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Posted: 8/26/2004 7:13:26 PM EST
I work for a Department with about 30 sworn officers, we each have a "take home" car. Currently we all have Crown Vics, mine being the oldest, a 96 with 89000 on it. I am up for a new car within the next year. I am in the process of collecting information from any Department that uses new 4x4 Explorers(00-up) for Patrol Vehicles.

Does any of your Departments use Ford Explorers? If so, how have they held up? Any major problems compared to the maintenance of a Crown Vic?

We need a another 4x4 for our Department, we currently use a 80's Military Surplus Blazer, camo and all for responding to emergency calls only when it snows more than a few inches in the winter. It looks horrible!!! Our Department had an Explorer back in the early 90's, but according to the guys that have been around since then, it did not hold up very well, thats why Chief has not purchased another.

Any info would be greatly appreciated!!!!
Link Posted: 8/26/2004 7:21:30 PM EST
Not a cop here, but I reccomend you look into a full size SUV like a Tahoe or Expedition. I think these hold up better because they use half ton parts instead of car/rnager/S10 parts. Any SUV you buy (unless you can talk the Chief into an X5 or Mercedes M) is going to have issues, most likely. At least now that demand and supply have leveled SUVs are higher quality than they were when everybody just had to have one.
Link Posted: 8/26/2004 8:13:25 PM EST
I've rented an Explorere or two for work, big thumbs down.

I can tell you this, the local Border Patrol uses Dodge 3/4 pickups, and they are pretty happy with them. No one is harder on a ride than the Border Patrol, I can guarantee you that!

Before that, they had Tahoe's, which reportedly help up pretty good, but the 1/2 frame just did'nt cut it in the long run.

Way back, they had Expeditions, and I can't find someone who drove one to recommend them. Apparently they suck.

I'f I had my way, i'd have a 4 door Chevy 4wd Pickup for patrol.....
Link Posted: 8/26/2004 8:32:56 PM EST
I agree that a Full size pick-up would be ideal. However my Chief is completely against any non-Ford product. Guys have tried to get him to buy Impalas, Intrepeds(sp?) etc. with no luck. I think he has a friend at the dealership he is loyal to.

My ideal patrol vehicle would be a New Jeep Wrangler Unlimited.....but it would be a cold day in hell before that was approved!!!

The Sheriff's Office in our county uses Explorer's as vehicles for their detectives, and a neighboring muny has just purchased one for marked patrol. I am just tired of trying to answer calls in the snow with a Crown Vic. When it snows, our policy is to answer emergency calls only, i.e. domstic violence, shooting stabbing, etc. We won't even work 10-50's, we make the Highway Patrol do it,or tell them to switch info and be gone.

Don't get me wrong, the Crown Vics do O.K. in the snow, with a little weight in the trunk and some decent tires, there just not a 4x4.

Link Posted: 8/26/2004 8:45:51 PM EST
Whats wrong with a Ford full size pickup? Hell, until you get to the 1/2 ton class Ford and Chevy are six of one, a half dozen of the other. With trucks, Ford takes the advantage at 1/2 ton and the distance grows as the truck gets bigger.
Link Posted: 8/26/2004 8:53:30 PM EST
There is nothing wrong with a Ford fullsize...........but, IMO trucks are WAY overpriced!!!!

I wasn't considering anything fullsize, truck or SUV, due to the fact that if the sticker is double that of a Vic, I'm sure the Chief would deep six the plan......as you know the main concern on every police administrators mind is BUDGET BUDGET BUDGET!!!!
Link Posted: 8/26/2004 10:08:18 PM EST
Our dept has 2, both 2002's. one has 146,000 miles and the other has 155,000 miles. Both work quite well, and are still in decent shape. Overall, they seem quite durable.
Link Posted: 8/26/2004 11:07:43 PM EST

Way back, they had Expeditions, and I can't find someone who drove one to recommend them. Apparently they suck.


Did you ever see what they looked like when they came back from a night on the "X"?
The frames would bend, doors were sprung, looked like a refugee from a demolition derby.
Hell, one of the old saying was: Drive it like you stole it!
Link Posted: 8/27/2004 4:21:20 AM EST
[Last Edit: 8/27/2004 4:27:13 AM EST by Aim4MyHead]
we have two '03 explorers on the road with some of our rual deputies. I haven't heard of anything that isn't typical for a patrol car. Never heard them bitch and moan about them. The FHP has a few explorers for their K-9s as well. They seem to be holding up well for a ford

J
Link Posted: 8/27/2004 4:43:46 AM EST
Ours hold up just fine, the 4x4 is a big advantage going into the brush. The park guys use them extensively. (Snow just does not happen here) They have stood up MUCH better than the Cherokees. Some have winches, though I don't think they've ever been used.
We also have Expeditions, which work just fine, but none are 4x4.

The only problems I see are:

They're not rated for pursuits.

The rule of police vehicles applies. Equipment and pure crap will fill the thing to the roof. Everything will end up in your truck because OTHER guys don't want to carry it.

MDT and radio brackets had to be made by the welding shop, I'm not sure if that's because they just are not availble, or becasue the city is lazy and cheap.

You will find that an 4x4 Explorer is going to be fairly close in price to a 4x4 F150. Not a significant cost savings at all.

Your chief is a wise man refusing to buy Impalas.
Link Posted: 8/27/2004 6:09:45 AM EST
Most of our K9s have explorers. They're pretty cramped, especially with a cage installed. They're pretty much like a glorified station wagon. The 2 wheel drive suspension truly sucks and will bottom out really easy.

Most of the other vehicles we use are either the Tahoe or Expedition, with a few other types. The Tahoes really hold their own. Some of our look like old battle wagons with thousands of miles and still drive well. The Expeditions seem to fall apart, literally. I once had the lug nuts snap on me and the wheel fell off, luckily I was driving real slow. I spoke to our head mechanic and he told me that the Fords definately spend more time in the shop.
Link Posted: 8/27/2004 7:12:48 AM EST
Uh oh, here we go again.......Ford, Chevy, Dodge.


I have a 2004 Ford Explorer, too early to comment on it though. So far so good. But if you can, get something bigger, your're not paying for it.
Link Posted: 8/27/2004 11:11:13 AM EST
[Last Edit: 8/27/2004 11:13:38 AM EST by kels]
Pros-2002 Ford Explorer
mine has 92,000 on it. Two repairs so far. 4x4 module went out at 75,000 miles.
Repair cost was 300.00. 4x4 is rarely used. Maybe 4 times a year, but is nice to have in
sand, mud and snow. It is in the shop today. Having problems shifting from drive to park. Local
mech thinks it is linkage problems. Says it shouldnt be major item to fix.
Radio consoles are now available for installation. Mine is jury rigged.

REMEMBER to SLOW down and THEN turn. It is possible to get up on two tires.
Scares the crap out of you when you do it. ONLY ONCE for me.

Cons-
Tops out at 107mph.
We got a $30,000 sticker one and it came without lumbar adjustable seats.
If you are gonna drive it a lot, it needs these seats. Write the lumbar seats into the
specs when you order the vehicle.

UNTIL DODGE GETS IT ACT TOGETHER AND FIXES THE TRANSFER CASE PROBLEM,
STAY AWAY. THE SHERIFF'S CAME APART AT 58,000 ON HIS 2000 DODGE PICKUP.
DODGE STIFFED US ON REPAIRS. THIS IS THE SECOND TRANSFER CASE THAT HAS
COME APART ON ONE OF OUR VEHICLES. SHERIFF GOT A CHEVY THIS TIME, WILL HAVE TO SEE HOW IT DOES.
Link Posted: 8/27/2004 11:23:55 AM EST
I'd think again about full-size vehicles and cost. Sticker price at the local dealer may be twice what you pay for Police Interceptors, but we are looking at those through any of the numerous cooperative purchasing agreements, they are usually LESS than Police Interceptors.

We buy either through the State Contract co-op agreement or other one. Don't quote me, but I think that a Police Interceptor is about 38K, by the time we finish equipping it (I think base is 22K). I think that some of the Chevys and even some of the Ford full-size SUVs and pickups were less. Your agency can also probably buy under GSA contract. Going through a local dealer does not make Fiscal sense, as your agency can get vehicles much more cheaply (and usually with professionally installed equipment) for much less through any of the co-op contracts out there.

Oh, and I drove an unmarked F150 for a couple years. It does not have the acceleration or braking ability that the normal cars do. They do handle on ice better, but you can get them stuck. No mechanical difficulties cropped up, and it was a great truck.
Link Posted: 8/28/2004 12:33:54 PM EST
The sticker price is higher on a truck--but so is the rebate and the dealer has a bigger margin for you to work with.
Link Posted: 8/28/2004 2:00:17 PM EST
a local department allows cops to choose between an expedition and a crown vic, you of course have to do the same evoc course with the expedition..
Link Posted: 8/28/2004 2:45:38 PM EST
the local dealership mechanics in my area call them exploders, and for good reason
Link Posted: 8/29/2004 5:00:53 AM EST
Whatever you get, get the big engine. Whatever extra you pay in gas, you more than save on engine repairs and longevity.

My agency bought a bunch of V-6 Explorers. Big mistake. Get the 8
Link Posted: 8/31/2004 8:34:47 AM EST
Our agency has all brands of 1/2T and 3/4T pickups, Yukons, Tahoes, crew cab GMC/Chevrolet Canyons and a 2001 Explorer Sport Trac. Each has its advantages and disadvantages. I have the Sport Trac and it does everything I need it to do from Wyoming winter driving conditions to patroling on sand at our water parks. I have 76,000+ miles on it as of this month. Our gravel roads and open area patroling is hard on any vehicle, while operation on paved roads is easier on the vehicles. Our local sheriff has some Explorers as well that seem to hold up okay.

Weste
Link Posted: 8/31/2004 12:40:07 PM EST
My hometown department got a Durango about a year ago, and is now replacing the rest of the fleet with Durangos and keeping 1 CV for a spare.

Of course, the entire fleet is two vehicles................

We have been using an Expedition at the FD as a first responder truck since they came out, in fact ours was the first Expedition sold for public safety in NC (someone said nationwide but I don't know). It has been a success in that role, but I doubt an Explorer would have held up as well.
Link Posted: 8/31/2004 3:31:27 PM EST
Our local SO has probably 1 of everything. Expedition, Explorer, TRACKER? ,Toyota 4Runner(probably donated by the neighborhood Toyota factory), Vics, Taurus, Chevy van, and a former Brinks truck.
Link Posted: 8/31/2004 7:30:47 PM EST

Originally Posted By schv:
I agree that a Full size pick-up would be ideal. However my Chief is completely against any non-Ford product. Guys have tried to get him to buy Impalas, Intrepeds(sp?) etc. with no luck. I think he has a friend at the dealership he is loyal to.

My ideal patrol vehicle would be a New Jeep Wrangler Unlimited.....but it would be a cold day in hell before that was approved!!!

The Sheriff's Office in our county uses Explorer's as vehicles for their detectives, and a neighboring muny has just purchased one for marked patrol. I am just tired of trying to answer calls in the snow with a Crown Vic. When it snows, our policy is to answer emergency calls only, i.e. domstic violence, shooting stabbing, etc. We won't even work 10-50's, we make the Highway Patrol do it,or tell them to switch info and be gone.

Don't get me wrong, the Crown Vics do O.K. in the snow, with a little weight in the trunk and some decent tires, there just not a 4x4.




What make does the Chief drive? Ford? /conspiracy theory mode.
Link Posted: 8/31/2004 8:28:12 PM EST
I've had an explorer or two for patrol duties and the ride was great but they just couldn't hold up. We went through at least three transmissions in each one in just one year (could have been a bad year for Ford transmissions).

Later on in life I joined the Border Patrol and spent 5 years in the So Cal desert. I had the opportunity to drive just about everything and I drove those vehicles like they belonged to my mother-in-law (drove em til the wheels feel off....but that is another story). My last assigned G-ride was a 2002 four door Tahoe and it was sweeeeeet but a pain in the butt on pursuits because of the governor. Before that I had a 2001 Durango and that thing was great on the road with plenty of speed but clearance in off-road was crappy. Our Ford Expeditions were cars that were built to look like SUVs. We had major drama with the Expos ie...breaking bodies off of the frame. We tried a Wrangler out and it was great for off road but too small. By the time you had all you gear loaded up there was no room for people of the apprehended persuasion.

I would say my choice for a mostly street SUV patrol vehicle would be a 2004 or 2005 Dodge Durango. Dodge got out of mid size SUVs and trucks and is only building 3/4 size and larger from now on. The Durango is larger with more clearance and is packing a Hemi. Thats just my opinion though and your mileage may vary.

Dave
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