Welcome to the Crown Vics ETC blog!

On April 6, 2000, I purchased a 1998 Ford Crown Victoria LX HPP with 23,490 miles. I decided to start a little website for it featuring a running log of my experiences with the car. Vic 1.0 was retired in 2015 due to rust and electrical issues. Vic 2.0 is a 2006 P71 that belonged to my boyfriend. To read posts prior to 2010, click a link at right, or go to Crown Vics, ETC.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Start me up...

On the morning of the 7th, I went to move Vic out of the driveway and park it in front of the house.  It sounded odd when it started up.  So after I shut it off, something told me to try and start it again.

Long and short of it, the starter died after 11+ years.  On the side of the road.

One flatbed ride later, Taxi Guy gave it a new starter and an oil change, which was WAY overdue.
The Ride of Shame...

SHOCKING!

On Sept 2nd, we FINALLY installed two new rear shocks.  Vic 2.0 has been driving like an old Cadillac... a PERFORMANCE one, but still, NOT like a P71.

I was surprised to see there are no longer lots of quality replacement shocks to choose from anymore. I decided to go with MOTORCRAFT #ASH12277 from RockAuto.com.  If you go with these, keep in mind you need to also order MOTORCRAFT #6W7Z18A161AA, the top bushing/nut, unless you are OK with using your old ones.

One of the original shocks was "eh", the other was doing absolutely NOTHING.  That is the one that had a little stain under it in the driveway.  All the oil must have leaked out long ago.  Vic rides a lot better now.  I'd do the fronts as well if I had the extra cash to spend.  But I don't, thanks to the next update...

11+ years old with 179,205 miles on it...



Thursday, August 31, 2017

Having the blues...

My first car was a maroon 1986 Pontiac Parisienne, a double (possibly triple) hand-me-down.  And it had the classic 80's cracked GM paint on the hood.  My father had bought some maroon colored wax for it.  It actually helped that hood quite a bit, but you had to keep up with it or the white primer would start showing up between the cracks again.

Now, silver is arguably THE best color for any car if you don't want scratches and other defects to display like a flashing neon sign.  Vic 1.0 was great that way... though other things like road tar would show up here and there.

This stuff never showed up on SILVER paint!
Vic 2.0 is dark blue.  And Todd drove it a LOT on the highway, and even off-road.  So by the time I ended up with it, the front bumper looked like someone had sandblasted it.  The hood also had some of the same wear.  So I decided to get some blue car wax... thing is, it seems no one makes any for the US market anymore!

Yup... BLUE wax!
Ebay to the rescue.  The only affordable blue wax there was a Turtle Wax product, and all the sellers seemed to be from Israel!  So I took a chance, and soon I was the proud owner of a bottle of blue wax.

I haven't done a full scale wash/clay/polish/wax with it yet, but I did do some spot testing, and used it on the front bumper, where most of the pitting is.   As the wax dries to a haze, it is indeed a blue hue.  The finished effect is subtle, but it does indeed seem to knock down the white pin-prick effect on the bumper.

Blue haze...

Before and after... not perfect, but better than with standard white/yellow wax

Hey... nice rack!!

Vic 2.0 was THE most reliable Vic Mystery Mechanic (aka: Todd) ever owned.  While he owned it, he had one air conditioning part replaced, and one windshield wiper motor.  But the wiper motor was his fault (he always says not to leave your wipers on when you park for the night and there's a snow storm!).

So when on 8/28 I started the car to do a little work over at Belmont Seat Cover, and noticed the wiper motor sounded awful and didn't have much "ooomph", I started thinking back to the headache I had with motors in Vic 1.0.  Those past experiences made me start pondering how I was going to pay for A) a new Motorcraft motor B) a crappy rebuilt motor.  Then I started pondering the option of trying a used one.

Long story short, I spent some (messy) time at a local junk yard and removed a motor from a 2011 Massachusetts State PD cruiser.  I decided to leave it attached to the rack, and also thought it may be a good idea to bring the trim, hoses, weather strip, and wiper arms with me up to the check-out guys.  I had received a quote ahead of time for just the motor if I took it out of the car myself.  For the SAME PRICE, I got the whole setup!

This morning I decided to reverse the process and install the new (used) rack into Vic 2.0.  I started at about 11:45AM, and finished at about 3:45PM.  I decided to work slowly and take a lunch break, which slowed things down (along with stopping to feed the local squirrels and chipmunks!).

Other delays came from trying to remove the wiper arms (and HOW am I supposed to fit a screwdriver there??) a few times, and trying to remove a rusted on bolt on the metal bracket that attaches to the bottom rack bucket.  I never did get the nut off, but I did manage to "remove some metal" from it...

And so now Vic 2.0 has a 2011 wiper motor/rack/trim/weather-strip setup!  It also now has that super annoying "extra wipe" function, which I have NEVER understood.  It should make for a lot of yelling during the winter months, as I am super-wicked-picky about having a clear windshield...

One thing I learned this time that I didn't when I changed the motor in Vic 1.0, is that there is a little "flapper" by the motor that seems to allow water, etc OUT of the rack area, but doesn't allow critters IN.  Seeing as the 2011 had a mouse nest inside that area, I'm not so sure it works that well.  BUT, when I looked at the flapper in MY car, the whole area was clogged full of "shmoo".  I am starting to wonder if this has been a factor in the "What is That Musty Smell Coming From?" saga.

OH, that reminds me, I also squished some Permatex under the bottom lip of the windshield in effort to try and stop the Mystery Leak.  Of course, it was purchased around 2004, and I didn't have enough in the tube.  Also, nitrile gloves aren't tough enough to keep that hazmat off your fingers...

So, long story long, I am all set for winter, providing a 6 year old motor lasts longer than Vic 2.0's replacement one did.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

177,777 Mile Update

Vic has finally started costing someone money... ME.  I previously posted about the usual intake swap.  But after that costly repair came the odor of gasoline who's source was eluding me.  Long story short, I thought it was one of the recently touched coil packs that hadn't been seated correctly. 

Nope.  Bent/rotted gas tank.  I'm told it looked like something hit it and eventually it rotted in the corner.  So now Vic 2.0 has a new gas tank.  Taxi Guy had a hard time removing the old one because for some reason the hardware that keeps it under the car is different from later years, and it added hours to the job. 

We finally got the snow tires off and now I can actually drive the car without that "winter tire drone".  When the tire swap was going on, we tried to install my new Motorcraft shocks, but found out that they didn't come with the top bushing/bolts!  Seeing as the old ones may need to get cut off, we aborted the mission and I ordered the bushings.

Stay tuned...