Interior Door Restoration On A 1960 Mercury Comet 4 Door Sedan, Part 2 – San Diego, California

After rebuilding the door hinges and window regulators, it was time to start stripping and prepping the doors for paint. The doors had surface rust, so I made sure to take the doors down to bare metal especially in those areas. Afterwards, the doors were sprayed with red oxide self etching primer before paint. The customer had custom upholstery installed on the seats, so I matched the paint color to the dark red part of the seat upholstery. While the paint was drying, I repaired the broken lower door glass tracks and door locks. The driver’s lower door track was broken, but was too thin to weld back together. ¬†I made a u section and riveted over the two pieces. Then, I bought some universal¬† u-channel felts, and riveted them to the track. It was not the best design in the world, but I guess that was all that Ford could come up with at the time. The driver’s side door lock was broken at the extension area, so I installed a new matched set. The door locks sets are available for the 1960-1963 Mercury Comets and Ford Falcons, but the lock extensions are used only. Luckily, I was able to find one at Hilltop Classics in Escondido. The other issue I ran into was the ignition cylinder. Although the lock sets are for 1960-1963, the ignition key cylinder only fits 1965-1966 Ford ignition switches. This Comet had the early style, but the later switch will plug in. If your using the original ignition bezel, it will have to modified for the later cylinder as well.

The most time consuming part of the whole project were the vent windows. The early vent window frames are as thin as coat hangers, and can easily break. The first issue was that the vent windows were packed with black silicone. I had to carefully cut away the silicone to remove them from the doors without damaging the paint or the vent frames. Then, before I could disassemble them, I had remove the rest of the silicone. Everything was salvageable except the vent window frame pivot brackets. They were made of thin cast metal, and were broken. They are very hard to find, but I managed to find a pair of 1964 Comet vent windows that had them. They turned out to be a stronger design than the earlier ones. The door glass lower channels needed some attention too. The rubber was dry rotted, and the metal was rusted. I cleaned them out really well, and re-set them in new rubber. They have to set up for a few hours before use. The least technical parts of the project were the inside door handle mechanisms. The driver’s side was broken, and is not available new. However, the 1965 – 1966 Mustang standard mechanisms will fit, but it will have to be shimmed inwards. The most obvious difference is that the Falcon/Comet is square, and the Mustang one is triangular. Once the insides of the doors were installed, I had to adjust all the door glass tracks and u-channels. This is the least fun part. All the door u-channels overlap one another, and are made out of different materials. In some areas the new material are so thick that the glass does not move easily. After a little swearing, they worked easier. Overtime, the materials will settle, and future re-adjustments may be needed. The last part was making the water shields, and re-installing the door panels. I decided to make them out of thick plastic like on newer cars. They will protect the door panels from moisture better than the paper originals. The rear doors will be done on a later date.

If your doors sag, need repairs, or need restoration please call Classic Resto Garage at 619-929-8506 or email david@classicrestogarage.com

Happy Cruising!

posted by inlinesix in 1960-1964 Mercury Comet and have No Comments