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Old 08-09-2018, 11:54 AM   #21
mh_merc
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Default Re: ‘39 Merc All Terrain Vehicle???

[QUOTE

So, the question is this: what period (40’s era) upgrades can be done to the Merc to improve it’s hill climbing ability? The drivetrain is rock solid on the ‘39 and on highways and surface streets, I don’t have a single complaint.

Weird request, I know, but I’m interested to hear what you guys come up with.
[/QUOTE]
Here's an example of how Marmon-Herrington did it:


[IMG][/IMG]
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Old 08-09-2018, 05:41 PM   #22
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Default Re: ‘39 Merc All Terrain Vehicle???

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The light-duty M-H transfer cases were single-range, either engaged full-time - with no shift lever - (the CV joints free-wheeled on curves), or could be shifted from that funtion (called "COMPENSATING") to locked into "POSITIVE DRIVE" (no freewheeling) for loose traction situations. In either case, the hubs stayed engaged.




Woah. I had no idea such a creature existed. Super neat.
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Old 08-09-2018, 05:53 PM   #23
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Default Re: ‘39 Merc All Terrain Vehicle???

From what I understand, the transfer case has an early version compensator drive unit that allows the front axle to slip free of the drive system. More modern set ups are like a differential to a certain degree but those set ups were more like a detroit locker by comparison. When you turn sharply while it's shifted into compensating drive, it starts slipping like a rachet does. It makes a noise that sort of sounds that way but it allows one unit to rotate at a different rpm than the other. As long as you drive relatively straight, it makes no noise. They may have made noise but they did function OK.
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Old 08-09-2018, 10:13 PM   #24
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Default Re: ‘39 Merc All Terrain Vehicle???

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[/IMG]

Man this is sooo great! Love it.


Love the 40's merc grills too. Had a ford 42 sedan with a similar grill. Very nice vehicle!
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Old 08-09-2018, 10:18 PM   #25
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Default Re: ‘39 Merc All Terrain Vehicle???

Too the op poster. Drive it, post pictures, and enjoy.
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Old 08-10-2018, 04:57 AM   #26
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Default Re: ‘39 Merc All Terrain Vehicle???

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Old Henry drives his late 40s Ford over all sorts of unpaved roads. His car is all stock and has good reliability, except for possibly tyre problems.

There are lots of videos on youtube.

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Old 08-11-2018, 02:22 PM   #27
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Woah. I had no idea such a creature existed. Super neat.
So is your '39!
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Old 08-11-2018, 02:29 PM   #28
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Man this is sooo great! Love it.


Love the 40's merc grills too. Had a ford 42 sedan with a similar grill. Very nice vehicle!
THANKS! My first woodie was a '42. A M-H clone was made a few years ago, but unfortunately was lost in one of those terrible fires in Calif. last year.

[IMG][/IMG]
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Old 08-11-2018, 02:44 PM   #29
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Default Re: ‘39 Merc All Terrain Vehicle???

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From what I understand, the transfer case has an early version compensator drive unit that allows the front axle to slip free of the drive system. More modern set ups are like a differential to a certain degree but those set ups were more like a detroit locker by comparison. When you turn sharply while it's shifted into compensating drive, it starts slipping like a rachet does. It makes a noise that sort of sounds that way but it allows one unit to rotate at a different rpm than the other. As long as you drive relatively straight, it makes no noise. They may have made noise but they did function OK.
I can't comment on the driving characteristics in COMPENSATING DRIVE; it was apparently removed from my t-case to prevent wear (it did bind, skip and complain in POSITIVE DRIVE the one time I tested it on dry pavement). Here's how M-H explained it:
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Old 08-11-2018, 05:11 PM   #30
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Default Re: ‘39 Merc All Terrain Vehicle???

Interesting thread!
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Old 08-11-2018, 06:11 PM   #31
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Default Re: ‘39 Merc All Terrain Vehicle???

Thanks for that MH information MH Merc. I figured that drive compensator set up would look something like that. It has the dogs for direct and the rachet for a free wheeling affect. Sprag clutch technology was just starting to show up when the Lincoln cars got those first overdrive transmissions but that was a simpler way to deal with the problem at the time. Those CV joints were way ahead of there time. Most front wheel drive cars use the same technology now.
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Old 08-11-2018, 09:17 PM   #32
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Cool stuff, huh? I've had my Merc over 28 years - it's been really fun collecting and learning about M-H history.
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Old 08-11-2018, 11:44 PM   #33
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Default Re: ‘39 Merc All Terrain Vehicle???

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There were different first gear ratio transmission gear sets with lower first gear
yes a pickup had a lower first and second gear.with my 36 pickup first gear was just to get it moving, and second you could do 25 mph. that was with a 411. now i have a 39 trans with taller first and second gear
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Old 08-11-2018, 11:52 PM   #34
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Default Re: ‘39 Merc All Terrain Vehicle???

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THANKS! My first woodie was a '42. A M-H clone was made a few years ago, but unfortunately was lost in one of those terrible fires in Calif. last year.

[IMG][/IMG]
i have seen your car, it sure was beautiful, sorry that you lost it
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Old 08-12-2018, 02:41 AM   #35
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Default Re: ‘39 Merc All Terrain Vehicle???

I remembered the constant velocity joint is referred to as a Rzeppa joint. intrigued by the history I googled it and it turns out Harry Rzeppa was a Ford employee and patented the design in 1926 or 1927.

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Old 08-12-2018, 09:12 AM   #36
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i have seen your car, it sure was beautiful, sorry that you lost it
Thanks, but that one wasn't mine - just comparing Ford and Merc differences. My old '42 still lives back east somewhere.
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Old 08-12-2018, 10:27 AM   #37
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Default Re: ‘39 Merc All Terrain Vehicle???

Back to the original question: Some performance upgrades to the engine would surely help - with more compression (tighter head to piston quench) being the easiest one to do.

If I'm correct, the 39-40 Mercury had a somewhat unique rear-end situation - with a solid/integral drive shaft and pinion (like a Model A). Changing the rear-end ratio would require a whole new Mercury only driveshaft/pinion and ring gear setup. I don't see this as an option.

A Columbia will not help your situation at all (it will provide over-drive ratios) - if just used with what you already have.

Another solution would be to change the rear end to a 4.11 or 4.44 rear ratio with the more "normal" Ford style ring and pinion - which would help your hill climbs, but make highway cruising speeds lower. I'm not sure if a 4.11/4.44 set of Ford gears could be used with the Mercury banjo (anybody know?). Then you'd need to cut/customize the original Merc driveshaft to have a "coupler" like the Fords used.

On top of the above, then you could add a Columbia setup - to give you "highway gears" in addition to your hill climb gears. These rear ends were the best original style solution in that everything works with your current chassis/frame/transmission setup.


The downside of the 4.11/4.44 plus Columbia deal is that there is a lot of time and expense involved . . . Columbia rears (correctly rebuilt) are not cheap by any means.


Good luck - glad to see you out there having fun with your ole' Merc . . . cool as Hell what you're up too!


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Old 08-13-2018, 04:19 PM   #38
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Default Re: ‘39 Merc All Terrain Vehicle???

Are you sure the rear end is a 3:78? A lot of the Mercs came with 3:54 rears which would make it difficult on the hills. I have a 32 with 18" rubber, stock 85 (35) and a 3:78 that will climb hills very well and easily run 65 mph. I have Columbia's in my later stock flathead cars with 4:11 gears that will climb any mountain around here.
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