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Ford Crown Victoria/Mercury Grand Marquis Transmission/Suspension



  • g45g45 Posts: 17
    I can't address the 2003 cars because I never have driven one. But I do own a 2005 MGM LS with south of 13,000 miles on the clock. It has the Michelin tires.

    The car rides like a truck but it corners like a sports car. In addition to my MGM I own three British classic sports cars, all now antiques, as well as a Ford F350 mason dump with the dual rear wheels. So I speak with some experience on this.

    I can live with the stiff 2005 MGM ride because of my sports car background. But I am very sympathetic to those who bought an MGM expecting a softer, big car, ride. What a surprise for them!

    Really when I bought my car earlier this year I was attracted by the O/D, the rack-and-pinion steering, the Michelins, the V-8, and the leather. I settled for the watts-linkage rear; what I really wanted was IRS. But the MGM did seem like sort of a sports car, cloaked as a big fat hunk of "Detroit Iron".

    Little did I realize the (relatively) hard seats and tight suspension would give my MGM more of a sports car feel than I ever anticipated.

    Folks who like the MGM but want the traditional softer ride need to locate and purchase a low mileage example of a 2002 model year MGM. I'm pretty sure the 2002 cars are free of the dreaded intake manifold problem found in 2001 cars all the way back through 1996. If I have the years wrong somebody here will correct me. But I never would buy a car having a coolant crossover made of plastic (this was part of the intake manifold); not unless the seller gave me a $750 discount so I could have that problem fixed.
  • turbo301turbo301 Posts: 73
    Wow, I never thought that I'd read the statement, "Rides like a truck but corners like a sports car" in relation to the Panther platform! There is no doubt that the 2003+ CV/GM are a bit tighter than the previous cars, but they are hardly hard-riding cars, and they still exhibit considerable lean in corners and axle hop when pushed hard. Take a spin in my classic Trans Am if you need a refresher on what a hard ride really is :). Don't confuse wallowy isolation for a good-quality ride; a '73 New Yorker could give you the former, but would almost be dangerous in hard maneuvering or an emergency stop, not to mention putting your rear to sleep. The modern Panther strikes an excellent balance, IMO.

    BTW my 91 year old grandmother thought the ride of my '04 CV was exemplary - I don't even want to guess how old you guys must be LOL! :P
  • brucelincbrucelinc Posts: 814
    Wow, I never thought that I'd read the statement, "Rides like a truck but corners like a sports car" in relation to the Panther platform!

    Yes, that one took me by surprise, too. Not sure if he was serious or kidding. By the way, your Grandmother is just a kid. When she gets a little older, she might find your CV a bit rough for her tastes.

    Seriously, I know the '03s were firmed up but I think I read somewhere that later models had some retuning done on shocks, swaybars, and bushings to soften things up a bit. That change (unless I dreamed it) may have been on the '04 and newer ones. I recall chatting with my Lincoln dealer after driving the '03 TC and he told me that they were getting a lot of complaints about the '03 TC and GM ride.
  • turbo301turbo301 Posts: 73
    That may be, I have never driven a 2003 Panther. My 2004 has a noticeably stiffer ride and more handling prowess than my friend's 2002; although probably not as noticeable on the handling package cars, the presence of the Watts linkage on the rear end really helps to keep the axle in line. That's a big part of the problem on the older ones without a sway bar: no lateral support for the differential. A sway bar on the rear still wouldn't go amiss, though, but us Canadians can't even buy Crown Vics new up here, and the ones sold to fleets are never Sports :).

    More bad news for Canadian consumers: starting in 2007, even Grand Marquis are fleet-only! :cry:
  • bruneau1bruneau1 Posts: 468
    Yes, there is a way to soften the ride and reduce the noise. Try the Goodyear Comfort Tred. The reduction in road noise is great and the ride is softer. However, I do notice a little more softness in the steering response. I always found 32lbs of pressure too stiff with my original tires and used 30. Maybe i lost a little in mileage,but it was worth it. These days with stiffer suspensions and lower profile tires, a good ride (cushy) is harder to find. In the meantime, use 30 on your Michelins and get some Comfort Treds when you can't stand them anymore. I am using 32 on the Comfort treds. Get your own gauge, since even tire dealers often do it wrong.
  • agellius3agellius3 Posts: 4
    Someone else replied to this message by recommending the Goodyear ComforTreds. I put those on my '03 GM and they do make a big difference. There is a little loss of cornering ability, but that's the necessary trade-off for a softer ride. The car still rides a little too stiffly for my taste. I think the solution for that is softer coil springs. Check out, they make custom coil springs to whatever stiffness you want. Someone on this forum (I think) used them and was happy with the result. I have not tried them myself but will as soon as I have the cash. But the Goodyears will definitely help. I highly recommend getting them next time you need tires, if not sooner.
  • joe110joe110 Posts: 19
    I just bought an 1985 CV with 105000 miles on it. Its family owned and I know for a fact the tranny fluid has never been changed. I have heard horror stories of guys changing the fluid and filter on a perfectly working tranny only for the car to not even leave the driveway. Burned up. Is there a trick to changing the fluid without problems? I appreciate the input!
  • euphoniumeuphonium Great Northwest, West of the Cascades.Posts: 3,305
    Change not only the tranny and converter fluid, but every other fluid of all kind in that car. For instance, how black is the brake fluid? Has the fluid in the rear axle turned to foam yet? Change all hoses under the hood, wires, and plugs. Locate the Owners Manual and see what needs to be done at 100,000 miles. I've only scratched the surface. The 302 V8 and AOD in the 1985 CV was a horse, but care is needed for it to last. Good Luck.
  • What can I do about the stiff ride on a 1999 Marquis? Can I change the shocks to a different type? I am not happy.

    I just bought a 1999 Marquis. I test drove around a little and it was fine, but after I bought it, driving has revealed a stiff ride. I have had several Lincoln/Mercurys and the the ride was outstanding. The bumps are like jolts in this car. I have read the suspension was changed in 1998, but I am wondering if there are different softer shocks I can buy. Help.
  • I am surprised to hear of the stiff ride in the 1999 Grand Marquis. I recently purchased a low-miles 2003 GM and discovered after purchase the same stiff ride--almost uncomfortable--for a supposedly luxury car. Doing research I found that Ford stiffened the suspension with the 2003 model. Taking it in to a Mercury dealer for service, I asked the service manager if there was anything I could do to ease this. Shocks, etc. He just shook his head and said no. He said his father had the same problem with his 2003. Some advice I received in this forum was to run the tires at 30 psi instead of the 35 recommended on the Michelins. Also to replace the tires with Goodyear Comfort Treads. I was seriously considering getting rid of this 2003, getting a year older model, because I really like the digital dashboard and steering wheel controls the GM LS model has. And now you say you have the same problem with the 1999 model? Can anyone here enlighten both of us on this?
  • euphoniumeuphonium Great Northwest, West of the Cascades.Posts: 3,305
    Stiff Ride usually is associated with the CV, GM, & TC that has the "Handling Package" or "Touring Package". Depending on the year of the car it can also have dual exhaust, plus size tires with stiff side walls, heavier duty suspension, larger diameter stabilizer bars,and an axle ratio of 3.27 instead of 2.89 or a ratio of 3.55 rather than 3.27. The trade off of a firm ride is the car corners more like a locomotive & has quicker steering as well. You may feel the cracks in the pavement, but the overall handling is considerably safer.

    If you want to ease the pain of hemorroids, lower the air pressure in softer side wall tires, but it will never ride like it didn't have the "Touring Package". ;)
  • From what I'm reading on this forum, the 2003 rides stiffer than the other years including the 1999. Perhaps a previous year will seem acceptable compared to the 2003 for you. For me, this is a big disappointment, having owned 3 others previous to 1998 when the suspension was changed. I understand it was changed again in 2003. My previous year cars floated along without feeling bumps in the road. I discovered the stiffness in my 1999 car ride traveling down roads that I have traveled on for over 20 years that I didn't even know were bumpy before. Would be great if there this could be improved because the car is beautiful otherwise.
  • After doing reading on the internet, I have decided that I am going to look for another car. When I find that car, I will sell my 1999 Grand Marquis. I think you should consider doing the same with your 2003. Why keep something where you are not happy? I still cannot believe that a car that looks how the Grand Marquis looks and is so nice otherwise, has such a stiff ride. The bumps are way too noticable. Yes, I admit it corners better than any car I've had, but 2 things, I am normally going forward and not turning constantly, and if I wanted a preformance car, I wouldn't have thought of a Grand Marquis. Such a disappointment.
  • euphoniumeuphonium Great Northwest, West of the Cascades.Posts: 3,305
    #1493 of 1493 TIRE PRESSURE FOR LINCOLN TOWN CAR 2005 MODEL? by bremertong Oct 10, 2006 (10:26 pm)
    Was running at 35psi as recommended on door panel, ride a bit to harsh on rough surfaced roads. Have dropped to 32.5 psi. A much better more comfortable ride. Am I shortening the life of the tires?
    Is there a much greater risk of side wall damage at the lower pressure? The tires read 35 psi, maximum pressure so I am assuming that the slightly lower pressure is not going to either shorten tire life or leave me very vulnerable to side wall damage. Am I correct in these assumptions? What pressure do others use on town cars, and what results have you had?
  • While not necessarily a defence, what you're probably experiencing is the frame transmitting vibrations throughout the car. I love body on frame, but that is one of its drawbacks. To say that these cars ride harshly (or handle like sportscars - still an astonishing thing to say!) is certainly an over-reaction, though. Pre-2003 Panthers are perhaps the softest, most wallowing machines made in the last decade! My 2004 Crown Victoria runs 37 psi in the tires, and the ride is still very nice: you feel the bumps, no doubt, but it's still softer than my '85 Grand Marquis with the handling package was.

    While I'm here, am I the only one who can't help but laugh at the notion of replacing springs in these cars with SOFTER ones? The typical thing to do when modifying a car to get it lower, make it stiffer, etc. and yet there's so much talk of going the OTHER direction on Panthers. It's just kinda funny ^_^.

    And, Panthers are an excellent start for a performance car. Lots can be done with the 4.6L (or stuff a supercharged 5.4L under the hood?), and just think of the wild sleeper you could make!
  • I recently purchased an '01 Grand Marquis LS with the 4.6 in it. It had 67,00 miles on it. I have noticed lately that anywhere from 40 to 60 mph it sometimes "chugs", or jolts when I slowly accelerate. My uneducated guesses have led me to believe that it is either the transmission or something to do with the electronic ignition, but in reality I have no clue.
    Any suggestions so that I can try to avoid getting raped by unscrupulous mechanics would be greatly appreciated.
  • euphoniumeuphonium Great Northwest, West of the Cascades.Posts: 3,305
    Having experienced the "shudder" - it is recommended you change the oil in the transmission and torque converter. You should then be good for another 40,000. ;)
  • 14 quarts of Mercron V transmission fluid - make sure they drain or pump out the fluid in the torque converter. I think the 2001's still have a drain plug in the torque converter. If you don't have a drain plug, the mechanic might have to disconnect a line at the transmission cooler and let it pump out. My opinion is to not "flush" the transmission, but drain the fluid, drop the pan and check for debris, clean the magnet, and change the transmission filter.

    Labor might be a little higher, but if you use high quality fluid (like Amsoil), you should be good for another 100,000 miles.

    This could be done by an average shadetree mechanic, but trying to remove 14 bolts from the transmission pan while on my back is no longer something I'd like to try.
  • Have you had your spark plugs and especially your spark plug leads checked or changed? A spark plug lead which breaks down can cause the engine to miss and the car to chug, jerk, or jolt. Sometimes this engine miss from a faulty spark plug lead happens under light acceleration rather heavy acceleration. Two or more bad spark plug leads can cause the car to really jerk, chuck, etc. Fouled spark plugs can cause the car to jerk, chug, etc.
  • fordenvyfordenvy Posts: 72
    If you have the single exhaust you do not have the handling package

    Thats funny, I have single exhaust and the handling package, so that statement would be false, just wanted to correct you on that.
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