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Thread: Prudence, my 87 Town Car

  1. #101
    Carthago delenda est Lutrova's Avatar
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    The power went out Wednesday night and wasn't restored until early Thursday afternoon. So I had an opportunity yesterday morning to get a little work done on the Lincoln. Replaced both front sway bar bushings, which was definitely one of the easier things I've done on this car. Next would've been looking at the motor mounts, but I was still waiting for the swivel socket to arrive. So instead I looked at the tailpipes, which it turns out are stainless steel. A little steel wool and they shined up pretty good.

    I ran a full diagnostic scan, and then lost the codes in the reader's memory before I wrote them down. But from what I recall the EGR system is still not working right, and the smog pump was throwing out several codes. That's probably because I have a vacuum line unhooked somewhere along the line between pump and everything else. More importantly, I ran a cylinder balance test, which came back OK. Perhaps there's a better way to be sure, but I'm taking this as a good sign that a misfire isn't the source of my vibration. Also, the fan looks to be properly centered.

    At this point I'm thinking I'll do the motor mounts tomorrow. Or maybe start with the driver's side mount and see if that does the trick. If I'm jacking up the engine from below do I need to remove the through bolts for both left and right mounts, or can I leave one installed while I do the other?

  2. #102
    The Brown Blob 87gtVIC's Avatar
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    Good question on the mounts. Id say at a minimum you would need to loosen the opposing side so the engine can swing upwards I think it all sounds easier on paper, may not be so much when in practice.

    I had replaced the mounts twice on my car. Once with lower control arms removed because I was upgrading all of the bushings and swapping to big brakes up front and the second time because I was putting in my new engine so I just wanted newer ones in there. The second set I put in required some persuasion to fit the blocks bracket. I dont remember the specifics but I do know you should try and test fit chassis mount to blocks bracket and ensure there are no clearance issues.
    ~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

  3. #103
    Carthago delenda est Lutrova's Avatar
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    Well, as expected, removing the mounts has been harder than it should be, but not in the ways I expected.

    First, the 13mm swivel socket has worked like a charm. That, plus an 8 or 10 inch extension have made all the bolts real easy to get to.

    I got a little excited and removed all six mount to frame bolts right after pulling the through bolts. Then I jacked the engine up maybe 2 inches or so. The driver's mount pulled right out, while the passenger mount is wedged in between the engine bracket. I probably need to lower the engine, reattach the mount, and raise it again to hopefully free it from this bracket. Because all my pulling and prying hasn't done much.

    The other trouble I've encountered is the threads on the new mounts. The new passenger mount had a little rubber or paint in the threads, but with some cleaning out using one of the bolts they've cleaned up just fine. The new driver's mount seems to have threads that are too small. I need to pick up a tap set tomorrow - I believe the bolts are M10-1.5. Pretty disappointed, though, that these replacement mounts aren't even consistent between left and right.

  4. #104
    The Brown Blob 87gtVIC's Avatar
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    Both times I installed mounts I did notice that both appeared to be made in different factories as the finish as well as rivets and rubber looked entirely different.
    ~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

  5. #105
    Carthago delenda est Lutrova's Avatar
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    I've somehow managed to really screw things up. The driver's mount is probably the bad one, but after I gave up tapping the replacement mount I thought I'd reinstall the old one and see if I could at least replace the passenger side by jacking with the other two points secure. What I should've done was call it a day and just try to put everything back together. Instead, I bolted down the driver's mount completely and raised the engine again. The slope of the oil pan meant the engine normally raised toward the passenger side, running into one of the resting tabs of that side's mount. But with the driver's side secured, the engine pivoted off it and the passenger bracket pulled away from the mount.

    Unfortunately, this move also managed to get the engine/transmission caught on something, and lowering the jack doesn't lower the engine. I thought maybe the driver's mount was holding everything up, but I completely unbolted it and the passenger side is still an inch or two above the mount. Maybe the transmission mount is binding? When I lower the jack and the engine's weight is no longer on it I can hear groaning from the frame.

    I feel like I may be underequipped and in a little over my head on this one. There's a soldier from one of the motor pools here who offers to fix personal vehicles. He's willing to come out and do the job later this week. I suppose that's a little sketchy, but I'd rather have someone take a look at the car where it currently is than have it towed 40 miles to Barstow and risk whatever's binding things up breaking during the trip. I've also ordered a different set of (hopefully better) mounts and some replacement bolts, as the threads on some of the old ones were damaged from my foolishly trying to use them as pseudo-taps. M10-1.5s are apparently hard to come by in 13mm heads, but someone on the internet sells what they bill as Ford replacement bolts, and their strength rating and finish seem to match OEM.

    So all in all a fairly straightforward job made complicated by my being cheap and rushing. Hopefully I haven't broken anything else so far and round two goes a little better.

  6. #106
    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    probably hanging on the shift linkage. Can't really think of anything else that might bind up.

    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

  7. #107
    Carthago delenda est Lutrova's Avatar
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    Finally managed to get a second set of hands to help with the mounts. One of the guys from the motor pool came out Saturday afternoon and together we got the job done. I returned the first set of mounts I bought and picked up a pair from a different manufacturer. They were better in the thread department, though the inner holes on both needed to be tapped out. Unfortunately, while tapping the passenger mount the tack welds holding the nut to the mount failed, so we had to reinstall the stock mount. I'm not having great luck with mounts, it seems. Still, it was the driver's side mount that was shot, and that's the one we managed to replace, so at least the primary mission was accomplished.

    As for the engine hanging on something, that's still a mystery. We didn't encounter any of the frame groans I had heard last time, even with the engine jacked up as far as it would go. When it came time to lower the engine back onto the mounts, the driver's side seated perfectly, while the passenger's side was maybe 3/4" too far back for the bracket to straddle the mount. It took the two of us pulling on the intake to get the engine to move forward and fall into place. Not something I would've attempted myself, but it got the job done.

    I looked at the shift linkage at various points in the process. It doesn't quite look like everything's square and as it came from the factory, but I can't say whether it's always been that way or if things shifted during this job. The car still shifts into the gears I want it to, though, so if it is screwed up it doesn't seem to affect anything.

    Overall, this wasn't terrible, but as always the hang ups came from unexpected places. The 13mm swivel socket made getting to all of the bolts a non-issue. I'm sure picking it up before saved me all sorts of trouble. What caught me by surprise was the quality control issues on the replacement mount threads. Tapping/chasing every thread before installing seems like the prudent move. Every other problem I ran into came down to a lack of experience, specifically knowing when it's okay to muscle things.

  8. #108
    The Brown Blob 87gtVIC's Avatar
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    Good deal.

    I was not impressed with the aftermarket mount options either. Life goes on.
    ~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

  9. #109
    Carthago delenda est Lutrova's Avatar
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    Been driving the car around post lately and noticed a bit of a squeal when the AC is first turned on. I took a look under the hood with the engine running and there's a distinct ticking sound coming from the compressor's general area that goes away once the AC's turned off. This leads me to believe the AC compressor might be on its way out, but I don't know whether there are any intermediate steps I can take or if replacement is coming up.

    Not wanting to tempt fate, my wife and I drove down to Barstow this evening without AC. We also ran without vent air as that seems to be partially running past the heater core. And naturally, the outside air came with gale force winds, because that's just how the Mojave is. At any rate, I had given some attention to the HVAC vacuum lines and connections last summer, but things have never really been satisfactory. It seems that any sort of acceleration or incline is enough to pump out hot air. Obviously something, or multiple things, are amiss. Short of replacing sections and stumbling upon the issue, I think the way to go would be to get a vacuum gauge, see which parts aren't holding vacuum, and work down until the culprit is isolated.

    I believe there's a check valve that should prevent any leaks outside the HVAC system from depleting its vacuum? Or at least until the vacuum reservoir has been emptied? I know I have an open line leading to one of the smog pump valves, but that seems like it's too distant in the whole vacuum system to have such a strong effect on the HVAC operation.

  10. #110

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    Where is a check valve on the small hose behind the intake manifold. I donít have a picture but itís easy to spot, it should be black and white. One line will split off towards the vacuum tree and one towards the vacuum reservoir.


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  11. #111
    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    The other common problems are the soup can and the thermal blower lockout. Not impossible for things inside the dash to be leaky too, but most of the time its the stuff under the hood that causes more trouble.

    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

  12. #112
    fomoco panthers !
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    Another thing that I found to be a problem (cracked) is the vacuum tree in the engine bay near the fire wall. Mine was white plastic multi ports. Hard to find a replacement. Vacuum lines could be cracked there too.

  13. #113
    Carthago delenda est Lutrova's Avatar
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    I took a look earlier today and saw that I had already replaced the check valve and soup can. The TBL had been removed and vacuum lines capped off, too. So I think I've addressed all the low hanging fruit. If it's the vacuum tree then, as you say, I may have a problem finding a replacement.

    I ordered a vacuum pump with gauge off Amazon to assist with diagnosing the leak. It should get here on Monday. Meanwhile, I've been thinking about my one known leak, which I believe is the line running to the thermactor air bypass valve. One the one hand, if the smog pump is dumping air when not at idle, then maybe this one spot is sapping all my vacuum. On the other hand, it looks like there should be a check valve in between the bypass and manifold - unless that's broken too. On the third hand, it's 2 am and I don't really know what I'm talking about.

    Anyway, I'll reattach what I can tomorrow and hopefully know more definitively on Monday.

  14. #114
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    the check valve should make that a non-issue if its actually checking. Any leaks on the engine side of the vac tree won't affect the climate control under load unless its not actually sealing correctly. I'd verify that works, seen a lot of people circle around these exact problems only to come back to the newer check valve not actually sealing.

    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

  15. #115
    Carthago delenda est Lutrova's Avatar
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    My vacuum pump/tester came today. I took the entire dash apart trying to get at everything vacuum related. Turns out, all I ultimately needed to do was unhook the glove box, pull the lower dash cover, and remove the radio and mounting plate. Right behind the radio is the 'Harness Vacuum Connection Block', which made testing for vacuum in both directions easy.

    First, I tested at the vacuum check valve off the vacuum tree. The check valve was leaking, so I swapped it out with the original, which also leaked, but very slowly. In fact, it might not leak at all, but my testing method is to hold my thumb over one port, pump vacuum on the other, and see if it holds with the checked port open. From there I checked the two lines coming off the valve. The line leading to the vacuum reservoir - which I've swapped with a plastic Aero TC part - holds steady. The other line going through the firewall will build vacuum, but loses it fairly quickly.

    Next, I disconnected the HVCB and checked for vacuum in both directions. Eight lines run through this block, coming from the back of the HVAC panel on the dash and going to all the motors and sensors and such. I lost my notes for all the lines running into the HVAC panel, but all the holding and losing of vacuum for each line seemed to correspond with the EVTM, at least as I understood it. Testing from the HVCB going out, however, turned out some leads. Six lines held vacuum, but the black/purple line was completely open, while the black line would build a little vacuum and then leak moderately. The black/purple line goes to the Vacuum Diverter Valve, which might be behaving normally.

    Finally, I disconnected the two lines going up to the blue temperature sensor and again tested in both directions. The clear line going into the temperature servo held vacuum, as did the black line going back to the rest of the system. In the opposite direction, both clear and black lines running into the temp sensor either held no vacuum or had a significant leak. The leak persisted even when I held my thumb over the open line I wasn't testing, and at both ends of the temperature range on the HVAC panel.

    So the check valve might be leaking very slightly, but my working theory right now is that the automatic temperature sensor has a pretty significant vacuum leak that causes the entire system to lose vacuum and default to full hot under lighter loads than it should.

    If that theory is correct, then maybe I could fix it by either clamping off or somehow plugging the black line going to the temp sensor. Though I guess that would starve the temp servo and leave me with full heat. Perhaps the solution then is to unplug the temp sensor lines and 'short' the black supply line to the clear servo line, which should provide fully cooled air. As I'm typing this all out, it occurs to me that the auto temp sensor is supposedly just a variable vacuum leak. But if it fails in the full cold position, there shouldn't be hardly any vacuum escaping, while in my car it seems like the majority of vacuum is. The final piece of the puzzle that I still don't understand is the Vacuum Diverter Valve. It appears to play some part in the temperature selection, but exactly how it relates to vacuum I'm not sure.


  16. #116
    Carthago delenda est Lutrova's Avatar
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    Update: I bypassed the temp sensor and ran a line directly from the black supply line to the clear servo line. Wasn't pretty but it took care of my vacuum leak. I went on a short test drive and so far the results are promising. Kept cool vent air all the way up a long hill where I would usually switch over to heat. I won't have full results, though, until this weekend when my wife and I leave post and drive through the mountains on our way to LA.

    Knowing now that the temp sensor is leaking so badly, I wonder if the same buildup preventing a good seal is also keeping it from adjusting with the temperature. Based on Hillbillycat's promising results, I guess I'll be picking up an ultrasonic cleaner and seeing if I can clean things up any.

    When the temp sensor is working properly, does it modulate vacuum to the servo by blocking the line off or by venting vacuum to the cabin? I would hope the former, but I wouldn't be too surprised if it was the latter.

  17. #117

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    My sensor is in the car now, but right now I have a no-start issue (read other thread), so I wasnīt able to check the function.

  18. #118
    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    The vac diverter valve is what operates the outside air / recirc door when things are full cold so you get max AC performance. It lives on top of the HVAC box, next to the gold vac servo. Not sure how visible it is, but you can just cap the line off that feeds it if you want. Its a really shitty valve, basically just a plastic tube with a rod inside that is pushed by a wire. I think its got an O ring seal. Basically it blocks the port off when the blend door is not at full cold. Try blocking the two hoses off that go to it and see if the system works that way. if it does, the air temp sensor is OK and its just that valve that has failed. You can connect the hoses together and force it to be in recirc mode any time you have the AC on.

    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. #119
    Carthago delenda est Lutrova's Avatar
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    I poked around with the gold servo but I don't think I can really get at the diverter valve without pulling the servo. Which might not be too difficult, but I think for now the point is moot. My wife and I drove down to Huntington Beach for the weekend and the air stayed cold for the whole ride. So I'm thinking the diverter valve is probably fine and with the temp sensor bypassed I'm currently (more or less) leak free.

    I'd still like to figure out a long term solution for the HVAC that restores some function, but that's probably a discussion for Hillbillycat's thread.

    The latest nonsense is some pretty strong but maybe intermittent vibrations. They seem to occur regardless of speed. I couldn't tell whether they went away by shifting into neutral. It's also become a little more difficult to turn, which doesn't seem to be a power steering fluid level issue. I thought I could feel some sort of vibration over the past month, but it really become noticeable today. Last time I attempted to address this issue I was working on the motor mount theory. And since replacing one the idle vibrations seem to have gone. But perhaps there were two sources. Gadget's other suggestion was a bad u joint, and some light googling this evening seems to jive with the latest symptoms.

    Since we're on the road I can't really do much investigation. But I had already made an appointment with a nearby differential shop for Monday. I was hoping they could address, or at least diagnose, my acceleration whine. But they ought to be able to investigate the vibration, too. If it is a bad u joint then that's probably not too bad. If it isn't, then it's coming from one of the wheels?

  20. #120
    Lost and driftin' Arquemann's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lutrova View Post
    If it isn't, then it's coming from one of the wheels?
    I have a tire that's gone bad and it has quite a bit of runout. Tire guy wondered how I'm even able to drive over 50mph, even though the vibration is actually very minor. I guess it's just the combination of a lot of sidewall plus soft suspension. Weirdest part is that the vibrations most likely caused by it don't appear every time. Depending on the road surface, the vibrations can appear at higher or lower speeds even, and might disappear when cornering...

    How "sharp" is the vibration on yours?
    1985 Mercury Grand Marquis LS, "Maisa"
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