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Thread: Prudence, my 87 Town Car

  1. #321
    GMN Regular DerekTheGreat's Avatar
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    Oh, well if I had bothered to read all of Lutrova's post I'd have seen where he mentioned them, hence Inspector's response about them.
    1985 LTD Crown Victoria - SOLD
    1988 Town Car Signature - Current Party Barge

  2. #322
    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    I've never had the line pop out, but there is an O ring down inside that seals against the steel tube. When it gets rock hard and the line moves for whatever reason they just vomit fluid. They absolutely do not like to be re-used and you can't just spin them out like a normal fitting. it'll spin, but the O ring will shred when you do it.

    I want to say they gave up on those stupid things in 1988. At some point it became a standard double flare fitting on the line, and a double flare to pipe adapter screwed into the radiator and the transmission.

    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

  3. #323
    Carthago delenda est Lutrova's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 87gtVIC View Post
    Soon enough your townie will have all new parts!
    It feels like I must be getting to that point! Theseus' Lincoln. Especially if I get the trans rebuilt soon, as seems to be in order. At this point the only major system I haven't touched in some way is the AC, and having said that I'm sure it won't be long now until I do.

    But as I keep telling my wife, it won't be long now before all the major stuff is sorted out. Things just wear out with age after 35 years, and once all the old rubber bushings, seals, and gaskets are replaced it'll be a reliable car. So far, though, she remains a skeptic.

    Quote Originally Posted by gadget73 View Post
    I've never had the line pop out, but there is an O ring down inside that seals against the steel tube. When it gets rock hard and the line moves for whatever reason they just vomit fluid. They absolutely do not like to be re-used and you can't just spin them out like a normal fitting. it'll spin, but the O ring will shred when you do it.

    I want to say they gave up on those stupid things in 1988. At some point it became a standard double flare fitting on the line, and a double flare to pipe adapter screwed into the radiator and the transmission.
    That o ring was probably my downfall in my parking lot radiator swap. I figured the quick connect might not take kindly to being serviced as Ford intended, so I just undid it with a wrench at the radiator. Naturally, the fitting puked fluid on reinstallation. The transmission shop that fixed my crossed threads at the case had a lot of trouble with the quick connects at the radiator. Their solution was to cut the hard line and use a flared fitting at the radiator with a rubber hose to bridge the gap. Not particularly workmanlike, but if I had the tools I might've done the same to the one remaining quick connect in my cooler lines.

    The '89 limo I took the trans cooler and hard lines from had ditched the quick connects at the transmission, but still used them at the radiator. Though perhaps they had a surplus of cooler lines for tow/police package cars with the old style fittings that they were still working through.

  4. #324
    Carthago delenda est Lutrova's Avatar
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    Got out to the Lincoln today to get some work done. Put in new wiper blades, quick connect fitting, and fan clutch. The old fan clutch was leaking, so I'm satisfied I've found the reason the radiator failed. Especially since it only popped after idling in the heat for a while. Unfortunately, I had forgotten my keys at home, about a half hour from my friend's house where the car is currently sitting, so I wasn't able to test these new repairs. I still have to flush the cooling system. Also, the new radiator is sitting a little differently than the old one such that the holding brackets are a little askew. I'll have to play around with it to see if it'll move over any.

  5. #325
    Carthago delenda est Lutrova's Avatar
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    It's been a fairly eventful week. Finished the coolant flush, or called it good enough. There's probably still regular water in the system, but hopefully the thick layers of rust in the block will protect it from further damage.

    With the cooling system once again working as intended, I turned my attention to what needed to happen to pass Texas' safety inspection. The h-pipe had a patch on it, so I went to a hole in the wall shop where some guy pieced in new pipe. Not that I can tell with the exhaust leaking from the cat pipe to manifold connection, but at least there aren't any rust holes now.

    By rights the car should've failed inspection. The e-code headlights aren't DOT approved, the license plate light housing is dangling in place, and the air pump tubing to the cats is missing. But none of that mattered to the fine folks at Jiffy Lube - God bless them.

    Next up is spending a day at the county tax office to get all the title transfer and registration paperwork done. I've been thinking about running year of manufacture plates, but I'll ask the officials about what plates might qualify.

  6. #326
    Carthago delenda est Lutrova's Avatar
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    I guess I'm going all in on the Texas thing



    The clerks at the county tax office didn't balk at the old plates, although technically they were only run in '86 while '87-'89 were similar but without sesquicentennial verbiage. The old plates have tags through January of 1987 and they only gave me a windshield sticker for registration. Hopefully I don't get pulled over for having 35 year expired tabs, especially when driving out of state. Otherwise, it was a pretty easy process. And I much prefer stamped license plates to the flat printed ones everyone seems to be using now.

    In other news, the car is running well enough. I've still got an exhaust leak where the right manifold and the cat pipe meet. And the AC works, but it's not the best. I'm hoping the sun shade plus the UV-blocking tint everywhere else will help to limit its workload, seeing as cooler weather is just around the corner.

    My current concern is the transmission. Ever since the car came to Texas it's been making some strange noises from the trans, particularly in drive while at a standstill. It also has a pretty good jerk in third when letting off the throttle. On the other hand, the slipping on cold starts which had been increasing in regularity while in the desert has gone away in the month we've been here. Maybe all the humidity has some effect on the dried out seals? There might be a little less pep, particularly in first gear, but otherwise the trans is in working order. Nonetheless, the transmission shop in California felt it was getting close to time for a rebuild, what with all the stuff that was in the fluid. And if it's never been worked on before, it is at least 35 years old. Certainly transmissions don't get any better with age. And my gut says the time for a rebuild is before anything major goes wrong and more parts might need to be replaced than if I'd been a little proactive.

    I called around to a couple shops in town. One shop quoted 1700, while another said anywhere from 1200-2200. The latter quote may be more realistic, but I liked the former a bit better. I spoke with them about also installing a shift kit and a 2" overdrive band. If I understand correctly, this requires the reverse drum from a later AOD or an AODE - Are there any other required parts? And with a shift kit, are there options that improve longevity without taking away from the smooth, Lincoln ride? I think I understand that firmer shifts are better for the transmission, but I don't have a good feeling for what that does to ride quality, or if any modification is necessary for a car that's still largely stock.

  7. #327
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    Though it’s not a shift kit, this shift improver kit addresses the weak points of the aod without increasing shift firmness.

    https://superiortransmission.com/product/superior-kaod/

    I have spoken to the techs over the phone at this place and was pleasantly surprised that they are friendly and very knowledgeable. I guess they’ve been in the game for some time. I have one of these kits to go into an unmodified valve body to replace the Baumann shift kit I have. It’s too harsh for my liking.

  8. #328
    GMN Regular DerekTheGreat's Avatar
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    You drive a Lincoln, not some redneck Ford. Keep it shifting smooth like silk. I suspect my transmission was rebuilt some years before I bought my car. I've put some 40k miles on it after I adjusted the trans per this video:

    It was previously adjusted a smidge tight, where it wouldn't shift as early as it does now, aka like factory. Had an '89 Town Car that I had the transmission rebuilt on. I think twenty thousand miles were racked on it before it went to a member on here. It shifted like my '88. No issues. Then just a couple years ago I bought a 1991 Mark VII. It shifted firmly and a bit late. After drinking all of the "it[the AOD] needs to shift a bit firmly and later or it will lunch itself Kool-aid" I decided to leave it alone. That car lost OD about six months after I got it going again.

    As for the A/C, get your windows tinted with that ceramic type tint. That makes a huge difference, my A/C seems to freeze everyone right out of the cabin no matter what the ambient temp is.
    1985 LTD Crown Victoria - SOLD
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  9. #329
    Lost and driftin' Arquemann's Avatar
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    When I changed over to carb from CFI, I initially did as the Lokar instructions say, 40psi with the gauge block installed, but it resulted in incredibly early and lazy shifts. From that I tightened it quite a bit solely on shift feel and WOT shift timing. Now it shifts firmly but very smooth still. Like an american boat should.
    1985 Mercury Grand Marquis LS, "Maisa"
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  10. #330
    Beater gonna beat sly's Avatar
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    As long as the window sticker has the correct plate information, they shouldn't have any issues with the stickers on the plates.

    Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former. -- Albert Einstein
    rides: 93 Crown Vic LX (The Red Velvet Cake), 2000 Crown Vic base model (Sandy), 2003 Expedition (the vacation beast)
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  11. #331
    GMN Regular Giraffe's Avatar
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    The Texas inspection is a safety inspection only. Only certain locales will do emissions equipment inspections. Texas inspections are consequently fairly simple to pass.

    You're lucky you had no issues with the plates, though. Texas law on the use of old plates is pretty clear, however, the DMV in Wichita Falls said I couldn't use the 1990-spec plates I got for my 1990 Grand Marquis because the old plates law only applies to the plates that had the year stamped into them. Needless to say, they were wrong, but I PCS'd from there before I had a chance to correct it.
    —John

    1985 Ford F-150 XLT Lariat
    1990 Mercury Grand Marquis LS (POTM March 2017 & May 2019 - gone, but not forgotten)
    1995 Mustang SVT Cobra coupe (cream puff)
    1966 Mustang coupe (restoration in-progress)

  12. #332
    The Brown Blob 87gtVIC's Avatar
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    Compact cars lol.
    ~David~

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    My life is a long series of "nevermind" and "I guess not."
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    But, that's just coming from me, this site's biggest pessimist. Best of luck

  13. #333
    Carthago delenda est Lutrova's Avatar
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    Thanks, guys, for the recommendations. I certainly appreciate the Lincoln for what it is and have no desire to turn it into a hot rod or racer. Keeping a smooth ride is definitely a priority. At the same time, I don't want to go through the cost of a rebuild and not grab any low hanging fruit. The 2" overdrive band seems like a no-brainer. But it sounds like a shift kit is more appropriate for performance builds. And to be fair, my AOD has lasted 35 years through a decent amount of abuse. It's probably not as fragile a thing as I'm imagining it to be, even in stock form. That shift improver kit and a properly adjusted TV cable will do the trick, I'm sure.

    Quote Originally Posted by Giraffe View Post
    The Texas inspection is a safety inspection only. Only certain locales will do emissions equipment inspections....
    The emissions equipment inspection was most of what I worried about. But I don't think they even opened the hood, let alone looked underneath for cats or exhaust leaks. If that's how it's going to be, I'll probably strip out the rest of the air pump tubing. Even if they do look, it's possible some inspectors won't be familiar with older stuff anyway.

    Quote Originally Posted by 87gtVIC View Post
    Compact cars lol.
    I always get a kick out of putting the Town Car in 'compact' spots. In this case, though, I believe the county fire officials have strict requirements on the clearance for fire lanes. And the lot and apartment buildings being what they are, it must've been easiest to shave a couple feet of depth from some parking spots. Some jurisdictions also have quotas for special parking spots beyond what the ADA asks for, but that's probably not determinative here.

    ***

    The car has continued to serve faithfully since coming to Texas. The sun shade has, in fact, done well to keep the heat out while parked. The rest of the windows have an infrared-blocking tint on them. Not quite as nice - or spendy - as ceramic, but a step above the standard stuff.

    I have a small list of projects waiting for cooler weather and a little free time. (Turns out having a kid is a very time consuming endeavor.)
    - Swap out the passenger mirror. The junkyard replacement came from a different year TC, so hopefully the connector can be repinned to avoid any splicing.
    - Replace alternator regulator. I ordered a new 3G regulator from a company called AMF. It's white, and while it isn't billed as such, I'm hoping it might spool the alternator up slowly on start to get rid of the initial belt squeal.
    - Replace left rear window motor.
    - Reseat cat pipe to manifold connection until exhaust leak goes away.
    - Rekey ignition cylinder so the doors and ignition are on one key.
    - Fix whatever else breaks in the time it takes me to get to all of these projects.

  14. #334
    GMN Regular DerekTheGreat's Avatar
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    As for the compact thing, I had a guy who owns a 2002 whale Town Car tell me (without seeing my car) that he didn't like Town Cars of "my year" because they were "too big." Like uh, yours is bloated by comparison to mine but whatever, not going to argue with people I don't care to know beyond casual.
    1985 LTD Crown Victoria - SOLD
    1988 Town Car Signature - Current Party Barge

  15. #335
    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    the square ones somehow seem to look larger than they really are. I find it really funny when someone in a modern multi-door full size pickup says something about how enormous my car is. Like dude, your truck is a couple feet longer and easily half a ton heavier. My roof line is even with the bottom of your windows.

    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. #336
    Carthago delenda est Lutrova's Avatar
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    My wife refuses to drive the Lincoln because of its size, although she once drove the 01 TC I had in grad school. But she also had major qualms getting behind the wheel of our old Roadmaster Estate, so it wasn't just boxy cars.

    As for being perceived as bigger, perhaps the smaller mirrors on the Boxes make the rest of the car seem proportionally larger. We've grown accustomed to oversized mirrors on everything, maybe the older style ones play tricks on our brains. Or maybe not. One of my wife's girlfriends saw the Lincoln for the first time and thought the little mirrors were hilarious.

  17. #337
    GMN Regular DerekTheGreat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gadget73 View Post
    the square ones somehow seem to look larger than they really are. I find it really funny when someone in a modern multi-door full size pickup says something about how enormous my car is. Like dude, your truck is a couple feet longer and easily half a ton heavier. My roof line is even with the bottom of your windows.
    This. A co-worker once commented about how "huge" my Town Car was. It was dwarfed when I parked it next to her modern Taurus. Those things are huge.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lutrova View Post
    My wife refuses to drive the Lincoln because of its size, although she once drove the 01 TC I had in grad school. But she also had major qualms getting behind the wheel of our old Roadmaster Estate, so it wasn't just boxy cars.

    As for being perceived as bigger, perhaps the smaller mirrors on the Boxes make the rest of the car seem proportionally larger. We've grown accustomed to oversized mirrors on everything, maybe the older style ones play tricks on our brains. Or maybe not. One of my wife's girlfriends saw the Lincoln for the first time and thought the little mirrors were hilarious.
    I like oversize mirrors on trucks, but don't need 'em on cars. I think the little mirrors do just fine. I find myself switching to my eyes to fill in what they cannot, if need be. As with most things, there is an adjustment period. I've mostly only driven old cars, so whenever I find myself behind the wheel of a late model, I tend to feel overwhelmed and then disappointed. So I can only imagine how someone else would feel going along for inverse.
    1985 LTD Crown Victoria - SOLD
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  18. #338
    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    I actually just put bigger mirrors on my truck. The stock ones had good field of view but they didn't cover low enough to actually be able to back the truck up. The tow mirrors give me one to see to the side and a smaller curved mirror that I can actually see down low with. Sort-of wish I'd gotten van mirrors though. Same glass, but they don't stick out as far.

    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. #339
    Carthago delenda est Lutrova's Avatar
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    It's been a good week for small projects on the Lincoln. I finally got a chance to replace the left rear window motor after the rebuilt Ford motor's untimely demise. The new unit is a Dorman, and while the plugs aren't serviceable - assuming it has them - it was only 30 bucks, so when it bites the dust I can just swap in another. Or perhaps rebuild the Ford one. At any rate, that window is now the speediest of the four.

    In keeping with my door theme, I thought I'd tackle the right side mirror next. Matching up wires from one model year to another was a bit of a puzzle, as noted in another thread, but it all came together smoothly enough.

    Getting into the right front door was also an opportunity to complete another long running project: swapping the dash and door inserts from an '84. I'm a sucker for fake wood, and the abundance of it in the earlier Boxes strike me as more brougham-esque. Someday I might build real wood panels for the doors, especially if I wanted to mount tweeters in them.

    The horn pad came off an '89 and so the wood effect is different, but at a glance it blends in well enough. Other oddities include a hole beside the radio where the donor car had manual mirrors, and mismatched grain on the computer button surround piece. The hole, I figure, can be used to mount some button or switch down the road.

    Finally, I swapped the voltage regulator on my 3G alternator with one of the white, load delay response regulators. Bought it from AMF Industrial out of Florida, listed on their site with the number 34-F-795. It seems to work as well as the old Motorcraft regulator, and the belt squeal on ignition is gone.



    Before and after at the dashboard, sans the updated horn pad. The '84 wood grain is a nicer color, I think. And while it doesn't show from these photos, there are more bits of silver banding and other detail in the earlier trim that was stripped out as the decade wore on.



    The brushed metal effect on the door switch panels makes more sense to me than the idea that you'd use a piece of wood veneer. But I can understand the desire to still have some fake wood beyond the dash once the decision was made to ditch the door inserts for ones that match the upholstery. Also interesting: the Lincoln Town Car badge on the dash has depth in '84 that was flattened by '87.

    ***

    Three small issues are next on the agenda:
    - One, a vibration that I think is coming mostly through the steering wheel. I'll get the rotors turned and see if that does anything.
    - Two, hunting idle at startup. Sticking IAC maybe?
    - Three, sagging doors. The driver's door hinge is actually missing the curved piece of metal that seems to stop the door at different angles of opening. Do Lincolns share hinges with Fords and Mercurys, and what years are compatible with mine?

  20. #340
    GMN Regular DerekTheGreat's Avatar
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    Oh wow, even has the auto dimming rear view mirror. Your car appears to be fully loaded sans the moonroof. Much want for it, wanna swap cars? LoL. What stereo are you running, looks pretty neat.

    Idle hunt is pretty much the IAC motor. I got away with taking mine off, separating the stepper motor from the body and the cleaning the bejesus out of the body with the valve thingy. I then lubricated the motor's bits excessively and stuck it back together. Did that seven years ago and it's pretty good up to this year, only slightly woobie when coming down like it originally was. Oh, while you're there, clean up the throttle blade. If too much schmoo is around it that'll cause a restriction which will impact the IAC's operation.
    1985 LTD Crown Victoria - SOLD
    1988 Town Car Signature - Current Party Barge

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