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Thread: My 1987 Mercury Grand Marquis

  1. #1
    GMN Regular slack's Avatar
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    Cool My 1987 Mercury Grand Marquis

    I just brought home my replacement for my '89 Crown Vic (Link to frame rot death sentence of the CV). I originally wanted to strip and junk the Crown Vic before buying something else to tinker with as I have literally no room to really fit this car at my house right now, but the deal was too good to miss out on. This is the 2nd Grand Marquis I've owned. The last one I owned was a 91 4 door (car before my Crown Vic). Out of the five panthers I've now owned, three of them were/are boxes and all three are this "tan-ish" color.

    My friend saw this pop up for sale some-what locally for $500 saying that it needed some work and let me know about it. Amazingly we were able to look at it before it was sold and I thankfully had money in hand to buy it. I can't remember the last time I saw one pop up at that price here in NY.

    The interior is the same as my Crown Vic and the exterior is pretty close (a little darker) which is nice because I have basically a whole parts car worth of pieces that I can transfer over as needed.

    As I said, I don't exactly have room for parking this car now so I'm going to have to pull the engine/trans and strip the CV in the next two weeks which should be interesting with work and such.

    Current To-Do List
    • Exhaust Leak - It's pretty loud. I think it's coming from the cat area, but haven't had a chance to get a good look at it yet.
    • Rough Idle - The car runs very rich at the moment. I blew through 1/4 tank of gas in 30-ish miles. You can smell the rich exhaust while driving/idling. The idle is pretty inconsistent.
    • General Tune Up - Fluids, filters, plugs, wires, cap, rotor, yadda yadda yadda
    • Door Locks / Window Motor - Rear windows are non-functioning and so are the lock actuators in the front. Will probably just steal them from the CV.
    • Sanding/Rust proofing - There's some areas on the body that have a little rust. Frame looks good but I would like to give it a fresh coat of POR15.
    • Shocks / Sway Bars - Shocks are shot. Need to be replaced. I'm going to transfer over the Police sway bars from CV.
    • ...More as I think of it.



    Anyway, I only have one picture from driving it home tonight while filling up at a gas station (full hour and 1/2, made it home without any issues).



    I should have more pics tomorrow as I go through and start fixing things here and there.

  2. #2
    2 decades of DDing Box Panthers, now in a Whale VicCrownVic's Avatar
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    Nice find, congratulations.
    My $500 box was towed home and the $700 box didn't make it without incident (had to borrow a 2G from Derek when mine gave up luckily near his house.)
    Looking forward to the fun you'll have with this one (even the "fun" fun, lol.)
    Vic

    ~ 1998 Mercury Grand Marquis LS - new DD
    ~ 1991 Mercury Grand Marquis LS "The Scab" - plenty of rot, summer DD
    ~ 1997 GMC Yukon - wannabe winter DD - returning sometime in the 2020s, I finally have an engine
    ~ 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

  3. #3
    GMN Regular WagonMan's Avatar
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    When are you going to swap the nose and tail lights???? Just kidding. Congrats on the new ride! WagonMan
    1990 Colony Park
    1970 HEMI Superbird

  4. #4
    Lost and driftin' Arquemann's Avatar
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    Is the thick stripe on the side an option or a yearly thing?
    If it runs and drives, anything is a great deal for 500 bucks.
    1985 Mercury Grand Marquis LS, "Maisa"
    2008 BMW 530d Touring, "Femma"

  5. #5
    Member of the Orb Alliance packman's Avatar
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    Nice MGM! Must have been an interesting ride home with the inclement weather and all that. Sounds like You’re probably already familiar with Panthers; but from my limited experience, I would look over all the vacuum lines that you can get to, and make sure they’re not broken. Especially the MAP sensor line. Mine had a worn fitting and the line would come loose and cause the rough idling and black smoke.

  6. #6
    Road Warrior Kodachrome Wolf's Avatar
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    Ooh, that’s a two-tone car.

    Hopefully the repairs aren’t too intensive, but for the price, I think all that can really happen is positive improvement regardless. Nice score!

    My Cars:
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    -1987 Grand Marquis Colony Park LS (325K Miles) - April 2017 + September 2019 POTM Winner
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  7. #7
    Wagon Addicted Tiggie's Avatar
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    Hooray for a replacement!
    1990 Country Squire - weekend cruiser, next project
    1988 Crown Vic LTD Wagon - waiting in the wings

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  8. #8
    The Brown Blob 87gtVIC's Avatar
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    Oh yeah. Two tones of tan. Very nice!
    ~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. #9

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    Itís my cars twin! Just nicer lol




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  10. #10
    GMN Regular slack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by VicCrownVic View Post
    Nice find, congratulations.
    My $500 box was towed home and the $700 box didn't make it without incident (had to borrow a 2G from Derek when mine gave up luckily near his house.)
    Looking forward to the fun you'll have with this one (even the "fun" fun, lol.)
    It was definitely a gamble driving it that far. The car had basically been sitting for over a year at the point I bought it. My friend followed in his pickup and we had tow straps if we absolutely needed it. I'm not sure how we would have gotten it over the Whitestone Bridge in tow straps though. Thankfully it was late enough for the traffic to have cleared out and the whole way was basically highway miles.

    Quote Originally Posted by WagonMan View Post
    When are you going to swap the nose and tail lights???? Just kidding. Congrats on the new ride! WagonMan
    Thanks. Haha! Mr Bean has the early box to round box conversion covered already. This one is staying as is.

    Quote Originally Posted by Arquemann View Post
    Is the thick stripe on the side an option or a yearly thing?
    If it runs and drives, anything is a great deal for 500 bucks.
    Agreed. For $500, even if it was in crap shape, the extra parts and frame would have been worth it.

    Quote Originally Posted by packman View Post
    Nice MGM! Must have been an interesting ride home with the inclement weather and all that. Sounds like Youíre probably already familiar with Panthers; but from my limited experience, I would look over all the vacuum lines that you can get to, and make sure theyíre not broken. Especially the MAP sensor line. Mine had a worn fitting and the line would come loose and cause the rough idling and black smoke.
    Thanks! We actually just missed the storm! We left my house around 7pm, right as the sun started coming back out so we were good both ways. That would have been a nightmare to drive back in with bad wipers. The shocks are shot so I was already bobbing up and down with all the bumps and such. Also, the idle issue was the MAP sensor line!

    Quote Originally Posted by Kodachrome Wolf View Post
    Ooh, thatís a two-tone car.

    Hopefully the repairs arenít too intensive, but for the price, I think all that can really happen is positive improvement regardless. Nice score!
    Thanks! So far, it looks like everything will be cheap unless I plan to fix the exhaust "right" instead of just plugging it up for the time being.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tiggie View Post
    Hooray for a replacement!
    Woo!!

    Quote Originally Posted by 87gtVIC View Post
    Oh yeah. Two tones of tan. Very nice!
    Thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by 87GrandMarq View Post
    Itís my cars twin! Just nicer lol
    Holy crap! They really are twins!! That's awesome! I'm not sure I'd say "nicer". Mine looks okay from 10ft away but definitely has it's dings and stuff.

  11. #11
    GMN Regular slack's Avatar
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    Cool Fixed the idle issue

    I fixed the idle issue today. I pulled the car into the driveway and was doing a "once over everything" type of deal.

    Quick rundown of what I checked:
    • Plug wires - They look brand new. I popped them off and they had zero corrosion on the connectors.
    • Distributor Cap / Rotor - The connectors look a bit worn on these. I took some sandpaper and sanded them down, but they're now on the list to be replaced.
    • EGR Valve - I took it off and it wasn't clogged. I cleaned it up a bit and made sure it held vacuum. All good there.
    • IAC - I took this off as well. Also clean as whistle inside.
    • Air Filter - Brand new fram was installed. The filter portion still looks brand new.
    • Vacuum lines - Saw some problems here. There was one (pic below) where the brittle plastic line was snapped. I patched that so it's now connected. Also I noticed the line to the MAP sensor was bad.
    • I didn't get a chance to check the spark plugs yet. If the plugs are new, hopefully they are too.
    • Did an oil change as the oil was black as tar.


    Left line on this tree was snapped (on passenger's side).


    The condition of the vacuum line to the MAP sensor:


    That line was pretty "gummy". I noticed that when the car started, it collapsed which caused the car to stumble. Then as the car stumbled, the line opened back up and the cycle repeated itself.

    The vacuum line to the MAP sensor has two different sizes on each end, so I had to improvise with some new line and some old line I had floating around the garage. (As you can see, I keep a very clean and organized working environment. haha)


    Plenum had to come off to get to the line under it. 6 1/2'' bolts hold it to the intake manifold. 2 are behind the "5.0" plate. That is held on by 4 T20 torx screws. I had to use map gas on those otherwise they would have stripped right out and caused the whole process to be a major PITA. Going back in, I coated the torx screws with never seize so when I'm back in there, I don't curse my former self.

    I left the throttle stuff connected and propped the thing up with a random box of screws I had. There was just enough room to get under there.


    New line in. I decided to not put a hose clamp on it because it took SO much force to push the size I had on there I (hopefully) don't see it coming off any time soon.


    I probably should have replaced the other lines while I had things apart, but the others didn't seem so bad and it was already 10:30pm.

    Also, added to the "TO-DO" list is the brass TV cable grommet. The one that's on there is the original. It's amazingly still holding up but has definitely seen better days. I'm thinking I might just take the one from the CV when I strip it instead of buying a new one. We'll see though.

    Next post I'll show some more pics of the car itself.
    Last edited by slack; 06-06-2021 at 02:17 AM.

  12. #12
    GMN Regular slack's Avatar
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    Cool General pics of the car.

    Here are some pics of the car itself:

    Front. Headlights need to be swapped with new ones. There's a small dent in the bumper and of course my CV also has a similar dent in it so swapping doesn't matter there.




    Back. Bumper is rough. CV one isn't great but I'll probably be swapping it over. I'm also missing the "Mercury" trim on the trunk lid. Left taillight was repaired at some point with what looks like super glue.


    A completely un-interesting stock LOPO 5.0 we've all seen 5 billion times.


    Interior. I thought I actually had more of these. The inside is in great shape except for a single crack on the speedometer "glass". I have two 85mph CV speedos. Can I swap the clear plastic from one of those to this one? The leather wrap of the steering wheel is going to go though. It's pretty sticky like my CV's was when I took it off.


    Driver's side exhaust is completely replaced with new cat as well as new y-pipe and muffler. Passenger's side cat is a different story...



    Pic of the nice and solid frame.


    Here's the source of my loud exhaust leak. I think I'm just going to try and plug the hole first before actually replacing it. It needs to pass inspection within 10 days so I'm pressed for time for now. It's interesting that they did the rest of the exhaust but left this portion...


    This was a surprise to see. It has an external transmission cooler! At some point someone put some real effort and attention into this car. It's absolutely crazy that it was passed along for so cheap.


    Here's a bit of an oddity. When I had my '97 Towncar that was equipped with Lojack from a previous owner, I had to press the rear defrost switch before I could turn the key to start the car. This car has something similar yet much more crude. To the left of the column is this "cartridge" that plugs into a slot that needs to be in place for the car to start. I hope all it does is just make the connections between the wires and there's no extra logic baked in there because that would be a pain if this thing goes missing or stops working. There's a spare, but after that... that's it.


    The "cartridge" itself. Anyone ever heard of these before? It's install is a bit hackish. There's literally wires running from under the dash up to the cartridge slot's mount point.


    I don't have pics (yet) but the rear door's corner glass sort of tells a bit of the car's history. There's stickers in 1998 for Police Veteran's Association. There's another old one I think just for Veterans. Then on the other side, there's some pictures of Jesus with captions in Spanish saying "Please protect me". Then there's a parking permit for a SUNY college upstate from 2010. The driver's side door panel has some cigarette burns as well. I wonder how many owners this car has had in its life?

    Side note, it's interesting getting used to looking at the speedometer on this dash. My last Grand Marquis was a 91 so it had the usual 0-85 straight across style. I'm left handed so maybe my left eye is my dominant eye because reading the speedometer section on the right takes some getting used to. I feel like I'm never 100% sure exactly what speed I'm going when I glance at it, just a round about. Anyone else experience this on their first time using this style dash?

    Well... that's all for now!
    Last edited by slack; 06-06-2021 at 02:50 AM.

  13. #13
    The Brown Blob 87gtVIC's Avatar
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    No on the Crown Vic clear speedo lens bits assisting you on your cracked Grand Marquis parts here.

    The antitheft thing is neat in an old school sense of things. Ive never heard of it but seem similar systems from ford on ebay before.

    If it worries you I would just remove the entire system carefully.

    It looks like it just shorts out pins. I am certain it can be bypassed. If more than two wires leading to its connector mounted up their on the speedometer bezel then it is just a manner of finding out what wires need what when in a pinch.

    Again nice score on the vehicle. Definitely worth the dough.
    ~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

  14. #14
    Stow It! GM_Guy's Avatar
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    Nice score!

  15. #15
    2 decades of DDing Box Panthers, now in a Whale VicCrownVic's Avatar
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    The MAP line is a bit annoying being two very different sizes at each end. I have (had, mostly gone now) a stash of silicone vac lines and was able to slide the smaller line into the larger one to make the transition.

    High heat copper anti-seize not just the tin man silver color stuff? (Tin man, because that's what you look like if you get it on you.) Not sure if it gets hot enough at that top 5.0 plate, but enough heat gums up the standard tin man stuff.

    I drove my '89 MGM from when I was 18 until less than a month before my 28th birthday. The speedo never bothered me, but perhaps being right handed helped. The '89 cluster lighting was way better than the stock clusters in both '91 MGMs I've owned.

    On that exhaust leak, it looks like the air injection tube at the cat (very common) although I'm looking on my phone and didn't zoom in. Dad had some high heat hose that we clamped on there to complete the connection. That lasted a couple years before the hose section broke. For some reason the next section of hose didn't last as long. It was cut from the same hose so maybe age and sitting in a non temperature controlled garage did it in. Nothing beats fixing something right but if a quick temporary fix is needed, you just have to get creative sometimes.

    Nice frame and that rocker panel looks good too. Much better shape than my sub-$1k boxes. Do a little searching to see what undercoating is available in your area if this will be a year round DD.
    Vic

    ~ 1998 Mercury Grand Marquis LS - new DD
    ~ 1991 Mercury Grand Marquis LS "The Scab" - plenty of rot, summer DD
    ~ 1997 GMC Yukon - wannabe winter DD - returning sometime in the 2020s, I finally have an engine
    ~ 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. #16
    GMN Regular WagonMan's Avatar
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    I don't have a gauge lens, but I do have a "MERCURY" emblem. It measures 6 3/4" long and has 4 pins. Excellent condition. WagonMan
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails IMGP6258.jpg  
    1990 Colony Park
    1970 HEMI Superbird

  17. #17

    Default My 1987 Mercury Grand Marquis

    Still it looks great! My paint is in good shape but there are rust spots poking through. And the po bent the doors when he locked his keys inside and used a screwdriver to dig the locks out... also it looks like yours is specíd close to mine, same seats but mine has an analog clock which I havenít seen too often on a gs trim.

    I have a gauge bezel that you could take the lens from if you want it but itís from a 79 and has gold trim instead of silver.

    Also Iím left eye dominant as well and it doesnít bother me. Maybe youíre just used to a centrally placed speedo, just sayin.


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    Last edited by 87GrandMarq; 06-06-2021 at 06:29 PM.

  18. #18
    Road Warrior Kodachrome Wolf's Avatar
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    Your replacement MAP line looks similar to the one on my '87. Not sure if its how Nick got it years back or if he had to do the same thing, but it works, and that's what's important.

    The instrument cluster panel is unique to GMQ, so you just need a replacement '79-'87 one. If someone doesn't reach out to you soon, I'll keep any eye out at the junkyard since Boxes still turn up.

    Years back when I first drove the '87, it was a little weird having the speedometer off to the side instead of being centered, but you really do get used to it. Switching between the '87 and '97, the difference in instrumentation doesn't really bother me in the slightest. The only thing I don't like about the pre-'90 LTD/Marquis interiors is the lack of any temperature gauge stock. Way too much faith to put into a dummy light switch, which certainly could prove to be too little, too late. I've kept an aftermarket one fitted on principle.


    Also, I assume your '87 is a later build car (post 02/87). You have the nicer air vents that don't seem to go floppy as bad as the early style. I found a later build '87 in the junkyard once that had the vinyl moisture barriers in the doors, better dash vents, and other small things that seemed to be ramping up towards the 88MY overall restyle. Seems the early build '87s got the pseudo-tar paper weather barriers and earlier style air vents, amongst other things. The improvements certainly makes IMO for the best of the best for the last year of the "boxy" box.

    My Cars:
    -1964 Comet 202 (116K Miles) - Awaiting Resurrection
    -1987 Grand Marquis Colony Park LS (325K Miles) - April 2017 + September 2019 POTM Winner
    -1997 Grand Marquis LS (222K Miles) - The Daily Workhorse & March 2015 + January 2019 POTM Winner

  19. #19
    fomoco panthers !
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    I have some new old school lace up steering wheel covers. I have light tan. I guess you could put it over the old leather wrap or take off the leather wrap. What is important is the diameter of the wheel. Let me know if your interested.

  20. #20
    GMN Regular DerekTheGreat's Avatar
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    Really nice score. Car looks extremely solid for $500, and it ran to boot! Two Tone status is awesome as well.
    1985 LTD Crown Victoria - SOLD
    1988 Town Car Signature - Current Party Barge

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