Saturday, October 17, 2015

My Old Mercury

Couple of years ago, I bought this Mercury Grand Marquis from a family member who could no longer use it.  It's an '01, and I love driving the darned thing.  Low mileage, comfortable good gas mileage, good power, and all the gee-gaws works.

Unfortunately, it's been exhibiting a weird problem lately.  It won't hold the road, nor will it hold a line in a curve.  It feels like it's "wandering", requiring constant steering inputs to stay in the lane.  It's quite disconcerting.  Fortunately, my second son is an ace auto mechanic.  I had parked the car over the summer, using the pickup truck or several months to complete summer projects.  Now, though, both my son and I have finished several of our individual projects, and it's time to see what's wrong with the front end of that Mercury.

This morning I put the car on jack stands.  Tomorrow when he comes or lunch, we'll diagnose it.  It seems to both he an I hat something is worn under there and may need to be replaced.  I've done this job in the past on other vehicles, and generally for a morning wrenching and relatively little money, it's possible to get good results.

Hopefully, in another couple of weeks, I can put the Merc back on the road.  I really do like that old car.  With proper maintenance, there's no reason that I can't drive it for another ten years.  I like driving a car that doesn't have a car note.

1 comment:

Rivrdog said...

I was starting to have that issue on my Little Black Truck, a Mazda (Ford Ranger clone) with 160K miles. It was also starting to make knocking noises coming from the front suspension. Local front-end guy diagnosed it, and $590 later I had tie rod ends and a new control arm assembly + thrust alignment, and it's like brand new. Bonus: I had thought I was going to have to do struts, but it turns out they are fine.

Book says that expense is about 28% of the wholesale value of the truck, so it just sneaks by under the One-Time Repair Allowance formula that fleet managers use, but the engine is perfect, only thing on the horizon MIGHT be a power steering pump in the future. It still gets 23-25 mpg combined city/highway driving and STILL has the most comfortable cab of any pickup I've ever driven.

Same with your Grand Marquis. I bet you have some similar wear, and with all that expert, young help you have at your command, a long day will set it right, then a trip to the line-up shop, and you are good to go.