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Thread: 1997 Mercury Grand Marquis aka the rolling junkyard.

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  1. #1
    Member Pvt.Hudson's Avatar
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    Thumbs up 1997 Mercury Grand Marquis aka the rolling junkyard.

    Got back into panther ownership almost a year ago with buying a nearly rust free $900 Marquis . Sold my much newer better handling CTS as it was having driveshaft issues and now the Marquis is my workhorse.



    This is my sixth panther and my first Mercury.

    A lot of work has been done:

    The original seats in a CV/GM leave a lot to be desired when they original let alone after 21 years of use. The driver seat was total garbage so I happened on a 96 Town Car Signature with seats in good condition and having had a 95 Signature previously I knew those seats well and they are 1000% more comfortable.

    Before:

    After:


    They were in great shape given everything else I encountered at well over 10 yards I searched. And got a great price on front and rear, $190. And a added bonus is that both sides now have lumbar and they both hold air, the original marq pass side seat didn't have it and the drivers side wouldn't hold air.

    Then I found a 99 GM that had a decent interior and near perfect headliner which was better then the original which endured who know how many years in Florida and was falling down and giving foam showers when ever it was touched:

    The 99:


    Into the 97:


    Having blue seats, blue headliner and blue interior trim looked a bit odd against the gray door panels so began the search for GM denim blue door panels . The door panels were the hardest part to procure as most were destroyed or manhandled improperly. Had to source the panels from three different cars in three different junkyards, both rears from a 98 GS, a drivers from a 01 LS & a pass side front from a 02 GS.

    All panels finally installed:




    Decided to keep the original gray pull handles, f&r dome lights and seat belt adjuster to match the carpet and Mark VIII Collector edition headrests.

    Installed a pretty terrible radio, Power Acoustik PD-348B the remote stopped working so its functionality is limited and the AM radio reception is piss poor. And it frequently crashes when playing from the SD card. The bluetooth however works great but you have to manually connect it every time you restart the car. Gonna get one of those cheaper android hu and hope for the best.






    New stereo, took a chance on one of those android units. It running android 8. Other then a few quirks its way better then the stereo I had previously and the radio reception is better then the factory or last stereo.



    Stopping power has been upgraded. Feels good especially since I replaced all of the steering components, car drives better then my last panther.



    The list of various junkyard parts that are now in the Marq:

    • Pin wiper arms from a 04 Grand Marquis LS

    • Cupholder/Power port from a 2003 Grand Marquis GS

    • Gentex Homelink Mirror with Compass from a 2005 Mazda 3

    • Headliner push pins from a 2000 Buick Century Custom

    • Rear view mirror wiring shroud from a 2003 Chevy Suburban LS

    • Heated driver side mirror from a 2002 Grand Marquis LS

    • Hitachi MAF from a 1997 Town Car Cartier

    • Dual sun visors from 2001 Grand Marquis LS

    • Upper B pillar trim from a 1995 Crown Victoria

    • Headrests from a 1998 Mark VIII CE

    • Front & Rear seats from a 1996 Town Car Signtature

    • 00+ Front Grand Marquis door panels

    • Rear door panels from a 98 Marquis

    • Headliner from a 99 Marquis

    • Instrument cluster from a 1997 Town Car



    Rear ended someone this past August, wasn't paying attention and traffic on the highway came to a complete stop.



    Sucks but at the time there was a 97 LS same color as mine in the JY .Took the header and bumper off of it. Bumper on the JY Marq was in better shape then my bumper pre accident:



    Fender on the JY 97 was fubar'd way to much rot. Looked around found a guy parting out a 02 LSE and got it for $40 with very little rust, had it repaired and spot blended and recleared:







    Fixed for now until I get a chance to put new fender on:





    Current plans are to install the 97 TC steering column I got off CL, figure out the wiring for the redundant controls and reinstall the air suspension. Already painted the steering wheel and air bag:

    1997 Grand Marquis LS HPP

    - Richard


  2. #2
    I post a lot...
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    Nice to see a sport hanging in there.
    "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

  3. #3
    Vinyl Cheese, Meat Pasty SVT98t's Avatar
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    Looks great!
    Any plans for it?


    -ryan s.
    08 Lincoln Navigator L - 163k
    03 Mercury Marauder- 58,171 miles
    97 Ford Crown Victoria HPP "Tank of Justice III" (TOJ3) - 188k -->578.9 miles on ONE tank of gas<--
    73 VW Super Beetle "Bunky" <----- Wifey's
    Quote Originally Posted by pantera77 View Post
    Well my buddy tells him he knows exactly who loves buying shitboxes.

  4. #4
    GMN Regular DerekTheGreat's Avatar
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    I dig the blue interior swap you've got going sir.
    1985 LTD Crown Victoria - SOLD
    1988 Town Car Signature - Current Party Barge

  5. #5
    Doctorate in Redneck Engineering
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    Looks damn cool man
    2010 Mercury Grand Marquis LS “The Douche” - 70mm throttle body, P71 airbox, 21mm rear sway bay, dual exhaust, Dodge rims, 89K and counting. 4/2018-
    1966 Ford Thunderbird (390FE) “Fordy McFordface” - engine rebuild No. 3. 11/2016-
    RIP 2005 Buick LaCrosse CXS “Jumba” - gone too soon, 229K. 6/2017-2/2018
    RIP 2001 Chevrolet Tracker LT “Featherbrick” - gone too late, 156K POS. 6/2016-9/2016.
    Sold 2005 Toyota 4Runner SR5 - 198K. 6/2016-4/2018

  6. #6
    Wagon Addicted Tiggie's Avatar
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    Nice ride. Welcome to GMN.
    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

    GMN Box Panther History
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  7. #7
    Member ZombieTown94's Avatar
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    Very nice car man, I can appreciate the amount of time you have into finding parts for it.

    A++

  8. #8
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    Stunning variety of parts on your GM
    '79 Continental Town Car *In storage.*
    '90 Crown Victoria LTD *In storage.*
    '94 Crown Victoria
    Quote Originally Posted by DerekTheGreat View Post
    I practically live like it's 1993.

  9. #9
    Member Pvt.Hudson's Avatar
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    Lightbulb

    Reinstalled the Air Suspension cause the no name cargo coils rode like a pickup truck when unloaded. The previous owner installed coils more then likely due to the dead air comp that wouldn't do anything but clunk when 12v was applied and the EVO/RAS module was faulty (though initially I didn't know that the module was dead too).


    Waited for a sale and Protier on eBay had a sale for 2 air springs & 2 solenoids for $97 shipped. Jumped on that. They are Westar springs which from what I've read from others are decent air springs.




    Better renew the drier silica on the circa 2002 Crown Victoria air comp I pulled from a 1996 Town Car.

    Before:


    After:




    Thought they were strutmaster coils but they are not, no clue whom makes these just a 212T part number that a web search shows nothing related.




    Air spring installed.




    When I replaced the air comp and air springs/solenoids I could only get the car to lift up then I got CAS message. It would not vent down to ride height. Went to the JY to get spares of everything when I got back did the easiest thing 1st which was the evo module and boom the CAS message went out and the suspension is working properly.




    Shortly before I sold my CTS I bought new Michelin Snows for about $700 which is only $200 less then the Marq. Then the CTS's carrier bushing started making terrible noises and I bought the Marq and drove that. Can't install 18" tires on a 16" HPP wheel so I was going to use my 2010 Camaro steelies but those have a different bolt pattern and a much smaller center bore. Couldn't find any hubcentric adapters that would go from 70.5mm to 66.9mm. So began the search for 18" rims that will have 70.5. So happens I found some terrible shape rare mountaineer wheels that were only offered for 2 model years and got them cheap but the corrosion on them was so bad that I had to send them out to get bead blasted cause the wire wheel on a cordless drill wasn't cutting it. FYI just buy refinished or reman wheels this was a pita and the money invested in refinishing them is probably the same as buying reman'd ones.


    After wire wheeling what a total pita




    After having them blasted.




    Painted wheels.




    Painted center caps.




    FYI a 1.5 inch spacer will clear the lugs on a 1998+ Hub. I'm sure on pre 98s it would too but can't say for sure as I'm running 98+ front brakes and 98+ hubs




    Tire is Michelin XIce-3 and the size I am running now is 215/55/18 which is equivalent to 235/50/18 but slightly thinner width. Compared to a 225/60/16 its about a inch taller.



    Now I just gotta see if the lug nuts I have will have enough thread to hold the adapters otherwise I gotta get extended ones.
    Last edited by Pvt.Hudson; 10-31-2018 at 05:41 PM.
    1997 Grand Marquis LS HPP

    - Richard


  10. #10
    The Brown Blob 87gtVIC's Avatar
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    I find it amazing how the beads come back to life....


    You sand blast the wheels yourself? Just wondering.


    Things came out nice.
    ~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

  11. #11
    Member Pvt.Hudson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 87gtVIC View Post
    You sand blast the wheels yourself? Just wondering.
    No. Don't have a air compressor. Went to a few shops that essentially gave me f off prices for having them blasted, like $600+. Then I found a guy on CL that does blasting as side business. Went out of state to get them done, $120 later get 4 blasted wheels. The guy used a tandem axle diesel compressor trailer that used for industrial applications, the thing was huge and is used for like blasting heavy equipment like semi frames or construction machinery.

    The finish is very very rough but I like it looks ok for what it is. As the corrosion was really bad. When I had the tires mounted the tires popped really loud when they went over the bead cause of the rough surface.

    Best picture I have showing the rough surface:



    Painted:



    Used Krylon self etching primer, Krylon Brilliant Silver & Krylon Gloss Crystal Clear. Was a pita to paint but considering it was my first go around painting them I'm happy with the results.
    1997 Grand Marquis LS HPP

    - Richard


  12. #12
    Member Pvt.Hudson's Avatar
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    Put the wheels on.

    1997 Grand Marquis LS HPP

    - Richard


  13. #13
    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    Looks good. 1.25" will mostly work with 98+ stuff, but only if your wheels have a recess in that area or you lightly grind the studs down. The studs stick a CH proud of the spacer.

    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. #14
    The Brown Blob 87gtVIC's Avatar
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    I need me a blast cabinet. They are just so damn handy. I like the bit a texture the media left on your wheels. You could have spent a lot of time primering and blocking it smooth before paint but it looks nice the way you did it as well.
    ~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

  15. #15
    Member Pvt.Hudson's Avatar
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    Welp the Marq is pissing oil out somewhere like my previous N*'s though to fix it I don't need to remove the engine and place it on a stand. I suspect its either the oil pressure switch or more likely the OFA gasket.





    Can't really figure out why the oil leaks from there and travels all over the place including to the rear of the oil pan lip between the transmission. The oil is every where making it kind of hard to figure out but seeing how my coolant hoses are 22 years old as is the gasket I figure its about time to replace them and maybe re teflon the oil pressure switch to.
    1997 Grand Marquis LS HPP

    - Richard


  16. #16
    Approaching 2 decades of DDing Box Panthers VicCrownVic's Avatar
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    My experience with leaks like that is limited the the 5.0 in boxes, but the idea should be the same. Oil drips down from the leaking oil pressure switch, catches the wind as you're driving and it gets all over the oil pan, trans, exhaust, axle, rear bumper... well getting that far back was the result of a torn oil pan gasket, but basically the whole underside of the car can collect oil due the dips getting caught in the wind while driving.

    I think your guesses of oil pressure switch or OFA gasket are right. Form the pictures it looks more like the adapter gasket, but if you can get eyes on that area with the engine running you should see the leak in action. I know on the 5.0 when they leak from the pressure switch it can be hard to tell where it's coming from without the engine running.
    Vic

    ~ 1991 Mercury Grand Marquis LS "The Scab" - plenty of rot, summer DD
    ~ 1997 GMC Yukon - wannabe winter DD - I'll fix it eventually
    ~ 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


  17. #17
    Beater gonna beat sly's Avatar
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    since the switch is the bottom most item... I'd go higher. On my 93, it was the valve covers that were leaking all the oil. I did have to change the OFA once though (remove and have machined flat if you can't source a new one). If yours has the power steering reservoir mounted to the engine, check it for leaks. Since it all rolls down hill, as it were, check top to bottom to find out where the leak starts. If it's where the head meets the block, you could have your work cut out for you with a head gasket.

    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
    Quote Originally Posted by gadget73
    ... and it should all work like magic and unicorns and stuff.
    Quote Originally Posted by dmccaig
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  18. #18
    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    OFA is a common leak point on these if you don't see anything wet above it.

    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. #19
    Member Pvt.Hudson's Avatar
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    It was the OFA gasket. Cleaned it up then started car and the lower port of the oil ports was seeping out the side. Not much bit enough to see.

    In the middle of doing it now. Not very fun to do. Pics later.
    1997 Grand Marquis LS HPP

    - Richard


  20. #20
    Beater gonna beat sly's Avatar
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    +1 PITA, but not near as bad as suspension stuff. Just f'n messy.

    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
    Quote Originally Posted by gadget73
    ... and it should all work like magic and unicorns and stuff.
    Quote Originally Posted by dmccaig
    Overhead, some poor bastards are flying in airplanes.

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