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Author Topic: Hatchbacks and sunroofs  (Read 31417 times)
RobertB
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« Reply #15 on: March 02, 2013, 12:40:10 AM »

The Crown Vic is up to 388,000 miles, and it should cross the 400,000 mile mark in Feb., 2013.
     The Crown Vic has passed the 400K mark!  To celebrate, I changed a heater hose on the car.  Wink

          Truly,
          Robert Bernardo
          Fresno Commodore User Group
          http://videocam.net.au/fcug
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RobertB
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« Reply #16 on: March 19, 2013, 10:50:21 AM »

     I've also reported on this at

http://www.grandmarq.net/vb/showthread.php?48290-400-000-miles-and-counting

          Some interested Crown Vic fans there,
          Robert Bernardo
          Fresno Commodore User Group
          http://videocam.net.au/fcug
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RobertB
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« Reply #17 on: March 26, 2013, 09:20:34 AM »

     At GrandMarq.net my car has been nominated for the POTM (Panther of the Month... the Crown Vic being on the Ford Panther platform).  Now all I have to do is take a few flattering photos of the car and post it over there.  Of course, I shouldn't show the dents or the the paint flaking off the front.  Wink

          Truly,
          Robert Bernardo
          Fresno Commodore User Group
          http://videocam.net.au/fcug
          July 27-28 Commodore Vegas Expo v9 -
          http://www.portcommodore.com/commvex
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RobertB
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« Reply #18 on: July 01, 2013, 06:41:42 AM »

     The old becomes new again.  When I was driving back from Portland, Oregon, a few weeks ago, I stopped at the Arco gas station in Red Bluff, California to fill up.  As I was paying the young 20-something behind the counter, he said, "Nice car.  Want to sell it?"  I told him that no, I had been driving the Crown Vic since 1991 and was hoping to reach 500,000 miles in a few years.
     What would he have done with the car anyway?  He would have either low-rided it, or he would have given it enormous wheels, thus making it a hi-rider.

          Truly,
          Robert Bernardo
          Fresno Commodore User Group
          http://videocam.net.au/fcug
          July 27-28 Commodore Vegas Expo v9 -
          http://www.portcommodore.com/commvex
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RobertB
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« Reply #19 on: September 23, 2013, 01:25:52 AM »

     Heh, it happened again.  Last weekend the car wash people were in wonder over the excellent condition of the interior of the Crown Vic.  Then yesterday, a former student (who is 43 years old now!) wanted to know how I have a Crown Vic sedan and a Mercury Grand Marq station wagon, i.e., "Where do you find them?  I never see those [kinds of cars] around?"

          What's old comes around again,
          Robert Bernardo
          Fresno Commodore User Group
          http://videocam.net.au/fcug
          The Other Group of Amigoids
          http://www.calweb.com/~rabel1/
          Southern California Commodore & Amiga Network
          http://www.sccaners.org
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RobertB
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« Reply #20 on: November 26, 2013, 11:13:50 AM »

     With the 1990 Ford Crown Vic nearing the 425,000 mile mark, the FCUG members noticed a few meetings ago that the car was sagging to the right.  To be more specific, the right rear corner was sagging.  Though at first I brushed that observation as an optical illusion, because the Vic had been parked on an incline, the more I look at the car on a level spot, the more I have to agree that it is sagging.
     I've come to the conclusion that the rear coil springs are just tired after all those miles, and replacements are needed.  It seems that a pair of the springs go anywhere from about $52 to $100.  The car did come with the heavy-duty suspension, and so, I'd like to get the correct pair with the correct specifications.

          Truly,
          Robert Bernardo
          Fresno Commodore User Group
          http://videocam.net.au/fcug
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RobertB
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« Reply #21 on: December 16, 2013, 07:56:05 AM »

     Putting in the new rear springs is delayed.  This month I had to replace a water pump, change the differential fluid, and repair the windshield wiper motor.  Good thing that the car is old and fairly common.  A brand new water pump just cost $50.  As for the wiper motor, the control module was pulled.  After all these years, the soldering between some components had flaked off.  All that had to be done was to resolder the traces and reinstall the module.  Now the wiper motor works well again!

          Simple fixes with no expensive diagnostic troubleshooting,
          Robert Bernardo
          Fresno Commodore User Group
          http://videocam.net.au/fcug
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RobertB
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« Reply #22 on: January 02, 2014, 04:40:20 AM »

Putting in the new rear springs is delayed.
    It's great to have a competent wheel alignment shop!  Last Friday I brought the Crown Vic to Hewitt Alignment and expected them to replace the rear springs.  Well, they installed new, cargo coil springs, and those springs did not cure the sag of the car.  They discovered that not only did the right rear sag but also the right front, both by about an inch.  They removed the cargo coils and put back in the original springs.  By installing shims on the right rear spring and spacers on the right front spring, they were able to correct the level of the car so that it matched the left side.
     The shop replaced the power steering gearbox (with nearly 425,000, the car needed one), flushed out the rest of the power steering system, added new hydraulic fluid, and gave the car a wheel alignment.  The car now steered much better, almost as the car was when I bought it back in 1991.
     The real test came on the weekend.  I had to drive the car to our family reunion in Santa Cruz.  To get to Santa Cruz, I had to use winding Highway 17 which had curves that were marked at 40 m.p.h. (down from the regular 55 m.p.h.).  The car handled the curves very well, beating out many smaller cars and definitely the big trucks/SUVs.  Smiley

          Happy New Year!
          Robert Bernardo
          Fresno Commodore User Group
          http://videocam.net.au/fcug
« Last Edit: January 06, 2015, 08:22:43 AM by RobertB » Logged
RobertB
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« Reply #23 on: January 06, 2015, 08:37:58 AM »

It's great to have a competent wheel alignment shop!  Last Friday I brought the Crown Vic to Hewitt Alignment...
    One year and another 25,000 miles later, it's back to Hewitt Alignment.
Quote
The shop replaced the power steering gearbox...
    The other shoe has dropped.  Now it's time to replace the power steering pump.  The car is 25 years old, and they've had to order the part.  It won't come in until Wednesday.  In the meantime, they'll flush out the steering system with cleaner and take care of other pressing needs - replace the left lower ball joint, the left outer tie rod end, the idler arm bushing, the right upper control arm bushing (which had so much wear that there was nearly metal-to-metal contact), and power steering hoses.  Finally, they'll lube all the grease fittings.
     Expensive to get done but necessary when you put so much mileage on a car as I have done.

          Happy New Year!
          Robert Bernardo
          Fresno Commodore User Group
          http://www.dickestel.com/fcug.htm
« Last Edit: January 08, 2015, 10:22:18 AM by RobertB » Logged
RobertB
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« Reply #24 on: February 10, 2015, 07:35:49 AM »

     Today I brought the Crown Vic to Quality Muffler in order for them to investigate a metallic rattling under the car when driven at low speeds.  They took longer than I thought they would.  After much welding at the H-pipe and the left cat-to-muffler pipe, they came out to explain about cracking that had occurred.  Why had that happened?  Because the engine was trying to rotate (torque) when the accelerator was hit hard.  With almost 450K miles, the Crown Vic needed new motor mounts.
     So, next Monday when I have the day off, the motor mounts and the transmission mount will be replaced, along with the yearly transmission fluid and differential fluid change.

          More money spent on upkeep,
          Robert Bernardo
          Fresno Commodore User Group
          http://www.dickestel.com/fcug.htm
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RobertB
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« Reply #25 on: February 15, 2015, 08:01:46 AM »

So, next Monday when I have the day off, the motor mounts and the transmission mount will be replaced, along with the yearly transmission fluid and differential fluid change.
    If it's not one thing, it's another.  A few days ago I was left stranded at work when the Crown Vic had a no-start condition; the motor would crank, but no gas was getting to the cylinders.  I had a ride back home and then back to work the next day.  The car was towed into the local service shop, and when I told them the symptoms, they diagnosed it as being intermittent relays for the electric fuel pump and the ECM box.  Both little of these little relays were inexpensive and were replaced easily.  The car is back up and running, and I'm still set to bring it in Monday for its appointed maintenance.

          More money spent on upkeep,
          Robert Bernardo
          Fresno Commodore User Group
          http://www.dickestel.com/fcug.htm
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Paul
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« Reply #26 on: May 01, 2015, 01:07:23 AM »

It's great you're keeping that car going; where I live, it would've turned to rust by now.
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RobertB
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« Reply #27 on: June 07, 2015, 10:38:01 AM »

The car was towed into the local service shop, and when I told them the symptoms, they diagnosed it as being intermittent relays for the electric fuel pump and the ECM box.
     That was not the end of its problems.  Several days later the car quit at highway speed, and I had to be towed back to Visalia, this time to my usual repair shop.  At first, they couldn't figure out this intermittent problem, and I drove the car away, but a few miles down the highway, it felt as if the car was going to stall again.  I crawled back on city streets and told them it was happening again.  This time the owner and his electrician/mechanic took a ride in the car, and it almost happened to them, too.
     Fortunately, they figured out what was wrong.  The car stalling out was due to a loose ground wire for the ECM box, and the car having a hard time restarting was due a faulty ignition module.  Ground wire tightened down, and ignition module easily replaced.
     Between then and now, I've taken the car a few times over the mountains to the Los Angeles area for the SCCAN meetings.  Those times when driving up the mountains, the engine felt pokey.  I used to be able to climb at speed and even accelerate up the mountains.  Now I was having trouble getting over the range.  The car would slow down 5-10 mph below the speed limit.  Even on flat land, the acceleration was not there.  With 450K on the engine, was the engine now showing its age?
     Well, spark plugs, spark plug wires, distributor cap and rotor, and ignition coil had all been recently replaced.  The only thing not done was cleaning the Fram Air Hog air filter.  The last time that was done was in February.  So, I pulled out the filter, sprayed it with the cleaner, washed it out with water, re-oiled it, and reinstalled it.  Engine response was much better.  The real test is to take the car over the mountains, though. 

          Later this summer,
          Robert Bernardo
          Fresno Commodore User Group
          http://www.dickestel.com/fcug.htm
          Southern California Commodore & Amiga Network
          http://www.sccaners.org
          July 18-19 Commodore Vegas Expo v11 2015 -
          http://www.portcommodore.com/commvex
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RobertB
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« Reply #28 on: August 21, 2015, 06:20:38 AM »

Those times when driving up the mountains, the engine felt pokey.  I used to be able to climb at speed and even accelerate up the mountains.  Now I was having trouble getting over the range.  The car would slow down 5-10 mph below the speed limit.
     The engine response is still not there.  A few weeks ago I had the front seal for the main bearings replaced, because there was oil being spewed all over the bottom of the engine.  However, that has not cured a bearing knock when the engine has gone through a hard run (usually with the a.c. on) and is idling.  The oil warning light flickers on.  The bearing knock and the flickering light only go away when the engine is not idling, i.e., when I apply more revs.  After consulting the forum at GrandMarq.net, I can only conclude that the lower engine needs work, which means removal of the engine, engine oil pan, and replacement of the oil pump and main bearings.  A very major repair!
     With such major work, I have various options --

1. Repair the lower engine.
2. Replace the engine with a used engine.
3. Rebuild the current engine or replace the current engine with a remanufactured engine.

Option 1 would only fix the current problems and not guarantee any future problems with the engine.  Option 2 is economical, but the quality of a used engine is suspect.  Option 3 is the most expensive but would give long-term reliability.
     Of course, with any of the above repairs, it begs the question, "Is the Crown Vic worth it?"  Let's say I pick option 3.  Perhaps it would cost $3,500.  Would I be able to get a nice, full-sized car for that price?

Comparisons -

1990 Crown Vic -
5.0L V8 iron block, iron head with 160 horsepower
very good ride, very good handling, very good brakes (according to Consumer Reports)
gas mileage - 16 mpg combined (EPA)
front seating - very good, rear seating - good
interior sound level - very good (though with age, more wind noise bringing it down to good)

2002-2011 Crown Vic -
4.6L V8 iron block, aluminum head with 220 horsepower
good ride, good handling, very good brakes
gas mileage - 16 mpg combined
front seating - good, rear seating - fair
interior sound level - good

late-model Lincoln Town Car -
4.6L V8 iron block, aluminum head with 220 horsepower
very good ride, good handling, very good brakes
gas mileage - 16 mpg combined
front seating - very good, rear seating - fair
interior sound level - very good

     By comparing the above data, the newer Crown Vics seem to be cheapened down, the only advantage being the 4.6L V8 (if you trust an aluminum head).  The Lincoln Town Car seems to be more of a match to the older Crown Vic.  However, trying to find a newer Lincoln below the $3,500 price point is questionable.  And I do prefer the luxurious-feeling cloth seats of a 90 Crown Vic over the leather ones of a Town Car.  Other things to consider - better sight lines on the older Crown Vic, more rear seat space on the Lincoln, cheaper repairs and parts on the Crown Vic, more safety equipment on the Lincoln, like air bags and rear disk brakes.

          It looks like the Crown Vic is winning by a nose,
          Fresno Commodore User Group
          http://www.dickestel.com/fcug.htm
          Southern California Commodore & Amiga Network
          http://www.sccaners.org
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RobertB
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« Reply #29 on: October 20, 2015, 08:06:09 AM »

The engine response is still not there.  A few weeks ago I had the front seal for the main bearings replaced, because there was oil being spewed all over the bottom of the engine.  However, that has not cured a bearing knock when the engine has gone through a hard run (usually with the a.c. on) and is idling.  The oil warning light flickers on.
    That bearing knock did not come from the engine; it came from the air-conditioning compressor!  What was happening was that the compressor was failing, and after a hard run with the a.c. on, that knock would appear.
     The compressor finally failed a few weeks ago when I smelled smoke coming from the engine bay while driving at highway speeds.  When I parked the car and shut off the engine, I checked under the hood.  The compressor pulley was burning hot; when I poured water on it, it steamed for quite a while.  Later, with the engine cooled off, I restarted the car and looked under the hood again.  Sparks were coming from the area of the pulley with severe grinding noises and the a.c. clutch alternately stopping and starting.  If that clutch were working correctly, it would free-wheel when the a.c. was off.
     I thought it would be just an a.c. clutch replacement, but when the system was opened up, the failed compressor had spewed tiny metal particles all inside the condenser and evaporator.  Yes, a major rebuild was needed... replace the compressor and its clutch, replace the condenser and evaporator, and charge up the system with oil and R134.  The last time the a.c. totally failed was 10 years ago when the compressor locked up and self-destructed, again shooting metal particles throughout the system.  Back then, $1,500 to repair... this time a mere $967.
     With the a.c. rebuilt now, the engine runs smoother (no more drag from the failing compressor) and quieter.  There is some low-end bearing noise on start-up and a flickering oil light after engine warm-up, but at least I now know that 302 V8 working well enough.

         Not time for an engine rebuild,
         Robert Bernardo
         Fresno Commodore User Group
         http://www.dickestel.com/fcug.htm
« Last Edit: October 20, 2015, 08:08:33 AM by RobertB » Logged
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