Town Car and Mark VII: a comparison

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Town Car and Mark VII: a comparison

Postby phoenix » Fri Jul 29, 2016 12:57 pm

So, in your experience, how do they compare? Yes, I realize there have been three very distinct Town Car generations. My experience is limited to driving a 2010, the last of the last ones. A very good friend has designated me as a pilot of his Towny on multiple shared road trips. He's not on this forum (or any forum, for that matter) so I can speak my mind freely. He loves his Town Car (he's owned a succession of them going back to his first one, an '86 Stars n Stripes), he is convinced there is nothing better, and I would never try to dissuade him from that. Life is too short, glass houses are beautiful, and I'm just as in love with the VII as he is with the Towny. That being said...

Now that my air springs have been properly broken in, I am seeing the difference between the two cars at the top of their game. His is only 7 years old and not even at 100k, driven like a distinguished grey haired gentleman does (read: babied), so it's fairly close to brand new for all intents and purposes. My car may be 27 years old but the entire suspension has been replaced over the last 7 years (no joke, now that I pause to think about it the only stock components are the front control arms and the rear upper control arms, but they too have new bushings). The air springs are the newest component not even 6 months old. So, it's a fair fight. Well, a friendly comparison.

My verdict: with the new air springs in place and properly broken in I vastly prefer the ride of the Mark VII. The Town Car does this weird thing where when you go over expansion joints or bad pavement patches there is a shudder that goes through the entire car. I haven't driven any BoFs outside of this one (well, some trucks, but that doesn't count) so I can only assume this is what a BoF vehicle does. Is it? Now don't get me wrong, the shudder is very muted, it doesn't beat you up in any way. It's just that you feel the impact reverberate through the entire car, with a gentle shudder all around you, felt most strongly in your fingertips (the steering wheel really shakes when that happens, I never had a Mark VII shaft shake like that). Going over all of the same roads in the Mark (and many a rental car, but we're concerned with the Mark here), that shudder just isn't there. The impact disappears into the springs somehow, you hear it, and the suspension rebounds in the area of the impact, but the impact just doesn't travel through the cabin or get to the steering wheel like it does in the Towny.

As a result, though both cars ride very softly, the Mark VII feels a lot more put together.

Now, my Mark isn't really stock though as far as the suspension goes. Poly bushings all around (the rack included), steel caster plates without ANY strut bushings whatsoever out front, tubular lower control arms, big meaty sway bars, and subframe connectors. This car is TIGHT is all getout. By rights that tightness should translate into harshness (and without the air springs, back when I had the coils, it certainly did). But comparing the Towny to the VII back to back to back I have concluded without any doubt that now that the air springs have broken in, my unibody chassis slash wannabe BMW fighter rides softer than the Town Car.

So the springs... ALONE... do that?

If so, wow. And no wonder that many luxury vehicles use air springs to this day. And then there's the semis. Btw, I realize that the Town Car uses air springs in the back. Only the front suspension is conventional.

Do you have any thoughts on any of this? Mark VII vs BoF specifically, I guess. Feel free to also post your impressions of the older (box and aero) Townies, and how they compared. Thanks!
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1990 LSC SE (a.k.a. "Christine")
1991 LSC (a.k.a. "Ghost")

Christine: Arnott air springs/front, Suncore air springs/rear, CHE rear control arms, 1.5/16" front "Turbo Coupe" bar, Addco 415 rear bar, poly bushings everywhere, 1x2" SF connectors, MM caster plates, KYB shocks, Michelin Defenders, special order factory built Turbo Coupe color scheme cloth LSC buckets (with a matching backseat), factory CD/JBL (resto: Paul Protos)

Ghost: factory air springs, everything stock (except the front buckets out of '88 XR7), factory cassette/JBL (resto: Paul Protos)

latest 3 projects: brake accumulator/system flush (Ghost), rear calipers (Ghost), ignition coil (Ghost)
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Re: Town Car and Mark VII: a comparison

Postby CDW6212R » Fri Jul 29, 2016 2:48 pm

The Town Cars did get the air springs for the rear only, back in the 80's. But they also began to have some typical air spring issues from age, and over time some people decided that they wanted a choice to buy the TC with no air springs.

So are you sure that your friend's car has rear air springs? Because the same discussions we have had here about our springs, on all other Lincoln forums they often debate which are better for the TC. I think the air springs are a definite advantage from a steel coil spring stock suspension car. I wonder if something is amiss with that TC though, to have such feedback in the steering wheel from bumps.
Don
1991 Red Special Edition, my 2nd SE, dead paint, DWS 255/45/17's on 95 Cobra wheels, and soon; DVD/Navi/backup camera, OBDII and the 347, before custom paint.
98 Mountaineer with Continental DWS 255/55/18's, big sway bars, custom brakes. Soon to be A4WD with XP8 bumpers and wing.

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Re: Town Car and Mark VII: a comparison

Postby phoenix » Fri Jul 29, 2016 3:16 pm

Air springs in the back for sure, plus it's a higher trim (Signature, IIRC). I don't know, my friend and I have known each other a long time, and I've periodically driven this car since she was at something like 50k and only a couple years old. The car still goes in for service to the dealer (oil changes), so I figure they would have noticed if something was amiss when the car was on a lift and driven around the dealership. But of course I don't know. She has routinely made long road trips just fine. Hmmmmm.....
Image Image

1990 LSC SE (a.k.a. "Christine")
1991 LSC (a.k.a. "Ghost")

Christine: Arnott air springs/front, Suncore air springs/rear, CHE rear control arms, 1.5/16" front "Turbo Coupe" bar, Addco 415 rear bar, poly bushings everywhere, 1x2" SF connectors, MM caster plates, KYB shocks, Michelin Defenders, special order factory built Turbo Coupe color scheme cloth LSC buckets (with a matching backseat), factory CD/JBL (resto: Paul Protos)

Ghost: factory air springs, everything stock (except the front buckets out of '88 XR7), factory cassette/JBL (resto: Paul Protos)

latest 3 projects: brake accumulator/system flush (Ghost), rear calipers (Ghost), ignition coil (Ghost)
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