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Everything posted by Taylormade

  1. It's very tight to the metal. The padding compressed to just about nothing when she stretched the material over, there is no give on the edges. The old top actually had rather thick tape all around the metal edges - I have no reason why, but it was replaced some time before I bought the car in 1965. I don't think it will be a problem. I got the material from Restoration Specialties. They list it as Sedan Decking, and I got the Smooth Grain Black. I agree, it looks very similar to the original material I have seen.
  2. Angie, my upholstery lady came over and put the fabric on my top insert. I live in a very small town, but her shop is right down the street. We had more room in my garage, so she decided to do the job here. One of the benefits of a small town, friendly folks and good service. I had kept the old material in case she needed a pattern, but it wasn't necessary - she went right to work. We put the new stuff out in the sun. It's over 90 today so it really softened up. She had the cotton padding on in no time. Then the fabric. It looks great! I forgot to take a shot of the finished job, we were practically fainting from the heat, but you get the idea. Then I went inside to cool off and ending up watching some of the HenRefurb YouTube videos on the restoration of a 31 Dodge Brothers truck. As he was explaining his problems removing the steering box (I had exactly the same problem) he mentioned he would have to remove the engine before he could get the steering box out of the frame. My blood ran cold. My freshly painted, ready to go steering box was sitting out in the garage ready to be installed. Was there enough room between the engine and the frame on my 32 to allow the steering box to fit? The thought of having to take the engine back out at this stage was heart-stopping. I rushed to the garage and steadied my nerves. I measured the distance between the engine and the frame - 9 inches. Then I measured the width of the steering box - eleven inches. Oh, no! So I grabbed the assembly and carried it over to the car. To my relief, I could angle in into the generously large hole in the frame (which is boxed up front from the factory) and slide it into place. Catastrophe avoided! I'm getting too old for stuff like that.
  3. Does the thread "Hot Rodding the Gemmer Steering Box" by idrjoe_sandiego still exist? Tried the search function and am having no luck finding it. On a similar note, has anyone found a replacement for the felt gasket on the bottom of the box? If I remember correctly this is an area that always leaks even with the gasket and in the article a tube was welded onto the bottom bracket that extended up the inner steering tube and prevented leakage around the tube hole.
  4. Luckily most of my top wood was in good shape and making the one new piece was really kind of enjoyable. Good to know there is a supplier out there for the few 32s still remaining.
  5. Finally got this job done. Two new kittens have taken up too much of our time lately, along with 95 degree temperatures in the garage, but things cooled off and I bought a pneumatic staple gun from (gasp, choke) Harbor Freight and got the chicken wire on the top frame. The staple gun actually performed flawlessly. How long it will last is always the question, but for 24 bucks I can't complain. First, the cats, These two knuckleheads are just too entertaining. For the top insert, I took everyone's' advice and removed the old chicken wire. Then I went through the tedious task of removing every tack and staple that still remained. The padding along the top bows just crumbled away, so I replaced it with felt that I glued on the bows. Then I used the new staple gun to attach the chicken wire. The staples were exactly the size and shape of the originals. The chicken wire was also identical to the original in size and spacing. I guess some things never change. It cost me six bucks for ten feet at the local farm feed store. Finished and ready for the the padding and fabric.
  6. Did you take off the side cover to see if the valves were moving? This is a five minute job. If the valves are free, you can move on to broken piston rings or other possible problems that are causing the noise and lack,of compression.
  7. Love my LEDs, but I had my first set fail when the temperature went below zero. The company replaced them, but I’m careful no to try them in very low temperatures. If you turn them on and they flicker, kill the power immediately.
  8. Remove the side cover (front one) and have someone crank the engine while you watch the valves. If one or both are not moving, you have your answer.
  9. Thanks. July or August in central Illinois should provide all the heat necessary.
  10. It definitely has two of your door latches installed! They still make the dum-dum substitute mentioned on your site. I’m trying to determine if one box is enough for my top. The word patience is certainly not one I would apply to myself. Idiotic determination, high failure rate and bouts of despair probably come closer.
  11. Finishing up the top insert. The new bow sanded and in place. I somehow managed to get a nice fit on this piece. Actually, better than the factory. Then I installed the freshly painted metal edge trim. A quick trip to the Farm Supply store for some chicken wire to replace the sections that were destroyed by a slab of ice falling off a roof onto the car in 1970, and I'll be finished and ready to install the top padding and fabric.
  12. The fenders are just too close to the body color for this to work. One of these shows up as a taxi in virtually every Warner’s Brothers film in the late thirties and into the early fifties.
  13. Making the rear bow on the top insert. I used a flush trim router bit to duplicate the original bow. This allowed me to make a piece with the exact same curve as the original. I needed to make three of these to laminate together to match the width of the bow. Luckily, two 3/4 inch and one 1/2 board equaled the two inches I needed. The second piece rough cut with a jigsaw ready to be shaped by the first finished piece.. Here are the three pieces stacked under the original. The first two pieces glued together and clamped. I'll glue the last piece tomorrow and then do a final sanding.
  14. Cruised down to Lowe’s this afternoon to pick up the 1” by 6” by 4 foot oak board to make the rear bow for my top insert. Used to pay six bucks for this item. It was 23 bucks! Thank God I bought my 4 by 8 by 3/4 inch thick marine plywood last year when it was 96 bucks. Current price $328!
  15. I confessed to using the dreaded Phillips monster earlier. Every screw is covered by padding and top material. I saw no benefit to spending the time and money to get nearly eighty screws that will never be seen - until the next guy takes it apart and discovers my mortal sin. I’m sorry - so sorry. 😀😀
  16. This is probably about as interesting as watching paint dry but it illustrates all the fiddly jobs that need to be done. Although the wood for the top insert was in reasonable condition, I went around and filled all the cracks with epoxy and clamped where necessary. In several areas the wood was not holding the screws tightly. I drilled these areas out and inserted a plug made from a wood dowel and held in place by waterproof glue. Then I attached the metal frame pieces that I cleaned and painted the other day. Once I had everything together, the frame was stable enough to remove the back bow so I can use it as a pattern for the new piece. I hope to have it finished in the next day or two and the top frame will finally be ready to get its new fabric covering.
  17. That is not original paint - not in those colors. I also believe it’s been reupholstered at some point, but I could be wrong. The fabric does not appear to be original. $7500 is all the money for this car, even on the coast. The four banger and lower top speed holds it down. A decent paint job and rechrome will make it look nice, but it still won’t be worth over ten. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a neat old car, but early thirties sedans are a dime a dozen and there are lots of them on the market as old restorations get dumped by the family after the owner passes on.
  18. As ply33 stated, this is an insert, not a structural complete roof. It’s main purpose is to fill the hole in the steel roof that is there because they couldn’t stamp a complete roof at that time - the technology wasn’t there yet - and to provide bows to staple the headliner to. The existing wood is not ash - it’s not dense enough even if it has dried out some over the decades. It is realativly soft, even softer that the poplar I have in the shop. I also have some extra marine plywood left over from the floorboard project. I may try both and see what works the best.
  19. Here's a question for you wood experts. Since the top frame I mentioned in the previous post is not really a structural element and has to take many staples when the top covering is installed, I was thinking Poplar might be a better choice than red oak which can be brittle and hard to work. The existing wood is fairly soft and doesn't appear to be oak or ash. What are your opinions on the way I should go?
  20. Started working on the wood framework of the top this weekend. I had peeled off some of the rotten top covering long ago and was pleased to find the wood seemed to be in good shape. I peeled off the rest Saturday and naturally discovered disaster in the making. Actually, most of the wood was in decent shape, but the rear bow was completely rotted at both corners and will need to be replaced. Not a job I'm looking forward to. The top with the covering removed. There is a steel framework screwed to the wood that helps reinforce the frame and provides a neat edge to fold the fabric over before it's stapled to the wood. As you can see it's rusty and the screws are in really bad shape. I removed the metal and got my first good look at the corners of the framework. The news was not good. Obviously the top had been replaced at some point before I bought the car in 1965. I'd often wondered if it still had the original fabric, but this was a replacement job - one not done very well. The corners were rotted out and someone had used something to try and repair the damage. It looks like fiberglass cloth but it was brittle and not doing the job. This back piece will have to be replaced. The rest of the wood looks pretty good. A few cracks that can be repaired with glue and clamps. All the screws will need to be replaced, they are rusting away. I'm going to commit sacrilege here and replace them with Phillips wood screws. I know, I know, not original, but they are completely covered by the padding and top material and finding slotted screws is difficult and expensive. The new screws are just slightly larger in diameter than the old ones and really lock into the wood. I cleaned up the metal edge strips and gave them a coat of paint. I'm going to have to figure out how to make the rotten piece. It has a slight curve to it, but I don't have the money or time to make a wood steaming setup for this one piece. I'm thinking the best way to go is to route out pieces using the original as a template and then laminating them together.
  21. Comparing my 32 DL with your DM, there are major differences. Although the grill shape is similar, the bottoms are different. Different bumpers, front fenders, windshield shape, one vs two cowl vents, headlight mounting, bumpers and cowl lights. My body is all steel. Since Plymouth used a four through 32, I believe there is a lot of Plymouth in your Dodge.
  22. I know little of the export model you have, but I’ve been restoring my 1932 Dodge Brothers DL sedan for the last seven years and know it quite well. 32 was the first year for the new X-frame. If your DM features a ladder frame it’s probably based on an earlier design. Is your car a six or a four? The Plymouth PA was a four and if your car is a four it’s probably based on the Plymouth.
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