Digging Deep Into a Radiator

Pic3RemovingLowerRadiatorHoseIts Micah here and I am going to tell you about some of the things that I did on the radiator and some of the experiences that I had with the 1963 s22 comet. Lets get to the point. When I first got the car I said to my dad, I was like, “Dad how am I going to do this if I don’t know much about the car”? Then my dad said: “Well I think this is a good time to learn about the car and learn some basic things to do on a car in case your car broke down or something happened”. So when we first got the car home, we heard a spraying sound.  I asked, “what is that?” and my dad said, “it sounds like the radiator.” We looked underneath the the hood and we found that the radiator was leaking so then we had to replace it.  So my dad and I had to take out the radiator. I first started out holding the screw bag and then I said “can I do something more exiting”? So he said “Ok, you get under the radiator and remove the lower radiator hose.”  I also took off the upper radiator hose. Then I helped loosen the bolts to the bracket holding the radiator.  Pic4RadiatorOut

Here it is!

A funny part was when my dad took off the transmission cooler lines.  He got transmission fluid on his shirt.



Rolling Up the Window

The first thing we tackled after getting the car back from Dakota Tire was getting that driver’s side window to roll back up.  The process was fairly straightforward.  We purchased a clip remover tool from Autozone and removed the window crank.  Then we pulled the door panel.  Then we unscrewed the chrome trim and gently peeled back the plastic sheeting.  Once that was done, we unbolted the actuator.  Getting it out was tricky.  We had to feed it back and up to the left so that the main crank portion could be fed down and to the right and out the cut-out in the sheet metal.  It was then that we noticed the plastic wheel/roller that was to go into the track, to crank the window up or down, had broken.  The one plastic piece on the whole set up and, of course, that’s what broke.  Furthermore, it wasn’t the first time it had broken.  There was some kind of epoxy on the portion that fell into the bottom of the door and on the portion left on the actuator.  Someone had fixed this rather than replace the roller.  Well, someone had tried to fix it.  We ordered a new one from falconparts.com and once it arrived, put it on and put it all back together.  It definitely would’ve been harder by myself.  Having Micah line up the roller in the track while I bolted the actuator into place was a huge help.  Then, Micah put on trim while I tackled some cleaning.  Here’s a picture of Micah screwing the trim back on:


On Monday, you will read a post from Micah himself (and see some more pictures)!

Getting the Car Home

When we decided to trailer the car home, due to a mouse smell (this thing had sat for years in a quonset) I made sure both windows were rolled down.  Later, when it looked like it might rain during the last hour of our drive, I pulled over to crank them up and the driver’s side simply made a loud clank and wouldn’t roll the window up.  I knew that wasn’t good.  So, we added that to the repair list.

When we got to Fargo, we went straight to Dakota Tire to get a new set of tires.  The ones on the car were severely dry rotted.  In fact, when I first test drove this car on Father’s Day, I wouldn’t let Micah go with.  The car barely started (thank you starter fluid) but the real problem was the tires.  I told him, “It would be bad enough to see your dad crash and/or die on father’s day.  You don’t need to die with him on father’s day.”  Of course, I didn’t plan on going that fast, so I chuckled as I said that, but I did need to get it going fast enough that I could feel the handling and, more importantly, see how the two speed “Merc-o-matic” shifted.  Dakota Tire mounted and balanced four tires, threw a fifth in the trunk (no spare rim came with the car), and dropped in a new fuel tank for me.  The mechanic even threw in a carb kit, though I hadn’t asked for that.  So, here’s a shout out to Dakota Tire for going the extra mile for a customer!

Anyhow, after getting the car back from Dakota Tire, we purchased a new rubber gas tank hose from A-1 Radiator and then drove it home.  The blinkers worked by the tail lights didn’t light up when the brakes were pressed.  There was no leakage of brake fluid but the pedal was a bit spongy and the system needs to be bled.  At the time, I was thinking either the pressure switch on the master cylinder was bad since there was still enough pressure to stop and it should’ve been lighting up the brake lights.  Anyhow, mom followed us home to help prevent being rear ended.

Once home, we knew we had to tackle the window.  I’ll cover that in my next post (and include a picture).

The Beginning of a Father-Son Project

This is our first post in a series dedicated to the restoration of a 1963 Comet.  We should note that our level of restoration will be “street.”  We are not building a trailer queen here.  We are building a late spring to early fall daily driver.  Here is the day we picked this up, having purchased this vehicle near the end of June.  This is a 1963 Mercury Comet 2 door sedan with the S-22 trim (special badging, bucket seats with console, six rocket-engine-like tail lights rather than four).  It took some searching for us to find a vehicle that was affordable but still solid.  At one point, we had even considered a four door 1960s Buick but we stayed the course.  We were seeking a two door that balanced unique design features with affordable and available after market parts.  The ’63 Comet proved to be just the thing–the wonderful design of Ford Motor Company’s Mercury line with available and affordable mechanical parts.  The body is solid, the interior in generally good condition, and the electrical and mechanical is all there.  The price was right, too.  Here’s a snapshot of Micah standing in front of it after it was put on the trailer:


We rented a Uhaul trailer to pull behind our 2010 Nissan Frontier.  The Frontier pulled it easily.  It’s nice to have a truck but even nicer when it’s pulling home a barn find 1963 Mercury!