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Ford Crown Victoria/Mercury Grand Marquis Transmission/Suspension

gdj277gdj277 Posts: 2
Hi everyone. Hope someone can help me out. My son was driving the Crown Vic one night this summer & suddenly the engine started to rev way up but the car was slowing down. Now you have to rev the engine way up before it will start to move. It seems to shift ok once it is going. I haven't had the time or money to look at it so it has just been sitting. Then one day I decided to move it in order to mow the grass under it. When I started it up, the engine started to make a terrible knocking sound, run ruff, smoke & developed a fast drip of oil from the rear r/h side of the engine. The oil level is still ok & have good oil pressure. I'm afraid that it may cost more than it is worth to fix it. Any ideas? Thanks!!


  • Ah yes - sounds like the tranny went, and then the engine was over-revved by someone trying to get the pressure in the transmission high enough to move the car, trashing it as well.

    I'd guess the tranny or torque converter is a goner, and the engine could be as well. I'd be tempted to take your lumps and find another used CV.
  • mystiquemystique Posts: 24
    hello all, just purchased an 03' grand marquis with 35k on it. The car is absolutely flawless and rides like it came right off the showroom floor. But there is a slight vibration when i am at a stop in gear. In park it is not a problem. Anybody had this problem, the reason i wanted a marquis or vic was because of the powertrain smoothness and quiet.
  • euphoniumeuphonium Great Northwest, West of the Cascades.Posts: 3,425
    Has the transmission fluid been changed since the car was new? If not, try & see if that helps, remembering to also drain the torque converter fluid as well.
  • jsylvesterjsylvester Posts: 572
    It might be as simple as the fact the 4.6 liter engine went to Mustang influenced performance improved heads in 2002. While the engine puts out 34 more horsepower, it is not as smooth at idle.

    I know my old 1994 Grand Marquis was quieter and smoother than my 2002. The 2002 performs much better, but I still miss the old girl.
  • mystiquemystique Posts: 24
    I will have the transmission fluid checked thanks. Also many friends in the law enforcement field tell me these cars are like sleds in the snow. I have a ford club wagon as a work van and, although it is much heavier, it is fine for me in the snow. I tell my friends you need to know how to drive in the snow and you should be fine. What should I be looking for? Coincidentally my Uncle is a big volvo person, and all his volvos have been rear drive. He says the same thing, that all you need to do is know how to drive and you'll be fine.
  • wlppetewlppete Posts: 1
    My last car was a 1995 Grand Marquis....I sold it with 250,000 miles on it and it still drove and rode great.
    I recently purchased a 2005 Grand Marquis (would'nt have bought anything else)

    I drive a lot of miles....since my purchase I have noticed that I have a vibration in the floor both driver and can feel the same in the passenger seat. Mostly at 60-70 mph but can also be felt at lower speeds. For what it is worth....I don't feel the car is as quiet as my 95.

    Has anyone else experienced the same? So far the dealership has replaced the drive shaft (indicating they thought it was out of spec) Foreced balanced the tires..(found no real problem)

    I have driven another 2005 from there lot and feel some of the same but not near as severe. There indications are that they do not know what to look for next.

    Anybody have any help..experiences....or suggestions.

  • g45g45 Posts: 17
    A challenging dilemma given the car is so new. I agree on the tires. I'd have gone after them straightaway, dynamic balancing all four.

    Be sure the rear transmission mount is secure and tight.

    Also be certain your exhaust system, from the manifold all the way back, is 100% tight, secure, and right. Be certain ALL muffler clamps are fully tightened.

    You are describing what perhaps might be a harmonic vibration. Can you get it to happen just by revving the engine, or must the car be in motion?

    Try driving the car in a lower gear and see if the more severe vibration happens at a lower speed. The objective is to see if the problem is connected purely to vehicle velocity, or connected instead to engine RPMs.

    Report results/outcomes, if any, to your tech/service person.

    Good luck!
  • cyberwizcyberwiz Posts: 7
    I just purchased a 2000 Grand Marquis and, while I didn't notice it for the first couple of weeks, it seems to be doing it now. I'm experiencing a very similar problem to what you've described. I'm feeling a thunking noise through the gas pedal/firewall. It only seems to occur when the car is moving in excess of 60km/hr (roughly 40mph) and is most noticeable on a particularly smooth road. The thunking doesn't seem to occur at the same time as any bumps I might go over, it's totally independent of whatever I might feel through the tires.

    The car is a really sweet one owner car that had 77,000kms on it. I got it for $11K CDN and it still has 2000kms (about 2 months driving for me) to go on a factory extended warranty purchased by the previous owner.

    I've prowled the 'Net but I haven't found anyone describing the same problem who has found a solution.
  • euphoniumeuphonium Great Northwest, West of the Cascades.Posts: 3,425
    If the vibration occurs when you accelerate slightly above 40 mph, you might discern when the oil was changed in the torque converter and transmission.

    A "transmission service" cured the vibration for me. ;)
  • jsylvesterjsylvester Posts: 572
    He is talking about the "transmission shudder" - normally fresh Mercron V fixes it.

    Do not let a mechanic tell you the torque converter is bad - it almost never is. Fresh tranny fluid, including draining the torque converter, will fix it.

    Assuming that is the problem.
  • maybe a broken motor mount? or loose bolt on a motor mount. check it out and see, dont forget the mount on the trans also.
  • Really sounds like a damaged motor mount
  • I need to know what thw problem is when I accelerate from a light, slowly step on the gas, then speed up. The car almost studders then goes. It seems like the trans is slipping. Took it to the dealer and they said there was a recall on the problem, but they never fixed it. It has been back 4 times. Any ideas so I can help the dealer with what they should already know?
  • g45g45 Posts: 17
    No disrespect intended. And I'm not trying to be a "wise guy".


    But have you considered taking the car to a different dealer? That's what I would do. Your present dealer sounds like a snake.

    And I mean no disrespect to snakes, either.
  • wgfwliwgfwli Posts: 1
    I have a similar problem on my 2003 Crown Vic and 2004 Mercury Monterey minivan. I feel reasonably certain it is the Goodyear tires I have on them. On both vehicles, the tires need rebalancing after about 3000 miles. Always, the balancing weight position has shifted. The LM dealer eventually decided that one of the tires on the Monterey was bad and after replacement, found a very noticeable improvement but at least one other tire needs replacing. Neither the dealer or NTB tire store has found anything wrong on the CV but NTB advises that I should replace the Goodyears with a different brand. All four Goodyears on my previous 1999 MGM failed around 32000 miles - belt slippage.
  • galeinazgaleinaz Posts: 3
    I recently purchased a 2003 Grand Marquis LS Ultimate Edition with only 10,500 miles on it. I love the car as I am a junkie for all the bells and whistles, especially like the large digital readouts on the instrument panel. I am NOT happy with the way the car rides. It seems very stiff and you feel every pothole. It seems to me that a large luxury car like this should have a more comfortable ride. My wife's 2002 Camry has a smoother ride than this car. It is equipped with the original Michelins, which I understand are a quality tire. Short of running the tires under-inflated which would impact mileage, is there anything I or the dealer can do to make this car ride better?
  • euphoniumeuphonium Great Northwest, West of the Cascades.Posts: 3,425
    Perhaps your GMLSUE also has the "Handling Package", sometimes called the "Touring Package" and this will lead to a harder than usual ride, but it will corner like a speeding locomotive and handle much better than without.

    Indicators of the package include: dual exhaust, oversize tires, higher rear end gear in the differential, 3.55 instead of a 3.25, thicker stablizor bars, extra heavy duty shocks that are stiff. Decoding the numbers on the door will help you know what you have.

    If you can adjust to the above, you will appreciate its qualities over time. Improved handling is safer than yawing and pitching. :)
  • galeinazgaleinaz Posts: 3
    Thank you for your reply. This is the first Mercury I have owned so I have no idea how to decode the numbers on the door. It has a single exhaust and the tires are Michelin P225/60R. Is that a standard size for the car? Since I am retired and don't do a lot of fast cornering the stiff suspension is kind of wasted on me. Would replacement shocks help?
  • jsylvesterjsylvester Posts: 572
    You are not the first one to complain about the ride on the 03 Grand Marquis. There is some speculation that Ford tuned the ride and handling up too much on the 03, but had softened it up a bit later.

    My only suggestion is to possibly swap out the rear air bags with those that go on the Town Car - any year should work. Or, I would see if the dealer has a different part number for a new model Grand Marquis - maybe they have softened the settings in later model years.
  • brucelincbrucelinc Posts: 815
    If you have the single exhaust you do not have the handling package. Jsylvester is right. The 2003 models had a revised suspension setup designed to provide better road feel and better handling. Many complained about the stiffer ride. I recall renting a 2003 Town Car and being shocked at how stiff it was - not as smooth as my Lincoln LS.

    I think the problem was addressed in later years. I am not sure if they used softer suspension bushings, different shocks, or what. I have rented newer GMs and TCs and found the ride much better than the 03's. You might want to explore this with a high volume dealer. I guarantee you they had some buyer reluctance to the ride of the 03's and they might have suggestions regarding shocks or other fairly simple modifications.
  • 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: 815
    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: 3,425
    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?
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