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Thread: Yet another noob reporting, from the land of sausage and vodka

  1. #21
    2 decades of DDing Box Panthers, now in a Whale VicCrownVic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rodentkiller View Post
    bnw You do qwn a 88 wagon due to it being assembled after July of 1987, any American car manufactured before July like for example my car was built 4/1990 and that makes my car a 1990 LTD Crown Victoria if it was after July a 1991.
    I have a 1991 MGM that was built 4/1990. 10th character of the VIN (model year designator) is M. It is indeed a 1991 model with all the 1991 specific changes (single color turbines, lower pinstripe). Your VIN should have the 10th character of L for 1990.

    A general rule of thumb, which you pointed out, for model years is first half of the calendar year matches the current model year while the second half of the calendar year is the next model year (most vehicles, if not all, being produced now are currently in the 2021 model year). Definitely just a rule of thumb as this does not always hold true. Some model years start earlier and some later, but still a good general rule of thumb. Production delays can cause the start to be delayed. Redesign years sometimes are early, or like my 1991 MGM, the model year might start early to end a model before a major redesign (I guess).

    For the OP, that VIN does have a J as the 10th character meaning it is indeed a 1988 Model Year VIN. (Obviously not 2018 when J was reused again for the model year designator, LOL.)
    Last edited by VicCrownVic; 10-30-2020 at 12:24 PM.
    Vic

    ~ 1998 Mercury Grand Marquis LS - new DD
    ~ 1991 Mercury Grand Marquis LS "The Scab" - plenty of rot, summer DD
    ~ 1997 GMC Yukon - wannabe winter DD - returning summer 2020, I finally have an engine
    ~ 1991 Mercury Grand Marquis GS "The Ice Car" - Rotting Retired Winter DD
    ~ 1989 Mercury Grand Marquis GS - Rotting Retired DD
    Gone but not forgotten:
    ~ 1988 Country Squire ~ 1987 Ford Crown Vic

  2. #22
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    Small news on the way, big questions arrive as well...

    I got the car back from the garage, where it was put to have the leaks checked for. So far, it looks like there is some leakage from the top covers of both cylinder banks, and somewhere "lower", from the engine underbelly, I guess? Also, some leaks are definitely on the transmission/differential mechanism, as there was some 0.5l of ATF missing (enough to make the car loose pressure on the valve plate while driving out from the underground garage, with a cold transmission). I am going to get the seals and have it fixed, and then we can go with welding the undersides.

    I am also looking for any info, or maybe a scanned owner's handbook for the MY'88 MGM. Mine has the autolamp option, but I don't understand how it works - at all. I presume that something is wrong with the whole system (especially as one of the previous owners replaced the low beams with Chinese xenon lamps), but without any knowledge on HOW it should work when fully operational, it is hard to fix anything...

    Another small problem is the shift/gear/transmission indicator in the instrument cluster: it is dead stuck on "P", so finding an actual gear requires some precision and awareness, that could be actually used somewhere else. Any common problems with this stuff are known, or rather not? :?

    Last but not least: I think that I am ready to write down the whole story behind the car, where it was bought, how was the first journey, and why the hell did I decide to buy this particular model - and then share the process of rebuilding the worn-off MGM into a sensible daily car. Shall I start a new thread somewhere, or just ask nicely to have this one moved to another place?

  3. #23
    Riding on air! mercurygm88's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bnw View Post
    Small news on the way, big questions arrive as well...

    I got the car back from the garage, where it was put to have the leaks checked for. So far, it looks like there is some leakage from the top covers of both cylinder banks, and somewhere "lower", from the engine underbelly, I guess? Also, some leaks are definitely on the transmission/differential mechanism, as there was some 0.5l of ATF missing (enough to make the car loose pressure on the valve plate while driving out from the underground garage, with a cold transmission). I am going to get the seals and have it fixed, and then we can go with welding the undersides.

    I am also looking for any info, or maybe a scanned owner's handbook for the MY'88 MGM. Mine has the autolamp option, but I don't understand how it works - at all. I presume that something is wrong with the whole system (especially as one of the previous owners replaced the low beams with Chinese xenon lamps), but without any knowledge on HOW it should work when fully operational, it is hard to fix anything...

    Another small problem is the shift/gear/transmission indicator in the instrument cluster: it is dead stuck on "P", so finding an actual gear requires some precision and awareness, that could be actually used somewhere else. Any common problems with this stuff are known, or rather not? :?

    Last but not least: I think that I am ready to write down the whole story behind the car, where it was bought, how was the first journey, and why the hell did I decide to buy this particular model - and then share the process of rebuilding the worn-off MGM into a sensible daily car. Shall I start a new thread somewhere, or just ask nicely to have this one moved to another place?
    Ok drawing from memory because I haven't owned a box Panther since 2015.

    1. The leaks are probably the valve cover gaskets, oil pan gasket, possibly rear main seal, and the transmission pan. All of those except the rear main seal are fairly easy.

    2. The autolamp is pretty simple if it's in working condition. I imagine you already know that you pull the knob one notch and get parking/running lights, second notch is headlights on. With the knob pushed all the way in rotate the knob closest to the dash counterclockwise, the further you go the longer the lights will stay on after you turn off the key. Once you've turned the knob counterclockwise the lights should come on automatically when you turn on the ignition and the sensor senses that it's dark enough outside, they'll go out when it's daylight.

    3. The gear indicator is operated by a little plastic strap that is attached to the steering column and the instrument cluster. As I understand it they are known to get brittle and break with age. I don't know if it's replaceable but I'm sure someone here has a fix for it. Another member here helped me intall a Tripminder in my '88 Grand Marquis back in 2011 and we were in the dash far enough to have the instrument cluster out and the piece I'm talking about just seemed a bit flimsy.

    4. I suppose that's up to you but you could always start a thread in the "Readers Rides" section.
    2002 Mercury Grand Marquis LSE - Purchased 02/19/20 at 96,500, current Daily Driver.
    2003 Lincoln Town Car Signature Series - Purchased 07/29/19 at 69,500, sold 2/14/20 at 85,500.
    2001 Lincoln Town Car Executive Series - Purchased 04/18/15 at 108,653, traded in 05/02/16 at 139,000.
    1995 Mercury Grand Marquis GS - Inherited 10/2009 at 105,000 totalled 4/30/10 at 120,000.
    1988 Mercury Grand Marquis LS - Purchased 6/26/11 at 82,610 totalled 4/16/15 at 137,000.

  4. #24
    2 decades of DDing Box Panthers, now in a Whale VicCrownVic's Avatar
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    Another engine oil leak culprit is the oil pressure switch.
    Vic

    ~ 1998 Mercury Grand Marquis LS - new DD
    ~ 1991 Mercury Grand Marquis LS "The Scab" - plenty of rot, summer DD
    ~ 1997 GMC Yukon - wannabe winter DD - returning summer 2020, I finally have an engine
    ~ 1991 Mercury Grand Marquis GS "The Ice Car" - Rotting Retired Winter DD
    ~ 1989 Mercury Grand Marquis GS - Rotting Retired DD
    Gone but not forgotten:
    ~ 1988 Country Squire ~ 1987 Ford Crown Vic

  5. #25
    Wagon Addicted Tiggie's Avatar
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    Clean the cold engine and trans with some self-emulsifying cleaner. Like this: https://www.amazon.com/Gunk-EBGEL-Ou...4371633&sr=8-5

    If you have a pressure washer, so after it all with that. If not, a water hose will do pretty well. Let it dry then take it for a short drive. Engine and transmission leaks aren’t too hard to find when it’s all clean.

  6. #26
    Riding on air! mercurygm88's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by VicCrownVic View Post
    Another engine oil leak culprit is the oil pressure switch.
    Had that problem on the 2001 Town Car, it wasn't leaking but the low oil pressure light would come on. It was backed out about two turns from tight. That fixed that issue.
    2002 Mercury Grand Marquis LSE - Purchased 02/19/20 at 96,500, current Daily Driver.
    2003 Lincoln Town Car Signature Series - Purchased 07/29/19 at 69,500, sold 2/14/20 at 85,500.
    2001 Lincoln Town Car Executive Series - Purchased 04/18/15 at 108,653, traded in 05/02/16 at 139,000.
    1995 Mercury Grand Marquis GS - Inherited 10/2009 at 105,000 totalled 4/30/10 at 120,000.
    1988 Mercury Grand Marquis LS - Purchased 6/26/11 at 82,610 totalled 4/16/15 at 137,000.

  7. #27
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    Thanks for all the replies! I decided to go full-scale, and posted a thread in the Reader's Rides forum. Hope you enjoy that one, too - I will post all the updates, etc. there.

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