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2020 Charger Pursuit - Update

Discussion in 'Police, Taxis, Ambulances, etc' started by AHBGuru, Nov 7, 2019.

  1. AHBGuru

    AHBGuru Active Member

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    You're comparing apples to oranges here, while trying to steer the narrative.

    First, in order to stay within the fold of this forum and discussion, we're talking about the transmissions used in the Charger Pursuit models from 2006-2019. When these cars were/are in service, they don't use aftermarket performance kits in them during servicing. They use readily available repair parts specific to the model. As these are emergency response vehicles used in an extremely demanding application, they cannot afford to use replacement parts of unkown origin, quality, or without required certifications that they meet police specifications.

    With regard to interchangeability, there's very little, if any, direct compatability between the MB assembly and the Chrysler transmissions. This is a trap than many aftermarket suppliers and parts stores have fallen into, out of sheer laziness more than anything. These outfits simply lump together everything they deem to be "similar" and equate it as "the same". A good example is parts stores showing interchanges between the older LX models and newer LD models with things like suspension parts, fuel pumps, throttle bodies, etc etc. Yes, some of these parts may look similar, but they are not the same, and that causes no end of trouble when it won't quite bolt up or plug in, or the ECM won't recognize it, or some other PITA issue.

    But what about the A580? Again, interchange is very limited by year. Currently, Chrysler is showing one Mopar Reman part number that covers the V-8 LX cars. For V-8 LD models, there is presently one number for the 2011 - 2014 models, another for 2015-2017, and the last (which will eventually supercede all previous LD assemblies) for the 2018/19 models.

    Bottom line - as previously stated, they are Chrysler assemblies derived from the MB transmission, which itself was derived from the 5HP30. That's really all there is to it. It was a decent design, and once Chrysler assumed production, it gained a reputation as one of the most bullet-proof automatics they ever built - and it was very well-liked by the agencies that had/have them.
     
    pug-man likes this.
  2. AHBGuru

    AHBGuru Active Member

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    Ford still has pockets of brand loyalists, but the same is true of Chrysler and GM.
    It's interesting to note the changes in ordering once the Durango Pursuit became available - orders for half Charger/half Ford (or Tahoes) quickly became Charger/Durango.

    To that observation, I will add this:
    When Fleet upgrades the Durango with full police features from the Charger (rubber floor, vinyl rear seat, column shift, higher top speed, larger brakes), we will very likely see a decent-sized exodus from the hideously expensive Ford and the clumsy Tahoe.
     
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  3. Tony K

    Tony K Active Member

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    Can you be any more presumptive? I asked a question as I happen to be preparing to service my 08 Grand Cherokee, and the question relates to this sub-thread. That may be outside the general scope of the thread, but that's hardly, as you say, "steering the narrative."
     
  4. Chase300

    Chase300 Well-Known Member

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    That I can believe...but would think it comes down to price in the end? Is the Explorer now priced with the Charger or less than the Durango? I have a friend who is a Sheriff...not a Mopar fan at all. His main complaint is lack of room in Charger, which is why his dept prefers the Explorer. He also claims it has F250 brakes on it, so no issues braking, is fast enough..they don't have the Ecoboost engines, but the NA 3.7L. Also trunk size and its better able to cross medians without bottoming out.
    Those are his selling points on the Explorer over the Charger.

    It looks like Ford is all in on the Explorer as their police vehicle, GM Tahoe, and Mopar will have 2 choices...Durango and Charger.
    As you say, once they get the Durango ironed out, it should be a great choice, assuming Mopar will be able to build them.
     
    wolfsblood07 likes this.
  5. valiant67

    valiant67 ...

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    It really comes down to cost, not price. You may get in with a low bid, but if the vehicle is troublesome, expensive to maintain, or has terrible resale (not always an issue as some departments run them to death) those factors can negate a low bid price.
     
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  6. Bearhawke

    Bearhawke Things happen for a reason

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    The 1991-96 Caprice is a textbook example of taking a homely looking vehicle and, really primping it's looks for 1995-96, as well as really amping up the horsepower, starting with the 350/LT1 for 1994.
     
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  7. AHBGuru

    AHBGuru Active Member

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    Several factors come into play with bids and purchasing

    - Politics (always)
    - Price
    - Specs
    - Operating costs
    - Resale values

    Many agencies do it the right way - find the right tool for the job. They go through the MSP or LASD tests, find the models that qualify, then advertise for bids. It used to be the highest-performing vehicle at the lowest bid price would, or should, win. Most often, the winner was the lowest price of qualifying vehicles.

    The perception that the Charger is "small" is directly related to the console size, which we mentioned earlier. The Charger actually has the same shoulder size as the old Queen Victoria. But hip sizing is far different. A few inches can make a huge difference in any vehicle.
    On the Charger, the space between the door armrests is quite a bit less, and eating up the large space in the middle is that heavy, clumsy console. This is 100% the aftermarket's fault, but retail cars do suffer the same issue. Anyone with the factory "short" police console will attest to how roomy the Charger really is.

    Trouble is the name of the game in police vehicles. If a given make or model has a weakness, putting it into police service will expose it very quickly. The early LX cars were poor. No way around it. That stigma still exists, as some departments who tried an LX refuse to consider a new LD, even though they are not the same car.

    The only true advantage Ford really has today is brand loyalty. When Ford owned the market, from roughly 1997 - 2007, many agencies had things very streamlined between their dealer and upfitters, so there were few problems. Along comes Chevy with their improved Tahoe PPV, and Chrysler with their improved Pursuits, and it upsets the apple cart. Out of shear laziness, some agencies continue to buy Ford because of that brand loyalty, but it's no longer cheap or justifiable:

    The 2020 Ford PI start at appx. $34,000 on bid for the base model. The Tahoe 4×4 is about the same. The Durango V8 starts around $29,000, and the AWD Charger at $24,500.
    Ford does not offer anywhere near the standard features that Dodge does, so to make the vehicles comparable, you must start checking the options off on the Ford. On price alone, the Charger cannot be beat, especially with the performance. The present Durango performs on par with the 4×4 Tahoe, and the pending upgrades will allow it to perform like the Fords, at an undoubtably lower price.

    Operating costs? Right now, as the LAPD and CHP could attest to, the V6 Charger is far and away the champ. This will be even more pronounced with the 30 mpg 2020 models, but I don't have any idea of how many '20s were produced with the 850RE. The rest of the vehicles - it leans pretty heavy towards the newest AWD Chargers, as they don't have the flimsy tension struts the pre-2016 cars had, and the valvetrain issues in the V8 engine started to disappear about the same time. The Ford has atrocious operating costs, particularly fuel, and the Chevy eats more cams than the Hemi did.

    It is interesting to note in the 2019/20 LASD tests that they were not overly gracious with either the new Ford or the Durango. They have always had a bias against Chrysler since their '82 Plymouths, so it's important to consider that when reading through those tests.

    I believe the agencies that are getting it right are the ones splitting the bids between the Charger and one of the SUVs. Buying the right tool for the job means it's less likely to ask a vehicle to do that for which it wasn't designed. The Charger wasn't designed for off-roading, so it has less ground clearance. Amusingly, however, the Ford isn't much better, about an inch and a half, if memory serves. The stories of the Charger in the median are probably the result of some operator trying a stunt that would damage any if the newer squads. The old Crown Vic was notorious for dragging its butt through mud, the blood, and the beer. Probably the only vehicles today that would fare better are the pickups.
     
    Chase300, Bearhawke, Tony K and 2 others like this.

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