I'm new to this message board and having just recently purchased a 2002 Chrysler 300M Special, I wanted to get to know my fellow 300M owners. My particular example is Bright Silver Metallic with the Taupe interior. It has the moonroof and the side airbag option, but not the cold weather group or the smoker's group. If there's anyone in the Southern NH, Northern Mass. area that would be interested in chatting, trading some ownership experiences, etc. Let me know. My e-mail address is in my profile.
I haven't owned this car for very long, but so far I'm quite happy with it overall. I sold a 2001 Camaro SS to purchase this car. I needed something a little more liveable for daily use and while the SS was actually pretty darn good in that regard, it was not the ideal choice for that mission. It started its life as a weekend/sunny day only toy, but with the bashing my job sector has taken over the last two years, my daily driver was sold to hedge against a long haul to recovery in the tech sector. Also, it was a magnet for all the wrong kinds of attention...
In selecting the 300M Special, I wanted something that still performed well in all areas. I've found this car to be satisfactorily quick, certainly nowhere near as quick as the SS, but enough to be enough. It also handles amazingly well for its size and weight. My SS came equipped with an optional SLP performance tuned Bilstein suspension package and I had added a strut tower brace to tighten it up just a tad more. That car easily handled as well as any C5 Corvette and I was very pleasantly surprised at just how good a job the 300M Special does on twisty roads. It's obviously not intended to be a canyon carver, but it doesn't lose its composure and it does everything I ask it to very competently. Truthfully, the SS would have had a hard time shaking a 300M Special loose on a twisty road. The brakes are also quite good. This is one area where this car feels noticeably better than my SS. The pedal is firm and they just don't fade. The car stops straight, true, and short with no drama or antics. The SS was up to one or two hard stomps and then you could feel them start to go away. Also, GM chose rather poor quality rotors for this car as it is common for them to warp under even mild driving conditions.
The only thing on my car that needs some attention is that it has a minor case of the shakes between 50-70 mph. The car spent some time on the dealer's lot and the tires had flat-spotted. It was actually worse when I test drove it, but has since smoothed out almost entirely. I'll have the dealer check the tire balance, alignment, and suspension, and if that doesn't correct it, they'll owe me a new set of sneakers. These things aren't cheap either, so I'll have to see how that goes. Otherwise, this car has been a joy to own and drive and has been flawless.
good to see another MA M owner---I live about 7 miles south of Boston---you will find this site very helpful and also you should check out 300mclub.org as another usefule site. The 300M Club also has a message board and have regular chat sessions as well. I own a 2000 M with all the toys except php. Other than a bunch of minor mostly cosmetic problems, the car has been very dependable. I have over 40K on it now.
You will find this site and the other site mentioned above have lots of useful information on maintenance and problem solving. Enjoy your M and hope to see you on these boards often.
Hey guys. Saw some discussion a while back regarding tires, but could relocate it. My '99 300M with 34,000 Eagles needs new slippers. Any suggestions? Yokahama AVID T4 or 420? Michelin Energy MXV4? Anything else? Thanks.
Thanks for the welcome. You're not too far away. Is there anything in this area where local owners gather or hang out? I was privileged to have met many new friends owning the SS. We have a strictly informal little car club and we hook up from time to time to cruise or hang out. I caught a little razzing after selling the SS, but that's what friends do...
I had been looking at the 300M since 1999. I've had the opportunity to drive several prior to purchasing this one and had always been very impressed. IMHO, it compares favorably with many other luxury sedans costing a heck of alot more. The only things I would have suggested were that the car needs about 50-60 more hp and it needs a 5spd auto. Apparently, I'm not the only one who feels that way as I hear that in '05, Chrysler will offer this car with a 347hp hemi in a front engine-rear drive platform with a 5spd auto. I saw a sneak-peek pic of the car in last month's issue of C&D.
Have you had a chance to drive a Special? The ride is quite a bit firmer than the std 300M set-up. It's much better than the comparably equipped Buick Park Ave Ultra's or any of the Caddy Northstar cars. They're both a little too pillowy for my taste, although they are a bit quieter to drive down the road. I've driven several of the Caddy's and that engine is fabulous. I'm happy to hear that Chrysler is going to put a V-8 in the car. It needs the muscle.
The reason is probably because they can. With the over stock of vehicles and the slow sales DC probably figures they can use the Down time to their advantage. To try to get more consessions from the Unions.
I know what you mean about the ride I started with a 99 non PHP and through metamorphosis, it has been changeing into a Very Firm ride with the use of lowering springs. I do like the way it handles but some times miss the builivard ride.
Welcome to the groups, Sorry I can't meet you, since I live in Phoenix
I still wanted the great handling, but I didn't want it too firm. Afterall, it's still a luxury sedan. What I liked best about the SS was the fact that it had a VERY compliant ride for street use as muscle cars go, but because of the progressive rate springs and Bilstein shocks spec'd out by SLP, it firmed up immensely when pushed. It also had a huge 35mm front sway bar and a 21 mm rear bar. When I strafed an off-ramp with it, it just stuck like glue, no body roll, no sliding, it just did it. The Special has a ride that is a bit more compliant than the SS, but it doesn't roll or wallow in turns. The steering is precise and it goes where it's pointed. It doesn't have the seemingly telepathic precision that the SS had with this setup, but it all works extremely well. It soaks up the bumps pretty good and you can definitely tell it's no cloud-mobile. Personally, that's exactly what I was looking for in this car. It's got just the right amount of firmness to keep its composure when pushed and enough compliance to be a very comfortable place to spend time in. Chrysler's done a very good job with this car and stayed true to the theme of the "Special" cars that have come before it.
Did you get the 18 inch wheels with the Pilot Sport tires, or the 17 inch with all season tires? My 2000 has the performance handling group (PHG) and handles very well. Still love this car after 20 months and 37K miles . . . .