Originally Posted by USSEnterprise
I'm looking into purchasing a 1999 grand marquis I saw listed on craigslist. It sounds like it needs a head gasket job, but they want only $1300, with 55,000 miles on the car. I've never dealt with a ford before, just a pre-ford volvo. The volvo is a nice car, but it needs a lot of work, has a lot of miles, and is more trouble at this point, with over 200k on the clock, than its worth.
The owner claims that it needs a new head gasket because he saw droplets of antifreeze on the spark plug in one particular cylinder, and while the engine doesn't run with that plug in place, its fine without it. He did also say that there is no antifreeze in the oil.
Are there any performance modifications that can be done to these cars? I'm not thinking nitrous or anything, but 200hp doesn't seem like enough for me. it turbocharging an option? How much punishment can the engine/tranny on these cars take?
last question. I am use to either having a fwd car, or rwd with 4x4 option. In rain or snow, how does the marquis handle? I would put good tires on, but otherwise, how is handling in bad conditions?
Got to love v-8 rear wheel drive in slick conditions and a little space to play in.
The price, mileage, and what is leaking out of the motor make me think that it would be a great idea to take it to a qualified and trusted mechanic to give it a good once over. 1 hour labor can save lots of pain and expense. I wonder how this motor would take to the extra power? The stock power seems to be to much.
This is my humble opinion: Buy a car with more than 200hp if that is what you're after. Many mild mods can be made to get noticeable gains in performance on the GM. Cold air intake (all of it), headers-back exhaust. Change the gearing in the rear end. Ignition, plugs, wires. Then a good ECM program for these mods. This alone will tend to be harder on all the parts around and including the mods. Doing super aspirated modifications (super/turbo charging) will need more done than bolting on the part to get a kick in the pants. Fuel pump and injectors. Valve train anyone? Pistons, cams, crank, bearings? Lets not forget about the trans... and the brakes... and the suspension. All that makes a good case for a 75hp shot of nitrous. Or a 150 shot until something breaks, giving you a great excuse to build up what fails. HEHE.
I fear the good person that asked these questions may not be looking for this response, but hopefully it will be good food for thought for all who read it.