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#4088758 - 12/24/20 03:06 PM Crown Vic Subframe Identification
T2true Offline
Stranger

Registered: 12/23/20
Posts: 4
Loc: FL
Hello! I am new to the Forum.

Hopefully, my situation is not completely unique. And, I hope someone can help me.

I have a 1956 GMC Truck that, when I bought it, has a Crown Vic subframe (front suspension). (Apparently, this is a common swap in these old trucks.) The previous owner does not know from what year.

It has quick struts, so I am assuming it is from an 03-11, but I am not 100% sure. I need to replace the struts, upper control arms, and sway bar end links.

I bought some struts for an 04 from a local auto parts store. Unfortunately, it did not fit. One of the upper strut studs did not line up with its corresponding hole in the mount, and turning it around did not work either.

Questions:
Is there any way to verify from what year or year range Crown Vic it came?
Is there a way to determine what model Crown Vic it is – Base, LX, Police, Taxi, Fleet, etc.?
Do the different models have different strut configurations?
Does anyone have any recommendations for getting the correct strut for my application?

The existing Motorcraft strut has a label on it. One of the numbers is hard the read, the other one did not return any usable results in a search. Using a QR/barcode reader doesn't work.

Thanks
Ted

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#4088762 - 12/24/20 04:04 PM Re: Crown Vic Subframe Identification [Re: T2true]
Bellwestern80 Offline

CVN Discord: Edsel
Over the Hill

Registered: 07/01/11
Posts: 3950
Loc: Evans, Georgia
Strange your struts aren't fitting. Checking around between 2003-2011, it appears the struts all interchange between those years. Same goes for essentially all the parts up front that you're looking to replace currently.

The biggest difference the civilian and fleet cars have usually boil down to spring rate and dampening rate, so unless you can make out anything on the strut you have, it might be kinda hard to determine what it was originally for.


Question for you: Are you using loaded struts (the ones that include the coil spring) or just the replacement strut? While I'd like to assume with either that nothing got boxed wrong from the place you purchased them, but weird stuff has happened.

Also, did you get any of the other parts you're needing to replace, and if so, do they appear to be correct to the old parts?
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#4088814 - 12/24/20 11:58 PM Re: Crown Vic Subframe Identification [Re: T2true]
f00barbob Offline
Member

Registered: 09/11/12
Posts: 150
Loc: near Houston, Texas
May or may not be helpful, but I replaced my front shocks recently ('04), disassembled and used the same spring. When reinstalling, I noticed that I had to rotate the strut to get it into alignment with both the (non-symmetrical) mounting holes on top, and the slot/hole in the LCA. I'm assuming most front shocks are similar in their arrangement (telescoping rod projects upwards under the spring). In order to adjust i, I had to take some pressure off of the spring to allow the shock body to rotate without the lower spring perch.

edit: I was able to align mine in one shot by shear chance; if it proves difficult, consider making a template from cardboard or paper.


Edited by f00barbob (12/25/20 12:02 AM)
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#4088858 - 12/25/20 12:01 PM Re: Crown Vic Subframe Identification [Re: T2true]
CrystalPistol Offline

Over the Hill

Registered: 10/16/01
Posts: 3030
Loc: Shenandoah Valley
Secure one end, then twist the other end in the direction the spris wound until it aligns.
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#4088984 - 12/26/20 06:42 PM Re: Crown Vic Subframe Identification [Re: Bellwestern80]
T2true Offline
Stranger

Registered: 12/23/20
Posts: 4
Loc: FL
Quote:
Strange your struts aren't fitting. Checking around between 2003-2011, it appears the struts all interchange between those years. Same goes for essentially all the parts up front that you're looking to replace currently.

The biggest difference the civilian and fleet cars have usually boil down to spring rate and dampening rate, so unless you can make out anything on the strut you have, it might be kinda hard to determine what it was originally for.


Question for you: Are you using loaded struts (the ones that include the coil spring) or just the replacement strut? While I'd like to assume with either that nothing got boxed wrong from the place you purchased them, but weird stuff has happened.

Also, did you get any of the other parts you're needing to replace, and if so, do they appear to be correct to the old parts?




Yes, I purchased quick (loaded) struts. No other parts have been purchased yet. I want to see if the year could be identified first.

Is it accurate to say that only years 2003 - 2011 had quick struts? If not, what other years had them?

I need to raise the front end and add stiffness to the spring. I read somewhere that the Police suspension had a taller spring. Any truth to that?

Below is a picture of the strut I took out.




In the top pic is how much the tire sticks out from the fender. The second shows how little clearance there is for suspension travel.






Edited by T2true (12/26/20 06:44 PM)

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#4088990 - 12/26/20 06:46 PM Re: Crown Vic Subframe Identification [Re: f00barbob]
T2true Offline
Stranger

Registered: 12/23/20
Posts: 4
Loc: FL
Originally Posted By f00barbob
May or may not be helpful, but I replaced my front shocks recently ('04), disassembled and used the same spring. When reinstalling, I noticed that I had to rotate the strut to get it into alignment with both the (non-symmetrical) mounting holes on top, and the slot/hole in the LCA. I'm assuming most front shocks are similar in their arrangement (telescoping rod projects upwards under the spring). In order to adjust i, I had to take some pressure off of the spring to allow the shock body to rotate without the lower spring perch.

edit: I was able to align mine in one shot by shear chance; if it proves difficult, consider making a template from cardboard or paper.


I actually thought about taking apart the strut and re-using the upper and lower sections, but I don't have a spring compressor. If I can't figure out the year range, I may either "rent" a compressor from O'Reilly's or maybe drill a hole in the upper strut mount so that it fits.

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#4088992 - 12/26/20 06:47 PM Re: Crown Vic Subframe Identification [Re: CrystalPistol]
T2true Offline
Stranger

Registered: 12/23/20
Posts: 4
Loc: FL
Originally Posted By CrystalPistol
Secure one end, then twist the other end in the direction the spris wound until it aligns.


That may work. Thanks.

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#4088994 - 12/26/20 06:52 PM Re: Crown Vic Subframe Identification [Re: T2true]
a_d_a_m Offline

3 Orange Whips
Metroplectic

Registered: 10/25/05
Posts: 27569
Loc: Cleveland, OH
Originally Posted By T2true
Is it accurate to say that only years 2003 - 2011 had quick struts?
Yes, this is accurate.
As others have said, rotation is your friend.
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#4089078 - 12/27/20 01:33 AM Re: Crown Vic Subframe Identification [Re: T2true]
CrystalPistol Offline

Over the Hill

Registered: 10/16/01
Posts: 3030
Loc: Shenandoah Valley
Originally Posted By T2true
Originally Posted By CrystalPistol
Secure one end, then twist the other end in the direction the spris wound until it aligns.


That may work. Thanks.
Oooops, I meant "Secure one end, then twist the other end in the direction the spring is wound until it aligns." but I see you read it OK.
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Problems? Read The Book. Signed: A natural borne "neanderthal", w/s.
____________________________________ __________________
Toreador Red 2001 Mercury Grand Marquis ..... with some minor mods.

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#4089080 - 12/27/20 03:34 AM Re: Crown Vic Subframe Identification [Re: CrystalPistol]
f00barbob Offline
Member

Registered: 09/11/12
Posts: 150
Loc: near Houston, Texas
If you have access to a work bench where you can attach one or the other end of the part to a stable structure... all the better. I had the (self-inflicted, of course) misfortune of undertaking the job in an O'Reilly parking lot, but also had the fortune of just having bought a nice spring compressor. Cranked it out maybe 20 rotations of the compressor bolts, used an 18" socket extension through the lower bolt hole and a large box wrench on the studs, and it turned with no fuss (definitely be gentle with the stud threading).

I still can't fathom any mechanical need for the asymmetric hole pattern (manufacturing-related perhaps?). IIRC the pattern is rotated roughly 180 degrees on each side.
_________________________
'04 P74; purchased in Summer '12 with 12K miles. Dual exhaust and stabilizer bars from a Marauder. Paint scheme is white-primer-rust. ~111,000K miles. I intend to keep this car for a very long time smile

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#4090962 - 01/09/21 10:36 PM Re: Crown Vic Subframe Identification [Re: T2true]
Bangster Offline

Poobah

Registered: 11/30/01
Posts: 9397
Loc: Tucson Az
Not that it matters to you, but 03-mid06 the lower control arm is aluminum, and late06-11 it was steel, but either one can be used as a replacement, and it in no way affects the strut.
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