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#2905726 - 07/06/15 10:26 AM Best combo to improve handling...04 Grand Marquis
jcat Offline
n00b

Registered: 06/24/15
Posts: 31
Loc: RI
hey guys,

Hoping someone can help me out. I've got an 04 grand marquis GS that I'm aiming for basically a budget build to get the suspension as close to P71 spec as I can. The local Pick N Pull has a few p71 cars that I can get sway bars off of, and they're cheap, so that shouldn't be a problem.

My real question comes in on shocks/struts and springs. Lot of people saying that by going to big sway bars the stiffer springs and shocks will ruin the ride. My original plan was to just go P71-spec everything, but now I'm second guessing that.

Shocks/struts will likely end up being KYB, factory P71 sways front and rear with energy suspension endlinks and poly front sway bushings. The springs, honestly I'm not sure.

So:

Shocks/struts: With P71 bars, go with P71 shock/strut?

Springs: With P71 bars, go with P71 spring?

Shocks/struts vs. springs: any reason to not do P71 shocks with non-P71 springs in an attempt to save a little ride quality?
_________________________
04 Grand Marquis GS (M71 cloning in process, 9/03 build)
2014 Ram 1500 4x4 CC SB Hemi

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#2905738 - 07/06/15 11:28 AM Re: Best combo to improve handling...04 Grand Marquis [Re: jcat]
BigMerc96 Offline

I know nothing
Posting Addict

Registered: 06/05/10
Posts: 19868
Loc: I can see Detroit from here!
Pretty easy for me as I've done it on several Panthers. Police shocks/sway bars with factory LS/LX/TC springs. I prefer KYB Gas-A-Just in police spec. It does stiffen the ride, but not overly so, you don't really notice it unless on particularly rough roads. And even then I wouldn't describe it as worse, just takes larger bumps differently.

If your car has the 15mm rear sway bar already, I would hold off on a 17mm P71 rear bar, rather wait till you can find a 21mm sway bar from a Handling package (HPP) car or Touring package Town Car (also found in Marauders). We upgraded my buddy's '03 CVLX from the 15mm sway bar to the stock 17mm from my Town Car (same as what is found in P71s) and there wasn't much difference at all. Only did it because the 15mm bar had worn bushings and links, and the 17mm bar was sitting in my garage with new bushings and links on it. Rear sway bars were the same '92-'11, I'm using a '07 HPP rear sway bar on my '97, bought it brand new when they were still available from Ford.

The P71 front sway bar is a good deal. Its 29mm/29.5mm vs your stock 26 or 28mm (depending if you have a rear bar or not). When paired with the HPP rear bar, the car balances out well. Tends slightly towards understeer but easily corrected with throttle input, a lot like they do with the 26/17mm combo, just MUCH flatter in the corners. I can definitely corner faster than I could with the stock bars.
_________________________
-Steve

2006 Audi A6 ~132k miles, stock.
1998 Mercury Grand Marquis LS HPP ~100k miles, slowly acquiring modifications.
1997 Town Car Cartier ~145k miles, Ported Plenum, Gutted Airbox, Contour E-fan Retrofit, Dual exhaust with Magnaflows, cats deleted, MSD Ignition, KYB Gas-A-Justs, P71 front bar, air ride reinstated, Projector retrofit, Caddy 4-note horn retrofit, Wood rim steering wheel retrofit, holistic weight reduction as the parts fall off..
1996 Mercury Grand Marquis GS 117,485mi. R.I.P. 7/14/12 frown

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#2905747 - 07/06/15 12:15 PM Re: Best combo to improve handling...04 Grand Marquis [Re: jcat]
PB92 Offline
Over the Hill

Registered: 02/07/09
Posts: 2150
Loc: Communist CT
What he said..............
_________________________
US MARINES Kilo 3/3
"Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in the world, MARINES don't have that problem" President Ronald Reagan

99 P71 Ex-Greenwich CT Det. car. New Ford crate engine. Deep Wedgewood Blue/SMD LED trunk/interior/door lights
Modified factory CAI. Big 4 upgrade, 0 gauge highstrand. High Power Cobra 29LX highly tricked out. 200 amp alt w/overdrive pulley. New body mounts. Moroso air/oil separator. Rebuilt 8.8 axle. ARA3 PCM. High power CB'er for 35 years. GMRS Operator Midland MXT400

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#2905749 - 07/06/15 12:34 PM Re: Best combo to improve handling...04 Grand Marquis [Re: jcat]
Chevyguy Offline

Poobah

Registered: 01/05/04
Posts: 9449
Loc: Winchester Mass
First thing is check your Front sway bar. Until sometime in 2004 all the panthers have the big 28mm front bar, SAME one used in the Marauder or P-71

The 03 up suspension is quite different, and the old tricks don't really apply.

From 20001? up Base/GS and LX/LS models have no rear swaybar at all.

The 17 mm LX sport/ P-71 bar is a good upgrade, I found a nice 21mm bar from a local Marauder owner for my 04 LX

https://www.crownvic.net/ubbthreads/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2577241

Just the swaybar alone makes a difference since I already had the big 28 mm up front. Balanced well, but it does "Washboard" more aka the rear end kicks around a bit on really bumpy roads.

Next step is the mushy tires, while there are some good tires available in the stock 255/60/16 size most fitted to a Grand Marquis will be soft pillow tires.

I upgraded to some GT-500 wheels on my LX



this did highlight one issue which is the SHOCKS, the 03 up P-71 FRONT springs really don't go well on the LX Marauder etc, too stiff rides to high. Most have had good luck simply upgrading the shocks. Also upgrading to the big 18" x 9.5" wheels caused more "wheel hop" due to the extra weight not being dampened properly by the worn soft LX spec shocks

I just put a set of Monroe severe service "Struts" on my Marauder and have a pair pending install in my LX. The Forged Marauder wheels are about the same weight as the GT-500 and the car rides about as good as ever.

https://www.crownvic.net/ubbthreads/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2892578
_________________________
2004 MarauderM79 155K miles Jmod!! Rockin Stock tune Daily, Muscle Merc tune for track 14.85 @95.63
2004 Crown Vic LX SOLD!!

New Daily 2016 Dodge Charger R/T Road and track, purchase with 16K now 23K after 3 months. 5.7 Hemi, 8 speed ZF trans 3.06 open rear 13.98 @ 99.2 mph 4740 lbs with driver!!

R.I.P Photobucket 10 years of hosting down the drain

Project car 74 Chevy Laguna type S-3, # match 400 SBC

Previous rides
93 P-71 2001 P-73, 94 TC Exec, 96 TC Signature, 04 LX

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#2905754 - 07/06/15 01:01 PM Re: Best combo to improve handling...04 Grand Marquis [Re: jcat]
bigROC209 Offline
Over the Hill

Registered: 04/11/12
Posts: 2270
Loc: Stockton, CA
On my 2002 LS I replaced the airbags with P71 springs and added a rear sway bar from a HPP model.

The rear sits slightly higher than it should but I like the way it looks, gives my car a really nice stance.
_________________________
2002 Marquis LS Precision Trac, new engine @ 125K, GT Wheels, HP tires, SCT Xcal 2, 91 Octane tune from BOC, Traction Locker w/Ford Racing clutches, 3.55's, Police D/S, Ford Racing IM @114K, 75mm TB, Trick Flow Plenum, Ziptube, GT MAF, P71 Rear Coils, Summit Racing UDP's, HPP Sway Bar, Gas KYB's, J-Mod, 2-1/4" Dual Exhaust, Thrush Glasspacks & 18" tips, MSD COPs, NGK TR55's & Grey Injectors, Pinstripe removed, Disc changer, 2400 watt Pioneeer amp & 6x9's, Kicker Comp VR 10" DVC subwoofers.

Bottle in the trunk coming soon!


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#2905767 - 07/06/15 01:30 PM Re: Best combo to improve handling...04 Grand Marquis [Re: jcat]
jcat Offline
n00b

Registered: 06/24/15
Posts: 31
Loc: RI
Thanks guys.

So what I do know for sure is this is a GS base model car, so it shouldn't have a rear bar. It was built in 9/03 so I'll have to look at the front bar and maybe I can get away with just endlinks and/or bushings up front rather than swapping a whole bar.

I will definitely need a rear bar. So it seems like P71 spec shocks/struts and factory rate springs will prevent the car being raised any and preserve some ride quality also.

My 04 has a coilover up front, correct? In that case does anyone know whether the KYB Strut Plus unit is the same as having the gas-a-just struts? I don't know for 100% certain whether my factory springs are any good, so I'm planning on having to replace them.
_________________________
04 Grand Marquis GS (M71 cloning in process, 9/03 build)
2014 Ram 1500 4x4 CC SB Hemi

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#2905779 - 07/06/15 02:49 PM Re: Best combo to improve handling...04 Grand Marquis [Re: jcat]
Chevyguy Offline

Poobah

Registered: 01/05/04
Posts: 9449
Loc: Winchester Mass
My 04 is an 11/03 build so you should have the 28 mm bar

The bushing for that bar is unique, looks line one you would see on a control arm, measuring the diameter with an adjustable wrench is the foolproof way to be sure of course

_________________________
2004 MarauderM79 155K miles Jmod!! Rockin Stock tune Daily, Muscle Merc tune for track 14.85 @95.63
2004 Crown Vic LX SOLD!!

New Daily 2016 Dodge Charger R/T Road and track, purchase with 16K now 23K after 3 months. 5.7 Hemi, 8 speed ZF trans 3.06 open rear 13.98 @ 99.2 mph 4740 lbs with driver!!

R.I.P Photobucket 10 years of hosting down the drain

Project car 74 Chevy Laguna type S-3, # match 400 SBC

Previous rides
93 P-71 2001 P-73, 94 TC Exec, 96 TC Signature, 04 LX

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#2905889 - 07/07/15 12:06 AM Re: Best combo to improve handling...04 Grand Marquis [Re: jcat]
Totalled Offline
Member

Registered: 09/13/12
Posts: 374
Loc: Oly, Wa
Addco front and rear bars, KYB "Police" shocks and struts. Stock springs.



Edited by Totalled (07/07/15 12:08 AM)
_________________________
2009 Mercury Grand Marquis, Norsea Blue pearl, Lt Stone interior. Stainless Works catted long tube headers and 2.5" H-pipe/tails with long case Dynomax Super Turbos, K&N Typhoon intake, Addco front and rear sway bars, Metco watts and rear control arms, KYB cvpi spec shocks and struts, Powerstop drilled/slotted rotors, Hawk pads, GT500 wheels with Nitto 555 255/45/18 and 285/40/18 tires.'12 Mustang wheels. Marauder rear spoiler, Mach1 front spoiler.

POTM 09/2014.

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#2905915 - 07/07/15 08:45 AM Re: Best combo to improve handling...04 Grand Marquis [Re: jcat]
jcat Offline
n00b

Registered: 06/24/15
Posts: 31
Loc: RI
man, I need to find a set of GT500 wheels. They look so good on these cars.

Thanks for that pic, how's it ride on the street? Looks like it handles well on the track, though I don't know I'll be going quite so far with the mods as you've gone. I'm pretty sure you've got 2-3 times the value of my car just in mods haha.
_________________________
04 Grand Marquis GS (M71 cloning in process, 9/03 build)
2014 Ram 1500 4x4 CC SB Hemi

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#2906035 - 07/07/15 11:17 PM Re: Best combo to improve handling...04 Grand Marquis [Re: jcat]
Totalled Offline
Member

Registered: 09/13/12
Posts: 374
Loc: Oly, Wa
Street ride is nice. Most that ride in it complement it.. It's noticeably firmer than stock, but doesn't pound your brains out and the rough spots. It's more comfortable than a stock P71, but out handles it.
_________________________
2009 Mercury Grand Marquis, Norsea Blue pearl, Lt Stone interior. Stainless Works catted long tube headers and 2.5" H-pipe/tails with long case Dynomax Super Turbos, K&N Typhoon intake, Addco front and rear sway bars, Metco watts and rear control arms, KYB cvpi spec shocks and struts, Powerstop drilled/slotted rotors, Hawk pads, GT500 wheels with Nitto 555 255/45/18 and 285/40/18 tires.'12 Mustang wheels. Marauder rear spoiler, Mach1 front spoiler.

POTM 09/2014.

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#2906066 - 07/08/15 09:01 AM Re: Best combo to improve handling...04 Grand Marquis [Re: Totalled]
jcat Offline
n00b

Registered: 06/24/15
Posts: 31
Loc: RI
Originally Posted By Totalled
Street ride is nice. Most that ride in it complement it.. It's noticeably firmer than stock, but doesn't pound your brains out and the rough spots. It's more comfortable than a stock P71, but out handles it.


Precisely what I'm after. I want to be able to stick this thing in the corners but not have it rattle my teeth out over the bumps. My truck rides pretty well but it's still a truck. I've been enjoying the hell out of the floaty ride but just trying some quick turn ins in the GM is a little scary...it's almost like the front end has to yell to the back end "WE'RE GOING LEFT!" and then the back end responds a few seconds later.
_________________________
04 Grand Marquis GS (M71 cloning in process, 9/03 build)
2014 Ram 1500 4x4 CC SB Hemi

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