Jump to content

Farm-fresh 1927 Dodge


Nick Moore
 Share

Recommended Posts

Hi,

I thought some of you might be interested in a farm-find I recently dragged home. I'm a geologist working in northern Queensland, and one of the farms we were drilling on had a collection of artistically-arranged debris beside the farmer's runway. I had no idea what it was when I first saw it, but the clue that eventually told me it was a 1927 Dodge was the air cleaner. Although it is a body-less wreck, the steel still there is in amazingly good condition, thanks to northern Australia's dry climate. So at the end of the job, I hauled the remains home. Normally I just collect rocks :rolleyes:

The engine number is D907-581 and the chassis is A810-423. It consists of a chassis (pretty straight), engine (rusted solid), back axle (also rusted solid), front wings, radiator shell, hood panels and bulkhead. No gearbox, and only the hubs and one rim from the wooden-spoked wheels. The cast iron part between the engine and bellhousing is broken.

The bulkhead (or cowling, what's the American term?) is very rusty, but I was stopped on the way home by a chap who invited me to see his Model T collection. To one side were parts from what he thought was a Hupmobile - looking at the photos now, I'm sure it's an earlier (c. 1925) Dodge bulkhead, and in much better condition than mine. Apart from the vent flap, are there any differences from a 1927 Dodge bulkhead?

Interestingly, I found green paint not only on the bulkhead but also the front wings. It may be that Australian-bodied cars didn't always have black wings? At the moment I'm completing the restoration of a Triumph GT6, so the Dodge parts have been tucked away in the garage while I track down missing parts. A Service Repair Manual is on its way from Amazon, to minimise the number of really dumb questions. I'll also keep an eye out for a body - while I'd love to restore it as a roadster-pickup (practical, easy to build and a fun open-top), if a roadster or tourer body in good condition turns up here in Australia, I might consider it.

post-96449-143142190021_thumb.jpg

As found

post-96449-143142190031_thumb.jpg

Retrieval

post-96449-143142190034_thumb.jpg

The inside of the engine. Number 2 exhaust valve is broken, and may have been why it was eventually dumped.

post-96449-143142190037_thumb.jpg

Traces of green paint (more often faded to yellow) on the front wings

post-96449-14314219004_thumb.jpg

What my friend thought was a Hupmobile. I'm thinking Dodge c.1925?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 9 months later...

I've spent the last nine months finding parts for my Dodge, stripping and reconditioning them. So far I've found a fuel tank, carburettor, water pump, generator and speedometer. I'm now looking for a distributor. The distributor should be mounted in front of the water pump like this one:

post-96449-143142576056_thumb.jpg

Here's the water pump and distributor mounting - I haven't cleaned them up yet:

post-96449-143142576063_thumb.jpg

The part numbers are a bit confusing, as I have a '26 chassis (A810423) and a D-series engine (5 mains, 3 chassis mounts). I think this distributor http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/121364955288?ru=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.ebay.com.au%2Fsch%2Fi.html%3F_sacat%3D0%26_from%3DR40%26_nkw%3D121364955288%26_rdc%3D1 (ebay 121364955288) is correct? It's a NorthEast model 10004.

post-96449-143142576072_thumb.jpg

There are lots of other parts I'm keeping an eye out for - a steering wheel, gearbox, radiator, 21" wheels... but no hurry!

So far the only Dodge I've found on the road is this one:

post-96449-143142576068_thumb.jpg

Gives me a standard to aim for when restoring...

 

 

 

 

Edited by Nick Moore
Atroshus spelling (see edit history)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would try to make that Dodge into a convertible truck. You may find wheels in Australia at a place called Gum Tree. I saw the sight advertised and I emailed them but they never replied . I will check my waste basket to see if I find the information. Also you may be able to fabricate some of the parts .There is a fellow in the U.S who made me a windshield frame for my 28 D.B closed car. Decent work and reasonable price too. Rubbers and seals and some small metal pieces are available from Myers Early Dodge . Great people to deal with. Reproduction parts are made in Australia. Dave @ dodge city in U S. has lots of parts . Elise Pakeman, in Australia have wheel parts. Existing tyre size will give you a lead as to what the wheel size is.

It is just my opinion. Start by cleaning and painting what you have with POR 15 , put them together,step back and take a look , then you will get an idea where you are going and what next you need. Closed cars are difficult to restore especially the roof.

If I can be of help drop me a line at hsahu@tcn.net

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the advice and encouragement, guys. Yep, eBay and Gumtree are two sites I'm keeping an eye on, and some parts have popped up from time to time. I'll join the Aussie Dodge club too.

My plan is definitely to restore my Dodge as a roadster pickup, so that it'll be a useful member of the family and not just live in the garage. With that in mind, I'd like to add front brakes if possible. One of the front chassis legs has been bent and repaired (using a fence post!), something I'd like to avoid repeating... Is the '26's front axle the same as a Fast Four's?

post-96449-143142579983_thumb.jpg

post-96449-143142579978_thumb.jpg

Another question... can anyone post a picture of their steering wheel hub? The remains of my steering wheel are rusted in place, and it's resisted all non-destructive attempts at disassembly (although I am winning, slowly). I've seen similar-looking wheels on eBay, but need to know that they really are the right ones. Here's mine:

post-96449-143142580011_thumb.jpg

In the meantime, I have to finish this first - a '72 Triumph GT6:

post-96449-143142580029_thumb.jpg

It looks finished, but I'm still fabricating a fuel injection system and headers.

post-96449-143142580025_thumb.jpg

Edited by Nick Moore (see edit history)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Operation Clean-and-Paint is underway. It's amazing that after sitting outside for donkey's years, that old Dodge cast iron only has a thin film of rust. I know the area of Australia I bought it from is dry, but still, wow!

One of the parts I cleaned up was the mount for the distributor. At least, I thought that was what it was. Mine is the green one on the right. I bought a water pump and it came with another mount, which is different. Looking at the large flat section with four holes, I'm wondering if my car had a magneto instead of a dizzy?

post-96449-143142601622_thumb.jpg

I found an excerpt from an Australian newspaper from 1927 that states: "As battery ignition has been so successfully used in Australia for some considerable time, this type of ignition will be standard equipment on all the new Dodge Brothers' cars. Magneto ignition can be made available at extra charge."

I think it'll be easier to find and restore a distributor than a magneto.

post-96449-143142601615_thumb.jpg

Edited by Nick Moore (see edit history)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Nick that is only the base the magneto mounts vertical bracket that bolts to the pump . They are about if you know what to look for but dist, is the better way to go , will keep you in mind at the next few swaps that come up . regards Bob

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I do not know for sure if my 1928 steering is the same style but your left over portion seems familiar. I can send you dimensions and picture . The levers for the ignition and spark advance are reproduced in Au. Have fun. Cheers.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A couple of weeks ago I joined the Australasian Dodge club. The new member's pack arrived this week and included a magazine, booklet of serial numbers and a windscreen sticker (for when I get a windscreen). And a few days later I got a phone call from a guy named Jim Clarke, down south in Victoria. I can only assume that the photo of my rusty Dodge I sent as part of the club joining process acted as a distress call. Jim's been collecting Dodge parts for a fair few years, and just happened to have a set of 21" wooden wheels - the correct size for my car. The price was better than right - it was downright generous on Jim's part. So this morning's mission was a cold dawn meeting with a long-distance truck driver who Jim knows and who just happened to be driving up from Victoria. Jim's got a lot more parts, so I reckon this won't be the last early morning part-picking trip :)

post-96449-143142617934_thumb.jpg

One rear wheel has been respoked but never fitted to a car, and the other rear is used but in good condition. The two fronts will need respoking, but it turns out that there's a wheelwright about an hour from Brisbane. My next jobs will be to strip and paint the felloes and hubs, and strip the black paint off the older rear wheel.

post-96449-143142617924_thumb.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Nick,

I have a 1927 Dodge Brothers 4 screen (Photos in library). I met a guy at a car show and he told me that he had some parts for a 27 Dodge and wanted to know if I wanted them. Not sure exactly what they are, but I can probably find out and or get you his email address. He was willing to just let me have them, but it was because our 4 screen is used for Public Relations programs for our Sheriff's Department. Let me know if your interested, I think they are parts for the engine and other misc parts. Let me know, you will, undoubtedly, have to pay the shipping and any cost associated with getting them to you. But it looks like you might be able to use whatever you can find.

Juan

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Nick, any possibility finding me a rim in Australia ? Tyre size is 600/650x19. Use 6 bolts .The width of the rim is 4 and 1/4ins. wide. I will pay all expenses. Elise Pakeman in Australia used to re produce them but he has ceased operation because of health reasons. I think his email is elisepakeman.com.au. What a loss. Is there any one who is enterprising enough to get his machinery to continue production ? Cheers.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 months later...

Yesterday I spent a thoroughly enjoyable half hour at Keith Wilson's wheelwright workshop in Allora. My front wheels need respoking, and the rears will need to be disassembled so that the hubs and felloes can be repainted. I already had an idea of how wheels are respoked, but wanted to find out how Keith recommended I prepare the metal components.

The workshop was wonderful. Everything was covered by a layer of sawdust, making it seem as though nothing had been moved for years. It smelled of wood shavings - much nicer than the metal, oil and paint smells we're used to. Hanging from the rafters were hundreds of lengths of steam bent timber for felloes, steering wheels and hood bows, left to cure in their new shapes for a few months before being used. A lot of workshops have a dog snoozing in the corner. Keith has a shingleback lizard lying on a woodpile. Apparently it's been living in the shed for years.

Keith recommended I have my wheel components sandblasted, not just wire brushed, and painted in two pack. He emphasised that the paint be thin so that it doesn't get squeezed when the wheel is assembled. His spokes are usually made from Australian Spotted Gum, although he has some stocks of hickory for the purists. Interestingly, he said that factory wheels were usually only painted after assembly, so there wasn't any paint under the spokes. He had some partly finished wheels to show me, including some whose metal components had been prepared incorrectly. No warranty on those! He also had some lovely Silver Ghost hubs, which were huge and intricate. The rear wheel bearing races must have been about four inches diameter.

One of his friends dropped in while we were talking, driving a Model T pickup. Apparently it's his every day car. There was a 1915 Overland in the corner, half restored, a couple of old bikes, and a few other wheeled oddities stored in the sheds. All in all, it was a fascinating place to visit, and I'm looking forward to returning with my wheels.

Edited by Nick Moore (see edit history)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yesterday I spent a thoroughly enjoyable half hour at Keith Wilson's wheelwright workshop in Allora. My front wheels need respoking, and the rears will need to be disassembled so that the hubs and felloes can be repainted. I already had an idea of how wheels are respoked, but wanted to find out how Keith recommended I prepare the metal components.

The workshop was wonderful. Everything was covered by a layer of sawdust, making it seem as though nothing had been moved for years. It smelled of wood shavings - much nicer than the metal, oil and paint smells we're used to. Hanging from the rafters were hundreds of lengths of steam bent timber for felloes, steering wheels and hood bows, left to cure in their new shapes for a few months before being used. A lot of workshops have a dog snoozing in the corner. Keith has a shingleback lizard lying on a woodpile. Apparently it's been living in the shed for years.

Keith recommended I have my wheel components sandblasted, not just wire brushed, and painted in two pack. He emphasised that the paint be thin so that it doesn't get squeezed when the wheel is assembled. His spokes are usually made from Australian Spotted Gum, although he has some stocks of hickory for the purists. Interestingly, he said that factory wheels were usually only painted after assembly, so there wasn't any paint under the spokes. He had some partly finished wheels to show me, including some whose metal components had been prepared incorrectly. No warranty on those! He also had some lovely Silver Ghost hubs, which were huge and intricate. The rear wheel bearing races must have been about four inches diameter.

One of his friends dropped in while we were talking, driving a Model T pickup. Apparently it's his every day car. There was a 1915 Overland in the corner, half restored, a couple of old bikes, and a few other wheeled oddities stored in the sheds. All in all, it was a fascinating place to visit, and I'm looking forward to returning with my wheels.

Hi Nick ,just a littel point to keep in mind that the front wheel hubs are slightly differant in size between two and four weel brake cars .Bob

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 years later...

My ‘26 Dodge’s wheels have just come back from the wheelwright. They were respoked with Spotted Gum, which apparently has similar properties to the original timber (Hickory?). The level of detail involved in remaking a wooden spoked wheel is impressive - the wedge ends of the spokes are beveled so that bolting the hub and drum together tightens the spokes and pushes them out against the felloe. It’s obviously a technology developed over hundreds of years of horse-drawn carriages, but it’s equally obvious why car-makers were increasingly turning to steel wheels instead by the late twenties. A steel rim is probably stronger, composed of far fewer pieces and would take far less time and skill to assemble. And if my new wheels are anything to go by, steel wheels might have been lighter as well. But man, these are pretty.

 

Anyway, these were remade by Keith Wilson in Queensland (Australia):

7D228993-6B84-4432-B8D5-37C3FA67EEF1.thumb.jpeg.6747a754afb43ff68bdfb52d8e61cd7d.jpeg

 

94F7ADB6-6436-4E6E-96E2-CF47B17858CB.thumb.jpeg.87b3a54995fb4ae83de7d1c452df8edf.jpeg

Edited by Nick Moore
Spelling (see edit history)
  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

A couple of weeks ago I headed to Robert B's  place to pick up a replacement chassis, rear axle and front axle with brakes. I'm very grateful to Bob for helping me with this rebuild. He has a trove of parts for four and six cylinder Dodges, and whenever my parts have turned out to be rubbish, he's been able to source or supply replacements. He's also making a radiator for me.

 

The chassis has been sandblasted and painted with Bill Hirsch semi-gloss chassis paint, and a few minor parts have been powder coated. The front and rear axles will get blasted next week.

 

1569109691_Chassistrip2.thumb.jpg.ffdea932737719ac93e498bf04c6c9c6.jpg

 

115841398_Chassispainted.thumb.jpg.94d219605720ca260dc376ac2d010ca2.jpg

 

The diff is the open prop shaft type, much lighter than the original with torque tube. Despite having been through the Murwillumbah floods a couple of years ago, it looks to be in good condition with no rust.

 

Diff.thumb.jpg.6f07d5551aa644ab5a7405decf91672f.jpg

 

It's a start...

Edited by Nick Moore
Added a photo (see edit history)
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...