1980 front end nose

M Body General Discussion

  1. shu-man

    shu-man Active Member

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    So, My mind is away trying to come up with something different. So, I am asking for help. I have a 1980 Chrysler LeBaron wagon. And I was wondering if a nose piece from a different car would bolt on with not much modifications? Has anyone try something like this before?
    Thanks for reading.
     
  2. Ele115

    Ele115 Well-Known Member

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    Explore. "Nose piece". and. "Not much modification".

    Otherwise, knock yourself out, home slice
     
  3. BudW

    BudW Moderator Staff Member

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    Are you referring to the fiberglass header panel – which attaches to the front edge of the fenders and contains the grill and headlights, as the nose?
    85 5th CLm.jpg
    NOS Header Panel 1977-1979 Chrysler LeBaron Fascia Headlight Panel NEW 5263121 | eBay

    If so, “I think” all M-body header panels will interchange – but there might be a difference on the hood on one version (so hood will need to be changed, as well) – again, “I think” (no first hand knowledge on trying to switch out with a different version header).

    I have removed and helped remove/installed the header on about 50 (or so) M-body’s before. It helps greatly to have a helper – especially on a header you are trying to save. Also, the metal studs that go through the fender are the tough part. The studs tend to spin in the fiberglass – which damages the fiberglass as well as stay attached to the nut making it very difficult to remove.

    I recommend soaking each of the through-fender stud nuts with rust penetrating oil a few times before attempting to remove those nuts. At one time I also modified a pair of smaller needle-hose vice-grips – making the thickness of the jaw thinner (via bench grinding) – so I could reach up behind the heater to grab ahold of the studs if they were starting to spin. The modified tool would only work on the lower studs, so it helped but not for all the studs.

    On the assembly line, M-bodies were painted with the header panel and the trunk extensions detached (separately) and attached to car later.

    Here are some of the differences in the M-body headers (but not a comprehensive list):
    1978 Lebaron.jpg
    1978 Lebaron
    1980 Lebaron.jpg
    1980 Lebaron
    1983 Fifth Ave.jpg
    1983 Fifth Ave
    86 Diplomat trooper.jpg
    1986 Diplomat
     
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  4. shu-man

    shu-man Active Member

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    Thanks for the help
     
  5. Ele115

    Ele115 Well-Known Member

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    What "nose" were you planning?
     
  6. shu-man

    shu-man Active Member

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    Not sure. Trying to sport it up a little. Have to do some studying
     
  7. M_Body_Coupe

    M_Body_Coupe Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, BudW is right on the money here.

    I think the big difference in these came in the pre-'80 model years and beyond.

    I have replaced a couple of these myself and unless you can free up the retaining nuts on the fender side of things, you are most likely going to strip out the stud from the plastic nose header side of things.

    Not all that big of a problem, I mean it's plastic so you can certainly epoxy the stuff back up and mount the cleaned-up stud back in there (had to do that on a couple of cases). The bigger problem is when the plastic header stuff flat out cracks apart and pieces come right off of it...that's a problem problem to solve, avoid at all costs. LOL
     
  8. Ele115

    Ele115 Well-Known Member

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    If the lad is really ambitious, he could swap an entire Mirada front clip onto that wagon. It would probably be a first
     
  9. Ele115

    Ele115 Well-Known Member

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    Cowl is not compatible though :(
     
  10. BudW

    BudW Moderator Staff Member

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    I haven't thought enough about it – but if a person was to graft two hoods together (rear M to a front J hood) OR change out the upper cowl (which would be a lot more work - maybe), it might work.
    It would be more work than I'd want to try.
    BudW
     
  11. shu-man

    shu-man Active Member

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    I do like the 86 diplomat nose.