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98 to 02 Front Clip on 03+?

CuttingToolGuy

New member
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I have an 02 Cartier and like it but, I want something a little longer. So, I am considering getting an L series.

The thing is I prefer the 98 to 02 front clip to the later style. To my eye it is like going from a porpoise to a beluga. So, I would like to get an L Series and a front end from a 98 and blend them.

I know the frames were changed in 03. But, can't find any info on sheet metal mounting points. Has anybody done this kind of modification (either direction) or know of reasons it wont work?
 

bbf2530

Junior Member
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I have an 02 Cartier and like it but, I want something a little longer. So, I am considering getting an L series.

The thing is I prefer the 98 to 02 front clip to the later style. To my eye it is like going from a porpoise to a beluga. So, I would like to get an L Series and a front end from a 98 and blend them.

I know the frames were changed in 03. But, can't find any info on sheet metal mounting points. Has anybody done this kind of modification (either direction) or know of reasons it wont work?
Hi CTG. I am not sure if the mounting points will all be compatible. They may.

However, when you state you want to replace the entire front clip, you are referring to the entire front bumper cover, grille, hood, fenders, headlight housings, parking light housings, possibly the front underbody shield etc, etc? Is that correct? Just want to make sure we are discussing the same thing. Because at a minimum, that is what would need replacing.

At least in my estimation/opinion, it would be needlessly expensive to locate, purchase, paint and mount, even if everything mounts up perfectly.

Good luck with whatever you decide to do.
 

bmarler

Member
81
25
18
yeah, i'm not fond of the early front end. that big horizontal gap where the hood meets the grille just looks unfinished to me. if i were you i'd just learn to love the newer style. it would be hugely troublesome to make that swap work.
 

CuttingToolGuy

New member
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Hi CTG. I am not sure if the mounting points will all be compatible. They may.

However, when you state you want to replace the entire front clip, you are referring to the entire front bumper cover, grille, hood, fenders, headlight housings, parking light housings, possibly the front underbody shield etc, etc? Is that correct? Just want to make sure we are discussing the same thing. Because at a minimum, that is what would need replacing.

At least in my estimation/opinion, it would be needlessly expensive to locate, purchase, paint and mount, even if everything mounts up perfectly.

Good luck with whatever you decide to do.
Yes, R&R all that, radiator mount as well if needed. Of course the car would need a paint job.

I have done similar modifications on other cars, most recently a 2000 front clip on a 96 Trans Am. In that case the unibody was the same.

I am not sure what all was changed on the 03' update. All I have been able to find online is the frame was widened to accommodate the new front suspension and/or allow the Maruader to fit the 4V heads.

I usually source parts from pick n pull or off craigslist and do my own labor except for paint. I can see a 98' for sale on craigslist right now for $700. I could buy it, take what I need & sell to a junkyard for $200. Net $500 cost. Probably be able to sell the clean 03+ front end as well.

I am still in the planning stages so, if anyone else knows any stumbling blocks please let me know.
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dave42

Senior Member
308
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Leander, TX C.K.U.
I don't understand. You like the '98-02 style. You want a longer car. You know they made L-series in those years, right? Find one of those.

By the way, you are one of the few people I've heard of who prefer the front end style of the '98-02 over the '03+, but people like what they like.
 

CuttingToolGuy

New member
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I don't understand. You like the '98-02 style. You want a longer car. You know they made L-series in those years, right? Find one of those.

By the way, you are one of the few people I've heard of who prefer the front end style of the '98-02 over the '03+, but people like what they like.
Different tastes I guess....

I do like the late 3rd gen hood ornament, auto trunk closure & parking assist.(when it works) Also, it is claimed the handling is better on late 3rd gens. Although, I am happy with my Cartier after boxing the A arms, police anti sway up front/towing anti sway in back and Bilstein shocks.

I have never seen a early 3rd gen L series in real life, only on internet, while I do see late 3rd gen L Series for sale. I think the longer doors look better than the wide strip that seems to be a stopgap measure in the pics of 01 - 02 L Series.

Per wikipedia "In 2001, the stretched Town Car L was introduced, with a six-inch stretch in its wheelbase. To produce the variant at lower cost, the B-pillar was widened on 2001-2002 versions to use the existing rear door glass of the standard Town Car. In 2003, the Town Car L was redesigned, giving it model-specific doors proportioned to the longer roofline; these versions are distinguished by wider rear quarter glass in the doors."

I would be curious to see actual production numbers for 01' & 02' L Series. I suspect it was more something offered but not widely sold or else they all went into Taxi service and have been consumed while standard early 3rd gens were sold to individuals and thus are more roadworthy.

I appreciate everyone's input so far.
Thank you
 

You_dont_gnome

New member
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0
1
Everything bolts up. The radiator support needs to be swapped so it latches with the corresponding hood. Fenders, hood, bumper, etc will obviously need to be swapped as well. I understand you're going backwards but newer front clip swaps are fairly common in the lowrider world on these cars. Good luck 👍
 

CuttingToolGuy

New member
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3
Thank you "You_dont_gnome", that confirms my suspicions & gives me the confidence to forge ahead.
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