The Woodsled, 1983 Colony Park.

Discussion in 'General Station Wagon Discussions' started by 60Buick, Dec 1, 2017.

  1. 60Buick

    60Buick Member

    May 25, 2017
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    I have had this car for a while. Its an 83 Mercury Colony Park. The car was a North Carolina car and was dubbed the Woodsled by the last owner. To understand why I bought this car you have to know I have this unhealthy obsession with building a Family Truckster that is as screen accurate as possible. This car has the right interior color and a lot of other very good pieces. In short, it was destined to be a parts car if not a Truckster.

    When my Truckster was totaled I toyed with the idea of converting this car into Truckster #2 by hanging the Ford quarters and front clip on it. It just wasn't really feasible as my fab skills are not where I trust myself to do it, it is a lot of work and honestly I like this car as is. They didn't make many of these either so I will have the only one around here.

    So here's the bad...
    the plastic trim is dry rotted in the rear,
    the passenger front door is rusted out,
    The oil pressure light stays on after she warms up,
    the front seat is dried and ripped,
    Judging by the stains I'm pretty sure someone was murdered on the back seat,
    Nothing works, windows, locks, a/c, radio.
    Water pump is shot,
    Steering is as sloppy as a soup sandwich,
    The engine ticks like it has a wiped cam lobe/collapsed lifter,
    Tiny bits of metal in the oil,
    It needs paint,
    It needs weatherstripping,
    It needs all new vinyl,
    It needs a front end rebuilt and u joints,
    And the most infuriating thing...... Some idiot glued the rear view mirror pod on backwards so I may have to replace the windshield.

    The good,
    My wife hates it,
    It was cheap,
    I got to drive it twice,
    I found butterscotch candy in the car,
    It smells really good inside of it.
    Yeah.....that's all I've got.

    I have installed a new water pump and that let me drive it long enough to discover the oil pressure problem. I have every stitch of documentation on this car from 1987 till today. This car has had numerous oil pumps installed and had had oil pressure issues since it was just a few years old. I am not sure what direction I want to go here yet but I want to avoid swapping engines. It's a 5.0 and advice is welcome!

    The 86 is giving this car a new interior and a new life. Everything in the wrecked 86 works, it's like owning my own little LTD parts store. I thought step 1 would be a simple door panel swap, I was wrong. The first thing I had to do was swap the wiring harness so I could keep the power mirrors. The next time someone comes to me with an life altering achievement it will not come close to the achievement of swapping that harness.

    Them: "Did you hear they just cured cancer?"
    Me: "big deal, I swapped a wiring harness from an 86 Ford door into an 83 Mercury door and didn't have to cut it or break a single connector. I did it in only 3 days!"

    It was rediculous trying to get giant connectors through tiny holes around sharp curves and jagged metal that you can't see and can only touch with your finger tip all while cussing and inventing new swear word combinations.

    After the harness was in I could swap the regulator and motor, all the weather stripping, window tracks, the manual wing windows, speaker, 2nd smaller harness, repair the switch panel and finally hang the door panel. That window and lock work now! Only 3 more to go.

    The drivers side rear door stared working after I fixed the drivers door. I was able to swap the door panel easily. Only 2 more to go!

    The passenger door still didn't work plus I need the 86 harness for the pwr mirrors. I learned my lesson though. Instead of fixing the little rust hole, I said a popular 4 letter swear word and decided to swap the whole door. I will deal with trying to get it jammed out properly in white before I swap another harness. And the pictures show you pretty much where I'm at with it as of last night. I even removed the cables for the remote mirror in one piece. That is either dedication or retardation, I'm not sure which. It wasn't fun and I don't even need the mirror.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Dec 1, 2017
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  2. 101Volts

    101Volts Well-Known Member

    Jun 11, 2013
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    You got me laughing at a few points in this one; "Steering's as sloppy as a soup sandwich," "I'm pretty sure someone was murdered in the back seat," "Some idiot glued the mirror pod on backwards," "'Someone just cured cancer!' 'Big deal, you haven't seen my car project..."

    I can relate; my 99 Suburban's been a "When the heck's it gonna be fixed?" question since a few months after I bought it:

    First the windshield was already cracked, the quarter panel above the tailpipe was junk and the rear doors were rusted at the bottom.

    Next, I needed batteries.

    The transmission rear gear blew it.

    A fuel injector started leaking.

    I'll skip over most issues the vehicle's had, but here's a design flaw from the factory: the stock oil cooler lines (which I replaced) are the stupidest design I've seen because they're held on with a "paperclip" (so to speak) that, once it rusts, lets the lines fall off and there goes your engine.

    Back on topic with your 83, are you sure you don't just want to swap another engine in it? Maybe a 5.7 Diesel would be a better choice at this point (I'm kidding.)
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2017
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  3. OrthmannJ

    OrthmannJ Hillbilly Deluxe

    Apr 25, 2009
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    Yakima Washington
    Sounds like you have a fun little project to keep you busy until the right Family Truckster platform comes along.

    That made me laugh...
    My favorite part of your entire post.
    I too seem to have a penchant for vehicles my wife abhors.
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  4. Silvertwinkiehobo

    Silvertwinkiehobo "Nothing is foolproof as fools are ingenious."

    Apr 21, 2014
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    Everett, WA
    1) Swap the engines. I had an '83 CP, the CFI worked well once I ironed out the problems with it and rebuilt the injectors. 2) I had to replace the driver's door and hood, to include some cut wiring. I invented swear words then that made sailors blush. 3) Soup sandwich. Great one. I called my '87 CV "the Funhouse Ride." 4) If you are interested in stuff for the CFI or a set of center caps with the newer Merc logo, PM me. I'll fill you in.
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  5. elB

    elB Well-Known Member

    Dec 2, 2014
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    East TN
    Put a mechanical oil pressure gauge on it. If the engine doesn't build up more than 8psi at idle and 25-30psi hot at speed, the engine is toast. All the guys tossing oil pumps in it over the years were just band-aiding a motor with bad mains bearing clearances or oil gallery clearance problems. The engine has to come out and be disassembling to figure out what's wrong. Wouldn't surprise me if the first owner botched it getting it low on oil when new or Ford f#(%ed up the assembly process and it should have been warrantied out.

    As for getting the button off the windshield, I've had luck fixing previous owner glue screwups with a heat gun on the back side of it from outside the car. Do it when it's sunny outside or the glass is warm to avoid cracking the windshield.
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