1990 Mercury Colony Park LS 5.0L V8: 302 windsor from North America
Excellent cruiser and cargo carrier
Lower radiator hose burst.
Water pump leaking.
Ignition cylinder worn.
Cat converter pipe rusted, plugged with high- temp epoxy and fiberglass.
Power steering pump leaking, replaced pump and lines.
Battery (previous lasted 3 years).
4 out of 5 window motors.
Good maintenance/tune up, but not necessary:
-replaced all coolant hoses preemptively, flushed thoroughly.
-replaced radiator (wasn't leaking, but was partially clogged. Keeps cool with A/C on full blast in 105F uphill now!).
-spark plugs, wires, rotor.
-valve cover gaskets.
-PCV valve and filter.
-added rear sway bar.
-O2 sensor preemptively.
-improved sound system :-)
I bought this as a 20 year old car.
I'm 22, and this is my first vehicle of my own. Technically my second, but the 2001 Volvo, only 9 years old, that I owned before this was so riddled with serious transmission, engine, and electrical issues that I dumped it after 100 miles.
Point being: I expected some work.
As I bought it last spring, it had one non-working window motor and drove smoothly the 250 mile ride back home.
It was, classically, elderly lady-owned. This also however meant that while not driven hard, routine maintenance had been neglected before I had it. Small things like an oil change, wipers, a burnt out taglight, worn rotors in front, fuel filter, plugs, and the PCV valve all improved the performance immensely. The PCV valve was even still original, and the fuel filter was last changed at 46,000 miles! (I bought it at 109,000). Where it could stall just a little uphill at highway speeds, now it has plenty of power.
Also, now that it's being driven daily and on long trips, other issues manifested. The cooling system needed new hoses, a water pump, and a radiator, while not necessary, improved cooling immensely too.
Three more window motors all failed within months, and I learned to replace them all. :-)
It developed small leaks in the power steering fluid and in the oil. While I was pulling it out anyway, I spent the $40 on a rebuilt power steering pump, replaced the lines, and it leaks no more. The oil leak was in the valve covers, and that was an afternoon's job and now no more oil leak either. These are things that can be lived with and fall under routine maintenance I feel; I preferred just getting them done.
So far I've talked about maintenance. Much of that was age and expected routine work. The transmission fluid is amazingly clean, and the engine runs smoothly now that I've done a general tune up. Doesn't feel like a 20-year-old antique with 112,000 miles; it's held up! The A/C is quite cool. I think now I should make it a few years without major issue; these months have just been the break-in months.
Now for the ride: all power seats work, power mirror, automatic headlights, dark leather interior, all nice little luxuries. Very, very spacious, very comfortable, and I get compliments on the classic aesthetics quite frequently! A pleasure to drive.
The cargo bay is wide enough and, with the tailgate, deep enough for a sheet of plywood. This is very important to me. The storage well was plenty large enough for an amp and subwoofer :-) I can go on camping trips with 6 people, three side by side, and all their gear, and I still get over 20 MPG in style. It's the car for me.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 11th August, 2010
Enjoy it while it lasts.
I grew up buying these old cars in perfect low mileage condition for $1,500-3,000. First the 1970s behemoths in the 80s, and then these 1980s style ones during the 90s. We all thought it would go on forever, comfortable, reliable, cool motoring for pocket change.
Well, they're rare now, and we're all going to be condemned to high-cost front-wheel-drive plastic beans.