Differences between an '87 and '88 5th Ave?

M Body General Discussion

  1. 53ryder

    53ryder Well-Known Member

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    I bought a '87 Fifth Ave last November. I see an '88 Fifth Ave for sale locally for half the price. Was contemplating buying the '88 for a parts car. Ad does say it drives. Is there enough common parts between the two to make it worth the effort? Thoughts?


    Glenn
     
  2. Mikes5thAve

    Mikes5thAve Well-Known Member

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    It depends on what parts you want.Mechanical is all the same, body parts are all the same. Landau roof is different, interior is similar but different but its all visual. If its an airbag car there's a lot more different with dash. Mirrors on the doors are power instead of manual.
     
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  3. 53ryder

    53ryder Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the info!


    Glenn
     
  4. Duke5A

    Duke5A Well-Known Member

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    Might have an overhead console with compass and temperature readout. Swaps over pretty easily. Carpet won't be shag either.

    I swapped almost the full interior from an 88 to my 87.
     
  5. 53ryder

    53ryder Well-Known Member

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    Not a big fan of the shag carpet. When it needs replacing will go with a lower profile carpet (nap).

    Glenn
     
  6. MoparDan

    MoparDan Well-Known Member

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    I love the shag personally, I was lucky enough to find a red interior '84 Fifth Ave in a junkyard and bought the carpet (would've loved the seats but they were sunbaked) and installed it in my Gran Fury still love it! The nice thing about the '88/89s are the reclining driver's seat with the cushioned headrests
     
  7. Mr C

    Mr C Well-Known Member

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    In addition to what's been said, The 1987 year had "both" Landau tops available:

    the "short" top. on monochrome cars, most easily denoted by chrome around the top.

    download.jpg

    And the "long" top on the 2 tone cars, where the top comes down almost to the rear door handles, and the trim is painted body colour. All 5ths got long tops in 88&89.

    875thave.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2021 at 10:03 AM
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  8. Oldiron440

    Oldiron440 Well-Known Member

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    The biggest difference is a year.
     
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  9. 53ryder

    53ryder Well-Known Member

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    Am trying to figure out if it is worth buying the 88' since it's just one year off my 87'? Was thinking of snitching parts off the 88' like starter, fuel pump, ignition components, power window motors, etc. The things that one would look online to replace, or check out a junkyard to salvage parts from when the time comes.

    Glenn
     
  10. Mikes5thAve

    Mikes5thAve Well-Known Member

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    All that stuff is the same.
    The fuel control computer on the air cleaner changed almost every year but should still work.
     
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  11. GregG48213

    GregG48213 Well-Known Member

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    Most maintenance parts for these cars aren't particularly rare or pricey. I don't stock parts that I may never need because I don't want to run an auto parts store (or warehouse). It also depends on the relationship you have with your neighbors, especially when your parts collection spills out of the garage and covers your yard.
     
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  12. BudW

    BudW Moderator Staff Member

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    '88-89 M's were moved to and made in WI (AMC assembly plant) and mostly used Galvanized steel in the body. Mostly, the items between '87 and down vs. '88-89 are the same but there are a lot of minor differences (rear doors/trim and top/trim parts make up the most of the differences...I think).

    If looking to replace a floor pan in an F-body and you had a choice of floor pans to choose from M-bodies, I would pick one from an '88-89 because of the steel type (if everything else is the same).
    BudW
     
  13. 8T2TOP

    8T2TOP Well-Known Member

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    I'm sure connectors are different since Mopar likes to change them 88 up had Jap alt/starter 87 down still had Mopar style..
     
  14. BudW

    BudW Moderator Staff Member

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    I forgot, the Alternators and starters came from overseas on the '88's (across the board).
    Mini starters are great.
    No comment on the Nip alternators.
    BudW
     
  15. 8T2TOP

    8T2TOP Well-Known Member

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    Not sure if plugentas are same most likely NOT... So engine harness is different..etc..
     
  16. MoparDan

    MoparDan Well-Known Member

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    Later '87s were also built at the AMC plant, both my '87s (both July '87 builds) were built there. The last M body I saw in a CT junkyard was an '89 Fifth Ave, the strange thing was the body had a lot of rust though especially the quarter panels, but underneath it looked almost new
     
  17. Mikes5thAve

    Mikes5thAve Well-Known Member

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    The rear doors themselves are the same only the chunk of vinyl is different.
    Yes they did have different alternator and mini starter but both can be used on older cars with no work. Well for alternator you'd need to change the wire ends from spade connection to round or use a slip on adaptor but either way no big deal. Alternator bracket is also different but you've already got that with the parts car to steal off of.
    Engine harness should be the same but the body harnesses were different in the airbag cars and ones with overhead console.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2021 at 11:20 AM
  18. BudW

    BudW Moderator Staff Member

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    True about the electrical connector difference. I have a couple of alternator ('88 and up) upgrade kits in my garage and am full aware of the bracket differences, as well.

    One concern is when upgrading the alternator (to one that can produce higher amperage) is to also upgrade the alternator output wire to the battery - or YOU WILL BE upgrading a whole lot more after the electrical fire happens.

    I like high output alternators - but it is not a simple bolt-on affair.
    BudW


    Edit: I also have a couple of overhead console changeover kits (also, not for sale) and a power mirror kit in my garage (which will be a major job to install).

    The only issue I have with upgrading the alternator, is I prefer the look of the older Chrysler alternator. I know there are work-arounds but I just like the more simple look.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2021 at 12:37 PM
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  19. Mikes5thAve

    Mikes5thAve Well-Known Member

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    The normal alternator for 88/89 had the same size wire for battery so I guess they felt it was still adequate. It was only the hd alternator that got the bigger cable. But they did add a ground wire from alternator to engine.
    Not to mention the older alternators are cheaper to buy rebuilt and should be adequate anyway unless someone's running extra electronics. I never saw a reason to change from the old round alternator either.
     
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  20. BudW

    BudW Moderator Staff Member

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    I might need something to power the reactor that was removed from the Delorean . . .
     
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