Underrated by the Ricardo Montalban ads
The front end was worn out by the time I bought the car. I replaced the bushings, ball joints, and tie rod ends.
The transmission started slipping a bit after 132,000 miles, and started leaking through the front pump area. We rebuilt the transmission, replacing the standard consumables (clutches, bands, some of the wearing metal parts), resealed the transmission, and reinstalled.
The torque converter's lockup clutch is starting to go, and under too much torque it'll slip to acting like a non-lockup converter.
The steering gearbox is worn, and there is about twenty degrees of play in the steering.
The muffler failed at about 112,000 miles and had to be replaced.
I upgraded to a 100 amp alternator, and it failed within six months. I blame the rebuild though, not Chrysler.
The radiator failed at about 115,000 miles. Since I live in the desert, I replaced the two core radiator with a three core radiator.
The exhaust manifolds started leaking and had to be removed, cleaned, and reinstalled with gaskets. (they were installed metal to metal at the factory)
The dash pad and several of the interior pieces had degraded and were replaced. The seats continue to wear, mainly from being in 100+ degree weather for six months at a stretch for the last 25 years.
The Electronic Lean Burn computer was experiencing problems, and had to be bypassed. This also required replacing the non-vacuum distributor with a vacuum-advance distributor.
The starter failed after about 125,000 miles. The cheap rebuild that I installed failed about 3000 miles later.
The original from disc brakes had to be replaced after about 135,000 miles after I didn't get to the worn pads soon enough.
The turn signal switch is starting to have trouble, with the plastic part in the column.
The steering column tilt mechanism has a bolt loose, and the column can shift a little more than it's supposed to.
This car has been a lot of fun to drive. It's also been fun to work on. Many of the things listed in the 'wrong' category were things that could have been lived with, but I felt like fixing them.
Bodily, the car is still in excellent shape, especially considering that it's 25 years old and has never had any body work performed. The paint is a little tired, but that's to be expected.
Mechanically, the majority of the issues that have come up have been small, or expected at least. The transmission's problems were annoying, but pulling it out from under the car was relatively straightforward, and rebuilding it wasn't too difficult either. It took a weekend.
Considering the cost I paid for the car ($1200), and the costs of the repairs over the last two years (less than the cost of the car), I'd definitely say that I've come out ahead.
Post-suspension rebuild, the car handles surprisingly well, and corners well with its front and rear sway bars. It also accelerates well, despite only have a two barrel carburetor on a smog-year 360 engine. With the 9.25" 3.21 Sure Grip rear axle, I can surprise people occasionally off the line, and I've never worried about traction in bad weather.
It is sometimes difficult to park, but I've noticed that people tend to avoid parking too close to me. One of the benefits of having something that is made out of real metal, unlike the Thunderbird that I used to own.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 1st December, 2003