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, 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.

Friday, December 28, 2018

Finally... Introducing Vic 3.0!!

I can't put it off any longer.  Must move on from the past... 

I am finally announcing the departure of Vic 2.0, and the arrival of Vic 3.0.   

In September 2018, 2.0 was involved in an ooopsie that didn’t involve me.  I wasn’t even in the state at the time.  All I am going to say on the matter is I came home that night, and found the car basically totaled in the driveway.  I am not going to share all the sordid, anger inducing details, and will just end with this:  like 1.0, 2.0 ended up at Taxi Guy’s shop.  Last I heard, we plans on repairing it and making it his Florida car.  I hope that does occur, because it deserves to hit 200,000 miles someday…

And so I am on to Vic 3.0.  It was one of two that my boyfriend (aka: Mystery Mechanic) had on the road for shakedown runs before possible sales.  It is a 2008 P71 in silver with black interior.  Yup, just as I was getting used to the “bling factor” of Blue Pearl, I am back to silver, this time Silver Birch (1.0 was Silver Frost).  Gone is the stress of trying to keep dirt and dust from showing every second of the day! 

As for the black velour interior… well, I am getting used to it, but I swore I would NEVER have a black interior.  I dislike them intensely in daily drivers.  Dust shows up on all the plastic, carpets show sand and dust, and it gets HOT inside in summer.  It is also so darn DULL.  There is NOTHING to break the depressing monotony of fields of black… I am sensitive to colors and light in my immediate environment, I guess…One GOOD thing about black:  coffee stains don't show up!

Now, 3.0 was an actual police vehicle, whereas 2.0 was a Ford demo and never saw actual, regular police use.  So there are some imperfections.  The rear deck needs to be put back properly, the power locks sound like they may quit over the winter, and it needs a windshield BAD.  It also sat for years before being sold off, so the underside has some surface rust we need to watch.  But it drives great, and other than a noisy starter in cold, I am more and more confident it won’t quit on me. 

That is one thing about loosing 2.0 that was killing me.  Between MM and I, we put about 170,000 miles on that car, so we knew everything about it… what had been replaced  and what was due to be replaced.  The car was by far the most reliable daily driver he had ever owned.  Now, I am with a car I have to always wonder about.  BUT, it is better than NO car at all!

The first thing I needed were better hubcaps.  I hate running them as it is, but if I have to, they better be nice.  We got some nice ones and I put them on.  I may put the “poverty caps” on for winter, though.  

MM had an NOS cassette/CD/AM-FM unit, so for the very first time I have a car with a CD player... Yup, I am ALWAYS up to the minute with trends!

The front grille was also not up to my standards.  But I didn’t want to put a brand new one in before winter, so I put in a used one I found in the basement… I think it was the original from 2.0 before MM replaced it.  It still isn’t perfect, but is a lot better for now.  I did score an NOS one that may go on in spring.  It also needs clearer headlights.  It passes inspection, and I don’t want to mess up the NOS ones I picked up for 2.0 a while ago.  Maybe I am afraid if I DO put the nice parts on it, something will happen and THIS car will also get ruined!

When I registered 3.0, it had 120,971 miles on it.  It now has about 122,500.  Need to get the front snow tires put on (needed to get a second set of rims with TPS sensors on them).  

Vic 3.0 Railfanning
3.0 visits Maine for the first time

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Swapping Rear Seats in a 2013 Ford Police Interceptor Sedan

This post is for anyone wondering what the rear seat area of a 2013 Police Interceptor Sedan looks like!

My boyfriend started out by removing the bottom seat cushion to look for a missing seat belt latch.  A while ago, he bought a totaled cruiser for parts, including a fabric rear seat setup to replace the vinyl setup his car came with from the dealer.  So he decided to finally put the fabric seats in while he had the chance.

Interestingly, I noticed that the vinyl seats that were in the car were dated 3/2/15, making them newer than the car's build date of February 2012.  The fabric seats from the parts car were dated 7/24/13. 

Rear Seat Release Latch
Seat bottom latch
Rear Seat Release Latch
Seat back latch
In case you were wondering, the bottom cushions latch into two plastic parts on the floor that have a little release lever.  The backs have two bolts on each side to remove (13mm & 15mm) on the corners.  Then you need to somehow find the two red fabric tethers that release the upper latches, allowing the cushion to be removed.  Have fun with that...

You now have a good look at the structure that helps make these cars safe.

Once the seats were out, it lead to the removal of the center console base so he could put wiring in place for a scanner head unit, to be installed later.  Word of advice when removing/installing the metal parts:  find a socket that is magnetic!  Also, keep track of which bolts came from where...

Once the wires were firmly in place under the metal console, attention was turned to under the hood, where the differences between the Taurus and Crown Victoria became evident.  You can hide a small child under the hood of a Crown Vic.  In the Taurus, figuring out how/where to snake wiring will make you stare and ponder for about a week.  The wiring project was left for a later date...

Ford Police Interceptor Sedan Brace
Here you can see how far the trunk floor extends into the passenger compartment
Ford Police Interceptor Sedan Brace
Note the date written on the metal brace "2/15/13"
Ford Police Interceptor Sedan Seat Cushion
Foam of the bottom cushion
Ford Police Interceptor Sedan Seat Cushion
The vinyl seat back that was in the car...
Ford Police Interceptor Sedan Seat Cushion
... and the cloth one installed.  Looks like it needs a clean!

Monday, May 28, 2018

SHOCKING! Front End Edition 2018

Wellp, after 12 years and 184,944 miles, the front shocks in Vic 2.0 were finally replaced.  A while ago I noticed a stain appearing on the driveway under the front passenger side of the car.  Then I noticed some odd handling characteristics.  Things finally got to the point I had to decide if I should replace the shocks ONLY, or the whole spring/shock unit... which I think is a strut.

After driving 1.0 for 15 years, I forgot that the front end of 2.0 is totally different.  In 1.0, you could easily replace the shock alone.  But after searching for new shocks online, and looking at my Ford shop manual, I came to the realization that no matter what, you need to take the spring and shock out TOGETHER, because to replace the shock you need to use a spring compressor.

SO, go with just new shocks to save money, but pay for more labor?  Pay more for parts, but for less labor?  I asked Taxi Guy and he said "get the complete units if you can", which I did.  The last 2 correct Motorcrafts that Rock Auto had in stock were shipped to me and the job was done on 5/28/18.

The maiden voyage with the upgrades wasn't what I expected.  The rest of the suspension was still worn, after all.  And I had to remind myself that this wasn't Ma's 1999 Town Car!  New springs and shocks on a police package car does not mean a "Cloud-like Ride"!  But I did notice improvements while banging over local potholes.  It was on the highway that I noticed the improvement more.

Bridge expansion joints are much better now.  And it seems that high-speed turns are better as well.  In fact, and I didn't tell you this, I managed to out-accelerate and out-drive a rather new Mercedes SUV in tight traffic.  He was attempting to make some stupid, aggressive moves and I sorta ruined that for him...................

While taking the photos for this post, I was surprised to see how clean things look under the front of 2.0.  I have had far fewer glances under this car than 1.0.  I only wish the body was as solid...

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Ford and GM May Cut Several Sedans From Their Lineups

SOURCE:  http://www.foxnews.com/auto/2018/04/06/ford-taurus-and-chevy-impala-might-die-and-can-thank-suvs.html

Ford and General Motors may cut several sedans and small hatchbacks from their lineups, as Americans continue flocking to hotter-selling crossovers and SUVs.

A report in the Wall Street Journal cites sources at the two automakers saying they will discontinue certain models within a year or two. On the chopping block are large sedans like the Ford Taurus and Chevrolet Impala and subcompact sedans and hatches including the Ford Fiesta and Chevrolet Sonic.

The automakers won’t speak on official record, but the news isn’t far-fetched. Crossovers and trucks typically account for more than 60 percent of U.S. light vehicle sales. According to WardsAuto, through March dealers stocked 34 percent of their inventories on just crossovers, compared to 29 percent a year ago. Traditional sedan buyers have instead switched to similarly-sized crossovers, lured by a higher seating position, more cargo space, and the wider availability of all-wheel drive.

Traditional sedan buyers have switched to similarly-sized crossovers, lured by a higher seating position, more cargo space, and the wider availability of all-wheel drive.

The Taurus hasn’t changed in any significant way since the 2010 model year, but the Chevrolet Impala completed a major makeover for 2014. Still, sales in 2017 were simply so-so. The Taurus, at 41,236 sold in 2017, is propped up by its popularity among police departments. It’s been on an annual decline since 2013, the peak of this generation’s sales, when Ford moved 79,960 units.

Save for a small bump in 2010, the Impala has been on a much longer decline, from a high of 311,128 cars in 2007 to just 75,877 last year. The Fiesta and Sonic have been crowded by other small crossovers in their own lineups, like the Ford EcoSport and Chevrolet Trax. Sonic sales dropped to 30,290 cars in 2017, a 68-percent drop from its all-time high three years earlier. The Fiesta, at 46,249 cars, has lost 27 percent of its volume in the same time.

But for savvy new-car buyers, seeking these less popular models is one sure way to strike a good deal.