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Ford Crown Victoria and Mercury Grand Marquis



  • johnclineiijohnclineii Posts: 2,287
    Well, the Government shot the tired, old dog, and closed the investigation of fuel tanks on the Crown Vics, finding no fault with FORD.
  • dbc123dbc123 Posts: 105
    Has anyone had enough experience with the new cars to comment on the new steering, improved frame stiffness, and revised suspension?
    My 300 mile drive of a rental left me with mixed feelings on the frame stiffness issue. I did like the better steering feel and did not like the firmed up ride. New seats and door panels seemed an improvment also. Anyone with more comments?
  • dbc123:I have done some 3700 miles in my 03 GM since July and the car has performed faultlessly.(Hope I am not pushing my luck)Although not in a position to compare previous models,the last similar car being a 79 LTD Landau which I had for 5 years,I have driven many American cars from the 60s and 70s,so have a good idea of what the suspension and handling of a traditional automobile feels like.I can understand your concerns.However,the new frame seems to be exeptionally strong,allowing no flexing or twisting even when manovering over very uneven surfaces.Most impressive.The steering is a delight.On Motorways the car holds its line effortlessly,without constant correction,and is light enough at parking speeds.The handling,thanks to the steering,and rigidity of the frame,allows full throttle exits from busy intersections without drama.This would have been unheard of at one time,the car understeering to such an extent,that you would no doubt have finished up in the field opposite with the front wheels on full lock. The other notable feature is the braking,this too is exeptionally good.The seats are very comfortable on long journeys(If you consider 250 mile a long journey.Suppose its just around the corner to you)All in all the car is a very fine machine.Which just leaves the ride.I like to think that this is softening off somewhat,or I am getting more used to it.Its only in town at low speeds over small bumps when its really a problem,but no car is perfect,and whilst ride is top of my list of requirements,given the overall exellence of the vehicle,and the hope that with use,the damping will soften off,its a small price to pay.Hope this info.,is of some use to you.Kind regards.
  • genex1genex1 Posts: 11
    I am also a happy owner of the 2003 GM LS. My previous car was a 1996 GM so I am able to make some comparisons. Overall, the 03 is a significantly improved model. The '96 had a larger gas tank (20 gals), lights on the front doors, and, I think, a softer ride. The ride issue is diminishing in sensation as I drive the car more and more. The firmness and stability of the 03 along with the excellent steering improvement coupled with the increase in power from 190hp to 224hp, more than compensate for the seemingly slightly harder ride. I am probably getting used to it to the point where I no longer think of the ride as less soft. I continue to appreciate the firm and secure handling of the 03. Other features such as the overhead console, the very accurate compass, the CD and tape radio combination etc. add up to avery satisfactory package for me.
  • dbc123dbc123 Posts: 105
    Thanks to both of you for your thoughtful comments on your new cars. In retrospect, I'm not so sure that it is the ride firmness that bothers me but more the increased impact harshness. The new cars just transmit more noise and jolts on sharp bumps than than my 94 GM. Less of a sense of riding over the bumps and more a sense of slamming into them. Do the 03 owners sense this or is it just me?
  • dbc123: My car seems to be quiet enough over the the bumps,but I can understand your comments about the suspension jolting rather than absorbing the bumps.This is no doubt due to the overdamping and roll stiffness built into the system to prevent any roll(leaning) on curves.The anti-roll(sway) bars which restrict roll on cornering,can also restrict individual wheel movements when traversing uneven surfaces.So that unless both front or rear wheels hit the same bump at the same time,the anti-roll bar will act against the upward or downward movement of an individual wheel,and the body of the car will tend to rock, rather than the wheels absorbing the bump by themselves.Likewise the shocks which have alot of resistance to extending, and use this to prevent leaning on corners,unfortunately, also tend to prevent the wheels from dropping into dips in the road,and indeed tend to pull the whole car down with them, or, on severe dips may cause the wheels to leave the road for a second or two before impacting at the other side.Possibly the jolting you are referring to.So your comments,I feel, are a result of suspension design rather than the new frame.Again with use,these characteristics usually tend to become less severe.Hope all that made some sort of sense.
  • dbc123dbc123 Posts: 105
    I concur that roll stiffness is somewhat responsible for the ride issues, however, I do not think roll stiffness has changed that much in the new cars, the real issue is tighter dampening in the shocks and higher spring rates. The car feel more tied down and perhaps more "solid" but gives up smoothness and isolation. These two traits were world class before the redesign and now are merely OK. It's a shame to give up traits that mean so much to most GM/CV/TC buyers only to be able to go around a corner a little faster. As I've said before, If I wanted that suspension tuning I would have bought a BMW, Audi, Mercedes, etc.
  • I have the chance to buy a 92' Crown Victoria, with 107000 miles. Is it worth spending $1500.00.I have never owned one. thanks! overthehill
  • dbc123dbc123 Posts: 105
    "Last years model was too floaty and too loose". Most reviewers seem to like the new suspension but they also state "We favor sports cars and go cart handling is our benchmark." The vast majority of buyers of these cars do not favor sports cars and certainly don't care about go cart handling. What they do care about is ride and the "big car feel". Ford needs to listen to the buyers and not the reviewers who are out of touch with buyers expectations.
  • I agree whole heartedly with your comments,dbc123.Thank you for pointing out "first drive".I've just read it now!!Well I am astounded.I especially like the comment re:the ride being plush and serene,and able to challenge many luxury cars!(or words to that effect)What sort of luxury cars are these people used to?Its certainly no match for my last 2000 Chrysler LHS,let alone the number of Jaguars I've had.Oh well,you and I must be alone in our quest to get Ford to change their mind on this issue,after all I've noticed on the Town Car board that even the traditional TC buyer seems to be pleased with the new set up.I just wish that Ford would leave us who enjoy quaint old fashioned amenities like column shift and split bench seats to enjoy our quaint old fashioned ride as well,and leave the youngsters the LSE with its bucket seats, centre console and hard ride.Incidentally,what does the LSE ride like!It must be harrendous.If anyone does hear of any mods from Ford or any specialist shock absorber manufacturer to bring back the good old American type ride,and make this GM perfect,please post a message ASAP.
  • dbc123dbc123 Posts: 105
    The redesigned front suspension uses a coil-over-shock arrangement similar to a strut. James, I'm afraid that the chances of aftermarket mods to this set up are slim - the spring and shock are like a single unit now. Maybe Ford will hear our plea and retune the suspension next year. I also suspect that the tuning is the same as used in the LSE although Ford says differently. I understand the Marauder uses Police Interceptor front springs that lower the front about half inch and are supposed to be firmer still. Another subject: Have you noticed the new interior door handles have no way to wrap your fingers around them? Previous handles were larger and easier to use. They remind me of the tiny, hard to use, handles found on some small Japanese cars. The new front seats, however, are a huge improvment in comfort over the previous car - wish the headrests didn't tilt so far forward, though.
  • features: the car has leather interior,am/fm cass.,pwr windows,pwr door locks,trunk release. need to know if any problems I need to look for. It does not appear to burning oil. thanks! overthehill
  • I would really like to buy a CV or Marqui but I am concerned how they handle snow and the odd freezing rain. We live in Canada near Toronto. Even though we've had very mild winters lately I tend to keep cars anywhere from 7 to 10 years. I more concerned with the regular snow days than the big snow storms.

    We owned a Thunderbird SC for 7 years and it was a fantastic car but I dreaded every winter, even with snow tires.

    My wife will be doing a lot of driving this winter by herself and I'm thinking I should go back to FWD just to be safe. She is a good driver but wonder if FWD with snow tires increases the odds that she will be safe.

    I'd appreciate your feedback.
  • rea98drea98d Posts: 982
    Msclark, take the word of a fellow T-Bird owner. Thunderbirds are ill-handling cars in rain and snow, compared to other RWD cars. My other two cars have both been Grand Marquis's, a '78 and an '82. The 82's running gear is a cruder version of what's under the car today, and it's lightyears better than my '95 Thunderbird in rain (We don't get much snow in Abilene, so I haven't got a chance to flog the '82 in the fluff yet. Nor do I look forward to doing that.) As for FWD, my understanding of the physics of driving is that having the engine over the drive wheels is like throwing sandbags in the trunk in the old days-it puts more weight over the front end, and helps you get going. As far as turning and stopping (much more important than starting in the snow), it has more to do with tires & traction than drive wheels, so, in my huble opinion, the advantages offerd by front-wheel drive are marginal, and the snow is occasional enough here in West Texas that I don't even consider it when picking out a car.
  • jerrym3jerrym3 Posts: 202
    I agree with the earlier comments: the TBird is downright nasty in bad weather. I have the 3:27 rear and find myself using the second gear start more and more when the weather goes downhill.

    I know this is not a TBird forum, but have any TBird owners replaced their factory Premium speakers with another brand and what was the result?

    present cars: 89 TownCar, 94 TBird LX 4.6, 64 Galaxie 500XL convt, 58 TBird hardtop, 99 Mustang V6 (daughter's)
  • This past week I was on a trip and the intake manifold split in front and all the coolant was ejected . I was lucky to find a repair shop of the main rd and also found a hole in the raditator
    All of these parts are made of plastic.
    The replacement intake came as a new design which consists of an aluminum part to replace the former plastic. Has anyone got info on a recall??
    This cost me almost $ 1000.00 in repairs and I sure would like to get ford to reimburse me .Also I found a service bulletin # 0222 but cannot get a copy . anyone who can send me any info would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks, harold// email Kq4hm@earthlink,net
  • harmarharmar Posts: 94
    Check for TSBs. If the site lists them for '97, you can view the titles free, but there is a charge for the complete info. Good luck.
  • kinleykinley Posts: 854
    and after the convivial conversation Ford agreed to pay for half of the repair costs. Find out where your nearest Ford District Service Office is and visit them with paper documentation of your repair. It worked for me.
  • rea98drea98d Posts: 982
    From what I understand, The recall covers only Mustangs, T-Birds, and Cougars. It will only cover a Crown Vic or a Town car if it was sold to a police department, Limo service, or taxi service. Civilian Crown Vics and Grand Marquis's are not covered. The reason being, T-Birds, Mustangs, fleet and police cars will see harder use than a Grand Marquis would, so Ford offers a recall on them. The recall is basically an extended warranty on the affected intake. If your car is cover, Ford will pay 100% of the costs to fix it. If it's not covered, you can do like Kinley and raise cain with higher-ups in Ford until you can get some or all of the repair costs back. The bottom line is that the plastic intake manifold is a sorry, no good piece of junk Ford stuck on there to save an extra buck, and in this case, their cheapskate beancounter attitude has come back to bite them in the butt. They've redesigned this piece numerous times, and until they started replacing parts of it with real metal (like the '95 and earlier 4.6 intakes), they never found a solution that worked. Until they go back to 100% aluminum intakes, I think the newer design will start cracking in places other than around the alternator bracket, it will just take longer to fail. I have no faith in whatever that plastic is they make intakes out of.
  • I gang I hope someone can assist me. I have acquired a 1990 G Marq. I am being harassed by my friends that the car is "a car for a grand ma or grand pa" What can I tell them? I actually think the car drives smooth than any of the various models they drive. Should I just make it convenient for them to "drive" my car for them to give the old car a rest. I actually thought the car was excessively large when I first got it but it rides so smoothly.. My only complaint is that it seems to die out when I start it up I also believe that it could be an error on my part. Any info or help with this car and matter will be greatly appreciated
  • kinleykinley Posts: 854
    Had I "raised cain" - nothing would have been accomplished. Have you ever purchased anything from an angry salesman?
  • Leasealanee,
    I know exactly what you are hearing from your friends-- I am 26 and have loved full-size, luxo-barges since I can remember. When I was in high school, I drove a Ford truck and my father had a 1992 Grand Marquis. I enjoyed driving it so much that I convinced him to trade vehicles with me. So there I was, the only student at my high school who was driving a fairly new, loaded, full-size, rear-drive car. My friends really didn't have much negative to say after riding in the Grand Marquis. Needless to say, whenever my friends and I had a trip planned, they insisted that I drive. Incidentally, I am now saving $$ to put toward a 2003-2004 Lincoln T/C... in a couple of years. Maybe I can find a nice one off-lease or a elderly owned trade in! My advise is enjoy your Mercury.
  • wow thank you for your encouragement! I love the car. It's comfy. It drives like nothing I have ever driven but I find it funny that your friends always want you to drive...I am sure it is the comfort factor....I will enjoy my car and hopefully I can continue checking the board and learn as much as I can about it. To take even better care of it. I am not sure how the 90 stacks up to other years but maybe I will learn more here as I go.
    thanks again
    cincinnati, Ohio
  • Help! My daughter overheated our 4.6 motor 1996 GM. The mechanic is saying the heads are most likely warped and there maybe damage done to the plastic valve covers. He also stated valves may be damaged and this may have also affect the pistons. Recomending motor to be replaced. We were going to sell the car & don't have the money for a rebuilt engine & need suggests?

    Is This covered by a warranty? or recall? or anything? Any help is appreciated.
  • kinleykinley Posts: 854
    Water pump? Broken fan belt? Cracked intake manifold? We need more specific information.
  • Hi,
    Thanks for the response. The water pump, fan belt and intake manifold are ok. As far as I know the head gaskets are damaged and could not cost effectivly be replaced. If you still need more info, I will call the mechanic & have him explain it to me. I am not well versed in the workings of cars!

    My daughter said that the warning light came on and within an hour or so, the car died.

    Her brother was amazed because he had a 1990 GM that he didn't like, so he drove for 2 years without changing oil or putting in water, etc. He wanted the car to blow up so he didn't have to drive it. (He told us this long after we had sold the vehicle!)
  • kinleykinley Posts: 854
    and the importance of gauges and lights is of most reason to enroll. Your second paragraph shows egregious regard for the vehicle.
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