The Ressurection of Daphne - a 1932 DL

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I'm having a real problem with the swing out windshield on my DL.  It seems to be a different setup than every other 32 Dodge Brothers I look at to get some information on how it's mounted.  This may be the penalty of owning a DL that was built in the first week of production.  Somewhere along the line, they seemed to have changed the mounting style of the windshield frame, probably because the early mounting was not a good design.  Paul Reichert, another DL owner, and I have been corresponding via email, and he's sent me photos of his windshield frame and mounting style.  And that's where the problem lies.


This gets a bit complicated, so patience, please.


My car's windshield frame has two pivot points sticking out of the top side of the frame.  In this shot you can see the pivot assembly - it fits inside the frame and the threaded stud sticks out of the side of the frame.




I'm not sure if anything actually screws onto the stud to make a smooth pivot point, but there was nothing on it when I disassembled the car.


Here is the hole where the studs stick out of the frame.




The studs fit into a rubber thingy at the top of the windshield opening.  There is one of these at each top corner.




When I sent my frame to NC Industries to have a new one made, they had a pattern for the DL windshield, but said, unequivocally, that the DL frame had a hinge on top.  We went around and around - I sent pictures, information and plaintive missives and they said they had never seen anything like my setup.  Paul graciously sent me photos of his frame and, yes, you already know the answer, his frame has a hinge along the entire top - just like NC Industries said there should be.


This is his frame - you can see the hinge.






My problem is that the rubber thingies are hard as a rock and no one has ever heard of them, let alone tried remaking them.  I'm thinking I should Have NC make me a hinged frame, but I'm not sure if I can actually attach it to my car.

This is a shot of Paul's car with the holes for the hinge clearly visible.  You can see the flat surface where the hinge would lie.




Here is a similar shot of my car.  There are screws there, but they are holding on some sort of channel - perhaps to hold a rubber seal?   I think I can take the channel off, but I'm not sure if the holes would match up with the new hinge or if I have a flat surface under there.




What do you think is the best approach to this problem?  I'll see if I can get that channel off and discover what lies beneath.



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The screws holding the channel are not going to come out without a struggle.  They are threaded, not sheet metal screws, and the slotted tops just twist, destroying the slot.  I may be able to get some penatrating oil up inside , but it won't be easy and I'm not sure it will do much good.  Heat is out of the question as the car is freshly painted.  The old story - I should have done it long ago.

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Assuming the hinge style is how you want to go, seems like all you need is a suitable flat surface at the right level to attach the hinge to. Start by plugging the old end holes. Admittedly working around fresh paint is problematic, but I'd start by finding some good padded material to protect paint in this work area. Then do what ever is necessary to get those old screws out of top recess. Vice-grips, Dremel tool, .driiling heads off etc. The surface they go into should permit a new flat surface (1/8" flat steel perhaps) to be screwed (countersunk screws) to it of sufficient thickness to create the correct level to receive the new hinge. If the new hinge's pre-drilled holes are not in ideal locations, drill new ones as necessary. The new flat surface should allow you to put the screws anywhere, and if thick enough to be threaded, that can be done before installing, or tapped after install; I make it all sound easy eh? As for weather stripping top and sides, I assume the window supplier provides that. . 

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The screws go into a metal plate with threaded holes inside the area over the opening.  The heads of the screws are simply tearing apart when I try to remove them.  Grinding the heads off will leave me with nothing to grab to get them out as the channel they hold in place is very thin.  I think the surface under the channel is flat and at the right height to take the hinge with no problem, and I'd like to use the threaded holes to attach the hinge.  I could grind the heads off, remove the channel, and then drill new holes and thread them but the original holes would be nice to use.  The heads are too small and rounded to get any decent grip on them with vice grips.  The height of the windshield opening makes it impossible to use an impact driver as there isn't enough room to swing a hammer.  I'll eventually figure something out - l always seem to, usually after I needlessly destroy some valuable part or paint finish.

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The screws look to be 12/24 or 1/4 in. if you should have to drill them out, I would suggest using a couple of left handed drill bits to help back out the screw body. If done carefully, you might be able to save the captive nut. We don't know if the nuts are regular or tube type, but if you would have to drill out the retainer, they do make what is called a "nutsert". If you are not familiar with them, they work similar to a pop rivet. They are aluminum tube type nut that screw onto a mandrel which then is pulled and crimped tight like a pop rivet. They are very handy for that kid of blind repair but the downside is that you'll have to buy a kit which includes a crimping tool and being a specialty, can be expensive and usually can only be found a good industrial stores or good body supply stores. It's always something with these cars! Good luck with it.

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There is no captive nut, the plate is about 1/8 steel that has threaded holes.  The screws just screw into the plate itself.  You can see some of this through holes on the inside of the car above the windshield opening.  I'll try to get some shots of what I'm talking about.  It's a heck of a lot easier if you can see it rather than trying to understand my convoluted descriptions.

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my 30 dA has the hinge

i had to grind off heads 

then carfully drill screws 

some i had to tap to 12-24 in the plate on car

the hinge on my windshield was spot welded 

also i have a rubber seal between hinge and car

got it from steele

it prevent water from getting push up in car when running down road 



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Is that the bottom of the visor I'm seeing in the first shot?  And what is the cylinder through the top of the frame.  Your photos and advice are greatly appreciated.  Looks like I'll be going through what you did.  Thanks 30dodge35 and everyone.

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On my '31 DH the continuous windshield hinge is just suspended from the hinge bracket screwed to the heavy side-to-side metal strip without any end posts or brackets. The threads for the screws are tapped directly into the metal strip that runs clear across the front; there are no nuts. 

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On 10/28/2017 at 1:41 PM, Johnthistle said:

On my '31 DH the continuous windshield hinge is just suspended from the hinge bracket screwed to the heavy side-to-side metal strip without any end posts or brackets. The threads for the screws are tapped directly into the metal strip that runs clear across the front; there are no nuts. 

Yes, mine is the same....


Picture 22295.jpg

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5 hours ago, RickBrinker said:

When do we get to hear it run ?


I guess I'll have to give the same answer I've been giving for the last eight months - SOON!

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One of the things I love about restoring a car is the weird and wonderful things you discover as you go through the process and the number of wonderful people that will help you out at every turn..  I've posted on this particular item in the past, but now here is the whole story.


Back during disassembly, I discovered this strange bracket on the frame.  I wasn't sure what it was for.






So, I contacted my old friend Phil Kennedy, who has a very original 32 DL, and he crawled under his car to check.  Well, he had the same bracket, not attached to anything.  We both scratched our heads and pondered the mysteries of the universe.


Then 34dodger came to the rescue and posted a shot of the bracket with all the bells and whistles that were supposed to be attached.  it was an exhaust bracket.  Close proximity to the exhaust pipe probably should have given me the clue.




So, I was missing the piece that went from the bracket to the exhaust pipe clamp.  So was Phil.


What was left of my bracket was in bad shape.  The rubber had gone bad and separated from the metal part of the piece.








At this point I thought the missing bolts that attached this part to the missing extension were embedded in the rubber and had fallen out.  i was amazed that the rubber had remained with the steel backing as it literally fell out when I took the bracket off the frame.  Now I had the old familiar problem - could I somehow restore this mess or was I going to have to give in and use a standard exhaust hanger.  After all, this was under the car and who was going to see it?  Well, I couldn't bring myself to take the easy way out.  I was determined to fix the problem correctly, fool that I am.


First problem - the missing extension.  I posted wanted ads and contacted other DL owners to no avail.  It's obvious that once the rubber crumbled and separated from the steel backing, the next new exhaust system installed would lead to the tossing of the bracket.  it undoubtedly came off when the old exhaust was pulled off and discarded.  Phil's and my car were sterling examples, and both had makeshift hangers installed on aftermarket exhaust systems.  Since the bracket attaches to the back of the muffler, a new muffler probably meant the end of the original bracket.


Then another site member came to the rescue.  1935EB saw my posting on the problem and sent me very detailed drawings of his bracket.  I took the drawings to my fabricator Ed Thomas of Thomas Restorations and he made me a new bracket from scratch.




Now I'm getting someplace.  34dodger also told me he had his rubber bracket re-vulcanized by Then And Now Automotive.  This was great news as they had done a very nice job on my Floating Power motor and transmission mounts.  i contacted them and they said they could do it, but would have to make a mold and that might take several months.  This was puzzling and I told them they had already done one of these and had to have the correct molds.  They worked with me, and once 34dodger sent me a copy of his old invoice with the part number, they found the molds.  Now, I figured I was all set.  But then 34dodger sent me a nice drawing of his bracket and I realized I was missing another piece!




I had the outer metal piece, but now I discovered there was an inner metal piece that the bracket bolts were attached too.  I had assumed, wrongly as usual, that the bolts were embedded in the rubber.  Now I had to find this piece!  I contacted Then And Now and explained the problem.  Mike, the guy who does the molding, listened patiently to my whining and told me to wait a minute while he when out back to see if they had any spare parts.  A few minutes later he was back and said, "Yeah, we have a bunch of spares back there, no problem."  The final problem solved.  Friday I received my refurbished mount with the original back piece and the spare front piece, and it looks great.




And when I checked the fit of the bracket Ed made - it was perfect.  The accurate drawings and Ed's craftsmanship had come together and saved the day.




So, a long, torturous journey to get one lousy exhaust bracket correct and back on the car.  The bracket is off to powdercoating and then I can finally hook up my new exhaust and muffler.  On to the next adventure.








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They didn't cut any corners in those days, nice sturdy bracket. However, while the vulcanized rubber might last 50-100 years, the bond to the steel probably does not especially in a sandwich like this with constant vibration and shock from potholes etc. I'm having to making a lot of parts for my CD8 project, and finding details on what they originally looked like is always a challenge. Fellow old car owners are so valuable to have. 

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Cleaned the garage in preparation for the winter months.  I always find I get lots of small jobs done over the winter since I can bring many of them inside and work on the kitchen table.  The garage is not heated, but stays pretty comfortable unless the temperatures really get cold.  My main jobs this winter are finishing the rebuilds on the rear shocks, cleaning and assembling the window and door latch mechanisms, restoring the instrument panel and gauges, installing the rear tailpipe and muffler, installing an electric fuel pump and pressure regulator and installing the windshield and all the other glass.  Most everything is now cleaned, painted  and ready to install.


The garage - as clean as it's been all year.




Front bumper installed.






Carb in place with new bypass tube installed and the air cleaner temporarily in place.  it obviously still needs to be painted.  This thing is basically a tin can with louvers.






Horn finished and ready to be installed.




Door handle/latch mechanisms partly cleaned.




I had posted earlier about the cracks that had developed on all the latch bodies.  Even some newer ones, with slightly thicker steel (from a 34 dodge) had the cracks.  I welded them up and, hopefully, they will remain in one piece this time.




Here are the new welds.  This was obviously a design flaw in the cars.




Nothing earthshaking, but progress continues.  I'm beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel.





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Started work on the instrument panel.  When I first owned the car back in the sixties, all the original instruments were still in the car with the exception of the water temperature gauge, which had been replaced (in the instrument cluster) by a black-faced gauge.  I have found an original DL temp gauge, but it will need rebuilding and the face restored/replaced.  I really like the art-deco look of the gauge cluster and the gold instrument faces.


The panel with the incorrect temp gauge removed.




The surround was filthy, corroded and generally in disrepair, but it was solid and not dented.




I carefully separated the surround from the rest of the gauge cluster by bending the metal tabs back.  It was a delicate job, but I managed to get it off without braking the glass or snapping off a tab.


I polished the surround and removed the dirt and corrosion.  Here it is halfway through the process.





  Here is a breakdown of the cluster parts.  once the surround was removed, the rest just separated with no problems.  The glass hasn't been cleaned and shows the faint outline of the cork gasket that goes between it and the outer surround.  i went to make a new gasket and discovered the cork sheets I have are 3/16" rather than the 1/8" needed.  Looks like I'll have to order the correct stuff.




The inner piece of the cluster has a very interesting metallic silver design to it.  I'm not sure how they did this at the factory.  Dipping it in unmixed metallic paint?  Some sort of transfer process?  Anyway, it looks great and I was lucky that it's in perfect condition.  There was a bit of corrosion on the outside flat areas, but they don't show and most of it came off with a gentle rubbing with a cloth.








The instruments themselves all work and are in good condition.  The faces may need a bit of gentle cleaning, but I'm going to leave them with a bit of the "lived in" look rather than making them look brand new.






It's always amazing to me how much time it takes to do a simple job.  The cross-bars between the firewall and the radiator are a perfect example.  They had 80 years of rust and grime on them.  It wasn't too much of a job stripping them down with a wire brush, but it still took two hours to clean everything up.  it's these times when you realize just how many parts there actually are in one of these cars.












Now, if the weather just stays warm enough to paint these tomorrow...otherwise, I'll keep the parts and paint in the house to keep them at the correct temperature.  Then race out into the garage, hang up the parts, quickly paint them with the warm paint, then rush the parts back inside and hang them in the back hall.  My wife, of course, just loves the smell of drying paint in the house.  I'm praying for warm weather!






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I am glad you had a good instrument panel to work with.  How lucky were you to find the right water temperature gauge?  


Such an attractive set if instruments!



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Continuing on with the breathtaking saga of the instrument cluster...hey, no yawning out there!


The biggest pain the the you know what was trying to make a pattern for the cork gasket between the glass and the outer trim piece.  The original had crumbled to pieces and further disintegrated when I had to pry what was left out of the groove in the piece.  There was no way to trace the shape, so it took a lot of cutting and fitting until I had a decent pattern in card-stock.




Then I cut the cork from a rolled sheet of the correct 1/8 inch thickness.  The only cork I could find that was large enough came in a roll and it was very difficult to cut, as you can see in this shot, as it constantly wanted to roll back up.




I finally got it cut out, cleaned the glass and put everything together, bending the tabs back to hold the four pieces as a unit.




Next I cut the gaskets for the gauges.  It's a fiddly, if not all the difficult, job.  Not as perfect as the factory cut gaskets, but i doubt anyone is going to crawl up under the dash when this is finished.




The cleaned amp meter in place.




The oil pressure gauge gasket in place.  Here's a question that gets pretty deep in the weeds - what's that paper around the speedometer opening?  it's obviously there for some reason, but...?  There is a gasket for the speedometer, you can see a piece of it under one of the screws, so why the paper?




The oil pressure gauge in place.  This area was a real mess - there was oil all over the back of the gauge.  It cleaned up rather easily.  i suspect the fitting on the back was a little loose and the oil residue accumulated over the years.  I tested the gauge with compressed air and it seemed to be spot on, corresponding to the air pressure I applied measured with the very accurate gauge on my compressor fittings.




I still need to clean up the gas gauge and speedometer and send the water temp gauge out for restoration.  It needs a new bulb and tube and the gauge face restored.  I'm pretty happy with the way this is going to look in the car.









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