1987 Ford Crown Victoria LX 5.0 from North America


Ford's finest!


Transmission failed at 30,000 miles due to dry seals from sitting for 13 years. Otherwise no repairs at all.

General Comments:

I love this car, fast fun and it tows. I lowered it 2 inches and put twenty inch dayton wire wheels on it last year. Big pimpin'

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 26th June, 2005

27th Jun 2005, 17:42

It is a shame that all of these old American sedans are being ruined by people. It is totally laughable to see these late 80s full size sedans with $100 paint jobs, $2000 worth of 26 inch rims and lousy stereos that rattle the trunk of the car. All placed on a car they paid $500 for.

1987 Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor 351windsor 5.8 liters from North America


My Super Machine that has plenty of power


Blew an intake gasket at 262,000 mile, not a big deal only cost $15.oo to fix.

Blew a valve cover gasket after replacing it while tuning up. (Operator Error)

General Comments:

Car runs good.

My father owned an '86 so I bought the '87. He went out and bought a '94, now I'm looking at a '96.

My dad had and '86

My twin brother and I had '87s

It's a family thing I guess.

Very comfortable car, Built very reliable. Strong car that never dies.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 11th December, 2004

1987 Ford Crown Victoria 5.0 from North America


Eight cylinders, four doors, and two and a half tons of rear wheel drive American power


When I got the car, it had a leaking water pump, but it only cost about 60 dollars to replace.

Other than that, every maintenence item and all the fluids have been replaced or changed, and nothing more.

General Comments:

The car has a lot of power for being all stock and weighing 5375 lbs.

It has a little bit of body roll and understeer, but nothing too bad.

Looks factory new still, after I detailed it out.

Gets decent gas mileage, for it's size and engine.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 5th December, 2004

21st Aug 2011, 17:52

5375 pounds? Maybe fully loaded with 4 passengers.. Crown Vics of this era only weigh 3800-4200 pounds max.

I had a base model with rust weight reductions that only weighed 300 pounds more than a fox body Mustang.

22nd Aug 2011, 17:04

Just think about how fast it would have been if you had let it keep rusting until it weighed about the same as a Pinto.

4th Sep 2011, 01:27

I thought about it, since the fully boxed frame didn't have a speck of rust on it.

1987 Ford Crown Victoria ltd 5.0 from North America


I think these cars are great cars, but have this kind of problem quite often


The front doors do not lock.

The Glove box latch broke.

Replaced power steering hose.

Sometimes the car dies suddenly and then is unpredictable when it will start again.

General Comments:

I bought the car from my grandmother. She loved her Crown Victoria and kept very good care of this car.

I had the car for one week and started to experience trouble. The car would drive down the road and the motor would quit running. Then the car would not restart. It was very unpredictable.

I took the car to a mechanic. The mechanic replaced the fuel pump. That did not help. Then the mechanic replaced the electronic ignition module. This did not fix the problem either. So I asked the mechanic for my my money back and was fortunate to get a refund for his work The car still has this problem. I have been told it may be the catalytic converter.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 2nd December, 2004

31st Dec 2004, 15:05

Hello, I have the same model and year and I'm experiencing the exact same problem. My mechanic replaced the distributor and some computer modules, neither of which fixed the problem. This car is really making my life difficult. I was hoping to find emails with the comments, because I wanted to know of the original poster of this ever got the problem fixed. If anyone can help me/us with this car please email me spookyboy45@hotmail.com

Thank you!

1987 Ford Crown Victoria Ford 302 (5.0L)inch V8, electronic fuel injection, from North America


Peppy, safe, and comfortable, but mine was unreliable


This was my first car and my father was in a hurry to get me on the road (so he wouldn't have to pick me up anymore), and therefore a classic mistake of car-buyers, buying it without a through inspection. Consequently, a lot went wrong with it. This was not helped by (for a while) a mechanic who apparently didn't do certain things he said he had done. This was later rectified by getting a good mechanic.

Replaced brakes, radiator, and transmission mount between 158,000 and 165,000 miles.

Replaced muffler twice.

Replaced fuel-filter twice.

Innumerable oil leaks from front and rear gaskets and from timing area.

Power steering leak.

Replaced idler arm at 183,000.

Replaced air conditioner hose (not compressor, which worked fine)

Replaced alternator at 184,000.

Rear brake cylinder/drum ran out of fluid at 188,000.

Replaced coolant temp sensor, MAP sensor, and both oxygen sensors between 190,000 and 191,700.

Replaced swaybars at 191,000.

Required a major tune-up overhaul in which all plugs, distributor, wires replaced by honest mechanic thanks to aforementioned crooked mechanic's failure to tune-up car when it was brought in for tune-ups.

Basically, the car was in for something every other month, except for one eight month stretch or so.

General Comments:

I drove this car from the end of my junior year in high school to between my junior and senior years in college.

For a large, rear-wheel drive sedan that weighs in at about 3800 lbs, the car was surprisingly agile. This was probably helped because I had the dual exhaust towing package that raised horsepower to 170. I'm not a racer by any means, but it was never a challenge to charge onto the highway even in the heaviest of traffic with the least courteous drivers around. The engine also ran very smoothly and quietly. The car's ride was very soft and gliding, road noise was minimal, but there was wind noise: it was the classic big-car ride that all American cars used to produce before compacts and "sport suspensions" came along.

On the exterior, the car was, as typical of the 80s, a square shape. Lots of chrome and a sort of art-deco "crown" hood ornament (for Crown Victoria, obviously). Vertical, ribbed taillights with the reverse light at the bottom, quad headlamps with a long rectangular turn/parking light underneath, egg crate grill, spring loaded hood. Mine was originally two-tone blue, but I had it painted a medium blue sort of like those GTOs from the 60s.

Gas mileage ranged from about 13-16 around town to 22 on the highway. Cruising range: Southeast CT (New London) down 95 to Delaware Border on one tank, going 65 in cruise control.

Very comfortable accommodations, even for 3 in front, especially because my Crown Vic had the?rare? full bench in the front with no split. Excellent air-conditioner and heater, clear controls, displays. The idiot lights were a bit annoying because they were so few... there were only 2, one for the battery and one for "the engine"...which could mean low oil pressure or high temperature, but usually did not go on until a) car had next to no oil or b) car was seconds from overheating. Seat-belts developed too much slack, constantly tugging on them to retract and tighten. The trunk may well have been the car's best feature. It held nearly the entire contents of my college dorm room except the TV and bookcase. My Vic had manual windows (chrome handles) and door locks so there was never a problem with these failing.

You can't expect a car that's this old with this many miles to be incredibly reliable unless you've thoroughly inspected it. I knew nothing about that when I was 16. In looking for one, my dad probably should've been much more careful, as we were this year when shopping for car #2. However, there were some elements of the car that were bad no matter the age:

The computer, for example. I learned from my mechanic that Ford computers of this vintage do not give problem codes with the same degree of specificity that their GM and Chrysler counterparts do. So, if, as happened to me, the MAP sensor is shot, the computer will not say to the mechanic "the MAP sensor is shot" but rather "there is a problem with the fuel injection system". This non-specificity meant that mechanics had to spend a long time with trial and error tests to isolate problems. Also problematic was the placement of many parts on the car, making it difficult for the layman and even the mechanics in some cases to service.

On a positive note, however, the safety of the car was clearly far above par. Less than a year into having a driver's license, I foolishly did not look hard enough before taking a left turn and was struck right between the doors by a 2000 Accord at 40 mph. While the airbag of the Accord failed to inflate and its unfortunate driver was sent to the hospital, I was completely unscathed. It almost seemed as if I'd heard the crash rather than felt it. I hopped right out and never had any ill effects afterward. I had the car repaired and since then have been a firm believer that big old full-size sedans are safer than anything else on the road.

In the final analysis, perhaps a different 1987 Ford LTD Crown Victoria would have given me fewer maintenance problems. However, knowing that the computer is so unhelpful in declaring problems to mechanics, and knowing how hard the engine is to service as well as the many leaks that formed in it, I would probably not by another 1980s Crown Victoria/Grand Marquis or even Town Car since they're all the same platform. To replace my Crown Vic I bought a 1987 Cadillac Brougham with 69,000 original miles. The two minor repairs I've had on that have been easily diagnosed because the engine is more accessible than Ford's and the computer says exactly what's wrong to the mechanic. If you want a big car from the 1980s, I would go with one of the GMs... a Chevy Caprice, Pontiac Parisienne, pre 1985 Buick LeSabre, pre 1985 Olds 98 and 88, or a Cadillac Brougham. Some of these, including the Caddy, aren't quite as peppy with the gas pedal as the Fords, but I'd rather have something that's easy to service than have to go on fishing expeditions for broken sensors and leaks.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 27th July, 2004

31st Dec 2004, 15:10

I have a 1987 Crown Victoria as well, and it's dying on me randomly. Some days will run fine, next will die at a stop light and never restart. I just wanted to know if you ever got the problem fixed, or if anyone can help me with what the problem might be. One of the tow truck driver who towed the beast, said that he had a similar year and a similar problem. It turned out to be a $20.00 module that would go out semi often. He bought a few and kept them in the car. He looked under my 1987's hood and didn't see it however. If anyone can help, please email me.


11th Mar 2005, 23:11

Looks like its time to by a new car huh spookyboy.

16th Apr 2006, 17:01

I had an 87 Crown Vic from 1996 to 2000 that was just totally bizarre (it was MY first car too, purchased by my dad from an auction). It was hard to find a mechanic that would fix it and it never ran 100%.

The car's main selling point WAS the trunk. You're right... you could have fit half of Oklahoma in it. But, my car didn't have the speed yours did, mine was terminally sluggish and drove like an overgrown Geo Metro at times.

8th Sep 2006, 15:49

I have a 1987 LTD Crown Victoria and I have only had to replace my brakes.

2nd Mar 2011, 13:05

The cause of the periodic stalling at lights and not being able to restart is a dying crankshaft position (CP) sensor. It's an inexpensive part to buy, but it is located behind the fan pulley, making it a bit of a pain to replace.

12th Jun 2011, 15:52

Wow! What a great detailed review! Thank you very much.