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My 03 Mercury Mountaineer

Ive had my Mountaineer for almost a year, and have been taking info from this forum for the entire time, so I thought id register and maybe give something back today. Also, I want to make a log of all the BS that has come from this truck because I have probably forgotten half the stuff Ive done to it by now.

I have a pretty basic mountaineer, with a v8 and a few random add on options. It is that metallic dark blue color with the hideous grey plastic bumpers and side moldings. I was originally planning on keeping it completely stock, but at the rate things keep falling apart, Ive had to ditch that plan for now.

It came to me with only 90k on the clock, which is great. The first time i drove it I noticed a serious ping, and found out that was from 60k miles of regular gas when it needed premium. It was slower than hell and had a rough shaky idle, which died at every other red light. I popped the engine cover off and a rubber elbow on one of the vac lines had a dime sized hole in it. There was also a nice little family of mice living in the engine bay.

Over the last year the amount of stuff that has gone wrong with this truck hasn't surprised me in the least bit, because I knew I was getting a fixer, but what does surprise me is how common these problems are. I feel bad for anyone who payed full price for one of em, but at the same time, its not bad to wrench on (for the most part), parts are pretty cheap, when they are working properly they are a blast to drive, and they can haul pretty much anything.

Here's a list of things that I've replaced since day one, with approx. costs for those who care;

- Changed motor oil, first time that had been done in years. $30
- Greased a bunch of stuff, WD40 on the hood latch cause i had to tear it open. $3
- Replaced vac line elbow, which dealership robbed me for. $24
- Replaced air filter, I'm almost positive it still had the original in, no joke. $15
- Replaced spark plugs and wires, needed help cause I was pissed at this point. $55
- Ran through a boatload of different fuel injector cleaner products, and in the end had it done professionally. $200
- Replaced tires because the originals weren't looking so good. $400
- Replaced rear glass hinges, because one literally fell apart while driving, didn't even have the hatch open. These had already been replaced once by ford due to recall. No warranty apparently. $45
- Replaced rear drivers side wheel bearing, It was making noise for almost a day, then it blew out at 75 mph on the highway. You can imagine the details, but i swerved and weaved to the side of the road to put out the fire from the cv boot ripping in half and covering the hot rotors and pads in grease. $160
- Replaced burnt brake parts, and noticed the e brake was so rusty it crumpled apart in my hands. $70
- Replaced torn cv boot without disconnecting the axle, you can ask how but you wont believe me. $16
- Replaced stock HU with Pioneer DEH P3700MP from my old vehicle. Didn't want to do it, but the stock HU failed one day, and id rather buy a wiring harness than a new shitty HU. $15
- Replaced door speakers with 100w RMS infinity 2 ways, because old vehicle didnt need them anymore and stock speakers are trash. $0
- Added wiring necessary for amps and subwoofer, because now highs and mids are awesome but theres no bass. Still havent been motivated to install though.. $0
- Replaced wiper blades cause the originals were out of rubber and scratching the windshield. $30

Thats all I can remember doing for now, I'll probably add more after I drive it for a minute and remember some stuff, lol.

Heres a list of things that are currently still wrong with it and waiting to be fixed;
-Both rear coils are a few inches shorter than they should be, might be because of the 3 to 6 breaks i can find in each one. Ill wait till I do suspension to fix em.
-Suspension all around is just sloppy, needs 4 new shocks, but I dont want to buck up and buy them.
-Timing chain tension pulley is on the way out, but im afraid its over my head to fix, and im not paying someone else to. It figures as soon as I get rid of the crazy hard pinging the tchain starts singing.
-Front bumper is stitched together with tie wire cause I plowed over a pole last winter, and refuse to spend $250 on something I will probably break two or three times a year. Seriously, find me a bumper that is meant for bumping and ill buy it. Right now I'm looking into plastic welding it back together and having a buddy paint the bumpers and molding to match the body color, odds of that working out are low though.
-MAF sensor needs cleaning, not done yet cause I procrastinate.
-Transmission is crazy slow/clunky going between d and r and r and d, ok but not good and not terrible changing gears in d, and its great when O/D is off. Planning on new fluids, but I'm open to suggestions on this front, cause as far as i can tell with these pos trannys all you can do is make lemonade.
-When it is below 0 degrees (three times this winter) the drivers door wont stay shut, the grease or whatever on the latch is contaminated and freezes. I heat it with a lighter for a few mins and its good until you open it again. It's rarely a problem cause i don't go out for anything in 0 degree weather.
- When it is crazy humid (maybe happened 10 times last year)the drivers side door sensor goes dumb, and I get a door ajar light. Haven't fixed this one cause it doesn't really bother me, the courtesy lights just get turned off for a day.
- Intermittent ABS light and cruise control failures, crazy annoying but extremely petty in comparison to some of the other issues.
- every single piece of plastic is faded to hell in back, and no offense to those who have but id rather not put any spray paint on this thing yet, fusion or not.
- There are a few small random rust bubbles forming in strange locations on the paint, and I don't have the patience to do body work correctly. Next time it is clean enough to find all of them I might consider my options on fixing em.
- The cops were trying to fold up the center bucket seat in the second row to access the storage compartment, and one accidentally tore the pull strap completely off. The worst part is he acted like it didn't happen. Now I have no clue if i left anything in there and I cant get the seat up...
- Interior has its issues, but nothing other than the seat is worth the effort of fixing as far as i know. The carpet is trashed, the seats are only OK, the window switch panel keeps falling off the drivers door, and the rear drivers side door speaker grill is cracked.
- Subwoofer and amps not installed because it is a 15" Punch HX2 with a box so big I have to choose it or the third row seating. I am deciding between two options, and neither is really an easy solution. If i had unlimited time and money I'd be building a custom box that goes on tracks(similar to the front seats, only a lot bigger) which would allow me to easily slide the box flush with the rear when i wanted the third row seats up, but would slide flush with the backs of the second row seats when i needed to haul something like a lawn mower(weekly) or car parts (pretty much daily). I would need tracks because the speaker alone weighs 26 lbs, and a custom 2.5-5.0 cubic foot box would be pretty damn heavy too. If I had time, money, and brains, Id have it motorized on tracks, and adjustable from the front, but realistically that's never happening. Option 2 is sell everything for a smaller sub and amp combo, but I cant bring myself to do that quite yet.


All things considered I got a lot of work on my hands to make this thing the way i want it, but I finally got it running properly for the most part so I can start to get into some of the other unfinished things. If you have any questions on things I replaced feel free to ask, or any ideas/advice on work to be done id appreciate it.

If you just skipped to the bottom of this looking for pictures, well, you're gonna be disappointed. I will add some in the near future, I don't have any right now.

Edit: installed an amp for the door speakers today. Pics coming soon, when I have the time and patience.
Edit2: Installed better amp, Added in sub for temp use, took crappy cell phone pics.

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Sams01XplrSprt

Southern Cali Explorer
Joined
November 14, 2004
Messages
14,188
Reaction score
2
City, State
Newport Beach California & Bay Area California
Year, Model & Trim Level
2001 Sport (sold)
u got pics of it
 




teek

Member
Joined
August 22, 2009
Messages
20
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0
City, State
NY
Year, Model & Trim Level
'03 Mountaineer
Ill take some this weekend for sure, probably looking at Sunday or Monday on the post.
 




mounty2004

Member
Joined
July 20, 2009
Messages
12
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0
City, State
Jubail, KSA
Year, Model & Trim Level
MOUNTAINEER '04 V6 4.0L
Hi. Can you please send pictures especially vacuum hose location and IAC. Thanks
 




teek

Member
Joined
August 22, 2009
Messages
20
Reaction score
0
City, State
NY
Year, Model & Trim Level
'03 Mountaineer
New pics up!
 




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