Do I Need a Lift Kit to Put 24s on a 2001 Mercury Marquis?

by Richard Rowe

There's just something magical about late-model, Panther-platform cars like the Grand Marquis and Crown Victoria. Even if you're not a fan of cops cars -- or luxury cars that look like them -- the full-sized, V-8-powered, rear-drive Panther platform really did have a kind of old-school charm that nothing else has offered since.

Maintaining Stock Wheel Clearance

The stock tire on a Grand Marquis is a 225/60SR16 on a 16-inch rim, and it measures 26.6 inches in diameter. If you're looking to maintain the stock wheel clearance, then that's extremely marginal for anything but a show car. To maintain that diameter and width with a 24-inch rim, you'd need 15-series tires; even if you could find them, sidewalls that short wouldn't protect your rims from a dead bug in the road, and would rattle your teeth out of your head. If you got skinny 6-inch-wide rims, you could use a 150/25R24 tire. That 25-series sidewall is an improvement, and it's driveable -- barely.

Taller Tires and Maximum Size

A 29.5-inch-diamter tire is about the largest you can fit into the Grand Marquis wheel well without lifting it. That's going to leave you with about an inch of clearance above the tire, which is asking for tire rub over every road imperfection if you don't use stiffer springs and shocks. Still, it's plausible, and you'll be able to use 30-series tires maintaining the stock 225 mm width. If 225/30R24 tires are still a bit stiff for you, you can use narrower 6-inch rims and matching tires. That gives you a pretty fat 45-series, 150/45R24 tire with plenty of cushion to make up for stiff suspension. Even so, you're still best off going with at least a 1-inch lift to prevent bottoming out in the wheel well.

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