1965 Comet Caliente (little red)

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Sugarmaker
Posts: 140
Joined: Thu Dec 28, 2023 9:55 am
Location: Albion PA

Re: 1965 Comet Caliente (little red)

Post by Sugarmaker »

Comet Folks,
Well I have settled the tire issue at this time. Here is the plan. Leave the 235-60/14's on the front with 5/16 wheel spacers. (the 236-60 is almost the same size dia as the original 205-70 series) This I believe will give the clearance that I wanted all around the tire.

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On the rear the 225-70/14's will be used with the air shocks at around 50 psi. Only driving and time will tell if all of the tire clearance issues are resolved.
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Best shot I can get with "lil red" off the lift at this time:
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At 50 psi air shocks this is the height at the rear wheel well. About 3/4 inch clearance or maybe a inch.
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Other items. Cleaning the trunk mat with Dawn and cloth This cleaned up pretty nice.
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With the center console, red, white and blue emblem missing, I ask my self what the Merc engineers might have had for other design options? Here was what they were thinking. A piece of black walnut coated to match the steering wheel and the door trim and the dash trim:
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trial in the console pocket:
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Also have the drivers arm rest in Palimino in molded color. Will Spray that to match the off white interior with SEM Super white.


Here is the prototype and sketch, sanded smooth edges and with a couple coats of spray polyurethane:
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Regards,
Chris and Cheryl
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Jims65cyclone
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Location: Lexington, SC

Re: 1965 Comet Caliente (little red)

Post by Jims65cyclone »

Everything is looking good. That walnut insert will look good along with the other walnut trim. How much clearance do you have between the tire and fender when you cut the wheels all the way to the left in your first picture?
Sugarmaker wrote:
Tue Jan 23, 2024 10:11 am
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Jim
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Sugarmaker
Posts: 140
Joined: Thu Dec 28, 2023 9:55 am
Location: Albion PA

Re: 1965 Comet Caliente (little red)

Post by Sugarmaker »

Jim,
Thanks on the walnut trim insert! Its in place in the console.
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New arm rest painted with the SEM Super White
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Armrest installed. Its a little more "white" or fresh, or clean, than 60 year old interior, where the material has yellowed a little. Which is to be expected. Still looks way better than the one that was covered with material.
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We did install the trunk mat and friend John said he was pretty sure it was original. Jack and spare are back in the trunk.
Would like to find the material to make both left and right side boards in the trunk, in back of the wheel wells. The original drivers side doesn't look good and the other one is made from peg board.

I will turn the front wheel and get a picture or information on that clearance to the fender for you.
Regards,
Chris and Cheryl
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Groover
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Joined: Wed Jun 02, 2010 11:36 pm
Location: Indianapolis, IN

Re: 1965 Comet Caliente (little red)

Post by Groover »

Looking great.

That trunk mat looks original to me. If it's not, it's a close replica, as the pattern and such look right. I believe the material is called Burtex. It's pretty durable. Those panels to cover the holes on both sides of the trunk were originally similar to peg board (but without the holes). I liken it to masonite but not sure if that was a material back then. At any rate, they get damp and will warp, etc. I wrapped mine in plastic before I put them in and then covered with the trunk mat. Nice work on the console. This car is a real head turner. You're gonna have a tough time keeping your eyes on the road when you see all the people waving and pointing :)
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1964 Comet Caliente Convertible
30,000 miles on our rebuild

All Comets start out as dreams...

Sugarmaker
Posts: 140
Joined: Thu Dec 28, 2023 9:55 am
Location: Albion PA

Re: 1965 Comet Caliente (little red)

Post by Sugarmaker »

Groover, folks,
Thanks for the compliments. "Lil red" is a driver not a rotisserie resto. So there are many little things that are worn and or crusty.
The last owner drove it for 12 years and collected many dash plaques from local shows. He put the Edelbrock valve covers and the chrome air cleaner. He did not like the yellow! I am fine with those right now too.
Several projects on the list right now:
- get the power steering issue figured out. And replace the boot on the cylinder rod.
- find the exhaust leak/s
- replace the battery ground cable. It is not very good as the rubber is coming off.
- maybe move the seat/s back about 3 inches
- clean and adjust the carb. She is very cold blooded, and usually stalls at least once if your not on the throttle several times.

Thanks for the comment on the trunk mat and side boards.
Are the side boards available? I was thinking of making a set from masonite?
I need to get started making maple syrup soon. Much to do!
Last edited by Sugarmaker on Fri Feb 02, 2024 11:18 am, edited 1 time in total.
Regards,
Chris and Cheryl
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Groover
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Location: Indianapolis, IN

Re: 1965 Comet Caliente (little red)

Post by Groover »

https://www.classicindustries.com/produ ... /te12.html

believe this is for the 65. I think I had one good one and I used mine as a template to make the other side, but I made it out of plywood because that's what I had on hand. A little stronger but uneven. My car is not as nice as yours and once I covered it with the floor mat, the world was no wiser.
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1964 Comet Caliente Convertible
30,000 miles on our rebuild

All Comets start out as dreams...

Sugarmaker
Posts: 140
Joined: Thu Dec 28, 2023 9:55 am
Location: Albion PA

Re: 1965 Comet Caliente (little red)

Post by Sugarmaker »

Groover,
Thanks for the link I will check that out on the side panels! They have them and they look pretty good but the shipping for these "oversize panels" was pretty stiff $42. Found some others on line for about the same price and $12 shipping but the delivery was at the end of March. Must be coming from China by boat? Any way they look to be out there. I might get a piece of Masonite and cut out some myself?? maybe??

Jim asked about front wheel clearance:
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Passenger side:
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Back of front wheel:
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So far I am happy with the clearance on the front. I need to drive it, and thats not going to happen soon.
our son Adam and I tore into the steering control valve. As most of you know This has the body of the ball and socket as part of the cross rod of the steering system. The seal kit came today. I did not get a new ball stud, as it was changed out all ready. Took the control valve guts out of the forged rod end and took it all apart. We really did not find a smoking gun as to why the steering was not working well to the left.
Last edited by Sugarmaker on Fri Jan 26, 2024 9:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Regards,
Chris and Cheryl
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Sugarmaker
Posts: 140
Joined: Thu Dec 28, 2023 9:55 am
Location: Albion PA

Re: 1965 Comet Caliente (little red)

Post by Sugarmaker »

Folks,
So as we looked at the control valve system last night we seen the steel line that weaves in and around the pitman arm has several areas where it looks like it was rubbing and or bent a little.
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Things come apart. I see why this was redesigned to totaly remove the control valve from the car in later models.
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Regards,
Chris and Cheryl
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Sugarmaker
Posts: 140
Joined: Thu Dec 28, 2023 9:55 am
Location: Albion PA

Re: 1965 Comet Caliente (little red)

Post by Sugarmaker »

Comet folks,
I did order the trunk side panels on line. Yea I could have done without them, but "lil red" needed some love!
Getting into the maple season start up, so the red Comet will have to be happy up on the lift for a while. I have a few of the control valve parts soaking.
I believe what may have happened on this assembly is that the copper sleeve may have been binding up?? So I need to really get this cleaned up and make sure there are no burrs or snags. I dont have any experience with these so this will be a learning process.
This copper sleeve had to be gently pulled out and I think it should have slipped right out?
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Also ordered the front grill emblem portion that is the red, white and blue stick on piece.
And I purchased a new boot for the power steering cylinder. It is pretty sad.

Hope things are good in Merc land!
Regards,
Chris and Cheryl
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Sugarmaker
Posts: 140
Joined: Thu Dec 28, 2023 9:55 am
Location: Albion PA

Re: 1965 Comet Caliente (little red)

Post by Sugarmaker »

Folks,
We rebuilt the power steering control valve. Initial testing seem great.
On to replacing the exhaust donuts which were both gone.
Then we will set the Comet aside for a bit, and begin our maple syrup production project.
Hope things are good in Merc land!
Adam helped me get the new exhaust donuts in place. Sounds way better without the pesky exhaust leaks.
We also replaced the boot on the power steering piston rod.
A good evening in the shop working together on "lil red"!
Regards,
Chris and Cheryl
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Sugarmaker
Posts: 140
Joined: Thu Dec 28, 2023 9:55 am
Location: Albion PA

Re: 1965 Comet Caliente (little red)

Post by Sugarmaker »

Folks,
Adam at the wheel. He has helped me a lot.
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The piston rod boot replaced:
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Exhaust donuts installed, and more quiet too:
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Regards,
Chris and Cheryl
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Jims65cyclone
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Location: Lexington, SC

Re: 1965 Comet Caliente (little red)

Post by Jims65cyclone »

Little by little, lookin' better and better. 8)

Jim
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Sugarmaker
Posts: 140
Joined: Thu Dec 28, 2023 9:55 am
Location: Albion PA

Re: 1965 Comet Caliente (little red)

Post by Sugarmaker »

Jim, Folks,
Thanks for the support. I got some packages from Fed X today for the Comet. Repro side hardboards for the trunk and the spare power steering hose.
Too busy today tapping maple trees to do anything with the Comet. Roads are almost dry enough to go for a ride!
Regards,
Chris and Cheryl
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Sugarmaker
Posts: 140
Joined: Thu Dec 28, 2023 9:55 am
Location: Albion PA

Re: 1965 Comet Caliente (little red)

Post by Sugarmaker »

Comet folks,
Well We did get the Comet out today. Roads were dry and we needed to work on a small fab project in the shop. Adam took the 65 for his first ride, after I took it for a 6 mile run.
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All systems seemed to function ok. Just warming it up outside the shop.
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When I drove it it felt like I was steering a soft boat. Some amount of gentle wandering, very soft ride, lots of small steering correction required. Now I don't have any other 1965 data point so maybe all these was pretty normal. I mean the technology is almost 60 years old and the car may have some suspension issues? In general I was pleased with the first ride. I will get my friend Mike to come and take it for a ride at some point this spring, to get his opinion too. The new cars (our 2015 and 2016) have me pretty spoiled on ride comfort and improved drivability. Although our 2015 F250 wanders pretty good! :) I just need some additional seat time in this Comet! I think it will be fine.

A couple pictures Adam took in the wilds of Pennsylvania:
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Theses are the repro side boards for the trunk. I really like the look of these. Correrct type material.
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A selfie behind the wheel. Ok at 6'1" I would like to have about 3 more inches of knee room. I would like to build some sturdy custom seat supports to move the seat back about 3 inches. I reviewed the pictures from others and need to pull the drivers seat and do some noodling on that project.
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I need one of the black rubber ends for the passengers side sun-visor, where it rests in the support. Ideas?

Off topic:
Yes Maple syrup season has started. First day to gather sap. About 350 gallons. My friend Gerry helping:
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The fab job today was to make a new bracket for a new 7 prong/4 prong trailer outlet for the F250 sap truck. We use two 12 volt pumps for moving sap and the original Ford plug failed due to internal corrosion:
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Regards,
Chris and Cheryl
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comethead
Posts: 5699
Joined: Sun Nov 09, 2003 7:44 pm
Location: Palmdale, CA

Re: 1965 Comet Caliente (little red)

Post by comethead »

Your Comet looks great! Congrats on first drive!
Ive also noticed that when I transition from a modern car to my Comet or Falcon I think “what the hell is wrong with this thing!??” But after driving it awhile all is well. It’s just old with slow steering and ancient suspension design and geometry. I love it haha

Joe
1965 Caliente HT- 289/4 speed
1964 Falcon HT- track car- 302/4 speed
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