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Old 07-12-2020, 09:05 PM   #1
Merc Cruzer
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Default Convertible top for a 1953 Mercury

I am about to have a new correct convertible top put on my 53' Merc convertible. It appears that the back of the top, above the window, had a steel plate sewn into the top. Has anyone ever seen the piece of steel and would anyone have a picture of it. The parts book shows it as part # BA 7652740-A "steele".

Also I am thinking of doing the convertible top code # 102 - Black-Red Binding. Would any one have a picture of this combination?

Thank you.
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Old 07-13-2020, 06:27 AM   #2
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Default Re: Convertible top for a 1953 Mercury

Sorry i can't help, but love your car & the top down rides you've taken us on.
Good luck giving the ole Merc a new top hat.
mike
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Old 07-13-2020, 08:21 AM   #3
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Default Re: Convertible top for a 1953 Mercury

You might try the Benson Ford Research Center in Dearborn, MI. They may be able to supply an engineering drawing of that part.
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Old 07-13-2020, 01:11 PM   #4
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Default Re: Convertible top for a 1953 Mercury

Quote:
Originally Posted by mfirth View Post
Sorry i can't help, but love your car & the top down rides you've taken us on.
Good luck giving the ole Merc a new top hat.
mike

Thanks for your post. Once I get the interior and top done (some time in August) I will get back on making a few more videos.
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Old 07-13-2020, 01:45 PM   #5
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Default Re: Convertible top for a 1953 Mercury

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeke3 View Post
You might try the Benson Ford Research Center in Dearborn, MI. They may be able to supply an engineering drawing of that part.
I sent them the request, for the dimensions of the part. We will see what they say. Thanks for the suggestion.
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Old 07-13-2020, 02:59 PM   #6
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Default Re: Convertible top for a 1953 Mercury

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Black with red piping will look sharp ! ! JMO
Paul in CT
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Old 07-13-2020, 05:53 PM   #7
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Default Re: Convertible top for a 1953 Mercury

A friend, on 52-54 Ford/Mercury/Lincoln Facebook page, posted a 52' Mercury with the Black and Red trim, that was restored and was for sale. I originally thought the Red was stitching but it is trim.

https://car-from-uk.com/sale.php?id=...bJvAqerv7ptRqA
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File Type: jpg Conv top 1.jpg (55.9 KB, 40 views)
File Type: jpg conv top 2.jpg (75.6 KB, 36 views)
File Type: jpg conv top 3.jpg (59.3 KB, 47 views)
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Old 07-14-2020, 07:18 AM   #8
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Default Re: Convertible top for a 1953 Mercury

Convertible top "steel plate" pictures from Ryan Campbell on 52-54 Ford/Mercury/Lincoln Facebook page
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File Type: jpg 20200713_200205 - Copy.jpg (57.7 KB, 40 views)
File Type: jpg 20200713_200223 - Copy.jpg (48.8 KB, 40 views)
File Type: jpg 20200713_200232 - Copy.jpg (61.3 KB, 34 views)
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Old 07-14-2020, 11:54 AM   #9
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Default Re: Convertible top for a 1953 Mercury

Does anyone, have a parts book for a 55', that shows the convertible diagram? I am wondering was this same part "steel plate" still being used?

I found this 55-56 convertible top frame, for sale on e-bay and it appears the "steel" piece is "plastic".
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File Type: jpg 55 56 converrtible top arrow.jpg (106.1 KB, 21 views)

Last edited by Merc Cruzer; 07-14-2020 at 03:31 PM.
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Old 07-14-2020, 07:04 PM   #10
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Default Re: Convertible top for a 1953 Mercury

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeke3 View Post
You might try the Benson Ford Research Center in Dearborn, MI. They may be able to supply an engineering drawing of that part.
Jim Orr

Jul 14 2020, 06:04pm via System

Hi Mr. Lange,

Thank you for your inquiry.

As you may have heard, The Henry Ford recently reopened. However, the Benson Ford Research Center (our archives & library) is NOT part of the initial reopening. We are still working from home most days, so access to our offline collections is quite limited at the moment.

I will be happy to look to see if we have a drawing for BA-7652740-A the next time I am working on-site - probably sometime next week. If we do have the drawing in our collection, we can provide a high-res JPEG image at a cost of $30. An order form can be found here:
https://www.thehenryford.org/docs/de...order-form.pdf

I will update you when I know if we have the drawing. Thanks for your patience!

Jim Orr
Image Services Specialist, Archives & Library
The Henry Ford
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Old 07-15-2020, 09:15 AM   #11
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Default Re: Convertible top for a 1953 Mercury

The engineers must have wanted to widen that rear bow to make for a better place to pad the transition area where the back light valance is. A person could likely fabricate one but they would certainly need the thickness and pattern size. It may have to be dimpled to keep the screws flush but dimpling tools are available in a lot of sizes for the aircraft industry.

I wonder if the red trim is just hidem welt with some polished tips on the ends. This stuff is certainly available. The old cars used a lot of hidem welting.
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Old 07-15-2020, 10:38 AM   #12
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Default Re: Convertible top for a 1953 Mercury

rotorwrench,

I am waiting for the dimensions form the guy that send me the pictures. In the event that doesn't happen, I have Ford as a back up.

With the dimensions I could easily make the piece. I was thinking that they used the piece to improve the look between the last bow and the top of the window.

I agree with the dimpling metal at the location of the flathead screws, to make the heads flush. What it did find interesting was the top frame on e-bay for the 55', as it looks like a piece of plastic was used rather than steel.

The red trim seem to be a piece of welting on the front and the last bow of the top along with wrapping the seams on the side.

Sometimes getting this all correct is a pain in the butt, but I have always liked the challenge, and since I have the time, correct is the only way to do it.

Speaking of engineers, that is my Dad on the far left. I guess I should have started this project a few years back, it would have been so much easier to just ask. I still have some of his design drawings.
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Last edited by Merc Cruzer; 07-15-2020 at 10:46 AM.
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Old 07-15-2020, 10:54 AM   #13
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Default Re: Convertible top for a 1953 Mercury

Suspect the strip was used to help in removing any 'sag' at the zipper when the rear window was un-zipped and down.
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Old 07-15-2020, 06:04 PM   #14
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Default Re: Convertible top for a 1953 Mercury

I think if I was going to fabricate something like that, I would consider using aluminum instead of steel. A lot depends on the thickness needed but aircraft aluminum is available in a lot of different thicknesses and it's a lot easier to work than steel. Both steel and most aluminum alloys will corrode but it would just need to be painted. Zinc Phosphate primer is easy to get but I still used Zinc Chromate and wear a respirator. Aircraft Spruce is a source for these rattle can primers. Any color of paint could be used but Black was likely common for most top iron equipment unless it shows inside. It would then have to match the color of the interior part of the top.

The front header and the rear bow are usually where the top it tacked down by use of a tack strip. The hidem welt is made just for that so that the tack heads will not be visible down inside the hidem welt. Some trimmers use staples too but either will work for preference.

Last edited by rotorwrench; 07-15-2020 at 06:11 PM.
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Old 07-16-2020, 09:19 AM   #15
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Default Re: Convertible top for a 1953 Mercury

I did get the dimensions (2 1/4" X 40 9/16"). The owner of the car guessed the thickness at 18-20 gauge. I am thinking that 20 gauge should be stiff enough, since the piece is curved to match the bow. Minimal weight added to the top structure, but stiff enough to maintain its shape, without distortion.

Just a quick mock-up, using flashing, to see how far down the piece comes. It appears to be the width of the zipper.
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Last edited by Merc Cruzer; 07-16-2020 at 11:35 AM.
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Old 07-16-2020, 12:04 PM   #16
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Default Re: Convertible top for a 1953 Mercury

Spotted this pic in which the rear window configuration seems to conform to the parts drawing whereas yours does not. Wonder why?
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File Type: jpg conv2.jpg (186.6 KB, 69 views)
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Old 07-16-2020, 03:56 PM   #17
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Default Re: Convertible top for a 1953 Mercury

Maybe because his is cloth (correct) and mine is vinyl (not correct). The vinyl tops also have a single horseshoe zipper configuration, where as the correct one had a three zipper configuration.
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File Type: jpg DSCN4789.jpg (36.0 KB, 15 views)

Last edited by Merc Cruzer; 07-16-2020 at 05:44 PM.
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Old 07-17-2020, 06:38 PM   #18
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Default Re: Convertible top for a 1953 Mercury

I now have all the information I need to duplicate the "piece" in question. It is 2 1/4" high by 40 9/16" wide, and is made out of 16 gauge steel. The first hole is 3/8" on center, to the top and left edge. 13 screws, each 3 1/2" on center from the other. #10 3/4" sheet metal screws.

Trip to DenCol to pick up the piece, drill the holes and install, after I get I get a new taking strip to put in the valley on the left, where this mounts.

Not sure if anyone is still following this, but if you are, now you have the answer.
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File Type: jpg DSCN0052.jpg (56.7 KB, 5 views)
File Type: jpg 20200718_103852 -1.jpg (57.2 KB, 5 views)
File Type: jpg 20200718_103913 - 1.jpg (47.2 KB, 5 views)

Last edited by Merc Cruzer; 07-26-2020 at 12:42 PM.
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Old 07-24-2020, 08:48 PM   #19
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Default Re: Convertible top for a 1953 Mercury

Bought the metal, drilled the holes, primed it, painted it and installed it on the car. Will put the top back together tomorrow.
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File Type: jpg DSCN0140.jpg (117.7 KB, 13 views)
File Type: jpg DSCN0141.jpg (43.4 KB, 12 views)
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