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Awesome. Maiden voyage here you come!

For kicks I tried to find a Five Hundred AWD CVT--couldn't find a single one that wasn't rusted out. Keep us posted.
 

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Discussion Starter #22
Body Work done... now to the interior...




But it almost didnt happen... Went to pick it up at the shop, and my dash was a christmas tree, no speedo, no tach, no fuel, no temp, all these different warnings running across the screen... I was starting to have a panic attack. So we started looking at fuses, and the battery, and everything we could think of.

At some point the mechanic kicked the carpet on the passenger floor board, and the gauges started working, but only for a second. I said "do that again", and he kicked the carpet, and it had the same outcome. So I shut off the engine, pulled back the carpet, and there is some BIG body control harness or something right there. He thinks his helper guy plugged it in, but didnt fold over the locking pull ring thingy (no idea what its called). Started the engine, and all was back to normal.

This thingy
 

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Discussion Starter #23
Awesome. Maiden voyage here you come!

For kicks I tried to find a Five Hundred AWD CVT--couldn't find a single one that wasn't rusted out. Keep us posted.
She has already had a few "maiden" voyages. I try to drive it as much as I can without Johnny Law getting involved. Need to keep the flat spots off the tires, oil flowing, tranny fluid moving, etc.

I drove it home tonight from the Body Shop, its going to be so nice to get the fuel mileage that the dash is showing me. I love my GMC, but at 15 MPG.... The dash was showing me 29.4 MPG. Even if it falls to 25, I would be happy!

New York is BAD about getting anything rust free. I remember delivering car parts up there, and seeing 2-3 year old cars showing signs of rust. I dont buy anything north of Kentucky, or East of Kansas City just for that reason. The rust problem is even worse over in Detroit/Michigan.
 

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Discussion Starter #25 (Edited)
So spent the evening putting the interior back together on the car, everything went in perfectly. SRS airbag light turned off when I plugged in the seatbelts. So far so good. No lights on the dash. Interior lights turn off and on with the opening and closing of the door.

I just have to go to the yard for one trim bolt that I had when I started putting it together, but disappeared at some point. And I need 4 plastic clips for the rocker panel.

I will post some pics later tonight.
 

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Discussion Starter #26 (Edited)
Did a complete wipe down of the interior, and took apart the drivers side knee bolster to find the door code. Found it, and the code works! Now to reprogram it to be an easier code that I use for everything. Trying to upload some pics now. It still needs a bath.
 

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Discussion Starter #28 (Edited)
Oh, this was even using AutoTrader. Nationwide search. Incredible how much junk there was even in the rust-free states.
They are out there. There are a couple examples of low mileage ones local to me too.
This one is way over priced, but it also only has 48k miles
https://denver.craigslist.org/ctd/d/kiowa-2006-ford-five-hundred-sel-awd/6893185623.html

This one is more reasonably priced with 58k miles.
https://denver.craigslist.org/cto/d/denver-2007-ford-five-hundred/6891080342.html

This one has 93k miles.
https://cosprings.craigslist.org/ctd/d/colorado-springs-2007-ford-five-hundred/6897325911.html

This one has 102k miles, and no photos....
https://denver.craigslist.org/ctd/d/denver-2005-ford-five-hundred-awd-all/6894828308.html

There are more, but they have higher miles.
https://denver.craigslist.org/ctd/d/denver-ford-five-hundred-taurus-limited/6896751929.html

https://westslope.craigslist.org/cto/d/glenwood-springs-2006-ford-five-hundred/6880275138.html

I wish I had found this Montego before I bought mine... This is a SUPER EASY fix.. I bet it sells for around 1500, with 62k miles, thats a steal!
https://www.copart.com/lot/33063769
 

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Discussion Starter #30
What do you think you have invested in this project?
Well 2 things happened that blew the budget. The auction house I bought the car from kinda screwed me, to the tune of 650 bucks (don't buy from Dashub). And then my back going out, and having to get a body shop more involved than planned, that was 1000 over budget.

My budget was 3200, all in complete, painted and plated. I'm at 4400 right now, but only have about 50 bucks to go (no paint).
 

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Looks like you ended up with a solid car with low miles. Time will tell on reliability but that is always a risk, Since you figured out the original owner it look like it was taken care of.
 

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Discussion Starter #32
Yep it was a taken care of car.

Went to the salvage yard today, and they had -1- Mercury Montego, -0- Ford Five Hundred, -1- Ford Freestyle. They Merc was a identical clone to mine, except it had 1 more option, side curtain air bags. Same color, interior, etc. I was able to grab everything I needed. Amazon delivered the clips and bluetooth module this afternoon.

Installed the bluetooth first, went in in about 45 minutes, and worked perfectly.

Installed the rocker panel, installed in about 1 hour, had to get car up on jack stands, take the front and rear tire off. Than had to install all 15 clips on the rocker panel, get them lined up, push all the pins in, tires back on, than back on the ground.

Next up, State Patrol Inspection!
 

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Discussion Starter #33
Well, Friday I got her Road Legal, and have been driving her since. Definitely -NOT- my favorite vehicle. Driving position is to narrow, and the car sits to low to the ground. But the fuel mileage over my GMC is a big increase. GMC gets 16 MPG. So far I am at 23 on my Montego, with 18 month old gas. Filled her up yesterday, should see a bit of a increase . Shes really slow from a dead stop (common complaint with the CVT), but she has some pep in her step above 20 MPH.

Time to order the tint for the windows, doing silver tint for reflective purposes. And figure out if I want aftermarket speakers, or better factory.

Im still hoping that the wife will let me sell her Pontiac Aztek, and take the Montego, but I just dont see that happening.
 

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Congrats on getting the Montego legal and back on the road!
 

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Discussion Starter #35
Welp... The Mercury is sold. Wasnt exactly expecting to sell it. But an older gentleman I work with liked the car, and offered to buy it from me on the spot. Paid me what I asked, and she is now going to a new home. He knows that it was previously wrecked, and what all I had to do to it to get it on the road and legal. Signed over the title today.

Im not sad to see her go, I didnt exactly like the car, the cabin is to small for my larger frame, and my back having blown discs makes it really hard to get in and out.

Looks like I am looking for a Escape/Mariner Hybrid, Highlander Hybrid, Lexus RX, or something more suitable.
 
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