Mercury Grand Marquis Buying Tips

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I'm in the market for a Mercury Grand Marquis, preferably on a $3K-$6k budget. Am willing to go higher if the deal appears excellent. Besides the obvious when buying a used car, what else should I look out for when reviewing this car for purchase? What are the best years for the Grand Marquis? A sampler comparison under the assumption that both cars are pretty much equal in proportionate wear that appears to be in the good to very good range: 2002 Grand Marquis LS with 57,500 miles, selling at $3,700 versus 2005 Grand Marquis GS, cloth interior, steel wheels, with 72,500 miles, selling at $4000.
 
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2001 and earlier have a design flaw with the intake manifold. Eventually they all crack and spew coolant. Make sure the manifold has been replaced if buying those years.
 
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I've been thinking about the Avalon, which is a stretched out Camry. Whether the Camry or Avalon, the market for a Grand Marquis seems better.The Camrys and Avalons on sale typically cost more and have over 100,000 miles on them, plus the timing belt (as opposed to timing chain) issue.
 
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A friend of mine was into Crown Vics. He said the years with a rack & pinion have better steering. I think that was changed in the early 2000's.
 
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2001 and earlier have a design flaw with the intake manifold. Eventually they all crack and spew coolant. Make sure the manifold has been replaced if buying those years. **** Thanks. Does the The 2002 make the cut? Is it true that 2003 was the first year of a noticeably improved suspension?
 
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Originally Posted by Donald
What is so special about this model? Buy a Camry.
Some of us do not want a " foreign " car . I would choose the 2002 Grand Marquis .
 
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Some of us do not want a " foreign " car . I would choose the 2002 Grand Marquis . ***** Even though the aforementioned 05 version has (as been communicated to me) an improved suspension? The comparison one again: Under the assumption that both cars are pretty much equal in proportionate wear that appears to be in the good to very good range: 2002 Grand Marquis LS with 57,500 miles, selling at $3,700 versus 2005 Grand Marquis GS, cloth interior, steel wheels, with 72,500 miles, selling at $4000.
 
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Originally Posted by ripcord
2001 and earlier have a design flaw with the intake manifold. Eventually they all crack and spew coolant. Make sure the manifold has been replaced if buying those years.
Unless it's been replaced by the one that doesn't break so easily...
 

CKN

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Originally Posted by Donald
What is so special about this model? Buy a Camry.
Some want to drive dinosaurs here on BITOG because they (Crown Vics/Mercs) are cheap to buy and maintain-and they can get 300,000 miles out of them. On this forum that is the pinnacle of automotive excellence.......
 
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Y_K

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I had and still have a few of those. I prefer 2004, but they all have strengths and weaknesses. As for the manifold issues - all years require this work, different stats though. They had all-polymer manifold through early 2002, then replaced it with partially aluminium one. Still may give you a headache. I had one 2001 that was the best one I ever had out of all panthers. 2005 has this whip antenna, which is a major turn-off for many, not for me - a good negotiation point btw. All-in-all, surprisingly reliable American car. There is crownvic dot net congregation out there, they will get you more points for micro-management. The major thing: you do shop the owner, not the vehicle description. There are plenty of panthers out there, take your time and your patience will be rewarded. [for whatever reasons, Lincoln Towncar of the same platform has been consistently the most reliable in my case.] I had a fleet of panthers with 360k miles minumum on each of those. Rack-and-pinion steering started in 2003, the more dependable transmission ended in early 2005, the same year introduced fly-by-wire throttle, there were all kinds of funky changes later on, icluding going back and forth with the oil filter types, etc. It is all BS, the platform is an old-fashioned and refined mass production vehicle that can easily go for 500k miles with regular care. There is still plenty of great and affordable garages that cater to cabbies... the old timer talent is still there. Don't make the project of finding and buying a torturous one, make it fun. As Romans used to say - festina lente - hurry slowly and good luck! added: 2005 is much easier to work on when it comes to the rear shocks, but it is not a deal breaker. If I had to shop, and the 2002 had a better owner, I'd grab that one... and vice versa. Shop the owner, the best is the quintessential old geezer who cannot drive himself but still took impeccable care for his wife. I have an MGM where the guy would go by the book: if it had only 200 miles, but the 6 months were up, he'd take it for the oil change... things like that malke a huge and demonstrable difference. That one literally drives like new.
 
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For cheap used cars, it's all about condition. So between those two, which ever one seems to be in better shape after you drive them. The newer one probably has less rust on it since it has seen fewer winters, but regardless, the one with less rust is the better choice. If one is "good" and the other is "very good" then get the "very good" one. Yes, 2003 is when they got the revised suspension. The good news is that Ford offers Motorcraft quick struts, should you need new ones. FWIW, the Avalon 2006+ has the 2GR, which has a timing chain happy
 
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Set the front seat to your preferred driving position. Then, try getting into the backseat behind the driver and be shocked how a car this big can have no rear legroom whatsoever...
 
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FWIW all of the 4.6L had issues with the intakes, even those with the "improved" design. They changed to the rack and pinion with front struts in 2003.
 
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I don't know the year breaks but don't some MGM/CV have good transmissions and others have the bad Taurus transmissions? MY bil from TX has his mother's MGM...a '99 with low mileage. I keep telling him to keep his ear to the MGM rail and sell it. He has a modern car and doesn't even regard the car.
 
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Love these panther chassis cars. Big, comfy, durable. Never mind the fuel tank recall drama- I was rear ended in my Crown Vic by a 1/2 ton pickup doing 70 and I drove the [censored] thing home! The 03+ Have slight upgrades over the 98-02 models. Generally speaking 01-02 are good to go, though. Prior to 01 the other poster is correct that the intake manifold was a frequent fail point- but of course that was 20 years ago. I would expect many/most have been fixed with the metal cross over. Try to stay 1999+ due to the PI 4.6L offering slightly improved numbers. For your situation I don't see a $300 benefit to going with the 2005 model with lower trim and higher miles. If you can find one with dual exhaust it will have upgraded gears, springs, shocks, swaybars and air spring rear suspension.
 
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Very excellent cars. Definately what you want for ultra durabilty and long term ownership. All model years: -Blend door servo can fail, and the digital climate control panel can fail. Best to get the mechanical dial climate control. 1998- 2002: -Bad intake manifolds, not a problem it just needs updated. Keep an eye on the 2002 as they were supposed to be upgraded but some were early builds and still have plastic. 2003: -1st year for the new suspension. -Bad steel rims that were included in a recall. -Bad axle shafts that were not induction hardened. They will wear a groove and start leaking oil before they snap. Not really a big issue. -Bad lighting control module that is used only in 2003 thru 2005. Every one of them is faulty and should have had a recall done. -Somtimes a seal will leak on the rack and pinion more than other years. -Overall not a bad model year but it does have some bad press due to those dumb issues. 2004: -The 1st year for knock sensor, + larger zip tube = way more HP!! Last year for cable throttle. -Known as the absolute best year among many enthusiasts. 99= most durable, 04= Best HP / suspension, 08= best features with least issues, but has TPMS, and is fully certified for E85. -All the wierd stuff from 2003 in theory should have been fixed but some early builds still have those issues. 2005: -New design steering column that has a recall on the lower steering shaft + an added safety retainer. -Has the highest transmission failure rates of any other year. -Has a uniquely ran wiring harness up front behind the grille that when you get into an accident, it will ruin + cut this harness. You cannot swap any other year harness into it. 2006: -Has a new digital odometer cluster that fails. This applies to all 2006 thru 2011 model year crown vic / grand marquis. Its a $150 resolder job and the issue will not return. -They switched to stamped steel lower ctrl arms, no big deal. 2007: -Better transmission design. But otherwise not much diffferent. 2008: -TPMS added as standard. Batteries in the sensors last 10 yrs approx. -1st year for E85 officially (2007 was too but not officially)
 
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Unless you are Canadian, you better not buy a Grand Marquis or Crown Vic as they are made in Canada. So for anyone in the US, they are a foreign car.
Originally Posted by WyrTwister
Originally Posted by Donald
What is so special about this model? Buy a Camry.
Some of us do not want a " foreign " car . I would choose the 2002 Grand Marquis .
 
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Originally Posted by Kira
I don't know the year breaks but don't some MGM/CV have good transmissions and others have the bad Taurus transmissions? MY bil from TX has his mother's MGM...a '99 with low mileage. I keep telling him to keep his ear to the MGM rail and sell it. He has a modern car and doesn't even regard the car.
Taurus from the 90's was a AXOD FWD Transaxle. The 4.6L Vic/GM had the 4r70w I had a 2008 Grand Marquis GS and it was a great car, only sold it because someone offered a very high price for it.
 
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Originally Posted by Bogdon
I'm in the market for a Mercury Grand Marquis, preferably on a $3K-$6k budget. Am willing to go higher if the deal appears excellent. Besides the obvious when buying a used car, what else should I look out for when reviewing this car for purchase? What are the best years for the Grand Marquis? A sampler comparison under the assumption that both cars are pretty much equal in proportionate wear that appears to be in the good to very good range: 2002 Grand Marquis LS with 57,500 miles, selling at $3,700 versus 2005 Grand Marquis GS, cloth interior, steel wheels, with 72,500 miles, selling at $4000.
You live in the rust belt and rust is largely a function of time/age: All other things equal, newer is almost always better. Get the newest car your budget allows. These cars don't fetch big bucks. You should be able to find a newer car than 2002 or 2005 for $6k. No real hidden or hard to find issues to look for. Look for fluid leaks. Make sure HVAC system works properly.
 
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