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Thread: Stocker's 1985 LTD Crown Victoria

  1. #1
    Member Stocker's Avatar
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    Default Stocker's 1985 LTD Crown Victoria

    Since I still can't drive the car thanks to the weather in this dreadful place, might as well start a thread for it. I was going to do this a couple weeks ago on our anniversary, but… procrastination.

    1985 LTD Crown Victoria, base model devoid of all but the most popular options (it still puzzles me why it would be ordered with snake blinders but no intermittent wipers). Built on January 23, 1985, not sold until October, by a dealer in southern Illinois.
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    I'm not sure when it came to Minnesota, but I'm at least the fourth owner.

    It was sort of a birthday present to myself in 2014 - I'd decided that it was time to let my '95 P71 move on to new adventures since it was getting rusty and I had a new job, but I wasn't seriously looking yet. I happened to take a quick look though, and there was too much right with it not to jump on it. Traction-Lok, trailer hitch, original radio, very little rust (Ziebarted), and even the right color. An included set of Keystone Klassics with snow tires were a nice bonus too. 132,000 miles with maintenance records going back to 1994. I wanted a carb, but with that many stars aligned I couldn't say no, even with CFI. The only apparent issues were an ornery torque converter when cold and a missing hood ornament.

    Four-hour round trip to get it went without a hitch. The car drove great - everything I wanted and expected out of one of these.Click image for larger version. 

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    1985 LTD Crown Victoria
    1977 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme
    1992 F-150 XLT 4x4, 351W

    Past: 1995 Crown Victoria Police Interceptor

  2. #2
    Member Stocker's Avatar
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    After the all-seasons went back on, the first orders of business were to replace the hood ornament (courtesy of Kodachrome Wolf), code-cut new keys on OEM blanks, and fix the misaligned trunklid.
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    Two major issues became apparent - one, between the leaking air shocks and the narrow 14" tires, the handling was awful. Two, the first oil analysis found very high lead, copper, and iron. They've come down over the ensuing miles - iron is normal now, but the other two are still on the high side.

    The first issue was easy enough to resolve. Cargo Coils and conventional shocks did part of the trick, and after I saw the comical wheel gap, it confirmed what I was already thinking of doing.
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    My P71 still hadn't sold, and if I had to drop the price below $1000 I wasn't letting nearly-new tires go with it. I rather like the look, and the handling was vastly improved. I have noticed occasional disapproval of having dogdishes with a landau roof… rather than explain the reasoning I might just say it was an "inspector's car" and see how many people believe it.
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    The rest of the year was uneventful save for a scare with the transmission. The day before Thanksgiving, I lost 2nd and 4th gears on the way into work. On the way home, everything worked fine and it hasn't acted up since.
    1985 LTD Crown Victoria
    1977 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme
    1992 F-150 XLT 4x4, 351W

    Past: 1995 Crown Victoria Police Interceptor

  3. #3
    Member Stocker's Avatar
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    And then this. I had just bought a house, was in the process of moving, and the last week that I was going to be taking this route to work, a big doe decided that the front of my car at 45 MPH should be the instrument of her demise. Cracked the header panel, destroyed the trim, crinkled the fender and pushed it into the door, and made the side molding vanish into thin air.
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    And that wasn't even bad enough. Come New Year's Eve, the water pump blew. I had nowhere to work on it in the cold so I had to park it. Bought my F-150 to get me through the winter. The next spring I got the fender realigned so I could open the door, and found a cheap junkyard header panel so I could at least swap the grille and lenses over. Hopefully someday it's practical to paint the car so I can replace the whole panel.
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    After reading up on the water pump replacement, I decided to not bother and just let the shop do it. It was a good thing I did - one of the studs was so badly seized that they had to chisel the timing cover off to extract it. I told the shop they could take their time in order to minimize cost… I didn't get the car back until August.
    1985 LTD Crown Victoria
    1977 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme
    1992 F-150 XLT 4x4, 351W

    Past: 1995 Crown Victoria Police Interceptor

  4. #4
    Member Stocker's Avatar
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    Entered it to a Back To The '80s car show someone started up this past year, replaced the radiator (the issues with which I mentioned elsewhere) and now waiting for winter to finally end so I can start driving it regularly again. I just got a triple gauge pod for it that I'm trying to figure out how to adapt to the dashboard the way I want it, so that'll be next.
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    1985 LTD Crown Victoria
    1977 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme
    1992 F-150 XLT 4x4, 351W

    Past: 1995 Crown Victoria Police Interceptor

  5. #5
    Member Stocker's Avatar
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    Oh, here's a fun repair I almost forgot. The tone generator chime was barely audible, and because of that I drained the battery once from leaving the lights on.

    The foam gasket that holds the tone disc degraded over time, so there was nothing for the electromagnet to pull against and get sufficient tension. I forget the size, but all it took was a hardware store O-ring.
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    Last edited by Stocker; 04-14-2018 at 11:22 PM.
    1985 LTD Crown Victoria
    1977 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme
    1992 F-150 XLT 4x4, 351W

    Past: 1995 Crown Victoria Police Interceptor

  6. #6
    Wagon Addicted Tiggie's Avatar
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    Never seen a repair on the chime. My 90 needs that job done.

    Looking good so far! The dark blue is one of my favorite colors on boxes. You may be able to find a spray bomb for that header panel to make it blend a bit better until you can do the whole car. Maybe something like https://www.amazon.com/Dupli-Color-B.../dp/B00407TV7M

    I’ve also got a Cutlass in the family, a 76 Salon but with the 260/5 gear. Next project for me. It’s basically a box too just with GM guts instead of Ford guts?
    1988 Crown Vic Wagon - daily
    1990 Country Squire - weekend cruiser, former lawn ornament
    Other: 95 Ranger, 74 F250, 68 Mustang, 94 Mustang
    Sold: 1982 LTD and 1987 Crown Vic

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  7. #7
    P31 Pursuit Car Brown_Muscle's Avatar
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    Seems like any original water pump in these cars seems to go once they get some miles put on them again after sitting. I like the dog dishes. What are "snake blinders" never heard that term used before.

    I would be beyond mad if it took a shop 8 months to return my car on a water pump job...even if they had to destroy the water pump to get the stud out (i guess they never heard of an oxy/acet torch!?)

    I'm really glad you posted that about the chime... the O-ring is a good idea, I'm going to do that with mine!

    Oh and made sure the TV rod pressure is good, what speeds does it shift under light acceleration? Hows the transmission fluid look/smell. Transmissions dont usually lose gears for no reason, maybe theres some debris that passed through the valve body, or the TV rod got stuck in some position and did weird things at the time
    -Phil



    +'82 Ford LTD-S Police Car. 351w, GT40 Heads, 2150 Carb, Full exhaust headers to tails. 3.27 Trac-Lok Rear. Aluminum Police Driveshaft. Baumann Shift kit.
    +1975 Maverick- Fuel injected 302, Trickflow 170 heads, XE270 cam, explorer intakes, 24# injectors, custom tune. T5 transmission, 3.55 Yukon Trac-Lok rear.
    +1989 Mercury Colony Park "Large Marge" Lopo 302. 3.55L K-Code Tow package, Baumann Shift Kit, Big brake swap, rear discs, HO intake/TB, custom exhaust.

  8. #8
    The Brown Blob 87gtVIC's Avatar
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    Nice work man. Car looks really nice. Luckily the deer didn’t mess with your bumper as finding those can become difficult, especially in that variation. No rear defrost on the car. I don’t see that to often.

    I’m Curious what You are calling snake blinders as well. I figured it would be the ditch lights but you don’t have any!
    ~David~

    My 1987 Crown Victoria Coupe: The Brown Blob
    My 2004 Mercedes Benz E320:The Benz

    Quote Originally Posted by DerekTheGreat View Post
    But, that's just coming from me, this site's biggest pessimist. Best of luck

  9. #9
    Member Stocker's Avatar
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    Thanks guys!
    Snake blinders = the trim at the bottoms of the doors.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tiggie View Post
    Never seen a repair on the chime. My 90 needs that job done.

    Looking good so far! The dark blue is one of my favorite colors on boxes. You may be able to find a spray bomb for that header panel to make it blend a bit better until you can do the whole car. Maybe something like https://www.amazon.com/Dupli-Color-B.../dp/B00407TV7M

    I’ve also got a Cutlass in the family, a 76 Salon but with the 260/5 gear. Next project for me. It’s basically a box too just with GM guts instead of Ford guts?
    Sort of, pretty close in size although the A-body has a lot more length up front. Those 5-speed cars are exceedingly rare, only 0.3% of production in '77 so I'd imagine about the same for '76.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brown_Muscle View Post
    Seems like any original water pump in these cars seems to go once they get some miles put on them again after sitting. I like the dog dishes. What are "snake blinders" never heard that term used before.

    I would be beyond mad if it took a shop 8 months to return my car on a water pump job...even if they had to destroy the water pump to get the stud out (i guess they never heard of an oxy/acet torch!?)

    I'm really glad you posted that about the chime... the O-ring is a good idea, I'm going to do that with mine!

    Oh and made sure the TV rod pressure is good, what speeds does it shift under light acceleration? Hows the transmission fluid look/smell. Transmissions dont usually lose gears for no reason, maybe theres some debris that passed through the valve body, or the TV rod got stuck in some position and did weird things at the time
    I can't recall off-hand what speeds in shifts at besides going into 4th between 40-45. But the shifting has always felt smooth and confident except for that one time. Fluid is fine.

    I told the shop to take their time if it could save money. I didn't drop it off until May so it was only about 3 1/2 months.
    1985 LTD Crown Victoria
    1977 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme
    1992 F-150 XLT 4x4, 351W

    Past: 1995 Crown Victoria Police Interceptor

  10. #10
    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    I hope they changed the timing chain while the cover was off. 85 had the crap plastic gear on the cam, if it jumps you'll bend valves.

    86 Lincoln Town Car (Galactica).
    5.0 HO, CompCams XE258,Scorpion 1.72 roller rockers, 3.55 K code rear, tow package, BHPerformance ported E7 heads, Tmoss Explorer intake, 65mm throttle body, Hedman 1 5/8" headers, 2.5" dual exhaust, ASP underdrive pulley

    91 Lincoln Mark VII LSC SE, triple black (Timewarp) - poly front bushings, KYB struts and shocks, Holley SystemMax1 lower intake, SilverFox AOD valve body,

    1984 Lincoln Continental TurboDiesel - rolls coal

    Quote Originally Posted by phayzer5 View Post
    I drive a Lincoln. I can't be bothered to shift like the peasants and rabble rousers

  11. #11
    GMN Regular DerekTheGreat's Avatar
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    Nice box! Color is the same of my old '85 LTD. Reminds me of mine but with a lot fewer options (I like me some options..)
    I dig the black steelies with the dog dish hub cap.

    I was also curious what snake blinders meant, thought the same thing as 87gtVic..
    1985 LTD Crown Victoria - SOLD
    1988 Town Car Signature - Current Party Barge

  12. #12
    I post a lot... knucklehead0202's Avatar
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    Yeah the snake blinders thing threw me too, although the lower trim did cross my mind. That's a super-clean car. Optioned like most vehicles i owned in my 20's; sparsely.

  13. #13
    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    usually thats referred to as "granny trim" around these parts.

    86 Lincoln Town Car (Galactica).
    5.0 HO, CompCams XE258,Scorpion 1.72 roller rockers, 3.55 K code rear, tow package, BHPerformance ported E7 heads, Tmoss Explorer intake, 65mm throttle body, Hedman 1 5/8" headers, 2.5" dual exhaust, ASP underdrive pulley

    91 Lincoln Mark VII LSC SE, triple black (Timewarp) - poly front bushings, KYB struts and shocks, Holley SystemMax1 lower intake, SilverFox AOD valve body,

    1984 Lincoln Continental TurboDiesel - rolls coal

    Quote Originally Posted by phayzer5 View Post
    I drive a Lincoln. I can't be bothered to shift like the peasants and rabble rousers

  14. #14
    Member Stocker's Avatar
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    I originally heard the "snake blinders" term on Oldsmobile boards... guess it wasn't common outside of those guys.

    Quote Originally Posted by gadget73 View Post
    I hope they changed the timing chain while the cover was off. 85 had the crap plastic gear on the cam, if it jumps you'll bend valves.
    I forgot about that at the time, but I trust the shop and I'd expect that if the nylon cam gear were still there, the owner would've mentioned something.
    1985 LTD Crown Victoria
    1977 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme
    1992 F-150 XLT 4x4, 351W

    Past: 1995 Crown Victoria Police Interceptor

  15. #15
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    I've had a couple of close calls with deer...Thankfully the roads weren't slippery at the time.
    '79 Continental Town Car
    '90 Crown Victoria LTD
    '94 Crown Victoria

  16. #16
    Beater gonna beat sly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stocker View Post
    I originally heard the "snake blinders" term on Oldsmobile boards... guess it wasn't common outside of those guys.



    I forgot about that at the time, but I trust the shop and I'd expect that if the nylon cam gear were still there, the owner would've mentioned something.
    They would have to remove the timing cover to find out.

    Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former. -- Albert Einstein
    rides: 88 MGM (SOLD), 93 Vic, 2000 Crown Vic, 2003 Expedition
    Quote Originally Posted by gadget73
    ... and it should all work like magic and unicorns and stuff.
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  17. #17
    88 LTC nfldfordltd's Avatar
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    Beautiful real box Vic. Best colour too. Enjoy it!

    Summer car-> 1988 Lincoln Town Car, triple blue, 267,xxx km. Out for 2017, new HO 5.0 in and running. Bought 2006/08/22. June 2017 PotM!
    Winter vehicle-> 1996 Ford F-150 XL 4x4, orange, 302,xxx+km. AKA "King Billy". Takes the beating like no vehicle should ever have to. Bought 2013/11/26.

    Quote Originally Posted by phayzer5 View Post
    I drive a Lincoln. I can't be bothered to shift like the peasants and rabble rousers

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stocker View Post
    Oh, here's a fun repair I almost forgot. The tone generator chime was barely audible, and because of that I drained the battery once from leaving the lights on.

    The foam gasket that holds the tone disc degraded over time, so there was nothing for the electromagnet to pull against and get sufficient tension. I forget the size, but all it took was a hardware store O-ring.
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    Awesome, thanks for posting that info.

    Does the key and lights on use that same chime? I've got a faint key tone but nothing for when the lights are on. I've recently drained the batt by leaving the lights on.

  19. #19
    GMN Regular DerekTheGreat's Avatar
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    Yes, it's the same tone, least it was for my '85 Vic.
    1985 LTD Crown Victoria - SOLD
    1988 Town Car Signature - Current Party Barge

  20. #20
    Member Stocker's Avatar
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    Good news on my last UOA! I think I can confidently push my OCI out to 2500 miles now.

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    I'm surprised that there was no fuel in it though. It's been running pig rich off and on the past couple months, enough that it's affecting gas mileage, so I expected there to be something noticeable.

    I also decided that I need to install my power seat track before I take it on another long trip. The fixed seat angle is fine for daily driving, but as tall as I am it gets uncomfortable after a couple hours.
    1985 LTD Crown Victoria
    1977 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme
    1992 F-150 XLT 4x4, 351W

    Past: 1995 Crown Victoria Police Interceptor

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