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kishy's 1991 Plymouth Acclaim

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    kishy's 1991 Plymouth Acclaim

    It's been a few years, figured it was time to make some sort of an addition.

    For years now, I've been saying that if a rust-free Plymouth Acclaim (not its corporate twins, or any other period Chrysler - just the Acclaim) in a black cherry exterior colour, with a red/maroon interior, turned up for sale, I would buy it. My primary requirement is that it be rust-free, even if it needs some mechanical work. A couple weeks ago, I noticed a car meeting this exact criteria (from how it appeared in the ad anyway) showed up on Facebook Marketplace locally, and after a price drop from $2000 to 1600 Canadian, I sent a message about it. Today, I went and looked at it, found it to be in staggeringly good condition despite its ludicrously high mileage of 475k km, and towed it home with a dolly due to it needing a water pump, for the reasonable sum of $1300.

    Side note: the reason that I have wanted one in this configuration is that it was a car I spent a lot of time in the back seat of as a kid, and I've always found them good looking. I'd like to get some seat time in one.

    I have purchased the car from the original owner's son. The owner died about 10 years ago and the car has been in the garage of that property ever since. It was parked needing a water pump, the new parts are in the trunk, but it sounds like he died before he got to it. The car has new (in terms of mileage) stuff visibly installed all over, such as new front brakes with coated rotors, newer tie rod ends, and exhaust components. It is, once again, in staggeringly good condition both above and below the floors. There is some Armor-All stickiness to the interior which may be hard to cure, both front power windows do not work, and it has a few "up-option" things to make it more of a LeBaron such as the grille and trunk decal, but this is exactly the car I wanted.

    It has the 3.0L V6 which is an early variant of the Mitsubishi 6G72 and the Chrysler A604 (yes, the Ultradrive) 4-speed overdrive automatic transaxle. The car is FWD.



















    It is my intent to cruise Woodward in it next summer. For that, obviously, the cooling system needs to be in top condition, and ideally the AC should work. The car does not have conversion fittings installed so it is my belief that the AC did not work when it was parked and surely hasn't somehow recharged itself with fresh R12 since then.

    I have absolutely no meaningful background on working on these cars so it will be a bit of a learning experience, for sure. That being said, it looks to have plenty of room to get the timing cover off, which is good because that's where the water pump lives.

    Expect to see absolutely no progress on this any time soon, it was more of a "grab it while it's available because it's not likely to come along again" type of deal.

    Last edited by kishy; 11-11-2023, 08:58 PM.

    Current driver: Ranger
    Panthers: 83 GM 2dr | 84 TC | 85 CS
    | 88 TC | 91 GM
    Not Panthers: 85 Ranger | Ranger trailer | 91 Acclaim | 05 Focus
    Gone: 97 CV | 83 TC | 04 Focus | 86 GM
    | Junkyards

    #2
    What makes an Acclaim? The dash badge? Trunk says Chrysler (is that an option?), grille is missing a badge(?) and nowhere that I can see says Plymouth. To me it looks just like the Saratoga, atleast the Dodge Spirit had a sporty grille. Yours has a lot of cladding and chrome trim, must be a high trim level.

    I've found those late 80's - early 90's Chrysler products curiously awful, or maybe awfully curious.
    In Finland these "small" FWD american plastic fantastic nuggets are in an odd light. Barely any imported as they were priced high and they didn't really differ enough from german cars to have that feel of american excess. No one really can consider these as classics and in the modern as normal cars theyre awful. The Radwood things ain't a thing here either.
    1985 Mercury Grand Marquis LS, "Maisa"
    1995 Chevrolet Caprice Classic STW, "Sally"

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by Arquemann View Post
      What makes an Acclaim? The dash badge? Trunk says Chrysler (is that an option?), grille is missing a badge(?) and nowhere that I can see says Plymouth. To me it looks just like the Saratoga, atleast the Dodge Spirit had a sporty grille. Yours has a lot of cladding and chrome trim, must be a high trim level.

      I've found those late 80's - early 90's Chrysler products curiously awful, or maybe awfully curious.
      In Finland these "small" FWD american plastic fantastic nuggets are in an odd light. Barely any imported as they were priced high and they didn't really differ enough from german cars to have that feel of american excess. No one really can consider these as classics and in the modern as normal cars theyre awful. The Radwood things ain't a thing here either.
      Easy: the ownership states it's a Plymouth, which means the part of the VIN which identifies the brand says it's a Plymouth. This car was built as an Acclaim but modified by its original owner, by changing the Acclaim grille out for the LeBaron one, and by de-badging the trunklid to apply a Chrysler badge/text as you'd see on a LeBaron. He worked for Chrysler. My guess would be that he walked into a dealer looking for an employee pricing deal on a car and liked the options vs the price on the Acclaim more than he liked what was available on a LeBaron at the time, and that's how he ended up with this car. Centre console with floor shift, bucket seats, overhead console, and power everything is an uncommon option arrangement on the Acclaim, which backs up the fact it started out as a high level car.

      The Saratoga is not a car that existed here. We had the Acclaim, Spirit, and LeBaron, of which I believe a mixture of the Acclaim and LeBaron is what makes a Saratoga. All obviously pretty much the same thing, just varying trim and interior stuff. This colour paired with the Acclaim grille, tail lights, and the fog light bumper (and the lack of the LeBaron vinyl top) makes the best looking combination on this body, in my opinion. A very close second is a white Spirit R/T.

      Current driver: Ranger
      Panthers: 83 GM 2dr | 84 TC | 85 CS
      | 88 TC | 91 GM
      Not Panthers: 85 Ranger | Ranger trailer | 91 Acclaim | 05 Focus
      Gone: 97 CV | 83 TC | 04 Focus | 86 GM
      | Junkyards

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by kishy View Post

        Easy: the ownership states it's a Plymouth, which means the part of the VIN which identifies the brand says it's a Plymouth. This car was built as an Acclaim but modified by its original owner, by changing the Acclaim grille out for the LeBaron one, and by de-badging the trunklid to apply a Chrysler badge/text as you'd see on a LeBaron. He worked for Chrysler. My guess would be that he walked into a dealer looking for an employee pricing deal on a car and liked the options vs the price on the Acclaim more than he liked what was available on a LeBaron at the time, and that's how he ended up with this car. Centre console with floor shift, bucket seats, overhead console, and power everything is an uncommon option arrangement on the Acclaim, which backs up the fact it started out as a high level car.

        The Saratoga is not a car that existed here. We had the Acclaim, Spirit, and LeBaron, of which I believe a mixture of the Acclaim and LeBaron is what makes a Saratoga. All obviously pretty much the same thing, just varying trim and interior stuff. This colour paired with the Acclaim grille, tail lights, and the fog light bumper (and the lack of the LeBaron vinyl top) makes the best looking combination on this body, in my opinion. A very close second is a white Spirit R/T.
        Ah so it was modified. Makes sense. Looking at pics online, the Chryslers have different tail lights and rear bumper among other things. If I had to show my registration to prove that my car was X of 3 different brands, that'd be kinda dumb imo. But in this case it works out as seeing that I'd just see a Chrysler, which would be more "upscale" than a Plymouth, so I guess they achieved their goal.
        I remember an inspector complaining to my friend who had an Electra Park Avenue, with a Caprice header panel and taillights. Something about VIN swapping and verifiability. Pointless complaining, but still.

        Are you going to keep it as is or make it look like a Plymouth again? Since you wanted a Plymouth and not the others?
        1985 Mercury Grand Marquis LS, "Maisa"
        1995 Chevrolet Caprice Classic STW, "Sally"

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by Arquemann View Post

          Ah so it was modified. Makes sense. Looking at pics online, the Chryslers have different tail lights and rear bumper among other things. If I had to show my registration to prove that my car was X of 3 different brands, that'd be kinda dumb imo. But in this case it works out as seeing that I'd just see a Chrysler, which would be more "upscale" than a Plymouth, so I guess they achieved their goal.
          I remember an inspector complaining to my friend who had an Electra Park Avenue, with a Caprice header panel and taillights. Something about VIN swapping and verifiability. Pointless complaining, but still.

          Are you going to keep it as is or make it look like a Plymouth again? Since you wanted a Plymouth and not the others?
          I am going to find an Acclaim grille for it, for sure. I'll try to de-badge the trunklid but if it doesn't look like it'll come clean, I'll just leave it. The paint behind the A-pillars is original and may be fragile, knowing period Chryslers.

          Current driver: Ranger
          Panthers: 83 GM 2dr | 84 TC | 85 CS
          | 88 TC | 91 GM
          Not Panthers: 85 Ranger | Ranger trailer | 91 Acclaim | 05 Focus
          Gone: 97 CV | 83 TC | 04 Focus | 86 GM
          | Junkyards

          Comment


            #6
            You and my buddy would get along just fine. They were around growing up but I never paid them much attention. A conquest would be a neat one to get.
            Chris - A 20th Century Man \m/ ^.^ \m/

            Comment


              #7
              Clean car!

              Chrome wheels? Stock?
              ~David~

              My 1987 Crown Victoria Coupe: The Brown Blob
              My 2004 Mercedes Benz E320:The Benz

              Originally posted by ootdega
              My life is a long series of "nevermind" and "I guess not."

              Originally posted by DerekTheGreat
              But, that's just coming from me, this site's biggest pessimist. Best of luck

              Originally posted by gadget73
              my car starts and it has AC. Yours doesn't start and it has no AC. Seems obvious to me.




              Comment


                #8
                Nice find! My Mom's first car she ever bought new was a 1991 Dodge Spirit (same car, dodge branding) so I also grew up with memories of getting toted around in the back of one of these things. Not a bad car. At one point in time I owned a 1994 Dodge Shadow which is a bit different but a lot of the interior stuff is shared between the two.

                I do remember hearing that they had issues with the head gaskets going on them? I'm not really sure though. I know my mom's head gasket blew and so did my friend's who owned one that was from around the same year.

                '78 LTD | '87 Grand Marquis | '89 Crown Vic (RIP) | '91 Grand Marquis (RIP) | '94 Town Car (RIP) | '97 Town Car (RIP)

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by p71towny View Post
                  You and my buddy would get along just fine. They were around growing up but I never paid them much attention. A conquest would be a neat one to get.
                  Can't say I'm much of a Mopar guy, in general, but I always appreciate when people are passionate about any car and it's not hard to connect with people when everyone is of that mind.

                  Conquests are definitely one of the cooler results of the Chrysler-Mitsubishi relationship.

                  Originally posted by 87gtVIC View Post
                  Clean car!

                  Chrome wheels? Stock?
                  The chrome wheels do seem to be "real chrome" but I don't like them and they aren't an OE wheel. The car very likely had this setup from new:



                  Which I think is pretty fantastic, personally, and I'd like to find a set of those wheels if possible. Sort of the equivalent on this car to our Panther HPPs.

                  My feeling at the present time, without having any real knowledge of how Chrysler did option packages, is that this is likely an LX with every option. If a dealership brochure pops up on eBay I may buy it just for the sake of figuring that out.

                  Originally posted by slack View Post
                  Nice find! My Mom's first car she ever bought new was a 1991 Dodge Spirit (same car, dodge branding) so I also grew up with memories of getting toted around in the back of one of these things. Not a bad car. At one point in time I owned a 1994 Dodge Shadow which is a bit different but a lot of the interior stuff is shared between the two.

                  I do remember hearing that they had issues with the head gaskets going on them? I'm not really sure though. I know my mom's head gasket blew and so did my friend's who owned one that was from around the same year.
                  All the FWD Mopar stuff is quite similar in various ways, definitely. My auto shop teacher in high school had a Shadow which he drove as well as a Shadow as a shop car (for students to do various repair jobs on, in addition to the repairs we did to the one he also drove lol) and I do recognize some things, like the floor shift lever. As an aside I'm not crazy about it having floor shift and didn't even know the Acclaim could be ordered with it - column shift with a split bucket bench (like most Panthers) is what I would have expected.

                  I think the head gasket issue is specific to the 4-cylinder cars. The 3.0 seems to have a good reputation in general but I know it can burn oil re: valve seals and guides. Only time will tell at this point if the rebuilt engine (if it really was, but I tend to believe it was) has oil consumption issues.

                  The bigger reliability issue associated with the V6 cars is the transmission. This car should have the second version of the A604/Ultradrive, called the 41TE, which supposedly fixed a handful of the issues that gave it a bad reputation to begin with. That being said, fluid condition and the use of the exact correct fluid is critical, and electronic controls mean wiring issues could cause misbehaviour. People seem to consider them alright when they're well taken care of, though. All I know at present is that it engages both forward and reverse, it climbed up the tow dolly and back down again, and drove up my driveway just fine. The fluid on the dipstick is bright red and has no particulate in it, and the trans pan has been painted, so the story about it being rebuilt is believable so far.

                  Current driver: Ranger
                  Panthers: 83 GM 2dr | 84 TC | 85 CS
                  | 88 TC | 91 GM
                  Not Panthers: 85 Ranger | Ranger trailer | 91 Acclaim | 05 Focus
                  Gone: 97 CV | 83 TC | 04 Focus | 86 GM
                  | Junkyards

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Nice find Kish. I had a 92 New Yorker 5th Avenue with every option..passenger area had the most leg room out of any ride I have ever had.

                    Does it have the A604 Transmission.​? If so, that was the weakest link for me. Sure you will figure it out regardless.

                    Just read the above, you are on it. Oh for me , make sure the input speed senser matchs the output speed sensor in voltage otherwise it slips.
                    Last edited by Grand1; 11-12-2023, 05:52 PM.



                    1978 Grand Marquis 460 2door "Blue Bomber"

                    1987 LTD Crown Vic Canadian Tow Package 351w aka the "MI Mountie"

                    1989 Colony Park ....Marge still lives!

                    1979 Marquis creamy goodness

                    Comment


                      #11
                      The original K cars and their later descendants were all very much badge engineered. Mechanically its all about the same, and even a lot of sheet metal and such was shared from the Dodge, Plymouth, and Chrysler versions of each. Honestly not really different than a Crown Vic and a Grand Marq.
                      86 Lincoln Town Car (Galactica).
                      5.0 HO, CompCams XE258,Scorpion 1.72 roller rockers, 3.55 K code rear, tow package, BHPerformance ported E7 heads, Tmoss Explorer intake, 65mm throttle body, Hedman 1 5/8" headers, 2.5" dual exhaust, ASP underdrive pulley

                      91 Lincoln Mark VII LSC grandpa spec white and cranberry

                      1984 Lincoln Continental TurboDiesel - rolls coal

                      Originally posted by phayzer5
                      I drive a Lincoln. I can't be bothered to shift like the peasants and rabble rousers

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Nice find in great condition. I remember them new. Even in the rust free States, they are hard to find in any condition. I like the interior !

                        Comment

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