Taylormade

The Ressurection of Daphne - a 1932 DL

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There you go! Amazing what 80 years of UV light will do.
Yeah...but for the last 43 years yours has been locked in a garage, so the first 35 years of daylight must have caused 98% of the damage?

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Probably most of it is due to exposure to light but maybe some of it is oxidation simply by exposure to air. The cloth behind a pocket or behind a trim piece is also protected a bit from air flow too.

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Yeah...but for the last 43 years yours has been locked in a garage, so the first 35 years of daylight must have caused 98% of the damage?

You've got me there, Phil! ;)

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Just reading he Dodge Brothers Club News magazine and it dawned on me I'm reading the story from the guy you sold it to who is now the editor of the magazine. Interesting reading from the other side of the fence !

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Yes, it was Phil's first car, too. He probably has a much better claim to nostalgic ownership than I do - I only had it for two years and he managed to hold on to it for 46. But, as I've said before, something about this car has always fascinated me and I'm glad it's come back to me after all these years.

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There is something about it when you first see a car. I remember walking into the guy's shed who owned my car and even though most of the panels were missing and no engine he had the radiator shell sitting loose on the front. I loved the shape and had to have that car !

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There you go. If you haven't experienced it it's impossible to explain. Seeing all the work you've done - work I still have to do - I'm sure there were many times when that original infatuation turned a bit darker as you struggled to find a solution to the endless problems that seem to turn up during a restoration. I've already had a few unpleasant shocks and I'm only a month in!

Edited by Taylormade (see edit history)

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My biggest shock was when we had all the panels temp bolted up and couldn't figure out why the gaps on the bonnet were way out on one side. When we investigated we found that the chassis was literally bent from one end to the other approx 20mm. Doesn't sound much but it threw the alignment of the bonnet out enough.

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My biggest shock was when we had all the panels temp bolted up and couldn't figure out why the gaps on the bonnet were way out on one side. When we investigated we found that the chassis was literally bent from one end to the other approx 20mm. Doesn't sound much but it threw the alignment of the bonnet out enough.

Approx 24.5 MM to an inch so it is quite a bit

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Approx 24.5 MM to an inch so it is quite a bit

Inch is currently defined as exactly 25.4 mm. Not many people know we are on a stealth metric system in the US since our inch is now based on metric units. :)

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Yeah, they had to put the chassis in a hydraulic ram. The guy who did it said it was one of the toughest chassis he's had to straighten ! Go ole Dodge engineering !

Makes you wonder what it went through to get so badly out of whack to begin with.

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Yeah, they had to put the chassis in a hydraulic ram. The guy who did it said it was one of the toughest chassis he's had to straighten ! Go ole Dodge engineering !

They are tough frames but also very weak depending how you look at it. They are riveted together ( like alot of full frames vehicles still in use today ) so when being pulled they give a lot. Its just a general rule of thumb that for instance if a frame is swayed over 1 inch one would have to pull it a minimum of 2 inches plus to compensate for the flexibility.

One trick that is used to over come this is to pull it waay over and then weld a bead at the nearest moveable crossmember. Once pressure is released more often than not it will stick where you need it to be.

I have measured full framed Chevrolet vehicles right off the car hauler ready for delivery too your showroom floor and have had them 20 and 30 mills plus out of whack in at least one direction. Chevrolet makes a very poor/sloppy product always have in my opinion.

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Inch is currently defined as exactly 25.4 mm. Not many people know we are on a stealth metric system in the US since our inch is now based on metric units. :)

I have never heard it described that way but yes that is a good description.

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Well, my wife and I found fabric from LaBaron Bonney that comes very, very close to the original. I'm still struggling with the correct shade of brown now that we discivered the dirty tan is just a faded remnant of the original. I have very good, unbleached examples of the fabric used on the door panels and up above the rear seat. The LB fabric possibly has a little more of a greenish tinge to it than the original, but it's very close. The nap and weave of the fabirc is the same, so we're in good shape there.

Try as I might, I can't find a good, unfaded example of seat fabric. Mine is too faded and stained to get much real information out of it. In fact, i was beginning to think that perhaps the seats were a tan shade, but that didn't make much sense with dark door panels. Naturally, the 32 sales literature shows interiors with tan fabric, so who the heck knows at this point? (And Phil Kennedy pointed out to me that the same literature shows a DL with a green floor mat and that clearly isn't correct). Phil also sent me a few shots of some unfaded areas on his original car and, sure enough, there was that brown shade peeking out in a few places.

You can just see the brown at the inside edge of the seat.

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So we are going the dark brown route. And if I find out I'm wrong after dropping 1500 bucks on material, I'm going to wander into the woods behind our house never to be seen again.

Edited by Taylormade (see edit history)

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Well, my wife and I found fabric from LaBaron Bonney that comes very, very close to the original. I'm still struggling with the correct shade of brown now that we discivered the dirty tan is just a faded remnant of the original. I have very good, unbleached examples of the fabric used on the door panels and up above the rear seat. The LB fabric possibly has a little more of a greenish tinge to it than the original, but it's very close. The nap and weave of the fabirc is the same, so we're in good shape there.

Try as I might, I can't find a good, unfaded example of seat fabric. Mine is too faded and stained to get much real information out of it. In fact, i was beginning to think that perhaps the seats were a tan shade, but that didn't make much sense with dark door panels. Naturally, the 32 sales literature shows interiors with tan fabric, so who the heck knows at this point? (And Phil Kennedy pointed out to me that the same literature shows a DL with a green floor mat and that clearly isn't correct). Phil also sent me a few shots of some unfaded areas on his original car and, sure enough, there was that brown shade peeking out in a few places.

You can just see the brown at the inside edge of the seat.

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So we are going the dark brown route. And if I find out I'm wrong after dropping 1500 bucks on material, I'm going to wander into the woods behind our house never to be seen again.

I'd be careful with the fabric if it has a green tinge to it. It may get greener with sun exposure and age.

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I've been wondering whether you'll find a matching seat and door lacing. Do they have that in brown, too?

Yes, they have a matching brown with a slightly darker pattern woven in, but it's from SMS, not LB. I'll get some close-ups and post them tomorrow.

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I had a similar problem with the seat fabric on my '41 Buick. I was torn and completely faded, except where the sewing seams were, and I was able to get small sample of unfaded material there.

Anyway, I've been following this thread, and I think that its' so very neat to get you car back after so many years, and bring it back to it's former glory.

Keep up the good work!

Keith

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A huge day yesterday. I got up at 6 AM and made the 2 1/2 hour drive to Thomas Restorations and Fabrications in central Missouri. A nice, warm, sunny day. Arrived at 9 to find Ed Thomas and Daphne waiting for me on the lift.

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This was my first chance to get a good look at her underside. Lots of surface rust and more than enough grease to lube six cars, but everything looked very solid and intact. The frame appeared straight and the rust was surface only.

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We removed the gas tank and managed to get it off without damaging the two straps that hold it to the frame. The smell of varnish inside was overpowering. We took it outside and shook it - a mountain of red rust dest spewed from the filler. Although the outside metal of the tank looked solid, with that amount of rust inside, I fear some holes will appear once I give the tank the treatment. I took the tank home with me and plan to fill it with molasses to get the rust out. More on that later.

I also removed two small side pieces by the windshield that I learned are supposed to be woodgrained. My grain guy has been waiting for them as he wants to do all the parts in one shot to keep the color accurate and even.

With the busy work done, we tackled the front fenders. Well, Ed tackled them and I watched - and videotaped the process for a documentary I'm making on the restoration. As you probably remember from previous posts, they were in bad shape. I had smashed one in 1966 when I owned the car. We discovered lots of bondo from that repair. PO Phil Kennedy completed the carnage when he encountered the back of a truck after he bought the car. The amount of damage was something I was honestly worried couldn't be fixed correctly.

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Ed said he'd spent the last week just looking at the damage, trying to figure out the best way to get started. He says you just can't start banging away at the metal because if you make a mistake it does more harm than the original accident. With that, he pulled out a large hydraulic ram and began forcing the metal on the driver side fender back into shape.

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After spending a few minutes pushing out the major dent, he switched to the passenger side. He figured the damage was less severe on that side and once he had it back in shape, he could use the curves as a pattern for the drivers side. Amazingly - at least to me - he had the passenger fender pushed out and hammered into shape in about 20 minutes!

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He then made templates to transfer to the other fender.

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He then resumed work on the driver side fender. We had to remove the radiator and shell to get access to damage that occured along area where the fender met the frame. Ed then had to remove the thick coat of 50s era undercoating on the underside of the fender in order to work the metal. A soft torch and the heat made it easy to scrape the coating off.


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An hour later the drivers fender was totally roughed into shape. I really couldn't believe it. We did find some rust at the bottom of the fender above the frame. it's going to have to be replaced, as are two small sections along the front lip of both feners where the metal ripped away from the wire former underneath.

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Both fenders were starting to look pretty good at this point.

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All the fine work is next. Ed will remove all the paint and work both fenders with hammer and dolly. He says I shouldn't need any filler when he's finished.

Edited by Taylormade (see edit history)

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While Ed further massaged the fenders, I took off the back bumper - we removed the front before work on the fenders - and the luggage rack. I then removed the back fenders - Ed will work on them off the car.

The driver side fender had been removed or replaced at some point. I could tell by the replacement bolts and the discovery of more modern fender welt between the fender and body. This fender was damaged when Dave Taylor, on of my fraternity brothers, backed the Dodge out of the frat house driveway and into a parked car. We lost the taillight with that mishap and pushed the fender in. After seeing what Ed has done to the front fenders, this should be a cakewalk. There is rust damage - major holes - around the tail light stalk mount. Also, the rusted area where the fender contacted the body may have to be replaced. We'll know better after the fender is blasted and we find out how deep the rust is.

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The passenger side is in better shape - just a slight crease near the back. The rusted area may have to be replaced on this one. too.

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The only body rust I could find was this small section in the passenger side wheel well. It's an easy fix - just a flat replacement section we'll TIG in.

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I forgot to show you this in the previous post. Ed has these 20s era fender tools for beading and other repairs. Very cool.

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We made some interesting discoveries along the way. The car was definitely painted black.

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But it's not the original paint job. We found sanding marks and other clues that this was a repaint - done sometime before I bought the car in 1965.

Another, even more fascinating discovery involved the front fenders. Ed decided he'd need to take off the driver side fender to work the area along the frame. The rear of the fender is actually under the frame, but we figured we could just lift the front of the body slightly and slide the sucker out. That was when we discovered that the front fenders are riveted to the frame! There is one large screw-head bolt that apparently was used to line up the fender, then three rivets around that bolt and more rivets at the back of the fender. So the frame is coming off before we can resume work on the front fenders. This begs the question of how the fenders were painted. I can't see the factory riveting a freshly painted fender to the frame. So what was the order? Paint, rivet? Rivet, paint? Painting the fenders after they had been riveted to the frame seems like a stretch. Anway. we'll probably turn down some carriage blots to match the rivet diameter.

The next step is for Ed to finish the fenders. By the time I make the next trip a week from today, all four fenders will be finished and the body will be loosened from the frame, ready to lift of and allow us get to work on the rusted area below the doors.

The car looks a little like its been vandalized at the moment, but we are making good progress.

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More later.

Edited by Taylormade (see edit history)

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