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 Post subject: 1962 Mercury Longbed Uni
PostPosted: September 27, 2012, 1:14 pm 
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Location: Rocky View County, AB
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Well, here goes. Most of this has been posted before, but as a tiny step towards actually getting this project moving again, I have decided to chronicle the adventures of my own little slice of Slickdom. My static display. My personal piece of garage art. The Merc:

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Check out all its majesty!

It's coming up on 7 years since I first purchased this truck for the tidy sum of $250. But it's actually been more like a dozen years since I first laid eyes on it. It was sitting along Highway 11 near a tiny town called Girvin, Saskatchewan, and it wasn't alone. The story goes that it was originally owned by a man who had a plumbing business with his brother, and the two had matching trucks. Both red and white unibody Mercs. I vaguely remember that one of the two was a big back window, but at the time I had no idea what that meant! Since I was still a broke student at the time I just filed the truck away in my memory bank and moved on.

Fast forward to 2005. I was living in Swift Current, Saskatchewan and I got a call from my friend. He had been trying to convince me for a while that I needed a project, even though I had no garage, no storage, and not even a driveway at the time! We had previously discussed what I would be interested in, and of course one option was a unibody Merc. So he called to tell me he had spotted one near Girvin. Red and white. The very same I had seen in 2000. My friend was even with me at the time we had first spotted it!

So the next weekend I drove out to take a look. She was rough!

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As it turns out the second Merc had been purchased years earlier by someone who travelled up from the U.S. with a multi-car trailer. The seller said that both would have been gone if the guy had room for one more on the trailer. He also said he received offers of up to $375 for the tailgate alone, which he refused because he wanted to sell the truck complete. Lucky me!

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Excrutiatingly/Ridiculously/Obscenely Slow Build Thread

Canadian-Built Ford & Mercury Truck Data: VIN Decoding


Last edited by The Big M on August 18, 2017, 1:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: September 27, 2012, 1:15 pm 
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Location: Rocky View County, AB
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Since my friend knew a welder from his work who did autobody repair as a side business, the decision was made to haul the truck to the Yorkton area until such time as I could afford new floor panels. So the next weekend we threw a junkyard wheel and brake drum on the front, along with some newly mounted used tires on the back, and away we went, battling freezing rain and tow vehicle breakdowns along the way:

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The freezing rain made us abort the mission for the night and reboot in the morning, after "runnin' back to Saskatoon" to find some shelter at my parents' house. But we finally got it dropped off at the shop safe and sound!

The next step was to pull the engine to allow the bodyman easier access to the floor when the time came. So the 223 came out in -25 deg C temperatures...

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We'd held out hope that the 223 would be viable since it had a rebuild tag from a machine shop that indicated it was 0.010 under on the mains and crank bearings, and 0.020 over on the cylinder bore. Unfortunately pulling the head revealed this:

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Five of six cylinders were clean, but the one bad one pretty much sealed the deal. I already had a set of 0.030 over pistons and rings I had intended to use but the bore on #4 was so pitted that there was no way it would clean up with only an additional 0.010. So sadly this block ended up going to scrap, but a nice replacement from a '59 Fairlane was located.

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Excrutiatingly/Ridiculously/Obscenely Slow Build Thread

Canadian-Built Ford & Mercury Truck Data: VIN Decoding


Last edited by The Big M on August 18, 2017, 1:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: September 27, 2012, 1:16 pm 
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Location: Rocky View County, AB
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The truck lived near Yorkton until 2006, at which point I was living in Red Deer, Alberta. I saved up and finally pulled the trigger on my floor panel purchase. I got pans, steps, step risers, lower door pillars, and cab mounts, all from Carolina Classics. I had them delivered to Red Deer and later my friend came to visit for the weekend and hauled them back to Yorkton for the install:

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When it was finally done I arranged to have it delivered to Red Deer. The driver was nice enough to help us muscle the truck into the snug little garage space.

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I was pleased to see that the floor surgery was a great success!

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And the new-to-me 223:

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Excrutiatingly/Ridiculously/Obscenely Slow Build Thread

Canadian-Built Ford & Mercury Truck Data: VIN Decoding


Last edited by The Big M on August 18, 2017, 1:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: September 27, 2012, 1:19 pm 
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Location: Rocky View County, AB
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At long last it seemed to be coming together. I had the truck in my possession and a place to work on it! However, in 2007 we made the decision to move to a new house in Red Deer. It was a beautiful house and the upgrade was well worth it for more than one reason. However, no garage! So we built a shed to store all my spare parts, hauled the truck over with a tow bar and a GMC Sonoma, and parked it in the backyard while the garage was being built.

Once the garage was complete I was finally able to get my truck out of the elements again! I even fired it up a few times after replacing the points, cap, rotor, condenser, plugs and wires.

Over the next two years I struggled to find time to work on the project, as it always seemed that my spare time was taken up with repairing daily drivers or doing other random tasks. Then in 2009 I participated in the Ride to Conquer Cancer and as part of my fundraising we had a garage sale. We gathered up donations of stuff to sell and to make room I moved the truck to the parking spot beside the garage. I believed this to be a temporary measure but that's where it would sit until 2010 when we relocated again to Calgary.

This time the truck rode in style behind my brother's F-350 King Ranch and was immediately deposited in the 18 x 26 garage at the new abode. Unfortunately free time is still at a premium, as the new house has required quite a bit of work (and re-work of previous "fixes"). I've become convinced that the previous owner was this fellow:



We've also put an enormous amount of time and resources into our part-time photography business, all while my wife pursued her Masters degree.

That brings us up to the present day. Since purchasing this fine piece of machinery I've moved a total of 6 times. The Merc has been moved 4 times and travelled almost 1400 km!

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Excrutiatingly/Ridiculously/Obscenely Slow Build Thread

Canadian-Built Ford & Mercury Truck Data: VIN Decoding


Last edited by The Big M on September 27, 2012, 1:52 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: September 27, 2012, 1:20 pm 
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Location: Rocky View County, AB
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The Plan

AS you can imagine I've had plenty of time to ponder different build styles and let the overall vision coalesce in my brain. So here it is!

Overall style:

Mild kustom with a twist. I'm definitely not going modern with this one. I want the truck to be simple, clean, and subtle, and mostly period-correct.

Suspension:

The goal is a nice static drop that's aggressive but driveable. Options include front and rear axle flips (inspired by McTim's LSR Uni) or a simple drop axle with re-arched springs.

Tires and Wheels:

A simple, clean look with blackwall radials and steel innie wheels in gloss black. If budget permits I may upgrade to a 16" or 17" wheel in a clean style that mimics the innies.

Engine and drivetrain:

223 with T-5, though the short-term plan is to stick with the 3-speed. I love the look of the 223 and have a bunch of parts for it so it'll stay for the time being. I do have a 5.0 to serve as a backup, but it would need to be dressed right (short water pump, v-belts, and the pricey valve covers that are pentroof style and oh-so-cool, brand escapes me at the moment).

Axles will be 28-spline. Stock rear end ratio is 3.92 though I have a set of 3.55 gears that my be swapped in.

Ignition:

Duraspark II with a distributor from a 300.

Fuel System:

Round stainless Moon-style tank mounted in the bed
Electric pump
Fuel cut-off switch from 1987 Grand Marquis

Electrical:

Complete re-wire with Rebel Wire kit
Headlight relays

Brakes:

Updgraded rear drums.
1964 front backing plates and two-way wheel cylinders.

I do have a plan for a disc brake swap that's been kicking around in my head for some time though...

Interior:

Short-term plan is to run a 1996 F-150 seat. Long-term is a sculpted bench in white vinyl.
Stock gauges and refinished steering wheel (though I just acquired a SWEET woodgrain wheel with chrome spokes). The giant hole in the dash will be filled. If budget permits I'll add a custom headliner and sound deadening. Otherwise I love the interior as-is. The Hurst floor shifter will be retained. Audio will be a simple mp3 player and amp setup. The doors are already cut for speakers and have some cool-looking metal grilles.

Exterior:

Ah, the fun part!
Repair remaining structural rust and drive it as-is, complete with non-faked patina ;)
Company logo on doors (hand-lettered, not vinyl)
Louvered hood
Long-term plan is to have the lower part shot in a satin red, with the upper being a pearl white (I have some factory colours in mind that should work well)
Tonneau cover, preferably a hard one for security so I can haul camera gear around to shows. :)

So that's it for now, hopefully in the near future I'll be able to update with some progress!

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Excrutiatingly/Ridiculously/Obscenely Slow Build Thread

Canadian-Built Ford & Mercury Truck Data: VIN Decoding


Last edited by The Big M on September 27, 2012, 4:08 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: September 27, 2012, 1:44 pm 
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looking good. i'll be following this one

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PostPosted: September 27, 2012, 1:54 pm 
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So you mean I actually have to accomplish something now? ss_pokes2.gif

:lol:

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Canadian-Built Ford & Mercury Truck Data: VIN Decoding


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PostPosted: September 27, 2012, 2:41 pm 
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yep you took the first steps of putting it on here, you're on the clock!

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PostPosted: September 27, 2012, 3:55 pm 
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I am jealous of your merc uni!! You better get it done cause it will look great when its finished!

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PostPosted: September 27, 2012, 7:13 pm 
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Sounds like you have a good plan. Now we need pics of the progress. :lol:

I think that I have to bid against that guy doing tile all the time. :( I have seen his work in Phoenix. :o

Kevin

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PostPosted: September 27, 2012, 7:31 pm 
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J: I may be able to hook you up for louvers, but it would mean bringing your hood up north....or I may be able to point you in the right direction of someone much closer to home who has the gear (Strathmore)

James

The Big M wrote:
The Plan

Exterior:

Ah, the fun part!
Repair remaining structural rust and drive it as-is, complete with non-faked patina ;)
Company logo on doors (hand-lettered, not vinyl)
Louvered hood
Long-term plan is to have the lower part shot in a satin red, with the upper being a pearl white (I have some factory colours in mind that should work well)
Tonneau cover, preferably a hard one for security so I can haul camera gear around to shows. :)

So that's it for now, hopefully in the near future I'll be able to update with some progress!


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PostPosted: September 27, 2012, 8:01 pm 
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Well if you should change your mind I know someone who would take that tailgate , upper valance and grill off your hands :D.


Rick

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PostPosted: September 27, 2012, 10:17 pm 
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Glad to see you finally got some pics up on here Jason. I am gonna stick with the 223 in my Merc as well. Let's try for Three Hills in the spring ok? At least spring of 2014... Good luck with everything!

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PostPosted: September 27, 2012, 10:37 pm 
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Brotherhood of the 223's


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PostPosted: September 28, 2012, 11:00 am 
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Kevin: He also does shelves!



:lol:

James: That'd be awesome, when the time comes for louvers I'll let you know. I'll need to do some rust and dent repair on the hood first, which is further down the list. ;)

Rick: Not a chance. I've grown rather fond of this truck. :) :lol:

Mark: Thanks, I was inspired by your post since I realized the two build styles were quite similar. Figured it was appropriate to post mine. :)

Three Hills sounds like a great goal, though 2014 is probably the more realistic timeline. ;)

I would be quite happy if I could just move it around under its own power at this point. I'm pretty sure I have enough parts stockpiled to get it to start, run, and stop, but the budget will take a hit when it comes time to get it fully roadworthy (namely glass, window seals, and tires).

Not to mention I have a few more major house projects to tackle, but we've started to make some progress in that regard. For instance, I now have a shed which really helped free up some garage space. And we replaced my wife's daily driver with a brand new vehicle under warranty, which means I don't have to touch it! :D

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Canadian-Built Ford & Mercury Truck Data: VIN Decoding


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PostPosted: September 28, 2012, 11:39 am 
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It gives me great pleasure to see Mercurys come out of the weeds just so they can be slammed right back into them :wink:

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PostPosted: December 7, 2012, 12:14 pm 
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In an effort to keep this moving I'll include a minor update. No major progress to report, but recently I was able to reclaim a good portion of the garage by moving a number of things to the new shed! This includes some random yard tools and accessories that were previously occupying the bed of my truck. :D

So that's one more small step towards it being an active project and one step away from it being a catch-all storage container!

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PostPosted: January 4, 2013, 10:19 pm 
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Sounds like quite the project, excited to watch it take shape!

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PostPosted: January 7, 2013, 2:23 pm 
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Thanks, I'm excited at the thought of getting back to it. :)

Took a major step on the house over Christmas holidays and tore out the kitchen cabinets. Got all the uppers hung so far, with five doors and two cover panels to go (hopefully done this week). After that it'll be time to finish up the base cabinets (3 remaining), followed by having the new countertop installed, doing a bit of plumbing, and dropping in the new sink.

New flooring has been on the to-do list since we moved in, and I was really debating which should be done first. We finally decided that cabinets first was the best bet, and just plowed ahead with it. The new plan is to have flooring installed in February or March. After that the major house projects will be done so that's one step closer!

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Canadian-Built Ford & Mercury Truck Data: VIN Decoding


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PostPosted: January 8, 2013, 6:16 pm 
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I remember driving past this truck everytime we went to Regina or the Farm. Always wondered what the guy was asking for it, wouldn't have mattered though, I was young enough at the time my dad would have never allowed it!

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