Hi everyone, long time lurking here but never a member until now. A lot of very useful information, and people that really knows about the panther platform.
Anyways, Iím just posting now because I have 2 things in common with the OP: 1) I have a Crown Vic (1990), and 2) I also live in Chile (Santiago, the capitol city). I bought the car more than 10 years ago (I think 2004 or 2005) and I had the same kind of problems: bad mechanics, parts locally unavailable, etc. But in these years finally I could make the car runs as smooth as a silk, and Iím very confident on it: on 2017 my family and I did a 1000 miles trip (probably a little bit more) to the north area of Chile, and a few months after that we went to a sky resort that is located 300 miles from Santiago. And we did the same last year, so the car runs good and in general I have no problems with her.
Also, I have some parts that I can sell you for cheap or even give you, because I Ďve been replacing or changing the stock parts. Here in my Crownvic.net account I have a summary of the new parts and modifications that I did to the car. Still I want to do some things: improve the handling, install headers, HO conversion, etc:
New water pump/new air pump/New Visteon radiator/Transmission oil cooler/ New heater core/hoses/belts/No more vinyl roof/New valve cover gaskets/New ignition module/New ignition coil/Completely rebuilt front end/Headlamps: Bosch H4 with Osram 60/55w bulbs and Cibie H1 with Osram 55w bulbs/Suspension: Front: new Moog rubber bushings, heavy duty civilian coil springs, Monroe SensaTrac load adjusting shock absorbers, wagon sway bar and poly bushings and endlinks. Rear: new Raybestos rubber bushings, sedan cargo coils, Monroe Max Air shock absorbers and police sway bar/3.55 gears and Dual Exhaust.
I also have a 2002 Ford Crown Victoria. Probably Iím the only guy here in Chile that is the owner of 2 Crown Vics, lol.
Well, send me a PM if you are interested and maybe I can help you locally.