Last post on Mar 24, 2013 at 8:46 AM
You are in the Ford Crown Victoria/Mercury Grand Marquis
What is this discussion about?
Ford Crown Victoria, Mercury Grand Marquis, Exterior, Sedan
#1556 of 3292 2003 Grand Marquis ride quality
Sep 16, 2002 (11:34 am)
Hi guys,I took delivery of a new 2003 Grand Marquis LS Ultimate in July.Very pleased with all aspects of the car,but one,(and you're never going to believe this)it's the ride.Oh! what have they done to the ride?The handling is superb,but the damping is so tied down that the wheels are not allowed to follow dips in the road,they just drag the whole of the car down with them.On some undulating surfaces,when faced with a sudden dip,the cars simply leaves the road for a few seconds,the front wheels making contact with the other side of the dip with a crash.Most disconcerting.Small bump supression is virtually none existant.The handling is so good,and the ride so firm,I wonder if Ford either in error,or by intention,have fit the wrong springs and dampers.i.e.,handling suspension ones.The car has single exhaust,nine spoke alloys with whitewalls,so no indication of handling package.Its certainly not an LSE!Is there any way to check the springs etc?We do not have any Lincoln-Mercury dealers over here,and I probably have the only 2003 on our small island,so comparisons are impossible.The suspension is nowhere near as compliant as my previous Chrysler LHS.Quite a suprise,as I thought that would be the last thing I would miss.Is there any adjustment possible in the rear air suspension?Someone suggested that the damping may have three settings via the message centre,but I can find no trace.Anyway,I am not aware of such a system ever being available on the Mercury.If my car is typical,I should think the traditional customer base for these cars will be somewhat dis-pleased with this new suspension setup.The car is Canadian spec.,but I would not expect this to make a difference, or would it?Has anyone had similar exeriences?Any advice or assistance in this matter would be very much appreciated,as it is taking the edge of what is a very fine motor car.Kind regards to all.
#1557 of 3292 re: 2003 Grand Marquis ride quality
Sep 16, 2002 (7:07 pm)
I recently rented a 2003 GM and immediately noticed that the new suspension is MUCH firmer than that used in the 92-02 cars. It feels very much like the optional handling suspension in 92-02 cars. This is a tragedy. These cars reasons for existing are ride, silence and room. Now we have given up one of them.
The local dealer has dozens of the 03 and 02 GM's. I've "bounced" by pushing down on the front and rear of each car and you can easily tell that the 03 are much stiffer. Stiffer even than 02 LSE's.
I was considering buying an 03 GM or Ford CV to augment my 94 GM but the ride issue has made me change my mind. My 94 GM is much smoother riding with much less impact harshness and even a quieter ride than the new cars.
I'm glad to see that someone else has noticed this and maybe Ford will get the message that this is unacceptable to their largest audience for these cars.
There is no way to adjust the ride rate of the rear air spring - only the ride height. As of the 02 model year there were only 3 different air springs: standard cars 92-94 at about 75 lbs/inch. standard cars 95-02 at about 89 lbs/inch and handling & performance at about 114 lbs/inch. I do not know if the 03 air spring rates are different.
#1558 of 3292 Ride quality
Sep 17, 2002 (10:50 am)
After driving a new GM/CV about 10 to 20K miles the shocks will loosen up, and the ride will be completely "normal" (whatever that means). Shocks continue to get loose as the miles pile up, and the ride gets softer. Note: this does not apply to top quality shocks such as Koni and Bilstein.
#1559 of 3292 Replacing air ride with standard shocks
Sep 17, 2002 (11:16 am)
I've found a local shop that will replace the air ride suspension on my 95 GM for about $400. He said they just use Monroe shocks...I didn't want to press him too much, but anyone know what kind of shocks he would use? Just regular Monroe shocks that would work on a standard GM? I'd like to do the replacement myself if I can figure out which shock to order for certain, but I'm a little concerned about just trying the the plain $20 monroe shocks, it just seems too simple! Wish that mechanic was willing to give up his trade secrets...
#1560 of 3292 ride quality
Sep 17, 2002 (1:12 pm)
Thse issues I've addressed in post #1538 go far beyond normally tight new shocks - New 02 cars do NOT ride anywhere near as hard as new 03's.
#1561 of 3292 Re: replacing air ride
Sep 17, 2002 (2:52 pm)
The shocks have nothing to do with the air springs. They are "springs".
You can replace the air springs with steel coil springs for about $250 parts and an equal amount for labor or you can replace the air springs for about the same amount of money. This assumes the rest of the air spring system(compressor,sensors,tubing,etc.)is functioning properly.
#1562 of 3292 Firm Ride
Sep 18, 2002 (10:17 am)
I feel that Mercury is addressing the complaints of the Automotive Magazine people that say the GM is soft through the twistys. I generally, feel those folks don't know much anyway. After all, I don't read complaints about outdated rear wheel drive, poor mileage, and expensive high octane fuel on BMW, Jaguar, Mercedes, and Lexus automobiles.
If I want to go through the twistys, I take my '91 Miata stick shift; if I want to go from point A to B quick, I take my '86 Honda 1100 CC Magna; but, If I want to drive up 300 miles to Chicago to visit my daughter and haul a lot of her stuff, I take the '00 Merc GM. I expect a good ride on a long haul with passing power. I also expect 150K miles out of the vehicle.
Those Auto mag guys grew up thinking a MiniVan/SUV is the state of the art in ride quality and good mileage. I have a '90 Ford Pickup to get that kind of ride and mileage.
Sep 18, 2002 (2:19 pm)
I'm interested in more low-end torque. Right now my 2000 mgm has single exhaust and the 2.73:1 axle. How much additional power can I expect going to duals? going to 3.27:1? Is the cost even worth it? I love my car, but would like to get the most out of the small-block v8. Thanks in advance.
#1564 of 3292 hard ride in 2003 GM
Sep 18, 2002 (4:02 pm)
In response to the person from GB, I can say that I am also the happy owner of a 2003 GM LS.
I too noted the slightly harder ride which accompanies the better handling. Frankly, I don't understand what consumers seek when they opt for a "handling" package or complain about a "squishy" ride. I had a 1996 GM before this one and it didn't seem to hold the road on turns as well as my 2003. The speed sensitive steering in the 2003 gives me a feeling of a more solid ride but again I don't know what what people want from better handling.
Does a feeling of solid control on the road have to be a trade off for smooth riding over bumps?
I would point out that Mercury made a special point of touting the new suspension features of the 2003. To my untrained view, these features result in a more stable but perhaps less cushiony ride. I suspect that the firming up of the 2003 relates to the introduction of the Marauder which shares a common platform. I doubt that Mercury would want to go through the expense of separate frames for the Marauder and the GM so the the GM has benefited (or suffered) from this.
Lowering the tire pressure (within prescibed limits) might help the rough ride a bit. I am not sure whether I prefer having a firmer ride over a softer ride if that becomes a choice. Again the 2003 GM spells out extensive suspension changes which sound pretty good to my untrained ear.
Incidentally, where and under what circumstances can a GM be bought in Britain? What about the location of the driver's position?
I think I like my 2003 GM very much but I am very suggestible and until the posting about the smoothness of the ride, I thought it was doing well on that score.
Sep 18, 2002 (7:22 pm)
So did the '03 Town Car get the firmer ride as well? I thought the whole reason people bought these cars were because they were roomy and comfortable. Maybe Ford should start to divide the lineup here a little bit. Crown Vics are the universal cop car. Give the Crown Vic the firmer ride. Leave the Grand Marquis and Town Car their tried & true comforable selves. Maybe some differentiation between the models would actually help sales.