6th Aug 2004, 10:10
Thanks for the above comment, I feel better now about missing out on a '87 Gran Fury that was recently for sale, let it suck the money out of someone else's pocket, haha.
I don't think Dodge is trying to "brainwash" anyone about the Diplomat. They only kept it around for the fleet market after about '82-'83 and never really promoted it to the general public after that. DaimlerChrysler would probably be just as happy if all the remaining examples ended up in the junkyard.
Surprisingly, though, there seem to be at least a few people interested in the M-bodies besides our waxing-poetic friend here, judging by the number of sites devoted to them.
22nd Nov 2004, 21:25
To the first individual that responded: You bought two 1988 Diplomats and then spent triple what you paid for them to make them road worthy? If so, your judgment of used automobiles is most certainly questionable. And even if you did so, you still had far less money in both cars than what it takes to buy one new Crown Victoria today.
To the second respondent, if you were influenced enough by the first and did not take other opinions on this site into consideration, then your researching skills are also in question. Perhaps the two respondents should stick to buying new.
Any used car needs maintenance. However, I can't think of any other model that is cheaper to maintain and deliver back to you better overall economy than a F, M or J body Chrysler Motor product. The caveat here is you buy a decent one to begin with.
Finally, educated consumers of decommissioned police vehicles would expect to immediately perform the most severe servicing as indicated in the owner's manual. These vehicles are bought to be put to work and as such have a higher level of wear than their civilian counterparts.
21st Feb 2005, 11:25
Great comment just above this one. I'll add this. I'm not knocking a guy who has an interest or liking for a specific product, in this case the Dodge Diplomat. However, a guy (above) posted that he bought two of these cars a had bad luck. There's no harm in that. As he put it, he's just trying to protect car buyers. Then this Dodge Diplomat lover (I guess) gets on here and jumps all over him.
I to have owned six of these "gems". Four 1988 Diplomats, one 1987 Grand Fury Salon, and one Fifth Avenue. I purchased them in a bulk deal as I used to run a small taxi service in Boonville, MO. I was on cloud-nine when I was starting the business up. I purchased all six cars for just under 15,000 from a regional wholesale lot. My luck and patience quickly ran out with these cars. The only good thing about having them was the interchangeable parts. Well, that only worked for so long. You can only rob Peter to pay Paul for so long. After, about three weeks, I was down to two operational taxis. You can't run a business like that. The last straw was when one of the Diplomats engine seized with a customer inside. That was especially unexpected because as a precaution and to go a little longer between oil changes I ran fully synthetic motor oil and transmission fluid in all my taxis.
With that said, my business folded. I should have taken my friends advice and filled my fleet with Fords or Chevys.
These cars let me down in no time flat. That's sad. I guess if you have a burning desire to own a money pit, go by one. The purchase price is only the beginning of the cash you'll lay out trying to keep the thing on the road. Lastly, the aforementioned cars I owned were not police packages. They were civilian models. Doesn't mean they were not abused though.
10th Mar 2006, 11:26
Well if he don't drive a diplomat it must be a gran fury or a fifth avenue because he built em himself.
24th Mar 2006, 19:00
Why would you start a taxi business with old cars. You can't expect to have a good business with cars that someone else didn't maintain. perhaps you should have bought new parts instead of swapping old parts.
My 318 has never quit on me, but I'm rebuilding the engine anyway. Some people enjoy working on cars.
After 150,000 mile my 318's cylinders showed no bore wear. Not even a cylinder ridge. I'd like to see.
As for the plume of smoke, perhaps that was your rice burner, the only thing my diplomat smokes are the tires.
And yes god does drive a diplomat.
24th Mar 2006, 22:02
I have never seen, or even heard of anyone being able to seize up a 318. Even rednecks in the depths of a drunken rage, holding the throttle to the floorboard for hours, have failed to kill a 318. Obviously the poor sap who started his taxi business had some beat up lemons pawned off on him by a crooked dealer who saw a sucker coming a mile away. The statements about seizing engines and chugging along under a cloud of smoke bear zero relation to the V-8, rear-wheel-drive Mopars that I've known all my life.
25th Mar 2006, 10:23
Then either Diplomats are as bad-ass as everybody here says, or somebody quit taking their medication...
3rd Jun 2006, 20:47
Guy down the road from meed passed away. 3 years later his nephew asked if I'd like his 1985 Dodge Diplomat... for a buck. I put a little gas in the carb and it fired right up. Drove it to Advanced Auto and put in a new battery. Filled it with new gas. Everything works on it - it's just amazing. Runs like a top and I haven't even taken it to have a tune up done. New paint goes on next week. I love it.
23rd Jul 2006, 20:28
I agree, God does drive a diplomat... and so would I if I could find one for sale, preferably one of them older police cars, or even a taxi. Anyone can help?
27th Jul 2006, 20:09
The M-body cars (Fifth Ave.,Gran Fury, Diplomat) was one of Chrysler's biggest accomplishments. Just because a few people are buying poorly maintained/abused ones and complaining, don't let it stop you from buying one of these excellent cars.
26th Sep 2006, 22:06
My name is Brandon Hiltner I live in Canada and I own a 1982 Dodge Diplomat and everything is purring like a kitten. I can’t see why every one is making such big deals about old cars dieing on them. What normally happens to old cars? Well if you don’t maintain it then yes I guess it will die on you.
29th Nov 2006, 18:20
My Finace just bought an 87 Dodge Diplomat for $750 and yes he had to replace most of the parts mentioned in the first post, although he took the car to Precision Tune and paid highly for that work, but anyway the car had been sitting in a garage for years and the owner needed the cash so he sold the car. So far it's made for a very nice used car for him, much better than the 90 Chevy Lumnia he had previously. All used cars are going to need some "restoration" work done.
8th Oct 2010, 19:47
There's just a few things to remember here: to the past taxi-owner: Those cars are likeliest to belong to people who don't drive them much. Sitting a while means seals age and harden, and aren't ready to do their job when called back into service. It's better to re-break in an old car than to just start daily-driving right away.
These cars are generally reliable mechanically, but Chrysler and electrical systems didn't like each other in the 80's, so don't expect any miracles like leaving one of these sit for years, and starting it up without a new battery.
These cars were actually dated-looking when they hit the drawing board in 1978. They're a move by Chrysler in a desperate financial time to make as much money as possible. For all that, they're not bad, because the transmissions tend to be simple and reliable (the repair manual has maybe 8 or 9 pages on A904 repair, compared to countless pages on Ford AXOD). The engine was very dated (even in 1980 Chrysler was using some fuel injected variations of it), and the basic mechanicals were pretty much the same as you could find on a 1962 Dodge Dart. It isn't very fuel efficient (3 forward gears and a very old engine and transmission), it isn't very spacious (doesn't rate as a full-size by interior volume), and it isn't very modern or luxurious, but it gets the job done. Just look at this car as a more-modern time capsule to drive.
Finally, even if you like this car, there are many ways to make it better. Consider it a blank canvas.