Someone bring me back to reality - PLEASE!!

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Someone bring me back to reality - PLEASE!!

Postby ETK3 » Wed Jul 09, 2008 12:55 pm

Hello all.
My mom owns a 1982 Lebaron Convertible with 84k original miles. Generally well cared for and garage kept for it's entire life. However it is in the Mid-Atlantic area and has been exposed to various "cancer" causing agents during its' lifetime so it does have a couple of "sores" poking through (one in the trunk lid and one near the chrome boot snap ring).
The engine (carb-ed 2.2L) is in definite need of work (looks just a trifle oily on the outside - as does the garage floor underneath) and combined with the squeaky/squawky suspension one is inspired to go the speed limit (or below) and hold the steering wheel with 2 hands.
Am I nuts to put any money into this vehicle? I have visions of swapping out the motor with a fuel injected version and trying to beef up the suspension a little. And of course that will also lead to "cancer" repairs. And we will probably need new canvas for the top. Oh yeah, and I can't forget the bucket seat that has no support in one corner (that one is aggravating and I suspect extremely unsafe). And I guess the list goes on from there.
And then of course there is the issue of finding someone on the East Coast who is willing to work on a K-Car still and actually care enough to do it right.
So what do you good folks think? Am I insane to even consider this? Should I drop it before I get any further than just thinking about it?

Re: Someone bring me back to reality - PLEASE!!

Postby dodgeariesguy » Wed Jul 09, 2008 4:00 pm

Well its not crazy because i'm doing something similar with my 87 Aries so go ahead splurge a little a put a piece of history on the road friend.

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Re: Someone bring me back to reality - PLEASE!!

Postby Silverbeard » Thu Jul 10, 2008 2:58 am

First , join the club!! No charge, lots of info and pictures and help.
Since you mentioned the seat problem, have a good body man determine if it is just the floor or is it the frame as that is most important to the structure of a convertible.
Motors and body parts can be repaired.
I believe all 82 LeBarons had the 2,6L, not a 2.2 , make sure before trying to repair the motor.
Good Luck
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Re: Someone bring me back to reality - PLEASE!!

Postby ETK3 » Thu Jul 10, 2008 12:23 pm

Thanks for the replies.
As for the seat, it has had issues for years. It is firmly mounted to the floor. But there is a catch on the back right that must not have a stop point or something. The left side locks up nice and tightly but the right side flexes backward. I think my mom had it "fixed" once but the fix apparently wasn't permanent. It was probably OK for her but at a 6'3" - 240 it is a bit awkward for me. :-)
I will double check the engine. Thanks for the advice. But I am pretty sure it was just the 2.2. On that note, you think I would be better off just getting the OM rebuilt rather than swapping it out for a rebuilt fuel injected model? I had to pump the gas pedal about 30 times (really) to get it to start the other day. Then it runs "unevenly" until it warms up. And it is a real struggle to get it up to and over 40 which makes me think the compression isn't right. And if I am doing that then I guess I should get the transmisssion R&R'ed?
Of course the next hurdle will be finding a mechanic who is willing to take on a K-Car and do it right. I suspect that might take some doing.
Anyway, thanks for the replies everyone!

Re: Someone bring me back to reality - PLEASE!!

Postby RichG » Fri Jul 11, 2008 1:46 pm

Cancer can be taken care of by competent body work. I'd do a compression check first (head gasket issues with many LeBarons) and if that looks good, the basics: plugs, wires, pickup, gas filter, clean the carb intakes. If theres still power/starting issues, and the computers are o.k., it's still probably a fuel delivery system problem. I don't know if that year has a mechanical or electric fuel pump, but if that's o.k., carb rebuild or swap. Reality is, if it's a solid vehicle, you have a 26 year old classic with less than 3300 miles a year on it (amortized). It should give years more service....
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Re: Reality Check Complete!

Postby TomChrysler » Fri Nov 14, 2008 3:36 pm

Hi Rich!

If you are unable to get the car over 40, and it sputters while cold, it may be time for a new Logic Module. The Logic Module controls all fuel delivery by computer. They tend to fry as the car ages. Not very expensive compared to other repairs ($150) and easy to replace (behind the passenger kick panel under the dash). I had two dealers overlook this. Once replaced, the Mighty K was back to her old self again. I hope this information is helpful to you.

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