Super Piston Slap: Holiday Purchase = Holiday Project?

Sajeev Mehta
by Sajeev Mehta
super piston slap holiday purchase holiday project
Sajeev writes:

The holidays, no matter your religion (or lack thereof), is a time when many a car freak has the downtime to think of something they’d really want. Another car? Maybe. More cars? Possibly. But I suspect many a Piston Slap reader is all about doing something to their car over the break. Here’s one of my projects: the Talking Lincoln Mark VIII, or MK-T for short.

As a somewhat newly-minted homeowner I’m doing less house chores, getting back to my brand of [s]idiotic[/s] brilliantly obscure modifications. My Cougar is full of them, one is here, now it’s time to do the same to my Mark VIII: replace the outdated/ bricked HomeLink receiver in my sun visor with something newer ( rolling code) and cooler. I knew of the newer part (voice recorder, from a 1999 Mercury Mountaineer) for years, but didn’t know they came in charcoal…OMG SON…until last week.

And there’s the rub: the charcoal Homelink hasn’t arrived yet because I found it on eBay the Friday before Christmas. Lesson Learned: if you want to tackle a project, don’t fart around with the presents to yourself. Make sure they arrive well before the holiday.

Yes, I’m so pumped that I actually printed out the eBay photo to help mock-up the visor. Now let’s wrap up the lonesome rant with the abbreviated procedure to make this happen:

  • Remove sun visor from car.
  • Watch YouTube video, grab screwdrivers and hope for the best.
  • Crack open visor like a clam.
  • Disconnect, remove pointless HomeLink module.
  • Verify factory module’s casing is similar to the one printed out from eBay. Sure enough, it is. Even the new one’s speaker isn’t obstructed inside the visor!
  • Verify wiring harness is the same. It certainly looks that way…PLUG & PLAY, son!
  • Turn into a 4 year old boy, get excited because you are a moron.
  • Hit “Buy It Now.”
  • Get new one, pop off charcoal trim and separate it from the rubber buttons. Paint it black. Be okay with half the buttons being charcoal, the alternative (factory tan, factory gray or black paint of dubious durability) isn’t worth it.
  • Consider re-using the bottom of the original’s casing, as it has a provision for a mounting screw. Or not, depending on what happens when it’s installed.
  • Cut visor’s headlining material to allow for the extra buttons of the new part.
  • Install into sun visor and plug-in factory wiring.
  • Connect visor to in-car wiring and see if it works. Fingers crossed. If it’s bricked, oh well…so was the factory part. And this looks cooler, right?
  • Re-tuck visor’s headlining material, pulled back and messed up by my brilliant actions. Snap the visor “clam” shut again.
  • Reinstall into car and program to the new garage door opener.
  • In His Master’s Voice, consider what mean things to program in the recorder.

And with that, I hope you all will consider tackling an automotive project next Holiday. And share it with us, below.

Join the conversation
3 of 25 comments
  • Supremebrougham Supremebrougham on Jan 01, 2013

    About two seeks ago I decided to stop by a car dealer in the city and I stumbled upon a little twelve year old Olds Alero that I just had to have! I spent the last week trying to fix the damage caused to it by the previous owner, a girl that was fond of smoking and and scratching the paint up. So far I have replaced the drivers door panel, window and door lock switches that were damaged, repaired a sagging headliner, and replaced a broken tail light. Next up (I hope), oxygen sensor, cruise control and front strut mounts. I totally did not need this car, but it called out to me, and I brought it home. It brings a smile to my face :)

    • Andy D Andy D on Jan 01, 2013

      Yah , My '94 Ranger needed more TLC and money to fix than it is worth. But other than that, its a great ol' truck A Rescued Ranger ! :D

  • Relton Relton on Jan 01, 2013

    My project remains the same one I've labored over for the last few years, and that is building my own car from scratch. I actually drove it this year, so over the winter break I'm working on the bodywork to get it ready for paint. I really like my Mark VIII, until it turned on me and starting leaving me stranded in odd places. The picture looks like an HID headlight installation in a 1st gen Mark VIII. That's a nice project. When the Mark X came out, during the press day I asked the young woman on the stand what happened to the Mark IX? She gave me a blank look. Guess they don't teach Roman numerals these days. Bob

  • Inside Looking Out This is actually the answer to the question I asked not that long ago.
  • Inside Looking Out Regarding "narrow windows" - the trend is that windows will eventually be replaced by big OLED screens displaying some exotic place or may even other planet.
  • Robert I have had 4th gen 1996 model for many years and enjoy driving as much now as when I first purchased it - has 190 hp variant with just the right amount of power for most all driving situations!
  • ToolGuy Meanwhile in Germany...
  • Donald More stuff to break god I love having a nanny in my truck... find a good tuner and you can remove most of the stupid stuff they add like this and auto park when the doors open stupid stuff like that