We used the wire for original dial face light to power the antenna and connected a new wire to the light that will be connected to the light circuit of the car.
    I think I showed this modification to the AC air manifold earlier. ABS had to be built to clear the modified radio.

    First test fit.
    The dash is clamped to a vise to make it easier to work on the radio. This clamp held the top and bottom plates in position while the paper patterns were fabricated.
    Thin cardboard was used to mock up the new steel housing panels.

    New steel panels were fabricated from the paper patterns.

    Some rubber vacuum hose was used to form a grommet for the wire loom.
    The radio came with an interesting speaker (stereo). The new speaker had to be mounted on the top of the speaker mount. (The old one was mounted below the mount). In order to get the new speaker to fit under the stock speaker grill.
    After trimming the speaker mount.
    The speaker now sits nicely in its modified mount. Notice the dual cone speaker.
    Grill installed
    A final view of the radio and speaker installed.

    This is just one in a long line of little projects that eat up a lot of time in a build like this but having a stock looking radio that has many of the functions of a modern radio should certainly add to the cruising pleasure of this Merc when it is finished.

    Attached Files:

    rramjet, 40two and loudbang like this.
  10. 40two
    Joined: Feb 19, 2012
    Posts: 1,699


    Great work, you both, i red the thread and enjoyed it much, looking forward to see how it will come out. you are doing nice fabrication and it's good to see that all the modern stuff will be driven with the old knobs and handles. subscribed, have fun.

    chryslerfan55 and loudbang like this.
  11. The 39 guy
    Joined: Nov 5, 2010
    Posts: 2,660

    The 39 guy

    Thank you Carsten! It is good to hear from you. Don really likes the original dash on the car and we are going to great lengths to maintain the look. Don is currently trying to get the original gauge cluster instruments converted to work with the 351 windsor engine.

    If anyone of you has a 54 Mercury gauge cluster they don't need we would like to hear from you. The speedometer in this gauge cluster is worn out and Don is having trouble finding a replacement.
    joel and loudbang like this.
  12. You are doing an amazing job as usual Sam both on the car and this thread.

    Not sure if you knew, but I did the same mod to the radio in my wifes 50 Chevy. I was able to get a kit, (not supposed to be able to), and do it myself. Nice little challenge. Love the fact that I was able to keep the very unusual radio and have AM/FM stereo and IPod input.

    Keep up the good work.
    loudbang likes this.
  13. The 39 guy
    Joined: Nov 5, 2010
    Posts: 2,660

    The 39 guy

    Thanks John! I don't know if I should tell Don there is a kit for this radio thing. He spent a bundle on the modifications and I am sure he would much rather have done the work himself.
    loudbang likes this.
  14. You can't normally buy the kit. I was just at the right place at the right time.
    loudbang likes this.
  15. The 39 guy
    Joined: Nov 5, 2010
    Posts: 2,660

    The 39 guy

    Stainless Trim......Stainless everywhere, windows, belt line and Side panels. We just spent way too much time restoring this trim. But it should we think the end results will be worth it.


    I had this chunk of aluminum and decided to make a dye for
    forming the forming the belt line
    . IMG_1614R.jpg
    I used basic hand tools to form the die.
    I used this profile tool to to copy the shape of the belt line trim.

    The form ready to go to work. We only used this type of form
    on the waist trim. It worked well. The rest of the trim we found
    that using the smooth surface of the anvil to back up the hammer blows.
    We found that very little pressure is needed to move the stainless.

    I did not take any pictures but the hardest dents to get out proved
    to be the little rock chip type dents in the window trim. The rocks
    always seem to leave a deep pit at the center which is almost impossible
    to get out without getting the surrounding metal paper thin.
    This was the worst piece.
    The worst piece repaired.

    We used all sorts of tools and polishing methods to get the
    finish back to like new.We used body hammers,anvil, tongue
    depressors,buffers with rag wheels tight, and scisle wheels
    with gray stainless steel compound and Lots of 600,1000,
    1500 and 2000 grit wet or dry sand paper. Lots of elbow grease.
    It took us about three weeks to get it all finished.
    I only took a before picture of this piece with a crease in it.
    Hours of this. Getting the work piece up where it is somewhat
    comfortable to work on is helpful when you are spending a few
    hours a day trying to get the shine back.
    Some of the pieces.
    Don wrapped them all up in news paper and stored them away
    for that day when the final touches will be added to the car.
    We thought the window trim was going to be flimsy and dangerous
    to polish on the bench buffer so Don spent a lot of time buffing the
    trim while it was still on the car.
    Turns out the trim is actually a T shaped extrusion and is quite sturdy.
    We ended up doing some touch up work with the bench on the trim after
    it was removed from the car. Doing all of this kind of stuff ourselves is one
    of the reasons why it takes us so long to build a car. We are always learning
    as we we go and having fun doing it.
    1959Nomad, biggeorge and loudbang like this.
  16. loudbang
    Joined: Jul 23, 2013
    Posts: 22,983


    Wow hell of a job. As long as you are having fun it was well worth it, can you imagine how many billable hours a resto shop would have charged :eek:
    biggeorge likes this.
  17. The 39 guy
    Joined: Nov 5, 2010
    Posts: 2,660

    The 39 guy

    Thanks for commenting loubang. I always appreciate your likes and comments. Don mentioned the other day that he thought he may have saved $2000.00. I don't really know what the going rate is for straightening and polishing this stuff. I think the guy that does it in Spokane WA, charges by the foot.
    I am sure a pro could have gotten the work done in much less time than we did.
    loudbang likes this.
  18. joel
    Joined: Oct 10, 2009
    Posts: 1,514


    Outstanding , Sam. Very nice work on the die. I have a few of those sharp dents on my trim. I ball parked the cost of my trim polish at >$1000.

    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
    loudbang likes this.
  19. 2bubbas
    Joined: Mar 19, 2011
    Posts: 570


    Just read complete thread- I enjoyed the many pictures but I also read every word- very entertaining- I owned a 39 Ford Coupe for 24 years that I build in a one car garage and painted on the driveway and rebuild a few times and my first car was a 53 Ford 2 door coupe Dad bought for me when I was 15 and we built it up together in back yard including engine rebuild- so now I will have to go see the Ford build- really enjoyed your fab work as I have done lots of that with cardboard patterns- vise and hammer- I would fab and my brother-in-law would show up once a week or so and do the welding-
    loudbang likes this.
  20. daleeric
    Joined: Jan 13, 2008
    Posts: 67

    from Omak

    It will look fantastic when it is done. Great project considering how bad your winter has been this year, it keeps you inside!
  21. The 39 guy
    Joined: Nov 5, 2010
    Posts: 2,660

    The 39 guy

    Thanks Joel! I didn't use much of the trim on my 40 coupe project. I didn't want to deal with the ribbed trim. I decided it was just too difficult to work with and the new repop trim from Bob Drake was reasonably priced so I went that route. Kudos to you for taking on a very difficult task.

    Thank you 2bubbas! I am happy you found the the thread interesting and entertaining.My first car was also a 53 ford. My dad installed a fresh flathead in it for me and he let me help a little. I got to help even more two weeks later when we had to replace the rebuilt engine since the first one threw a rod bearing cap. Someone must of forgotten to tighten one of the bolts on the rod journal. It was a nice cinnamon brown car ( repaint) with nice seat covers. Only problem was it was a 4 door..... but a nice one.

    daleeric thanks for commenting! I imagine your winter has been just as tough up North. Shop work is my winter sport these days since skiing is no longer an option and snowmobiles have always seemed too expensive for the amount of use they get around here. We are fortunate to have a shop with a good heating system so we are quite dry and comfortable. That is except for when the driveways need shoveling and plowing which was often this year.
    loudbang likes this.
  22. The 39 guy
    Joined: Nov 5, 2010
    Posts: 2,660

    The 39 guy

    Another radio project.

    19 gauge steel was used for these 6x9 speaker adapters
    I used some scrap plastic to make templates as usual.


    The speakers had to be mounted at an angle.The plastic was
    used again for layout and pattern.


    The speakers will be hidden under the package tray cover
    Don plans to not use a speaker grill but will punch a bunch
    of holes in the upholstery.

    I miked up some JB Weld to glue the inserts in place rather
    than weld them. I didn't want to weld them all of the way around
    and I thought they might vibrate if I did not weld them all the way
    around. It took quite a bit of weight to hold the to contour
    biggeorge and loudbang like this.
  23. okiedokie
    Joined: Jul 5, 2005
    Posts: 3,641

    from Ok

    You guys sure are entertaining.
    loudbang likes this.
  24. The 39 guy
    Joined: Nov 5, 2010
    Posts: 2,660

    The 39 guy

    Well that's good okiedokie. We certainly are entertained several hours a day building the car.

    Just when you think you have found and eliminated all of
    the rust..... Yep, found some more rust bubbles at the
    bottom front of the drivers door.

    That green template in the picture comes in handy for layout
    work. It has layout marks at 90 degree intervals that make it
    easy to mark your hole center
    I punched the rust bubbles with an awl so the rust spots show
    up better.
    I laid out a rectangle and marked it so I could drill some
    1/2" holes with a multi bit.
    You can see where the crud had accumulated and held the
    moisture to cause the rust.
    A little cleanup and a coat of rust stopper (not shown) and
    we are ready for a patch.
    A few trips to and from the cutter and belt sander and we are
    ready to weld. The magnets work well for holding a patch
    in the general area. Be sure not to weld too close to them as
    they will explode (Well fracture).
    Lots of spot welds later we have a sound but ugly patch.

    A little time with the right angle air tool with an 3 inch 40 grit
    disc and it's done.
    The tail lights on the Merc were all there but in sad shape cosmetically.
    A happy Don with new parts he was able to source for the tail
    lights. I originally thought these would not be available for this
    year of Mercury but was happily proven wrong. I guess it helps
    that this tail light is also very popular for customizing. I forget
    the name of the source for these but if anyone wants to know I
    will ask Don.
  25. joel
    Joined: Oct 10, 2009
    Posts: 1,514


    You're getting pretty handy with those patches and that smile on Dons face looks like Christmas. Are you getting near the end on rust repair? If you weren't retired, you could do that for a living.;)
    loudbang likes this.
  26. The 39 guy
    Joined: Nov 5, 2010
    Posts: 2,660

    The 39 guy

    I thought we were done with patches until I found that one. We still have to strip the doors of paint. We may find more when we do the stripping. We are waiting for warmer weather so we can strip the top of the car and the doors outside.
    I have found a serious drawback of installing a central air system in your working shop. Paint sanding and other dust can clog the filter up very quickly. So we wait for some spring weather to roll the car outside and share some noise and dust with my neighbors.
    Don just bought some different hood trim off of a 52 or 53 Mercury. I am not sure which but using this much narrower trim will require me to fill 8 ea. 1/2" and lager holes in the hood. So that will be fun.

    Right now we are working on my coupes engine and transmission. We just put the transmission back together today. The Flathead engine is in the works but it looks like there will be a two or three week delay as I have to send the Scat crank back to them since they did not machine the thrust area correctly. I will cover the rebuild in the coupe thread.

    P.S. I could never make a living at filling rust holes (too slow) but I love the challenge.
    loudbang likes this.
  27. joel
    Joined: Oct 10, 2009
    Posts: 1,514


    Bummer on the engine rework, but it's not summer yet. I get it about the dust; I used a single edge razor blade to strip the big areas on my car. I had heard some old timers talk about that years ago and it worked surprisingly well and no dust. The paint peeled right down to the Henry prime, but that stuff was tuff.
    loudbang likes this.
  28. The 39 guy
    Joined: Nov 5, 2010
    Posts: 2,660

    The 39 guy

    Yes I still would like to get the coupe on the road by April 15. May happen..... I just tried the razor trick. It worked on a repainted area but I could not get it to bite into the original layers. I'll give another try tomorrow. Thanks for the tip!
    loudbang likes this.
  29. Jalopy Joker
    Joined: Sep 3, 2006
    Posts: 23,278

    Jalopy Joker

    always love these "15 minute" builds - at least that is what I tell non-car people (maybe thousands of 15 minute time blocks)
    Stogy and loudbang like this.
  30. loudbang
    Joined: Jul 23, 2013
    Posts: 22,983


    Good advice on welding near the magnets.
    biggeorge and Stogy like this.

Share This Page

Register now to get rid of these ads!


Copyright © 1995-2020 The Jalopy Journal: Steal our stuff, we'll kick your teeth in. Terms of Service. Privacy Policy.

Atomic Industry
Forum software by XenForo™ ©2010-2014 XenForo Ltd.