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.)
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.
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
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 wont even notice that you have done it.
Some states dont 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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
MoparStyle Imperial Club
MoparStyle F/J/M Club
Photos o the buildup of BK's ProTouring Imperial