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RogerS351

1926 body mounting?

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My father and I are in the process of restoring a 1926 Dodge tourer. This would have to be one of the longest restorations ever as he started it in the mid 1980's. Now that he's retired I'm pushing him to finish it. At some point in its past it was converted to a ute so when he bought it the rear tub (that's what we've always called it but there might be a better name) and rear doors were sitting in the back of the tray. In other words we're putting some of it back together by guesswork. The front section was mounted on the chassis with some felt and rubber blocks (in chassis-felt-rubber-body order). What we're trying to figure out is firstly if this was original and secondly if so if the rear section was also mounted in this manner (it would mean quite a large gap between the frame above the petrol tank and the bottom of the tub). If anyone can help point us in the right direction it would be greatly appreciated.

Roger.

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Benefits of AACA Membership.

The original mounting material was just a strip of felt - no rubber involved. By now you will have discovered that the felt held water - resulting in rusting of the chassis rail and lower body. The best replacement is uncured rubber strip which is available from Spectrum Rubber (from your language I take it that you are located in Australia). As far as body level goes, you need to start from the radiator. It should be mounted on rubber strip about 5-6 mm thick. Mount the scuttle and bonnet, packing up the scuttle with extra rubber strip if necessary to ensure the bonnet sides sit vertically on the radiator. If the body is the coachbuilt Australian variety it will sit on two main timber bearers which plug into the lower rails of the Budd all steel scuttle. The bearers should be straight to where the chassis kicks up over the rear axle but may require some packing to ensure the doors open and close correctly. After the kick up the bearers remain straight and the tub should finish flush with the chassis member which covers the petrol tank. Hope this is as clear as mud!

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post-44825-143142187918_thumb.jpgI should have included these photos. Whilst this is my roadster body the effect is the same as a tourer - note the kick up at the rear and where the body ends.

post-44825-14314218789_thumb.jpg

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Hi Tony,

Thanks for that. Yes, as you guessed I'm in Australia, Tassie actually - I'll update the location in my profile in a minute. What you say makes sense so we'll ditch the felt and use rubber instead. I had a look on the Spectrum website but the thickest uncured rubber I could see was 2mm. Did you use multiple layers of this or is there some thicker stuff hidden somewhere in the catalogue? I'm heading down to my parents tomorrow to do some more tweaking to try and get the doors to fit properly. They're also a bit twisted which is proving frustrating. Then I'll leave my father to guess how to fashion a rear floor and seat frame whilst I'm fixing up the scratched paint job I finished fifteen years ago. BTW you didn't by any chance have a '23 for sale about twenty years ago did you?

Roger.

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For those interested I thought I'd add a picture of what it looked like when we got it all those years ago (minus the headlights which were safely stored in the shed).

post-96352-143142189221_thumb.jpg

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Hi Roger

The 2mm stuff is what you need. It is just to isolate the body from the chassis while providing a moisture barrier. Twisted doors can be fixed by using diagonal wires and turnbuckles. Once the shape is restored you can re-glue the joints (with waterproof glue), re-screw where necessary and then dispense with the wire.

Yes, I did have a 1923 tourer for sale and I do remember someone from Tasmania coming to see it. I drove him back to the airport. Was that your father?

Cheers

Tony

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That is a sporty looking ute. I'd be tempted to keep it that way.

I wouldnt change a thing

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Hi Roger

The 2mm stuff is what you need. It is just to isolate the body from the chassis while providing a moisture barrier. Twisted doors can be fixed by using diagonal wires and turnbuckles. Once the shape is restored you can re-glue the joints (with waterproof glue), re-screw where necessary and then dispense with the wire.

Yes, I did have a 1923 tourer for sale and I do remember someone from Tasmania coming to see it. I drove him back to the airport. Was that your father?

Cheers

Tony

Hi Tony,

Yes, I believe that was my father. Small world.

Thanks for the hints with the doors. We'll have a go at twisting them tomorrow. Today was spent moving the tub back a bit as the tolerances were too tight for the doors to fit properly. Slow progress, that's for sure.

Cheers,

Roger.

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Yes it was a good looking ute. Alas the conversion back to a tourer was started twenty years ago although I'll now admit leaving it as a ute would have been much easier. We could have then nailed a sofa down in the back and given the passengers an umbrella - it's almost the same as a tourer. :)

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The 2mm uncured rubber arrived so it's now replaced the felt. We still need to drill some hollows in the new wood to clear some rivets which were previously just pushing into the felt a bit but otherwise it's all good. There's still much head scratching with regards to the doors as my father is naturally reluctant to cut through the bridle joint. In the meantime I extended the "replacement" rear door sills with a bit more metal so they'd actually fit. I also tried my hand at using body solder for the first time which proved interesting but I managed to figure it out. I would have taken some photos but my wife has taken the digital camera to her mothers for a week. Does anyone have any photos of the wood in the rear floor and seat area we might be able to use as a template? We don't even have the springs for the rear seat so I'm not even sure where the floor is supposed to end and the rear seat start.

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