Stephen G. & Susan Davis
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I bought lap belts for my 1951 Mercury from julianos.com. They have a great selection of colors, the prices are reasonable and the quality is excellent. I ordered the optional seat belt anchor plate kit which makes installation simple and ensures a proper anchoring of the belt assembly to the underside of the car. The instructions that come with it are very good. They also offer seat belt bolt covers in colors to match your carpet/rubber floor mat.
I suppose by now you received some advice but just in case, I had this problem years ago on a 1952 Mercury flathead. Fortunately the distributor was in front. I solved it by applications of penetrating oil multiple times at the distributor base for over a week. The oil is better absorbed when the engine is warmed up but not too hot as to be a hazard. You’ll want to apply the oil liberally as some will “burn off” during application. I suspect that in my case the timing had not been set for a long time so the distributor somewhat froze in place.
After lots of research in the shop manual I have determined that the engine in my 1951 is an early 1949. The fact that both water pumps and generator run off one belt from the inner pulley and the fan runs off the outer pulley gave me the clue. Whoever made the switch years ago did stay with a 1951 intake manifold with side-draft carb but with a manifold-mounted automatic choke. According to the shop manual that choke was only fitted to 1951s with Merc-O-Matic and my car has the 3-speed with overdrive. 1949-51 Lincoln and Mercurys all use the same thermostat so I can now move ahead. My understanding is that an 8BA engine is Mercury and not Ford. If anyone with a 1949 can confirm this that would be helpful.