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60s-70s big Chevrolets vs. big Fords



  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 25,387
    ...I saw your post over in the GM forum and responded there, so go check it out. Overall, I think they're pretty good cars. I came close to buying a used '96 with the LT-1 350 a few years ago, but the dealer and I just couldn't come to a price we could both agree on.
  • northstartnorthstart Member Posts: 41
    351M, I have seen a few of these and noted the similarity to the Cleveland, but admittedly I didn't know what they were.

    The 351 that I have came from a 75 (or there abouts) Torino. However, its been rebuilt with a number of choice parts including SVO heads, TRW Piston with C & A Dura-moly rings etc, etc.

    Unfortunately thoogh, I have been trying to pull this project together for almost 3 years, and each time something important has come up and stopped me, therefore my fingers are tightly crossed for 2002.
  • chevytruck_fanchevytruck_fan Member Posts: 432
    Got a book on cars of the 70's, I have to say GM really kicked Ford's butt in the 70's as far as cars. I prefer the Oldsmobiles though, over the Chevrolets.
  • modvptnlmodvptnl Member Posts: 1,352
    The Cleveland was done in '74. If you have a '75 it may very well be an "M". Please enlighten me on the SVO heads. My research has shown no aftermarket heads for a Cleveland except the very pricey Yates NASCAR heads.

    Are your valve covers off????
  • modvptnlmodvptnl Member Posts: 1,352
    Give us some examples. After about '71 they were all smog junk cars with the exception of a few 180HP(?) 455's
  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 25,387
    I think when you look back to when they were new, and what the public preferred, GM pretty much had everybody beat, and big cars were what they were good at. In fact, GM sold such a large proportion of big, thirsty cars that its Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) was by far the worst of the Big Three. That's not to say that GM vehicles, car-for-car, were more of a guzzler than their competition, though. For example, I think the Nova typically made up about 15% of Chevy's sales total. OTOH, the Valiant/Duster probably made up more like 30-40% of Plymouth's sales total, because by the 70's, bigger cars like the Satellite and Fury just weren't selling like they used to. Because big cars were where GM's strength was, they had to react more quickly to the upcoming CAFE regulations, and were the first to downsize.

    If you look at HP ratings back then, well, everybody took a hit in the early '70's. Some companies cut compression ratios in '71, and in the big switchover from gross to net hp, some compression ratios were cut further, so there was a real HP loss along with the "paper" loss. It seems in the earlier '70's, GM and Ford suffered bigger hp losses than Chryslers, but into the mid-70's, GM stopped the slide and mad a bit of a comeback. Ford continued to slide, though, and Chrysler joined them. By the late '70's, GM was still making 350's with 170-185 hp or so. Chrysler still offered a hairy 360 that put out something like 190-195. I think the best Ford could muster by the late 70's 351's was about 140-150 hp.

    My grandparents had a '72 Impala with a 350 2-bbl, that put out 165 hp. By 1979, the Impala had lost a good 600-700 lb or more, yet the optional 350 (I think it was a 4-bbl though) put out 170 hp. The standard V-8 though would've been a 305-2bbl with something like 135-145 hp. These later-70's cars though would've been strangled with taller gearing though, so a '79 350 Impala would probably just barely beat my grandparents' '72, while a '79 305 would've struggled to keep up. At least from the contemporary 0-60 times I remember reading.

    I know not too many people are going to buy a big late 70's car to go drag racing in, but I think one of the most powerful would be a late 70's Catalina, LeSabre, or Delta 88. The Buick/Olds were offered with 403's putting out something like 185 hp, and the Catalina could have that engine or a Pontiac 400 putting out around 180 hp. There were also a few '79 Chrysler Newports and Dodge St. Regis models built with the 195-horse 360, which was essentially a police car engine (in fact, I think most of those Mopars were actually sold to police orders) While these numbers may sound low by today's standards, keep in mind that a big Chevy didn't get back up over the 170 hp mark until the early '90's, and by that time they put on weight again. Same for the big Fords...they were stuck with 150 hp 302's right up through '91. And the Ford 4.6 big-car engines are probably just now reaching those old 70's car levels in torque ratings.

    Wasn't Ford the first of the Big-Three to get rid of their hardtop body styles in their big cars? When Ford re-did their big cars, I think you could get a hardtop sedan in just '73 and '74. Sometime around '75, they restyled the 2-door, getting rid of the hardtop design and going for a funky roofline that had a tiny little opera window and then a bigger window further back in the C-pillar. Mercury kept the pillarless coupes, but at one point I think they started making the back windows stationary.

    I know with GM you could get a hardtop sedan through '76. In the Catalina/LeSabre/Delta lines (and maybe the Bonneville, too) you could still get a hardtop coupe, but the Caprice, 98, Electra, and Coupe DeVille all had fixed windows and a B-pillar starting in '74. You could still get an Impala hardtop coupe in '74, but I'm not sure about '75-76...they may have all had those long, thin fixed windows in back by then.

    Chrysler was actually still selling "true" hardtops in '78. All the New Yorker 4-doors by that time were hardtops, and the Newport gave you a choice of a B-pillared sedan or a hardtop. Most of the 2-door models by then had padded landau roofs and fixed opera windows (and one hell of a blind spot), but I've seen one or two around that were still true hardtops. In fact, I came close to buying a '78 Newport hardtop coupe with a 400 CID engine for $800 back in '96. (It's probably a good thing I didn't buy every car I came close to buying...I'd probably have a junkyard by now!)
  • northstartnorthstart Member Posts: 41
    The Torino Looked similar to the Starsky & Hutch car so I assumed it was probably about a 75. It sometime can be difficult to identify the exact model year of an imported cars here in the UK, as license plates tend to show the year in which the vehicle was registered rather than the year of manufacture.

    As for the heads. I don’t have their specs at hand however, they were advertised (here in the UK) under the Ford Motorsport SVO Performance Equipment banner; (I have been told that they were based on an alloy competition unit) and were sold (here) as a street performance head rather than an out-and-out race head, (cost about $2500 for the pair).

    They were purchased from a reputable specialist dealer here in the UK about three and a half years ago (although they no longer to appear in their catalogue) as part of an overall performance package they offered, which also included an Edelbrock cam/rocker/spring kit, bearings, core plugs etc.

    Compared to the original heads, the valve and ports are much larger as are some of the water-ways, although, I think the valve stems actually look smaller, however this could be just me.
  • jsylvesterjsylvester Member Posts: 572
    Ford has a new Crown Victoria Sport version out for 2002. My question is why they did not name it the Galaxie 500, as that is what a Galaxie always was, the sporty version of the full size Ford.

    They have no problem calling the law enforcement version the Police Interceptor, so why not use a good name? It's not like they advertise the Crown Vic, and if they do, never to anyone under 60 anyways.
  • speedshiftspeedshift Member Posts: 1,598
    I wonder if you have some kind of Cleveland 4V heads. There are four types:

    1970-71 standard 4V quench head 61.3-64.3 cc
    1971 Boss 351 quench 64.6-67.6 cc screw-in rocker studs
    1971 Cobra Jet/1972-74 standard 4 barrel open chamber 73.9-76.9 cc
    1972-74 High Output (HO) open chamber 73.9-76.9 cc screw-in rocker studs

    All have the 2.198/1.715" valves.

    The quench chambers are heart-shaped while the open chambers are round.

    I don't have any casting numbers but there must be a web site that has photos of these heads.

    Any of these 4V heads will fit the M raised block but the matching big port intake won't because the block is about one inch taller.
  • modvptnlmodvptnl Member Posts: 1,352
    Is this all from memory???

    302's had 150 HP in '91??? Try 185-225.

    Ford had a 400 that had close to 180 HP also.

    The GM vs Ford 350/351 were never more than a few HP apart and usually the torque #'s would favor the lesser HP motor.

    The only thing in GM's favor was that they still had a few quasi performance cars in their Corvette, Camaro and firebird. The Mustang II was a joke but I've read that just like now they still out sold the cam/birds.

    Northstart, I was asking about valve covers because I wanted you to check the valve spring layout. If they are splayed at angles or in line.

    Can you check the tail light lens? I don't know when they stopped doing it but the year of the car used to be cast in the plastic lens.
  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 25,387
    ...the Mustang had some pretty potent engines by '91, but the standard issue Crown Vic engine was still just a 150 hp 302, although it was a pretty torquey monster, something like 270 ft-lb. As for the Ford 400, according to my auto encyclopedia (which could be wrong), the last year it had 180 hp was 1976. It was down to 173 for 1977, 160-166 for 1978, and in its 1979 finale, it was down to 159 hp, and only available in the big Lincoln Continental (2- and 4-door dreamboats) and Mark V.

    Olds and Pontiac actually had slightly higher-spec engines than what I mentioned, though. The Olds 403 was pretty much 185 hp stock across the board, although there was a 200 hp version for '77 and a 195 hp version for '78. The Pontiac 400 was usually 180 hp, although there was also a 200 and a 220 hp version. I'm pretty sure those high-spec 400's were only available in the Trans Am though, and the 403's were probably Toronado-only engines.

    As for taillight lenses, they do still put the model year, but they put the model year that the taillight lens was first cast. For example, my '00 Intrepid has "98" cast in the taillight number.
  • ghuletghulet Member Posts: 2,564
    ....I'm pretty sure was standard on 98s until 1979, FWIW. That could be a fun 'mini' (compared to its predecessors) dreamboat.
  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 25,387
    ...actually the 350 was standard, but the 403 was optional, and I'm sure most of 'em came that way. I dated a girl once (well, okay, several times ;-) who had a '78 or '79 98 with the 403. She let me drive it a few times, and it felt pretty strong. It constantly broke down on her, but it was never an engine or tranny problem! Might be the fact that her parents only paid a few hundred $ for it, and most likely "bought" an inspection sticker! Oh yeah, big back seat, too...
  • modvptnlmodvptnl Member Posts: 1,352
    Forgot about the Crown Vic. Pretty sure the truck 302's were over 180 by then.

    Also pretty sure if the Crown Vic was down on HP by 20 it was probably up 20 lbs feet of torque vs the GM 5.0 of '91.

    Vehicle for vehicle I'd bet there wasn't that much diff in HP vs. Torque meaning if one engine was higher in HP the other power figure(torque) would compensate.

    I also remember some of the "higher spec" motors not being available in Ca. the T/A's had to use the Olds 403 instead of the higher HP Pontiac 400.

    I think what I'm getting at is I'm not going to squabble over 20 or so horsepower or 20# more torque as being better or worse. It was a terrible time for all IMHO.

    I remember a CAR AND DRIVER top speed test around '77-'78 where the fastest American car was a mid size Chrysler with a 360 and the top speed was a whopping 120 MPH. That test included Vette, T/A, camaro and the 454 1/2ton at that time. The POS Mustang II with its 140ish HP 302 did around 110.....sad time indeed.
  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 25,387 that nowadays with rev limiters and stuff, 120 hp probably is fast by today's standards! I remember another comparison test from around 1975 or '76, where the fastest American car was another 360...the Plymouth Duster/Dodge Dart Sport. I'm guessing the '77-78 model was either a Volare Road Runner or an Aspen R/T.

    One thing I've always wondered did the 302 get so torquey? I'd always thought that a longer stroke would usually give you more torque, but the 302's stroke is shorter than both the Chevy 305 and the Olds 307. I thought the 302 was designed more for quicker revving? I think in 1990, the 305 was rated at 170 hp/250 ft-lb of torque, and the 307, in its final year, was at the same 140/255 it had always been. So you're right about Chevy's 305 flip-flopping those 20 hp/20 ft-lb with Ford!
  • modvptnlmodvptnl Member Posts: 1,352
    the difference is they're usually there because of tire limitations and EASILY re-flashed if you want. The newer Mustang GT comes to mind. If you had the lesser 16" tires they limited 'em. find a GT with the z tires and use its VIN and you can remove the limiter. Instant 140+ MPH car!!!

    The key to the torque of the 302 after '86 was the long runner EFI setup. It was a true port injection compared to GM's throttle body EFI that they hung on to for a lot longer.

    I remember in the late 80's early 90's for some EPA reasons the Cambirds could only get the 350 in the IROC and GTA with the Automatic. both the 5 speed 5.0 Mustang and 5.0 GM five speeds were quicker giving up 10-20 horsepower AND torque to the bigger motor.
  • chevytruck_fanchevytruck_fan Member Posts: 432
    about the 70's

    well andre was saying GM had people beat in big cars, in this 70s' Cars book I got it talks about how after the gas crunch people still bought these huge GM cars, its what they liked.

    As far as specific example, mainly its personal preference in design, like I think the Ford front ends were just hideous, the Mercury Cougars, oh my, and the Lincolns had what I consider tacky rear ends with the round thing. The lincolns did have really nice interiors though.

    One thing I noticed in the 70's lots of cars had the heater controls on the left?

    In 1976 You could get a Delta 88 standard with a 170 Hp 350 V8, (I saw a site that listed the torque for a 70's 350 and it was like 275 ft lbs, that still would make for good off line acceleration) where a Mercury Montego could be had with a 154 HP 351, 16 hp is a significant difference, about 10% more HP in the 350.

    the standard six in a monarch was 81 hp 200 I6, and their 250 I6 had 90 Hp for the Monarch Ghia.

    The Olds Cutlass came standard with a 250 cu in I6 with 105 hp, were talking over 10 % differnce here.

    The biggest engines in 76 hp ratings
    Chevy 454 225hp
    Olds 455 190hp (The toronado had 115)
    Ford 460 202hp

    Also GM offered different engines, you could get the Rocket 350 or the Chevy 350
  • modvptnlmodvptnl Member Posts: 1,352
    Looks are obviously subjective and like Andre and I have hashed out(and you've conveniently left out) is that for every motor with equal diplacement that has a HP advantage the other motor will have the torque advantage. Except for the Vette/cambirds, a GM vs. Ford in the Full size cars would be all very close in their dismal performance. In fact, I remember a LTD vs Caprice vs Chrysler full size shoot out with the biggest motors available and the LTD with its whopping near 18 second 1/4 mile time was the fastest.

    Even if one make was waaay better than the other it was a time, as far as performance goes, that any bragging rights are sort of moot.
  • northstartnorthstart Member Posts: 41
    From your list it looks like the heads I have could be 1971 Boss 351 quench 64.6-67.6 cc as the chambers are heart shaped, also I have found an old magazine with the add and the heads are advertised as SVO 351 Cleveland 65 cc (+ or -) street/performance.
  • otoluvaotoluva Member Posts: 196
    I'm in love with the big old American cars that were made in the 60s and 70s,unfortunately I was too young to enjoy these beasts when they were roaming the streets.Is there a way I can look at pics of all of these cars and research them?
  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 25,387
    ...well, you can go to just about any big book store, and look in their automotive section, and I'm sure you'll find plenty of books on old cars. Consumer Guide currently puts out some books that are decade-specific. For Christmas, I got one called "Cars of the Sizzling '60's" that's full of color pics, original ads, color charts, and all sorts of other details. They also make one called "Cars of the Sensational '70's", that I want to get. I wouldn't be surprised if eventually they make one called "Cars of the Awesome '80's!"

    Also, sometimes if you just go to a search engine and type a specific car name, you'll find plenty of web pages devoted to that particular car. Sometimes if you look up cars for sale on E-bay or AutoTrader online, you'll find some great, detailed pics of cars being sold. A lot of people take engine bay and interior shots too, so they give you a really good "feel" of what the car was like.
  • otoluvaotoluva Member Posts: 196
    Thank you for taking the time to reply,I appreciate it,was helpful
  • lemkolemko Member Posts: 15,261
    ...I have the '70s book and it is awesome! I remember all of these cars when they were brand new. My Dad had three '70s cars - a 1970 Ford Torino, a 1972 Ford LTD, and a 1978 Ford Granada.
  • northstartnorthstart Member Posts: 41
    The town where I live (in the North East of England) during the 70's was at that time a pretty boarding place car wise. All except for a friend of my father. He drove a 1970 Ford LTD. It was black with chromed 5 spoke wheels. It just looked so cool!

    He had the car up until the mid 80's until some clown in a VW Golf GTi managed to rear end it at over 70. Although he did by another LTD, a mid 80's model that came from one of the American Air force bases.

    He also owned a very nice 1970 4 door Lincoln. Unfortunately, he past away just over two years ago, and his family, not knowing what to do with the cars scraped them!#####

    I could have cried. The Lincoln was immaculate. It was only used on the weekends and the LTD was also in good shape. But, I found out there fate to late to do anything.
  • sebringjxisebringjxi Member Posts: 140
    My father-in-law always bought a new Mercury about every 2 years to pull his 30 foot+ travel trailer with. His last must have been a '78, it was special ordered, of course, kind of a sedan version of the "camper special". It was dove gray (remember that?), 460-4V, dual exhausts, air shocks on the rear, oil cooler, transmission cooler, heavy duty everything, including some suspension components brought over from the police interceptor Fords, I think. It was a mover... gobs of torque and a ride that was not quite that luxury yacht feel, more like a PT boat! There was a period of several months shortly after wife and I married that we had frequent use of that car--I loved it. Years later I bought an honest to goodness "Camper Special" a 1977 Ford F-100, 400-2V, that big rascal generated more horses than any 2V engine I ever sat behind, but it had a nasty habit of burning oil very sporatically. Driving across town you might lose a quart, but not lose another for 3 weeks. You might drive it for a month with the sump full, then one day, boom, you were 2 quarts down...... I pulled my travel trailer with it for about a year and sold it to a guy who literally pulled stumps with it!

  • northstartnorthstart Member Posts: 41
    I must admit I like the idea of an early seventies Country Squire or Mercury Marquise for a summer curser. I think it would be great for vacations.
  • ghuletghulet Member Posts: 2,564
    I really would like a big old station wagon as a second car (way too big and thirsty for a daily driver, IMO). My grandparents had a 69 Chevrolet Kingswood Estate (9-passenger, green with wood paneling and just about every option), what a cool car that was.
  • lemkolemko Member Posts: 15,261
    ...who was the local grocer drove a big gold 1968 Chevrolet Brookwood station wagon for deliveries when I was a kid. It had a black jacquard and vinyl interior and was powered by a 307 V-8. My Dad almost bought a gold 1968 Chevrolet Bel Air with a 307 V-8 after his 1961 Chevrolet Biscayne was severely damaged in an accident. He got a much smaller 1968 AMC Javelin instead. We kids named it "Cootie."
  • jerrym3jerrym3 Member Posts: 202
    In 1969, I needed a car for my wife of two years to drive to work. Purchased a 64 Galaxie 500 convt, peacock with turquoise interior, 352-4V. Car had 46,000 miles and needed a valve job. Full price, with valve job, $795.

    By the mid 70's, the rust really started to make the car look like a wreck. The rear bumper even rotted through. Car also started to puff a lot of white smoke, and the trans started to act up. I thought about selling it, but decided to change the trans modulator first. I'll be darned if that didn't correct all those problems.

    Then I saw a 57 DeSoto on a used car lot, and almost bought it to replace the Galaxie. But, since converts were no longer being made, I decided to keep the Ford and fix it up.

    I converted the car to a 500XL (bought a junked 64XL hardtop and stripped all the 500XL pieces, including the buckets and console), replaced the rusty fenders and bumpers, had the quarter panels repaired, and repainted the car.

    Original trans lasted 170,000 miles before rebuild. Replaced the entire motor at about 140,000 with a motor taken out of a different junked car. (Still a 352-4V) Replaced the 3.0 rear with a 3.5 ratio from a manual 352 wagon.

    Car now has 205,000 miles, and is a much a part of the family as the dog. Rides highways great (even with a rotted chassis-thank goodness for the convert's X member), a little sad crossing railroad tracks or riding really rough roads. Motor now has about 110,000 on it. Ride greatly improved by going to radials.

    Car still gets a lot of looks, although the buckets are starting to show wear.

    As the bow over the windshield is rotted out and the present convertible top was glued to it, when this top goes, the car will most likely be terminated.

    After owning it for 33 years, that will be one sad day.
  • im_brentwoodim_brentwood Member Posts: 4,883
    I own a 73 Marquis Brougham... It is lucky to get 11mpg on the Highway with the cruise on at 70mph...

    You sure you wanna run one of these in the UK???

    Also.. suggestions on making mine faster? 429-4v is the current plant. Wish it had a 71 engine..

  • ehaaseehaase Member Posts: 328
    There is a beautiful picture of a 1973 Country Squire on page 5 of the 1/21/02 issue of Auto Week. It is an article about the new crossover vehicles, with pictures of the Chrysler Pacifica and VW Magellan.

    I find the Country Squire far more appealing than those new sport wagons.
  • northstartnorthstart Member Posts: 41
    I like the idea of diving something that little bit different, so after looking at a variety of European vehicles from the seventies, the only manufacturer that still has support for vehicles of this age is Ford. As I already own a 1983 Ford Granada (European Model) and after talking to one of my friend who own a late seventies Cadillac I like the idea of soemthign American.

    When it comes to cars in the UK, you have three major expenses. Insurance, Road Fund License (A tax of vehicle ownership) and Fuel.

    Insurance is easy as if you use one of the many specialist companies you can issue most American cars far cheaper that European models. In my friends case he pays about $160 a year for his Caddy and almost $900 for his VW Golf. (Insurance can be strange over here).

    Next is the Road fund License: This is free on any car built before 1973. And about $170 a year on any car built afterwards.

    And finally fuel. This can be the most expensive as fuel run at about $5 to $6 an gallon, however, American car enthusiast over here are now turning to Liquid Propane Gas conversions. As it's consider to be a clean fuel and it does not have emissions Tax.

    This means that it almost three times cheaper the regular pump Gas.

    Taking all of this into account, if you choose sensible you can run a full size American car for the same or even less than a newer European model. Add to that the number of parts suppliers and the low cost of parts then it just all adds to the appeal.
  • speedshiftspeedshift Member Posts: 1,598
    I think a 6-71 sticking through the hood of your Marquis would be a stirring sight. Maybe some discrete flames too.
  • spokanespokane Member Posts: 514
    I agree that the '71 engine had far greater possibilities than the low-compression '73. Of course you can use Speedshift's "huffing plan" and change the fuel mileage from 11 MPG to maybe 6 MPG....

    I enjoyed ownership of a '73 Ford LTD 429-4V for ~80K miles. I believe this engine was the same as yours although my reference book shows 201 HP for the Ford and 171 HP for the Marquis. (I believe 201 HP is correct for both cars.) By deactivating the EGR valve and setting the time as high possible without detonation and using regular gasoline, I was able to obtain 14.5 to 15.0 MPG on the highway. I recall that 70 MPH was no worse than 50 MPH. Even though gasoline isn't what it once was, I believe you could see a worthwhile MPG improvement by optimizing the ignition time, "adjusting" the EGR, making sure the carb float level is correct, and possibly replacing the main jets. No huffing in this scheme....
  • speedshiftspeedshift Member Posts: 1,598
    Oh sure, I just like the sound of the word "huffed". "Huffed." Nitrous might be interesting though.

    Spokane is right, just undoing all the Mickey Mouse smog tuning would do a world of good. I don't know if anyone does dyno-tuning anymore, but you can duplicate it by recurving the distributor advance, cranking in more initial timing and rejetting the carb. Take off any external smog controls like EGR or ported spark.

    I don't think you want to go beyond that. Changing the cam, intake and carb (the Edelbrock Performer package is a great street set-up) would certainly wake up the engine but I don't think the end result would be worth the expense. Not unless you're going to go sedan racing...
  • northstartnorthstart Member Posts: 41
    I don't know? A tuned motor, lowered slightly and a set of 18 inch rims, could be just the ticket!

    I saw a nice looking Country Squire as a show here in the UK last summer. It looked like a 69 or 70, was a dark metallic blue with what looked like late model Lincoln wheels and was slammed on the deck.

    It didn't have any specs posted and I never had the opportunity to talk to the owner so I don't know what was under the hood, although I suspect that it would have had either hydraulics or air suspension because it sat right on the ground. Looked good though.
  • jrosasmcjrosasmc Member Posts: 1,711
    In comparing the last of the full-size Chevys, the '96 Caprice, with a similar-year Ford Crown Vic, which sedan weighed more? And which one got better gas mileage and had better performance?
  • ehaaseehaase Member Posts: 328
    I don't have exact figures, but the difference in gas mileage and weight would be marginal.

    A Crown Victoria with a 4.6L V8 would probably be marginally faster (if at all) than a Caprice with a 4.3L V8, but a Caprice with a 5.7L V8 would be much faster than any Crown Victoria.
  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 25,387
    I looked up some figures on Edmund's. The Crown Vic/Grand Marquis come in at just under 4,000 lb. The Caprice was around 4100 lb. Engine size doesn't matter, since the 4.3 and 5.7 are the same block.

    A few years back, I test drove two Caprices: a '94 with the 4.3 and a '96 with the 5.7. I also have a friend with a '95 Grand Marquis GS, that he had just bought at the time. I'd say the Chevy 4.3 and the Ford 4.6 are about the same...nothing to get excited about. The 4.6 has a lot of torque for an engine that size, but it hits it at a high rpm. And the Chevy's 200 hp sounds good, for a 4.3, but it only puts out 245 ft-lb of torque, which is about what the typical boat-anchor 305 used to put out in the '70's and 80's.

    Now Ford does offer a performance package, which includes better tires, stiffere suspension, dual exhaust, and quicker gearing. Stock gearing is something like 2.73, but optional, Ford seems to switch back and forth between 3.23 and 3.55. This model would most likely dust any base Crown Vic or Caprice 4.3, but the LT-1 350 would still blow it away. In fact, when I got behind the wheel of that '96 with the 350, I fell in love! But the dealership just gave me a bad vibe, so I walked. Ended up buying a brand new '00 Intrepid a week or so later (for about $50-60 more a month than the Caprice's note would've been). The Intrepid's been a good car, but sometimes I wish I'd found another Caprice with the LT-1!

    Oh yeah, fuel's some figures I found for 1996...
    Crown Vic 4.6: 17/25
    Caprice 4.3: 18/26
    Caprice 5.7: 17/26
    Crown Victoria Cop 4.6: 17/23

    I figure the police-spec Crown Vic would roughly equate to the civilian models with the performance package.
  • ehaaseehaase Member Posts: 328
    I owned a 1989 Crown Victoria with a 150 hp 302 for many years.

    About 2 years ago, I test drove a 2000 Grand Marquis with the 200 hp 4.6L V8. It did not feel any faster than my Crown Vic. Except for the new car smell, it felt no different to drive.

    Hopefully, the new versions with 220 hp feel a bit faster.
  • jsylvesterjsylvester Member Posts: 572
    67 Galaxie with the 390 v-8. I have not driven the car in about a month, but it was in the 50's and sunny today, and it had rained earlier in the week to clean the salt off the streets, so I thought I would take the convertible out.

    Tried to start it, and nothing at all happened. No clicking noise like the starter solnoid firing, just the dash warning lights go out when the key is turned to the start position. From having a Miata in storage every winter for years, I assumed it was the battery. The accessory position on the ignition switch works, radio works. Took the battery in for testing, (4 years old 60 month battery). After about a 10 minute test at Autozone, the battery came back as good. Hooked up a trickle charger, waited overnight, still nothing this morning.

    The ground wire looks good, and I cannot come up with anything else that would just happen on it's own after sitting for a month. I noticed in December the car turned over a little weak, but it was in the 30's and I knew the battery may have been drained a little then.

    Any other possibilities besides the battery? I thought maybe it just needed charged, and I really don't want to start tearing the starter off. I don't know how old the starter is, could be original for all I know, but I would think the solenoid would fire if it was the starter itself. I am 90% sure it is electrical.
  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 25,387 '67 Catalina pulls that stunt sometimes. In my case, it's the gear shifter. It's a bit loose, so if you don't shift it firmly into "Park", then when you go to start it again, it thinks it's in Reverse, and nothing. So maybe a problem with your shifter, or the neutral safety switch, or something like that?
  • speedshiftspeedshift Member Posts: 1,598
    Well, that's fairly exotic stuff. I'd start with the basics or you could end up doing a ground-up restoration on the car and wishing you'd bought a Camry.

    It could be the starter but before pulling it I'd clean all the battery cable connections with a wire brush and coat them with Vaseline. Better yet, just replace the cables with good quality parts, not neccessarily the stuff your corner parts store sells. I'm not a big fan of replacing parts for the heck of it but cables can look good and still have high resistance, making the battery work harder. It's something I'd do automatically, like replacing all the hoses and belts. Cheap insurance. A four-year-old battery wouldn't give me a lot of confidence either.

    I'd also buy something like my well-worn copy of "Fix Your Ford" by Bill Toboldt, 1969 edition.
  • jsylvesterjsylvester Member Posts: 572
    Andre & Speedshift,

    You are absolutely correct! I was looking through my list of winter projects on the car, and the shifter interlock issue was at the top. I completely forgot about it!

    One of the battery cables was replaced a few years ago, but the other looks original. That should be an easy fix. I'm glad this board is here, as I like to bounce things off at least one or two others before yanking parts. I just remember how my 69 Catalina ate starters, didn't want to start messing with it.

    I'm getting laid off at work, so my mind is screwy this weekend. However, I already have a job interview lined up this week with a better organization. I'm a tax accountant, and they say death and taxes are the only certainties!

    May be a good time between jobs to do the center console project, the gear indicator light bulb is burned out, and the neutral switch on the console shifter issue is the same as Andre. I know DetroitIron offers the shop manuals on CD-ROM.
  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 25,387
    JSylvester, don't feel too bad. Back in '95, my Catalina pulled it's little "I'm in Park but I think I'm in Reverse", while my (at the time) wife was driving it. She drove it to the shopping center up the street, where there's a K-mart, grocery store, and a bunch of other little shops, looking for a job. When she came back to the car, and went to start it up, nothing. She called me, and I came and looked at it, turned the key, and nothing. I fooled around with the battery cables, but still nothing, not even a click. So I gave up on it, and had the mechanics at K-mart look at it. They spent about an hour messing with it, and couldn't get it to start either. So then one of the guys said "Oh crap, we're gonna have to push this monster!" But then one of the guys jumped in to put it in neutral, and he said "It's not all the way in Park!" He shoved it all the way up, and the thing fired right up!

    As for eating starters, that must be a common Pontiac trait. My '69 Bonneville used to eat starters, or more specifically, starter solenoids, on a regular basis. It had been struck by lightning though, so I guess it had an excuse! Anyway, good luck with the job interview. I've never been laid off, but every time our contract goes up for renewal, it always hangs over our heads. Scary feeling!
  • rea98drea98d Member Posts: 982
    A couple of months ago, my T-Bird wouldn't start. I had a lot of things going that day, so I called a friend from church to give me a ride. That afternoon, we get back to my house, and I spent the better part of three hours trying to take my ignition switch apart, poking under the hood for a starter relay, unsuccessfully jump-starting...none of it worked. All the accessories worked, voltage guage showed good, but the engine wouldn't turn over. I figured I needed a break to rest my brain, and went to help my friend move his washer & dryer into his apt. I got home that afternoon, sat down in the driver's seat of my T-Bird, and it hit me like a ton of bricks. I moved the gearshift into drive, then back to park, and hit the starter. VROOM!!! At that point, any feeling of jubilation for getting the thing started was overcome by the overriding sense that I was a complete and utter airhead. But at least we had a good laugh out of it.
  • jerrym3jerrym3 Member Posts: 202
    As long as we're talking about stupid moves, here's my entry.

    In 1989, I got the opportunity to buy a white, 1958 TBird hardtop with 49,000 original miles from the original owner, a 93 year old lady.

    Car hadn't been run in three years, and was sitting on four flats, parked nose in, in a very narrow one car garage.

    So, my brother-in-law and I rented an air compressor, filled up the tires (surprise; they held air), and rolled the car out.

    We removed the plugs, squirted some oil down the sparkplug holes, threw on a set of jumper cables, poured a little gas down the carb, and cranked the motor. Started right up, but ran a little rough.

    We take it for a test ride; car shifts fine, but continues to run rough.

    What the heck, she only wanted $4,000, so I figured that the gas was bad, or the plugs/wires/distributor cap were shot, so I bought it.

    Drove it home about 15 miles and started to get a little concerned about the miss. Parked it in the garage and went in for dinner.

    After dinner, I went to the garage and popped the hood on my new toy. That's when I realized that, while I had connected the four plugs on the driver side of the car, my brother-in-law had not connected the plugs on his side. It was running on four cylinders.

    Needless to say, the miss went away as soon as I connected all eight wires.

    Car now has 60,000 miles, and is one of the nicest unrestored originals you'd ever want to see. Even has the original dealer paperwork showing the price (in the $4,000 range) all the options (like skirts) and the buyer's trade-in: $700 on a 1950 Nash. I've replaced the front bucket seatcovers, had the back bumper rechromed (five pieces), and changed the cracked dashpad (major undertaking).

    The part that kills me is that the little old lady confessed that, back when they bought the car, she and her husband really wanted the two door, but were a few weeks late with their order. Argh!!!!!
  • ghuletghulet Member Posts: 2,564
    Did you mean two seater? Sounds like you got a great deal at your $4000 anyway, hope you're still enjoying it.
  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 25,387
    Unless he meant to say a '68 and the old lady got a 4-door instead of a 2-door, but then the 4-door wouldn't have been a hardtop. And I doubt you'd get $700 trade-in on a '50 Nash in 1968! ;-)
  • ghuletghulet Member Posts: 2,564
This discussion has been closed.