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Thread: kishy's 1984 Town Car

  1. #1
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    Default kishy's 1984 Town Car

    Next to branch off from My Rides is my 1984 Town Car, which is my current DD and the car of mine the most of you are most familiar with I'd guess.

    Acquired in May 2016 for $650 in barely running condition intended to be a plusher winter beater since my Ranger is punishment to spend much time in, but I like it too much to let the salt eat it now so I'm back where I started.

    There are pic attachments in the below original post:

    Quote Originally Posted by kishy View Post
    Well, you've seen me whining about the woes of wiring harness problems. Now it's time to meet the car!

    An irresistible deal on this '84 Town Car Signature (EEC-IV CFI 302) popped up, and I had to have it. May 2016 I bought it, coaxed it home running like crap, then followed the Ranger pattern and dragged my heels getting it ready until about November, lol.

    Prior to the Lincoln I did pick up a '97 Vic for parts, mainly its HPP wheels with new tires and the rear axle, but its powertrain might go somewhere silly like the Ranger, no reason other than availability. Not really deserving of its own post though.

    For the Lincoln:
    • Replaced starter (PMGR)
    • Oil change (first in a couple years)
    • Rad hoses, water pump, radiator, thermostat, coolant flush
    • O2, ACT, ECT, cap, rotor, plugs, wires
    • Intake gaskets
    • Valve cover gaskets (PermaDryPlus <3)
    • Compression checked out OK, 150 on all 8
    • Diff oil and verified very low play at axle ends
    • Replaced "choke pull off" diaphragm
    • Fixed climate control (bypassed thermal blower lockout & replaced interior temperature sensor vacuum valve thingy)
    • Trans/converter fluid and filter change
    • New battery terminals
    • Set base idle speed and timing (like 14 times)
    • Repack front bearings
    • Replace fuel pump and pickup strainer, and fuel filter again...
    • Timing set (double roller woot woot)
    • Repaired all the window motor gears with the eBay Delrin replacements
    • Replaced parking brake cables & rear wheel cylinders, flushed out entire brake system
    • Replaced driver side mirror because the motor was shot in the original and glass was hazed, and the junkyard motor I grabbed was an 85+ (turns out they're different).
      Then proceeded to back the mirror up into the Ranger, denting it.
    • Replaced hood struts. Twice. Still won't stay up. Damn steel hood.
    • Replaced all power steering fluid with stop-leak (pump leaks around shaft). Still leaks, so I'll be watching RockAuto for a $20 pump. Shouldn't take long.
    • Body work! Ghetto-fabbed some quarter panel repairs that go under the cladding. It was really the only serious rust to speak of on the car, but its severity more than made up for the lack of rust elsewhere. This isn't a concours car by any stretch so I really just needed a way to make it through safety inspection, and exhaust entry into the trunk is a fail.
    • Alternator blew up. Replaced with reman 1G and new regulator. 3G in the future.
    • PIP
    • CFI/Wiring harness fun! There's a break in the harness somewhere, and car is currently running with '85 Vic ECM and harness.
    • Installed near-flawless condition 1981 Mark VI bumper I found in the junkyard for all of 47 USD. As 1984 still has the vertical slats grille rather than the egg-crate one, it matches nicely with the mini-grille in the bumper.


    Attachment 46554 Attachment 46560 Attachment 46558 Attachment 46557

    Attachment 46565 Attachment 46564 Attachment 46566

    Attachment 46568 Attachment 46567 Attachment 46569
    This car was a relative nightmare due to electrical gremlins. The evening of December 31 was the night I finally got it to what seems to be 100%, and other than fluid services and yesterday changing the battery and starter relay, I haven't had to work on it (knock on plastic wood).

    In January 2017 I was in a fender bender (other driver at fault) which broke a turn signal, fender extension, and damaged the already poor paint on the passenger side fender.







    Quote Originally Posted by kishy View Post
    I was not at fault, and insurance paid for the repair. In doing this I took advantage of the opportunity to do a Mark VI header panel swap I had been considering doing anyway and had all panels ahead of the A-pillars painted. This took quite some time to be completed due to delays with my insurance company but it got taken care of in the end, in April.

    In the meantime, RockAuto featured this car in the February 2017 newsletter with the photo taken just prior to the crash posed in front of Fisher Body Plant 21.





















    The Mark VI swap is something I said I'd do a write-up on, but it's difficult because my implementation is a bit of a hack-job. Physically, it all bolts on no problem. The controls for the doors, on the other hand, are where I went a little rogue. I need to revisit how I did it and will most likely do a write-up once I fix the shortcomings of how I did it originally.

    Also in April I did the 130A 3G alternator upgrade:

    Quote Originally Posted by kishy View Post
    ...Picked up two junkyard '94 Taurus/Sable 3.0 Vulcan alternators with pigtails, which are the smaller 130A variety. I then extracted the charge cables out of two newer Tauruses, ca. 2002, because the cable is a lot easier to dig out of the newer years. The alternators were taken to AutoZone to be tested and both came back OK. One is for the Town Car, the other is for the '83, since poor idle voltage makes the sequential turn signals angry.

    Townie's upgrade is done minus ground upgrade; I'm not sure it's truly necessary but will get to it sooner or later. I didn't go 3G to get more juice out of it overall, just to get more out of it at low RPM specifically.

    Took apart my harness, eliminated the charge wire and everything relating to the external regulator. Spliced the choke cap wire into the stator wire (in retrospect should have fused this in case of a short, but Ford didn't see fit to so I'm sure it's fine). The internal regulator wants to get battery (+) on one of the wires; for this I just looped it back to the charge wire stud. Alternator is fused with a 150A ANL fuse, which I figure exceeds the highest output I might try to suck out of this thing.

    I have previously found that a "50.7" inch belt - 6K507, K060507 - fits this exact alternator when installed in my '91 Grand Marquis. I don't know why, but that didn't work on the '84. Something to do with the other pulley sizes I guess. I tried notching the lower bracket so the alternator could swing over further, no go. Ended up swapping the pulley which isn't a solution I like because it means a roadside swap in case of failure is impossible, but whatever. Thankfully I have air and an impact gun, otherwise I'd have had to abort and put the 1G back...


    Alt vs alt:


    Stock harness (85 LTD CV; 84 functional equivalent; LTC has extra wire for oil level)
    Laid out left-to-right as it sits in the car


    Altered harness (same as above, with alternator stuff removed, except the wire to the light in the cluster)


    Fuse


    Tada!


    Obligatory posing shots:









    And something from today:


    83 GM 2dr | 84 TC POTM 1/2017 (Pre-Op) | 85 CS | 85 Ranger | 91 GM POTM 12/2017 | Junkyards thread/Flickr

  2. #2
    GMN Regular DerekTheGreat's Avatar
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    I like that the 80-84 TC's got two light bulbs in the taillights..
    1985 LTD Crown Victoria - SOLD
    1988 Town Car Signature - Current Party Barge

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    Quote Originally Posted by DerekTheGreat View Post
    I like that the 80-84 TC's got two light bulbs in the taillights..
    I thought the 85-89s did also? It would keep in line with what Ford did on every other Panther: 3 dual filament bulbs that light up with the turn signals.

    83 GM 2dr | 84 TC POTM 1/2017 (Pre-Op) | 85 CS | 85 Ranger | 91 GM POTM 12/2017 | Junkyards thread/Flickr

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    GMN Regular DerekTheGreat's Avatar
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    Nope, just the one, cheap bastards.
    1985 LTD Crown Victoria - SOLD
    1988 Town Car Signature - Current Party Barge

  5. #5
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    Vinyl tops strike again!

    Water is entering my trunk from somewhere under the vinyl top in the vicinty of the bottom right corner of the rear window. Trunk seal is definitely dry and the entry is not at the seam around the trunk opening, it's 100% from up above under the vinyl. When transporting the wagon windshield with my buddy in the back seat he noticed the tell-tale "sloshing" sound going around corners, so water is accumulating and staying somewhere back behind the package shelf.

    Stop-gap is going to be siliconing the vinyl to the glass, long term there's probably body work to be done and as much as I hate the thought of it, maybe slicktop this car.

    83 GM 2dr | 84 TC POTM 1/2017 (Pre-Op) | 85 CS | 85 Ranger | 91 GM POTM 12/2017 | Junkyards thread/Flickr

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    GMN Regular DerekTheGreat's Avatar
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    Since a slicktop Town Car was never a thing I've heard they look goofy. Dunno, wonder how yours will turn out though.
    1985 LTD Crown Victoria - SOLD
    1988 Town Car Signature - Current Party Barge

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    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    single bub 85+

    there are weird body lines under the top. You'll find them. The plastic filler panel in the back corner is especially cute.

    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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    Somehow the notion that Ford cut corners to the extreme because they knew they'd all get vinyl tops doesn't surprise me even a little bit. I also imagine that the Frenched rear window is in fact only as big as it looks, and doesn't extend out too far beyond the current edges of the vinyl, meaning it'll just look stupid without it. Or even if the glass is full size (consider the base models had more glass surface area) the defroster grid is probably sized to the smaller window shape.

    I like the vinyl, if I can replace it in a cost-effective way I will. I just don't really know if that "cost effective" part is possible.

    I find the single-bulb cheapness kind of curious...maybe they discovered a reason why the dual bulb setup wasn't such a great idea. Too much heat causing lenses to separate?

    83 GM 2dr | 84 TC POTM 1/2017 (Pre-Op) | 85 CS | 85 Ranger | 91 GM POTM 12/2017 | Junkyards thread/Flickr

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    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    sure its not coming in around the trim that goes along the bottom edge of the vinyl? There are little studs that poke into the trunk through a blob of that black tar sealer goo. If that shrunk up, water will just run around the stud and drip 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

  10. #10
    all the CFI are belong to me
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    Quote Originally Posted by gadget73 View Post
    sure its not coming in around the trim that goes along the bottom edge of the vinyl? There are little studs that poke into the trunk through a blob of that black tar sealer goo. If that shrunk up, water will just run around the stud and drip in.
    I'm not sure of the entry point. The horizontal metal in the area of the trunk hinge gets wet, I don't know where it comes in from exactly. I think it's possible though.

    Unfortunately one of the headlights burned out, and do you think I can find a pair of H5006 anywhere locally? Of course not. Might go with conversion housings, but quality is spendy (think Cibie). The headlights on the car now were installed on the header panel when I got it, so I can't really say I didn't get my money's worth out of them.

    83 GM 2dr | 84 TC POTM 1/2017 (Pre-Op) | 85 CS | 85 Ranger | 91 GM POTM 12/2017 | Junkyards thread/Flickr

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    Quote Originally Posted by kishy View Post
    I'm not sure of the entry point. The horizontal metal in the area of the trunk hinge gets wet, I don't know where it comes in from exactly. I think it's possible though.

    Unfortunately one of the headlights burned out, and do you think I can find a pair of H5006 anywhere locally? Of course not. Might go with conversion housings, but quality is spendy (think Cibie). The headlights on the car now were installed on the header panel when I got it, so I can't really say I didn't get my money's worth out of them.
    We still stock plenty of sealed beam headlights at work (H5006s for a fact), but the glaring issue is being stateside and incredibly far from the US/CAN border.

    Honestly swapping over to an E-Code housing would be of major benefit. That's something on my to-do list, but I just haven't gone out of my way to do so. There's a seller I see on eBay that sources through Autopal. The Autopals look like Hella housings, but considerably cheaper. I looked around at a few other forums to see if anyone had experiences with them, and a good number of folks indicated the Autopal housings were reasonably constructed for the price. Metal reflectors and glass faces. Toss in a relay upgrade if you haven't done so and I'm sure you'd be good to go with those.

    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 (200K Miles) - The Daily Workhorse & March 2015 POTM Winner

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kodachrome Wolf View Post
    We still stock plenty of sealed beam headlights at work (H5006s for a fact), but the glaring issue is being stateside and incredibly far from the US/CAN border.

    Honestly swapping over to an E-Code housing would be of major benefit. That's something on my to-do list, but I just haven't gone out of my way to do so. There's a seller I see on eBay that sources through Autopal. The Autopals look like Hella housings, but considerably cheaper. I looked around at a few other forums to see if anyone had experiences with them, and a good number of folks indicated the Autopal housings were reasonably constructed for the price. Metal reflectors and glass faces. Toss in a relay upgrade if you haven't done so and I'm sure you'd be good to go with those.
    Yeah...I have a set of Autopals to put on the Ranger when one of its lights burns out. I'm not opposed to them, but I've seen the occasional mention that they're bad for hotspots or the cutoff seeming too low. But, still worlds better than sealed beams, so maybe that's worth some consideration.

    Summit sells the Hellas for reasonable prices, but after shipping, I can get them cheaper from Autozone which sells them for ship to home only but has a free shipping promo right now plus a 10% discount code I found. Ship them to my buddy's house and pick them up probably on the 30th...$55 USD for the pair. Significantly more than sealed beams but also significantly better.

    This car is relay re-wired, but using largely factory wiring except the new wires from the battery to the relays. I was just trying to take the load off the headlight switch, not necessarily improve anything otherwise.

    83 GM 2dr | 84 TC POTM 1/2017 (Pre-Op) | 85 CS | 85 Ranger | 91 GM POTM 12/2017 | Junkyards thread/Flickr

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    GMN Regular DerekTheGreat's Avatar
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    I saw a Town Car that someone scalped and yeah, there are weird body lines at the window and I think you're right about the defroster grid not going the entire length of the window, it's like sized to the top. If a slick top Townie was a thing I'd like one but I absolutely dig the half top that was standard. Well, at least on the Signature Series cars. A full length shitty vinyl top was base but even a lot of the base model cars got that half top treatment.
    1985 LTD Crown Victoria - SOLD
    1988 Town Car Signature - Current Party Barge

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    Opted for Hella housings from Summit Racing shipped directly to me, no US proxy. The Autozone solution would have taken longer as my preferred border crossing is closed until Nov 4 for maintenance (ceiling replacement in the tunnel).

    83 GM 2dr | 84 TC POTM 1/2017 (Pre-Op) | 85 CS | 85 Ranger | 91 GM POTM 12/2017 | Junkyards thread/Flickr

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    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    I was going to ask wtf you were talking about with the roundie lamps, then I remembered you have a Mark VI front end.


    Full top is cheaper than half measures to replace. Its one piece of vinyl and no headliner removal. The half top is I think 5 or 6 pieces plus the headliner comes out. One for the roof, the rest are on the "belt" itself which is apparently a giant pain in the ass to re-do. One thing I do have that you don't is very difficult to find rear window trim. The half tops frenched in the rear glass, I have all of it with chrome trim that only the cheap of the cheap cars got.

    On the upside, that rust hole that got repaired with a new A pillar is perfectly hidden under the top. The bodywork under there isn't flawless but since there is vinyl over it there wasn't any need for it to be paint quality.
    Last edited by gadget73; 10-20-2017 at 05:19 PM.

    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. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by gadget73 View Post
    I was going to ask wtf you were talking about with the roundie lamps, then I remembered you have a Mark VI front end.


    Full top is cheaper than half measures to replace. Its one piece of vinyl and no headliner removal. The half top is I think 5 or 6 pieces plus the headliner comes out. One for the roof, the rest are on the "belt" itself which is apparently a giant pain in the ass to re-do. One thing I do have that you don't is very difficult to find rear window trim. The half tops frenched in the rear glass, I have all of it with chrome trim that only the cheap of the cheap cars got.

    On the upside, that rust hole that got repaired with a new A pillar is perfectly hidden under the top. The bodywork under there isn't flawless but since there is vinyl over it there wasn't any need for it to be paint quality.
    Yeeeeeahhh, that damned header panel swap...I have oodles of 4656 hanging around, but not a single spare 5006. As it happens the lamps on the car were 4000s, which dates them to the 80s I'm pretty sure. Yikes.

    The Hella E-codes from Summit are on, and not a moment too soon, because the second 4000 burned out as I was leaving to go get bulbs to put in the new housings. They cast what I'd call very even light with a great cutoff. It's not just all a big puddle of light right in front of the car anymore. I used Sylvania's "basic" 9003 bulbs, nothing fancy, just needed functional lighting.

    I had to cut some metal out of the headlight buckets so the rubber boot on the back of the Hellas would fit in place, which is important because the lamp is not watertight without the seal in place. I also had to move a couple terminals around as is documented elsewhere already.

    While in there, I also moved the diodes for the headlamp door setup to the trigger side of the relays instead of the switched side. In doing so I've introduced a new weird problem. I'm suspecting the headlamp door box must have a capacitor in it because now something is back-feeding the relay for the low beams keeping the lights on for about 5 seconds even if autolamp is off (keep in mind I did the latter of Sly's remark below)

    Quote Originally Posted by sly View Post
    The door control module works off the switch OR the autolamp by being in-line with the headlight switch output for the low beams before it gets to the MFS IIRC. That way it stays closed for just parking lights but opens for the headlights, low or high. It's just a signal tap for 12V from the headlamp switch so you should only need one wire through the firewall or if you want to keep from doing anything through the firewall and load it all under the hood, put 2 signal or rectifier diodes rated at least 20V (most are rated way more anyhow) and quarter watt should be plenty and point the line towards the module and the other end of the two diodes to the low and high beam lines to the headlights. You may want to provide the module with a foam filter over the vents for reliability.
    So, since the second method with the diodes is not working optimally I'm going to tap into the wire in the dash and clean up the wiring under the hood where my relays are. Clearly there's a reason Ford did it how they did it and my homebrew wiring hacks are revealing the bugs that motivated them back when the circuit was designed.











    Still need to perfect the aim but things are working well, I'd say.

    83 GM 2dr | 84 TC POTM 1/2017 (Pre-Op) | 85 CS | 85 Ranger | 91 GM POTM 12/2017 | Junkyards thread/Flickr

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    I am a fan of that flute pattern.

    I think you need to adjust the right headlight to the right. It should provide much more shoulder coverage.
    Not as sure about the left going more left but you may try that.
    The idea with this flute pattern is to keep the light low into the left into oncoming traffic and that triangle kick up of light goes straight down the road for more distance and the right beam goes far down the right shoulder.
    You have to play with the height after you get the right/left in range as it must be right for it all to come together optimally for you and other traffic, oncoming and in front of you.
    It looks like you have the height matched right and left, this will become very clear when you kick the right to the right, which is good but overall height is a hard setting is to tell from pics.
    Last edited by jaywish; 10-24-2017 at 11:34 PM.
    "X" car 89 Colony Park LS Mods>Engine delete, SS duals magnaflow hflow cats, 2010 Must GT mufflers, auto air shocks, Posi, Tran cooler, big front brakes, 03+ rear disks, Large 3g alt, Tripminder, GS grill, 86 seats, 16" HPP wheels, winter boots=96 Cartier wheels, 215-65/16 Goodyear ULTRA GW3 snows, pi rear sway, alum driveshaft.
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by jaywish View Post
    I am a fan of that flute pattern.

    I think you need to adjust the right headlight to the right. It should provide much more shoulder coverage.
    Not as sure about the left going more left but you may try that.
    The idea with this flute pattern is to keep the light low into the left into oncoming traffic and that triangle kick up of light goes straight down the road for more distance.
    Have to play with the height after you get the right/left in range as it must be right for it all to come together optimally for you and other traffic, oncoming and in front of you.
    Yeah, after that was taken I widened it out to both sides (the pic angle is weird, both lamps were pointing pretty much directly straight forward) and brought them both up a little. I'm going to make little incremental changes over time until I'm happy with them.

    So far I'm happy with the investment.

    83 GM 2dr | 84 TC POTM 1/2017 (Pre-Op) | 85 CS | 85 Ranger | 91 GM POTM 12/2017 | Junkyards thread/Flickr

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    Sounds great.
    "X" car 89 Colony Park LS Mods>Engine delete, SS duals magnaflow hflow cats, 2010 Must GT mufflers, auto air shocks, Posi, Tran cooler, big front brakes, 03+ rear disks, Large 3g alt, Tripminder, GS grill, 86 seats, 16" HPP wheels, winter boots=96 Cartier wheels, 215-65/16 Goodyear ULTRA GW3 snows, pi rear sway, alum driveshaft.
    03 Marauder DPB, HS, 6disk, Organizer, Silver Stars, M&Z rear control arms, Oil deflector.
    02 SL500 Silver Arrow
    08 TC Signature Limited, HID's Mods>235/55-17 Z rated Cooper Zeon RS3-A, Addco 1" rear Sway, Posi, Compustar Remote Start, floor liners, trunk organizer, Winter=05 Mustang GT rims, Nokian Hakkapeliitta R-2 235/55-17

  20. #20
    GMN Regular DerekTheGreat's Avatar
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    Haha, that headlight aim pic reminds me of the lengths I go to with our cars to get that right. If I drive it all the time, it bugs the shit out of me to not see both beams level with one another. I tend to adjust so the left one goes just a smidge out to the left so it can illuminate the road paint and the right one just a bit more off to the right so I can see the shoulder, but I like both beams to blend evenly into each other too, not just appear like two streaks of separate light... It takes me hours sometimes.
    1985 LTD Crown Victoria - SOLD
    1988 Town Car Signature - Current Party Barge

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