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Thread: My 1987 Mercury Colony Park

  1. #221
    Road Warrior Kodachrome Wolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DerekTheGreat View Post
    Step up the ground from the core support to the battery. Helps a lot. Also, 3G or 2? When I stepped up to a 3G all my dimming light problems went away.
    Understood. I noticed the tiny little extra ground cable that comes off the negative terminal and runs off somewhere. Looks like it has an inline fuse. The '97 has a beefier one that attaches to the fender.

    I'm running a 3G alternator. It definitely keeps up with all the electrical loads. Headlights and such don't dim, blower stays strong, but since I've put LEDs in the instrument cluster, you can tell every time the signal light flashes as they dim and come back up with each cycle, or anytime I brake. Doesn't bother me much, but I'm sure it would drive somebody up the wall if they saw it. Maybe I'll go back to incandescent bulbs there since they're a little less bothered by minor load changes.

    My Cars:
    -1987 Grand Marquis Colony Park LS (320K Miles) - The Hideaway & April 2017 POTM Winner
    -1989 Sable LS Wagon (88,710 Miles) - Sold
    -1997 Grand Marquis LS (190K Miles) - The Daily Workhorse & March 2015 POTM Winner

  2. #222
    GMN Regular DerekTheGreat's Avatar
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    Hmm, that's odd. I'm no electrician but I've never seen someone fuse a ground..

    I've got NFC on the LED's in the cluster or why they're dimming. Maybe one of the more technically advanced peeps on here could have a work around for that, like installing a capacitor for the cluster's illumination lights that would help keep the supply of juice to them constant?
    1985 LTD Crown Victoria - SOLD
    1988 Town Car Signature - Current Party Barge

  3. #223
    Member BigMerc96's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DerekTheGreat View Post
    Hmm, that's odd. I'm no electrician but I've never seen someone fuse a ground..

    I've got NFC on the LED's in the cluster or why they're dimming. Maybe one of the more technically advanced peeps on here could have a work around for that, like installing a capacitor for the cluster's illumination lights that would help keep the supply of juice to them constant?
    Its actually kind of interesting too me. In my (not so expert) experience LEDs are actually less sensitive to voltage fluctuations. They require less power to light up, so feed them anywhere from 9-14v and they produce pretty much the same light output, this is why they don't always dim properly with an old school dimmer switch.

    As for battery terminals, I've always liked the factory-looking strap ones like these: linky. Solder or crimp on a eyelet on the cables and bolt it to the terminal, best part is most fit in the factory plastic terminal covers Ford used on the Aeros. With them bolting onto the cables, they are quick and easy to replace should the need arise.
    -Steve

    1998 Mercury Grand Marquis LS HPP ~95k 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 retrofit, all natural weight reduction as the parts fall off..
    1996 Mercury Grand Marquis GS 117,485mi. R.I.P. 7/14/12

  4. #224
    Road Warrior Kodachrome Wolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DerekTheGreat View Post
    Hmm, that's odd. I'm no electrician but I've never seen someone fuse a ground..

    I've got NFC on the LED's in the cluster or why they're dimming. Maybe one of the more technically advanced peeps on here could have a work around for that, like installing a capacitor for the cluster's illumination lights that would help keep the supply of juice to them constant?
    It's weird. So the negative cable looks like it was replaced at some point because it looks like one you can get from a parts store. It has the main cable which grounds to the block, then there's a small 12 or 14 gauge wire that comes off of it, a butt connector, then that's attached to what appears to be a glass-type fuse holder (one of those plastic cylinder type ones; black in color). That wire continues into a loomed harness immediately thereafter and disappears.

    I'm thinking I may need to add a battery ground to core support cable based on how things look. Unlike the Aeros and Whales that have the negative cable that goes down to the chassis and the other smaller cable that goes to the fender, this one just has the cable to block and then the other small wire that goes somewhere. I know on my friend's C1500 his small negative cable that went to his fender came out of the battery terminal and caused the gauges to behave weirdly if you turned the headlights on.

    My Cars:
    -1987 Grand Marquis Colony Park LS (320K Miles) - The Hideaway & April 2017 POTM Winner
    -1989 Sable LS Wagon (88,710 Miles) - Sold
    -1997 Grand Marquis LS (190K Miles) - The Daily Workhorse & March 2015 POTM Winner

  5. #225
    GMN Regular DerekTheGreat's Avatar
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    Yeah, my car had a 14ga wire that went from the core support to the battery. I stepped that up to welder's cable when I put the 3G in along with the radio. Could be what your car needs.

    Like BigMerc96 said I wouldn't think the LED's should be sensitive to voltage fluctuations but maybe if there's a bottleneck at the ground situation... Again, just a laymen here. I can barely take a piss without getting any on me...
    1985 LTD Crown Victoria - SOLD
    1988 Town Car Signature - Current Party Barge

  6. #226
    Southern
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kodachrome Wolf View Post
    It's weird. So the negative cable looks like it was replaced at some point because it looks like one you can get from a parts store. It has the main cable which grounds to the block, then there's a small 12 or 14 gauge wire that comes off of it, a butt connector, then that's attached to what appears to be a glass-type fuse holder (one of those plastic cylinder type ones; black in color). That wire continues into a loomed harness immediately thereafter and disappears.

    I'm thinking I may need to add a battery ground to core support cable based on how things look. Unlike the Aeros and Whales that have the negative cable that goes down to the chassis and the other smaller cable that goes to the fender, this one just has the cable to block and then the other small wire that goes somewhere. I know on my friend's C1500 his small negative cable that went to his fender came out of the battery terminal and caused the gauges to behave weirdly if you turned the headlights on.
    Again - I replaced that cable because it had AutoZone cheezy screw on terminals on some dried out crappy battery cables - BYE. Especially when the smaller 16 gauge wire broke and the nut for the battery terminal was stripped by some prior hack "mechanic". Hooked it up like the factory had it and off to the races minus the butt connector I added (instead of soldiering) to join the remnants of the factory cable to the replacement battery cable.
    -Nick M.
    Columbia, SC

    1966 Ford Country Squire - 6.4L 390 2bbl/C6 - ~85K miles
    1989 Mercury Colony Park LS - 302 V8- 188K miles.
    1990 Lincoln Town Car Signature Series - 302 V8- 102K miles.
    2003 Lincoln Town Car Signature Series 3x - (42K, 79K-totaled, 222k)

  7. #227
    Road Warrior Kodachrome Wolf's Avatar
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    Replaced the negative terminal and tossed a ground strap from the terminal to the core support (bolted the eyelet under the crossbrace). Lights on the dash don’t seem to dim with turn/brake light application now, or at least as far as I can see.

    My Cars:
    -1987 Grand Marquis Colony Park LS (320K Miles) - The Hideaway & April 2017 POTM Winner
    -1989 Sable LS Wagon (88,710 Miles) - Sold
    -1997 Grand Marquis LS (190K Miles) - The Daily Workhorse & March 2015 POTM Winner

  8. #228
    GMN Regular DerekTheGreat's Avatar
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    Sweet. I hardly notice any dimming any more either, none if I'm not jamming the radio. At ear bleed volume levels & thumpa-thumpa happening I can see the headlights and dash lights wince a bit that doesn't happen often enough for me to be concerned.
    1985 LTD Crown Victoria - SOLD
    1988 Town Car Signature - Current Party Barge

  9. #229
    Road Warrior Kodachrome Wolf's Avatar
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    Had some time to do a little work over the weekend.

    I've been dealing with functional but flaky brake lights unless you were really holding the brake pedal. It would do an intermittent flash or not come on at all under light braking. Cruise control would sometimes not deactivate and the car would try accelerate out of a slow down. Tossed in a new brake light switch and now they come on with even the lightest touch on the pedal and stay on until released. I pulled out an OE one, so I assume that switch was shot.

    I also started looking at the door speakers. Passenger side was still wired in, but the driver side one wasn't. I ran speaker wire down from the dash speaker to the door connector and just spliced it in. The factory harness is cut up enough from the original install, what's one more splice? Speaker didn't come on there either, and the passenger side is definitely inoperative. Having been in the doors before, I believe those are the original speakers and I bet the coil is frozen. I may toss in some new speakers and see if they work. I just want the sound to be coming from more than the back of the back and the windshield.

    I also tossed on my stainless vent visors. Been sitting on these for a moment, and finally decided to try my hand at installing them since I was having trouble the first time I tried. The fronts were easy, but I was scared about the window felts in the rear since the front passenger felt shattered into many pieces when I removed it. Luckily the rear felts were pliable enough to pull them from their channels.



    They also didn't fly off on my way to work today, so that was a plus.

    I've still got to go over the idle issue. TPS voltages were in range when I checked them last night and the code scan came back with an 11. Still has grumbly idle (you can just feel the car shaking a bit) and sometimes you'll really feel a miss. With the lights on, you'll see the dash get dim and come back up when that happens. Now, that got me wondering about the alternator. It passes a load test, but the lights get real dim when that happens, then come back up. Puts out 14.6v at idle. No idea if it's got something flaky about it since it came from a junkyard, but was fine previously. I may pull the SPOUT and see if it idles smoother. It cruises down the road well enough, Tripminder shows average MPG (14-16 city), but sometimes the issue rears itself at low RPM in 3rd, such as slowing down and then picking back up speed, it chugs until it gets going. Also when coming to a stop it's not a smooth glide. I don't know if the brakes are being grabby, the TV pressure is a touch high, or if the engine is acting weird. It'll slow down fine up to about 25 MPH, then jerk a bit until you're stationary and the idle goes to being grumbly.

    I figure I may also need to grab a vacuum pressure tester and figure out if it's maintaining steady vacuum or if it's going wacky. That could be a telling sign if somethings up.

    My Cars:
    -1987 Grand Marquis Colony Park LS (320K Miles) - The Hideaway & April 2017 POTM Winner
    -1989 Sable LS Wagon (88,710 Miles) - Sold
    -1997 Grand Marquis LS (190K Miles) - The Daily Workhorse & March 2015 POTM Winner

  10. #230
    GMN Regular DerekTheGreat's Avatar
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    One thing to do is make sure you've got clean connections at the starter solenoid. I assume the voltage regulator must sense load before it starts throwing out more amps to compensate.
    1985 LTD Crown Victoria - SOLD
    1988 Town Car Signature - Current Party Barge

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