While the SE qld group are out at Millmerran partying on, I've been working on my Dodge.
I intend the rebuild to be a mild custom, but using & retaining a lot of the original trim. Sorta like I remember from the 50's & 60's. with minor changes like tail lights, wheels, recessed aerials, etc. Lots of chrome & trim, & badges retained.
Funds are a bit tight at present, so I have to work on the bits that I have the materials & equipment sitting in my shed to use.
So recently I fitted the LHS Falcon seat frame, & replaced about a third of the floor with new 18 guage metal.
Then I started on the rear panels.
I fitted the Caddy light buckets I bought from E bay. Extended the back guards about 50mm. Previous mods to the rear section include removing the original fuel filler, filling the recessed piece behind the number plate ( fitted plate to the bumper using FC Holden "moustache" piece.)
I also added a recessed fuel filler door & fillers.
So with a bit of work, about half a tin of bog, & the rear guards/panels are roughed out. Good enough to go onto the next bits, as final finishing is a long way away.
Its all fun. But a bit slower than I want it to be. Must be getting old.
Well after a 5 month break I had to have after my operation, I've finally mustered up a bit of motivation & ability to work.
I've done a lot of welding up holes on the inner mudguards, which were fabricated from a zillion bits by the original rebuilder, to clear the HQ chassis graft, Clevo motor, Holden radiator, etc.
They look OK in the car, so I kept them as he built them, just tried to tidy up a bit.
The original Dodge panels had creases everywhere from the original metal stamping.
I've tidied up the roof above the LHS B pillar that had a big repair patch fitted.
Both back guards have been filled after replacement patches fitted, & the 59 Cad tailights have been fitted. Bodywork is still only roughed out, but I want to get all the panels prepared , filled & primed before I finish any panels properly. That way I can keep track of how things fit as I'm finishing them.
Its great to feel good working on what I enjoy again.
Well I've got enough motivation lately to keep working on my Dodge.
The weather is totally shitty here, windy & light rain for the last week or so. I've been working on getting all the removeable bits ready for priming when the weather eventually gets better.
most panels that had good paint, I've sanded with 40 grit to roughen, & will 2 pack prime them. Lots of bits I wire brushed back to bare metal, they will get etch prime, a sand, then 2 pack prime. Similar for the bits I had to paint strip. I've got a few bits have to be sandblasted, so they will get the etch prime/sand/2 pack primer.
I've decided on dark red 2 pack on top, with super sno pearl spray chief bottom( because I've got 2 litres of it)
What I hope to do is get all the car to the stage it has several coates of 2 pack finish coat on it, then put windows etc in, then take it to a proper painter to finish. I'm using Autothane 2 pack, which is pretty cheap. I'm 64, & I reckon I could have possibly 15 years enjoying cars left. Dont see any point spending big bucks for top paint when some one else will end up with it.
I intend putting one piece glass in front doors, as I cant find decent quarter window mechanisms anywhere.
Does anyone out there have a copy of a magazine article on fitting one piece glass? I remember reading in Custom Rodder, or Hot Rodding, a few years back. It wasnt that difficult from memory, & I think I can get it to work, but the article would be great if someone could photocopy/mail/email/fax it to me.
Mines had a HQ chassis graft at front, from a real early one tonner. Has power steer, using XF Falcon pump fitted to Cleveland motor. A HQ column is installed, with HQ brake booster & brakes. Works great. Steering lock could be better, but I've lived with it over many miles & a few years, so it doesnt worry me. Theres no Dodge/Chrysler bits anywhere except in body on this one. Fairlane rear springs, 9" diff, etc.
All engineered & previously registered for quite a few years. I'm not expecting any problems re registering it, as nothing is being altered from the original engineers report it was registered with.
Hopefully it all will be fun as I make progress. I'm starting to enjoy working on it again. Its a great old car, & I have lots of good memories towing vintage vans with it.
Put a coat of primer on all the loose panels except bonnet, & started on doors & surrounds. The new panels are starting to look like original, which is what I had hoped. Sills (at least the one I've worked on) are good shape & fit.
I found the fitting of the stainless trim around the door dogleg panel wasn't real easy. but eventually got it on. Broke one of the welded lugs off, & it doesnt sit quite perfect. But I guess being an old car you do the best you can, & its pretty close to as it was. I had to drill the trim holes in the doors, as they come off the car I bought from Tara.
I pulled a couple of N.O.S. aftermarket bits I bought on Ebay out of storage to try for fit, & see what they look like on the car. They are genuine Mopar Accessories, being door handle protector panels, & rear pillar badges. Genuine USA 54 Dodge Accessories. I like them, so they will be part of final exercise.
I've grown out of the dechromed look, so mine will have almost all the factory side trim & badges, & pretty original grille & bumpers. Just changed rear lights & several other bits.
Its a slow job , but I'm only getting a few hours most days. I'm pretty happy with how the repairs are finishing. Just wish I could paint better.
If only I could get the doors to fit on my Chrysler like that!!!. Love your work Dennis
Fibreglass fantasia!....a Sunliner, a Carlight Continental plus one for spares (fibreglass roof & ends)... 52 homemade plywood and a Fibreglass Kennedy lookalike awaiting a brand/name (might be Skyline?) ................. EH Premier S/Wagon & '56 FORD Country Sedan for my towcars
I had a pretty good coach builder (that was his trade according to him) who spent a LOT of time playing around with those replacement doors as part of the rust repair, so much so that I just unbolted the rear door, did my bit of grinding, gave the door a skim coat of filler, hit it with my D.A. sander, then bolted it back on. The gaps just went back to what they were. When he did the work, he did not get into cleaning up welds unless they had to be done for setting up clearances. Thats one of my jobs. Hopefully by the weekend I'll have the front door, around the door, the sill, & half the cowl & firewall in primer.
Then its turn the car around to get to the front. Clean & repaint the engine, fit the front back together loosely,then get into the drivers side panels.
I've got a technical problem I'd like to run past some of you with experience building/modifying cars.
I am having real big problems finding bits for my Dodge front & rear door quarter vent windows. The guy that originally built the car ripped all the hinges & catches out & threw them away, then pop rivetted & sikaflexed them closed. They were shocking to live with. So I thought I might be able to modify the front doors to take one piece glass, by reworking a few bits & making longer windows. Problem I'm finding is that the front "A" door pillar & the centre "B" pillar arent in a parallel line, so the glass cannot sit in a flat plane. Theres no way I can see it working unless the bailey channels the glass runs in are parallel, naturally to suit the flat glass.
I have a set of aftermarket electric window mechanisms ,& new bailey channels, so setting up the glass to work should be easy enough.
I remember reading an American hot rod magazine a few years back, where they fitted longer one piece windows to a 54 Chev. Those doors would be similar to mine I believe, as I have rebuilt a 54 Chev once about 35 years back.
Does anyone have any ideas on how to fit the one piece glass, or know where I can buy a set of quarter vent window assemblies? Chrysler Royal australian production , as well as 54 to 56 Dodge, Chrysler or De Soto are all very similar.
I'm prepared to pay good money for a complete undamaged pair, & will resort to an Ebay wanted ad probably if no one has any thoughts on how to help. I've bought a few Chrysler Royal doors, but the mechanisms are all not much better than mine.
Rear doors I guess I can fit fixed quarter glass like Chrysler Royal. They are not so difficult, but it would be nice to get a set of opening ones.
I've removed the "hidden" on my email adress if anyone wants to contact me.
....I've sometimes found the best way to get unusual parts is to cough up for a parts car like that one , pluck all the bits you require and sell off the leftovers to recoup some cash......though with a good AP1 front like that has,I reckon you could turn a profit ( if you're lucky ;D)......cheers, Col.
Thanks for that. Its a bit hard to tell from the pix, but I think the spare Chrysler Royal doors I bought are better than that one's. The vents are stuffed in my spare doors , but you cant see on this car pix.
The last parts car I bought from Tara had what appeared to be good vent windows, but they fell apart on the trailer bringing it here, & the parts were lost to the roadside I guess.
That Royal looks worse for rust than mine was I think. But I'm going up to Brisbane in a couple of weeks & if he still has it I'll go & have a look.
After looking thru Ebay USA last night I couldnt find any assemblies, but I'm not giving up.
I've got a fair bit of time to find the parts, as I cant see me having the whole car in primer for several months at least. I'm not making as much progress as I'd like, & a lot of it is because of the finishing touches I have to put to all the body repairs I've had done. Basically the body man did very minimal grinding & finishing after he welded it all back together, & every piece he worked on is a lot of preparation before I can fill & prime. More so than any other car I've rebuilt over the years. Or maybe I'm just getting older & dont remember what some of the others were like.
The panels look so well prepared, that I'm sure your paint job is going to be fantastic. A pity about not being able to get another day's spraying in of course, but it looks like you have been making great progress in spite of the weather.
The colour combinations sound sensational - can't wait to see the finished product.
The Blue Flyer - 1951 Homemade Bondwood
Chryssi - 1966 VC Valiant Safari
The Seeshell - 1969 Olympic Riviera (deceased)