Virgil & Sue Klein
Forum Replies Created
Both my ’53 and ’55 are stored in an insulated but unheated garage here in southern Nebraska. Right now it is 15 degrees outside and the garage is probably right around 32. To store these beasts for the winter I only change the oil and filter after a very good warmup sometime in October and then change it again in April. The cars are always run after the oil change for a few miles (around 20) just to give the fresh oil a chance to circulate. I don’t touch the other fluids but do change the coolant about every three years. I do fill the tank and add “Stabil” to the gas before I put them away. Both are also attached to Battery tenders. The eight volt battery in the ’55 is at least 6 years old and still working great. I attribute that to the the battery tender. I do use an 8 volt battery tender (yes, they do make them but you have to ask).
Try to imagine what tires will look like in 60 years. I have seen experimental tires on the internet (can’t recall what brand) that don’t have air and the sidewall is open with a sort of bridge like support for the tread. Imagine never having a flat again. It was a big step back in the 70s to go to polyglass tires if you recall.
I have Firestone radials on my ’55 and they are absolutely wonderful. I bought them because they have a 1.25″ wide whitewall. I do not like the real wide whites or the narrow stripe and these fit the bill. Coker has great tires but they tend to be pretty expensive, but if you want the correct tread design and whitewall width they can fill the bill. I have had no trouble with the hubcaps on my ’55 coming off.
I did own a ’58 Edsel for a while (4 door Pacer, a real boat). Originally we used bias ply tires on it simply because they cost less than radials. That car would absolutely make you seasick with the bias tires and literally floated down the highway almost out of control. A set of radials instantly made the car a very nice road car.
Just a question: What do you mean by “period correct” radials?
The neutral safety switch in the early Ford/Mercury automatics are truly “neutral” safety switches and are not designed to let the car start in park.
Wayne, I responded to your request in the discussion under “hard to find parts” where you had requested this information. The entire process is there right out of the ’54 Merc shop manual. Take a look and you will see it isn’t that difficult.
I looked up removing the instrument cluster in my ’54 shop manual. It looks pretty straightforward to get the cluster out. The trickiest part would be moving the left side heater controls out of the way. Essentially these are the steps: Disconnect the ground side of the battery (VERY IMPORTANT STEP!!!), take the knobs of the heater controls, remove the phillips head screws at the top of the instrument cluster, remove the phillips head screws (from underneath) that hold the bottom and top of the instrument housing together. lift off the top, move the left side heater controls out of the way (there are three screws you need to remove), remove the screws (2) holding the instrument cluster to the lower control panel, remove four cap screws (two at the bottom and two at the rear of the instrument panel assembly) which hold the lower control panel to the insturment panel. You don’t need to remove the lower control panel completely. Disconnect the speedometer cable and pull the instrument cluster forward, disconnect the wire which runs through the loop on the back of the ampmeter at the 30 amp circuit breaker. remove the wires from the oli, fuel, and temp gauges and then remove the cluster. You can now remove the gauges from the back of the cluster to access the insturment hands on the gauges. Sounds like a lot of work but I think it should not be a big problem.December 2, 2010 at 1:35 am in reply to: Good news 55 Mercury Montclair and Convertible owners-Chromatex #2637
Let me put in a good word for SMS Auto Interiors as well. Could not locate any leather for my ’87 Cougar XR7 in a color called “smoke”. SMS was able to come up with a sample color which matches my interior exactly. The half hide is on its way and soon my interior will be perfect again.November 13, 2010 at 7:07 pm in reply to: 1953 Mercury through 1958 Mercury Power Brake Part needed??? #2621
Archie, these are simply brass fittings that you can get at a good parts store or a good hardware store. You will need to know the diameters for the fittings and the nipple as well (so it will fit the vacuum hose). I don’t think you need to have two fittings if you can find one that has a nipple the correct size that will screw directly into the outlet on the manifold. By the way, 53s had flatheads and did not have Yblocks but probably used a similar fitting to get vacuum to the power brake booster.
Are you sure you had the cooling system full of coolant before you took off for the first 5 miles. Needing a gallon of water on a fresh overhaul after 5 miles would indicate that. Just filling the radiator with water may not fill the entire cooling system but letting the engine warm up until the thermostats open and being sure there is circulation will make sure. The other issue, I looked up your previous post, is that your rebuilder has swapped the head gaskets side to side. It would not be the first time that has happened (I speak from experience here). Although the gaskets look the same they are not exactly mirrors of each other. If you are not losing water on the ground then it has to be going either into the pan or out the exhaust neither of which is a good option. Hope you find the problem soon.
Sorry for not understanding exactly what you mean by “road lamp”. Can you please describe the part in a little more detail? Do you mean headlight, or fog lamps, or spotlights or some other type of light? Again sorry for the language issue but I have not heard the term road lamp before.
I would start with a NAPA auto parts store or another good parts store. I would not think this modulator would be that difficult to find. There are many parts suppliers who advertise on the website so don’t forget to use them as well.
In past issues of “Quicksilver”, Gary Richards did a series of articles called Tech Info Series. Basically it was the various codes to decode your “VIN” and also the data plate. The plate is actually referred to in the literature as a patent plate. The ’58 Mercs were covered in the summer issue in 2001. I have that issue and can decode your serial number above as well as the codes for style, color, etc. Just post them here on the website. OK, here is what the M8ZA525404 means. By the way, in ’58, this is referred to as a serial number as opposed to a VIN. The leading “M” refers to the engine and means you have a 383 cu in engine, the “8” is the model year; ’58 in your case, “Z” is the assembly plant; St Louis for your car. Now some difficulty with Gary’s series. The “A” is a body identification code and those are not listed in Gary’s article. The “525404” is the consecutive unit number. Hope this helps and I will watch for your info.
Welcome to the Mercury family. It is nice to have you join us. Red fluid under a ’58 Monterey would indicate a transmission or power steering leak (if so equipped). Both areas could be issues on a car that has sat for that long. I assume you changed all the fluids before you began to drive the car. The transmission leak could be a number of places but the pan gasket would be the first place to expect a leak. This should be relatively easy to repair. Other issues could be transmission seals which would need more extensive work. Good luck with your project.
I would check with your local upholestry shops or ask other car people in your area who does good car interior work. Any good upholestry shop can do the sewing you require and can also “build” the seat for you.
I went to the 2009/2010 printed Membership Directory and found 37 owners of ’49 Mercs so it doesn’t seem that they are that rare of a car. I think I knew that the ’49s have a unique water pump in that the flathead motor mounts are part of that assembly and it is a bit different for ’49. The tail lights would have the same situation but a generator pulley just does not seem like a one off item. I know you said you called every advertiser in the directory but I have an old catalog from Concours Parts in Carson City, NV that lists bumper bolts specifically for a ’49. It looks like the catalog is from 2008.
I would guess that parts suppliers have slimmed down on their inventories and manufacturing for those parts that don’t have a huge following. A supplier has to be able to have the part at a reasonable price with enough demand to cover the set up expense. I assume we all know that. Good luck with you search.