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Thread: Buyer's Remorse (AKA "Hideous") - Giraffe's 1990 Grand Marquis LS

  1. #1
    Member Giraffe's Avatar
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    Default Buyer's Remorse (AKA "Hideous") - Giraffe's 1990 Grand Marquis LS

    Finally! I found this car locally at a junk dealer and snatched it up for $950. It's a little rough, but should clean up nicely.

    The good

    1. It runs!
    2. TV grommet is there and the transmission shifts nice and smooth with no slips I can feel. I plan to have it flushed/serviced when I get a chance.
    3. The power mirrors and driver seat work!
    4. It's an original Oklahoma/Texas car with zero rust.


    The bad

    1. It sounds like it has the dreaded knock. It didn't seem like it was low on oil pressure (never got a light, and it does work), but it does seem to be there.
    2. Every corner has a different brand tire and it's a bit wobbly going down the road. The ball joints have grease fittings, so hopefully they've been changed before. I'll likely be replacing most if not all the suspension/steering components in the future.
    3. It's been sitting for a while and will need a new battery. One of the previous owners also wired a dash-mounted start switch that jumps the solenoid posts. I ordered a new Motorcraft solenoid and will be swapping that out to see if it'll crank off the key.
    4. None of the windows roll up or down. Both passenger and the rear driver windows sound like the plastic pieces are just chewed up. That should be an easy fix. The driver door window, on the other hand, makes no sound or movement with the switch. Hoping that's just a bad switch. I ordered an EVTM off eBay and will hopefully be tackling any wiring issues I run into.
    5. The door locks also make no sound or movement on either switch.


    Minor things

    1. The engine bay is ridiculously dirty from oil leaks (valve covers) and evidence that the previous owners lived on a dirt road. The engine bay is covered and there is also a patina of dirt embedded in all of the interior cloth. This isn't really that bad, but it looks terrible and I'll be a bit nervous about it until I give it a thorough cleaning.
    2. The dome light is rusted/pitted and has a missing lens.
    3. The latch tabs on all the ashtray doors are broken; they're all stuck open.
    4. The tabs on the HVAC sliders are broken; it's difficult to adjust temperature or set the controls. Probably will just eBay another.
    5. Radio doesn't work.
    6. Retractable antenna works, but has a bend in it which causes it to bind near the fully retracted position.
    7. Cigarette lighter doesn't work.
    8. The passenger c-pillar interior covering is delaminated.
    9. The passenger vanity mirror lid is missing.
    10. The grille is held on with a combination of string/wire. Anyone know how it attaches? I'd like to get that properly fixed.


    That's about all I can think of right now. There is so much oil residue everywhere that it just reeks when it's running. Can't wait to clean it up. I have an OBD I code reader, so I'll also be pulling codes first chance I get (I'm sure there are few).

    Pictures!































    Thanks for looking! Plans for this car in the short term will be upkeep and returning it to a factory-new driving condition. It's nice to be back in a Panther!
    óJohn

    1990 Mercury Grand Marquis LS - getting her back in shape (POTM March 2017)
    1995 Mustang Cobra coupe - keeping it simple
    1966 Mustang coupe - soon-to-be project: no longer buried in junk; out of the garage!

  2. #2
    Beater gonna beat sly's Avatar
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    The windows are probably all broken gear bushings. little bits get into the gear teeth and jam stuff up. I've only had to replace one motor on my 88 and that was due to the brushes getting too worn out in the motor.

    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.
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  3. #3
    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    i wouldn't worry over much about the knock as long as its making some oil pressure. When the light is coming on above idle, you've got problems. Otherwise it can be mostly ignored as long as you keep oil in it and don't try and hold first gear until it explodes.

    86 Lincoln Town Car (Galactica).
    5.0 HO, CompCams XE258,Scorpion 1.72 roller rockers, 3.55 K code rear, tow package, BHPerformance ported E7 heads, Tmoss Explorer intake, 65mm throttle body, Hedman 1 5/8" headers, 2.5" dual exhaust, ASP underdrive pulley

    91 Lincoln Mark VII LSC SE, triple black (Timewarp) - poly front bushings, KYB struts and shocks, Holley SystemMax1 lower intake, SilverFox AOD valve body, 246k and counting

    Quote Originally Posted by phayzer5 View Post
    I drive a Lincoln. I can't be bothered to shift like the peasants and rabble rousers

  4. #4
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    How many miles?
    '79 Continental Town Car
    '90 Crown Victoria LTD
    '92 Crown Victoria Touring Sedan *Parts car. Do you need any parts?*
    '94 Crown Victoria
    Quote Originally Posted by gadget73 View Post
    '86 doesn't use a TV bushing.

  5. #5
    Member Giraffe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 79lincolnlover View Post
    How many miles?
    Odometer looks to have rolled over. I'm guessing about 112,000.
    óJohn

    1990 Mercury Grand Marquis LS - getting her back in shape (POTM March 2017)
    1995 Mustang Cobra coupe - keeping it simple
    1966 Mustang coupe - soon-to-be project: no longer buried in junk; out of the garage!

  6. #6
    Approaching 2 decades of DDing Box Panthers VicCrownVic's Avatar
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    Awesome!

    The odometer still works? Unless the odometer gears have been replaced that's pretty rare for a '90+.
    The dash cig lighter in The Scab didn't work when I got it, but it only needed contacts cleaned. If fuses and wiring are good yours may just need a good cleaning too.
    Time for a clear dome light cover, and maybe a clean JY light fixture if that one doesn't clean up.
    The '90-'91 C-pillar panels tend to do that, especially the farther south you are. Northern cars seem more likely, at least from my experience, to still be intact.
    Vic

    ~ 1991 Mercury Grand Marquis LS "The Scab" - plenty of rot, summer DD
    ~ 1997 GMC Yukon - wannabe winter DD - I'll fix it eventually
    ~ 1991 Mercury Grand Marquis GS "The Ice Car" - My rotting winter DD
    ~ 1989 Mercury Grand Marquis GS - Rotting Retired DD
    Gone but not forgotten:
    ~ 1988 Country Squire ~ 1987 Ford Crown Vic


  7. #7
    I post a lot... knucklehead0202's Avatar
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    Yeah like vic said, standard C-pillar behavior, although my new '90 has them in good shape. The other one they were both boned. Otherwise all seems like basic shit, although my front windows in the new car still don't work, as well as the power locks. Whatever, i'll get to it when I get to it. Car looks pretty damn good though dude, and for $950, you got a running, driving car! I'd call that a win either way.

  8. #8
    GMN Regular DerekTheGreat's Avatar
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    Nice box!

    Too bad you've got a 90-91.. I've got nice blue C-pillar interior trim pieces from my old '85
    1985 LTD Crown Victoria - SOLD
    1988 Town Car Signature - Current Party Barge

  9. #9
    Full of Greenhouse Gas Tiggie's Avatar
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    Reading your description I thought wow this isn't sounding good. Then I look at the pics. Looks much better than I was figuring! And pretty good for a 25 year old car.

    You can fix the HVAC sliders. The sliders slide in a track and they wear. You can rebuild with JB Weld and a file or sandpaper.
    1988 Crown Vic Wagon - daily
    1990 Country Squire - yard ornament (save me please)
    Other: 95 Ranger, 74 F250, 68 Mustang, 94 Mustang
    Sold: 1982 LTD and 1987 Crown Vic

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  10. #10
    Member Giraffe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by VicCrownVic View Post
    Awesome!

    The odometer still works? Unless the odometer gears have been replaced that's pretty rare for a '90+.
    The dash cig lighter in The Scab didn't work when I got it, but it only needed contacts cleaned. If fuses and wiring are good yours may just need a good cleaning too.
    Time for a clear dome light cover, and maybe a clean JY light fixture if that one doesn't clean up.
    The '90-'91 C-pillar panels tend to do that, especially the farther south you are. Northern cars seem more likely, at least from my experience, to still be intact.
    Come to think of it, I didn't bother to look to see if the odometer was rolling when I drove it home. I'll have to check next time.

    I think the state of the c-pillar covering is just evidence that it probably wasn't garage kept. I'm just glad the headliner isn't falling down.


    Quote Originally Posted by Tiggie View Post
    Reading your description I thought wow this isn't sounding good. Then I look at the pics. Looks much better than I was figuring! And pretty good for a 25 year old car.

    You can fix the HVAC sliders. The sliders slide in a track and they wear. You can rebuild with JB Weld and a file or sandpaper.
    Yeah, I made it sound bad. I'm just used to cars that are in tip-top shape! The car is very straight with one dent in the trunk and another small one in the driver's rear quarter behind the tire. It just need to get cleaned up. Most moving parts could likely use some grease or oil as well. Should be a nice, solid car with minimal maintenance.


    EDIT: One thing I forgot to mention is that the muffler is missing (back half of the tail pipe is still there, held up by bailing wire), so it's dumped under the car. Sounds like absolute crap! I eventually want to do an explorer motor swap with full exhaust, so I'll just get it fixed with cheapo stock replacements for now. The spare is also useless. It looks to have been involved in a major blowout. So a nice used tire is also on the wish list!
    Last edited by Giraffe; 11-22-2016 at 09:03 AM.
    óJohn

    1990 Mercury Grand Marquis LS - getting her back in shape (POTM March 2017)
    1995 Mustang Cobra coupe - keeping it simple
    1966 Mustang coupe - soon-to-be project: no longer buried in junk; out of the garage!

  11. #11
    GMN Regular HiFiMerc's Avatar
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    Clean. Nice score.

    Even if it were to need an engine in the future, I'd rather swap motors, trans, etc. than deal with rust.

  12. #12
    Member WagonMan's Avatar
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    I have a mint dome light, c-pillar interior cover and ashtray lids that close! Still looking for a vanity light cover or a whole visor. LMK if you are interestedor need any other parts! WagonMan veightpete@gmail.com
    1990 Colony Park
    1970 HEMI Superbird

  13. #13
    GMN Founder Grand Marquis GT's Avatar
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    That's a SUPER nice car for the cash!

    Can't wait to see what you do with it. How's the vinyl top?
    1983 Grand Marquis 2Dr Sedan "GMGT"
    Tremec TKO conversion, hydraulic clutch, HURST equipped!


  14. #14
    Member Giraffe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grand Marquis GT View Post
    That's a SUPER nice car for the cash!

    Can't wait to see what you do with it. How's the vinyl top?
    Vinyl top is alright. One or two small cracks near the seams at the very back of the roof. Looks like it just needs a cleaning and some TLC.
    óJohn

    1990 Mercury Grand Marquis LS - getting her back in shape (POTM March 2017)
    1995 Mustang Cobra coupe - keeping it simple
    1966 Mustang coupe - soon-to-be project: no longer buried in junk; out of the garage!

  15. #15
    Member Giraffe's Avatar
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    Some pictures of the dirt pile that is my engine bay.



    óJohn

    1990 Mercury Grand Marquis LS - getting her back in shape (POTM March 2017)
    1995 Mustang Cobra coupe - keeping it simple
    1966 Mustang coupe - soon-to-be project: no longer buried in junk; out of the garage!

  16. #16
    Full of Greenhouse Gas Tiggie's Avatar
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    That red wire. Does it have 12v? If so, does it have a fuse?
    1988 Crown Vic Wagon - daily
    1990 Country Squire - yard ornament (save me please)
    Other: 95 Ranger, 74 F250, 68 Mustang, 94 Mustang
    Sold: 1982 LTD and 1987 Crown Vic

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  17. #17
    Member Giraffe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tiggie View Post
    That red wire. Does it have 12v? If so, does it have a fuse?
    That's the wire for that start switch I mentioned. A new Motorcraft solenoid is on the way. I'm thinking the solenoid went out before and the previous owner was too cheap to buy a new one. I hope. We'll see.
    óJohn

    1990 Mercury Grand Marquis LS - getting her back in shape (POTM March 2017)
    1995 Mustang Cobra coupe - keeping it simple
    1966 Mustang coupe - soon-to-be project: no longer buried in junk; out of the garage!

  18. #18
    Member ZombieTown94's Avatar
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    Definitely keep an eye/ear on that knock, otherwise i think it looks great. A good cleaning will definitely help though.

  19. #19
    GMN Founder Grand Marquis GT's Avatar
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    I used to dump a can of "restore" in with every oil change. It seemed to quell the lopo knock.
    1983 Grand Marquis 2Dr Sedan "GMGT"
    Tremec TKO conversion, hydraulic clutch, HURST equipped!


  20. #20
    Full of Greenhouse Gas Tiggie's Avatar
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    Is your knock present hot/cold/all the time?
    1988 Crown Vic Wagon - daily
    1990 Country Squire - yard ornament (save me please)
    Other: 95 Ranger, 74 F250, 68 Mustang, 94 Mustang
    Sold: 1982 LTD and 1987 Crown Vic

    GMN Box Panther History
    Box Panther Horsepower and Torque Ratings
    Box Panther Production Numbers

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