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Thread: Prudence, my 87 Town Car

  1. #141
    Carthago delenda est Lutrova's Avatar
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    I realize the AC may be on borrowed time, and ultimately a full upgrade may be the best way to go. But if the pulley bearing is the source of my squeal, I'd rather start with the cheaper option and go from there. The compressor turns smoothly by hand, and I know the clutch kicks in when I ask it to. I can accept the compressor is probably working overtime in this heat, and might sound more strained than usual. I didn't run the car at all last summer, so this is its first time dealing with temperatures like this.

    A replacement bearing is $27 from O'Reilly. I think I'll swap it out, see if it takes care of my belt squeal.

    I'm not too worried about a compressor failure leaving me stranded. I always carry the tools to loosen the AC/smog belt. Unlike the time maybe 10 years ago when the compressor locked up on the '78 Camaro I was driving for the summer. Had to use my grandparents' AAA for towing. Right before the truck arrived the heavens opened up and dropped the biggest rainfall I've ever seen.

  2. #142
    Carthago delenda est Lutrova's Avatar
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    Can the AC clutch pulley be replaced with the compressor bolted in place? Or is the pulley bearing pressed on?

    I was thinking I could just replace the noisy bearing on my old clutch, but if the compressor has to come out to get it off that would really take away a lot of the appeal of the job.

  3. #143
    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    yes and yes but it doesn'' matter. Clutch face comes off, there is a nut in the center and the plate may or may not slide off. There is a tool to yank it if its stuck and you may want the triangle tool to hold the clutch face from spinning so the nut will come off. Under that is a snap ring that retains the pulley with the bearing in it. Pull the snap ring and the pulley comes off. Bearing presses into the pulley, but its off the car.

    or just swap the pulley and clutch as a pair if they are damaged. R&R process is the same either way.

    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

  4. #144
    Carthago delenda est Lutrova's Avatar
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    Replaced both sets of front wheel bearings over the weekend. I still might be getting a bit of pulsing, intermittent vibration, especially going up or downhill. Both lower ball joints are completely caked in darker stained dirt than everything around it. I haven't jacked up from the lower control arms to test them, but if the vibration continues my next theory is that it's the ball joints. At any rate, some older guy at the auto craft shop came over to make small talk while I was swapping out the wheel bearings. He felt they were loose enough to justify replacement. So I don't feel too bad about doing that job. Plus I know how to do it now. And all four wheels have fresh bearings at more or less the same mileage.

    I tried pulling off the AC compressor pulley tonight to take to the auto craft shop for pressing the bearing out tomorrow. Got as far as trying to remove the pulley before I gave up. The nut, clutch plate, and snap ring all came off, and I could pull the pulley about a half inch forward and back, but it wouldn't move any farther off the compressor. The one video I found on doing this job showed the guy using a three-jaw puller to get the pulley off. They're 20 bucks at Harbor Freight, so I guess I can pick one up. Hopefully there's enough room to get it in there with the upper radiator hose in place.

    The pulley bearing is definitely on its way out. But I've got to take the car into Los Angeles on Thursday, and I currently have working AC, so I've put everything back together for now. Those snap rings are a real pain to get back on.

    For an added dimension to the project, it's been in the mid to high 100s for the past few days. While it feels cooler working at night, it's still apparently hot enough that sweat still pours off my face, pools on my glasses, and makes it even harder to see what's going on.

  5. #145
    fomoco panthers !
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    Doesn't the auto shop on base loan or rent tools ? Hopefully the H.F. puller will work. I used to have a special tool specifically for that job.
    Do you wear a head band ? It helps keep the sweat from dripping on your glasses. That dry heat is like a furnace.

  6. #146
    Carthago delenda est Lutrova's Avatar
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    The auto craft shop is hit or miss on tools. They've got all kinds of sockets, wrenches, and hammers, but not a lot of anything that might be more niche. Fluid exchange machines? Yep. Road force balancer? Sure. But if you want a handheld vacuum pump/gauge you'll have to look elsewhere. I once asked for a 7/32" socket from the counter and the guy looked at me like he'd never heard of it before. So I've taken to just getting any specialized tool ahead of time. Really I'll only go there if I need a lift or a second opinion from the guy who runs the place.

    But the puller might be moot for now. I went on a test drive tonight and when I pulled into the garage I heard a hissing from under the hood. It was coming from somewhere around the accumulator/drier, which was covered in a fresh mist of what I assume to be refrigerant. It was perfectly clean before that so I guess it's a fresh leak. And it was in the mid 80s during the drive - not the sort of heat I'd consider extreme. So maybe it is time to have a real shop look at it. At least do a diagnosis.

    Also the alignment seems to pull decently to the left now. Vibration is still present intermittently, mostly when going downhill. I didn't expect wheel bearings to have any effect on alignment, unless they had been bad when the last alignment was done a couple years ago. Or maybe I didn't seat a race or bearing properly? But I'd think that would cause a constant shake.

  7. #147
    GMN Regular DerekTheGreat's Avatar
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    I'd lift the front end off the ground and try to move the wheel up & down or side to side. If there is any play, it's either front end parts or something isn't right with the bearings- you'll have to watch & see what moves as you move each wheel to narrow it down.
    1985 LTD Crown Victoria - SOLD
    1988 Town Car Signature - Current Party Barge

  8. #148
    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    Take a small file and lightly file the snout of the compressor after you remove the snap ring. If it moves, the bearing isn't seized but there is probably a burr hanging it up. If you use a puller to plow it past a burr you may cause some damage, but a light filing to take off any high spots won't bother it.

    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

  9. #149
    Carthago delenda est Lutrova's Avatar
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    Made it into Los Angeles and back last week. Averaged over 20 mpg through the trip, even in LA, rush hour traffic. I've since replaced my EGR valve, as the old one wasn't holding vacuum, so hopefully fuel economy will tick up a bit more still.

    As for handling: steering still pulls to the left, though occasionally there are conditions where it'll pull in the opposite direction. Vibrations still present intermittently, as before. I've also noticed vibrations seem to get better or worse with road surface - pretty rough on concrete, but smooth on fresh asphalt. There were two or three times during the trip when I felt the car slide or shift to the side while driving down the freeway. It might've been from a wind gust, but it's definitely new behavior.

    When I got home I checked the front right wheel and found a little bit of bearing play. I'll tighten it up a bit. My fear is always tightening too far and burning things up. Too loose seems easy enough to identify on the lift - so long as the wheel is solid and there is no play it ought to be good. The shop manual says to tighten to X ft-lb, loosen, and then tighten again to something like 12 in-lb. My torque wrench begins at 20 in-lb, so that's easier said than done.

    I also lifted the car from the lower control arm, hoping to find some play in the ball joint, but it seemed to be solid. Not that my judgment is infallible, or even reliable, but I was hoping to find some clearer evidence that the ball joints were the culprit.

    My current theory is the front shocks are to blame. Using the push test, the rear corners rebound immediately, while the front corners take 3-4 bounces to even out. This has been the case for over a year, but maybe things have only recently worn out to the point it's affecting handling.

    A pair of KYB KG4515 Gas-a-Justs are on the way. I was expecting the job to be involved and require special tools, since the shocks live within the springs, but the shop manual seems to suggest it's pretty easy. Do you really just unbolt the top and bottom and pull them out through the lower control arm? There's nothing tricky like compressing springs or lifting the car from the control arms or something? (Out of curiosity, I called Midas in Barstow about replacing the shocks. At first they declined to even work on the car because it was too old and parts would be too hard to find. Then they quoted $140 in labor if I brought my own parts. Seems most shops around here still aren't touching anything pre-2000.)

  10. #150
    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    inch-pound wrenches are usually wee little beam things. My small one is 3/8 drive and the whole thing end to end is about palm-length. I think it tops out at 60 in-lb, or 5 ft-lb. Its an absolutely adorable little torque wrench Its just the right thing for bearing preloads though.

    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

  11. #151
    fomoco panthers !
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    You can change the shocks yourself pretty easily. Two bottom screws, one top one. Slides right out. I would hold the suspension with a floor jack and use it to raise the suspension if needed when installing the top bushings and nut. Have the frame on jack stands. No special tools needed. One hour if you don't have to deal with rust.
    I also would check the wheel bearings again. Disassemble. You might have a bad bearing.Especially if it has a plastic not metal cage. Did you put a new carter pin in ?

  12. #152
    GMN Regular slack's Avatar
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    Even if you have to deal with rust on the fronts, the top bolt will hopefully just snap off and then you can take it out after unscrewing the bottoms.

    That's what happened for both sides of my CV: http://www.grandmarq.net/vb/showthre...l=1#post720265

    The threaded inserts into the lower control arms could strip out, if that's the case you'll need to nut & bolt it on. not a big deal though.


    '78 LTD | '87 Grand Marquis | '89 Crown Vic (RIP) | '91 Grand Marquis (RIP) | '94 Town Car (RIP) | '97 Town Car (RIP)

  13. #153
    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    if the top nut is stuck like it usually is, you can just stick a deep socket and a long extension on there and rock it back and forth a few times until it snaps off.

    The bottom screws stripping out is the bigger problem, but still nothing that can't be dealt with.

    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

  14. #154
    Carthago delenda est Lutrova's Avatar
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    I don't see any rust on mine. In fact, the upper washer and nuts look brand new. The lower half looks pretty good, too. Knock on wood, but I'm hoping there won't be any trouble.

    My biggest fear for this job is the tarantula hawk that rumbled into the garage yesterday and is now unsettlingly quiet. I don't really want to be under the car while he comes poking around.

    re: Tom - The new bearings are Nationals, and they all have metal cages. I did reuse the cotter pins, which are probably two years old now from when I had the rotors replaced.

    In other news, I'm still occasionally noticing some engine vibration at idle, in drive or park. I'm planning on swapping out the ignition coil, since that and the TFI module are the only parts of the ignition system that haven't been replaced since I got the car. And to my understanding, the TFI module either works or it doesn't. So hopefully the coil is on its way out and swapping it produces results.

  15. #155
    2 decades of DDing Box Panthers, now in a Whale VicCrownVic's Avatar
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    Usually the TFI behaves in a working or not way. However I did have one that I picked up from the JY which introduced a miss at higher RPMs. I was able to confirm that the TFI was indeed the culprit when swapping between modules and that one always introduced that miss with all other ignition parts not changed and same timing. Now, I'm not saying that your issue is the TFI, but if the coil is not the issue don't completely rule out the TFI module.
    Vic

    ~ 1998 Mercury Grand Marquis LS - new DD
    ~ 1991 Mercury Grand Marquis LS "The Scab" - plenty of rot, backup/summer cruiser
    ~ 1997 GMC Yukon SLT - wannabe winter DD - many issues, returning sometime in the 2020s
    ~ 1991 Mercury Grand Marquis GS "The Ice Car" - Rotting Retired Winter DD
    ~ 1989 Mercury Grand Marquis GS - Rotting Retired DD
    Gone but not forgotten:
    ~ 1988 Country Squire ~ 1987 Ford Crown Vic

  16. #156
    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    yeah they can get goofy, and in ways that are intermittent or act like any number of other things. Its a moody ignition system and since the injectors are driven from the output it makes everything stupid along with it.

    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

  17. #157
    Carthago delenda est Lutrova's Avatar
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    New shocks are in. That was pretty easy. Old shocks were Monroe 5960ST's. Driver's side was totally dead - pushed it in and it just stayed there - while the passenger's side had a little bit of life in it. Had to compress the new shocks with the bottle jack to get the lower bolts started, but that wasn't a big deal. Only question I have about the whole thing is torquing the upper nut(s). The nuts are fully on the shock, plenty of thread above, and the washer and rubber are secured. But before I can get any sort of torque reading the nuts just spin with the shock. Is this a problem, or will the upper nut keep the lower one in place?

    Went on a test drive and bumps feel a bit smoother. Unfortunately, the pulse/vibration is still there.

    My new working theory, notwithstanding other problems in the suspension: it's the transmission.

    Evidence:
    1) I've noticed when accelerating at certain speeds - at least between 30-35 - as soon as I let off the throttle I'll feel a small jerk, similar in feel to the intermittent pulse.

    2) Shifts into 2nd have been producing a similar jerk. Coming from 1st, I'll be accelerating up to about 15 mph, feel a bit of pressure building, and then a quick, pulse-like release into 2nd. Going down from 3rd due to slowing down can produce a similar jerkiness. I don't believe I've experienced this behavior when going from a stop all the way up to highway speeds.

    3) While not the only trigger, the pulsing does seem to correlate with long inclines, both up and down hill. Coasting or braking may also trigger this behavior.

    Counterpoints:
    1) The car has a large exhaust leak. Although I would expect the pulsing to correlate more with acceleration if this were the cause.

    2) Trans fluid level seems to be good. It's red on the dipstick, but pretty full of clutch stuff when wiped on a towel. A fluid change is still on my agenda.

    Conclusion:
    My uneducated guess is this has something to do with the valve body. Maybe it's full of gunk, something is sticking, and as it imperfectly operates it produces this pulsing sensation? And if so, changing the fluid might help, but cleaning out the valve body might be the ultimate solution?

    Does this sound plausible? While I was thinking suspension before, and definitely found parts that needed replacement, the closeness in feeling of the pulse to points 1 and 2 make me think there's some shared cause there.

  18. #158
    2 decades of DDing Box Panthers, now in a Whale VicCrownVic's Avatar
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    Sometimes spark plugs can miss in a way that feels like a trans issue. As if they are, or often just one is, fouled but not bad enough to miss all the time.
    Number 8 being the primary culprit to foul first on these engines, then 7 or 4 next. Worth a shot to take a look at something cheap and (relatively) easy first if you haven't already.
    Vic

    ~ 1998 Mercury Grand Marquis LS - new DD
    ~ 1991 Mercury Grand Marquis LS "The Scab" - plenty of rot, backup/summer cruiser
    ~ 1997 GMC Yukon SLT - wannabe winter DD - many issues, returning sometime in the 2020s
    ~ 1991 Mercury Grand Marquis GS "The Ice Car" - Rotting Retired Winter DD
    ~ 1989 Mercury Grand Marquis GS - Rotting Retired DD
    Gone but not forgotten:
    ~ 1988 Country Squire ~ 1987 Ford Crown Vic

  19. #159
    Lost and driftin' Arquemann's Avatar
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    I still have a herky jerk on decel on my rig, but I'm kinda running out of things to check/replace on the engine side of things... And I really don't want it to be a trans issue.
    1985 Mercury Grand Marquis LS, "Maisa"
    2008 BMW 530d Touring, "Femma"

  20. #160
    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    driveline slop from bad U joints or trans mounts does odd things. Clutch material in the fluid not a wonderful sign though. The AOD is not exactly known for being the smoothest transmission ever created so a bit of clunk and bang may just be what it is. Low pressure in the trans also makes it tend to shudder, but that also goes with quick upshifts, laggy downshifts, and general death and destruction from clutch slippage so if its in overdrive by 30, thats not good.

    If the shocks have jam nuts, run the lower one down until it starts to squish the rubber mounts or the shaft spins. Lock the second nut against it. Install torque on this isn't important, you just want some compression out of the rubber so things stay put.

    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

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