1967 Mercury Commuter Wagon...

Discussion in 'Station Wagon Projects' started by pvan, Jun 19, 2012.

  1. pvan

    pvan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2012
    Messages:
    489
    Likes Received:
    19
    Trophy Points:
    66
    Wagon Garage:
    1
    Location:
    Michigan
    Although I just joined the forums a few days ago, I actually purchased my wagon and started work on it several months back. So I will back my story up and try to catch it up in several posts to where it is at today.

    Starting at the start, my wagon project is a 1967 Mercury Commuter 6-passenger wagon. It came from the factory with a 390 2v engine, tinted windows, factory air, power drum brakes, and a power bench seat.

    I purchased the car out of Texas for $1,300. As it turns out, the seller was a seasoned crook looking to rip me off, and nearly succeeded.

    I bought the car , sent a deposit, and then spent the next 2 months chasing after the car. Long story short, with the help of some friends, I was able to recover the wagon, and it finally made it home by the end of October.

    P1010008-.jpg P1010010-.jpg P1010009-.jpg

    For everything the car wasn't as advertised, it turns out it had many nice surprises. I was told it had a 428 installed. It actually turned out to be a 460 from a 70's pick-up, but I was OK with that. The 428 would have been neat, but I actually wanted to do a Lima motor, so I was just fine with that.

    It ran, but the carb needed to be rebuilt. The swap was done very poorly. It leaked oil like crazy where they tried to cut and weld up a truck pan to make it fit, but poorly done. The lower radiator hose was a universal fit and folded in half. The mounts were welded to the frame (again, poorly), and the front and rear suspension both needed to be rebuilt.

    On the upside, the glass was beautiful, The car has very limited rust (only a couple of spots), and the trim was in excellent shape with only a coupe of pieces missing. The roof rack and the driver's door handle button were also gone.

    But, it was a very good starting point for a family cruiser. More to come...

    Paul

    1969 R-Code, 4-Speed, Drag-Pack Cobra Fastback Project
    1967 Mercury Commuter Wagon w/mild 429

    http://mycarrestorationprojects.blogspot.com/
     
  2. MotoMike

    MotoMike Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2010
    Messages:
    5,171
    Likes Received:
    118
    Trophy Points:
    188
    Location:
    Newnan, Ga
    Cool! Another good restoration/retro mod story startup! The link to the blog works well, let us know with a post here anytime you update the blog. Does this work ok for everyone else? Pics in the blog help us visualize your work, you're working on getting a coveted :camera::camera::camera::camera::camera: rating in the Restoration category.So the new factory long block you're installing, its a 429 right? Good luck Paul.
    (y)
     
  3. pvan

    pvan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2012
    Messages:
    489
    Likes Received:
    19
    Trophy Points:
    66
    Wagon Garage:
    1
    Location:
    Michigan
    Yes, the long block is a '69 429, and the heads were purchased separately. They already had bronze guides and hardened seats. They are C9VE-A heads that have not been drilled for smog. I am doing a port and polish on the heads, and reworking the combustion chamber a bit.

    My goal out of the engine is twofold: 1) build more power (not maximize power) and; 2) Maximize fuel economy out of the set up.

    To this end, the majority of the work I am doing is on the exhaust side of the engine. I've done a little work on the intake runners, but I didn't open them up so much as I tried to balance them. And I won't be touching the intake manifold runners so long as there are no port overlaps that obstruct flow. This way I can keep velocity of the charge up, keep my power band down, and ideally make my cam the bottleneck in the engine.

    I will try to get a post up every couple of days at least until I have caught the story up to where I am at in the project right now. The blog will be kept up as well for friends, family, and non-wagon owner car folks who I am sharing my progress with. I will also be posting different info there as the intent was to make it an exercise for me that I was sharing so I go into different levels of detail on different things. Now that I have had this car for a bit, it appears that there just aren't many of them left from what I have seen. I'd be curious to know how many actually have survived at this point in any condition.

    Anyhow, thanks for the support. Gotta fly!

    Paul

    1969 R-Code, 4-Speed, Drag-Pack Cobra Fastback Project
    1967 Mercury Commuter Wagon w/mild 429

    http://mycarrestorationprojects.blogspot.com/
     
  4. MotoMike

    MotoMike Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2010
    Messages:
    5,171
    Likes Received:
    118
    Trophy Points:
    188
    Location:
    Newnan, Ga
    Thank you Paul. Sounds like you'll be getting the most out of every gallon of the ridiculous alcohol laced scamper juice we have to burn today. Any planned mods for dealing with ethanol?
     
  5. pvan

    pvan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2012
    Messages:
    489
    Likes Received:
    19
    Trophy Points:
    66
    Wagon Garage:
    1
    Location:
    Michigan
    Really nothing more specific than minimize the rubber used for the fuel line and planned regular rebuilds of the carb. I'm hoping that with the rebuild I just completed that the components are more alcohol-resistant, but I won't hold my breath on that.

    Somewhere down the line I might consider moving over to fuel injection, but I am a long ways off from that right now.

    by the way, for those who don't want to deal with ethanol, check out http://pure-gas.org/ This site keeps a list of stations around the country that still offer alcohol-free gasoline.

    Paul

    1969 R-Code, 4-Speed, Drag-Pack Cobra Fastback Project
    1967 Mercury Commuter Wagon w/mild 429

    http://mycarrestorationprojects.blogspot.com/
     
  6. MotoMike

    MotoMike Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2010
    Messages:
    5,171
    Likes Received:
    118
    Trophy Points:
    188
    Location:
    Newnan, Ga
    We have a station a couple mi from the house that just added an ethanol free pump with 90 octane. Plan on using it in my bike and the old Trooper.
     
  7. pvan

    pvan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2012
    Messages:
    489
    Likes Received:
    19
    Trophy Points:
    66
    Wagon Garage:
    1
    Location:
    Michigan
    Very nice. From what I have seen, it looks like many of the stations are near bodies of water. At least they are in Michigan.

    I don't have anything very close to me with typical octane ratings, but we do have a couple of stations that sell racing fuel (126 octane?), so I will probably do a bit of a blend.

    It's a compromise, but fortunately I'm not making a race car out of my wagon.

    Paul

    1969 R-Code, 4-Speed, Drag-Pack Cobra Fastback Project
    1967 Mercury Commuter Wagon w/mild 429

    http://mycarrestorationprojects.blogspot.com/
     
  8. pvan

    pvan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2012
    Messages:
    489
    Likes Received:
    19
    Trophy Points:
    66
    Wagon Garage:
    1
    Location:
    Michigan
    Got it home...

    After getting my wagon home I soon realized that there were numerous issues with the car. The first was the shipping company broke two of the moldings on the front fender extensions.

    They denied it. Fortunately I was able to grab a pair from Green Sales Company and The Lincoln / Mercury Old Parts Store.

    The next issue was a fender repair that had been completed and described as "you'd never know it was there if I didn't tell you" was a in fact a bent piece of metal brazed in place that didn't even complete the lip for the wheel housing. Green Sales to the rescue again with an NOS fender for $300.

    On to the electrical. When you turned the key to the "on" position the running lights would turn on, and the turn signals wouldn't work. In addition, when I pulled the steering wheel I found the turn signal switch was broken. And, since I needed to add a radio as well, it was time to pull the dash apart. Besides, there were some burnt out bulbs that needed replacing, and the face plate had been cut up, including the 20lb or so gauge housing that cast pot metal.

    I really shouldn't complain, however, because the design is quite ingenious, in spite of its weight. The trim is a full-faced chromed plastic panel that removes with several face screws. Behind that is the cast panel. The cool part here is all of the gauges are installed as individual pods FROM THE FRONT. Better still, the bulbs press in from the front, so you should NEVER have to remove that cast panel that is a pain hooking the bulb receiver up to. Unless your headlights come on when you turn your ignition to the "on" position, that is.

    Needless to say, out came the housing. There isn't much slack in the harness making it tricky to remove, and even more so to reinstall. Working my way through me electrical issues, I tackled the most annoying first as I figured it was the most serious. Working with the harness still in the dash and not wanting to disturb or dismantle anything more than had to be, I started checking the dash harness. Apparently one of the clips that hold the harness up snapped dropping it onto the raw edge of sheet metal that had slowly worked its way into two wires shorting them out. One union, a little electrical tape and a zip tie and electrical problems no more!

    The turn signal was something I wasn't happy about. The switches are expensive, and unless you want to chop and splice about a dozen wires, changing them means pulling the steering column and taking it apart. I did that on my Cougar one time too many already, so I was hoping for a simple solution and I found it. Super Glue! The broken tab was still sitting on top of the switch where it landed when it broke. A little Super Glue for plastics and it works good as new.

    On to the radio, or at least it will be with my next catch up. Sorry, pictures are on the other computer, but I promise some for next time.

    Paul

    1969 R-Code, 4-Speed, Drag-Pack Cobra Fastback Project
    1967 Mercury Commuter Wagon w/mild 429

    http://mycarrestorationprojects.blogspot.com/
     
  9. MotoMike

    MotoMike Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2010
    Messages:
    5,171
    Likes Received:
    118
    Trophy Points:
    188
    Location:
    Newnan, Ga
    Thanks for the update Paul. :2_thumbs_up_-_anima
     
  10. pvan

    pvan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2012
    Messages:
    489
    Likes Received:
    19
    Trophy Points:
    66
    Wagon Garage:
    1
    Location:
    Michigan
    After finishing up all of the electrical problems I could find inside the dash (including wiring the electric fuel pump in correctly) I decided to move on to the radio. I had picked up an early 70s AM/FM factory Ford radio (probably from a truck) and discovered that it fit almost perfectly.

    The original speaker was shot, so I picked up a new set of speakers for both the front and the back. As easy as the radio went in, adding the second speaker up under the dash was challenging. Ultimately we opted to build a bracket and suspend it upside down from the dash next to the radio. It was pretty tight, but it did fit.

    After buttoning the dash back up, It was time to mess with the motor. It ran, but not great. There were issues with leaking oil, vacuum , and running rich. So, I decided to pull the intake and carb. I opted to replace the intake with a Edelbrock Performer. It won't make a ton of power over stock, but I don't need it to. The carb was rebuilt and recolored with Eastwood's carb paint. I've heard it won't hold up to gas, but it looks great now!

    Manifold and Carb.jpg

    Once I had the intake off, I could see how filthy the engine was so I decided it needed to be pulled and gone through. While I had that I out another one of my additions arrived -- my third row seats! I found a guy in Texas with a '68 Ranch Wagon that he was going to part out. I was able to get the complete setup, the complete power disk brakes setup, and several other items.

    P1010001.jpg Third Row-Base In.jpg

    I wanted the '68 setup because it had the opposing seats as opposed to one rearward facing seat. The seller pulled all of the trim for the rear area and sent lots of photos detailing how it was installed.

    Probably the most challenging part of installing the setup was positioning the the pivots that had to be welded in. There are no markers, and I didn't have measurements. Installing required drilling out a hole and then tack-welding them in place.

    The final installed seats look great! Now I can go through and remove them so I can paint them to match the interior and reupholster the seats.

    P1010024.jpg P1010025.jpg

    Next up, redoing the front end...

    Paul

    1969 R-Code, 4-Speed, Drag-Pack Cobra Fastback Project
    1967 Mercury Commuter Wagon w/mild 429

    http://mycarrestorationprojects.blogspot.com/
     
  11. MotoMike

    MotoMike Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2010
    Messages:
    5,171
    Likes Received:
    118
    Trophy Points:
    188
    Location:
    Newnan, Ga
    Mighty fine work there Paul. Any radio work :camera:??
     
  12. Dr B Smith

    Dr B Smith Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2007
    Messages:
    386
    Likes Received:
    28
    Trophy Points:
    422
    Wagon Garage:
    1
    Location:
    Murrysville PA
    Boy this looks very familiar! Great job!!!

    What is really amazing is that there have been no posts or pictures about how to install these third row seats since I have been on the forum...4.5 years, and now within the last 2 weeks we have two!
     
  13. shelby7789

    shelby7789 New Member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2012
    Messages:
    95
    Likes Received:
    7
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Wagon Garage:
    2
    Location:
    Ft. Lauderdale
    You don't fool around Paul. I like your style when doing a car. Much like myself/\. Very cool and nasty wagon when she's done.
     
  14. pvan

    pvan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2012
    Messages:
    489
    Likes Received:
    19
    Trophy Points:
    66
    Wagon Garage:
    1
    Location:
    Michigan
    No pics of the radio install yet. I will try to get some tomorrow to post. Nothing too exciting. Like I said, stock retro-fit radio that pretty much dropped in.

    I did, however, get my hands on a factory-correct OEM AM/FM radio that I will likely swap out if I can get it working correctly.

    In other news, I sent my old covers off this weekend to have new ones made. Did some quick sketches up. The buckets are from a '68 Galaxie as are the third row seats. I wanted something that looked a little sportier but could be factory. Fortunately the factory seat emblems are nearly perfect.

    Hope to post more "catch-up" postings tomorrow, time permitting.

    Paul

    1969 R-Code, 4-Speed, Drag-Pack Cobra Fastback Project
    1967 Mercury Commuter Wagon w/mild 429

    http://mycarrestorationprojects.blogspot.com/
     

    Attached Files:

  15. shelby7789

    shelby7789 New Member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2012
    Messages:
    95
    Likes Received:
    7
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Wagon Garage:
    2
    Location:
    Ft. Lauderdale
    You really know how to do a Blog. Wish I had the computer skills you have ! Great Read and job pvan Thumbs up.
     

Share This Page