1988 Chrysler LeBaron Convertible 2.5L TBI from North America
Cheap Fun Reliability
The only design problem I've fought is the valve cover gasket. Third try seemed to fix it (with a $50 gasket!)
Age related problems: MAP sensor, A/C, torque converter lockup solenoid, EGR valve, shocks, odometer gear, vacuum hoses, oil pressure sender.
Now everything works and there are ZERO engine fault codes!
There is some suspension squeaks and noise, but the poor car is driven daily in Mexico where the roads are bad and the speed bumps are severe.
It is completely reliable and I have less than $3500 in the car.
It came with one surprise: a cracked block. I put rubber freeze plugs and radiator sealer in it, and drive - drive - drive. 200 mile trips are no problem.
Very comfortable driver's seat. Others only acceptable.
The car is 18 years old, and the interior is basically flawless. No cracks in the vinyl seats or dash, only some fading of the carpet.
Handling is good for a small coupe, and better than the trucks and vans I'd been driving. The front end does flex some, being a convertible.
A/C is good and cold now (still using R-12).
If I could just talk myself into a new $500 top...
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 6th July, 2006
Author update: in 2008 I finally decided to fix the leak and had a junkyard put in a different 2.5L. What a disappointment! I've fought every electrical and vacuum problem there is since then. To the point I will sell the car now. Moral: should'a taken it to my real mechanic to put the engine in!!!
Still love the car looks, though (sigh)
Finally, today I drove it 40 miles and got zero error codes again. But it vibrates since mr junkyard got through with it...