27 October 2011

how to - sprucing up the lincoln town car

With our new to us Grand Marquis slowly finding its way as the wife's main ride,
our Town Car is fighting not to be sent out to greener pastures.

1990 lincoln town car
photo by pigpen

I'm on the fence on what to do,
but right now its really in unsellable condition,
especially with those freaky rear brakes.

1990 lincoln town car
another photo by pigpen

This week my work drive has been a daily 30 mile round trip,
which is hard on the van and hard on the $$ for gas.
So I've decided to get the Lincoln to help out with the freeway cruise.
This is a perfect way to help force the choice.

It's not the first time as the workhorse!


The positives to keep it are its only $140 a year for our insurance,
and its probably worth about $500 - 600 on craigslist.
Since its been so reliable it's cost effective to use it till something major happens.

So let's do a "how to" on sprucing it up.

First let's fix that busted up grille.

badly repaired
95 grill on a 90

Back in the day, before our time,
someone had swapped the '90 grille for a more sleek '95.
It isn't something that can be just bolted on,
and there was some huge gaps when we got it.
I ended up shaving the chromed plastic down to match the painted surround,
and it looked really good,
until my wife customized it with the back of some guys bumper.
Fortunately his truck didn't have a scratch so we got off.

So first let's use some zip ties to get it back in place.
The chrome really offsets the smacked up fairing part and missing lens covers.
At least the lights work.

Next on the list is fixing the sagging headliner.

flying carpet

These cars already float on the freeway like a flying carpet.
The billowing headliner really adds to the effect.
My wife is short enough where it was not an issue.

quilted look

With the help of a couple thumbtacks,
problem solved!
I need to find some more so it doesn't look as much like a circus tent.

those are the easy things.
The big problem is the brakes.
The rear wheels will lock up on an emergency stop at speeds.
Its fine around town though,
and only started happening gradually recently.

So today I got some rear shoes, (drums)
since it felt like the rear was grabbing before the fronts.

rear drum brakes

Well wouldn't you know it the shoes were fine and the drums were fine.
There was alot of dust though inside,
and I messed up and didn't take a picture.
I think I might have found the problem though.

lincoln town car rear brake,
with ABS system sensor

Well the magnetic sensor for (i think) the ABS system,
that little post that is inline with that circular thing with the holes in it,
was totally covered with steel particles.
Really wish I had taken a picture it was easily twice the size.

After cleaning both sides,
the brakes seem to work fine!
I'm thinking the sensor was proportioning the brakes too much to the rear?
The pedal is also much more firm,
it had seemed a very spongy.

Please wish me good luck on the drive south...


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