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Posted: 6/26/2002 4:48:53 AM EDT
[url]http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A44854-2002Jun25.html[/url]
At issue is the Crown Victoria's gas tank, located behind the rear axle. In many of the fatalities, the tank ruptured when the patrol car was rear-ended at high speed, igniting deadly fires. In Arizona, three officers have burned to death in their cars in gas-tank-related crashes, including officer Robert Nielsen earlier this month.
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Hmm.. seems to me the tank position is normal. why should it be moved? Do people rearend officers harder then regular people? Its not ford or the officers fault some yoyo rearended him at high speed.
Even though Ford has crash-tested the cars at high speeds in the past, it has never modified them to take into account unique factors of police work.
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now what factors are those? using it as a battering ram to stop a vehicle while in reverse? I don't think so. Don't we love media BS? Why not say what factors ford didn't think of, oh yea because the co paid them to shutup about it. Leos, beware the lunatic who thinks your his brakes.
Link Posted: 6/26/2002 12:35:42 PM EDT
Perhaps the automakers should get togeather and stop selling vheicles to law enforcement? Cite liability concerns. If its the vheicle that is the problem, where are all the burnt out Crown Victoria TAXI's?? Or for that matter the burned out private Crown Vics. Any sedan sold here that was rear ended at over 60mph is going to burn. Its gas tank will splatter, and if the car is running the exhaust will ignite it. Period. If this concerns you, try buying a half ton pickup. They are the only things that don't have a gas tank where a rear end impact can reach. Course then you have to watch for someone running a red while you are making a left turn.
Link Posted: 6/26/2002 12:42:33 PM EDT
Agreed, remember this is the Washington Post. In their lexicon its always someone else's fault: In this case the auto manufacturer. Its the same logic that leads the Post to think tobacco companies should pay when smokers don't read the warnings all over the cigarette packs, get cancer, and die.....
Link Posted: 6/26/2002 12:58:05 PM EDT
Originally Posted By ECS: Agreed, remember this is the Washington Post. In their lexicon its always someone else's fault: In this case the auto manufacturer. Its the same logic that leads the Post to think tobacco companies should pay when smokers don't read the warnings all over the cigarette packs, get cancer, and die.....
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Yeah but I am living where it started. It was the TV news stations here in Phoenix that started this. Then our Attorney General- who wants to be Governor-decided to make a case out of it. That is where this all came from.
Link Posted: 6/26/2002 1:03:19 PM EDT
Sorry, I usually try to slam the Washington Post any chance I get [:)]
Link Posted: 6/26/2002 1:10:13 PM EDT
Originally Posted By NOVA5:
Even though Ford has crash-tested the cars at high speeds in the past, it has never modified them to take into account unique factors of police work.
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now what factors are those?
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Being driven 23 hours a day, every day. Hopping curbs and center dividers. Pushing other vehicles out of the roadway. PIT manuever. About a hundred other things commuter cars are never subjected to.
Link Posted: 6/26/2002 1:20:47 PM EDT
Originally Posted By AR15fan:
Originally Posted By NOVA5:
Even though Ford has crash-tested the cars at high speeds in the past, it has never modified them to take into account unique factors of police work.
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now what factors are those?
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Being driven 23 hours a day, every day. Hopping curbs and center dividers. Pushing other vehicles out of the roadway. PIT manuever. About a hundred other things commuter cars are never subjected to.
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What does any of that have to do with the gas tank? The Vic is modified with a bumper bar for the PIT. The Police Interceptor comes with a reinforced suspension for curbs (hopping curbs in any vehicle is generally not recommended anyway). Vics used by cab companies get driven as often and frequently aren't as well maintained. Space is at such a premium in police vehicles that the gas tank has nowhere else to go. There is [b]no such thing as a rupture-proof gas tank[/b]. If an officer gets rear-ended by somebody doing 50 MPH, the tank will rupture and the gas will burn upon contact with exposed wires or hot exhaust. Some things in this world cannot be prevented with any amount of engineering. I think they should sue the gasoline manufacturers for producing fuel that ignites so easily. [rolleyes]
Link Posted: 6/26/2002 1:29:50 PM EDT
When the crown vic was first introduced. Ford did make a note of the position of the gas tank and possible puncturing with the axel in an accident. After evaluating the cost if alteration it was determined to leave things "as-is". The cost per vehicle to correct... $5
Link Posted: 6/26/2002 2:52:57 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Redmanfms: There is [b]no such thing as a rupture-proof gas tank[/b].
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Actually there is. flexible Fuel bladders contained inside absorbant foam lined tanks.
Link Posted: 6/26/2002 2:58:54 PM EDT
Originally Posted By NOVA5: Do people rearend officers harder then regular people?
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I believe I'll leave it to a LEO to answer this question !
Link Posted: 6/26/2002 3:29:13 PM EDT
Link Posted: 6/26/2002 4:19:50 PM EDT
I like how folks love to blame the other guy.come on your at a stand still and get ass ended at 70 mph what do you really think was going to happen?. The fix I have been doing is grinding a 3/16 by 5/16 tab that sticks facing down on the rear stabilzer mounts off and on certain years of Iterceptors the emergency brake cable is mounted in such a way that they blame a monting bracket bolt for tank punctures Ford came out with a new bolt to cure this. Looking at the Crown Vic the trunk space is deep and wide for gear the gas tank is mounted in a vertical position between trunk than tank and DUAL EXHAUST pipes than axle what gets me is the FUEL PUMP/FUEL LINES faces forward Directly towards the HOT Exhaust gasoline ignites really easy when vaporized(oh really!?).I hav'nt seen to many high speed ass enders survive tank failure unless the impact went over the top of the tank on any vehicle. Unfortunately people are killed on the job thats life.If your a cop that was part of the Johnny Danger thing you signed up for just like taking the swear in and hearing a Master Sargeant say "Congratulations Uncle Sam Owns Your Ass Now!"
Link Posted: 6/26/2002 4:33:29 PM EDT
Originally Posted By AR15fan:
Originally Posted By Redmanfms: There is [b]no such thing as a rupture-proof gas tank[/b].
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Actually there is. flexible Fuel bladders contained inside absorbant foam lined tanks.
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Yep, just like in NASCAR. However that has certain penalties. Its heavier, in the Crown Vic you will loose some trunk, they are expensive, they require service, and you cant use a gas gauge. You have to rely on your trip odometer, know your tank capacity, and fill the tank full EVERY time. Its a good idea, and yes it would keep cars from going up when hit at insane speeds, up to 150mph. But at about 1,000 dollars a vheicle to install plus a new bladder every couple years? Would you buy yourself one for your car?
Link Posted: 6/26/2002 4:49:08 PM EDT
Time for the police to start using those electric cars those eco-nutz are always trying to push on us.
Link Posted: 6/26/2002 4:53:53 PM EDT
This is BS blaming Ford.The couple a pictures of the wrecked cruisers I saw were hit so hard I couln't even recognize the vehicle. I'm sure Fords tanks meet a standard that all other production rigs are required to meet.If the police think its nessesary, they should require a racing fuel cell in their specs for a patrol vehicle.Someone else mentioned that Ford recomended grinding some edges off suspension parts as helping. I thought all modern vehicle tanks included some sort a bladder inside the metal outer shell,or are all cars equipped with the old rusty metal tank?
Link Posted: 6/26/2002 4:56:43 PM EDT
This is the same basic problem that they said the Pinto had. Odd thing is, they really jumped on the Pinto and never said ZIP about the Mustang II which was the same basic car with different sheet metal. Where did they expect the fuel tank to be in that small car anyhow. Don in Ohio
Link Posted: 6/26/2002 5:15:32 PM EDT
[url]http://bonforums.com/crownvictoria_safety/[/url] has a bunch of info about the issue. [url]http://bonforums.com/mustang_safety/[/url] is a companion page listing the similar problems that the current Mustang is experiencing.
Link Posted: 6/28/2002 12:40:54 AM EDT
Link Posted: 6/28/2002 3:30:34 AM EDT
Still, if the law enforcement community has special wants/needs, they can write a specification ( could ask for special tanks, bullet resistant glass and all sorts of expensive crap), ask the auto manufacturers to price it up and see how much it would cost. Meanwhile I have no intention of paying for their special needs when I buy a personal vehicle....
Link Posted: 6/28/2002 3:36:32 AM EDT
Link Posted: 6/28/2002 4:57:48 AM EDT
Originally Posted By AR15fan: Being driven 23 hours a day, every day. Hopping curbs and center dividers. Pushing other vehicles out of the roadway. PIT manuever. About a hundred other things commuter cars are never subjected to.
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You've _obviously_ never commuted in Boston, sheesh.... [:D]
Link Posted: 6/28/2002 6:04:16 AM EDT
Police cars see rougher conditions than standard cars, granted, but this is a non issue. I've had 4 Crown Vics wrecked out from under me over the years, (drunks, all of them) and department wide we'll have about 5-8 major crashes a year. Also usually drunks. The majority of these happen while working accident scenes, and involve rear end collisions. (always wonder why the patrol car parked waaay up the road from the wreck is the oldest most ragged one out there?) We have had one officer die in an exploding Crown Vic situation, Rick Hunter was deliberately run over by a fleeing felon who then hit the patrol car. Speed was 90+, and the Crown Vic was in pieces, some as far as 400 feet from the impact location. Yes, it burned, but that was hardly the cars fault. The fact is, there is only one vehicle out there really suitable for police work, and the Crown Vic is it. I don't see much purpose in spending a couple of thousand per car to reinforce a gas tank when the crash has to be so severe in the first place that it's probably not surviveable anyway.
Link Posted: 6/28/2002 6:06:33 AM EDT
Originally Posted By AR15fan:
Originally Posted By NOVA5:
Even though Ford has crash-tested the cars at high speeds in the past, it has never modified them to take into account unique factors of police work.
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now what factors are those?
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Being driven 23 hours a day, every day. Hopping curbs and center dividers. Pushing other vehicles out of the roadway. PIT manuever. About a hundred other things commuter cars are never subjected to.
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I've been doing the same in my 1991 Cavalier Wagon. It's got 167,000 miles on it and hasn't blown up yet!
Link Posted: 6/28/2002 6:25:22 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/28/2002 6:33:55 AM EDT by LARRYG]
Originally Posted By ArmdLbrl:
Originally Posted By AR15fan:
Originally Posted By Redmanfms: There is [b]no such thing as a rupture-proof gas tank[/b].
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Actually there is. flexible Fuel bladders contained inside absorbant foam lined tanks.
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Yep, just like in NASCAR.
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And any other pro racing series. In fact, NECKCAR got fuel cells from sports car racing. NECKCAR has taken all their safety measures from other series and have only half heartedly applied many of them.
Link Posted: 6/28/2002 6:30:57 AM EDT
Originally Posted By ArmdLbrl: If this concerns you, try buying a half ton pickup. They are the only things that don't have a gas tank where a rear end impact can reach.
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I don't know about that. My 929 has the fuel tank under the rear seat, as did all 3 of my 626 sedans. My RX4, RX3, and Cosmo all had the tank standing upright in a sealed compartment between the trunk and the rear seat. Granted, the above ways of mounting did not insure that the tank would never be crushed, but it sure lessened the chances. Most imports have the tanks mounted in such a manner. For the most part, only American branded cars, not just Ford but GM and Chrysler as well, hang the fuel tank out the ass end behind the rear axle.
Link Posted: 6/28/2002 6:20:26 PM EDT
Originally Posted By LARRYG:
Originally Posted By ArmdLbrl: If this concerns you, try buying a half ton pickup. They are the only things that don't have a gas tank where a rear end impact can reach.
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I don't know about that. My 929 has the fuel tank under the rear seat, as did all 3 of my 626 sedans. My RX4, RX3, and Cosmo all had the tank standing upright in a sealed compartment between the trunk and the rear seat. Granted, the above ways of mounting did not insure that the tank would never be crushed, but it sure lessened the chances. Most imports have the tanks mounted in such a manner. For the most part, only American branded cars, not just Ford but GM and Chrysler as well, hang the fuel tank out the ass end behind the rear axle.
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Own a Toyota. Ass-end gas tank. Owned a Nissan. Ass-end gas tank. Mom owned a Honda. Ass-end gas tank. My neighbor just put in a new fuel pump on his Trooper. Ass-end gas tank. Ass-end gas tanks are pretty common in all makes.
Link Posted: 6/28/2002 7:23:22 PM EDT
Larry, Indianapolis was the first place to mandate fuel cells if you must know. But that doesnt apply here since the type is wrong. Most sports and formula cars have tanks intergral with their tub, ususally made from just closing off and sealing a void in a portion of the the tub. They only had to add the rubber bladder to the design. A sedan would have to use the NASCAR type cell, which features its own heavy guage steel safety housing. Putting the tank between the rear axle and the back seat will not help. This is in spite of the sales pitches GM and, I am embarrased to admit, Daimler Chrysler are making for the Impala and Intrepid as replacements. When you have a impact like in the Arizona crashes, the car is going to be shortened by two to three feet. The rear axle and the trunk floor will get driven forward into the gas tank. In theory that would reqire a greater impact to rupture the tank, but as there have been no alligations of slow speed impacts causing fires and explosions in Crown Vics that is a moot point. Hanging the gas tank behind the rear axle has NOTHING to do with being a American car. It has to do with being rear wheel drive. The drive shaft and dif are in the way. Front wheel drive cars dont have that to worry about. Trucks are built on a ladder frame , and the depth of the frame rails gives them a place to put a long, flat gas tank beneath the floor of the bed, forward of the axle. Even with a short bed there is simply SOO much material that has to be moved foreward to get into the tank that its REALLY rare for them to get broken from a rear impact. Side impacts, getting hit be red light runners while turning left, are another matter.
Link Posted: 6/29/2002 4:37:15 AM EDT
Simple solution: Make a diesel version of the Crown Vic for police work. Diesel doesn't explode, and the new diesel engines are every bit as peppy as a gas engine. The up and coming Ford 4.5L V6 diesel seems like it'd fit nicely under the hood of a fullsize car, and there's always destroking it to allow it to turn more RPM. Plus, the harder you run a diesel, the happier they are. It won't mind if it's not shut off once between oil changes, and will be running better at 300K miles than a gas engine will at 100K.
Link Posted: 6/29/2002 5:14:23 AM EDT
Originally Posted By DoubleFeed: ECS, did you know that many departments are changing paint schemes in an effort to save a few dollars? I think the effort to get thousands of dollars of extra safety features installed is not going to fly without a major fight.
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I agree with you, that was my point, that if LEO's did write up a specification I think they would be shocked at what those goodies would cost them, so, for better or worse, they are really stuck with what the rest of the public drives. I do wonder though if there might be a market for some sort of aftermarket 'kit' that police depts could get that might give them what they want?
Link Posted: 6/29/2002 5:55:20 AM EDT
Originally Posted By ArmdLbrl: Hanging the gas tank behind the rear axle has NOTHING to do with being a American car. It has to do with being rear wheel drive. The drive shaft and dif are in the way. Front wheel drive cars dont have that to worry about.
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Everyone one of the cars in my post were rear wheel drive. I won't have front wheel drive.
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