1986 Dodge Diplomat S.E. from North America - Comments

4th Feb 2005, 13:49

Wow someone two comments up is certainly bitter about these cars. Personally I have had four total "M" body cars and have loved them all. One 1986 Diplomat police package had 343,000 when I sold it, all it needed was a new carbuerator to function properly. I now own two. These are cheap cars to buy, affordable to maintain, and reliable to drive. How many other 16-28 year old cars can make that claim? I believe this is testimony to the quality of these fine automobiles.

27th Jul 2006, 20:31

Maybe he's referring the Oldsmobile 307, a very reliable V-8 (I prefer the Chrysler 318 myself)

4th Sep 2006, 16:29

I own one owned one and it is a great car with lots of class.

7th Sep 2006, 08:40

I am 20 years old.

The other day I went to look for a old school car such as a Caprice or Caddy and I came across a ‘96 Dodge Diplomat. I feel in love with it. The car is beautiful and it was in good shape and there is not one problem with it. I’m buying it today.

I started it up, man you can not even hear the engine. Never thought I would ever like a car like that.

And the car I am bout to buy will most defiantly turn some heads.

7th Sep 2006, 16:48

Right, except that there is no such thing as a '96 Diplomat.

7th Sep 2006, 20:37

You mean 86 Diplomat, I assume. Does your car have the 318 or the ol' slant 6?

8th Sep 2006, 12:56

It has to be the 318 because Dodge did not use the slant six in passenger cars after 1983, though it continued to be available in pickup trucks for a while after that.

22nd Mar 2007, 19:50

Don't buy Diplomats they are crap. The front suspentions systems bend at the shock towers and the K members crack if the cars are driven hard. The only good thing about these cars is the 318 V8 and slant 6 thats it.

23rd Mar 2007, 07:56

"Don't buy Diplomats, they are crap."

Seems like everybody else who has one disagrees with you. If you want to drive it through the cornfield, what do you expect to happen to the front suspension?

15th Jun 2007, 16:58

I have an 86 diplomat, no vinyl top. It had a blown 318, with a torque-flight 3 speed, which was why it was only $100. I dropped in 383 big block from a '68 polara (beefed up the front suspension, removed inner fenders) and put in a 4-speed w/hydraulic clutch. She'll now do high 10s on the track.

9th Aug 2007, 12:25

My 1987 Diplomat SE has held up great. It looks really great if it is treated well and if it is not pushed to hard, it will run great.

24th Sep 2007, 08:44

I bought (for $1) a 1987 Dodge Diplomat SE - from (you guessed it) a little old lady who drove it to church. It only has 80,000 miles on it and is CHERRY! White with red vinyl top and perfect red interior. I am hoping to sell it when I get the title back from DMV as it is way too big for me. My question - I noticed that, for the first 15 minutes of driving, it seems to hesitate before shifting into 2nd and again into 3rd. After it warms up, it stops that. Maybe I'm pressing too hard on the gas as I'm used to a little Honda with zip - or am I looking at transmission trouble and in the near future?

My 2nd question: my mechanic says it is worth $2000 (in California anyway). Is this way too much?

24th Sep 2007, 16:18

To 8:44, I would say that the shifting is a little sluggish because after so many years, it probably needs the transmission fluid and filter changed. If it hasn't been driven much, and has been sitting a lot, it might be a little slow to engage. It could also need some transmission fluid -- check the level on the transmission dipstick when the car is idling hot in neutral. Also, it's best to let an automatic transmission warm up in neutral for a few moments to get the fluid circulating and up to operating temperature.

Remember that the V-8 has different characteristics than your Honda. The V-8 probably runs at much lower rpm's (most driving in the 1,200-2,200 rpm range) and has more torque, but that in the 1980's, V-8's were strangled with emissions controls so they don't rev up and develop a lot of horsepower -- probably only about 150 hp in the case of this 318. Still a good engine, though, and if you were going to keep it, there is a lot you could do to wake it up. The gearing is also most likely set up for highway cruising to get better mileage, so with a high gear ratio, you won't feel as much snap in street driving unless you shift manually to get the engine revved up. Sounds like a nice car.

8th May 2008, 10:52

I am 16 years old. My dad has had the Dip for me since I was born, and now that I can drive it, I love it. It's a good car and I can fit a lot of friends in. Anyone else have a pic of their car? I would like to see it. Email me at rftmoon@hotmail.com

1st Dec 2008, 23:11

I'm thinking that if it's surging at highway speed, it's leaning out in those occasions. Maybe it's a vacuum leak? I can't remember if the 318 was carb or FI in 86, but if it's a carb, then it's probably got a slightly modernized version of the Lean Burn emissions control system. They can be a temperamental beast to manage when they start to go wrong.

You should check out www.allpar.com and sign up for the forums there. There's lots of highly knowledgeable people there who will be better able to help you determine what's going on with your engine.

2nd Dec 2008, 11:49

To address the surging, you should also try changing the fuel filter (or filters). It's simple and cheap, and if it's clogged it could be causing a flow restriction. Also check the fuel pump for proper pressure, and check the crankcase to see if fuel is leaking in, which could denote a bad pump.

21st Dec 2008, 17:49

No doubt about it, those old Diplomats look good. I use to own one an SE model; it was an 84, one of the first with the turn signals above the headlights. I saw one the other day and it brought back memories of (I am now feeling old) almost a quarter century ago, and it's only now that I appreciate the styling of them old mopars.

3rd Jan 2009, 23:43

The comment before, you stated he had the SE model with the turn signals above the headlights, as did the m body New Yorker.

28th May 2009, 14:00

These cars are not worthless. Look at:

Marks 360 5th ave: http://www.cardomain.com/ride/2205449

Check out dippy.org

I have one, want to turn it into a track car, it's an 87 ex-undercover cop car.

4th Jul 2009, 06:28

Well plenty of the Chevy Caprices and Ford Crown Vics made through the early 1990s were still pretty unpretentious working-man V8 sedans.

All gone now and they will most certainly never be coming back. Not only are those companies being gradually eliminated, what's more important is that standard of living of American workers is being reduced. The future is all Mercedes limousines and public transport, my friends.

12th Jul 2010, 13:28

Hey, I'm 22 yrs old, and just bought myself a 86 Diplomat. I am very excited to have this car, been driving it for a few weeks now. It needs some work, but I bought it as a father son project for me and my dad, but I think it will more than replace anything that I was thinking of buying.

18th Dec 2010, 11:04

I have a 85 police model with the 318 with 360 heads. It has a lot of power and has been a good car. The only thing is it, when it's real hot out and you just sit and idle when you go to take off, it will bog down then die. Have to let it sit a while. I've had the car 7 or 8 years. And they like to rust under the doors here in the Mid West.

31st Dec 2010, 18:28

For the sport of it, change the fuel pick up strainer in the gas tank, and with a bit of luck, it might run perfect after that.

23rd Jun 2012, 02:25

I agree!! They're great cars. I have a 86 SE. If anyone knows of some spares parts or a parts car, that would be a huge help to me.

20th May 2013, 02:25

It's funny, the muffler fell off on the railroad and the car doesn't sound any different. That just goes to show why you don't need 3 catalytic converters on the exhaust of a car with that small of a motor. But I've redone mine now with ported out headers and four barrel intake off of a 360. The thing is pushing about 250 HP from that and removing all of the environmental care junk off the engine and exhaust. The car is kind of fun to drive now, and gets about the same and sometimes a little bit better gas mileage.

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