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89 LeBaron Convertible k-member swap to 88/89 Horizon?

Discussion in 'L: Horizon/Omni, Rampage, etc' started by angelescityrunner, Jul 19, 2016.

  1. angelescityrunner

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    I went looking at an 89 LeBaron convertible for the chance of pulling the control arms for one of my Horizons (88 and 89). The 89 LeBaron has the stamped steel control arm without the stub axle. It has a riveted on rear extension with a cylindrical bushing like the front. This is intermediate between the stamped steel with the rear stub axle like the Horizon/Omni through the entire production run, and the later one-piece cast arms with two bushings used in 1991 Chryslers.
    The 89 LeBaron convertible is just two persons wide like the Horizons. Has anyone swapped the k-member over to the Horizon/Omni and used the LeBaron suspension?
     
  2. GLHS60

    GLHS60 Well-Known Member

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    It can be done but requires slicing 1 1/2" out of the center of the the K member as the L body is narrower.

    Passengers side front leg needs to be moved inward 1"

    If you are a fabricating type, it can be done, especially if you make a jig.

    Below is the 1990 style modified for an L BODY, before and after


    Thanks
    Randy

    [​IMG]
     
  3. angelescityrunner

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    So if you didn't narrow it by slicing 1.5" out of the center, the L-body CV axles would be too short by that same 1.5". So you could use it without slicing if you used the same axles and steering knuckles as the car that donated the K member. Your front track would be 1.5" wider and the top of each wheel would be 0.75" closer outboard to the top of the fender. So about 20mm to be compensated for with wheel offset and tire profile if there is the chance of rubbing. There is actually a LOT of space at the top of the fender with everything stock. Wider tires might be an issue.

    High offset 35 to 44mm wheels are available though in wider widths like 6" or 6.5" might use up some of the stock clearance.

    So a K member could be used without slicing 1.5" out of the middle if each mounting leg were moved inboard 0.75" but the passenger side front mounting hole would be moved inboard 1.75" instead of just 0.75" like the other three? ???Is this what you mean???

    An automatic 88 or 89 Horizon takes the large spline CV axle so that should not be a problem with longer donor car axles.

    The 89 LeBaron Convertible strut and knuckle combination is the same length overall as the Omni/Horizon though the knuckle is +1" the strut is -1". It would depend if you angled the strut +0.75"/20mm outward at the ball joint, whether the spring would rub inside of the strut tower. The botton of the spring would be outboard ~+10mm.

    You could use the LeBaron strut if you mixed the bearing from the LeBaron with the hat from an Omni/Horizon so you wouldn't have to modify the strut tower. Or, you could drill the 3 bolt pattern of the LeBaron hat into the top of the strut tower.

    Seems like it would be easier to move by remaking the K member mounts and widen the track instead of slicing that 1.5" out of the middle. Then you get to use LeBaron parts and don't have to look for 84 to 87 GLH/GLHS knuckles the get better bearings and 5 lug wheels at the front.

    Widening the front track is one of the possibilities to add oversteer instead of using an add-on fat rear sway bar. Might save about $200 for a sway bar and it's weight at the rear.

    Anyone though of doing this or have already done it???

    I found one set of GLH knuckles for my 89 Horizon but I can't find another set for the 88 so it will have to stay with the B39 narrow bearing and 4 lug wheels unless I come up with something else to do.
     
  4. GLHS60

    GLHS60 Well-Known Member

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    I don't know of anyone who has tried but that doesn't mean its not possible.

    Probably need the LeBaron rack as well, post up some pics if you decide to try.

    Some have reported using 1987-88 Shadow/ K car knuckles on L bodys to get the 5 bolt hubs.

    Shadow brake calipers and mounting brackets as well, and some camber bolt hole massaging.

    Good Luck

    Thanks
    Randy





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