1963 Comet Custom Build Thread

The Round Body, Finned Comets
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JCBond
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1963 Comet Custom Build Thread

Post by JCBond »

Hi All,
I thought I would start a build thread as I work through this Mercury Comet. I got it around the first of October 2020. It is a 1963 Comet Custom 2 door Hardtop Coupe. It originally had a 260 2b with a 3 speed on the column. Now it has a 302 with a 3 speed on the floor. I got it from a junkyard around here. I was looking for parts for my 1970 Cutlass and drove by it many times. One time I stopped and looked at it, and then asked the guy what he wanted for it. Someone tried to remove the dash but didn't make it. The dash was hanging on the steering column. Most of the knobs were intact and the original radio was laying on the floor. The odometer says 10621.

It does not have the original seats. PO put later model bucket seats in. The rear seat may be original. All the chrome and trim and mirrors were in the trunk. All the glass is good.

The floor is rusted out pretty bad. PO hacked in some sheet metal with pop rivets and screws. There is no significant rust on the body, and the underside looks pretty good.

Here is where it sat for 15 years after the junkyard guy got it. And the interior.
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Last edited by JCBond on Tue Nov 17, 2020 6:44 pm, edited 2 times in total.

lavron
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Re: 1963 Comet Custom Build Thread

Post by lavron »

Cool, floors are not that big a deal IMO, it is worth saving for sure.

See Ya,
Mike
Mike's build thread
viewtopic.php?f=9&t=13058
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JCBond
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Re: 1963 Comet Custom Build Thread

Post by JCBond »

I started out by tearing all the wire out and getting a new wiring harness. I got all that in and painted the dash and doors and under the hood while I had torn apart. I chose 1972 Pontiac Martinique Blue poly as a final color.

Here's the blue poly color.
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I did not have the original seats. I found some white seats out of a 1978 Mercury Zephyr. Here's some shots of the interior after I started working on it. I got the dash all cleaned up and wired back in. I'm even driving around a little right now.
'
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JCBond
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Re: 1963 Comet Custom Build Thread

Post by JCBond »

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I started out by getting it running good.. The PO had done some shoddy work here and there. Things like a homemade alternator bracket, an air hose fitting screwed into the carburetor gas line, a homemade throttle assembly, the brake light switch was electrical taped on the lower steering column with a leatherman used as a base to hold it, etc. It also has air shocks and stuff done to the rear end that I don't know what they're called. Here's a pic
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I put a new autolite 2100 on it, replaced all the hoses, replaced the distributor, and all the electronics I got it started and timed it. It runs pretty good now. I got an alternator bracket from Speedway and a new throttle assembly and pedal from Speedway.

I got all the dash components hooked back up like the heater and wiper and headlight knobs and all the heater and defrost stuff. Most of it was already there but I had to go down to the junkyard and pulled stuff off of a ford flacon and some ford Rancheros.
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lavron
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Re: 1963 Comet Custom Build Thread

Post by lavron »

JCBond wrote:
Tue Nov 17, 2020 11:48 am
The PO had done some shoddy work here and there. Things like a homemade alternator bracket, an air hose fitting screwed into the carburetor gas line, a homemade throttle assembly, the brake light switch was electrical taped on the lower steering column with a leatherman used as a base to hold it, etc.
I promise everyone I never owned this Comet :P (If I did I would still have it :P )
JCBond wrote:
Tue Nov 17, 2020 11:48 am
It also has air shocks and stuff done to the rear end that I don't know what they're called.
Air shocks is what they are called, most times added to compensate for sagging springs.

Cool Comet just the same.

See Ya,
Mike
Mike's build thread
viewtopic.php?f=9&t=13058
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popscomet
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Re: 1963 Comet Custom Build Thread

Post by popscomet »

that's a true diamond in the rough,,and you have flat got it on the right road to recovery,,,well done ! pop
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Joe Travers
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Re: 1963 Comet Custom Build Thread

Post by Joe Travers »

Good start, JC!

Looks like you're running the one wire Delco alternator? I like the bracket setup, looks nice and clean.
I need to junk the aftermarket setup I have with the turnbuckle tensioner, get it back to the stock steel.
I have a slight alignment issue there with the occasional squeal during startup.
What source did you use for mounting brackets?

Thanks!

JT
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1963 1/2 Custom Hardtop
342 stroker, solid roller, T-10, 3.55 posi

JCBond
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Re: 1963 Comet Custom Build Thread

Post by JCBond »

Got the brackets from Speedway. Yea they worked great. I bought a new alternator for it as well.
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Joe Travers
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Re: 1963 Comet Custom Build Thread

Post by Joe Travers »

Got the part #.

Thanks buddy!

JT
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1963 1/2 Custom Hardtop
342 stroker, solid roller, T-10, 3.55 posi

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Jims65cyclone
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Re: 1963 Comet Custom Build Thread

Post by Jims65cyclone »

JCBond wrote:
Tue Nov 17, 2020 11:48 am
It also has air shocks and stuff done to the rear end that I don't know what they're called.
It also has aftermarket adjustable spring shackles. Those, combined with the air shocks, were probably added to compensate for sagging springs, and maybe to try to stuff some bigger tires under the rear.
Looks like a great project, and you're making a lot of progress.

Jim
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tomb22
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Re: 1963 Comet Custom Build Thread

Post by tomb22 »

Very nice project. Glade you rescued it. Looking forward to seeing what else you will do to it. keep the pictures coming.
tom
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tomb's 65

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Joe Travers
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Re: 1963 Comet Custom Build Thread

Post by Joe Travers »

Jims65cyclone wrote:
Tue Nov 17, 2020 9:27 pm
It also has aftermarket adjustable spring shackles. Those, combined with the air shocks, were probably added to compensate for sagging springs, and maybe to try to stuff some bigger tires under the rear.
The early cars have 2" leaf springs and a low rear stance. Something I'm going back to eventually for a smoother ride.
Floor shifter, air shocks, traction bars, long shackles....someone's old hot rod Merc in the late 60s- 70s, I'm guessing.
Back when everyone was trying to get the funny car look on the street. 'Big Daddy' Ed Roth look. 8)

JT
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1963 1/2 Custom Hardtop
342 stroker, solid roller, T-10, 3.55 posi

lavron
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Re: 1963 Comet Custom Build Thread

Post by lavron »

Joe Travers wrote:
Tue Nov 17, 2020 10:28 pm
someone's old hot rod Merc in the late 60s- 70s, I'm guessing.
Back when everyone was trying to get the funny car look on the street. 'Big Daddy' Ed Roth look.
My sister dated a guy in HS (1970s) with a Torino jacked up in the rear and big tires, I bet the rear bumper was 4' off the ground and I don't think you could see out the rear window, my dad finally ran that guy off :roll: :P seems there were death threats involved :shock: but that is another story.

I like mine low and menacing-looking even if it is just a 6 cylinder (which is pretty menacing in its own right) glad the jacked-up rear look is done, you know that had to wreak havoc on front-end geometry.

See Ya,
Mike
Mike's build thread
viewtopic.php?f=9&t=13058
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popscomet
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Re: 1963 Comet Custom Build Thread

Post by popscomet »

there was a lot of headlight adjusting,,or they drove with headlights on bright,,but never bothered on coming traffic....they just lite the pavement 15ft in front of them . I was around back then,,but I never bought in on that fad..that's a bumper on front,,not a snow plow....pop
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JCBond
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Re: 1963 Comet Custom Build Thread

Post by JCBond »

Got some floor pans welded in. First time I've ever done that.
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