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Old 12-29-2018, 11:04 PM   #1
RalphG
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Default 53 Gas Tank

I doubt it is salvageable but since it was mild (+20F) today I worked on removing the damaged gas tank from the 53 Merc parts car. I will never understand how the underside of the tank got bashed in so bad that it bulged up the trunk floor. Yet the top side of the gas tank is straight and flat! Its not bad for external rust but plenty of dry powdery rust inside. I've got a good used gas tank from a 53 Meteor but it is a bit shorter than the Mercury tank and would need some work to make it fit the strap hangers.
https://youtu.be/j0xp8GRbsXg
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Old 12-30-2018, 10:31 AM   #2
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Default Re: 53 Gas Tank

Find the correct tank. Couldn't be that hard.
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Old 12-30-2018, 10:49 AM   #3
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Default Re: 53 Gas Tank

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Originally Posted by philipswanson View Post
Find the correct tank. Couldn't be that hard.
Ford tanks are easy to find but not so Mercury. I'm getting along ok with the plastic marine tank in the trunk so far but am limited to 5 gallon capacity with it.
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Old 12-30-2018, 12:13 PM   #4
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Default Re: 53 Gas Tank

Someone seems to now be reproducing them. There’s an ad in hemmings for new 53 Mercury gas tanks. Will check the listing when I get home if you’d like.
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Old 12-30-2018, 02:52 PM   #5
51 MERC-CT
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Default Re: 53 Gas Tank

Seeing that you have two sets of straps, it is very possible that a set could be fabricated using what ever is necessary to fit the '53 tank to the '52.

Incidentally, I have in years past saved tanks by sealing them up and applying air pressure (not very high, generally 2-5 psi). Then strategically hammered to reshape.
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Old 12-30-2018, 03:09 PM   #6
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Default Re: 53 Gas Tank

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Originally Posted by 51 MERC-CT View Post
Seeing that you have two sets of straps, it is very possible that a set could be fabricated using what ever is necessary to fit the '53 tank to the '52.

Incidentally, I have in years past saved tanks by sealing them up and applying air pressure (not very high, generally 2-5 psi). Then strategically hammered to reshape.
Tried pressurizing this morning but it won't move the dented side. 52-53 Merc tanks are interchangeable but what I have as a possibility is a good tank from a 53 Meteor (Same as Ford). It is a few inches shorter than the Merc tank so would need some type of spacer at the front to take up the extra space inside the straps. This picture shows the original 52 tank (rusted beyond hope) in front, and the good 53 Meteor tank at back. You can see the difference in length.
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Old 12-30-2018, 03:17 PM   #7
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Default Re: 53 Gas Tank

Ralph....if you can keep all that huge machinery going around that farm.....I’ll bet money you can adapt that tank to fit.....hope your Christmas was nice and have a Happy New Year!.....Mark
PS...drill another hole in the strap and keep them the stock length.
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Old 12-30-2018, 04:14 PM   #8
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Default Re: 53 Gas Tank

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Originally Posted by RalphG View Post
Tried pressurizing this morning but it won't move the dented side. 52-53 Merc tanks are interchangeable but what I have as a possibility is a good tank from a 53 Meteor (Same as Ford). It is a few inches shorter than the Merc tank so would need some type of spacer at the front to take up the extra space inside the straps. This picture shows the original 52 tank (rusted beyond hope) in front, and the good 53 Meteor tank at back. You can see the difference in length.
Just some extra space to fill? That's why trees are made into lumber.
A little imagination and some whittling' should take care of that.
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Old 12-30-2018, 05:25 PM   #9
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Default Re: 53 Gas Tank

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Originally Posted by flatford8 View Post
Ralph....if you can keep all that huge machinery going around that farm.....Iíll bet money you can adapt that tank to fit.....hope your Christmas was nice and have a Happy New Year!.....Mark
PS...drill another hole in the strap and keep them the stock length.
I can likely come up with some crude fix. Maybe a block of wood as 51Merc suggests. Was interested to read about the guy on HAMB who adapted a 69 Mustang gas tank into his 54 Merc. Of course it was major surgery requireing removal of the trunk floor. Considering my trunk floor in the 52 is patched up rusty metal that idea might be a good option too.
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Old 12-31-2018, 08:58 AM   #10
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Default Re: 53 Gas Tank

In my '54 Merc I used a '57 Merc gas tank which is reproduced. Had to move the gas neck downward and add metal to the straps as the '57 tank is deeper.
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Old 12-31-2018, 02:46 PM   #11
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Default Re: 53 Gas Tank

Ralph, Fll the tank with water (for safety and to add weight). Then use a dent puller to "pull" those dents out a little at a time. Then weld or epoxy the holes made by the puller. The use fiberglass matt and resin and cover the entire surface. I did this to a 40 gas tank years ago before they started repopping them and it worked out fine. I fiberglassed the entire tank. Before you fiberglass it you could cut open the top for easy access to clean the inside and then reweld it. I did that also. Tanks used to be made of terneplate. Have you checked the Canadian Ebay?
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Old 12-31-2018, 05:00 PM   #12
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Default Re: 53 Gas Tank

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Ralph, Fll the tank with water (for safety and to add weight). Then use a dent puller to "pull" those dents out a little at a time. Then weld or epoxy the holes made by the puller. The use fiberglass matt and resin and cover the entire surface. I did this to a 40 gas tank years ago before they started repopping them and it worked out fine. I fiberglassed the entire tank. Before you fiberglass it you could cut open the top for easy access to clean the inside and then reweld it. I did that also. Tanks used to be made of terneplate. Have you checked the Canadian Ebay?
With a daytime "high" of -9F today I won't be working in the shop but will keep that info in mind. Right now I am leaning toward adapting the much better looking Meteor gas tank to the Mercury. This old Merc tank is dry and rusty inside and not sure how well it would clean up.
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Old 12-31-2018, 06:00 PM   #13
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Default Re: 53 Gas Tank

It would be interesting to cut it open and see what's inside.
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