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Old 01-25-2011, 01:47   #1 (permalink)
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Wandering Marquis; Possible Solution

My 25,000 mile 2001 Gr.Mq tends to drift out of the lane on the freeway and takes constant attention to drive.
I have been researching through many customer reviews that were written shortly after purchase and I found three reviews that complained about this exact problem. So I am guessing that it is just the way they were when new.
However,It seems that there were three different STEERING GEAR assemblies used on these.I have the regular one,but there are two others with more "road feel" and feedback. Here is a quote from the P71 site;


"All 1997-2002 crown vics use steering gears that are visually identical to each other on the exterior. However, the thickness of the torsion bar inside them varies according to application. A stronger torsion bar yields increased "road feel" and increased turning resistance. Performance minded individuals will want either STG-35 or STG-36."

The STG-35 came with the "Handling Pkg." option and the STG-36 came with the Police Inteceptor Pkg.

So I may in the future swap in one of these and see if it improves drivability and will report back.

If anyone has info related to this subject I'd like to hear it. Thanks-Brian-
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Old 01-25-2011, 03:01   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Wandering Marquis; Possible Solution

Have you had an alignment check ? Could also try swapping round wheels and see if that helps .
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Old 01-25-2011, 08:30   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Wandering Marquis; Possible Solution

I forgot about the speed sensitive steering. The steering should get a little harder to turn at higher speeds. First, find out why you have so much play in the steering wheel. Read this thread. speed sensitive steering problem
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Old 02-07-2011, 05:55   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Wandering Marquis; Possible Solution

I had the same problem and replaced tie rods, pittman arm, idler arm, ball joints, steering box, flushed and pressure tested the power steering pump, checked the u-joint on steering column, replaced all 4 tires and had 2 alignments changing toe and caster. Nothing effected the wandering at above 45mph.

Last week I heard the brakes squeak so I took my MGM in for pads. My mechanic informed me that the brakes had at some point overheated-especially in the front and the rotor surface was glazed and warped. The rotors could be turned but he said the warping could effect performance (I had not told him about the wandering!) He also showed me that Mercury had installed "dust shields" on the front to prevent brake dust from showing up on the fancy rims, but his theory is that these shields reflect so much heat that they cook the rotors and recommended not putting them back on. That is what I had him do. I had all 4 rotors replaced.

With the new rotors my MGM is now tracking straight and true at all speeds.
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Old 02-07-2011, 10:28   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Wandering Marquis; Possible Solution

Very interesting. I will look into this. I heard another reference somewhere about those dust shields, a recall or a discotinued use or something. I'll post when I see it again.

Thanks for the links Bert.

The local self-pick yard is having 1/2-off weekend so I think I'll try and find a police or perf.+handling gear-box and see if it helps.

I heard from another guy on another forum that says if you disconnect the EVO you get full assist which is not a good thing at speed. But a cop unit has no EVO and is real firm so I will look for one of those.

I really don't see any play and the steering is acurate,it just floats and drifts.

Will check the allignment but have heard from numerous sources that this condition occurs even with correct allignment and good components.
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Old 02-07-2011, 12:09   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Wandering Marquis; Possible Solution

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Originally Posted by Commodore View Post
I had all 4 rotors replaced. With the new rotors my MGM is now tracking straight and true at all speeds.
What is the year and mileage of your GM? How long did you own / drive it before the problem showed up? It doesn't sound plausible that warped rotors would cause wandering unless they were so bad that there may have been (uneven) brake drag as you went down the road. Did you see a big increase in MPG after they were replaced?

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Old 02-07-2011, 14:21   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Wandering Marquis; Possible Solution

I've never seen rotors cause a wandering problem. I don't see how they could.
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Old 02-08-2011, 21:30   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Wandering Marquis; Possible Solution

I have a 1997 grand marquis that does the same thing. I did get it on an alignment rack, and the rear toe and thrust angle were pretty bad. I didn't notice anything that was bent. any suggestions?
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Old 02-09-2011, 08:40   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Wandering Marquis; Possible Solution

If the rear toe is off, something has to be bent. One of the axle tubes on the housing.
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Old 02-11-2011, 09:38   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Wandering Marquis; Possible Solution

to start with... check the tire size and make sure they are right... i would also check tire pressure... many times if tires are low or 1 in the rear, you will get a sliding feel of the car and it is because of sidewall weakness due to improper inflation... if all that checks out, get an alignment check done along with suspension check to see if ball joints and control arm bushings are still ok... i seen a nice Grand Marquis come in and i jacked the car up and tested suspension to find the parts were shot since customer wanted tires and alignment since they complained of car riding "funny". the sway bars that you are talking about help with body roll going around corners and stuff and dont do much in straight driving... they just help stiffen the car from leaning as bad when cornering
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