Dad's 1980 Diplomat Coupe

Projects & Restorations

  1. Duke5A

    Duke5A Well-Known Member

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    Finally getting around to putting together a build thread for my Dad's car. It's got a really nutty story of how my Dad came to own with a lot of stupid luck and coincident rolled into it. If you're more into the build then scroll down past this next part towards the photos.

    I was a regular poster on Dippy.org for probably 15 years. Met a lot of fellow of F/J/M enthusiasts along the way. One of those guys was a chap named Tom. He lived local here in Michigan and put out of a call for help to strip a parts AHB car that had been involved in an accident. It was in the dead of Winter, but nonetheless a few of us took up the call (Dariusz was among this group). Parked outside the garage a real nice 1980 Diplomat S-Type with T's. He was trying to sell it, but it was outside my reach as I was just a broke college student. This all happened around 2005.

    A couple of years later Dad was seeing how much fun I was having and wanted to get into a Mopar after having been doing nothing but Jeeps. Anything in the A/B/E body styles was well outside the budget. We looked around locally for any F/J/M coupe we could find, but everything we looked at was rust buckets. Then the stars must have come into alignment. Dad had been sent out to Washington State to work on a DOE project and was only a few hours south of Seattle; which is where Tom moved. I contacted him through the board and discovered not only did he still have the car, but was still looking to sell it.

    After working out the logistics I hopped on a plane and Dad and I met up with Tom. (BTW - if you ever drive through Snoqualmie Pass it's breathtaking). After swapping F/J/M for half the day a deal was struck and the car was coming home.

    Now, on to the build:

    1980 Diplomat S-Type Coupe with factory optioned t-tops and 318/904/7.25 and A/C. When we got it the factory drive train was already long gone and it had a 360/727/8.25 in it.

    As it stands now:

    • Engine
      • 1991 360 LA roller block bored .030"
      • 4" forged crank
      • forged rods
      • forged pistons, 10.5:1
      • Factory mains with ARP studs
      • Comp roller cam XE286
      • Eddie closed chamber aluminum heads with gasket matching
      • Eddie RPM Air-Gap intake
      • Holley 770 Street Avenger carb
      • MSD 6AL II ignition
      • Champion three core aluminum radiator - 26"
      • Dual Ford Contour electric cooling fans, Dakota Digital controller
    • Transmission
      • 518 non-lockup 4 speed OD
      • Deep pan
      • 3000ish stall Turbo Action converter
      • Trans Go shift kit
    • Axle
      • 9.25 axle pulled from an early 80's 2wd 150 RAM
      • 3.90 gear
      • Sure Grip
    • Chassis/Suspension
      • Frame ties
      • ISO delete
      • Police package front and rear sway bars
      • Firm Feel 300# torsion bars
      • Firm Feel aluminum K isolators
      • Borgeson steering box
      • 11.75" front brakes
      • 10" rear disc conversion from Doctor Diff
    • Other stuff
      • Cragar S/S wheels (new style without the stupid shouldered lugs)
      • 275/60/15 rear tires
      • 235/60/15 front tires
      • Repainted factory midnight blue
      • original vynal pin stripping had painted back on
      • custom built rear spoiler
      • Functional scoop from Summit custom installed

    Only other things Dad wants to do is CNC port the heads and install a set of stainless 1 3/4" headers. I'm still trying to get him to fuel inject the car.

    A few of the photos are older. The fin and scoop are painted body color.

    Been a real fun father/son project. We do multiple cruises and shows every year.

    IMG_4225.jpg IMG_0311.jpg IMG_2296-L.jpg IMG_3018.jpg IMG_4217.jpg IMG_4219.jpg
     
  2. Opticon77

    Opticon77 Well-Known Member

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    She's beautiful but damn are her bottom bits low. Really puts his faith in those FirmFeel torsion bars huh.
     
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  3. Duke5A

    Duke5A Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, we both do. I have yet to bottom anything out and so does Dad. I thought you had a set?
     
  4. brotherGood

    brotherGood Well-Known Member

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    Correct me if I'm wrong, but was Tom the same one that lost a bunch of his parts/cars to a family squabble?

    I remember when your dad acquired that car. I hadnt been around enough (read, attentive to others' projects enough) so the 2 door really intrigued me.
     
  5. Duke5A

    Duke5A Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, that would be him. I haven't talked to Tom in years. I think Dad keeps him up to date on progress with the car.
     
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  6. Opticon77

    Opticon77 Well-Known Member

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    Still waiting on my bars to ship. Apparently this last batch has been held up for quite a while.
     
  7. brotherGood

    brotherGood Well-Known Member

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    There are a few people I met through Farleys I've not talked to in years.
     
  8. Aspen500

    Aspen500 Well-Known Member

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    That's cool your dad has a car like that! My dad's a car guy and also a Mopar or Nocar guy but not a hot rod guy (he's also 90 years old so that factors in as well, lol)
     
  9. Bnielsen

    Bnielsen Active Member

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    Beautiful car, marry Christmas to all.