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Projects Unfinished Business: A 1951 Mercury Build Thread

Discussion in 'Traditional Customs' started by Doctor Detroit, Nov 6, 2011.

  1. deto
    Joined: Jun 26, 2010
    Posts: 2,621

    deto
    Member

    Man this thing is looking sweet. Love the copper color.
     
  2. Doctor Detroit
    Joined: Aug 12, 2010
    Posts: 1,004

    Doctor Detroit
    Member

    Here's a link to another one of my threads:

    Engine Mounts in a 1951 Mercury with Flathead
    http://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/showthread.php?t=758900

    A few updated pictures... Dash parts ready to be reassembled, shaved trunk, trying to install the driveshaft when I realized my engine mounts had the engine sitting back a little too much.
     

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  3. BrerHair
    Joined: Jan 30, 2007
    Posts: 4,291

    BrerHair
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Great thread DD. Should re-title thread "Index to '51 Merc Build Info." of which yours is part. Cool resource for all things Mercury.
     
  4. Doctor Detroit
    Joined: Aug 12, 2010
    Posts: 1,004

    Doctor Detroit
    Member

    A few update photos... Finally got the instrument panel back together. Before and after photos. To clean up the clear plastic piece of the gauges took about 5 hours, using 600 grit, 1200 grit, PlastX, a cordless drill, plenty of elbow grease, and a toothpick with tiny drops of white paint.
     

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    oliver westlund likes this.
  5. banditomerc
    Joined: Dec 18, 2005
    Posts: 2,106

    banditomerc
    Member

    Looks good! Did you rechrome the dash grille? Looks dull in picks....love this build...
     
  6. Doctor Detroit
    Joined: Aug 12, 2010
    Posts: 1,004

    Doctor Detroit
    Member

    I didn't rechrome the dash. It's painted metallic silver. I actually think it looks pretty good. I have another dash that I'll have rechromed at a later date, when I have the bumpers, bumper guards, and other miscellaneous stuff chromed.
     
  7. ph8ed4life
    Joined: Dec 27, 2010
    Posts: 93

    ph8ed4life
    Member
    from AZ

    What a wealth of info in this thread and the links!!!

    Great build!!!
     
  8. farmer12
    Joined: Aug 28, 2006
    Posts: 7,718

    farmer12
    Member

    Still love the build! How are you progressing?
     
  9. Doctor Detroit
    Joined: Aug 12, 2010
    Posts: 1,004

    Doctor Detroit
    Member

    It's still moving forward... I hope to get the instrument panel and wiring in within the next few weeks. The driveshaft has ben installed. It looks like I might need to have the driveshaft shortened one or two inches. The rear axle is pushed back a little too far as it currently sits, and it makes the wheelbase a longer than it should be. I believe it's due to using 4 inch dropped leaf springs, and 3 inch lowering blocks. The 3" lowering blocks will be switched to 2" lowering blocks in the near future, but the driveshaft will still need to be shortened. I have a few items to pick up that have just been rechromed - small stuff like turn signal and shift levers, and the heat levers on the dash. Now I can put it all back together. In the next few weeks I'll have new pictures to post.
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2013
  10. 49dreamer
    Joined: Apr 19, 2011
    Posts: 75

    49dreamer
    Member

    Have fun with the wiring and looking forward to your progress pictures so I can learn from you. This weekend I reassembled my steering column with the wire kit from MACs which I believe you purchased. Be sure not to be wasteful of any of the wiring length because they were a little stingy with the overall length. On a couple of the wires, I only have about 2 inches sticking out of the column. And fishing them through was a test of patience.
     

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  11. Doctor Detroit
    Joined: Aug 12, 2010
    Posts: 1,004

    Doctor Detroit
    Member

    Before & After pictures of the pieces I had rechromed:

    Two levers for the heater controls, the gearshift lever for a Merc-o-matic steering column, and the turn signal lever. The before picture makes them look in better condition than they actually were.
     

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  12. 49dreamer
    Joined: Apr 19, 2011
    Posts: 75

    49dreamer
    Member

    I love chrome and getting newly chromed pieces back from the chrome plater is always an exciting day. Good thing there's a little wait time between dropping the pieces off and then picking them up. It gives me time to get over the sticker shock for what it costs to get the parts re-chromed.
     
  13. Doctor Detroit
    Joined: Aug 12, 2010
    Posts: 1,004

    Doctor Detroit
    Member

  14. SURF666
    Joined: Feb 2, 2011
    Posts: 2

    SURF666
    Member
    from Portland

    I am inspired again thanks to your post! Great job!
     
  15. Doctor Detroit
    Joined: Aug 12, 2010
    Posts: 1,004

    Doctor Detroit
    Member

    Awesome, dude... I'm glad my build thread has inspired you. You should post up a few more pictures in your photo album so we can all see your project too.
     
  16. jlozanojr
    Joined: Oct 5, 2010
    Posts: 13

    jlozanojr
    Member
    from San Diego

    Great seeing all ur progress. I'm currently also in the process of building my 51. It's been quite a learning process. I'm also about to tackle cleaning the plastic gauge cover on my 51.

    Quick question, u started the process with 600g then 1200 grit for the final polish with plastx? This was fine enough to avoid any scratching? Also why the white paint droplets? Thanks for the advice and look forward ton seeing ur progress!
     
  17. Doctor Detroit
    Joined: Aug 12, 2010
    Posts: 1,004

    Doctor Detroit
    Member

    My plastic gauge cover had all sorts of scratches, some were deep. I used 600 grit wet to get out any bad scratches or nicks only in those spots. I did both sides. Then I used 1200 grit wet all over the entire piece. At this point it's pretty hazy. Get yourself a headlight restoration kit for $20 that has the attachment for a cordless drill. You'll save yourself hours of time. You'll probably do the entire piece, both sides a few times with the PlastX and cordless drill. Some of the gauge numbers and lettering a little chips of white paint missing. With a toothpick and a few drops of white paint, I fixed the lettering. I've recently seen new, reproduction clear plastic gauge covers on ebay for $75-$125. I fixed mine for about $20 and about 5 hours of time, over a week or two.
     
  18. IH Scout
    Joined: Feb 25, 2013
    Posts: 3

    IH Scout
    Member

    Yes. Impressive. You guys have a lot of talent from all the pics I see.
     
  19. 714dodge
    Joined: Feb 22, 2013
    Posts: 7

    714dodge
    Member

  20. goldtele
    Joined: Sep 16, 2006
    Posts: 118

    goldtele
    Member

    Looking good!!
     
  21. 51 Leadsled
    Joined: Nov 23, 2007
    Posts: 953

    51 Leadsled
    Member
    from NC

    Doc,
    Any updates??


    Posted using the Full Custom H.A.M.B. App!
     
  22. Doctor Detroit
    Joined: Aug 12, 2010
    Posts: 1,004

    Doctor Detroit
    Member

    Wow, I just realized it had been 5 months since I updated my build thread. In the past 5 months, it keeps moving forward though I really feel behind schedule. I wanted to be able to drive it around the block by now. I had the driveshaft shortened about 1.25", which I am assuming it because the rear has been lowered 6". I repainted and reinstalled the driveshaft, swapped out the 3" blocks for 2" lowering blocks because the 3" blocks violated the 'scrub line'. I ordered and received all of the flat glass from ChrisBlattie, here on the Hamb. I repainted and cleared my dash with the same burnt copper paint that I did the engine with. I had the seats media blasted and I painted and rebuilt them. Upholstery not done yet. I've installed the electric wiper motor, opted to get rid of the factory vacuum wipers. I rewired, reassembled, and installed my steering column and temporary dash (painted primer gray), along with rebuilt instrument panel. I've installed some electrical components, and I currently installing the wiring harness. I had purchased a 6V reproduction harness, and made some changes to it. That meant disassembling some of the harness to change wire locations, etc, since I am moving the battery to the trunk and starter solenoid. I'm also working on frenching the headlights, and the last little bit of rust repair on a replacement fender I bought.

    Notes on steering column wiring and reassembling the steering column:
    Running the turn signal wires down the steering column is major pain in the ass. I tried a few different ways, and spent four hours trying to accomplish this. Let me save you some time. My recommendation is get yourself some 50lb test fishing line. Tie a really long piece, about 3 or 4 feet long, onto each of the eight wires (see the picture). To get the loose ends of the fishing line down the channel, I tied the loose end onto a washer and dropped it down the channel. The weight of the washer pulled the fishing line through. Now you should have eight loose ends tied to a washer threaded down the channel, exiting the hole in the middle of the column. The other ends of the fishing line should be coming out of the top end of the channel, and attached to eight individual wires. Slowly pull one wire at a time into the channel. Only pull it into the channel enough to get the metal connector tip into the channel. The first five wires will go in easy. The last three are difficult because it's getting tight in there. Use dish soap as a lubricant to help slide the wires into the channel. After you've got all eight wires in there, gently pull all eight pieces of fishing line and pull them down the channel as a bundle. This may or may not work. Next, you'll need to pull individual wires down the rest of the way. I pulled on the fishing line that felt loose, until one was all the way through the channel, then worked on the next one. If you pull too hard and the fishing line slips off or breaks, you'll probably have to start over. One more note... don't forget to put the big firewall grommet into your steering column before you run the wires down the column. If you forget, you'll get to take everything apart and do it all over again, like I did.

    Here are links to a few other threads I created, to answer questions during my build:
    Starter Solenoid and Battery Location
    http://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/showthread.php?t=810808

    Voltage Regulator for Flathead with 12V Generator - Connect a 4th wire?
    http://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/showthread.php?t=814164

    Frenched Headlights Picture Thread
    http://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/showthread.php?t=775255



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  23. Doctor Detroit
    Joined: Aug 12, 2010
    Posts: 1,004

    Doctor Detroit
    Member

    More pictures...
     

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  24. farmer12
    Joined: Aug 28, 2006
    Posts: 7,718

    farmer12
    Member

    Thanks for the update! Great to hear you're still working on the car. Looking forward to more (frequent) updates. Looking good!
     
  25. 49dreamer
    Joined: Apr 19, 2011
    Posts: 75

    49dreamer
    Member

    Glad to see that you are still making progress and working you're way through all the little details. Keep sharing any and all advice and pictures. Some of us are learning from your progress. I did the same thing with the steering column wiring and forgetting to slip the firewall grommet. I haven't taken it apart yet, I'm still hoping for a slick solution when I get to the installation of the steering column.
     
  26. Doctor Detroit
    Joined: Aug 12, 2010
    Posts: 1,004

    Doctor Detroit
    Member

    49dreamer,
    Unfortunately, I don't think there is a way to get that firewall grommet on there when the shifter lever is installed on the bottom end of the column, and the wiring is installed on the top end of the column. I considered other options. That grommet doesn't stretch. You could cut the grommet, but I didn't think that was a good option.

     
  27. WWinIL
    Joined: Mar 1, 2012
    Posts: 194

    WWinIL
    Member

    Keep up the good work ! You'll be glad you took your time and properly sorted and attended to all these items once you get it running and driving.

    Remember, If you ever need some help,give me a shout
     
  28. I love the engine colour - looks good on the dash. Would also be a nice wheel colour....
     
  29. ColinCS
    Joined: Jul 3, 2013
    Posts: 58

    ColinCS
    Member

    Man, this thread is awesome and I am really enjoying your progress! Everything always seems to take way longer and put you behind schedule when you do it right, but like you've said, is well worth it.


    Posted using the Full Custom H.A.M.B. App!
     
  30. Doctor Detroit
    Joined: Aug 12, 2010
    Posts: 1,004

    Doctor Detroit
    Member

    I love this orange color called burnt copper... I'm planning to paint the interior window trim with the same burnt copper, then clear over it like the dash. Probably paint the wheels too. I've been putting a lot of thought into exterior paint colors lately. My plans were to go satin black for a while, possibly gloss black in the future. I have a few pictures of cars that are a dark silver or charcoal color that have really been appealing to me. It would look pretty good against the burnt copper engine. Seats will probably be black, but I am thinking about two tone seat ideas also.
     

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