88 Diplomat Sherriff's car

Police Cars

  1. 60Buick

    60Buick Member

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    I just bought this thing out of a junkyard. There are a bunch of 80's era police cars in this junkyard. All were sold there fresh out of service so they retain the original markings and some equipment. Most are Chevrolets that are pretty stripped and beat up. This one being a Dodge was put in the back then it was enveloped by thorn bushes and has thus been hidden for 20 years and never parted. The junkyard is shutting down and they started crushing so the cars are being sold for scrap prices. They are dragging all the cars out from the briers that were hidden and unreachable.

    They scrapped all the Diplomats and Gran Furys a few weeks ago. They were great for parts but pretty hammered and stripped. Most were taxis. (I threw in a picture I took of one of the taxis last year.)This one only survived because someone needed a transmission and they moved it to the front to pull it. The 2nd round of crushing has started. This car was moved to death row. I saw it bought it for scrap price. It was dumb luck really. The car gave up its wheels, rear drums, transmission, carb, backseat and speedo over the last month. Otherwise it's complete, in original paint, no rust and the body is straight other than some forklift damage to the quarter.

    We threw some Jeep wheels on it and moved it to safety. I paid for it but have not picked it up yet. I found a Speedometer on Ebay and bought it. Turned out it was local, I contacted the seller and he pulled it from this car recently, lucky me. Unfortunately he did not pull any of the other missing items but his friend has the wheels. He might sell them to me but I have the feeling he is going to want a mint. I yard is throwing in a 727 transmission but no drive shaft or crossmember unfortunately.

    It is a 4bbl car so worthy of saving. I need to contact the Sherriff's office about the markings. I would like to put the car back as it was in service. Some departments are not very open to that. Had anyone ever had to do that? I will need parts as well. If you see something this car needs let's me know.
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    Last edited: Apr 9, 2019
  2. Oldiron440

    Oldiron440 Well-Known Member

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    Makes me think of the guy at Boyd Codingtons shop that was always talking about the Sheriff in town. I have no reason why?
     
  3. BudW

    BudW Moderator Staff Member

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    A nice find!
    I wish we could have gotten a few of the other cars before being crushed, to at least get the front/rear sway bars, the 8¼” differentials and a few other parts from them, first.

    Unless special order, this vehicle came with an A999 transmission (so a 99.99% chance of an A999). An A727 will fit but transmission cooler lines will be slightly different (sometimes you can bend the A999 lines to fit, sometimes not), the shifter Z-bar bracket (on transmission) is different (the same for most all A727’s) and propeller shaft is shorter.
    The transmission crossmember will be the same as all F & M-bodies (and some J-body).

    A person can find an older Dodge pickup or van propeller shaft and get a driveshaft shop to modify it to work or maybe even make you a brand-new shaft.

    All 88 M-s with a 4-bbl, got the same carburetor; a Rochester 17065433 (Chrysler p/n 4306433) which is computer controlled. The computer should be under dash by the parking brake petal. There is nothing special about the original carburetor for this vehicle (except for the computer controlled aspect).
    A person can put pretty much any spreadbore carburetor on it sense it “should” be hidden by the air cleaner (if not retaining the computer, that is). The air cleaner might be the hard part to obtain – if keeping car original.

    It looks like the 4-bbl throttle cable and kickdown linkage parts are intact – which is wonderful news.

    If a person plans on restoring it back to how it was in service, you might try to look in local newspapers for any photos and use those to get the graphics down the best you can. I can see several eyebrows perk up and maybe even be tailed for suspension if a person walked into the sheriff's office and asked for data on how to duplicate one of their cruisers
    BudW
     
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  4. 88_AHB

    88_AHB Well-Known Member

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    Hey there,
    Good to see someone else out there saving a AHB.I'am currently in the process of getting my 88 AHB going again its been slow going.It was a former Mendocino county sheriffs car here in CA.It was one of my closest friends car for years,it sat for about 10 years until he passed away 2 years ago.He had big plans for it to hot rod it and put a 400/727 trans in it but it never happened,this car is a 318 4bl car as well.The car was most likely going to be sold for scrap or for parts,the car meant a lot to my friend.
    I'm with a few groups on facebook that all they do is vintage police vehicles 20 years and older.Theyre a great resource if you want to know era correct equipment,decals,paint etc some of the members are current/retired police.Heres the links Vintage Police Car Owners
    Vintage Police Cars For Sale
    Here's a few pics of it after i washed it up and had it towed off his parents place.

    IMG_0002.jpg

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    Last edited: Apr 9, 2019
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  5. 60Buick

    60Buick Member

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    Thank you both, a lot of good information there!
     
  6. old yellow 78

    old yellow 78 Well-Known Member

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    I know of a yard near here that is now seemingly out of business that had a large collection of old '80's cop cars and some other '80's cars. Mostly Mopars, and some Chevys. I went there a few years ago, and the place was all overgrown and locked up, but the cars were still in there. I went past a few weeks ago and could still see cars in there behind the trees. I will stop again sometime and see what I can find out.
     
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  7. ch1ll

    ch1ll Active Member

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    real god to know.