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Thread: 96 MGM Florida Car in Maine

  1. #1
    Gonna buy me a Mercury BoulevardRide's Avatar
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    Default 96 MGM Florida Car in Maine

    Just picked this up from a dealer's lot in central Maine with 95k miles. Sold as a "Florida car," not much rust showing from 5 feet, tho a closer look says it's been in Maine for a few winters. Auction car, was rode hard and put up wet a few times. Hoping I can save it from the all-too common, fast descent into beater hell. Been looking for one of these for a while, 96 is supposed to be a pretty good compromise year between old-school comfort and new age "drivability" in modern traffic. It takes off and stops better than my 88, although it has that creaking aero plastic in the big bumps. LS interior softens the visual blow coming from the Lincoln's Medea Velour, Burl Appliqué, digital dash, and all that other cool 70s/80s interior treatment we know and love.

    Pics from the ad, I call it the "Gangster of Love" with the black tint, jacked-up rear, rumbling exhaust leak that I need to fix
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    96 MGM

    Cruisin up and down the road...

  2. #2
    Gonna buy me a Mercury BoulevardRide's Avatar
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    Here's a nighttime pic at home, the last cool car pic before I begin geezer-izing this hot rod...
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    This was my first vehicle purchase in recent memory that I actually drove home legally. Both prior panthers came home on a flatbed, this one had a new inspection sticker and dealer plate, clean fluids and a fresh oil change, so I didn't mind driving it over an hour off the lot.

    First thing I did was install some rear winter tires I had on hand, extra from the Lincoln
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    The dealer was kind enough to remove the side tint before I picked up the car but wouldn't touch the rear window b/c of the defrost lines. Personally I don't like tint because it's hard to back up at night, and it's a major cop magnet. At my age I just don't like the attention.

    Already it doesn't look as cool without the side tint, so what the hell, I bought a clothing steamer and some plastic razor blades, yesterday it hit 55 degrees with some sun, so I had a go at the back window myself.
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    Here are the tools I used for the job, was surprised how easy it went, and the defroster and antenna still work
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    And now the MGM looks like what it now is, a geezer glide
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    A sharp eye may detect my neighbor's box Panther across the street that I may feature at a later date.

  3. #3
    Gonna buy me a Mercury BoulevardRide's Avatar
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    Since I like lists here are some of the things the dealer did to the car.
    engine oil change
    new air filter
    4 new tires
    front brakes
    plugs and wires
    cleaned it up, he is also a detail shop
    removed side window tint
    new sticker, 14-day plate that I used up.

    Here is what I have done to it myself
    removed and cleaned the battery and terminals (has a year-old battery)
    removed rear window tint
    oiled the door latches
    oiled down rusty underhood fasteners and brake lines
    turkey basted the master cylinder and ps reservoir
    ozonated 3x with a machine to get rid of the febreeze stank
    removed 4 febreeze packs the dealer had stashed inside, I'm allergic to chemicals

    Here is what I have had shops do for me so far
    Install rear snows
    Flush heater core
    Change gear oil in diff
    New trans fluid/filter/pan gasket
    New fuel filter on frame rail
    Lube the chassis

    Upcoming shop maintenance
    This week: bleed brake lines to push new fluid through, fix exhaust leak
    Install rear trailer hitch and wiring

    Next week: Replace intake manifold, it still has the all-plastic original intake

    After that: Test the anti-freeze, fluid film the underside, then drive it someplace warm.

  4. #4
    The Brown Blob 87gtVIC's Avatar
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    The white shines up nicely.

    Good job on the rear tint removal. I will admit that is something I would never want to attempt.

    You own an ozone machine? Always curious how they work out for removing smells.
    ~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

  5. #5
    Gonna buy me a Mercury BoulevardRide's Avatar
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    Yeah the ford white is still in real good shape, wondering if it's a reshoot, haven't found any overspray yet but who knows. found some touchups but i do that anyway.

    I bought a small ozonator for my 88, which smells like an old cigar. Ozone makes it smell like a swimming pool for a couple days but then the stank comes back. same with the 96 so far but it's just one of those things i feel like i have to keep on trying and maybe one day it will have an effect, like the ozone molecules are duking it out with the febreeze atoms or whatever...

    the tint went so easy it surprised me, once i got the plastic razor blade, to lift up that first edge. i have wicked arthritis tho and have been laid up all day on the heating pad after yesterday's contortions, but the result is worth it to me. nice to hear someone else besides me doesn't like tint, so many car forums go for the bling.

  6. #6
    fomoco panthers !
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    Good find for an "old" Maine car. Glad you picked it up before the taxi people got it. That is all they run in Bangor area, panthers. Some of them are really nice. I would undercoat it as soon as it dries out, in maybe JUNE? Get a can of Scotch guard and do the seats. You will be glad you did.
    Weird weather. 50s here then ice this afternoon. Wishing you the best with it. Good car. I have a 96 CVPI.

  7. #7
    Wagon Addicted Tiggie's Avatar
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    Nice ride. This one going to be the daily driver?

    The neighbors box looks very familiar. I am not your neighbor but sure looks like my car.
    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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  8. #8
    Gonna buy me a Mercury BoulevardRide's Avatar
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    Thanks for the kind words. I'm fortunate not to have to drive every day but can only afford one car in my life. For me it is more a matter of cost, efficiency, practicality. And comfort for my old bones. Will drive the 96 for a while before deciding which car to keep, it or the 88. The 88 has been a reliable old friend but I'm not always able to give it the attention it needs.

    Neighbor's ride is an 89 LTD wagon, faded maroon. I have a better pic i'll dig up.

    As for the fluid film I'm hoping to have it sprayed once I'm done asking guys to work on the underside of the car in a week or 2, that stuff is really a mess to try to work around and I can't afford to piss off my local mechanics...

  9. #9
    Gonna buy me a Mercury BoulevardRide's Avatar
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    Here are my 2 Panthers btw...
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    Here is a better pic of the neighbor's car
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    beauty shot
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  10. #10
    fomoco panthers !
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    I understand why your neighbor blows snow that way however just one misguided rock will sure damage the car or break glass.
    Old wagons of any make that are not rot boxes are hard to find here. That is one of the very few left here not with the woody trim.
    If you have to sell your 88 Lincoln, hope it goes to a good home. TBA on RT 2 in Bangor has undercoating with rust treatment before application. Bangor Radiator has another option, Ziebart in Arundel is another. Don't know prices.
    Of course I am sure you would not do what some dealers do...Black spray paint and call it undercoating. "Yeah that bumpy stuff(crusty rust) is the texture of the undercoating."

  11. #11
    Gonna buy me a Mercury BoulevardRide's Avatar
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    Yeah that wagon was a big reason i let the Mrs. talk me into this neighborhood... guy's 84, wouldn't sell it 5 years ago and who knows how long it was sitting before that. It's on a south-facing slope cooking in the sun. i've seen chipmunks, squirrels, a fox and a woodchuck living right next to it. He drives a jetta now, old-guy style, short trips for coffee, hospital, etc, all weather, so i'd guess he drove the wagon like that too before being parked. Last year another guy said he offered 500 and thought he might get it before he disappeared, probably saved himself a lot of grief.

    If i sell the Town Car it's not going cheap to a yahoo, too nice for that and i have a lot of receipts. inspected and clean underneath, winters in florida and i had it undercoated when i got it. someone will get a good deal but not a hoon.

    2 shops in my town do fluid film, i use both. it works where rust has already started, being oil based and thick it doesn't just cover things up as you say but soaks in and clings. for a small town we have several decent shops.

  12. #12
    fomoco panthers !
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    Got to watch out for the demo derby clowns. They lie their ass off to get what they want. I had had a few come up and talk like they have to have "my" car. I have flat told them they are lying and to GO AWAY.

  13. #13

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    Beautiful cars. Those demo derby car guys are everywhere; I saved mine from the Derby as well. Let them crack up the rusty, unsaveable ones.

  14. #14
    I post a lot...
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    Nice ride. Once you do the intake, that car should be very reliable for you!!
    2017 Buick Enclave 3.6 (Burgundy/Beige)
    2019 Volvo S60 Inscription (Crystal White / Blond)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lincolnmania View Post
    if its got tits or tires it's bound to give you trouble

  15. #15
    Gonna buy me a Mercury BoulevardRide's Avatar
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    Today I saw it under a lift for the first time. Hole in the right rear cat, found this, supposed to fit, wondering if anybody has used one of these?
    https://www.summitracing.com/parts/w.../grand-marquis

  16. #16

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    I've used the universals. Generally, for a non-custom exhaust, by the time you wrestle it into place and custom pipe it, it's not much cheaper than replacing the original or having it repaired (if it's not too far gone).
    I have one in my '87 F150, but that has headers/custom exhaust.
    If you're paying someone an hourly rate to build the pipes around it, guess 2 hours' labor plus that and decide if that's cheaper than a stock replacement.
    If you're doing it yourself, grab your box of exhaust pieces and adapters and go for it.

  17. #17
    Member Pvt.Hudson's Avatar
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    I saw this car listing and thought of taking a ride up to see it but got sidetracked.

    Might as well go with the PI intake if your gonna swap it out and gain some HP. Does it have dual exhaust?
    1997 Grand Marquis LS HPP

    - Richard


  18. #18
    Gonna buy me a Mercury BoulevardRide's Avatar
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    No it is single exhaust which i prefer, less material underneath to rot out. until i discovered this thing has 4 converters underneath, which is what i am dealing with now.

    as soon as i got it home it developed a hole in a cat, started clunking (front end) in the bumps, and the radio went on the fritz. and a hard cold start which i am hoping is a coolant temp sensor. guess the guy sold it just in time lol.

    still, it is a nice car, especially for finding it in the maine williwacks. 3 shops have all praised the underneath so far, tho it's not quite as pristine a "no rust florida car" as the dealer said, once i saw it on the lift yesterday. not worth driving up from mass for, esp one you pay out of state title transfer, if you have that there like we do here. plus you guys get shorter winters than we do up here, on average less salt from what i have seen. i've seen what look like better deals on 96 ltc's and sometimes mgm's close to boston but could never get the sellers to send me clear pics of underneath to justify such a long trip on an unknown...

  19. #19
    Gonna buy me a Mercury BoulevardRide's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bgreywolf View Post
    I've used the universals. Generally, for a non-custom exhaust, by the time you wrestle it into place and custom pipe it, it's not much cheaper than replacing the original or having it repaired (if it's not too far gone).
    I have one in my '87 F150, but that has headers/custom exhaust.
    If you're paying someone an hourly rate to build the pipes around it, guess 2 hours' labor plus that and decide if that's cheaper than a stock replacement.
    If you're doing it yourself, grab your box of exhaust pieces and adapters and go for it.
    thanks for pointing that out. i assumed b/c it says it fits my car it was less universal and more specific but after studying it see that a true fit comes with bent pipes and flanges on the ends. and inclused the front cat which i don't need, and costs 300 bucks more...

    i will keep looking for something more specific, tho part of the problem is maine is now a carb state and half the cats won't ship here now. i don't mind keeping it legal and prefer keeping it stock, but the carb compliant cats cost 3x as much as the regular cats.

    the guy yesterday said he'd replace the rear cats with pipes for 100 bucks but i'd rather keep it stock and avoid any problems down the road...

    also the whole exhast from the rears back is getting pretty crusty so not sure if the flanges would be a benefit at this point or not, might just be better to sleeve/splice the pipes and leave the rusted flanges alone
    Last edited by BoulevardRide; 01-15-2020 at 11:41 AM.
    96 MGM

    Cruisin up and down the road...

  20. #20
    Gonna buy me a Mercury BoulevardRide's Avatar
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    So today my new intake came in. I was sitting in my 88 in the garage, trying to figure out which car would cause me less stress to keep. Here is a pic of where it rides out the winter
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    Then the fedex truck pulls up with the new intake for the 96. I figure that is a sign pointing to the newer car.

    Until i open the box and see this
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    Now i am wondering if it is a sign telling me to keep the 88. No plastic intake, no aluminum threads in the head, better built, nicer car, except that it's slower and the vacuum cruise is a frig...

    today the 96 is in the shop getting a trailer hitch bolted on. i'll take the new intake to the guy and see what he says, he prefers the dorman brand, but this one was half the price from a place called Evan Fischer. had good reviews, don't know why the thing broke in the mail, box looked well padded. it looks like a post for the fuel rail meant for a self-tapping screw...?...

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