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Recently (December-ish) I sold my first car. I almost miss the piece of junk, only got to drive her once though. This was one of the reasons I actually want to apply for an automotive course in a college. I fiddled around with her engine for a bit, before realizing that her problem was more than I could do myself or afford. Sadly, she was sold, got almost nothing for her but the experience I gained was worth more than I could have sold for. She was a 1986 Dodge 600 with a 2.2 inline 4 front wheel drive pile of garbage under the hood. Had one horrid engine, but loved the car nonetheless.

But I digress, this is the car, and me with said car.

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I really wish there were a model of this car out there. Let me know if there is, because I would LOVE one.

 

Thanks for reading!

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I guess "first cars" always hold a special place in our hearts. From the pictures it looks to be in really good condition. Not to make you feel bad, but even if the engine were shot it may have been worth your while to save up to have it overhauled. No I don't think you would ever hope to recoup the expense but any nice sunny day driving a convertible with the top down and the wind in your hair is a good day. Early on in life I had a '57 Ford convertible. While it was a low mileage one owner car it hadn't had the best of care and I spent far more on it than I should have, but I had the time of my life with that old you know what of a car.  

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3 hours ago, espo said:

I guess "first cars" always hold a special place in our hearts. From the pictures it looks to be in really good condition. Not to make you feel bad, but even if the engine were shot it may have been worth your while to save up to have it overhauled. No I don't think you would ever hope to recoup the expense but any nice sunny day driving a convertible with the top down and the wind in your hair is a good day. Early on in life I had a '57 Ford convertible. While it was a low mileage one owner car it hadn't had the best of care and I spent far more on it than I should have, but I had the time of my life with that old you know what of a car.  

Saddest part about selling the car was that it was in really good condition. I am moving soon, and I had to get it all fixed and insured before moving, but I could not afford that, nor did the household have the room to have an extra car that didn't really do much of anything.

If I wasn't moving, my plan was to totally redo the ignition system and get someone to put new brakes on. I wanted it to be my summer car as you said, but things just did not go in my favour.

Your comments are appreciated.

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11 hours ago, Vietnam Vet67 said:

1986 Dodge 600 brochure........this one has a Turbo and pizza wheels . The 2.2L engine was a great engine...............you just have to know how to work on it like anything else.

686849297_1986Dodge600convertible.thumb.jpg.66f63081c1991c035e68722f9f43e22c.jpg

 

Hm perhaps you are right. A mechanic I spoke to said that the 2.2 was just terrible, and I have less experience than him so I took his word for it. Mine was not turbo.

Thanks for the comment

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Sorry to hear that you have to let Shiela go. I had a car in college that I loved, that I had to give up, and that 30 years later, I still think about. 
 
Save some dough, BE PATIENT, fine a NICE one, and do it again if you like. These cars are out there, some in really nice shape for as old as they are, and aren’t very expensive, but remember that for every extra dollar you spend on a nice one, that’s like saving two down the line. 

My family had two of these new. We had an ‘84 400 sedan and an ‘86 600 coupe. Stay away from the pre-fuel injection cars, as the carburetors were tough to live with. Our ‘84 had the Mitsubishi built 2.6, and it had a lot of driveability problems starting at 50,000 miles.

Our ‘86 had the 2.5 engine, which was fuel injected (so it ran MUCH better for us than the 2.6, and was a much better performer overall) and while almost everything else on that car aged poorly (door handles, door hinges- which were welded and therefore unrepairable, even the buttons on the radio went bad), the engine never gave us any trouble at all in about 80,000 miles of regular use. We sold it to a family friend who was also fairly rough on it, and she drove it everywhere about another 40,000 miles before it gave up the ghost. 

The 90’s Mopars (Shadow/Sundance/Duster/Spirit/Le Baron/Acclaim) might be worth a look...I’m not sure these are any more expensive than the ‘80’s K cars, but I think they were much improved over the ‘80’s cars. 

 

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10 minutes ago, CapSat 6 said:

Sorry to hear that you have to let Shiela go. I had a car in college that I loved, that I had to give up, and that 30 years later, I still think about. 
 
Save some dough, BE PATIENT, fine a NICE one, and do it again if you like. These cars are out there, some in really nice shape for as old as they are, and aren’t very expensive, but remember that for every extra dollar you spend on a nice one, that’s like saving two down the line. 

My family had two of these new. We had an ‘84 400 sedan and an ‘86 600 coupe. Stay away from the pre-fuel injection cars, as the carburetors were tough to live with. Our ‘84 had the Mitsubishi built 2.6, and it had a lot of driveability problems starting at 50,000 miles.

Our ‘86 had the 2.5 engine, which was fuel injected (so it ran MUCH better for us than the 2.6, and was a much better performer overall) and while almost everything else on that car aged poorly (door handles, door hinges- which were welded and therefore unrepairable, even the buttons on the radio went bad), the engine never gave us any trouble at all in about 80,000 miles of regular use. We sold it to a family friend who was also fairly rough on it, and she drove it everywhere about another 40,000 miles before it gave up the ghost. 

The 90’s Mopars (Shadow/Sundance/Duster/Spirit/Le Baron/Acclaim) might be worth a look...I’m not sure these are any more expensive than the ‘80’s K cars, but I think they were much improved over the ‘80’s cars. 

 

I really like the K-Body styled cars (Aries, 600's, reliant, LeBaron) from the 80's. I have found a few other 600's for sale near to me, but none in the place I am about to move to. However, I do really think saving up for one is worth it.

Thanks for the info on the carbs.

Perhaps I will look into the 90s, but I do really prefer the 80s/70s.

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1 hour ago, Ceaser_Salad said:

I really like the K-Body styled cars (Aries, 600's, reliant, LeBaron) from the 80's. I have found a few other 600's for sale near to me, but none in the place I am about to move to. However, I do really think saving up for one is worth it.

Thanks for the info on the carbs.

Perhaps I will look into the 90s, but I do really prefer the 80s/70s.

I would say go with your passion then.! I think the fuel injected 2.5 cars were the best...I think the 2.5 engine had balance shafts while the 2.2 did not...they were based on the same design (some parts interchanged between the 2.2 and the 2.5) but the balance shafts made the 2.5 more smooth, which ultimately might have helped durability, too. The F.I. 2.5 had decent power for the time, even without a turbo. 

Save up, plan like a supervillain. Get a good one. My mistake was that I would settle for the first car I found as soon as I had some cash, so I usually had to deal with nightmare rust and mechanical problems. Not being patient with your search will only lead you to heartbreak. :(

Allpar.com should have some good info on these cars. You can do some research there. 

The merits of these cars were: 1) easy to work on, 2) handled VERY well in bad weather (Philadelphia sometimes got a lot of snow and ice- and we lived in a hilly part of town. Those cars NEVER got stuck in bad weather unless there was an unplowed foot or more of snow!), 3) the 2.5 proved to be very dependable, it never once let us down. 4) these were very roomy cars for their size. 
 
I have heard some bad things about the transmissions in these cars. One that has been sitting for awhile might give you some trouble in that regard. 

 

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Regarding models, I think there might be 1/43 pre builts of the earlier ones available. If you wanted to do something in 1/24 or 1/25, the MPC or Monogram Dodge Daytonas more or less had the same engine (although turbocharged) and chassis, but you would be on your own as far as a body and interior go. 

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1 minute ago, CapSat 6 said:

I would say go with your passion then.! I think the fuel injected 2.5 cars were the best...I think the 2.5 engine had balance shafts while the 2.2 did not...they were based on the same design (some parts interchanged between the 2.2 and the 2.5) but the balance shafts made the 2.5 more smooth, which ultimately might have helped durability, too. The F.I. 2.5 had decent power for the time, even without a turbo. 

Save up, plan like a supervillain. Get a good one. My mistake was that I would settle for the first car I found as soon as I had some cash, so I usually had to deal with nightmare rust and mechanical problems. Not being patient with your search will only lead you to heartbreak. :(

Allpar.com should have some good info on these cars. You can do some research there. 

The merits of these cars were: 1) easy to work on, 2) handled VERY well in bad weather (Philadelphia sometimes got a lot of snow and ice- and we lived in a hilly part of town. Those cars NEVER got stuck in bad weather unless there was an unplowed foot or more of snow!), 3) the 2.5 proved to be very dependable, it never once let us down. 4) these were very roomy cars for their size. 
 
I have heard some bad things about the transmissions in these cars. One that has been sitting for awhile might give you some trouble in that regard. 

 

Ha I will plan accordingly then 😆. I was weary of settling for the first car I found (1969 Dodge Dart that had the fender aprons coming off from rust followed by a 1968 Olds cutlass that had the worst steering I have ever seen and the kid who was selling it put a carb on it and I just do not think it was the right one for the engine). I had looked at maybe 5-7 cars before I found Sheila. I found that the neutral safety switch was iffy in my Dodge, but from what I can find is that the trans-axle was not all that reliable. However, and I will be repeating this, I have such little experience of my own to make any real determinations on that matter.

The fact that your one worked well in the snowy and hilly region you lived in is great to hear, considering I live on West Coast right now, and will be going to East Coast in a month. (Snow, cold, snow and some more snow, but it is flat.)

That engine was super easy to get around though. The size was easy to work with, and everything is pretty easy to get to. Thanks for the link, I will see what they have on there.

From what I heard (again no way to back it up, perhaps you can) the 2.6 was the worst version of this engine, and the 2.5 was ok but not as good as the 2.2. I did not know about the balance shafts, so that is good to keep in mind.

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4 minutes ago, CapSat 6 said:

Regarding models, I think there might be 1/43 pre builts of the earlier ones available. If you wanted to do something in 1/24 or 1/25, the MPC or Monogram Dodge Daytonas more or less had the same engine (although turbocharged) and chassis, but you would be on your own as far as a body and interior go. 

Perhaps I can bash that with an 83 mustang if those exist. Reshape the body a bit.

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2 hours ago, Ceaser_Salad said:

Ha I will plan accordingly then 😆. I was weary of settling for the first car I found (1969 Dodge Dart that had the fender aprons coming off from rust followed by a 1968 Olds cutlass that had the worst steering I have ever seen and the kid who was selling it put a carb on it and I just do not think it was the right one for the engine). I had looked at maybe 5-7 cars before I found Sheila. I found that the neutral safety switch was iffy in my Dodge, but from what I can find is that the trans-axle was not all that reliable. However, and I will be repeating this, I have such little experience of my own to make any real determinations on that matter.

The fact that your one worked well in the snowy and hilly region you lived in is great to hear, considering I live on West Coast right now, and will be going to East Coast in a month. (Snow, cold, snow and some more snow, but it is flat.)

That engine was super easy to get around though. The size was easy to work with, and everything is pretty easy to get to. Thanks for the link, I will see what they have on there.

From what I heard (again no way to back it up, perhaps you can) the 2.6 was the worst version of this engine, and the 2.5 was ok but not as good as the 2.2. I did not know about the balance shafts, so that is good to keep in mind.

I hope my personal experience with these cars helps. 

The 2.6 engine was an entirely different engine- built by Mitsubishi. I know that with ours, the carb was junk, even after just a few years, and the engine was said to have other problems. Our ‘82 ran terribly at 50,000 miles. I really hated that car. 

The 2.2/ 2.5 were developed by Chrysler. I think the 2.5 was balance shaft engine only, which helps with 4 cylinders, as they are not inherently balanced. People still make the 2.2’s work, but I think the 2.5 is a relatively easy engine to live with.
 
I distinctly remember the 2.5 felt much more powerful than the 2.6...it started and ran without any problem, was very derivable, and was much faster. That car would cruise at 75 mph all day. The Speedo only went to 85 (like most cars did back then, speed limits were pretty much 55 mph across the U.S. in the 1980’s, and 80 mph would get you a fat ticket almost everywhere back then), but you could pretty much get it to 80 and keep it there. The 2.6 was terrible. 

I also remember the ‘86 had much better road feel. I think at some point between ‘82 and ‘86, they changed power steering pumps on those cars. The ‘82 felt like a ‘70’s car, way over-assisted, while the ‘86 felt much more modern. 
 
I think the 2.2/2.5 eventually became the Neon engine. I’m not an expert on these engines, but I can attest to how they drove back in the day, and that they’re fairly easy to work on. 

A good friend of mine bought a brand new 1992 Dodge Daytona. He test drove two of them: a V6 and a 2.5. He bought the 2.5 because in his mind, they performed about the same and the expense and weight of the V6 (I think built by Mitsubishi) could not be justified. I drove it once or twice, and it reminded me a lot of our ‘86 600 with the 2.5. The Daytona looked very similar to the ‘600 under the hood, and both cars even used the same steel wheels. 
 
His Daytona was a dependable driver that we tried to get stuck in snow, but couldn’t ;). He stopped driving it for about a year as he used his work truck all the time. After a year of sitting, he started driving it again and then the transmission gave out. It only had about 40,000 miles on it then. If you find one that has been sitting, or hasn’t been driven much, change the Auto trans fluid and filter before you drive it. DON’T have the ATF pumped out, do it old school and just drain it. Every car I have had ATF pumped out of have dropped their transmissions soon after, so I will NEVER have a shop pump a transmission again. Coincidence? I think not...

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4 hours ago, CapSat 6 said:

I hope my personal experience with these cars helps. 

The 2.6 engine was an entirely different engine- built by Mitsubishi. I know that with ours, the carb was junk, even after just a few years, and the engine was said to have other problems. Our ‘82 ran terribly at 50,000 miles. I really hated that car. 

The 2.2/ 2.5 were developed by Chrysler. I think the 2.5 was balance shaft engine only, which helps with 4 cylinders, as they are not inherently balanced. People still make the 2.2’s work, but I think the 2.5 is a relatively easy engine to live with.
 
I distinctly remember the 2.5 felt much more powerful than the 2.6...it started and ran without any problem, was very derivable, and was much faster. That car would cruise at 75 mph all day. The Speedo only went to 85 (like most cars did back then, speed limits were pretty much 55 mph across the U.S. in the 1980’s, and 80 mph would get you a fat ticket almost everywhere back then), but you could pretty much get it to 80 and keep it there. The 2.6 was terrible. 

I also remember the ‘86 had much better road feel. I think at some point between ‘82 and ‘86, they changed power steering pumps on those cars. The ‘82 felt like a ‘70’s car, way over-assisted, while the ‘86 felt much more modern. 
 
I think the 2.2/2.5 eventually became the Neon engine. I’m not an expert on these engines, but I can attest to how they drove back in the day, and that they’re fairly easy to work on. 

A good friend of mine bought a brand new 1992 Dodge Daytona. He test drove two of them: a V6 and a 2.5. He bought the 2.5 because in his mind, they performed about the same and the expense and weight of the V6 (I think built by Mitsubishi) could not be justified. I drove it once or twice, and it reminded me a lot of our ‘86 600 with the 2.5. The Daytona looked very similar to the ‘600 under the hood, and both cars even used the same steel wheels. 
 
His Daytona was a dependable driver that we tried to get stuck in snow, but couldn’t ;). He stopped driving it for about a year as he used his work truck all the time. After a year of sitting, he started driving it again and then the transmission gave out. It only had about 40,000 miles on it then. If you find one that has been sitting, or hasn’t been driven much, change the Auto trans fluid and filter before you drive it. DON’T have the ATF pumped out, do it old school and just drain it. Every car I have had ATF pumped out of have dropped their transmissions soon after, so I will NEVER have a shop pump a transmission again. Coincidence? I think not...

Your experience does help, as I am more likely to trust someones who has first hand knowledge, than the information I glean from google. Even if the information is not pertinent to the car or engine I get, I do enjoy talking about it with someone who knows something (no one I know personally has any interest in cars or mechanics, so my mind is very lonely in that regard 😆).

Perhaps a Daytona is worth looking for if it is anything like a 600 as you describe it to be.

I appreciate the tip about the trans fluid, I had plans to re do all the fluids but never got to that point. Maybe if I find a new 600, I will have better luck with it. I wonder what it is about the pumping of the ATF that ruins the transmission? Is it the process or do they use some sort of liquid that erodes the insides somehow... Disturbing nonetheless.

Thanks for chatting btw, I don't often get a chance to discuss mechanics or anything of the sort with my peers, as they are all still stuck in their phones.

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3 hours ago, stitchdup said:

You might find something on shapeways if you dont mind 3d printed. This is the closest I found wih a quick search but there are probably other scales available if you have the time to search through it-  https://www.shapeways.com/product/AFLQSBXJD/1-32-1979-dodge-magnum?optionId=65428906&li=marketplace

I have looked through shapeways, but their prices are disgustingly high. I got a USS Enterprise A (ST:Beyond version) at about 5 inches for about $70 before shipping. I have no clue why I wasted my money like that...

Thanks anyway though!

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14 hours ago, Ceaser_Salad said:

I really like the K-Body styled cars (Aries, 600's, reliant, LeBaron) from the 80's. I have found a few other 600's for sale near to me, but none in the place I am about to move to. However, I do really think saving up for one is worth it.

Thanks for the info on the carbs.

Perhaps I will look into the 90s, but I do really prefer the 80s/70s.

A few months ago on Kijiji in Lethbridge Alberta there was a 1990 Chrysler LeBaron(same as Spirit and like Dodge) had 52000 original and showed pictures all around..Think it was 6 cyl grammas car..$600.00..If covid wasn't around I would have driven from Manitoba to check it out and taken some cash..Can't send link buy maybe see it its still listed..

 

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9 hours ago, CapSat 6 said:

I hope my personal experience with these cars helps. 

The 2.6 engine was an entirely different engine- built by Mitsubishi. I know that with ours, the carb was junk, even after just a few years, and the engine was said to have other problems. Our ‘82 ran terribly at 50,000 miles. I really hated that car. 

The 2.2/ 2.5 were developed by Chrysler. I think the 2.5 was balance shaft engine only, which helps with 4 cylinders, as they are not inherently balanced. People still make the 2.2’s work, but I think the 2.5 is a relatively easy engine to live with.
 
I distinctly remember the 2.5 felt much more powerful than the 2.6...it started and ran without any problem, was very derivable, and was much faster. That car would cruise at 75 mph all day. The Speedo only went to 85 (like most cars did back then, speed limits were pretty much 55 mph across the U.S. in the 1980’s, and 80 mph would get you a fat ticket almost everywhere back then), but you could pretty much get it to 80 and keep it there. The 2.6 was terrible. 

I also remember the ‘86 had much better road feel. I think at some point between ‘82 and ‘86, they changed power steering pumps on those cars. The ‘82 felt like a ‘70’s car, way over-assisted, while the ‘86 felt much more modern. 
 
I think the 2.2/2.5 eventually became the Neon engine. I’m not an expert on these engines, but I can attest to how they drove back in the day, and that they’re fairly easy to work on. 

A good friend of mine bought a brand new 1992 Dodge Daytona. He test drove two of them: a V6 and a 2.5. He bought the 2.5 because in his mind, they performed about the same and the expense and weight of the V6 (I think built by Mitsubishi) could not be justified. I drove it once or twice, and it reminded me a lot of our ‘86 600 with the 2.5. The Daytona looked very similar to the ‘600 under the hood, and both cars even used the same steel wheels. 
 
His Daytona was a dependable driver that we tried to get stuck in snow, but couldn’t ;). He stopped driving it for about a year as he used his work truck all the time. After a year of sitting, he started driving it again and then the transmission gave out. It only had about 40,000 miles on it then. If you find one that has been sitting, or hasn’t been driven much, change the Auto trans fluid and filter before you drive it. DON’T have the ATF pumped out, do it old school and just drain it. Every car I have had ATF pumped out of have dropped their transmissions soon after, so I will NEVER have a shop pump a transmission again. Coincidence? I think not...

Never pump out oil either..Let drain..I change oil/filter in my rides every 5000 km whether need it or not.I've got a 2002 Sebring Convertible in prime condition with the dredded 2.7 V-6..Change oil in it every 2500 km..and use semi synthetic( I like regular oil better) but this seems to work okay..So far no sledge build up..Its got 103500 km on the clock..

 

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On 5/25/2021 at 10:11 AM, espo said:

I guess "first cars" always hold a special place in our hearts......

Kinda depends on what it was.  Mine was a well used/abused 73 Duster which except for the indestructible slant six was a POS.  Second one not much better (72 one owner two door Mercury Comet).  Third one was the first one after college.....84 Dodge Rampage.  Currently not running but having the hard time parting with it.

Blew two timing belts (cheap plastic belt).  No internal damage but clearly went low budget on that engine (2.2L)

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8 hours ago, moparfarmer said:

Never pump out oil either..Let drain..I change oil/filter in my rides every 5000 km whether need it or not.I've got a 2002 Sebring Convertible in prime condition with the dredded 2.7 V-6..Change oil in it every 2500 km..and use semi synthetic( I like regular oil better) but this seems to work okay..So far no sledge build up..Its got 103500 km on the clock..

 

Hm good tips, thank you.

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