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Old 08-22-2010, 06:26   #1 (permalink)
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Question Need some advice

Hello all,

I'm new to this site and the reason I came here is i need some help from people familiar with the Crown Vic.

There is a 1988 Crown Vic LTD that I'm thinking about buying, the odometer says 35k but I'm going to assume that it's rolled over at least once. The body, trim, vinyl roof, rims and interior are all in excellent shape for it's age. It handles well, started up right away and i didn't hear any knocking or other nasty engine sounds.

It's obvious that the car has been well taken care of, but what concerns me most is the miles. Is the Crown Vic known for it's reliability? are parts hard to find for this car?

Like most in this economy, I'm on a very tight income. I need a reliable car that is within my price range and i would like to avoid a car that's know for nickle and dime problems or problems with the engine once it hits over 100k. I have to drive 35 miles daily to and from work, so this car would see a lot of driving.

Thank you for your time.
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Old 08-22-2010, 08:05   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Need some advice

Without doing a once over myself I couldn't say for sure about the car but if it has been kept up, regular services, it should be pretty reliable. They've had over 200,000 miles and more with no major problems. I just gave a friend a 80 F150 that had the 5.0 and it had 253,000 miles and still runs good. Any vehicle that gets older is bound to have a problem here and there but the Crown Vic has been one of the better ones. The 92 and up have been known to reach over 600,000 miles in taxi use.
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Old 08-22-2010, 19:55   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Need some advice

Hey Bert,

Is there a chance your friends with the 600,000 mile C/V odometers have a picture to post online. It's been one of my favorite things to mention at the shop and I'd love to send a picture around at work. It might convince some of our rammy drivers not to beat the snot out of our crown vics. Then again, it might only encourage trouble but I'll take the chance. Thanks!
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Old 08-22-2010, 20:16   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Need some advice

I can't even find the post anymore. It was on another forum and the cab company was in PA. The owner said he even had some 98s with over 400,000 miles. He said his drivers weren't easy on the cars either. I'll see if I can find it. No promises since it's been so long. Did you see the post in the PUB where the Econoline had over a million miles? 1997 Ford van hits million miles
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Old 08-22-2010, 21:38   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Need some advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by Corrin View Post
Hello all,

I'm new to this site and the reason I came here is i need some help from people familiar with the Crown Vic.

There is a 1988 Crown Vic LTD that I'm thinking about buying, the odometer says 35k but I'm going to assume that it's rolled over at least once. The body, trim, vinyl roof, rims and interior are all in excellent shape for it's age. It handles well, started up right away and i didn't hear any knocking or other nasty engine sounds.

It's obvious that the car has been well taken care of, but what concerns me most is the miles. Is the Crown Vic known for it's reliability? are parts hard to find for this car?

Like most in this economy, I'm on a very tight income. I need a reliable car that is within my price range and i would like to avoid a car that's know for nickle and dime problems or problems with the engine once it hits over 100k. I have to drive 35 miles daily to and from work, so this car would see a lot of driving.

Thank you for your time.
Welcome Corrin!

Even if the car has 135K miles, you have yourself a pretty reliable vehicle. I had a 1991 Town Car with 138,000 miles and it didn't skip a beat until it was involved in an accident this last January. It was a good feeling to know that even in the dead of winter up here in Minnesota, that car would turn over every time even when it is -20F out. And that was with a remote start! It too had the 16-valve 4.6 and I gotta tell ya, that car was VERY low maintenance unlike some people's girlfriends.

Check all of the fluids and take her for a test drive. Listen for noises and be sure the front end isn't sloppy. If you don't mind me asking, what's the price on the car?
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Old 08-23-2010, 15:12   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Need some advice

She is selling for 4k, might be able to get them down to $3,500

I do know she was involved in a moderate rear end accident back in the 90's but she was driven for years after that so I assume no frame damage.

There is obvious care for this vehicle, if she was a rusted out heap i would have not bothered with even considering the car. She has nice rims, vinyl top is still nice considering the age, no torn seats, dash isn't cracked.

But like i said before, I need a good work car and I'm on a fixed income. If the Vic's engine is reliable then i'll probably make an offer. The only experience i have with ford/mercury products was my 1986 Cougar and she ran like a champ.

Edit: If i decide to not purchase the Vic, I'll post it here if anybody here is interested in it.
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Old 08-23-2010, 16:09   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Need some advice

first thing after getting the car is getting the car to a shop or fixing it yourself with the transmission pressure cable. it is connected by a plastic grommet that falls apart after years of use and needs replaced. if that doesnt get fixed, the transmission will burn up. it is a cheap $3 part from parts store if you do it yourself. i guess you can say i know the box bodies of these cars and the 5.0L... ask Bert...

not to get off topic, but my fiance has a 1992 Grand Marquis with 323,xxx miles on it and it has the 4.6L connected to the same transmission as what is in the box bodies (AOD) i will have to get pics of the odometer. it is correct since it is the digital gauges and not the needle type on most others
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Old 08-23-2010, 17:04   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Need some advice

87_Crown_Vic knows these better than I do. I always look for his input on these older cars. If you search his past posts, you'll see what he's done with one of them.
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Old 08-23-2010, 17:33   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Need some advice

Wow, I totally read your post wrong Corrin. I just noticed the year is 1988 not 1998 like I had originally thought. Nevermind what I said, although the 302 is also a good engine. The price sounds a little steep if it has turned over once already.

Here is what 87 Crown Vic is referring to in his post. It is the transmission throttle valve bushing, and like he has stated, if it rots and falls out, it will cook your tranny just about instantly.

http://www.lincolnsonline.com/tech/00052.html
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Old 08-23-2010, 20:38   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Need some advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by 87_Crown_Vic View Post
first thing after getting the car is getting the car to a shop or fixing it yourself with the transmission pressure cable. it is connected by a plastic grommet that falls apart after years of use and needs replaced. if that doesnt get fixed, the transmission will burn up. it is a cheap $3 part from parts store if you do it yourself. i guess you can say i know the box bodies of these cars and the 5.0L... ask Bert...
Thank you. If I decide to buy then I'll make sure this is done before I drive it off the lot.

The Carfax report I had done of her shows that she was well maintained and from the same dealer that is selling her now. One owner it seems and she rolled over some 15 years after purchase.

It does not show this part being replaced on the Manufacturer's recommended maintenance so either it was done and wasn't added, the owner was very lucky, or the trans is on it's way out.

It didn't seem to miss when I drove her but I'll take it out again. Thank you all for the help on this, I'm a bit lost when it comes to Ford products.
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