Building a 1960 Mercury Park Lane convertible

Discussion about Mercury Car restoration projects. This is not an all out engine section. Discuss whatever is of concern to your MEL car restoration project.
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Re: Building a 1960 Mercury Park Lane convertible

Post by mercs4fun » Fri 4. Apr 2014, 07:04

Thanks, I am always concerned about the details, just like you are :) Just to tell a short story, my cousin who also is into old car restoration looked at one of the cars I had just finished some time ago and said " it looks brand new, what do you do to make it look like that?" I looked at him and told him it is really easy. You just tear the car you are restoring totally apart, then when the frame looks like brand new you can start to reassembly the car, but you have to make sure that every single part you put on it from there looks brand new and then when you are finished the car looks new. He replied, of course you are right, but how do you make all the old parts look brand new? I said, that's the hard and expensive part of it :)

Oh well, talking about looking brand new, today I picked up 90 lbs bolts and nuts power seat parts, ash trays and all kind of hardware that has been at the plater to be restored and to get back that fresh new look. As usual they did a fantastic job and now it will be fun to put things back together.
04april4_1.jpg
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1960 Mercury Park Lane convertible rear end

Post by mercs4fun » Wed 9. Apr 2014, 15:27

So with all the new bolts and boxes full of new parts it is time to get a few things back together. Before the rear axle housing was painted I removed all internal parts for inspection. Even if the car ran pretty good with no rear end or wheel bearing noise I found by closer inspection that I needed a set of new wheel bearings and seals. It also felt pretty good to get the 54 year old differential oil removed as it looked more like tar than oil.
diff.jpg
With the wheel bearings removed it became obvious that one of the drive shafts needed to be replaced too. The wheel bearing inner race had been spinning on the shaft and damaged it probably due to incorrect installation. Luckily I had a spare drive shaft here so I did not need to go far to find a replacement. Here you can see the damaged shaft to the left and the good one to the right.
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A good hydraulic shop press is what you need to install the bearings as it takes between 5 and 10 tons of pressure to get them installed.

Before I installed the differential and the drive shafts I also replaced old seals and checked the alignment of the pinion and ring gear. The ratio on the differential I decided to use is 2.91:1 which is OK for mixed driving.
04april7_2.jpg
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Rear end installation

Post by mercs4fun » Wed 9. Apr 2014, 15:42

I decided to reuse the rear leaf springs that sat on the car as they were in really good condition. Before they went back on the car I had them sand blasted and painted them so they look like new. I had a full set of NOS rubber bushings for the springs, so they were installed before I hooked the springs on the frame. Then I installed the rear axle housing before I installed the differential and drive shafts. The reason I did it this way is because then I don't have to lift too much weight and my back will last a little longer :)
bushingsrear.jpg
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Finally here is the rear axle back in place.
04april7_3.jpg
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Front suspension

Post by mercs4fun » Wed 9. Apr 2014, 16:01

Moving forward is exactly what I have been doing as next up is to get the front suspension in place.
The old coil springs looked worn and the car was way too low in the front so I decided to get a new set of front springs. At first I thought I should go for the expensive hand made springs from Detroit spring, but changed my minds and decided to go for a set of TRW generic springs that is about 1/3rd of the cost. When I restored my 59 Park Lane I bought the more expensive springs but ended up cutting them down as they made the car ride far too high for my taste.
springs.jpg
I am also replacing everything else in the front suspension and steering. New bushings, new upper shafts, new ball joints all over. Whenever possible I have been using NOS parts or old quality parts made back when they made these parts right in the US of good quality steel. I don't trust poorly ill fitting Chinese made reproduction parts :?
04april8_1.jpg
The result:
04april8_2.jpg
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Brakes

Post by mercs4fun » Wed 9. Apr 2014, 16:02

Front brakes installed.
04april9_3.jpg
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Re: Building a 1960 Mercury Park Lane convertible

Post by Shelby#18 » Wed 9. Apr 2014, 23:03

Everything looks top notch Gry. Jeez, you are flying on this restoration. Do you have an anticipated completion date in mind already?

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Re: Building a 1960 Mercury Park Lane convertible

Post by Theo » Thu 10. Apr 2014, 09:02

Absolutely enjoy this restoration project. Very cool. Also, don't worry about posting into a dark nowhere. MEL people who bother w. doing things by themselves is a minority and it often feels like being lonesome. But there will be thousands to hit this one and other threads in this forum. Lots of hits via Wikipedia and Google. Keep going guys. It's for you, us and our grand grand children. Really much appreciated. Thanks again.
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Re: Building a 1960 Mercury Park Lane convertible

Post by mercs4fun » Sat 12. Apr 2014, 01:23

Theo, I can't get it, if there are thousands to read this tread why does the hit view counter as I write this show 373? Also the number of new posts the recent years shows more or less that this is a forum with extremely low activity. Most treads had their last activity 2 or 3 years ago, or even more. Compared with some other forums I frequently visit there is next to no activity here at all. Yes, the forum shows up in all search engines all the time, and that might also be the reason why you have so many hits, as a lot of people are likely pointed to this forum without the intention to be here. Long before I became a member this forum showed up in my searches for information not even remotely connected to what I was looking for. Very often when I am here there are usually 2 or 3 users visiting, now and then a couple more. Unfortunately most of these "visitors" are google Bot, Yahoo bot, and other search engines scanning the forum.

I am not writing this to make you feel bad or because the forum is no good, as it is a fantastic place for highly valued information about the MEL engines, I just want you to know how I see it. Maybe the problem is the extremely vast amount of sections and treads that makes it hard to actually find what you are looking for? I don't know, but I used hours on this forum before I found the mercury restoration section, which I found interesting just because of Rick's posts, and which also made me want to share what I am doing with my 60 Mercury.

So Theo, It 's not a dark nowhere, but it's for sure lonely here. :|
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Re: Building a 1960 Mercury Park Lane convertible

Post by Theo » Sat 12. Apr 2014, 02:54

Cry, I fear I might not have all the answers to your questions. As I have mentioned in an other thread a while ago, things are different from other forums. As for activity this place seems low. But there are a lot of inactive (lurking) visitors as you can see on some of the threads (see screen shots) and yes you are right. From my back panel I can see huge hit counts for this web site.
I can only assume that there are possibly a couple of reasons for having more readers than posters.
I think the main reason is that we have already compiled tons of information and that due to the clearly visible sections people are able to pick up information easy and fast before they leave the same day.
In many other forums where the sections are less fragmented, if there is any at all, posts go all into fewer, thematically more generalized sections. Consequently information is harder to find which in return causes people to ask more, even though topics have been discussed more than once. Simply put: I think the less sectioned and the more general a forum is the more activity you will find.
An other reason I can think of is that this forum is biased on engine topics, which in its' nature is more limited than a Forum of a more "general discussion of a whole car" place. There people can talk about all kind of issues which is a good thing too.
I was aware about this a few years ago when we had just the engine and trans sections. So I created a few more sections like this one here for instance. I was hoping to make this forum attractive for a broader range of people, rather than engine heads only.
These forums have grown really big and represent a more attractive place to all those who want instant solutions to their problem or those who just want more social contacts. It's hard to make people being part of a more quite place like this one and hoping to populate it more. I'm not really into this kind of acquisition. Off course I would love to see more people come together and chat but it's just the way it is. Recently I have very limited, almost no time to be active myself since I'm very occupied w. my work.
Anyway, meanwhile I'm O.K. with how things are. It is more like an archive or a wiki where there are more readers than active participants. Sometimes less is more and I really appreciate all the great posts and tutorials that can be found here. People have put a lot of time and effort into their posts.
The fact that this forum appears pretty much on top of search results might be a result of how these engines have validated this site as a serious source on the topic.
Therefore I'm really thankful to see you guys putting your time and effort to share your experience and photos.
Keep on the god work and thanks again
Bildschirmfoto 2014-04-12 um 10.32.40.png
Bildschirmfoto 2014-04-12 um 10.33.35.png
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Re: Building a 1960 Mercury Steering

Post by mercs4fun » Tue 22. Apr 2014, 00:48

Time for a few updates on the progress again. First out is the steering.
The steering components on the car seemed to work all right back when I last drove it about 10 years ago, but since I think that a total restoration deserves all new parts I decided to rebuild or replace everything. First out was the power steering valve. Luckily the large rebuild kits for a 60's Mustang (there are at least one large and one small on the market) has everything you need to bring these back to new condition. Just to make sure I had all the correct parts needed I also had a NOS kit with the original seals at hand, but these are getting old and I would prefer to use newer seals, and that worked out fine this time. BTW, the 59 and 60 valves are not the same, and the seals from the Mustang kit does not fit a 59 and earlier valve unit.

Her I have just disassembled the unit.
04april10_1.jpg
After a good cleaning and inspection I laid everything out on the blanket and replaced the old seals and parts with new ones. Now its ready to be put back together. the seals for the piston might be a little tricky, but it all came back together nicely.
04april10_2.jpg
Done.
04april10_3.jpg
The power steering cylinder is NOS so I just painted it and otherwise decided to let it be as it is. I should probably have replaced the seals in it as well, but I am out of those seal kits right now.
04april10_4.jpg
Fortunately I also had a set of NOS inner and outer tie rod ends that I wanted to use. I have seen some of the reproduction steering parts some vendors sells today and they look incorrect and the quality is so and so. I am so glad I don't have to use any of them.
04april9_1.jpg
So here the steering parts are back in place. That means almost all, as the most sharp eyed and detail oriented reader will notice that I forgot to put on the clamp on the power steering valve :) Later I will also add all those small markings here and there with yellow and green just like it came from factory.
04april10_6.jpg
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