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Anyone know a lot about Dodge Daytonas?

Discussion in 'Other classic cars' started by Carly, Aug 9, 2017.

  1. Carly

    Carly New Member

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    Hi everybody! I'm glad I found this website and was wondering if I could get some advice on this type of car? (Disclaimer: I am a teenage girl about to get her first car soon, and I know NOTHING about cars. Eek.)

    My dream car is my mother's first car she ever got: a red (1987?) Dodge Daytona with louvers. I wanted to ask my mother for more information about the car, but sadly she passed away back in March.

    I would love that kind of car, but I remember her telling me that it was a lemon, as in one with a lot of car problems? She said she was constantly raising hell at the Dodge dealership. But I never got around to asking her what problems she had exactly with the car. Does anyone know what made them lemons? And is there anyway I could get new parts for the car that would fix those problems long-term so I won't have to be raising hell either?

    Thanks!
     
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  2. Doug D

    Doug D Virginia Gentleman

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    Welcome to Allpar.

    You might PM Bob Lincoln. He's had at least two of the Daytona's. His current Daytona is an '84 with a turbo.

    They are really not bad vehicles. They are related to the K-Car in many ways. The Daytona's used the same engines (2.2L and 2.5L). The most common problem among the EEK's (Every Extended K-Car) was the head gasket, but it is a relatively easy repair. If done right it should last the remaining life of the vehicle.

    Good luck finding one in working condition though. They would be 25-30 years old. Some parts are impossible to locate or it takes a lot of searching - especially body and interior parts. Most local junkyards don't keep anything older than 10-15 years old. Anything older than that has been crushed. The normal maintenance stuff - brakes, plugs, exhaust, etc will be much easier to locate. I've only seen one in recent years - a neighbor's son down the street has one.

    Good luck.
     
  3. CudaPete

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    Head gaskets were a common problem.There are newer versions that solve this. In any case, you are looking at buying a 25+ year old car. Look for something with no rust and low miles. It is worth it to pay a little more for a better car. And most importantly....have qualified mechanic look at it.
     
  4. Bob Lincoln

    Bob Lincoln "CHECK FAULT CODES"
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    Hi, Carly.
    I have owned Daytonas for 32 years continuously now. I bought an 85 new, then a 92 new, then a used 84 Turbo Z which I still have, and a used 93. They have all been very, very reliable cars and fun to drive.
    I traded in the 85 at 157K miles to buy the 92. No major problems.
    I ran the 92 for 308K miles on the original engine, and it finally succumbed to rust in 2009.
    I ran the 93 from 2009 to 2016, took it from 155K miles to 257K miles, and it still ran like new. I sold it for parts because it had major structural rust problems. The guy who bought it claims he welded it and is driving it.
    The 84 Turbo Z runs very well, bought it in 2008 and have put 46K miles on it with very little trouble. Currently it has an oil leak that I need to track down. It's a southern car that has NO rust.

    As said, some of them have had head gasket problems. Three of mine never did, and the 4th didn't until 203K miles. They are easy to repair and parts availability is not bad, except for things like body panels. The ones that have had lots of trouble were, in my opinion, badly beaten on. There is a younger generation of owners who are bastardizing these cars and running turbo boost WAY above what it is designed for. Keep it stock or nearly so, and it will last forever.

    Have someone check the chassis for rust. If OK, they are all a good buy.
     
  5. Carly

    Carly New Member

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    Thank you guys so much. You guys have been very helpful!!! I'm trying not to remind myself that these cars are 30 years old, but I definitely need to give myself a reality check here. Ugh.

    @Doug D I know that pain of trying to find a part for an old car. Actually I already have my first car, but I don't count it as my first because I can't even drive it. Texas has these greedy inspection laws, and the outer casing of my third taillight in my 1999 Ford Explorer has a 2-inch fragment of it missing from hail damage. >>>The light still works just fine<<<, but they literally didn't pass my car because of the chip in the casing. Can you believe that bs?!?!?! Now we have a perfectly good car that can't be driven. My grandfather has looked everywhere for the part to fix it, but to no avail. He hasn't checked by our city's junkyard yet though.
     
  6. Scrounge

    Scrounge Well-Known Member

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    Don't know where in Texas you are, but several junkyards in Central Texas have plenty of older vehicles to choose from. This one shows 3 '99 Explorers in its Austin yard, and more in its Belton yard:

    Used Auto Parts | Sell Your Car For Cash | Wrench A Part (at http://www.wrenchapart.com/ )

    I'm guessing that the taillight lenses are the same, or similar, on a few of the previous and/or later year models, which they also have plenty of. Their price is $1 per inch of length of the lens, so you should be able to buy one there for about $10 or so. Since they have several to choose from, buy the one in the best condition. Here's another chain:

    Pick-n-Pull ยป Home (at http://www.picknpull.com/ )

    They have a yard each near San Antonio and Waco. Both chains charge an admission fee ($2 at Wrench-a-Part, $1 the last time I was in Pick-n-Pull), but their prices are very reasonable.

    Would it pass inspection if you put some red tape on it?

    Make sure the tires on your Explorer are good.

    As for the Daytona, their engines have timing belts rather than chains, which need to be replaced every 60,000 miles or so. If you can replace it yourself, it will just be the cost of the belt (and any tools you need but don't have), but if you take it to a repair shop, the cost can be hundreds of dollars. If you buy a Daytona, you'll do well to also buy a factory service manual for it, which will help you diagnose and repair mechanical problems.
     
  7. geraldg

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    I read what you said about the explorer tail light, is the lens broken or just the casing. You have to know how to deal with them, I would read the rules on it and if I found one thing about it that I could contest it I would. Do you have a picture of it ?
     
    #7 geraldg, Aug 10, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2017
  8. Carly

    Carly New Member

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    Thank you guys. :) My grandfather said just today that he ordered the part from California. If that doesn't work out, we will definitely check Wrench A Part! @geraldg Nope, not the lens. Just the casing.
     

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  9. Carly

    Carly New Member

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    I put an eraser up to it for comparison.
     

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  10. Doug D

    Doug D Virginia Gentleman

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    Sorry Carly, but that is considered part of the lens and no state will allow that to pass inspection. I had a brake light lens crack on the very edge of the lens of a '79 Monza. It would not pass Virginia safety inspection. Had to replace the entire assembly ($65).
     
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  11. scatpack_69

    scatpack_69 Active Member

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    They ARE K cars
     
  12. BASONE88

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    Remember that "a lemon" is usually just one specific car(if you are unlucky enough to find yourself as the owner - or know of the owner) instead of a whole model run of a car. I had a Toyota Corolla that was a lemon. Also in the case of a car like this, the "lemons" have - usually - long since been retired to the scrap heap.

    Have you browsed the Daytona/Laser thread under Forums? I suspect there is endless good info there.
     
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  13. geraldg

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    Glad I don't live in your state, stupid laws. Most of the people inspecting don't have a clue as to what is safe or not. Don't talk about all states until you know the facts.
     
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  14. Doug D

    Doug D Virginia Gentleman

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    Those doing state inspections have to go by the law as it is written on the books (or they could lose their inspection license). If you want to blame anyone, blame your state legislature for the way the law is written.
     
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  15. Bob Lincoln

    Bob Lincoln "CHECK FAULT CODES"
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    I'd fail that. It's not just a small piece chipped out of one corner of the lens. It's part of the viewing area. And water can get in and cause the element to fail, whether it's incandescent or LED.
     
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  16. geraldg

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    So what about lens repair tape ( red ), which is sold at most auto parts stores ? If they sell it , it must be legal for the repair.
     
  17. valiant67

    valiant67 Rich Corinthian Leather
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    Don't bet money on that.
     
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  18. Bob Lincoln

    Bob Lincoln "CHECK FAULT CODES"
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    I would never assume that.
    You can also buy brush-on lacquer or some such fluid that makes your entire license plate reflective to toll-booth cameras at night, and even harder to read during the day, but that's illegal to use - just not illegal to buy. I see many plates here globbed with the stuff, and you cannot read it from 60 feet away as the law requires. Yet enforcement seems to be lax.
     
  19. geraldg

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    I never assume anything but would read the law and see what it says. I have come to find out many people enforcing the laws don't really know what the laws are and many people will not pursue the issue because of time involved. I have had times when after reading the laws found out that the people enforcing them don't really know what the law is. I had a issue back with my HOA about something in their by laws and came to find out they where breaking their own rules. Most people will not pursue it because it takes a little time to do the research.
     
  20. valiant67

    valiant67 Rich Corinthian Leather
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    There are several reasons lens tape may be illegal.
    It alters the reflective characteristic of the lens.
    It may not provide a true seal against moisture in the lens.
    It does not provide the same "redness" as the actual lens.
    I did a cursory check on Texas inspections (and maybe not all these apply in this situation) and I know why it won't pass. It's easy to research rather than speculate.
     
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