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Thread: The Colon aka Lady Starstruck --> 1988 Colony Park by bnw

  1. #41
    The Brown Blob 87gtVIC's Avatar
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    Good battle you and the shift indicator had there.

    I cannot tell what wire color is on the connector but these cars have many connectors unused. Same harness really for all options. Use what you need.
    ~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

  2. #42
    Wagon Addicted Tiggie's Avatar
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    Nice work on the shift collar and lever. I have had that same battle. It is not fun but it is rewarding.

    The mystery connector behind the instrument cluster may be one related to the optional tripminder computer clock. Seems to me there are three connectors in this year. Two larger down by the parking brake, and then that single wire small one up by the instrument cluster.
    1990 Country Squire - weekend cruiser, next project
    1988 Crown Vic LTD Wagon - waiting in the wings

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  3. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tiggie View Post
    Nice work on the shift collar and lever. I have had that same battle. It is not fun but it is rewarding.

    The mystery connector behind the instrument cluster may be one related to the optional tripminder computer clock. Seems to me there are three connectors in this year. Two larger down by the parking brake, and then that single wire small one up by the instrument cluster.
    Is this the unit that replaces the basic clock in the centre of the console?

    Let's also share some news.
    First thing worth mentioning is that I got the car to the tailsmiths. The first one said that the frame looks good, but there are dents in the underbelly that he can fix - but as he does not have a large column jack, he would not be able to separate the frame and the body - so, if there is anything going on concerning the upper surface of the frame, there would be no chance to get is cleaned and fixed.
    I tried the second contact then - a tinsmith that works especially on frame-based ATVs. He looks marvellous actually, like Dr. Robotnik from Sonic the Hedgehog series, or from a Disney movie - and I have seen his work on ATVs, he does great job fixing them. His opinion is as follows:
    -> the frame is in a generally good shape, with residual black paint here and there, no additional holes, mostly surface and mid-depth corrosion. Also, it is easy to be fixed because of its shape;
    -> the underbelly is in much worse state, especially under the driver's feet, and in the "bathtub" in the cargo space, were jumpseats are located;
    -> there is no risk of a frame breakup, or any severe damage to the car to happen in the nearest future just by using it;
    -> the expected cost of repair is around 3000 USD, this including detachment of the frame, fixing all holes and fissures in the underbelly, anti-rust coating and paint on the frame, axle housing, whatever is under the floor;
    -> the expected repair time is around one month, and we can start on March 15th.

    So, does not sound _that_ bad. Certainly it is a large amount of money, but the car is then ready for many, many years of future usage. I guess I am going for it. Right now, the car is having its coolant replaced - the quality of the one which was running inside the water hoses is rather low...

    And a funny thing I found while cleaning. This looks like a damage report blanket?



    And that is seemingly the list of options installed.



    Unfortunately, it was half-pulled from the driver's seat bottom, and some paper parts were already detached. I got myself an "invisible" tape and tried working on it a bit:



    Is there anything interesting listed here, or just the basics? I can try to scan it early next week.

  4. #44
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    Figured out that maybe I'll post some updates.

    So the main problem with the tailgate window was probably in the engine itself. It died some 3-4 weeks after being installed. I think I will try to dismantle it and take both units to the local electrical shop and ask if they can rebuild them. Probably not.
    There was a much bigger problem with the car, though. At some point it started to run very rough after a cold start. I thought that maybe the exhaust is dying. But no, the problem was more severe: one of the cylinders was not firing. Fortunately, a quick inspection revealed that... although the previous owner got new ignition cables - as far as I recall, Motorcraft ones - he did not decide to change the plugs. Which are available from three or four part supply chains with a delivery on the next working day. Weird? Well. Some people assume that as far as car does drive, there is no need to take car of its parts. Apparently my assumption that new cables = new plugs was not correct. The mechs revived the exhaust, too. Instead of going full original, or doing the Magnagflow thing, they used moreover standard parts, available at hand. The results is very nice: the car is generally quiet, and behaves like a V8 in a large, sluggish V8 wagon should sound: relaxed and mumbling.

    As for now, the plan is to check the wheels, and then proceed with the suspension refitting. I changed back to the turbines, and the car gets terribly wobbly around 55 MPH. It might be an effect of the worn joints in the front suspension, amplified now as the wheels are much larger (225/70/15 instead of 205/65/14), but it can just be a missing weight. My plan is to wax the car a bit next weekend, and then switch to Escort for a few days, while The Colon has its wheels re-weighted. A recent photo is below.



    The orange-ish thing is a car a friend of us bought last year. I tell you, the day I will get even a glimpse of myself thinking of buying this kind of a car would mark the moment when my soul died inside, and anything truly humane in my existence faded away.


  5. #45
    Wagon Addicted Tiggie's Avatar
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    Good thing the engine problem was just a plug. The more well used these get, the more they seem to foul a plug. Number 8 being especially suspect for some reason.

    To answer your question on the previous post, the tripminder would replace the clock. The buildsheet you posted is good paperwork to keep with the car. It's full of what is mostly some internal codes that don't mean a lot to us, but tell how to build your car. With enough of them, we could probably build some kind of database with the known options of a car and how it's coded on the build sheet to figure out what some of them indicate.
    1990 Country Squire - weekend cruiser, next project
    1988 Crown Vic LTD Wagon - waiting in the wings

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  6. #46
    Lost and driftin' Arquemann's Avatar
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    Ah, Dacia... A car manufacturer devoted to building only the cheapest and most soul-sucking cars available.
    Cars that you don't even want to be a passenger in.
    1985 Mercury Grand Marquis LS, "Maisa"
    2008 BMW 530d Touring, "Femma"

  7. #47
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    Well, Duster is not _that_ bad, if one buys it as a company car. But buying it for a private use... its price is comparable to a mildly used, larger car. Like, dunno, any kind of a mid-class sedan, 5 years old. Or a station wagon...
    Sad to hear we cannot decode those codes right away, but I will try to find a similar paper in the Country Squire.

    In the meantime. The summer wheels (actually all-rounders) are forcing the car to tremble around 55 MPH. The first thing to do is to weight them... and as I need some tires for the CV, I decided to get myself a set of Cooper Trendsetters, with narrow white wall, for ~350 dollars per set. Not bad pricing, and I hope they will be a good choice. Getting whitewalls in EU is not that easy, and this 350 dollars is actually the price of a set of eg. Dunlops. Now I have to wait until the mech gets them switched.

    Some time ago, @mainemantom pointed a nice MGM users manual on ebay out to me, and after nearly a month, I got it:




    Already learned some new thing, eg. how to use that damned car jack...

    A nice photo from an unexpected winter as a finish.


  8. #48
    fomoco panthers !
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    Glad the seller got it to you. Did you use that Ebay Global shipping program ? I am enrolled as a seller. It is very expensive for the buyer. A month getting to Poland isn't to bad. I am still waiting for a package from Ohio . It has been three weeks. It is stuck somewhere. Manual looks good.

  9. #49
    fomoco panthers !
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arquemann View Post
    Ah, Dacia... A car manufacturer devoted to building only the cheapest and most soul-sucking cars available.
    Cars that you don't even want to be a passenger in.
    Dacia... That sounds like a cuss word.

  10. #50
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    A few new things.

    First of all, the trendsetters arrived. However, they were not from 2019, as advertised, but from 2018. It took me around 4 days to get a reply from the company - they are eager to lower the price by app. 25 dollars, or I can send them back. As 25 is moreover the price for a tyre change, I decided to go with the first option. And boom, here it is:


    I guess they look just like they should. I also found an old NRAO bumper sticker somewhere in my papers, so I put it on the bumper:


    At the moment I am waiting to get the wax so I can polish the car, finally. The mechs tested the airco, and it looks like there are no holes inside. However, the compressor was short-cycling all the time. It does not start now, but the temperature is once again around 0 Celsius... How much R-stuff should be put inside? Maybe there is just not enough...

  11. #51
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    Just to let you know it's alive and well.

    It's now used a lot to haul the stuff from the storage to our new home. And damn, it fits well into the landscape!

  12. #52
    Wagon Addicted Tiggie's Avatar
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    Looks right at home!
    1990 Country Squire - weekend cruiser, next project
    1988 Crown Vic LTD Wagon - waiting in the wings

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  13. #53
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    The last weeks have been very busy, and they were busy also for The Colon. The size of the cargo space makes it a sensible vehicle to pack one's stuff while moving from one place to another...



    The roof rack provides a clean and simple way to haul straw cubes...



    And you can put as many as 55 poles inside...



    As far as the grass is not very wet, packages containing parts of the fence can be hauled, too.



    I am going to have to clean it during the weekend + apply some wax. It is going to have the front part of its exhaust refurbished next week, plus, hopefully, AC repaired - one of the lines broke, and apparently it is bent under an angle so atypical for EU made cars that the company that services airco units cannot put in their machine...
    I have also ordered a large package of suspension, and steering parts last week. They should arrive at some point next week.

    The worse thing is the general problem of handling on slippery roads, especially on mud. Is there any way to improve that? Any contact with a grass can end up in a slide... the tyres are brand new. I suspect that the worn out rear shock absorbers are one of the reasons. If I would like to revert the car back to the original, so Monroe Air Leveling system, what parts do I need? Shocks + coils + rubber "supporting" gaskets to place under the onboard compressor? Is it possible to buy the air lines as well?
    Or maybe I can convert nivomat shocks from another car, maybe?

  14. #54
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    Perhaps it should be renamed Mercury Villager. Or Mercury Ranch and Farm LS Jurassic Loadmaster. Or something like that. Is food from a hearse soylent green?

  15. #55
    Lost and driftin' Arquemann's Avatar
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    Well if you go back a decade or two, there's a thing called Ford Ranch Wagon. But you look like you'd need a Ranchero!
    1985 Mercury Grand Marquis LS, "Maisa"
    2008 BMW 530d Touring, "Femma"

  16. #56
    Wagon Addicted Tiggie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arquemann View Post
    Well if you go back a decade or two, there's a thing called Ford Ranch Wagon. But you look like you'd need a Ranchero!
    Agreed!
    1990 Country Squire - weekend cruiser, next project
    1988 Crown Vic LTD Wagon - waiting in the wings

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  17. #57
    The Brown Blob 87gtVIC's Avatar
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    I liked all your photos. especially the cat scaling the tailgate.
    ~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

  18. #58
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    Good news:
    --> the exhaust went through the overhaul and the car does not produce farting sounds anymore;
    --> the airco is operational, not as good as the one in 760 (goes down to 11C at the vents, 760 reaches 6C), but I am happy with its performance nevertheless;
    --> the annoying engine dying on reverse have been fixed;
    --> after a lot of turbulence, the parts are on their way and are expected to arrive tomorrow/Tuesday.

    Not so good news:

    Quote Originally Posted by bnw View Post
    The worse thing is the general problem of handling on slippery roads, especially on mud. Is there any way to improve that? Any contact with a grass can end up in a slide... the tyres are brand new. I suspect that the worn out rear shock absorbers are one of the reasons. If I would like to revert the car back to the original, so Monroe Air Leveling system, what parts do I need? Shocks + coils + rubber "supporting" gaskets to place under the onboard compressor? Is it possible to buy the air lines as well?
    Or maybe I can convert nivomat shocks from another car, maybe?
    Any ideas for that, maybe?

  19. #59
    Wagon Addicted Tiggie's Avatar
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    As far as grip, I can't remember if your car had a traction lock on the rear axle or not. Take a look at your door sticker if it's readable and let us know what it is. Common codes are M, Z, E, K. These are traction locks in 2.73, 3.08, 3.27, and 3.55 ratios respectively. The non traction lock axles are 8, Y, 5, 2 in that same ratio order. You can also look on the axle tag if its still there. A 3.08 would be "3 08" or a 3L08 if traction lock.

    I ran chains on my 88 in the winter. I suspect you'd like it to be a little more streetable than that. They do make mud tires.

    As far as the air leveling system, it's a matter of the shocks, compressors, lines, and then the electronics which includes a ride height sensor. I do not know much of the system but there are some knowledgeable people here.
    1990 Country Squire - weekend cruiser, next project
    1988 Crown Vic LTD Wagon - waiting in the wings

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  20. #60
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    The code plate says Z, so I presume that I have a 3.08 with a traction lock.

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