Subframe swap help please

Exterior Body and Trim

  1. MICRO

    MICRO Member

    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    1
    Joined:
    May 23, 2020
    Location:
    Canada
    I have a 1988 plymouth caravelle 318 car and a 1985 Chrysler 5th ave for parts. Will the subframe from 5th ave direct bolt onto the 88 or is there a difference between years ?

    20200523_184756.jpg
     
  2. BudW

    BudW Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,351
    Likes Received:
    1157
    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2012
    Location:
    Oklahoma City
    All FMJ 318 K-frames will fit into all other FMJ's without much difference. Same goes for FMJ /6 K-frames for other /6 FMJ's – unless a person is trying to convert a /6 to a 318 (or vice versa), which then you just need the appropriate K.
    The differences (on same engine size) on K-frames are minor details like brake line attachment or minor bracket attachment. This wouldn't stop me from putting a '89 318 K into my '77 318 (or vice versa).

    It is rumored the '88-89 K's are made using galvanized steel – which is good thing.

    To answer your question, the '85 and your '88 should be same.

    Before using a K – be sure to check for cracks, for rust and/or take K to a welder and make sure everything is welded well.
    For extreme usage, getting extra gussets welded in and so forth might be a good thing – especially by the steering gear (where the most stress is at).
    BudW
     
  3. LSM360

    LSM360 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    281
    Likes Received:
    43
    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2011
    Location:
    Melbourne, Florida
    Yes, I've read numerous times in many publications that the '88 and '89 got beefed up K frames (at least the AHB's).
     
  4. Mikes5thAve

    Mikes5thAve Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    288
    Likes Received:
    74
    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2020
    Location:
    Canada
    The under sides have some galvanized metal for 88/89. The K frames are the same metal as other years but it has been said they were improved for those last years.
     
  5. LSM360

    LSM360 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    281
    Likes Received:
    43
    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2011
    Location:
    Melbourne, Florida
    Yeah, reinforced better I believe
     
  6. Mr C

    Mr C Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    303
    Likes Received:
    83
    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2014
    Inspect the A arms for rot. M body arms are prone to failure if a lot of dirt has been allowed to accumulate.

    Ask me how I know...things were so rotten (Ontario salt) that I did the whole sub too from a rust free Oklahoma car.

    My car after the UCA pretzeled in a turn...
    1916645_100305446658148_4350211_n.jpg

    The UCA...and general rotten condition of the whole sub. Ontario rot from salt.
    1916645_100305529991473_2106962_n.jpg

    Parts car I got for $100 in Oklahoma City (88 5th).
    1916644_100784073276952_7584206_n.jpg
    Out with the old...
    1916644_100783866610306_4203891_n.jpg
    All better...
    1916644_100783983276961_5529844_n.jpg
    1916644_100784156610277_377264_n.jpg
     
  7. LSM360

    LSM360 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    281
    Likes Received:
    43
    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2011
    Location:
    Melbourne, Florida
    Wow Mr C, I've never seen one do that! When I rebuilt front end on mine, they were filled with dirt, but no rust. I guess that's what snow and salt will do. Again, wow! Looks great afterward.
     
    Mr C likes this.
  8. Aspen500

    Aspen500 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,128
    Likes Received:
    1533
    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2015
    Location:
    Rib Mountain (Wausau) WI
    Come to Wisconsin and you'll see one do that, and plenty more, on vehicles A LOT newer (I'm talking late 2000's). Ford Expedition "check for clunk in rear". Lower trailing arms rusted in half on both sides. Just the other day, 2007 Toyota Camry came in on the flatbed, LF lower control arm completely rotted in two. Stuff like that is all too common here, and Ontario it seems:(
    LSM360, it isn't the snow that causes the damage, it's the bleeping road salt and even worse (way worse) that liquid brine sh*t they spray on bridges, curves and underpasses.
     
  9. MoparDan

    MoparDan Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    302
    Likes Received:
    33
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2011
    Location:
    Daytona Beach, FL
    On my Diplomat the left control arm snapped just like that on the highway when I had to make a sudden turn to avoid a crash...that car had been parked on a lawn for close to a decade, and had spent its whole life in Connecticut-bad combo!
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2020
  10. Aspen500

    Aspen500 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,128
    Likes Received:
    1533
    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2015
    Location:
    Rib Mountain (Wausau) WI
    Parking off pavement is almost as bad as salt. I've seen more than one car that from the outside looked perfect but it had been parked on gravel or grass for years and the underside was gone, you could inspect the inside of the engine and trans without removing the pans (or what was left of them), the "floor" was nothing more than rotted carpet and subframe rails,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,what subframe rails. All because someone parked it next to their garage 10 years ago and made it worse by covering with a blue tarp, just to really trap the moisture in, because they were "going to restore it someday". Sad.

    At least your control arm only bent and didn't come apart. Usually the driver senses a problem when on of the front tires is jammed into the wheelwell and the fender is bent back against the door when the control arm becomes two separate pieces.

    This is an example of what we see here in north central WI all too often at the shop.

    OIP.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2020