Ownership Verified: 1000lbs. Lighter! 1987 Mercury Colony Park

93Flareside

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Tried to tackle the drums last weekend since the previous owner was so kind in giving me shoes.



It doesn't look bad at all but they're super shiny which seems weird...


Great, the wheel cylinder looks damp...



Wait a second....




Well shit... It would seem that I've got the 11" brakes on the rear. Drums, shoes, cylinders are on order now.

This is where we're at now...

 

Spectre

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Don't forget to get a hardware and spring kit for it - it's cheap and you don't have to clean up cruddy old hardware.
 

Nabster

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Don't forget to get a hardware and spring kit for it - it's cheap and you don't have to clean up cruddy old hardware.
Seconded, but if my old Mustang is anything to go by he'll still have to clean and reuse a few parts even with the hardware kits.
 

93Flareside

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Seconded, but if my old Mustang is anything to go by he'll still have to clean and reuse a few parts even with the hardware kits.
Oh I’ve got that too. The shoes, drums, and wheel cylinders are what we’re needed to be ordered. Closest shop was an hour away but there’s no highway to get to that town. Rather than get annoyed with suburban driving, I decided to just have them deliver to the store that’s only a mile away.
 

93Flareside

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Well, all parts came in that means we can commence work, yes?



uh oh....



My favorite part about projects, having to stop because something's gone wrong we didn't prepare for. Brake lines came apart easy, didn't. Able to replace the brake line with a new line from the store, can't. It turns out for whatever reason, the thread size is different on the wheel cylinder side from the Y splitter thats perched on top of the diff so that means I get to lay on my back while blindly loosening up things. Like a blind man in an orgy, I was feeling my way through.

Thanks to nearly bank hours for auto parts stores I can't just pop over and get what I need right now.

At least I had a working stereo for me tunes in the garage.



Sometimes I think I should stick to electrical things...
 

93Flareside

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So I started replacing drum hardware in the back but I was held back with finishing due to the splitter that takes the rear brake line coming from the master cylinder to the rear having different sized threads than the wheel cylinders, I got pissed and left this alone. I started the project in June and only today got back to it. I had a fresh set of eyes look at it and it turns out the adapters I got that I was told wouldn’t work, is correct and this whole time I could have had a driving vehicle. Hopefully this week it’ll be finished and I can drive the old fuel out of the tank so I can refill and store it for winter. Ugh. I think come spring I will sell it since this whole time, I wasn’t missing it, I’ve been having fun with the Golf GTI and I got a new company car that isn’t a Jeep Patriot, I’m not seeing the need for a 3rd car.
 

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CraigB

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What's wrong with a Jeep Patriot? 🤣
 

93Flareside

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More set backs! I love set backs!

So, trying to remove the brake line out of the splitter on the drivers side proved pointless as the brake fitting is now rounded off after many applications of Deep Creep and heat did nothing. As is par for the course, I really do think thread sprays are snake oil because I've never had that stuff work and it ends up getting everything coated in oil. Still, I have since ordered what is simply called a "hydraulic hose" (the splitter) because the brake line that goes the length of the vehicle from the front comes comes out of the splitter and this rounded off POS doesn't so I'm replacing it, ETA is Monday.
 

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Are you talking about the combination block near the master cylinder? Or is this the block that sits on the rear axle housing?
 

CraigB

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On rounded out brake line fittings I can usually take a pair of Visegrips and really clamp them on there. I think that sort of ovals the fitting slightly allowing the fitting to come out. Plus the teeth on the jaws really did into whatever shitty soft metal those fittings are made from.
 

93Flareside

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I’ve driven it a little since the repair and braking pressure feels much better. At this point the thing that’s concerning is the fuel system. Nothing wrong with the pump and gauge but the previous owner capped the breather system and removed the hardware. So the tank pressurizes over use. I think body mount and front suspension bushings are in need of replacement as this suffers from the constant shake/vibration as if something is out of balance.

All in all. It’s drivable.
 

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CraigB

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The vent for the tank on those just went to a charcoal canister. Nothing crazy and would be easy to fix
 

93Flareside

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MAJOR UPDATE.

I drove it yesterday and today. Completely uneventful in the sense that it started up, drove, and braked fine. Since the drums were serviced and system re-bled, it stops SO much nicer with way less pedal travel. 10/10 would pay somebody else to do drum brake service next time. As of now, insurance has been reinstated and I'm driving it a bit more agressive than normal to try and use up the fuel that I put in back in November 2019. Due to that spooky virus thingy, selling it has been put off for another year. I think if I keep my job during all this, I will contact a local shop to see if they can diagnose the funny shake I feel when going down a perfectly smooth road. It's not major, just annoying and it comes and goes, speed is not the main one but, over 35mph you'll sometimes feel it. At highway speeds, it's always there. I am guessing it is not wheel/tire related as this thing has now had x3 different sets of wheels and tires on it which 0 difference. If I had to guess, it's either bad bushings or worn rear end axle bearings. Neither of which do I feel comfortable taking on in the garage seeing as how drum brakes defeat me.

Also something of significance, the only thing that leaks is the power steering lines. No oil or coolant was lost over the winter and the coolant overflow bottle still shows correct levels since the shop replaced all the gaskets in 2016. So while this thing is dead nuts slow and leaks a little rainwater in from the drivers windshield and rear window, it's alright. Apart from the weak starter on a warm engine.
 

Nabster

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If you ever do finally go to sell this I think @Der Stig and @Crazyjeeper and I need to acquire it for the Team Texas group.
 

CraigB

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No LS, Coyote!
 

93Flareside

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So, what has been lately? Absolutely fuck all other than driving it once or twice a week to keep the battery charged, and fluids moving. A couple weeks ago I drove down to Chicago for funsies and got some BBQ from a lovely place I go (Smoque) when on jobs in the city.

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I really need to get the shakes figured out. It’s really hard to describe as it’s not super rhythmic but like something is either out of balance sometimes or worn out suspension bushings like I can feel every little imperfection. What I can say, it is not cured with speed. Over 75mph it is always there and only gets worse when you hit 85. I replaced the u-joints which did cure the growl over 70mph but caused a growl when over 75 and not on throttle. So it is possible the driveshaft is fucked because I struggle with things like u-joints and bearing installs. I really do think it’s best to suck it up and let a shop diagnose this. I had a shop do the coolant gaskets and timing chain + cover gasket and that’s been flawless. Meanwhile, I do shocks which admittedly has been ok except for the rear passenger blowing out every time I lower it off the jack despite being gentle. Front calipers were changed after seizing one but I had trouble getting the crush washers to seal and I probably should have replaced the flex hoses. I did replace rotors as you should, but those are the “pick bearings in” type and I always feel like I do this wrong. Which I am guessing could be part of this shake issue. I tried doing rear drums but had such a problem with that it’s made me hate this car ever since. That job made me feel so insufficient in auto repair.

I have a hitch receiver on the back but I am scared to use it for anything heavy as it’s held in by grade 8 bolts but I have no washers to spread out to force and the holes for mounting are shall we say, *just* enough to grab toe bolt edge that I really don’t want to use it until that’s fixed. I don’t know how to fix that as a whole hitch receiver kit has the correct wires to pull bolts through a washer, but not available separately.

At the moment, the front windshield leaks on the drivers side and drips right on the power windows switch. The rear window leaks from decayed weather stripping and is very wobbly from the rear tailgate being taken apart by the PO to replace the window motor. I also found out recently why half the rear window won’t defog...

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And oh by the way, the starter either needs a new positive wiring and connector, or the whole starter is jacked because hot starts sound like the battery is weak, it’s not because I replaced it February 2019.

Alternator has been upgraded to a 3G style designed for a 98 mustang. I used a Painless Performance wiring loom for a Fox body and is verified to charge. So at least it won’t cause a fire like the old design possibly could do.

I have wheels on from @CraigB and some boring Uniroyal tires which are very nice however the front bearing dust covers stick out so far that I can’t use the center caps. According to the tire shop, I would need 5/16” wheel spacers which means the lug nuts are not long enough, I tried. Since the studs are built onto the brake rotor, I don’t think it’s smart to do any sort of longer studs or spacers with studs on them.

Not sure what else but I feel like that’s all. It’s overwhelming with all that it needs. I’d much prefer a newer or different vehicle with less things to do. My current situation and honestly my feelings on so many things mean I really just don’t want to deal with maintaining a toy for now. Maybe when the lease ends on the Golf, I’ll pay more attention to this.
 
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