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Old 01-03-2005, 22:55   #1 (permalink)
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buying a cvpi...questions

I am looking around for a late 90's CVPI and I have a few questions.

First of all, how do I know that a CV is a PI? Other than the bucket seats and holes where police equipment was removed, how can I tell that the car has the police suspension and engine? If they have special markings under the hood I would like to know where to look. If the car was totally unmarked and it looks like a regular CV, is it still possible that it is an upgraded police version?

Second question is about the infamous plastic intake manifold. What year did it begin and when did it end? Is Ford still replacing those for free for all affected years? Or did it stop replacing them on older cars?

Did all CVPI's receive the gas tank mod offered by Ford? If not, can I get that done at a Ford dealer for free for all affected years?

Are there any other reliability/recall issues with CVPI's that I should be aware of?

And finally, where should I look to find fair prices for these cars?

Thanks,
Mt700a1
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Old 01-03-2005, 23:35   #2 (permalink)
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Re: buying a cvpi...questions

You need to perform a search...but for starters go here..

What should I be looking for ?

Bill
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Old 01-04-2005, 19:18   #3 (permalink)
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Re: buying a cvpi...questions

Thanks that's a good one. Now I can look at the VIN and tell if it is a PI edition. I was unable to find recall information on PI's. From what I read there is a problem with the plastic intake plenum and gas tank. PI's are under recall for these items but I am not sure if, for example, a '97 model would still qualify for free repair/upgrades. If there is someone out there who can answer this I would appreciate that. Otherwise I guess I can call Ford and ask.

Prices vary a lot from what I have seen. I can get a 2000 model for $6000 cheapest. This is quite cheap considering the car is worth over $20000 new. As far as I know, there is no significant difference between '92 and '05 models, other than the front and rear exterior designs. Is that correct? Or performance/reliability improvement is significant?

By the way my previous car was 1979 Buick Electra with 350cid and TH350 trans. It has been a good car (had it for 6 years) but it was recently rear ended while parked in front of my house. The driver of the other car left his car and fled the scene of accident and I found out about it the next morning. That Acura Integra was totally demolished. My Buick's rear bumper is gone and there is some body damage, but there seems to be no frame damage. But I am thinking of getting a CVPI anyway for better performance and mileage.

You guys might be interested in this site if you don't know already. www.carsurvey.org. It could use more reviews from CVPI owners.

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Old 01-07-2005, 09:28   #4 (permalink)
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Read Re: buying a cvpi...questions

OK this is the result of my research so far...

It seems that the new engine (4.6L) was introduced in '92 and all engines made thereafter have the plastic intake problem...unless they have already been replaced with new improved parts.

Replacement parts are aluminum. The switch from plastic to aluminum is a clear sign that Ford knows the plastic part is unsuitable for intake, but it offers free replacement only on police interceptors. Free replacement is only for PI's in or out of police service, and there is a 7 year limit from the "start of warranty date" (date of original purchace by police dept?) in the US. The plastic part must be broken for a free replacement, so Ford doesn't do it as preventative maintainance item, despite the high failure rate.

Recent poll at another CV website says 50% of owners experienced the plastic intake failure. Some are high miles some low.

Gas tank mod to reduce the likelihood of cabin fire after rear end collision is free for '92 to '03 (may be 04 and 05 models too but I don't know) for CVPI's "currently in law enforcement duty". So if it is out of police service you can't get it done for free. If your plans include getting hit from behind at 60mph, you should worry about this.

Based on these information I will look for a CVPI with gas tank mod already done on it, and plastic intake already replaced with aluminum one. These seem to be the only major flaws on CV's.

That said, is there a way to see the intake and tell whether it is plastic or aluminum? It seems to be behind the alternator but in pics it is hard to see what is what. And, how difficult to replace it? I have basic mechanical skills (overhaul carbs, replace standard items like AC compressor/alternator/starter, etc.) Can an average home mechanic do the replacement himself?

Thanks,
mt700a1
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Old 01-07-2005, 16:32   #5 (permalink)
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Re: buying a cvpi...questions

As far as knowing whether it is a Police Interceptor or not depends on the serial number. I read somewhere that the sure way to tell if it is a Police Interceptor is if it has P71 in its serial number. If it doesnt then its not a Police Interceptor, it is just a plain Crown Vic.
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Old 01-09-2005, 11:26   #6 (permalink)
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Re: buying a cvpi...questions

Check this site, I found it to be a great resource when I was looking to buy my PI.

http://www.crownvic.net/liquid/p7x.html
http://www.crownvic.net/liquid/changes.html
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Old 01-09-2005, 11:30   #7 (permalink)
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Re: buying a cvpi...questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by djgj200
As far as knowing whether it is a Police Interceptor or not depends on the serial number. I read somewhere that the sure way to tell if it is a Police Interceptor is if it has P71 in its serial number. If it doesnt then its not a Police Interceptor, it is just a plain Crown Vic.
That's the only real way to be sure. All other body and powertrain items that come on the PI's can be modified onto a Crown Vic.
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Old 01-12-2005, 14:46   #8 (permalink)
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Re: buying a cvpi...questions

Thanks for all the info. There is so much to read out there it will take me a while to catch up. In the mean time, would it be unreasonable to expect 25mpg from a PI on highway if I swap out the gears to 2.73?
Thanks.
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