I feel like I'm driving on koosh balls.

Just had Killer Queen’s tires replaced with brand new Blizzaks thanks to the discount this month. Also had the tie rods swapped out as part of my phased plan to replace the car’s entire suspension.

Driver side tie rods, Moog brand.
Passenger side tie rods, Moog brand.

The car is less reactive to the road conditions, whereas on the old Firehawk GT Pursuits, sometimes the car would jerk the steering wheel when I hit an expansion joint on the bridge. Oof. Thanks for aggravating my carpal tunnel syndrome, Killer Queen.

The work on the Queen took longer than expected, from 10AM to about 4PM due to a busted cuff for the rubber accordion sleeve on the passenger side tie rods. After all was done, they tossed the three good tires I had (the fourth had been repaired for a puncture during police service), with one of the tires on a wheel I provided to serve as a spare for the winter.

As an aside, while the Queen was being serviced, I visited O’Reilly’s for some equipment. A torx wrench set, torque wrench up to 150 ft/lbs, and a lugnut socket (21mm).

After I got my car, I tossed the unmounted pair of tires into storage, then went to the Lynnwood Pick & Pull to grab some parts. A friend from the Crown Vic group I’m in requested that I get a pedal position sensor from the ‘08 CVPI that was in the lot. Throttle by Wire was implemented in 2005, the transition year between the early 2nd-gen CVPI and the later models.


With that matter done, I pursued what I needed. A replacement coat hangar hook for the Queen and a spare tire holder. A J-hook with a nut and large metal washer. I fetched the hangar hook without issue, but a lot of the Panther cars had their trunks closed, and without battery power to actuate the electric lock, I couldn’t open them.


A junkyard diver came to me for help, and asked me to provide my socket wrench set to help pull a brake caliper from an old 90's Ford Taurus. I obliged, and as he had his right hand in a brace, I also put my weight into it. After we got the brake caliper off, I packed up and got ready to head out when I decided to check the Ford section again.

I found that there was a 2000 Grand Marquis next to the CVPI that I had salvaged the sensor and coat hook from, and its trunk was open. Inside, there were hubcaps and emblems, and a full size spare tire sitting in the trunk well. Behind the spare tire was the J-hook spare holder. About six inches in length, I figured it was my best bet and took it.


Paid about $22 for the whole lot.

So yeah, total expenses for the day have come out to over $1200, because I also stopped by at the Costco gas station to top up my tank — I’m going out to Eagle Rock north of Skykomish. AestheticsInMotion suggested the forest roads there for some fun driving, so I’ll be doing that — please look forward to my crappy dashcam footage of it.

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