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Ford Crown Victoria and Mercury Grand Marquis



  • rea98drea98d Posts: 982
    Links? Huh? Must have been asleep while on the internet. Oh well. That's just a generalization. Seems to be the figure most departments retire their cop cars around. 74K is good mileage, but still, you gotta consider they do things with cop cars that most people dont do. Watch an episode of "Cops" and then decide if you want those guys patrolling around in your car.

    My knowledge of Shakespear hath suffered much decline since my high school days. What was the Merchant of Venice about? (No, I'm not going to see the movie or read the book. Spoil it for me ;-)
  • kinleykinley Posts: 854
    who charges excessive interest could be similar to the revenuers of today who extract excessive dollars from us due to our relatively small problems, i.e. making gas tanks safer in CV's.
  • Does anyone have knowledge of what price to expect to replace sparkplugs only , & plugs + coils, etc?...thanks
  • rea98drea98d Posts: 982
    Get ready to open your wallet wide. For motorcraft plugs, expect to pay 2-3 bucks apiece. $16-24 dollars, not bad, right? Well, the wires themselves are a whole other story. For the Parts Store brand, I paid $80. Motorcraft, or any other better wire will cost more. It seems the 4.6 has an exceptionally long boot on the spark plug end that goes down into the head. On the original Motorcraft wires, this boot is some sort of ceramic. Anyway, they cost a lot more than spark plug wires for Ford's older, pushrod V-8's.
  • Hi guys,I took delivery of a new 2003 Grand Marquis LS Ultimate in July.Very pleased with all aspects of the car,but one,(and you're never going to believe this)it's the ride.Oh! what have they done to the ride?The handling is superb,but the damping is so tied down that the wheels are not allowed to follow dips in the road,they just drag the whole of the car down with them.On some undulating surfaces,when faced with a sudden dip,the cars simply leaves the road for a few seconds,the front wheels making contact with the other side of the dip with a crash.Most disconcerting.Small bump supression is virtually none existant.The handling is so good,and the ride so firm,I wonder if Ford either in error,or by intention,have fit the wrong springs and dampers.i.e.,handling suspension ones.The car has single exhaust,nine spoke alloys with whitewalls,so no indication of handling package.Its certainly not an LSE!Is there any way to check the springs etc?We do not have any Lincoln-Mercury dealers over here,and I probably have the only 2003 on our small island,so comparisons are impossible.The suspension is nowhere near as compliant as my previous Chrysler LHS.Quite a suprise,as I thought that would be the last thing I would miss.Is there any adjustment possible in the rear air suspension?Someone suggested that the damping may have three settings via the message centre,but I can find no trace.Anyway,I am not aware of such a system ever being available on the Mercury.If my car is typical,I should think the traditional customer base for these cars will be somewhat dis-pleased with this new suspension setup.The car is Canadian spec.,but I would not expect this to make a difference, or would it?Has anyone had similar exeriences?Any advice or assistance in this matter would be very much appreciated,as it is taking the edge of what is a very fine motor car.Kind regards to all.
  • dbc123dbc123 Posts: 105
    I recently rented a 2003 GM and immediately noticed that the new suspension is MUCH firmer than that used in the 92-02 cars. It feels very much like the optional handling suspension in 92-02 cars. This is a tragedy. These cars reasons for existing are ride, silence and room. Now we have given up one of them.
    The local dealer has dozens of the 03 and 02 GM's. I've "bounced" by pushing down on the front and rear of each car and you can easily tell that the 03 are much stiffer. Stiffer even than 02 LSE's.
    I was considering buying an 03 GM or Ford CV to augment my 94 GM but the ride issue has made me change my mind. My 94 GM is much smoother riding with much less impact harshness and even a quieter ride than the new cars.
    I'm glad to see that someone else has noticed this and maybe Ford will get the message that this is unacceptable to their largest audience for these cars.
    There is no way to adjust the ride rate of the rear air spring - only the ride height. As of the 02 model year there were only 3 different air springs: standard cars 92-94 at about 75 lbs/inch. standard cars 95-02 at about 89 lbs/inch and handling & performance at about 114 lbs/inch. I do not know if the 03 air spring rates are different.
  • After driving a new GM/CV about 10 to 20K miles the shocks will loosen up, and the ride will be completely "normal" (whatever that means). Shocks continue to get loose as the miles pile up, and the ride gets softer. Note: this does not apply to top quality shocks such as Koni and Bilstein.
  • I've found a local shop that will replace the air ride suspension on my 95 GM for about $400. He said they just use Monroe shocks...I didn't want to press him too much, but anyone know what kind of shocks he would use? Just regular Monroe shocks that would work on a standard GM? I'd like to do the replacement myself if I can figure out which shock to order for certain, but I'm a little concerned about just trying the the plain $20 monroe shocks, it just seems too simple! Wish that mechanic was willing to give up his trade secrets...
  • dbc123dbc123 Posts: 105
    Thse issues I've addressed in post #1538 go far beyond normally tight new shocks - New 02 cars do NOT ride anywhere near as hard as new 03's.
  • dbc123dbc123 Posts: 105
    The shocks have nothing to do with the air springs. They are "springs".
    You can replace the air springs with steel coil springs for about $250 parts and an equal amount for labor or you can replace the air springs for about the same amount of money. This assumes the rest of the air spring system(compressor,sensors,tubing,etc.)is functioning properly.
  • dmersdmers Posts: 23
    I feel that Mercury is addressing the complaints of the Automotive Magazine people that say the GM is soft through the twistys. I generally, feel those folks don't know much anyway. After all, I don't read complaints about outdated rear wheel drive, poor mileage, and expensive high octane fuel on BMW, Jaguar, Mercedes, and Lexus automobiles.
    If I want to go through the twistys, I take my '91 Miata stick shift; if I want to go from point A to B quick, I take my '86 Honda 1100 CC Magna; but, If I want to drive up 300 miles to Chicago to visit my daughter and haul a lot of her stuff, I take the '00 Merc GM. I expect a good ride on a long haul with passing power. I also expect 150K miles out of the vehicle.
    Those Auto mag guys grew up thinking a MiniVan/SUV is the state of the art in ride quality and good mileage. I have a '90 Ford Pickup to get that kind of ride and mileage.
  • I'm interested in more low-end torque. Right now my 2000 mgm has single exhaust and the 2.73:1 axle. How much additional power can I expect going to duals? going to 3.27:1? Is the cost even worth it? I love my car, but would like to get the most out of the small-block v8. Thanks in advance.
  • In response to the person from GB, I can say that I am also the happy owner of a 2003 GM LS.
    I too noted the slightly harder ride which accompanies the better handling. Frankly, I don't understand what consumers seek when they opt for a "handling" package or complain about a "squishy" ride. I had a 1996 GM before this one and it didn't seem to hold the road on turns as well as my 2003. The speed sensitive steering in the 2003 gives me a feeling of a more solid ride but again I don't know what what people want from better handling.

    Does a feeling of solid control on the road have to be a trade off for smooth riding over bumps?

    I would point out that Mercury made a special point of touting the new suspension features of the 2003. To my untrained view, these features result in a more stable but perhaps less cushiony ride. I suspect that the firming up of the 2003 relates to the introduction of the Marauder which shares a common platform. I doubt that Mercury would want to go through the expense of separate frames for the Marauder and the GM so the the GM has benefited (or suffered) from this.

    Lowering the tire pressure (within prescibed limits) might help the rough ride a bit. I am not sure whether I prefer having a firmer ride over a softer ride if that becomes a choice. Again the 2003 GM spells out extensive suspension changes which sound pretty good to my untrained ear.

    Incidentally, where and under what circumstances can a GM be bought in Britain? What about the location of the driver's position?

    I think I like my 2003 GM very much but I am very suggestible and until the posting about the smoothness of the ride, I thought it was doing well on that score.
  • rea98drea98d Posts: 982
    So did the '03 Town Car get the firmer ride as well? I thought the whole reason people bought these cars were because they were roomy and comfortable. Maybe Ford should start to divide the lineup here a little bit. Crown Vics are the universal cop car. Give the Crown Vic the firmer ride. Leave the Grand Marquis and Town Car their tried & true comforable selves. Maybe some differentiation between the models would actually help sales.
  • Anybody compare the ride to an 03 Buick LeSabre?
  • kinleykinley Posts: 854
    dch36: Keep the 2.73 and twin out the exhaust which may increase your hp by as much as 10%. You will appreciate the economy axle more than the possible performance.
  • genex1 In answer to your question re GM in Britain.There is a small specialist market over here for American vehicles,which is serviced by a number of specialist dealers who import,convert as neccesary for legislation purposes,and register the vehicle for you.We are allowed left hand drive vehicles so the driver position is the same as yours.This is not as frightening as you may think.One soon gets used to it.Cadillac tried to sell right hand drive versions of the 98-00 Savilles,but pulled out of the market through lack of sales.Chrysler do well with RHD Jeeps,and Neon,but the general lack of understanding of American cars,makes companies very weary about tooling up for RHD conversions.My last four cars have all been left hand drive.93 Park Avenue; 97 LHS; 00 LHS, and now my new GM.So you can see I am quite an enthusiast.Best Wishes
  • James 130: Since your post on the matter, I have been trying to discern the comparative ride quality of my GM. I can't be sure that the ride is harder than my 96GM but according to the GM literature the new suspension system on the 2003 is supposed to be whiz bang and presumably appealing to those who want "performance handling" whatever that is. Kinsley says that the ride for the CV, the GM and the Town Car is the same. I accept his assertion but it seems odd that the Town Car would not have a slightly softer ride.

    I'd like to hear more of what led you to buy a GM in Britain (where in Britain incidentally?) It seems that with the cost of petrol and the typically narrow roads in your beautiful country, one would have to be quite deliberate in wanting to drive an unmodified GM there.

  • Kinley, thanks for your sound (!) advice from one of the more trusted veterans in Town Hall. I'll do just that. I was especially honored to get more than the usual "title only" words :-)
  • Any chance the new ones just ride harder because the shocks in your old one are worn?
  • dbc123dbc123 Posts: 105
    A "new" 02 GM driven at the local dealer had a noticably more supple ride than a "new" 03. Drove 'em back to back. The 02 also has $3500 cash back vs $1000 on the 03. The 03 does steer with more precision and has, to me, more comfortable seats. If I could only pick and choose traits from both ...
  • kinleykinley Posts: 854
    as the twining out process can be "exhausting".
  • marsha7marsha7 Posts: 3,703
    ago that a Crown Vic could be purchased with a "handling package" that included stiffer F/R sway bars, dual exhaust (which raised the HP from around 220 to 240 or thereabouts)...does that package exist for the 2003, or when did it end, and can the Vic be purchased with bucket seats and a floor mounted shifter, or must it be a column shift???
  • Available in the Grand Marquis, the Ford was delayed due to 'wheel problems.' Or that is what Ford said.
  • A friend told me to look at an exhaust system made by a company named "borla". I checked their site and it's a dual kit made specifically for the CV/GM. It's also very expensive. Is a muffler shop ok, or should I consider this borla? What's so great about it for the extra $$? Are less welds that important?
  • rea98drea98d Posts: 982
    Less welds aren't that important unless the guy doing them is incompetent. With a company like Borla, you know you're getting high quality work. With an independent exhaust shop, quality runs the gamut from some high-school dropout with an arc-welder, all the way up to better than kits like Borla. If you can find a really good exhaust guy (hang around the local drag strip and ask guys "Who did your exhaust?"), having your car right there to custom fit will be a big advantage. If your local exhaust shops are a bunch of Bubbas who are lucky to know which way to point the welder, buy the kit. Whether or not the muffler shop is OK depends entirely on your muffler shop.
  • dbc123dbc123 Posts: 105
    dch36: Be aware that the performance improvment with dual exhausts will be slight and will have almost no effect on low end torque - any noticable improvment comes only at relatively high rpm. I have a GM with factory duals and can tell only a small difference from single exhaust cars. Consider swapping to the PI heads used on 01 and newer cars for a genuine power boost.
  • foyefoye Posts: 1
    I noticed in my local paper (Washington Post) that Ford Motor Company stated that they would provide shielding of the gas tanks in all Crown Victoria Police Cars, but that the general public would need to purchase this shielding if they wanted their Crown Victoria's fixed. I purchased a 2002 Crown Victoria in July of this year and I'm concerned about the possibility of a rear end collison fire. If Ford recognizes that this is a problem in police cars, it must also be a problem for Crown Victoria's owned by the general public. Does anyone understand why this recall is only for police cars?
  • rea98drea98d Posts: 982
    You have to be hit at about 70 MPH to cause it to blow up. And if you get hit that hard, you're screwed whether the tank blows up or not. The reason the recall is just for police cars is that police cars spend a lot of time sitting on the side of busy interstates while cops write people tickets. Knuckleheads hit the cars at high rates of speeds, which ruptures the tanks, and demolishes the car. Statisticly, cop cars spend a heck of a lot more time sitting on the side of the interstate than civilian cars, so they are the ones to get hit. I've yet to hear of a civilian car who's tank exploded after getting rear-ended.
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