It is with a heavy heart that we must bid farewell to the Grand Marquis. She's been a good car these years, but NE winters have taken their toll and the frame is rotted beyond repair.
So what's replacing it? Well I was looking for something inexpensive, and that I'm familiar with, so ideally it was to be another Panther Car, a Corolla/Prizm, or an LH. Pickings were slim, but I had a lead on a Prizm. The price was right, but the seller only responded once then dropped off the face of the earth.
The next day an Intrepid 2.7 popped up for $500. Seller said it belonged to his father, it had the front struts and tie rods replaced last year, new radiator, T-stat housing, new Yokohama tires, and some other stuff. Claimed it was regularly maintained, but that the rear struts were in bad shape and the passenger lower seat had rotted out causing the spring to rest on the tire. He said the brake hoses were crusty and would need to be replaced too.
Seemed a bit iffy, but the body looked like it was in pretty good shape and it only had 118k on it. Since it was only 40 minutes away I decided to check it out.
Turns out the exterior is in pretty damn good shape, with only some small bubbling above the driver's rear bumper, which is apparently common.
Under the car was pretty clean too, the only real rust areas being around the trailing arms, but it all felt solid and not rot.
Inside, I was greeted to the bench option! Besides being quite dirty it was in good shape. The trunk liner was missing the plastic retainers and there was scratches on the bumper by the opening. Apparently the father liked filling it full of firewood.
Fluid check revealed no oil contamination. The oil's not new, but it looked like oil and nothing else. No residue on the filler cap area either.
Started right up and ran well. There was a small exhaust leak and the MIL was on for an Evap leak, but that may have just been from the loose gas cap.
I thought it over and today decided to pull the trigger. For $500 its a pretty good deal. It'll be towed here Monday, as that strut is pretty scary. We put the donut on it and the strut didn't contact the tire, so I got to drive it on the private road. Everything seemed fine besides the rear suspension noise. A/C even works.
It's not everyday my family acquires a car, as we keep our cars going as long as possible, so I'm pretty excited to have another LH join the family.
The To-Do list is as follows:
- Rear Struts
- Rear Brake Hoses
- Likely Rear Calipers
- Possibly Rear Links
- Thorough Cleaning/Detailing
- Exhaust Leak Fix
- Driver rear window doesn't do anything, so look into fixing that
- Clean Headlights
- Touch Up Rear Bumper
- Oil Change
- Fluid Film the Under Body
Not sure if I'll do any mods, unless I find a matching cloth folding seat. Should be a fun project though!
Here's some photos from the day I looked at it: