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Has It Been That Long?
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
This is Holly. 2003 SES Deluxe, with the moonroof, compass/dimming mirror, heated side mirrors and puddle lamps, and 6-disc CD changer as factory options. 11/02 manufacturing date, Chicago plant. 3.0L Duratec, Spruce Green Metallic paint, Medium Graphite interior. 128,000 miles.

The car ended up with a lot of the options I'd planned to mod in, but there's still some things I'd like to end up doing.







We put this plate on our Suburban shortly after we bought it in 2000. Before we sold it in 2009 I pulled it and stuck it on the F-250. Since the front bumper already had the holes drilled (car was originally in WA), I pulled it from the truck and stuck it on the car. Didn't clash as badly as I thought. (D-Backs colors were better back then. Sedona Red is lame)



The sun has not been kind to the sticker. :D

It's had a few 'mods' done by the previous owner. He installed the "ClearBumper" stuff on the hood, mirrors, and door edges (oddly, not the bumper itself, as far as I can tell).



It's that ridge you see running down the hood.



Little more obvious on the mirrors. But you only see it from an overhead view.



TOO MUCH GRAY!:unsure:

So, that was the car as I bought her.
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
Mods so far...

Found a full set of SES Sport floor mats on eBay. Ran them for a few months before I ordered up a set of third-gen SHO mats, which I currently have.






Also installed this TCCA vinyl stickon.



After that, I put in the Mach Audio setup.



And then added a 24V/DOHC badge to the decklid.



Then I went crazy and added this dumb mesh grille. It's no longer on there.



While this was going on, I replaced the IAC, all six spark plugs (they were OEM with 126k miles), the plug wires, and the PCV valve.

After that, I got rid of the plain gray parts in favor of a woodgrain trim kit.







I also got some Taurus Gen 3 mudflaps, touched up the Taurus logo with Performance White, and put them on.







Then stuck in the SHO mats.






Shortly after this, the support bracket in my drivers seat broke. I still haven't fixed it, and it hasn't been comfortable since.

I also put in a black leather wrapped shifter from a Lincoln Continental, but it came back out because I couldn't get the cigarette smell out.

Then Nightshaded taillights.

Before:




After:


And finally, I found the sole Continental floor shift knob at the junkyard, which happened to be gray. I mixed and matched the chromed parts from the other ContiShifter, and this was the result:





Arriving soon will be four new Pioneer speakers to pair with the Mach amp.

That's the abbreviated version! You can go through to see the individual upgrade posts. I'm going to be cleaning this log up, hopefully. It's 20 pages right now.
 

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Has It Been That Long?
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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Well, a few weeks ago the Mach amp in the trunk started to really show issues. Turned out that the right rear channel was bad, so I was either getting half the power on that channel or none at all.

So, after talking it over with some folks, and finding a good deal on eBay, I decided to go ahead with a JBL setup from the '96 models (this unit came from a high-series Sable). Now I have a JBL/Mach hybrid setup with the Pioneer speakers and the JBL sub.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Well, today was Mach RCU time. Took me about 10 minutes to do the swap. Might have been faster if it wasn't for those stupid black and white plugs that take forever to pull out.



Either way, it's hooked up and works great. Bass is much better, and it did better on my audio test, though I need to burn that test to a CD. Cassette adaptor isn't great.

I might try to put the tweeters in this weekend.

EDIT: What are the odds I'm prewired for the tweeters?
 

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Has It Been That Long?
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Discussion Starter #5
Just a small mod for today.







Seems like it's going to hold. I was worried I hadn't used enough adhesive. I may have to put a tiny bit more in on the top, but for the most part it looks good.

I thought about putting one on the dashboard for two seconds. But I'm not that crazy.

Also, I noticed yesterday that Ford used Hella as the OEM supplier for the CHMSL in the spoiler. Is that normal for all CHMSL's, or just on the ones in the spoilers?
 

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I know the Ford OEM spoiler for the Gen 4 has the rear CHMSL made in New Zealand. Never noticed Hella made it.
 

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Has It Been That Long?
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Discussion Starter #7
Tweeters are wired and working great. Sound is much better.

I've got a grille mod on order, and I'm thinking, depending on how the grille turns out, of putting Centennial headlamps in. But that's in the future.

I'll be changing plug wires next.
 

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Discussion Starter #8


Ta-da!

Okay, it's not perfect, and the close up pic does highlight a few flaws, but it does jazz up the front end of the car nicely.



Fit could have been slightly better, but it's pretty good.



The instructions recommended four to six wires. Heh...not. I ended up using fourteen. Thankfully, they gave enough wire for that and more.

Now I just have to decide if Centennial headlamps would look good or not. It'd be a reverse look-shiny grille, black lamps. Hmm...thoughts?
 

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Now I just have to decide if Centennial headlamps would look good or not. It'd be a reverse look-shiny grille, black lamps. Hmm...thoughts?
UHH YEAHHH!!! :p



I like the new grille. Adds a lot to the car. I want to see a distance shot of it though.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Some more pics. I need a better camera than my phone. 5MP is so 2009.





Sorry for the finger. I'm actually not sure how that finger made it in the shot, seeing as the camera is on the opposite end of the phone.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Well, I was going through O'Reilly for a DIN tool when I spotted this:



I'd planned on changing it anyway, and so I grabbed it. (first and last Fram product to go into the car-more on that later).

I figured the old one would be dirty, but....



Eww...

Another pic for a better comparison:



The new filter works...but because it's not as flexible as the Motorcraft part, it was miserable getting it in there. Got all bunched up at one point.

The new one is nicer in that it has a foam ring around the edge, creating a 'seal' of sorts in the holder.

Peeking under the car, saw the oil pan and trans pan were covered in oil and gunk. Most of it looked to be old, but there were a few drops on the oil pan. Not sure if it's a fresh leak or not-the oil level hasn't changed in weeks, and there's no spots where ever I park. The valve cover gaskets were leaking a bit into the plug wells, but tightening them down seemed to have fixed that.

Noticed the drain bolt had a drop coming out. I cleaned the thing and figured I'll check it in a week or so to see if it's dirty/leaking again. It's about time to change the oil anyway.

A/C clutch seems to be going out. Makes a noise when it's not engaged, and if you turn the car off with the A/C on it makes a nasty noise as it locks up.

I'll pay someone to change that. :mellow: Probably have them swap the whole compressor out, since a new MC one is only 180.

It does look like the ball joints were all replaced at one point. That's good news.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Woodgrain kit arrived today. Installed the shifter surround...I'm not sure if there's something wrong with the shifter installation, or if the console's gotten tweaked at some point, but it won't sit flush. The old one didn't sit perfectly either, but the new one is worse. I'm going to probably have to grind it down slightly, as it puts too much pressure on the shifter base, and won't clamp down on the passenger front. Seems like the top console trim piece might have popped off and slid down on top of the lower piece on the passenger side, but if it was like that before, it won't go back now.

Installed the drivers woodgrain switch. Took an embarassing twenty minutes and lots of gentle beating. I'm hoping the passenger side will be better-but I'll have to be really gentle with it, as it's been reglued before. ICP bezel will be tomorrow as well.
 

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I Drive A Fuze
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My shifter surround doesn't sit completely flush either.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
This one's really bad, though. I'm thinking it's just an issue from the factory. The surrounds kinda 'get used to' the console and don't like being swapped. I'll smooth it down a bit (gently, probably by hand rather than with a Dremel, which I don't have anyway!) and see how it works. I'm afraid to epoxy it down, since I know that if I do that, the shifter backlighting will burn out a month later. Such is life...
 

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Discussion Starter #15


Oh no, someone stole my stereo! Haha...









Now, that's a nice interior! Not a gray mass anymore, at least.

The ICP bezel plate that is interior colored is for a Charcoal interior...but I think I'm going to leave it, actually. Blends with the upper piece.


This is the only thing I need to fix as far as the woodgrain goes:



Little turd won't sit flush. The old one was similar, but this is worse. It's putting a lot of pressure on the shifter assembly itself when you press it into place and hold it, so I'll sand it down and see if I can make that clip stay in place.

Also detailed the inside (didn't vacuum yet) and spent ten minutes scrubbing ten years of gunk off the steering wheel. You don't realize how dirty it is until you start cleaning...

Of course, the cleaning was made more interesting when I spent a minute figuring out why a new bottle of ArmorAll wasn't spraying...turned out the straw had fallen into the bottle. Oh well...
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
Found service records. Tranny serviced properly at intervals. Oil mostly done by Ford dealers. Car was just a hair under $24,000 new.

As suspected, oil pan gasket has a leak. Last service record says both it and the rear main seal are leaking. I'm suspicious of this. It does confirm that the valve cover gaskets were done, as I'd seen evidence of work. That also tells me that the dealership was the one who couldn't bolt the intake manifold back on right, and seemingly failed to change the PCV valve at the required interval. And it was really obvious it needed to be changed...

I think my suspicion is a bit warranted, thinking on that...

Also found out that the passenger side mirror was replaced after the first owner broke it off. They (same dealer as above) charged him $400 to do that.

Latest (and possibly last!) box of goodies is in Phoenix right now. That means I'll have more toys tomorrow.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Received box of goodies today.

Discovered that Gen 3 floor mats are about 10/15% smaller than the Gen 4 mats. Still fit, but it's not the floorwell filling of the Sport mats.

Carpet on Gen 4 mats is also 'plusher'.

I had thought about selling the Sport mats, but after shampooing them, and after thinking about it, I may just keep them. Not a bad idea to have two sets.

I'm working on the mudflaps right now. I'm not sure how the repaint of the Taurus logo will go, but figured I'd try. Painting the letters with Performance White. If it looks terrible, there's always black paint to cover it back up. Besides, they're mud flaps.

Also not sure what I'm going to do with the TAURUS old-style badges, but I figured they were nice. It actually doesn't look terrible on the decklid, but given that there's not a flat mounting surface, it's a non-starter.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
:p














Ten years and they're practically NOS grade!

 

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Those don't look bad! Darker than I would have done, but for sure not bad.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
No, they're about as dark as I would go, actually. When I got them I thought "Are these dark enough?"

They're dark enough to stand out, but not so dark they look bad.
 
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