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.

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.

Saturday, June 29, 2019

A New Addition to the Driveway... Introducing, MomVic!

I never thought I'd see this day, but here it is... Introducing, MomVic!

Yes, after all these years, Ma finally has a Crown Vic of her very own.  Her 1999 Lincoln Town Car finally looked so crappy and needed enough repairs that it was retired, miles unknown thanks to a replaced digital dash, but still under 100,000 miles.

MomVic is a 2011 LX in black with gray leather, about 85,000 miles.  So far, she really likes it.  It did sit for a while before being sold at auction, so there are a couple of things to look into, like one rear door power lock that doesn't seem to be working, and the CD player isn't working.  Shame, because it is super-clean and nice.

Even though it was clean, it needed a good wax.  I just wasn't up to doing it myself, not on a black car, so we had Arlington Auto Detailing handle the job.  Everyone was impressed with the results!

And YES, I am jealous of the rims..............  I did the initial clean up of them myself, for old time's sake...

Alas, this IS Massachusetts, so from here on, it will be subject to snow & salt, pollen & bird mess, parking lots & jerk drivers.  All reasons I myself could NEVER live with a black car!  Vic 2.0's medium blue paint was hard enough to live with!

On the way to it's new home...
Fresh from the detailer...
Settling into a new driveway... 
The 1999 Lincoln Town Car in 2016... I never liked
that car, and am glad to see it GONE!

Friday, June 28, 2019

Cooooooool, man!

6/12/19 = 126,000
Vic 3.0 got a little love today.  The air conditioning finally ran out of "freon", or whatever they are using these days.  The accumulator had been leaking since the fall of 2018.  TaxiGuy put in a new one and charged the system, and just in time... it was 90ºF in Massachusetts today!

Then I (finally) replaced one headlight with a better used one.  All of the adjusters matched up to each other, so I didn't do anything but install it.  Looks better... but now the OTHER one isn't up to snuff.  I have two brand new ones, but for some reason, I am afraid to put them in... my luck, I'd end up in a head-on collision!

New accumulator inside the plastic cover...

... original headlight and slightly nicer used one...

... and finally put the nifty trunk bungee in. 
This came on Vic 2.0 and has come in handy through the years!

Saturday, June 8, 2019

125,886 Mile Update

A quick 125,886 mile update:  Vic FINALLY got it's oil change today... way overdue and yet the oil on the dipstick was darn clean looking!  Trying to figure out the car's small exhaust leak... or at least it SEEMS to be one.  It was put on a lift and looked at last month but there's wasn't anything obvious.  The cold and wet spring here in eastern Massachusetts meant it took me a while to get rust converter shmoo onto the car's wear spots.  Snow tires are off and other than that mystery leak, things have been uneventful.  Hopefully I am not jinxing myself!! 

Photo Without Caption... 

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

STUDY: The Most Dangerous Cars in the US... Small Cars & Sports Cars are the Most Deadly

This post may be a bit off topic, but I have always said most larger cars are safer than econo-cubes.  What use is a crumple-zone if your hood or trunk is 2 feet long??  

Now, if someone drives a lot and needs good MPG, and also doesn't have a lot of money to spend, FINE, get a tiny car.  BUT, you're not going to save the world by driving it, so if you can afford it, buy something at least SLIGHTLY larger than a postage stamp.  

The Most Dangerous Cars in the U.S.

By Julie Blackley
Small Cars and Sports Cars are the Most Deadly
Occupant fatalities from car crashes occur almost twice as often in subcompact cars and sports cars compared to the average vehicle, according to the latest study by automotive research firm and car search engine iSeeCars.com.
iSeeCars.com analyzed fatality data of model year 2013-2017 cars from the U.S. Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) and more than 25 million used cars from the same model years to determine the vehicles that are most often involved in fatal accidents. It found that there are 14 models that are at least two times as likely as the average vehicle to be involved in a fatal accident.............................CLICK TO READ THE WHOLE ARTICLE AND SEE WHICH VEHICLES ARE MOST OFTEN INVOLVED IN FATAL ACCIDENTS  

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Massachusetts Police License Plate #1 Spotted!

I managed to snap a decent photo of Massachusetts police license plate #1 on a Boston PD Interceptor... the catch is it was in Concord MA!

Thursday, March 14, 2019

HOW TO Change a Cabin Filter in a 2013 Ford Taurus / Police Interceptor Sedan

The following is a pictorial guide to changing the cabin filter in a 2013 Ford Police Interceptor Sedan, aka Taurus.  From what I have seen, this procedure SHOULD be the same for police and civilian models up to the 2019 model year.

First, get yourself a brand spankin' new filter.  We went with a Motorcraft FP-68 (AE9Z-19N619-A).

You will need to remove the glove box for easier access to the old filter.  Basically, you squeeze the sides of the box so that it opens all the way... then it falls out and everything falls onto the floor, which is why you will remove everything from the glove box FIRST!

Prior to starting this project, I watched some videos online so I would know exactly where to look for the filter.  So when I stuck my head under the dash I started to worry, because I didn't see ANYTHING that looked like the slot where the filter lives.  I kept following the vent ducts and didn't see a darn thing... Then I got mad and looked straight forward, and THERE IT WAS.

Basically there is a little cover, or "trap door", if you will, that has two latches and two tabs.  Undo the latches, and slide the cover down.  Now you will see the nasty old filter staring at you.  Slide it out and marvel at the nastiness!

As you can see, the cabin filter DOES actually DO something!  This vehicle started life 130,940 miles ago as a police cruiser in New Hampshire, which may explain all of the pine needles and dried leaf bits...

I wrote the mileage and date onto the new filter, just to be anal...

Make sure there's no leftover nastiness in the air-box, and install the new filter.

Now you can reinstall the glove box.  This means you can reorganize all of the old registrations, inspection receipts, and sugar packets.  NOTE that the left side of the glove box has some sort of plastic limiter which fell apart when I tried to reinstall the box.  One end has a tab that slides into a slot on the box.  This part connects to a second part with an odd elastic fitting.  I think I got everything back together correctly.

Monday, March 4, 2019

Ford Ends Taurus Production...


Another sad day.  They treated the latest Taurus like they did the Crown Victoria... never have one on the dealer lot and don't promote them.  That way, customers don't know about them and thus don't buy one.  I never understood Ford's advertising techniques.  I personally hate SUVs, and will miss the Taurus.  Mystery Mechanic's is a great car, even in sparse police trim...

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Vic 3.0 Delivers Mystery Mechanic to New Truck

Vic 3.0 delivered Mystery Mechanic to his new (used) 2016 Ford F350 up in New Hampshire earlier this month.


Vic 3.0 had its first repair under my watch January 11, 2019... Long story short, I get in the car, start it up, and shift into... NOTHING!  The transmission shifter wasn't connected to anything anymore, the cable had rusted in two.  Next day, a AAA towtruck-man helped manually shift it into DRIVE and off I went to Taxi Guy's shop.  It went right onto a lift and shut off.  Got it back and all is well again.  Wasn't happy about it, though...