Documented in Hot Rod Mag-
We’ve known the Mercury Marauder has been slated for production since shortly after it appeared at the LA Auto Show in 1999, and we recently revealed the real thing (’03 Mercury Marauder) . Rear-drive, room for four adults, and a heady blend of macho muscle and coddling comfort made a winning recipe. Sound familiar? It worked for the Impala SS, which was cruelly ripped from production before the world was ready to let it go five long years ago now. Marauder steps in to fill the yawning void and will do so with a 300hp punch late next spring.
But some enterprising souls beat the factory to the punch. One is Jay Groendyke, as seen on Power Tour 2000 with his Police Interceptor ’99 Crown Vic that’s stuffed full of Ford Triton V-10. Freaky? You bet. It’s also Jay’s daily driver, and a bit of sleeper with OE visuals—save for the black-powdercoated American Eagle Series 212 rims and BFGoodrich 255/50R17 tires.
The underhood shenanigans set it apart, however. Ten cylinders, no wall-stretchers needed. The 6.8L V-10, cribbed from a rear-ended Ford F-350 Super Duty pickup, is rated at 310 hp and 425 lb-ft of torque stock. Good enough to haul around 1-ton trucks, chassis-cabs, and seriously equipped Econolines, but none too rapidly. However, the Crown Vic is a relative lightweight.
Physically fitting the block in the car was the least of the swap problems. It looks like a factory operation in there. The stock 4.6L engine mounts bolted to the V-10 but had to be located 1-½ inches forward in the chassis. The upper intake and throttle body were turned around 180 degrees to drink in cool, high-pressure air from the base of the windshield; the throttle body mount was thinned a couple of inches to aid clearance, and the hood was modified to force this cool air in, like cowl induction except the hood remains flat. The tranny hump had to be raised 1-½ inches to clear the heavy-duty 4R100 four-speed automatic, and the tranny mount was custom-fit as well. Be Cool custom-built a radiator/twin-electric-fan package to fit that tight spot; custom hoses had to be created as well.
As with most modern engine swaps, it’s the electronics that make things difficult: The car and truck wiring harnesses had to be merged in order to keep all of the electrical features working. One of the biggest hurdles was actually getting a speed signal to the computer and dash. The Crown Vic originally used an input from the rear of the transmission that went directly into the computer. Now a ring (located outboard on the right rear caliper and rotor) and sensor (attached to the caliper mount) send a signal up to an ABS module (purchased over-the-counter at a Ford dealer), which is then sent into the dash. At the time of photography, the V-10 Vic was computer-restricted to 85 mph; some electronic diddling has since rectified this heinous limitation. Exhaust consists of stock 6.8L manifolds, stock 4.6L cats, and Impala SS mufflers and resonators.
Since the car was finished (barely in time for Power Tour 2000), Jay has put more than 20,000 miles on it. The only thing that makes him sad is that “no one wants to race me; everyone thinks I’m a cop looking to bust them.” He also swears it’s at least as much fun as his 621ci supercharged SS.