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Thread: LeBaron Konvertible

  1. #1
    Supporting Member II Turbo Mopar Contributor 85lebaront2's Avatar
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    LeBaron Konvertible

    As some of you know my original "toy" was totalled by a woman in a Mercedes ML320 back in February. I am reconstructing things into a 1986 Konvertible. I will put some pictures of the original build-up, engine, wiring, etc. on here.
    The 85 started out with a 2.6L Mitsubishi, after finding 3 cracked combustion chambers, I decided to accelerate my Turbo conversion. I saved the TurboII package, top, wiring, and most of the parts I had replaced along with the external modifications like power side mirrors.
    The new body will have a few changes, like changing to a SBEC and sequential injection from the present 87 Daytona two part system. I am trying to adapt a 1989 J body dashboard so I can have nice analog gauges. K cars had two choices, Analog speedometer with mostly idiot lights, or digital.
    "growing old is inevitable, growing up is optional"
    1986 Lebaron convertible to replace totalled 85
    1986 Ford F350 Crew Cab DRW
    1995 Lincoln Continental (project car)
    2011 Ford Flex Limited (wife's)

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    Moderator Turbo Mopar Staff Vigo's Avatar
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    Re: LeBaron Konvertible

    Oh i love the old k-convertibles!! Cant wait for pics!

    Dont push the red button.You hear me?

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    Re: LeBaron Konvertible

    Aww man, sorry to hear about your accident, hopefully you weren't hurt. Did you post a thread about the incident?

    Best of luck with your new project, sounds very interesting!
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    Supporting Member II Turbo Mopar Contributor 85lebaront2's Avatar
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    Re: LeBaron Konvertible

    Quote Originally Posted by blk86trbo View Post
    Aww man, sorry to hear about your accident, hopefully you weren't hurt. Did you post a thread about the incident?

    Best of luck with your new project, sounds very interesting!
    I think I did post it, it may have been on the other site. No I wasn't really hurt, just a bit POd over it. The reason for the body change is just that, Chrysler changed the rear completely in 1986. As a result, I can't use the 86 right quarter on the 85, I would have to use the entire rear clip. I started stripping the 85 Sunday.
    "growing old is inevitable, growing up is optional"
    1986 Lebaron convertible to replace totalled 85
    1986 Ford F350 Crew Cab DRW
    1995 Lincoln Continental (project car)
    2011 Ford Flex Limited (wife's)

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    Moderator Turbo Mopar Staff Vigo's Avatar
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    Re: LeBaron Konvertible

    I started stripping the 85 Sunday.
    So thats why we havent seen any sweet pics yet?

    Dont push the red button.You hear me?

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    Supporting Member II Turbo Mopar Contributor 85lebaront2's Avatar
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    Re: LeBaron Konvertible

    Basically, i will try to put the engine build up and wiring pics on when I get some time. I will also be selling a lot of the extra 85 parts for anyone interested.
    "growing old is inevitable, growing up is optional"
    1986 Lebaron convertible to replace totalled 85
    1986 Ford F350 Crew Cab DRW
    1995 Lincoln Continental (project car)
    2011 Ford Flex Limited (wife's)

  7. #7
    Moderator Turbo Mopar Staff Vigo's Avatar
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    Re: LeBaron Konvertible

    Is the left tail on the 85 still good? If its the same as the ones on my 84 executive sedan i may be able to use it and those older ones are hard to find..



    only pic i could find of the taillight.

    Dont push the red button.You hear me?

  8. #8
    Supporting Member II Turbo Mopar Contributor 85lebaront2's Avatar
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    Re: LeBaron Konvertible

    Looks like the same, and yes it's good, and I have a spare right. I think the front end parts may be the same too and I know from experiance that the headlight doors are a big problem. Let me know if you want any of it as the 86 is completely different on both ends.
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    Last edited by 85lebaront2; 11-19-2009 at 08:13 AM. Reason: Additional information
    "growing old is inevitable, growing up is optional"
    1986 Lebaron convertible to replace totalled 85
    1986 Ford F350 Crew Cab DRW
    1995 Lincoln Continental (project car)
    2011 Ford Flex Limited (wife's)

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    Supporting Member Turbo Mopar Contributor 2.216VTurbo's Avatar
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    Re: LeBaron Konvertible

    Sounds like a cool project, something tells me that you have the follow-thru to make it happen Nice plate on the 85 BTW

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    boostaholic BIGBRUDDA's Avatar
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    Re: LeBaron Konvertible

    I had an 84 400 convertible. .It got wiped out by a Thunderbird. Loved it while I had it.Great car for road trippin. Big trunk,32MPG.
    There's a mom&pop lot here in cincy with a white 85 dodge 400 2 dr, 30k miles.From an estate sale. Very good lookin car. But they're askin $3000.

  11. #11
    Supporting Member II Turbo Mopar Contributor 85lebaront2's Avatar
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    Re: LeBaron Konvertible

    Quote Originally Posted by 2.216VTurbo View Post
    Sounds like a cool project, something tells me that you have the follow-thru to make it happen Nice plate on the 85 BTW
    Thanks, I got the plate a couple of years ago, it is currently on my daily driver, a 95 Subaru Impreza AWD. I have to keep it current or risk losing the sequence to someone else.
    "growing old is inevitable, growing up is optional"
    1986 Lebaron convertible to replace totalled 85
    1986 Ford F350 Crew Cab DRW
    1995 Lincoln Continental (project car)
    2011 Ford Flex Limited (wife's)

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    Supporting Member II Turbo Mopar Contributor 85lebaront2's Avatar
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    Re: LeBaron Konvertible

    I guess I should update this a bit. I bought a hybrid head setup for later use on a 2.5L common block. I have purchased an SBEC from turbovanman and it is being delivered by a friend who is currently in Seattle, but will be coming back this way starting Sunday. The powertrain from the 85 is out along with all the chassis wiring. The 85 body (pretty much stripped bare) is history (it'l come back as several Hondas no doubt).
    "growing old is inevitable, growing up is optional"
    1986 Lebaron convertible to replace totalled 85
    1986 Ford F350 Crew Cab DRW
    1995 Lincoln Continental (project car)
    2011 Ford Flex Limited (wife's)

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    Supporting Member II Turbo Mopar Contributor 85lebaront2's Avatar
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    Re: LeBaron Konvertible

    Damn, I guess I better get busy on some updates, retiring and moving to a more rural area both hurt and helped. I have the time to devote, but not as much access to parts. The 1986 konvertible sat in my back yard from when I bought it until the city of Newport News had a push (supposedly due to a complaint) and even though the car was in a fenced yard it had to be (a) licensed, (b) inspected and (c) operational. Fence was a 6' high privacy fence and I am pretty sure where the "anonymous complaint" came from. I have a good friend who owns a towing service/junkyard/repair and body shop. He stored it for me, but I think during one of the storms we had it got something blown into the top breaking the right quarter window and bending the frame, it had also gotten water up deep enough to pretty well rot the floor. We traded a bunch of repairs on his late father's Chevstang (LTI swapped into a 67 6 cyl model) for new floors and a bunch of other parts. He actually went out and bought a 1988 Reliant for parts! It was picked up and brought home to the Eastern Shore of VA in October. T2 engine is back in place, I am still trying to find all the parts, but it is progressing. I will post some pictures when I get some time to go back and get them in Chronological order.
    "growing old is inevitable, growing up is optional"
    1986 Lebaron convertible to replace totalled 85
    1986 Ford F350 Crew Cab DRW
    1995 Lincoln Continental (project car)
    2011 Ford Flex Limited (wife's)

  14. #14
    Supporting Member II Turbo Mopar Contributor 85lebaront2's Avatar
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    Re: LeBaron Konvertible

    The original was totaled by a Mercedes-Benz ML320 in Feb 2009. I had purchased a 1986 LeBaron convertible for parts, so it would have to become the new T2K-CAR. As I planned some things, one of the issues with the K-cars is the instrument panel, the opening is shorter top to bottom than the later cars and wider side to side. Options are an analog speedometer, temperature and fuel gauge with idiot lights or with the LeBarons and Dodge 400/600 a digital unit with bar graph gauges and a 0-99 mph speedometer, with a warning module, Traveler or bar graph tachometer. It is an impressive looking but as I learned not super accurate piece. Chrysler changed the dash and instrument panel design with the G body (Laser/Daytona) introduction in 1984, instrument area is taller and narrower, in 1987 with the new LeBaron 2dr coupe and convertible (J-body) replacing both the K-body convertible and Laser, the dash in the new LeBaron became shared with the Daytona.

    Since almost everything Chrysler was building outside of the L-body shares a lot in structure and physical dimensions, I decided a dashboard upgrade was in order. I had a 1989 LeBaron coupe with a totally shot steering rack and an unknown condition 2.5L turbo engine and A413 (can't tell much other than it ran and didn't knock without being able to drive it) so the 89 dash went into the 86, some stuff had to be modified, but the Laser column I had fit perfectly to the dash, the center took some fitting to mate with the center reinforcement, but with the trim panels on fits well.
    "growing old is inevitable, growing up is optional"
    1986 Lebaron convertible to replace totalled 85
    1986 Ford F350 Crew Cab DRW
    1995 Lincoln Continental (project car)
    2011 Ford Flex Limited (wife's)

  15. #15
    Supporting Member II Turbo Mopar Contributor 85lebaront2's Avatar
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    Re: LeBaron Konvertible

    First thing I ran into, the car has been sitting, first in my backyard, then at a friend's Tow storage lot. He delivered it to me after noticing that a large storm had blown something into the right side, breaking the quarter glass and bending the top frame.

    After getting the pretty well destroyed top off the car and starting an inventory, I found the carpet was rotten, and I had a bunch of holes in the floor.

    - - - Updated - - -

    The 86 was a basic 2.2L with analog dash, but power windows and seats. The engine had quite obviously failed, mostly due to the vent hose to the air cleaner being crimped shut to keep oil from getting in the air cleaner!

    I did stick a borescope in the cylinders after finding that the engine would barely even turn with the starter. #1 cylinder had furrows in the wall, so other than boring it the engine is scrap. Transaxle oil was burned also.

    The front mount was broken at all but the lower bolt to the transaxle and there was a piece of metal strapping like you would hang pipe from running from the top of the radiator support to the cylinder head. As a result of this the lower front crossmember is dented forward and cracked where the front mount was trying to shove the crossmember forward (originally there was a bungee cord trying to hold it).
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    "growing old is inevitable, growing up is optional"
    1986 Lebaron convertible to replace totalled 85
    1986 Ford F350 Crew Cab DRW
    1995 Lincoln Continental (project car)
    2011 Ford Flex Limited (wife's)

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    Supporting Member II Turbo Mopar Contributor 85lebaront2's Avatar
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    Re: LeBaron Konvertible

    Since I found that I had a broken rear sway bar tube and had a 1989 LeBaron coupe parts car, I decided I would go strip it for the suspension and 2.5L turbo powertrain (less camshaft). I went to my friend's junkyard with truck and cargo trailer so I, with the help of one of his crew, could strip what was usable off the car. After refreshing my memory of the 89 I decided that all of the suspension and brakes were going to be used. (89 had 4 wheel disc brakes). We removed the front suspension and drivetrain as a package and loaded them in the trailer. After that, the complete rear with the brake cables cut just ahead of the connector, salvaged the master cylinder and proportioning valve along with all the rear hoses.
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    "growing old is inevitable, growing up is optional"
    1986 Lebaron convertible to replace totalled 85
    1986 Ford F350 Crew Cab DRW
    1995 Lincoln Continental (project car)
    2011 Ford Flex Limited (wife's)

  17. #17
    Supporting Member II Turbo Mopar Contributor 85lebaront2's Avatar
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    Re: LeBaron Konvertible

    Meanwhile on the front of the car, I had been there earlier and gotten the front harness and decided since I was going to be using the 1989 dash, it would be easier to use the 89 front harness and just eliminate the air bag and headlight motor portions. I had already planned on using a socketed 1990 SBEC with turbo II program in it as I wanted (A) to do away with the LM/PM 1987 Daytona system I was running and (B) get sequential injection. I also wanted to use a later PDC to do away with the relays bolted on the fender/shock tower and fusible links.

    First issue, 1989 J-body has an "inverted" harness connection to the 1986 K-body. Two solutions, (A) cut the dash penetration area and change it to meet the 1986 design or (B) drill a large enough hole centered on the existing rectangular hole and use the 1989 connections. After determining that the 1989 harness socket mount on a brace fit into the 1986 body perfectly, option (B) became the better solution. I found that the 1989 harness had the wiring for the charge temperature sensor already in it and only needed the additional two injector wires.
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    "growing old is inevitable, growing up is optional"
    1986 Lebaron convertible to replace totalled 85
    1986 Ford F350 Crew Cab DRW
    1995 Lincoln Continental (project car)
    2011 Ford Flex Limited (wife's)

  18. #18
    Supporting Member II Turbo Mopar Contributor 85lebaront2's Avatar
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    Re: LeBaron Konvertible

    I had done a temporary install of the 1989 dash to work on the wiring and test various components (lights, power locks, power windows, wiper, etc.) and had a nice pair of the 2 button Travelers and a simple system monitor (door ajar, trunk ajar, low fuel, low washer fluid) and the car had the warning chime module for seat belt, key in ignition, lights on along with the illuminated entry parts from the 1985 car. I had partially built a front harness from parts from the 85 and the rodent chewed 86 harness.

    You can see why I decided to use the 1989 harness instead!
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    "growing old is inevitable, growing up is optional"
    1986 Lebaron convertible to replace totalled 85
    1986 Ford F350 Crew Cab DRW
    1995 Lincoln Continental (project car)
    2011 Ford Flex Limited (wife's)

  19. #19
    Supporting Member II Turbo Mopar Contributor 85lebaront2's Avatar
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    Re: LeBaron Konvertible

    As I progressed changing the front harness from SMEC to SBEC, I discovered that (A) I had a bad SBEC and (B) the early Traveler will not work with an SBEC. The older Traveler uses a speed input from the speed sensor (white with orange wire) and a fuel flow signal from either the logic module or SMEC (light blue with black) and a fuel level signal (dark blue). The speed and fuel level are there, but the SBEC does not use the fuel flow, it communicates via the twisted pair data bus. Great, the twisted pair needs a 5 volt signal to carry it's data. Off to Pick-n-Pull in Virginia Beach Memorial Day weekend when everything is 1/2 off. Got extremely lucky, only K derived car in the place was a 1995 LeBaron convertible, from the look of it there because of a blown 3.0L V6 (oil all over underneath). After having already found that neither of my rear axles had good sway bars, this was great! Got the rear axle, less the drum brakes (we left them in the floor), a Traveler and the BCM to do the communication.

    Then back to the axles, found that Chrysler had used a number of different bushings on the pivot arms (non available any more) so I called Johnny Spiva at Poly Bushings. He confirmed that the diameter was the same, just different lengths, so I ordered a set of the correct bushings for the 86-89 suspension. I found that the bolt diameter changed between 86 and 89, so I had to use the 1989 pivots. I later found I needed to use the 1986 pivots due to the parking brake cable orientation, so I drilled them for the larger bolts.
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    "growing old is inevitable, growing up is optional"
    1986 Lebaron convertible to replace totalled 85
    1986 Ford F350 Crew Cab DRW
    1995 Lincoln Continental (project car)
    2011 Ford Flex Limited (wife's)

  20. #20
    Supporting Member II Turbo Mopar Contributor 85lebaront2's Avatar
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    Re: LeBaron Konvertible

    I had the dash in and out several times to work on the dash harness. The last time was to add all the needed circuits for the BCM features. Two of the interesting ones were wipers and lights. The older cars have the wiper switch as part of the column, actually mounted as part of the pivot for the turn signal switch. They use a small box for the delay feature. After a comparison of the functions I was able to determine that the inner circuitry of the switches were pretty similar. I had an old L-body switch to experiment with and got most of the functions to work except either it wouldn't park, or wouldn't do a complete sweep in the delay mode. I found that (A) the switch ground on the older switch needed to be changed to tie to the low speed wire and (B) both the green wires from the switch needed to go to the DG/WT wire on the BCM pin # 12 and the green wire from the motor park switch to the DG wire on the BCM pin # 10.

    The headlight system on the later cars (starting in 1990 on G and J bodies) uses relays and grounds to turn things on. After a couple of tries, I got them working with no false "you left your lights on" warning. The dash light dimming works, but is not really correct as it is apparently a fair sized resistance to ground, and the older pull knob switch works opposite from the later ones. Since I am using the 89 dash, and the 86 body does not have hidden headlights, I mounted a relay module for 5 Bosch type relays in that area. I have park lights, head lights, name brand speaker, and door lock/unlock in it.

    Door locks were another issue, the older system is a direct operated system, where the door switches do everything, left door has 5 active terminals. power, two grounds and lock and unlock, right door, the left door lock/unlock go where the left side grounds are and the lock and unlock go to the lock motors on both doors. The 1995 system uses only power and lock/unlock at each door and the lock motors are controlled through relays. This allows a remote keyless entry and anti-theft alarm to be used as options. It also allows an automatic lock feature at a certain speed.

    I had the 1989 message center for various warnings, door ajar, low fuel, low washer fluid, trunk ajar. I found I had a crossfeed issue on the door ajar circuits even though the 89 message center uses individual door icons. I added two diodes, one in each wire to the message center, solved! I then addressed the low fuel, older cars use a switch in the sender to activate a delay circuit so you don't get a flashing warning light, and it powers the light when activated. The BCM grounds the light. I had to modify the message center by removing the ground trace and jumping the 12V supply to the opposite side of the light. All of those now work correctly.
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    "growing old is inevitable, growing up is optional"
    1986 Lebaron convertible to replace totalled 85
    1986 Ford F350 Crew Cab DRW
    1995 Lincoln Continental (project car)
    2011 Ford Flex Limited (wife's)

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