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Based on information provided by Chrysler Corporation. Edited for readability.
Click here for a summary of changes from the last generation
Click here for a review of the 2000 and 2001 Chrysler 300M.
"Mr. Source" noted the 300M changes for 2003: "No more chrome exhaust tips. The chrome rims are the same used on the 02 Concorde Limited ( the Concorde and300M now share this rim) . Digital radio. 6 disc cd changer replaces the 4 disc unit. There were more but they were things like wire connections changed etc. Things you would never notice."
Torsional stiffness was 37% greater and bending stiffness 46% greater than the prior bodies, which were best in class when introduced. Structural stiffness provided a solid feeling and helped make handling precise by allowing the suspension to respond to cornering loads without deflecting the body.
The new body structures also attenuated noise through localized stiffening. These were the first body structures developed by Chrysler using both objective testing and computer analysis. The analysis and optimization process tuned the stiffness of structural paths from external noise sources, such as the engine and suspension system, to the passenger compartment, preventing the noise from being audible. Structural refinement was especially important because a large portion of structureborne noise occurs at frequencies below 400 Hertz (cycles per second), which was difficult to block.
The following features contributed to structural stiffness:
Chrysler LHS and 300M had a "two millimeter" body, meaning that all measured characteristics are maintained within 2 mm of the designed position.
Onepiece bodyside aperture panels formed the door openings, providing excellent dimensional control and high quality fit and finish. Controlling door opening dimensions also helped ensure good door sealing. Furthermore onepiece bodyside aperture construction enhanced body stiffness by reducing the number of parts and welding joints required. The number of major stampings in the body side was reduced from 15 to 10.
Throughout the body, part consolidation reduced the number of stampings. A typical example was the quarter inner panel construction where one stamping replaced three on the prior body. In another area, the center pillar overlapped the sill, eliminating three additional stampings previously used. Dimensional accuracy was enhanced by reducing the number of pieces because additive tolerances associated with multiple parts and their respective welding operations do not exist.
Chrysler LHS and 300M used lightweight materials and an optimized structure to reduce weight. Extensive use of highstrength steel for the front and rear longitudinal rails, center pillars and other areas affected by impact requirements reduced body shell weight by an estimated 40 pounds (18 kg).
An aluminum hood on LHS reduced weight by 20 pounds (9 kg) compared to an equivalent part in steel. This feature was recently introduced on Concorde as Chrysler's first highvolume aluminum exterior body panel. The 300M steel hood was also lightened by optimizing the inner panel structure.
All hoods had singlepivot rear hinges, which were adjustable for accurate hood fit and gas prop counterbalance supports. On LHS, the gas prop pivot points on the hood were closer to the front to reduce deflection in the more flexible aluminum material.
Latches were placed at the leading edges of the hoods to permit the hoods to fit closely around the head lamps without the possibility of contact if the hood was slammed shut. The secondary release mechanism was readily accessible and had a yellow handle for easy identification.
New four bar trunk lid hinges with gas prop counterbalancing increased usable trunk volume and improved trunk lid to body fit. Computer designed hinge and prop geometry made opening the lid easy. Lifting the lid a nominal amount brought the counterbalance forces into effect. Reaching the full open position from there required little or no effort. The hinges and props mounted completely outside the trunk opening to avoid intruding on luggage capacity when closed a major improvement over prior models. The four bar linkage two pivoting links on each side of the trunk opening connecting the lid to the body was more compact than the former goose neck hinges, while providing ample room for loading. This hinge system was also strong and stable, providing lonterm alignment accuracy and durability.
The trunk was sealed by a full perimeter tubular weatherstrip attached to a raised flange surrounding the opening. The raised flange prevented water from running into the opening when the lid was open.
FullCoverage Wheelhouse Liners
Full coverage, molded plastic front and rear wheelhouse liners protected the body structure from potentially corrosive road splash and prevented noise due to stone impingement on the body shell.
Highimpact, molded plastic sill cladding, which was painted body color, resisted chipping and did not rust if chipped.
One piece, diecast zinc side window opening moldings had better dimensional control than multipiece stampings for outstanding fit and finish. One piece construction provided a smooth appearance free of joint lines, and ensured consistent gloss and color. Moldings were flush with the outer surfaces of the doors and formed the outer half of the glass channel, allowing the glass to more closely approach the surrounding sheet metal for a smooth, aerodynamic appearance and reduced wind noise. Using diecast zinc, which was stronger than aluminum, provided the shallowest possible moldings and a highquality surface finish. The moldings had a black, powdercoat paint finish. To prevent wind and other noises, a polyethylene foam backing was placed between the moldings and the door outer panels. "Flags" incorporated into each rear door molding aft of the window provided a smoothly curved continuation of the window opening.
Bodyside moldings provided effective protection against parking lot damage. New injection molded construction provided preformed ends for a neat appearance. Inert gas injection in the molding process provided a uniform outer surface and thinwall construction that reduced weight compared to solidly molded parts.
Solar Control Glass in all windows reduced the transmission of infrared and ultraviolet energy to minimize interior heating and damage to organic materials from solar radiation.
A rear window molding injectionmolded onto the glass was seamfree to provide a close fit to the body opening and a neat appearance. The molding included mounting clips and positioning spacers to ensure easier assembly and accurate alignment of the window on the body.
Front and rear bumper and fascia systems fitted close to adjacent body panels while providing impact protection for safety related equipment at speeds up to 2.5 mph (4 km/hr). The bumper systems also met the Canadian regulation for protection up to 5 mph (8 km/hr). Fascias were molded of either TPO (thermoplastic olefin) or RRIM (reactioninjection molded urethane). Both materials were reformulated to increase abrasion resistance relative to their predecessors.
Beams, shorter than in past practices, terminated in lightweight, high-impact molded plastic inserts. These inserts also contributed to highspeed barrier impact energy management by extending the load path from the longitudinal rails of the body structure to the front of the bumper face bar. A patent was pending on this aspect of the bumper system.
High-impact plastic grilles resisted damage in low speed impacts. Lightweight fascia modules were constructed of RRIM.
New halogenbulb, quad head lamps provided a broader and longer beam pattern on the road than their predecessors. In highbeam mode, all four units were lit to maximize light output. The new highbeam units produced double the light output of their predecessors and reached 65% farther down the road. Low beams produced 50% more light. Each produced a brightly illuminated field of view with an evenly blended light pattern. On all car lines, light was focused solely by computerdesigned reflectors. Using the same bulbs as their predecessors, these reflectors were twice as efficient at projecting light down the road. Aiming was done by moving the reflector within the lamp assembly. Each lamp included a bubble level and readily accessible adjustment screws for reaiming the head lamps, if necessary.
300M models sold in Europe used projector lowbeam bulbs that included lens masks to limit upward light distribution and unique halogen highbeam bulbs.
New, more powerful fog lamps were integrated with the front fascias on Chrysler LHS and 300M. To increase their effectiveness as fog lamps, new switch logic allowed them to operate with parking lamps, but without head lamps. They also continued to operate as a supplement to the head lamps if desired, but turned off automatically when highbeam head lamps were selected (as in the past). Rear fog lamps in the 300M were standard in Europe.
Head Lamp Washers
In Europe, 300M included head lamp washers. Each washer unit had two discrete nozzles to direct fluid onto the head lamp lens. The units were spring loaded and automatically retracted after use.
Full-stamped door construction inner and outer panels both encompassing the windows was simpler and dimensionally more accurate than the prior construction method, improving door fit. Reducing the number of parts allowed a corresponding reduction in welding operations and the potential for variations resulting from each operation. Door inner panels were stamped from dual thickness, laser-welded sheet metal to increase accuracy of the doors. Laserwelded inner panels eliminated the need for a separate welded-in reinforcement, the single largest cause of variation in door assembly. Instead of adding a reinforcement, the forward portion of the panel, to which the hinges were bolted, was nearly three times as thick as the remainder of the panel. The added thickness provided hinge mounting stability and contributed to a solid door closing sound. Furthermore, this inner panel construction was also lighter than a single-thickness panel with a welded reinforcement. To form the inner panel, sheets of dissimilar thickness steel were butted together and welded by a laser beam. The resulting weld joint was smooth and unobtrusive. Locating points in the inner panel stamping presses ensured that the weld seam was accurately aligned for proper sealing of the door in the door opening. One piece aperture panels in the body sides facing the doors contributed to consistency of door fit.
Door Hinges and Latches
Door hinge design and mounting provided more accurate door placement than the prior configuration. Hinge inner and outer halves were permanently assembled, reducing clearance required by the prior replaceable pivot pin system. Hinge attachment to the doors and pillars was controlled by alignment fixtures, eliminating the need for manual adjustment and its potential errors.
New door latches provided smoother and quieter operation. The new design provided 100% isolation against metal to metal contact between the latch pawl and the striker for quietness. New power lock motors were now virtually inaudible.
New door ajar switches were integral with the door latch assemblies and operated both courtesy lamps and the door ajar indicator in the instrument cluster. This construction was more reliable and durable than previous standalone switches less susceptible to door adjustments, freezing, contamination and corrosion.
A body-mounted tubular weather strip encircled each door opening to provide primary sealing against wind noise and water leaks. A second body-mounted weather strip running up the windshield pillar and across the tops of the doors incorporated a trough to channel water away from the door opening. This sealing system prevented rain water from running into the passenger compartment when the doors were opened. A tubular-type weather strip attached to the leading edge of each rear door above the belt line prevented wind noise and acted as a sight shield. A tubular weather strip attached to the back of each door between the sill and the belt line also handled wind noise. Lip-type weather strips attached to the sill cladding sealed the gap between doors and sills to keep road splash and dust out of the door openings and blocked wind and road noise more effectively than door-mounted weather strips. These weather strips snapped into the sill cladding and also covered the cladding attachments.
Front door glass was cylindrical for fit and finish accuracy and easy window operation. Rear door glass was barrel shaped to conform to the compound curvature of the doors. As in the past, the rear windows lowered only partially, to permit wider door openings.
Dual, heated power outside mirrors with position memory were standard in the U.S. and Europe. The mirrors folded in (except US 300M). An automatic dimming daynight mirror inside mirror was standard. It had true grayscale light absorption, becoming progressively darker as the intensity of incoming light increases and returning automatically to normal levels when intensity decreases.
An optional vent-and-slide power moonroof used Solar Cool Gray® reflective glass to block out ultraviolet light and up to 81% of visible light, minimizing interior heating and damage to organic materials from solar radiation. The unit was thin at least 0.25 in. (6 mm) thinner than competitive units to minimize passenger compartment intrusion. An opening 33.2 in. (844 mm) wide provided the driver and front passenger with clear views. An "express" open feature in the open mode caused the panel to move immediately to the full open position when the OPEN rocker switch was pressed. Pressing the switch again before the panel reaches the full open position stopped movement. An electronic control system used Halleffect sensors rather than mechanical switches at the limits of panel movement.
The interior roof panel and headliner conformed to the moonroof opening for a finished appearance without an add-on welt or molding. A laminated plastic sunshade was covered with foambacked headliner fabric. It opened manually using a recessed handle molded into the surface or slid back automatically when the moonroof opened.
To minimize wind noise and buffeting, a curved air deflector popped up at the front of the roof opening and the panel stopped short of the full open position. The height of the air deflector and the open position stopping point were optimized in proving grounds tests. Positive sealing was ensured by a cam system that moved the panel into the closed position from the top down. A compact electric motor at the rear of the structure moved the panel with cables that were enclosed for smooth and quiet operation. Tempered glass protected the occupants from injury in the event of breakage. When broken, it crumbled into small pieces without sharp edges. Urethane encapsulation of the glass provided a neat installation.
Computer modeling of the wiper linkage determined appropriate wiper pivot locations and helped determine the windshield configuration required to maintain appropriate blade pressure. Aerodynamic design of the hood and cowl screen smoothed air flow, helping to hold the wiper blades on the glass at the vehicles' highest attainable speeds without air foils. This air flow pattern also caused water pushed down by the wipers to flow to the sides rather than running back up the glass. Aerodynamic design of the windshield pillar shape and molding guides water swept aside by the wipers upward, keeping the lower portions of the side windows clear. Coldweather wiper performance was enhanced by a new defroster system that effectively cleared frost from the glass and melts snow pushed down the base of the windshield by the wipers. New wiper control logic returned the blades to their parked position when the ignition was turned off, if the wipers were operating at that time. The intermittent wipe delay time was doubled when the car was moving less than 10 mph (16 km/hr). New wiper blades were three times as strong as current blades. Bolton wiper arms were simpler to manufacture and more robust than the "latchlock" arms used previously.
A 30 psi (207 kPa) high output pump supplied two hood-mounted washer nozzle assemblies. Each nozzle assembly had three jets providing a triangular spray pattern that effectively covered the wiped area of the windshield. The spray nozzle design, pattern and pump pressure requirement were developed through extensive aerodynamic testing. A new washer fluid level sensor in the 110ounce (3.25liter) reservoir provided a more accurate indication of low fluid.
A driver's power seat memory feature, part of the Personalized Memory System, was available on LHS. It allowed two drivers to preselect the combination of cushion height and angle, back angle and track position. They preferred using the remote keyless entry (RKE) key fob transmitter or memory switches housed in a pod on the front outboard corner of the seat cushion side shield.
The memory seat also included a GlideToExit feature offered here for the first time on a Chrysler vehicle. GlideToExit made driver entry and exit easier by sliding the seat rearward up to 2.2 inches (55 mm) from the preselected position, if track travel allowed it. GlideToExit provided the following actions:
The seat moved rearward when the key was removed from the ignition, or when a memory seat switch or an RKE key fob unlock button was pressed prior to entering the vehicle. The seat returned to the preselected position, when the driver pulled the seat belt out prior to buckling or when the ignition was switched on after entry, whichever came first.
Heated driver and front passenger seats on LHS had two temperature settings.
Standard fourway adjustable front head restraints added flexibility and comfort. In addition to vertical adjustment, each head restraint provided 1.6 inches (40 mm) of fore and aft adjustment by pivoting about a transverse, horizontal axis.
A rear seat pass through feature combined an opening to the trunk with a folding center armrest. The 8.6 x 8.0inch (220 x 205 mm) opening comfortably allowed two pairs of skis or other long objects to extend from the trunk into the passenger compartment. The pass through, which was concealed when the armrest was upright, had a separate hinged cover with a springloaded latch. Pressing the recessed latch lever at the top and pulling forward opened the cover down on the armrest. The back of the cover was trimmed with needled fiber carpeting that matched the trunk trim. An optional bag to protect the car's interior, which was available from a dealer, clamps to a flange on the opening.
The armrest also included a pull strap and a covered storage compartment with a latching lid. Each cavity of the dual cup holder at the front of the armrest held a coffee mug with handle or a soft drink cup up to 48 ounces (1.4liters).
The rear seat also included head rests integral with the back at the outboard seating positions.
300M had the same front seat power, memory, heat and head restraint features as LHS.
A folding 60/40 splitback seat with center armrest gave storage versatility. The armrest was integral with the 60% portion of the seat. A pull strap facilitated opening the armrest separately. The rear panel of the seat back covered the area behind the armrest when the armrest was folded. The opening to the trunk was wider and taller than that provided by competitive cars because the supporting structure nestled beneath the shelf panel. When both sections were folded, the opening was over 15 x 47 inches (400 x 1200 mm). A positive latch recessed in each back section held it in the upright position. High on each back, a strap to operate the latch extended forward through the gap between the back and the fixed bolster between back and body structure. The latches could only be operated from the inside of the car and the straps could be tucked into the gap for improved appearance and security. A one-piece bolster at the top and sides of the seat concealed structural support for the folding sections.
New to Chrysler were vertically adjustable head restraints, which provided added comfort for outboard rear passengers. Total adjustment was 1.5 inches (60 mm) with a detent at the midpoint. Adjustment detents were springloaded.
Seats were designed first to fit driving needs. Firm, full foam seat pads provided long-term comfort. A layer of supersoft foam placed over the pads enhanced comfort and durability. Cover seams were placed in low pressure areas to enhance comfort.
New cushion wings were lower in front, allowing occupants to sit comfortably in a splayed position. Backs were taller and wider for added shoulder support. They also offered deeper wings for lateral support. Upper backs have added contour for lateral shoulder support. Frames and pads were developed simultaneously to assure proper support. Stamped aluminum front seat pans reduced weight while providing the same aid in controlling occupant movement in a frontal impact as their steel predecessors. Deep rear seat cushions provided comfortable support for both adults and children.
Chrysler LHS and 300M instrument clusters provided the following features:
Both Chrysler LHS and 300M featured an electronic analog clock in the instrument panel above the central bank of air outlets.
The instrument panel structure was stiffer to control NVH, lighter to aid vehicle fuel economy and less costly to manufacture than its predecessor. It provided the following features:
The center console used in both Chrysler LHS and 300M was integrated with the instrument panel. The console provided the following new features:
A new, fourspoke steering wheel afforded a greater variety of comfortable hand positions than the previous wheel's two thick spokes. Upper spokes were positioned to facilitate visibility of instruments and the multi-function switch. A new tilt steering column provided an additional position. The additional position increased travel by approximately 5 degrees. Lightweight components, in conjunction with rigid mounting to the boltin crosscar beam, provided greater steering column stiffness than that of its predecessor, minimizing steering wheel shake and vibration.
Steering system weight reductions and their related benefits were as follows:
The shifter featured an ergonomic "cobrahead" knob with frontmounted gaterelease button, used previously only with AutoStick®. The reference shift indicator in the console illuminates when exterior lamps were on.
New momentary contact push button speed control (cruise control) switches returned to their static position when released. Switches had a positive snap action with solid tactile feedback. A new switch arrangement used the corporate consensus architecture:
A "tapdown" feature operated by the COAST button reduced the set speed 2 mph (3 km/hr) each time the button was pressed momentarily. The CANCEL button, which was between the rockers, disengaged the speed control, but retained the previous set speed in memory where it could be reestablished by pressing RESUME. Pressing CANCEL, which was new to these car lines, had the same effect as tapping the brake pedal. A green CRUISE indicator in the instrument cluster illuminated when the system was on.
The horn switch was concealed beneath the upper portion of the flexible steering wheel trim pad, the place customers say was the most natural for them to use. The switch consisted of two flexible, closely spaced membrane contacts attached to the underside of the trim cover. It was actuated by pressing on the large 2.1 x 5.7 inch (53 x 145 mm) slightly raised area of the cover to bring the contacts together.
Control logic of the new, illuminated, low current, resistive multi-plexed head lamp switch allowed the fog lamps to operate with either parking lamps or low beam head lamps. LHS was also equipped with automatic head lamps. A new feature turned the lights on when windshield wipers were used .
A new, low current, resistive multi-plexed dimmer switch retained the thumb wheel method of operation and location on the instrument panel to the right of the head lamp switch. Switch graphics were lighted when exterior lamps were on. This switch provided the following functions:
A new trunk lid release push button mounted on the instrument panel to the left of the steering column where it was clearly visible and easy to reach. New control logic in the BCM disabled the release mechanism when the transmission was not in 'Park' or, on cars with the Vehicle Theft Alarm, when the alarm was armed.
A manual emergency brake release handle replaced the previous pedal operated mechanism.
The new Automatic Temperature Control (ATC) system showed the selected temperature at all times. Under automatic control, the BCM (body control module) selected the appropriate mode (air flow path), adjusted fan speed, modulated outlet air temperature and controlled air conditioning compressor operation. At any setting, the system gave occupants the same perceived comfort level regardless of outside conditions by altering the mode, fan speed and outlet air temperature. A small, motordriven fan drew air to the sensor from the passenger compartment through a grille in the face of the control. As in the past, the system also used a solar sensor on top of the instrument panel, an outside temperature sensor behind the front bumper and the engine coolant temperature sensor to determine appropriate air outlet temperature, fan speed and mode door positions. In automatic mode, the air conditioning compressor ran whenever outside air temperature was above about 32°F (0°C) to dehumidify the air for added comfort. This also greatly reduced condensation on the inside of the windshield and side windows. The solar sensor measured light intensity as a guide to automatic mode and air outlet temperature control. Five basic modes were provided as in the past: panel, bilevel, floor, mix and defrost, but 255 combinations were possible to enhance comfort. In cold weather, the BCM inhibited blower operation until a comfortable air outlet temperature could be provided and selected mix mode operation during warm up.
A patented algorithm in the ATC control system made minor adjustments in temperature primarily by changing outlet air temperature, and secondarily by increasing air flow the way customers typically adjust a manual system. This feature allowed the system to maintain desired comfort with less blower noise than the former algorithm, which always increased blower speed.
Another algorithm, used by the ATC system, maintained constant air flow regardless of vehicle speed. At highway speeds, air flow through the car was provided primarily by outside air pressure allowing a very low blower speed. On surface roads and in city traffic, the blower speed must increase to maintain the desired comfort level. Therefore, the new algorithm checks vehicle speed and adjusted Body Systems fan speed accordingly. This Chrysler-patented feature also used the positions of doors in the HVAC unit as inputs to determine the blower speed necessary to maintain proper flow.
A new control panel provided for either automatic or manual operation. It made automatic operation easier. Semi-automatic operation, which customers found difficult to understand, was eliminated.
The new control panel used rocker switches for temperature selection and all function selections except fan speed control, which remained a rotary knob. Pressing AUTO put the system into fully automatic operation. Pressing the opposite end of the AUTO rocker turned the system off completely. When the system was off, outside air did not enter the passenger compartment.
Pressing any mode button, the air conditioning compressor button, or the recirculation button placed the system under manual control. In manual control, the customer selected the comfort temperature, fan speed, mode and chose between air conditioning on or off using the control panel's rocker switches and the rotary fan speed knob. It operated in floor, bilevel and panel modes only. Even under manual control, the system worked to maintain comfort and safety in the following ways:
Buttons were illuminated through the graphics for nighttime operation. Fan graphics on the face of the control panel and the pointer on the fan speed knob were also illuminated. Graphics appeared white in daylight but illumination is blue green.
With ATC, a new blower control module had numerous linear speed increments and a relatively small step to maximum speed.
As in the past, ATC system diagnostic trouble codes could be viewed in the ATC display, allowing technicians to identify ATC problems without special scanning tools. Where malfunctions correspond with those of the manual HVAC system, the same diagnostic test codes were used.
The electronic controls automatically selected recirculated air flow when outside temperatures were extremely high. For temperatures in the 95-120°F (35-49°C) range, the control may also select recirculated air flow. Selection of automatic recirculation was based on refrigeration system internal pressure communicated to the control via the J1850 data bus. When selected, it enhanced occupant comfort and reduced compressor and system loads. This feature was patented.
A new defroster duct system provided faster, more uniform defrosting of the windshield.
Ducts in the center console delivered more air flow to rear seat passengers for added comfort.
A new duct system provided even air flow distribution while avoiding the cost of door-mounted outlets and duct work. A new housing for the passenger compartment HVAC components used computer-designed air flow passages and was quieter. The blower motor was quieter.
A more powerful rear window defogger cleared the glass quickly and uniformly.
A rear window-mounted antenna was standard on Chrysler LHS and 300M.
A structural membrane adhesive bonded to the inside of the roof panel reduced interior noise by damping panel vibrations. Noise caused by rain and other conditions that could make the panel resonate were substantially less noticeable using this stiffening system than with conventional steel bows and/or splines. The structural membrane stiffened the whole panel to prevent resonance, whereas bows and splines provided only localized stiffening. This system was also lighter and less costly than steel bows. The substrate of the roof system, to which the foam-backed head-lining fabric and overhead components were attached, was made from sound insulating AcoustiCor®. The AcoustiCor headliners could be recycled again into a new material called EcoCor®.
Roof railmounted assist handles for the rear and right front passengers fit depressions molded into the roof system. The overhead console and other roofmounted components may be removed for service without disturbing the interior roof system.
Softer, more luxurious door trim panels resulted from the use of thicker foam backing for the vinyl surface in the bolster and armrest areas. The soft areas were also larger than on prior models. New deep, oval pull cups in the armrests provided ample finger clearance for a full grip. The side of each pull cup facing the interior of the vehicle was recessed to provide an even better grip. Opposite the recess, a subtle longitudinal depression in each trim panel surface enhanced the grip effect, providing the functional equivalent of a reach through handle with reduced cost and complexity.
All front door trim panels included map pockets and formed metal speaker grilles.
Rectangular depressions molded into the rear door trim panels were designed to accept ash receivers when the Smoker's Package was ordered, but also held juice boxes. When equipped with the optional Infinity® II audio system, rear door trim panels included speaker grilles.
A molded one piece needled fiber trunk liner covered the sides, back and floor, including the tire well. This material also lined the trunk lid. A separate carpeted spare tire cover provided a level storage surface. On LHS, a pull-down strap aided trunk closing.
Chrysler LHS and 300M also included the following new or refined interior trim items:
An optional smoker's package consisted of a cigar lighter, which was inserted in the standard power outlet, and two covered, removable rear ash receivers. The rear ash receivers were inserted in existing depressions in the door armrests. A front ash receiver was standard.
The new integrated cooling module combined the following units:
Both fans ran simultaneously when needed. They ran faster and moved more air with less noise than previous platform vehicles. The coolant hot bottle, a feature carried over from prior models, provided a means to remove air from the circulating coolant.
New engine coolant used 100% post-consumer ethylene glycol with long life corrosion inhibitors. When diluted with distilled water, it allowed a change interval of 5 years or 100,000 miles (160,000 km). This new coolant was not compatible with propylene glycol.
A standard Personalized Memory System that allowed two drivers to preprogram their individual power seat, power mirror and radio push button settings for instantaneous recall was available for the first time on Chrysler LHS and 300M. All seat settings vertical, horizontal, tilt and recline angle were included. The system was operated by individually programmed Remote Keyless Entry (RKE) transmitters and by switches on the driver's seat cushion outboard side shield. It worked with the seat, mirror, and radio settings.
The Body Control Module (BCM) had been upgraded to support the J1850 vehicle communications and diagnostics bus. It mounted directly on the junction block located in the lower, left cowl side. It was available in two feature levels base and premium. Only LHS used the premium controller.
The BCM provided the following new functions:
A standard outlet for electrically powered accessories also operated a conventional cigar lighter unit (available from a dealer in the Smoker's Package) if desired. The outlet included a tethered cap labeled with its ampere and voltage rating.
A new industry standard data communications and diagnostics bus (SAE J1850) replaced the proprietary Chrysler (CCD) bus as the link through which on-board control modules shared information with each other and with offboard testers through a diagnostic connector. J1850 provided the following advantages over the CCD communications bus technology:
The following modules communicate over the J1850 bus:
New wiring features were:
Wire harness durability and freedom from BSRs was enhanced through improved routing and protection that included the following features:
Wiring connector improvements increased quality and reliability.
Engine sound remained clearly perceptible, especially under hard acceleration, but the sound was smooth and suggested power. Deflection and resonance in structural and dynamic components as the engine runs caused a major portion of objectionable engine noise. To minimize this occurrence, components were stiffened and, in the case of some dynamic components, made lighter to impose less force, thereby reducing noise. Quietness also stemmed from two other factors: reduction of vibration within the engine and prevention of noise transmission. Vibration was reduced by making structures stiffer and moving parts stiffer and lighter. Noise transmission was avoided by preventing outer surfaces from resonating with noises inside the engine valve train, camshaft drive chains, oil and water pumps, etc.
The 2.7 V6 engine provided the following noise preventing features and their associated benefits compared to the former 3.5 liter engine:
The 2.7liter engine included the following features that contributed to low noise transmission:
The new 3.5-liter high output engine was significantly quieter than its predecessor. It incorporated the following noise preventing structural stiffness features, providing the indicated stiffness increase relative to the prior 3.5-liter engine:
The LHS and 300M power trains incorporated the following noise preventing improvements compared to the prior 3.5-liter power train:
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