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kishy's 1991 Grand Marquis

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  • 87gtVIC
    replied
    Awesome photos! Looks like a blast.

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  • gadget73
    replied
    A tidbit I can offer, I saw a puff of blue-grey oil smoke out of your left tailpipe leaving the diner. Valve seals would be a fair guess for that.
    As for the squawk noise, having a gander at the 1991 Mark VII manual's section on AOD symptoms

    mushy/early all upshifts pile up / upshifts
    fluid level
    low TV pressure
    low main control pressure
    valve body bolts loose/tight
    valve body valve throttle control valve sticking
    governor valve sticking


    there is nothing about noises, but I remember you mentioned it won't hold 2nd
    closest its got is soft/early/mushy 2-3, and its all the same stuff except "direct clutch assembly burned/worn"


    there is a mention in here about "transmission noisy - valve resonance". Not sure if thats the buzzy noise the AOD does sometimes but it says
    fluid level
    improper band od clutch application, or oil control system
    cooler lines grounding
    dirty/sticking valve body
    internal leakage or pump cavitation


    just based on all that I think I might be looking at the valve body for issues. Seems to be the other common thing. If you happen to have a spare late model valve body around, maybe go through that and make sure its all clean, assembled right, and nothing is sticking and swap the whole thing.

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  • Arquemann
    replied
    Originally posted by kishy View Post
    The suspension on this has exactly the feel that I want out of it, which is interesting because I once found this car entirely too firm, particularly after putting the KYB Excel-Gs in it, which it still has today. Maybe as they've aged they've softened a bit.
    Last year I put Excel-Gs in the back of my '85, I certainly found them a bit too harsh. I don't understand how so many jizz over the Gas-A-Justs which are supposedly even firmer. Though the random brand NOS shocks I put in the front are kinda sloppy and definitely could do being firmer.

    Nice pictures.

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  • kishy
    replied


    Alrighty, with the road trip (http://www.grandmarq.net/vb/forum/si...e-dragon-2024/) being complete and both the car and I having made it home fine, there are some findings over the course of the trip that should be evaluated or at least noted.

    First, bringing over the stats as noted in the road trip thread:

    States visited or driven through: MI, OH, KY, TN, NC, VA, briefly WV, MD, DE, NJ, PA.
    Worst drivers found in: VA once again! They found new ways to be annoying this time, but they were still the worst in really obnoxious ways.
    Tolls paid: about 10 USD but one of the booths was bill-by-plate only so a bill may or may not appear in the mail for an amount I will not know until/unless it does
    Distance driven: 2403.5 miles or 3868.1 km per trip odometer
    Fuel consumed: 125.8 US gallons per actual fuel station pumps
    Fuel economy: 18.91 US MPG average across trip per actual calculation of actual fuel vs odometer in each leg of the trip. Low 14.4, high 22.4
    Highest elevation reached in the car was 6320 ft at Clingman's Dome parking lot (where we proceeded on foot to 6641 ft at Clingman's Dome itself​).
    Lowest elevation would be essentially zero in Atlantic City.​


    Prior to this road trip and the work done in lead-up to it, this car had last seen regular use in 2016, before it handed off daily driver duty to the '84 Town Car. That was a relatively extended period of downtime but none of the car's needs before the trip were particularly severe, so it didn't seem like a big gamble to me.

    Observations through the course of the trip:
    • Over the 2400 miles, it consumed 1.5 litres of Rotella T6 5W40 synthetic HDEO. Replacement oil was added in 0.5 litre increments at fuel stops where I checked the dipstick, and lost oil was replaced with more of the same T6.
      • When the car was parked in 2016, it was already a known oil burner. I don't have an exact figure on oil loss but this car was always more of a burner than a leaker once I addressed the intake and valve covers forever ago. Maybe a litre per change interval, and regardless of oil choice, always changing at 3000 miles / 4800km.
      • This car was always observed to absolutely drink 5W30 while showing acceptable loss (the 1L/4800KM figure) with 10W30. It was also observed to absolutely drink synthetic while showing acceptable loss with conventional. Accelerated loss with a 5W synthetic oil, especially on a trip with a lot of sustained hill climbing, sustained downhill engine braking, and a lot of wide open throttle was not a surprise and does not concern me.
      • As the car feels pretty good for power, to address oil loss I would probably just pull the heads and do valve-related stuff (guides, seals). It is worth noting that this does have a pretty noisy bottom end at cold startup (suspect piston slap) and prior to the 5W40 oil going in, it did have no oil pressure at idle when good and hot. But the 40 weight stuff is apparently filling the widened tolerances adequately and pressure stays up now. So it's fair to say the bottom end needs love but it's maybe not a concern yet.
    • The car continues to exhibit aggressive spark knock in conditions which it did 10 years ago, which I never successfully chased down, and still find myself clueless about. 10 years ago, I found that running premium made it go away, but there are some considerations:
      • The transmission behaviour causes the engine to run at much lower RPM than any of my other Panthers in conditions that are prime candidates for spark knock. E.g. hot engine, low RPM, try to get kickdown out of OD, get knocking until the trans performs the shift. Too much load relative to current RPM in those conditions.
      • But, regardless of the transmission behaviour, with a properly hot engine it will also knock at mid-throttle acceleration in a lower gear at higher RPM. It won't do this consistently, just sometimes, and is highly dependent upon exactly how far into the pedal I am.
    • The transmission behaviour outlined earlier in the thread is infuriating, but manual 3-4 operation makes it tolerable.
      • TV is set high, in the sense that there is not much more cable available to use. Current gauge readings unknown.
      • The squeal sound before a shift, most notable in 2, suggests a problem.
      • The 3-4 shift is not an immediate "thunk" like my others, it's more of a 2-stage "ka-chunk" with a little gap in the middle. There is no shift flare or slip on any shifts, however it very very very rarely will not actually engage drive until I bump the gas pedal slightly.
      • Transmission behaviour has not changed over the course of the trip. It remains as it was before the trip, which is the same as it was 10 years ago. There is clearly something broken or leaking somewhere but not enough to prevent it working anyway.
    • The brakes were quite smooth at the start of the trip and are now quite grabby, most notably the rears feel like something weird is happening.
      • The car still stops very well, but there is now a "tip over point" where the brakes go from "normal slowing down" to "we're stopping NOW" rather suddenly. This can be mitigated with the pedal but it isn't how it's supposed to be.
      • Also, on the trip, what I initially thought was the smell of burning plastic but later realized was hot brakes did come up a few times, and I do not believe it was from the front brakes. I did look for, and could not locate any melting or burning plastic or rubber which could have been the source of the smell, and my friends immediately thought it was the smell of hot brakes rather than plastic.
      • The $6 brake pads did shed a lot of dust and the HPPs up front are filthy now.
      • I plan to take the drums off and check for axle oil leakage, because that could explain the drums getting a little weird.
    • The suspension on this has exactly the feel that I want out of it, which is interesting because I once found this car entirely too firm, particularly after putting the KYB Excel-Gs in it, which it still has today. Maybe as they've aged they've softened a bit. They do seem to be doing some damping but that "sideways axle hop" over certain sudden bumps like railway tracks is creeping back into the picture.
      • The rear sags too easily with too little weight. I believe this has CC817 cargo coils, so maybe a stock replacement single rate spring is the right option.
      • Aesthetically, the front could due with dropping a very tiny bit, but I might change my mind about this after the rear goes a tiny bit higher. Perhaps 1/4 or 1/8 of a coil cut, nothing more. It has Moog 8652 springs up front. This car did at one time have the Speedway 925 springs up front and I hated how it drove more than words can express. Looked great, though.
    • The leather seats are a substantial step down from the flocked/velour seats when it comes to cornering on twisty roads. Your clothes kind of interlock with the velour-finish seats whereas you just slide all over on the leather.
    Zero regrets about taking this car. It performed well, got better mileage than the wagon did, and was comfortable (except for the seat concern as noted above). I do think the 90+ cars have slightly better driver ergonomics than the older boxes, as well (seat angle and position vs steering wheel vs pedals).





    (yes, I'm over the line, but note it's the line where you don't mow down oncoming bikers as a penalty)

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  • DerekTheGreat
    replied
    Those you have to reset once they pop. These are great for the little critters:
    Uhlik Repeater Traps | The #1 Live Repeater Trap For Rodents

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  • Mainemantom
    replied
    "I had a squirrel attack my $600 car cover."
    Ouch that would make me angry. I have a problem with chipmunks. I have put out huge snap traps. I use the T REX brand. It has a very nasty bite.I buy them by the case. For bait I use hampster food. Last fall I was catching a minimum of one a day for about two weeks. This past few days I have caught one every day. The traps work well for mice too. I set the small snap traps up on the sides of the cowl on the cars if I am not using them for a few days. I have caught quite a few mice. there. Hopefully one of the local foxes will move closer. They solve the problem quick.

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  • DerekTheGreat
    replied
    Cool. First time I saw one like that was out of my dad's old '04 LS.

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  • kishy
    replied
    That is indeed the whale Panther aluminum donut, in pre-03 offset variant. I didn't realize aeros could have them also, but it stands to reason that they may have.

    I have a few of them. My first was necessitated by big brake swapping this car (16" required). Pretty nice wheel. Very lightweight.

    Leave a comment:


  • Kodachrome Wolf
    replied
    Originally posted by DerekTheGreat View Post
    Very much dislike for rodents. I agree about cats now, they're awful too. The ones we see on the cameras are always pissing on the Camaro. I dislike them almost as much as I dislike squirrels.

    That skinny spare tire.. That's from a Lincoln LS. First time I ever saw an auto maker produce a custom doughnut for a car. Pretty neat.
    FWIW, that mini-spare looks rather similar to what my '97 had prior to trading it for a full size spare. I know Ford used aluminum mini-spares on Panthers for a while before switching back to steel minis in the mid 2000s. Even the '87 had a build sheet note that notated an aluminum mini.

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  • 87gtVIC
    replied
    I rock that mini spare in my car. I thought I pulled it out of a whale. Maybe they have similar.

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  • DerekTheGreat
    replied
    Very much dislike for rodents. I agree about cats now, they're awful too. The ones we see on the cameras are always pissing on the Camaro. I dislike them almost as much as I dislike squirrels.

    That skinny spare tire.. That's from a Lincoln LS. First time I ever saw an auto maker produce a custom doughnut for a car. Pretty neat.

    Leave a comment:


  • kishy
    replied
    Well friends, I believe it is time to say that the hit list is complete.

    Tonight after work, I picked up the additional set of HPPs from my friend. As he said, 2 tires usable, 2 absolutely not, all a little on the old side. The wheels have a fair bit of corrosion but one in particular is quite decent, and it also has the best condition tire on it. I cleaned all of them thoroughly, then verified the air pressure in the best one, and put it in the trunk. With that, the "full size spare" item is checked off.





    I then replaced the spark plugs, and by the look of them, fouling wasn't far off. This car is a known oil burner and it builds up chunkies on the plug electrodes, which eventually begin to miss. The chunkies were accumulating, not too bad but definitely existing. Motorcraft copper went in. Old plugs were a mix of AC Delco and Motorcraft copper - the AC Delcos having been the result of a conversation way-back-when seeking a plug recommendation as I chased suspected ignition performance problems. They did fine, but 4 and 8 fouled up pretty bad at some point and used Motorcrafts that had been closer to the front of the engine went in those cylinders. Mileage at the change today is 222,636km.



    I then replaced the plug wires with a set of old-stock, made in USA, Kem-brand wires that were given to me free with a batch of Town Car parts by a friend in Michigan. They're nice and flexible and I was able to get them routed reasonably.







    I did also snug up the steering gear another quarter-turn, which did take out the tiniest bit more slop. Steering effort is still low and it still returns to centre (or near it, anyway) without hesitation so I feel pretty good about where it is. Just trying to cut down any detectable dead zone in the middle, which tends to manifest itself in overshooting the centre when changing lanes. Better to just go where I steer it, than to correct after.

    Then, took the car out for a spin and drove around for the better part of an hour, highway and city mixed, and it drives great. I'm looking forward to the seat time over the next week.

    Originally posted by 87gtVIC View Post
    Those are nice gifts. Surely will be appreciated. Car is looking sharp!


    I had a squirrel attack my $600 car cover. My cover is now repaired with vinyl tape lol.
    I thought the photos were a nice idea. Wasn't supposed to take this long (were supposed to be given to the respective friends on each of their birthdays), but better late than never. Those are pro photos by the roadside guys on the Dragon, and the drone aerial photos I took of the group. Some light cropping and editing, printed them on the Walmart self-serve photo printer things, and bought frames at Michael's.

    As for the car, she's definitely still got it, if you look past the faults. Unfortunately, the cloth top being part of the car means damage to it is pretty impactful.

    Originally posted by gadget73 View Post
    Animals can be creatures of misery.
    QFT.

    The domestic cat when allowed outside is quite possibly one of the worst. Spraying and/or pissing on everything, pulling claws on stuff...easily more destructive than even a pretty determined raccoon, in the right circumstances.
    Last edited by kishy; 05-07-2024, 12:05 AM.

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  • gadget73
    replied
    Animals can be creatures of misery. I had mice get in the Towncar and eat partially through the headliner backing. Didn't come through the cloth but there is a spot between the sun visors where the cloth has nothing to attach to. Had to peel that down partially to clean out the mess up there as best I could. Still has some residual smell, probably soaked into that fiberglass. Its getting another ozone generator treatment right now.

    This was after finding a couple of nests in various places and finally extracting what I think was the last one.

    Up at the Elks I have to re-do the soffit in whats basically an add-on storage area on the back of the building. Not sure the sequence of events but there is a piece missing and a squirrel moved in. The whole soffit has random bits of insulation visible through the vents and its gotten into assorted things stored in that space. Lots of it is just junk and has been tossed already but I expect its going to be a fun mess when I start ripping all that out. Showers of squirrel turds and fiberglass, I just can't wait.

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  • 87gtVIC
    replied
    Those are nice gifts. Surely will be appreciated. Car is looking sharp!


    I had a squirrel attack my $600 car cover. My cover is now repaired with vinyl tape lol.

    Leave a comment:


  • kishy
    replied
    I did end up putting on the new cap and rotor. Wasn't expecting a change and didn't notice one, but the old ones had fairly crusty terminals, so if nothing else it should be slightly better.

    I have a set of wires and a set of plugs, which I may or may not change. I unfortunately don't have a note for the mileage or date at which I installed the current plugs, but they were bought in 2014, installed fairly soon after I got them, and the wires are of similar age. They might have a good bit of mileage on them - not the usual lifespan amount for those parts but enough that changing them wouldn't be a big waste, likely.

    After a car show this morning, to which I brought the wagon, I washed the exterior of the 91. Paintwork received a simple powerwash, followed by handwash and rinse. Cloth top received its special cleaner and protectant, but the top is rough now. It looks like a cat or something decided to pull its claws in one spot and it's just shredded there. It wasn't beyond help before that happened, but now that it has, it's on the decline for sure. Glass has been thoroughly cleaned to try to get rid of some very persistent residues and looks pretty good now. HPP wheels have been cleaned and while not perfect, are nice and shiny. I also used some Meguiar's leather wipes to try to clean up the seats, which may or may not have done anything useful.







    The car is indoors for the night as recommended for the cloth top protectant product.

    As for the Bluetooth handsfree calling thing, I forgot another option I had. Some time ago, an eBay seller shipped me the wrong item, and that item is a Bluetooth headset. It consists of a piece that lays around your neck containing the rechargeable battery, brains, and microphone, and two earbuds on little cords to go in your ears. As it happens, this solves my aversion to earbuds since I can keep them out just hanging on my neck until the phone rings, then I can easily find one earbud on the end of its cord, put it in, and answer the phone. Tests show it has good noise cancellation, so that problem is solved.

    Hit list:
    • Full-size spare: on track to buy another set of HPPs tomorrow, two of which have usable-condition tires on them, one of which can be my spare for the trip.
    • Replace plugs and possibly also replace wires.
    And a list item I had forgotten about: gifts for two friends who came last year and are coming again this year.


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