Pete in PA

My official 1936 D2 sedan resurrection thread

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Having started two threads previously (Fair price for a 36 Dodge sedan & Opening windshield) I will now use this thread for all future updates.

 

To recap, on Labor Day of 2016 I was approached by a neighbor who said that he had "an old car" that he wanted out of his basement garage and he wondered if I was interested in it.  That old car turned out to be relatively solid and complete 1936 D2 5 passenger sedan owned by his wife's ex-husband who had left it in that garage untouched since about 1984.  I've attached some pics of the car as I found it.

 

After about 2 months of slow negotiations with the car owner I managed to buy it and immediately moved it to a nearby rented garage.

 

I intend to work on this car with my 10 YO son who already has some experience with me on the subject of "fixing cars."

 

I flat-towed the Dodge to the garage with the help of a neighbor, using only the parking brake to slow down and maintain some tension on the tow strap on downhill sections of the trip.  

 

Sadly, the weather took a dramatic turn for the worse days after I got the car in its new home so I haven't made much progress on it.  I did order and receive a new dash/body wiring harness from Rhode Island Wiring.

 

On we go...

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Edited by Pete in PA
abandon photobucket link for embedded pics (see edit history)

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My Dodge's back seat and floor contained many boxes of "stuff" from a 1936 Plymouth sedan.  This Plymouth had, apparently sat in a field for decades rusting away before being purchased by the Dodge's previous owner and stripped of everything worth saving.  Highlights, bumpers, hoods, radiator, headlamp housings, instrument cluster, starter, generator, carburetor, air cleaner, emblems, some trim bits, a wheel, and more.  Here are some pics of the boxes and things in those boxes.

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Edited by Pete in PA (see edit history)

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This afternoon I managed to spend an hour at the Dodge, continuing to remove boxes from the interior, and see exactly what they contained.  While most had bits salvaged from the 36 Plymouth, a couple did have parts removed from the Dodge and even some parts from another D2.  It looks like the PO or even the one before him had started to accumulate parts to replace damaged or missing items.

 

I got down to the last big box on the back seat and hadn't made any really exciting discoveries when I finally hit paydirt.  A small cardboard box contained a slew of trim strip retaining clips and that made me smile.  I knew that many clips were missing from the already removed trim strips and I wondered where I would be able to find replacement clips.  The answer, apparently, was *inside the car.*

 

The big box also held three pieces of potmetal that were once the grill's bottom framework (around the crank hole cover).  So repairing the3 grill I already have is an option, I guess.  I also found a broken crank hole cover and a complete, unbroken cover.

 

I was thrilled to see one of the short trim strip pieces, the piece that does between the hood and the front door.  This was the first sighting for one of those.  Sadly, i don't think I got both of these short pieces.

 

I'm baffled by a couple of things in that last box and looking for help identifying them.  They're in the last picture.  At first I thought I had left and right pieces of trim with one side broken into 3 pieces but that's not the case.  One item is a single, stamped piece while the other is definitely 3 separate pieces.  These fit on a curved surface and are almost the size of the horn opening on the fender.  Any ideas?

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2 hours ago, Pete in PA said:

This afternoon I managed to spend an hour at the Dodge, continuing to remove boxes from the interior, and see exactly what they contained.  While most had bits salvaged from the 36 Plymouth, a couple did have parts removed from the Dodge and even some parts from another D2.  It looks like the PO or even the one before him had started to accumulate parts to replace damaged or missing items.

 

I got down to the last big box on the back seat and hadn't made any really exciting discoveries when I finally hit paydirt.  A small cardboard box contained a slew of trim strip retaining clips and that made me smile.  I knew that many clips were missing from the already removed trim strips and I wondered where I would be able to find replacement clips.  The answer, apparently, was *inside the car.*

 

The big box also held three pieces of potmetal that were once the grill's bottom framework (around the crank hole cover).  So repairing the3 grill I already have is an option, I guess.  I also found a broken crank hole cover and a complete, unbroken cover.

 

I was thrilled to see one of the short trim strip pieces, the piece that does between the hood and the front door.  This was the first sighting for one of those.  Sadly, i don't think I got both of these short pieces.

 

I'm baffled by a couple of things in that last box and looking for help identifying them.  They're in the last picture.  At first I thought I had left and right pieces of trim with one side broken into 3 pieces but that's not the case.  One item is a single, stamped piece while the other is definitely 3 separate pieces.  These fit on a curved surface and are almost the size of the horn opening on the fender.  Any ideas?

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They go between the headlamp stand and grill shell. Also a seal is placed between the stand and trim. It is a thick seal and is needed.

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9 minutes ago, keiser31 said:

The piece with the five fins in the last photo is a crankhole cover for a 1937 DB, I believe.

I think he was asking about these parts.

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Just now, countrytravler said:

I think he was asking about these parts.

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Yep....I knew what he was asking. I just thought I would let him know what the other item is.

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Oh, wow, Dave!  The pics you posted of the broken grills on a sheet of cardboard make me feel like a lottery winner!  I'll have to print that pic in about 8 1/2 x 11 size.   When I feel sad and unfortunate about the condition of my car's grill I will look at that pic and be cheered up immediately.

 

And how many thousands does it cost to make a repair like the one you've shown?  I really would like to put a face back on my D2.  It's the only part of the car that was taken apart and left that way.  I suspect that the car took a light hit to the front end, a PO started repairs, got discouraged, sold the car, and at least one subsequent owner did the same.

 

And thanks for solving the mystery of those trim pieces so quickly.  It never occurred to me that there would be trim pieces at that location.  Any idea why one side would be a single pieces and the other 3 pieces?  A running production change?

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keiser31, thanks for clearing up the five-fin mystery.  I wasn't sure if that piece was a broken off part of the D2's side grill or a separate piece.  Now I know.  And I wonder how it got where it is.  I guess it just reinforces the idea that a PO started to gather parts for front end repairs and got the five-fin piece as part of a package deal.

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The "v" shaped pieces do go between the headlamp stand and the grille shell but there is no gasket between them. The thick gasket goes between the lamp bucket and the stand. There are 2 different types, one with an internal metal stiffener and one without. The reason that one of the trim pieces is in 3 sections is because it's an early production part. I have 2 of those from my one car built in Dec. '35 and all my later cars use a 1 piece trim. I would try to find another 1 piece if the car is later production. I have a couple of each I think.There were numerous changes on trim  and some other parts during production that many guys won't see unless you have several cars built at different times and in different factories. On the grille, that's going to be a costly repair. I paid $1000 to have my grille center repaired and plated 10 years ago! The crank cover cost about $500 and the ram was another $500. I had Paul's Plating in Mars PA do the job. At first the ram and grille center hit one another due to too much plating on the peak of the center, but they repaired it at no cost! I fortunately got one NOS grille side section, which was like new, with one of my parts cars but the other side I had to do a lot of work to. The stainless trim is the hardest because it was so easily damaged. I replaced some strips with good strips from other grilles, not an easy task,and had to do extensive work to fill pits on the fins. It came out ok but not perfect. Try to find some that are fairly straight if you need to. The trim retainers that hold the outer trim to the shell are NLA, so try to save them as it's difficult to find a clip that works well with it. I also have 2 full sets of side trim , with the exception of the short bars,and many extra clips available should you need something. Have fun with your project!

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J is correct about the seal. It goes between the bucket and stands. It was a long day typing. LOL, We get have the reproduction crank cover, it's much better than the original because of the material that is used. This grill shell with the Ram was about 3K. You can have about 6 to 8k just in the grill with the headlamps. BUT they are one of the prettiest grills for a low-end car from its time. You are lucky that you have most parts for your grill. Below are grills removed from about 7, 36 and 37 Dodge cars and trucks that we parted out. The grill area is always broken. Pictures is a 36 Coupe from a show that I attended a couple of years ago in Detroit.

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Edited by countrytravler (see edit history)

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Wow Dave, If I ever have a grill issue at least I know who to come see. Not to hijack the thread, but speaking of grills, does anyone have a grill guard for sale? The big one that looks like a shark tooth?

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Not much going on with my D2 project since it's in an unheated garage and it seems like everyone in the family has been sick multiple times since Christmas.  I'm off work today and home with a sick 10 YO.  Took time to surf ebay and came up with item 272021271519

 

It's a Steel Rubber Products swing out windshield seal kit for 35, 36, 37 WPC cars.  Steele p/n 70-1276-52 for about $175

 

Anyone have personal experience with this part?  From the last work I did on my D2 I know that I will need this part and I'd buy it now to have it on hand for later this year.

 

Happy 2017 to everyone!

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And then there's this complete front axle assembly located in nearby Delaware.  ebay item 361856709026  Seller says it's from a 35 or 36 or 37 Plymouth.  I'm wondering if he's right about that and whether it might be wise to grab this for spare parts.  Looks like he has doors from the same car so that might help to ID the vehicle year.  I'm not familiar enough with the front suspension on my D2 to know if this looks like a match.  Maybe I'll hop over to the garage to take a look and snap a few pics.  Could be fun since we're having wind gusts to 45 mph at the moment.  Weird winter so far...

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Thee's actually 2 different seals on the windshield. The outer perimeter seal on the frame itself, that you can buy for a lot less at Restoration Specialties in PA by the foot and a 2 piece inner perimeter seal that you will have to get from Steele. It's listed under The Chrysler section in the book but the application is for Plymouth I think. It is not exactly the same as the Dodge seal and the lower seal.

 The special seal between the dash and the body must be modified as the holes are in the wrong location. I don't think that the outer perimeter seal is quite correct either as it's not deep enough the go over the welded flange around the windshield opening. I haven't gotten that far to know for sure. RS also makes new pedal pads moulded over a steel core like the original and also makes the upper door bumpers that go in the "B" pillar. The steel wedge shaped washers that hold the bumpers in place are not available, you'll have to fabricate those if needed.The outer frame seal could be either Steele's no. 40-0036-52 or 40-0018-52 and both are available from RS for a lot less.

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Yo Pete, you have a real nice car that is going to take Big Bucks to restore to a Real nice car. If it was mine I would spend my my on the things I need before buying axle or doors that you already have. Just a thought. Good luck Pete

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You should not really have a need to replace any axles unless one is damaged. I have seen the lower spring mount plates break off of the front axle. This happened to mine but I just had them welded back on. Most all of the suspension parts are easily obtainable from dealers or others who have these cars.

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Spent a few hours with my 36 earlier this week.  I have the broken windshield out and started to remove the rubber seal in the body opening.  As I suspected a PO improvised a foam strip seal at the top of the opening and that turned to goo.  All the rest of the seal is rock hard and coming off in small chunks as I carefully chip away at it.  It appears to me that the whole dash has to come out to replace that windshield seal.  True?  And it also appears that I'll have to drop the steering column to remove the dash.  Is this true?

 

I guess the bigger question is whether the 34/35/36 Dodge passenger car "maintenance" manual I see on ebay for around $40 is really the repair/service manual I need to answer all the disassembly questions I'll have myself?

 

I also spent a little time with some polishing compound on the right front door, windshield pillar, and part of the roof.  The black paint cleaned up remarkably well and is very shiny.  There are a many, many tiny pits/chips though which may be a "feature" of that paint aging.  It does appear that at least that part of the car wears original paint, which really surprises me.  The hood pieces have definitely been primed in dark gray, also the top of the cowl and the grill shell.

 

In another development I installed a couple of trim clips in the short piece of trim that goes between the front door and the hood.  I could not get the clips to snap into the sheet metal and was confused for a minute or two.  I then discovered that you first install the clips in the body and then snap the trim strip onto the clips.  Lesson learned.

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Edited by Pete in PA (see edit history)

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The dash does have to be removed to get rid of the old seal. I would try to get the Master maintenance manual for the '34-'36 Dodge cars and also a Motor's manual for that year because not all technical things are covered in the maintenance manual. You can't have enough tech books. The two clips that hold the small trim piece to the cowl is different that the clips that hold the main trim on. If you notice, the two holes for that piece are larger in diameter than the holes in the doors and body. Those two pieces use a larger arrow shaped clip similar to the ones that hold the thin hood strips on. All clips should install into the trim prior to installation except the clips that hold the trim around the grill opening and the side trim along the running board edge. The clips for the shell trim are no longer available, so if you have decent one, most are rusted, remove them very carefully. The running board clips are available in new old stock at Restoration Specialties in PA. Glad to hear that you are moving along, chatter about these cars have basically dried up on this forum. I haven't heard from any other '36 Dodge guys for quite some time.

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My 10 YO son's schoolyear ended yesterday and he has been bugging me to "work on the Dodge."  So today we went to the storage unit and had some fun.  He polished the fender and was very excited about it.

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While there I took some pics of some of the the 36 Plymouth parts that came with the Dodge.  Supposedly the PO bought a 36 Plymouth parts car and stripped it before sending the carcass to China.  These are the big parts that I'm sure I'll never need for my Dodge.  I'll keep bits like the starter, generator, carburetor, etc. because I figure they're the same.  No what am I going to do with this 36 Plymouth stuff?  ebay? Hershey?  

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