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

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by 87gtVIC View Post
    No problem. Nice set up on catching the caps.
    Thanks! I expected the hub cap to be able to blast the basket a couple of feet back (according to what I read in those threads!), so it was a nice relief to see that no unforeseen consequences took place.

    Quote Originally Posted by sly View Post
    hubcap removal tool works wonders for getting those center caps off. Also with the rubber mallet built into it, helps with reinstalling as well.
    Something like this:
    https://www.amazon.com/Steelman-7503...dp/B00GWFOSBY/
    I wonder if the shipping costs would kill me straight away, or not Speaking of reinstalling, I guess I will use a tinsmith's rubber hammer. Have two of them, the small one, and that big white one, I guess it is used for larger bumps.

    Quote Originally Posted by WagonMan View Post
    In the picture of the front brake rotor, doesn't it look like the brake hose has a rub mark on it?
    WagonMan
    Humm, I believe it is a place where a bit of sweat has dropped, or it was just touched by me while inspecting the rusted longeron. I don't see any problems with braking so far, so let's hope this was the cause...

    In the meantime. Monday and Tuesday were both maniac, but some new info has been gathered. First and foremost, I was able to find a vulcaniser, who knows an elderly turner (who, btw, works as a teacher at a tech middle school), who does some small side-jobs in his free time. The total cost of getting the steel rims done is some 15$ per rim. Dunno if this is the best idea, but I don't have any other sensible option. The only other wheels I can get are either 16' aluminium ones from a Town Car stretch, 90's model, for 200$ + shipping (probably some additional 50-70$), or mesh aluminium 16' alloys from a Crown Vic. They are also far from my home... and I don't have the slightest idea whether they are going to fit. Might as well have a different size of the central o r i f i c e ... BTW, it took me some TWO HOURS to find anyone who could do the job. Nobody else was eager to get the stuff done, which is a bad prognosis. In a couple of years, all these old professionals will likely be just another tomb in the graveyard, and the new ones are more into doing easy and clean stuff.

    Got the car for a ride today, and the lightning went nuts again. I gradually lost the low beams, then lost the high ones, and finally, cluster lightning. Turning the autolamp on/off, or fiddling with the lights' operating knob did nothing, and I was forced to plug the auxiliary power in. I guess I need to search the forums in order to see which parts are used and then try to check them. One thing I noticed later is, that the high beams tend to die out and then reanimate with no apparent reason. Is there any irradiance sensor, that would force them to switch off when another source of light (eg. another car) is discovered? If I try to pull the knob as far as possible, they stay online. So maybe a knob error? But if it is so, then the autolamp would be enough to have the low beams working while driving in the dark. Which is apparently not the case. Plus, follow-me-home is dead again.

    Today was a pick-up-a-part-day. Apart from non-Volvo stuff, I got these nice things:




    A CP beak, with a complete passenger's headlight (and a part of the driver's one), three... four? bumpers, and some less useable/sensible stuff. Bumpers and the beak were offered for 150$, but we settled at 100$ for that. My parents were to pick the parts (the owner lives some 200km from my home, but they pass that city when en route to Warsaw), but as the beak wouldn't fit into their A8 the final decision was made that he is going to haul them to Kraków while visiting a friend. He brought some other parts, mostly for LTDs, and I finally paid him 125 $ for all the stuff. I am quite glad how it turned out, I think I can trade these extra parts for MGM ones, or, in the worst case, some of them can be easily repainted and used in my CP. He might have some other CS/CP stuff, but small enough so it can be picked at his place.

    The plan for now is to finally find some time to get the bulbs replaced. And unload the stuff somewhere, too... The bumpers have nice plastic add-on strips, and one of them is missing in my car. Also, the from teeth were dented so someone could install a long licence plate. Replacing them would also be of interest. I should get a working set of used catalysers and a tailgate window motor soon, too.

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by bnw View Post
    I wonder if the shipping costs would kill me straight away, or not Speaking of reinstalling, I guess I will use a tinsmith's rubber hammer. Have two of them, the small one, and that big white one, I guess it is used for larger bumps.
    I imagine you could find one a little more local to you. Posted that so you could see what it is and what it's called and see if you can find that more reasonably near you. I see it in many tire shops around here, so I imagine there's at least hubcap removal tools similar to that in your area of the world as well.

    Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former. -- Albert Einstein
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    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.

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by sly View Post
    I imagine you could find one a little more local to you. Posted that so you could see what it is and what it's called and see if you can find that more reasonably near you. I see it in many tire shops around here, so I imagine there's at least hubcap removal tools similar to that in your area of the world as well.
    Ok, sounds reasonable - thanks Some amcar shops could have them, possibly. Most of the EUDM cars have a different styling of the rims and caps, so these are not really typical tools for a tyre garage.

    Some news - let's go. I am picking the wheels up tomorrow. The tyre garage agreed to install them back, so I won't have to spend my time trying to do this on my own, especially as I am not certain whether I have any sensible car jack at hand. Those which I use are not certified for such a heavy car, actually. I would like to get chrome covers for them, but that might be quite a problem here.

    I have already stored all the parts I bought. Some of them are nice, some of them... I am pretty sure you wouldn't bat an eye on them in a pick'n'pull But getting parts for an USDM car in Europe is not that easy, especially those larger ones... Here's what I finally got:

    Passenger's mirror, with a damaged stand. Still, has a nice glass, and the cables are unsnatched.


    Country Squire rear lamp. I will trade to trade it for a Colony Park one.


    Steering wheels. The newer one is a complete crap (not sure about the electrical part), the older one might not be a beauty, but has an undamaged "socket" for the cruise control buttons - hopefully I can transfer it into mine.



    Three CP/CS rear bumpers. In different states of neglect...


    But they have nice plastic covers, like the one that was missing from my car:



    CV dashboard panels. Nothing superb, trade items.


    Burgundy tailgate panel. Can be painted and used for mine CP.


    A nearly complete beak for a MGM. Partially dismantled, but most of the parts can be re-used after some repairs



    Front bumper.... older Crown Vic?



    Burgundy door panels. Trade items, I guess.


    I have also got a tailgate window motor, a headlight switch (I hope that it is the same as in mine, it has a black knob instead of a chrome one), and I was to get catalytic converters, but it turned out they were "accidentally sold". F**k. There is also one other "nice" thing about the lights: I have installed the front parking bulbs, and they seemed to work. I took a car for a ride, and after some 10 minutes, I saw a freaking smoke coming out from the steering column's cover O_O. Quickly unplugged the lights, and everything went back to normal. So I guess that someone has screwed the EU headlight installation totally. G r e a t .

    I am intending to replace the headlight switch and the tailgate motor during the weekend. I hope I got the right parts...

  4. #24
    The Brown Blob 87gtVIC's Avatar
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    Front bumper looks like the 88 to 91 style.


    Good luck with the electrical fun. Likely need new plugs at the column and at the headlight switch. They can melt....
    ~David~

    My 1987 Crown Victoria Coupe: The Brown Blob
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    Quote Originally Posted by DerekTheGreat View Post
    But, that's just coming from me, this site's biggest pessimist. Best of luck

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    Been a while since the last update, let's roll with da coal.

    First of all, I got the tyres ready. The vulcaniser turned out to be a really cool person, who previously owned a F250 himself. The rims were prepared very well by the turner, and he managed to install them with no large problems. The rear ones might need some some small adjustment, as the brake drums have a small conic part near the central o r i f i c e, and the rims were "turned" plain. But I guess it's not much of a problem - so far, the wheels run quite well. Here's a photo how it looks now:




    I will certainly need some bigger tyres for the next winter, but 225/70/14 should already do the trick. And I need to find steel caps. Maybe these: https://allegrolokalnie.pl/oferta/ko...e-ford-lata-70 could fit, but I am not sure about that.

    I decided to try two different repairs this evening - and both of the failed, lol. The first one was to repair the tailgate motor. I got a working replacement one, and started unscrewing the old engine. It turns out that I was able to manipulate the upper screws with a size 8 wrench. Not much, some 15 degrees at once. I got myself a stash of eights, some with a leather strap so they can be easily recovered when they fall inside the tailgate:



    Unfortunately, it wasn't possible to do the same with the lower screw, so I decided to follow the forum instruction and drill a hole. The first one is an inspection hole, the other one - the actual, large one (round 11-12mm of diameter?). Interestingly, the tailgate is coated with a huuuge amount of putty. Dunno why.



    Nevertheless, I painted the lower section of the gate black, as it was already a bit worn off, and found a nice thingy to close the hole.



    Finally, the engine was down on the ground. But the new one, apart from working, looks the same....



    So I cleaned it a bit, and painted the drum body so it does not rust more. Also, I dipped that mofo in a graphite grease.



    But it did not work well. Once installed, the engine fails to move the window. I am guessing that it is stuck... any thoughts how to easily dismantle/fix it?

    Moving on to the second problem. The headlight switch! I got a replacement one, but it came from a different model - I guess that an earlier CV?



    So I build one out of two. I used "mine" autolamp switch and a body of the one from the donor car.



    It works b e t t e r. I mean, I can control lights, and put them into operation wherever I want. Still, the problems are:

    -> weird sounds coming from the centre console - I guess there is some relay breaking down?
    -> high beams disengage randomly;
    -> autolamp tends to switch the lamps off "just because", this is accompanied by the aforementioned weird noise;
    -> and the biggest problem: something is stealing the power somewhere, I have some 8V on the headlight bulbs, and the light switch heats miserably.

    I gave up on that - I am not an electrician, and I don't really have that much time to mess up with the issue. Also, I want to have the thing working safely, and able to pass the MOT. Made a few calls - and found an electrician, who did a lot of older US cars down in the 90s. He expects to have it fixed tomorrow. Let's see if this is doable...


    Quote Originally Posted by 87gtVIC View Post

    Good luck with the electrical fun. Likely need new plugs at the column and at the headlight switch. They can melt....
    They actually did. Here's a proof:

  6. #26
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    Tailgate windows are really heavy for that motor, so everything has to move freely without binding. If the motor runs with a 12V source, just be sure the window is free and it should function. I drilled my tailgate the same way in my 88. It’s not pretty but it works. I plan to try to avoid that on my 90.

    I think I would wire in a new connector, get a new Motorcraft switch, and try that. Does sound like your Autolanp relay is on its way out. If I recall correctly, the autolanp relay is unique in the connector, but can be replaced with some wiring changes by a more generic relay. Maybe someone else will chime in there to confirm the details. It would also be a good idea to consider the relay modification to the headlights.

    Here’s a thread on the auto lamp relay: http://www.grandmarq.net/vb/showthre...lamp-Funkiness
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    Ok - let's sum up the last findings...

    --> most of the electrical installation was a total crap. The electricians spent 1.5 days cutting unnecessary cables, removing broken parts, installing new ones...
    --> they found no standard autolamp relay, but there is a "standard" 5-pin Ford relay under the dash that seemingly steers the autolamp unit - not a 6-pin relay I expect to find there...
    --> as for now, I have the rear lights working well, but the fronts switch on and off randomly; I need the car asap, so they are planning to do a "fixed lights on ignition" workaround for a while, and return to the fight after the holidays;
    --> emergency blinkers were using a relay/steering unit from a Fiat 126p O_O;
    --> found a nice tinsmith nearby, he is willing to see the car and maybe finds time to fix the undercarriage, but before I can visit him, I need to have working lights...

    Also, I am totally stuck with the instrument cluster - I see that the "pusher" mechanism for the shift position gauge is broken, but something prevents me from dismantiling it. Is there any kind of blockade I have to get rid off before dismantling it? Apart from the screws?

    And some last question. Look here, please:
    https://i.ibb.co/jZzbDs2/IMG-20201115-1248501.jpg

    If you look to the right (in the direction of the windshield) of the coolant tank, there is something looking like a small air compressor. It was unplugged; when I plug it in, it wobbles and compresses air... but why? is this a part of the auto-levelling rear suspension, or something else?

  8. #28
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    That is the compressor for the load leveling suspension. It usually feeds a set of air shocks (not air springs like the '92+ cars) at the rear suspension. If your shocks in the back look like normal gas-charged ones, its likely someone removed the load leveling type. The load leveling suspension on these cars is about as basic as they come, and the fact yours is still alive means you could ideally fix it back to stock if you really felt like it.

    Also, wobbly compressor means the isolator mounts are probably shot. You can still order them and install them on the bracket that holds the compressor. It's not super difficult to do.

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    Thanks! The mounts are indeed totally broken down. Are the rear air shocks still in stock?

    EDIT: https://www.ebay.com/itm/Monroe-Rear...IAAOSwkUJf0WRM wow, they are quite cheap!

    Also, how much time does it take to level the arse up? I might want to try to see what happens if the compressor is set on, maybe it will pump them up?
    Last edited by bnw; 12-21-2020 at 04:49 PM.

  10. #30
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    FYI: The autolamp relay is a do-not-disturb item. The 6th pin is coming out of the back of the relay housing and is soldered to the metal clip the relay is mounted to. It is a true 2 pole single throw (dual in/out single coil) relay in a 5-pin + 1 package. Very much made of unobtanium now. The wire out the back is fragile.

    You can see the wire sticking out of this picture attached. The part number as well. E3AB-14A672-B1A/8AB
    I think this was one out of the 88 Grand Marquis I used to have.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 20130610_104222-1.jpg  

    Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former. -- Albert Einstein
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    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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sly View Post
    FYI: The autolamp relay is a do-not-disturb item. The 6th pin is coming out of the back of the relay housing and is soldered to the metal clip the relay is mounted to. It is a true 2 pole single throw (dual in/out single coil) relay in a 5-pin + 1 package. Very much made of unobtanium now. The wire out the back is fragile.

    You can see the wire sticking out of this picture attached. The part number as well. E3AB-14A672-B1A/8AB
    I think this was one out of the 88 Grand Marquis I used to have.
    Oh, that explains everything - I thought that Hayes screwed up with the wiring diagramme. But well, so these are some bad news for me - it is not working well, so I probably have to either get another used one, or think about a nice replacement made out of more typical relays :/

    In the meanwhile. I went for a second visit at the electrician's garage, and he agreed to do a quick jury-rigging. As for now, the low beams are automatically turned on just as the ignition is turned on. Not the best option, but still - at least it works... without this one, the lamps go on-and-out on random basis. I believe that I have to either get myself a new headlight switch (round 100 USD here...), or try to dismantle and fix one of the two I already have. Is there any additional part that can be damaged, and cause the problems?

    Last wee I got a nice, small add-on - the wheel covers. I couldn't find matching steel ones, so these plastic guys from some older Ford (Escort or Sierra, I presume) have to work now:



    And, as the Christmas are coming, I decided to put some lighting on the roof. Unfortunately, no snow this year, so the effect is not that nice. But maybe next year, huh?




  12. #32
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    Sounds like the thermal circuit breaker on the headlight switch is bad. It's a 22 amp "LittelFuse" type. Can be replaced with a 25 amp version. If I remember correctly, it resides on the bottom of the headlamp switch clear in the back of it and is riveted or soldered in. Someone else that's seen it more than once can correct me. I do know that it is actually located on the switch body. Rather bad design in my opinion. Should be on the fuse box.

    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.

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    Thank you for the hint - I am going to dismantle the "original" switch later today. Any hints how to "open" it properly - any caveats?

  14. #34
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    You shouldn't need to take it apart. If it's not visible on the outside of the switch, I'm remembering it wrong and someone else needs to chime in. If you have any burnt connections on the wiring harness to the headlamp switch, that could be part of the problem too. That's what the relay mod is all about. Using relays to off load the power from the switch so you don't catch fire.

    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.

  15. #35
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    Got it. The headlight switch connector was badly burned, but it has already been replaced. Do you maybe have any relay mod link at hand?

    Thanks!

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    Very quick update: I do not see any sign of a thermal switch that could be outside of the switch's housing, so I think I will try to plug it in an external circuit: car battery (or a ~12V20A power supply), switch, and a standard H4 bulb. If the bulb starts to flicker, than I know that the problem is inside the switch. If not - I guess that there is another source of problem.

  17. #37
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    There's not a specific link to a thread I can find with the specifics of the relay mod. Kind surprised about that.

    I did find a post with good pics and info though: http://www.grandmarq.net/vb/showthre...672#post484672

    When I did the mod on my cars, I just stuck relays in-line on the wiring to the headlights and ran one thick wire (12 gauge) to the relays from the battery. Used the stock wires to the headlights as the trigger for the relays and the output from the relays for the headlight side of the splice. All of this was done on the driver inner fender where I could find access to the wiring bundle.

    There's also relay kits made for 4-eye vehicles that use H4 style headlights. You would need to swap a couple of wires on each headlight connector to make those work.
    https://www.amazon.com/LIGHTING-Cera...dp/B00GNU37QU/

    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.

  18. #38
    The Brown Blob 87gtVIC's Avatar
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    For anyone referencing the thread link above that all worked perfectly fine for me. I later changed out everything and integrated the relays into an aero under hood fuse box.

    But really one can do it anyway they wish. Just understand how the relay works and snag the proper wires to trigger the coil to bring good batt juice to the lights.
    ~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

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    Quote Originally Posted by 87gtVIC View Post
    For anyone referencing the thread link above that all worked perfectly fine for me. I later changed out everything and integrated the relays into an aero under hood fuse box.

    But really one can do it anyway they wish. Just understand how the relay works and snag the proper wires to trigger the coil to bring good batt juice to the lights.
    This... hence the idea of my setup that didn't change anything except splice the wires with relays to take the load off the switch. Still gave more brightness as well. Not a lot, but it did help.

    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.

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    @sly, @87gtVIC: thank you for the links and additional info. I'll run a couple of different tests on the stuff and see what can be done.

    Let's see what I did recently. First of all, I noticed that the window has "fallen down" a bit since I dismantled the motor. This prompted me to test it on an external source of power, as @Tiggie suggested. And, very slowly, it started to lower the window even more! I got myself a bucket full of the machine grease, greased everything that looked like it should be greased, and soon welcomed this nice view:



    But this was all that I could get, the tailgate tends to get stuck in this position, the window does not go up after closing the gate carefully and trying to use the dash panel. There is no "up" on the key, too. Already got some help from @Tiggie, and I guess I have to deal with the "hatch open indicator" switch, and this connector:



    As for now, I forced him to gargle mayonnaise, with little to no avail:



    It's a general circuit/potentiometer cleaning fluid, not an actual Demon Gel. BTW, any idea what that could be, and where should I plug it?


    I left the tailgate in that state, the switch checking is planned for next week. In the meantime, I started exploring the broken shift indicator issue. I found a nice thread by @Gadget73: http://www.grandmarq.net/vb/showthre...luster+removal , and it helped me realise what can be broken and what has to be fixed. Of course, the spring was gone, and the shifter "tongue" was dead, but fortunately pieces of both of them survived:




    Fortunately, I found a moreover similar spring, and after cutting two or three "rings", and some FREAKING THREE HOURS I got this:




    Honestly, this car was build by some kind of misanthrope that relished in torturing people. The amount of space that one has to perform any kind of mechanical operations is freakingly low, most of the tools don't fit in them, or if they fit, they cannot be turned, etc. The whole area sports three different types of screws: a 1/4 imperial one, an even smaller imperial one that I don't have (probably 3/16, as it can be moreover easily removed/installed with a slightly-too-small metric 6), and A STANDARD METRIC 7 WITH A TORX HOLE INSIDE. Why the hell someone mixed imperials with metrics, no idea. Maybe an aftermarket conversion in Poland? Nevertheless. I decided to do something about the shifter's tongue, started with a cyanoacrylate glue. That broke nearly immediately. I took a heavy-duty epoxy glue, and left the stuff to dry on the desk for 24 hours:



    You surely know, what happened today, right? It broke even before I could finish re-installing the screw. A mudtwat piece of pancreatic ragbag... you know what? Screw you, your family, and your beloved shade of aubergine, I am going to put you back in place no matter what. Let's bring on the cannons:






    This seemed to be enough - I have added some cyanoacrylate to it, too. Installed it on the shift rod...



    Started putting the cluster back in - btw, what ahould be connected to this pin? I see no matching connector in the cluster.



    Found out that the shift indicator's "body" was also broken, glued it together, connected the wire to the tongue, got this:




    Not bad, but some adjustment was needed. Also for a reason unknown, it was really hard to put the lever into the "1" position. Tried to fine-tune the white ring, and then CRACK, and...



    Seriously, dude? Why do you fail me so mercilessly? Let's see if I can still win...



    "I can do this all day long!"

    Put it back on the steering column, connected to the tongue, and... CRACK! The tongue broke IN A DIFFERENT PLACE. I am not going to let this blasphemous piece of a used sock win with me. Let's brutalize and metalize!




    While putting it back, I noticed what was the main problem: it looks like the lever was... to big to fit under the tin supporting structure of the dashboard and the steering column! And it was not only because I had to put a bit of the tin "case" beneath the plastic "stand" of the tongue: either it was taken from a different car, or something is misplaced in the lever/column assembly. I put a sanding cylinder on the driller, and sanded out a nice half-hole, so it seems to fit well now. And I finally reached the desired setting!




    Certainly, the tongue might fall at some point. If that happens, I will build a new one, with blackjack and hoo... made out of thicker tin. But let's hope it's distant future

    The next issue to figure out will be the tailgate switches, but that has to wait a bit.

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