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Thread: My 1987 Mercury Colony Park

  1. #461
    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    The ECM doesn't actually use the caps for memory purposes, it has a constant +12v feed from the battery for that job. To my knowledge, the caps are mostly used as internal power supply filters after the internal regulators drop the voltage to whatever it needs to be at. The green leaky bit will eat the board if left long enough. Mine was that way when I opened it for the Quarterhorse install. Wasn't acting funny and I won't tell you it acts different with new caps but at least I'm not worried about the board rotting or the cap shorting and blowing something up. Looks like thats how Sly's fucked out. Usually they go out with a whimper, but sometimes its a bang.

    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,

    1984 Lincoln Continental TurboDiesel - rolls coal

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

  2. #462
    Beater gonna beat sly's Avatar
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    I had that problem with one of the screws on the burnt one. I used some "beefy" needle nose pliers and got it started that way. If you have some needle vice grips... that may work better.

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  3. #463
    Member BigMerc96's Avatar
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    Huh. So if there are different part numbers and revision codes, then something must actually be different inside them. Whether its the programming, or if Ford just got 1 chip from a different supplier, who knows at this point... Its pretty well known that the later cars use several different strategies on mostly all the same hardware, sometimes several strategies within the same year/make/model. Like how model year 2000 cars have a pretty lame factory programming compared to a '99 even though nothing really changed mechanically and the PCM hardware is the same. Ford seemed to almost alternate the programming, every other year they'd be good, '96 is okay, '97 is aggressive in comparison, '98 is okay, '99 is very aggressive, and '00 is lame. The one thing the "good" years have in common is a tendency to ping under load, I've had that in my '97, but not in my '98 until I installed the '99 P71 PCM which does run noticeably different and feels more responsive like my '97...but pings...like my '97.

    Also now y'all got me wanting to open up the '97, '98, and '99 PCMs to check for aging caps. Honestly never even thought about that before, but they do live in a harsh environment and they are 20+ years old.
    -Steve

    2006 Audi A6 S-Line FWD ~132k miles, stock.
    1998 Mercury Grand Marquis LS HPP ~102k miles, slowly acquiring modifications.
    1997 Lincoln Town Car Cartier ~145k miles, Ported Plenum, Gutted Airbox, Mechanical Fan Delete, Contour E-fan Retrofit, Dual exhaust, Cats ran away, KYB Gas-A-Justs, P71 front sway bar, air ride reinstalled, Blinker Mod, Projector headlight retrofit, Caddy 4-note horn retrofit, Wood rim steering wheel, rustbelt diet plan..
    1996 Mercury Grand Marquis GS 117,485mi. R.I.P. 7/14/12

  4. #464
    Road Warrior Kodachrome Wolf's Avatar
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    Well I got the LTD one open. This thing looks super nice inside compared to the CP one. I’ll post up some pics later, but noticeable differences was the addition of a Texas Instruments chip in place of one I couldn’t identify, and the disappearance of a Motorola chip.

    The capacitors on this one are good, but will be replaced for serviceability sake. Is it okay to replace a polarized capacitor with a non polarized unit or should I just stick to the original style polarized unit?

    @BigMerc: I’ve got a spare ‘97 ECU from a police car laying about. I’ll take a look inside and see if it’s suffering from any issues. It was known working a few weeks ago.

    My Cars:
    -1987 Grand Marquis Colony Park LS (325K Miles) - April 2017 + September 2019 POTM Winner
    -1989 Sable LS Wagon (88,710 Miles) - Sold
    -1997 Grand Marquis LS (210K Miles) - The Daily Workhorse & March 2015 + January 2019 POTM Winner

  5. #465
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    it is, but NP caps in those values will be larger and you might run into fitment issues. No real reason to not use the original type unless you're changing them to film.

    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,

    1984 Lincoln Continental TurboDiesel - rolls coal

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

  6. #466
    Road Warrior Kodachrome Wolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gadget73 View Post
    it is, but NP caps in those values will be larger and you might run into fitment issues. No real reason to not use the original type unless you're changing them to film.
    Fair enough. I'm just having to scavenge online for some decent ones that meet the criteria. Rather not put some cheapy no-name stuff in there. Figure the originals made it this long, even if their plotted lifespan was likely never expected to stretch this far.


    Edit:
    Just for fun, I cracked open that '97 P71 ECU. It uses the same capacitor values as my Box ones, a 47uF 10v and a 3.3uF 63v unit. Just like the Box units, the 47uF is showing signs of age. Honestly, these are some things I'd just never thing about for longevity in a car, and yet I guess we're steadily moving into that period where inspecting stuff like this might be necessary to keep things in order.

    Finding units with the exact voltage in Nichicon brand has been a bit tougher ensuring that they meet the 105C+ standard, so I've been substituting with a higher voltage unit since it appears that'll work just fine as long as the uF rating is the same.
    Last edited by Kodachrome Wolf; 04-19-2019 at 01:01 AM.

    My Cars:
    -1987 Grand Marquis Colony Park LS (325K Miles) - April 2017 + September 2019 POTM Winner
    -1989 Sable LS Wagon (88,710 Miles) - Sold
    -1997 Grand Marquis LS (210K Miles) - The Daily Workhorse & March 2015 + January 2019 POTM Winner

  7. #467
    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    You can bump the voltage if needed. 10v caps can be replaced up to 50v or so. The 63v one can go to 100v if needed.

    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,

    1984 Lincoln Continental TurboDiesel - rolls coal

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

  8. #468
    Road Warrior Kodachrome Wolf's Avatar
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    Out of boredom, I decided to check the plugs since I'm still waiting on my capacitors.

    All of the plugs looked like the ones on the left. The one on the right came out of cylinder 7.


    FWIW, the spark plug wire clip inside the boot broke off on that plug when I went to remove the wire. I'm not sure if this cylinder was firing 100% of the time. I'm curious about the coloring though, since when cylinder 1 didn't have any compression the plug would just come out gas fouled, but clean. I've replaced the broken wire with a spare I had.

    My Cars:
    -1987 Grand Marquis Colony Park LS (325K Miles) - April 2017 + September 2019 POTM Winner
    -1989 Sable LS Wagon (88,710 Miles) - Sold
    -1997 Grand Marquis LS (210K Miles) - The Daily Workhorse & March 2015 + January 2019 POTM Winner

  9. #469
    Road Warrior Kodachrome Wolf's Avatar
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    Got the capacitors replaced on both PCMs. Checked the original DD unit to ensure it worked, and it did its business as normal. Checked the replacement DU unit, and it definitely exhibited a different startup strategy. Both start at about 1100 RPM, but the DU unit spiked the idle up to about 1600 for a few moments, then settled it down to 850 RPM. The DD unit usually just sat at 1100 to 1000 RPM.

    The DU unit also didn’t exhibit the up/down loping of the IAC after a few seconds of running. It definitely seems to be able to nail down where it wants the idle speed better than the DD unit. I want to see how it performs going down the road and get some drive cycles out of it. I’ll hopefully have it back out on Monday or so for testing.

    My Cars:
    -1987 Grand Marquis Colony Park LS (325K Miles) - April 2017 + September 2019 POTM Winner
    -1989 Sable LS Wagon (88,710 Miles) - Sold
    -1997 Grand Marquis LS (210K Miles) - The Daily Workhorse & March 2015 + January 2019 POTM Winner

  10. #470
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    The letters do indicate some difference in strategy, but unless someone manages to find a trove of Ford internal programming docs, or has the ability to extract the program we may never know the differences. I doubt anyone is going to make the effort to extract program info from a lopo ECM.

    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,

    1984 Lincoln Continental TurboDiesel - rolls coal

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

  11. #471
    Road Warrior Kodachrome Wolf's Avatar
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    Got the wagon back out today after installing the DU computer, non-floppy air vents, and installing 1.25" wheel spacers to the rear to eliminate the excessively tucked rear wheels.

    Driveablitity on the "new" ECU seems roughly the same, however the engine I believe is running a touch smoother since I don't have a busted spark plug wire anymore. I'm not sure if the computer output to the TripMinder is more optimistic than the previous one, as it seemed it was reporting considerably better than normally reported mileage in local driving at speeds between 50-60 MPH. Typically with consistent speed in that range with overdrive engaged, it was reporting a steady 26-29 MPG in the instant readout. Even being in stop and go traffic, average MPG reported 16.3 MPG.

    With a fresh tank of gas a few consistent drive cycles over the next few days, I'll see where it's actually playing and if the TripMinder is too optimistic now (was more pessimistic on the other computer). I always check my mileage each fill up on a tracking app, so I'll be curious. Perhaps this catch code has better fuel management, who knows, I'll just wait for the numbers.

    My Cars:
    -1987 Grand Marquis Colony Park LS (325K Miles) - April 2017 + September 2019 POTM Winner
    -1989 Sable LS Wagon (88,710 Miles) - Sold
    -1997 Grand Marquis LS (210K Miles) - The Daily Workhorse & March 2015 + January 2019 POTM Winner

  12. #472
    Road Warrior Kodachrome Wolf's Avatar
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    So I found and fixed a new issue that I really hadn't diagnosed.

    A few weeks ago, I had a surging idle issue, noted the TPS voltage was a bit high. Figured maybe it slipped after the ears were indexed out. Dialed it back down to around .96v and forgot about it since it started idling normally again. After that I was noticing if you really got down on the pedal, it didn't feel like all the pickup was there and at WOT or near WOT, you could really smell the exhaust, like a bad converter. Let off and things got back to normal.

    Anyway the idle surging came back today and it wanted to idle stupid in gear. Grabbed a new TPS at work, took it home. Checked the old TPS, still at .96v, but oops, at WOT it was reading only 3.21v. Based on everything I'd been seeing, that's below threshold to get it to go to WOT strategy (I think I saw the PCM looks for at least 3v above closed throttle voltage). Tossed the replacement on, closed value was .90v, and WOT it was reading 4.25v. Took it for a drive, certainly seems a lot more awake and no weird smell at WOT. Idle was more settled as it should be.

    I'd be inclined to believe I was running lean when under heavy throttle considering the range issue. The TPS did a steady sweep, but obviously it was no longer performing properly.

    My Cars:
    -1987 Grand Marquis Colony Park LS (325K Miles) - April 2017 + September 2019 POTM Winner
    -1989 Sable LS Wagon (88,710 Miles) - Sold
    -1997 Grand Marquis LS (210K Miles) - The Daily Workhorse & March 2015 + January 2019 POTM Winner

  13. #473
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    thats odd. usually those work fine or have obvious dead spots or jerks in the throttle sweep.

    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,

    1984 Lincoln Continental TurboDiesel - rolls coal

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

  14. #474
    Road Warrior Kodachrome Wolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gadget73 View Post
    thats odd. usually those work fine or have obvious dead spots or jerks in the throttle sweep.
    The old one was steady, but just would not engage higher than 3.21v at WOT when properly adjusted for closed throttle. No misalignment of the little tabs either, it rotated fine on the shaft.

    New one works like a charm. I want to say Nick stuck a nice Motorcraft one one it during his ownership, but I guess it went stupid at some point. I might check the resistance values to see how those look, just for kicks. Replacement was a Standard unit since it was readily available.

    My Cars:
    -1987 Grand Marquis Colony Park LS (325K Miles) - April 2017 + September 2019 POTM Winner
    -1989 Sable LS Wagon (88,710 Miles) - Sold
    -1997 Grand Marquis LS (210K Miles) - The Daily Workhorse & March 2015 + January 2019 POTM Winner

  15. #475
    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    NFG is NFG, but thats just not the way I'd expect for it to fail. Meh, whatever. Either way its nice you found the problem.

    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,

    1984 Lincoln Continental TurboDiesel - rolls coal

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

  16. #476
    GMN Regular DerekTheGreat's Avatar
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    After swapping in an older PCM in Ashley's '92 F150, I can say that there are indeed differences. The older one wants to start up and idle about 400rpm higher and then it holds that for a while before it wants to settle into a low idle. The old one started high but then settled right to 1000 rpm until it started to warm up where it then settled into 800 or so.
    1985 LTD Crown Victoria - SOLD
    1988 Town Car Signature - Current Party Barge

  17. #477
    Road Warrior Kodachrome Wolf's Avatar
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    Decided to start on some plans I've had for a while and did a minor fix. Already removed the upper intake for the work.

    Minor fix: Noticed with the HVAC set to A/C or Vent, any time you touched the accelerator and let off, there was an audible click clack behind the dash, like a vacuum selector. Air always came out of the correct vents, but I noticed it would just lose all vacuum within moments of shutting the engine off and you could hear all the vacuum actuators release. The other day I was climbing a long hill while on the pedal and the vents switched back to defrost. Found the HVAC feed line from the check valve at the firewall vacuum tree had cracked again. Decided to trim it back a bit more and repaired a good section of it with standard vacuum hose. Hopefully that'll keep it placated.

    Plans: Toss on aluminum Mustang valve covers I've been kicking around for a while, delete the heater core return pipe and replace with a standard hose, and install a restrictor in the inlet to the heater core.

    I've already done the install of the restrictor in the inlet heater hose. Four Seasons/Murray 74796 is for 3/4" line and fits good. I did that since I saw some older posts about running the car hard and ballooning the heater core. I can't say I'm running at max RPM all day, but every once in a while I like to go WOT for fun and I'd rather not kill that thing. Job doesn't look super fun, so I'll do a little preventative work instead.

    The return pipe job is on the table since the primary job it used to help with doesn't exist anymore. The pipe has a nipple coming off of it that fed the EGR spacer antifreeze. My EGR spacer has been unhooked forever and the hose is just looped back into the intake. It's not doing much, and I figure I could either just stick a plug in that back hole, or I can move the temperature gauge's probe back there and put the OE switch sensor for the instrument cluster back in the front port. That way all the factory stuff works and I still have my gauge too. From there, I could remove the metal pipe and just run some bulk 3/4" hose from the water pump to the heater core and route it along with the inlet heater hose. All the pre-SEFI cars were done like that, so I figure it'll be fine.

    Valve covers are merely aesthetics. I just want to toss a little extra something in there.

    My Cars:
    -1987 Grand Marquis Colony Park LS (325K Miles) - April 2017 + September 2019 POTM Winner
    -1989 Sable LS Wagon (88,710 Miles) - Sold
    -1997 Grand Marquis LS (210K Miles) - The Daily Workhorse & March 2015 + January 2019 POTM Winner

  18. #478
    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    If the gauge is in the rear, it responds oddly. Might be better putting the idiot light switch back there. I had mine in the back corner for a while.

    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,

    1984 Lincoln Continental TurboDiesel - rolls coal

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

  19. #479
    Road Warrior Kodachrome Wolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gadget73 View Post
    If the gauge is in the rear, it responds oddly. Might be better putting the idiot light switch back there. I had mine in the back corner for a while.
    Interesting to note. Was it reading hotter back there or was it slower to respond? Just curious before I start buttoning things up tomorrow or Sunday.


    Regarding the work:

    -HO Valve Covers:


    -Return Pipe Delete:



    I found something worth noting, and that was the little fitting that would have served as the EGR warmer return port was 100% clogged solid. Just full of what looked like mud. I know Nick took good care of fixing the cooling system on this car after it overheated on him once, but something tells me it probably had problems well before he had it. Anyway, the heater core return tube was looking really sad and was rusty inside, and since I didn't need the feed for the EGR warmer, it was simple enough to just toss in some bulk silicone heater hose and call it a day. The earlier cars survived that way just fine, so here we are, even if it isn't as pretty as the factory return tube.

    I forgot I tossed the original temperature sender for the light, so I ordered a new one at the store. I'll have that tomorrow, and I'll be done with this little side project once I decide to put it all back together.

    My Cars:
    -1987 Grand Marquis Colony Park LS (325K Miles) - April 2017 + September 2019 POTM Winner
    -1989 Sable LS Wagon (88,710 Miles) - Sold
    -1997 Grand Marquis LS (210K Miles) - The Daily Workhorse & March 2015 + January 2019 POTM Winner

  20. #480
    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    read slower, but it also swung hot to cold somewhat randomly. Up front its rock solid. Not much water circulation there in the back, so I suspect thats the real reason.


    Its not actually an EGR cooler. Its a throttle body heater to keep the thing from icing up. I monitored the air temp sensor in mine with it connected vs disconnected and got roughly 10F hotter air with it plumbed in.

    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,

    1984 Lincoln Continental TurboDiesel - rolls coal

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

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