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1976-1977 Dodge Aspen

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Isolated Transverse Suspension System

 

 

 

 

 

 

1976 Dodge Aspen SE

 

 

 

1976 Dodge Aspen R/T

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aspen optional center console with floor-shifter

 

 


1977 Aspen SE with T-Tops

1977 Aspen R/T with Super Pak

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please note - the Dodge Aspen was available as a 2-door coupe, 4-door sedan, and 4-door station wagon. Unless mentioned otherwise, all information on this page, including production information, refers to the 2-door coupe only.

 

1976  The F-body Dodge Aspen, and identical Plymouth Volare, was introduced in late 1975, as a 1976 model, replacing the Plymouth Duster and Dodge Dart. The Aspen was more modern looking than the Dart, with a sleeker, more rounded body. The Aspen was considered a small car in 1976, although it was actually bigger than today's mid-size cars. The sporty-looking coupe's styling was classic long-hood, short deck, with large front, back and side door glass, with smaller quarter windows behind the door glass.

 

The Dodge Aspen's mechanicals and suspension were classic Mopar. Rear-wheel drive, unibody construction, with the 225 cid slant-six standard, and the 318 and 360 V-8's optional. The suspension was semi-elliptical rear springs in the back, separated from the rear axle by rubber spring-seat iso-clamps, and from the body by oval front bushings. The front suspension used torsion bars with a standard front sway bar. However, the Aspen's torsion bars were unique in that instead of them running from front to back, they ran from side-to-side. Called an "Isolated Transverse Suspension System", the torsion bars were separated from the chassis by three pairs of rubber mounts. This new system was supposed to give the Aspen a big car quiet ride. All Aspen's also received electronic ignition and voltage regulator, and standard 10.84-inch front disc and 10 X 2.5-inch rear drum brakes (11 X 2.5-inch drums on wagons). All V-8 models (and wagons) received standard power brakes.

 

The Aspen was offered in three models - Coupe, Custom, and Special Edition. The base Coupe came with the 225 cid slant-six engine and 3-speed manual transmission as standard equipment, along with keyless door locks, drip moldings, quarter window moldings, front and rear window moldings, cloth and vinyl bench seat, and a 3-spoke steering wheel. Just about every other feature was optional equipment on the Aspen. Moving up, the Aspen Custom added a cigarette lighter, rear deck appliqué, wood-grain instrument panel, vinyl bench seat, deluxe steering wheel, belt moldings, wide black paint-filled body-side moldings, and rear armrests. The top of the line Special Edition (SE) included a huge list of standard features, such as a vinyl 60/40 split bench seat with individual recliners, luxury door panels with carpeted lower sides, premium wheel covers, luxury steering wheel with power steering, automatic transmission, color keyed wide vinyl body side moldings, body side and hood tape stripes, hood ornament, electric clock, landau vinyl roof, undercoating with hood silencer pad, and deluxe insulation package.

 

For performance enthusiasts, Dodge offered the R/T Package on the Aspen coupe. There were three different options under the R/T heading. The R/T Decor group included dual sport chrome mirrors, Ralleye wheel trim rings, and wheel lip moldings. The R/T Package provided E70 X 14-inch raised white letter tires, heavy duty suspension, Ralleye road wheels without the trim rings, blacked out grill, and R/T decals, stripes, and medallion. The "Super Pak" option, only available on cars with the R/T package, included front and rear deck spoilers, side quarter window louvers, wheel opening flares, and special tape stripes. The Super Pak option was available in only one color - Black Sunfire Metallic.

 

There was a voluminous number of options available on all Aspens. Some of the more notable included a center console with floor shifter and vinyl bucket seats, a "Tuff" steering wheel, Sure-Grip limited slip differential, chrome styled road wheels, manual sun roof, and two-tone paint (Custom Coupe only). The Aspen had enough options to turn the car into just about anything that the driver wanted - luxury car, sporty car, family car, or cheap basic transportation. Motor Trend was so impressed, the Dodge Aspen was named "Car of the Year" for 1976. Apparently buyers were also impressed, as nearly 62,000 coupes were sold that year.

 

Miscellaneous 1976 Production Figures

Base Coupe with V-8 engine

7,916

R/T Package

6,254

Super Pak Package

1,824

 

Engine Transmission

Standard Rear Axle Ratio

Optional Rear Axle Ratios

225 Slant Six 3-speed manual 3.23 2.94, 3.21 Sure Grip
4-speed manual 3.23 3.21 Sure Grip
3-speed automatic 2.76 2.94, 3.21, 3.21 Sure Grip
318 V-8 3-speed manual 2.45 2.76, 2.94, 3.21, 2.71 Sure Grip, 3.21 Sure Grip
4-speed manual 2.94 3.21, 3.21 Sure Grip
3-speed automatic 2.45 2.76, 2.94, 3.21, 2.71 Sure Grip, 3.21 Sure Grip
360 V-8 3-speed automatic 2.76 2.45, 2.94, 3.21, 2.71 Sure Grip, 3.21 Sure Grip

 

1976 Engine Specifications 225 Slant Six 318 cid V-8 360 cid V-8
compression ratio 8.4:1 8.5:1 8.4:1
horsepower 100 @ 3,600 150 @ 4,000 170 @ 4,000
torque 170 @ 1,600 255 @ 1,600 280 @ 2,400
carburetor 1-barrel 2-barrel 2-barrel

 

1976 Powertrain

 Options

Transmission

Aspen Coupe

225 Slant Six

3-speed manual

standard

4-speed manual, 3-speed automatic optional
318 V-8 3-speed manual, 4-speed manual, 3-speed automatic optional
360 V-8 3-speed automatic optional

            

1976 Aspen Color Availability
Aspen Silver Cloud Metallic, Big Sky Blue, Jamaican Blue Metallic, Spitfier Orange, Claret Red, Jade Green Metallic, Tropic Green Metallic, Deep Sherwood Metallic, Parchment, Saddle Tan, Caramel Tan Metallic, Cinnamon Metallic, Harvest Gold, Spanish Gold Metallic, Eggshell White, Black
Aspen Custom 2-tone colors Yellow Blaze/Harvest Gold, Silver Cloud/Black, Spitfier Orange/Black

 

1977  Glass T-Tops were now available on all Aspen coupes. A halo vinyl roof was also available, which put a vinyl covering over the entire roof. Two-tone paint was now available on all coupes. The 225 cid slant-six engine now had an optional 2-barrel carburetor version, called the "Super Six". The 360 cid V-8 was now available with a 4-barrel carburetor, which also included the "Lean-Burn" system. The lean-burn system used a Spark Control Computer to monitor engine functions to precisely time the firing of the spark plugs, resulting in the leanest fuel mixture possible. The results, however, were less than satisfying, resulting in many lean burn systems being disabled by their owners.

 

The entire Aspen line-up was pretty much the same as in 1976. The R/T package returned unchanged 1977. As in 1976, there were three different options under the R/T heading. The R/T Decor group included dual sport painted mirrors, Ralleye wheel trim rings, and wheel lip moldings. The R/T Package provided E70 X 14-inch raised white letter tires, heavy duty suspension, Ralleye road wheels without the trim rings, blacked out grill, R/T decals,tape stripes, and R/T medallion. Why the Decor and R/T packages were not simply combined into one package is anybody's guess. Finally, the R/T Super Pak package returned, available only on coupes with the R/T package, and included black paint, orange/red tape stripes, front and rear spoilers, quarter window louvers, and wheel opening flares. A T-Top Aspen R/T with the Super Pak package was truly one of the hottest looking cars on the road.

 

Miscellaneous 1977 Production Figures

R/T Package

4,465

Super Pak Package

2,284

 

Engine Transmission

Standard Rear Axle Ratio

Optional Rear Axle Ratios

225 Slant Six 1-barrel 3-speed manual 3.21 2.94, 3.21 Sure Grip
4-speed manual 3.21 3.21 Sure Grip
3-speed automatic 2.76 2.94, 3.21, 2.9 Sure Grip, 3.21 Sure Grip
225 Slant Six 2-barrel 3-speed manual 3.21 3.21 Sure Grip
3-speed automatic 2.76 2.94, 3.21, 3.21 Sure Grip
318 V-8 3-speed manual 2.9 3.21, 3.21 Sure Grip
4-speed manual 2.94 3.21, 3.21 Sure Grip
3-speed automatic 2.7 2.4, 2.94, 3.21, 2.4 sure Grip, 2.71 Sure Grip, 3.21 Sure Grip
360 V-8 2-barrel 3-speed automatic 2.4 2.7, 2.94, 3.21, 2.4 Sure Grip, 2.71 Sure Grip, 3.21 Sure Grip
360 V-8 4-barrel 3-speed automatic 3.2 3.21 Sure Grip

  

1977 Engine Specifications 225 Slant Six 225 Slant Six 318 cid V-8 360 cid V-8 360 cid V-8
compression ratio 8.4:1 8.4:1 8.5:1 8.4:1 8.0:1
horsepower 100 @ 3,600 110 @ 3,600 145 @ 4,000 155 @ 3,600 175 @ 4,000
torque 170 @ 1,600 180 @ 2,000 245 @ 1,600 275 @ 2,000 275 @ 2,000
carburetor 1-barrel 2-barrel 2-barrel 2-barrel 4-barrel

 

1977 Powertrain

 Options

Transmission

Aspen Coupe

225 Slant Six 1-barrel

3-speed manual

standard

4-speed manual, 3-speed automatic optional

225 Slant Six 2-barrel

3-speed manual, 3-speed automatic optional
318 V-8 3-speed manual, 4-speed manual, 3-speed automatic optional
360 V-8 3-speed automatic optional

                     

1977 Aspen Color Availability
Aspen Vintage Red Sunfire Metallic, Jade Green Metallic, Forest Green Sunfire Metallic, Spitfire Orange, Mojave Beige, Russet Sunfire Metallic, Eggshell White, Black Sunfire Metallic, Caramel Tan Metallic, Silver Cloud Metallic, Yellow Blaze, French Racing Blue, Regatta Blue Metallic, Spanish Gold Metallic, Starlight Blue Sunfire Metallic, Mocha Tan
Aspen 2-tone colors Red/Silver, Silver/Black, Medium Blue/Dark Blue, Light Tan/Medium Tan, Yellow/Gold, Dark Green/Medium Green

                           

Aspen Production

Aspen Coupe

Aspen Custom

Aspen Special Edition

Total % Production Change
1976 22,249 21,064 18,604 61,917  
1977 24,378 26,389 15,908 66,675 +7.68%

              

Specifications Aspen
Length (inches) 197.5
Width (inches)
72.8
Height (inches) 53.1
Curb Weight
76 3,160
77 3,180
Wheelbase (inches) 108.5
Fuel Capacity (gallons) 76 18
77 Slant 6 18
V-8 20