G_Body_Man SuperDork
June 12, 2016 11:27 a.m.

Well, yesterday I picked up my latest vehicle, this 1996 Ford Crown Victoria. After doing some investigative work, I have come up with a list of things that need to be done on it.

-Parking Brake Cable

-Right Wiper Motor

-Rear Left window regulator

-Front Right window regulator and motor

-Brake light bulbs

-Serpentine belt

Over the next few weeks, I will be fixing this thing up to be the ideal daily driver. Until the next update, you can enjoy the pictures below.

Not bad for $550 Canadian, eh?

Toyman01 MegaDork
June 12, 2016 11:37 a.m.

Nice! That's a good looking car.

mndsm MegaDork
June 12, 2016 11:54 a.m.

My last ford had exactly the same busted window regulators.

G_Body_Man SuperDork
June 12, 2016 12:08 p.m.

Good news! After literally 5 minutes of troubleshooting, I've found that the wiper motor works fine, but the ribs in the wiper arm for the spindle are toast. That turns a $28 job into a $6 job that I can do today, as the Pick N Pull is open. .

Stealthtercel
June 12, 2016 2:35 p.m.

"Project Road Sofa" is the 100% perfect name for this. Nicely done.

Can I just ask: how many ways does your seat adjust?? I see the standard US six-way power controls, plus a manual lever just behind them on the side of the seat that (presumably) does something else, PLUS another manual lever lower down and further back that does... I have no clue. What's up?

Fitzauto HalfDork
June 12, 2016 3:49 p.m.

Thats the best name for this car. Looks really clean as well. Good score!

G_Body_Man SuperDork
June 12, 2016 5:02 p.m.
Stealthtercel wrote: "Project Road Sofa" is the 100% perfect name for this. Nicely done. Can I just ask: how many ways does your seat adjust?? I see the standard US six-way power controls, plus a manual lever just behind them on the side of the seat that (presumably) does something else, PLUS another manual lever lower down and further back that does... I have no clue. What's up?

That extra lever you see is actually a piece of plastic that's snapped off of somewhere. The problem is that every tan piece of plastic in the car is accounted for, so it's literally an extra part. As for total adjustment, I technically have 10 way adjustment (forwards, backwards, up, down, front tilt up, front tilt down, back tilt up, back tilt down, recline back, and recline more upright). The passenger seat gets a tiny little recline lever and a slider bar, though.

mazdeuce UltimaDork
June 12, 2016 5:06 p.m.

berkeley passengers, this is a driver's car.

G_Body_Man SuperDork
June 12, 2016 5:06 p.m.

After a quick shopping trip and spending a bit more money than I would have liked to, I now have the following items:

-1 air filter

-1 Dayco W-rib serpentine belt

-1 Sony CDX-G3100UP head unit

-1 Scosche wiring harness

-1 Scosche dash kit

-1 Scosche radio removal tool kit

-1 Used OEM wiper arm

This upcoming week is going to be fun.

Agent98
Agent98 None
June 12, 2016 5:45 p.m.

Hello

Nice panther you got there.Especially since it looks like the clear coat is intact. Did you check Crutchfield for the stereo? Sometimes they throw in the wiring adapters for free. I've had three of these cars, currently pushing around an '06. Good for 300,000 miles if you take care of them. 200,000 if you don't. Problems I had : 1.Once you take care of the intake manifold! (OEM part cracks where the alternator mounting bolt attaches. the Revised manifold has the black/nylon portion where the alternator bolts in made out of aluminum instead.) It's a 4 hour job. 2.Coil packs go bad. ebay cheap fix. Car quits after 15 mins of run time, then starts right back up. 3.Rotors warp - cheap rock auto fix. 4.Hard on batteries - just make sure you got 800 CCA and it is 3 yrs old or newer. Or carry jumper cables. 5.Torque convertor shudder. Fix by pouring in a small vial of "Dr. Tranny's" shift improver, available at NAPA etc...it is a friction modifier despite its lurid name. 6.MAF and Throttle body can get dirty car starts to idle rough -spray cleaner fixes it do not touch the MAF wires inside.

One of the best cars on the highway.

G_Body_Man SuperDork
June 13, 2016 11:50 a.m.

It turns out it was the brake light switch after all. Hooray for cheap fixes!

G_Body_Man SuperDork
June 13, 2016 8:26 p.m.

I was in town, so I picked up some carpet and upholstery cleaner, and a headlight restoration kit. While I was there, I decided to get a quote for a genuine Ford brake light switch. It turns out it was $49.21 and would arrive on Wednesday morning. Given that I don't like to wait, and that it was $5 more than Rock Auto, I decided to order it in. Now I'll have a road-legal car by Thursday evening!

G_Body_Man SuperDork
June 13, 2016 9:05 p.m.

Just finished using the headlight restoration kit. Wow, what a difference. Turtle Wax officially gets my seal of approval, and it's absolutely worth the $16 or so it costs to restore your headlights.

SkinnyG Dork
June 13, 2016 10:17 p.m.

Toothpaste also works well, and you likely have some. For less than $16.

rslifkin HalfDork
June 14, 2016 7:44 a.m.

Be aware, you'll likely have to re-polish the headlights every 6 months to a year. Once the original UV coating wears off, they re-haze much faster between polishing. If you catch it when it first starts, some toothpaste or rubbing compound and a paper towel is usually enough to clean it up pretty fast.

maschinenbau Reader
June 14, 2016 8:31 a.m.

In reply to rslifkin:

You need to re-apply a UV coating after polishing. Simple automotive clear-coat spray paint works very well. I did mine almost a year ago and they're still shiny and clear.

SilverFleet UberDork
June 14, 2016 9:01 a.m.

$550 CAD? You STOLE that thing! Looks like a great deal, and that list of stuff that's wrong with it is all relatively easy stuff.

On the headlights... I first hit it with my D/A and some 3M Rubbing Compound and a cutting pad. Then, I usually use Meguiar's Plast-X (if they are plastic lenses), and if they are really bad, I'll even wet sand them with 1500 and 2000 grit. Finally, I use a good quality wax on them to seal it up. They usually last a year or more before hazing up. UV coating works too!

And I don't know what it is about late 80's/early 90's Fords, but they always need window and wiper motors early.

Mad_Ratel Dork
June 14, 2016 9:56 a.m.

90'S FORDS had little plastic teeth so that the regulators could be stronger. Basically it was a designed wear part so that the expensive bits would last longer... Not sure what they do now. (the regulator actually grinds these bits when the window is fully closed before it stops)...

G_Body_Man SuperDork
June 14, 2016 10:44 a.m.
SilverFleet wrote: $550 CAD? You STOLE that thing! Looks like a great deal, and that list of stuff that's wrong with it is all relatively easy stuff. On the headlights... I first hit it with my D/A and some 3M Rubbing Compound and a cutting pad. Then, I usually use Meguiar's Plast-X (if they are plastic lenses), and if they are really bad, I'll even wet sand them with 1500 and 2000 grit. Finally, I use a good quality wax on them to seal it up. They usually last a year or more before hazing up. UV coating works too! And I don't know what it is about late 80's/early 90's Fords, but they always need window and wiper motors early.

I can confirm about the window motors and regulators, but I've dodged a bullet when it came to the wiper motor. Mine just had a stripped plastic spline in the passenger side wiper arm. $6 at Pick N Pull fixed that. As for the headlights, I applied the UV sealant that came with the kit. If it re-yellows, I'll go back, re-polish, and clearcoat them.

G_Body_Man SuperDork
June 14, 2016 10:45 a.m.

I pulled out the old brake light switch this morning. The hardest part was getting the retaining clip off. Otherwise, it was a dead simple job. I can see why people love these things.

Dave Reader
June 14, 2016 11:23 a.m.

Nice buy.

Oddly enough I have a line on a super cheap Crown Victoria - also a 1996. Do these things have any potential? The newer CVs were fleet only in Canada so a bit rare. I like the Road Sofa name. Might need to borrow that.

SilverFleet UberDork
June 14, 2016 11:24 a.m.

My friend had a blue on blue 1988 Caprice Classic we called the Road Sofa because it had front and rear bench seats. Appropriate name is appropriate.

Mad_Ratel Dork
June 14, 2016 12:13 p.m.

Dad used to use his 1994 Caprice to tow our speedboat after he put drag bags in it... (and a tow hitch)... :P

I remember that being one cool car with the digital dash.

G_Body_Man SuperDork
June 14, 2016 1:56 p.m.
Dave wrote: Nice buy. Oddly enough I have a line on a super cheap Crown Victoria - also a 1996. Do these things have any potential? The newer CVs were fleet only in Canada so a bit rare. I like the Road Sofa name. Might need to borrow that.

A tune, PI heads and manifold, a decent intake, UDPs, headers, x-pipe, and dual 2.5" exhaust will get you about 315 horsepower, but you'll have to run premium (higher compression with NPI pistons and PI heads). Change the stock gears out for 3.73s with a carbon-clutch Traction-Lok, throw in some KYB monotube Gas-A-Justs, do a J-mod, and have a fast, reliable, comfortable, and fun cruiser.

TIGMOTORSPORTS HalfDork
June 14, 2016 8:42 p.m.

This is going to make me look at P71s again.

Black ones. With tinted glass.

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