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Looking for a 1929 Dodge Brothers 6 cylinder truck engine or parts


WFD
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Hello all,

I am new to this forum.  I am restoring a 1929 Dodge Brothers fire engine for the Williams Fire Department.  This engine was one of the first line fire engines use in the department and I am restoring it as a parade vehicle and mascot for the department.  The engine is in pretty bad shape with a cracked head.  A local engine shop has had it for over 3 years with promises to fix it. they had to cut the head bolts in order to remove the head.    I am hoping to find a running or repairable replacement engine or a good head.

I do not have immediate access to the engine and do not even know much about the engine or variants possibly used by Dodge in 1929.

I am hoping to talk to someone who has experience with vintage Dodge trucks and sourcing parts. 

I restore airplanes in my day job and have very limited experience with 1920s trucks.  I did a frame off resto on a 1967 Camaro in 2010. That was an education1

Any leads too point me to resources would be very much appreciated.

I will share photos of the project if there is any interest.

 

Thanks,

Rex

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Welcome Rex,

After a quick search I presume you're the Treasury Director for the Williams CA FD?

There's plenty of Dodge and Graham Brothers guys in the northern part of your state that are helpful. 

I'd recommend the Dodge Brothers Club and get a recent club roster showing the truck owners in your area. 

 

As mentioned, we would need the engine and frame #'s to be able to help further but for now, depending on the size of the truck it could be several types of 6 cylinder engines. Do you have the wheelbase and any visible weight rating tags or tags from the floorboard or firewall? Those would be most helpful but few survived. ...


Off the top of my head it could be 1 of 5 different 6 cylinder engines depending on weight rating possible more depending on frame number. The engine code will be stamped on a pad below the head toward the front of the engine or to the rear of the engine (depending on which engine  it is).

 

J code for SE was for the 1/2 ton models then M code is for trucks that used the Victory Six engine, H code for DA 6 truck engines, GB code for the last few Graham Brothers trucks, and 2249s which were the Senior Six truck engines used in some 2 tons. Other possiblities are the DB6 or the 2252 Senior Six engine (depending on what year it is)...

Edited by 30DodgePanel (see edit history)
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On 12/23/2021 at 12:31 PM, WFD said:

I am restoring a 1929 Dodge Brothers fire engine for the Williams Fire Department.

Any leads too point me to resources would be very much appreciated.

I will share photos of the project if there is any interest.

 

 

Since this is such a rare truck I am unclear where the frame number is, so maybe you can confirm where it is on your fire truck if you have access to the frame.

 

Belowa are two example photos of another GB/DB fire truck with the Senior Six engine, according to my research the frame number could be anywhere along the outer drivers side frame rail in the highlighted locations.

 

There are unfortunately few resources to find these old parts, it's best to check here on the AACA forums, the Dodge Brothers Club website and the DB club newsletter if you become a member. Other than that we have Craigslist, eBay, local swap meets, Hershey, Hemmings and other resources like Myers and Romar who deal with mostly DB car stuff but do have occasional truck parts. You may want to check with George at Romar to see if he has any heads or knows of anyone. I believe he's in NY...

 

ROMAR Home Page (romardb.com)

 

Myers Early Dodge

 

 

GB Firetruck 3.jpg

GB Firetruck 1.jpg

Edited by 30DodgePanel (see edit history)
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It's actually a Continental engine 12M. I know there are some pieces of literature  that say the Senior Six was made by Dodge, or as it's worded "Own" in some publications like Automotive Industries suggesting it was made in house by Dodge but it was not, it's a Continental. 

 

I haven't looked at it in quite some time but I don't think it was ever used by any other automobile manufacturers from memory. Could be, but I don't think anyone else but Dodge Brothers/Chrysler used them. However, I have often wondered if Fargo buses may have used them but have yet to find any proof of that. 

 

 

Continental  12M 1.jpg

Edited by 30DodgePanel (see edit history)
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Stakeside.

The truck in your photos is indeed the same truck I am working on. You have better photos of the truck before it was disassembled 15-20 years ago than I do.

Here are photos of the current state and how we got here. These are not in order as I am not clever enough to edit this post.

IMG_6795.jpg.a0cfe803b34576c46146f0871cd31555.jpgIMG_6792.jpg.781b18586e5b907888771121d2e743c8.jpgIMG_6738.jpg.27c50d2104ed5e85fc2885129e1be897.jpgIMG_6731.jpg.d543781d917a8fdd7a704b0033cbb62d.jpgIMG_2983.JPG.212589af514051537ab4413ef5b70592.JPGIMG_2426.jpg.8cd42b26c17c7288102e08aa66a9c87f.jpgIMG_2388.JPG.ab8ee53928eb66022f6d2b771e083288.JPGIMG_7090.jpg.e111e096e32d2d52d34aacdc9ee67fb4.jpg

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I am not able to find any numbers stamped on the frame. There is what appears to be a large data plate riveted to the rearmost cross member but it has no data marks. The frame has been sandblasted but I would expect to see some evidence of numbers. I hav take a very close look.

I just got home from retrieving the engine. I will examine the engine for numbers in the morning and report.

 

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2 hours ago, WFD said:

The frame has been sandblasted but I would expect to see some evidence of numbers

The numbers were lightly stamped in some cases. I'd suggest very good lighting at angles and a magnifying glass, especially if it has been sandblasted and recoated... 

 

Some example photos that might help further  locate it.

 

 

Gboy 3.JPG

Gboy 2.JPG

Edited by 30DodgePanel (see edit history)
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I Tracked down the California Registration for the fire truck.

Registration issued in 1979 indicates first sold in 1929 vehicle ID GB24097 which happens to be the number stamped on the side of the engine under the exhaust ports.

I looked more closely at the frame for stamped numbers.  Using very good light source from different angles, I can make out that numbers may have been stamped there but not enough left to see.

The engine looks to be in good enough shape for rebuilding.  The cylinder head is cracked along the water jacket.  It does not appear to be broken internally to affect the combustion chambers.  I would prefer using an unbroken head if I can locate one.  The head cylinders look like they will clean up with a hone.

I plan on disassembling the engine for inspection and clean up at the very least.

I was counting on having this engine inspected and repaired as necessary so all I would do is frame body and assembly but it looks like I may be in for an engine rebuild as well.

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I had a complete rebuild of my DA6 by a shop in Auburn. The Babbit was done at a shop in the foothills. Assuming you have Babbit bearings for mains, rods, and camshaft as I have a complete rebuild would costs say $8000 plus or minus.

If bearings meet specs it would be a lot less.

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20 hours ago, stakeside said:

Interesting that you have a. DB (Dodge Bros) radiator emblem and a GB ( Graham Bros) engine number. Not surprised since these trucks were assembled with what parts available at the time .

True, the name change was happening around this time from Graham to Dodge Brothers and all of the emblems were being phased out per Chrysler memos starting as early as Dec 29th 1928. The truck on topic is a piece of history that we may never know important details about without a frame # or build card but if it's true that it is in fact a 1929 (never like to assume) then technically this truck could have been produced from July 1, 1928 to July 1, 1929. Point being, the DB emblem tells me it could have been a truck supplied to a dealer around early 1929 as they were changing out the emblems from Graham to Dodge Brothers logos and hubcaps etc... It may have been more of a transition period as opposed to simply using available stock at the time. 

 

 

Thanks to Bill P and Doug W for supplying the DB/GB community with these incredible documents that help answer these questions.

Name Change GB to Dodge Jan 2 1929.jpg

Edited by 30DodgePanel (see edit history)
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20 hours ago, WFD said:

I Tracked down the California Registration for the fire truck.

Registration issued in 1979 indicates first sold in 1929 vehicle ID GB24097 which happens to be the number stamped on the side of the engine under the exhaust ports.

I looked more closely at the frame for stamped numbers.  Using very good light source from different angles, I can make out that numbers may have been stamped there but not enough left to see.

The engine looks to be in good enough shape for rebuilding.  The cylinder head is cracked along the water jacket.  It does not appear to be broken internally to affect the combustion chambers.  I would prefer using an unbroken head if I can locate one.  The head cylinders look like they will clean up with a hone.

I plan on disassembling the engine for inspection and clean up at the very least.

I was counting on having this engine inspected and repaired as necessary so all I would do is frame body and assembly but it looks like I may be in for an engine rebuild as well.

 I'm betting it's a numbers matching vehicle and would be best to try and find a replacement head if possible, this is probably the best place to get started in order to get the word out that you're looking for one. I believe  this will truly take a collective effort on all our parts to help you locate one since they are so rare... 

 

If you provide the wheelbase we may be able to tell you what model it is. Because of the wheelbase (looks like a 165" or 185"), I'm thinking it's HE, RE, or TE if it's the Senior 2252 model engine.  Since it has rear duals the model will end in "R". .. meaning HER, RER, TER technically. This is assuming it's a E series truck built during the model year of 1929 (July 1, 1928 - July 1, 1929).

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Should be the RER 3 ton with the 2252 OR the TER 2 ton then. 

Maybe post a overhead and bottom photo of the head so folks can get a look at it to see if they recognize it or maybe someone will have one in their inventory.

 

 

 

image.png.14f603b0e8b18b9f86ca7ddb7f65b770.png

Edited by 30DodgePanel (see edit history)
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IMG_7129.jpg.85953049b485c133a316f133b66f22f4.jpgIMG_7130.jpg.a033d6fe17b2212bc80b6a3b9be8012c.jpgIMG_7131.jpg.55435333872b5860e3a0d172927c71ea.jpgIMG_7132.jpg.a3a1634420476dd702059aaa1411e17f.jpgIMG_7133.jpg.c41eccdafcae71ab18f498bfcc737a8c.jpg

 

Here are images of the cylinder head.  The water jacket has been repaired with a weld and JB weld over the top.  It appears to have held up but was last run 15+ years ago.  My first choice is to find an undamaged head.  My second choice would be to have this head repaired properly. 

Kurtruk    mentioned a firm in Turlock Ca for this work.  Do you have the name?

Thanks All. Wishing all a happy new year

 

 

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19 hours ago, KURTRUK said:

RE: Frame number.

A piece of paper and graphite pencil rubbing can turn up details not readily seen.  Works in the Studebaker world for the "secret" serial frame numbers on the rear-most frame flange exposed to weather, rust, and salt.

Art supply stores sell "transfer paper" that can also bring out the finest of details that can be used in a similar situation. Not guaranteed to work but worth a shot...  It is meticulous and time consuming though, and plenty of patience

Edited by 30DodgePanel (see edit history)
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  • 4 weeks later...

Kurtruk,

Thanks for the Locknstitch lead. I delivered the head to them.  Upon inspection they found 31 inches of cracks to repair.   They also say they are convinced they will be able repair the head adequately.  It is not cheap however.   

Thanks again to all who have shared info.

Rex 

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7 hours ago, WFD said:

Kurtruk,

Thanks for the Locknstitch lead. I delivered the head to them.  Upon inspection they found 31 inches of cracks to repair.   They also say they are convinced they will be able repair the head adequately.  It is not cheap however.   

Thanks again to all who have shared info.

Rex 

You're welcome.

BTW: I'll ASSume your user name is for Williams Fire Department. My Dad's name was Rex, and he volunteered for the WAFD (Woodland Ave Fire Department) in Modesto.

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  • 4 months later...

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