Jump to content

Huge yank shite - odd jobs.


Recommended Posts

Here's my collection thread for my 73 Mercury Marquis, hard to believe it's almost a whole year since I bought this!


Anyway, I set off from the sunny south coast, arriving in the wilds of Milton Keynes at about 14:30. On arriving I noticed the Mercury still sat in the shippers workshop with the bonnet up and two guys working on it! Turns out the starter is wasted and the battery is flat! After another couple of hours waiting the only way to get going is to borrow a starter from another car, the only one they had that would fit was a 289ci Mustang starter. The wrong part but it fits and worked!

Once it started I poured a Gerry can of petrol in just to get to the nearest petrol station without dragging rust and crap into the carb from the car sitting around with an empty tank.



All gassed up with Shells finest, we set off for the M1 south.

So far so good, it drives like a supertanker! Rolls around on bends and fills a whole lane up very nicely! The brakes were a bit shit to start with but soon got better with a bit of use.

The M1 was easy, cruised along at a steady 60mph no problem. It's so comfortable to drive, perfectly suited to cruising on motorways. It generated loads of interest too! Every car that passed us, people stared (probably in disbelief and horror!) one guy even tried to overtake while filming us on his phone almost crashing his car in the process!

We eventually hit the M25, again all was well. Until we hit heavy traffic near the air port and A3 junction! The car didn't like the traffic at all! It started running very lumpy and eventually cutting out altogether. This was also beginning to take its tole on the shitty battery and the replacement starter motor. Every restart made the starter more noisy and got slower as the battery started to die again.

It was at this point that we made the decision to come off the M25 and try the M3 south instead as there was less traffic. Again once we got moving the car ran perfectly. There was still traffic in parts though so we stopped at Fleet services, the plan was to wait for a while until traffic cleared then try again.


The car had other ideas though! We pulled into the car park at which point it cut out again. The steering and brakes are impossible to use without the engine running but we aimed for a space and coasted in nicely!

We left it alone for a while but as we decided to try again the starter died totally! The motor works but the solenoid just wouldn't play ball so unfortunately that was the end of that!



This was at Fleet services after giving up on trying to fix/bodge it into running again!


Defeat was admitted and lots of swearing followed! Then it got dark and we had to wait another couple of hours for a big enough recovery truck to come pick us up. This is the first time I've ever needed recovery in all my years running old shite too! The shame!

I gave up on taking more pics as I was too pissed off by this point and it was pitch black by this point anyway.

We eventually got picked up and dropped off at home at just after midnight!


Still, the car is awesome and I have no regrets at all even in spite of absolutely every stage of this import going wrong! At least I now have it on the drive!














The headlight doors need attention as they stay partly open when the engine runs, and it's running rich too which explains the choking up in traffic.

I've already fixed a broken electric door lock and started pumping anti rust wax into it! Also ordered these from rock auto which arrived the other day so it should run soon.




There's also evidence of a squirrel having used the engine bay to store nuts, as there's shells everywhere and the top rad hose appears to have been chewed! And there's some strange bee nests in the chassis and one door!!


I've got more pics of my car and a few of the other cars they had at the importers on my computer but its not working at the moment so I'll try to post them later.


So all in all what should of been a great day turned out mostly shit but I hope you like the pics and the tales of my epic collection fail!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Can the rear spats come off?

Would probably look better without them.

What does it accelerate like?

Top bombing.

Yes, they are just separate panels with a rubber seal around the top edge. I don't think these all had them, they were extras I think.


Acceleration! It does go pretty well but it's heavy as hell and not designed to be quick. But I did plant my foot a couple of times when it was working and it lifts the front end up and bowls along alright! It's a bit like driving a big boat really! Goes well in a straight line, sucks on corners and stopping it is the problem. It's nothing like euro or jap cars though. In a way it's easy to see why they don't build cars like this anymore, but we're much worse off for it IMHO!

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

A few small teething troubles, it's nothing.  When I had an old VW 412 auto that cut out I got into the habit of coasting up to traffic in neutral and blipping the throttle, then when the traffic pulled away I knocked it into Drive and pulled away.  A bit jerky, but if there's lots of traffic you don't have much option with an auto.


Despite that, yours is a first class car, you should be very proud.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Lovely. It's going to need fettling, and you'll worry every trip for the first 500 miles or so, but once it settled down ,and used to running, it'll be great


New huge battery & a decent starter will get it going, but please don't get disillusioned when other bits start to fail. Usually silly niggling stuff.


One point, how did it go thru an Mot if it had a duff batt n starter, and if they already knew, why hadn't they told you, giving you the option of ordering up replacements?. Also ,is it charging ok? My ol Riv recharges a flat batt in 30 mins, even on the original monstrous old dynamo.


Love it though. Glad you do too

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Apparently the battery and starter were working ok when it went in for mot. Then they arranged with me to come and collect it, which was a couple of weeks after the mot. They said when I arrived that it was fine until this morning, when it started playing up! True or not I don't know?

I was pretty pissed off tbh as they shouldn't of told me to come get it then wait until the day of collection before trying to see if it would work as it's meant to! It also wasn't very good taking parts from someone else's car to get mine going but there wasn't a lot of other options other than turning around and going home empty handed! I had an idea the day was going to end badly when I arrived to see the car still being worked on. It certainly didn't inspire much confidence!

I'm expecting things to go wrong tbh since it's been sat unused for nearly a year as it is.


I'm not sure how well it's charging. It seemed to charge up ok when in use but the battery quickly went flat from repeated restarts. I haven't been able to get it going since it got back yet to check the charging but hopefully now I have the new starter I'll get it on this weekend and it should start and run well enough to check a few things.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Good luck.snagging can be a pain


Buy a big trolley jack, cos you're bound to be under it soon, prb when one of the wheel cylinders, sticks/fails. It's a big old beast, I'd want to know it's supported properly.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

That's nothing short of glorious.  Don't whip the spats off, it'll look better with than without.  It's a luxury model, the spats were all part of the luxury kit in those days.  It's supposed to look like the next best thing to a Lincoln, which conveniently, is exactly what it is!  As for the teething troubles, well, as you said yourself, it's been sitting around a while (much too long, IMHO) so these things have to be expected.  With this level of engineeering, they should all be pretty easy and even inexpensive to sort.  You'll never spend as much on it as you would on a comparable Silver Shadow!


That shot of the dash..... oh I'm so jealous!

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Absolutely fooking gorgeous! Spats are a definite keeper in my humble opinion - they suit the car perfectly as I suppose they should, being original! Teething troubles always seem so much worse when you have been waiting a long time for something and are really looking forward to instant useage.


Soon get it sorted.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That is OARSUM and well worth the trouble.   I still have the brochure (from new) that my Uncle sent from Canada when I was a schoolkid.   It impressed the hell out of me then and it still does.   America lost a great deal when it lost the land yachts.   They can only appreciate now.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for all the support and kind words!


It is a massive let down and disappointment, finally getting it and then only managing half the first journey before it's unusable. I really wanted to get it and spend every spare hour of the day driving around and finally giving it some use, but it's no great surprise really and at least it's not a major problem/fault either. I'm sure there's loads of you guys that have suffered far worse!

I'm going to try to get it going again this weekend, and all being well get it to my mate who has an mot gas analyser so we can get it timed up properly and set the carb up.

I've got a week off work soon too so hopefully it'll be good to go by then.


I've found some cool stuff in it so far too, including the original bill of sale from when it was brand new, original owners handbook and pressed licence plate from Georgia state where it originally came from. Oh and a huge very dead spider of some sort!

Also, check out the engine bay pic above. It's got what looks like a sink plug chain operating the cruise control! Which by the way is operated by buttons on the steering wheel! Years before us Europeans got steering wheel controls!



Another pic I forgot to post earlier!




And a couple of the other cars from outside the importers place! Corvette just in the corner of the pic, rare Camaro RS and lovely old Plymouth. I have some more pics of other stuff but my computers still being a twat and not letting me upload them!

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Little update time.


I have now changed the starter motor, the difference between the wrong one and the correct part is pretty big! The old Mustang starter is just a starter motor, operated from the inner wing mounted solenoid. The new one, and correct type for this car is a motor with attatched solenoid, and is a bit bigger and heavier than the wimpy Mustang one.

Removing the old one was easy, unbolt the cable, undo two mounting nuts, undo and pull steering idler arm out the way - job jobbed! However, I thought id stick my hand inside the hole and just see if any bits of the old (very broken!) motor had come off and were still inside. Lucky I did as I found parts of the bearing!



Old V new starters.



The damaged old starter and the bits of bearing removed!


Installing the new motor was easy, but its dam heavy! This is where I had a head scratching issue. I connected it all up as per the old one and then realised the motor mounted solenoid has no power wire! Of course the old motor didnt have a solenoid so didnt need one, and the original (broken) motor from this car is still in Milton Keynes! I looked everywhere for a wire thinking the mechanic in MK must have tucked it up out the way somewhere, but nothing! It turns out these motors should have a small metal link that bolts accross the big terminal on the motor and onto the solenoid terminal! Great, this little part must still be on the old motor in MK! Why they didnt give me my old one at the time I dont know!! So a new link was made from a couple of ring terminals and short length of copper multistrand wire, not original but it works!



New motor in. Not alot of room here for such a big car. I had to be carefull with the routing of my wire link aswell as the exhaust is so close to everything.


So, now it starts and runs but still doesnt run very well! so the timing was checked. Good job we did too as the bolt holding the dizzy clamp was loose and the distributor was able to move on its own! Not good! The timing was a mile out aswell, no wonder it didnt run well. so that was reset and then the mixture was checked.

Sure enough that too was way out. The mix was weekened off and it ran much better. Interestingly, the carb, fuel pump, lines and dizzy all appear to be fairly new.




It was now running much better but still had a very slight misfire, confirmed by the gas analyser occasionaly jumping up just after the misfire the going back down again. This was cured by fitting new plugs, thicker high quality HT leads, new rotor arm and dizzy cap.



A short vid of it running! Just to prove it!! Quality is a bit shite but its from my phone.


Just a couple of random pics.


Comedy battery clamp!



This is part of the bee/wasp nest that was inside the chassis and door! Most of it was pulled out when it came over but theres still some left. The little chambers were all full of dead, dried out bee/wasp type things!



It runs very well now but still not completely sorted as it is still cutting out when hot. It starts well cold or hot, and when its cold or warm it goes into gear and continues to run and can be driven. But when its hot and been running a while you put it into D or R and the idle drops very low, then it starts spluttering and struggling to keep running, then it dies!, but will always start straight up afterwards. If you quickly shift it back to P or N the idle picks straight up again and it runs perfectly.

Im wondering if its fine when cold or warm because the choke (auto) is still on and increasing the idle speed, but once its hot and choke is off the idle speed is too low so when drive or reverse are taken up the revs drop too low for it? Possible?

The other theory is that the coil, which sits on top of the engine is fine when cool but as the engine gets hot it overheats or has a crack in it which opens up when it gets hot, so the spark becomes too weak?

Anyone think thats bullshit or have any other ideas?

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think either of those is possible, I had an overheating coil on my Anglia, so I can imagine that sitting in the middle of a V8 isn't going to help at all. Maybe buy a new one and locate it somewhere cooler? Also,, yes I can see the hot-idle being too low, so it would be worth getting the engine right up to temp and seeing if you can turn it up a shade. Good luck!

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites



I bet when you nail it the back end squats, it roars its nuts off - but doesn't actually pull that hard.

There was a metallic blue Marquis at Cholmondeley that looked like it could eat everything else in sight and still drive home at the end of it all.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The carb is cheap aftermarket rubbish and should be ditched asap.

Get an original carburetter for the car and your running woes will be over.

Stick an S.U. on it ;)




  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'd have thought ignition problems would show up more under load, so my money would be elsewhere - either a setting up issue or the quality of the carb if these are known to give trouble. I have a spare pair of Zenith Strombergs if you like? :-)

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...