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Thread: kishy's 1985 Country Squire

  1. #721
    Stow It! GM_Guy's Avatar
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    Happy Belated birthday!

    Pretty cool throwback with the OTC reader. Any live data capabilties on that unit? I can't remember, been too long.

  2. #722
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    Quote Originally Posted by GM_Guy View Post
    Happy Belated birthday!

    Pretty cool throwback with the OTC reader. Any live data capabilties on that unit? I can't remember, been too long.
    Oops...thanks! And yes, this unit is capable of giving me a live datastream, but early EEC-IV vehicles don't have that so it's something I can't play with yet. The Ranger might actually be able to do it, I'm not 100% sure.



    Guess who's back roaming the roads...this guy!



    Shown above yesterday having all four wheels re-balanced, again.
    To recap:
    2020 Aug: bought the Goodyear white letter tires. Bought and installed at Canadian Tire. Installation included balancing, as you'd expect.
    2020 Sept: took it on a 1200km trip. Had been noticing a high speed vibration through the car. Admittedly, some vibration had existed before getting the tires. Took it back to Cdn Tire to rebalance, which they did for free, and advised me that they had been quite out of balance so stated they believed the balance had been a contributor to my problems. They only added additional weights at this time, did not take off the first ones to rebalance from scratch.
    After the rebalance, noted that the car still had a high speed vibration but it was coming on at higher speed now. Progress, but not fixed.

    As a diagnostic step, tossed all 4 wheels on a known-good balancer at my friend's shop, and found that (as balanced by Canadian Tire) all 4 of them were out by a couple ounces on each wheel. Pulled all the weights off and redid them like they were new again. Got them all pretty close to perfect, maybe out by 0.25, but way closer than they had been. Car still has a vibration.

    Next culprit to look at is the driveshaft. As we know, this is an extremely crusty car, and it wouldn't surprise me if a factory balance weight has decided to retire early.
    Question: do we think a 2000 GMQ driveshaft is the right length for this car? His is still quite broken and sitting unused and he's offered to lend me his to test if it's the problem. I would suspect the flange size to be wrong as the newer cars use a larger U-joint, but maybe there's a way to make it work for testing purposes before I pay someone to balance mine.



    On the tail end of last summer, I got a stone chip in the windshield, severe enough to break both layers of glass and positioned perfectly in my vision to be extremely irritating. I had assumed it would be too bad for the DIY resin kits to do a decent job at, but my friend assured me he'd seen similar done, so I kept it in mind and decided to do it today.

    Product used was Permatex 81546. Today was a clear sunny day, but a few degrees below the recommended range for this product, so I ran the defrost while working on it.
    I deviated from the correct instruction order a couple times by repeating steps - added more resin after putting the initial vacuum on it, redid the vacuum step a few times, redid the pressure step a few times.
    I allowed it to cure for around 3 hours before driving the car (also it got dark around then), a long shot from the 30 minutes it takes in ideal circumstances, but again it was colder than specified on the package.
    Results are quite decent. Definitely imperfect, but decent, and a significant improvement.
    I still need to study it closer in sunlight but I don't think there's much I can do about it if there is a problem.

    Before, outside:


    Before, inside:


    In the process of curing (note the air pocket is totally filled with resin and has become invisible):


    After, outside:


    After, inside:


    The significant "blob" of damage still visible is the original impact spot and the surface of the exposed glass in that spot was rough, so I don't know that I could have done any better without using some sort of power tool to clean up the surface in there first.

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  3. #723
    GMN Regular DerekTheGreat's Avatar
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    Yeah, that guy was pretty gnarly. I've never seen a chip repair that was perfect though. Over time, the ones I had done on my Firebird have become visible.
    1985 LTD Crown Victoria - SOLD
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  4. #724
    Wagon Addicted Tiggie's Avatar
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    I think length is okay on the driveshaft. Can't remember the specifics on the yoke and flange specifics. How are your u-joints? I have had bad vibes from bad u-joints before. As far as balancing costs, I was pleasantly surprised when I got the driveshaft shortened for the Rustang. $50 got it shortened, balanced, and the u-joints I supplied installed. That was at a local heavy truck shop. I bet just a balance could be had for less than $50 anywhere.

    Windshield repair looks pretty good.
    1990 Country Squire - weekend cruiser, next project
    1988 Crown Vic LTD Wagon - waiting in the wings

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  5. #725
    Member of the Orb Alliance packman's Avatar
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    As long as it still passes inspection; I would consider the windshield repair a win.

  6. #726
    GMN Regular DerekTheGreat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tiggie View Post
    ...How are your u-joints? I have had bad vibes from bad u-joints before...
    What Tigman said. What is the vibration like? Ash's old Town Car needed U-joints, it signaled this to us by a strange pulse-like vibration over 65 or so. Kind of also reminded me of a throbbing headache type feeling; err..err..err
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  7. #727
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    The u-joints were done in August, days before the tires. Vibration had been observed before and after the U-joints. I think I remember the vibration being one of the reasons I chose to do them when I did.

    The vibration begins at about 95-100kmh and worsens proportionate to speed increase from there. I've taken it up to 140ish (on a closed track, of course) and it does not smooth out, it just keeps getting worse.

    I had assumed a wheel issue must have still existed because it feels like it is focused in the front passenger corner and the fender there seems to visibly dance left-right after the vibration has begun. But, the passenger fender is not well attached to the header panel (re: fender bender damage under previous owner's care) so it's meaningless.

    I do believe the engine mounts to be trash on this and the trans mount will be similarly iffy. So let's say the driveshaft is slightly out of balance, maybe even the same amount as when they roll off the line new...bad mounts will transmit that to the rest of the car much more than good ones would.

    Might do the trans mount by itself and see what happens. I have the part.
    Last edited by kishy; 03-15-2021 at 11:19 AM.

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  8. #728
    The Brown Blob 87gtVIC's Avatar
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    I think the window repair came out damn good.
    ~David~

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    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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    Have you checked the shape of the rims? Maybe they are dented/elongated a bit.

  10. #730
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    Quote Originally Posted by 87gtVIC View Post
    I think the window repair came out damn good.
    Follow up photos will come shortly in the sun light...fingers crossed.

    Quote Originally Posted by bnw View Post
    Have you checked the shape of the rims? Maybe they are dented/elongated a bit.
    They are very slightly out of round (all 4 of them, lol) but:
    1 - the issue existed on a different set of wheels previously, and
    2 - the friend who helped me rebalance them again noted that he has taken much less round wheels to much higher speeds without issue, in cars that would transit way more of that feel to the driver

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  11. #731
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    I had to get the driveshaft rebalanced on my 93 when the harmonic balancer style yoke started going to crap and the shop put in a solid one. Took 4 large fender washers worth of weight (2 at each end) to balance the stupid thing. I've also had spider gears in the rear diff make vibration at speed (Mark VI that sxcpotatoes has now - he got that fixed). if for some reason a rotor or wheel is not seated fully flat on the axle/hub then you may get this issue as well. If the rotors/drums are warped... same story. If the bushings in the control arms are shot, you could be seeing a minor form of death wobble that the SD trucks see, though this is usually along with tire oscillation. Obviously, that would be felt in the steering as well. Lots of things on these boats can cause bad vibes.

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  12. #732
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    Integral hub rotors on this, so not really an issue up front. Is in the back though. I have had bum front wheel bearings vibrate when they were bad though. Not the normal moan/howl of bearing noise either. The rollers were badly pitted on one of the outer bearings on the S10.

    I also had some shake on the Continental that I finally traced to bad rack bushings. It mostly did it when braking so I thought it was rotors, but it was the rack flopping around. Obv different suspension on a Panther vs a Fox but I can see the same sort of thing happening with bad front end parts if they were just the right kind of bad.

    When I had driveshaft problems on the Towncar, it felt like it came through the floor, not the wheel.

    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

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  13. #733
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    Because I don't feel it in the wheel (I do feel it through the column...but that's because the whole dash is shaking...it isn't coming up the steering linkage though), I don't think it's front end related. However I will note that the lower control arms did not get replaced on this as they checked out visually, and it's possible they perform a lot worse than they looked. Everything else except those bushings was new and is still tight.

    The front tires are feathering and the steering is more responsive on-centre than I expect from these, so there is probably a toe condition afoot (ha). I don't know that a toe condition would play into this, but it's worth mentioning. The car was aligned at an old-school shop that may have intentionally set it up a little bit off for more desirable driveability and to their credit, it tracks fantastic. Also worth mentioning that the car vibrated before getting aligned and my horrendous self-alignment from before was so bad that I visibly noticed the tread disappear off the previous set of tires. There was very little of it left, so it was easy to monitor, and this car turned them into slicks quickly.

    This car does not have integral hub rotors and I've never driven it at a time that it had them. 95-97 front end. With the number of times the wheels have been off since the symptom made itself known (which is essentially the whole time I've had the car on the road), it is reasonable to say there is no issue with how the wheels are mating with the hubs. The brakes do not pulse and brake system is still as-new.

    As for the windshield repair:
    I think that when I scraped the repair smooth (with a razor blade as the instructions advise), that may have made the finished surface a little less than ideal, but I'm still going with the results being decent.

    Outside, with/without flash:




    (glasses cloth is to force the camera to focus, as it was unable to "see" the trouble spot enough to focus on it on its own)

    Inside:

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  14. #734
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    You mentioned you re balanced the tires but did anyone check the tires other than visually, for being out of round ? Newer balance machines have that feature. Had it done on the 96 CV.

    Windshield repair if it passes inspection should work ok until you find a good deal on a replacement. In Ca. some wrecking yards (Pick a Part ) did windshield replacements for like $100 +.

  15. #735
    GMN Regular DerekTheGreat's Avatar
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    Interesting you mention the vibration shaking the whole dash.. Just before my dad passed the Firebird to me, it did that. It was indeed the driveshaft which was causing it. The dash shook so bad you could see it oscillating..
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  16. #736
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mainemantom View Post
    You mentioned you re balanced the tires but did anyone check the tires other than visually, for being out of round ? Newer balance machines have that feature. Had it done on the 96 CV.

    Windshield repair if it passes inspection should work ok until you find a good deal on a replacement. In Ca. some wrecking yards (Pick a Part ) did windshield replacements for like $100 +.
    There is no inspection, other than prior to a new owner getting stickers ("tabs" as you folks call them) for the first time in owning a vehicle.

    Whether it is repaired sufficiently to avoid a ticket is a different story. If it were to spread into a proper crack, it will definitely become ticketable, but as a repaired chip it is more at the discretion of the officer. Windshield replacement is no less than $300 and can only be done with new, no local yards will pull glass or touch it, this was discussed fairly early-on in this thread as I've already replaced it once. The sub-$50 junkyard DIY authentic Carlite option is what I went with and what I'll do again if it comes to it.

    Quote Originally Posted by DerekTheGreat View Post
    Interesting you mention the vibration shaking the whole dash.. Just before my dad passed the Firebird to me, it did that. It was indeed the driveshaft which was causing it. The dash shook so bad you could see it oscillating..
    I am definitely thinking it's "drivetrain" at this point, but the reality is that if it has trashed mounts (which I do believe to be the case), it could be a completely normal vibration (or something like a misfire) that is being transmitted to the frame and body which would not be if the mounts were good. So it's entirely possible that a driveshaft that doesn't cause noticeable vibration in another car could make this one shake. A lot of engine vibration is passed to the interior in this car, even for example sitting still at idle.

    I think I'm going to swap a driveshaft and see what happens, and then if it's still shaky (even if subtly different) I'll toss a trans mount at it. If the crossmember has to come out to do it, that's not happening though. Haven't studied this part of these cars enough to figure that out yet.

    The engine mounts are probably not getting done ever, I'm not pulling the front suspension apart just for that. On the other hand if I decide to do those lower control arm bushings (which are still believed to be OK), it's the same amount of disassembly and makes a lot of sense to do it at that time.
    Last edited by kishy; 03-20-2021 at 01:41 PM.

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  17. #737
    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    jack the trans up, the mount comes out without pulling the crossmember.

    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,

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

  18. #738
    all the CFI are belong to me
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    Woohoo, first wrenching since pinched nerve incident...that's still an ongoing problem, as an aside, but I seem to be recovering slowly now.

    2021-03-20 @ 81,545km:
    Replaced transmission mount. Test drive found vibration persists identically.

    Swapped driveshaft with 86 (admittedly, not known to be smooth at highway speed yet). Test drive found vibration persists identically. Wagon driveshaft appears to have its original weights still, there is no evidence of one previously being there that has broken off.

    Tested shifting car into neutral at highway speed and coasting. Vibration persists identically and does not change with engine RPM or gear engagement. Vibration also persists on curves at speed but may subtly change with a sudden jerk of the wheel, which might implicate the lower control arm bushings. Vibration persists with car unloaded or when carrying enough weight to shift the ride height a little - e.g. lift the front and squat the rear.

    Further testing suggested by my friend: put the car on stands and run it up to 100kmh, see if it does the same. Also, swap a known-good set of wheels and tires on. Wherever my decent HPP set wandered off to will be the target...those had decent tires on them last I saw them.
    Possible culprits on the list now are: out-of-balance drums or rotors, the lower control arm bushings (still look OK but are old), tires having a defect that cannot be balanced out the traditional way. Engine mounts are considered very low likelihood but if I get to the point of doing the control arm bushings I will replace the mounts as well. Should probably do the oil pan gasket while I'm at it, a first for me, but probably a good idea.















    General underbelly shots:







    Last edited by kishy; 03-21-2021 at 12:52 AM.

    83 GM 2dr POTM 10/2019 | 84 TC POTM 1/2017 & 4/2019 | 85 CS | 85 Ranger +trlr | 86 GM | 91 GM POTM 12/2017 | Junkyards
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  19. #739
    The Brown Blob 87gtVIC's Avatar
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    Feels good to get back to some kinda normalcy right? Tough not being physically able to do what one was so used to doing. Curious what the last round of testing will result in for your vibrations.
    ~David~

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

  20. #740
    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    ever have the rear axle shafts out for an inspection? Yes its probably in this 19 page thread somewhere but I'm too lazy to look. Bad shafts and bearings make funny noises too.

    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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