View Full Version : 3154 Hello, newbie here...

05-21-2013, 11:17 AM
Hi, my name is Brandon Harlow. I am a proud new owner of a '57 Mark II. I am fairly clueless about this wonderful and rare car. This was my grandfathers dream car, unfortunately he wasn't able to start restoring it before he passed away years ago.

I am hoping to take on this project and over some time restore this car to it's original specs as he would have wanted. I am sure this forum will be invaluable in helping do just that. I was lucky enough that my Grandfather was able to secure most of the literature and original technical manuals; as he was an avid swap meeter for over 60yrs.

I am just starting this project and I know with what little time I have to work on this car, it will take me a long time to properly restore it. Probably years... I plan to try to get it running first, then work on the cosmetics after. I will post some pictures and the VIN soon.

Nice to meet you all! Take care...

Shelly Harris
05-21-2013, 12:05 PM
Welcome aboard... we found another car owner... please provide the VIN as soon as you can.

05-21-2013, 02:20 PM
Vin# C56G3154

05-21-2013, 03:10 PM
Welcome! Just read over your car's history, looks pretty interesting. How long did your grandfather have it? Do you know where he got it from and when? Can't wait to see some pictures...is it still green?

Pat Marshall
05-21-2013, 03:17 PM
Welcome Aboard. Your car was one of the few that were displayed at the famed Ford Rotunda. We have had no history on the car since then, so we're hoping you can tell us where the car has been and who has owned it.

Here's the link to it's history in our Registry.


Joseph Stebbins
05-21-2013, 03:44 PM
Welcome to the site! It is great to "find" a lost car. Please feel free to ask anything (but a quick search will usually answer a lot of common questions.) We all love these cars and are always willing to help...

And as aways post some pics!

05-21-2013, 04:29 PM
Wow, you guys are great! Thank you both for your information.

Take this for what it is, as my Grandpa told me about this car a long, long time ago...

As far as I know and understand... My Grandpa, Norbert (Bud) Keim, purchased this car in 1971 from a Air Force Colonel who was originally from Texas. He was transferred to a base in Washington in 1971 when my grandparents bought it and drove it to their farm here in Hillsboro Oregon at that time.

It had a shotty body repair job on the passenger side door that was done with bondo (what a shame) and was also repainted in Mexico(also shameful) with a medium/light green color.

They drove it around town for a few years before it began to have engine trouble(valves/tappets). He then parked it in the chicken barn where it stayed for over 22-23yrs dry. Then they had to move off the farm in 1997-98, in which the car was driven (on it's own power) to their new home about 10 miles away. There it sat dry in a pole barn every since. The valves and tappets are still in the back seat waiting to be replaced.

My Grandpa was a great mechanic/body man, but was mostly into antique Fords. He said this was the most elegant car he had ever seen produced in the U.S. and was just flat out completely in love with this car... It was going to be his last and final project that he was saving for when he the time to give it the special care it deserved. Unfortunately, cancer got the best of him before he ever got to even begin to restore the Mark II...

And that is were I come into the picture, to finally restore this car the way my Grandpa had intended, to all original specs.

Nick DeSpirito
05-21-2013, 05:59 PM
Welcome Brandon,

Would love to see pictures of your car. :)

Joseph Stebbins
05-21-2013, 06:19 PM
Chiming back in here because that is a really cool story. I wanted to let you know that there is probably a good door out there for the having, just ask in the Parts for sale/wanted section and someone will speak up - front fenders are the real bear to find so treat yours right! I would really recommend trying to gently sand back to the original paint somewhere so you can get it matched. It is a DSO color which is rare and the car being a "Rotunda" Car is that much better!

Barry Wolk
05-21-2013, 07:16 PM
Welcome to the site. Before you do anything rent a copy of the movie, "The Money Pit".

Do you plan on doing the restoration yourself? There are plenty of people that have done it. It's not for the faint of heart.

Use the Search tool. It's amazing how much information is accumulated there.

Pat Marshall
05-21-2013, 09:45 PM
Brandon- I hope you don't mind a couple of Historian type of questions.

After your Grandfather passed in 2003, who took title to the car? Did you acquire the car this year?

05-22-2013, 12:14 AM
Wow. You have a very interesting car. Welcome! Looking forward to see some photos.

05-22-2013, 02:22 PM
Hey everyone!

Thank you all for such a warm welcoming.

To answer a few questions:

Nick - I will be sure to take some pics this weekend and post so you all can see what I working with here. :)

Joseph - Thanks for the heads up on the door! I am going to first attempt to remove the bondo and I am lucky to have a close cousin who is a body man and I will see if he is able to do anything with it or not. Thank you so much though, it is great to know that I can probably find a door if I end up needing it. Great suggestion on the paint as well!

Barry - I will be sure to rent "The Money pit", I have seen this movie before over 20yrs ago though. Is there a Mark II in the movie or are you saying this project could become a money pit? :D Hahaha! I think it is the latter...

I do plan to do most of the "simple" restoration(s) myself, if I can. Anything I feel I can't handle I would try to find an "expert" to do the work. I have helped restore more than a few Model A & T's with my Gpa, but I know this is so much different that it cannot even compare...

Thankfully, I am young and will have a long time to do all this work, I am in no hurry. I was thinking of just doing the mechanical & cosmetic stuff first, then after it is running and drivable I would slowly begin the tear-down and rebuild when I have more time on my hands and a better shop to work in.

Pat - My Grandpa was able to sign the title before he passed, but it was never changed. My Grandma is still here with us and it has been in both of their names since 1971. I just bought the car two weeks ago. My Grandma had been holding on to this car and was not ready to let it go until just recently. I now have the 1971 title in my hands, but have not got it changed over as of yet.

Thank you all again for your comments and help.

05-22-2013, 02:55 PM
Books I got along with the car...

05-22-2013, 05:15 PM

The story of your car is great--it's wonderful that someone in the family appreciates how special the car was to your grandfather and that you plan to restore it as he envisioned it. I'm sure that made it easier for your grandmother to let go of the car.

It sounds like you've got the right attitude about undertaking a project of this magnitude and (as someone with a 1930 Model A Town Sedan sitting in the garage right next to our Mark II) I can assure you, you're right--there's no comparison...;)

I look forward to seeing pictures and following the restoration of your car.

Welcome to the Forum.


Ron Busche
05-23-2013, 12:29 AM
I will be going to the north west in end ofJune
Ridefield Wash.June 28-30 I plan on being in the north west the 2nd and 3rd of June Would it be possable to meet with you at that time
please call and let me know
Ron Busche
208 324-6688
rbus 1310@ cableone.net

Pat Marshall
05-24-2013, 08:11 AM
Brandon, the history has been updated with the latest information you reported. Some pictures of the car would be great!

Also the standard information that we ask for will complete the file.
(Engine Number, Body Tag Number - if the car has one - and what is engraved on the carpet hump Brass Nameplate)


05-24-2013, 11:27 AM

I will try to get all that for you over the weekend and post it for you Tuesday. If you would please, can you tell me were exactly to find the Engine Number, Body Tag Number and the Engraved Carpet Hump Brass Nameplate?

Thanks! I loved the update on the car's history as well. Great job Pat! Thank you for taking the time do that.

Joseph Stebbins
05-24-2013, 11:41 AM

I will try to get all that for you over the weekend and post it for you Tuesday. If you would please, can you tell me were exactly to find the Engine Number, Body Tag Number and the Engraved Carpet Hump Brass Nameplate?

Thanks! I loved the update on the car's history as well. Great job Pat! Thank you for taking the time do that.

Engine Number is stamped (not cast) by the base of the distributor on the machined top of the block, the body tag (if any) is applied to the fire wall between the Brake Booster and the battery and the carpet name plate should be fastened to the carpet on the transmission hump just below the ventilation controls.

Pat Marshall
05-25-2013, 08:34 AM
Everything is explained here:


Below are pictures -

Greg Stock
05-25-2013, 09:40 PM
My car (C56A1758) belonged to an Air Force colonel in Texas at one point as well. I wonder if it was the same person? Anyway, it sounds like a great project and I wish you much success. I look forward to seeing pictures soon.



05-29-2013, 10:55 AM



Barry Wolk
05-29-2013, 11:06 AM
The last picture shows a casting number. The engine number is stamped into the top of the block right next to the distributor. You might have to scrape some paint and remove a bracket to see it.

05-29-2013, 11:25 AM
Thanks Barry... I will try to find that this weekend and get the right number.

05-29-2013, 11:28 AM
Why is that my car has no name on the brass nameplate? Is that because it was a display car at first..? Just curious...

05-29-2013, 11:43 AM
Just a few pics of this "Farm Fresh" Mark II. : )
Yep, a lot of work to be done...











Barry Wolk
05-29-2013, 12:19 PM
It was probably purchased off the lot, rather than ordered from the factory. I believe dealers could send the plates in for engraving if the customer wished.

05-29-2013, 01:55 PM
Wow, that actually really looks like a nice car! The interior, despite the dirt, looks to be in pretty nice shape, the front seats look like they've never been sat in!

Drag that thing out and give it a REALLY good wash before you do anything! It'll give you a better idea of where you should really be looking to start (other than making it run of course). I'd actually go through and clean it and inspect before you started the mechanical work. It will make the job easier working on a clean car, and you'll get a better feel for what it needs by thoroughly going through it when you clean.

Then post more pics! Nice color, too actually.....

05-29-2013, 04:07 PM
Yeah, that is a great idea DkBlueII. I just have to get it running to move it, or I guess I could just tow it out if I have troubles getting it to start as well.

I have already drained the oil and cleaned the oil filter, then filled her up with fresh oil; as well as the cleaned the oil bath air filter.

I just need to drain any gas that may be left in the tank and find the fuel filters. I saw one with a glass reservoir in the engine compartment(not sure how to clean it yet, haven't looked it up in the book). I assume there also is one in line between the tank and the engine as well..?


Barry Wolk
05-29-2013, 04:17 PM
While there is a filter available, the glass bowl just has a fine screen to filter out large particles. I don't think there was a factory in-line filter.

Please do not attempt to drive it without going through the brakes. Brake fluid is hygroscopic and the moisture settles in the lowest part of the brake system, the wheel cylinders. I can almost assure you that you will find rusty water in them. These cars are a bitch to stop if the brakes aren't right.

You'll also want to make sure that your Treadle-Vac is getting full engine vacuum. Often the vacuum lines are replaced with fuel lines designed for pressure, not vacuum. If the feed line collapses you have no power brakes.

I'd also flush the cooling system and replace the antifreeze. I'm sure it lost its ability to fight corrosion long ago.

Most of the drips under the car will disappear after driving the car a bit. It used to look like a rain forest under mine, but now it's pretty dry.

06-09-2013, 10:50 AM
Got all the fluids changed, cylinders lubed, plugs out-new plugs in, new plug wires and a new battery installed. When I went to try to turn it over... The ignition just spins in circles... Arrgh:(

Good news is that all the lights, seat controls and windows still work! I am gonna try to play with the ignition a bit today or bypass for now and use a push button switch to try to turn the engine over. Wish me luck...

Joseph Stebbins
06-09-2013, 11:56 AM
Good news is that the switch is a ford part. Get it from rock auto and your fine. If you still have original mark ii keys keep the lock cylinder as the keys are unobtanium. You can also take your original keys to a locksmith and have a new cylinder keyed to match the original key. My ignition switch fell into constituent parts when I was taking it out the plastic socket that the tab on the back of the cylinder slots into had crumbled. Easy fix

06-09-2013, 01:56 PM
Jack Rosen of Mark II Enterprises, a long time Mark II parts supplier, also has a replacement switch for $35.00. Here is a link:

http://www.parts123.com/parts123/yb.dll?parta~dyndetail~Z5Z5Z50000129a~Z5Z5Z5351~P3 5.00~~~~S3SZ0TORYZ68206514930b~Z5Z5Z5~Z5Z5Z5000012 9A