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1926 Dodge Brothers Doodlebug


jari12
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I was wondering if anyone could tell me which edition of the "Book of Information Dodge Brothers Motor Vehicles" would be correct for my car.  I was lucky enough to find the 18th edition dated June 1926 in a local antique store.  It is great to read but does not include my engine.  My car was produced in the second half of 1927 after July 1 and has the fast four motor.  I'm assuming  the 19th edition is the one I need?  Any suggestions for where to  seek one out, are reprints available?  Thanks for any insight.

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I think you may be out of luck, I don’t think there’s a lot around for late 27 onwards fours.  There’s a operation and care manual but I don’t think there’s a book of information.  I’ve found my way with bits of information from various sources.

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8 hours ago, nearchoclatetown said:

It MAY be the 19th edition. You want the edition printed JUST before your car was built. The club's collection does not have a 19th edition, I just looked at the DBC website. And I have not found or even seen a 19th. Good luck finding one. 

Thank you for checking.

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16 minutes ago, RichBad said:

I think you may be out of luck, I don’t think there’s a lot around for late 27 onwards fours.  There’s a operation and care manual but I don’t think there’s a book of information.  I’ve found my way with bits of information from various sources.

Thank you for the response.  I'm trying to get up the nerve to pull the head to free up two stuck valves and look everything over and drop the pan to clean it and check out the oil pump etc. before trying to get it fired back up.  It turns over by hand and the previous owner said the guy he got it from had it running.  Anything drastically different from the earlier engines I should know about or be ready for that you would suggest from your experience? I've owned it now for 10 years (shocks me when I see that) and it didn't look like it had run in quite a while when I got what was left of it.  This is my favorite project to day dream about but the one I get the least done on.  Most of my automotive repair experience is with AMC's ramblers and then jeeps and has been limited to remove and replace and maintenance.

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They are pretty straightforward.  Head is quite easy to remove - pretty similar to the early ones I expect - just if you have have the dissy in the head make a note of the orientation of the body and the rotor.  Sump also very easy (just don’t overtighten the bolts).  There’s quite a few pics of my strip and rebuild on my restoration thread that may help.  There are some bits in the mechanics instruction manual

that are helpful (although mostly applicable to the earlier engines).

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I'm sure l'm not alone in having too many projects going at one time.  I have jeep commando torn apart in the middle of my shop, a garden to get ready for planting, and we've been working on my daughters camper so she has a place to live while she looks for more permanent housing where her new job is about to start.  All that without counting my job.

So just to gain a little more space in the shop so I can start digging into the DB engine I decided  to work on the rims and tires of the DB to get a pile of hardware, a pile of tubes and flaps, a stack of rims, and a stack of tires to combine into one stack.  Got the rims primed and painted, the hardware through rust removal, and cleaned loads of rust off the flaps and tubes. (and got the camper done and the garden tilled).  Three day weekends with nice weather are awesome.  Most of the rims were in pretty good shape the spare is pretty pitted.  I used a rust converting primer, then sprayed on cold galvanizing.  The galvanizing spray looked just like gray primer so I painted over that with Rustoleum aluminum finish.  The wire wheels will be a light straw yellow but I wanted the silver color for the rims to look somewhat original.  All the hardware and four of the rims are from Kelsey Hayes wood wheels which I was able to buy.  The pitted spare rim is original to my car and the only one that  was salvageable.  I have some of the hardware and rings from the wire wheels but not a complete set.  Wire wheels getting painted soon.

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1 hour ago, stakeside said:

Interesting project.

Your original photos were of a truck  chassis with 20” steel spokes. What are the 21” rims for?

Hi Stakeside,

In my original post, I was trying to figure out what I had bought.  It was on the 21" wire wheels in those original pictures.  DWollam identified it as a sports roadster.  Since then I  found the serial number on the frame and it is definitely made late in 1927.  The 21" wire wheels don't seem to be very common.  They are on a six lug bolt hub and used a nickel plated ring instead of individual clamps at each of the clamp bolt locations.  Thankfully they share the same outer rim as the 21" wood wheels because I was able to purchase a set of the more common wood wheels to get rims and the hardware.  Sorry for the confusion.  Even the title of this thread is wrong now that I know it's a 1927 not a 1926 which is what I was told by the previous owner.

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Because of the lug bolt pattern they probably share the same hub as my wire wheels.  They would have been a possibility if I hadn't been able to save my rims.  I bet the steel spoke wheels aren't that easy to find either.  Mine take a really unique bolt that I can't find anywhere.  I'm brainstorming ways to try to come up with a substitute.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I got new tubes delivered this week.  Mounted my spare with an old tube and a re-used cleaned up tire flap earlier in the week.  Mounted all four tires with new tubes this afternoon and shot a coat of sealer on the wire wheels.  I made new tire flaps from the old tubes.  Yep, I'm cheap.  They are so much better than what was in the tires when I pulled them apart.  I had a canvas/felt flap that was almost solid with rust, two flaps made from old tubes that were twisted messes, and one really heavy flap that turned out OK once it was cleaned up and de-rusted which I repurposed for the spare. Two of my tires had motorcycle tubes in them - right diameter but way too small,  they made great flaps though.  I wanted to snap some pics but when I turned my phone camera on to take a couple pics I had no battery left and my phone shut down.  I'll shoot a couple of pics in the morning and throw some color on the wheels tomorrow and post some pics after that.  I should call the car Christine since her renovation is moving along the same way (no plan and cosmetics done before anything else).  It's just nice to have fewer piles of stuff to work around now that tires, rims and tubes are all together.  Should have room to start digging in to the engine soon.

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Posted (edited)

Got my tires mounted with new tubes and sprayed some color on my wire wheels.  Don't look too close. This is a make it look a little prettier while I make it run "refurbishment" not an Aussie quality restoration. Hard to believe that two days ago (Thursday morning) I woke up to a temp of 24 degrees F and six inches of snow and today I was painting outside with a temp. in the mid 60's.

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Edited by jari12 (see edit history)
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Hi Jari,

You asked about photos of different bodies on DB cars, here is a car with a boat tail modelled on a Stutz.


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This was hand made here in Australia. Not as easy as you might think.

 

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Enjoy your project, there is no hurry.

 

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Posted (edited)

I've saved pictures of that car already.  I like it!  I got mine with the original cowl and hood. I have since found a radiator shroud, headlights, and all four fenders from 23- 27 cars.  They all need work, but they were reasonably priced.  I m planning a boat tail for the back of the body.  I've been all over the board in looking up options.  I really like the idea of wood for at least the top deck but want steel for the sides of the boat tail.  My fenders are rough and were cut (I think) to fit over independent suspension up front on a hot rod before I got them.  That keeps making me waiver back and forth on whether to go open wheel or full fender.  I like the boat tail rear either way.  My frame was cut as well.  I can't find a reasonably priced frame anywhere close to me so right now I am planning on using the rear half of a 1933 Willy's frame which i bought cheap to get rear frame arches and springs ( it was a trailer ).  Using that frame to extend mine makes the boat tail obtainable, affordable and at least use parts from the right time frame.  Thanks for the pics, I appreciate the photos of it during construction and with the other paint scheme. Love the car.

Edited by jari12 (see edit history)
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I do need to give the new Romar a call. They are fairly close to me.  I think I might  have met George at my local Antiques Fair (Bouckville) just before he bought Romar. 

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4 hours ago, Minibago said:

Both are late 1927 builds so 1928 128 fast fours.

I thought when you first posted those pics that it was all one car that had been repainted at some point.  Pretty cool that there's two Fast Four boat tails out there.  They are good looking cars.  Pretty much what I have been dreaming about since I brought mine home. Thanks for the inspiration.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Posted (edited)

I got my  wheels mounted inside the rims.  It was kind of a pain to get everything balanced and tight.  I have to imagine that it would be much worse with the wheel on the car.  Trying to come up with enough lug bolts to mount them on the car. I need to roll it to where I can degrease the engine and drop the oil pan.  I put  separate post up about the lug bolts and have reached out to a few places to try to find the bolts or a substitute.  I may have to check out what it would cost to get some machined/made.  Getting the wheels mounted has freed up some space in the garage and looking at them is getting me motivated.

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Edited by jari12
typo (see edit history)
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Hi Jari,

 

     Please provide a photo, the length, diameter and thread length / size / type of the bolt to ensure anything offered with be suitable.

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17 hours ago, Minibago said:

Hi Jari,

 

     Please provide a photo, the length, diameter and thread length / size / type of the bolt to ensure anything offered with be suitable.

The bolt is 1/2"-20 TPI.  About 1 3/8" total length with 3/4" threaded.  "Keys" are 3/16" wide and 3/8" long.  Head is 15/16" wide at widest point.  Nut is 3/4" .  The dome is what shows externally, the keys go through the wheel and slot into keyways in the hub.  Nut goes behind the hub in front and behind the brake drum(which is behind the hub) in rear.  Each wheel takes six.  I have enough for one axle. Any help would be appreciated.

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 The picture below is one I found on the internet.  It has the same wheels that I have. It's how the car was assembled.  Originally a nickel plated ring would be in place of the six locking tabs that lock the rim to the wheel. The outer rim is removable like on a wood wheel.  I replaced my rotten outer rims with ones I took from a set of 21" wood spoke wheels.  When you change the tire the wire wheel stays on the car.  To take the wire wheel off you have to pull the hub to get to the lug nuts in the rear, you can access the back of the hub in front.264420855__57.JPG.5ac1557b3a043f10fe61228c8c66956c.JPG

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7 hours ago, nearchoclatetown said:

Don't think I have seen that before.

I've had my car for 10 years now and have not gotten much done on it.  Kids, house, work, illness - basically life seems to get in the way.  However, I have diligently watched for parts on ebay, craigslist, and this forum.  I have collected lots of bits and pieces for the car but have never seen anything for the wire wheels come up.  I did purchase a full set of wood wheels to get the outer rims and hardware for mounting them. The rims worked out great and I was able to pass the wood wheels on to someone else as a spare set.  I have also searched for pictures of wire wheeled cars like mine.  I have found pics of a few (6-8) DB's with wire wheels.  Of those only 2-3 have the same type as mine.  Two were identified as 1927 sports roadsters which I think my car was (1927 model 124 sports roadster).  My cars frame serial number is A-931-xxx which would put it somewhere between June-July of 1927.  The person I learned the most from was DWollam on this forum.  He helped me identify what my car is, confirmed that the wood wheel rims would work on the wire wheels, and explained that there are two types of wire wheels both of which had six lug bolts.  Fun to have something rare but a pain when you can't find parts.

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Started digging in to my car this week.  Pulled the hood and fenders off. Pulled the radiator shroud and straightened out the worst of the dents.  Straightened cooling fins on the radiator.  Found mouse nests packed into the top radiator tank and pulled them out.  I have had a couple of stuck valves since I got it and never took the time to see what was going on.  Now have three stuck valves so I pulled the head and found more mouse nests in the water neck and above the valves.  Valves were really rusty but pistons and cylinders look amazingly good.  Valves were packed with pink fiberglass insulation.  Pulled the exhaust and intake manifold and found more mouse nests.  Once all of the insulation was cleaned out and everything was soaked in PB blaster and deep creep all of the valves are moving.  I will still need new valves but at least everything is free.  Only one casualty.  I broke the spark advance arm off my distributer.  Hopefully I can repair it but if not I will have to find a new one.  It's a nice hurdle to have crossed, I have been putting off pulling the head for a long time.  It wasn't that bad. The center most head bolt was really rusty and was keeping it stuck down.  I had the whole head up 1/4" to a 1/2" and it was still stuck in the middle, made me think there was something about the distributer hole that I had to free up but it was just that one stud.  When I looked under the head through the 1/4" gap I could see that bolt was still dry with rust when all of the others had penetrating oil soaking them.  I sprayed deep creep under the head onto that bolt and let the head settle back down.  Did that a few times and then it came right up.  Amazing that one head bolt could hold the whole thing in place.

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Good to hear you are making progress. I pulled a head about two years ago that took three days. All the bolts cavities were rusted full. I sprayed lots of juice and used heat from a propane torch, put tension on it with my brass wedges and let it cool lots of time. The same engine, when I got it, was the only one I have ever pulled the pan on. It had set for decades with no starter and an open hole. When I got the pan off I could not see the crank. It was completely enclosed with cotton in the shape of the pan. No idea where the cotton came from.  

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It's amazing how industrious the little monsters can be.  My high school car was a 1968 Rambler American.  It was my first project car and I worked a lot of late nights on it to get it running so I could avoid the school bus. One winter I got the bright idea of throwing a couple of 50 pound sacks of horse grain into the trunk for weight.  I got pulled over mid winter for having no tail lights.  When I opened the trunk the feed bags were empty and all of the insulation on the wiring to the rear of my car was chewed off.  I ended up having to re-wire the whole car.  I found all the grain when I pulled the rear seat.  They had moved it all from the trunk into the rear seat and pulled all of the padding out of the seat at the same time.  Terrible mess and a good lesson.  

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Got all of my valves out.  At first glance, some of them looked really rusty.  Soaked in evaporust for 24 hours with occasionally pulling them out and wire brushing.  I think they cleaned up amazingly well.  Couldn't see any markings or even the holes for the lapping tool.  Now I can see that they are numbered in order from front to back and that the exhaust valves are marked with "Thompson Oilcrome".  Pistons are also numbered from front to back and have a big & symbol.  All of the pistons look good.  Number 3 was the worst  but it only has staining.  You can see from the head that number three had a lot of rust.  Heading out to meet a friend with access to valve grinding equipment.  going to regrind the valves and see if all of them are able to be reused.  Will also borrow the equipment to clean up the valve seats in the block.  Have a couple of pics below.

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9 minutes ago, nearchoclatetown said:

I know you don't want to hear it but throw those valves away. They are two piece valves, have a cast iron head swedged onto the steel stem. If not all at least some. Get new ones. 

Thanks for the response.  Were they the original valves from the factory?  Did DB number the valves and pistons?  What makes them so bad?  Sorry for all of the questions but I find it very interesting.  It was fun to get them all cleaned up and see the markings appear.

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My understanding is that the 2 piece valves have a history of not staying together and having a broken off valve head rattling around in the chamber may do a number on things...

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47 minutes ago, MikeC5 said:

My understanding is that the 2 piece valves have a history of not staying together and having a broken off valve head rattling around in the chamber may do a number on things...

Thanks.  Do you know if this type of valve was standard when new or are they cheap replacements that were put in at some point?

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I searched for info on the Thompson oilcrome valves but didn't find much.  I did find the link below which is about Thompson himself and  mentions his role in developing valves for the automotive industry.  His company became known as TRW.  Fun stuff.   

 

https://case.edu/ech/articles/t/thompson-charles-edwin

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They were the original valves. Your engine must have been apart at some time to be numbers as factory didn't do that. The heads are known to fall off as has been said or break as mine did. It sounds ugly and does ugly things to the pistons. 

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