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Discussion Starter #1
I've been watching this forum for a while and just got approved today so this is my first post.Earlier this summer my daughter decided I should build a hot rod so that's what this thread is all about.
This old Merc coupe sat in the same spot in a pasture since 1962. I checked it out and there's several 30 cal bullet holes but no rust at all. I was impressed so I went and got it free for the taking. I knew of a 4 door Merc too so got it for parts. Gotta love that picker truck! Everybody should have one!
I wondered about that caved in roof so got in and put my shoulders against the low spot and pushed up hard. There was a pop and it mostly popped out. A few more pushes on the low spots and it was back to shape. You'd never do that with a newer one.
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
A neighbour gave me a couple of 75 F150s with 460s and C6s. One of them was rebuilt 10000 miles ago so it's going into the Merc! I had this 85 460 lying around with the C6 so I tried it for fit. It needs to be mounted a little farther back so I cut the lower firewall away and tried again and it looks about right. I took the power steering box out of the half ton and checked it for fit too. Everything looks like it'll work too and it gives a little more clearance by the exhaust which helps too. The rear sump pan is what's needed so I'll use this one off the 85.
 

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Hot rods need four speeds so I took the top loader OD out of this old Fox bodied Mustang. My brother put a 351W with the toploader in it 20 some years ago but the body rotted away so now it's just parts. On the back of the truck that's the 75 460 on the left then a 72 429 for parts then the 351 and toploader. I got a bellhousing and clutch etc off a 351M that should work. The flywheel won't but I'm told a 390 flywheel will work.
The 75 parts truck had a 9 inch posi but it's too wide for the Merc. I measured our 66 Merc half ton and it's the right width so I picked up one of them. It's a 3.89 or so ratio so I'm putting the gears on the posi but the 66 is 28 splines so I've got to go pick up a 71 half ton assembly that will have the right width 31 spline axles I presume. I think the 3.89s will work OK with the OD.
Now for the engine. First I have to change to the rear sump oil pan for steering clearance. Rear sumps are better anyway since you don't need baffles to contain the oil around the pickup under hard acceleration.
It's got D3VE heads and I have a few spare sets the same so I might use them. The 429 has D2VEs with no quench area so they're no good. I'd like D0VEs for the higher compression so will keep my eyes open and who knows what'll show up. Either way the exhaust ports will get some major port work before I change them.
The 429 intake doesn't have EGR or the like but it has a Motorcraft carb on it. I removed the carb to put it in the parts shelves and was surprised to see it's a Holley pattern manifold. It must have been pretty gutless since the secondaries couldn't open. I have a Holley three barrel that I'll use. I'm not sure if it's the 950 or 1050 cfm version but either should work. I realize there's better carbs out there but if you say you've got a three barrel, you'll usually get an "A what?" response.
I'm not sure what cam I'll use but it'll be flat juice lifters and likely a Lunati or the like. I'd like something that'll idle around 1300 with a certain lope for effect. The Merc'll be mainly street and highway driven so I don't need anything too extreme but the four speed tames a cam down a bit anyway.
I think I'll stick with the older exhaust manifolds and run 2.5 or 3 inch lakes pipes set into the rocker panels then Magnaflow's dual muffler system with the H pipe built in mounted crosswise ahead of the rear end with tailpipes exiting under the bumper.
For motor mounts I'll need to use a front mounted engine plate. Do you bolt the plate to the holes in the front of the heads or use the water pump bolts? The head route looks like it'd be stronger.
 

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SCORE! I predict that you'll love that body, I've had a fistful of old bodies and they all are he** for stout! Looks like you're on the right track with the transplant..rear sump, good..PS, good.....4 speed, good.....3 BBL....now THAT'S old school! Yes, if you use a front plate, it mounts to the water pump/timing cover bolts. Summit or Jegs sells an aluminum unit that should work great for your power level, if not, a 1/4" or 1/2" piece of 6061 T-6 aluminum is what you need. Looks like your fabrication skills are up to the task. Do alot of careful measuring and use the water pump gasket as a bolt pattern template, it's not too hard, I've made a bunch or front and mid plates over the years. Sounds like you're going to mix a little old school with some 60's ideas.......NICE! Keep us posted, I'm sure there are alot of people on here that will cream their shorts over this build! Good luck and don't be afraid to ask alot of questions!
Rob
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I've been kicking around some ideas on brakes. I'm keeping the stock suspension and maybe lowering it a bit. First I'll have to see how far down the 460 puts the front end then lower the back to suit. I imagine there'll be around 400 pounds more on the front than the flattie had so that should squash it 3 or 4 inches.
I thought of using the F150 rotors and hubs but the Merc uses bigger outer bearings. That surprised me. The back drums off the F150 are 2.25" x 11" compared to the Merc's 1.75" x 11" and they fit the hubs. I can modify the 150s backing plates to fit by drilling new holes and making a 1/4" spacer to go between the backing plates and the spindles. That puts the shoes in the right place. These larger brakes also fit the 66 rear end so I'll end up with 2.25" brakes all around. I'll use a 66 master cylinder on a 75 power booster and that should bring her to a halt if needs be.
 

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Cool build!

"I'm not sure if it's the 950 or 1050 cfm version but either should work. I realize there's better carbs out there but if you say you've got a three barrel, you'll usually get an "A what?" response."
I have a 1050 3-barrel I use on occasion for the same reason! The difference is in the secondaries. 1050 has (for the booster) a tube that is angled downward and closer together, and a 950 has boosters like the primary.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
I found a 390 flywheel then the 351M clutch wouldn't fit. The bolt circle was about 1/4 " different so I bought a 390 clutch setup. Now everything fit together so I bolted on the toploader and lowered it into the hole. I'm making the front engine plate out of 3/16" steel. I'm going to gusset it where the mounting pads stick ahead and run a couple of braces back to the motor mount bolts to strengthen it a bit more. I'll use the old Ford puck type rubber mounts in the holes that are already in the frame.`The motor has to move ahead a few inches in the picture.
I want to use the Merc dash but the gauges were kind of ratty. I had a set of Auto Meter gauges and it took only minor mods to make them fit. They look pretty good too.
 

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SAWEEEEEET!!!!!!! Keep it up! That front plate even looks like something the factory would have used back then......SAWEET!
Rob
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I added the gussets to the engine mount plate and prettied it up a bit. The engine is in the right place in this pic.
Re comments about old school, I'm old school all the way! My first hot rod was a 57 Belvedere hardtop that I dropped a 354 hemi into.
My engine plate is a lot like the ones Hurst used to make to install different engines in old Fords. It woked then so it should work now.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
The engine is in its proper place now. I had to remove some of the vertical part of the X member to make room for the shift linkage. I'll box the member to restore its strength. I bolted the shift lever on backwards and it'll work with a little bit of bending. The seat'll move back a few inches too.
The motor sits a few inches farther back than I thought it would but that's not entirely a bad thing. With a motor this heavy, a little farther back makes the car a lot more balanced. The firewall will be about 4 inches farther back than stock. The exhaust will have to go through the frame rails to get to the Lakes pipes so I'll have to do some boxing and stuff to strengthen it there. Are there any manifolds that dump farther ahead on the passenger side? With the rad in the stock position I won't be able to use a viscous fan, but a solid one should fit with a short extension.
On the underneath shot you can see that the oil sump and bellhousing aren't too low, which is also a good thing. They don't protrude below the frame rails so shouldn't scrub off.
The serpentine crank pulley is off a 302 and I'll use the rest of the 302 stuff too. The water pump pulley just needs the center hole drilled bigger and a few of the bolts on the power steering and alternator mounts will work. A couple of home made braces and it should all work. I think I'll put air in it too.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I've got these old supermarket mags from the early seventies lying around and think they'll suit the old Merc just fine. The fronts are 7" wide and the rears are 10" wide. I did the measuring thing and it looks like the 10s will have a couple of inches clearance on both sides and will centre in the wheel wells with the 72 9" rear end. How could things get better than that?
Now I just have to find a set of wheel nuts to fit the Ford pickup studs. They have a tapered shank and are 3/4" diameter at the big end of the taper and 5/8" at the small end. The washers have a 3/4" hole.
Can anybody point me in the right direction to find a set?
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Who needs a hoist when you've got an old picker truck?
I have to put the rear suspension off the 4 door onto the coupe so I can get it into my garage before the snowballs start flying. I'd planned on keeping the stock rear suspension but on closer inspection it doesn't look beefy enough to do the job. It handles the weight but 450 hp or so might tear it up. S10 springs are the same length and the leaves are wider and thicker (and tougher) so I might go with some of them. I'll use the mounting brackets too since there's not much to the Merc stuff strength wise. They're ripped off the coupe and it only ran for 12 years or so. The heavier spring leaves should help to control spring wrap a bit too. The S10 springs are a bit flatter too so it'll sit a little lower. I think I'll leave the overload leaves on too. For traction bars I'll use a set of those slapper bars cause they don't affect the ride like ladder bars do.
On the mag nuts thing I'm going to weld up the slotted holes and have them drilled for ordinary mag nuts on the Merc (or Ford half ton) bolt pattern.
 

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Thats gonna be killer car. Man you are off to a good start.:D
 

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STOP! Don't weld on those mags! The slots are for multiple bolt circles. I promise you that if you just get the right mag lug nut (depth and thread size) and a mag nut washer it will work fine. I've used a plethora of those type wheels back in the day and they fit everything! Besides, if those wheels are actually Magnesium (which they may be) I guarantee you don't want to get them hot enough to catch fire....if they do, DO NOT TRY TO PUT OUT THE FIRE WITH WATER! The oxygen in the water makes a Magnesium fire even worse. Smother it instead. And if they are cast aluminum (which I suspect they are) then they won't weld worth a tinkers hoo-rah any way. As far as the lug nuts are concerned, the tapered shaft is just to facilitate starting the nut through the mag wheel. I strongly suspect that a straight shouldered one will work for you. Most passenger car and light trucks from the 40's on up have a 1/2"-24 thread. Hope that helps.
Rob
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I bolted the 9" onto the stock Merc rear springs and put on a couple of pickup wheels. It looks like I'll have to narrow the rear end about 3 inches for the mags to work.
Next I put on the front hubs and a couple more pickup wheels. I'm surprised that the 460 doesn't squash the front suspension down more than that. I guess I'll have to cut a coil off the front springs and see where that sits her.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
The bolts and the holes are tapered for their full depth, an inch or so. There are plates that go behind the wheels with the various patterns on it, but the 5 on 5 1/2 isn't one of them! I suppose a mill cutter could make straight sided holes the right pattern and use more normal wheel nuts and washers.
Everything we used the wheels on, except a Baja VW cut down pickup, was a chore to run them, they were always coming loose.
 

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Well, I cut a coil off the front springs and it didn't make much difference so I whacked another one off. The front end is about where I want it so I've just got to get the rear at about the same height now.
 

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Well, I cut a coil off the front springs and it didn't make much difference so I whacked another one off. The front end is about where I want it so I've just got to get the rear at about the same height now.
Hey! Did Bonnie & Clyde drive that car at one time. :)


Looks good
 
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