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'36 Dodge Paint Question

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I'm curious...are the undersides of these cars painted body color or were they just primed and left unpainted except for some overspray? Also , did they have an application of a heavy sound deadening material done at the factory? Mine shows remnants of an undercoat type of material above the rear axle and gas tank. Also found some in the drive shaft tunnel. Were the rear fender wells painted body color or were they black? Thanks for any info. Jim

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Jim, Very good questions that I wish I could answer for you. I have the body off my cp and will be watching for the answers to these questions as I too will need to know before I paint it.

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I've been wondering where all the '36 guys are on this. I thought for sure somebody would know as there are several guys that have researched these cars alot more than I. I know that Ford made no special effort to paint the underbodies or untrimed interiors so I thought maybe that was a standard practice.

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When I checked on some of the original paint on my Mercury Metallic 4Dr Touring Sedan, I saw that the body color was indeed inside the fenders, both front and back. The the body was painted and then placed on the frame. BUT, the bottom of the car was the same semi-gloss (low gloss) black chassis paint as the frame, exterior firewall and cowl, axles, gas tank, front engine splash pans, pedals and transmission tower.

The bottom of the running boards were body color. The interior of the body was dark red (rust color) primer and had extensive over spray of body color but was not directly painted. (This includes the inside of the firewall). It did not seem like the floor pans were painted much, but if they were it had to be the same black chassis color as there was no apparent body color on them anywhere.

While speaking about the interior, I do remember seeing hand marked chalk writing in a few spots. The inside of the firewall right of center near the top had something there but I could not make any of it out. The inside of the doors on the mechanism panel had "OK" written on them and, as mentioned in another thread a few years back, there was the paint color and body style written in an abbreviation inside the right rear "C" pillar just outboard from the rear window.

They did not use an undercoating as you would think of today. It seems as though anything like that, that you may find underneath, is most likely an attempt at sound deadening or heat insulation. I did not really see anything like that under either of my cars and both were delivered to WI originally. If used as "undercoating", it would have been used here!

There were sections of black sound deadening material (looks like a cardboard soaked in asphalt) glued to the interior of the doors. The center of the insert top looked as though it had a sprayed on asphalt, again for insulation and sound deadening. (This may be the same material "jpage" is seeing above his gas tank and rear axle. I don't remember seeing any of that sprayed on either of my cars though in the areas outside the car underneath.)

Hope some of this helps but it may just open up more questions.

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I've been wondering where all the '36 guys are on this. I thought for sure somebody would know as there are several guys that have researched these cars alot more than I. I know that Ford made no special effort to paint the underbodies or untrimed interiors so I thought maybe that was a standard practice.

Oops> Was typing while you wrote this!

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Jim, Very good questions that I wish I could answer for you. I have the body off my cp and will be watching for the answers to these questions as I too will need to know before I paint it.

"35cz8" - While you have the body off, be sure to look for and research the location of the "hidden" frame number on your car. When the body is off is the time to document that with photos!

Thanks!

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Does anyone know where on the frame this number is supposed to be? My frame still has all the gunk on it as well as the front and rear ends. I don't want to take it completely down to the bare frame until I find a shop to srip the frame, make any reapairs it may need (it does have one small crack that I have found) and prep it for new paint. This is going to be a long restoration as free time is hard to find anymore. If I can find any numbers on the frame, once cleaned up, I will make sure and get plenty of photos and post them here.

Bob

"35cz8" - While you have the body off, be sure to look for and research the location of the "hidden" frame number on your car. When the body is off is the time to document that with photos!

Thanks!

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Thanks 1936D2 ! That supports what I've been thinking about the assembly line painting. I did see the "OK" chalked on the doors but found no other markings inside any of my three cars. I did notice a number stamped on the left mid firewall ( outside) and another stamped in the left rear floor pan (underside). They were not the same no. but contained the same number of digits. The "stuff" underneath resembles the sound deadener on the top section and inside the trunk lid. I have removed the paper deadener from inside the doors as the stuff must have retained moisture over the years. Two of my doors had pinholes rusted through from the inside beneath this material. Held up to the light it looked like the night sky! I'll recoat them with rocker schutz for protection and sound insulation. Thinking about coating some of the underbody likewise. This material was not present under the main body floor pans just above the rear axle ,the trunk floor and a little in the tube tunnel. There was none in the wheel wells either. It looks to be more for sound insulation and not for undercoating. On the firwall painting. I know that the front of the firewall is painted a low gloss black but did that extend to the cowl panels or did it stop at the firewall face. Seems to me that on my cars only the face of the firewall is painted black. I still have the original paint on the Avon Green car and it covers the cowl side panels and upper cowl up to the firewall break. Was this standard practice or did it vary from plant to plant. Sometimes plants adopted different procedures. What is the significance of the frame number? Does it appear anywhere else on the car? Seems that every number I find is different!

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35cz8 A good sanblast co. can clean your frame and axles for you but you must dissassemble everything to get a good job. It's also advisable to cover the openings to the rear axle with something to keep out as much sand as possible. I used duct tape on the axle ends along with plastic covers cut from old milk containers and bolting a piece of thin plywood with a paper gasket over the end of the differential opening. Do not sandblast the differential carrier itself. It sould clean up well with a good bath in kerosene and a little wire brushing. If the gears look good and nothing is broken I'd advise not to dissassemble the diff.gears as they can be a pain to readjust. A welder can repair any cracks as the frames are pretty heavy material. My frame repairs went quickly but the body has been slowing me down. Needs all new rockers and a tailpan! Not a job for a novice metalworker but who can afford professionals especially when there is no one in the immediate area who will even look at it! I've seen some on the internet but they're all handmade, very expensive and only made on special order so you can't see them until you get them and then they're not returnable! I'll try my luck, just take longer!

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The "hidden" frame number is the car's original engine number. The other numbers "jpage" is finding are, to the best of our knowledge, series numbers used by the body manufacturing company's factory processes. There are no known records for these numbers so they currently seem pretty useless.

The frame number should be in one of two places as far as we know now. Those two places are:

- 1) On the left rear of the frame just above the left rear's front spring mount, near the top of the outer frame face. It would be covered with the left rear door's threshold panel as seen on seven passenger sedans.

- 2) On the left rear of the frame near the top of the kick-up above the rear axle. This spot is also on the outer face of the frame rail and again near the top edge and covered with the body sheet metal of the wheel well. There is a hook shape in this sheet metal with a large round hole in it near the spot of the frame number.

That is the best I can do to describe the two locations of the numbers. These numbers are fairly large in font size. The whole thing should be maybe 4" to 5" long. It is stamped very lightly so do not use very aggressive media to clean the areas! You may just abrade right through the number!

The surfaces that these numbers are on is flat so use a very fine paper on a block when starting to look for the numbers. Once you start to see something, change to a finer abrasive and try to use a motion across the font sections as much as possible so as to not add lines or "shape" to the font of the numbers. The object of this process is to "polish" the spot around the numbers to as high a gloss as possible so the number "imperfections" of the stamped numbers in the surface metal stand out as much as possible from the shiny background metal.

On the cowl paint, both of my cars were fully satin black both on the front (firewall) and the sides of the cowl. One car was originally Mercury Metallic and the other was Black. Even on the Black one the cowl was satin, not gloss like the body paint. I think this is because when the hood is closed, some of the side vents extend back over the cowl. In keeping the side look of the vents dark and not so a short section shows a lighter body color through, I think they decided to paint the cowl sides satin black. If not, a few of the vents would have a lighter color behind them and would look strange.

I suppose that at some different times during the construction of the bodies they may have made changes to this cowl side colors thing but there is little information on that. This is actually the first time I have heard that an original painted car showed color on the sides of the cowl. All other originals I have seen/heard of are semi gloss black.

Oops - Yup, I for got about the inside of the trunk lid being sprayed with the sound deadener like the inside of the insert top. Thanks for the reminder!

Edited by 1936 D2 (see edit history)

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We are getting some great info on this subject and I sure appreciate those that are sharing their knowledge and experience on this. When I get to stripping my frame down and cleaning it, I will look for any and all numbers that are on it. I want to try and document everything I can as once the car is back together, some of this info will be hidden and I want to pass, what I can, on to the next owner (hopefully not a street rodder). Thanks guys

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Much of the earlier bolt on sheet metal was dipped so yes it was same color both sides, I know that does not neccessarily help with these late models but it is a place to start.

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Yup. My information has it that these "later" versions were sprayed, most likely because of the "metallics" in the paints (starting in '35 as I recall) and a concerted effort by the manufacturers to save money. It would be harder to keep the metallics in suspension evenly in a big tank of dip paint than what can be controlled in a sprayer.

I would guess that they would have spray painted the parts for coverage about the same way as the dipped versions except for the satin black used on the floors and cowl/firewall (as earlier described).

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Yup. My information has it that these "later" versions were sprayed, most likely because of the "metallics" in the paints (starting in '35 as I recall) and a concerted effort by the manufacturers to save money. It would be harder to keep the metallics in suspension evenly in a big tank of dip paint than what can be controlled in a sprayer.

I would guess that they would have spray painted the parts for coverage about the same way as the dipped versions except for the satin black used on the floors and cowl/firewall (as earlier described).

I did not consider the metallics, there would be no way that dipping the parts would work I am sure

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