Plymouths Were a Bargain and Now So Are the Parts

Plymouths Were a Bargain and Now So Are the Parts

Plymouth was the bargain alternative to buying a Chrysler. Some say that was Dodge’s role, and today that is what it has become. But Chrysler couldn’t trust that their customers would go down the street to the Dodge dealer. There was too much danger that they would stop at a Chevrolet or Ford dealer on the way. So they had the Plymouth line, identical to the Dodge line, waiting on the lot with the high-dollar Chryslers.

Of course, now that Chrysler has been rationalized, there is no Plymouth. But there are millions of Plymouths plying the American highways, and they will all need repair. As expected, parts are very easy to find, both at the dealer and the local parts store. It’s still important to present the classic information when buying parts, though. Make, year, and model are usually all that is needed.

Plymouths, after years of co-production with Dodge, have fallen prey to the same problem as Chevys. Again, the buyers assume that “they’re all the same.” And, with Plymouth, they’ve an even chance of being right. Still, especially with engines, they are not all the same. In the early eighties they used three different four-cylinder engines. Many owners don’t have a clue and will just say “four cylinder” in answer to engine questions. Later mini-vans have three different six-cylinder engines, as well. For this reason it is important to have the VIN when shopping for parts. Every good counterman can read the VIN and determine which engine is under the hood.

Used parts for Plymouths, even some body parts, are frequently identical to those of Dodge. Here, though, one has to trust the salvage yard’s expertise. Given accurate information he can find the part from a Dodge that will do the job of a missing Plymouth part. It is never good for the parts shopper to assume that he knows more than the professional counterman. Salvage yards are full of used Plymouth parts, mostly because of their low intrinsic value, so it’s a good idea to consider any major repairs carefully before spending money on an old car.

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