New Build: Classic Mustang on a Crown Vic chassis

Geofordman

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Aug 29, 2020
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Red Deer, Alberta
Some have said it couldn't be done and some have said it shouldn't be done, so I did it anyway! Yup I put a 68 Mustang body on a 2006 Crown Vic chassis! Yes its a Widebody! Yes it drives awesome and yes I Autocross it! No its not finished! Here's some pics of it today. Does anyone want to see how I did it?
 

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Geofordman

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Aug 29, 2020
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The first question I usually get is why a Crown Vic? The short answer is because they're cheap! Let's look at what it takes to build a classic Mustang to drive nice, look cool and handle, we are going to want 4 wheel disc brakes, rack and pinion steering, a trac loc diff, fuel injection, overdrive trans, etc. We are also going to want to stiffen the chassis and get rid of any rust issues. Well we just racked up a $100,000 build! The CV offers us all of this plus, 31 spline axles, ABS brakes, variable ratio steering and a full frame all for about $2500! Do I have your attention? I thought so. The only drawback is how wide it is. The answer is fender flares! If you dig roadracey style Mustangs then you're a candidate for a Crown Vic chassis swap!
 
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Geofordman

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I had previously Autocrossed the Vic and had lowered it 3 inches all around with coilovers in the front and cut coils in the back. That is also when I scored some 18x9.5 SVT wheels and tires for it. When Covid hit, I found myself with some extra time, so I started hacking the CV in preparation for the bodyswap. I started by shortening the CV by 6.75 inches. The Vic has a straight outer perimeter frame so its easy to shorten. I cut the 6.75 inch section out then cut and welded the piece until it would slide inside the frame rails like a sleeve. I then plug welded it into position before sliding the rear portion of the frame into place. Double check for straightness and correct wheelbase and weld it out! I never even cut the brake lines. I simply used my tubing bender to take up the extra length until they fit. I actually had a 48.5 inch aluminum driveshaft hanging around that fit perfectly! I cut the Vic floor behind the front seats and left a 3/4 inch overlap to weld to the two pieces together with a series of small plug welds, spot weld style. The trunk section behind the gas tank gets the same treatment but I removed 12 inches from it. Initially I was going to race the CV as a shortened car but I felt I had time to go ahead and body swap it!
The Mustang was rusty junk! No one in their right mind would fix this car, but that is part of my point! This deal uses the worst junk and makes something cool out of it for very little cash outlay. A person with a mig welder and a Sawzall can build it with enough time and ambition.
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Geofordman

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Red Deer, Alberta
I started cutting the Mustang apart and sold the seat frames and front suspension for $300, meaning I had zero dollars in the Mustang and I got the Crown Vic for changing the fuel pump in a 2003 Maurader. (Man, did I want that car for my build!) I told you I was doing this on the cheap!
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7991LXnSHO

Now I want a 10 year badge
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Wow! It looks like cutting the CV was a bigger loss than the Mustang. Once the suspension is tuned in, it should be a contender.
Which are you titling it as? Do you have to go with a custom or specialty vehicle pink slip in your state?
 

Geofordman

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Aug 29, 2020
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Red Deer, Alberta
Yes the Vic was a good car! I plan on registering it on the Mustang vin. If the powers that be make me, I can register it as a custom, but at added expense and hassle. I had actually turned the suspension pretty well as a Crown Vic and it works pretty good now that its lighter! I'm actually spending more time tuning the ECU. I find the abilities of the car on the track to outweigh the abilities of the driver! Lol
 

Edbert

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I'm happy seeing any part of that old horse on the road (or track), it appears to have been put to pasture many moons ago. A perfect "donor" for a project like this.


Keep us updated!
 
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7991LXnSHO

Now I want a 10 year badge
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And too many Crown Vics/Marquis are sent to pasture too early. I doubt there will be many combinations like this due to wheel track width and the skill involved. But the widened fenders look right for a race car.
If it gets scaled or weighed when wrapped up (as much as a project car ever is), that would be an interesting stat.
I'm happy seeing any part of that old horse on the road (or track), it appears to have been put to pasture many moons ago. A perfect "donor" for a project like this.


Keep us updated!
 

2Blue2

will be trying this sex one when I can find it
Mar 5, 2019
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Saved another one!

Good job, I'm digging it. Love me A MUSTANG MISH MASH!
 
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Geofordman

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Aug 29, 2020
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The point of this build, if I must have one, is that, there is a way to rescue the too far gone Mustangs and Cougars, using another under appreciated car and a pile of work but not a lot of dollars! This hobby is filled with $100,000 builds and thats great if you can afford it, but I wanted to prove there is still a chance to build a $10,000 cool car. As I will show, you don't have to build the crazy flares I did to make this work. The flares on my car are my own bit of "art", some flares from the likes of Maier Racing can easily be adapted to a project like this giving it a much less controversial look.
 

Geofordman

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Aug 29, 2020
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Red Deer, Alberta
And so on with the show! I removed the entire front clip from the firewall leaving the hood hinges in place, that didn't work! The drivers side hinge and the brake booster want to occupy the exact same place, so I removed the hinges. I then removed the complete floor from the trunk to the firewall and then removed the firewall leaving only a small lip to weld to around the perimeter. Here's a secret: cut the floor flush with side of the rockers when removing it, look closely at the inside edge of the rockers and you will see some tiny slots. These slots are the cut line on the rocker as the rocker will sit on the CV floor here and if you remove any more of the rocker major conflicts arise. Like the throttle body sticking through the hood! Also I removed all of the Mustang rockers, but you don't have to! Measure the CV floor with its rocker panels removed and you can figure out how much of the inner portion of the Mustang rocker needs to be trimmed. A small vertical filler panel will fill the gap between the CV floor and whats left of the Mustang rockers. This will give you a stock appearing lower body, meaning all you will need is some simple flares for the wheels, not the elaborate ones like I built. Most Mustangs have rotten quarter panels so you might as well cut out all of inner and outer wheelhouses as you will use the CV inners and have to build out to the Mustangs new flares. There is some structure above the Mustang wheelhouses that require intricate cutting to remove and you will probably want to try to weld it back onto the new wheelhouse, so be careful here. You can see in the pics where the Mustang and CV rear package tray meet, keep in mind I lowered mine too much and trimming as you go is easy here. I left the dash in place on the Mustang but you should remove the steering column. This is the time to fix any cowl rust! Also there is some interference with the brake booster and the lower cowl near the vent hole so make yourself some room while repairing any rust here. Bash the cowl up about 1 1/2 inches above the brake pedal.
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2Blue2

will be trying this sex one when I can find it
Mar 5, 2019
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Heck Yeah!
More pictures of this build please!
 

Geofordman

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Aug 29, 2020
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Red Deer, Alberta
Now we're at the scary part! This is the part no one will talk about, electronics! The Crown Vics I have dealt with all use the linear style canbus system. This is important because that means you can remove modules and wires and the rest of the system can still communicate and thus function. The best way for any electrical beginners is to remove one system at a time and try starting the engine. A P71 car does not have PATS, Ford's anti theft programming, so they are easy. If you're doing a luxury car like a Marquis, you're gonna have to keep the steering column until you can get PATS turned off via your favorite tuner guy. That's also a good time to delete egr and the cats if thats legal in your state or province. Remove the entire dash and HVAC system. Everything unplugs. Pull the wiring out of the dash while its on the floor and mark each plug as you disassemble each item so you know what you're cutting out. You will probably want things like the pedal moving switch and OD cancel wires later. I removed the BCM and Airbag modules and all their assorted wiring. I kept the fuel pump module and the variable steering module as well as the gauges. Run the part numbers of the modules on the net to find out what they do. Remember when test firing the car that the inertia safety switch is in the trunk and may have got dropped, turning it off. Umm... that happened to a friend, not me! Nudge nudge! I left any wires that went to the BCM long so I could attach whatever I needed to somewhere else, like the turn signal wires would now go to the Mustang steering column, etc. If you can find a factory wiring book for your car on the web, it will save a lot of grief! I spent about 3 long days just opening harnesses and stripping wires. By the time you're done the complete interior will be stripped from the car. If you still want it drivable put the drivers seat in and build a bracket from under the windshield that holds the column up. Expect a ball of discarded wires about 2 ft in diameter and some serious questions as to what those poor Mexican workers were thinking when they layed out the harnesses!