Warning

 

Close

Confirm Action

Are you sure you wish to do this?

Confirm Cancel
Member Login
Site Notices
1/25/2018 7:38:29 AM
Posted: 7/9/2002 6:26:11 AM EST
My brother (17 y/o)is building a demolition derby car out of a 1978 Dodge Aspen station wagon. I have built cars in the past and always used Chevrolet as I am familiar with them. I am going to help him with it this weekend and need to know the following. Question: I want to wire it using a push button ignition. Meaning..toggle switch and push button for the starter. Does anyone have a diagram or can explain what is needed to do this? I know how to do a Chevrolet....distributor gets a hot wire to it with a toggle cut-off. The starter is hooked up with the push button to activate it. Pretty simple to wire a Chevrolet. I am not sure about a Dodge. Are they as simple as a Chevrolet? thanks in advance medcop
Link Posted: 7/9/2002 6:47:39 AM EST
[Last Edit: 7/9/2002 11:32:23 AM EST by warlord]
I have a 1978 Chrysler factory service manual. It has a lot of wiring diagrams. Give me a chance to find the manuals. I haven't look at mine for years, but I still have it. I will try to look it up for you. ---------------------------------------------- I've found the wiring diagrams. Please e-mail me if you still need them.
Link Posted: 7/9/2002 8:21:24 AM EST
The Dodge should be very similar to the Chevy to wire as you describe. For ignition, bring a wire from the battery or the 12 V fuseblock bus to your toggle, and from there to the "+" coil side terminal. Don't forget to include that good ol' Chrysler ignition resistor in the wiring in order to save the points. For the starter, run a separate wire from the battery or 12 V bus to the pushbutton, and from there to the starter solenoid small terminal. The starter solenoid will have a large terminal where the large battery cable attaches that handles the high-amp current for starting, and one or two smaller terminals. One will go to the ignition switch, and if you have the second small terminal, it will generally go to the ignition coil. It bypasses the ignition resistor to provide a very high voltage spark just during starting, and when you leave off the key (or pushbutton, in this case) and the engine runs, ignition voltage comes through the normal path from the ignition switch and through the ignition ballast resistor to reduce the voltage so that the distributor points aren't eroded in a couple day's running. If it is electronic ignition, the same basic wiring is used. There is a non-contacting sensor in the distrubutor that serves the purpose of the points in breaking the ignition circuit so that the magnetic field in the coil collapses and sends a surge of high voltage electricity to the distributor and the plug in line with the rotor. Essentially the same as the Chevy, but GM uses a resistance wire from the ignition switch to the + side of the coil. Noah
Link Posted: 7/9/2002 8:30:30 AM EST
[Last Edit: 7/9/2002 8:30:55 AM EST by misterhemi]
Noah is correct. MOPAR starters have the solenoid built into the starter (no external one required). It is simply a matter of: 1)A pushbutton switch to the starters small terminal & The battery connects directly to the starter's large terminal (use a heavy wire for this). 2)Use a toggle switch (SPST) for the dist/ign.
Link Posted: 7/9/2002 8:32:14 AM EST
Not so. On Chrylser products after 72 there are no points in the distributor. There is a magnetic pickup, which sends pulses to the ignition module. The module sends high current pulses to the hot side of the coil You must have current going to the ignition module. That is a rectangular box on the firewall, with a heat sink and TO-3 power transistor. Usually black, but aftermarket ones are chrome, orange, or silver. This box is about 3" x 5", and also has a big connector plugged in. Some of the wires go to the ballast resistor (white ceramic thing on the firewall). It is all part of the ignition wiring harness. The current goes to the ignition control module first, then to the coil. The module turns the current on and off via the big power transistor, triggered by the pulses fromt he pickup in the distributor. With the regular ignition, turn on the key, and with a volt meter, you can find which of the pins turns on to 12v in the big connector on the module. That is the one you need to put on your ignition on/off toggle.
Link Posted: 7/9/2002 8:34:17 AM EST
On the Chevy, the reason you only run a hot wire from a switch to the distributor is that it uses the "HEI" ignition module (well, some do) built inside the distributor. The Chrysler products have an external module.
Link Posted: 7/9/2002 9:02:27 AM EST
You can't just run a hot wire to the + side of the coil since as mentioned the car has electronic ignition. Hopefully it is not "lean burn" ignition. On electronic ign Mopars, the ballast resistor limits current through the main transistor of the ECM module, and thereby the coil. Think of the module as a on/off switch that is triggered by the magnetic pickup in the distributor. You have to supply power to the main power wire of the ECM, and also to the ballast resistor (if I remember correctly - it's been a while). If this has not been figured out by the time I get home from work, I'll see if I have any diagrams for a `78 or some close year. It isn't difficult, but if you wire it wrong you could fry stuff. Of course, if you have an old points type distributer laying around, you can just cut out all the electronic stuff and run a standard simple hot-wire setup. You'd still need a ballast resistor, but that's easy - you already have one!
Link Posted: 7/9/2002 6:24:32 PM EST
Trash the electronic ignition, get a used distributor, 2 terminal (one on each end) ballast resistor and coil from a junkyard (recycler to you young'uns) and just drop them in and wire like you would any old chevy. I know first hand for a fact this will work. Worked on them at a dealer for more years than I like to think about.
Link Posted: 7/9/2002 6:33:06 PM EST
[Last Edit: 7/9/2002 6:36:43 PM EST by misterhemi]
Originally Posted By A_Free_Man: Not so. On Chrylser products after 72 there are no points in the distributor. There is a magnetic pickup, which sends pulses to the ignition module. The module sends high current pulses to the hot side of the coil You must have current going to the ignition module. That is a rectangular box on the firewall, with a heat sink and TO-3 power transistor. Usually black, but aftermarket ones are chrome, orange, or silver.
View Quote
Oops, my mistake - he's right! I was thinking it was an older car. I may have a silver box around here i'm not using, gotta look. BTW if this event is unsanctioned GET a 55 Imperial, the ULTIMATE demolition derby car.
Link Posted: 7/9/2002 6:52:07 PM EST
Originally Posted By Pthfndr: Trash the electronic ignition, get a used distributor, 2 terminal (one on each end) ballast resistor and coil from a junkyard (recycler to you young'uns) and just drop them in and wire like you would any old chevy. I know first hand for a fact this will work. Worked on them at a dealer for more years than I like to think about.
View Quote
Just don't let some kid with an ice cream cone walk near it or it'll guit and won't start for about 20 minutes while the ignition dries out.[:)] Fred
Link Posted: 7/9/2002 7:45:11 PM EST
Originally Posted By misterhemi:
Originally Posted By A_Free_Man: Not so. On Chrylser products after 72 there are no points in the distributor. There is a magnetic pickup, which sends pulses to the ignition module. The module sends high current pulses to the hot side of the coil You must have current going to the ignition module. That is a rectangular box on the firewall, with a heat sink and TO-3 power transistor. Usually black, but aftermarket ones are chrome, orange, or silver.
View Quote
Oops, my mistake - he's right! I was thinking it was an older car. I may have a silver box around here i'm not using, gotta look. BTW if this event is unsanctioned GET a 55 Imperial, the ULTIMATE demolition derby car.
View Quote
The Derby will NOT allow Imperials...darn! medcop
Link Posted: 7/9/2002 8:16:22 PM EST
medcop: "The Derby will NOT allow Imperials...darn!" I have mixed feelings about this. Part of me says if you want to drive the most indestructable car & _win_ go MOPAR. On the other hand part of me says nay, if you must destroy a car in a demolition derby drive a Chevy, there's entirely too many of those POS anyways........[;D] Seriously though, the best demolition derby cars are full sized station wagons.
Link Posted: 7/9/2002 10:12:36 PM EST
Originally Posted By RiffRandall: medcop: "The Derby will NOT allow Imperials...darn!" I have mixed feelings about this. Part of me says if you want to drive the most indestructable car & _win_ go MOPAR. On the other hand part of me says nay, if you must destroy a car in a demolition derby drive a Chevy, there's entirely too many of those POS anyways........[;D] Seriously though, the best demolition derby cars are full sized station wagons.
View Quote
I have run full size wagons and Chevrolet Imapalas..like them both. The car my brother is running is a 1978 Dodge Aspen Station Wagon. It was actually my fist car! It was parked in the barn at our farm and still runs. He is not out to win. He just wants to destroy something and have some fun. medcop
Link Posted: 7/10/2002 8:05:56 AM EST
medcop: " The car my brother is running is a 1978 Dodge Aspen Station Wagon. It was actually my first car! It was parked in the barn at our farm and still runs. He is not out to win. He just wants to destroy something and have some fun." I've thought about doing the same thing, but usually get too emotionally attatched to the family clunker... I have a hard enuff time selling cars, much less thrashing 'old faithfull' in a demo derby. Your brother probably will do fairly well with the Aspen. It's not as heavy as a full sized wagon but the only thing more indestructable than a Mopar v8 is the Leaning Tower Of Power slant six.
Link Posted: 7/10/2002 8:39:15 AM EST
Originally Posted By RiffRandall: medcop: " The car my brother is running is a 1978 Dodge Aspen Station Wagon. It was actually my first car! It was parked in the barn at our farm and still runs. He is not out to win. He just wants to destroy something and have some fun." I've thought about doing the same thing, but usually get too emotionally attatched to the family clunker... I have a hard enuff time selling cars, much less thrashing 'old faithfull' in a demo derby. Your brother probably will do fairly well with the Aspen. It's not as heavy as a full sized wagon but the only thing more indestructable than a Mopar v8 is the Leaning Tower Of Power slant six.
View Quote
I was sorta' sad to see it go. However, the demo will only be a close second to what I put that car through.[:)] I figured having it "go out in style" would be better than letting it sit and rust away. I know the slant 6 will hold up. I am just a little worried about the trany. I went through 3 of them in a little over a year. (I of course drove it like I stole it [:)]) I know the body will hold up well. I did use a Plymouth Valarie wagon with a 318 once. The body and motor held up very nice. It was the trany that gave me trouble. When we got home and tore it apart we discovered that the internal shifting lever (don't know correct name) was sliding over the post that changes gears. Well, I got out the trusty wire and wired the lever to the post. I couldn't get it to slip again. In fact I let a friend have the car and he put it in a demo and did pretty well. It still ran and the trany held up. However, when the axle is in more than one piece you usually have a problem..LOL! [b]Thanks for the info! I knew I could get some help here[/b] medcop
Link Posted: 7/10/2002 9:02:09 AM EST
medcop: "I was sorta' sad to see it go. However, the demo will only be a close second to what I put that car through. I figured having it "go out in style" would be better than letting it sit and rust away." Let her go out swinging & enter automotive Valhalla, I can understand that. " I know the slant 6 will hold up. I am just a little worried about the trany. I went through 3 of them in a little over a year. (I of course drove it like I stole it )" Zoinks! 3 Torqueflites in a year? You sound like me when I was a teenybopper. I managed to get my '72 New Yorker airborne more than a few times......
Link Posted: 7/10/2002 9:48:24 AM EST
The Aspen saw air a few times. The last time I did it I broke the drivers side A-arm and cut the brake line. I had a hard time explaining that one to my dad. [:)] medcop
Link Posted: 7/10/2002 10:31:39 AM EST
CRIPES! NOT THE DODGE ASPEN! That has to be the only car I ever learned to hate. And I'm a pretty nice guy. What a POS car! I owned a new Dodge SE Aspen for a few years and it would die every time it would rain! What a nightmare of a car! Did I mention it was a POS even new? I vowed never to go back to another Chrysler product in my lifetime because of that car. It was less then two years old when the top of the front fenders rusted through and the tires would sling mud onto the windshield. I just absolutely, positively hated that car. I gave it away just so it wouldn't break down sitting in the driveway. I moaned to Lee Iacoca about this car and he sent me two new fenders! UPAINTED and NO PRIMER! They had surface rust in the box! Then, the dealership had the balls to charge me $400.00 to paint them and $200 something to install. I balked and shot them myself. Crummy POS car. Some advice, do everything you can to protect that stupid, spawn from hell, goofy designed, ballast resistor. If it cracks, you're done. I used to keep two or three extra ones in my glove box because every time it would rain, the water would run down the firewall and crack the ballast resistor. What a POS design! (did I already mention that?) Have fun with it. That model should die that way! Smash it up the send it to Bulletfest IV! I'll glady put a few bullets in it for therapy. Am I bitter? I better go take a pill....lol. POS car.....[:)]
Top Top