vicpanza

1937 Dodge MC project finally done

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Well, after five years and more $$ then I will admit to, the '37 is about done. Still some minor work to do but have been able to drive it and do some adjusting, etc. Runs like a truck and is rather noisy. 

 

Have one question for the group. I was able to adjust the clutch pedal to get better shifting without grinding while going up. This is supposed to be synchronized but does not seem to want to down-shift from 3rd to 2nd. Can get it in if going very slow (I also double clutch when shifting). I added some STP to the transmission to add some viscosity to the 85W-140 gear oil. Didn't seem to make too much difference. 

 

I believe that just about every nut, bot and screw were removed and all parts reconditioned or replaced. Full engine rebuild with hardened valve seats and balanced. Rebuild the steering gear box and used NOS gauges. Cloth covered wiring harness from RI Wiring. I ended up having a new floor fabricated here in Pittsburgh and then replaced the head panel and tailgate. All new glass and rebuilt the door remotes and window risers (had new gears fabricated as the pot metal ones were shot). Used all SS hardware with lettering ground off and slotted screws. To the best of my knowledge, this is a full stock restoration to original factory specs. Tried to keep it correct. 

 

Thanks to so many of you who offered help and advice, especially Jim who has been down to help hang fenders and brainstorm. If in Pittsburgh, stop over for truck rides.

 

 

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It looks fantastic! good job. :) at least on the '38 I'm owned by, there are no synchros on 2nd and 3rd, and never were, according to the shop manual. but is constant mesh, with 
"
"dog teeth" just no synchros...

i think double- clutching is a necessity, but I don't have much driving experience with it yet... only once 14 years ago. I hope to gain more soon. :)

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Thanks. I was surprised that I could drive it almost everywhere in 3rd gear (here is Pittsburgh area with lots of hills) as it has incredible torque. Don't know why I was under the impression that it was synchroed into second gear?? Guess there is no power steering either:)

 

 

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Yup they do have torque :) I have seen them described as synchroed as well  in some books, but I have learned there are many unique things about these trucks, the transmission being one of them. and who needs power steering ? :D at east they have air conditioning... sort of.

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AWESOME  looking truck! Transmission (3 speed) in my 38 has never been touched. It works good but needs double clutching and will still grind a bit if I try to shift quickly. I'm getting good at 3-2 downshift when slowing to make corners-- clutch in and shift into neutral while braking, rev engine just right with clutch out, clutch in, and it will slip into 2nd perfectly as I make corner. 

Couple questions-- I was just reading & talking running boards on the Facebook group. Are your running boards bare steel repo parts (with pattern like original rubber covering)  painted / coated black? Looks great whatever they are! Seems like there is NO way to replace the original 1/4" thick original rubber covering? What is considered a "proper restoration"? The original steel running boards are plain. All the pattern / ribs are in the rubber and just covering originals with universal ribbed belting would not show the borders along edges and front /back.

The originals as far as I can tell had to be made by injecting hot liquid rubber into a mold with the steel running board acting as the bottom of mold. The rubber bonded to steel running board surface (which is full of small holes) and they kept pumping rubber in until it squished out all these holes and formed little nubs to help locate and secure covering once cool? 

Also-- are your interior door panels original? I see they have the "3 line" horizontal trim markings like originals. I was under the impression that the repo liners were just plain flat stock without the lines? 

THANKS! 

Edited by John Dunn (see edit history)

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Thanks for the comments regarding the transmission. Need some more time on this and optimistic I can get her to shift down. I did disassemble and clean this installing new seals and gaskets. 

 

My running boards were original. A solid steel base that had a rubber coating vulcanized to the surface, just as you described. There was an old guy in TN by the name of Huntly Acuff who did these using original style dies, but believe he passed away. The only other company I am aware of in the US who does them is RAM Restorations in VA (Charlie Little). 

 

The interior door cards and other covers are repos from QuietRide in Stockton, CA. The panels are very close to the originals in surface texture with leatherette like finish, and lines pressed in certain areas as the originals. Given my obsession with my project, I ended up making paper templates of the door cards and front kick panels and they cut them to size for me. We then drilled the mounting holes on site and painted with our grey paint. The folks ate Quiet Ride were really great about working with me on this basis. (the original door cards they sent didn't fit to my liking and they insisted I just keep them and they made me custom cards to my templets).

 

I did the same thing with my floor mat. Bought stock material from Restoration Specialties in Winder, PA, and made a template for that as well. Got a nice fit. 

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Real nice work on the truck.

I have a question about the area where the front end of the rear fender meets the rear end of the running board splash apron and box filler panel.   

Mocking up those parts leaves a large gap between them at the point where they meet.

Is there a filler piece of some sort  to close up the misalignment gap?     I can't tell from the photos.

Thanks,     John

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When I was assembling, I also had that concern. Using a few clamps, I was able to pull the fender and running board into position. The splash pan on one side of my truck fit perfectly, the other was straight and there was a large gap between it and the fender. I was able to work it into shape/position and get some bolts in it. Once tighten down, it all lined up and came together. Hope this helps.

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I think I found the problem. The rubber top of the re pop running board is 5/8" thick.  

I'll probably modify running board frame brackets to lower the position of the boards which will also bring the fender down to fit the apron. 

Thanks for the tips.   John102_2761.thumb.JPG.bf5bb4028ee9e7ce0b9cc2fa4f3a6a12.JPG

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Vic, 

If I'm reading correctly the running boards are OEM. Is that correct?  Was there welting between the rear fenders and aprons when you disassembled it?   John

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Actually I realize the earlier trucks with rubber covered running boards don't have fender welting around the running boards ,its not necessary. so may not have it there either. so sorry for any confusion. ;)  I'm interested if Vic knows as well. :) 

 

 

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Yes, there are the original running boards, and believe there was not welting between the ends of the running boards and fenders (front or back). But, my truck was in such bad condition that much of this stuff was gone. The fronts of my rear fendesr had been chopped off. Attached a few pics of what I startered with

Dodge 37-2.JPG

Dodge 37-7.JPG

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Wow Vic . going from that to the flawless machine you have now means it really must be an obsession.:)  amazing. did you save the  rear fenders, or find replacements?

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I found a donor truck that someone was chopping and took all the sheet metal, except for the bed. Sold the cab and other parts, but used those fenders, rear and front. This was the first full restoration I did and got kind of carried away. Used to restore antique toy trains, but it was much simpler given their size. It was an obsession, but seeking help for that.

 

Have a 1961 Nash Metro and  Triumph TR3 in line for next projects. But, getting smarter about those, and doing more work myself, and finding better sources for parts. 

 

Thanks for your note.

 

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Ahh  that's lucky, finding a donor. i had to piece the left front fender back together, using parts from a '36 car. I won't admit how much time I spent ;) . and I confess its still not perfect. and  I've had the obsession since about 1991, so good luck with curing it. :D I never will be. 

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Great job Vic. Many thanks for helping me as well on my own project. Especially on some much needed parts..

Maybe just a few more ?? as they come up

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