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So I just got the car back on the road after having an alternator failure last month, and a bubble in a tire last week. Enjoying my new satellite radio subscription. Everything was fine.

Went to the day care to pick up my daughter this afternoon, and was backing down the driveway when I heard a crunch of metal. AUUGGH! First thought was, I hit someone's car, or the hydrant next to the driveway. I looked around - nothing, no objects. Rolled a foot or two more and heard metal scraping. Next thought was that the gas tank strap studs had failed, even though I did a good repair - maybe the tank dropped?!

Nope. Got out and saw the left rear sagging. Yup. Found the left rear axle spring wedged under the axle, with the jounce bumper snapped off inside. I had to get help jacking up the right side, as the left side was too low for a jack. Got the spring out, found the rubber seat, and saw that the spring perch had a ragged edge and was bent down from the axle, scraping on the ground. I was able to drive home 3 blocks in first gear with a little scraping noise on occasion.

Looks like two solutions: Have someone obtain or fabricate a good spring perch and weld it on; or find a good replacement axle and have it swapped out. Not going to attempt it myself. I have too many repairs around the home already, worst of which is the washing machine has been apart for a week.

Two snags are finding a used axle that will fit, and finding someone who has the skill and is willing to weld in a repair. As to the general condition, the only other rust is the front edge of the rear crossmember, I found some rot and pulled out some loose sections about 2 x 10 inches on each side. Front face only. But it factors into the decision as to whether to keep the car. So much else is good about it, it would be a terrible waste to part it out. And I'm not ready financially to buy a new Dart, and now they say the Darts may have suspension problems.

Anyone faced this before, and how did you fix it? Approximate cost? Thanks.
 

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First I have seen here posted on the Daytona, but it seemed more common on the larger FWD cars (Dynasty, New Yorker, Imperial and the like). There have been a few posts in the EEK section over the years where it happened to the "big" FWD cars.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks. No cars older than 2000 in any junkyards around here, they all cleaned out and crushed when the scrap metal was high in 2009.

I had rust repairs done in 2009 on the rockers, fenders and floorpan, so the crossmember is the only other serious area. And it's not an imminent problem. Car runs like a dream at 217K miles, so I hate to think about getting rid of it.

The thing I'll miss most is the satellite radio while the car is down. I'll have to buy another antenna and swap the tuner over to the Turbo.
 

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Will the axle from an 88 Pacifica fit?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I'm pretty sure all 84-93 Daytona and Lebaron axles would fit. Are you offering?
 

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Talk to TJ Pacifica.
 

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Pull-A-Part in Nashville shows a 91 and a 93 in the yard, Bob. I don't know if you'd be interested in paying shipping to MA or not on an assembly, but I'd be willing to go try to get what you need if you're interested. You can PM me if you want to. The 93 had been there since March 11th but the 91 came in just 3 days ago.
 

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I did a search on www.car-part.com for the New England area and it showed a few. I assumed it was a rear drum brake car. I would think the axle itself doesn't change, but they ask for the brake type since what is bolted to it would change.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks, it is a rear drum setup. I've recently replaced the rear brakes, wheel cylinders and rigid lines, so those parts should come off mine easily.

If TJ has anything, that would be great. I could drive to NJ, pick it up with my truck and avoid shipping. Failing that, I'll follow these other leads. Thanks, all.

I'm convinced that although it was slightly weakened with rust, what caused this was that about 6 weeks ago, I hit a submerged pothole in a parking lot. It was so bad, it felt like the axle broke. I got out and checked the rims, as did the driver in front of me. She pulled over 3 times, I think she had damage. That probably caused the bubble in my left front sidewall. I suspect now that when it bottomed out, the jounce bumper punched the spring perch hard enough to bend it a little, at which point over time the spring walked out a little, finally bending the perch as it popped out of it. No chance for recourse now, no proof and no idea who owns the plaza. And they'll laugh at a claim from a 20-yr old car with some chassis rust.

At least I fixed the washing machine last night.
 

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One thing at a time, Bob. That's the best we can do. I hope TJ can hook you up, but my offer still stands if needed.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I have to check the parts books and make sure they're all compatible. I know that 92-93 will be in virtually every respect.

1993 Daytona standard suspension (SDA) rear axle assy is P/N 4626171. Same for 1992 The spring perches are integral.

1984 Daytona is 4147814. So there are differences. Have to make sure I don't get stuck with an axle I can't use.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Local dealer tells me that my P/N crosses with 92-93 Daytona and 92-94 Lebaron and GTC. It looks like I'm out of luck for earlier cars, but I'm going to check anyway, before giving up on them.


Can someone please check a parts catalog for the standard beam axle (SDA suspension, standard feel) for the following, and post the Chrysler part numbers here:

1990 Daytona
1991 Daytona
1991 Lebaron
1992 Lebaron

The 92 Lebaron should fit, if it's drum brakes (I could change the spindle if needed, but would rather not). There's one listed for Maine, 10-hour round trip for me. The 91 Lebaron is less than 10 miles from my house. Much appreciated.

My dealer is great for sales and service, and OK for parts, but not enthused about older cars, or knowledgeable. When I mentioned a 93 Daytona, he said, "Oh, yeah, that's the little Mitsubishi coupe." I don't think he believed me when I said it was American and a K-car chassis. He didn't seem to have much invested, so I didn't push him more for answers.
 

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1990 LeBaron and Daytona used 4626010
1991 LeBaron and Daytona used 4626010
1992 LeBaron and Daytona used 4626171
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks, even though they probably look the same, I should stick to 92-93 Daytona and 92-94 Lebaron in my search.

Tonight I'm going to put the car up on jack stands in the rear, to take the load off the failed suspension and allow me to see the condition of everything. Welding another used or fabricated perch still might be an option.
 

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The one I have is from a 88 Daytona Pacifica.
Still on the parts car.
Newer rear drilled and slotted disk brakes and calipers.

BUT

The rear bump stop rusted off on the drivers side so it is not rust free.

I am open to any more than fair offer.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks, I think it might be a lot of work to convert to disc brakes along with the replacement. I'll let you know in a few days. Someone is parting out a 93 Lebaron two towns over, and another one about 70 miles away. They are supposed to be a direct cross, so I'm going to try those first.

I think it's safer to swap the whole axle rather than try to fabricate or weld up a new spring perch. The spring alignment may not be correct, it could affect handling and tire wear.
 

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The good news is even if you get an axle with the wrong brake setup, you can easily swap your old stuff over. The rear axle only differs between normal and firm suspension (probably the size of the bar built into the axle). The spindles are the same regardless of brake type. You could use your old spindles on the new axle, but you'd probably have to pay the alignment shop if the shims needed changed between the axle and spindle to get the alignment right.

Also make sure the bar inside the axle channel hasn't broken loose on any axle you get.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I'm leaving my original track bar place, mostly because there is some rust on the crossmember, some areas where I tore out scale and made holes, and I don't want to risk unbolting the track bar from it. So I'll undo the other end of the long track bar at the axle.

I have to remove the drums and hardware, anyway, just to undo the parking brake cables to feed them out and in the trailing control arms. But I'd rather bolt in the new axle with its spindles and drum backing plates, because I have a small rust hole in one of my backing plates, so installing the new axle with hopefully better plates will fix that problem.

I'm estimating about 3 more years out of this car without doing some welding to the crossmember. That might give me enough time to save up for a new Dart, and for them to iron out the bugs.
 

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It sure seems that the LeBaron convertible/coupe axle of the same vintage should bolt right in. The integral sway bar within the axle channel would likely be the only difference between the SDA ( standard ) SDC ( firm ) and SDE ( sport ) variations. There sure are plenty of the J body LeBaron covertibles still in the scrap yards here in the South Jersey and Philadelphia area. Chassis rust isn't that commonplace down here.
 
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