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.

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Reattaching a Power Door Lock Actuator in Mom's 2011 Ford Crown Victoria

A while ago, my mother asked me what a certain noise was in her 2011 Crown Vic.  She also said the passenger door lock wasn't working.  It didn't take long for me to figure out the big rivet that holds the power door lock actuator to the door itself had broken off.  When that rivet breaks, the power lock won't function correctly as it needs to be firmly attached to the door to work.  This happened years ago to Vic 1.0, and my old mechanic used a nut & bolt to fix it.  

I decided I wanted to do the job right, so I sourced the correct rivets, and FINALLY forced myself to do the job recently on a hot summer day, borrowing a capable riveter and a few tools from Bob at Belmont Seat Cover.  

If you need to do this repair, some of the tools you'll need are a T25 torx, a 7mm socket, panel remover tool, patience.  The rivets I went with are Auto Body Master part number PM49930, purchased at Checkered Flag in Ayer MA.  There are others out there that will work, but I didn't need 100 of them!  Make sure they have a dome-like appearance like the originals.  

I didn't take photos when I started the project as I was just plain too distracted.  But taking the door panel off is a bit easier with this panel than the 1998 style ones, other than needing something other than a Phillips screw driver.  The most important thing to remember is, if someone hasn't already, DO NOT break the plastic tab off the switch panel!    This is very easy to do if you don't know about the problem.  Once you break it, the panel will never sit snug again without "persuasion".  And unless you have a black interior, finding a replacement will no longer be a simple task.  

Below are some "maps" to help you with this job.  Again, I didn't think to take pics until it was too late, but something's better than nothing!



Once you remove all hardware, simply lift the door panel up and off the door itself.  Feel around and you will find the lock actuator is just sort of hanging, thus banging around in the door, driving you nuts, and also making it so your power lock won't function correctly.  You will see the cad-plated bracket with a hole in it, perhaps even the remnant of broken rivet like in Mom's door.  You can clearly see the hole in the bracket, and how it should line up with the hole in the door.  I used some sticky black goo to help hold the two together while we prepped the riveter.  Then, POP went the rivet and the repair was all done!

Next, I taped up the black shield thingy and slipped the door panel back on... forgetting to line the lock knob up properly with the hole in the panel like I do every single time!!  Plug the switch panel back in, carefully pop it back on, and you're good to go.  


Friday, February 26, 2021

2008 Ford Crown Victoria Window Switches

Crown Victorias are usually pretty beefy cars.  Part of the reason is that they are simple.  What cars tend to be maintenance nightmares?  Cars that are "complicated".

One part that seems to have issues on the later cars are the window switches.

Vic 3.0's driver's window switch started to act strange not long after I took the car over.  I'd have to "finesse" the switch to get the window to go up, but not all the time.  It got worse and worse, and I started thinking I better start looking for a used set of switches.   

Of course, what happened?  It stopped working... with the window OPEN.

Now, I had it in back of my head Mystery Mechanic had a set of switches in his basement.  I looked around and found them.  BUT, I quickly discovered they worked, but had the same problem!  We then remembered that his '08 ALSO had the issue, and the part was the bad one.

I was at least able to put the window back up.

I decided to take apart my totally-toasted one to see if it could be fixed.  I thought perhaps some contacts would be cleaned.  In the end, I couldn't fix them and just gave up.

A trip to our favorite junk yard later, and I had a new (used) part in-hand.  This was in September 2020 and so far, they still work fine.  

There may be folks out there who know how to fix the switches, or may want to try it.  Below are some photos to help those people out.  

NOTE:  The switch style changed one last time, I think in 2009 or 2010.

Ford part number:  5L1T-14540-AWB

Exploded view of parts

Little dust/water guards slip right off... notice the copper connectors

View of bottom with connectors

Winter Embarrassment...

In the almost 3 decades I have been driving, I have been driving full size rear wheel drive V8 sedans.  I know how to drive them in winter.  I have been stuck in snow less than a handful of times.

AND SO it is with some embarrassment that I type up this post!

The other day, it was in the upper 40s and sunny here in Massachusetts.  That meant snow was melting BUT still hiding ICE underneath.  I pulled into a dirt lot to take a photo of an unusual locomotive.  It never came (assumed it stopped down the tracks to work) and what ended up happening?  I decided to leave... 

Now, even though Vic 1.0 has been gone for a while, I STILL can't get used to the larger turning radius of Vic 3.0 (due to the wider track).  I misjudged a 3-point turn and the front wheels pushed into a berm of snow just before the side of the road.  I had to stop to make sure no cars were coming.  And that was what did me in.  Normally it would be no big deal, BUT Vic had enough time to sink through the watery snow and onto the ice hiding under it!

It took:

  • about a half hour of time
  • a bunch of sand
  • a cheap emergency shovel
  • an old pair of plastic get-me-unstuck mats (one of which disintegrated)
  • much embarrassment 

... to get the car free.  I couldn't even rock the thing, as the snow tires simply had nothing to rock against!  Sand did NOTHING.  A slight push would have helped but I was alone and few cars drove by.  

OH, and while I was stuck there... the locomotive stopped RIGHT next to me.  I took a break and nonchalantly took my photos. 

In the end, basically, once I saw that the rear tires were burning through the ice, I knew EVENTUALLY I'd hit dirt and that would help.  FINALLY I was able to get free in reverse (unusual, especially with directional snow tires).  I stood there, looking at the aftermath, thankful the road in front of me is lightly traveled, and hoping the train crew didn't notice I was stuck.

Chalk it up to "experience".  Also chalk it up to "ice is NOT snow"!

At least I got a photo... not the best BUT I got it...

Sunday, February 7, 2021

138,999 Mile Update: Get Your Snow Blowers Runnin'...

Long time, no update!  Some quick little things to share... 

138,999 - 2/3/21

10/17/20 - Vic visits the Welch's corporate office in Concord MA... those are indeed Concord Grape vines!
11/23/20 - Changed license plate bulbs

1/6/21 - Just what to do after getting the car washed... park in a muddy parking lot... snows are on...

RWD + Snow Tires = gets to park closer to the store entrance