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Thread: 1989 Mercury Colony Park

  1. #1
    Southern
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    Default 1989 Mercury Colony Park

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    So back in July 2015 I saw a posting for a Brown on Brown 89 Colony Park on craigslist in Charlotte. The interior looked great in the pictures. It was listed for $1500 on there which seemed pretty fair. A couple of my friends rode up with me in my former 87 Colony Park (street cred right when buying a wagon right?)

    Went and looked at it. It was an LS. Had factory Engine block heater. Premium Sound. Automatic Temp Control. Way oversize tires and A few silly bumper stickers, a stack of maintenance records/work. The motor under hood and under neath was covered in leaks and seeps and crap everywhere. Stop leak in the back cargo area. Barrs, gallons of coolant and a mud filled radiator. It went through all 4 gears at least. Had a temp gauge. So I bought it.

    It was originally a Minnesota car up until 2012! But heavily undercoated. And frankly, I don't even think it saw a winter. There's not even a spec of rot under it since all the undercoating is coming off. Just normal A pillar/door hinge area rot.

    After I got it home I figured I would do a full gasket set short of a rear main on it since whomever had done work previously did shoddy work but maybe in a few months. And so I started doing multiple flushings of the cooling system filled with mud. I did the upper control arm bushings since they were falling apart. GOt an alignment and uh oh - all the cooling system flushes loosened the stop leak - out comes mud from timing cover gasket

    So all new upper, lower, valve cover, timing cover, oil pan and crank seal. I got it back up and running, cables and all and I was driving it and noticed...ummm...where's 4th gear? it was slipping and barely engaged in light throttle. Uh oh. So...I get back home. Friend drives it. And he agrees with assessment. And he notes why is your TV cable binding So...off to the trans shop. So cable was removed, cleaned and lubed and unstuck. It was rebuilt. And returned to me. Wow it has gears now but this thing has the EPA TV cable adjustment - how quickly can I go to 3rd gear.

    After awhile, same said friend says here let me put it to a more "sporty" setting. WOW. It now shifts EXACTLY where I want and when based on throttle input. it's awesome - clean, crisp shifts. A shade firm going into 4th but whatever.

    So i've driven it a lot and learned uh oh lots oil is being used I did valve seals since they were rock hard. Bad luck...the rings are shotttttttt. So I go from full dipstick to barely a reading in 250 miles And valve seals didn't fix it. So I'm like I guess I'll just add oil and figure out next plan.

    In mean time, I install speakers to replace the crap ones in all the doors (JBL on dash and door from 88 TC and 03 TC Alpines in the rear). Replace the door lock actuators that puked. Install a mint dashpad that doesn't even have a crack. Also install a TripMinder since the pad was out. PLug and play I put turbines from the 87 onto the 89. Had a reverse light bulb to replace. Removed the awful knee knocker bumper hitch garbage. Also replaced the negative battery cable with a NOS one. Replaced the cracked mirror on driver side with junkyard one. Replaced the door seals with nice ones from junkyard. I also tinted the glass to 30% front two doors, and 20% from the B pillar all the way back.

    More recently I installed factory dual exhaust in August. The OE stuff was getting worse and worse, getting very loud and the car was slowing down...but sounding fast with the exhaust leak. I found a wagon that had been parked for years - southern car. Took the H pipe and tail pipes and installed new mufflers and gaskets. Its definitely more powerful and happier to run. Even got the hangars and bolts so it looks factory!

    So what's left for the beast? Not much internally - I want to refoam the front seats since large folks wore out the foam and its not very supportive (have some good foam to use from a Grandma car). Would love to remove carpet, pressure wash and reinstall and clean all the fabrics. The interior is really why I bought it - interesting color and GREAT condition.

    What's left otherwise?
    -Install the roof rack wing.
    -Figure out why the key won't operate the window to the up position and why the dash switch for the window only works when interior is cool temperature. If warm at all it won't work.
    -The open 3.08 rear has a bad axle shaft, bearing and seal on passenger side (imagine that on a Ford 8.8....). Thinking to put in a 3.55 Trac-Loc...How much does it kill your MPG? I can squeak 21 out of the wagon keeping it at or under 70 with no AC on the highway.
    -The front brakes are going to get swapped for police calipers, new pads and hoses. New shoes in rear and adjustment. Parking brake works on this car
    -Bought a 96 Explorer 5.0 to put it's motor in to replace this old, tired, overheated poorly cared for motor. That'll be a lot of work!
    -Respray the Chocolate Brown Metallic color outside.
    -Find a new piece of trim to go under passenger tail light.
    -Find some new Colony Park Specific wood trim and find a way to relay it.
    -Install the NOS steering box I grabbed off eBay for cheap (NOS Ford - $100). My current one leaks a 1 pint in 3K miles.
    -Buy a shorter belt and rip out that secondary air injection crap while motor is out. Cats were still good when I saw them last...
    -Install the Policy Front and rear Sway Bars and Rear Police trailing arms.

    Ill grab some better pictures over weekend.
    -Nick M.
    Columbia, SC

    66 Squire, 89 Colony Park, 90 TC, 03 (2x) TC, 06 TC, 07 TC
    03 BMW 540iT, 05 GMC Yukon (tahoe)

  2. #2
    The Brown Blob 87gtVIC's Avatar
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    You guys and your wagons....


    Needs me a wagon!
    ~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

  3. #3

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    Instead of locating and installing vinyl, I removed mine, filled the trim hoes and painted it. Never regretted it.

    Donad

  4. #4
    Wagon Addicted Tiggie's Avatar
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    Sounds like you needed that motor transplant. I wonder if the oil burning helps MPG?
    1988 Crown Vic Wagon - daily
    1990 Country Squire - weekend cruiser, former lawn ornament
    Other: 95 Ranger, 74 F250, 68 Mustang, 94 Mustang
    Sold: 1982 LTD and 1987 Crown Vic

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  5. #5
    Southern
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    Not a chance. The grain and trim stays -'it makes the car.

  6. #6
    Southern
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    Yea I do wonder if the oil burner will get better mpg

  7. #7
    Road Warrior Kodachrome Wolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TecNickal View Post
    Not a chance. The grain and trim stays -'it makes the car.
    If replacement woodgrain vinyl wasn't so expensive it would be in the game plan for the '87, but since it doesn't have it anymore I think whenever the day comes it gets new paint it'll stay steelsided, sans the trimming. It'll just look like one of the earlier, standard Marquis wagons.

    BTW, love the picture with the three wagons. I never really saw any of the post repaint pictures of the '91 once it was done. It looks rather nice. I'm sure the '89 will look just as good when it gets its paint redone.
    Last edited by Kodachrome Wolf; 01-28-2017 at 01:49 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

  8. #8
    Approaching 2 decades of DDing Box Panthers VicCrownVic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TecNickal View Post
    Not a chance. The grain and trim stays -'it makes the car.
    I support this idea!
    (Not financially though. You're on your own there.)

    Some day I'll have another Country Squire, just not within the foreseeable future. For now I'll just enjoy seeing the wagons here on the forum.
    Vic

    ~ 1991 Mercury Grand Marquis LS "The Scab" - plenty of rot, summer DD
    ~ 1997 GMC Yukon - wannabe winter DD - returning summer 2020, I finally have an engine
    ~ 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


  9. #9
    Digital Dash Enthusiast Hearsesrock427's Avatar
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    Yikes that thing must've been extremely neglected.... makes you wonder how ignorant the previous owner(s) was/were. Even if they don't know the intervals to flush stuff and change wear items (radiator, water pump, etc.) it's not like it's arcane knowledge locked up in a vault somewhere. There's PDFs that show the severe duty maintenance cycle for panthers if googled. Owner's manual tells you that stuff too! Fucking idiots. God I hate neglect on these cars.... especially when they're so easy to keep running right in th first place. Good thing you put your foot down and stopped the bleeding when you did- doesn't sound like she had far too go before junked and/or demo derbied. An explorer 302 should do some good, give her some more usable power not to mention making her drivable again along with the other stuff you've got going. Hope all goes well for you mang, enjoy the dark red wagony goodness!
    Last edited by Hearsesrock427; 02-14-2017 at 06:43 PM.
    Slicktopped 1989 Grand Marquis "Ebyt". Primary project.
    255/50/R16 BF Goodrich G-force Sport Comp 2 tires, big disc brakes, polyurethane suspension bushings + body mounts, BBK long tube headers, HVAC delete
    Summer 2019 plans: Aluminum driveshaft, additional chassis bracing

    Slicktopped 1985 Grand Marquis "Eva". Secondary project.
    Winter 2019 plans: Full chassis swap, maintenance.

  10. #10
    GMN Regular DerekTheGreat's Avatar
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    I doubt oil consumption helps MPG.

    Speaking of oil consumption, until you put that 'sploader motor in you might want to try out that "Restore" stuff. It helps a bunch with oil burning and weak compression. Don't know if you peer into my thread at all but last year we went to Florida and my car consumed nearly 5qts to get us there and back. This year, I had to add maybe a half quart for the whole trip.
    1985 LTD Crown Victoria - SOLD
    1988 Town Car Signature - Current Party Barge

  11. #11
    Southern
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    I'm owner number three of this car. First owners neglected it a lot from 2006-2012. Coolant leaks, ran it hot. Rings got killed from over heating because someone didn't change coolant regularly, nor did they mend issues they added stop leak. It ain't hard... owner number 2 did a LOT of work but it was wasted effort. They never address root cause - timing cover gasket.

    Oh well I love driving it. Can't wait for motor. Just need to figure out what I'm doing about camshaft So I can get the right PCM.

    It still pulls in 21.5-22mpg under 70! It's just a lot of oil consumption.

  12. #12
    GMN Regular DerekTheGreat's Avatar
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    Hello! Try a can of Restore with your next oil change!
    1985 LTD Crown Victoria - SOLD
    1988 Town Car Signature - Current Party Barge

  13. #13
    Southern
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    I've added a half dozen of those cans. It works for 1 tank of gas/200 miles and then goes back to gulp gulp oil. Oh well...

    The valve seals in it when I changed them crumbled when I squished then after removing from car.

  14. #14
    GMN Regular DerekTheGreat's Avatar
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    Guess that thing is totally dicked. Worked for mine the whole trip to Florida but I checked the oil last night and there was just a smidge on the stick. I need new valve seals too apparently. Soon my car will start fouling spark plugs like Ashley's I guess.
    1985 LTD Crown Victoria - SOLD
    1988 Town Car Signature - Current Party Barge

  15. #15
    Southern
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    Old car stuff...they are at the age - but it's worth it.

    Going to go GT40 or HO on your car as well?

  16. #16
    GMN Regular DerekTheGreat's Avatar
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    Agreed, I love that car.

    I'll most likely go the HO route too. Her car needs it most as it has the misfire. Got an engine lined up, just have to pull the trigger and get started with it all...
    1985 LTD Crown Victoria - SOLD
    1988 Town Car Signature - Current Party Barge

  17. #17
    Southern
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    So this car continues to be a "turn key" car. Even with its massive oil consumption, pinging, etc it still does great.

    It's AC continues to be amazing.

    I bought a 96 V8 Explorer to replace the motor in the 89. THink I'll put a Mark 7 camshaft in with a Mark 7 PCM and drive/enjoy. Big project, it'll take awhile!

    I do have some replacement seat foam for the driver seat. Prior owner(s) must have been really large, overweight people. The foam is dead and crumbling and gone in places. I can feel the springs and reinforcement in the seat cushion and backrest!

    The JBL speakers from the 88 TC I got really are GREAT in this car. For factory Ford Premium sound with those speakers on the dash and doors, they sound GREAT.
    -Nick M.
    Columbia, SC

    66 Squire, 89 Colony Park, 90 TC, 03 (2x) TC, 06 TC, 07 TC
    03 BMW 540iT, 05 GMC Yukon (tahoe)

  18. #18
    GMN Regular DerekTheGreat's Avatar
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    What is massive oil consumption?
    Our K1500 seems to use no oil below a certain RPM, so at 70mph, no oil burn. 80+, burns about 2/3qt in 150miles.

    LoL! about the seat thing, I know what you mean. When I bought my TC I smiled to see the original owner was a tiny guy of no more than 140lbs, if that even. Compared to him I'm a fat ass.

    Is it the football amp?? I've got some JBL amps if you'd like to buy one to upgrade.
    1985 LTD Crown Victoria - SOLD
    1988 Town Car Signature - Current Party Barge

  19. #19
    Southern
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    2-3 quarts every 250 miles lol. Chooching!

    Yup everyone's favorite football amp.
    Mine works fine - so does the radio!

  20. #20
    Beater gonna beat sly's Avatar
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    wow... the only vehicle I ever drove that needed that much oil for had a bad rear main bearing seal leak that went down on the cats and would smoke bad when stopped at lights. That was a chevy silverado that my used-car lot owning uncle let me borrow for a few weeks. (he never let me drive any decent cars, just the wrecks.)

    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
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