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Parts Used In This Episode

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Crown Victoria Suspension Components
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Crown Victoria Shocks
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Tools, Hardware, Shop Supplies

Episode Transcript

(Tommy)>> This week on Detroit Muscle we take our police cruiser for a little joy ride.

(Marc)>> Then get her in the shop to upgrade the handling and braking.

(Tommy)>> Finish up our Hot Pursuit Sleeper. [ Music ] [ engine revving ] [ Music ]

(Marc)>> To get you up to speed we took a 2008 police interceptor with a ton of miles and added a few budget friendly upgrades.

(Tommy)>> We started with a remote mount turbo and fabricated a bit of plumbing to get all that power to our 4.6 liter V-8.

(Marc)>> Of course with all that added air we needed more fuel as well. So we switched it over to a return style system with a bigger fuel pump.

(Tommy)>> Then we took our old police cruiser down to Engine Power and strapped it onto the dyno.

(Marc)>> With a little tuning help we went from 200 horsepower at the tires stock to 368 horsepower, 410 pound feet of torque.

(Tommy)>> First thing we're doing today is seeing how she performs on the street.

(Marc)>> Well Tommy you were right.

(Tommy)>> I'm sorry, what did you just say?

(Marc)>> I'd said you were right. This car's cool!

(Tommy)>> How is that cool?

(Marc)>> Well because it's cheap and you get a lot of car for your money.

(Tommy)>> Absolutely!

(Marc)>> And you throw some parts at it and have a lot of fun.

(Tommy)>> Yeah I know you could have been skeptical in the front half of this thing because it is a big ole four door car but man the potential is here. It's V-8, it shares a lot of components of the other pony car if you will from the Ford lineup, and with that it's got room to expand. There's room under the hood, room under the car, all that kind of jazz. So where's the oh-no handle? Make sure you know where that's at. [ engine revving ]

(Marc)>> We're gonna die! [ laughing ]

(Tommy)>> That wasn't bad. That was about a bill 0-5.

(Marc)>> That's nice. It does what it's not supposed to do, and that's why it's cool. [ engine revving ]

(Tommy)>> You know one thing that is really cool about this thing is the whistle cause you can slightly hear, and then you can hear it a lot after you get on it, and then let off.

(Marc)>> That's cool.

(Tommy)>> I love it!

(Marc)>> I mean this thing doesn't make a ton of power but it makes enough to make a difference.

(Tommy)>> Absolutely, you know we've still got a few more upgrades to do with it. So it's gonna take that fun factor.

(Marc)>> Absolutely, yeah I think adding the extra power was just kind of a necessity, and now we need to compliment that.

(Tommy)>> Yeah, and it wasn't that much work. I mean in all reality it would have been, you know, a few hours, and yeah it'd been a pain in the tail laying flat on your back. I have to say when you was done it'd be worth in the end.

(Marc)>> Yep, agreed. Well what's left to do?

(Tommy)>> Well we've got to address the brakes. I know this one's got so many miles on it even whenever you put your foot on the brake it's got a little bit of a bob to it. So needing to fix the brakes anyhow you might as well upgrade them to something a little more aggressive and something that can handle a bit more abuse, and with the suspension side of things it could stand to have a little more.

(Marc)>> So you lower it, bigger sway bars, better brakes.

(Tommy)>> And I like the power and all in the thing but I think a gear swap in the rear would definitely wake this ole girl up.

(Marc)>> And I have a feeling before we make it back to the show today you know what else it's gonna need?

(Tommy)>> What's that?

(Marc)>> A set of tires.

(Tommy)>> Well let's just see what we can do. [ engine revving ] [ Music ]

(Tommy)>> You know this is a stop sign?

(Marc)>> Right.

(Tommy)>> Probably ought to stop.

(Marc)>> Yep, which way we going.

(Tommy)>> Go back that way.

(Marc)>> That way?

(Tommy)>> Yes sir.

(Marc)>> Just the good ole boys! Okay.

(Tommy)>> We gonna go this way one more time.

(Marc)>> Which way are we going?

(Tommy)>> I'm undecided. [ engine revving ]

(Marc)>> Yeah that's awesome. [ Music ] I think we should get out of here. We finish up the suspension and upgrade the gears in our Crown Vic so we can take it out on patrol.

(Tommy)>> You know I almost want to bet you a six pack of whatever you like to drink and some chicken wings that we gonna get a bit greasy and rusty today working on this thing.

(Marc)>> Absolutely but I'll be willing to bet you that it's gonna be worth it because look at the turbo. A little bit of work, big payoff!

(Tommy)>> That it was.

(Marc)>> Apply the same thing to the suspension maybe we'll get the same results, but before we start digging into that let's talk about the actual design of the suspension.

(Tommy)>> The suspension up under our Crown Vic was started back in '03 whenever they converted from the gearbox to the rack and pinion. It only has a couple of bolts that hold this entire unit up under the car, which makes it pretty popular with the guys building the resto-mod trucks.

(Marc)>> Another reason is it's got this aluminum K-member, super lightweight. The rack and pinion's already integrated like Tommy said, but it's also got this s-l-a, or short arm long arm, suspension design, which makes it handle really well. It's kinda like a race car just a little more heavy duty.

(Tommy)>> Now with our car being a police cruiser it has a few better goodies up under it, which is a thicker sway bar, better valving in the strut, and heavy duty springs, not to mention better biting brakes.

(Marc)>> So overall on a scale of 1 to 10 I give it an A+, and the rear, it's not so bad either. Let's check it out. Well if you thought I was excited about the front suspension wait until you hear me tell you about the rear. This is a solid rear axle and there are lots of different types of suspensions you can get on a stick axle. You can leaf or coil springs. You can have three link, four link, torque arm. We're gonna focus on four link suspension. There are three main types, triangulated four link, four link with a pan hard rod, and four link with a watts link. Let's take a look at them. Triangulated four link uses parallel lower and triangulated upper control arms, which act as the centering device. They're great for small packages but bind under hard driving conditions, especially with stiffer bushings, and the rear end can sway left and right under hard driving conditions. Four link with a pan hard rod can be triangulated or parallel where the pan hard rod acts as the centering device by mounting to the chassis and to the rear axle. It allows the axle to move up and down but does so on an arc, which allows the rear end to move left and right. Four link with a watts link can also be triangulated or parallel where the watts link acts as the centering device. It uses three links. A left, a right, and a center link to allow the rear end to move up and down with no side to side movement, and my favorite is the parallel four link with a watts link, and that is what's on our Crown Vic here. The only drawback would be packaging. It's hard to fit all those bars in on a smaller car, but we've got a big car and Ford saw it necessary to put it on all of these and I'm glad they did. It's great from the factory but there is room for improvement. So we're gonna dig in and fix it up. [ Music ] [ drill buzzing ] [ Music ] [ drill vibrating ] [ Music ] [ drill vibrating ] [ Music ]

(Marc)>> Well we've already established there's not a ton of aftermarket support for these Crown Vics but thankfully there is some, and to keep you from searching all over the place to get all the parts you need there's a one stop shop called ADTR dot net. We actually talked to a guy there named Chris. He helped us assemble a parts list of everything we need to make our Crown Vic handle the way it should, and that's everything you see here on this table, but before we get into all that stuff I want to talk about these specifically. These are the stamped steel watts links that we removed from the car, and these are the ones that we're gonna replace them with. They're billet aluminum from Metco Motorsports. What's nice about these is they're a lot stiffer, they're light, and they've got these stiffer bushings in here. So it's not gonna flex the way the factory ones would, and they just bolt right in, but before we get to those let's do the control arms next. I'm gonna do one at a time. There's new uppers and lower also from Metco. Same design, billet aluminum, heavy duty. They're gonna do everything we need to do, bolt right in. So let's start with these. [ Music ] [ drill buzzing ]

(Marc)>> I said I was gonna do these one at a time, and the reason I'm doing that is because if I take more than one out the rear end's gonna move and I'm gonna have to re-align it to get the bolts back in. This way I can just pull each arm out, put the new one in. [ Music ]

(Tommy)>> Jeez brother you making a lot of racket.

(Marc)>> Yep, where you been?

(Tommy)>> I've been hiding out, eating some honeybuns. Um, hmm. You know with this rear dropped won like it is it'd be a whole lot easier for me to put gears in it.

(Marc)>> Yeah if you're volunteering to do that have at it. I can go work on something else.

(Tommy)>> Yeah go find something to do.

(Marc)>> Yeah I hate that smell anyway.

(Tommy)>> Whenever you start doing some work on the back side of a rear end like we are a bit of aroma is gonna be a thing you're gonna be plagued with. Ole Marc said he didn't want no part of this. I think he was a wiser man. Now we are gonna have to do a bit of teardown and get all these goodies off. One more and I got it. Then we've got to remove the pin and get our hands a bit dirty. What we're gonna do here is swap into a lower set of gears. Originally this car came with a set of 3.27's. Come on baby! There we go! And we're swapping in a set of 3.73's. It ain't really a whole lot to it. You just swap out the ring gear. [ Music ] [ drill buzzing ]

(Tommy)>> Torque it to spec, then you've got to remove the pinion and install a new one. [ Music ] Now there is a way that you need to set these things up correctly. Once you set your pinion depth you can slide in the carrier, torque it to spec, then check your backlash. [ Music ] [ drill buzzing ]

(Tommy)>> That's was kind of a quick and dirty way to put a set of gears in. I'm gonna go ahead and leave that driveshaft off so Marc's got a little more room to get in there. And plus, saves me some effort. We've gotta have brakes and tires before all the fun begins.

(Marc)>> Well since Tommy kicked me out out back before I could get that wrapped up I figured I'd take this opportunity to move up front and get it torn down, which is exactly what I've done here. Everything here on this table is going in the scrap bin because we've got all new stuff to replace it. You saw this earlier. It's everything we got from ADTR dot net. What we're gonna focus on right now though is gonna be this coil over kit for the front. This is an HQ Series kit from Ridetech. They're lightweight, they have adjustable ride height, and even adjustability in the valving on the shock. Probably more than we need but this is what's available and they're super cool. So this is what we're gonna put on. Also they have all the hardware you need to get it installed. This little bracket here mounts to the K-member where the strut used to mount. A little bit of hardware and before you know it we'll be doing doughnuts. [ Music ]

(Marc)>> With that upper mount in place we can slide our coil over in and bolt it down. [ Music ] [ drill vibrating ]

(Marc)>> Now we can just re-install our ball joints and our steering linkage, and we can move on to our sway bar. This is a bigger, beefier sway than the stock one. So it's gonna provide better handling. Well if your brake pads are starting to look like the ones we just pulled off of our Crown Vic here then you know it's time to upgrade your pads and rotors. Now you could just upgrade to stock, or you could get something that's a little more high performance and higher quality, and you could do that with EBC's S-4 brake kit. It's made for spirited street driving and it comes with these u-s-r rotors that are coated with a black anti-rust coating, and they're slotted, which is for better performance braking. It also keeps the surface nice, and clean, and free of brake dust. The pads that come with the kit are EBC's red stuff ceramic pads. These things are ideal for repeated heavy braking without fading, and they also prevent your rotors from being damaged. [ Music ] Well that's it for the front. We just need to wrap up on the rear because we are getting dangerously close to heading out on patrol. ADTR sent us this new watts link pivot bolt, which is stronger than the stock one. With it tightened down we can finally start installing those watts links. We'll get the outer links in... [ drill vibrating ] ...attach them to the center link. Then attach it to the pivot. [ drill vibrating ]

(Marc)>> So we've got to get this adjustable spring perch mounted here because it'll fall off otherwise. That's what this whole stud here is for. Just gotta wiggle it in there. That's it! Tighten that nut down. [ Music ] There we go. Then the rear springs can go in, followed by the driveshaft, shocks, and a new rear sway bar. [ Music ] [ drill buzzing ]

(Marc)>> Alright put some brakes on, this rear end's done.

(Tommy)>> While Marc's in there finishing up the suspension under our Crown Vic I'm gonna go ahead and slap on some new shoes, and by the looks of them somebody's been abusing these. I don't know who that would have been. Not me! What we're putting on is a set of General G-max RS tires. Now these are a little bit smaller in diameter and a bit wider too. It's gonna help accommodate the stance that we're looking for. Plus give us plenty of performance out on the street. Put a little more air in this thing, we about ready to ride. [ Music ] Alright hoss I got you some skins for this thing.

(Marc)>> Oh look at that.

(Tommy)>> What else are we gonna need?

(Marc)>> I think that's it.

(Tommy)>> Really? Then we can ride?

(Marc)>> Some gas.

(Tommy)>> Woo-wee, that sounds sweet. If your car sits out in the elements like our police cruiser and you want to protect the paint then you may want to check out Turtle Wax Hybrid Solution ceramic spray coating. Now I could tell you the fancy science behind it but basically it has ceramic polymers that help keep your car surface stay cleaner for longer. This new formula repels water contaminants for months. It can be applied to exterior surfaces in direct sunlight and it adds a brilliant mirror like shine, and enhances your paint's depth. So if your paint is in need of some t-l-c you may want to check out the new Turtle Wax Hybrid Solutions line of products.

(Marc)>> It's time for Hot Pursuit.

(Marc)>> I've said it before and I'll say it again. You were right. This car is awesome. Great project!

(Tommy)>> It's been a fun car and it didn't a whole lot of work to really improve. We made a lot of bolt on type deals with it with the suspension, and then turbo was the most complicated. After you done that man it was game on.

(Marc)>> Absolutely, if you were to do anything differently than we did without going further or spending more money would change anything that we did?

(Tommy)>> One thing.

(Marc)>> Put a muffler on it.

(Tommy)>> I mean the stance, it's lowered but it still looks like a cop car. It doesn't look like your air bag system is broken like the Fords are so prone for, but other than it being just a teeny bit too loud that's about it.

(Marc)>> You can't take anything away from this car. Name something about it that you don't like. It's got four doors. It's not very gorgeous looking. It doesn't have the curb appeal but what it lacks in curb appeal it makes up for in presence.

(Tommy)>> Fun factor. [ engine revving ]

(Tommy)>> You know this old car is kinda like a good country song. There's just enough whistle in it to make it right.

(Marc)>> When you said good country song I thought it was gonna be like three cords and the truth. I'm like I don't know where he's going with this. I want this car.

(Tommy)>> That makes me feel good.

(Marc)>> For myself. Like I want to drive this car every day.

(Tommy)>> You know it isn't all that often we get to have this much fun and no more work than we had to do.

(Marc)>> Yeah I absolutely love this car. It's actually one of my favorite projects we've ever done. I hate to see it go.

(Tommy)>> I got you man but there should be something else that we could do to have a little more fun with it.

(Marc)>> I think I know what you're talking about. I got this.

(Tommy)>> What the heck were you thinking man? I'm like a Super Trooper and you're like Reno something or other.

(Marc)>> We're cops! When do we ever get an opportunity to do this?

(Tommy)>> I guess you're right. I guess we need to take a spin. What do you think?

(Marc)>> Let's go have as much fun as...whoa, whoa, whoa. I'm driving.

(Tommy)>> You could have got me a shirt brother that fit. Hot Pursuit let's go. Time to ride.

(Marc)>> We're gonna get'em. I'm telling you right now boy. [ engine revving ] [ Music ]

(Tommy)>> So maybe you should try to create a diversion?

(Marc)>> Explain to me what you mean by that.

(Tommy)>> Big smokey burnout cuz.

(Marc)>> You think it'll do it?

(Tommy)>> Hell yeah this thing will do it. Or as my grand pappy said, dale yeah.

(Marc)>> What?

(Tommy)>> Make sure nobody's coming. [ engine revving ]

(Tommy)>> Oh yeah. [ engine revving ] [ laughing ]

(Tommy)>> I don't know which one of us right now is Smokey and which one is Bandit but I can tell you we're both postal workers cause we're hauling the mail.

(Marc)>> Well this thing just drives itself through this drive-thru.

(Tommy)>> I bet they already know what we want.

(Marc)>> Just give me 3 dozen glazed then. ( )>> Can I get you a coffee or anything else today?

(Marc)>> No I think we're good. We've got some beers in here. Root beers, root beers!

(Tommy)>> They don't know who they're messing with. Need to ask if they give an official discount.

(Marc)>> Do you give guys like us discounts?

(Tommy)>> I guess that's a negative.

(Marc)>> I guess that's a no. Noted! Thank you! ( )>> You have a great day! [ Music ]

(Marc)>> Yeah this is about the best day I've ever had at work.

(Tommy)>> I know man. I can't believe I actually get paid to do this.

(Marc)>> Sure we're not the first ones to ever do this.

(Tommy)>> I see why they do it.

(Marc)>> Absolutely. I've got an idea.

(Tommy)>> What's that?

(Marc)>> We're eating doughnuts. What if, hear me out. What if we did doughnuts?

(Tommy)>> I hope you don't plan on doing a whole lot of them. [ engine revving ]

(Tommy)>> That's what I'm talking about.

(Marc)>> Doughnuts while eating doughnuts. I better get away from that trailer a little bit. Dude this thing will do some serious doughnuts.

(Tommy)>> Don't get Krispy Kreme.

(Marc)>> Look at that. It just loves it. It lives for this. Hell I live for this.

(Tommy)>> See y'all, we out. Hot Pursuit!
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