Last post on Nov 26, 2013 at 8:41 AM
You are in the Ford Crown Victoria/Mercury Grand Marquis
What is this discussion about?
Ford Crown Victoria, Mercury Grand Marquis, Exterior, Sedan
Jan 24, 2003 (1:51 pm)
I knew it was either the 1997 or 1998 Town Car that was reduced in size. But I was not sure which. I thank you for helping with that.
Actually, the 1984 and 1985 LTD Brougham and Marquis Brougham were both available with an optional 5.0L V8. I found this out from my Chilton's, the Ford Motor Company and the books at auto parts stores. It was available for both either with a 4-barrel carburetor or fuel-injected. The LTD's was made at Ford's U.S. plant. The Marquis' was made at their Canada plant. That was the biggest engine used in both.
It was also the biggest size used in the Fairmonts, Zephyrs, mid-size 2-door Thunderbirds and 2- and 4-door Cougars, Granadas and Monarchs.
They also referred to that engine as a 302 C.I.D. V8. The 1984-1991 Crown Victorias and Grand Marquis came with a standard 5.0L V8 and were available with an optional 5.8L V8.
I need to find my Kelley Blue Book. It lists the lengths of the 1991 and 1992 Crown Victorias and Grand Marquis. The 1992's were shorter in body length than the 1991's and had less back seat passenger leg room than the 1991. When I find my Kelley, I will give the actual lengths.
Also, the 1991's still had steel bumpers for more protection. The 1992's got plastic on the front and rear. It made the front and rear weaker. It is why air bags were added to the 1992's. They were standard. It is when back seat shoulder and lap straps were added. They were weaker in the front and rear. My cousin has a 1992. But the back seat straps were an improvement. And 4-wheel ABS became available for them. So was a fully shiftable 4-speed automatic added. So was a smaller 4.6L V8. It is since the body was shorter than the 1991. And it was lighter with plastic, rather than steel.
I will be back after I find my kbb. It has the lengths of the 1991's and 1992's. It is a reliable source for that. It is not for car pricing. But it is for sizes. I will return.
#1769 of 3300 Why am I expecting dueling banjos to start playing ?
Jan 24, 2003 (2:38 pm)
Jan 25, 2003 (6:54 am)
"The 1992's got plastic on the front and rear. It made the front and rear weaker. It is why air bags were added to the 1992's"
Am I reading correctly, the removal of steel bumpers prompted the move to airbags?
The concept of airbags dates back to the 50s...maybe even earlier . Ford- yes Ford even experimented with airbags in vehicles that were not intended for sale in the early 70s. IIRC, GM used some airbags in some Caddys,Olds and Buicks in the mid 70's. Those did not last long.
#1772 of 3300 randpall: Were not the 5.8L V8's in '84 to '91 optional
Jan 25, 2003 (10:35 am)
only for police interceptor vehicles? Not for the general public is my understanding.
#1773 of 3300 The 5.8's last year...
Jan 25, 2003 (7:31 pm)
...in civilian LTD/Marquis models was 1981. It put out a whopping 145 hp that year. Standard though was a tiny 255 (which I think is about 4.2L) with around 115/120 hp, and the 302 was the next engine up with 130 hp. That year I think they all had 2-bbl carbs. This is according to Consumer Guide, at least. The 255 was dumped after 1982, and the 302 went to fuel injection for 1983. The 351 stayed a 2-bbl at least through 1989 (that's as far as my copcar book goes) and probably through the end in '91.
I'm surprised Ford held onto an engine that size for civilian use for that long. The last year for the Chrysler 360 in cars was 1980; after that they only had the 318. Chevy quit putting 350's in their civvy Impala/Caprice after 1979, leaving only a 267 or 305 as the V-8 choices. Pontiac, Olds, and Buick held on a bit longer, offering 350's in 1980, but for '81, the Olds 307 was the biggest engine, unless you wanted to go Diesel (and in retrospect, you didn't!)
Jan 26, 2003 (1:32 am)
Meanwhile, the big old engines went into things like Chevy Suburbans, where big engine freaks found them, the car companies realized that the truck fleet and the car fleet were treated separately under the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) legislation, they gussied up the trucks to make them more non-farmer, white collar as opposed to blue collar friendly, jacked up the prices, and the high priced non-offroad SUV concept was born, the car companies made lots of money, then at least some people began to figure out they were paying way too much money for just an engine, but the ONLY remaining CARS that have body on frame, V-8's and RWD are the Crown Vic, Grand Marquis (and now Marauder) and the Lincoln Town Cars. SUV's are also beginning to be seen by some as unsafe (having a much hihger center of gravity and needing to be driven like, well, a truck), threatening to others on the highway, and gas guzzlers.
This gets us to 2003, where you now find SUV's becoming more car-like, crossovers like Pacifica, Matrix and Vibe. Suddenly, the US car companies are realizing that in the past ten to fifteen years they had basically ceded the car business to the Japanese and Europeans, especially so at GM.
The days are getting interesting...and the Crown Vic and GM continue to soldier on, years after their predicted demise. We should salute Ford Motor Company for continuing the CV/GM after General Motors dropped the Caprice/Impala in order to use the plant where they had been made to make more SUV's, which brought GM much more profit per unit! On the other hand, if it weren't for the huge fleet sales to police, cab companies and commercial fleets, and the very high profit on the Town Cars, the CV/GM/LTC sedans would have been gone long ago. Too bad Ford didn't also save the large station wagon. I bet a lot of potential sales are out there, especially to those who would rather have a car than a minivan.
Jan 26, 2003 (5:30 am)
Were the majority of the Ford V-8's 302's in the early 80's? I remember a friends parents had a 79 Crown Vic w/a 302....meager HP...but the car still got out of its own way. Did Ford still offer choices of rear axles on their full size cars in that time period? Or was the "economy axle" the only choice?
Sidenote- GM still offered a 350 through '81 in the Z-28, automatic only in U.S models.
Canadian models still could be equipped with a 4 speed!!
Jan 26, 2003 (5:38 am)
"The days are getting interesting...and the Crown Vic and GM continue to soldier on, years after their predicted demise."
Good point. Sufficient demand for full size/RWD/V-8 still exists. Ford has even expanded its full size offerings by bringing back the Maruader.
Jan 26, 2003 (7:55 am)
...I vaguely remember and old Consumer Reports test from 1979 where they pitted a Crown Vic 302 up against a Chevy Caprice (or Impala, I forget now) with a 305, and a Dodge St. Regis with a 318. In this test at least, the Ford blew the other two away.
I think the Ford did 0-60 in around 13 seconds, while the Chevy was more like low 15's and the Dodge was pushing 16!
As for rear-ends, I don't know what this particular Ford had, but I think a 2.73:1 was pretty common. 2.56:1 was a popular Chevy rear-end back then, and Mopar was sticking mainly 2.45:1 rears behind most of their V-8's. I know in the case of Chrysler, they changed first and second gear in the trannies to compensate for the taller rear-end, but I don't know if Ford and Chevy did the same thing.
Ford did offer a few other rear ends, such as a 3.08:1 and for higher performance they'd switch up between a 3.27:1 or a 3.55:1. Sometimes the quicker rear-end would actually help mileage, in mixed driving. I have an 1985 Consumer Guide new car reference, and they tested an '85 Crown Vic with the handling package (3.55:1 rear, dual exhaust, limited slip) and an '85 Grand Marquis with just a 3.08:1. They got an average of 17.1 mpg out of the Ford, and only 13.9 out of the Merc!
Just for comparison, in that timeframe, the big Chevy/Pontiacs were using 2.56:1 and Buick/Olds, 2.73:1. The only thing Chrysler had left by that time was the Diplomat/Gran Fury/Fifth Ave, essentially a Volare trying to pass for a full-size. They weighed almost as much as the truly big cars, and were stuck with 2.24:1 rears! How they got out of their own way, I'll never know!