Crossfire

2007 was a year best forgotten though before troubles began I became aware of the Chrysler Crossfire that had been intro'd in 2004. Really did not know much about them except they were cute and had an OHC-6 and oddly for an American roadster, could be had with a manual transmission.

Skip forward to the end of 2013. In between I had and sold a couple of Reattae and a Fiero GT. Was thinking about another Fiero GT with 5-speed but nice low milage examples were thin on the ground and getting long in the tooth. Have been playing a lot with automotive tablets, entertainment, and diagnostics so really wanted the ODB-II available since 1996 but the last Fiero was 1988.

Not sure why the search started including the Crossfire but the roadster looked good and was common in central Florida for some reason. So I began looking.

As usual when I look I find and a very nice silver '07 Roadster with 6 speed and 25k miles showed up in Brooksville so with cash and a tow dolly, I headed west.

But the picture is of a black coupe ? Patience.

Got to the dealer in Brooksville and it was beautiful. Was up on a rack so could look underneath. A very little surface rust but looked nice. Down from the rack we went for a ride and very quickly a disqualifier emerged: the seat could not go back far enough when reclined as I like it before it hit the "chromed styling bars".


Note seat back position against "roll bar".

Returned home with dolly bouncing behind the heep.

Started thinking several things:
1) Have a Reatta convertible so is not really that important.
2) Modern roadsters are more retractible hardtops than fabric tops anyway.
3) Really like the lines of the coupe, a lot like a better proportioned E-Type, almost chopped and channelled.
4) Coupe does not have "chromed styling bars" So began looking for a coupe so could see if a better fit.

Along the way I found the Crossfire Forum with a wealth of knowlege. Service manuals, user manuals, parts manuals, and friendly people. I had stumbled into another cult.

Also found out it was not really a Chrysler but a reskinned Mercedes SL320 built by Karmann (of Karmann Ghia fame) in Germany. With Mercedes parts. (I have a great respect for Mercedes reliability)

Looked in a lot of places (web is wonderful) but found one in Craig's List that was interesting. Moderately high milage but an '07 & mostly highway & on my side of town. Limited coupe with 6-speed. Having spent all of its life in Central Florida (no rust or freezing) a big plus. So arranged a meet.


Local coupe.

Car presented itself well and drive well, and I could get the seat a little further back plus it had the red (cedar) interior that I liked so made an offer that was accepted. Now have a new "Fiero" from Mercedes via Chrysler.


Cedar interior code DR.

Are some things I didn't care for and others I need to add. The most important was the seating position. Coupe seat went back further but still not enough so did something I have never done before, raised the back of the seat 1/2".

This helped but not enough. Keep in mind that I have always driven with the seat tilted back further than normal. Before tilting seats were available (e.g. the GTO), I modified the seats backs and raised the front of the rail to increase the recline. With the crossfire the problem was a chassis crossmember that struck a reclined seat near the top edge and limited how far back it could go. Doing some study I found that the crossmember was purely cosmetic & provided no additional chassisstiffness. By removing the top plastic cover and applying a hammer, vicegrips, and a small sledge I was able to reshape the area behing the seat and get another inch rearward.


Seat modified to get farther back.

Meanwhile I am working three areas. The most difficult is finding a 2.60-2.80:1 rear end to replace the 3.25. The Crossfire has a six speed gearbox but while the 4.46:1 first might be useful when mall crawling at 2 mph it is too low to be useful otherwise. Also 6th is the only overdrive and just .84. If fourth was 1:1, 5th .8 and 6th .6 it would have been more appropriate but as it is I often start in 2nd and use only 4th and then in 6th at 45. The OHC V6 has plenty of torque for this. However an early look presented nothing lower than a 3.07 so will need to take a deeper look & would prefer to replace the whole pumpkin.

Second area is cosmetics: I have replaced the Sebring-like grille with a stainless mesh in black with a center divider.


Mesh grille.

Now am thinking the wheels need to be made less bright as well.


Darkened wheel.

Third area relates to on board computing capability and points out an issue with the crossfire: the radio has no auxilliary input or bluetooth capability for a hands free telephone. It does have six Infinity speakers and a 240 watt amplifier. I have already tried out with my telephone running Torque and also have over 10GB of nearly 300 music CDs. Using a BT dongle on the OBD-II port I can check paramenters, run tests, and e-mail results. And play music through an RF adapter.


Telephone running Torque..

Update: Have now replaced the stock radio with a Clarion M303 that not only blends with the interior but also has aux input/USB input/Blue Tooth and is designed to add "hands free" capabilty to my Smart Phone. I also find that using the bluetooth input sounds the same as using the aux input i.e. as good as a home CD and much better than Sirius (which it also supports). Also even with my hearing loss about half volume is all I can handle.


Clarion M303 radio.

Am experimenting with places to mount an 8" tablet but so far have nor found anywhere that does not block half of the console.

And that is the current sate of my latest acqusition, a work in progress.

Contents copyright (C) 2013 by Padgett. All rights reserved.