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Author Topic: Hatchbacks and sunroofs  (Read 58858 times)
RobertB
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« Reply #60 on: November 05, 2017, 01:15:40 AM »

     Due to upgrading the house with new doors, windows, and security, work on the cars has slowed down to a crawl.  However, the smog pump in the Crown Vic, which had been rattling for last few hundred miles, finally froze solid, destroying a belt in the process.  I brought the car into Mooney Shell for what should have been a straight-forward replacement (no more AutoZone smog pumps which don't last too long).  However, the rebuilt smog pump that was installed made the same failing noises that the older one did.  Sad  The car goes back on Monday for another try at getting a good smog pump.

          The Colony Park and Ranchero standing forlorn,
          Robert Bernardo
          Fresno Commodore User Group
          http://www.dickestel.com/fcug.htm
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RobertB
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« Reply #61 on: May 25, 2018, 11:45:04 AM »

     It's been about a year since I put any work into the 1988 Mecury Colony Park station wagon, but because the Pacific Commodore Expo NW is coming up, I decided to perk it up for the long trip to Washington state.  Wednesday at the Mooney Shell service station, the mechanics charged up the a.c., this time injecting a dye into the system to see where it is slowly losing its freon.  Right now, the a.c. is really cold, because the system is full.  Also they started work on the tailgate repairs.  Ever since I bought the car, the tailgate would never lock (well, maybe one time), the tailgate window would not slide down, and though the tailgate opened as a door, it never flipped down to being a tailgate.
     First, the mechanics thought the latch was the cause of the non-locking problem.  Also the power locking mechanism (the actuator) did not work.
     They investigated the tailgate's power window.  The former owner had blocked the lowering of the window with aluminum blocks; the mechanics removed those blocks and found that the window motor was bad (or to be more exact, the bearings in the motor were destroyed).  The rod(s) that the window slid along were dry (unlubricated) and rough.  Also the window itself had 8 holes in the bottom which were supposed to house plastic grommets; only 2 of the grommets were still left.
     So, by the end of the day, they needed a latch, a window motor, a door actuator, and more grommets.  The next day I came back.  They had worked on the tailgate for another couple of hours.  The hard-to-find latch did not need replacing!  Because the window had been blocked from lowering down, they discovered that it had not been fully raised.  When raised another 1/8 inch or so, the electric interlock worked and the key was then able to lock the door.  One mechanic, Donnie, was still tweaking the power window mechanism when I arrived.  Over and over, he powered the window up and down, checking and adjusting the mechanism(s).  He had lubricated the rods so that the window smoothly moved, and he had installed replacement grommets he had fabricated (original grommets were no longer available).  Finally, he grinded away any excess metal from his repairs before putting back on the interior vinyl door panel.
     There was no time to put in a new door lock actuator, because I had to leave to visit my mother, but I was very satisfied.  The "Magic Doorgate" now worked perfectly through its three functions -- door opening with window in up position, door opening with window in down position, and door flipping down as a tailgate with window in down position.

           Truly,
           Robert Bernardo
           Fresno Commodore User Group - http://www.dickestel.com/fcug.htm
           June 9-10 Pacific Commodore Expo NW 2018 - http://www.portcommodore.com/pacommex
           August 11-12 Commodore Vegas Expo v14 2018 - http://www.portcommodore.com/commvex

P.S. Other tweaks planned for the station wagon - replace lower and upper radiator hoses (upper being easy to change, lower being more difficult to change), replace the ignition coil with an Accel ignition coil (easy to do), and change the full-service spare to a mini-spare tire (impossible to remove the full-service spare out of its storage compartment unless two people tackle it).
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RobertB
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« Reply #62 on: June 30, 2018, 01:27:41 AM »

     On the way back from the Pacific Commodore Expo NW, I was about 37 miles from my California destination when I heard a squeal under the hood of the station wagon, smelled burned rubber, saw the AMP indicator come on the dash, and noticed my lights dim down!  Oh-oh, alternator trouble and now running on battery!  Fortunately, I made it all the way, and the next day I got a rebuilt alternator from O'Reilly's and installed it.
     I should have known that the rebuilt was no good when I heard whining coming from it.  Well, the rebuilt lasted less than 400 miles.  I was coming back from Fresno, and I was losing everything... radio, clock.  I was on battery power again on the freeway, and I hoped the electronic ignition would not cut out until I got back home.  I made it!  Yesterday I replaced the rebuilt with another one from O'Reilly, using its lifetime warranty.  I'll finish installing the replacement by tomorrow.

           Then I'll know if it works,
           Robert Bernardo
           Fresno Commodore User Group - http://www.dickestel.com/fcug.htm
           August 11-12 Commodore Vegas Expo v14 2018 - http://www.portcommodore.com/commvex
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RobertB
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« Reply #63 on: August 18, 2018, 09:38:05 AM »

They removed the old FoMoCo stereo radio and installed a brand-new Pioneer DEH-X6900BT CD/radio.  When they tried hooking into the old Premium Sound speakers, they found out that the speakers had a separate amplifier, making the speakers unusable with the new Pioneer.  Solution - bypass the amplifier and put in new speakers.  As I had planned, the dull dash speakers were disconnected and the 5 1/4" door speakers (which were in the doors but were not working) were replaced by new Pioneer tri-axial speakers.  The rear speakers would have to be installed at a later date.
    Today I finally bought new rear speakers and had them installed.  The new speakers were Pioneer 6" x 8" speakers, quad-axial but really tri-axial because they have a woofer, mid-range, and two tweeters.  Strangely, unlike the FoMoCo front door speakers, the FoMoCo rear speakers did not have an amplifier hanging off each unit, i.e, they were ordinary paper speakers with a rubberized surround and a whizzer cone.  The paper was brittle, and one of the whizzer cones was torn... yeah, they needed to be replaced.  Also unlike the auto stereo installation of last year, this time the speaker installation was pretty straight-forward.  Undo the rear speaker grilles, detach the old speakers off the grilles, attach the new speakers to the grilles, adapt the old speaker wires to the new speakers, and replace the grill/speaker combination back into the rear.
     Final result -- much clearer sound now that the rear speakers were installed!

          Truly,
          Robert Bernardo
          Fresno Commodore User Group - http://www.dickestel.com/fcug.htm
          Southern California Commodore & Amiga Network - http://www.portcommodore.com/sccan

P.S. But as in my other cars, more has to be eventually done to the Colony Park.  Cruise control has failed (it failed just as I was coming back from the Pacific NW a few months ago). and defrost/heat is not coming from the upper/lower registers.  Also the faded "wood" on the tailgate area is bugging me.  I asked about it at a local body shop, but they had no experience in restoring it and thus didn't want to work on it.  However, I found a site selling the vinyl wood that nearly duplicates the factory look. http://woodgrain4wagons.com/

P.P.S. I asked the auto stereo shop about whether they could stop (sound-deaden) the vibrating of the front inner door panels (which is what happens when the car stereo is a bit too loud).  They said they could apply Dynamat to stop those resonances.  T will have to think about that for the future!
« Last Edit: August 18, 2018, 10:09:06 AM by RobertB » Logged
RobertB
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« Reply #64 on: January 22, 2020, 10:04:35 AM »

...more has to be eventually done to the Colony Park.  Cruise control has failed (it failed just as I was coming back from the Pacific NW a few months ago). and defrost/heat is not coming from the upper/lower registers.  Also the faded "wood" on the tailgate area is bugging me.
    Since my last posting on the Colony Park, the cruise control has been fixed... to a degree.  It will hold speed, but when I step on the brake to disengage it, it won't do so.  I have to turn off the system and then turn it back on and set the speed again.  Strangely, the only way to fully fix this is to buy another steering wheel horn pad!!!  The cruise control signals are routed through the horn pad (which has electrical contacts).  Naturally, the horn pads that I find are used, and so, they may work to blow the horn but not necessarily work with my cruise control.  Sad  The search for a color-matching horn pad that may or may not work with my c.c. is put on the back burner.
     As for the wood on the tailgate, the body shop I wanted didn't want to touch it.  So, my hope is for an out-of-town custom shop that specializes on painting wood-grain.  That is put on the back burner, too, because...
     I have asked for an estimate on a rebuilt 302 V8 installed in the car!  I'm still waiting, but if the price is like the rebuilt for my Crown Vic, then the engine is going in!

        Adding pep and getting rid of the oil-burning,
        Robert Bernardo
        Fresno Commodore User Group - http://www.dickestel.com/fcug.htm
        April 25-26 Commodore Los Angeles Super Show - http://www.portcommodore.com/class
« Last Edit: February 06, 2020, 02:53:23 AM by RobertB » Logged
RobertB
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« Reply #65 on: February 06, 2020, 02:56:58 AM »

I have asked for an estimate on a rebuilt 302 V8 installed in the car!  I'm still waiting, but if the price is like the rebuilt for my Crown Vic, then the engine is going in!
     The price is roughly the same, and the engine has been ordered!  I've gathered bits to be installed on the engine -- new double-platinum spark plugs, new spark plug cables, new magnetic oil pan drain plugs.  Gotta get a new PCV valve.  I've asked the shop to order a new, heavy-duty water pump for the car.

        Nearing the time to bring in the car,
        Robert Bernardo
        Fresno Commodore User Group - http://www.dickestel.com/fcug.htm
        April 25-26 Commodore Los Angeles Super Show - http://www.portcommodore.com/class
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RobertB
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« Reply #66 on: April 09, 2020, 04:28:43 AM »

     The engine has been rebuilt and installed in the station wagon!  Power seems to be the same, but now it is smoother with more high-end oomph.  Smiley  I've put about 400 miles on it and will continue testing.

          Truly,
          Robert Bernardo
          Fresno Commodore User Group - http://www.dickestel.com/fcug.htm
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« Reply #67 on: June 25, 2020, 06:10:03 PM »

     The 1990 Ford LTD Crown Vic was brought in to Hewitt Alignment for its yearly alignment.  The power steering had been leaking fluid, though its low-pressure return line had been replaced a few months earlier at Mooney Shell, so I asked that the pump be looked into.  Hewitt found a leak between the pump and the fluid reservoir.  That required a rebuilt pump (no problem to get) and a new, plastic reservoir (harder to find).  After I waited a few days, they finally had all the parts gathered, installed them, and cleaned out and flushed the p.s. system.  They also found a crack in the alternator/p.s. aluminum bracket and a bent alternator main mounting bolt.  The bolt can be replaced with a similar one; however, the bracket is very custom.  I would have to yank a used one from a Vic in a pick-and-pull yard (not an easy job), or I could have the old one re-welded at a shop.  Well, the local welding shop was too busy at the time, so the repair will have to wait.  Tires were rotated, and the front ones balanced.  Total = about $490.
     Perhaps in late July, I will have Mooney Shell disassemble the p.s. hardware so I can get that bracket re-welded.

          Thinking I must have this done before my next trip to the Pacific NW,
          Robert Bernardo
          Fresno Commodore User Group - http://www.dickestel.com/fcug.htm
          Southern California Commodore & Amiga Network - http://www.portcommodore.com/sccan

P.S. The mechanics at Hewitt must have reconnected a vacuum hose or electrical connection, because the engine is now running very, very smoothly.  How come I didn't catch that?  Smiley
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RobertB
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« Reply #68 on: October 07, 2020, 11:00:34 PM »

The engine has been rebuilt and installed in the station wagon!
    It was smog time for the station wagon... and it failed!  Though hydrocarbons and carbon monoxide were low, nitrous oxide levels were too high.  So, the wagon is at the mechanics' right now for two new oxygen sensors and 4 catalytic converters (2 pairs of pre- and post-converters) on its dual exhaust.

          Truly,
          Robert Bernardo
          Fresno Commodore User Group - http://www.dickestel.com/fcug.htm
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RobertB
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« Reply #69 on: October 11, 2020, 02:19:31 AM »

     It took awhile, but the Mercury Colony Park station wagon is back!  With the O2 sensors and 4 California catalytic converters, it came out to a heady $2,200!  However, I had a discount certificate and then another discount from the owner of Mooney Shell which brought the price down to $1,050.  Whew!  Smiley

          Truly,
          Robert Bernardo
          Fresno Commodore User Group - http://www.dickestel.com/fcug.htm
          Southern California Commodore & Amiga Network - http://www.portcommodore.com/sccan
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« Reply #70 on: October 26, 2020, 08:48:15 AM »

     It's my first, really long-haul trip with the Mercury Colony Park with the newly-installed, rebuilt engine.  Central Valley of California to Seattle and back... a distance of over 1,900 miles.  Well, after the first 165 miles, the engine was running rough at idle and up to speeds of 25 mph.  It was like I was missing a cylinder out of the 8-cylinder motor.  I kept thinking that there is an ignition problem with car.  Maybe spark plug wires, distributor cap, or distributor rotor.
     I made it to my hotel in SeaTac, and for a few days I rested.
     Today I finally went to Autozone in order to find a MSD distributor cap and rotor.  Though the website said the store would have the parts in stock, they did not, and they said they could order the parts for delivery on Tuesday.  Not good enough!  I had to hold off on getting the parts.  Instead, I got some spark plug cable separators.
     In the bright but cold afternoon light of the Autozone parking lot, I opened up the hood of the car and started attaching the separators.  This time I pulled off the rubber hood that covered the distributor so I could inspect the spark plug cables attached to the cap.  I saw that the distributor cap had already been replaced, because the engine was rebuilt about 1,500 miles ago.
     Ha, the number 4 spark plug cable was not pushed down fully onto the cap.  I pushed it back down.  Then I tried to inspect the cables, if not visually because of the crowded engine compartment, then by feeling along the cables.  There!  While feeling along the number 8 cable, I felt a roughness in the silicone insulation.  I pulled out that cable and verified that there had been a burn/break when that cable had touched the hot exhaust manifold.  Hey, it was supposed to withstand 600 degrees (I guess 600 degrees ambient temperature and not 600 degrees direct contact).  So much for the expensive Taylor Thundervolt 8.2 cable with its 40-ohm per foot resistance!
     I went back inside Autozone with the burned cable and showed it to the young guy behind the counter.  The nearest Autozone that had any spark plug cables for my car was 4 miles away along Federal Way.  However, the guy asked if I just wanted to replace one cable, and I said yes.  He went to the back and returned with a generic spark plug cable that I could use.  Just $1.99 with tax!
     I went back to my car, installed the new cable, and did some more re-routing of the cables so that they were not near any hot engine parts and not touching any metal of the engine.
     Success!  The car restarted easily and ran smoothly.  When accelerating, the engine/car did not shake anymore.

          It's good to have all 8 cylinders back,  Smiley
          Robert Bernardo
          Fresno Commodore User Group - http://www.dickestel.com/fcug.htm
          Southern California Commodore & Amiga Network - http://www.portcommodore.com/sccan
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