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Discussion Starter #1
Looking at a 91, super clean 1 owner car and only 122k on the clock.

I didn't get a chance to drive it, but it runs nice. I'm wondering if it's possible that the trans has already been rebuilt/replaced? Does anyone know how many miles you'd go before they'd fail? I read that they failed with very few miles on the clock, but I'm not sure if 122k falls within that timeframe...

Obviously it depends on the car, I guess, but I'm hoping they all failed prior to 100k so it's a newer transmission...

I was told it shifts fine by someone I know who has driven it, but I'll have a look at it either Monday or Tuesday... if I do end up buying, the first thing to go is the old fluid and filter, then a retraining. I'm not sure if it's got the newer trans computer or not, it didn't have any stickers on it so I couldn't tell... is the newer one the one with fins on it? I think that would probably apply to this car...

No fins on the TCM on this car... just black box.

Oh-- and no codes thrown, and NO ABS!!!! :thumbsup:
 

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Obviously it depends on the car, I guess, but I'm hoping they all failed prior to 100k so it's a newer transmission...

I was told it shifts fine by someone I know who has driven it, but I'll have a look at it either Monday or Tuesday... if I do end up buying, the first thing to go is the old fluid and filter, then a retraining. I'm not sure if it's got the newer trans computer or not, it didn't have any stickers on it so I couldn't tell... is the newer one the one with fins on it? I think that would probably apply to this car...

No fins on the TCM on this car... just black box.
No they did not all fail by 100k. I've had several that lasted well beyond 100K. The earliest one was a 1900 Imperial that was still going strong with 155k on the original transmission when I sold it.
If the transmission has been replaced, they didn't replace the computer if there are no fins.
 

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Look for part number 4796122 on a finned TCM - that's the most current update I know of.

It's always possible the tranny's been rebuilt before. My Fifth Avenue parts car had the tranny done below that number (at 160k kms), but it was done because of flaky shifting, not any hard failure. The Imperial is at 124k miles now and was still on the original tranny until July. The old tranny still works, but it was getting more and more flaky. Over winter, I had a couple instances where reverse wouldn't work right away. Decided it was time to get it done. I probably could have gone another 20k on the old tranny with a new torque converter, but it's hard to say.

It all depends on how well it was maintained in its lifetime. If the fluid was done regularly using the proper ATF+3, it may never need rebuilding. Especially if you get it switched to ATF+4 with a new filter. Probably good to test drive it first, though.

No ABS is good. No four wheel air suspension would be good too... that's another major expense on these. If the car has it, expect to spend a fair bit retrofitting to normal parts later. Less expensive is the rear load leveling system which was standard on these cars - the rear only system is a lot easier to deal with.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Anybody know a good place for aftermarket air shocks that are compatible with the rear leveling setup? Last time I checked, nobody makes anything... so it's off to the scrap yard for dynasty parts, most likely... unless it seems to work okay, because it's not sagging... yet... (i'll have to check it out...) It would sure make a road trip full of stuff better with a nice level ride... so, I'd really prefer to have it.

This particular Fifth Ave seems to be pretty base, although there are a couple of extra options. No digital dash or overhead console on this car, no auto-dim mirror, and cloth interior... however, it does have the auto climate control, and there's a little sensor on the dash on the drivers side, or is it a light? I was thinking factory alarm? It also has a power antenna, wire wheel covers and both seats are power.

This car looks to be METICULOUSLY maintained, and the trans fluid looked like NEW, and didn't smell or anything... new radiator and hoses also... also, I'll contact the shop it was serviced at for paperwork, if the car doesn't come with them already...

If I get the car, it's getting a fluid change with a new filter immediately, the new TCM and also a trans cooler.
 

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When I got my LeBaron in 1999, it had 48k and the trans had just been replaced. I had the fluid/filter done around 75k IIRC. My car now has about 115k (time for another fluid/filter soon), and the only issue I've had with the trans is it getting stuck in limp mode/2nd gear for a couple months earlier this year. I'm pretty sure it was caused by leaking coolant onto sensors/wiring, and now that I've fixed the leak, the issue has disappeared.
 

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You are probably seeing the sun sensor for the auto temp control.

There are no aftermarket shocks that work with the auto leveling system. You can:
1) Put conventional air shocks on and manually adjust them
2) Hope for a bargain on NOS Chrysler shocks
3) Follow this procedure:
http://www.allpar.com/fix/airshocks2.html
 

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The thing on the dash is the sunload sensor for the ATC. If it has factory alarm, the light for that is on the panel to the left of the steering column by the rear window defogger switch. The car likely has remote keyless entry if it has the alarm.

Since it has ATC, the wiring should be up there in the headliner for both EVIC and auto dimming mirror. Note that the EVIC requires the engine node behind the rad grille to support the compass, temp, and low oil/brake fluid/coolant sensors. The node will require some wiring, but on my 1991 Fifth parts car the low brake fluid sensor wiring was already there and taped to the harness. The overhead console should be just plug and play - try to match the year, but 1990-1993 EVIC consoles should all work.

The load leveling shocks are usually leaky by now, but at this mileage may only leak really bad when you have weight in the back seat. You can improve their performance and buy some time by injecting Slime tire sealant in them. Not much is needed, maybe only 1/4 of a 9oz bottle. I ran the Imperial's that way for a while until some NOS air shocks came up on eBay. Otherwise, you can use Dynasty shocks and springs to retrofit, but you will probably want to add 1" spacers to bring the ride height up a bit. Dynasty springs are a little on the weak side for these cars.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Some great information, Thanks!

I wouldn't be opposed to some aftermarket shocks and a manual controller... I could probably rig a switch under the dash or something and just use as necessary. I'll have to see what's going on with the current setup and figure out what kind of condition that's in.

Very interesting that the EVIC wiring is already under the headliner... that I did not know. I think I actually have an auto dimming mirror from my old NY'er laying around, and I'd love to get my hands on one of those EVIC consoles, if I can find one, we'll see.

You can improve their performance and buy some time by injecting Slime tire sealant in them.
I'm assuming I'd just hook the can into the air line? This sounds easy enough. I'll be loading up this car with ALL my belongings since I plan to drive it from Wisconsin to Arizona, so I'll really need to test out those shocks to see what kind of results I get.

Hopefully I can get the car on Monday, given the test drive goes well.

Another question, since it has the wiring for the dimming mirror, does that also mean that the auto headlamp feature would also be functional?
 

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EDIT: I just realized it was recommended for use in the shocks, so I apologize for not paying closer attention. But I'll put the following out there still, just as a general advice:

I'd recommend againt the Slime except as a very last resort. I've used it twice, and on one vehicle, over time it caused pitting and corrosion of the alloy rims (can't imagine what it would do to steel). It's very difficult to clean the residue off, and I doubt a tire shop would do that for you. On another vehicle, I was told that mold had grown, although I didn't see it myself. They may have been referring to the Slime itself.
 

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The car is one year too old for the auto headlamps - it can likely be added too, but you're looking at doing a lot of extra wiring as well as adding a relay. All that will be up there in the headliner is the connector for the normal auto dimming mirror. Maybe check first before you buy the parts though. All that stuff was there on my 1991 Fifth parts car, but there could be differences. Mine had factory alarm, keyless entry, power antenna, memory seats/mirrors, and ATC as options; so it sounds pretty similar to the one you're looking at. The overhead console connector was fully wired, and the mirror connector was taped to the wiring up there. All I had to do was plug in the EVIC console and it worked immediately. Never did get that car an auto dimming mirror to test that out.

To get the tire sealant in the shocks, I had to remove both shocks, take the end off an old pen to go on the end of the Slime bottle nozzle, and then squeeze the stuff right into each shock. You don't want a lot of that getting into the compressor or drier attached to the compressor. The air line holes are small and the Slime bottle nozzle is on the large side, so that's why I used the end of the pen as an adapter.

I doubt the stuff will get on the rims. Didn't get on mine. I'd suggest though once you get the job done, leave the rear axle on jackstands and go start the car. Then, put your weight in the trunk and let the system operate so the Slime will start sealing before you put the wheels back on.

Edit - about the engine node. On my parts car, the wiring was already present up to the big gray connector behind the bumper. I swapped over the mini harness that contains the rest of the wiring to the node, as well as the headlamp door motor wiring, only to discover that the power and ground to the node wasn't spliced in at the factory, causing the car to play dead and start chiming over and over. What I had to do there was add a new power and ground wire - I ran them from the big gray connector up to the diagnostic connector by the PCM and got power (blue/white) and ground (black/green) from there. Once I did that, everything worked. Never did find the connectors for the oil and coolant level sensors though. They must have been taped in the harness somewhere.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Interesting. When referring to the 'engine node,' is that part of the EVIC system? That's not entirely clear to me from your post.

If there's no wiring for the auto headlamps, that's not something worth my time to mess with. I actually prefer to be the one in charge of operating my headlamps, so that's okay by me! -- I may add the EVIC and an auto dimming mirror, those mirrors are nice in city traffic at night, and I'll be doing plenty of night driving. We'll see what I can come across in the boneyards and I may eventually piece those two things together...

Is any headliner cutting required, and do I need to get an EVIC out of the same color car?

Thanks!

By the way.. here she is. She's cherry... save from a couple of pieces of plastic trim that are broken, and she could stand a nice buffing and a wax job... the wheel covers aren't even curbed! -- Senior owned car, retired Army gentleman and his wife... original owners. He passed away, his wife has been driving it... looks to be maintained as you would expect it to be by a retired army senior citizen...

 

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Wow, what a beauty! She definitely needs an EEK owner. Is the engine 3.3 or 3.8?
 

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The EVIC engine node is a long black box looking thing that goes right behind the radiator grille. It's not hard to add one - the bracket in there already has had the screw holes for them on every car like this I've seen.

The overhead console requires nothing but removing four screws and doing a direct swap. No need to cut anything. Couldn't be easier. Yeah, if you want the color to match, look for a car with the same interior color. The electronics can be swapped over between EVIC consoles from 1988-1993, but not between the EVIC and normal consoles of any year. The engine node will require a bit more work, but that too isn't very time consuming unless you add all the sensors that go with it. Like I said, though, my parts car had the connector for the brake fluid sensor already there and wired. I just put one in and hooked it up.

The auto dimming mirror may be easier to find in an LH body car, like a Concorde or Intrepid... IIRC they are compatible.

Very nice looking car. I remember when my parts car looked like that. Two accidents and some rust later, and it's very sad looking now :(
 

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This car is a 3.3.

So, Oklahoma-- what I'm getting here is that I will need to find a console out of a 1991 ONLY? Correct? But, the electronics (sensors, etc) would be fine from any 88-93.

I'm very happy that the swap requires no modification... I really didn't want to cut headliner or anything like that to add it. I'll grab a console just as soon as I find one, which could end up taking some time. Thanks for the tip on the LH cars, also, as far as the mirror goes.

Hopefully I actually get to drive this car tomorrow or Tuesday, and hopefully she'll have a new owner who will treat her equally as well as the previous one did. I'd hate to see this car get beaten up by someone who just wanted a cheap car.

Oh-- Here's a question. Which features of the EVIC will work without doing anything except swapping the console itself?

And if you know which features will not work, off the top of your head, i'd appreciate if you could list those for me. Thanks.
 

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1991 is preferred, but it'll work best with consoles from 1990-1993. You may lose support for some functions. 1988-1989 is not recommended - I've have limited success with them in newer cars, and they have no US/Metric button. My Imperial has a 1990 console now... the only thing it won't do is the "turn signal on" reminder. Everything else works. Same thing for the engine node.

Be advised that on some of the older consoles you need to set the compass manually - that can be a pain, which is why I suggested trying to find a 1991 console first. At least that one, you'll have instructions in the owner's manual.

You'll get all the fuel economy and system warning functions as soon as you plug the console in. All the door ajar warnings should work, provided the car is wired for those switches (it should be). No compass or temp, no engine node specific functions, and no lamp out functions. The lamp out stuff requires wiring in yet another module, and that is a somewhat major wiring job I've only done once and am not doing ever again. It's easier to wire a digital dash than it is to add the lamp out module.

Edit - one more tip. If you ever find a 1992 ATC control panel to swap in, do it. They are plug and play, and will give you a full manual operating mode that the 1991 control panel doesn't have. You may already know how nice that was on the 1993 Fifth, if it had ATC. I don't use full manual often on the Imperial, but it does come in handy.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Great tip. The 93 I had was a manual setup... but, if I can grab a 92 ATC that sounds nice, maybe having the manual controls would come in handy from time to time, especially considering I'll be in Arizona and it gets very hot (manually set to max a/c?)...

The car does have the door ajar functions, it shows a picture of a car in the dash with red lights that come on when a door is open. Honestly the only two features that I'd really enjoy having would be the fuel economy read out, as well as the compass... but, if I have the opportunity to set up the other features I'll probably take the time to get those working as well.

I checked, and the Pick N Pull in Chandler, AZ has two 91 New Yorkers, so maybe I'll find some good parts from those, given I end up buying this car tomorrow. I'm just waiting for a call back for a time to look at it. I will post a new thread with lots of pictures if and when I pick this car up.
 

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The full manual mode is also helpful when the aspirator motor fails for the cabin ambient temp sensor. Usually when it does, with the system on auto, the system will behave (depending on conditions) for a while, and then all of a sudden hit you with AC or heat at full speed when the sensor, which is snapped in under the cluster inside a small duct, finally notices the change. Without the air being pulled through that duct by the aspirator, the sensor has no idea how hot or cold the cabin is. I had that happen once on one of my 1988 New Yorkers - not pleasant. It was a hot day too... I was cruising along with the AC cranked up, and all of a sudden it switched to full heat and tried to roast me alive.

Fortunately, that aspirator assembly was unchanged between 1988-1993. Should be no problem finding those, as a lot of these cars, New Yorkers, and Imperials came with ATC. The Imperial has one from a low mileage 1988 New Yorker, its original having been flaky for a while.

The 1993 ATC panel should work too. The 1991 panel isn't bad, but there's almost always something going on automatically with it. You can force full cold or full hot manually, but nothing in between. The 1992 up panel does let you go in between hot and cold. The only major difference is, you can no longer turn off AC in auto mode on the newer panel (but you can on the 1991) - you have to go to full manual mode to do it on the newer ones. They keep the AC compressor on at all times as long as the outside temp is above 3-4 degrees Celsius or so. Can't say I mind that.

If you have the message center, no problem. It's all wired. The EVIC will tell you exactly which door is ajar, if any.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
See, I think it's strange that you have the option of turning the A/C on or off in "auto" mode... why would I want that? I just want the car to "figure it out" for me, that's the beauty of auto climate control... turn the a/c on or off whenever it needs to, that's what I want. Unless there's something i'm forgetting here... if I remember correctly, the Mercedes i've owned were both auto, and i didn't have to turn a/c on or off, and they worked just fine.

So, it sounds like if I get a 93 panel, it would do that for me?
 

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It should. You won't see the familiar snowflake in the display in auto mode, but anytime it's in auto the AC compressor will be working.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Well, since it does work right now, I think I just won't touch it... if something fails then we'll see. Hopefully I get a call in the AM and can go check it out and drive it.
 
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