Starting Problem 1979 Dodge D200


Hi, I have a 1979 Dodge D200 that has recently acquired a starting problem (it won’t). It worked fine and then I shut it off for about 10 minutes and it wouldn’t start back up. When I turned the key, nothing happened and it wasn’t the battery (tried jumping and no luck). I did try bridging the two metal posts on the solenoid of the started and that started right up. The key wasn’t even turned forward. Can anyone help me on where to go from here.




When you say the key wasn’t turned forward, do you mean it was not turned to RUN?

If so, there may be an electrical connection fault within the ignition system. (obviously)

Have you had any recent work done?
Perhaps there is a problem in the key lock cylinder.


This is a pretty common problem with the old Chrysler ignition switches. The outside trim thingee wiggles loose so you can’t turn the key all the way to start. Different cars seem to have different solutions to it-- with my old '76 Truck, you had to make sure the trim slot matched up with the actual lock cylinder before you put the key in. A friend of mine with an old van had a whole procedure where he would turn it back and then turn it forward. I’ll bet if you follow the ignition switch/lock removal procedure in your service manual, you’ll be able to figure out what’s going on by taking it apart. Worse case, you may need to actually replace the cylinder and switch.


The starter relay, located on the left inner fender, hit it a few times with a screwdriver handle. They occasionly require replacement. Or could be safety neutral switch, located on side of transmission, brush and weeds will sometimes pull wires off of switch, plug back on. Or slack in shift linkage is not quite placing it in park, replace plastic gromets. Enjoy, I love my '79 Powerwagon.