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1934 Dodge Full Body Off Restoration


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I've often wondered if I should have started a thread under "Our restoration projects " or stick to the casual update.

After 10 odd years and countless distractions the Dodge if finally getting there.

I've just had the roof insert rebuilt and on Thursday she's going to the painter so I'm looking forward to that day !

A few pics are attached.

Cheers

Ian

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10 years to build a chicken coup eh? Still, It must be the prettiest darn chicken coup I've ever seen.....

Seriously though, it does look like a quality job. :)

Got any old pics of your car when you started Ian? I am always very interested in befores and afters, and just to see what people can achieve.

Ross.

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Hi guys,

Ross - Don't laugh but my kids make a similar comment about a chicken coop ( we have chooks at home ). Click on my name next to my post and it will take you to my album and you'll see the pick of when it was on the trailer when I bought it. ( well one of the trailers anyway ).

MikeC5 - Bob is correct - Burlap or some sort of felt then leatherette. What I'm aiming to do is insert micro speakers inside the roof where you wont even know they will be there as they will be hidden by the roof lining, and run some wires back to a hidden USB plug. I can then plug my ipod into it and listen to some nice music while I'm working on her.

Sealing the insert once the material has covered it will be an interesting exercise. 3M Stripcalk or Bostic 5651 Butyl Mastic is what I have been recommended to use. A lot of the Australian 34's ( correct me if I'm wrong ) have a metal dress trim that sits on top of the roof to hold the inseert in place and seals the gap between the body and insert. Mine ( being an American Import ) had just the insert and once covered you apply the calking compound inside the roof channel, sit the insert into it then from inside the car you screw the insert down and this seals the insert to the body. I've attached a few pics one of a roof like mine and the other of ( dare I say it ) a 34 Ford with a dress trim. I couldn't find any pics of a 34 Dodge Aussie body roof.

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Hi guys,

Ross - Don't laugh but my kids make a similar comment about a chicken coop ( we have chooks at home ). Click on my name next to my post and it will take you to my album and you'll see the pick of when it was on the trailer when I bought it. ( well one of the trailers anyway ).

MikeC5 - Bob is correct - Burlap or some sort of felt then leatherette. What I'm aiming to do is insert micro speakers inside the roof where you wont even know they will be there as they will be hidden by the roof lining, and run some wires back to a hidden USB plug. I can then plug my ipod into it and listen to some nice music while I'm working on her.

Tehe, well I have been told I have the mind like a childs! ;)

I just checked out your album Ian. Damn, that thing has a lot of metal! She's coming up nice though. Makes me kind of glad I have a TJR body with just the skins and wood frames to deal with - probably comes with its own headaches though. No roof on mine and only half a body will be on the plus side.

I like your hidden speakers and i-pod idea. Not strictly factory, but it sure beats winding up a gramaphone and putting it on the back seat....:rolleyes:

Keep up the good work, and I bet you are counting the sleeps till it goes to the paint shop.

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Interesting thing my brother said when he helps me with the car. Every time I show him a part of the car he can't get over the weight of everything. Must have had good metal in those days. Another thing I came across is a guy in America that makes new original patterned door sill covers. An absolute find and I've put a few people onto him and they are all happy.

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Pretty sure they used heavier guage sheet metal for vehicles in the past compared to what gets used today. It all comes down to metalurgy technology I suppose, and cost of raw materials too. If you can make your steel go further on the production line then the manufacturer is quids in. The fact these things were made heavier back then works in our favour now because the steel lasts longer and it had less impurities in it too. I doubt a modern car left sitting out in the weather for a few decades like alot of us find our Dodges would still be in restorable shape. Case in point is the 40 series Landcruiser, which I've had a few - the early production years starting back in the 50's and 60's used heavier guage steel in the bodies than the later Cruisers of the 70's and 80's. Barring some basic design flaws that caused rusting in certain spots, the older ones have held up better than the newer trucks if not treated right because of thicker and possibly better steel. I have an unrestored '69 that the panels are in amazing condition and better shape compared to my '84.

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Your right about the heavier guage steel and the quality of the metal. When I hand stripped back the doors, all four had no rust whatsoever in them. There was a bit in the rear wheel arches and the base of the front cowl but apart from that not a huge amount. Most of the damage on my car was the rear "dove tail". This was caused by some prawn years ago reversing into anything they could find. I dont know if you can make the damage out in the photo but the rear section from one side to the other had to be remade. It came up pretty good and has either been steel repaired or lead wiped.....no bog !

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Finally the Dodge is loaded up and off to "Dave" the painter. If you check under "our restoration projects" and look at the posts by OLDCAR you'll see he also refers to Dave the painter. Hopefully my job will turn out the same quality as Bernies. Interesting I also own a 1998 Chrysler Voyager ( Dodge Caravan I think for my friends in the States ). Once I took the seats out I fitted in the entire Dodge - 4 doors, 4 guards, 4 bonnet pieces, front cowl, 2 valance panels, steering tude, glove box, cowl vent, 6 rims, luggage rack, 4 spare wheel covers, tail light brackets and a box of sundry other parts. No bad packing if I say so myself. I even took a few shots.

I've also attached a shot of the new bonnet hinge and panels to check alignment. All that is required is to trim the hingge to the correct length.

Also people have wondered why its taken me 10+ years to get this far with my restoration. Buying a business and running it for 11 years ( with my wife and we are still married ! ), raising 3 children ( two still at college ), having a stroke and losing 2 years of savings and now finally landscaping my front yard ( see attached pics ) monetary wise does drain the funds a bit and I still have to juggle my time between family, friends, house and Dodge. After my stroke ( about 95% better now ) I don't have the ability to do the fine repair work so I try and get done what I can't do myslef but still try and do as much as I can. So there ya go the life and times of a restorer. I guess there are a lot of us out there in the same situation. My philiosphy is if I restore an old car I'm restoring a little piece of history and hopefully the original builders would be proud of my efforts.

I'll keep posting pics once she's painted.

Cheers

Ian

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Finally the Dodge is loaded up and off to "Dave" the painter. If you check under "our restoration projects" and look at the posts by OLDCAR you'll see he also refers to Dave the painter. Hopefully my job will turn out the same quality as Bernies. Interesting I also own a 1998 Chrysler Voyager ( Dodge Caravan I think for my friends in the States ). Once I took the seats out I fitted in the entire Dodge - 4 doors, 4 guards, 4 bonnet pieces, front cowl, 2 valance panels, steering tude, glove box, cowl vent, 6 rims, luggage rack, 4 spare wheel covers, tail light brackets and a box of sundry other parts. No bad packing if I say so myself. I even took a few shots.

I've also attached a shot of the new bonnet hinge and panels to check alignment. All that is required is to trim the hingge to the correct length.

Also people have wondered why its taken me 10+ years to get this far with my restoration. Buying a business and running it for 11 years ( with my wife and we are still married ! ), raising 3 children ( two still at college ), having a stroke and losing 2 years of savings and now finally landscaping my front yard ( see attached pics ) monetary wise does drain the funds a bit and I still have to juggle my time between family, friends, house and Dodge. After my stroke ( about 95% better now ) I don't have the ability to do the fine repair work so I try and get done what I can't do myslef but still try and do as much as I can. So there ya go the life and times of a restorer. I guess there are a lot of us out there in the same situation. My philiosphy is if I restore an old car I'm restoring a little piece of history and hopefully the original builders would be proud of my efforts.

I'll keep posting pics once she's painted.

Cheers

Ian

Life just gets in the way....

I'm a bit behind you though Ian! Just starting on the journey. I got two kids in nappies, not much cash to throw at the DA, no stroke, (yet, fingers crossed!), more than enough to do around the house like you, and I'm hoping to get mine done by retirement age. That gives me 28 years..... I reckon I might be half a chance!

That bonnet is a thing of beauty even in primer. And I see a cruiser ute....:cool:

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Hi Ian Love the work that you have done so far on your DB and the landscaping is a thing of beauty I am in a simlar situation (no stroke) but arthritis in my hands and knees makes some days rather painfull. But the life of a restorer must go on (with the love and help from a beautiful wife of 35 years) so tht we can keep our old pieces of motoring history on the road. If I was't such a technology retard I would post some pictures of my 2249 Senior and the new shed that I have built to complete the restoration of the old girl. Today I am going te fire her up for the first time in 2 1/2 years and move her from the 20ft sea container that has been her storage place. Then hopefully if old Arthur Ritis dosen't get to bad restoration work will start in earnest. Cheers and keep your chin up. You give us other old buggars lots of insporation. Ron

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Hi Ian Love the work that you have done so far on your DB and the landscaping is a thing of beauty I am in a simlar situation (no stroke) but arthritis in my hands and knees makes some days rather painfull. But the life of a restorer must go on (with the love and help from a beautiful wife of 35 years) so tht we can keep our old pieces of motoring history on the road. If I was't such a technology retard I would post some pictures of my 2249 Senior and the new shed that I have built to complete the restoration of the old girl. Today I am going te fire her up for the first time in 2 1/2 years and move her from the 20ft sea container that has been her storage place. Then hopefully if old Arthur Ritis dosen't get to bad restoration work will start in earnest. Cheers and keep your chin up. You give us other old buggars lots of insporation. Ron

Ron....if you want to send me some photos of your car, I can post them for you here. John

keiser31@charter.net

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Thanks guys for the nice comments. I forgot to mention amongst all of that, that my wife and I built the house ourselves ( owner builder ). That took 18 months. When we designed the house we also included a triple garage wide enough you could park 5 cars in it. One bay is for the Dodge. Now the body and all the panels are gone to the painter I can at last find things !

The blue "cruiser ute" that Dodgy6 mentioned in one of the photos is a neighbour sons project car. My front yard was often used as a car park until its was finished and sealed.

Ron - I'd love to see shots of your car. One thing about this forum is that when someone posts some shots I look at the numerous times sometimes just to see what people are up to. Have a look at the "Our restoration projects" and there is a "Dixie Flyer" thread. Bernies has a photo of it

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  • 3 weeks later...

"Looks like a pearl white, looks good but I am not sure how that red mirror is going to go with the rest of the car"

This is just a two pack priming colour he uses which he can sand back to remove any high / flat spots.

I thought the mirror would look good hanging off the dodge ! hahaha..... Its from an Alfa Romeo GTV he's also doing some work on.

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"Looks like a pearl white, looks good but I am not sure how that red mirror is going to go with the rest of the car"

This is just a two pack priming colour he uses which he can sand back to remove any high / flat spots.

I thought the mirror would look good hanging off the dodge ! hahaha..... Its from an Alfa Romeo GTV he's also doing some work on.

Maybe I should know this but I cant remember, what was the original color scheme and do you plan to use this, in my opinion this is the way to go in most cases.

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Just my 2 cents worth again. All our old antique vehicles were built using 18 gauge steel. This is why you can literally stand on a front fender of say a '33 Dodge and not bend it. Vehicles today are made mostly with 24 gauge which can bent by hand. I once replaced a front fender on a Toyota Celica and just took the old one and folded it up in to a 'package' about 12"X12" and threw in my shop garbage can! Also our old stuff used virgin steel. It was the 1st time that the metal in our vehicles was used. Today we are driving dishwashers,clothes dryers,refrigerators and God knows what. And it has all rusted before. It appears that once rusted ,steel will rust quicker the next time it's used. Just my opinion.

The material used in any roof assembly I've come across was horse hair. It filled out the roof and took away any creases. It was also used to fill out the seats. Most of the glue used in our cars was hot melt horse glue. It was made I believe by rendering horse hooves at the 'glue factory'. Upholstery shops etc. used to keep a pot of hot horse glue with a hard wood stick or two in it. I believe they used to use the hairs from a horse's tail for violin strings. I've read in a book on the company that made my van in 1935 that they still had 60 horses in 'delivery' in 1935,down from 300, still working the streets of Toronto. I think we forget the horse was still very much around when our cars and trucks were on the road new. At the end of WWII because of gas shortages 80% of German road transport was done with horses.

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Just my 2 cents worth again. All our old antique vehicles were built using 18 gauge steel. This is why you can literally stand on a front fender of say a '33 Dodge and not bend it. Vehicles today are made mostly with 24 gauge which can bent by hand. I once replaced a front fender on a Toyota Celica and just took the old one and folded it up in to a 'package' about 12"X12" and threw in my shop garbage can! Also our old stuff used virgin steel. It was the 1st time that the metal in our vehicles was used. Today we are driving dishwashers,clothes dryers,refrigerators and God knows what. And it has all rusted before. It appears that once rusted ,steel will rust quicker the next time it's used. Just my opinion.

The material used in any roof assembly I've come across was horse hair. It filled out the roof and took away any creases. It was also used to fill out the seats. Most of the glue used in our cars was hot melt horse glue. It was made I believe by rendering horse hooves at the 'glue factory'. Upholstery shops etc. used to keep a pot of hot horse glue with a hard wood stick or two in it. I believe they used to use the hairs from a horse's tail for violin strings. I've read in a book on the company that made my van in 1935 that they still had 60 horses in 'delivery' in 1935,down from 300, still working the streets of Toronto. I think we forget the horse was still very much around when our cars and trucks were on the road new. At the end of WWII because of gas shortages 80% of German road transport was done with horses.

If that was an OEM fender than you aint seen nuthin yet, get ahold of an aftermarket non capa certified and suddenly you turn into Superman

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Just my 2 cents worth again. All our old antique vehicles were built using 18 gauge steel. This is why you can literally stand on a front fender of say a '33 Dodge and not bend it. Vehicles today are made mostly with 24 gauge which can bent by hand. I once replaced a front fender on a Toyota Celica and just took the old one and folded it up in to a 'package' about 12"X12" and threw in my shop garbage can! Also our old stuff used virgin steel. It was the 1st time that the metal in our vehicles was used. Today we are driving dishwashers,clothes dryers,refrigerators and God knows what. And it has all rusted before. It appears that once rusted ,steel will rust quicker the next time it's used. Just my opinion.

The material used in any roof assembly I've come across was horse hair. It filled out the roof and took away any creases. It was also used to fill out the seats. Most of the glue used in our cars was hot melt horse glue. It was made I believe by rendering horse hooves at the 'glue factory'. Upholstery shops etc. used to keep a pot of hot horse glue with a hard wood stick or two in it. I believe they used to use the hairs from a horse's tail for violin strings. I've read in a book on the company that made my van in 1935 that they still had 60 horses in 'delivery' in 1935,down from 300, still working the streets of Toronto. I think we forget the horse was still very much around when our cars and trucks were on the road new. At the end of WWII because of gas shortages 80% of German road transport was done with horses.

Poor Horses....Thousands of horses abandoned by owners last year - Nature - Environment - The Independent

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Hi Guys,

The original colour was Empire Maroon and there were different options available i.e. black guards, body colour on the wheels or black wheels etc... even the stripe could have either been Packard Ivory or Silver Bronze. I am going for a Maroon but perhaps a little richer ( almost like a Red Wine in a glass ). The guards will be black and I'm tossing up with the stripe. I've seen Dodges with pinstriping above and below the the main line through the body and I've seen them with the entire main line painted which does look smart I must admit. Heres a few pics to show you what I mean. The first is a Richards Body and the car is in South Australia. See the wide stripe. The second is Ken Sobels car in the USA and he has the pinstriping. I'm still thinking about the pin striping whether if it detracts from the natural curves of the body or enhances it. A single stripe as in the first two pics is clean and neat and on a darker colour car may be enough.

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My favourite colour is pearlescent Burgundy which I think would suit your car if you are thinking of straying from maroon. Jason will be able to confirm if there is a problem or not but I have found quite a few maroon finished cars suffer from exposure to strong sunlight. I know I have said it before but in my view the '34 has beautiful styling and with a chrome rad surround it looks just right; you couldn't find a nicer DB to restore. As to the pinstripe - I think it depends on whether you want to line out the wings, etc then perhaps two stripes on the body. I think I prefer the more restrained single stripe leaving out the further stripes but of course it's what ever you choose to do. I'm sure it will look great whatever you decide.

Ray

Edited by R.White (see edit history)
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My favourite colour is pearlescent Burgundy which I think would suit your car if you are thinking of straying from maroon. Jason will be able to confirm if there is a problem or not but I have found quite a few maroon finished cars suffer from exposure to strong sunlight. I know I have said it before but in my view the '34 has beautiful styling and with a chrome rad surround it looks just right; you couldn't find a nicer DB to restore. As to the pinstripe - I think it depends on whether you want to line out the wings, etc then perhaps two stripes on the body. I think I prefer the more restrained single stripe leaving out the further stripes but of course it's what ever you choose to do. I'm sure it will look great whatever you decide.

Ray

Any dark colors are going to age faster than lighter more reflective colors, if its going to be a dark color make sure the body is straight cause it will shop up every little flaw or wave.

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Good advice there, Jason. Don't know about you but I don't like painting black. You think every thing is straight but then you notice something's got missed. It always seems to take longer to do a black car but then I'm only an amateur - not bad -but not professional.

Ray.

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