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1926 Dodge Brothers Doodlebug


jari12
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I made a little more progress over the weekend.  I pulled the oil pan.  Really clear that there is not much info out there about this engine.  The oil pan info from the last book of information (18th addition) is for the previous engine and so is the Mechanic's Instruction Manual.  This pan is very different and you have to remove the flywheel inspection cover first which is not intuitive from looking at it. No oil came out when I pulled the plug.  Had to push my finger up through the sludge to get it to drain - it felt like the skin that builds up on a half full can of paint.  Sludge was about three inches deep.  The good news is that my cam and crank look good and everything is tight.  Before I saw Choclatetown's post about my valves being two piece I had already reground them.  So I went ahead and reground the seats in the block as well and lapped them.  It looks like the intake valves are two piece and that the exhaust valves are one piece.  I am going to reassemble it and see what the compression looks like and see if I can get it to fire using the old gaskets and the two piece valves.  I just want to hear it run.  Then I'll pull it apart again after I can get gaskets and valves.

 

On another topic.  I have been staring at my firewall a lot lately while pulling things apart.  It is the only part of the car (there really isn't much car at all) that still has paint.  I have read through some of the posts looking at original paint colors.  The documents that have been shared show only one paint choice at a time for the various models, is that true?  If I bought a Sport Roadster in late June/early July of 1927 did it only come in Cossack Brown over Czarina Beige?  Were the two colors listed as upper and lower mean the  body was one color and the fenders etc. were the other or was the body two tone?  Also, (back to my firewall)  is the color below Cossack Brown?  It looks olive drab to me in person.

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The fenders would have been black. The number you show would tell there were that many roadsters built, yours being the 53392nd one. There were other colors. They were painted in batches, all roadsters for a given time, say one week, were painted the same color. 

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Hi Jari,

Please don't re-fit the two piece valves, my information is that the shaft is steel but the head is cast iron the weakest point is the weld.

I was very lucky the head on mine mine broke up and rattled off down the exhaust port causing no damage.

 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Minibago said:

Hi Jari,

Please don't re-fit the two piece valves, my information is that the shaft is steel but the head is cast iron the weakest point is the weld.

I was very lucky the head on mine mine broke up and rattled off down the exhaust port causing no damage.

 

1CC0B91C-F389-4E4B-8781-E80E07B8C6E0.jpeg.ebcfbdd42845cf55e9255776df24168f.jpeg

Thanks for the warning (with visual aids).  My wife is gonna kill me.  As I sit here and add up the price for all the gaskets, valves, vacuum tank, etc. for an engine that still might need the electrical parts repaired or replaced in what is still very much only half a car.  But it is fun and I have the luxury of not  feeling guilty when I veer from originality since it is only half a car that was pretty close to being scrapped when I got it.  Now I know why it takes everybody so long to restore their cars.  They have no time to work on them because of the second job they have to take to fund the parts bill.

Edited by jari12
typo (see edit history)
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On 4/24/2021 at 7:38 PM, Minibago said:

Hi Jari,

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


9AB016ED-67DE-4852-8D73-7FDBF9346666.jpeg.5be72922c88805a19fdc11973dc589e5.jpeg

 

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

 

CE1A2127-D61E-4012-80C9-2863FBB2EE24.jpeg.d522c3d6fc3316f8d214377a88aa4103.jpeg

 

Enjoy your project, there is no hurry.

 

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Minibago,  were the rear fenders lowered lowered on these two boattails from their stock height?  It looks like they are closer (fit tighter) to the tires and are lower in relation to the front fenders.  I think it makes them look a little cleaner and racier.

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Hi Jari,

I am sorry, I am travelling over 1,000 miles away from home right now but looking at the photos, you may well be correct.

 

Note a standard 1925 Rear Mudguard (Fender) is slightly curved at the front where it attaches to the running board and the front edge is pretty much vertical initially. The rear lower edge is in line with the running board.

 

1A630746-E489-4589-9BF4-E033E4CD8BEA.jpeg.30ef278fbe3b6e396749760dd2db33ae.jpeg

 

Note that the Boat tail has no curve and is not connected to the body but to the chassis so I would agree with you that the rear guard has been cut at the front. It also looks like it has been lowered (tipped back) towards the rear.

 

0B6FF4C9-0DC5-47C3-A109-5E7CB3D83FF5.jpeg.bb3b674684e9220f8d658b1256492ccf.jpeg
 

This means that the rear lower edge is several inches lower than the running board level on the Boat tail.

 

63BAAF97-C818-45C9-83D7-D61C9D6F7555.jpeg.a8086660d9a4a319649ba9614652263d.jpeg
 

I hope this helps.

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Thanks Minibago, it helps a lot.  It's nice to have another set of eyes to confirm that I'm not seeing things.  I've been looking over the photos you shared a lot as I daydream about what to do with the rear body on mine.  

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The fenders on the white boat tail are not DB. And the black and green fenders are later, either fast four or standard. As too money, do what it right and buy the parts. They will get over the cost. My wife just saw the Visa bill last night for something I've been looking for for a few years. They go into revenge spending mode for a while but eventually get over it. 

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I've ordered new valves and gaskets to put the motor back together.  Valves are back ordered.  while waiting I'm cleaning up the engine bay.  95 years of grease, oil, and dirt that is hard as rock is not fun to chip off of evrrything.  I've also pulled the splash pans which are pretty rotten but good enough to get a pattern from so I can patch them.  I don't have "Aussie skills" or equipment so I'm keeping the engine side of the pans which have compound curves and are more intricate.  I will be forming new pieces for the frame side and bottom and attaching them to the original engine sides of the pans.  We'll see how it goes.

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Posted (edited)
On 5/21/2021 at 10:26 PM, nearchoclatetown said:

Try a can of cold oven cleaner spray on the grease. The cheapest stuff you find at dollar store. 

Tried the oven cleaner.  Worked great on the grease but also took the original paint off the engine block.  Softened the paint up almost immediately.  so much for leaving an original paint patina on the motor.  I will now have to think about new paint or repainting to look old. The oil stained original paint almost looked like olive drab in places but  also looked light mint green in places. Bought new steel to patch the splash pans today.  I will post before and after pics of the pans.  I can't find postings on this forum of Fast four engine splash pans so I will try to provide some info on them.  Right hand side is 30" long, left is 29".  Mine were mounted with the left side above the bottom frame rail and right side below the bottom of the frame rail.  How were the frame sides of the pans mounted originally? 

Edited by jari12
typoh (see edit history)
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6 hours ago, jari12 said:

Tried the oven cleaner.  Worked great on the grease but also took the original paint off the engine block.  Softened the paint up almost immediately.  so much for leaving an original paint patina on the motor.  I will now have to think about new paint or repainting to look old. The oil stained original paint almost looked like olive drab in places but  also looked light mint green in places. Bought new steel to patch the splash pans today.  I will post before and after pics of the pans.  I can't find postings on this forum of Fast four engine splash pans so I will try to provide some info on them.  Right hand side is 30" long, left is 29".  Mine were mounted with the left side above the bottom frame rail and right side below the bottom of the frame rail.  How were the frame sides of the pans mounted originally? 

On the 28 senior they both mount below the frame I cant see them being different on your car 

 

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4 hours ago, Ron Lawson said:

On the 28 senior they both mount below the frame I cant see them being different on your car 

 

Thank you Ron.  I can see advantages to both ways.  Easier to put them in place if below but you don't have to hold them up while you fit the first bolt if above.

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7 hours ago, jari12 said:

Thank you Ron.  I can see advantages to both ways.  Easier to put them in place if below but you don't have to hold them up while you fit the first bolt if above.

It’s almost a 2 man job which ever way you do it isn’t it. 

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1 hour ago, Mattml430 said:

It’s almost a 2 man job which ever way you do it isn’t it. 

That's why a lot of our old cars don't have them on any more The old bush mechanics deemed them to be useless and to much of a hassle so the were chucked away 

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I got to spend a little bit of time in the garage this afternoon.  I pulled the little center pan under the center front of the engine and scraped most of the grease off of it.  Mostly still shiny black paint under the grease but a little bent and looks like a corner missing.  I posted a photo of the three pans together on the garage floor with the engine side set up on wood blocks.  I am going to keep the engine side of the pans and make new panels for the bottom and frame side.  I got the left one cut out and temporarily bolted together to check fit as shown in the second photo.  I used a two by four, angle iron and a pair of C clamps to make the bend and a step drill, cut off wheel and air shear to cut the pattern.  It fits well but I had to put it back in with the frame side resting on top of the bottom frame ledge (like the old one was placed before I removed it).  I will clean them up and weld them together before painting.  I am definitely not a great fabricator and have minimal tools but I think it turned out OK and will serve the purpose.

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Here’s a pic of one of mine (only had one and it’s off a RHD).  They attach to the top of block sump flange I believe (that’s where mine has the attachment points).

image.jpg.d7f52d6e1810feee6f5dd60104a627b1.jpg

 

Also had a couple of a slightly earlier engine (3 point mounting) which I think was LHD?

 

thanks to Matt for the donations:)

 

image.jpg

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Posted (edited)
12 hours ago, RichBad said:

Here’s a pic of one of mine (only had one and it’s off a RHD).  They attach to the top of block sump flange I believe (that’s where mine has the attachment points).

image.jpg.d7f52d6e1810feee6f5dd60104a627b1.jpg

 

Also had a couple of a slightly earlier engine (3 point mounting) which I think was LHD?

 

thanks to Matt for the donations:)

 

image.jpg

Mine bolt to the top of the oil pan flange on the engine side as well but they also bolt to the lower side of the frame rail.  Right hand side was bolted to the bottom side of the frame rail from below.  Left hand side was bolted to the bottom side of the frame rail from above.  I tried to test fit my repaired left pan by bolting to the bottom and it wouldn't fit until I put it in on top and made a notch for the rear engine mount.  The right hand side is definitely more complicated.  I'm going to reuse the engine side again because of the curved section to fit around the curve in the oil pan for the oil pump.  The right one  also drops lower for the water pump and shaft which are in the rear on my engine so it has two bends. It has to get back up to frame height on the outside edge as well.  The older style look good with the extra pieces covering the spring shackles.  Thanks for the pics.

Edited by jari12
typo (see edit history)
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They are definitely fiddling bloody things to fit so you can kind of understand why they never went back on. The engine bay definitely looks nicer with them in though. I’m going to try fit mine up this weekend. Hope they fit. 
Yours are looking good. 

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Posted (edited)

Both engine splash pans patches are done.  Kept the engine side and made replacement patches for the bottom and frames sides.  Should work well.  Just bolted together for now but will weld them together before painting and putting them back in.  Also have to cut a hole for the coolant drain off the waterpump near the rear of the right pan. Still waiting for valves and gaskets. Planning to repaint the engine now once it's back together since all of the original paint came off with the grease, dirt and oil.  

PXL_20210602_125529847.jpg

Edited by jari12
missed info and typo (see edit history)
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Hello All,  I have a quick question about how the hood side aprons and latches are attached.  I have to remove the hood side aprons next on my car to clean up the frame underneath them.  The bolts that hold the hood latches down will not come free.  They look like slot head machine screws.  The do not have nuts under the frame rail.  Am I correct in thinking that both screws for each latch thread into a single rectangular plate beneath the frame rail?  Is that plate welded to the frame or will it drop away if I cut the screws?  Or is there a trick to get them out when they are really rusty?

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 Make up a mixture of half and half acetone and power steering fluid and spray all of your rusty bolts and nuts works great If that fails after about a week then get the Blue Tongued Lizard (Oxy and acetelene ) out and warm them up I don't know how original you are going to restore your doodlebug but remember period slotted screws are getting harder to find

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1 hour ago, Ron Lawson said:

 Make up a mixture of half and half acetone and power steering fluid and spray all of your rusty bolts and nuts works great If that fails after about a week then get the Blue Tongued Lizard (Oxy and acetelene ) out and warm them up I don't know how original you are going to restore your doodlebug but remember period slotted screws are getting harder to find

Thanks for the info Ron.  I'll keep trying. 

 

It is going to be fairly original from the cowl forward at least.  My first doodlebug ride was in a 1928 Chevrolet that had two transmissions and a Graham-Paige truck rear axle.  The owner was a cool old guy with lots of old stuff like that. He was rebuilding my dad's old Farmall tractor.  He had made a concoction to soak the cylinders to get the engine free.  I can only remember that it had kerosene and automatic transmission fluid among a few other things.  I was probably eight years old.  I had a ball and have wanted a doodlebug ever since.  I finally got this one but it is too cool to leave as a tractor.  It has to be a car again.  Funny how we get interested in the things we do.  He became a good friend of the familysafter fixing our tractor and it was always fun to see what he would drive into the yard with from jeep firetrucks to old International C-cab lumber trucks etc.  Thanks for the spark for a trip down memory lane.

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I’m not sure if you’ve ever used an impact screwdriver but they are great for removing rusted slot head screws. After a good soak with Ron’s juice and a power wire wheel try giving it a couple of good hits with the impact driver. 
 

442625F9-3A99-4F60-B178-5380417807C7.jpeg

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3 hours ago, Mattml430 said:

I’m not sure if you’ve ever used an impact screwdriver but they are great for removing rusted slot head screws. After a good soak with Ron’s juice and a power wire wheel try giving it a couple of good hits with the impact driver. 
 

442625F9-3A99-4F60-B178-5380417807C7.jpeg

Thanks for the tip.  I have never used one but I'll look for one.

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Got a few little things done today.  I'm still waiting on valves to come in so I decided to paint the engine so it's ready to go back together when the parts come.  I also found a cracked race in a front hub so I popped a new one in place. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

No new pictures, but I did get a few little things done this week.  I got some things painted in the engine compartment like the throttle and spark advance linkage, the starter and generator, etc.  I found a leak in the joint between the lower radiator tank and the lower water neck.  I made my first attempt at soldering a radiator after straightening the tank/water neck connection.  I have to fill it and check for leaks tomorrow.  It looked like someone had dropped it and bent the lower tank by hitting the water neck. It was kind of fiddly to get the entire thing soldered.  You get one side done and start heating the next side and lose solder from the previous one.  I attempted to check my starter. I set the housing against the positive terminal of a battery and then used a cable to connect the negative terminal to the starter.  I did not have firm connections but thought it would at least get it to spin and i saw nothing.  What should I do to do a real test of my starter? It is a 6 volt positive ground car.

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With your starter just make sure the paint is cleaned off where it attaches to the bell housing, And visa versa.

You could just have a sticky brush just make sure they all move freely. 
I had same trouble because I put to much paint on everything. 

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  • 4 weeks later...

I have some updates.  I made two trips last week to pick up parts. First trip I drove to Connecticut to meet a fellow Dodge  brother and bought side aprons, the rear frame cross member, a set of running boards to repair or use as patterns, and a pair of fenders that will be patch panel donors. He also through in the brake rod brackets that hang of the center frame cross member.  It was great to make a new friend.  He was generous with his time and knowledge and showed me his car and let take photos to help me on my project.  Thanks Jay.  Next I drove over to the Finger Lakes and met George at Romar Dodge Brothers parts and service.  I picked up my new valves and gaskets and again made a great new friend.  George graciously spent a lot of time showing me around the shop and sharing his knowledge with me.  He answered a million questions and tested my starter and horn.  Thank you very much George.  I thought I might be sharing a video of my engine running by now with new valves but that was overly optimistic.  I planned to reuse my valve retaining pins so I didn't buy new ones.  I would recommend new if you do this because it took a lot of fiddling to get them to fit.  I don't have a micrometer so I used drill bits as gauges.  The new valves did have a burr in the pin hole which was easily cleaned up with a 5/32 drill bit using my fingers.  The but fit the new pin holes perfectly.  It was a little loose in the old valve holes but the next size up (11/64) was too large to fit in the hole on the old valves which were a little wallowed out in the vertical direction but not horizontal.  I was pretty sure that my old pins were 5/32 and assumed I would just have to clean them up with emery cloth.  The first pin started to slide in so I assumed I was good.  Not so.  The pins were slightly bent/deformed from use and it took a lot of effort to get them to work.  I ended up putting them in my drill to spin them and use a file to take them down and clean them up.    Took a few pics.  First is the new valves lapped and in place.  Still have to re-install the springs and set the gap.  Also took a pic of my carb.  It is a Winfield Model M 201A.  It was on the car when I got it and is pretty cool so I am going to give it a try.  It was the first thing I took apart 10 or 11 years ago when I got the car.  Everything on it was stuck but with gentle heat and a lot of penetrating oil I got the throttle and choke free about 10 years ago.  Never did anything else with it until this weekend.  I got all of it apart, cleaned and reassembled and guessed at initial settings.  There is info on the web for later model Winfields but not much on this model. Same thing for rebuild kits.  I made the gasket for the top of the float bowl and found a gasket from a pile of left over lawn mower gaskets to fit the fuel inlet/bottom bowl gasket.  Looking forward to using it.  I know it's not original but it I love it.  It makes me wonder who cut up my car and what it was used for.  The short frame screams doodle bug but everything else could just as easily point to speedster or hillclimber.

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Winfield model M 201A.jpg

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I got a bunch done over the last few days. Painted the engine side pans, the horn and vacuum tank brackets, the hood sills, and the manifolds.  Also finished installing the valve springs and retainers and set the valve gaps at .007 for intake and .008 exhaust.  I had to drill the hole in the retainers a little larger for the new valves to fit through. A whole lot of fiddling to get the springs back in and I feel lucky that I still have all my fingers.    Got the oil pan on and filled with oil - so far no leaks. It hasn't run yet but I did hand crank for a while and had oil coming out the oil gauge fitting (because I hadn't reconnected the line yet). So at  least the pump was working.  I put the head back on and torqued the head bolts from the middle out in a clockwise circle to 30, then 40, and finally 50 ft-lbs.  I was worried after seeing what happened to RichBad's engine.  I put the manifolds back in as well but just snugged them up.  What should the manifold bolts be torqued to?

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48 minutes ago, Kenendcindyc said:

Looking real good,  I’m sure  you can’t wait to fire it up. 

I am excited to fire it up but I am probably going to have to wait.  Family trip leaves in the morning for 9 days.  Still have a few things to do to be ready as well so I don't think I'll get it fired tonight.

 

 

 

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