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My official 1936 D2 sedan resurrection thread


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So I guess the tank itself is the same as shown in the parts book.  What about other parts that attach to the tank like the tube I'm seeing?  Something must be different because, as I've said, I've removed many, many gas tanks and this one is captive between the leaf springs.  And the "tower" that is soldered to the top of the tank hits the body when  I try to move the tank towards the passenger side of the car.

 

I'll try to take some pics of what I'm up against but the D2 is backed into a garage and up on stands.  I don't know that I can get a good shot of the situation.

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I'm wondering if your tank clearance problem isn't caused by the fact that you have jack stands under the rear axle, thus holding the springs as far up as if the car was merely standing flat on the road. Perhaps if you position the stands underneath the frame rails the weight of the rear end would drop down and lower the springs enough to finesse the tank past the springs.

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The tank should drop right down as the edges of the tank are inboard of the springs. Here's a photo of a tank in the frame but without the body; you'll notice that the filler tube is quite close to the frame.

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On 8/12/2017 at 1:11 AM, Hudsy Wudsy said:

I'm wondering if your tank clearance problem isn't caused by the fact that you have jack stands under the rear axle, thus holding the springs as far up as if the car was merely standing flat on the road. Perhaps if you position the stands underneath the frame rails the weight of the rear end would drop down and lower the springs enough to finesse the tank past the springs.

I considered that but I don't think it's the problem.  Letting the rear axle hang won't lower the springs far enough to get them out of the way.  I may try to do it though if the filler neck doesn't unscrew easily.  Thanks for the suggestion.

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20 hours ago, jpage said:

The tank should drop right down as the edges of the tank are inboard of the springs. Here's a photo of a tank in the frame but without the body; you'll notice that the filler tube is quite close to the frame.

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Great picture, jpage!  Is that your work?  If so it's beautiful.

The picture illustrates exactly what I'm talking about.  Sure the tank fits between the leaf springs and could drop straight down *if* that straight tube filler pipe didn't hit the frame on the way down.  And when the body is mounted there's a sheet metal pocket or channel in the floor/inner fender that fits around that tank tower and straight pipe that prevents the tower from moving toward the passenger side of the car.

I'm working alone today but will make a run to the garage to reassess the situation.

Edited by Pete in PA (see edit history)
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The tank I had made at a local tinsmith's shop who copied the tank perfectly. He installed the baffle and all the original fixtures. It's all galvanized with rolled and soldered seams so there is no rust from welding. I do think, and I could be wrong as I have not had to drop a tank with the body on, that if you did jack the car from the frame, there should be enough room to slide the tank between the spring and the frame on the right side far enough for the filler tube to clear. I doubt that after all these years that the tube extension would unscrew from the mount. I see that the outer tube is a serviceable part as it's listed in the parts book so maybe it does come apart but be careful. Curious to find out as I have one in a parts car that needs taken out but may wait until the body is off. I would soak the daylights out of the joint with a good rust remover for a while prior to trying it. I might suggest inserting a  piece of steel pipe that just fits the id if the filler tube and using a good strap wrench on it so as not to crush the tube.

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I thought that tank was awful shiny for an 80 year old part but the workmanship I was admiring was the frame/chassis.  You did do all that, right?  I doubt that I will ever go so far as to lift the body and restore the chassis on my D2  I'll be thrilled to get it presentable and reliable enough to use during nice weather.

 

As for removing that tube, I'l not at all surprised to hear that it was sold as a separate part.  That just reinforces my thought that it unscrews.  No other reason for those 2 square cutouts to be placed at the outside end.  I sprayed the joint a few days ago with either WD40 or Blaster.  HAve them both on hand and don't remember which one I used.

 

My idea for trying to unscrew the tube is as follows: find or turn down a piece of hardwood that very closely fits inside the tube.  Then drive 2 nails into the wood at the appropriate locations.  File the side of the nails to make them flat.  Insert wood into filler neck.  Cross fingers.  Use a strap wrench or large ChannelLocks to apply twisting motion.

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Spent a couple of hours at the D2 this afternoon.  Just tinkering, mostly.  I did snap a pic inside the left rear fender showing the fuel inlet tube and the square notches at its end.

 

I continue to marvel at how rust free this car is.  I can just unscrew screws that were tightened 80 years ago!  I work on 10 and 12 YO cars every day where underbody screws/bolts snap off when you try to loosen them.   Road salt corrosion, I guess.

 

I say no way can that tank be dropped until you unscrew the inlet pipe.  Unless someone on this forum says "It can be done because I did it" I'm proceeding under the assumption that, with the body in place,  that 7" long straight pipe has to be unscrewed to drop the gas tank.

 

I poked around under the dash seeing what it was going to take to remove it.  Then I took up the front floor mat and found the first bad news so far: the front floor is a rusty mess. There are holes :-(   I think the leaking/missing cowl vent seal and/or the crappy windshield seal allowed water to repeatedly soak that area and the jute padding retained the water.  It looks like there are drain holes at each lower corner of the windshield opening to carry away seal leakage.  I wonder where they drain to?

 

Someone pop-riveted nicely-formed panels over most of the rotted floor area but that's not gonna work for me.  Does anyone make replacement floor panels for these cars?  Ha ha, right?

 

I removed the metal panel that allows one to access the brake master cylinder, etc. and that was interesting.  If someone has a parts car with those slotted screws that have the pointy end I will definitely need a bunch of them.

 

I sorted through one of the bundles of trim strips that came with the car.  It seems that it is the "hood trim" bundle but I'm confused.  There are 4 thin strips that are maybe 36" long and 4 that are a few inches shorter.  I need to find where each set goes.

 

In other news there is a nice 36 touring sedan for sale very close to me.  (Never do a craigslist search unless you really want to find something.)  I'm emailing the seller and asking if my son and I can go see it tomorrow.

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33 minutes ago, keiser31 said:

Looks lik an old fire extinguisher mount under the heater.

Good eyes, John. While I have your attention for a moment, let me ask you, and anyone else who has an opinion, do you think that this is the way the brake and clutch pedals were mounted when the car left the factory? As many times as not I've seen them mounted vertically (up and down) as opposed to horizontally. I wonder if used cars dealers changed their position for some reason.

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Thanks all for the comments and info.

 

I improvised a filler neck removal tool this morning and headed for the garage.  I used a  2" hole saw bit with a large nail stuck through the side holes.  I ground flat the sides of the nail so I'd have a large contact area with the filler neck slots.  No go.  The neck is too tight.  I'll go to Home Depot later today to buy some square stock, hopefully hardened, and have another go at it.

 

While at the car I made a very important archeological discovery!  At least very important to me.  The guy I bought the Dodge from was unable to tell me much about the guy he bought the car from.  He said he was a collector and he lived in nearby Prospect Park.  First name was John.  That's it.  This was almost 40 years ago so I can understand.

 

Well the one clue I've had from day one was what appeared to be a Lehigh University parking sticker on the windshield.  At least the sticker seemed to say Lehigh University.  I thought about contacting Lehigh but, with no date or name, that seemed to be a long shot.  A very long shot.

 

When fuel filler neck removal failed Junior and I decided to tackle another issue: battery box access.  I figured I'd have to slide the seat rearward all the way to get at that battery box so I tried to do that.  No way.  That seat was STUCK!  I sprayed some Blaster on the tracks and linkage.  Man oh man is that release lever hard to operate!  It's a real hand/arm killer if you really work at it.  First I got the passenger side to slide back and forth a bit.  Then some work on the driver's side got that to move too.  I couldn't get the whole seat to move fore/aft while sitting in the driver's seat so I moved to the middle of the seat.  That worked better but was even harder on my arm/shoulder and the seat didn't seem to move very far.

 

I got out of the car and stuck my work light under the seat to see what was going on.  EUREKA!  There are old papers under that seat!

 

The first thing I dug out was an  8.5x11 mimeographed notice from the Wilmington (DE) Medical Center that the employee parking lot was being repaved on July 9, 1968 and arrangements had been made for employees to park at a nearby hotel for that day.  Wow, pretty specific date, LOL.  Someone was driving my old Dodge to work when it was over 30 years old!  That's interesting.

 

Then I found a folded sheet of quadrille paper with a pre-printed letterhead that said "Lehigh University Department of __________" so I guess I was right about the parking sticker.  Looks like someone drew a map in ballpont pen on that sheet of paper but it had gotten wet and was mostly washed away.

 


Next I dusted off a partially rotted index card printed with info from the Starlite Drive-In Theatre in Easton, PA (home of Lehigh University).  Watch 6 movies and the 7th is free!  Rubber stamped August 25, 1966.  Wow!  I wonder what was playing that night?

 

Then I found a receipt for a "gasket" from "Valley Motor Parts" in Bethlehem, PA.  Date of April 29, 1966.  Wonder what gasket that was?

 

I was most excited to find a receipt for "hub puller rental" from a nearby NAPA dated September of 1964 (I think).  It gives the name and address of a Mr. Snyder and that is a huge clue.

 

I don't know how all this stuff fits together but I know that it does and I'm working on figuring it out.

 

So how do I get to the battery box?  Do I have to remove the seat? And how far should that seat move fore/aft?

 

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Edited by Pete in PA (see edit history)
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Okay keiser31, that was good advice.  The seat cushion popped out without too much trouble.  I'm really surprised at how decent the upholstery is for being 80 years old.  The individual springs are still wrapped in burlap and the cushion framework still has black paint on it!

 

Getting the cushion out of the way revealed a big surprise: the lug wrench and cranking tool are still mounted under that cushion!  I had no idea....  I looked for that stuff behind the rear seat when I first bought the car and, when I found nothing, figured it was long gone.  Looks to me like 1) there are some items missing, 2) the cross pin is missing from the cranking tool, there is some sort of adapter needed to join the lug wrench or cranking tool to the screw jack, and 4) whatever cover used to be on that battery is long gone.  And I don't think the tools are mounted correctly.  Or maybe they're not the right tools...  Input needed!

 

I measured the old Delco 412 battery that came with the car (9.25w x 7d x 8.75 t (including the posts).  Measuring the box it seems that it was take a battery that is 11w x 9t x 7.75d so I need to find a 6V battery that fits.  BTW, that 36 Dodge touring sedan for sale near me...  I forgot to give the link.  It is: https://delaware.craigslist.org/cto/d/1936-dodge-four-door-sedan/6251090376.html   The seller says that the car has an 8V battery.  That's a typo, right?  I've certainly never heard of an 8V automotive battery.

 

For my last task of the day I measured the mysterious hood trim strips and took some pics.  The short strips come to a point at both ends.  The longer strips (by about 4.5 inches) have one pointed and one blunted end.  See the pics!

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Oh, wait, I just answered my own question.  Well one of them.  It seems from one of the current CL ad pics that the D2 hoods got 6 trim strips on each side!  Two long thin strips with the blunt end at the front to blend with the radiator shell trim and two shorter strips with both ends pointy inboard of the long strips.  Plus the wide strip down the middle of the louvers and the one at the top edge of the hood lower panel.  Wow, that's a lot of trim in a very small area!

Edited by Pete in PA (see edit history)
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I did the chassis on my car myself and the pictures actually make it look nicer than it is. I did fill the pits on the axles and most visible surfaces to get a better finish. I had to rebuild most of the top rails as they were badly rotted.II do as much as I can myself to try to save money and the satisfaction of just doing the work myself. I have an extra toeboard and floorboard that aren't in too bad a shape if you need one. You can get new ones from the Plymouth Doctor but they are handcrafted and may or may not fit correctly. To have some of the original tools is neat, mine are all missing! When looking for a battery, any group 1 6vt should fit although they tend to be slightly larger than original batteries. Deka makes a good 6vt and a tractor supply company might be your best bet for finding one on the shelf. Some folks use an 8vt battery to increase cranking amps for easier starting but that can lead to problems with the gauges are generator. If all the cables are the right size and the wiring is good, a 6vt system will work like new.

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Are you sure that the original battery was a group 1? Even a group 2 has the same terminal arrangement but a 2L or 2N is different and attaching cables might be a problem. We sell Deka batteries at work and the rep will be here this afternoon. I am ready to order one if I'm sure of the group.  FWIW the Deka catalog shows cars back to 1954 and all Mopars call for a group 2.

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The windshield frame drain has fittings that take a hose about the size of heater hose. The driver side piece is long and travels over to the pass. side and goes into a y- joiner that meets the pass. side hose and then exits out a hole up high on the right side firewall. 

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3 hours ago, Steve9 said:

The windshield frame drain has fittings that take a hose about the size of heater hose. The driver side piece is long and travels over to the pass. side and goes into a y- joiner that meets the pass. side hose and then exits out a hole up high on the right side firewall. 

 

It surprises me to hear this.  The holes in the lower corners of the windshield opening are so small.  1/8"? 3/16"?  Why have drain hoses that are so huge?  The volume of water going through those small drain holes can't possibly approach the capacity of a hose like the one you're describing.  I would have figured a 1/4" drain tube maximum.

 

I stuck my fingers into the cowl area under the instrument panel and couldn't reach the windshield opening drain holes.  I could see light through them when holding a work light inside the cowl  but it seemed to me that the holes just drained into the cowl area.  Guess I'll have to take a closer look because if I can see light from below there aren't any hoses connected at this time.  Maybe *that's* why the front floor is rotted...

 

In other news the Deka rep for the shop I work at delivered my Deka group 2 battery today.  05/17 production.  My price $98.00.  Don't know if that's good or bad but battery prices sure have gone nuts in the past few years.  $100+ 12V battery prices are normal these days.

 

Speaking of unbelievably high prices, I did some cooling system work to a 2003 Jaguar XJ8-Sport today.  Beautiful car, silver with black leather. 40,000 miles.  The interior smelled wonderful.  Bad water pump allowed the system to bleed out so I had to replace teh pump and refill the system.  Price of a gallon of coolant through the Jaguar dealer?  $85 retail and I'm not kidding  I almost fainted!  I told the Jaguar/Land Rover delivery guy "*This* is why I'm not driving a Jaguar! LOL

Edited by Pete in PA (see edit history)
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None of my cars have any connections for hoses at the windshield drains. The water simply flows down the inside of the body and out the bottom. Most of the floorboard rot, I believe, comes from the drivers wet feet when rubber floor mats could trap moisture underneath. All my cars suffered some damage in that area. Toeboards are usually pretty good because any water will drain off onto the floor. I would think that with a properly sealed windshield, water pooling in the corners would be minimum. I did have some rot in the very front areas of the rockers at the cowl where water could have collected.

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  • 2 weeks later...

My son and  I went to the garage this afternoon and puttered for awhile.  The only exciting news is that we installed the new battery in the battery box and connected the cables.  No sparks, no smoking wires.  In fact absolutely nothing happened.  When I pressed the starting pedal, however, the starter kicked in and began to crank the engine!  This is the first time that the car has had power since the early 80s and the lack of an electrical fire is amazing to me.  The underhood wiring is creative to say the least.  There's a voltage regulator screwed to the left frame rail and it is connected to the generator with lamp cord.  There's another regulator on the firewall near the steering column.  I'm assuming that the one on the firewall is the original and the other was added later.  The headlamp dimmer switch is hanging by wires and gets moved around when one steps on the clutch pedal.  Lots of work to be done here.  Lots.  One day at a time...

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The regulator is originally mounted to the top of the generator on these cars. I would highly recommend rewiring the car with a new harness and not trying to make your own. They are a bit expensive but are alot easier to install and they have all the correct gauge sizes.

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The very first part I bought for this car was a new wiring harness from Rhode Island Wiring Service back in late November last year.  One look under the hood and under the dash told me that I'd never trust that deteriorated, butchered mess.  I only got the dash/engine/body/tail light harness.  I figure that once I hear the engine run (using jumper wires from the battery to the coil, etc. I will proceed with installing the harness I got.

 

I'll have to take some pics of the "interesting" wiring on this car.  The lamp cord from the generator to the regulator is one feature.  The numerous wires running through holes in the firewall is another.

 

Having never heard a 6V system cranking, Junior thought it sounded funny.  I thought it was too noisy.  I wonder if the flywheel teeth are screwed up.  Time will tell.

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They do GRRRRR a bit when starting and they turn over a bit slower than a 12 vt system but a well tuned engine should start in a couple of revs. The starter speed depends on the amount of current it receives from the battery, that's why it's important to have the correct large diameter battery cables and not the modern thin ones. There are not a lot of exposed wires under the hood as most come off of the main harness. If I remember correctly, the only single wires are the wires from the starter switch to the electric choke,  from the coil to the low voltage connection on the dist. and the main coil wire

Edited by jpage (see edit history)
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Today's episode of The D2 Show is about numbers, numbers, and more numbers.  I hope that some members can help me to make sense of them.

 

First, the known: my 36's VIN is 4053746.  With VINs running from 4015051 to 4276687 I'd say that makes my car fairly early production.  Late 1935 or early 1936 production would be a good guess.

 

Now the unknown; look at the pics following this post.  On the passenger side of the firewall is a 4 digit number stamped in fairly large characters.  That number is "3022" and I'm wondering if it's the body number.  If so I don't understand how the VIN could be roughly 38,000 units into the model year and the body number be so low.  OTOH, if that body number is for *four passenger sedans* which had a production run of 5996, the number seems too *high* for that point in the production year.  Your thoughts appreciated...

 

In roughly the middle of the firewall is an oval aluminum plate that has the number "D2 4145S"  stamped into it.  Kind of the same observations/questions about this number as with the "3022."

 

A couple of posts ago jpage said that the voltage regulator should be mounted right on the generator.  I believed him but had trouble picturing this setup since my car is so different than that.  Obviously my car has been modified and now has a different charging system.  Fortunately the guy I bought the D2 from had stripped a 36 Plymouth of all useable parts and one of those parts was the generator and mounting brackets.  I located that part in the garage and !!! it appears to be the generator that I need!!!  The plate on the generator is stamped "Model GAR-4068E" and "Serial 5-0034217."  A separate plate on the Auto-Lite "Two Charge Regulator" reads "Model TC-4301-A" and "Serial 5-0024325."  I'm betting that the "5" prefix for both serial numbers is for calendar year 1935.  I need to do some research on these part numbers unless someone knows about them already.

 

My car also came with the starter from the 36 Plymouth and since that is a loose part I could easily read the numbers on the data plate.  They are "MAW-4010" and "11P 047428"

 

In other news I removed the fire extinguisher bracket that was fastened to the passenger side firewall.  I hate to speak ill of the dead (and the guy who did that installation is almost certainly dead) but wow.  If that was the best he could do it's a wonder that this car survived.  It looks like a grabbed a handful of screws, washers, and nuts from a garage drawer, drilled a few crude screw holes through the firewall, and tightened them.  Sort of.  I'm glad to see that mess removed.

 

As always your comments appreciated.

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Edited by Pete in PA (see edit history)
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MoToR's Manual says the 1936 Dodge used Generator GAR-4608E-5, as did 1936 Plymouth P2. It doesn't list the regulator against vehicle for that model.

 

1936-38 Dodge used starter MAW-4010, as did '37-38 De Soto, '37 Chry Six, but NOT Plymouth.

 

 

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The I.D. number on the title should match the number on the serial number tag located on the right side "A" pillar. The number on the small oval tag is just the factory body number which really should have no bearing as an I.d. number, although one of my car's titles has the 2 numbers reversed on it and is registered with the body number. The large oval tag is merely the WPC patent data tag. I'm not sure what the number stamped on the firewall is, other than an I.D. number used by the body manufacturer as I don't think that all the bodies, if any, were actually built by Dodge. In any case, it has no bearing for any I.D of the car. The car's serial number is also stamped on the frame usually on the rise just ahead of the rear axle but can be hard to find. There are several other numbers on the frame that also have nothing to do with identification. Looks like you lucked out finding the right generator and starter, but those are not hard to find. I think that that blue box mounted by the steering column might be a replacement horn relay setup as you are missing the correct horn relay which mounts on the steering column. The best way to find out when and how your car was built is to apply for a build card from the Chrysler Historical center. Build cards can be a wealth of knowledge or may contain very little but they are interesting.

Edited by jpage (see edit history)
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Jim, thanks for your input.  Yes, the vehicle number stamped on the right side "A" pillar plate is what shows up on my car's title.  I wasn't questioning what the car's VIN or serial number was; I was just curious about what the other number I mentioned might mean.  Thanks for reminding me about the Chrysler Historical build card.  You've spurred me to print the request form and fill it out.  I look forward to seeing what that card says.

 

Can you tell me 1) how many 36 Dodges you have, running, in restoration, and parts?  What are the firewall stamping and firewall oval plate numbers on those cars?  My own 36 is the only one I've seen and I have no idea what the range of, say, body numbers might be.

 

My family took a vacation to WV and Asheville, NC late last month and I was hoping to pass near enough to you to set up a visit and see your car but we had to make a stop in northern VA first.  That ended the visit idea!

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I had 3 cars at one time mostly for parts. My car is not yet complete due to a number of factors but I saved all the I.D. plates. Right now they are in my basement and being injured, cannot access them. My one car is an early car built in Dec. of '35, the other 2 were later. One was really rough so I scrapped the shell and rotted frame but still have one other body. I don't know myself if there is any way to trace the body numbers or to find out which company built the bodies.I would suspect that Budd may have been the main builder and I have no idea if Chrysler or Dodge built any of their own bodies. There may be some other guys who could shed some light on that subject. There used to be several very knowledgeable men on this forum but I haven't seen any comments from them in quite a while.Many of the numbers you'll find on the body, frame and parts usually have no meaning to anyone but the manufacture and trying to find info on them is almost impossible. Usually, only the serial number will have any real traceable meaning but sometimes the body number might be used to determine approximate time of construction in the case of parts changes through out the year. I have noticed , between the 3 cars  I have had, that there were several changes in several aspects of the car including trim differences, hole placement in garnish mouldings, fan blades and a few other things. Don't know whether these changes were authorized through out the entire line or if they were due to outsourcing or specific to different plants. When I get a chance. I'll try to get the plates and give you the numbers. I only ever got a build card for the car I'm restoring so I would have no idea when the other 2 were built.

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I got to look at the numbers stamped on the firewalls of my 2 cars today. The Dec. '35 body carries number 34060 in which the 3 is almost invisible. The other body carries number 112632 but I have no idea when that car was built.Still can't access the body plates. I'd be curious to know if the bodies were built to coincide with the build schedule of any particular car or if the builder just turned out a certain number of each body style to be shipped and pulled from factory stock when needed.It would also be interesting to find out if these numbers are a continuation from the 1935 manufacturing year or if a new numbering system was started for the '36 models and if the numbers were used consecutively for each new body or if they ran in series for each different body style. I'm sure that commercial numbers would have been different from the passenger cars. All of the factory domestic passenger body numbers carry the prefix of D2, I'm not sure about the export or Canadian cars.

Edited by jpage (see edit history)
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