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Opinions on the Crown Victoria Police interceptor?

al_saadallahal_saadallah Posts: 23
edited March 2014 in Ford
I am seriously thinking about getting a 1998 Crown Victoria With police interceptor package. I have seen lots on ebay and they are dirt cheap and in awesome condition. What are your opinions on these cars and what is common as far as repairs and defects.



  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    there are shops that strip police cruisers and rebuild them with new parts, and they do a booming business, because there is a limited build of these machines, and they are expensive. by the time a public service agency gets rid of a cruiser, they are pretty well worn out... engines, suspension, running gear, brakes. the replacement parts for a cop car are also expensive, heavy duty parts.

    there is also a long line of cab companies and some private buyers in line to get the few "police specials" that are sold because once rehabbed (but then, we have all followed cabs that are fogging mosquitoes with their exhaust) they are very solid vehicles that take a lot of abuse and keep running.

    so... short version... unlikely you will get a cream puff. likely you will have to sink a lot of bucks into the car to get it into top shape. but if you do, there is a good chance you can get your money out of it over time.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 58,868
    Police cruisers and ex-cabs have very low resale value because they are generally driven until they are very tired. The only time police cruisers are worth anything is with all their equipment intact and working. Of course, then you can't drive them on public roads.

    This is why many states require disclosure of any vehicle used in police work, to protect the consumer against buying these basically beat to hell machines.

    If someone has rebuilt one, and can prove it with documents, you might take a chance, fine, but don't pay too much because when it comes time to sell, you won't get many takers.

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  • q45manq45man Posts: 416
    and add all the optional items: springs, sway bars, alternator, oil, tranny, ps, diff coolers, change the diff be ahead and have a nicer interior.
    The problem is the idling, even at 100k odometer the tranny and engine may have the equivalent of 300,000 miles!
  • What kind of idling problem do they have? I would get one and put the Flowmaster 40 series mufflers on it, 3" headers, K&N Filter, power programmer for ECU.
  • zueslewiszueslewis Posts: 2,353
    supervisors car, or the like. A friend bought an '88 Crown Vic - grey w/spotlight - from the Abilene, TX police auction in 1990 - it was a supervisor's car with only 80,000 miles. Ran great, cost him $1500 - a pretty good deal.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,054
    ...back in August, 1998, I bought an '89 Gran Fury that had been a sherrif's car in Richmond, VA. It had a camshaft problem that prompted its retirement around the 73,000 mile mark. It was bought by a place that fixes up old police cars and re-sells them to the public. They threw in a 318 from an '88 Diplomat that had been wrecked, with about 75,000 miles on it.

    When I bought the car, it looked almost brand new. It had been repainted, cleaned up, guaranteed that everything worked, and guaranteed to pass inspection. Right now, it's sitting dead at about 117,000 miles. I think it's the starter, but I'm not sure. Drawing from memory, here's what I've had to put into it...

    10/98: New Starter/radiator hose
    12/98: New fuel pump
    02/99: New belts, valve cover gaskets, front oil seal
    02/99: New starter (I delivered pizzas back then, and was rough on 'em, I guess!)
    02/99: New tires/alignment
    04/99: New front brakes
    06/99: Two new power window motors (both left-side ones...failed at different times, but when the driver's side failed, I gave in and fixed 'em)
    09/00: New front brakes, freeze plug, service tranny
    10/00: New radiator
    04/01: New heater control valve
    01/02: New distributor

    This thing was pretty well-equipped for a police car: power windows/locks/mirrors, tilt wheel, AM/FM/cassette stereo, cloth seats, interval wipers. Everything still works on it, too! Well, except for the starter, that is ;-)
  • zueslewiszueslewis Posts: 2,353
    but where on Earth did we come up with the idea that if you buy a beat up car, put 100,000 more beat up miles on it, that we won't have to put some money into it?

    Cars are machines, they require maintenance, whether we get it done or not, and sometimes things break. Heck, even copying machines require technicians to fix and adjust them weekly or monthly - they don't even go down the road in inclement weather!
  • kinleykinley Posts: 854
    have included P&G, Merck, Pfizer, Upjohn, and several insurance companies. They have successfully purchased the cars, but I've never known of a law officer who wanted the car he had driven.
  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    the "idling problem" that cop cars have it that Officer Friendly has to pull over a drunk. the cop car sits at idle for 30-45 minutes, all warmed up and with power equipment drawing from the oversized battery and alternator, while he does field tests and waits for the tow truck to haul off the drunk's car.

    Officer Friendly then gets a code-3 call for a medical assist 12 miles away, and he puts on the gumballs and screams over to the Weak Arms Apartments and spends the next 30 minutes helping the fire or ambulance guys deal with an overdose or a heart atttack. yes, the cop car is idling and locked.

    it's then time for the Donut Hut, and the car idles while the three shift officers select some dainties and guzzle coffee.

    you get the idea... cop cars are running in idle a lot of the time. building up carbon, moisture in the oil, the alternator loaded by the laptop, five radios, the radar set in standby, the siren set in standby, dome light on, and so forth.

    it isn't that one cylinder of 8 fires at 500 RPM, it's that the car spends 7-1/2 hours running per shift, up to half of that in idle, some of it running flat-out, and the rest stop-and go....... then the next cop gets in, and maybe on Tuesday the engine will get shut off for an oil change.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,054
    ...although it's not the best thing for the environment, but I don't think ex-police cars have to go through the emissions test. At least I've never gotten a notice for my '89 Gran Fury, which I've had for 3 1/2 years now. Now this may vary from state to state, or even different counties, but every other used car I've ever bought (well, the '77 and newer ones!), I'd get the emissions notice about 2 months after I got the thing tagged and titled!

    So I'm guessing that either they just missed my car somehow, or police cars in general, just fall though the cracks. It does make sense, though. For instance, my Gran Fury has a 4-bbl carb and about 35 hp more than a civilian M-body that year, and enough beefing up to bring the already marginal mileage down to horrible levels. That's probably the main reason that the general public can't buy a police car...because it can't pass the emissions test! Similarly, Ford and GM offered 351's and 350's in their police cruisers, although the civvy models back then only had 302's or 305's. This may be a myth, but I've also heard that a few 454's made their way into the 80's Caprices.

    So my guess is that these vehicles were not designed to pass the emissions test, their VINs were never put into the appropriate data bases. Or, I could be totally wrong here, and my case was just a fluke!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 58,868
    Oh, we had a big scandal about that in San Francisco. Cops were busted for removing the emissions equipment so as to make the cars faster. No doughnuts for a month at least.

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  • bcarter3bcarter3 Posts: 145
    It must cost quite a bit to install turn signals in all those police cars!!!!!
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,054
    I have to admit I have a passing fantasy of dropping that stuff from my car. I know that as soon as I did though, I'd get an emissions notice! I wonder how much of a horsepower boost I'd get by dumping the 3 catalytic converters and a smog pump? ;-)
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 58,868
    It may actually run worse. It's not a given that this improves power or performance.

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  • If you really want a cop car for the performance and durability factors like big brakes, hi power engine and so on just wait till the 2003 models roll out from the Ford camp. The have a Mercury Marauder that is out in '03. It is a street drivable cop car just like the Impala SS was in the late 90's. It is supposed to have all the fancy stuff that is on a regular Crown Vic plus all the cop car goodies, well no lights and sirens.

    Check it out here:
  • WOW, That car is nice. I love those chrome exhaust tips and the specs look really nice. I cant wait till it comes out I might wait and get one. I might just buy a Crown vic and put after market flowmaster exhuast 40 series with chrome pipes out the back.
  • bmaigebmaige Posts: 140
    I was Associate Director of Purchasing at a large state university that has its own police force. In talking to the police department about their cars and how long they lasted I found they didn't last nearly as many miles under their use as one would think, and nowhere near what the same car would last under normal driving conditions. They did a lot of stop and go, turn and twist type driving as they patrolled the campus. That accelerated the wear of not only drivetrain components but steering components, as well. In addition, those cars were used 24 hours a day, so they seldom cooled off, and, as someone else pointed out, from idling through the campus to high speed chases on city streets when someone ran. After seeing that I wouldn't trust even a low mileage, relatively recent model vehicle for my use unless it was a detective's car or a supervisor's car, and I could talk to the person who had driven it.

    Other law enforcement agency vehicles might be a different story. Highway patrol cars last more miles, as they are driven a lot of miles every day, but by one person, and should be well cared for. But even then they are subjected to high speed chases on occasion. I think I would stick to a program car or just buy a low end new car if I needed one.
  • mralanmralan Posts: 174
    Can't the general public order the police package in a Crown Vic?
  • Nope, a civilian can not order the police package in Crown Vic. If you know someone that owns/runs a taxi company you can get one that way, but you still cant get the police interceptor model, only the heavy duty suspension, brakes, trans, rear end, and engine. The interceptor uses a high output engine not available to the public. I ran into this problem with a friend that wanted one, dealer said no way no how could a regular "Joe" get a hold of a new one. That Marauder is the same as the police interceptor, just with a Merc. badge on it. Don't ask why it took so long to make the thing, it was originally designed to compete with the Impala SS from Chevy, it was suposed to be out way back in '96 or '97
This discussion has been closed.