Mike
Mike SuperDork
10/17/19 1:19 a.m.

Technically, not Explorer; Ford Police Interceptor Utility.

This dumb plan has been running through my head for a minute. Please enable, un-enable, or just tell me I'm stupid.

I've been looking at old cop Explorers for a while. Specifically, the 3.5 Ecoboost models.

Buy one. Strip out any remaining cop stuff. Smooth out and/or Bondo over any hole/dents in the body. Wrap in Nardo Grey. Paint chrome center caps black. Lower somehow approx 2". Wheel spacers approx 1". Receiver hitch. Maybe some low dollar bolt ons.

I should then have a 360 hp AWD SUV that doesn't look too "cop." It should be capable in any on-the-road conditions, should have tons of space for Ikea trips or dog hauling. The hitch enables bike rack or cargo carrier. It should be perfectly serviceable as a four season daily appliance with a little fun. It should also be low enough to meet the SCCA solo stability rule. I spent a while trying to class it, and I think it's ST-something or CAM, though I'm not sure. 

Yes, I should start with a Police Interceptor Sedan, or even a Caprice. No, I'm not as interested for some reason.

 

STM317
STM317 UltraDork
10/17/19 3:10 a.m.

H&R sells lowering springs that will drop them 1.6" in front and 2.3" in rear, but I don't know if the PI is lowered a bit from the factory (like the Tahoe police package is) or not, and that may affect how much drop you'd get from those springs.

CAM is RWD only, so it wouldn't fly there

Actually, what about doing a Tahoe PPV instead? It would be RWD, LS powered, and potentially a bit more capable (towing and cargo capacity) out of the box. You'd get a larger aftermarket (for suspension and drivetrain) along with avoiding any worries about long term reliability or maintenance of direct injection and 2 turbos. And you could skip the headaches that come with wrenching on a transverse V6, AWD layout.

alfadriver
alfadriver MegaDork
10/17/19 6:20 a.m.

So why a Police Interceptor vs. a regular one?  

If the answer is cost- then why not a Flex or Lincoln MKT?  

Not sure if a EB PI would be cheaper or not than the MKT....

sleepyhead the buffalo
sleepyhead the buffalo Mod Squad
10/17/19 6:40 a.m.
alfadriver said:

So why a Police Interceptor vs. a regular one?  

If the answer is cost- then why not a Flex or Lincoln MKT?  

Not sure if a EB PI would be cheaper or not than the MKT....

went looking after this popped up, and I was seeing 125kmi ex-cop Explorers ~2013 under $10k from used dealers.  A couple govdeals auctions had bids up to $6k, others were $3k with time left.

Explorer Sport looks closest to the PIU?  If so, they were more like $20k

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ PowerDork
10/17/19 6:45 a.m.

I don't believe the Interceptors are lowered from the factory- the primary differences are going to be vinyl floors, and some additional bracing in the rear cargo area to help them pass the insane 75mph rear crash test that Ford puts them through.

As far as police stuff to sell, lightbars seem to be the only thing really worth much after the fact- consoles, push bars, etc. don't have a ton of secondhand value, although somebody probably will buy them if you stick them on eBay.

Mike
Mike SuperDork
10/17/19 7:18 a.m.
sleepyhead the buffalo said:
alfadriver said:

So why a Police Interceptor vs. a regular one?  

If the answer is cost- then why not a Flex or Lincoln MKT?  

Not sure if a EB PI would be cheaper or not than the MKT....

went looking after this popped up, and I was seeing 125kmi ex-cop Explorers ~2013 under $10k from used dealers.  A couple govdeals auctions had bids up to $6k, others were $3k with time left.

Explorer Sport looks closest to the PIU?  If so, they were more like $20k

That's about 90% of the reason. I like the minimal interior too.

Mike
Mike SuperDork
10/17/19 7:24 a.m.
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ said:

I don't believe the Interceptors are lowered from the factory- the primary differences are going to be vinyl floors, and some additional bracing in the rear cargo area to help them pass the insane 75mph rear crash test that Ford puts them through.

As far as police stuff to sell, lightbars seem to be the only thing really worth much after the fact- consoles, push bars, etc. don't have a ton of secondhand value, although somebody probably will buy them if you stick them on eBay.

The one I'm looking at (pictured above) has some empty bracketry left behind and a cargo area divider. Everything else seems to be gone, and the dealer puts a 3rd party cupholder/organizer center console on the mounting rail. A few years ago, I wouldn't have been above keeping the divider and putting a locking toolbox in there, but I'm not really needing that anymore, and would much rather be able to flip the seats and have an open space.

Edit: I think I've read somewhere that Interceptor height was set considering the possible need to drive over curbs and parking blocks.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ PowerDork
10/17/19 7:31 a.m.

In reply to Mike :

Another thing to watch out for will be holes through the floor- lots of installers just lag bolt stuff right through whatever happens to be there, and some of these holes can be in places that will rust or let exhaust into the cabin.  That one looks pretty nice, though.

Mike
Mike SuperDork
10/17/19 7:35 a.m.
STM317 said:

H&R sells lowering springs that will drop them 1.6" in front and 2.3" in rear, but I don't know if the PI is lowered a bit from the factory (like the Tahoe police package is) or not, and that may affect how much drop you'd get from those springs.

CAM is RWD only, so it wouldn't fly there

Actually, what about doing a Tahoe PPV instead? It would be RWD, LS powered, and potentially a bit more capable (towing and cargo capacity) out of the box. You'd get a larger aftermarket (for suspension and drivetrain) along with avoiding any worries about long term reliability or maintenance of direct injection and 2 turbos. And you could skip the headaches that come with wrenching on a transverse V6, AWD layout.

Tahoe does have some practical advantages, and a wider aftermarket. I've looked at the 2wd and 4wd Tahoes, but you make a really good point.

RX8driver
RX8driver Reader
10/17/19 8:23 a.m.

If you're looking to do motorsports type things with it, maybe a Taurus SHO based interceptor would be a better fit? With roof racks and/or a car top carrier it'll be able to haul lots of stuff, while presumably getting better mileage and being faster due to less weight down lower.

dculberson
dculberson MegaDork
10/17/19 8:38 a.m.

The 4wd Tahoes are all really tall; they don't sell a "pursuit" version because of that. The 2WD police Tahoes are lowered and pretty slick looking, but they're a full second and a half slower to 60 than the Explorer. (Explorer ~6.4 seconds, Tahoe ~7.9 seconds.)

Vigo
Vigo MegaDork
10/17/19 9:27 a.m.

I'm not against this idea but it's becoming pretty common to see early Cayenne Turbos around ~8k. Those are actual fast and actually have nice interiors. Depends how scared you are of the mechanicals or repair costs, i guess. You can also get Cayenne S's cheaper than that but they're  slower than ecoboost explorers in the low speed ranges. Pretty close at higher speeds. I have one of those and it's been fine by my standards in both difficulty and cost to keep up. But, I am an ASE Master Tech with 11 linear feet of Matco toolboxes. But... my girlfriend's not, and she did the valve cover gaskets. So i dunno. laugh

yupididit
yupididit UberDork
10/17/19 9:37 a.m.
Vigo said:

I'm not against this idea but it's becoming pretty common to see early Cayenne Turbos around ~8k. Those are actual fast and actually have nice interiors. Depends how scared you are of the mechanicals or repair costs, i guess. You can also get Cayenne S's cheaper than that but they're  slower than ecoboost explorers in the low speed ranges. Pretty close at higher speeds. I have one of those and it's been fine by my standards in both difficulty and cost to keep up. But, I am an ASE Master Tech with 11 linear feet of Matco toolboxes. But... my girlfriend's not, and she did the valve cover gaskets. So i dunno. laugh

I wonder how much power you gain from a tune on the early cayenne turbo vs the 3.5 EcoBoost explorer. And how long they last post tune.

 

Not fair, your gf is a good mechanic and it's her car so she's a stakeholder in those vcg wink

NickD
NickD PowerDork
10/17/19 9:41 a.m.

I was talking to a Ford tech I'm friends with about Taurus SHOs and reliability, citing that the police use PI Taurus with the EcoBoost 3.5. His big warning was that the police EB 3.5s usually have a ton of blowby and oil usage from all the extended idling, and that wiped-out turbos on the police vehicles are pretty frequent. So beware on that front.

nimblemotorsports
nimblemotorsports Reader
10/17/19 12:17 p.m.

I like these explorers and almost bought one, but I suggest you look at a better (lighter, lower)  Volvo V50 T5 wagon if you need cargo space.

Vigo
Vigo MegaDork
10/17/19 12:29 p.m.

For that matter, if you want a twin turbocharged 6 cyl awd tall wagon based on a Volvo... you could buy a twin turbocharged 6 cyl awd tall wagon Volvo!  XC70 T6 or V70 T6 from 2008-up have similar acceleration to EB explorer (better, actually) and around that ~$8k number as well. I think they even use more or less the same transmission. I have a beater 08 S80 non turbo i haven't ever spent the time to fix but i've had it running enough to drive it down the street and the interior is a good place to be. 

 

Mike
Mike SuperDork
10/18/19 8:47 a.m.
NickD said:

I was talking to a Ford tech I'm friends with about Taurus SHOs and reliability, citing that the police use PI Taurus with the EcoBoost 3.5. His big warning was that the police EB 3.5s usually have a ton of blowby and oil usage from all the extended idling, and that wiped-out turbos on the police vehicles are pretty frequent. So beware on that front.

Well, that's scary. Is there a good tell for this in a test drive context? The 3.7 seems less interesting to me.

I don't think I've seen an hour meter photographed on a PIU listing. On CVPIs where I have an hour and odo photo most seem to add up to about 12-18 MPH. Found a Crown Vic that added up to something like 130mph... Guessing engine replacement - does that reset the meter? None of this sounds like crazy idle times intuitively, based on my car's average speed meter. I need to do some math, since my mathematical intuition sucks.

Mike
Mike SuperDork
10/18/19 8:57 a.m.
Vigo said:

For that matter, if you want a twin turbocharged 6 cyl awd tall wagon based on a Volvo... you could buy a twin turbocharged 6 cyl awd tall wagon Volvo!  XC70 T6 or V70 T6 from 2008-up have similar acceleration to EB explorer (better, actually) and around that ~$8k number as well. I think they even use more or less the same transmission. I have a beater 08 S80 non turbo i haven't ever spent the time to fix but i've had it running enough to drive it down the street and the interior is a good place to be. 

 

 

Pro: My wife loves these, and Volvos in general. She almost never points out cars, and XC70 and C30 are on the shortlist. That helps. I love Volvo Rebel Blue.

Con: I'm afraid of the reliability. Mentally, I group Volvo with Jaguar/Land Rover.

Mike
Mike SuperDork
10/18/19 8:59 a.m.
Vigo said:

I'm not against this idea but it's becoming pretty common to see early Cayenne Turbos around ~8k. Those are actual fast and actually have nice interiors. Depends how scared you are of the mechanicals or repair costs, i guess. You can also get Cayenne S's cheaper than that but they're  slower than ecoboost explorers in the low speed ranges. Pretty close at higher speeds. I have one of those and it's been fine by my standards in both difficulty and cost to keep up. But, I am an ASE Master Tech with 11 linear feet of Matco toolboxes. But... my girlfriend's not, and she did the valve cover gaskets. So i dunno. laugh

My understanding is that Cayennes are money pits prior to around 2009. TFL Auto on YouTube has an old VW Toureg as a project/long termer, and they seem happy.

Vigo
Vigo MegaDork
10/18/19 10:11 a.m.

My understanding is that Cayennes are money pits prior to around 2009. TFL Auto on YouTube has an old VW Toureg as a project/long termer, and they seem happy.

Personally im inclined to trust a VW with less VW parts on it over a VW with more VW parts on it, but maybe it's splitting hairs. Ours has been ok so far. I've done some bushings, hatch struts and hood strut, valve cover gaskets, spark plugs,  and about to do an alternator (this is at 160k). The headliner is starting to fall which is super annoying but whatever, it's almost 15 y/o. I also need to unclog the sunroof drains, and the high beam switch is flaky. If you were having them worked on by a Porsche dealer it would be outrageous. For a DIY'er it seems pretty normal for anything european, which is definitely more than my Dodges but nowhere near the cost of paying a shop to do anything to anything.

Tom_Spangler
Tom_Spangler PowerDork
10/18/19 10:15 a.m.
NickD said:

I was talking to a Ford tech I'm friends with about Taurus SHOs and reliability, citing that the police use PI Taurus with the EcoBoost 3.5. His big warning was that the police EB 3.5s usually have a ton of blowby and oil usage from all the extended idling, and that wiped-out turbos on the police vehicles are pretty frequent. So beware on that front.

Yet another reason I don't get the fascination with old police cars. These things get the absolute E36 M3 beat out of them, their interiors are beyond basic and have been exposed to every human and non-human fluid you can imagine, they've been hacked up every which way to install equipment that's since been removed, and they don't perform any better than their civilian counterparts. The whole Elwood Blues "cop motor, cop tires, cop shocks" thing is a myth. I get that you can pick them up cheap sometimes, but you can do that with a lot of cars at auction that haven't been subjected to this kind of treatment.

A 401 CJ
A 401 CJ Dork
10/18/19 8:21 p.m.

I’ll fess up.  Got busted by one today.  LEO turned out to be a pretty decent guy (reduced 93 to 74 in a 70).  I got to talking to him.  Asked him where he’d clocked me.  Said he was going the other way and crossed the median.  Not an easy thing to do as much traffic as is on that road.  I 79 just south of Morgantown.  He told me he was good at it as he’d been practicing 20 years.  Then as we pulled out, he went no more than a quarter mile up the road and literally hit the median so hard I was sure he had broken a tire bead.  Went airborne briefly.  Spun around and nabbed his next victim.  I think he might have been showing off a bit.

After seeing that, I’m not so sure I still want an ex police vehicle.

Our Preferred Partners
Hlb7YgEKDdyMXMzwYYqov2IZamYIN75ohWgYDoI7D8pDXijxCIy5da1FL5UUl4QT