Finally Got A Panther - Grand Marquis!

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Glad you finally got the panther you wanted :)

I hope you plan on keeping it rust-free with Krown or some other rustproofing. That should be the first thing you do.
 

Miller88

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The OP admitted the body has scratches and scrapes. I guess it's up to what the definition of "clean" is. I see rust on the door in picture #2.

Our '19 Sentra is and my former '18 Subaru was doing the same thing and those got rust treatment for the winters they saw. For NY - that's extremely clean.

My 2001 f-350 and 00 Jeep Cherokee don't even have door bottoms any more !

Unfortunately with the crazy used car market, this one ended up going for $500-$1000 less than cars in similar condition. Guessing because of the dash-pull to change out the blend door actuator. The second place contender that I had been trying to buy for $3k had bubbly wheel wells, frame scale and had an additional 50K miles.
 

Miller88

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Glad you finally got the panther you wanted :)

I hope you plan on keeping it rust-free with Krown or some other rustproofing. That should be the first thing you do.

Oh yeah! Once all the parts come in and it gets some time in the garage it'll be getting fluid film inside the doors / hood / trunk / body and the mix of bar and chain oil and Kerosene underneath.

This does have a boxed frame so I'll have to figure out how to get the oil inside of that.


I don’t think you overpaid. This one seems really clean and if it runs decently, it’s worth it.

this is a great color. I hate to say it, but I would quickly move to a more aggressive wheel/tire combination; nothing overkill, but something maybe on par with the tire size used on the interceptors. It deserves it.

you did great on this find!

It is a neat color. I think I almost bought a Subaru this color? It's either green or grey. I'd like to find another set of wheels for it pretty soon. The snow tires I had on the subaru will work but I'd hate to throw them on these wheels. Unfortunately all of the 5x4.5 jeep wheels i have don't have enough backspace for the 97-02 Panthers.

These are 225/60-15, but 235/60-16 is pretty common
 
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Glad you finally got the panther you wanted :)

I hope you plan on keeping it rust-free with Krown or some other rustproofing. That should be the first thing you do.
If you can afford it and have the room, I would get a 4WD winter vehicle and park your GM. The GM will struggle in the snow. You can load up the trunk, have good snows and your rear wheels will still be spinning. I park my GM in the winter. Been there, done it.
 
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That looks exactly like the 2001 I used to have - the color is Spruce Green Metallic. Mine had the digital dash and climate controls.

Does this one still have the plastic intake?
 
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The OP admitted the body has scratches and scrapes. I guess it's up to what the definition of "clean" is. I see rust on the door in picture #2.

At the price point, age of the vehicle, and overall condition, I'm quite comfortable with my definition.
 
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235/60-16? 60 series has been my ideal aspect ratio for added stability without floaty handling or the axle spaz from too much weight. That would strike me as a great size, and 17 wouldn’t be overkill either for a street machine, unless potholes are a big thing in your area. Steel or AL?
 
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Ah the panther body. My second home for much of my adult life. They can be surprisingly good in the winter. I never got stuck in one with proper winter tires and a good feel for the car.

Those cars can do it all. Rally car, battering ram, highway couch, tow truck, you name it. The panther can handle it.
 

Miller88

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That looks exactly like the 2001 I used to have - the color is Spruce Green Metallic. Mine had the digital dash and climate controls.

Does this one still have the plastic intake?

Unfortunately plastic intake. I'm hoping it'll make it until spring. But I am going to change the thermostat. If it's the same as it was on my 5.4, the intake manifold will break trying to get the aluminum outlet housing out.
 
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Unfortunately plastic intake. I'm hoping it'll make it until spring. But I am going to change the thermostat. If it's the same as it was on my 5.4, the intake manifold will break trying to get the aluminum outlet housing out.
Nice score! It should have the aluminum coolant crossover in front of the plastic manifold (my ‘03 does), so you should be able to change the thermostat easily. I have GY Assurance Tripletreds on mine, it handles snow fairly well (but it’s never seen more than a 3” snowfall). Unfortunately they’re no longer available, but I did save a used set in the same size from my brother’s wrecked Altima (surprisingly the same P225/60R16 size as mine).
 
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Take it to a paint shop to get the bumpers touched up since its common for paint and clear to fade on plastic and fiberglass and get it re cleared.

Consider spending a bit extra to have them put clear coat over the good but thinning clear elsewhere. Had that done and for sure they did re clear and its been holding up well.
 

Y_K

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2001? get the manifold in advance, right at the mileage it has... Summit has the Ford Racing manifolds - don't do aftermarket pls.

Otherwise, you did quite well. Enjoy!

P.S. I wouldn't fall into Police sway bars and shocks. You will never be able to achieve what Police cars have: a different frame with a different resonance frequency.
 

Ws6

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Supposedly the average new vehicle purchase price is now in the neighborhood of $45,000.

You bought a clean used vehicle with an excellent reputation of being extremely reliable, at a reasonable price.

Job well done.
I found them to go about 200-240k miles and only require 2 to 3 transmissions to get there. Otherwise an alternator here and there and maybe a water pump. Definitely window motors. All in all, I dunno why Panthers are considered reliable. Maybe for the era?
 

Miller88

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Nice score! It should have the aluminum coolant crossover in front of the plastic manifold (my ‘03 does), so you should be able to change the thermostat easily. I have GY Assurance Tripletreds on mine, it handles snow fairly well (but it’s never seen more than a 3” snowfall). Unfortunately they’re no longer available, but I did save a used set in the same size from my brother’s wrecked Altima (surprisingly the same P225/60R16 size as mine).

Unfortunately it's completely plastic. Doesn't have the aluminum crossover. I'll have to swap to the aluminum crossover intake at some point.
 

Miller88

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2001? get the manifold in advance, right at the mileage it has... Summit has the Ford Racing manifolds - don't do aftermarket pls.

Otherwise, you did quite well. Enjoy!

P.S. I wouldn't fall into Police sway bars and shocks. You will never be able to achieve what Police cars have: a different frame with a different resonance frequency.

A friend of mine was also suggesting the Ford Racing intake. Is there anything advantageous other than OEM quality of the Ford Racing intake? That will be a spring project, or if I can find a 4.6 in the junkyard with the


Take it to a paint shop to get the bumpers touched up since its common for paint and clear to fade on plastic and fiberglass and get it re cleared.

Consider spending a bit extra to have them put clear coat over the good but thinning clear elsewhere. Had that done and for sure they did re clear and its been holding up well.

The rear has a hole in it from backing into something. The front is saveable. I may try to see if I can snag another set of spruce green metallic ones at some point. They had the weird bumper protector things and reflectors everwhere. Wondering if it lived on street parking or in a parking garage for a significant amount of time.
I found them to go about 200-240k miles and only require 2 to 3 transmissions to get there. Otherwise an alternator here and there and maybe a water pump. Definitely window motors. All in all, I dunno why Panthers are considered reliable. Maybe for the era?
The cop cars, yes. The 4r70s are always pumping if the engine is running and that leads to the pump in the transmission wears out and kills the trans.
 
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I found them to go about 200-240k miles and only require 2 to 3 transmissions to get there. Otherwise an alternator here and there and maybe a water pump. Definitely window motors. All in all, I dunno why Panthers are considered reliable. Maybe for the era?

My thinking is that vehicles with the worst of reputations can be reliable for some, and cars with the best of reputations can end up being a nightmare for some.

You pays your money, you takes your chances.
 

OVERKILL

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P.S. I wouldn't fall into Police sway bars and shocks. You will never be able to achieve what Police cars have: a different frame with a different resonance frequency.
I did the police rear swaybar (my '89 Townie didn't have one) as well as shocks and it had a huge impact on handling (was also running 17x9 Cobra R's). Likely depends on what the end goal is. I had also picked up a PI driveshaft but didn't end up ever installing it.
 
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