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Old 06-04-2021, 02:36 PM   #1
Mikko_
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Default My '53 Customline

Some pictures of my Customline.
Got it inspected and titled here in Sweden a few days ago and this evening I made the first longer testdrive, about 20 miles.

It's running great, oil pressure is good and it doesn't overheat.

Not bad I think for a car thats been sitting in a shed in California for the last 30 + years.
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Old 06-04-2021, 03:24 PM   #2
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Default Re: My '53 Customline

Looks and sounds good !! When did you get it in Ca. and how did you ship it??
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Old 06-04-2021, 03:38 PM   #3
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Default Re: My '53 Customline

Thank you.

Bought it in December 2020 and it arrived here in March.

Got it inspected by a Swedish guy who lives in Sacramento and he arranged the whole shipping with West Coast Shipping.
He's also the one who found it for sale on Craigslist for me.
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Old 06-04-2021, 03:40 PM   #4
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Default Re: My '53 Customline

A picture from the shed where it's been sitting since 89-90.
And one from when it arrived at my garage in March.
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Old 06-04-2021, 03:44 PM   #5
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Default Re: My '53 Customline

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Originally Posted by Mikko_ View Post
Not bad I think for a car thats been sitting in a shed in California for the last 30 + years.
Result! Happy days ahead for you Mikko. Thanks for keeping us in the loop, maybe update the old thread?
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Old 06-04-2021, 03:48 PM   #6
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The previous owner in the US changed the oil in the engine, replaced the ignition parts and got it started.

Since then I restored the wheels and changed the tires.
Rebuilt the brakes and water pumps.
Cleaned out the tank and carb.
Changed oil in the trans.
Replaced the headlight wiring with new stock looking harnesses from Dennis Carpenter and replaced some other wires in the rest of the car.

Also found the reason it got parked, a worn fuel pump lobe on the camshaft so I went with an electric fuel pump for the time being to be able to drive it.
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Old 06-04-2021, 03:50 PM   #7
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Default Re: My '53 Customline

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Originally Posted by VeryTangled View Post
Result! Happy days ahead for you Mikko. Thanks for keeping us in the loop, maybe update the old thread?
I decided to start a new thread instead because people keep giving me advice on affordable V8 cars even if I already bought one.

And yes, very happy days ahead and summer has only begun.
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Old 06-04-2021, 04:35 PM   #8
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Default Re: My '53 Customline


Great find - 1953 Ford Customline Tudor Sedan. Will be a great car when restored. Keep up the good work.
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Old 06-05-2021, 05:50 PM   #9
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Default Re: My '53 Customline

Good find, grouse job on the wheels and keep us all up dated on the progress please.

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Old 06-06-2021, 06:41 AM   #10
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Default Re: My '53 Customline

Looks good you’ll have to make a video of it driving, take us for a ride in the Swedish countryside.
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Old 06-06-2021, 07:01 AM   #11
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Default Re: My '53 Customline

Thank you, I'll see if I can manage to make a video but here is a picture from yesterdays countryside drive.
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Old 06-06-2021, 07:03 AM   #12
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Default Re: My '53 Customline

Then this happened.

Don't no if I got a bad quality tube or if I messed up when installing it.
The tires are for tubeless use but I decided to go with tubes since I don't really trust those rivets that holds the wheel together to be air tight but I might have to reconsider now.
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Old 06-06-2021, 07:12 AM   #13
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Default Re: My '53 Customline

Mikko
Great looking 53! Yikes on the tire. Dont have that happen often nowdays?? I remember riiding in my uncles 52 Ford.
Regards,
Chris
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Old 06-06-2021, 07:40 AM   #14
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Default Re: My '53 Customline

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Originally Posted by Mikko_ View Post
Then this happened.

Don't no if I got a bad quality tube or if I messed up when installing it.
The tires are for tubeless use but I decided to go with tubes since I don't really trust those rivets that holds the wheel together to be air tight but I might have to reconsider now.
Running tubes in tubeless tires is generally not a good idea. This is what can happen.

I have tubeless tires on the stock riveted wheels on my '51 Fords. I have never had a problem with leaks. On the other hand, I chased a slow leak in one of the welded wheels on my Corvette for several weeks until I finally found it.

Glad to see you're on the road.
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Old 06-06-2021, 08:50 AM   #15
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Default Re: My '53 Customline

I will probably remove the tubes now.

Maybe seal the rivets with something on the inside?
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Old 06-06-2021, 09:15 AM   #16
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Default Re: My '53 Customline

I'd suggest to just give it a try tubeless with the wheels as they are and monitor the pressures. If you find you are slowly losing pressure then look at adding something. Any air loss will be gradual and not sudden. Is the tyre damaged, or can it be used again?

I ran tubeless radials on my 58 GMC successfully. The only problem I had was on the fronts when they had tubes in. The tubes get abraded by the tyres as they flex.
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Old 06-06-2021, 10:41 AM   #17
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Default Re: My '53 Customline

I will remove the tire from the rim tomorrow and inspect it.
Hopefully I can use it again, expensive to buy a new one.
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Old 06-06-2021, 04:35 PM   #18
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Default Re: My '53 Customline

I have run tubeless tires on old riveted Ford rims on several vehicles for 20 years. The most I have done was sand blast and paint the inside of the rim to prevent leaks, and I have never had a leak. I'm about to put the third set of radials on my 53 sedan since the tires are aging out (current 9 year old Diamondback tires with 22K miles, many at 70+ mph).

I'm also attaching a couple pictures of my 53 with tubeless radials since I also need to remember how to post pictures on the Ford Barn. I hope you don't mind.
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Old 06-06-2021, 05:13 PM   #19
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Default Re: My '53 Customline

Running tubeless tires on my '53 stock wheels. No issues. All hold pressure just fine.
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Old 06-07-2021, 10:33 AM   #20
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Default Re: My '53 Customline

Seems like my wheel holds air pressure fine too.

Just need to remove the tubes from the 3 remaining wheels now, hopefully I'm back on the road by the weekend.
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Old 06-09-2021, 01:12 PM   #21
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Default Re: My '53 Customline

Removed the tubes from all tires and they seem to be holding air just fine.

So I went on to other things, like getting the rear bumper to shine up a bit.
Also did a test spot on the paint, just the rest of the car left now.
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Old 06-10-2021, 12:16 PM   #22
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The whole car has gotten a quick buff and polish.
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Old 06-10-2021, 02:17 PM   #23
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Looks good, Mikko.
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Old 06-10-2021, 02:57 PM   #24
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Thank you Mart.
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Old 06-10-2021, 04:11 PM   #25
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Default Re: My '53 Customline

Looking good Mikko, did you try anything extra on the surface rust on the front? I have seen some videos online about washing with CLR or some similar product that may help. I haven't tried them yet myself, my rust is worse than that.
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Old 06-10-2021, 04:23 PM   #26
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Nice Car MIKKO! Dave
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Old 06-10-2021, 11:07 PM   #27
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Looking good Mikko, did you try anything extra on the surface rust on the front? I have seen some videos online about washing with CLR or some similar product that may help. I haven't tried them yet myself, my rust is worse than that.
Thank you.

Yes I heard about CLR too but haven't tried it yet.
Buy the looks of the remaining paint it looks like the fenders have been painted above the trim along with the hood.
The surface of the paint is much rougher there than on the rest of the car.
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Old 06-10-2021, 11:08 PM   #28
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Nice Car MIKKO! Dave

Thanks.
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Old 06-11-2021, 03:22 PM   #29
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Default Re: My '53 Customline

The first test drive without tubes was great, feels like the handling is better but that could just be my imagination.

And a couple of pictures of the car in natural light after my quick buff.
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Old 06-11-2021, 05:21 PM   #30
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Looks great Mikko; enjoy it!
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Old 06-12-2021, 04:57 PM   #31
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Thanks, I will.
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Old 06-27-2021, 05:49 AM   #32
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Took a nice drive on some countryside roads today.
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Old 08-13-2021, 12:26 PM   #33
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Lowered the rear a bit, didn't like the slight forward rake it had before.
Also began scrubbing the rust away.
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Old 08-13-2021, 12:51 PM   #34
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Amazing difference, what did you end up using?
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Old 08-13-2021, 12:55 PM   #35
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I used those soapy steel wool pads and a lot of water.
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Old 08-13-2021, 05:41 PM   #36
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Love your car!! I had the same (metallic green) back in the early 60's in high school. Lots of memories in that back seat at drive in shows!!
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Old 08-13-2021, 06:06 PM   #37
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Looking good Mikko.
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Old 08-14-2021, 05:05 AM   #38
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Thanks.

Finished it this morning and sealed it with a coat of wax.
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Old 08-14-2021, 06:28 AM   #39
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I'm amazed that you were able to improve it that much! Well done, great job.
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Old 08-14-2021, 09:22 AM   #40
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Well done for sure. Your 53 looks good to me....enjoy the ride.
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Old 08-14-2021, 09:38 AM   #41
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Quote:
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I'm amazed that you were able to improve it that much! Well done, great job.
Thanks Mart, I never thought it would clean up like it did.

Quote:
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Well done for sure. Your 53 looks good to me....enjoy the ride.
Thank you.
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Old 08-21-2021, 11:21 AM   #42
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Great patina! Good job buffing and keeping that look!
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Old 09-03-2021, 01:32 PM   #43
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Great patina! Good job buffing and keeping that look!

Thank you.
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Old 09-03-2021, 01:35 PM   #44
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A little before and after.

First picture is when the car arrived in Sweden in March this year and the second picture is from yesterday.
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Old 09-03-2021, 01:43 PM   #45
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I like it! When I was in high school, a friend had a very similar car. We put a set of wheels and tires from a '57 Ford (14") on it and I thought it looked great, too.
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Old 09-03-2021, 01:56 PM   #46
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Thanks.

That's the feeling I like to capture with this car, simple and cheap modifications that a high school kid could afford: mild lowering, wheels painted red, removed hood ornaments and a single straight pipe.
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Old 09-03-2021, 02:10 PM   #47
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Looks like all your cleaning, buffing and waxing paid off. I vote for a set of Reds headers with the straight pipes, a sound you can never get enough of.
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Old 09-03-2021, 02:24 PM   #48
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Looks like all your cleaning, buffing and waxing paid off. I vote for a set of Reds headers with the straight pipes, a sound you can never get enough of.

Definitely paid off.

My long term plan is to pull the engine and freshen it up with new paint and also replace the cam since the one in it is worn at the fuel pump lobe so I must use an electric pump at the moment.
That would be a good time to install headers and a dual exhaust.

But for now I'll just keep the single straight pipe and ugly looking engine.

Plans for this winter calls for a carb in better condition and new wiring harness.
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Old 09-03-2021, 02:37 PM   #49
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A little before and after.

First picture is when the car arrived in Sweden in March this year and the second picture is from yesterday.


You done good!
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Old 09-03-2021, 02:49 PM   #50
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Thanks
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Old 09-03-2021, 08:14 PM   #51
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Nice looking car. Red rims were a thing at a time. Mercury put them on 55's and 56's I believe no matter the color of the car. Sure wish I had one like that, end of an era.
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Old 09-03-2021, 08:58 PM   #52
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A little before and after.

First picture is when the car arrived in Sweden in March this year and the second picture is from yesterday.
Looks like a real improvement. Reminds me of my 52 Merc.
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Old 09-04-2021, 01:23 AM   #53
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Glad you like it.

I think the red wheels make a nice contrast between the WW and shiny hubcaps.
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Old 09-04-2021, 01:31 AM   #54
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looks great dude, been following. Making great progress!!! I like how it sits now. The before looks very droopy. The caps look great. Cleaned up well. Nice work! Totally different car already.

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Old 09-04-2021, 03:11 AM   #55
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Thanks, correct tire size and 2 inch blocks in the rear made wonders for the stance.
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Old 09-04-2021, 03:17 AM   #56
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What tire size? The sunliners and crestliners ran 7.00 stock. I put them on my customliner. Really looks great what you have done!

50th anniversary car. So many really unique neat stuff on that ride. From the all the jet/prop references to the the Native American spears. Personally Id put the jet on the hood back. The dog dishes with trim rims look nice too. Just saying.

The grill is designed from a prop blade. You can see the jets over the rear wheels in chrome and the taillights are jet exhausts.,, Starting to make me feel bad about getting rid of my cherry 4 door.

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Old 09-04-2021, 03:30 AM   #57
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great work!....
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Old 09-04-2021, 05:54 AM   #58
tubman
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Default Re: My '53 Customline

IIRC, the optional tire size then was 710-15.

The "California Rake" was big back then, and I once ran 820's on the back and 560's on the front.
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Old 09-04-2021, 08:40 AM   #59
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I'm running 6.70x15 tires.
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Old 11-28-2021, 07:03 AM   #60
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Probably the last drive for the year, currently 28 degrees F here.
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Old 11-28-2021, 08:42 AM   #61
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Default Re: My '53 Customline

Your car looks great! Whatever you did to the front fenders seems to have worked very well.

It's currently 19 degrees F in Breezy Point, MN. Fortunately, I'm not there.
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Old 11-28-2021, 09:47 AM   #62
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Thanks, I'm happy with how it looks but sometimes I sure wish it had a manual transmission instead of the Fordomatic.

I used those soapy steel wool pads and lots of water to get rid of the surface rust on the front end.
Then I sealed it all with some wax.
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Old 11-28-2021, 05:01 PM   #63
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikko_ View Post
Thanks, I'm happy with how it looks but sometimes I sure wish it had a manual transmission instead of the Fordomatic.

I used those soapy steel wool pads and lots of water to get rid of the surface rust on the front end.
Then I sealed it all with some wax.
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Old 11-29-2021, 12:22 AM   #64
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Default Re: My '53 Customline

Looks great! You have a 3 on the tree and the overdrive? Maybe I missed it, I have a life and don't always remember everything here. If not they come up as people swap them out, might get one cheap with all the controls. Mine would cruise 70mph all day.


Dig the car. Glad it's running well!
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Old 11-29-2021, 05:12 AM   #65
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It's an auto.
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Old 11-29-2021, 09:21 AM   #66
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Last edited by tubman; 11-29-2021 at 09:30 AM. Reason: Unnecessary comment.
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Old 11-29-2021, 10:47 AM   #67
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Default Re: My '53 Customline

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikko_ View Post
Thanks, I'm happy with how it looks but sometimes I sure wish it had a manual transmission instead of the Fordomatic.

I used those soapy steel wool pads and lots of water to get rid of the surface rust on the front end.
Then I sealed it all with some wax.
I like the "omatics". My 52 Merc will cruise quite happily down the highway without sounding over-reved.
I am impressed with how much you improved your front fenders. I did similar with mine. They came off my 53 parts car and needed a little steel wool treatment followed by some clear spray.
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Old 11-29-2021, 12:16 PM   #68
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Default Re: My '53 Customline

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Originally Posted by RalphG View Post
I like the "omatics". My 52 Merc will cruise quite happily down the highway without sounding over-reved.
I am impressed with how much you improved your front fenders. I did similar with mine. They came off my 53 parts car and needed a little steel wool treatment followed by some clear spray.

It drives nice with the auto, no doubt.

I've just come to the conclusion that I prefer manual, couldn't know that before I tried an auto
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Old 11-29-2021, 03:31 PM   #69
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Default Re: My '53 Customline

Quote:
Originally Posted by RalphG View Post
I like the "omatics". My 52 Merc will cruise quite happily down the highway without sounding over-reved.
I am impressed with how much you improved your front fenders. I did similar with mine. They came off my 53 parts car and needed a little steel wool treatment followed by some clear spray.
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"We shot our way out of that town for a dollar's worth of steel holes!" - from 'The Wild Bunch' - 1969

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7NReUd2_0u0
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