Last post on Oct 08, 2012 at 11:50 AM
You are in the Ford Crown Victoria/Mercury Grand Marquis
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Ford Crown Victoria, Mercury Grand Marquis, Suspension, Transmission, Sedan
#18 of 99 Stiff ride in a 2003 Mercury Grand Marquis
Jun 07, 2006 (11:02 am)
I recently purchased a 2003 Grand Marquis LS Ultimate Edition with only 10,500 miles on it. I love the car as I am a junkie for all the bells and whistles, especially like the large digital readouts on the instrument panel. I am NOT happy with the way the car rides. It seems very stiff and you feel every pothole. It seems to me that a large luxury car like this should have a more comfortable ride. My wife's 2002 Camry has a smoother ride than this car. It is equipped with the original Michelins, which I understand are a quality tire. Short of running the tires under-inflated which would impact mileage, is there anything I or the dealer can do to make this car ride better?
#19 of 99 Re: Stiff ride in a 2003 Mercury Grand Marquis [galeinaz]
Jun 08, 2006 (8:55 am)
Perhaps your GMLSUE also has the "Handling Package", sometimes called the "Touring Package" and this will lead to a harder than usual ride, but it will corner like a speeding locomotive and handle much better than without.
Indicators of the package include: dual exhaust, oversize tires, higher rear end gear in the differential, 3.55 instead of a 3.25, thicker stablizor bars, extra heavy duty shocks that are stiff. Decoding the numbers on the door will help you know what you have.
If you can adjust to the above, you will appreciate its qualities over time. Improved handling is safer than yawing and pitching.
#20 of 99 Re: Stiff ride in a 2003 Mercury Grand Marquis [galeinaz]
Jun 22, 2006 (12:03 pm)
Yes, there is a way to soften the ride and reduce the noise. Try the Goodyear Comfort Tred. The reduction in road noise is great and the ride is softer. However, I do notice a little more softness in the steering response. I always found 32lbs of pressure too stiff with my original tires and used 30. Maybe i lost a little in mileage,but it was worth it. These days with stiffer suspensions and lower profile tires, a good ride (cushy) is harder to find. In the meantime, use 30 on your Michelins and get some Comfort Treds when you can't stand them anymore. I am using 32 on the Comfort treds. Get your own gauge, since even tire dealers often do it wrong.
#21 of 99 Re: Stiff ride in a 2003 Mercury Grand Marquis [galeinaz]
Jul 11, 2006 (1:11 pm)
Someone else replied to this message by recommending the Goodyear ComforTreds. I put those on my '03 GM and they do make a big difference. There is a little loss of cornering ability, but that's the necessary trade-off for a softer ride. The car still rides a little too stiffly for my taste. I think the solution for that is softer coil springs. Check out coilsprings.com, they make custom coil springs to whatever stiffness you want. Someone on this forum (I think) used them and was happy with the result. I have not tried them myself but will as soon as I have the cash. But the Goodyears will definitely help. I highly recommend getting them next time you need tires, if not sooner.
#22 of 99 Re: Stiff ride in a 2003 Mercury Grand Marquis [galeinaz]
Jun 08, 2006 (10:03 am)
Thank you for your reply. This is the first Mercury I have owned so I have no idea how to decode the numbers on the door. It has a single exhaust and the tires are Michelin P225/60R. Is that a standard size for the car? Since I am retired and don't do a lot of fast cornering the stiff suspension is kind of wasted on me. Would replacement shocks help?
#23 of 99 Re: Stiff ride in a 2003 Mercury Grand Marquis [galeinaz]
Jun 08, 2006 (8:20 pm)
You are not the first one to complain about the ride on the 03 Grand Marquis. There is some speculation that Ford tuned the ride and handling up too much on the 03, but had softened it up a bit later.
My only suggestion is to possibly swap out the rear air bags with those that go on the Town Car - any year should work. Or, I would see if the dealer has a different part number for a new model Grand Marquis - maybe they have softened the settings in later model years.
#24 of 99 Re: Stiff ride in a 2003 Mercury Grand Marquis [galeinaz]
Jun 09, 2006 (5:56 am)
If you have the single exhaust you do not have the handling package. Jsylvester is right. The 2003 models had a revised suspension setup designed to provide better road feel and better handling. Many complained about the stiffer ride. I recall renting a 2003 Town Car and being shocked at how stiff it was - not as smooth as my Lincoln LS.
I think the problem was addressed in later years. I am not sure if they used softer suspension bushings, different shocks, or what. I have rented newer GMs and TCs and found the ride much better than the 03's. You might want to explore this with a high volume dealer. I guarantee you they had some buyer reluctance to the ride of the 03's and they might have suggestions regarding shocks or other fairly simple modifications.
#25 of 99 Re: Stiff ride in a 2003 Mercury Grand Marquis [brucelinc]
Jun 09, 2006 (7:41 am)
I can't address the 2003 cars because I never have driven one. But I do own a 2005 MGM LS with south of 13,000 miles on the clock. It has the Michelin tires.
The car rides like a truck but it corners like a sports car. In addition to my MGM I own three British classic sports cars, all now antiques, as well as a Ford F350 mason dump with the dual rear wheels. So I speak with some experience on this.
I can live with the stiff 2005 MGM ride because of my sports car background. But I am very sympathetic to those who bought an MGM expecting a softer, big car, ride. What a surprise for them!
Really when I bought my car earlier this year I was attracted by the O/D, the rack-and-pinion steering, the Michelins, the V-8, and the leather. I settled for the watts-linkage rear; what I really wanted was IRS. But the MGM did seem like sort of a sports car, cloaked as a big fat hunk of "Detroit Iron".
Little did I realize the (relatively) hard seats and tight suspension would give my MGM more of a sports car feel than I ever anticipated.
Folks who like the MGM but want the traditional softer ride need to locate and purchase a low mileage example of a 2002 model year MGM. I'm pretty sure the 2002 cars are free of the dreaded intake manifold problem found in 2001 cars all the way back through 1996. If I have the years wrong somebody here will correct me. But I never would buy a car having a coolant crossover made of plastic (this was part of the intake manifold); not unless the seller gave me a $750 discount so I could have that problem fixed.
#26 of 99 Re: Stiff ride in a 2003 Mercury Grand Marquis [g45]
Jun 13, 2006 (8:36 pm)
Wow, I never thought that I'd read the statement, "Rides like a truck but corners like a sports car" in relation to the Panther platform! There is no doubt that the 2003+ CV/GM are a bit tighter than the previous cars, but they are hardly hard-riding cars, and they still exhibit considerable lean in corners and axle hop when pushed hard. Take a spin in my classic Trans Am if you need a refresher on what a hard ride really is . Don't confuse wallowy isolation for a good-quality ride; a '73 New Yorker could give you the former, but would almost be dangerous in hard maneuvering or an emergency stop, not to mention putting your rear to sleep. The modern Panther strikes an excellent balance, IMO.
BTW my 91 year old grandmother thought the ride of my '04 CV was exemplary - I don't even want to guess how old you guys must be LOL!
#27 of 99 Re: Stiff ride in a 2003 Mercury Grand Marquis [turbo301]
Jun 15, 2006 (1:37 pm)
Wow, I never thought that I'd read the statement, "Rides like a truck but corners like a sports car" in relation to the Panther platform!
Yes, that one took me by surprise, too. Not sure if he was serious or kidding. By the way, your Grandmother is just a kid. When she gets a little older, she might find your CV a bit rough for her tastes.
Seriously, I know the '03s were firmed up but I think I read somewhere that later models had some retuning done on shocks, swaybars, and bushings to soften things up a bit. That change (unless I dreamed it) may have been on the '04 and newer ones. I recall chatting with my Lincoln dealer after driving the '03 TC and he told me that they were getting a lot of complaints about the '03 TC and GM ride.