MWilson

1920 Dodge Brothers Touring

Recommended Posts

A pic of the headlight and the "Knight Rebound Controller" as were commented on in an earlier post.  The body of the car was overpainted black by the second owner at some point in the 1960's or so.

IMG_0341.JPG

IMG_0348.JPG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nearchoc wrote:  "looks like the interior was redone at some point, most likely in vinyl but should have button tufted for sure."

 

Nope, the original upholstery on a '20 model would have been pleated, not tufted.  DB switched from the tufted to the pleated seats in 1918.  Also, you mean "affect", not "effect". And why do you say the upholstery is vinyl? It's obviously leather, and looks just like the original upholstery on my '22 touring when I bought it from a museum.  So I say the upholstery may well be original.  I am not sure about the top, so I won't comment on that.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OK, sorry for my misinformation about the tufted interior.  I have not found proof of when the tufted interior ended. I found it for roadsters but not touring cars. The '20 I know of had tufted so it is probably wrong. The serial number would prove a lot. And the owner still should do his own research The picture of interior sure looked like vinyl to my eyes, but I was sure the paint was far to good for 100 year old paint. DB did not use primer and the original paint comes off in sheets. I see a Northeast distributor and coil with a modern substitute mounted behind. DO not throw the coil away as they can be rebuilt. And they are often are still OK, it was just bad diagnosis that replaced them. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

MWilson, you have a very nice car that you can be proud of, and you're handling our "negative" comments well.  Sometimes people, myself included, are too quick to judge things.

 

The problem these days is that it is very difficult to tell what is original versus what is an old restoration that's been weathered quite a bit.  100 years is a long time, and a lot can happen to a car over that span.

 

I'll give you an example.  I used to spend a lot of time in Sacramento in the great State of California, and there is a large car museum there.  I would go in quite often, but on my first visit, I fell in love with a big, beautiful 1910 Peerless touring car.  It was patina and then some, and I would have sworn on a stack of Hemmings that it was all original.

 

I called a friend of mine in Idaho who knows just about every significant early car out there.  I told him, hey, I'm standing next to the nicest original early Peerless I've ever seen.  Oh, he said, the one in the Sacramento museum?  No, that one was restored in about 1950 then driven on every tour the owner could find for years.  That's not an original car, just an older restoration.

 

Attached is not a good picture, but in real life, the patina was what one would THINK and original, well stored, car would look like.

Peerless Towe Museum hood .jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The interior looks like original leather to me.  If it were mine I would get a leather upholstery  expert to sympathetically restore it.  They can work wonders from what I have seen.

 

One thing you might want to do is source a replacement exhaust manifold.  The pipe would originally be held on by a large coarse threaded nut.  The nuts are readily available but you may need to hunt for a manifold. They sometimes appear on eBay.  It would be a good idea to find the chassis number and then you could easily trace the exact date of construction.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, trimacar said:

The problem these days is that it is very difficult to tell what is original versus what is an old restoration that's been weathered quite a bit.  100 years is a long time, and a lot can happen to a car over that span.

For sure, absolutely understand 100%.  The thing with this car is that I know the history of it pretty much from day 1. The second owner was a close family friend and well respected antique car collector, who was heavily in the "don't touch it" category.  This was his first old car purchase in or around 1957.  Other than having the body overpainted in the 60's and making whatever mech tweaks were required to keep it driveable, he really didn't touch it.  If he did my father and grandfather would know about it, as they were great friends through that entire time period.  So that leaves the only possibility of an older restoration or changes taking place between 1920 and 1957 by the original owner.  The second owner knew the family of the first owner, and the first owner personally, so an older restoration would be known about and information transferred to the second (I don't know how common restoration projects on cars like this would be pre 57, but I'm guessing not common at all).  Plus, the second owner had a lot of old cars, so while the DB was driven occasionally over the years (post 57), it was by no means a weekly or monthly, or even yearly driver.  The majority of the original wear then was accumulated between 1920 and 1957....throw an older restoration in there and you don't have the wear.  I think in the case of this car, provenance is key...and it feels right.  At the end of day I'm tickled to own it ... thanks everyone.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's great that you know so much of the history of the car.  It sounds like you have a pretty solid case for seats being original and maybe the top too!  I like those 'shocks'.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice car! Comparing it to my 1919 I do notice a few things that you may want to see if they would be the same for your car. I noticed that the top hold down brackets on the front bow have a bolt head. On mine the are more like propeller shaped so you could easily loosen and tighten them. I also noticed that you have a modern spark plugs wire separator right at the manifold level. On my car there is a small wooden block that is bolted to the manifold for this purpose. I don't see the oil level rod between the front and second cylinder casting on the driver side of the engine. Is the rod sunk? A common issue but it can only be fixed by removing the oil pan, which is a pain. The manifold to exhaust pipe looks strange to me but I  haven't looked at my car in so long it may be the same. If you need photos of what I describe just let me know. 

Yours does look like a 1920 or newer because it has the slanted windshield. Mine is straight up and down. The top rests that Trimacar mentions can be seen in the photos supplied by others to compare top rear windows. Mine has the square rear window but I know it is not original. These top rests are VERY hard to find. Many get straight bars made in the meantime to support the top and not let it completely rest on the spare.

It does seem the nickel has been rubbed off the headlight bezels, but I like the look. The bezels were mostly German silver (not shiny) other than the war years where they were black.

Lastly the serial number is on the passenger side crossmember forward of the front seat. Pull the floor board up and you should see a very faint 6-7 digit number stamped in the metal. Numbers are about 1/2 tall.

Hope this helps!

Edited by 72caddy
Spelling (see edit history)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had never noticed the bracket that stabilizes the horn (going up to the radiator support rod) on other cars I looked at.  Mine could use one of those as the horn does rock quite a bit at idle.  Does anyone know what other years used the bracket?  Zooming up the photo it looks as if it may be electrical tape...

Edited by MikeC5 (see edit history)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, MikeC5 said:

I had never noticed the bracket that stabilizes the horn (going up to the radiator support rod) on other cars I looked at.  Mine could use one of those as the horn does rock quite a bit at idle.  Does anyone know what other years used the bracket?  Zooming up the photo it looks as if it may be electrical tape...

 

I wonder if that is a bracket or a strop?  Is it original?

 

The point made about the oil level indicator is well made.  The pan MUST be removed because there is no way of knowing how much oil is in there.  It might be that the last person to refit the pan just forgot  about the rod - or maybe gave up trying!..  M.Wilson might like to consider my tip about using a magnet on the block to hold the rod as it emerges through the hole - giving him both hands with which to fit the pan.

 

Ray.

Edited by R.White (see edit history)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

The pan MUST be removed because there is no way of knowing how much oil is in there.

Good point!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Also, even if there is sufficient clean oil the rod is likely still in place and could get caught by the crank.  With the pan off it would be an opportunity to look at the bearings.  I would also check out the oil pump and clean out the oil gallery.  I know this would mean further dismantling.  Sorry.

 

Ray.

Edited by R.White (see edit history)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

All good advice above.  Taking off the oil pan isn't all that difficult since there is plenty of room to remove it, unlike on modern machinery where suspension parts would need to removed or the whole engine just to remove an oil pan.  You can buy the oil pan gasket and felts from Myers Early Dodge or Romar.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I found fitting the new crankshaft felts to the pan a hit and miss job.  You need to secure them with silicone and allow to set before replacing the pan and even then there is a risk that the rear one in particular could get dislodged as fitting the pan from underneath the car is such a fiddly job what with getting the oil level indicator rod up through the hole and making sure the oil pump drive is properly located. Not everyone finds fitting the pan that difficult however.  A trolly jack will come in useful.

 

Ray.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dodgin' Bro 'MWilson,

 

 As previously stated: Touring Car top hardware is hard to find.

 

However you might try

John's Enterprises

545 Dairy Road

Auburn, CA. 95603-3593

(530) 885-4956 Hm.

(530) 401-7777 Cell

www.topsockets.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just a suggestion on the oil rod.  I get some heat shrink tubing just larger then the float rod and add about 12 inches of it.  It allows you to put it through the hole while the pan is lowered.  Get some threaded rod and make some centering studs to slide the pan up on.  Make them about eight inches long and install them first.  This will allow you to keep the gasket in place while you slid the pan up.  You can even put nuts on them to hold the pan up.I use bearing grease to hold the gaskets.  Paint the float rod white to make it easier to see.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I too just acquired a 1920 Dodge Brothers touring convertible.  It’s in excellent shape except to say it’s sat for several years in a heated garage and the gas is all varnished.  So I have to go through it all before attempting to start it. 

1AFA347D-9EA3-4047-BBCF-9415F9C397F5.jpeg

D806C695-577D-4545-B804-86502F1B0DFC.jpeg

F75A7B97-F26E-4B42-A24C-5E4966887B52.jpeg

61C3770C-1F6F-456B-A9D3-8C8C0B7CB9EB.jpeg

34CAFCCF-4DD2-4390-8778-A3C8D4223928.jpeg

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I feel a little lost on this.  NO drain plug, no dip stick.  How do I change the oil or check the oil level? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you don't have an owners manual, called a Book of Information, you certainly need one. The dipstick is a float behind the starter, there are two marks cast into the block to indicate level. You disconnect the copper pipe from the front on the oil pan to drain the oil. Locate the edition of manual printed just before your car was built to get the most accurate information.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you!  I ordered a book.  I also with your help found the float rod.  I pulled up on it some to find it was painted the same color as the engine.  Any notion of how much oil it should take?  I'd like to be prepared when the book arrives.  Thanks again!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Book of Information has some text on how high the top of the float rod should be - as compared to the range of the rod itself. I have seen  that newer cars had casting lines on the block (mine does not). Not sure of the '20.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Where IS the oil level rod on your car?

Seems to my someone in England couldn't find it on his engine but it turned out to between 2 and 3 cylinders behind the carburetor.

My thought is if the one on yours is up front the low level would be at the top of the raised rectangular boss  at the center of the photo.

EngineOilLevel.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Just joined the action at DBC today.

Great to see so many people with such knowledge.

 

I also just obtained a 1920 Touring Car. Last owner passed away, but looks like he had fun with it.

Starts, Runs, Drives, Good Looker. Quite sure repainted at some time. Upholstery seems to be thick leather.

The front seat base cushion may have been redone. Top definitely aftermarket but has the 6 windows on back.

 

Seems to starve for fuel over 30 MPH, probably close to max speed. Lean Pops in carb, hardly any fuel in see through

after marker filter. Seems super solid, and appears to be mostly original.

 

The black canister in line before the carb is the pump? How do I diagnose the fuel supply system?

 

Car is driving and past owner "played" with it fairly regularly.

 

20dodge.JPG

20dodge1.1.JPG

Edited by davemccormack
added photos (see edit history)
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
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