Ford Crown Vic opinions

I'm asking for opinions about the quality, durabilty, problem areas and issues for the 1999 Crown Victoria with the 4.6 liter V8.
I read about GM issues with head gaskets on some of their engines. I've
not followed Ford stuff, so wondering if there are any gotchas on buying a used Crown Vic?
no one in maryland
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The 1992 - up Panther Platform / Crown / Grand Marquis is a great vehicle that will grow on you... it is still a full-frame vehicle and rear-wheel drive. Avoid 1992 - the first model year... there were integrity problems with the chassis and drivetrain. There were minor body styling changes through '97. The 4.6 Liter OHC V-8 was and still is the only engine available, there is a Compressed Natural Gas option. Horsepower was 190 for single exhaust, 210 for duals. 1998 saw a new rear roofline, front and rear sheet metal and fascias, and important chassis improvements including Watts rear Susp. Linkage and improved, larger, 4 wheel disc brakes. HP was bumped to 215 for dual exhaust models. Another HP boost came in 2001 models to 200/235 for single/dual exhaust cars.
The most important options to insist on, IMO, are the 41G Performance & Handling Package and a power drivers seat. The 41G has, among other things, the upgraded anti-sway bars, a 3.27 rear axle ratio, upgraded alloy wheels, but most importantly the load-leveling suspension(great for the huge amount of stuff you can carry in the rear cavern they call the trunk)... AND it is the only way to get the factory dual exhaust ( a stainless steel system that will easily outlive the average Crown/Marquis owner). The power seat, although I don't need it personally, would be advantageous especially to former '91 and older Crown/LTD/Marquis drivers who were used to the rather high bench seat... seating in the new models is more Honda-Like... closer to the floor, and necessitating an upward adjustment that isn't there on the manual seat. Performance from a 41G G Marquis or Crown Vic will astound you if you expecting a land-yacht cruise. Top speed, although the cars are capable of over 130 mph, is governor / computer limited to about 108 mph. Fuel economy is not impressive at all, but not miserable either. You could probably get 26 mpg highway if you are not in a real hurry. ABS and traction control are options. Due to US manufacturers wanting you to buy Expeditions, Blazers, Explorers and Tahoes, the tow rating is only 1000 lbs., it used to be 5000 lbs. (with less oomph and no load leveling even).
We live in upstate/northern NY, and I can't really recall any '94-up Crown Vics / Grand Marquis' that have obvious rust problems like other marques(is this where I can't say "Cavalier" or "Sunbird" ? ...but to be fair, all the Aerostar vans around here are rusted out too) in our salt-ridden environ. Even the retired police cars are in good condition, which leads me to believe the body integrity is quite good. This could be a demographic issue, too, considering the average age of the typical owner is in the general area of "I don't go out in winter" and "oh... we drive our 1980 Prelude in Florida from November to May and our Mercury just sits here in the garage all winter " so this has to be accounted for in our region.
I hope this helps. These are affordable cars, I think they were cheaper new in 2000/2001 than they were 5-6 years before that. The re-sale isn't very good, so buy to drive, not to invest. The major drawback is that you have to stop for gas twice as often than in your 5-speed Accord, but you have seating for 6 adults, and room for all their luggage and offspring in the trunk!
Rob * * *

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Thanks for your wisdom and thoughts. I ended up buying a 99 today from a previous owner. I paid too much, but as one of the last cars that has a frame underneath it, I may be money ahead in the long run.
The ole 86 caprice actually giggles less on bumps, so perhaps the Crown vic will needs new shocks right away. But it didn't pull like the worn out caprice, lit ooks like new, has no odor, idles nice and it's ready to rock.
I could care less what a 5 speed accord will do for gas milage. My wife can't drive it and the ride is so harsh I would toss my cookies. The Taraus is like that and I am sea-sick an ill when I emerge from that pinball machine after a short trip. Actually, the Taraus (wagon) was also disappointing for gas milage as well. Never made even 30 mpg and the Capris ten years older does 21.5 on the road.
Yeah, you are right about resale value being low. That is one thing that makes them such a good buy when they are a few years old.
If you have any suggestions for suspension and handling upgrades, I'm interested. I don't need faster, but round the turns flat could be better.
no one in maryland
Trainfan1 wrote:

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I have found that tire inflation makes a big difference in ride on my '95 CV. Set them to the pressure on the door frame and ride/handling should be fine. Much above or much below and both ride and handling suffer. I have the original shocks, as far as I can tell. The car now has 111k on it. It has the air suspension with new air bags. It is the nicest ride I have driven for a long time and is quite nimble too (for a land yacht).
Paul

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Paul, you are correct on the tire inflation, especially with the 16" wheels, which you probably have. Do you have the complete 41G / HPP package? I can't recall when it became the only way to get the air suspension.
Rob * * *

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nope - mine is a '95 LX (P74) - but I am quite impressed with it even 3 years after purchasing it. Someone on a newsgroup somewhere once said the Ford Crown Vic / Grand Marq was Ford's best kept secret. It's a lot of car for a reasonable price... I agree...
Paul

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The CV/GM is not only Fords best vehicle it is the most cost effective vehicle on the market today. No manufacture builds anything close to them in product or equipment at anywhere near its drive home price, period. There are many smaller V6 cars and even some 4cy small cars that cost more to drive home than the CV/GM!
mike hunt
Paul of Dayton wrote:

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On Mon, 06 Oct 2003 20:03:48 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@mailcity.com wrote:

You're preaching to the choir on this one! Last month I got an '02 Signature Series Town Car (same platform) for $22,900. A week later, a coworker bought a new Malibu for $23,500. No need asking who got the better deal. :-)
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Professional Shop Rat: 14,144 days in a GM plant. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
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Not looking to nit pick, just enlighten, but that is a common misconception. The Town car is built on a different chassis/frame with a different suspension than the CV/GM. One can not fairly compare a used car price to a new car price but one can indeed buy a new 2003 CV/GM for less than 22K in fact less than 20K, if you go with the base model ;)
mike hunt
David Starr wrote:

David Starr wrote:

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So, which Panther platform is the Town Car built on?
Rob * * *
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It isn't. It is built on a longer, wider, chassis exclusive to the Town Car, as is the body. Even the CV/GM chassis of today is a far cry from the old panther platform. The frame, front and rear suspension and the steering gear have all been changed and up dated, over the past several years.
mike hunt
Trainfan1 wrote:

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hydroformed frame, long-awaited rack & pinion steering, and other improvements. Your statement above sounds like you are saying none of the models are on the Panther platform. I believe all three are built on the Panther platform(I think it may just be Kenny Brown's personal favorite). Of course, the Lincoln will have an extended frame (also used on the P70 & P72 extended range/extended length Crown Vic) and suspension tuning, options/equipment unique to the luxury model, with vastly different sheet metal though. I just have not heard that the Lincoln has departed the Panther family until your post. I think the track is the same for all three too.
Rob * * *
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You certainly are free to believe whatever you choose.
mike hunt
Trainfan1 wrote:

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http://www.fordvehicles.com/Cars/crownvictoria/reviews/index.asp?bhcp=1
What are these guys/gals missing?
Rob * * *

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----- Original Message -----

Paul, the 41G was an option on the P73 and P74. Do you have the rear sway bar and dual exhaust, and full-size spare?
Rob * * *
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I don't think so - at least 2 of the 3 aren't there...
I really don't know much about this car. I bought it at auction, it was a repo, not a police unit. Ford was unable to track down a build list or window sticker for me. Carfax said it began life as a fleet car in Florida (a sunroof was added there) and then went a to central Illinois dealer, I'm guessing as a "program" car. The guy who lost it to repo had it 6 months, just long enough to try to make it look police with 3 antennas mounted thru the trunk deck.
It isn't missing much in the way of options, tho. (Other than duals, big spare, etc.) I can't remember for sure about the rear sway bar, I think I saw one when I changed the air bags out but it was a while ago...
PoD

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On Mon, 06 Oct 2003 19:36:06 GMT, "Paul of Dayton"

Hard to imagine it's their best kept secret. I see tons of them running around town (and that's not counting the ones with the pretty blue lights on them). The secret is out, and everyone knows the CV is one of the best cars ever made.
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if you drive inteligently, you will get good mileage. my 99 crown vic gets 33 mpg with the cruise set on 60 when i go on long runs, around town i get 20-25mpg.
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Re: Ford Crown Vic opinions Group: alt.autos.ford Date: Mon, Oct 6, 2003, 7:17pm (EDT+4) From: snipped-for-privacy@aol.com (Falcoon)
if you drive inteligently, you will get good mileage. my 99 crown vic gets 33 mpg with the cruise set on 60 when i go on long runs, around town i get 20-25mpg. <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<
You drive at 60mph even when the limit is 75? It must take you forever to get any place.
Eric
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I've just recently purchased a 96 Merc GM with 67K. It has the dual exhausts and runs like a scalded dog and rides like a cloud. I'm looking forward to a long a happy relationship. I intend to caress and polish this one..
no one wrote:

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