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From: Hank Dozier
Remote Name: 22.214.171.124
Date: June 26, 2002
I will try and give a BRIEF summary (from my memory) of the events in the life of the ill-fated Bendix "EFI" system in MOPARs. The year of introduction was 1958, not 1957, and was on performance model engines of ALL Chrysler lines. The year before, AMC/Nash had a similar system ready to go, but never actually produced it, so technically by Chrysler acquisition you could say 1957 and be correct. The first systems were developed using TUBE electronics by the Bendix Red Hill division (made electrical components for the military) in about 1953. A vehicle was built and DRIVEN to the Bendix Automotive and Vehicle Systems group in Baltimore, Maryland the following year. When the first TRANSISTORS appeared (co-invented by guys who later became founders of both Texas Instruments and Intel Corp, respectively), the ability to make a viable unit for fast cold-starting became a reality, or so Bendix thought. This system was what was marketed to Chrysler, and was developed for the NASCAR speed trials for the 1958 model year. Unfortunately, the solenoid (e.g. - injector) technology was not there, and cold performance issues with those components, plus issues with the new transistor technology and the "point to point" wiring doomed the project. Approximately 50 Chrysler 300Ds were built with this system (at the DeSoto Wyoming Avenue Plant) and shipped. Additionally, some 15-20 Dodge D-500s (361 engine) were also built. The general understanding is the same number of DeSoto Adventurers with the same engine (361) were built, but reconverted before shipment. Several of the Dodges were also reconverted, although some examples got out and were dealer converted. The number of Furys built was in the area of 35 or so (318 and Golden Commando, mix not known), but supposedly all were reconverted before shipping. Several "press cars" of each type were out in the field (cause for the complaints and resultant conversion to carburetion), and these were not converted to anyones knowledge. If they were not turned back into Chrysler, they would have survived. Additionally, the MOPAR Parts Group ordered and stocked maifolds, air cleaners, throttle bodies (BIG- 2-bbl units), and some sensors , electro-injectors and fuel pump units. These could be in stock in dealerships somewhere, if they survive. It was a brave new world back then, and if the AMA ban had not been implemented, there is a distinct possibility that Chrysler and Bendix may hav tried and solved the issues rather than retiring it to a footnote in 50s performance history. When I started with Chrysler, one of my old bosses had a 300D with this system. Bought new, and he refused to let it get converted. It only seemed to start and run when the temperature was over 45 degrees F. It was issues like this that caused the recall.