2003 Mercury Marauder - Fall 2003
And what a Fall season it was...
Most of the mechanical glitches with the car were resolved by my dealer, including helping me replace the idiot light oil pressure gage with a fully functioning unit from Autometer. Following instructions from mercurymarauder.net, I managed to use the original style faceplate, allowing me to match it to the factory voltmeter without having to buy that unit as well. It also allowed me to determine the difference between the Canadian oil pressure and voltage gages and the US versions:
Then came the real shocker... having decided that I wasn't going to put up with an engine that ticked so loudly it made my 1978 400 feel 20 years younger, I gave my dealer permission to dig as deep as necessary to resolve this issue once and for all. After all, with the amount of money I paid for the car (much more than my US counterparts were paying for their cars, oddly enough), I wanted a car that I could be proud to be seen (heard) in. The results were shocking.
After suspecting rocker arms, the real deal was discovered. Number 7 cylinder was experiencing some heat-related damage. The valve stems on the valves looked pretty chewed up, and the guides were way loose.
Valve guides? Looking up BlueOvalNews.com at this address indicated that 2003 Cobra owners were experiencing the same problem. Interestingly enough, the Marauder shares exactly the same part numbers for cylinder heads! Ford tried to get my faulty cylinder head replaced witht he exact same casting as included from the factory instead of the revised casting (3R2Z-6049-GA)! Fortunately, my dealer fought to get the newer head castings, and received a fully assembled head with cams and valves and all, ready for swapping. The results were phenomenal... a totally silent engine with no change in performance or fuel consumption. Thanks again, Terrebonne Ford!
Fall 2003 did include one very interesting drive to Hershey Pennsylvania, home of the chocolate company of the same name, to meet with a bunch of other Marauder owners off the MercuryMarauder.net internet club. A fine bunch, we had a fantastic time, as documented in the web page accessible off my main Marauder page.
And to cap off the exciting fall, a last minute visit to the local track before it closed for the winter netted me an incredible result... a totally factory stock 2003 Marauder that ran a 14.56 @ 97.217 mph down the quarter mile. Truly outstanding, and now I can honestly say that this car is running exactly the way I'd ever hope for.