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Thread: Hello all. First ever panther owner. 97 MGM.

  1. #1

    Default Hello all. First ever panther owner. 97 MGM.

    Just got my first Panther. Contrary to my username. I am not fond of the older suspension design but this car was in too good of shape to let slide. The original owner traded it in and now it's in my possession. The interior is immaculate and I love the leather seats. Only the steering wheel has the usual wear of 147k miles. The battery is 7 years old and it needs a right front window regulator. Those are the only things wrong with it.

    On to the crappy pics. This was before I washed it. Not bad for $1700.








  2. #2
    The Brown Blob 87gtVIC's Avatar
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    Welcome to the forum. Looks like a nice purchase to me.
    ~David~

    My 1987 Crown Victoria Coupe: The Brown Blob
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    Quote Originally Posted by DerekTheGreat View Post
    But, that's just coming from me, this site's biggest pessimist. Best of luck

  3. #3
    Wagon Addicted Tiggie's Avatar
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    You better keep that seven year old battery! They don’t make them like that any more.

    These cars are very comfy and fairly well made. I think you’ll enjoy yours.
    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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  4. #4

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    It is relaxing to drive. I'll upgrade the suspension to be a bit more direct.

    I just cleaned the leather with some lexol Leather cleaner, hot water and a horse hair brush before applying lexol conditioner. The leather is in perfect shape and I plan to keep it that way. I'm a sucker for soft leather.

  5. #5
    I post a lot... knucklehead0202's Avatar
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    Looks like a beaut! Definitely stay on top of the leather, it goes bad literally overnight once it gets dry. Ask me how i know!

  6. #6
    Approaching 2 decades of DDing Box Panthers VicCrownVic's Avatar
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    Welcome!

    The car looks good. Looks like you got a good deal.
    Vic

    ~ 1991 Mercury Grand Marquis LS "The Scab" - plenty of rot, summer DD
    ~ 1997 GMC Yukon - wannabe winter DD - returning summer 2020, I finally have an engine
    ~ 1991 Mercury Grand Marquis GS "The Ice Car" - My rotting winter DD
    ~ 1989 Mercury Grand Marquis GS - Rotting Retired DD
    Gone but not forgotten:
    ~ 1988 Country Squire ~ 1987 Ford Crown Vic


  7. #7

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    Yeah. This is cheap leather but I like the whole "Economy luxury" cars and how they are dated in a retro sort of way. I won't be changing the headunit but probably the speakers.

  8. #8
    I post a lot...
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    The leather in the 95-97s was much better than 98+ IMO

    Enjoy the car. Looks very clean
    2017 Buick Enclave 3.6 (Burgundy/Beige)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lincolnmania View Post
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  9. #9

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    I feel that any leather is better than cloth as long as you maintain it. Unfortunately many people don't.

  10. #10
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    A heavy rear sway will make a nice difference. Handling will improve without much if any diminishing in ride quality. I can't remember if 97 has the Big brakes. 16" tires on that?
    "X" car 89 Colony Park LS Mods>Engine delete, SS duals magnaflow hflow cats, 2010 Must GT mufflers, auto air shocks, Posi, Tran cooler, big front brakes, 03+ rear disks, Large 3g alt, Tripminder, GS grill, 86 seats, 16" HPP wheels, winter boots=96 Cartier wheels, 215-65/16 Goodyear ULTRA GW3 snows, pi rear sway, alum driveshaft.
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  11. #11
    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    Not a fan of leather, specifically because I seem to get it after it hasn't been maintained. Once it starts to shred there isn't any coming back.

    Police or HPP sway bars make a huge difference. Swap the springs and shocks too if you feel the need but getting much less granny-esque handling from these is not at all difficult.

    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,

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

  12. #12
    Road Warrior Kodachrome Wolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jaywish View Post
    A heavy rear sway will make a nice difference. Handling will improve without much if any diminishing in ride quality. I can't remember if 97 has the Big brakes. 16" tires on that?
    Ď98 got bigger brakes. Swapping to the larger setup is easy on Ď96/Ď97. IIRC itís calipers, brackets, hoses, hub assembly, pads, and rotors to upgrade on them. Then just add a 16Ē or larger wheel (unless HPP, which came with 16Ē wheels).


    @OP: Iím running KYB police spec shocks on my Ď97 with police front and HPP rear sway bars. World of difference. Donít forget to make sure the rest of the front is tight (ball joints, tie rod ends, idler/pitman arms), otherwise itíll still feel sloppy. Just know itíll never be perfectly tight with recirculating ball steering, but itíll track quite well when thereís not a ton of play in all the components.
    Last edited by Kodachrome Wolf; 09-16-2019 at 04:41 PM.

    My Cars:
    -1987 Grand Marquis Colony Park LS (325K Miles) - April 2017 + September 2019 POTM Winner
    -1989 Sable LS Wagon (88,710 Miles) - Sold
    -1997 Grand Marquis LS (210K Miles) - The Daily Workhorse & March 2015 + January 2019 POTM Winner

  13. #13
    Fastest Box In South Jersey 86VickyLX's Avatar
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    Inspect your intake and see if it still has the plastic coolant crossover in the front. If it does plan on finding a PI manifold for an 03. Don't get the dorman! If it already has a dorman on it. Leave it till it leaks lol.

    The parallelogram steering is great if everything is tight. It's annoying if it's not. Upgrading the shocks and springs and changing the front and rear sway bars to handling performance package or P71 bars will greatly improve how it handles. Upgrading the brakes to the bigger front brakes would be cake as well. You'd just need the hub assemblies, rotors and calipers with caliper brackets. If you have 15" wheels though you'll need to swap on a set of 16" wheels to clear the calipers though.
    "Vicky" 1986 Ford LTD Crown Victoria LX ..................................."Blue" 1992 Mercury Grand Marquis LS

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  14. #14

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    It has the aluminum crossover. How do I tell if it's a PI manifold? Nothing on the car leaks. I'm looking for replacement bulbs for the instrument panel as close to the stock color as possible.

  15. #15
    I post a lot... knucklehead0202's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gadget73 View Post
    Not a fan of leather, specifically because I seem to get it after it hasn't been maintained. Once it starts to shred there isn't any coming back.

    Police or HPP sway bars make a huge difference. Swap the springs and shocks too if you feel the need but getting much less granny-esque handling from these is not at all difficult.
    This. The leather in my '98 was pretty crispy when i got it. Soaked up Lexol like pouring water into a sandbox. Managed to get it almost supple right before it just started splitting like pants on a fat kid. Now it looks terrible. Also really don't like sliding all around in what are already flat, unsupportive seats.

  16. #16

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    Once leather gets too far gone, than it sucks. Which is why I'm going to be really anal about this. I'm going to get a kit of leatherique and let it soak into the leather for a day or two.

    Cloth seats I prefer in higher performance cars if the seats themselves are not supportive, but it does suck if something spills on the cloth seats and gets soaked in. This car for the time being won't be taking corners fast lol.

  17. #17
    No mean-spiritedness here. IPreferDIY's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Android View Post
    It has the aluminum crossover. How do I tell if it's a PI manifold? Nothing on the car leaks. ...
    Welcome! The NPI intake (up to 2000) has shorter runners, and there is a coolant tube behind the water pump that goes straight back under the runners as part of the heater core circuit. The PI has longer runners that go down too deep for the coolant tube to be straight, so they did a bendy modification to get the tube to go to and along the driver's side of the runners before going back to the other side for the heater core. My impression is that the PI intake swap is only worthwhile if you have to fix the intake (and would be even more worthwhile if you changed the camshafts from NPI to PI ones too), unless you have all kinds of time and money that you are eager to part with.

    I would guess a 97 would benefit from a 70mm throttle body (a common swap for 98-04 before DBW in 05), which is a much simpler way to get a bit of a performance benefit when the intake can wait. If you have some more ambition, you can also port/polish the plenum that the throttle body bolts onto.

    2000 Grand Marquis LS HPP, a hand-me-down in 2008 with 128,000 km; 175,000 km as of July 2014
    mods: air filter box "tuba" (in place of the "trumpet"), headlight relay harness, J-mod (around 186,350 km), 70mm throttle body, NKL4 PCM (from a 2000 CVPI, nothing great there apart from highway cruising), KYB Gas-A-Just shocks (after >202,000 km on originals)

  18. #18

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    Doesn't look to be a PI manifold. Oh well.

  19. #19
    I post a lot... knucklehead0202's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IPreferDIY View Post
    Welcome! The NPI intake (up to 2000) has shorter runners, and there is a coolant tube behind the water pump that goes straight back under the runners as part of the heater core circuit. The PI has longer runners that go down too deep for the coolant tube to be straight, so they did a bendy modification to get the tube to go to and along the driver's side of the runners before going back to the other side for the heater core. My impression is that the PI intake swap is only worthwhile if you have to fix the intake (and would be even more worthwhile if you changed the camshafts from NPI to PI ones too), unless you have all kinds of time and money that you are eager to part with.

    I would guess a 97 would benefit from a 70mm throttle body (a common swap for 98-04 before DBW in 05), which is a much simpler way to get a bit of a performance benefit when the intake can wait. If you have some more ambition, you can also port/polish the plenum that the throttle body bolts onto.
    That reminds me, i have a P&P plenum and 70mm throttle body for the 4.6 i should sell. Think the plenum is a knock-off c&l, i think a MAC, and the TB is another aftermarket whatever-brand that's been worked. Don't even remember what i paid for it but never ended up on my '98 for some reason. Make me an offer and i'll dig the shit out and take some pictures.

  20. #20

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    Don't worry about it. I wanna get all of the maintenance items taken care of before any mods happen.

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