1986 Dodge Charger Reviews

1986 Dodge Charger Shelby 2.2 liter turbo from North America

Year of manufacture1986
First year of ownership1986
Most recent year of ownership1991
Engine and transmission 2.2 liter turbo Manual
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Dealer Service marks 5 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.2 / 10
Distance when acquired12 kilometres
Most recent distance75000 kilometres

Summary:

Great car that still looks good today

Faults:

An alternator bracket broke. Bought a new one and installed it myself for about $10.

General Comments:

This was my first car and I wish I still had it. It was pretty fast in the day and cornered like it was on rails (especially with the low profile Eagle GT Gatorbacks that came standard on the Shelby edition).

The CS seats were comfortable and the inside was reasonably spacious.

Gas mileage was pretty good; low 20s in the city and pushing 30 MPG on the highway.

In the five years I owned it, I only performed oil changes. Still had the original brakes and tires (which were in need of replacement).

It was a very reliable car, that even today, looks great.

The only complaints were the engine and transmission were not very refined. The clutch was a bit heavy and the stick shift wasn't the smoothest compared to newer cars.

I totaled it in a snow storm over 20 years ago. They are getting pretty rare these days, but if you spot a stock one with low miles that hasn't been thrashed, it's worth it. Great bang for the buck!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 2nd May, 2013

1986 Dodge Charger 2.2L turbo from North America

Model year1986
Year of manufacture1986
First year of ownership2006
Most recent year of ownership2007
Engine and transmission 2.2L turbo Manual
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 7 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.0 / 10
Distance when acquired18425 miles
Most recent distance18431 miles
Previous carMazda B2000

Summary:

The best car I have ever owned!

Faults:

Bolt missing for right side lower ball joint- purchased bolt, and installed.

Tach Stopped Working- Checked and fixed loose connection.

Drivers door handle not opening properly- Adjusted linkage to door latch.

Strong Arms for rear hatch worn out- ordered, and installed New Strong Arms.

General Comments:

Fast, reliable, great running car, good on gas, great handling!!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 2nd January, 2007

3rd Jan 2007, 19:44

I just HAD to comment on your review. Several years ago I bought a 1990 Omni 2.2 (non-turbo) with 180,000 miles on it. I bought it from my best friend who bought it new, so I knew its history really well. He had only done 1 brake job and installed 1 timing belt in the 180,000 miles he had driven it. I drove it to 240,000 miles and did another brake job, installed another timing belt, and replace 1 heater hose. That's it. NO other repairs. I sold the car (for exactly what I paid for it!!) still running perfectly and still not using a drop of oil. The A/C had NEVER had freon added and still blew cold. It was the most trouble free car I have ever owned. I wish I could find another like it!! I wish you luck and hope your Charger is as dependable as my Omni was.

3rd Jan 2007, 21:46

I must admit, although I hate American cars I am still tempted to find an Omni GLH.

4th Jan 2007, 10:00

I agree. I remember when I was an intern at this Fortune 500 company you could look out on the parking lot and see the usual Mercedes and BMWs. But one of my bosses showed me his car and it was an Omni GLH. He said he didn't care about prestige, he just liked to go FAST!

1986 Dodge Charger Shelby 2.2L turbo from North America

Model year1986
Year of manufacture1986
First year of ownership1994
Most recent year of ownership2005
Engine and transmission 2.2L turbo Manual
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 7 / 10
Comfort marks 3 / 10
Dealer Service marks 2 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 5 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
5.4 / 10
Distance when acquired72000 miles
Most recent distance120000 miles

Summary:

It's a Honda eating rocket skate

Faults:

Turbo seal went at 80,000 miles, replaced with rebuilt turbo.

Motor melted two pistons due to improperly installed vacuum lines controlling turbo. Had engine rebuilt.

Color stripe is fading badly, but is expected when in south Florida sun.

General Comments:

I found very few garages or dealerships that have mechanics qualified or trained to work on early turbo cars; instead of saying they have no idea how to repair, they simply charge for lots of experimenting and learning time.

You will feel every rock and crack in the asphalt in these cars.

Not a car for you daily driver; unless you daily drive a long winding road.

It is a rocket skate and corners like a slot car.

This is built like a tank for what is supposed to be a lightweight economy car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 21st January, 2005

21st Feb 2010, 18:19

I bought one of these about 10 years ago as a basket case. After a reassembly the machine worked well until the clutch decided that enough was enough at 110,000 miles.

Replaced the clutch, pressure plate, throw-out bearing and refaced the flywheel as a fix for the clutch, and all is well as of now with 132000 miles.

Age has melted or petrified many of the vacuum lines, and almost all have been replaced at one time or another (normal wear and tear I would say).

Some of the flexible brake lines have gone bad and have been replaced with after-market parts. No big expense here.

Currently the steering is spastic with assist in one direction, and sometimes assist in the other direction -- such behavior can be disconcerting if one is not aware of the malady.

The paint is fading, and all of the decals are in a very worn state, but still the machine is very recognizable as a Shelby Charger to anyone who was around in the late 80's or early 90's.

1986 Dodge Charger from North America

Year of manufacture1986
First year of ownership1999
Most recent year of ownership2001
Engine and transmission Automatic
Performance marks 6 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.7 / 10
Distance when acquired85000 miles
Most recent distance102000 miles

Summary:

Cheap and reliable, but definitely not stylish

Faults:

Seat belts aren't very effective.

The factory stereo comes and goes.

The radiator committed suicide at 99000 miles. Overheats occasionally. The engine blew, and was replaced before my ownership. Bought it for $150.

General Comments:

This car is very reliable and one of the last vehicles that has a steel body. None of that plexiglass crap on this piece.

It could use new shocks and struts because the ride isn't so pampered.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 12th May, 2001

25th Sep 2001, 13:38

I think these are the coolest cars made, they are cheap on gas and somewhat zippy, especially Shelby's which me and my brother both have. I love these cars.

22nd May 2004, 19:51

I have to agree that these cars are fast. I have a stock (soon to be a "sleeper") 1986 Shelby Charger and it will wax my friends cars with ease. It may be old, but it can still rock 'n' roll!

22nd Oct 2006, 22:19

I've Got an 82 Plymonth TC3 with the 1.7. The most reliable car I've ever owned. Great on gas 35 mpg and it moves. It will pig the 85 mph with ease. I've currently own a 62 Chevy Belair and a 2004 Blazer Xtream, but the plymonth see everyday driving including weekends. I even drive it up in the club parking lot. Currently restoring the interior as well the body. Just bought an 86 charger 2.2 for my brother to drive as well.

Average review marks: 7.1 / 10, based on 4 reviews