1976 Dodge Aspen from North America - Comments

4th Sep 2005, 16:01

The Dodge Aspen was not attractive in its 4-door form, but neither was the Dart, the Valiant, or pretty much all of the muscle cars from the 60's and 70's. The 2-door Aspens suffered from having too much chrome and tacky striping put on them -- a problem with most cars from that era. But when you look at the body style of the 2-door coupes, they were probably more attractive than the body styles of the Darts and Dusters.

22nd Nov 2005, 15:12

I`m from Norway, and I have a 79 aspen with a 360 engine.

I drive about 30 mails pr day, 5 days a week, in winter and summer, in many years now.

Its the best car I ever had, and I hope and think it vil last forever.

I love my aspen very much.

20th Dec 2005, 01:01

I have a '78 Aspen SE that I converted to a '77 RT. It will out run any chevy, civic, or anything else with less than 400 hp and 403 lbs/ft of torque. The 318 (400 hp, 403 lbs/ft of torque) I reworked is bullet proof, and so is the rest of the car. It is the best car I have ever owned and by far better then any chevy of the time.

MOPAR RULES!

19th Jan 2006, 20:40

The 400-horsepower 318 is an awfully big claim. A 318 is a great, durable engine with some respectable potential, but if you're getting more than 300 hp from it, then you put some extreme work and expensive machining and technology into it. This is way beyond the level of the usual modifications, like the cam/intake/4-barrel/headers/ignition. This would make a person wonder why you didn't just start with a 360 and make it that much bigger. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Maybe it could be done, but I guess we'd like the details of how you got 400 horses from a 318. Does this thing have nitrous? Does it have a blower? Did you put a stroker crank in it and bore it .060 over so it's a 385 cubic inch or something?

5th Feb 2006, 23:20

Yeah that's right, 400 hp and 403 lbs/ft of torque. Here is some proof.

http://www.hotrod.com/howto/113_0304_318_small_block_build/dyno.html

The HotRod one is almost exactly what I did.

I did have mine dynoed. Also I didn't have a 360, so I used the 318 I had.

6th Feb 2006, 10:17

Cool. If you've got the dyno slips, then that says it all. I read that article and was pretty impressed. Like I said, a lot of machining, but not as bad as I thought it would be. Agreed, Mopar rules!

23rd Jun 2006, 18:44

I own a 78 4 dr. volare that has been upgraded to police suspension, front and rear sway bar, large 11.5 inch front rotors, 8 3/4 rear end and the lowly slant six has been upgraded to a mild 340. Not much can keep up with it now, looks like a granny mobile, but will blow the doors off most anything on the road today. Its fun to drive.

21st Feb 2008, 10:26

To the guy who wrote the comment on May 31st 06, well said buddy way to sum up this stupid debate!

9th Mar 2008, 23:05

I have a 76 Dodge Aspen and I'm having problems with the choke, car won't start, Anyone out there have any advise??? Would appreciate it.

10th Mar 2008, 18:21

Are you sure it's the choke? A lot of time, what people think are carburetor problems are really something else. Does the car crank over? Does it fire, or cough, or backfire, or anything? Does it run, but then dies after a few seconds?

If your choke is working properly, when you set the automatic choke by pressing the pedal to the floor (before turning the key), the contracted heat coil should snap the choke shut over the carburetor throat. However, there should still be a slight gap between the choke and the "air horn" or wall of the throat. When you start the car, the vacuum pull-off should open the choke slightly so the engine doesn't flood out. As the engine warms up, the heat coil gradually pulls the choke fully open so the choke flap is straight up and down. If the engine starts to run and then you see black smoke, or it goes "chug chug chug" and dies from being flooded and you smell gas everywhere, then you have to check the vacuum pull-off for a cracked line or diaphragm and also check the choke linkage to make sure that the choke is not completely closed and letting no air in.

Other potential problems that might be mistaken for the choke: the float is saturated and sinks in the float bowl, allowing flooding; the fuel pump is shot and the engine is not getting gas; the engine doesn't have spark.

If the car won't fire at all, spray some starting fluid in the carburetor (with the choke propped open) and see if the engine fires. Whether it does or doesn't will guide where to go next.

28th Jan 2009, 12:48

Congrats on your first car... A couple years belated.

My first car @ 16 Yrs. old was an Aspen too. 78, two door "Special Edition", with a "Super Six" (Apparently my 225 had a 2bbl) with about 175,000 miles on it.

Got mine for $25 out of a front lawn. It was so rusted you could see the road from the trunk or passenger seat (Live in NY). Always started... Just kept dieseling when ya shut it off.

Ugly.. Noisy..& Tacky, But it wouldn't die... Just kept going no matter how much I abused it (And I really beat on it!)

22nd Feb 2011, 16:17

I just got a 76 Dodge Aspen, and I'm having problems getting it to start. Once it's on it doesn't shut off, but getting it to turn over and start is aggravating. I've only had this car not even a week. Can anyone help? Or maybe it's just cold natured, I'm not sure.

24th Feb 2011, 16:35

I wish I could help more, but your description is pretty wide open. A Hayne's Manual has a flow chart trouble-shooting guide, which I'm not about to try to reproduce here. I assume you mean that you turn the key and the engine cranks over with the starter engaged, but the engine just won't fire for a long time? That could be a clogged fuel filter, fouled spark plugs, cracked spark plug wires, dirty distributor cap and rotor, incorrect timing, worn-out coil, incorrect choke setting. Replace all those things and then things should be a lot better. While you're at it, change the oil and filter, and change the engine coolant. Also check the transmission fluid (change the fluid and filter as soon as you can) and check the gear oil level in the rear differential. You could still get a lot of use out of this car if you start taking care of it now.

The bit about once it's on, it won't shut off, I assume you mean that you turn off the key and the engine continues to run for several seconds or 10's of seconds until it finally stalls and quits? That's called run-on or dieseling, and is probably due to carbon deposits built up inside the engine. You could use higher octane gasoline, or when the engine is running, you could periodically sparingly spray a little water mist into the carburetor to loosen up the carbon. I've always feared loosening up a big chunk that way, so maybe just using 93 octane gas would be easier.

Add another comment

Note: A Comments RSS Feed is available. New comments appear in the Members Area before the main site