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Thread: Prudence, my 87 Town Car

  1. #281
    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    The other usual wear item are bearings, which aren't terribly hard to replace.

    If the belt is slack and the alternator is under heavy load it may just slip badly. Might be worth making it tighter and trying again. The belt wrap on these things is not really enough to get the job done.

    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

  2. #282
    Carthago delenda est Lutrova's Avatar
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    Unfortunately I've already returned my old alternator as a core today. The new one I picked up seemed decent but failed testing at AutoZone. I have a warranty from the yard though, so I can swap it out for another, which would be cheaper than buying a rebuild kit. But if the replacement still isn't good then I'll probably go down that road.

    The belt was definitely taut when I ran into trouble, so I don't think slipping was the issue.

    I looked at half a dozen cars - Mustangs, Tauruses, a Windstar - but only found one guys candidate. Though I may be shooting myself in the foot by ruling out ones with ratty looking cases. I might've had time to get to a second yard and swap out for another alternator, but I flew too close to the sun.

    By chance I ran across a '99 Mountaineer with an untouched 5.0. This was after finding a '96 Explorer that had been stripped down to the short block. I knew the intake without internal EGR would be no good to me, but I thought I might be able to grab the GT40P heads.

    Well that was too much to bite off in three hours. Those late '90s 302s have so much crap mounted to the intake that it took awhile just to get the upper off. Then the bolts running through the lower manifold water passages snapped off. The final straw was a rounded out bolt that I had no way of overcoming.

    If I ever try to pull something like that again I guess I'll have to bring something along to address those intake bolts.

  3. #283
    GMN Regular DerekTheGreat's Avatar
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    Might be faster just to pull & nab the entire engine. You can do what every one else does, just take a sawzall to the front clip and cut away all the stuff that's in the way, then pluck the cherry.
    1985 LTD Crown Victoria - SOLD
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  4. #284
    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    busted corner bolts not terribly uncommon on an SBF. They go into the water passages. Unfortunately that might indicate the cooling system was badly maintained, which only sort-of matters because it may be a clue the long water pump bolts are going to break off too.

    and yeah, pop the whole motor

    trouble with P heads is the headers, or lack of. The good option doesn't exist anymore, the other option works but you have to do some stuff with plug boot condoms to keep them from roasting too badly. I think 90 Towncar manifolds are supposed to fit, but again rare options now.

    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

  5. #285
    Carthago delenda est Lutrova's Avatar
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    How 'plug-and-play' is an Explorer engine? I assume you have to swap out the wiring harness, accessory brackets, ignition system, sensors, and EGR spacer?

    I think you'd also need to find an EEC-IV computer from some other vehicle, as I imagine an OBD-II swap would be a lot more involved than just the engine alone?

    My car has already had '90 TC headers swapped on, so GT40P's could theoretically work. But if I had been digging into a '96 Explorer instead, I could potentially stop short and still come away with a throttle body, injectors, and intake. Pulling the whole motor does sound like the way to go, though I don't think I could do it solo, nor do I have a way to bring an entire engine home with me.

  6. #286
    GMN Regular DerekTheGreat's Avatar
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    I gave up on the swap myself, but heard they'll run just fine on a Mark VII HO ECM. Don't think you can use the intake, although WTF do I know any more? Someone who does will hopefully comment.
    1985 LTD Crown Victoria - SOLD
    1988 Town Car Signature - Current Party Barge

  7. #287
    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    basically you strip it to the long block. Timing cover, water pump, all front accessories, and the oil pan do not work. You also need the threaded dingus that goes in the oil filter spot on the engine. Exploders have either a remote or a cooler, don't remember which but a filter won't screw in there unless you put the part in.

    Mark VII ECM works questionably. they tend to run lean because of the extra air flow.

    Intake works if you disable the EGR, or use the early one if you want to retain EGR.

    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

  8. #288
    Carthago delenda est Lutrova's Avatar
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    So what is the preferred ECU solution for these GT40 heads? Aftermarket? I thought that with mass air the computer would be able to compensate better for any extra air.

  9. #289
    Road Warrior Kodachrome Wolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lutrova View Post
    So what is the preferred ECU solution for these GT40 heads? Aftermarket? I thought that with mass air the computer would be able to compensate better for any extra air.
    Mass air would be good, but sometimes the speed density system places nice. I helped TecNickal swap a full '96 Explorer engine into his '89 Colony Park and we run it with a Mark VII ECU. We only found it didn't like 12* BTDC and would spark knock for a second if put WOT from a standing start. Dialed back to 9-10* and it's cherry with plenty of power. Engine temps stay around 190-195*F with no pinging, even when pushing the car hard.

    My Cars:
    -1964 Comet 202 (116K Miles) - Long Term Project
    -1986 Dodge D-150 Royale SE (112K Miles) - Slowly Getting Put Back Together
    -1987 Grand Marquis Colony Park LS (325K Miles) - April 2017 + September 2019 POTM Winner
    -1997 Grand Marquis LS (230K Miles) - The Daily Workhorse & March 2015 + January 2019 POTM Winner

  10. #290
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    Id be interested in what an aftermarket ecu like a mega squirt would do. Probably not much but it would be interesting to see. Plus the ability to datalog would be nice.

    Op since yours is an 87 you can use a mustang ecu, which seem to be a little easier to find. I have one from an 87 mustang on standby for when I eventually go swap my 87.


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  11. #291
    Carthago delenda est Lutrova's Avatar
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    I assume I can run a Mustang ECU because my '87 has standalone cruise control?

    If I understand correctly then, the critical thing is that the fuel injector size and firing order match the computer? The computer should be able to compensate for greater amounts of air, at least with MAF conversion, but it's expecting an injector of a certain size that can't be changed without a tune?

    And if my goal is just to take advantage of the power from Explorer heads and intake without pushing for anything crazier, then the 19# injectors should be sufficient?

  12. #292
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    Yes the mustang ecu, and yes the ecu should match the cam firing order. Those injectors are said to be good to around 300 hp or so. Are you thinking about swapping to mass air as well?


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  13. #293
    Carthago delenda est Lutrova's Avatar
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    I'm already running the '90 Town Car air intake with a MAF, so swapping from speed density is definitely an option. I'd just need to plug it in and I guess re-pin the ECU connector.

    It's been nice so far to upgrade incrementally, but at this point I think I'll have to do the head, cam, injectors, intake, and ECU all at once. Maybe I could swap the intake and throttle body before the rest, but my stock speed density computer would probably wig out.

  14. #294
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    Although having said that, I suppose the '90 TC air box and intake could be a restriction going into Explorer stuff, and the tubing wouldn't fit an Explorer throttle body anyway.

  15. #295
    Carthago delenda est Lutrova's Avatar
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    Three months later and somehow I'm just getting around to getting this car back on the road. I see from old pictures that I've managed to put under a thousand miles on it in the last 11 months. And in a little over a month from now I'm hoping to drive it to San Antonio, about 1,400 miles away. It's not my brightest idea, but with the price to ship a car and rent another or fly, I figure I can have a minor breakdown along the way and still come out ahead.

    The problem that took the Town Car out in March was the alternator. A junkyard replacement was acquired pretty quickly, but it was a little chunkier than the old one and I had to buy a grinder to shave down the alternator bracket - something I probably should've done when I first upgraded. It's now much easier to slip the belt on. I also had some coolant leaking from a few hoses that needed to be tightened after I replaced the heater core. Nothing major, but the heater core had been something I didn't want to drive with while leaking, and the alternator obviously left me dead in the water.

    But having addressed those issues, the car should otherwise be in decent shape. I backed out of the garage this afternoon for a test drive, only to find it slipping out of gear all the way around the block. After stumbling back into the garage, I added nearly 2 quarts of trans fluid to get back up to the hash marks on the dipstick. The output shaft seal was recently replaced, but the bushing must be shot or I screwed up in some other way because I appear to be losing fluid from that area. I had no idea just how much though since the puddle flowed into a joint in the concrete floor and disappeared. Hopefully my short low-fluid trip hasn't nuked my trans. After topping it off the trans seemed to run again as well as it ever has, though it was making some funny noises while idling in Drive.

    In no particular order, the other things that caught my attention during the day's test drive:

    • The AC compressor makes a sort of clacking sound, but it still cools just fine so I'll probably leave it be and hope for the best.
    • There's a vacuum leak in the ATC system again that causes cold air to drop under sustained engine load. I've tried capping the vacuum diverter valve as it came apart during heater core replacement, but more investigation is in order. The ATC sensor is still working so I'm hopeful it's not the culprit.
    • The horns aren't working. Could be the relay. It isn't the fuse.
    • I can hear what I think is lifter tick coming from the driver's side of the engine. Sounds a bit like a sewing machine. Not sure how worried I should be about it or what my options are.
    • The fuel gauge, which I've been agonizing over in another thread, remained remarkably consistent and, I believe, accurate throughout the day. We'll see how long that lasts.

    What keeps me up at night, though, are the two leaking core plugs on the block. There's no coolant drops below the car, even after sitting for three months, but I'm sure they're losing fluid under load. I just don't know how much, and I'd hate to be out in the desert somewhere and find I'm overheating because of it.



    Turns out today was Juneteenth, so every place I tried going to was closed. Still, it got the car out and about. This week also marks a year since I uncovered the white walls. More like cream walls, as white seems like more of an aspiration with these tires.

  16. #296
    GMN Regular DerekTheGreat's Avatar
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    Switch to Evan's coolant to avoid stressing out weak seals due to pressure.

    The horns in my Town Car stopped working too. I had to adjust the little screw on them to get them back into shape. The other one turned out to be NFG and had to be replaced.
    1985 LTD Crown Victoria - SOLD
    1988 Town Car Signature - Current Party Barge

  17. #297
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    I'd replace ALL the vacuum lines, under the hood, along with the check valve for the ATC. On that kind of trip, your cool ass will thank you! I'm sure you'll address the other issues as well. Getting back to the vacuum lines - I did them on my friend's car by using the next size larger and simply put them over the existing lines. They were so brittle but that has worked out great!
    What I Own: 1993 Mercury Grand Marquis GS
    What I Help Maintain: 1996 CV / 1988 CV / 1988 Tempo

  18. #298
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    Fine steel wool pads (ones with soap) are a really fast and easy way to get your "cream" walls to white walls again. I've done it twice on mine.
    1985 Mercury Grand Marquis LS, "Maisa"

  19. #299
    Carthago delenda est Lutrova's Avatar
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    Derek : I agree that Evan's coolant is the ultimate solution. But I doubt I'll have enough time to properly convert to it before the trip. Will probably just carry some coolant and several gallons of water in the trunk - both for me and the car.

    I hadn't considered the horns were bad. It struck me as more likely one relay would fail than both horns, but since I have the replacements I suppose I could connect a couple of them and see if I get any sound.

    Frankie : Nearly every vacuum line in the engine compartment is fresh now, except perhaps one or two at the smog pump valves. Did all those lines two summers ago. But yes, I'll have to go through the whole ATC system again, starting with the usual trouble spots. Prior to the heater core failing, though, everything was working properly, so I suspect the culprit is somewhere on or around the heater plenum, which still leaves plenty of suspects. On the other hand, this vacuum leak is only really a problem in places with large elevation changes. Once I get East of the Rockies I may never again drive through terrain that would cause this issue.

    Arquemann : I used something similar when I first uncovered the white walls. Some kitchen scrubbing pad, though I don't recall if it had soap in it or not. The trouble is these tires never stop blooming. My wife's Honda came with Firestones that never seemed to brown. Of course, the sidewalls cracked in under five years, so maybe you just have to pick your poison. But I am a little jealous at all the long discontinued tires on cars in the junkyards that still have perfectly white stripes, even though the rest of the tire is kaput. I wonder if better tire makers had a handle on blooming in a way the budget guys don't. And now that white walls are so niche, it seems like you're either shelling out for Cokers or getting the cheapos.

  20. #300
    GMN Regular DerekTheGreat's Avatar
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    I think I found out the horn was bad by putting on ohm meter on it. There's a spec for them, 0.6-1.2 ohms maybe. The one that was bad worked, but it was the culprit- it was something like 0.2 or 0.4 ohms when I tested it. I tried adjusting the screw on it, which affected the resistance. I'd get it in range, run the horn and then it would go out of range. I messed with that for a while before tossing it in the trash.

    Car looks good by the way, very formal. I dig the wheel covers.
    1985 LTD Crown Victoria - SOLD
    1988 Town Car Signature - Current Party Barge

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