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#4104764 - 04/11/21 10:38 AM A love story between a kid and his Crown Vic
YoungP71dude Offline
Member

Registered: 08/16/19
Posts: 217
Loc: Charlotte, NC
Hey y'all.
Thought I’d write the history of what this car and I have gone through.

It all starts here with what I’ll call the prologue: when we bought the car.
It's the summer of 2019. My grandfather runs a business specializing in tractors and occasionally pays our family to go out to auction lots nearby to get info and pictures of tractors to buy. This auction was way down in The Middle Of Nowhere, South Carolina, specifically in a town called Greeleyville, just northwest of Charleston. This is a roughly 3-4 hour drive from where we live up north. We got a hotel for the next couple nights in the nearest big town and the next morning my dad and I headed to the auction lot to bid on the tractors. While bidding on the tractors was going down, I decided to go take a look at the cars lying around, because what else does a 14-year old car kid do? There was a good handful of Crown Vics that were retired from local law enforcement. I didn’t know much about Crown Vics, but they were always kinda interesting to me in a sense. They had a lot of iconic presence and they just looked cool. I took a good look at all of them, started them up, checked the mileage. All of them were sweet. But there was this specific one that stood out to me in particular. A 2004 model Crown Victoria with the Police Interceptor package, peeling paint and only 82,000 miles on the odometer. It’s blazing hot outside in the South Carolina sun, and my dad’s not actively bidding, so we sat down in the Crown Vic just for the air conditioning. I told my dad about all these Crown Vics, and this one was kinda interesting. Most of the others had at least 200K on the odometer, but this one was really low compared to the others. The only drawbacks were that the Check Engine Light was on and the paint peeling wasn’t pretty. We took a solid look in and around the car, as well as under the hood. This thing was pretty dang solid. So my dad calls my grandpa, tells him about the car. Grandpa decided he was gonna bid on the car, aiming for $900. I thought that was pretty sweet, buying an old cop car and flipping it. Lo and behold, we win the car for $800, a hundred under the target. My dad calls my grandpa, telling him we won the car. Grandpa tells us we can keep the car and use it for work or as a regular car, which took me by surprise. I thought that was awesome, but even more awesome is my dad told me he didn’t have to use it, it could be my car. My mind basically exploded. I ran to go sit in my new-used Crown Victoria with a beater of a paint job and the cold A/C blowing on my face. I instantly fell in love with it and knew that this was the start of an epic adventure.

I wouldn’t see that car for another two months due to some title transfer technicalities. But during those two months, I studied the crap out of these cars. Rear-wheel drive, V8, body-on-frame, awesome sounding with an exhaust. From some basic observations in and around the car, I learned this was a retired sheriff car from Berkeley County, presumably off duty because there was no livery taken off and there were holes on the inside under the sun visors for lights. After learning that 2004 was the best model year, I felt so proud to be the owner of one. I was ready to fix all the problems that this Vic carried and make it all mine. The day we came back to pick up the car, the auction happened to be going on again so we took notes for the tractors then, too. I may or may not have driven the car up and down the auction lot while bidding went down in another area of the lot. Man, this thing is the coolest thing in the world. Anyways, after the auction, it’s time to drive the 3 and a half hours back home in our newly-acquired Crown Vic, but not before I grabbed a celebratory Mountain Dew Game Fuel from the single gas station in the town. About 20 minutes out, we stop at a local Advance Auto Parts and have them run our Check Engine Light. Guess what? The code is for a thermostat, which costs $7 and a job so easy that a 3 year old could do it. That means our $800 car is a freaking steal. We drove it all the way home, and the car didn’t huff or puff once. My dad let me drive it on a back road nobody takes before we got into town. We eventually brought the prize all the way home, and here it was, finally. My very own project that I can fill the gaps in my life with. I walk to my nearest Advance Auto Parts store and spend a whopping $10 on a new thermostat and o-ring. It takes me 5 minutes to replace it. The first fix of many improvements to come.

Following the next morning, I did what any kid would do when he has a V8 on his hands: chop the mufflers off. We grabbed my dad’s sawzall and got to cutting. And I’ll tell you, after we were done it sounded freaking legit. The car wasn’t exactly leaving the driveway often so it was great for the once-every-two-weeks it gets out for a bit. And between you guys and I, the car wasn’t actually registered yet. As time went on, my dad actually did ending up having to use it as a work car, as his other two cheap cars had failed on him. As the car started getting driven more often, little did I know that dumping the exhaust right under the car before the axle would make the cabin sound like sitting right under a jet engine. I saved up a few bucks, bought some cheap straight-through mufflers from Amazon (for legal reasons), took the leftover tailpipe from the exhaust, and got some flex-pipe, clamps, and zip ties from Advance Auto Parts, and made myself my very own custom side-exit exhaust. It cleared up cabin noise a lot, and it sounded better. I ended up keeping the mufflers because it cleared up the rasp that no-mufflers left behind.

Something had to be done about the paint. Not only was it peeling (and badly), but it was a very not-so-pretty beige tan color that reminded me of the stereotypical granny cruiser. It had to be repainted, and I knew black would be awesome. I did some looking around on the internet for paint jobs, and I discover Maaco. They had a half-off coupon available for paint jobs starting at $350. Let’s just say that after that I knew what I wanted for Christmas, and I got what I wanted. At least the money for what I wanted. Around late January ’20, we take the car to get estimated at Maaco. They quoted us $370 for a new paint job if we did all the prep work ourselves. So begins the most ambitious project I’ve ever done and my greatest accomplishment: prepping a big ol’ car for paint.

The car did a lot of work being the king of the driveway. While it sat there, I put a lot of research into what it takes to get a car prepped for paint. Over the next 3-6 months (with lots of pauses/breaks in between), I got myself a rotating polisher/sander tool, and sanded the entire car down with 80 grit. During this time, this car was not the prettiest looking by any stretch. I still, however, loved it to death. In the summer time, I got it officially registered so my friends and I could drive it if we wanted it to. Obviously, I didn’t have my license yet, so I had to rely on friends or parents to drive it (legally) for the time being. We took it to Chick-fil-a, silver body work, rust and all. We nicknamed the appearance of the car “hood camo”. While I was sanding down the car, I had also installed an old head unit we had, replacing the crappy 4-preset AM/FM radio, as well as some Kicker CS speakers for the front doors. The sound system hit a lot harder. I also “fixed” a nasty coolant leak (more on the “fixed” later), because I learned that you’re supposed to bleed the coolant of air when you replace the thermostat. I managed to fix it with Flex Tape (yes, the meme product) for the time being and it held up. For then, at least. It was also around here that I learned about exhaust leaks, and that the driver’s side manifold was plagued with them. This became routinely maintenance.

Eventually, come late Summer 2020, I eventually got around to priming the car. I gave the car a relatively good final sand to clear up the rust, and primed the entire car with Rustoleum rattle cans from Lowes. This took a solid 2 months to finish, but the end result came out great. During that time, we drove it occasionally (despite my mother’s feelings about driving a crappy looking car with cabin drone). This is also when I did a lot of experimenting with exhaust and cabin noise. The car was doing a lot of sitting around due to me having some busy parents and not much time to take it to Maaco and make sure it’s ready. I got rid of the cheap exhaust setup I had made and tried attempt #1 at a no-drone exhaust: keep it still side exit, but add Vibrant Resonators and Resonated Exhaust Tips. 2/10 would not recommend, still very drone-y and the exhaust is all deep with no high-end. Some might like just deep, though. I returned the resonators and read up on the forums about tailpipes. I heard the Flowmaster 15802 tailpipes were a direct fit, so I bought those. I built myself a catback exhaust with those tailpipes, some brand new flex pipe along with some regular piping and clamps, and those exhaust tips. I used galvanized tape and bolt-on exhaust hangers to hold up the exhaust. My gosh, this sounded way better than before on the inside and outside. Much less drone on the interior (but still there). I had the chance to pay attention to exhaust leaks more and how that affected the sound. (I also learned later on that if you use Gorilla tape and exhaust clamps together, that really helps with exhaust leaks.) It was around here that I learned that my coolant leak issue had come around to bite me in the butt again. This time, it wasn’t leaking, it was burning coolant. I ended up fixing this by replacing the intake gaskets and remedying the intake manifold with some RTV. To this day the car hasn’t leaked/burned coolant since.

The car wasn’t quite painted yet, still waiting on when parents had time. During this, I took on another ambitious side project in an attempt to further reduce cabin drone: sound deadening. I stripped that interior all the way down to just the metal single-handedly and installed 72 sq-ft worth of Noico sound deadening in the cabin and trunk. While the car was apart like this, I may have decided to take the doors and hood off of the car. It was easier to work on that way, and plus it looked pretty cool. Yes, we drove it just one time on a backroad. It was awesome, the Jeep guys got nothing on me. Anyways, when I was done I put the car back together, interior and all. MUCH quieter now on the inside. Drone is almost gone, but still just enough to be a bit annoying, depending on the type of person you are. This car was just about at its milestone. As the paint job grew closer and closer, I had done a few other things to the car for appearance, such as black headlight housings, LED bulbs in the front, chrome center caps, and spray-painting the taillight housings for more sporty appearance.

Sometime at the beginning of November, we finally took the car to Maaco for their thoughts. It was a good idea to sand the car down with 400 grit to even the paint down so it’s smooth to the touch. Sometime during this I also officially got my learner’s permit. I gave the car a final sand and about 3 weeks later, they gave us the all clear. It was finally gonna happen, we could get this car painted. A few days later, we drop off the car. Just a couple days later, they gave us a call and told us the car was finished. Only one problem: they painted it the original tan color. We clarified it’s supposed to the black so they corrected it, free of charge. A few days later, it had just turned December, and we came to pick up what I had been working on for almost an entire year: a beautiful looking, mean sounding, breathtaking Crown Victoria Police Interceptor. This was my car, and I was so proud. We drove it home, and I basked in it’s glory. My friend and I took it out a week later so I could get some photos for it, one of which you now see in my account bio. This thing is fricking awesome. It’s Christmas 2020 now, and because I had gotten the car painted my mom was okay with driving it around. I did my first official oil change on the car and I drove it all the way to Ohio (where the grandparents live) and back. I showed the grandparents the paid off work that I had put into my car they got for me those couple years ago. And I was happy, this car is the best thing that had happened to me.

It’s a new year, and it’s time to chase some goals for the Crown Vic. I wanted subwoofers, for sure, and I also wanted to swap a 5-speed into the car. The end goal was to supercharge it. I’m a terrible job at making money sometimes, so that didn’t actually happen anytime soon. Not much happened to the car January or February. I showed my friends the completed car though, they thought it was awesome. Then along came the biggest pivot in both my life and the car’s life: it was just 5 days before my sweet 16. There was a flavor of Monster I wanted to go grab from the grocery store to get. Y’know, teenager things. My dad and I took the Crown Vic, per usual, and the store’s just 5 minutes down the road. As we get to the intersection and I’m making my left turn, there was a guy barreling down the road that I hadn’t seen. Next thing I knew, I had just gotten involved in my first car accident with me driving. It took me a solid 5 minutes to absorb everything that had just happened, that my car had just been hit. After EMS briefed us, they told us to turn the car off (yes, the car was still running after we got hit) and get out of the car. I took a look at where we had been hit and all I could say was “Holy crap”. My fender was busted, my wheel was at an angle. The Toyota Sienna that hit us was barely even recognizable, and their airbags had gone off. The only reason I knew that it was a Sienna is because I had registered it in my mind right before it hit us. As I stood on the sidewalk, looking at my precious car in the middle of the road, I just started falling apart. This thing is probably totaled, after all the work I put into it and the plans I had for it. I knew I could start again, but man this hurt, badly. Not physically, though, I didn’t sustain any injuries. Long story short, after we got out, we got a drink from the grocery store, got checked at the ER just to be safe, my mom picked us up, and that was goodbye to the Vic for a few days.

Few days later, we head to the towing yard that picked up the Vic. It still sent chills down my spine seeing my car like that, but I grabbed my tools and gave it a good look down. The Vic is only on liability insurance, so car’s ours to take care of (thankfully). After getting the tire off, turns out I just need to replace the upper control arm. That’s why it’s all wonky. The hood was stuck, so we had to unbolt the latch. We pop it, and turns out that the radiator support took most of the blow. I could fix this, and I saw it as a challenge. 2 days later, AAA tows the car back to our house, where the Vic parks for an indeterminate amount of time. I took my tools and removed all the damaged body panels and parts. Turns out maybe the frame took a bit of a hit, it looks slightly dented on the right side. Dang. To this day, the car sits parked in that spot in the driveway with a tarp over it. For almost a month I fell into a slightly depressive state where I became very lazy and unmotivated, and that did me no good. Today I’m slowly but surely making some money so that one day this car will see the road again. I don’t have as many repair opportunities as I used to, so I’m not making the same money I did back when I had money to do my exhaust and whatnot.

And that’s my story so far. Hopefully it gives you some insight on why I love this specific car so much and why I’m not giving it up because of some accident. It’s the imperfections that make this car perfect. I’ll keep this updated as things progress, because I’m not calling it quits anytime soon. If I get my old phone fixed, I’ll get the pictures.
_________________________
Easily the youngest Panther owner on the planet.


2004 P71 - 8/12/2019-present - Teenager-owned and maintained Ex-Sheriff Car w/ 92K miles
- 2.5" Catback Dual Exhaust; Posi 3.73 & Manual on the wishlist
- Noico Sound Deadening; Dual Skar VD-10 Subwoofers
- Repainted to Black by Maaco & I
- Plowed by a minivan and still running better than ever.
- Needs the front end painted.
2004 P71 - 10/2021-present - Ex-Palm Beach County School District Car w/ 215K miles
- Parts bin car, currently has almost all body panels removed
- Future kart project
- Wakes up the east side of China due to not having any exhaust


Your imagination, DIY skills and wallet are the only limits when it comes to modifying a Panther car.

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#4104778 - 04/11/21 01:50 PM Re: A love story between a kid and his Crown Vic [Re: YoungP71dude]
VoodooChild Offline

Rookie

Registered: 11/23/17
Posts: 92
Loc: Northeast
Dude I remember your thread about it, but reading the full story in detail was heart wrenching. You're a great writer too.

I want to see that car back on the road, if you start a go fund me I'll donate what I can. Upper control arms are like 30 bucks on Rockauto.

Definitely keep us updated.
_________________________
2011 Interceptor 127K, 12k Idle hours - POTM 4/21
Former Newton, MA patrol car
Marty Tune
3.55 Limited Slip
Ported plenum
Moog Sway Bar links & bushings
Mevotech Supreme control arms
PLZ MP-900 double din 7" touch screen
Infinity Reference 6x8 door speakers
Alpine 6x9 rear speakers
Soundstorm 400w 4 channel
12" Infinity Reference sub in a Sound Ordnance ported Bass Bunker
1500w Power Acoustik mono amp
Dash Cam w/ backup cam
LED lighting
RKE thru Forscan

2001 LX 144k -

Lincoln Chaffee's former protective car
RI State Police (sold)

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#4104940 - 04/12/21 05:13 PM Re: A love story between a kid and his Crown Vic [Re: YoungP71dude]
cghorr01 Offline
n00b

Registered: 04/12/21
Posts: 31
Loc: Kentucky
Great story and write up. Definitely get that thing back on the road and keep us updated on the progress.
_________________________
2007 MGM 35,000 miles as of 5/10/21
Jmod (done by 88grandmarq)
GT500 diff cover
audio upgrade in process

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#4105174 - 04/14/21 01:10 PM Re: A love story between a kid and his Crown Vic [Re: YoungP71dude]
astrae Offline
n00b

Registered: 04/12/21
Posts: 12
Loc: CA
can't wait for pics. This story is what this community is all about. I especially liked the part about prepping for the paint job, because I know how hard that is. Well done. Thanks for sharing. smile

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#4105478 - 04/18/21 11:48 AM Re: A love story between a kid and his Crown Vic [Re: YoungP71dude]
RipWixomAssembly Offline
Member

Registered: 01/28/20
Posts: 128
Loc: Michigan
Thanks for sharing.
_________________________
RIP Wixom Assembly 1957-2012 CVN Discord
My Rides:
1995 Lincoln Town Car 129K miles.


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#4107684 - 05/05/21 08:48 PM Re: A love story between a kid and his Crown Vic [Re: YoungP71dude]
YoungP71dude Offline
Member

Registered: 08/16/19
Posts: 217
Loc: Charlotte, NC
After a long wait, I have more to add to the story.

In roughly the past month or so I've made some money to contribute to fixing my car (and my energy drink consumption). My dad runs a local handyman business and sometimes I get the opportunity to help him with that. On top of that, I've "started" a mobile oil change business to further help raise funds for the car. A couple jobs here and there and some few G-Fuels later, I got some money for a new upper control arm, as well as inner and outer tie rods. I have some leftover money as well to contribute to body panels. Said suspension parts arrived today and yesterday and will finish installing tomorrow. I cut the old control arm in half because the sucker got lodged in a fun spot (I think in one of my posts I demonstrated this, the left side had been knocked clean off its bushing). This week the car will finally be "drivable" (in that it can drive but actively look like a Mad Max car. I have yet to figure out where the battery and grounds would sit). I have yet to figure out how bad frame damage is (if at all) since I can't precisely measure it yet, but problems will be narrowed down once I finish installation of parts and give it a test drive. I've also found a parts car to save up for, so it's safe to say this big thing will be fixed by the end of the month. Paint won't be a problem, I'll do the same thing I did last time: sand and prime panels, then give my guy at Maaco a call. It took me about a month and a half to finally push myself to work for what I want, and now it's finally paying off. I can send some pictures of the repairs-in-progress tomorrow when I get back to work.

My plan is once I get it fixed, I'm gonna get my exhaust done up properly and have it welded, no more clamps and gorilla tape. Then, its back on track to my original roadmap: subwoofers first, then the road to a manual swap. And maybe along the way get an F150 or my dad's old Expedition. This car shall live not only to see my children, but my grandchildren as well.
_________________________
Easily the youngest Panther owner on the planet.


2004 P71 - 8/12/2019-present - Teenager-owned and maintained Ex-Sheriff Car w/ 92K miles
- 2.5" Catback Dual Exhaust; Posi 3.73 & Manual on the wishlist
- Noico Sound Deadening; Dual Skar VD-10 Subwoofers
- Repainted to Black by Maaco & I
- Plowed by a minivan and still running better than ever.
- Needs the front end painted.
2004 P71 - 10/2021-present - Ex-Palm Beach County School District Car w/ 215K miles
- Parts bin car, currently has almost all body panels removed
- Future kart project
- Wakes up the east side of China due to not having any exhaust


Your imagination, DIY skills and wallet are the only limits when it comes to modifying a Panther car.

Top
#4108646 - 05/11/21 04:06 PM Re: A love story between a kid and his Crown Vic [Re: YoungP71dude]
Danger2manifold Offline
Member

Registered: 02/23/19
Posts: 267
Loc: Little Poland, CT
That's great to hear man! Glad to hear you and the car are doing better. Depression can be very difficult to deal with, I know it has been for me in the past. When you go with a subwoofer, I'd highly recommend doing 2 12" ones. I tried to get away with just one, and it didn't quite add enough to the sound. Right now I have 2 of them running 650Wrms. Gets the job done pretty well. Feel free to PM me w/any questions on doing the install. Mine's pretty basic, but I did do it all myself and would be happy to help if I can
_________________________
Current Panther:
1999 Crown Victoria LX - Toreador red, 18x8 Anthracite Torq Thrust M's, AEM Dryflow panel filter, 2.25" H-pipe dual exhaust with H-pipe, Magnaflow XL mufflers, Marauder style tips, Moroso catch can, Kenwood KMM-BT225U head unit, PPI A600/4 4-channel amplifier, PPI i650.1 monoblock amplifier, big 3 upgrade, 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

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#4110016 - 05/21/21 08:19 PM Re: A love story between a kid and his Crown Vic [Re: Danger2manifold]
YoungP71dude Offline
Member

Registered: 08/16/19
Posts: 217
Loc: Charlotte, NC
Will do!
_________________________
Easily the youngest Panther owner on the planet.


2004 P71 - 8/12/2019-present - Teenager-owned and maintained Ex-Sheriff Car w/ 92K miles
- 2.5" Catback Dual Exhaust; Posi 3.73 & Manual on the wishlist
- Noico Sound Deadening; Dual Skar VD-10 Subwoofers
- Repainted to Black by Maaco & I
- Plowed by a minivan and still running better than ever.
- Needs the front end painted.
2004 P71 - 10/2021-present - Ex-Palm Beach County School District Car w/ 215K miles
- Parts bin car, currently has almost all body panels removed
- Future kart project
- Wakes up the east side of China due to not having any exhaust


Your imagination, DIY skills and wallet are the only limits when it comes to modifying a Panther car.

Top
#4110018 - 05/21/21 08:20 PM Re: A love story between a kid and his Crown Vic [Re: YoungP71dude]
YoungP71dude Offline
Member

Registered: 08/16/19
Posts: 217
Loc: Charlotte, NC
Adding a little more now.

Albeit there are no body panels in the front, save for a driver-side fender, the car drives like better than ever. If there's frame damage, there's not enough to matter. Just a matter of getting the car aligned and getting new body panels.
_________________________
Easily the youngest Panther owner on the planet.


2004 P71 - 8/12/2019-present - Teenager-owned and maintained Ex-Sheriff Car w/ 92K miles
- 2.5" Catback Dual Exhaust; Posi 3.73 & Manual on the wishlist
- Noico Sound Deadening; Dual Skar VD-10 Subwoofers
- Repainted to Black by Maaco & I
- Plowed by a minivan and still running better than ever.
- Needs the front end painted.
2004 P71 - 10/2021-present - Ex-Palm Beach County School District Car w/ 215K miles
- Parts bin car, currently has almost all body panels removed
- Future kart project
- Wakes up the east side of China due to not having any exhaust


Your imagination, DIY skills and wallet are the only limits when it comes to modifying a Panther car.

Top
#4110030 - 05/21/21 09:02 PM Re: A love story between a kid and his Crown Vic [Re: YoungP71dude]
Old_Guy_Stu Online   drunk

Over the Hill

Registered: 04/28/19
Posts: 2795
Loc: Cleveland, OH
Good to hear!
_________________________

1988 CVLX Formal Roof (Love Boat) POTM July 2019, Aug 2020, & Oct 2021, 58K
E-code lights w/ relays, LEDs w/ switchbacks, 15x8 Ansen slots w/ 255/60 BFG's, Kenwood stereo, various hacks.
This, of course, was merely the semi-delirious notion of a fever-patient, but I remember that it struck me at the time as being eminently practical and feasible.

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#4114694 - 07/08/21 07:30 PM Re: A love story between a kid and his Crown Vic [Re: YoungP71dude]
RipWixomAssembly Offline
Member

Registered: 01/28/20
Posts: 128
Loc: Michigan
That indeed is great to hear
_________________________
RIP Wixom Assembly 1957-2012 CVN Discord
My Rides:
1995 Lincoln Town Car 129K miles.


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#4120376 - 09/09/21 11:22 PM Re: A love story between a kid and his Crown Vic [Re: YoungP71dude]
YoungP71dude Offline
Member

Registered: 08/16/19
Posts: 217
Loc: Charlotte, NC
Aight boys, it's time for another update on the Vic legacy.

As I mentioned before, car drives like a dream, besides needing an alignment. We call it the "Mad Max Vic" because of how it looks with almost no front end. The battery is literally held on by gorilla tape, as are the headlights to the bumper. Now I know this sounds unsafe, but it's been tried and tested for 4 months. It's gotten a lot of attention from people around town and wherever I go, and it's all been positive ("this is freaking awesome, man!"). It honestly makes me wonder if I should keep it in its state, but I want to restore it to its former glory. I'll turn the parts car into the next Mad Max-mobile. Speaking of parts car, we got one. '04 Crown Victoria Police Interceptor, West Palm Beach school patrol car. 212K miles for $1,000 (which is $200 more than what we got my Vic for, interestingly enough). I'll take the parts I need and sell the ones I don't need. Once we ship it up to Florida, it's just a matter of priming the body panels and having Maaco do their magic. Until then, the Vic legacy continues. I got my license about a month ago and the Vic has been my daily to work and back as it is.
_________________________
Easily the youngest Panther owner on the planet.


2004 P71 - 8/12/2019-present - Teenager-owned and maintained Ex-Sheriff Car w/ 92K miles
- 2.5" Catback Dual Exhaust; Posi 3.73 & Manual on the wishlist
- Noico Sound Deadening; Dual Skar VD-10 Subwoofers
- Repainted to Black by Maaco & I
- Plowed by a minivan and still running better than ever.
- Needs the front end painted.
2004 P71 - 10/2021-present - Ex-Palm Beach County School District Car w/ 215K miles
- Parts bin car, currently has almost all body panels removed
- Future kart project
- Wakes up the east side of China due to not having any exhaust


Your imagination, DIY skills and wallet are the only limits when it comes to modifying a Panther car.

Top
#4120430 - 09/10/21 10:09 AM Re: A love story between a kid and his Crown Vic [Re: YoungP71dude]
AlleyG Offline
Climber

Registered: 04/28/14
Posts: 628
Loc: Raleigh, NC
The battery taped in IS unsafe. You've just been lucky. In an accident, it could start a fire, and on every pothole, it will "bounce".

Curious how one ships something "up" to Florida. Are you floating in the Ocean down by Cuba, lol! j/k

Al


Edited by AlleyG (09/10/21 01:44 PM)
_________________________
2004 CVPI - 99k miles - RIP
1997 T-Bird LX - 92k miles
1994 Supra Turbo - 110k miles
Previous Fords:
1988 T-Bird, 1995 T-Bird, 1996 Cougar

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#4120456 - 09/10/21 11:08 AM Re: A love story between a kid and his Crown Vic [Re: YoungP71dude]
TheCableGuy Offline
Over the Hill

Registered: 04/08/19
Posts: 1065
Loc: Far Northwest AZ
Keep it up man! Love seeing the progress on this.
_________________________
2010 P7B 150K. 11K hours. 3.27, RKE, Cruise, Ported stock plenum, JMod, ADTR sway bar, KYB rear shocks. DIY Headlight harness upgrade, with projector retrofit: Mini H1’s.

Previous rides:
2011 Sierra 1500 155K, too many mods to list. (RIP 01-05-2019)
2001 Durango R/T 5.9. 230K. SOLD 5-1-19

They laugh at me because I’m different. I laugh at them because they’re all the same- Heath Ledger


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#4120762 - 09/13/21 02:14 PM Re: A love story between a kid and his Crown Vic [Re: AlleyG]
YoungP71dude Offline
Member

Registered: 08/16/19
Posts: 217
Loc: Charlotte, NC
Originally Posted By AlleyG
The battery taped in IS unsafe. You've just been lucky. In an accident, it could start a fire, and on every pothole, it will "bounce".

Curious how one ships something "up" to Florida. Are you floating in the Ocean down by Cuba, lol! j/k

Al

Will say it has had its fair share of bounces. It'll get relocated to the trunk sooner or later. Oh did I say up to Florida? Meant up from Florida. Small typo.


Edited by YoungP71dude (09/13/21 02:24 PM)
_________________________
Easily the youngest Panther owner on the planet.


2004 P71 - 8/12/2019-present - Teenager-owned and maintained Ex-Sheriff Car w/ 92K miles
- 2.5" Catback Dual Exhaust; Posi 3.73 & Manual on the wishlist
- Noico Sound Deadening; Dual Skar VD-10 Subwoofers
- Repainted to Black by Maaco & I
- Plowed by a minivan and still running better than ever.
- Needs the front end painted.
2004 P71 - 10/2021-present - Ex-Palm Beach County School District Car w/ 215K miles
- Parts bin car, currently has almost all body panels removed
- Future kart project
- Wakes up the east side of China due to not having any exhaust


Your imagination, DIY skills and wallet are the only limits when it comes to modifying a Panther car.

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#4120810 - 09/14/21 09:51 AM Re: A love story between a kid and his Crown Vic [Re: YoungP71dude]
AlleyG Offline
Climber

Registered: 04/28/14
Posts: 628
Loc: Raleigh, NC
I was just messing with ya, lol!

I would just find a proper battery hold down from the junkyard. Moving the battery to the trunk, although it seems good on paper, typically causes all kinds of charging issues. You really have to have experience with electrical for that to be successful.

You don't want to have the car not start, then have to figure out why, because it's not a factory setup you're on your own.

I have a LOT of experience modifying cars, but I wouldn't do it if my life depended on it. Everything in the car relies on that charging system.

Al
_________________________
2004 CVPI - 99k miles - RIP
1997 T-Bird LX - 92k miles
1994 Supra Turbo - 110k miles
Previous Fords:
1988 T-Bird, 1995 T-Bird, 1996 Cougar

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#4122600 - 09/28/21 09:37 AM Re: A love story between a kid and his Crown Vic [Re: YoungP71dude]
MIAMI-DADE Offline
Poobah

Registered: 06/19/05
Posts: 5435
Loc: Miami Beach&Brooklyn N.Y.
Welcome from Miami&NYC!!

Awesome story! Glad you and your Vic are doing a lot better!!
_________________________

05 Crown Vic/LX/260K miles [sold]
2016 Chevrolet Tahoe LT

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#4125282 - 10/22/21 11:55 AM Re: A love story between a kid and his Crown Vic [Re: YoungP71dude]
YoungP71dude Offline
Member

Registered: 08/16/19
Posts: 217
Loc: Charlotte, NC
Aight y'all, more update time.

Two days ago, we got our parts car up from Florida. If I haven't previously described it, it's an ex-School District Patrol car from West Palm Beach. Still in full police livery. '04 with 215K miles and aethestically beat to crap. Still runs though, and is wicked loud. Seems like someone stole not just the catalytic converters, but the whole dang exhaust system (minus the manifolds). We had a fun adventure getting it off the ramp and into the driveway. If you ever disconnected the jumper cables, the car would die. So we reversed the car off the ramp, into the driveway, while having my car follow it with the jumper cables still attached. It eventually ran on its own power without a battery or jumper cables. So I'll give it a small test drive around the neighborhood soon before I take it apart (I'm aware driving a car with "police" visible is illegal, but we're far out of town enough to where either no one is around or isn't gonna care. All the people who live out here are usually retired missionaries). I'll salvage the parts I need, plus a little extra, like the black interior. And they may or may not have left the siren on it. I'm not gonna do any impersonating, but it would be great for blasting something stupid like Despacito. I don't know of any cops that would do that so I hope that passes. Then I'll gradually sell the parts I don't need, and the parts car will become the new Mad Max car and I can have the best of both worlds. I'll have a full car to drive again and I'll still be able to drive a stripped down version whenever I wish.

Once my main car is restored to its former glory, I can get back on track with my plans for this car, like a manual swap and gears. Then I have a whole giant go-kart of a parts car to have fun with as well. Maybe I'll put a fat chop-chop cam on it, I don't know.
_________________________
Easily the youngest Panther owner on the planet.


2004 P71 - 8/12/2019-present - Teenager-owned and maintained Ex-Sheriff Car w/ 92K miles
- 2.5" Catback Dual Exhaust; Posi 3.73 & Manual on the wishlist
- Noico Sound Deadening; Dual Skar VD-10 Subwoofers
- Repainted to Black by Maaco & I
- Plowed by a minivan and still running better than ever.
- Needs the front end painted.
2004 P71 - 10/2021-present - Ex-Palm Beach County School District Car w/ 215K miles
- Parts bin car, currently has almost all body panels removed
- Future kart project
- Wakes up the east side of China due to not having any exhaust


Your imagination, DIY skills and wallet are the only limits when it comes to modifying a Panther car.

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#4125284 - 10/22/21 11:59 AM Re: A love story between a kid and his Crown Vic [Re: YoungP71dude]
YoungP71dude Offline
Member

Registered: 08/16/19
Posts: 217
Loc: Charlotte, NC
And I forgot to mention, some few weeks ago I decided to drop in a set of subwoofers. Been meaning to do this for a while now, and I'm glad I did. Reused my dad's old subwoofer box from when he was in high school, and dropped two Skar Audio VD-10 shallow mount subs in. And they hit hard. It's tight with good sound quality, and it's loud enough when you need it. I'm going for sound quality > loud, so I'm content with this setup. One of the few things I've done to this car before it even gets fully fixed. Kinda funny to me.
_________________________
Easily the youngest Panther owner on the planet.


2004 P71 - 8/12/2019-present - Teenager-owned and maintained Ex-Sheriff Car w/ 92K miles
- 2.5" Catback Dual Exhaust; Posi 3.73 & Manual on the wishlist
- Noico Sound Deadening; Dual Skar VD-10 Subwoofers
- Repainted to Black by Maaco & I
- Plowed by a minivan and still running better than ever.
- Needs the front end painted.
2004 P71 - 10/2021-present - Ex-Palm Beach County School District Car w/ 215K miles
- Parts bin car, currently has almost all body panels removed
- Future kart project
- Wakes up the east side of China due to not having any exhaust


Your imagination, DIY skills and wallet are the only limits when it comes to modifying a Panther car.

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#4125326 - 10/22/21 03:39 PM Re: A love story between a kid and his Crown Vic [Re: YoungP71dude]
Old_Guy_Stu Online   drunk

Over the Hill

Registered: 04/28/19
Posts: 2795
Loc: Cleveland, OH
Don't screw the mounting straps into the gas tank!
_________________________

1988 CVLX Formal Roof (Love Boat) POTM July 2019, Aug 2020, & Oct 2021, 58K
E-code lights w/ relays, LEDs w/ switchbacks, 15x8 Ansen slots w/ 255/60 BFG's, Kenwood stereo, various hacks.
This, of course, was merely the semi-delirious notion of a fever-patient, but I remember that it struck me at the time as being eminently practical and feasible.

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#4129212 - 12/01/21 05:11 PM Re: A love story between a kid and his Crown Vic [Re: YoungP71dude]
YoungP71dude Offline
Member

Registered: 08/16/19
Posts: 217
Loc: Charlotte, NC
Aight, it's been a solid while since I posted an update.

All the needed body panels are back on my main Vic now, and the parts car is slowly turning into what I like to call the "NASKART". It's basically a giant go-kart with no body panels and no exhaust. It currently resides at my grandparent's house, who live far out enough in the country to where nobody is gonna care about the NASKART. Anyways, parts back on my car. All prepped for paint, I'm waiting for Maaco's holiday deals to come around so I can get a good price. I also swapped most of the black interior from the parts car into my car. Begone with the ugly Beige interior. Once we got the outside done, it's back to the original roadmap: manual swap & gears, and other things like coilovers, wheels, the whole shebang. My primary job is on its off-season now though so it's time to find a new way to make money. It's been a journey and a half in the past 2.5 years with this car, and I couldn't be prouder. Looking back now, the accident was more of a minor inconvenience than anything, and it was a fun challenge to take on. God has a nice way of having an ultimate purpose for every event that happens.

I also may have hooked up an amp and a microphone to the siren speaker and made a PA system. It remains publicly unused, I've only used it to mess with my friends, for outdoor gatherings, or as a party trick. Until I learn otherwise, it's illegal to have a siren on your car, but it isn't illegal to have a PA/megaphone system on your car.
_________________________
Easily the youngest Panther owner on the planet.


2004 P71 - 8/12/2019-present - Teenager-owned and maintained Ex-Sheriff Car w/ 92K miles
- 2.5" Catback Dual Exhaust; Posi 3.73 & Manual on the wishlist
- Noico Sound Deadening; Dual Skar VD-10 Subwoofers
- Repainted to Black by Maaco & I
- Plowed by a minivan and still running better than ever.
- Needs the front end painted.
2004 P71 - 10/2021-present - Ex-Palm Beach County School District Car w/ 215K miles
- Parts bin car, currently has almost all body panels removed
- Future kart project
- Wakes up the east side of China due to not having any exhaust


Your imagination, DIY skills and wallet are the only limits when it comes to modifying a Panther car.

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#4130642 - 12/17/21 02:15 PM Re: A love story between a kid and his Crown Vic [Re: YoungP71dude]
Tenevic_P71 Offline
Over the Hill

Registered: 08/27/15
Posts: 1142
Loc: US
Originally Posted By YoungP71dude
I also may have hooked up an amp and a microphone to the siren speaker and made a PA system. It remains publicly unused, I've only used it to mess with my friends, for outdoor gatherings, or as a party trick. Until I learn otherwise, it's illegal to have a siren on your car, but it isn't illegal to have a PA/megaphone system on your car.

In high school I bought a truck with just a siren speaker left over from police use. Hooked a CB radio to it as a megaphone. Didn't take long for me to remove it cause my friends wouldn't shut the [censored] up on the speaker, trying to make us look like a bunch of morons.
_________________________
2006 P71 119k miles, 3.55 traclock

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#4130664 - 12/17/21 07:27 PM Re: A love story between a kid and his Crown Vic [Re: YoungP71dude]
SocalSam Offline
Over the Hill

Registered: 03/30/13
Posts: 3164
Loc: SFV, Calif.
Good job young man. Your car choice is well beyond your years. Victoria saved you in that accident. Treat her well and she will take care of you.
_________________________
2004 CV LX Sport #2, 121,000 miles -- Current
2008 CVPI Arizona Beige, 121,000 miles, 677 idle hours -- Current
Option Adds: Message Center Instrument Cluster , Re-Key Locks , Passenger Door Lock , Autolamps , Ballistic Panels


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#4132072 - 01/04/22 06:28 PM Re: A love story between a kid and his Crown Vic [Re: YoungP71dude]
YoungP71dude Offline
Member

Registered: 08/16/19
Posts: 217
Loc: Charlotte, NC
Time for another entry in the Vic journey. We drove it to Ohio and back this Christmas for another round, which was really happy for me as it's lived to see a second trip up north. No fuss, carried all our luggage, and still rode like a dream. I also got it aligned at Firestone a couple weeks back since it's needed an alignment for a while (even before the accident). Firestone essentially told me my tires were clapped. I already knew that part, but anyways I got some new wheels today. OEM 2012 Mustang 19x8.5 wheels, got 'em used and they came with Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3+ tires. They're so much better than the stock Eagle Pursuit tires. They're butter smooth but they stick like glue. The wheels themselves also look sick. But yeah, that's that. My next few plans are to get the front end repainted ($450), swap a manual in (hoping ~$2,000), and Firestone noted possible damage to subframe, which is slightly worrying considering the car drives fine but something could be wrong. So I'll look into that, have a frame shop take a look, and take it as it comes. Ends come to ends, I got a parts car with a perfectly fine frame/subframe.

Click to reveal...


(All I did on the below picture was dehaze it in Lightroom but it gave it a really cool rosy aesthetic.)

_________________________
Easily the youngest Panther owner on the planet.


2004 P71 - 8/12/2019-present - Teenager-owned and maintained Ex-Sheriff Car w/ 92K miles
- 2.5" Catback Dual Exhaust; Posi 3.73 & Manual on the wishlist
- Noico Sound Deadening; Dual Skar VD-10 Subwoofers
- Repainted to Black by Maaco & I
- Plowed by a minivan and still running better than ever.
- Needs the front end painted.
2004 P71 - 10/2021-present - Ex-Palm Beach County School District Car w/ 215K miles
- Parts bin car, currently has almost all body panels removed
- Future kart project
- Wakes up the east side of China due to not having any exhaust


Your imagination, DIY skills and wallet are the only limits when it comes to modifying a Panther car.

Top
#4133054 - 01/16/22 12:23 AM Re: A love story between a kid and his Crown Vic [Re: YoungP71dude]
Danger2manifold Offline
Member

Registered: 02/23/19
Posts: 267
Loc: Little Poland, CT
Dude those wheels are gonna look dope as hell on your vic!!!
_________________________
Current Panther:
1999 Crown Victoria LX - Toreador red, 18x8 Anthracite Torq Thrust M's, AEM Dryflow panel filter, 2.25" H-pipe dual exhaust with H-pipe, Magnaflow XL mufflers, Marauder style tips, Moroso catch can, Kenwood KMM-BT225U head unit, PPI A600/4 4-channel amplifier, PPI i650.1 monoblock amplifier, big 3 upgrade, 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

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