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Thread: Just bought an 86 LTD CV, new to the forum!

  1. #21
    The Brown Blob 87gtVIC's Avatar
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    Correct. No padding/underlayment.

    I would have preferred it to be padded and have a factory seam but at the deal I was getting everything I knew to keep my mouth shut. It still is quite nice, just not as nice as I knew it could be.
    ~David~

    My 1987 Crown Victoria Coupe: The Brown Blob
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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

  2. #22
    fomoco panthers !
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    Quote Originally Posted by bgreywolf View Post
    Mainemantom: I'm in Richmond (just South of Augusta). I don't do the Classic/Antique plates; I do my own maintenance for the most part and I beat the pieces out of my vehicles. I want someone to look them over now and then and make sure I'm not missing anything.
    For a yard beater or weekend cruiser I'd get the classic plates, but I wouldn't be driving it at 70 on the highway with a trunk full of tools and parts. I don't want to blow a brake line pulling 2 tons of wood pellets because I saved a couple bucks on a sticker.
    Yes, I'm the jerk who drops my car at the inspection station and insists that the tech do a thorough job. It's no good if it just passes!

    I am in the Bangor area. I am all for safety and inspections can be a good thing. What I hate is the jerk who insists that something is wrong and it isn't. I used to enjoy working on my cars. Can't do it now due to health problems.
    If you are looking for another car, I have three to sell. All Ca. cars.

  3. #23
    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    Big fan of safties, not a fan of the potential for cheating. We don't do any inspection in this state for 1995 and older, and its an OBD-2 code scan for 96+. When we did more, it was a basic lights, wipers, and brake function test. They'd also eyeball the tires and fail you if it was down to the wear bars. Sometimes the front end got lifted for a quick shake. The whole process was like 20 minutes end to end including the tailpipe sniff, so you can imagine how not-thorough that was.

    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

  4. #24

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    Yeah, the Maine inspection is mostly safety items--brakes, lights, horn, wipers, etc. They're only allowed to charge $12 plus cost of repairs--so some of the shops do look for repairs as incentive to do them at all.
    I have a couple local shops I trust, and I have them do my inspections and work I can't do. More importantly, I trust them to work on other people's cars, so I send them business. I know I won't be able to do my own work forever, I don't own tire or alignment machines (I align the F150 myself but for highway driving at 70+mph I like a more precise alignment), and so on.

    Mechanics are like everyone else: there's good ones, bad ones, smart ones, dumb ones. I've been all of those at one point or another, though I tried pretty hard to avoid being the bad/dumb kind. Customers aren't exactly great either. When I was a vehicle inspector in Mass about 25 years ago, I failed a dangerously rusty Subaru because, although everything worked perfectly and it actually looked pretty nice from standing height, there literally wasn't any metal under the car. You could see the carpet in places. The customer had a fit and took it to another shop, who stickered it. He came back and told my boss I should be fired, etc--and after his screaming tirade, he went to pull out and the right rear suspension came apart and left the car on 3 wheels in our parking lot.

    Wish I could say that wasn't common, but a friend came to me a couple years ago with a freshly stickered Taurus she'd bought--said it handled funny. It sure did. The front control arm forward mount was rusted completely through and the bolt was sandwiched with a couple fender washers to keep it from coming out of the bushing completely. I welded the fender washers in place and drove it straight to the junkyard.

    A female friend of mine and I built her an '02 Mustang a while back--she did a lot of the work including converting it from an automatic to a T5. She didn't know a lot about cars, but she's an engineer and she's handy, so I mostly advised and showed her stuff in the shop manuals (since I have lots of them, and all the tools she didn't have) and showed her the easy ways to do stuff.
    She finished the car and drove it to a shop where they immediately showed her a pile of things "wrong" with it that needed to be fixed immediately.
    They punched a hole in her a/c condenser, told her the brakes needed to be replaced, said she had a leaking seal in the transmission and it was junk.
    Well, I pointed out the dye I'd put in the A/C system, and showed them with a black light where their tech had punched a hole in the core with a philips screwdriver. The brakes were brand new Cobra items and had nothing wrong with them--they weren't even completely bedded in. And the transmission? I have the video where she and I replaced the synchros and seals before we installed it.
    We got the shop to replace the A/C and she took it to another shop, got her sticker, and drove it for 5 years or so until she sold it. No problems with brakes or transmission; I don't even think she had to do the pads.

    So yeah, good shops, bad shops, good customers, bad customers, good cars, bad cars. I like being alive, and I like my friends being alive. I collect good people, good shops, good cars in my life and let the bad ones rust away somewhere else. And that's probably enough rambling for now.
    Last edited by bgreywolf; 11-28-2018 at 02:34 AM.

  5. #25
    GMN Regular slack's Avatar
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    Completely agree. There's good shops and bad shops. I'm not sure what I'm going to do once the shop I use closes. He's a guy my parents went to high school with so he's getting up there in age but is the most honest professional mechanic I've ever come across. It will be a real shame once he retires.

    Here in "metro" (what I guess we're considered out here on Long Island) NY we get basic safety inspection for vehicles >= 25 years+ and OBI I. OBII I and > 25 years get a simple emissions and safety inspections and newer than 25 years and OBI II get the full blown inspection. Seems pretty fair. Honestly for being NY, I feel like it's actually pretty lax. Hopefully things don't tighten up too much or I'll have to rethink some things.

  6. #26
    I post a lot... knucklehead0202's Avatar
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    I wouldn't mind a reasonable vehicle inspection, but it's full-on gestapo here in CA. Papers please! Even old junk has to be smog-tested, visually-inspected, etc. They don't give a shit about if you have any brake pads or your tires are bald, long as it emits no more CO than a moth fart. Ridiculous. Anyhow, welcome to box ownership and all the bizarre fun we full-size nuts get to have. Also, i dearly love mercury zephyrs, although i prefer mine in wagon form. Gonna get another one someday...

  7. #27

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    A Zephyr wagon was my first car. 200I6/C4 with the roof rack. I was looking for another when I found the Z7. The Z7 has a lot of goodies and I don't regret it, but some days I think I should have held out for another wagon.
    I was looking at a Colony Park just before I got this Crown Victoria. It wasn't quite right, and it was triple the price, and as I was thinking I should skip it, I drove past this one. Sometimes our cars find us.

  8. #28
    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    NJ was state-run inspections so you might make the argument there was less chance of fraud. They weren't going to make any money on it. Of course there was always private inspection, which is what you did at 18 when your car needed $600 worth of new carbs to get through smog and your job paid $6 an hour. The place everyone went to had this partly crushed Malibu wagon in the back bay. No wheels, the roof was caved in from what looked like a tree fall, the front fenders were off, but it ran clean so it was the test mule for all the local turds. My Beetle's carbs were absolutely wiped out, the throttle shafts slopped around in the body and I couldn't find anyone willing to machine them for bushings to fix it. To make it run the fuel mix was way fat to make up for the big vacuum leak and the sniffer did not approve. This was a 1973 car in 2000.

    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

  9. #29
    I post a lot... knucklehead0202's Avatar
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    Ahhh the good 'ol days of smog muling. They send out the guys in jackboots and shoot you against a wall for that shit here now. About 20 years ago it was a simple matter to find a guy to do a "special" smog, and usually cost under $100. It still exists but a lot harder to find and certainly costs a shite's sight more than a hundred bucks. I don't want to have a dirty, stinky, shitty-running car, but half the battle here is visual and they'll nick you on all kinds of stupid shit that doesn't effect emissions at all. It's all about the money here. You pay to get your stuff CARB E.O. numbered and they're happy.

  10. #30
    GMN Regular DerekTheGreat's Avatar
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    I can't believe they make YOU pay to pass THEIR test. I could almost understand them fining you if you didn't pass or making you pay for the retest or making you fix the damn thing (as they do already) but to make you pay for that shit on the first go around is just an insult.
    1985 LTD Crown Victoria - SOLD
    1988 Town Car Signature - Current Party Barge

  11. #31
    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    CA is stupid. I've heard stories of people with older cars failing because the factory-installed air cleaner didn't look like the picture in the book and other such nonsense. I'm fine with protecting the environment, but why should it matter what air cleaner or whatever is installed if what comes out of the exhaust is clean?

    NJ wasn't as bad, we never had much visual other than to confirm the cats were there. I ran the Towncar through several times with no smog pump, they never batted an eye. I do remember at one point when the state privatized the inspection stations. They hired a bunch of people that had to look busy. I sat in line with my S10 and some girl that looked fresh out of high school had me open the hood so she could inspect it. I have no idea what she was looking for, and I suspect she didn't either but she looked for about 30 seconds before deciding it was acceptable enough to be sniffed. The next year all those people were gone and it was back to just the sniffer. At one point they went from an idle test to a roller test, then the rollers got pulled and it was an idle and a race the hell out of the engine sniff. The safety went away first because they didn't fail enough vehicles, so therefore it wasn't necessary. (???) Pre-96 smog went away a year or so ago. I suspect they didn't want to maintain the sniffer equipment for the dwindling number of those vehicles when they can just plug in an OBD2 scanner.

    but yeah, the "buy a sticker" thing was an open secret. Everyone knew what shops would do it, and it was like 75 bucks. They'd put something on the receipt like "adjusted carb" or whatever as the justification and away you went until the next year.

    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

  12. #32
    GMN Regular DerekTheGreat's Avatar
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    Yeah, sometimes it's tough to find original parts. In the end all that matters is tailpipe emissions. This isn't a concurs auto show..

    Jesus, they've only been putting emission stuff on cars since the early 70's, you think they'd have a standardized test by now. It's clear they don't have a clue and I suspect you're right about the pre '96 stuff.

    What a joke, but somewhere some entity must be making money off of it...
    1985 LTD Crown Victoria - SOLD
    1988 Town Car Signature - Current Party Barge

  13. #33
    Wagon Addicted Tiggie's Avatar
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    In Virginia, an inspector is supposed to take 1 hour to inspect everything. The list is lengthy in my opinion, although no sniffer for most. Here’s the list http://www.vsp.state.va.us/Safety.sh...pectionProgram

    They get $16, a $1 of which gets sent back to the state. Garages must also maintain a working computer with internet and a printer to issue the paperwork. The state monitors to be sure they aren’t doing more than 1 per hour with the internet submissions.

    No real mechanics will do the entire inspection for only $15/hour. They check lights and brakes if they are disc and easily visible. I can’t say I blame them. $15 an hour then taxes taken out leaves you at ten bucks an hour. 80 bucks a day isn’t going to keep the doors open.
    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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  14. #34
    I post a lot... knucklehead0202's Avatar
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    Despite the veil of "protecting the environment" here, it's all about squeezing more money out of the people here, just like everything else. A lot of people went to a lot of trouble to get the gas tax repeal on the ballot, and then all these idiots voted to keep it! California is a self-perpetuating money vacuum full of ignorant but self-righteous twits that will try to make to feel like a jerk for not being an idiot. My frustration with this place grows daily...

  15. #35
    GMN Regular DerekTheGreat's Avatar
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    Damn, $1 dollar to the state per person for doing essentially nothing amounts to quite a bit of dough when you think about it, toss that in with all the other taxes you might pay and wow. Reminds me of that scene from Raising Arizona where Hi gets his first check from that factory and that big beauford of a clerk says to him, "The gov'ment sure do take a bite, don't they?"

    You gotta get out Khead, you're about ready to blow a gasket man. Lose the turbo and install some lower compression cylinder heads if you know what I mean haha.
    1985 LTD Crown Victoria - SOLD
    1988 Town Car Signature - Current Party Barge

  16. #36

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    Okay, enough of the inspection stuff! The only inspection I care about is seeing what I have for a rear axle in this thing.

    I got my Marti report back, and it's...underwhelming. They say it's a CFI V8 and 2.73 open rear with locking wheel covers.

    As I received it, it's a multipoint EFI engine (to be honest, I suspect that's a mistake in the Ford/Marti nomenclature, I don't think it's had an engine swap).
    It has Turbine wheels (unless they're REALLY GOOD wheel covers, but I don't think so...the locking covers were wire spoke); but those may well have been changed by a previous owner.
    And while it might well be a 2.73 open diff, it didn't feel like a spinny slug when I was driving it, but it was a bit snowy and I was paying more attention to the overall running. Also coulda been changed by PO.

    Even if I suspected the Marti report to be spot on, a few minutes under the car will tell me much more about what it is NOW, which will tell me what I want to do to it.

    I'd like a 3.27-3.55 rear for towing. I like the Turbine wheels so big brakes aren't in my immediate future (and I have a set of 15" Explorer rims lying around to get snow tires, so twice the no-go for now).
    Rear brakes and separate hub/disc arrangement are preferred, but only worth the effort if I'm already replacing the parts.
    I suspect I have 10" rear drums and I'm not going to change them until I find a rear axle that has the gearing I want to tow with.

    So...what year cars have the greatest likelihood of a rear axle ratio of 3.08 (I'd take it/so-so for towing), 3.27 (1st choice), or 3.55 (I have a spare set of 3.55 gears out of my Zephyr, which before-you-say-they-won't-fit, my Zephyr has a 2003 Mustang Cobra rear which was swapped for 4.11s because the Zephyr is the fun car so it's an 8.8 too).
    There's a lot of early-mid 2000s Crown Vics at the state auctions that are beat and sell for just-over-scrap, but would be good for harvesting axle housings, knuckles, etc. If they would give me my swap parts and likely have the right axle ratio (or be happy with my gears and a seal/bearing refresh), what else should I snag from them?

    I might start this as a new topic in the Drivetrain section if this post takes off; a rear axle sticky would probably be good (or a more noticeable one, if I missed it).

  17. #37

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    Also...remember those old perforated vinyl steering wheel covers? The cheapo lace-on ones?
    They were the only covers I really liked on these 80s Ford wheels with the skinny little hard plastic rim.
    I can find them in black, blue, gray, beige, and "mushroom" (whatever color "mushroom" is, it's WAAAAY too fancy for this car!).
    Anyone got one in good old fashioned baby poop brown? I've scoured ebay, Amazon, Google...I don't want a fancy sew-on leather one. I don't want the big round "slip on" Wal-Mart ones that look ugly and have the open elastic "U" that feels as uncomfortable to grip as they look. I just want the used-to-be-dirt-cheap-in-42-colors-at-every-gas-station-and-corner-store lace on crappy vinyl one.
    If anyone has a nice poop brown one (I'd accept "chocolate" but I don't want this car thinking it's fancy) or knows where to get one I will gladly reward you with a beverage of your choice (or the funds to get one).
    Okay, that's enough curmudgeon for tonight. I've gotta get some better coffee out here next time we get stores in.

  18. #38
    Wagon Addicted Tiggie's Avatar
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    If you can get an aero era axle donor, then that would give you the rear discs too. Whale (98+) don’t bolt in.

    I have found a lot of 3.27 gears in 87-88 (5-code), and the mid aero era cars in my area. Also have found several in trac-lok (E-code). The 3.27s are usually in heavier cars like Crown Vic LX or other top trim line.

    Sounds like you don’t mind setting up rear axles, so also consider 99% of 4.0L Rangers are a 8.8 28-spline donor. A lot of the regular cab trucks run a 3.27 or 3.55 especially in the pre-95 era.
    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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  19. #39
    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    86+ all had SEFI, though if you look in some of the factory manuals it has pictures of CFI stuff.

    Other random thought, its not completely impossible that the VIN on the dash isn't the VIN the car left the factory with. You'd find the VIN on the dash, the door sticker, and usually on stickers under the hood, on the fenders, and on the trunk lid. If that VIN is from another car it could have the wrong optional equipment listed.

    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

  20. #40

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    Quote Originally Posted by gadget73 View Post
    86+ all had SEFI, though if you look in some of the factory manuals it has pictures of CFI stuff.

    Other random thought, its not completely impossible that the VIN on the dash isn't the VIN the car left the factory with. You'd find the VIN on the dash, the door sticker, and usually on stickers under the hood, on the fenders, and on the trunk lid. If that VIN is from another car it could have the wrong optional equipment listed.
    Very true, but I would suspect that the other bits are correct--all the paint and trim are correct, and wheels change easily; heck, I'll have the wheels changed by Christmas, and I'm on a ship until the 23rd. Most likely it was a typing error somewhere between CFI and SEFI, and I'm willing to accept that I have 2.73s in there and was just too busy doing donuts in the snow to notice. It's a heavy car, so maybe I was mistaking traction-lock for plain ol' traction. The previous car was a Mini with a manual transmission that used traction control to tame an open diff; I hated it. The Mini was the replacement for the Mustang that got plowed by a drunk driver, and everyone said "you'll love antilock brakes and traction control and front wheel drive!". It wasn't a bad car, but anytime the weather got iffy I was reminded that people are idiots. I drove that Mustang everywhere, and I couldn't get the Mini to go half the places I used to go, and in the brief moment I had the Mini and the LTD (on all-seasons!) and it snowed--I remembered it wasn't me, it was the Mini, and now I'm rambling.

    So I'll look for a -97 with a decent ratio and trac-loc; I bet there's a few dead cop cars in the local auction yards yet. Or I'll just buy a trac-loc center and use the Mustang gears.

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