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

CraigB

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I've been there with a vehicle, but if you actually like it, just concentrate on project at a time and eventually it'll be what you want.
 

93Flareside

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I've been there with a vehicle, but if you actually like it, just concentrate on project at a time and eventually it'll be what you want.
I like looking at it, what I want is something that has more power, and can brake accordingly with windows that sealed as well as a drivers seat with better support. I have that with most of that with the Alltrack. Since the drum repair I’ve had much better brake feel and felt confident in stop and go traffic, that was it’s biggest problem for when somebody stops quickly in front, you’d stomp on the pedal and there’s be a delay as the pedal traveled and finally clamped down.

One of the other reasons for keeping it is Hank, my dog, loves it. I like it as well because I can vacuum it easily and he doesn’t have to stand on the window ledge to hang his head out, which is why I think he will run toward it when both garage doors are open and both golf and the mercury are in view.
 
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GRtak

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You seem to have a lot of little things that might be easy to fix, or require some real work.

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.
This could be tires, wheels, gunk in wheels, or missing wheel weights. Start by looking for bulges in the tires and slipped belts that have made them go out of round. This can be done with them on the car, just jack it up and rotate them for the out of round, and poke your head behind them for the bulges. Please be safe when doing this. You can also remove them for a closer look at bulges.


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.
If it has a growl, there is still something wrong with a bearing, or the slip yoke on the trans. You will notice movement without much effort if it is the slip yoke. If it is the pinion bearing on the rear diff, it may take some pressure to move it. Just use a pry bar if it is needed. Also, when was the fluid last checked or changed in it?

if it is the pinion bearing, you might as well have new bearings and seals put in the ends too. It will already be apart, so now is the time to do it.


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.
Please define blowing out?


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.
Okay, when you have the car up checking the tires for out of round, see if there is any play that you can notice. Use a straight edge taped to the tire and a jackstand, or some other stationary object to see if you can notice any movement. The bearings should be "loose" enough to turn the rotors by hand, but tight enough not to have any play noticeable.


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.
I would need to see a pic.


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...
I only tried to remove one windshield in my life. It ended badly, I was frustrated to no end, and I learned a lesson. It is okay to call a professional.

The defroster can be repaired using a kit that bridges the gaps in the wires. You do need to have a look inside the tailgate to see if something in there is ribbing on it though.


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.
Check both ends of the cables to see if there is any visible corrosion that can be cleaned, or if it will just need to be replaced. Beyond that, it could be the solenoid, or the starter. They don't last forever.


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.
Why not get a deeper center cap? There must be one available for your car. Are the wheels meant for that car, or do they just happen to fit?


Beyond that, it is possible to install longer studs. An old school parts store would be able to set you right up with what you need, or a good shop can do it.
 

Nabster

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After Thomas and I changed the brakes on my old Mustang the new dust caps were also sticking out slightly too far to prevent center cap installation. I took a hammer and dented in the dust caps enough to make them clear :dunno:
 

93Flareside

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You seem to have a lot of little things that might be easy to fix, or require some real work.
If it was so easy, they'd be done by now.


This could be tires, wheels, gunk in wheels, or missing wheel weights. Start by looking for bulges in the tires and slipped belts that have made them go out of round. This can be done with them on the car, just jack it up and rotate them for the out of round, and poke your head behind them for the bulges. Please be safe when doing this. You can also remove them for a closer look at bulges.
I can check tires, but the rest I haven't a clue what I'd be looking for as my tolerance of play is very low.



If it has a growl, there is still something wrong with a bearing, or the slip yoke on the trans. You will notice movement without much effort if it is the slip yoke. If it is the pinion bearing on the rear diff, it may take some pressure to move it. Just use a pry bar if it is needed. Also, when was the fluid last checked or changed in it?

if it is the pinion bearing, you might as well have new bearings and seals put in the ends too. It will already be apart, so now is the time to do it.
Again, my tolerance is low and so what could be normal may be acceptable, something a mechanic should be able to figure out.




Please define blowing out?
Lowering the jack slowly, tire touches ground, weight starts to compress shock, immediate hiss noises and clear oil leaking down the shock tube.




Okay, when you have the car up checking the tires for out of round, see if there is any play that you can notice. Use a straight edge taped to the tire and a jackstand, or some other stationary object to see if you can notice any movement. The bearings should be "loose" enough to turn the rotors by hand, but tight enough not to have any play noticeable.
Yes, you can spin the wheel, it goes about 2 rotations before slowing to a stop. There's no slop but whenever I change bearings, I never replace the races because it looks like the inner portion of the rotor is the right size and there's nothing to hammer out on a new rotor. I of course install the seal, but that's it in terms of hardware. I will pack bearings by pressing grease into the bearing like It seems you should but, I've never seen grease press out the other side and so I do the theater of packing the bearings, and then glob as much grease as I can inside that region to hopefully cure my poor bearing pack practices.




I would need to see a pic.
I can get one, but you won't see much.



I only tried to remove one windshield in my life. It ended badly, I was frustrated to no end, and I learned a lesson. It is okay to call a professional.

The defroster can be repaired using a kit that bridges the gaps in the wires. You do need to have a look inside the tailgate to see if something in there is ribbing on it though.
Wires are connected, but there is a break so I'm going with the break being the problem. I can try the repair kits.

Check both ends of the cables to see if there is any visible corrosion that can be cleaned, or if it will just need to be replaced. Beyond that, it could be the solenoid, or the starter. They don't last forever.
No, they don't and I already had to change the negative side on the battery to chassis and to starter because the insulation was falling off so the positive side most likely is the same way.


Why not get a deeper center cap? There must be one available for your car. Are the wheels meant for that car, or do they just happen to fit?
I don't want to go with a cheaper aftermarket because it wont match the flatter silver paint on the wheels. They're from an 80s Lincoln LSC of some type so they're not exactly for this car but close enough. The wheels came with center caps that say "LSC" on them and overall look good from a distance since they blend in nicely as shown in this great low res photo from the internet.



Beyond that, it is possible to install longer studs. An old school parts store would be able to set you right up with what you need, or a good shop can do it.
That will be difficult as finding an "old school parts" place is rare. Mostly, I have the chain stores with a couple local shops that stock the same type of items. I could maybe find something in Chicago, but I don't know how far I want to chase this.
 

93Flareside

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After Thomas and I changed the brakes on my old Mustang the new dust caps were also sticking out slightly too far to prevent center cap installation. I took a hammer and dented in the dust caps enough to make them clear :dunno:
Tried that, now I have smashed dust caps.
 

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Digging the car, but the one thing I do have to point out is that those wheels are just great. Can't go wrong with those. :)
 

captain_70s

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Working on drums is a thankless task, miserable spring filled, awkward to adjust fuckers...

I feel you could be expecting a bit much of a 30+ year old car that's never been fully stripped and restored. Surely bringing a late 1970s car running all it's original rubber bits to nearly 90mph must be pushing the limits of it's abilities? You'll have the power to haul it along but that's a lot of slab sided weight to be managed.

My car has a weird judder through the steering at 70mph+, despite new tyres and balanced wheels. It'll be some ancient rubber component that reached it's expected life-span 20 years ago, no doubt but a suspension refurb on the daily when the backup car has no engine is... A poor plan. :LOL:

Personally I'd make a list of irritations and just focus on one. Don't concern yourself with anything else until that is fixed, and accept the fact that the car might be laid up for a while as you work through it. My work load has become considerably more manageable since I came to the realisation that jobs frequently take weeks to complete rather than days...
 

93Flareside

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I feel you could be expecting a bit much of a 30+ year old car that's never been fully stripped and restored. Surely bringing a late 1970s car running all it's original rubber bits to nearly 90mph must be pushing the limits of it's abilities? You'll have the power to haul it along but that's a lot of slab sided weight to be managed.
I can remember my friend (whose dad owned it before me) flew past me on some country road allegedly nearing 100mph as I was also being an idiot in my Mustang at the time, allegedly. It's a lot to ask, yes. But I thought maybe more speed wouldn't changed things for the better. It doesn't and highway speeds aren't the smoothest.

Personally I'd make a list of irritations and just focus on one. Don't concern yourself with anything else until that is fixed, and accept the fact that the car might be laid up for a while as you work through it. My work load has become considerably more manageable since I came to the realisation that jobs frequently take weeks to complete rather than days...
I think my main focus is to figure out the shakey shake for now which all ancillary spending is put on hold anyways to avoid possibly wasting more money than I already do.
 

NotLaw

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I had a shake similar to what you describe in my original blue fairlane back when I got it. A pulsing vibration that increased with speed, though mine also increased in intensity when I was coasting.

I never definitively figured out the root cause, but after I exploded my differential by being stupid, I rebuilt it with all new bearings and the vibration I used to have was gone. I also replaced the driveshaft when I did that, so it could have been the driveshaft.
I'm inclined to say bearings though.

I suppose you could check the driveshaft for straightness though.
Get the rear in the air and spin the driveshaft. You can hold something (a screwdriver or whatever) at a fixed point near the shaft (maybe 1/16th away) and judge the gap as the shaft spins. Check in several places.

If your feeling brave, and you trust the cars stability, you could start it and let it idle in 1st while you check, but I think using two people (one to spin a tire or whatever to rotate the shaft, and one to do the actual check) would be much safer.
 

Nabster

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Yeah I might second NotLaw's inkling of rear bearings as well. My Mustang has an erratic vibration that varies with speeds and probably more importantly throttle use once at speeds over about 50. I'm convinced it's worn bearings in the rear axle- I didn't change them when we redid the brakes because they're a big faff. It's on the list. Along with opening up the rear diff which probably hasn't seen the light of day in 30 years and will be a horror of horrors, I'm sure.

But yes, I'll also echo the advice to lower your expectation to repair pace ratio. I'm speaking from experience here, there's always tons of little things that all add up to a lot of annoyance. Working up the energy, time, and money to start tackling things is a challenge. I think the rear defrost is a quick and likely easy fix. Grab one of the defroster repair kits at a local auto parts store and fix those damaged bits. Hopefully a quick and easy win, which will help ease the annoyance with everything.
 

GRtak

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If it was so easy, they'd be done by now.

Stop making a mountain out of a mole hill. .

Lowerng the jack slowly, tire touches ground, weight starts to compress shock, immediate hiss noises and clear oil leaking down the shock tube.

If this happened from new, you got a bad shock.


Yes, you can spin the wheel, it goes about 2 rotations before slowing to a stop. There's no slop but whenever I change bearings, I never replace the races because it looks like the inner portion of the rotor is the right size and there's nothing to hammer out on a new rotor. I of course install the seal, but that's it in terms of hardware. I will pack bearings by pressing grease into the bearing like It seems you should but, I've never seen grease press out the other side and so I do the theater of packing the bearings, and then glob as much grease as I can inside that region to hopefully cure my poor bearing pack practices.

The reason there is nothing to hammer out of a new rotor is because it is not tthere. You need to pull the rotors off and inspect the bearings and the inner surfaces. I imagine both will need to be replaced. The spindles may also be damaged. They can be repaired, but I recommend replacing them if needed.

It is dangerous to drive it like this![/QUOTE]
 

93Flareside

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I would agree except the rotor has a place for the bearing to sit, and the rubber spring seal takes up the extra space so the bearing isn’t in space moving about, it’s all tight. I just don’t get why every YouTube video shows somebody pressing a race out/in when I try to put a new one in a new rotor, it doesn’t fit, there’s no space for a race to be pressed in.
 

NotLaw

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When I get new rotors for the Fairlane, they usually have new races already in place, maybe it's a similar situation?
 

93Flareside

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And surprise surprise, the shop says “we didn’t feel or notice anything.” Bullllllll shit. So after I’m off the job site I’m at I will be going there and going for a ride with them.
 

93Flareside

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Change of plans, since they suggest to replace the bottomed out front shocks and worn pitman arm, I will trust that will help. If not, I will bring it back.
 
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