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Roof on 1936 Dodge


Rob1960
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The 1935 Dodge had the wood slat, chicken wire and fabric roof insert.

The 1936 Dodge had a metal sheet with metal supports for the roof insert.

The 1937 Dodge had a one-piece steel roof.

General Motors introduced the one-piece, all-steel roof in 1935 with their "Turret-Top" models, although the bodies were sheet steel over a wood frame. The steel insert was a quick way for a company to present a one-piece steel look to the roof. Only Ford continued with the fabric insert in 1936.

Bill

Vancouver, BC

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  • 7 months later...

I know that this is kinda late but I'll add my 2 cents worth anyway. The metal insert on your car is correct. This was the only year they used this setup. The metal roof also doubled as the antenna for radio equiped cars as it is insulated from the body. If your top leaks or nedds removed for any reason you'll find that there is a flat rubber seal that actually seals the roof. around the outside it was finished with a rubber strip called Wedge-Tite to fill the gap between body and top. Neither of these seal are available anymore,however,ther is a man reproducing a rubber seal that looks as if it will work nicely. Not completly original but you have to make do sometimes. Good luck on your project!

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Thanks for your replies Gents. My 35 DU sedan at present just has a piece of masonite covering the roof to keep the wind from destroying the headliner. I would like to have the roof insert redone correctly. Does anyone know of a shop in the Sacramento,Ca. area that can do this for me? Too cold to go topless !

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Reg:

If you are not a real purist, there is a very good solution to the problem of relatively fragile fabric and the potential leakage problem of sealing the panel in the roof. The solution involves screwing/gluing the Masonite you already have to the roof bows and then having a product made for pickup truck bedliners sprayed over it. The bedliner material adheres strongly both to the Masonite and the steel surround, and the ones I have heard of are certainly durable. I am familiar with a product called Rhino liner that originates from South Africa. I saw an Essex with the replacement roof and it looked great. I talked to the owner of the company that did it. He is from South Africa, and says he did very many vintage car roofs there with the material. Rhino liner might not be available in your area, but I am sure any reputable material will do the job. If you really want to be fancy you can probably get the material tinted to match the car colour. I have a 29 Plymouth U and a Dodge Victory Six and I plan on using the Rhino liner on both of them. I helped a friend install the fabric roof on a 29 Paige, and I don't want any part of it.

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  • 2 years later...
  • 7 months later...

Wow! What happened to doing a "restoration"? I thought that was what the "Dodge Brother's Club" was all about. :(

Check out my version. Old seal material was removed (original gasket was left in place - insert top was not fully removed), car was carefully refinished to original "Stratosphere Blue" color, and new "compatible-with-the-modern-paint" sealing material (Urethane) was put in to finish.

Check it out.

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  • 1 month later...
Wow! What happened to doing a "restoration"? I thought that was what the "Dodge Brother's Club" was all about. :(

Check out my version. Old seal material was removed (original gasket was left in place - insert top was not fully removed), car was carefully refinished to original "Stratosphere Blue" color, and new "compatible-with-the-modern-paint" sealing material (Urethane) was put in to finish.

Check it out.

My D2 coupe was originally Statosphere Blue. I'd like to keep the car as original as possible, but it's a color that I just can't get a feeling for when looking at a paint chip chart. I've been trying for a long time to find a car that has been painted this color so that I can tell if it's acceptable or not. Is there any chance that you could post a picture of yours on here for me? Or, if it would be easier to email me one directly, let me know. I would really be in your debt for this favor.

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Hi Hudsy,

Sure. Already done. Check the following thread:

http://forums.aaca.org/f143/what-do-you-think-1936-dodge-281252.html

Then look at the #1 post. It has a side photo attached of my car in a pretty fair rendition of the color. I have another '36 4Dr TS and when we took the headlight off the grille shell on that one, we found this color underneath. It, of course, had been protected from sun and wax all its days so I felt it was a good sample. We computer matched this grille shell's color, then the painter used the 12 samples given by the computer to pick from. He picked the color as you see. He also used a microscope to measure the "ultra fine metal flake" size so that is correct too. (I have not been made privy to the mix formula though. The paint company apparently kept the mix a company secret. So others would not be able to directly copy the color I guess. Seems a bit paranoid to me!) This painted color matched the other car's grille shell sample exactly once they sprayed the mix on the car you see in the photo. It also matches the paint chip chart I have for '35 and '36 Dodge very close, allowing for acid darkening of the chips and paper on the chip chart over time.

A recent twist though... I have very recently received back (last week) my request for "Build Card" records on both my cars from the "Chrysler Historical Collection". The car we got the match from is listed as paint code "805" which they state is "Mercury Metallic"! I have ALWAYS thought this color to be "Stratosphere Blue"! The colors are very close on the paint chip charts. So, now a question has come up (as they always do!!!) about the actual color that we sampled! Is it a repaint MANY years ago to "Stratosphere Blue" or did we sample the original "Mercury Metallic" and that is what I have??? More research is needed on my other car to see which is the case - for sure. (I still like the color a lot AND it matches the chip for "Stratosphere Blue", so until I have a definitive answer it will still be spoken of as "Stratosphere Blue".)

While on the thread with the photo, read through it and then take a couple minutes and answer all four of the poll questions please. Also, further down in the post is a photo of the "Serial Number" tag on the door hinge pillar. The color on the outboard part of the hinge is very close to the color of the car (depending on if your monitor matches mine ;) ).

Any other questions, just start a new thread! (Use the button at the top of the "Dodge & Dodge Brothers" that says "New Thread".) You will get many people helping you out!

Have a good one!

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Good answer Rusty, except ALL of the '36 Dodge models (except the 7 Passenger Sedan - Limo) had steel insert tops. Me thinks an upholstery shop would have a bit of a problem with that. :D

Now, the '35 Dodge, that's a different story! All WERE cloth tops on that year.

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My 36 Dodge coupe had the fabric insert. Ay least that is what I thought the remnants were. I welded in a steel insert.

Oops. Now I AM confused. This is the quote from your #12 post in this thread. But then in #19 you state it doesn't have one. I assume that is because you welded one in?

Here are the part numbers listed in "Group 23 - V - Panels - Metal" of my "Dodge Passenger Car Preliminary Parts List", Nov. 15,1935.

Roof top panel assembly:

717154 = 4Dr Sedan & 2Dr Sedan

717155 = 4Dr Touring Sedan

717157 = 2Dr Touring Sedan

717158 = Rumble Seat Coupe & Business Coupe

(24 washers, plain washers, lock washers & nuts for #717154)

(22 washers, plain washers, lock washers & nuts for #717155 & 717157)

(16 washers, plain washers, lock washers & nuts for #717158)

The publication also shows ALL of these parts are "new" for '36 Dodge except the nuts.

So, your coupe would have originally come with a steel insert top held in place on 16 studs with 32 washers and 16 nuts.

And "Rob1960's" 2Dr Touring Sedan (thread post #1) has a steel insert top made just for the 2Dr Touring Sedan and held in place with 22 mountings.

For all of you 7 Passenger Sedan (Limo) owners out there, we have found your top was fabric just like the '34 and '35 tops were.

Cool 'eh?

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Hey rowie!

Holy cats! That's all new info to me. I was surprised in the past to see that the 7 Passenger Touring Sedan (Limo) was manufactured with a cloth top - both Domestically and for Export. So I did some research and this information - about the 7 Pass having a soft top - was confirmed by checking out the "1936 Dodge Preliminary Parts Manual" I have. It shows that that model in fact is soft and that all the other models in fact are steel insert tops for '36. This manual also covers the "D2X" Export model. (But not the Canadian made "D3" or "D4" models.) So, if your info is correct, it should be able to be confirmed by someone holding a "Canadian Parts Manual" for '36 Dodge. That confirmation would be VERY interesting. We are always looking to find confirmed information on the differences between the US built Dodges and the Canadian built dodges (that were exported to many countries to avoid some heavy export taxes) in an effort to help the people in those places with finding the right parts for their "Canadian Export" model '36 Dodges. This research is important so people recognize the differences between the models and so collectors in other countries are not turned in the wrong direction on parts, for their "Canadian Export" models, from people specifying details from US built parts.

Thanks for the info!

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Trust me when I say I'm more than happy to share what I know with fellow 36 D2 owners. To me it's like I have found a long lost family member! :)

My D2 was made in Australia by T.J. Richards and Sons P/L at their plant in Adelaide, South Australia. There are a stack of differences between the US/Canadian built cars compared to the Australian built variety. Makes it very frustrating for me sitting here chasing parts.

My 36 now has a steel insert that covers the hole and makes the car quieter and waterproof, when time and $$ permit this will be then covered with some firm foam and some material from a BMW convertible in an effort to make the old girl look original.

The original engine was too far gone to repair so we have substituted it with the Aussie Hemi 6 (265C.I.) and box, everything else is basically stock. I am physically unable to work on it at the moment due to a nasty neck injury but I try to drive her almost every day :cool:

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I hope you guys don't mind me telling a bit of the story and posting some pictures in this thread.

Regards

Shaun "rowie" Rowe

Edited by rowie
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Hi Shaun,

Great car! Cool photos! (We love photos!)

I noticed some of the classic, obvious differences with the "D3" (I believe) model. The rounded bottom to the fixed windshield, the flatter front bumper protector bars and of course the right hand drive.

Here again, I may be mis-informed, but that is what this Forum is all about - correct information. I was always under the impression that these cars were all manufactured in Canada. Then some set for export were disassembled, put in boxes and crates and shipped to their final destination countries. At those locations there were companies that were "re-assemblers". They would take all the associated parts and re-assemble the vehicle on that country's soil. That way they did not export or import a "car". It was all parts. This was done to lower the ultimate cost of the vehicle because of high export or import taxes. This was all OK for the exporter because they were able to sell an export vehicle and was OK for the importer because it created companies and supplied jobs for the folks in the receiving country. What we would call a "win-win" situation now! In this process the actual metallurgy and creation of the parts was done in Canadian Dodge factories and carried the "Dodge Brother's" name.

What a great car! We will be keeping an interested eye on your progress with it!

Sorry to hear about the neck injury. Hope all is going well with that.

Keep us informed!

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BobPer, your roof insert look fantastic mate!

Shaun, Thanks for the kind words. I had to make sooo many parts for this car because it was so incomplete, and rotted out. Here are a few more pictures of the insert, and the quarter panel patches I made.

My first 36 is also a 4-dr. like yours (except USA left hand drive D-2), it was/is a lot more complete, and in a lot better shape than my current coupe started. I guess we do the best we can with what we've got. Yours looks like a solid start to a great project. Bob

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Bob, you have no idea how much I would love a 36 Coupe but starting out with what you have is way beyond my skills. You're a braver man than I!

Personally I don't think I will be able to work on my D2 for a few years to come. Until then I will just continue to drive the wheels off her.

You can find the whole story and the reason for building this car on the OzRodders forum in this thread here

Ozrodders.com :: Log in

Feel free to comment or even tell me about parts you see missing and may be able to help with.

These old Mopars are so hard to source here let alone find small parts like wiper arms ect.

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  • 7 months later...

The D2 was built in the U.S. and Canada, and there were very few difference prior to 1938 - mainly upholstery, trim and colours. Both the D2 and D2X were exported - the X meant the engine had a 2.875 inch bore instead if the normal 3.25.

Exports included whole cars or bodies in `white`, meaning the body was painted white to protect it while being shipped wherever. Primer is porous and thus the steel body would rust when shipped by boat overseas. The final color coats were done in the importing country. Very few were shipped in pieces as the assembler would need jigs to put the pieces together properly, not a cheap proposition.

In the case of Australia, chassis with suspension, steering, engine, transmission, brakes, etc. were imported and local body builders were contracted to built the bodies. Thus the Australian D2 has a roof insert instead of steel and the windshield corners are round. The Canadian D2 body was the same as the American D2.

The D3 and D4 used the Plymouth body with the Dodge front clip. The Dodge D2 was on a 115 inch wheelbase while the Plymouth, D3 and D4 were on a 112. The extra 3 inches was in the rear floor just ahead of the rear seat.

In Canada the D3 and D4 were Dodge versions of the Plymouth P1 and P2. The American-built D3 was an export-only model that offered all the Plymouth body styles. The D4 was a Canada-only model. The D3 was exported from the U.S. and Canada, and was also offered as a D3X with a smaller bore engine.

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  • 7 years later...

I'm trying to find some kind of pictures or illustration on a 1936 Plymouth four door sedan vinyl insert I have some idea of how it is installed but am missing some details

if anyone has any info on this please let me know.

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  • 9 months later...

Is this topic still open??

I have had my 36 D2 for a number of years, but am just getting around to installing the turret top. It is a bitch! (Pardon my French) I bought two repeoduction seals, and neither fits right. The gap is far to small for the insert thickness. I will end up super modifying it, and basically gluing it in. Anyone else have so much trouble?

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Hi Vic,

Your problem is exactly why I left my top in place. I took a grinder and carefully dig down into the old seal, painted the car, then squeezed out rubber sealer into the gap. If your seals aren’t working look at Steele Rubbers catalog for a better fit. Buy that stuff by the foot and get it tight, then liquid rubber on the topside.

  • Thanks 1
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What body style do you have as I don't know if all the tops had the same clearances. I have a 4 door TS and have used Knobless' seal which does fit very well. The only issue I had was the design. If you are keeping the car original then the top overlap cap must be cut off to be authentic. The original seals, I believe, were an "L" shaped seal that came in 4 pieces.The side extension came flush to the top. The parts book lists them separately for 2 door sedans, 4 door sedans and coupes. Presumably because of the different lengths. The repro seal has the top like the '35 fabric tops used. It does fit very well and is an excellent replacement for the driver car and will save a lot of extra work allthough I'm not sure if he still has any.

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On 1/26/2019 at 5:23 AM, jpage said:

What body style do you have as I don't know if all the tops had the same clearances...

 

I have a 36 D2 5 passenger 4 door sedan. The roof originally had what looked like a paper gasket seal built in layers (if I remember correctly). The replacements I’ve tried are a rubber “C” type channel with a round top. The gap that goes onto the steel top ia about 1/4” wide, but my top is closer to 1/2”. I am pretty handy with car resoration, but for the life of me I couldn’t get that rubber to work! There were a couple other venders, but all have the same size gap. I believe I am going to use a self-leveling sealer instead, before I cause more damage.

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My gasket, when i inspected it closely, looked exactly as Vic described. I did dig some out and it looked more like the gasket might have been rubber but deteriorated and separated over time. I don't think anyone really knows what they used. I've been looking and experimenting on a left over roof section to find a good , paintable sealer that will get firm but remain flexible. So far no real luck! I'm not even sure that the original seal was installed prior to paint or after, maybe someone here knows.

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I’m about to get back into the repro seal, just waiting on manufacturers time frame need to know all , who are in need of this seal, so I will know how much to have run, typically I run 18 foot lengths , this fits 4 door sedan, I will not cut for coupe you must buy the whole length, it has been sometime since I have done a run, so I do not have pricing,  as soon as manufacturers get back to me with a time and quote I will post,  if you ave bought this Reproduction seal please feel free to shoot a photo and post it,   I went through 5 different seals, which none fit, ( steel rubber and others) so decided to design my own, I own software “ for molding,  they fit excellent as long as you take your time, trimming to fit all corners,,,still looking for my photos of my 36 Dodge 4 door, sold long ago,,,,Thanks 

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