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Old 09-15-2010, 10:51 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Police Car specs

I was curious, does anyone know what are the specs on a police cars? Engine work, Suspension (spring rates, what company makes the shocks, etc), bullet proof everything? I remember seeing a chase and I saw the police vehicle hit a curb going 50mph+ and acted like nothing happen. I was also informed from a automotive instructor that they are all supercharged. Lets hear some input. Thanks in advance.
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Old 09-16-2010, 01:51 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Your instructor is full of shit. To my knowledge, barring a few special cases such as DARE cars or high pursuit vehicles, very few if any police vehicles use forced induction.

The exact specs will vary depending on what make and model we're talking. There are several cars available with police packages. The Crown Victoria is one of (if not the) most popular in North America, but Chevrolet used to do the Caprice as a police vehicle and currently has a police package on the Impala. The Dodge Charger is also wildly popular for this application. Pretty much any sedan of a reasonable size will get the job done, but it's up to the manufacturer whether they're going to offer the police package on a specific model.

The most dramatic changes are usually in the electrical and cooling systems. Police cruisers need a lot of extra juice for all the fancy gadgetry they need, which demands a high output alternator and big, beefy battery along with the additional wiring and fuses. They also spend a lot of time idling, so an oil-to-coolant heat exchanger is a bare minimum on the cooling, along with potentially a separate transmission cooler. I think anti-stab plates in the seatbacks are also pretty much universal, but I've never heard of a car being "bullet proofed" -- it's not a practical option in anything you want to do 0-60 in under a week.

You'l also generally see stiffer suspension and a reinforced frame with bigger badder body mounts (where applicable). Odds are the guy you watched on teevee fucked the ever loving hell out of his front alignment if he mounted a curb at high speed, and just kept going figuring that the guys at the station would unfuck it after the bad guys had been dealt with. They may be a bit more solid than your civilian model, but they're not magic.

Engine or drivetrains may or may not differ from the civilian models. Chevrolet calls their police package the 9C1, and it usually comes with an engine upgrade, but the current Crown Vics use the same engine as the civilian model, according to that wiki thing. They do have the speed limiter bumped up and also come with a more aggressive diff ratio, but that's about the extent of it.

So, short answer to your question is not as much changes as you probably think and a good chunk of it is boring non-performance related stuff.
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Old 09-16-2010, 02:23 PM   #3 (permalink)
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He's not my instructor, I went back to visit my old auto teacher at the college in my town and one of the instructors were telling his students about that. I would assume that their ECU's would be similar to a stand alone system? If I remember correctly during "beat the heat" events in my town's local raceway, some people were arguing about how smaller displacement engines are fast by using chipped ECU's, then a police officer butted in and said "our patrol cars use chipped ECU's.." As for the police chase, I saw that in person, one officer was in a parking lot and pedestrians and civilians in cars were blocking the exit of the parking lot, so the officer drove through the grass and hits a curb and continued to chase the perpetrator. I would also assume that their frames are reinforced using enforcement plates and/or stitch welding the weaker points of the chasis? and with their suspension set to stiffer springs I would think that their cars are well corner balanced. I never had a chance to service a fleet car, lets hear some responses from the technicians on here if any. TIA
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Old 09-17-2010, 09:02 AM   #4 (permalink)
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As far as the Ford Crown Vic goes, its a body on frame design (meaning the body is bolted onto the chassis). This makes it heavier, but in some ways more sturdy that unibody cars (pretty much every other car out there). As far as the engine goes, Martian is pretty much dead on... beefier radiator, transmission cooler, and chipped ECU. There's no need for them to do a stand alone system since the engine is almost completely stock, and I imagine you'd have a lot of police agencies never getting their tunes quite correct.
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Old 09-17-2010, 05:27 PM   #5 (permalink)
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As far as I know, police agencies get their cars right from the manufacturer with no aftermarket modifications to the engine or ECU. Having said that, given that the limiter is raised the settings for the ECU aren't the same as the civilian model and it's not that much of a stretch to believe that the timing would be more aggressive.
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Old 09-17-2010, 06:43 PM   #6 (permalink)
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When you say "police cars" you're talking about to many variables to really answer the questions you ask.

There's always some modification. What and how much is usually budget and management dependent.
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Old 09-17-2010, 07:47 PM   #7 (permalink)
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They're generally slow, inefficient, and lumbering. Other than the few Corvettes out there. They're awesome.

0-60 under maybe 7 seconds and a top speed above 120, and you can easily outrun a police interceptor. You may have trouble with the helicopter, though. You'll want something above 150 for those.
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Old 09-17-2010, 10:57 PM   #8 (permalink)
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How about the mods on the Camaro and the Charger police/highway patrol cars?
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Old 09-18-2010, 08:27 AM   #9 (permalink)
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local cops here have a couple new Chargers. Oil and tranny coolers, upgraded radiator, heavy duty steel wheels, high load rating tires, lights, sirens, paint...interior I'm not sure about, but most likely the anti-stab panels and bullet-proof lexan between front and back. Of course all the communciations electronics for radio, computer.
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Old 09-18-2010, 08:43 AM   #10 (permalink)
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One boring thing that Blade and Martian left out is that the chairs (seat backs) are formed to allow the driver (and co-driver) to wear utilitibelts. If you aren't wearing a belt it will hurt your back in the long run.

Yours
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Old 09-18-2010, 08:55 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Elwood: It's got a cop motor, a 440 cubic inch plant, it's got cop tires, cop suspensions, cop shocks. It's a model made before catalytic converters so it'll run good on regular gas. What do you say, is it the new Bluesmobile or what?
[a brief thinking pause while Jake attempts to light a cigarette]
Jake: Fix the cigarette lighter.
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Old 09-18-2010, 01:38 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Would anyone know the company who makes the suspension used on police vehicles? i.e.: Bilstein
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Old 09-18-2010, 02:59 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BadNick View Post
local cops here have a couple new Chargers. Oil and tranny coolers, upgraded radiator, heavy duty steel wheels, high load rating tires, lights, sirens, paint...interior I'm not sure about, but most likely the anti-stab panels and bullet-proof lexan between front and back. Of course all the communciations electronics for radio, computer.

Yes, forget the helo... it's the radio you can't out run.
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Last edited by Tully Mars; 09-18-2010 at 04:06 PM..
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Old 09-21-2010, 04:50 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Well supposedly whatever is going on right now is scheduled to change pretty shortly. Chevy just committed to getting back in the cruiser game with a redesigned Caprice and Ford will supposedly offer a version of the Taurus to replace the Crown Vic. They are also coming out with this: Ford reveals new SUV police cruiser
Supposedly the rumor is that some of the police interceptors will have the ecoboost engine designed for the SHO which I believe is over 300 HP with dual turbos, no word on if they will be FWD, RWD or AWD, AFAIK. I guess we'll see soon, just hopefully not in our rear view mirror.
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Old 09-26-2010, 10:09 AM   #15 (permalink)
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The Ford Crown Vic is nothing special, the Chevy Tahoe 2wd PPV is pretty fast, and the Dodge Charger with the big hemi is pretty quick...now the problem with all these vehicles is that many of them run 24 hours a day 365 days a year....so they age quick its not uncommon for them to have 50k miles on them in a year....
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Old 09-26-2010, 10:52 AM   #16 (permalink)
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During the semester in college I spent in various cop cars with the patrol guys it was stated several times that most cops prefer the Crown Vic to the Charger for ergonomics and visibility. The cars, both Crown Vic and Charger, didn't seem to be anything special to me. They may have had upgrades but those were balanced out by the increased weight.
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Old 09-26-2010, 03:30 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Crown Vic is easier to put people in the back seat.

As for mileage I had a jeep once and put over 75K on it in less then one year... by myself.
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Old 09-27-2010, 06:33 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Quote:
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As for mileage I had a jeep once and put over 75K on it in less then one year... by myself.

thats nuts...
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Old 09-27-2010, 07:27 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Tully, that's more than 205.5 miles per day for a whole year! You are a rambling man.
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Old 09-28-2010, 02:01 AM   #20 (permalink)
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The state of Oregon had a policy, probably still does, where if you had a person on your parole case load you had to personally see them once a month. So if you had a parolee in a treatment center or correctional facility on the other side of the state you drove to see him. Having a parole officer in the area where the person was being held see them would have been crazy.. I know I asked why we didn't do that.

Oregon tax dollars at work. Not only do you get to drive almost daily but due to distance you often end up with either overtime or comp time.
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Old 10-03-2010, 05:20 PM   #21 (permalink)
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they're really nothing too special...usually a higher engine option, but nothing a civilian can't get, heavier duty suspension, bigger sway bars, stiffer springs, limited slip of some variety, stouter charging system...they're good, stout cars in general that are reasonably quick for stock sedans but they're still easily out-ran and out-handled by a modern sports car or a built up anything really...the mid-90's chevy caprices had the LT1 (5.7L, 350cid V8) pushing 260hp, early 90's were the older style 5.7L with a pretty weak ~200hp, same engine as pickup trucks from that time...crown vics have the 4.6 and put out 250hp and the new chargers are around 340-350hp...keep in mind they're also pretty well weighed down in addition to being heavy sedans...like i said, good cars, but they're not super special, supercars
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