For today's project, the foggy headlights on a 1998 ford crown victoria
police interceptor are going to be repaired. These headlights are in
good enough condition to pass the annual state smog/safety check, but
are somewhat opaque and foggy after 9 years exposed to the sun's
The first part of this repair was to acquire a couple new parts. These
are genuine OEM ford headlights for a production 2004 crown victoria.
They have been sitting unused for a few years, but still look new since
they were stored indoors in a dark dry place away from sunlight.
For this project, a few basic hand tools are required:
- Needle Nose Pliers
- Pry Bar
- Large Flat Blade Screwdriver
Now that the tools and parts have been acquired, the installation can
begin. For this project, you'll want to open the hood and remove the
plastic panel that covers the radiator and headlight area. Note that
some variant of this panel is factory installed on all 1998+ crown
victorias, but sometimes it's missing by the time the car is removed
from police service and purchased by it's second owner.
Here are the clips which hold this peice to the metal radiator core
support below. Be careful not to loose any of these when you remove the
trim panel from the car.
Now the 4 metal retainers which hold headlights into the header panel
can be slid upwards. A couple of these slid easily using a pair of
needle nose pliers, others required use of the prybar.
Driver's side prior to retaining clip
Passenger's side prior to clip removal
The retaining clips and the tools
used to remove them.
The passenger's side with the
retaining clips removed
The driver's side with the retaining
The headlights slide forward easily once the retainers have been
After disconnecting the wiring harnesses from the headlights, the
headlamp assemblies can be removed entirely.
If your car was ever in active police use, it will probably have
splices in the headlight harness from where the wig-wag headlight
flasher was installed. Now would be a good time to clean up the wiring
so that it doesn't corrode and cause issues like inoperative or
Here are the old headlights next to the new headlights.
Here is the back of the headlights.
Starting in the 2003 model year, a removeable harness was installed in
between the vehicles main electrical harness and the headlights. This
makes it easier for aftermarket upfitters to install the wig-wag
flashing headlight modules.
And a closeup of the 2003+ headlight jumper harness. Sometimes, police
departments forget to reinstall this part before they send their cars
to auction. If you're purchasing a "pre-owned" crownvic from auction,
make sure to check if your headlights illuminate properly before you
attempt to drive the car during the dark nighttime hours.
Installation of the new headlights is the reverse of removing the old
- Hold headlight near header panel
- Connect appropriate electrical connectors together
- Slide headlight fully into header panel mounts
- Use hammer and long screwdriver to gently slide the retaining
Although not part of replacing the headlights, here is the electrical
connector for the Daytime Running Light (DRL) Module. Some crownvics
intended for the united states market will have this connector present,
some will not. However, all vehicles intended for the canadian market
will have this connector present and will also have the DRL module
factory installed too. With the DRL module installed, the headlights
turn on at partial brightness whenever the engine is running.
-All 1998 and later crown victorias use the same headlight design. But
crown victoria headlamp assemblies will not physically fit in a lincoln
towncar or mercury grand marquis.
-Modern car headlight lenses are constructed of polycarbonate. This
stuff is incredibly shatter resisant, and gives automotive car
designers great flexibility in terms of cosmetic shape but it also
degrades when exposed to sunlight. Polycarbonate is also used in
prescription eye glasses (most states have outlawed using actual glass
in prescription eyeglasses).
-Do not handle headlight bulbs with your bare fingers. The oils from
your skin will cause the bulbs to burn out rather quickly.
-Some light fogging of headlamp lenses can be cleaned up using car
polish. But once polycarbonate headlights are really foggy or yellowed,
you'll want to replace your headlights with new units for long lasting
-Browsing various internet discussion forums reveals that some people
polish their car's headlights so frequently that one wonders if they
Compulsive Disorder (OCD).
-If you are purchasing aftermarket headlights, you should consider
certified parts. These will cost a little more to purchase, but
they are also much more likely to fit properly and look good when
actually installed in your car.
-Acquiring "pre-owned" headlamp assemblies from a salvage yard can be
troublesome. Some headlights will be cracked around where the adjusters
attach due to collision damage. Many auto recycling facilities will
only sell the headlights as part of a complete nose assembly. And many
of the "pre-owned" headlights that you'll find will be in similar
condition to what's currently installed on your own car.
-If you are concerned about damaging the headlamp retainer clips during
removal, you can order a pair of headlight retaining clips
ahead of time for around $15 from your local ford dealer. The part #'s
for 1998-2010 crown victorias are: F8AZ-13N020-AA (Inner) &
-Additional headlight related part numbers are avaliable by clicking