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Thread: H/C/I 1991 Grand Marquis

  1. #1
    Member sluggish91's Avatar
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    Default H/C/I 1991 Grand Marquis

    Hey y'all. I finally got my Dad's car fired up after almost a year of pushing myself to install the EFI system and after struggling with two different engine builders and three different hot rod "technicians". I'll be doing some updates as we finish the car to its entirety, but it is now completely drivable and drives ridiculously smooth. It's been a long time coming.
    Here's a side profile of the car.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Here's a picture of the engine bay which is almost complete. Just need a few more things to button it up entirely.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    The combination is pretty soft, nothing crazy, but I think its a good first build for my Dad.
    It's a 306 with forged pistons and factory rods/crank
    COMP XE264HR
    Ford Racing x302 Pedestal Mount Heads with 2.02/1.60 Valves
    Cobra 1.7 Roller Rockers
    Performer RPM 2 Intake
    Custom 65mm Throttle Body
    Ported Stock EGR Spacer to 65mm
    Pro-M 75mm MAF with a big cone filter
    30lb. Injectors
    ASP Crank Pulley
    BBK Ceramic Shorty Headers
    Modified Summit H-pipe with 2 Catalytic Converters
    Walker Mufflers
    Ford Racing 4.10 Gears
    Jegs AOD with Shift Kit
    Roadrunner 3000 Stall Converter
    Pro-M EFI Engine Management

    The story on this car is a long one so buckle up.

    Back around 2017/2018 something sparked my Dad's interest in wanting to get his car to go a little faster. So I advised him to get a K&N filter in his car. Boy, was I in for something major after that. He said it made a bit of a difference in the acceleration and from that moment he was hooked. So the next best thing he could do was to get a rear gear installed. We chose a 4.10 gear because of the AOD and that made a really big difference, more than a little cone filter could do. He was all in on the modifications at this point. So what's next? Well, considering it was a 302 I figured an intake manifold might serve the little engine well. So we acquired an Edelbrock Performer RPM 2. "But hey, since we're taking off the intake manifold and we're one step away from doing the heads we should just do some heads too right?", was his logic. It was at this point I knew it would divulge into a full on build. So we scoured the Pomona Swapmeet and found a fantastic deal on a set of aluminum heads. "But hey, I don't want these high performance parts going into some old block that might not handle the power we're throwing at it", was his train of thought. So we found a reputable Ford 302 engine builder out in LA (TBD Perfromance) who we could get a reconditioned shortblock from. "But hey, if this engine is going to make more than 350hp, I can't have a stock transmission either". So this man orders a built AOD from Jegs, for goodness sake..."But stock cam?...But will stock injectors be enough?...But the big log manifolds, do I need shorty headers?... and so on.

    Here's where things started getting a little sour between me and my Dad. I wanted TBD to handle putting together all of the new performance parts onto the shortblock we were getting from him. My dad didn't want to trailer his car 60 miles to the LA area. Besides he already had a "reputable guy" lined up. We will call this man Joe. Well, we take Joe all of the stuff and wait. And wait. And wait. Countless visits to Joe's shop with false promises month after month. Half a year of waiting and the engine is barely getting done. Months drag on and Joe finally removes and replaces the original engine and transmission with the new stuff, but something isn't right. The car won't fire up. My dad gets desperate. He takes his car back, trailers it to our house. He asks Joe for a receipt and the bill of how much is owed. We never hear back from him. We're going back and forth about how we should have had TBD take care of the whole thing from the beginning. We get into a lot of verbal arguments. Dad is still adamant about taking it "so far away". We try and find a Hot Rod shop in our area and manage to find one two cities over. We will call this man Bill. Bill actually gets the thing to fire up but it is running terrible. Bucking and shutting off, fluctuating idle, the car barely stays on, all bad. Dad is getting impatient. He just wants to drive the thing already. We pay Bill a hefty price tag for his "professional services" but the car is still undrivable.

    So we take it to a guy in town that I know for sure has a grip on Ford cars. We will call him Jack. Heck, he's done work on my Foxbody so he'll be able to get this thing going properly right? Wrong. Jack takes on the job but doesn't even put his hands on it for 2-3 months. We pass by his shop often and our beloved Grand Marquis just sits outside his shop in the same spot collecting dust. This doesn't sit well with Senior. He takes his car back. What do we do at this point? Who can we take this car to that will know how to get it running right? My dad caves and we trailer the thing to TBD. Oh but the fun is just getting started my friends.

    TBD is a Ford specialist. Literally all he touches is Foxbody Mustangs and the Ford 302 platform. So there's a line. About three to four months go by before this man can even take on the job. So we wait for him. TBD takes on the job sometime around July 2020. And guess what? He finds mistakes after mistakes. The valvetrain was put together improperly. Some rockers are too tight and some are too loose, which lead to two cylinders not having proper compression. Most of the rockers were also installed wrong, and one in particular was scraping on the fulcrum, which lead to oil contamination and metal shavings mixing with the oil. To make matters worse the oil pump was not generating any pressure. Just all bad. All bad. This sucks. What else can we do though? So TBD pulls the engine out to inspect the bottom end. It is around August 2020 now and my Dad is at his boiling point. He doesn't want to wait any longer. He buys another bottom end from Albert so he can have his car back as soon as possible. We are literally back to square one. TBD puts together the new 306 and all of the parts that had originally been on the reconditioned 302. It takes him about 12 days from having a bare engine to having the car running and driving around on the street. It is what we should have done from the start, but hey, Senior is as stubborn as they come. TBD finishes the car in September of 2020.

    The car runs and drives, yes indeed, but my Dad is still not happy. "It doesn't drive like before. Shouldn't it be driving like a new car with all the stuff we put on it?" I try to explain to him that the ECM needs tuning so we try and look for a tuner that is willing to tune the Grand Marquis ECM. We just keep getting rejection after rejection. Looking back now as I type this, my Dad and I reached a point of contention with this build which lead to a big collapse in our relationship and a demotivation for me to have anything to do with the car. He didn't want to admit I was right about the TBD thing all along. He didn't want to admit that I could actually tune the thing if it had an ECM like in my turbo Fox. He didn't want to admit he needed my help to finish it off. The thing just sat in our alley parking spot after all the cool stuff being done to it because it didn't run how my Dad wanted it to run.

    I couldn't let my Dad down. We had to make it happen. I somehow convince my Dad to order a Pro-M EFI system, but to be honest, I might have bit off more than I could chew with this suggestion. The removal of the original harness was easy. The installation of the new harness was tedious. I yelled at Senior a couple of times in the process. He understood my frustration just as much as I understood his. I think during the process of this installation my Dad battled internally with having his son lead him into uncharted waters. He wanted so bad to know more than me on this subject, but at a certain point he changed his way of thinking and really let me take the reigns with managing the Pro-M installation. We did a lot of the wire looming and layout work together. I'd give him tasks and send him on parts runs and things started looking up. The two things that really kicked my behind were the installation of a neutral safety switch and the 02 sensor installation and calibrations. These were things I had never done before. I think I was afraid of getting it wrong and letting my Dad down after he had waited all this time. Weeks passed as I tried to figure things out, but every time I was handed defeat. Months passed and my confidence dwindled. After countless emails with Chris Richards from Pro-M, after coming on here and asking the community for help, after going on another forum to try and understand the wiring systems better, and after getting my hands on the 1991 EVTM, I finally mustered up the sliver of confidence I had left in me and I did it. I got the damn thing running. The thing fired up on the first turn of the key. This was Tuesday night, 1/25/22. What had started out as a K&N filter swap materialized into something greater than I could have ever imagined. And it's smooth as a whistle. It drives so good. The tune that came loaded in the Pro-M is incredible. It was a really happy day for me yesterday. I will post some updates as they come along.

    Thanks for reading and thanks for your interest in this car.
    Last edited by sluggish91; 01-26-2022 at 06:08 AM. Reason: edited attachments
    1985 2-Door: CFI, K&N Filter, Edelbrock Performer 289 Intake, E7 Heads, BBK Shorty Headers, Summit H-pipe, Hooker Max Flow Mufflers, E-Fan, 3G Alternator, Race Crank Pulley, Bilstein Rear Shocks, KYB Front Shocks, Front Lowering Springs, FTI 2400 Stall Converter, PA Performance Valve Body, Motive 4.30 Gear, Eaton LSD Differential - I own quite possibly the fastest CFI powered box to the 1/8th mile: 9.95@68.89mph
    1991 4-Door (Dad's Car): Pro-M EFI, 306ci, Ford Racing Aluminum Heads, COMP XE264HR cam, Cobra 1.7 Rockers, Edelbrock Performer RPM 2 Intake, 30lb. Injectors, Custom 65mm TB/EGR Spacer, Pro-M 75mm MAF, BBK Ceramic Shorties, Custom Summit H-pipe, Walker Mufflers, ASP Crank Pulley, Jegs Built AOD, 3000 Stall Converter, Ford Racing 4.10 Gears

  2. #2
    Wagon Addicted Tiggie's Avatar
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    Good read. Glad it's running again. Setbacks on projects like this are disheartening. Has dad got in the drivers seat yet?
    1990 Country Squire - weekend cruiser, next project
    1988 Crown Vic LTD Wagon - waiting in the wings

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  3. #3
    Still Wrenchin'! friskyfrankie's Avatar
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    Thinking about a 3G alternator conversion?
    What I Own: 1993 Mercury Grand Marquis GS
    What I Help Maintain: 1996 CV / 1988 CV / 1988 Tempo

  4. #4
    Beater gonna beat sly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by friskyfrankie View Post
    Thinking about a 3G alternator conversion?
    +1 do think about removing the fire hazard 2G alternator and replacing with a 3G. LMR even has swap kits for charging cables and stator wire bits.

    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)
    Quote Originally Posted by gadget73
    ... and it should all work like magic and unicorns and stuff.
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    Overhead, some poor bastards are flying in airplanes.

  5. #5
    The Brown Blob 87gtVIC's Avatar
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    Nice. Now let him smoke some rubber!...get vids.
    ~David~

    My 1987 Crown Victoria Coupe: The Brown Blob
    My 2004 Mercedes Benz E320:The Benz

    Quote Originally Posted by ootdega View Post
    My life is a long series of "nevermind" and "I guess not."
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  6. #6
    Member sluggish91's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tiggie View Post
    Good read. Glad it's running again. Setbacks on projects like this are disheartening. Has dad got in the drivers seat yet?
    Yea we went for our first test drive last night. Some of the comments consisted of, "Huh, drives like new", "It drives better than yours", "See this is exactly how a v8 should sound like". I could tell he was happy because he likes to repeat the same things over and over.

    Quote Originally Posted by friskyfrankie View Post
    Thinking about a 3G alternator conversion?
    Absolutely. We'll be doing a 3G swap this year.

    Quote Originally Posted by sly View Post
    +1 do think about removing the fire hazard 2G alternator and replacing with a 3G. LMR even has swap kits for charging cables and stator wire bits.
    This will definitely be one the first things we address now that it is drivable. I've done a 1G to 3G on my 85 and a 2G to 3G on my 88 so it shouldn't be too much of a hassle.

    Quote Originally Posted by 87gtVIC View Post
    Nice. Now let him smoke some rubber!...get vids.
    I'll be making a YouTube video here pretty soon about it where I do a walk-around of the car. I'll post it here once I upload it. I'll try to convince him to do a burnout but I don't know how willing he'd be. I don't think he's ever done something like that before. Gonna have to show him the ropes!
    1985 2-Door: CFI, K&N Filter, Edelbrock Performer 289 Intake, E7 Heads, BBK Shorty Headers, Summit H-pipe, Hooker Max Flow Mufflers, E-Fan, 3G Alternator, Race Crank Pulley, Bilstein Rear Shocks, KYB Front Shocks, Front Lowering Springs, FTI 2400 Stall Converter, PA Performance Valve Body, Motive 4.30 Gear, Eaton LSD Differential - I own quite possibly the fastest CFI powered box to the 1/8th mile: 9.95@68.89mph
    1991 4-Door (Dad's Car): Pro-M EFI, 306ci, Ford Racing Aluminum Heads, COMP XE264HR cam, Cobra 1.7 Rockers, Edelbrock Performer RPM 2 Intake, 30lb. Injectors, Custom 65mm TB/EGR Spacer, Pro-M 75mm MAF, BBK Ceramic Shorties, Custom Summit H-pipe, Walker Mufflers, ASP Crank Pulley, Jegs Built AOD, 3000 Stall Converter, Ford Racing 4.10 Gears

  7. #7
    Beater gonna beat sly's Avatar
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    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)
    Quote Originally Posted by gadget73
    ... and it should all work like magic and unicorns and stuff.
    Quote Originally Posted by dmccaig
    Overhead, some poor bastards are flying in airplanes.

  8. #8
    fomoco panthers !
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    Good write up. Don't wait very long to do the alternator upgrade. Fire risk is too great. I did not really believe mine needed to be replaced until I inspected the parts after the upgrade. In my opinion, get the whole alternator kit from the same vendor.
    I hate it when "mechanics" or a body shop take on a job then let it sit for weeks or months. They love to put the customer off. My rule is now a maximum of two weeks, then I take it back.

  9. #9
    Still Wrenchin'! friskyfrankie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mainemantom View Post
    Good write up. Don't wait very long to do the alternator upgrade. Fire risk is too great. I did not really believe mine needed to be replaced until I inspected the parts after the upgrade. In my opinion, get the whole alternator kit from the same vendor.
    I hate it when "mechanics" or a body shop take on a job then let it sit for weeks or months. They love to put the customer off. My rule is now a maximum of two weeks, then I take it back.
    Great rule about the two weeks but with our current "supply chain" issues, sometimes there is a parts availability problem which is not the fault of the repair shop. That has to be factored in before "pulling the trigger". Other than that, I agree completely.
    What I Own: 1993 Mercury Grand Marquis GS
    What I Help Maintain: 1996 CV / 1988 CV / 1988 Tempo

  10. #10
    P31 Pursuit Car Brown_Muscle's Avatar
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    Wow what a journey, and a frustrating one at that! I'm sure it feels great to finally have it running and driving.
    -Phil



    +1982 Ford LTD-S Police Car. Built 351w, Trickflow 11R 190 Heads, Edelbrock 1906 Carb+ RPM Intake, WR-AOD, Full exhaust headers to tails. 3.27 Trac-Lok Rear. Aluminum Police Driveshaft. Speedway Springs+Bilstein Shocks, Intermediate Brakes, HPP Steering Box.

    +2003 Acura CL Type S 6-speed

  11. #11
    Member sluggish91's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sly View Post
    Oh yeeaaaa

    Quote Originally Posted by Mainemantom View Post
    Good write up. Don't wait very long to do the alternator upgrade. Fire risk is too great. I did not really believe mine needed to be replaced until I inspected the parts after the upgrade. In my opinion, get the whole alternator kit from the same vendor.
    I hate it when "mechanics" or a body shop take on a job then let it sit for weeks or months. They love to put the customer off. My rule is now a maximum of two weeks, then I take it back.
    Thank you. I mentioned the alternator upgrade to my dad now that everyone on here suggested it. It had really slipped my mind entirely, I was so focused on the EFI install. And I know the feeling of waiting on others to get my stuff done and wanting it back. My Fox has been sitting at the body shop since July 2021. Guy said it was going to take 2 months, but that's a whole other story. This thread is all about the white car, which I'm really proud to have putting around now.

    Quote Originally Posted by friskyfrankie View Post
    Great rule about the two weeks but with our current "supply chain" issues, sometimes there is a parts availability problem which is not the fault of the repair shop. That has to be factored in before "pulling the trigger". Other than that, I agree completely.
    While parts availability could be a potential problem, this wasn't the case here, as we gave every person that took on the jobs plenty of time to diagnose and get a handle on the situation. In our case, the troubles with getting it to run like stock were far greater than the average mechanic could really get a grip on. It was a matter of tuning rather than adding parts. Its understandable for a person to want their car back after having it sit for MONTHS on end with no progress. Plus this build was being done prior to any mentions in the media of supply chain issues.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brown_Muscle View Post
    Wow what a journey, and a frustrating one at that! I'm sure it feels great to finally have it running and driving.
    It was a journey indeed, and we are still not 100% done but it did feel amazing to turn the key and have the thing fire up right away. It's a feeling like no other.
    1985 2-Door: CFI, K&N Filter, Edelbrock Performer 289 Intake, E7 Heads, BBK Shorty Headers, Summit H-pipe, Hooker Max Flow Mufflers, E-Fan, 3G Alternator, Race Crank Pulley, Bilstein Rear Shocks, KYB Front Shocks, Front Lowering Springs, FTI 2400 Stall Converter, PA Performance Valve Body, Motive 4.30 Gear, Eaton LSD Differential - I own quite possibly the fastest CFI powered box to the 1/8th mile: 9.95@68.89mph
    1991 4-Door (Dad's Car): Pro-M EFI, 306ci, Ford Racing Aluminum Heads, COMP XE264HR cam, Cobra 1.7 Rockers, Edelbrock Performer RPM 2 Intake, 30lb. Injectors, Custom 65mm TB/EGR Spacer, Pro-M 75mm MAF, BBK Ceramic Shorties, Custom Summit H-pipe, Walker Mufflers, ASP Crank Pulley, Jegs Built AOD, 3000 Stall Converter, Ford Racing 4.10 Gears

  12. #12
    Member of the Orb Alliance packman's Avatar
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    Awesome that you have seen resolution with your project!

    This makes me want to go out in the 20* weather and turn some bolts on my CV project

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