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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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