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Ford Crown Victoria and Mercury Grand Marquis



  • Having had both a 94 GM with standard suspension and a new CV with the handling package, I can compare the two. The standard ride is very soft, and the car leans on turns. The handling package does make the ride harsher, but it makes cornering better. It keeps the car from floating and wallowing, but you will feel more of the irregularities of the road. On a smooth highway at 60 mph there is very little difference. I much prefer the handling package
  • Hi DH: Thanks for the comparison. I'm still trying to improve the bumpy ride I get on the lousy streets and freeways here in Los Angeles. Switching from Michelin to Goodyear tires has helped. The tires are quieter and the steering is easier. There is some lessening in the response to road irregularities. I am going to take a test drive in a new GM and see if the ride is any better than that of my 1999. If so I am going to ask the service department to explain the difference. (Ha!)
  • I have a 1996 Crown Victoria with 85,800 miles on it. Taking a Thanksgiving's Day trip, I'm driving down the interstate and when I went to hit the accelerator to pass, suddenly I've got coolant steaming out from under the hood and pouring out underneath. I parked it in the parking lot of a nearby repair facility and found out on Friday that the intake manifold had cracked near the water/coolant portals. The repairs cost me $714.75. Do I have any complaint/action against Ford since it's obviously not under warranty anymore or am I just "S.O.L."? The engine was never running hot prior to this incident. Shouldn't the manifold (which appears to made of hard plastic) be a "lifetime" part?
  • kinleykinley Posts: 854
    "secret" extended warranties on certain parts of certain cars? Your situation may command the manufacturer to reimburse you for at least 50% of your expense. Why, because this is a defective part/design/material of questionable quality replacing a metal that has proven to have more strength and longevity. Your situation is not the first occurrence and will not be the last. I recommend your petitioning FOMOCO ASAP and Good Luck. (50% as you have had considerable use of the original part)
  • swong1swong1 Posts: 14
    sbrown8243! Starting with the 96 model year Ford has a unpublished waranty for the Crown Vics, Town Cars, and Mercury Grand Marquis for the problematic plastic resin 4.6L sohc intake manifold. This is program #97M91 which gives the owners a 70k or 7 year waranty on the intake manifold. Just bring the car in quoting the program number above and they should honor r/r the broken intake. This is a known problem and typically the intake stress cracks directly behind the alternator rendering the vehicle undriveable. This can happen at any time and typically starts appearing around 30k on the odo. The part costs under 200 bucks but the labor involved adds an additional 500 to the cost. To net it out for you, after the intakes experiences so many hot and cold heat cycles the resin becomes very brittle....the intake has gone thru at least two iterations each time Ford having beefed up the casting with a thicker casting. My understanding is starting with the 2001 model year they will reinforce the passageways with aluminum tubing thereby reinforcing the already dismal intake. Count you blessings....the intake could have cracked in the dead of summer stranding you in the desert in 100 degree weather!
  • iusecadiusecad Posts: 287
    are they plastic on the Interceptors also? I can't believe the police would allow a part that might cause them to bow out of a chase! I think that might be a sin for them...

    If their's is metal, maybe civilian motors could get one?
  • rea98drea98d Posts: 982
    Civilian motors prior to 96 had metal (aluminum I beleive) intakes. My 95 T-Bird's intake is metal. If you're wanting a metal one to go in your car, hit up wrecking yards. If you want Ford to start making metal ones again- I'm not sure how to rectify that short of purchasing a controlling interest in the company. (Maybe when I cash my next paycheck, but not this month! I've already spent too much on turkey!)
  • mhliimhlii Posts: 22
    Yes, they are plastic on the Police Interceptors as well. We have the Contract at out garage to repair the Police cars for our local area. We have had two of the 97 Vics have this problem. We did not do the repair though, because the Police Chief said that there was a recall on them from Ford and they were going to take it back to the Dealer. One the second P/I that failed, it also took out the Alt. because it sprayed coolant directly on it. On another note the Police Department is unhappy that for will not garantee the C/V past 2004!!! They DON'T want to go to Chevys, but they feel that they might have no choice!
  • iusecadiusecad Posts: 287
    how about the manifold of an F-150 with the 4.6?

    are they plastic too? would a truck manifold work under the hood of a Vic?

    cops being forced to buy the Impala... If that doesn't cause Ford to make the manifold metal again, nothing will... unless they can find a way to sell more Expeditions to them instead!
  • from the Great White North. I'm writing from Toronto, Ontario Canada (Ontario being the birthplace of the CV/GM! Managed to read through all your postings over the last few days. Picked up a couple of good bits of info, like the manifold issue and the windshield trip noise. I'm pretty much sold on the GM LS with P/H as my next ride, to be purchased next fall. I'm hoping to get an end of season 01 when the 02's come out. I'm not sure from reading the postings whether the manifold has been beefed up for 01 or 02, can anyone confirm? My only reservation about the GM is price. Up here, a loaded GM goes for 42K! Plus 15% tax, for a total of almost 50K. The one I want, even with discount will be over 40K to drive it off the lot! You guys are lucky, as far as price goes. And we haven't been able to buy the CV for a couple of years up here now. They only sell to police and taxi, so it's the more expensive GM or nothing. My wife is thinking more in line with Taurus, budget wise, but I think in the long run we'll be better off, and happier with the GM, based on what I've read here. My current car is a '97 Grand Am, and it's the worst piece of junk I've ever owned, out of the 15 cars I've had. My '77 Corvette is better! For daily transportation, it's Ford for me, from now on. I drove the new Impala with the 3800, and it felt nice, but nowhere near the quality of the GM. Haven't tried the LeSabre yet, but probably won't bother after my recent Gen. Motors experience. I'd love to know where to find Canadian info. on dealer cost. Any ideas? Thanks!
  • I just purchased a cherry 97 CV with the 30K miles, handling & performance package and ABS. During a recent snowfall I discovered, to my surprise, it also has traction control (explains why I can't squeal the tires!!). My owner's manual is very vague, but does seem to indicate I should have a swith for the TC someplace, as it mentions that if the TC is used excessively it will overheat and shut itself off which is indicated by a light in "the switch". I cannot find "the switch" anywhere. Are there CV's out there with TC and no switch?
  • Ford did not install a cutoff switch until 98. It is mounted in the glove box, for the 2001 model it was moved to the dash.
  • rea98drea98d Posts: 982
    Two words: Ouch!

    These are edmunds US prices: 24,700 for a new Grand Marquis LS, 19,035 for a Taurus SE (mid range Taurus), 21,535 for the SEL. I knew the exchange rate of Canadian to US dollars made our prices look cheaper, but I didn't know it was 2 to 1!
    (Of course, options jack the price up)
    Would the law allow you to buy a car in the U.S. and bring it into Canada? If so, you could shave off another 700 U.S. and get a Crown Vic LX.

    BTW, what is the exchange rate currently for U.S. vs. Canadian dollars? (Something more accurate than comparing the Canadian/US prices on the back of a book ;-)
  • Cdn dollar = approx. $0.65 US. Don't know about buying one down there. Had a friend who moved to LA and tried to sell her car down there. Wouldn't give her plates for it because the windshield on Cdn. cars wasn't the same thickness as US! She had to drive it up to Vancouver to sell. I think the Cdn. gov't would kill me with duties and taxes as well, otherwise, everybody would drop down to Buffalo to pick up a car. I think there's an age limit on cars we can bring across duty free (I know some guys go down to the southern states to pick up classic cars because the older ones are duty free, and rust free). Anybody see the piece in BON about a performance version of the CV for next year? They're talking about engine upgrade, buckets, 17" wheels, etc. Sounds like a CV version of the Marauder. THAT would be a nice car! Taurus SE = approx. $25,700 up here (parents just bought one this year and quite like it) but i'm going to try to hold out for the GM!
  • I have noticed the 2001 GS's I've driven seem to have alot of road noise coming from the rear. A salesman told me the LS is noticeably quieter than a GS but frankly I couldn't tell a difference. Any of you folks notice the difference in an LS vs GS? Have any of you had a noise package or process put on one? Some of the undercoating companies (Rusty Jones, Ziebart) etc claim they have a spray to reduce noise.
    It might be those Michelin tires, they are the cheapest Michelins you can get around here (South East US).
  • For the difference in price I'd check on buying in US and taking back. You can buy a US GS base for about 21K (list 23-24K), and the LS for about 24K (27-28Klist). Even with the exchange rate difference it would be 32K and 36K Canadian. I'd shoot off some notes on the internet to some big dealers just across the border and ask them, they should have some experience if it's economically feasable.
    After all, we go over to Canada to purchase full capacity toilets duty free, as I understand. Maybe cars are different than toilets (unless we're talking Dodges (sorry, I just couldn't help it)) but you might just find a deal. Supposedly alot of those rules changed with the North American Free Trade Agreement a few years ago.
  • Good point. I'll check it out and report back. It'd be great if that was true! Re: road noise. If they both had the same suspension i.e., both had base, or both had P/H, they should sound the same (unless, as you say, different tires). In all I've read there's nothing about more or less sound deadening in one or the other. The only difference is a few more luxury items included in the LS, and different cloth. As far as spray-on sound deadening from rust proofers, I wouldn't go for it. IMO, all they do is make things messy underneath, and in a few years, dry out, crack, hold moisture, and cause rust. The only truly effective sound deadener I'm aware of is stuff that's applied to the INSIDE of the doors and floors (this info comes from a friend of mine who's seriously into high-end car stereos). Some are spray on, and some come in a sticky-sided mat. It's a very thin, but very dense material, and you can buy pre-cut kits, or just a roll, that you cut yourself. You shouldn't have to in a GM though! It should be pretty quiet in there.
  • You're not going to believe this, but preliminary research indicates that to bring a new US car over the border, the Canadian gov't would make me.....chage all the instrumentation over to metric!!!! That means a new speedo, odo, and I don't know what all else!! One of the dopiest things we did was go metric up here, right next door to you guys, our biggest trading partner, who use imperial measurement. I could see it if we were part of Europe, but Europe is a long drive from here, and there ain't no bridge... I could go on, like about bilingualism, but I'm not going to get into all that. I'll just hope I can get a good deal on an 01 GM next fall when the 02's come out, and leave it at that.
  • Thanks Kinley for the info on the transmission. I went to the local Mercury dealer on thursday and had him change the transmission fluid including the torque converter. The problem has gone away and the car is back to normal. As a matter of interest, the dealer had on his posted "menu" of standard charges a power flush for the transmission. I asked what that was and he said we change out all of the transmission fluid including the torque converter. So it must be a fairly common procedure. Anyway it cost $110 but is well worth it.
  • rea98drea98d Posts: 982
    Both my 78 Grand Marquis (that's right, 1978, USA car!) and 95 Thunderbird had speedometers for both metric and Imperial measurements (granted, the Imperial numbers are a bit bigger, but the metrics are still there!) The only other guage I can think of that would need to be changed would be the odo, and they're not that expensive, are they?
    FWIW, I heard a story of an airliner that ran out of gas a few years ago when Canada first went metric, because the calculated the fuel load in kilos, but the guy gassing the plane thought the number was for pounds. (2.2 lbs= 1 kilo- only metric conversion I know other than celcius to farenheight)
  • mhliimhlii Posts: 22
    Hey, all you have to do is buy a 2001 G/M with the digital dash! It already has a button to change everything from English to Metric. It even changes the Temp. display on the Automatic Climate Control to Celceus. What could they poss. say. Everything would be in order! That would show them who's BOSS!
  • We bought our 2001 GM a month ago. It now has 1500 miles, and mechanically, everything is A OK.
    The PH option was an absolute must.

    I have has some trouble getting the seat comfortable, but that's a personal problem I have with 99.9% of the cars out there today. I need a soft seat for my butt, where the sciatica nerve in my rear is pretty sensitive. The only other comfortable car for was a 1993 Sable. I've come to learn that seats today are made a whole lot differently (and cheaper) than cars of a few years ago. That's why my '93 Sable seat was so nice with springs, yet the new ones are simply injected foam onto a sheetmetal pan... The GM is of the older seat design (That's one reason why I bought it, but it is still not soft enough.)

    But let me get to my point-- I noticed after owning the car for three weeks that the steering wheel is not centered with the seat. The steering wheel is 1-2 inches left of the seat center. That means when you grab the steering wheel with both hands, you ain't reaching right in front of you- you're grabbing to the left. I did not notice this in my test drive, or even when I rented one of these babies last summer. It is weird. My guess is that Ford originally had things lined up properly when the car first had bench seats. When they redesigned the split front seats, the seat
    designers didn't pay attention the car's key interior dimensions. That must have been an interesting discussion among their team of engineers. Unfortunately, their lack of discipline is causing me some annoyance.

    Any pearls of wisdom or thoughts on this?


    Sam G
  • kinleykinley Posts: 854
    Perhaps you own a jewelry store in Bellevue? And you don't deal in cockeyed diamond mountings so I understand your noticing the offset steering wheel. I will be interested to know what the factory has to say. Is the same problem with the Towncar and LS or did you notice?
  • Kinley,

    No, I'm not a jeweler, although my Dad was a diamond cutter many years ago in NYC.

    I did not elaborate on the my antics since I bought this car. My focus has been on rebuilding the seat to better fit my posterior. I went to a car upholsterer shop, where they dismantled the seat, carved out a recess for my toush, and added another layer of foam. They reassembled everything and it was better. But my leg still hurt, so they tweeked it again. This cost roughly $100 a throw. After more than I wanted to spend, I started dismantling the seat and tweeking it myself. I must be the only owner who has taken his seat apart at least ten times! I'm around 90% to where I need to be. Ugh. I know this is crazy. But if that's what it takes, I'll do it.

    When I noticed the seat misalignment, I jumped too quickly and tried to re-contour the foam to shift me over to the left and be in alignment with the wheel. This visually worked OK. But now my left buttock was sitting on the hard metal seat frame! The most tender (or at least one of) part of my body was sitting on solid metal. Plus the backrest, which I also modified didn't line up with my back very well.

    Net: I got a horrible backache! A new ailment...

    (This could be a movie some day!) Two days ago I realized this is not a good path, so I reversed my seat shift modification, and I'm back to the offset seat, and reaching to the left for the wheel. Compared to my backache, this ain't so bad....

    So there you have it. Chapter 3: what the dealer says, to be continued. I have a buddy with a new town car. I'll check it in the next few days.


    I will contact the dealer tomorrow about the offset seat.
  • Just picked up my new GM 2001 GS. Noticed when I let off gas and car is coasting down, there is a faint, high pitched whine in the drivetrain somewhere. As you slow down it gets lower in pitch. I know this is new, it only has 25 miles on it, so all the gears, etc havent worn in at all, but wanted to post here just in case any of you had noticed this on yours.
  • kinleykinley Posts: 854
    Drive the car,while it's on a hoist, to see if the noise isn't the deep tread on your new tires.
  • rea98drea98d Posts: 982
    Does it happen only when the transmission is in first gear, or in all four gears? The transmission in these cars makes the a high-pitched jet engine whine in first gear. The FMX in my Grand Marquis does it, and so does the overdrive in my T-bird, the same model trans going into new Grand Marquis's and Crown Vics. Many people I've talked to with the cars (most over the internet) also have the whine in first gear. If this is your problem, aside from being annoying, it's not really hurting anything, but after 20 years, you'd hope Ford would learn to build a quiet automatic transmission.
  • wwcjrwwcjr Posts: 4
    Sounds like the noise that I heard coming from the rear end of the GM that I almost bought. It was also new with less than 25 miles. The dealer tried to find it but the last I saw of that car they were tearing into the rear end. I was able to buy a different GM from the same dealer that did not have this noise.

    You need to test drive a different car equipped the same as yours (tires, P&H package, etc.) to verify the way it should sound. Should yours need to be repaired, this will also give you a comparison to tell the service department that the other car does not have this sound.
  • Thanks for the tips, I'll have to do some more detective work. It does it at all speeds, including overdrive, and it is very very faint.
  • Hey Kinley and Swong1,

    Guess what, the dealer and the zone manager for Ford told me basically "tough s--t" on my Thanksgiving Day cracked plastic manifold on my 96 Ford Crown Vic with 85K miles on it. They said I did not fit the recall and because I don't have the extended warranty, there is nothing they can do for me. I think they know very well that they should work with me, but refuse. As a "retired" attorney, I'm going to blow the dust off the degree and drag their [non-permissible content removed] into district court on the basis of a known defective part, nothwithstanding any recall or extended warranty issues. Where is there a well respected industry publication which would back up in reputable terms the problems Ford has had with the plastic manifolds?
    This question is also directed to anyone out there that can help!
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