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Hi all,

First post here on Allpar, due to inheriting an in-the-family-since-new 1988 New Yorker Landau. I'm from NZ, now living in Ontario. I need your help to extend the life of this one for another 10 years minimum!

Now the body and interior are in acceptable shape, but the salt roads here in Canada have taken their toll over the past 30 years. Pics at bottom.
I think I've got the car at just the right time, as the surface corrosion is now working too deep for my liking.

I'm thinking of getting it all blasted off and coated (?) and replacing the front and rear struts with new Monroe units and all the bushings while I'm at it. I don;t know how soft these things were new, but I need at least some road feedback as I go around a corner. At the moment it's like driving a pillow.

Looking at the pics, do I need to replace any other parts that you can see? What would you do if you were in my shoes. My restoration budget is $2500.





 

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Well, i gotta say that i think 10 years is probably not gonna happen.
These cars rotted fast. The salt is like candy for it, making them disappear so much faster.

But, if you wanna try you should first scrape or blast as much rust off as possible.
Then use a rust converter. Many are available, and use it generously. Id suggest a can and brush it on.
Google “rust converter” and you’ll find lots of products and information.

And finally, I just sold an 88 New Yorker.. the new struts and shocks will help, but there’s no real way to make it stop handling like a pillow.
There’s only one sway bar, and it’s small diameter. You could probably find one of the larger ones (from one of the other K bodied cars like a lebaron) and fit it in.. provided you actually can find one.

It’s tuned soft and squishy. But even when these cars were tuned for handling, they were still pretty squishy.
 

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New suspension parts will still be soft. That’s the way these cars were built. The way to improve handling is to find a sportier k based car like the sporty trims of LeBaron and Daytona for springs and sway bars. Then the firmer shocks and struts
 

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There is a company that makes suspension bushings (and alternator mount bushings) for these cars. It is polybushings.com and they do help the handling. As for an improved suspension, I am redoing a 1986 Lebaron convertible, I installed the K-member and lower control arms from a 1989 Lebaron coupe (J-body) and a rear axle from a 1995 Lebaron convertible as both my original and the 1989 had broken rear sway bars.

The 1989 front has pivot bushings at both ends of the lower control arms and a larger sway bar. The rear, I replaced the original rubber bushings with polyurethane ones. Struts and shocks will help, my 1985 had KYB units on both ends, since they were fairly new, I kept them when it was totaled.
 
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Thanks for the replies

Yes, by the looks of it I need to find a lebaron parts car here in southern Ontario.
 

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Summer driving from here on out for this one. Thanks for the info re: Rust Converter. Looks like it will help, for sure. There's a local shop here dedicated to rust removal/protection so will get some quotes to see if doing it myself is a better option.
 

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Sandblast and coated with Ziebart. I have had it done for two vehicles with good results, $800 each car.
 
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Nice, saw ziebert's profile. Nice price, too?

Suspension wise, are the rear springs air-controlled? Can find front & rear struts, but not rear springs... are there springs anyone can recommend?
 

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There were three suspension systems on these cars, depending on trim and year. Conventional and rear leveling which both used a rear coil spring and 4 wheel leveling which used air bags instead of springs.
 
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Looks like regular shocks and springs to me, no load level, no air suspension. The important thing to see is how those spring perches look from the bottom. Are they still solid or rotting out? I did a rear beam on my Imperial about 10 (!) years ago. When I put it in I cleaned it off and gave it several heavy coats of paint and it's already starting to rust back out even after keeping it clean and painted all these years.
 
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The Landau trim level had rear load leveling air shocks standard - you will not find good replacements for that stuff these days. I had a hard time getting these parts new old stock in 2011 already when I had my Imperial. Fortunately, Dynasty shocks and variable rate springs can be swapped in fairly easily.

The controller for the air system is behind the right side trunk trim, and the compressor is underneath the car behind the right rear tire.

I had two 1988 Landaus - kind of tempted to get a third one now.
 

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Thanks for all the replies. I think u/mydodgedip has it right.... the below pic shows what looks like conventional spring & shock (unless I'm missing something)...here's a better shot of the original factory set-up as it is right now.

upload_2018-5-16_21-6-3.png
 

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You're assuming it came like that, and hasn't already been retrofitted ;)

Either way, no need to worry about the system that isn't there anymore. Both of my Landaus had load leveling, and I never saw one at the yards without it that hadn't been retrofitted. One of mine was about as bare bones as the Landau got, while the other had all the options including leather and EVIC. The full 4 wheel air suspension was never available on these SWB models - only the Fifth Avenue and Imperial had that as an option.

One of my spare load leveling compressors came out of a Dynasty LE with the load leveling option - rare option in those cars. It had already been retrofitted, but they either forgot to pull the compressor out or didn't care. It tested good so it came home with me. When the air shocks get leaky the compressors burn out, so I kept a few around as spares and would patch the air shocks with Slime tire sealant.
 
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