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A Power Stroke equipped, 12-Second Crown Vic

For most of us, it’s natural to do a double-take when we spot an old cop car. But folks who come across Matthew Barnett’s retired police cruiser aren’t just momentarily preoccupied with its physical appearance—they’re perplexed by what they hear. “People definitely swivel-neck when you drive by,” he told us. “I’ve had some pretty good looks.”

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Like so many others, Barnett picked up his retired CVPI dirt cheap, and thanks to its superb highway manners he made it his daily commuter. However, he then fell into a deal on an ’05 Ford Shuttle Bus and the wheels started turning. Having been a huge fan of the Duramax Camaro and Cummins Charger projects from One of Won Customs, Barnett pondered the idea of building his own diesel-powered car—a 6.0L-powered Crown Vic. “I thought to myself, somebody should put a Power Stroke in a Ford car,” he says. In the spring of 2017 he decided to go for it.

Shuttle Bus 6.0L

Easing the integration process, the 5R110 TorqShift remained attached to the 6.0L throughout the swap. But before the combo was lowered into the Crown Vic’s engine bay, the 6.0L’s heads were pulled, checked out, and ARP studs added. A new oil cooler was also added for peace of mind. Then, with the front end of the car completely apart, the engine and transmission were positioned in place while Barnett built a pair of motor mounts and a transmission cross member using pieces from both the shuttle bus and the sedan.

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Robbed out of an ’05 Ford Shuttle Bus, the 6.0L Power Stroke under the cowl hood of Matthew Barnett’s ’07 Crown Vic was treated to a set of ARP head studs and a new oil cooler prior to being shoehorned into place. With space at a premium, Barnett was forced to retain the sedan’s original cooling system, along with foregoing the use of an intercooler. All told, the engine swap and retention of the 5R110 TorqShift added roughly 800 pounds to the car’s bottom line.

Small Sacrifices

Despite the tight squeeze, Barnett tells us the conversion was surprisingly smooth. A few tweaks at the firewall, a tab removal on the transmission and a few sensor relocations were the extent of the most time-consuming tasks. However, due to space limitations, Barnett was forced to abandon the intercooler and make use of the car’s original cooling system (radiator, coolant reservoir, fan and fan module).

People definitely swivel-neck when you drive by.
—Matthew Barnett

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Instead of being found in their normal locations, both the PCM and FICM were relocated. The PCM is shown here, attached to a mounting bracket above the driver-side valve cover. The FICM resides on the nearby fender well.

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At full tilt, the original 78,000-mile Garrett VGT builds 32 psi of boost. A fabricated air intake feeds the compressor inlet, while a high-temp silicone hot-side tube sends boost directly toward the intake elbow. One benefit of the engine being void of an intercooler is the fact that no pressure drop (i.e., boost loss) occurs, and better off-idle responsiveness is on tap.

Painless Wiring

As far as the wiring was concerned, Barnett didn’t overthink it. The car’s original wiring for controlling the windows and all the functions on the dash was retained, while the harnesses necessary for the 6.0L, 5R110 and Econoline gauge cluster to work flawlessly came off the bus. Both Ford ignition systems are tied together so that each one powers up simultaneously at key-on.

Basic Mods

Once again keeping things as straightforward as possible, Barnett opted for the intake, tuner, exhaust approach to adding power (for now). The factory Garrett VGT is fed air via an intake he fabricated, and it produces more than 30 psi worth of boost thanks to custom tuning from Innovative Diesel. An SCT Livewire TS+ allows Barnett to keep tabs on boost, transmission, coolant and engine oil temp, FICM voltage, ICP and various other key vitals. For exhaust, a custom-formed 3-inch system begins where the factory downpipe ends and culminates with a polished stainless turn-down tip out back.

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To protect his investment in a fresh oil cooler, Barnett installed a coolant filtration system from Sinister Diesel. Bypass filtering engine coolant through a 27-micron WIX filter keeps larger particles of casting sand and sediment from entering and eventually plugging up the oil cooler.

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Barnett both tunes and monitors the 6.0L thanks to an SCT Livewire TS+ device. Right out of the box the Crown Vic dyno’d 418 hp at the wheels. Now, with custom tuning from Innovative Diesel in the mix, Barnett thinks the car makes more like 450 hp.

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When it came time to wire the car, Barnett kept things simple. This meant the Crown Vic’s original wiring for items such as the dash controls and windows was left alone, while the 6.0L wiring was used for the gauge cluster (taken from the shuttle bus donor). Both the 6.0L and Crown Vic’s ignitions are tied together, so both systems power up when you key-on.

12-Second Sedan

Even though the 6.0L more than doubled the car’s power output, Barnett’s original intention for his Crown Vic hasn’t changed—he still plans to use it as his summertime commuter. With the smooth-riding four-door capable of achieving 20 mpg, it’s hard to argue with that. And with the 5,000-pound sedan also capable of running mid-12s, it’s hard not to want to be behind the wheel. If you encounter Matthew Barnett’s unique creation out on the highway, be sure to move over. He’ll be cruising in the fast lane.

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A 4-inch cowl hood from Class Glass Performance provides the clearance needed for the turbo and intake. Coincidentally, the fiberglass addition offers a subtle hint that this black-on-black sedan might be packing a little more than the modular Interceptor engine it came with.

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Staying true to the late-model CVPI’s roots, the car still wears the 17-inch steelies it came with. All-season traction is provided by a Road Control Touring A/S tires sized 235/65R17 at each corner. As you can imagine, with more than 800 lb-ft of torque on tap, the 29-inch tread in the rear sees its fair share of additional revolutions from time to time.

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A custom-bent, 3-inch-diameter exhaust system starts with the factory downpipe and ends in the OEM location, albeit with a T304 stainless steel turn-down tip from MBRP.

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Although it would be hard to notice without it being parked next to another Crown Victoria, Barnett’s version has been lifted 3 inches all the way around to get the 6.0L’s oil pan up off the ground. The added height came from employing coil spring spacers. The rest of the car’s original suspension was retained.

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At 5,000 pounds, Barnett’s Crown Vic is at least a ton and a half lighter than the average four-door 6.0L Super Duty. With 450 rwhp on tap, that means we’re looking at a mid-12-second car. That’s about 4 seconds faster than the original sedan could’ve eclipsed the quarter-mile on its best day.

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Specifications

2007 Ford Crown Victoria (Police Interceptor, a.k.a. “CVPI”)

Owner: Matthew Barnett
Hometown: Princeton, Idaho
Odometer: 146,000 miles (car), 78,000 miles (engine/transmission)
Engine: 6.0L Power Stroke with ARP head studs, Crown Victoria cooling system
Air: OEM Garrett VGT and 3-inch downpipe, custom fabricated air intake
Fuel: Stock injectors and lift pump
Oil: Factory high-pressure oil pump
Exhaust: Custom-bent 3-inch system with MBRP turn-down tip
Tuning: Innovative Diesel via SCT Livewire TS+
Transmission: Factory five-speed 5R110 TorqShift automatic
Horsepower: 450 rwhp (est.)
Torque: 850 lb-ft (est.)
Tires: Road Control Touring A/S, 235/65R17
Wheels: Factory steel, 17×7.5
Axles/Suspension: Stock 8.8-inch rear, 3-inch coil spring spacers