1980 Dodge Aspen Tan Sedan

bruue1

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Hello,
Like everybody else; I am excited to find this site with people who are into F,M,and J model cars.
Last April 2021 I had a chance to buy the same model, year, color, and trim car that I had previously owned as my first car when I was fifteen years old in 1994.
My son is 13 now, and I had spent the previous years thinking about a cool project car, fondly remembering many of the cars I bought and destroyed while I was in high school.
I often thought about my first car; at fifteen I painted it flat black, and drove it straight into the ground. Then I continued to purchase cheap cars and do the same thing to them, by the time I graduated high school I had burned up 7 cars.
As an adult I've thought I should have had more respect for them, and fixed them instead of just beating them up.

So I found an exact copy of my first car, just as my son is getting old enough to work on a car with me.
It is a tan 1980 Dodge Aspen, 225 slant six, sedan, as base model as they came. 904 transmission, 8.25 one wheel wonder rear end. $2500. Dude was asking $3500. This current Aspen is in better shape than the one I owned in 1994. I'm probably not going to paint this one flat black, probably.

I did already blow the 225 up a few weeks ago, rod right through the side.
I now have a 360 rocker LA block with a chrysler intake and 850cfm thermoquad that has high miles but was running when pulled from the donor car 5-6 weeks ago
I have a spare axle and some late 90s Grand Cherokee rear disc brakes that bolt straight to the 79/80 F Body 8.25 rear axles. Th plan there is new bearings, sure grip, and disc brakes, new leaf springs and a rear suspension lift as well, to make it look mean. Gears? I don't know, I have two axles, maybe it' be nice to have two built, one for going quick and one for cruising freeways?
I'll stick with a 904 to make locating and install easy but I'll have to trade my 225 one in for one with a 360 bell housing.

I need some mounts to convert from 225 to 360, schumacher mounts are now impossible to find. I am trying, and will pay cash for yours if you have them. I do have some 360 spool mounts and my original slant 6 spool mounts. I'm thinking I might just build my own out of the two pairs, half of one and half the other, tacked together and brought to a competent welder to finish up.

I'll be starting the rebuild of the motor and prepping of the car no later than January 2022.

It was fun original, but its gonna be sweet once I build it into what it should have become when I was fifteen.

Thanks guys! I've enjoyed all of your posts, the more I see these cars, the more I love the way they look. I feel much different about them now than I did at 15 y/o in 1994. I feel more at home here with all of you than I did at the Mopar Forum which is full of crazy purple, $40,000 muscle cars, and people who just pay cash for them, although thats cool too, have at it if thats your thing, I'm just not there, and I like to drive them without worrying about scratching them too.

I've kept many cars on the road through out my adult life, mainly high mile Toyotas, but others too. This will be my first auto toy build, my first engine build, etc...
I've got some manuals and stuff, "How to Rebuild Your Small Block Mopar". I could use a service tech manual for the Aspen, but its pretty simple, I'm not too worried about it.
I'll be happy to get some knowledge and help from this site too, I'm sure I'll need some.

It is fun to be doing something cool, instead of just swapping out U Joints on a T 100, or busting my knuckles working on a Tercel or Echo.

Here's a couple pics of my ride. Or maybe it'll be my son's ride, who knows. I'll probably just have to get a second one, i'll get him a coupe.

Aspen8.jpg


Aspen9.jpg


Aspen36.jpg


Aspen51.jpg
 
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Sub03

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Your story is a lot like mine except my Aspen is the one I had when I was 20 years old.
I stored it in a barn when I upgraded in a newer car in the late nineties. With a bit more know-how and better economy I finally can give it the attention it should have gotten 25 years ago.

So far I did a Magnum swap, rebuilt the 904, new brakes, exhaust, gas tank, repaint, wheels and a front suspension rebuild. (and probably some more...)

Next on my list is a rear suspension rebuild and a new vinyl roof.
Here's a picture of it:
20210524_171624.jpg


You are in good hands here. A bunch of members on this forum with a lot of knowledge. What I like is the helpful attitude in here, no car is looked down upon and no question is too silly to ask.

Another crazy thing is I think your son looks a lot like mine. He has become a Mopar guy too and love to borrow my Aspen and take it for a cruise. He is 21 now, but here's what he looked like at age 14:
20150509_234600.jpg


Good luck with your car and keep the pictures coming.
 

Camtron

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360 swap, 3.21 gears and a high stall converter; perfect for a young man to get the hang of a unrestricted V8. Nice car, look forward to your progress.
 

DCAspen

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Snowflake wheels look great on your Special Edition.
 

bruue1

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SUB03:
Beautiful car. Looks great with those wheels, and the paint is nice. I bet it handles good too.

Is your Magnum fuel injected or did you convert it to carburetor?

One of the reasons I went with the LA block was because I plan on a four barrel carburetor. Mine came complete with rollers, intake, and the thermoquad (although I might go edelbrock). Even with aftermarket stuff I'll have cheaper options for the LA carburetor intakes. And my ancient HP rebuild manual specifies the LA blocks, I wanted to stick to that too.
Everybody seems to be putting the Magnums in, I think primarily for the fuel injection and the roller rockers.

Our boys do look alike, good lookin kids. Maybe 50 years from now they'll meet up at some Dodge Aspen club, LOL.

Camtron, thanks for the comment, I'll look into the gear ratio

I'll keep the pics coming.
 

Sub03

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I converted the Magnum to carburetor, v-belts and mechanical fuel pump.
There is not alot of Magnums in the market here in Norway, and the one i got hold of didn't come with the electronics for the FI.
I wanted a 5.9 but had to settle for a 5.2. It had 90.000 miles on it and was in good shape so all in all I'm happy with it.

IMG_0299.jpg 20201008_143228.jpg
 

bruue1

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Norway? That's Viking land. I know a guy who moved there just for the Heavy Metal. Or was it Sweden? I think it was Norway. He's the Angry Metal Guy on the internet. My good friend's brother. Personally; I grew up with metal and pop, I like all sorts of music; and none well enough to build my life around, but each to their own.

Looks like a clean motor, with the 90,000 miles you probably didn't need to rebuild or anything. Around here some guys put new tops on 200,000 mile magnums and run them with mild builds. Sounds like a deal. Looks like a clean install. Again; your car looks beautiful.

I'm going carburetor just because its my first rebuild, swap, etc... I wanted to go simple and mechanical as much as possible so I didn't end up trouble shooting electrical ghosts. I do want this car to be as mechanical as possible, I'd like it to run old school.

I have a thermoquad now, but will probably buy an edelbrock and intake for it. I'll get the tuner kit and I'll teach my son to replace the little rods and springs in the top of the carburetor. Then he can impress his friends.

I'll keep the thermoquad, its a big carburetor, even if it is plastic. Maybe I'll end up swapping the carbs back and forth. See which I like better.

If I decide to do a second motor it might be a fuel injected slant six, but one at a time.

Thanks for the pics.
 

bruue1

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I am interested in a V8 K member from any FJM car, mounts, brakes, torsion bars would be great too.

Thanks
 

bruue1

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To anybody who is keeping track; I spoke with MoTech (the company who purchased Schumacher) and they stated they will have the Schumacher mounts available for sale in early 2022, they are thinking January. They put me on a list and will contact me when they arrive. They were friendly and invited me to call back as often as I want to check on their progress. LOL

They are located in California, google can get you to their site.
 

Darter6

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Nice, I owned 2 F body cars and liked them both. A 76 Aspen SE 2 door and a 80 Volare' wagon.
The front of the 80 is my favorite. Have fun !
 
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