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Thread: My 1989 Crown Victoria.

  1. #1
    GMN Regular slack's Avatar
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    Default My 1989 Crown Victoria.

    Hey All,

    I figured I would post a Reader's Ride post about my '89 Crown Vic. I've done a decent amount of work to it and wanted to post it up.

    I bought the car in Sept 2012. It's my fourth panther car I've owned. (I've previously owned a '91 GMQ, '94 LTC and a '97 LTC.)

    Here it is in Oct 2012 on a trip to CT to pick up my friends '83 tudor.
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    And Here's a few pics I snapped yesterday: (I'll fill in the work done in additional posts)

    The car currently has a front nose swap with an '87 and the rear bumper swap of an '87. Still looking for a good trunk lid to complete the swap. (I have the rear tail lights on standby)

    Front:
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    Back:
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    I'm going to wait until the weather's warmer to attempt to paint the mis-matched parts.

    After those pics were taken, we went down to my friend's dad's friends house who sells tires and picked up some big truck tires for the rear. (My current ones were bald and I was fishtailing in the snow like it was nobody's business).

    Here's a pic from today:
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    More posts to come!

  2. #2
    hooked on mercurys visionmercury's Avatar
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    Default

    looks like an interesting monster your building man, good luck and keep up the pics.
    THE H.I.D MASTER
    87 mercury grand marquis
    88 crown vic lx
    89 mercury colony park ls (sold)
    89 mercury grand marquis (sold)
    00 ford crown vic lx hpp
    03 mercury marauder aka punisher (sold )

  3. #3
    GMN = life johnunit's Avatar
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    Welcome! looks like a pretty easy car to get into really nice order.

    85 4 door 351 Civi Crown Victoria - Summer daily driver, sleeper in the making, and wildly inappropriate autocross machine
    160KMs 600cfm holley, shorty headers, 2.5" catted exhaust, 255/295 tires, cop shocks, cop swaybars, underdrive pulley, 2.73L gears.
    waiting for install: 3.27's, Poly bushings, boxed rear arms, 2500 stall converter, ported e7's, etc

    06 Mazda 3 hatch 2.3L 5AT (winter beater that cost more than my summer car)

  4. #4
    GMN Regular slack's Avatar
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    Thanks guys!

    Here's some pics from earlier this year when I swapped out the old springs for the heavy duty cargo springs and new shocks. The old stuff was completely shot.

    Now suspension goodies:
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    Compressing old spring to remove it:
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    Another angle of the c-clamp in spring tool:
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    New stuff in car:
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    One of the old dead shocks that was in the car:
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    I also changed the diff fluid at the time and painted the back plate just for the heck of it:
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    Old fluid:
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    Painting:
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    Plate installed and fluid filled:
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  5. #5
    GMN Regular slack's Avatar
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    The car after all the suspension was all done and installed:

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  6. #6
    GMN Regular slack's Avatar
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    Front tie rods also needed some love earlier this year so I went ahead and replaced all that stuff as well.

    A few before pics:
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    Old stuff out:
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    New stuff in and installed:
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    Afterwards I got an alignment done.

    Here's the before:
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    Here's the after:
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  7. #7
    GMN Regular slack's Avatar
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    I wish I had more pics of this nightmare that happened this past December.

    So, I went to replace the thermostat in the CV and the left bolt on the housing broke off in the intake manifold. We were able to use enough heat to get the other bolt out fine but it took a ton of persuasion. When taking the thermostat housing off the intake manifold, it apparently was baked on and didn't want to come off at first.

    After prying at it... this happened:
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    The thing just fell apart in half. Never saw that happen before. It must have been from all the heat.

    In any case, while wrestling with this, the TFI module got cracked from it's base. (Not sure how). We removed the distributor for further heating of the broken bolt just to be on the safe side.

    New TFI module:
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    Luckily there was enough of a nub sticking out the intake manifold to be able to grab the broken bolt with some vise grips and heat the holy hell out of it. After that bolt was out, we robbed a donor 302 of it's thermostat housing and bolts.

    New thermostat was installed as well as new hoses all around. (Hoses changed the following day)

    Here it is with everything installed... definitely not the prettiest RVT job but I was done at this point. (I think it was probably close to midnight)
    Click image for larger version. 

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  8. #8
    Beater gonna beat sly's Avatar
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    hopefully it isn't too much RTV. too much may clog the bypass and/or t-stat and screw things up.

    Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former. -- Albert Einstein
    rides: 88 MGM (SOLD), 93 Vic, 2000 Crown Vic, 2003 Expedition
    Quote Originally Posted by gadget73
    ... and it should all work like magic and unicorns and stuff.
    Quote Originally Posted by dmccaig
    Overhead, some poor bastards are flying in airplanes.

  9. #9
    GMN Regular slack's Avatar
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    Yeah. I was a little worried about that too. But it seems to be okay. It's been almost two months since that debacle now without any problems. The car has an 8hr round trip to PA as well as daily driving under it's belt since then.

  10. #10
    Beater gonna beat sly's Avatar
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    Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former. -- Albert Einstein
    rides: 88 MGM (SOLD), 93 Vic, 2000 Crown Vic, 2003 Expedition
    Quote Originally Posted by gadget73
    ... and it should all work like magic and unicorns and stuff.
    Quote Originally Posted by dmccaig
    Overhead, some poor bastards are flying in airplanes.

  11. #11
    The Brown Blob 87gtVIC's Avatar
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    Nice work man. Really appreciate you putting up the progress pics. Did you go to PA for some of the great junkyards?
    ~David~

    My 1987 Crown Victoria Coupe: The Brown Blob
    My 2004 Mercedes Benz E320:The Benz

    Quote Originally Posted by DerekTheGreat View Post
    But, that's just coming from me, this site's biggest pessimist. Best of luck

  12. #12
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    Was the original header panel cracked?
    '79 Continental Town Car
    '90 Crown Victoria LTD
    '94 Crown Victoria

  13. #13
    GMN Regular slack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 87gtVIC View Post
    Nice work man. Really appreciate you putting up the progress pics. Did you go to PA for some of the great junkyards?
    Thanks! Ditto to you too! I have a few more folders of pics from work done in the past year I still need to update this thread with.

    I was actually going to hit one up in the Poconos today for the '79-87 trunk lid but Center Morriches junk yard apparently has about 3 box panthers laying around in the far back. I was able to score the lid, trunk lock eye (or whatever it's called. The loop on the body side) and all the rear fillers for cheap. Not to sound like an ad but they're my go to guys for older cars without having to leave the island. Back to the question though. All my family besides me basically live around York, PA so I head out there to visit a couple times a year. Maybe next time I'm out that far I'll check out some of the "you pick" yards and see what they have laying around. I'll give you guys a holler in case anyone wants me to pick something up when I do.

    Quote Originally Posted by 79lincolnlover
    Was the original header panel cracked?
    The '89 header panel? Nope. It's actually in really nice shape. I've been trying to sell it for like 3 months now and haven't had any takers. I'm moving at the end of this week and I'm not sure how much longer I can hold on to it. I'm trying to find a home for it because I'd hate a good part like that to go to waste.

    So, as mentioned above. I got the trunk lid. I'm currently in the middle of painting it and getting everything ready to mount tomorrow morning. I should have some nice progress pics up on Monday.
    Last edited by slack; 01-26-2014 at 02:00 AM.

  14. #14
    Member Louis's Avatar
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    Nice work on the '87 swap.

    I have always preferred that look over the "aero box" look.

  15. #15
    The Brown Blob 87gtVIC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slack View Post
    I was able to score the lid, trunk lock eye (or whatever it's called. The loop on the body side) and all the rear fillers for cheap.

    Good to hear you found something local. You talking about the latch? I had to think for a few about what you meant by "loop on the body side."
    ~David~

    My 1987 Crown Victoria Coupe: The Brown Blob
    My 2004 Mercedes Benz E320:The Benz

    Quote Originally Posted by DerekTheGreat View Post
    But, that's just coming from me, this site's biggest pessimist. Best of luck

  16. #16
    GMN Regular slack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 87gtVIC View Post
    Good to hear you found something local. You talking about the latch? I had to think for a few about what you meant by "loop on the body side."
    Yeah me too.

    Yeah the whole latch assembly. The lock part on the trunk and this part that screws into the body:
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    The one on my car now is completely different.

  17. #17
    GMN Regular slack's Avatar
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    As promised. Here's the update from this weekends load of work done!

    First thing Saturday morning my friend and I drove out to the junkyard and picked up the parts I was missing to finish the rear end box conversion. I was able to get the trunk, the fillers and the latch from one of their donor cars.

    Here's the trunk underside and some of the fillers:
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    And some of the top. Lots of surface rust that needed to be sanded down:
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    Here's how it looked after some hardcore sanding. (Done by hand, probably should have used an electric sander and saved my shoulder. lol) As you can see, the fake plastic chrome trim is completely shot. What was interesting was the paint was blue, then the pink primer and under that was a mint green coat of paint as well. Was it normal for boxes to have three different colors under their paint? Or is it possible this trunk was painted previously?
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    First coat of primer:
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    Then we started using some rattle can paint. It's close to my car color but not 100% exact. I'm just looking for something to hold over until I can get around to getting the whole car painted. (And to keep the rust at bay)
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    After the paint was dry, we had to move our location to somewhere we could keep the thing sitting for a few days. We ended up in my friend's brother's work shed. We heated the the place with this turkey frier we found at Home Depot. It was the floor model and marked down to around $30. They were out of regular propane heaters.
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    We hung the fillers from some wire on the roof and gave them some paint as well.
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    All and all. Not too bad. Here's what the trunk looked like with one coat of primer and two coats of rattle can. Still needs some good sanding and possibly another coat.
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    ...and I've reached my attachment limit for this post.

  18. #18
    GMN Regular slack's Avatar
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    Continuing from the previous post...

    We then taped off the newly painted trunk so we could attempt to paint the shot plastic "chrome" trim. We used the Rustoleum chrome paint. I don't have a pic on me of the after, but it looks chrome-ish. I'm not sure I'm 100% happy with it. I guess I'm going to have to see how it polishes up. Anyone have any suggestions?
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    We then went out and started a little disassembling to see what we have lined up on the plate to do next. I apparently have some major rot issues on the body seams behind my rear tail light lenses. Ack.
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    ..And with both tail lights off.
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    Here's the current situation I'm in. I know we can cut the trunk out and weld in another part from a donor car but I feel like that's going to be a bit too much work. As you can see, the trunk shapes are NOT the same on the '88-91 as the '79-87. They are DIFFERENT.
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    Here is the idea we're going to attempt. We're going to cut the tail lens housing to fit the frame curve so that they sit flush. (Screw stud holes actually line up surprisingly). We're then going to widen the holes in the frame for the actual lens to be able to fit. The '87 and down have a two bulb set up as the 88-91 have a single tail light bulb.

    Here's something I threw together in paint right now to give the general idea. It's not even close to exact. I'm going to take measurements after work to get the correct dimensions that need to be cut.
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    EDIT:
    Here's a pic of a trunk from an 86 that I found on craigslist for comparison:
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    Last edited by slack; 01-27-2014 at 03:10 PM.

  19. #19
    Beater gonna beat sly's Avatar
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    I figured there would be more fab work to be had.

    Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former. -- Albert Einstein
    rides: 88 MGM (SOLD), 93 Vic, 2000 Crown Vic, 2003 Expedition
    Quote Originally Posted by gadget73
    ... and it should all work like magic and unicorns and stuff.
    Quote Originally Posted by dmccaig
    Overhead, some poor bastards are flying in airplanes.

  20. #20
    The Brown Blob 87gtVIC's Avatar
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    I'd honestly pick up some spot weld cutters and get the correct panel. You have rust in that area so it will be taking care of that right away and you will ensure that the trunk will fit correctly. The right piece will make everything easier.

    Nice work! About the chrome trim on the trunk I just removed mine.
    Last edited by 87gtVIC; 01-27-2014 at 05:42 PM.
    ~David~

    My 1987 Crown Victoria Coupe: The Brown Blob
    My 2004 Mercedes Benz E320:The Benz

    Quote Originally Posted by DerekTheGreat View Post
    But, that's just coming from me, this site's biggest pessimist. Best of luck

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