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.

Friday, December 20, 2013

UPDATE: Wipe Away My Tears...

Tomorrow is the first day of winter, and we have already had a decent amount of snow in the Boston area.  It looks like a lot of it will be melted before Christmas, but that won't help my rusty fenders any...

Crummy pic of chewed hose
Last week while helping someone shift around his AMC collection, we found out that the hose that carries wiper fluid from the tank to the sprayer was in 2 peices.  It looked like something actually chewed it!  There has been a rat problem in our area for a while, so this made me want to kill the stupid things even more than before.  The next morning was supposed to get snowy, so that meant I had a small window of time to do the repair.  My boyfriend picked up some used hose from Taxi Guy and I knew what I would be doing the next morning.

What Todd thought would take a half hour took me 2 hours with freezing hands and feet, and the loosening and tightening of many bolts.  But finally the job was done and just in time, as it has snowed a couple of times since.

I also have to think about changing out 2 of my Goodyear snow tires.  Two are fine, but two are older and are showing cracks.  Todd gave me some more generic snows last year, and I think I may have to put them on for safety sake. 

Friday, December 6, 2013

Vic Hits 140,000 Miles

Vic has hit 140,000 miles.  Average fuel mileage 22.4MPG.  Snow tires went on 12/4.  Fronts may be too old, thinking about swapping out with 2 more generic snows I got from Todd.  Fenders still rusty.  Hoping Santa will bring me a bag of money for Christmas...


Vic at the Wayland MA Depot on what was once the Mass Central RR line

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

UPDATE: Chitchatter... Part 3

It has been almost a month since I had Vic's transmission fluid changed in an effort to stop the chattering.  SO FAR, it has worked.  (insert sigh of relief HERE) 

The car hit 139,000 on 10/9/13.  Tried to cover up some of the rust on the front left fender, which is getting real crispy.  Not happy about that at all...

Ultra Small N Scale Crown Vic! (AKA: Mini Vic)

Recently I decided to order something off Ebay.  What was it?  An N scale Crown Vic!

A company called Willmodels sells resin model railroad items, mostly buildings and cars/trucks.  They offer both wedge & final bodystyle Vics in different styles.  I went with a simple stock one.  And it is SMALL!  Well,  compared to the usual die-cast scales.

The headlights are "sunk", not flush, there are no side mirrors, and the wheels, while nice, are not accurate.  But what do you expect from a cottage industry-made model?  ANY Vic in N scale is a wonderful thing!
Having a little Vic for my Not Quite Model Railroad will be a hoot!


Tuesday, September 17, 2013

UPDATE: Chitchatter... Part 2

Car is back in the driveway.  Taxi Guy drained the transmission and torque convertor, then added 12 quarts of MerconV fluid.  He drove it around, then added a 13th quart.  I didn't have time to hit the highway on the way home, so I don't know if this sloved the chatter issue yet.  Will know within a couple of days...

As a side note, Vic now has 138,389 miles on the odometer. 

Monday, September 16, 2013

UPDATE: Chitchatter...

We just dropped Vic off at Taxi Guy for a transmission service. Last week, the car chattered twice while on the highway. I'm told that one possible repair is to completely drain the transmission and torque converter, then use a different type of fluid. We shall see if this does the job. If not, a replacement vehicle might be inching closer and closer, which isn't good, as I am still trying to find work. Stay tuned...

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

VIDEO: Ford's New Police Squad

I found this video of the Ford Interceptor over at Fox News:

video

The Worst States For Speeding Tickets in USA

Craig Fitzgerald of Yahoo! Autos/BoldRide has written an article about speeding tickets around the US.  Being New England based, I found some of the results very interesting.  The whole article can be read HERE, but if you'd like to cut to the chase, read excerpts below:

Most Expensive First Offense: (Tie) Georgia, Illinois, North Carolina, Nevada and New Hampshire
MassachusettsThese five states all hold drivers liable for a fine of up to $1,000 for a first offense. The fine is up to a judge’s discretion and can be based on how many miles per hour you’re ticketed over the designated speed limit, or if you were caught speeding in a work or a school zone, both of which tend to double a fine. In addition to the fine, you can spend up to a year in jail. Granted, speeding in a work zone is bad for everyone concerned, but a few moments of inattention resulting in a $1,000 fine? What’s the first offense for a weapons violation in those states?

Most Expensive State to Fight a Ticket: Massachusetts
Back in 2005, Vincent Gillespie got a $15 parking ticket in Northampton, Massachusetts, a bucolic community in the Connecticut River Valley in Central Massachusetts. In order to fight the ticket, Gillespie had to pay $319.90 in filing fees with the Hampshire County Superior Court, which was non-refundable whether he won his case or not. His case went to the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial court, where Gillespie’s lawyers argued that the fees effectively negated his constitutional right to due process. In its ruling, the SJC noted that the plaintiffs hadn’t met the burden of proof that the laws weren’t in keeping with the state constitution, and that the fee system serves the purpose of discouraging “the filing of nonmeritorious appeals,” thus conserving scarce judicial resources.

Sneakiest Speed Traps in America: Vermont
Mt. Tabor is a one-horse dot on Route 7a in western Vermont that doesn’t even have a traffic light. What it does have is a speed limit sign that drops to 40 mph, and you will get rung up by its zealous constable, a guy who drives a Camaro and gets paid by the number of tickets he writes. And he’s not alone. One constable in the village of Island Pond made national news by writing 1,100 tickets, with fines totaling $100,000 – a tenth of the entire revenue of the town that year.

Most Unmarked State Police Cars: Connecticut
Connecticut
In all my years driving in New England, I’ve never seen a fully marked Connecticut State Police car. That’s because only one is assigned to every troop. Apparently, they’re white with yellow and blue markings. Most Connecticut State Police cars are silver, with a pushbar up front and a low-profile lightbar on the roof, which carries the only “State Police” marking on the car. Connecticut’s also been notorious for using Camaros, Mustangs, Grand Nationals and other non-traditional cars as unmarked patrol cars on the state’s highways.

Friday, July 12, 2013

You Light Up My Dash...

A couple of weeks ago, that good ol' CHECK ENGINE light went on.  Things seemed OK, so I put off getting things checked.  The other day I finally got to Taxi Guy's shop, and it looks like yet again there was an evap. system code.  I may need ANOTHER new gas cap.  The light got shut off, and so far, so good. 

Yesterday I found a small collection of peanut shells in my father's '10 Grand Marquis air cleaner box.  Oddly enough, they match the ones I give to the local squirrels and chipmunk.... ooops...

Friday, June 7, 2013

137,080: Oil & Front Brakes

 Vic got a much needed oil change at 137,070 with Mobil 1 synthetic oil and filter, and yesterday we put on front brake pads.  I say "we", but Todd always ends up doing the work!  My job seems to be calming him down and fetching tools.
I will have to pay attention to things as I drive the car, though, as one of the two pistons in the driver side caliper seemed to be almost seized.  The two on the passenger side were both a little hard to compress.  Not surprising, given the age of the car and the salt it has seen.

This time, I decided to go with a heavy duty pad by Wagner.  I learned something, too.  I was wondering what the groove in the new pads were for.  Apparently, they are like the wear bars on tires.  When the groove is gone, you need pads.  Supposedly it also helps dissipate water.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

UPDATE: Snow Tires Off

May 10th saw Vic's snow tires come off, and alloys with Goodyear RS-A's go on.  The spring ritual resulted in the revelation that I now need front brake pads.  Those got ordered today.  The day also included starting up Todd's '04 Mustang after it's winter slumber, getting an inspection sticker for it, and the mass murder of a huge flock of what looked like winged ants that had infested his garage.  As of this second, Vic is outside with a car-cover on, due to trees dumping "propellers" and general shmoo all over the place.   

Monday, April 8, 2013

HO Scale Auto Transport Truck With Crown Vics!

The Nashua Valley Railroad Association's club layout hosted its annual open house on April 7th, and I spotted this HO scale auto transporter full of Crown Victorias (and one Mustang)!  No doubt the club included this truck because of the "full scale" Ford unloading facility nearby. 

136,000 Miles

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

UPDATE: 135,387

Vic is home and feeling a little better.  Taxi Guy replaced the rear brake pads and fuel filter, but didn't repair the emergency brake, as it would be a $400 job (rear axles have to come out to do the shoes).  So he didn't do the e-brakes, but did fix the exhaust leak. 

Thing is, it wasn't the gasket.  The flanges on the pipes were rotted away!

So he did a little welding so that there was something to put bolts through.  Otherwise, we'd be looking at actual pipes, or at least replaced flange parts.  So what he did was weld on some thick washers, and... well, just take a look at the photo. 

Now that Vic is 15 years old, I wonder if soon I should replace it.  The fenders are rotting, rear wheelwells are rotting... but it runs great.  Interior is almost mint.  A hard decision to make, but once things start rotting away, well... that isn't a good sign...

Monday, February 25, 2013

UPDATE: Crown Vic Monster Truck

Yesterday I decided to run a quick errand, and half way to my destination, I started hearing a rumble.  At first, I thought it was the Subaru in front of me.  Then when I pushed the gas pedal, I came to the realisation that the sound was coming from MY car. 

Exhaust gasket #2 has failed.  And Vic sounds like a Dodge truck with an 8 foot lift kit, chrome everything, and lots of decals.

If you look back through the WUWV archives, you will see that Todd and I replaced one back in 2006.  So it took 6 years for the other one to rot away!  I think I still have a replacement gasket in the trunk, as I bought two, figuring I'd need the second one done soon.  Six years isn't exactly "soon". 

Taxi Guy is on vacation, so Vic will have to wait until later this week to get fixed.  I guess this will be a good time to get rear brake pads, and see if the e-brake can be sorted out... again... I have had that emergency brake setup fixed a billion times, and it always stops working. 

As for Todd's '06, it had been acting strange.  Todd kept having to turn back during his morning commute because the car would barely run.  But when we took it out on weekends, on longer drives,  it was fine.  Finally, it got so bad one day the engine light went on, so now there was a code to read.  The problem?  The throttle position sensor. 

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Sun Sets Over the California Highway Patrol's Fleet of Ford Crown Victorias

An article about the CHP's fleet of Crown Vics, once again supplied by "2-Car Joe H." down in Florida...


(1/30/12) As you may have heard, Ford has ended production of the venerable Crown Victoria, the mainstay vehicle of American police and taxi fleets for decades.

The Crown Vic assembly line shut down last September, so we found ourselves wondering: What will replace the Crown Victoria in the California Highway Patrol's fleet? Hoping to find an answer, we dropped by the CHP's Fleet Operations facility in West Sacramento, California last weekend, hoping to see what the CHP has purchased now that the Crown Vic is no more.

On one level, our visit was a failure: Instead of finding the CHP's replacement vehicle -- the Interwebs say the Dodge Charger is a likely candidate -- we instead discovered that the CHP is hoarding hundreds of Crown Victorias for future use.

But as metaphor, the trip was a stunning success. We happened to arrive in West Sacramento at dusk, just as a firey sunset was exploding in the sky behind the CHP's motor pool parking lot. It was oddly beautiful.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

UPDATE: Plop, Plop, Ping, Ping...

This morning while getting onto Rt3 N, Vic made some odd noises.  They were sort of like when it is cold out, you have some ice under the windshield wipers, and it breaks loose.  Only it was sort of under the hood, or even under the dash.  Then I smelled exhaust.  Thing is, at the same time, there was an older Jeep Grand Cherokee with its hazard lights on, slowly going down the breakdown lane, and also a horse trailer was in front of me.

Now, I am pretty sure I couldn't hear a horse stomping around in that trailer.  And the Jeep didn't appear to have a flat tire.  The sounds didn't last long, but I was starting to worry.  Add in the fact it was very windy, and hard to keep the car from wandering in the lane.  The thought of a ball joint giving way crossed my mind...

A little later, I accidently tapped the emergency brake pedal, and found that it sank right to the floor.  AHA!  Maybe the cable snapped??  Was it wrapped around something under the hood?  Uhoh... When I got a chance to pull over and check, the cable was still intact.  Granted, it was sagging as usual.  It seems that sometimes when I step on the e-brake, it does nothing (like normal), or it REALLY does nothing, and just sinks to the floor.  When I got home, I soaked (what I think is) the cable tensioner with WD-40, in an effort fo loosen things up a bit.  I am not hopeful... I need rear pads anyway, so perhaps it is almost time to make an appointment with Taxi Guy...

Brand New Littleton MA Ford Police Interceptor SUV


While heading home today, I found myself looking right at a brand new Ford PI SUV, belonging to the Littleton MA police.  Since it was parked in good light, I decided to ask the sergeant inside if I could take a photo of it.  Littleton always used to have Crown Vics, but then they started buying Dodge Chargers.  The Sgt. told me they are trying the new Fords now, but that he wasn't fond of the SUV.  He said it is slow, and doesn't like the seats.  So that makes one officer I've asked so far who doesn't like the new Fords.  Seeing as he is the first one I have asked, that isn't a very good track record!  Time will tell...

Littleton MA, 1/10/13 - © Jonelle DeFelice