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custom airride cv project
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430 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi all in the US.
I want to introduce my new project. But I want to do something slightly different with the forum.
What I am proposing is to fully detail the build/restoration/modifications of it and invite the last 9 owners (phew!) to view the thread and chip in when they want-either in defence or to clear up some history of the vehicle. I'm not nieve enough to think that they all will view it, but one or two might. Imagine the picture that could be built up if only 1 or 2 past owners post their comments. Even if it is to say that I am spoiling it!
I have full details of nearly all of the past owners, so I can write a few letters inviting them to have a look.
So, what is this new project?
It's a 1990 Ford LTD Crown Victoria Country Squire station wagon (thats about as long as the car is
This thing is ugly! And I mean hit with an ugly stick ugly. :eek6:




Since I am in the UK, I may need some help from you guys over there in the good old US of A from time to time:D.
More to come.
Andy.
 

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custom airride cv project
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430 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
Spotted on ebay in Abergavenny, South Wales. About a 3 and a half hour drive away from myself in Derbyshire.
Looked good in the photos, sounded good over the phone when spoken to the very nice gentleman who owned it. Obviously this would be bought unseen and uninspected, but a 19 year old car has to have some defects, so lets take a chance!
The owner said the AC belt had shredded and hadn't been replaced. Cruise didn't/had never worked in the last 4 years ish, couple of pieces of trim dented, split in maroon leather drivers seat base (dry leather elsewhere), recent (ish) service and a very full detailed history right back to the first owner in the states, exhaust rerouted to exit under the passenger rear door and lazy central locking.
My 11 year old son and myself caught a train or three to Abergavenny last sunday (20th september) to pick up the car. The owner showed us round the car and pointed out a few more faults. Airbag light flashing, fuel filler cap leaking petrol out on right hand turns (!), parking brake not working correctly, but looked quite splendid!
A very nice and smoooooth journey home. First impressions? This car is BIG, and I mean BIG! Very easy to drive. First fuel stop, noticed that the fuel filler cap didn't have a seal on it! no wonder it leaked. First job then!
Views on the way towards the M50


Stopped off at a little chef for a bite to eat at about 6pm and then found out that the car wouldn't lock! Front right door, back right door and tailgate not locking at all. Back right door showing signs of action, but not quite succeeding.
Here it is in the car park


Set off again and noticed that the red parking brake light was on and wouldn't go off! Temperature gauge had not moved all the way, even when left for an hour or two? Funny? Is it stuck?
Arrived home safely and parked up for the night....unlocked and no prking brake!!!
To be continued.............
Andy.
 

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custom airride cv project
Joined
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430 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Thanks rtg143:hy:

Right, the plans for the car......
1) Put right all the mechanical and electrical issues with the car
2) Sort out the dry leather interior
3) Remove all the "wood" and trim from the car and weld the holes up
4) Remove all door handles and locks-except for the tailgate one that will be redesigned to be more low profile.
5) Get rid of excess chrome trim to clean it all up (final decisions to be made yet)
6) Repaint in a single pastel shade or fade from top to bottom, NOT white!
7) Limo tint all windows.
8) Put on air suspension and 20" suitable wheels (not decided yet).
9) Digital dash.
10) In car entertainment system.
I will photoshop the finished project to give an idea of what it will look like.
Just for a mess about, here it is with black windows!

Andy.
 

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custom airride cv project
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430 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Okay, mechanical side first:
Inspection of the car reveals the following:
1. Front right door, and tailgate won’t central lock and pass rear slow.
2. No parking brake operation and red light lit on dash.
3. Temp gauge stuck on normal.
4. Coolant dark brown and level down to bottom of rad.
5. Themostat housing leaking.
6. Airbag light flashing.
7. Exhaust pipe exiting out the side rather than the back .
8. Cracked and dry leather seats at the front. Drivers split.
9. Wet carpet at front right.
10. Sticker remains on various windows.
11. Chipped paint inside at the rear where the folding seats are.
12. Flaking rust on separate chassis member at the back.
13. Large number plates fitted when smaller ones would fit better.
14. Seized AC compressor and broken clutch.
15. Leaking radiator in both bottom corners.
16. Alt/ps belt in poor condition.
17. Rear tailgate window won't open from dash.
18. Rear tailgate window struggles to open from key.
19. Stress crack around top front passenger door hinge on A post (and consequent rusting).
20. Heavy corrosion in one confined spot under passenger front door.
21. AIR pump noisy.
22. Battery tray rusted.
23. Drivers door mirror casting fractured and repaired by pop rivets.
24. Tailgate check strap corroded and broken in half.
I think I may stop there for the time being and actually repair something!
More photos to come.
Andy.
 

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custom airride cv project
Joined
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430 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for all the comments guys!
Here we go on the long list of jobs:
central locking solenoids stripped out of the front right door, back right door and tailgate. most looked like this


Someones been in before and made a bodged repair. Even the waterproofing shield that should cover them were missing.
Anyway, rebuilt 2 out of three and that now leaves the front right door to get a new solenoid for.
The rear tailgate had its other problems. the rear window wont close with the key from the back as its supposed to. It will open but wont close. So all the lock mechanism came out


Once i figured out how it worked, all it needed was an adjustment of the many rods! Then, good news, the switch on the dashboard that was supposed to operate the rear tailgate window started working! Thats another job crossed off then.
Right, whats next.......
Andy.
 

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custom airride cv project
Joined
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430 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Rusty coolant time!
The colour of the coolant in the rad had to be seen to be believed! So, removed viscous fan, fan shroud, and pulled bottom water hose off. This was the result:



Then removed the radiator that is in poor shape at the bottom corners

Then removed the thermostat and reinstalled without it so i can flush.
Flushed out the heater matrix

then flushed the block through the top hose and out through the bottom. Took 30 minutes for it to clear.
The flushed out the rad since i want to use it to run the engine up while i wait for the new rad to come.

Lovely stuff coming out!
Then reinstalled the rad, filled it all up and ran the engine up. Then removed the rad again, flushed it all out and put it all back again. Then repeated it again!
Now I should be in a position where the new rad won't instantly block up when it is fitted.
Andy.
 

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custom airride cv project
Joined
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430 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
While the engine was running earlier on I had a look at the stuck temp gauge and decided to heartily smack the dash to shock it loose! And it worked!

Which brings me round to a question.
What are these large white lights for under the front bumper on the side of the fender?

Andy.
 

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custom airride cv project
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430 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
Waiting for parts to arrive, so in deeper we go.....
Pulled all the plugs on the drivers side easily, but the last one near the firewall looked suspicious. Corroded contact at the top and corroded HT lead contact inside the rubber boot. Signs of a misfire on the electrode. In fact it dropped apart when removed.
One other plug had a gap a lot tighter than the others. But most looked reasonably recent.


Getting the plugs out from the passenger side was interesting to say the least! The AIR pump diverter valve is seriously in the way, so out it came

Much more space now
BEFORE

AFTER

Plenty of brown staining down there from a past leak-but from where? Time will tell.
Andy.
 

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custom airride cv project
Joined
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430 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
Todays job list was to find out why the parking brake pedal won't stay down. The pawl is not engaging with the ratchet teeth because the pedal doesn't come up far enough, unless it is pulled up the last cm or so with your foot! The last owner kindly emailed me to say a new handbrake cable had been fitted but had not been set up properly. He is quite right, the tension in the handbrake cable is not enough to set the pawl in position.

I am doing the brakes next, so I will do that job at the same time.

An unexpected job next. I removed the front seat (armchair!?) so I could get my head under the dash and had a look under there-just to make sure. Now, when I was driving back from picking the car up there was a bit of free play in the steering wheel. The wheel rotated about an inch and a half before anything happened, and there was a slight knocking feel through the column. imagine my surprise when i grabbed hold of the UJ at the base of the steering column and it wobbled around!
I took a video of it, so i hope it works!
big ford :: SDC10798.flv video by andyfanshawe - Photobucket
To see why it was wobbling i removed the steering column

I took the UJ off the end of the shaft and moticed it had worked loose and slightly worn away. I also noticed the UJ was symmetrical, so turned it round and put everything back. worked like a charm! Until i was bolting the shifetr linkage back and pulled it out of park accidentally (parking brake off) and the car set off down the hill with me buried under the dash :whistle: Luckily I had left a piece of wood across the bottom of the drive just in case!
The prices of the parts at RockAuto were roughly the same as the ones from USAutomotive, once the dreaded VAT etc was added on. So USAutomotive it is.
Parts ordered were: 8 platinum spark plugs, rotor arm, dizzy cap, thermostat, rad cap, oil, air and fuel filters, Alt/PS serpentine belt, intake manifold gaskets and 2 valve cover gaskets (last 2 for top end engine stripdown this winter!)
Came to a grand total of £153. Which I don't think is too bad. Oh, then ordered a radiator from RockAuto ($233) with VAT included.
Brakes next.
Andy.
 

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2002 F150 XLT
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11,012 Posts
Everything is coming around. I thought you must be busy with it because you haven't posted the progress for awhile. That makes it a double job.

Maybe you already know it but just in case.The air bag system has a clockspring in the steering wheel and if it's turned to far, it will break. If you locked the wheel straight ahead when you pulled it out you'll be okay. Just make sure you put it back in the same position.
 
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