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Ford Crown Victoria Suspension - Build A Panther, Part Four

Coilovers For The Coppers

By , Photography by

I've known for a long time that my car was too tall, but it's taken me a while to do something about it. I've mentioned before that Ford redesigned the front suspension of all the Panther Platform cars (Crown Victoria, Mercury Grand Marquis, Lincoln Town Car) in 2003 to make room for the 32-Valve 4.6 engine in the then-new Mercury Marauder, the only Panther car to come with a DOHC modular V8. The Marauder only survived two years of production, but that was enough time for the performance aftermarket to develop speed parts for the car. Because most of that stuff will also work across the board on '03 and later Panthers, I'm in luck.

Through extensive message-board searching, I discovered Naake Suspension in Northern California, that developed a bolt-in coilover kit for Marauders. I spent some time on the phone with owner Mike Naake as he walked me through the choices—the company sell kits for the front and rear suspension with double-adjustable, single-adjustable, or nonadjustable shocks (that can be revalved)—and the costs and options for each version. I wanted the versatility of the double-adjustable shocks, but I could only afford the front kit, so that's what I decided on. For good measure, I also upgraded to an Addco 1 1/4-inch front sway bar and 1-inch-drop Eaton Detroit springs for the rear. Here's a quick rundown of how the install went.

Front Coilovers

Rear Springs

Front Sway Bar

Eaton Detroit Spring
Naake Suspension Specialists
South Bay Ford
ADDCO Manufacturing
1596 Linville Falls Hwy
NC  28646
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I want to set a challenge because I have never seen it done, and that is all the more reason to do it. Take an old Vic cop car and tub it out, and put whatever engine you have to put in there, one of those budget turbo V8' heck I don't even care if it's that turbo Hemi. You're going to already make a bunch of people angry, by messing with a Vic might as well really make them angry. Take it to the drags and launch the front wheels off the ground!! I am not sure what kind of horse power you would need to do it, I am sure it is something ludicrous but it would be a sight to see!


THANK YOU John McGann!! Great articles on building up your Crown Vic cop car! As an owner of a 2003 Marauder and a 2007 Vic cop car, your articles will come in very handy, as my Marauder and cop car suspensions are getting loose. Thanks for your honest opinions and observations. Regards, GregDecember 23rd,2011


Crown Vics, since the 80's, have been cars dying to be souped up and street raced. I find that your desire to make an old cop cruiser into a hot rod is more in keeping with the name of your magazine than articles about folks who let others do all the work on their rides. I can't remember if it was Car Craft or Hot rod who had a car where the owner said ...I'm not a gearhead, I just drive 'em. That comment boiled my blood, the most fun I ever had with old cars was telling everyone that I did all the work myself. Wish I had the money to get something going.

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