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The Chrysler J body (1980-1983)

By William (Bill55AZ)  Moore

The J body is a 2 door-only relative of the F and M bodies, all share the same general platform with the transverse torsion bar suspension, and with very little variations in drive train options.

There are only 2 wheel base dimensions for F, M, and J bodies, the 108.7” which is used on the F body 2 door cars and the 80-81 2 door Diplomat and LeBaron; all other F, M, or J cars, 2 or 4 door, have the 112.7” wheelbase. The front track for all F, M, or J bodies is 60”, rear track is 59.5”. Width, Length, Height and weight will vary slightly. The typical J body weighs about 3400 pounds.

The slant 6 with 1BBL carburetor was used in all years, except the 83 Cordoba, which had the 2BBL. The 318 V8 was used in all years, 2 or 4BBL, except 83 Mirada, which was 2BBL only. The 1980 Mirada had the 360V8 with 4BBL as an option, and the 1979 Chrysler 300 option (A74) was carried over into the 1980-81 smaller Cordoba chassis, but these would be rare. Only about 350 were built. (editor's note: The Imperials only came with a 318 with fuel injection -- but most were later retrofitted with 2bbl carburetors.)

1982 Corboba

The Cordoba started in 1980 with the Cordoba and Cordoba Crown. For 1981-82, it was Cordoba and Cordoba LS. In 1983, it was just Cordoba. Mid way through 1980 and for 1981-2 you could get the LS, with the gun-sight front grill looking a lot like the 79 Cordoba 300.

Dodge Mirada photo, MOPARs for sale

1982 Dodge Mirada

The Dodge version, the Mirada, is similar in front appearance to the Dodge Magnums. There is a CMX option for the Mirada with simulated convertible top. A T-Top was available in 1982 at least, but these are rare.

1983 Imperial

The Imperial was introduced in 1981, had computer controlled EFI 318V8, and weighed in at about 4000 pounds. The EFI had some problems and many were dealership converted to carburetion. It also had a digital dash and Electronic Information Center. While the Cordoba and Mirada bodies are almost identical except in the front, the Imperial body is quite different from either.


BK's 1981 ProTouring Imperial

Except for the Imperial, almost all have the Lean Burn computer and most have the Feedback carburetor. Both of these less than desirable features are easily replaced with little or no change in emissions readings. Done right, the average inspector won’t even notice that you have done it. Some states don’t care if you have replaced your carburetor or ignition, as long as the main emission parts are still functioning, such as Catalytic Converter, EGR, PCV, air pumps, etc.

Transmission options are practically nil, the 727 was probably used behind the few 360 engines, otherwise you will get the 904 with wide-ratio gearing. Standard rear axle is 2.7 unless you get AC, then it has the 2.9 ratio. 1983 V8 cars may have the 2.2 ratio. Axles used are the 7.25” and 8.25”. Rear anti-sway bar is an option, as is heavier duty rear springs.

There are bound to be variations out there, the information presented here is general in nature. If you want to be on a J Body mailing list, contact me at

There are other enthusiasts who have much more information to share.

BTW, If you are looking for a heavier rear axle and/or performance differential ratios for a J body, note that the Durango and newer Dakotas have almost the same track and used the 8.25” and 9.25” axles. There are some 7.25” axles under the early Dakotas. I suspect the newer Jeeps would be a good source as well. Though this is considered a sacrilege to some, the later (but pre-independent suspension) Ford Explorer 8.8” axles with rear disc brakes can be made to fit. BK used a 68 Charger 8Ύ" Suregrip on his Imperial, he says it is only slightly wider than the F, M, J body rear axle.


Helpful Links:

MoparStyle Imperial Club

MoparStyle F/J/M Club

Photos o the buildup of BK's ProTouring Imperial



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