1976-1977 Dodge Aspen Sedan

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1976-1977 Dodge Aspen Sedan

Postby 89ARIES » Mon Dec 27, 2010 7:13 pm

Driving to work when I saw a brown, great shape 76-77 Dodge Aspen 4dr Sedan blow by me. 8)
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Re: 1976-1977 Dodge Aspen Sedan

Postby 88AriesLEwagon » Mon Dec 27, 2010 8:31 pm

Had a relative that had a rather rare Aspen they bought new back in the day and had it until 1982.
It was a 1978 Aspen Special Edition 4 door sedan,318 automatic,silver with red vinyl roof,red pinstripes,and red velour interior with Bucket Seats! The car colors didnt suit me at all,but the bucket seats blew me away.I cant imagine these older people ordering this car special,must have been on the lot at the time,and they got a deal on it to get rid of it.
Another relative had one of the first Reliant SE 4 door sedans,silver with 2.6 engine.Bench seat.All the chrome.Without popping the hood,you could tell what it was,had the infamous "2.6 HEMI" fender emblem.
I dont remember them having this car long for some reason.They did say though that they loved the car and the way it rode.
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Re: 1976-1977 Dodge Aspen Sedan

Postby 82Lebaronconv » Wed Dec 29, 2010 12:57 am

In 1977, my friend Clint bought a new Dodge Aspen RT. It was fully loaded, with factory t-tops (remember those?), a special graphics package and the 360 CI V-8. At that time, Clint was a dedicated Mopar man and he had traded in his yellow 1973 Dodge Challenger for the Aspen (in retrospect, a tragic mistake). The Challenger was an awesome car, but the Aspen was just awful. He had huge problems with the "Lean Burn" electronic ignition system (sometimes the Aspen would start right up, other times, it would not start at all) and premature rusting of the fenders and rear quarter panels despite careful maintenance. After suffering with the Aspen for a number of years, Clint finally sold it and bought a new 1986 Chevy Monte Carlo SS that he still owns to this day. He never owned another Chrysler product after the Aspen. Clint is very fastidious about his cars and the Monte is stored in a windowless concrete garage that is more like a bunker. He only drives it occasionally during the summer and bath towels have covered the seats since it was first brought home from the dealership. The car looks and even smells brand new and today has barely 50,000 miles on the odometer. If you want to see a truly outstanding original 1980's car, this has to be one of the best in existence.
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Re: 1976-1977 Dodge Aspen Sedan

Postby 88AriesLEwagon » Wed Dec 29, 2010 2:07 am

I had almost got a 77 Aspen R/T as a first car.318,auto,buckets/console,rear spoiler,side louvers,black on black.
The previous owner had put aluminum slotted rear wheels on it (wide),and it had factory front rally wheels.
The front fenders had been repainted badly and had little shine.
IN the end,I didnt get it,but I saw it for years after,and it still looked good.

After I had got my first car,I saw a mint 79 Nova Rally metallic brown Hatchback.
305,4 speed (!!).I sorta wished I could have got it,for a while.
Someone I knew bought it and blew the engine up shortly thereafter.
Thats a GM for ya.
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Re: 1976-1977 Dodge Aspen Sedan

Postby Baron » Wed Dec 29, 2010 2:47 am

I may have posted this before, but am not sure-

I had a 78 LeBaron with a 318 engine that had the LeanBurn system. They had a poorly designed choke adjustment setup. The choke on mine was set so heavy that it never totally disengaged and so the motor always burned rich, fouled plugs- making it hard to impossible to start (your friend's problem sounded so reminescent) and got lousy gas mileage- I was doing good if I got 20 mpg on the highway. Once we found what the trouble was, we adjusted the choke (it required a very major adjustment to get it to anywhere close to where it should have been). We also had to replace the engine computer as it failed- we theorized it just got tired of constantly trying to adjust for the choke and finally gave up. Luckily, the computer was still under the factory warranty- mostly because it was considered part of the smog equipment and had a federally mandated warranty on it. Once we fixed those couple of things it was like a totally different car. It ran great- much smoother, had more power, and it got as much as 25 mpg on the highway going 70-75 mph with the air-conditioning on. It ended up being a great car that I have always regretted trading in.
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Re: 1976-1977 Dodge Aspen Sedan

Postby K-CAR_WAGON » Wed Dec 29, 2010 3:04 pm

The early Aspens (76) had a severe front fender rust problem. I think Chrysler actually replaced the fenders with an improved design under a recall. The only time I remember Chrysler recalling a fender. It must have cost a fortune. I remember seeing a huge stack of removed fenders at a dealer in a scrap pile in the early 80's (almost all in like new condition except for one section of the fender that rusted out.) The Lean Burn system was a disaster. Many loyal Chrysler customers who purchased as car with a Lean Burn system never went back to Chrysler again. The following Aspens/Volares without the lean burn were much more reliable.
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Re: 1976-1977 Dodge Aspen Sedan

Postby 88AriesLEwagon » Wed Dec 29, 2010 5:27 pm

The 76s and some 77s were recalled for fender inspection and possible replacement.
Supposibly they were not galvanized,and as the early Fs had no inner fender splash shields,the backside of the fenders took a beating.Rusting thru very quickly.It cost Chrysler a bundle,at a time they couldnt afford it.And blackened the reputation of the hot selling Aspen/Volare.Sales for 77 were still good,but started the downhill slide in 78 (thanks to the new Fairmont/Zephyr too no doubt and the new downsized GM A-bodies).Future Fs recieved the plastic inner shields that beancounters left off the 76/77s.
For the most part,I think the Fs got a bad rap.
They did not rot away any faster than the typical Fox body or even fellow GM X-body (RWDs).
Some are still in very good shape today.
Lee Iacocca once said that the Fs should have never been made.
And Dart/Valiant should have kept going.
Well,I have a couple problems with that mindset.
With new 78s from Ford and GM,the Dart/Valiant would have been mincemeat on the market.
And with no Fs (as Lee would have it),would leave the LeBaron/Diplomat,and future Gran Fury and 5th Avenue with no platform.
And the 80 Cordoba/Mirada and 81 Imperial would have never existed either (Chrysler probably wouldnt have minded that though).
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Re: 1976-1977 Dodge Aspen Sedan

Postby 1986Kar » Mon Feb 28, 2011 8:47 pm

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Last edited by 1986Kar on Sat Aug 11, 2012 12:22 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 1976-1977 Dodge Aspen Sedan

Postby 89ARIES » Mon Feb 28, 2011 9:08 pm

Whats funny, is I never find 80 F Body models, but 76-79 models seem to abound here in SoCal. Not plentiful, but I seem them on craigslist and I see one at least every month or so. The Latinos love them, and they are very big in Mexico. For a carb-lean burn mess, I am very surprised how many do exist here. There is even one parked 2 miles from my house. And, they are only 31-35 years old now. :D Just last week I ran into someone
driving his 78 Aspen Sedan. He got it in 1992 and loved it as much as I love my car and could never get rid of it. His only complaint was some body damage and 17mpg. :D
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Re: 1976-1977 Dodge Aspen Sedan

Postby 88AriesLEwagon » Tue Mar 01, 2011 2:53 am

Very few 1980 F cars were sold,hence the reason you see few of them today.The R/T and Road Runner packages were laughingly low sellers too,a few hundred.The sport wagon models that featured the R/T-RR features sold less than a hundred.By this time,Chrysler was on its way down,people were waiting for the new K cars to come along,as they had heard so much about them,Omni/024 L bodies were selling well,Cordoba/Mirada lukewarm,and LeBaron/Diplomat were just hanging in there.St Regis/Gran Fury/Newport was sucking wind.
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