Farley`s Dodge Diplomat Forum

Forum Index => The Library => Topic started by: Reggie on January 06, 2008, 13:50:29

Title: Bodies: F/J/M Body Interchange Information
Post by: Reggie on January 06, 2008, 13:50:29
Chrysler F/J/M Body Interchange Information - 1976 to 1989

Chrysler's F/J/M platform began in mid-1976 with the introduction of the F-body line, consisting of the Dodge Aspen and Plymouth Volare. F-bodies used a new transverse (crosswise) torsion bar front suspension instead of the traditional longitudinal torsion bars that had been used since 1957. The torsion bars were attached to a k-member that was fully isolated from the body by the use of rubber "biscuits" or isolators with through bolts. Although F-bodies used conventional rear springs, they were also isolated from the rear axle on the top and bottom by rubber pads held by the shock plate and a lower clamp.  The design was called the "Iso-Clamp Rear Suspension".  Chrysler stated that the fully isolated system offer a "big car ride". The Aspen/Volare twins were jointly given Motor Trend's Car Of The Year award for 1976.

The new F-body models were offered in 2-door, 4-door and station wagon versions.  The 2-door versions had a 108.7" wheelbase, while the 4-door and station wagon versions had a 112.5" wheelbase for 1976 only (according to Standard Catalog of chrysler). 1977 through 1980 4-door models were all on a 112.7" wheelbase. F-bodies were good cars, but the Aspen/Volare name received bad press due to the first two model years suffering from several recalls due to quality control problems and premature rusting. Although most of the problems were corrected by the 1978 model year, the F-body line never fully recovered, and the Aspen/Volare names were discontinued in 1980. Just under two million F-bodies were produced during the entire production run, with Volare's outselling Aspens every model year.

Virtually identical underneath to the earlier F-body platform, the higher priced M-body car line was introduced in 1977 with the Dodge Diplomat, Chrysler LeBaron and the Plymouth Caravelle (only introduced in Canada). The new models were offered in 2-door, 4-door and station wagon versions, all of which had a 112.7" wheelbase. In 1980 the line was restyled and the wheelbase of the 2 door models was shortened to 108.7". In 1982, the Caravelle and LeBaron names were moved to the K-car platform, the Gran Fury was added, and all 2-door and station wagon versions were dropped.  After going through several name changes, the Chrysler Fifth Avenue name was finalized by 1984, and remained through 1989.

Four-door Diplomats and Gran Furys saw serious police, fleet and taxi duty during the 1980s. The popularity of M-bodies in the taxicab industry quickly exhausted all supplies of used Diplomats and Gran Furys. As a result, used luxury Fifth Avenues began to see taxi service. As a testament to the durability of the M-body line, both police and civilian versions of all M-body makes were still being pressed into service as taxicabs for more than a decade after they were discontinued in 1989.  Although they are rare now, Fifth Avenue taxicabs were routinely seen on the streets of the Nations Capital as late as 2005.  Also notable is that the M-body car line represented the very last of the Chrysler rear wheel drive passenger cars that used the old reliable drivetrain technology developed in the late fifties and early sixties.

The J-body line was also virtually identical underneath to the earlier F-body and M-body platforms. Introduced in 1980 with the Dodge Mirada and Chrysler Cordoba names carried over from the discontinued B-body line, all J-bodies were 2-door and shared the same 112.7" Wheelbase as 4-door F-bodies and M-bodies. The Chrysler Imperial was added to the J-body line in 1981, but it  didn't sell well. Plagued with problems with the new fuel injection system and weighing almost two tons, only 10,981 Imperials were sold during the entire run from 1981 to 1983. As a result, Imperials are among the rarest of the F/J/M cars.

Models and Years of Production

F-Bodies (1976 to 1980)

M-Bodies (1977 to 1989)

J-Bodies (1980 to 1983) (All models were 2 doors with a 112.7" Wheelbase)


F/J/M Parts That Interchange

Below is a partial list of F/J/M parts that interchange. Parts for the years and models listed in each bullet will interchange. There are many other parts not listed that will also interchange.

Windshields

Back Windows (not side glass)

Single Doors (2-door Cars)

Front Doors (4-door Cars)

Rear Doors (4-door Cars)

Hoods

Trunk Lids

Front Fenders

Other Parts

Sources: