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 was a 2006 P71 in Blue Pearl that belonged to my boyfriend. It was a Ford demo and never saw actual police use. It was damaged in September of 2018 with well over 186,000 miles. It was replaced by Vic 3.0 in October 2018 with a 2008 P71 in Silver Birch with 120,971 miles. To read posts prior to 2010, click a link at right, or go to Crown Vics, ETC.

Monday, December 9, 2019

130,000 Mile Update: Wipe Those Tears Away...

All through November, Vic 3.0's wipers were acting strange.  They would switch on and off... all on their own!  Sometimes, just the fluid would start squirting, usually as I was driving into the sun.  I figured it was the actual wiper control (part of the turn signal stalk).  But our mechanic, "Taxi Guy", said it was the wiper motor itself.  So first we got hold of a used multi-function wiper/turn signal unit.  A few days later, things got much worse...

While driving along, the wipers once again would go on and off all on their own.  Sometimes for a short time, sometimes long enough that I pulled over to see if they would shut off if I re-started the car.  Long story short, I ended up driving about 20 miles with my brand new Bosch wipers wiping my dry, brand new windshield.  I wasn't happy...

The next day, we got a used wiper motor/rack and I planned on doing the install myself.  After all, I had done it with Vic 1.0 & 2.0, so why not 3.0 as well? 

Curious about what it takes to swap the unit out?  Read on...

The first thing to do is remove the two wiper arms.  This is either a pain in the backside, or no big deal, depending on how picky you are about the paint finish of the arms and the edge of your hood.  You need to raise the arms until you can pry up the release "loop".  Then let the arm down.  It should lay off the glass.  That means you can now gently lift off the arm. 

Now, we need to remove the wiper motor/rack unit:

1) remove the weather seal.  That is simple.

2) remove the two black plastic pins that are located on the corners of the cowl trim/cover.

3) remove Phillips screws from the cover.

4) remove four clips that hold the cover to the assembly "bucket".

5) you can now remove the cowl trim, and see all of the "organic matter" that has built up through the years!

6) use a socket to remove the bolts that hold down the wiper assembly "bucket".

7) there is a part connected to a black metal bracket, which is attached to the "bucket" with two nuts.  This is the EVAP Canister Purge Valve.  Those nuts often rust solid, and some people just break the bracket off.  BUT, there is a very simple way to get around this... press the plastic tab on the purge valve and slide it off the bracket!  It should slide easily, but if not, just use a little WD40.

8) you can now begin to remove the bucket assembly.  You need to disconnect the motor connector and the wiper fluid hoses, which press into little plastic holders molded into the part.  The ends simply press onto the sprayer nozzles.  There may also be a wire-loom or two to remove.

At this point, you can either remove your motor or do what I did, which is go with the whole motor/bucket unit.  Either way, I highly suggest that you make sure the "drainy flappy trap door thing" is clean when you put the new bucket into the car (see photo). 

From this point, you simply reverse the above steps.  The entire job took me two hours, though I was using only hand tools, and spent extra time cleaning up the replacement parts.  I also stopped to observe a baby chipmunk who was stocking up on birdseed... it was the latest in the season I had ever seen a chippy out-and-about.

This is what your wiper motor looks like
Old "bucket", old cowl trim, replacement cowl trim all cleaned up
Replacement motor/rack installed and almost ready to go!
A 11/29/19 chipmunk!

Saturday, November 2, 2019

Vic 2.0 Lives!!!


I dropped by Taxi Guy's shop this morning and what did I see?  Vic 2.0 with a new nose!  Yes, Vic 2.0 lives!!!!

Sunday, October 20, 2019

129,000 Mile Update... AAAW NUTS!!!

Two days ago, I was out and about doing errands, and noticed something about Vic 3.0 didn't look right.  Upon closer examination, I found some roasted peanuts inside the passenger side marker light!  Either a chipmunk or possibly a mouse must have found the hole left by the PD when they took out the strobe units, and started hoarding their nuts in there. 

One drawback to feeding the local wildlife...

When I got home, I took out both units, removed the nuts, and taped up the holes.  After cleaning off the rubber gaskets and waxing the paint they press onto, I reinstalled them and hopefully that will be the first and last time it happens.  Vic 2.0 drove around for years with the same holes and never got used as a "larder". 

While I was under the hood, I sprayed WD-40 into some holes I found in an effort to rust-proof the front fenders.  Will it work?  I doubt it, but it made me feel like maybe I can stave off fender rust for at least one day. 

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

NY Port Authority Crown Victoria from the World Trade Center Parking Garage

A Port Authority Police car that was damaged on 9/11. It was recovered from the parking garage at the World Trade Center.  (AP photo 2016)
(Stephen Nessen/WNYC 2016)

Friday, September 6, 2019

128,000 Mile Update

My 128,000 mile update is that there isn't much to update you on!  Still have a mystery exhaust leak, and need a new windshield.  Otherwise, things have been ok (knock on wood...).

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Classic Ford ‘Crown Vic’ Police Cruiser Becomes Vintage

SOURCE:  Milford Daily News - J.Phelps

Once a staple of police departments across the country, Ford Crown Victoria police cruisers are nearly all off the road.

The classic cop car is still featured as one of the main photographs on the Ashland Police Department’s website. But the department recently got rid of its last “Crown Vic,” a 2010 model used by K-9 Officer Chris Alberini and his partner, Dax.

The Crown Vics were known for being spacious, powerful pickup and great visibility, said Ashland Police Chief Vincent Alfano.

“It is the quintessential police cruiser,” said Alfano, who has driven a Crown Victoria, Explorer, Taurus, Charger and Chevy Caprice for work. “The Crown Vics stand out as the most solid, reliable workhorse. They had all the horsepower and handling that you needed and it was just very comfortable.”

Natick, however, still has a 2011 Crown Vic in service used by the high school resource officer. And the Franklin Police Department has four of them, although none are used for patrols.

Ford Motor Company has made police cars since the 1950s. The Crown Victoria Police Interceptor was introduced in 1983. By 1998, the model dominated sales of all pursuit vehicles in the U.S. and Canada, according to Ford. But the company stopped making the Crown Victoria in 2012, prompting many departments to switch to SUVs or Dodge Chargers.

“It truly is the end of an era and a bittersweet moment as we bid farewell to our ‘old faithful’ Crown Victoria,” reads a post from the Ashland Police Department.

Alberini now drives a 2014 Ford Police Interceptor Utility, commonly known as an Explorer, with all the necessary equipment for Dax.

“The K-9 cruiser was not used all three shifts, so its service life was extended,” said Alfano.

Many departments are now using one of the other sedans made by Ford, or the Dodge Charger or Chevy Tahoe.

Alfano said police cruisers built around the body of a Ford Taurus work well for detective and administrative work, but lack the space needed for standard patrol work.

Cruisers now mostly come standard with all-wheel drive and meet tougher rollover standards.

MHQ in Marlborough outfits cruisers for many police departments, including the Massachusetts State Police. Now, Ford police cruisers come standard as hybrid models.

40 states competed for the American Association of State Troopers’ best police cruiser contest

Natick police received the last Crown Vic outfitted by MHQ in May 2013. The company put a decal designating it as the “Final Edition Crown Victoria.” Many MHQ employees signed the inside of the trunk to mark the occasion.

Of the four Crown Vics left in Franklin’s 28-vehicle fleet, three are used by detectives and one is used by officers to go to court assignments or training events, according to Police Chief Thomas J. Lynch.

“These vehicles do not accrue mileage as fast as regularly deployed Patrol Division vehicles,” he wrote in an email to the Daily News. “As the four remaining CVPIs accrue mileage, years of service and eventually meet our vehicle replacement policy, they will be replaced with Ford Police Interceptor utilities or sedans.”

For many years, Hopkinton School Resource Officer Phil Powers drove the department’s last Crown Vic. He often joked he’d retire with it.

The car now sits in the parking lot waiting to be traded in or fixed up to be used for details.

“I got attached to it, because it was a very nice car,” said Powers, who has been with the department for 31 years. “They are going to be extinct very shortly.”

He got to keep it longer than most because his duty as school resource officer didn’t require a front-line car.

“What I like about it was you could see a lot better,” Powers said. “You didn’t have as many obstacles in the car. There was more space than the Explorers. They were closer to the ground.”

Alfano said many veteran officers, like himself, miss and have a soft spot for the Crown Vics.

“I wish in the perfect world that Ford looked at engineering a four-wheel drive version of the Crown Vic,” he said.

Jonathan Phelps can be reached at 508-626-4338 or jphelps@wickedlocal.com. Follow him on Twitter @JPhelps_MW.