Make payments with PayPal - it's fast, free and secure! registry | CVN on Facebook | tech | news | email login Make payments with PayPal - it's fast, free and secure!


Welcome to CVN - Your Panther platform headquarters!


Custom Search


Topic Options
#4093174 - 01/25/21 04:57 PM Advice/direction for a hotrod luxury panther
CouchCommando Offline
Rookie

Registered: 09/24/10
Posts: 80
Loc: MO
Hi folks,

I'm currently nearly finished with my off-road locker equipped Crown Vic. All I have left to do is a roof rack and paint. This project has been really fun, and I've gone from noy knowing how to change my own oil to rebuilding an axle in the process.

This project was so much fun that I'm kicking around the idea of getting a luxury panther (03+ Grand Marquis or Town Car) and building a "sleeper." I have in mind a vehicle with upgraded suspension such as stiffer springs and shocks, potentially lowered an inch or so, polyurethane bushings, upgraded rear control arms/watts link, etc as the first step. Second step would be a gear change and a limited slip differential. Third step would be upgraded brakes (maybe, need to research this more.) Fourth step would potentially be the ADTR super charger to bring it up to 350 horsepower, basically enough to really feel it without taxing stock internals too much. Then I suppose if I like that I can start thinking of upgrading the engine and transmission to take more power.

I want a car that looks and feels like the luxurious grandma cars of old, but handles better and drives faster. I believe this will result in just as much of a "giggle factor" as my current off-road Crown Victoria.

Having an older Crown Vic, I definitely want 03+ for the rack and pinion steering system and front spring/shock system. As I recall, 05+ is drive by wire, so 03/04 are the years I should be looking at, correct? Also, is there some other factor I'm not thinking about that would make a Town Car or Grand Marquis a better base?

Thanks for any advice!
_________________________
2000 Ford Crown Victoria, my childhood family car turned into an off-roader.

Top
Links
#4093180 - 01/25/21 07:27 PM Re: Advice/direction for a hotrod luxury panther [Re: CouchCommando]
f00barbob Offline
Member

Registered: 09/11/12
Posts: 150
Loc: near Houston, Texas
Speaking for the '04 model year... two noteworthy anti-sport features:

Towncar length and wheelbase are several inches greater than CV/GM.

Towncar is several hundred pounds heavier (~ 10%).

Otherwise, they should be pretty similar, from a modding perspective. Neither of these should rule out the Towncar, just that more effort/expense will be needed to hit desired performance goals.
_________________________
'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

Top
#4093334 - 01/26/21 07:23 PM Re: Advice/direction for a hotrod luxury panther [Re: CouchCommando]
BigJon Offline

Grand Poobah

Registered: 06/30/02
Posts: 11804
Loc: Virginia
04 is what I would look into getting, if I were you. Great year. Go for a GM, they are cheaper and still really nice. Have fun with your build.
_________________________
-Current:
2001 Crown Victoria P74

-Gone, but not forgotten:
1988 Mercury Grand Marquis
1994 Ford Crown Victoria
2000 Ford Crown Victoria HPP
2004 Ford Crown Victoria LX Sport
2004 Mercury Grand Marquis

Top
#4093452 - 01/27/21 02:03 PM Re: Advice/direction for a hotrod luxury panther [Re: CouchCommando]
Danger2manifold Offline
Member

Registered: 02/23/19
Posts: 249
Loc: Little Poland, CT
I say go for the town car! The added length and weight make the entire project a bit more ridiculous, which looks like what you're going for and I totally support. If you're worried about the extra weight over the GMQ, just throw some nitrous on top of what you're already doing. That will definitely give you the "giggle factor" you're looking for!
_________________________
Current Panther:
1999 Crown Victoria LX - 69,420 miles (nice) as of 1/27/21, Toreador red, 18x8 Anthracite Torq Thrust M's, AEM Dryflow panel filter, custom 2.25" dual exhaust with H-pipe, Magnaflow XL mufflers, Jones 22" long 4" slash cut tips, Kenwood KMM-BT225U head unit, PPI A600/4 4-channel amplifier, PPI i650.1 monoblock amplifier, Pioneer 6x8 2-way speakers, two 12" JBL subs in sealed enclosures, 2/2019 to present

Past Rides:
2003 Buick Regal GS Joseph Abboud edition - as close to a Grand National as I'll probably get, traded in 2/2019
1996 Lincoln Town Car Signature - 1st car ever bought, dubbed "The Emancipator" by friends, rear ended and totalled in 5/2016
2002 Buick Rendezvous CXL - passed to me by the folks, handed down to younger brother in 2/2015

Top
#4093578 - 01/28/21 10:48 AM Re: Advice/direction for a hotrod luxury panther [Re: CouchCommando]
CouchCommando Offline
Rookie

Registered: 09/24/10
Posts: 80
Loc: MO
I didn't realize the Town Car had a longer wheel base. Are there any aluminum drive shafts available, or will this be a 100% custom proposition? Part of the plan is definitely a different gear ratio (3.55 or 3.73 probably).
_________________________
2000 Ford Crown Victoria, my childhood family car turned into an off-roader.

Top
#4093582 - 01/28/21 11:13 AM Re: Advice/direction for a hotrod luxury panther [Re: CouchCommando]
f00barbob Offline
Member

Registered: 09/11/12
Posts: 150
Loc: near Houston, Texas
Not sure what the practical limits on a driveshaft spacer would be, but I suspect it'd be pushing it (the transmission should already have the long tail shaft). Selection of driveshaft yoke will also matter, as the depth of the splines is different between them, possibly allowing a bit more slack.
_________________________
'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

Top
#4093624 - 01/28/21 01:50 PM Re: Advice/direction for a hotrod luxury panther [Re: CouchCommando]
nitro Offline
n00b

Registered: 12/17/20
Posts: 21
Loc: TX
IIRC there was an aluminum driveshaft available on the LWB Crown Vics so I'm sure there's a way to get one of those under a Town Car. An aftermarket aluminum shaft may be a better idea though. Going to a larger diameter shaft should help getting the critical speed well over the maximum possible operational shaft speed.

Top
#4093654 - 01/28/21 04:48 PM Re: Advice/direction for a hotrod luxury panther [Re: CouchCommando]
ClayBelt Offline

Over the Hill

Registered: 04/03/18
Posts: 1741
Loc: Leon County
The Mk VIII had a aluminum driveshaft that works in the town cars iirc.
_________________________
There’s a right way, a wrong way, and a janky way to fix something; I don’t usually have the brains or the money to pick the right way.

2001 Chevrolet Tracker LT “Featherbrick” - 6/2016-10/2016 - SOLD
2005 Toyota 4Runner SR5 “Panzer” - 8/2016-4/2018 - SOLD
1966 Ford Thunderbird “Fordy McFordface” - 11/2016-2/2020 - TRADED
2005 Buick LaCrosse CXS “Jumba” - 2/2017-2/2018 - SOLD
2010 Mercury Grand Marquis LS “Touge Sofa” - 4/2018-?
1990 Mazda Miata “Little Boy” - 5/2019-10/2019 - SOLD
1986 Ford Mustang SVO “Touge Fox” - 2/2020-11/2020 - TRADED
1978 MG Midget 1500 - 11/2020-?

Top
#4093756 - 01/29/21 12:25 PM Re: Advice/direction for a hotrod luxury panther [Re: CouchCommando]
CouchCommando Offline
Rookie

Registered: 09/24/10
Posts: 80
Loc: MO
Interesting, good to know on the drive shaft front.

My plan is for engine or transmission mods to be the last thing I attempt. I have experience doing all of the rest of the work, so I'm comfortable with that. I anticipate that if I bought the car now, actually following through with engine mods would be at least a year away.

I have a more conceptual question about power. I've tried reading mustang forums about the 4.6 2 valve engines, and people seem to exaggerate so much that I don't know what to believe. I see three possible paths forward if retaining the 4.6 2v engine.

Track 1: get the ADTR supercharger setup, and tune/boost conservatively to get 350ish hp in accordance with build threads here and the numbers they post on the site. This seems to be the "easiest" way to go. This is assuming other minor mods like dual exhaust and the like.

Track 2: go the "built" motor route with expensive custom heads, cams, headers, intakes, etc. Probably also go with a forged crank and rods at the same time. If I read everything correctly (and ignore the Mustang forum guys who are clearly on crack), this should get me to the 350 hp mark. The cost should be similar to the super charger if I do the work myself. There is the obvious risk that I screw it up and watch several thousand dollars rapidly disassemble on the freeway. But I've always thought building an engine would be fun. An intermediate step would be a PI head and intake manifold swap on my current off-road Crown Vic to get a better understanding of whether or not I have what it takes to do more invasive engine mods.

Track 3: Go with track 2 and then buy a supercharger kit...

I am not intending to do any serious racing, and don't need to be the guy on the internet with the craziest panther. I suppose my first question is, what is the horsepower/torque rating at which the average panther driver starts to really have fun? Keep in mind I'm currently driving a 200hp Crown Vic with 150 pounds of tools, emergency gear, water and spare tire in the trunk.



Edited by CouchCommando (01/29/21 12:28 PM)
_________________________
2000 Ford Crown Victoria, my childhood family car turned into an off-roader.

Top
#4093768 - 01/29/21 01:36 PM Re: Advice/direction for a hotrod luxury panther [Re: CouchCommando]
ClayBelt Offline

Over the Hill

Registered: 04/03/18
Posts: 1741
Loc: Leon County
Another option out there I would like to suggest is dropping a 5.4 4V in with some 44cc trick flow heads meant for a NPI motor instead. Assuming I'm remembering right, that would be 11.7:1 compression with some damn good heads, use a smaller TF camshaft set to avoid PTV clearance issues, and then if you're using a 02- car you might be able to use the 5.4 swap long tube headers made for the sn95 mustangs. I am not 100% certain there however, but since the BBK's fit with mild percussive maintanence I dont see why it couldnt. You would probably want to run E85, but could run 93 with careful tuning on that combo, plus it would probably be like 380hp iirc. Starting to it the limits of the stock short block at that point, but it wouldnt require cracking the short block open for internals like a 4.6 would require to get anywhere near that unboosted.

If you want to stick with the 4.6 though, PI heads and cams on a Mk VIII short block should be an easy 300whp, again with the same compression/octane issues and stock short block advantage as above but with the added advantage of headers being less custom/guesswork and more comercially available.
_________________________
There’s a right way, a wrong way, and a janky way to fix something; I don’t usually have the brains or the money to pick the right way.

2001 Chevrolet Tracker LT “Featherbrick” - 6/2016-10/2016 - SOLD
2005 Toyota 4Runner SR5 “Panzer” - 8/2016-4/2018 - SOLD
1966 Ford Thunderbird “Fordy McFordface” - 11/2016-2/2020 - TRADED
2005 Buick LaCrosse CXS “Jumba” - 2/2017-2/2018 - SOLD
2010 Mercury Grand Marquis LS “Touge Sofa” - 4/2018-?
1990 Mazda Miata “Little Boy” - 5/2019-10/2019 - SOLD
1986 Ford Mustang SVO “Touge Fox” - 2/2020-11/2020 - TRADED
1978 MG Midget 1500 - 11/2020-?

Top
#4093854 - 01/30/21 09:11 AM Re: Advice/direction for a hotrod luxury panther [Re: CouchCommando]
2004_p71 Offline

no replacement for displacement
Posting Addict

Registered: 09/04/03
Posts: 15777
Loc: Quebec Canada
what is your budget ?
_________________________

Best time 13.079 @ 105 1.8 60'
comming back this fall

Top
#4093932 - 01/30/21 06:37 PM Re: Advice/direction for a hotrod luxury panther [Re: CouchCommando]
CouchCommando Offline
Rookie

Registered: 09/24/10
Posts: 80
Loc: MO
I dont have one yet. I'm hoping to learn from this thread what an appropriate budget will be.

For the time being, im thinking approximately 4k for the base vehicle, followed by a shakedown period to make sure it's good to go.

Then, say 1000 for suspension (shocks, springs, poly bushings, metco control arms/watts link.

Then however much a dual exhaust will be.

Then when that's done, consider engine mods.
_________________________
2000 Ford Crown Victoria, my childhood family car turned into an off-roader.

Top
#4093992 - 01/31/21 09:50 AM Re: Advice/direction for a hotrod luxury panther [Re: CouchCommando]
2004_p71 Offline

no replacement for displacement
Posting Addict

Registered: 09/04/03
Posts: 15777
Loc: Quebec Canada
sounds like a plan
_________________________

Best time 13.079 @ 105 1.8 60'
comming back this fall

Top
#4094168 - 02/01/21 03:55 PM Re: Advice/direction for a hotrod luxury panther [Re: CouchCommando]
Danger2manifold Offline
Member

Registered: 02/23/19
Posts: 249
Loc: Little Poland, CT
You plan on going loud with the exhaust? New wheels/tires? Just curious!
_________________________
Current Panther:
1999 Crown Victoria LX - 69,420 miles (nice) as of 1/27/21, Toreador red, 18x8 Anthracite Torq Thrust M's, AEM Dryflow panel filter, custom 2.25" dual exhaust with H-pipe, Magnaflow XL mufflers, Jones 22" long 4" slash cut tips, Kenwood KMM-BT225U head unit, PPI A600/4 4-channel amplifier, PPI i650.1 monoblock amplifier, Pioneer 6x8 2-way speakers, two 12" JBL subs in sealed enclosures, 2/2019 to present

Past Rides:
2003 Buick Regal GS Joseph Abboud edition - as close to a Grand National as I'll probably get, traded in 2/2019
1996 Lincoln Town Car Signature - 1st car ever bought, dubbed "The Emancipator" by friends, rear ended and totalled in 5/2016
2002 Buick Rendezvous CXL - passed to me by the folks, handed down to younger brother in 2/2015

Top

Who's Online
5 registered (1990LTD, 01boatman, Dmblanch, Freddy12189, SlimOne), 77 Guests and 147 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Shout Box

Top Posters (30 Days)
bluejay_32 108
JeffBoudah 74
Moby_Vic 73
Old_Guy_Stu 70
Armada Master 54
a_d_a_m 52
DudeAbides 50
Dmblanch 47
Ponyguy 43
SocalSam 40
Member Spotlight
Member Since: 08/16/11
Posts: 945





Copyright 2000-2015 by Crownvic.net and Steve Spaulding. All Rights Reserved.
The photographs, graphics and data contained in this Web site are the properties of the contributors, or Crownvic.net and may not be used without expressed written consent.
Crownvic.net is not affiliated with the Ford motor company.

Happily consuming the fuel saved by Prius owners!