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New guy - have Grand Marquis questions - mikeb - 07-25-2017 08:30 PM

Hi all. I'm thinking about having a spare car around to limit some of the miles I've been putting on my CTS-V Wagon. I have been fond of the panther platform ever since I ended up with some crown vics as rentals a few years back.

Now I'm looking at Grand Marquis' and it seems that there are plenty of super clean early 4th gens with under 150k miles and going for $3500 and less. I'm leaning towards a GS because having leather interior in Phoenix sucks and I'm not a fan of airbags either. I have a few questions before I jump into one. They are:

What exactly does the HPP give you suspension wise? I see you get a lower gear ratio, dual exhaust, 17" rims, maybe a different torque converter?..but are the springs and shocks different? What about swaybars? I guess the rear springs are airbags too?

Any specific things I need to look for when looking at a car? Specific suspension pieces that are known to wear..engine or other issues? I think '03's have bad rear ends if they are pre 1/03.

Is there an issue that I need to look for timing chain tensioner wise on the '03's? I think there was a TSB.

I like the '06 and up gauge cluster better than the '03-'05. Can I swap the later one from a junkyard in if I get ? Yes, I know I need to deal with the odometer.

Are junkyard parts for suspension upgrades plentiful? I'm thinking bigger swaybars, or a 3:27 rear diff.

Anything else that would steer me towards one year vs. another?

What ever happened with the whole exploding gas tank issue?

Thanks all!


RE: New guy - have Grand Marquis questions - mikeb - 07-25-2017 08:37 PM

Almost forgot. Looks like the '03 - '05 had the 4R70W trans and the newer cars had the 4R75E. Are there any glaring issues with either transmission?


RE: New guy - have Grand Marquis questions - Westbrook - 07-25-2017 08:55 PM

As long as you keep good, clean trans fluid in them, and don't run the snot out of them, they'll last a long time. What kills them are the hard downshifts when trying to pass other people on two lane highways, and lots of aggressive driving.


RE: New guy - have Grand Marquis questions - tobiasg1995 - 07-26-2017 04:58 AM

^^^^^^what westbrook said. Starting in 05 is when ford went to DBW throttle bodies. Rear ends are standard 8.8. ADTR performance has all the goodies you would need for suspension. These are 2 ton boats so it takes $$$ to get them moving. Best bang for your $$$ is gears and a tune. Really wakes these cars up. These cars handle very well for how big they are, and with upgraded swaybars and control arms they really fun. Just about any year is good. The earlier models i think pre 03 had intake leaking issues, but that's an easy fix. The weal point with the tranny is the OD band. When passing at highway speeds during a kick down instead of dropping one gear it drops from 4th to 2nd. Extremely hard on the internals. Timing chain issues are usually on higher mileage cars early 2000 cars that have been neglected. 03's had soft axle issues and axles seals will leak and tear up your rear if not taken care of. When looking at any year check the ac and heat settings. If all your air is blowing out the defrost or all heat blowing, then you have a blend door actuator out. Dash has to be loosened and pulled forward to change out. About 4hr job. Pre 05 had lighting module recalls. Check trans fluid for burnt smell. Most things are minimal fixes. These cars are cheap and easy to work on. You can find low mile one owners sometimes for decent prices. I wouldn't hesitate to buy another. Any make or model has there quirks, not many cars out there can hold up like these cars. Just look them over if one catches your eye. Any questions you have if you find one don't hesitate to ask.
If you want to keep the mileage off your V, I'll trade you straight up my 51k mile grand marquis gs . I think that's fair

It is what it is


RE: New guy - have Grand Marquis questions - mikeb - 07-26-2017 12:26 PM

(07-26-2017 04:58 AM)tobiasg1995 Wrote:
 
^^^^^^what westbrook said. Starting in 05 is when ford went to DBW throttle bodies. Rear ends are standard 8.8. ADTR performance has all the goodies you would need for suspension. These are 2 ton boats so it takes $$$ to get them moving. Best bang for your $$$ is gears and a tune. Really wakes these cars up. These cars handle very well for how big they are, and with upgraded swaybars and control arms they really fun. Just about any year is good. The earlier models i think pre 03 had intake leaking issues, but that's an easy fix. The weal point with the tranny is the OD band. When passing at highway speeds during a kick down instead of dropping one gear it drops from 4th to 2nd. Extremely hard on the internals. Timing chain issues are usually on higher mileage cars early 2000 cars that have been neglected. 03's had soft axle issues and axles seals will leak and tear up your rear if not taken care of. When looking at any year check the ac and heat settings. If all your air is blowing out the defrost or all heat blowing, then you have a blend door actuator out. Dash has to be loosened and pulled forward to change out. About 4hr job. Pre 05 had lighting module recalls. Check trans fluid for burnt smell. Most things are minimal fixes. These cars are cheap and easy to work on. You can find low mile one owners sometimes for decent prices. I wouldn't hesitate to buy another. Any make or model has there quirks, not many cars out there can hold up like these cars. Just look them over if one catches your eye. Any questions you have if you find one don't hesitate to ask.
If you want to keep the mileage off your V, I'll trade you straight up my 51k mile grand marquis gs . I think that's fair

It is what it is

Thanks! I found a 1 owner '03 GS that looks really clean with 120k on the clock. I may check it out this weekend. As far as trading the V, I'll hold onto it for now. Big Grin They made less than 2000 of the wagons and less than 400 my year. They are actually going up in value, which is what is prompting me to limit the miles a little bit.

I do have one thing that is a fair trade, and I'm actually thinking about letting it go. I have an '85 Honda ATC 350x with original plastics, seat, and even original tires. Obviously very low hours and most of them were at the dunes when the original owner had it. I never have the time to use it.


RE: New guy - have Grand Marquis questions - BlackVic_P71 - 07-26-2017 12:51 PM

HPP had 16" wheels and the larger swaybars, and 3.27 rear.

LOUD EXHAUST IS FUN! AM I SHOUTING?


New guy - have Grand Marquis questions - tobiasg1995 - 07-26-2017 02:15 PM

This my buddies 2011 wagon, i think his has less than 40k miles.
[Image: 73aa9be6d2114ac776d0fce6183897ce.jpg]

It is what it is


RE: New guy - have Grand Marquis questions - mikeb - 07-26-2017 05:02 PM

(07-26-2017 02:15 PM)tobiasg1995 Wrote:
 
This my buddies 2011 wagon, i think his has less than 40k miles.
[Image: 73aa9be6d2114ac776d0fce6183897ce.jpg]

It is what it is

Very nice! Mine is also a 2011 black wagon, however I wrapped it Raspberry Blue:


RE: New guy - have Grand Marquis questions - BlackVic_P71 - 07-26-2017 08:18 PM

I did an auto-X against a CTS-V wagon once...bad things happened.
[Image: Wx47lnY.jpg]


RE: New guy - have Grand Marquis questions - msena - 07-26-2017 10:27 PM

Welcome to the forum. Great looking caddy, and good luck with the hunt for an MGM. We do have a "Buyer's Guide" section for each of the styles which can answer some of your questions.

http://www.pantherbb.com/Forum-Buying-Guide-for-Whales