Dodge Restoration Log Part 2

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This section covers the peiod from April to June 2007 and is in the form of a diary.   


Monday 16 Apr

Unloaded all the panels, timber and the pump after arrival in the new location.  The new location will allow me occasional access to a corner of a much larger workshop, which, amongst other  things will be warmer and drier than outside - not for my benefit you understand, but once I start with the extensive timber framed coachwork it needs to be somewhat protected from the elements.

Commenced fitment of brake pipes.

Pipe from master cylinder to rear cylinders now fitted except for p clips along the chassis rail and a bracket on the nearside transverse. Concluded that the cylinders are on the wrong way round (ie the banjo union should face the rim not the hub. Attempted to turn the nearside cylinder through 180 degrees without releasing the bisector shaft but no such luck. The wheels and the drums will have to come off to allow access from the other side.

Front fitment straightforward having worked out where the combined t junction and brake light switch goes (on the rear of the front cross member). Nearside transverse fitted but I need to find the short offside pipe – probably somewhere in Warcop.

Need to bring from home:

P Clips

Rivet gun and rivets

The missing pipe

Wheelbrace (big socket set)

Jack/axle stands

Sockets (spanners very slow!)

Bleed pipe

Need to buy:


Black paint to touch up nuts and bolts

Brake pedal return spring

Tuesday 17 Apr. 07

The first timber boards went over to the carpenters shop to be cut down into cross members (2x3” – approximate length just over 7’). They will be cut and planed, but not cut to length just yet. Checking the drawing made early on in the dismantling phase suggests that there are 4 full width cross members, one at the back of the cab, one ahead of the rear wheels, one aft of the rear wheels and one at the end of the chassis. Over the wheel there were either 1 or 2 (will need to check for holes in the chassis) which were only chassis width. Where the tank sits were two longditudinal strips the width of the chassis rail and running along the top of the chassis between the first and second cross members. Width will depend on the method of securing the uprights.

Other jobs

Washed much of the Warcop barn dust dust off the chassis

Replaced the missing rear dynamo mounting bolt

Freed up the handbrake mechanism but this needs wire brushing and painting before fitment

Removed the old ends of the tank mounting straps

Need to bring

Spare fuel can and fuel

Masonry drill, rawlplugs and screws (to put up the display board)

Need to buy

Suitable length coach bolts

Suitable length engine mounting bolts

Thursday 19 April

Pulled chassis into open and jacked up the rear – a side at a time, before removing the rear wheels and brake drums. The threads on the wheelnuts are getting cleaner and easier to manage. With the brake drum out of the way but without disturbing the brake shoe and bisector assembly the handbrake pin could be reattached to the block in the wheel cylinder on the nearside that had been turned upside down. While the wheels were off and there was plenty of room to work the blanking plug (bottom) bleed screw (top) and union (side) were secured, as well as the feed pipe fitted and secured using the tag and small setscrew ahead of the cylinder (which needs a small socket to screw it home securely. With the nearside sorted the offside was done with the wheels and drum removed from the outset, consequently it was a quick and easy job. The offside still requires a small setscrew in the side to stop the block from turning, and although the blanking plug, bleed screw and unions are secure the line still needs its securing screw tightening. The handbrake rods were attached but need securing firmly.

The rear brake line was then fastened to the chassis using P clips and the rivet gun.

Wheels replaced.

Monday 23 Apr. 07

Collected timber from the carpenters shop. The first batch was the cross members at 3x2. Other than some slight twisting and bowing there are now enough cross members and some spare. The next batch of timber was delivered to saw and plane down to 2x2.

Removed the seat and temporary floor arrangement.

Investigated positioning of the cross members.

Investigated the cab floor positioning.

Need to bring

More timber


Wood drill bits

Need to buy

Angle brackets (heavy galvanised?)

Coach screws

Tuesday 24 Apr. 07

Another relatively quiet day but with a lot of effort expended working out how the cross members, uprights and other timbers fit in relation to each other. Whilst it is somewhat clearer there are one or two anomalies that remain that can really only be confirmed once the scuttle is in position. This will determine the position of the doors and that in turn will determine the position of the first and second cross members and the associated uprights (the first cross member is the short one that is located towards the scuttle and effectively sits in the centre of the cab area, whilst the second delineates the rear of the cab).

Other work was confined to cleaning off and repainting the handbrake assembly ready for refitting once the paint has dried.

Need to bring


Lengths of dexion for temporary bracing.

Wednesday 25 Apr. 07

More work on cross members, both cutting them to length and also continuing to work out their positioning and how uprights and the like are positioned. This exercise was helped by being able to lay out on the ground the nearside door, panel to the rear of the door and the section that fits between these two panels and the roof. Although the dimensions are somewhat clearer the precise position of the joint between the back of cab cross member and its associated uprights remains subject to inaccuracy. The priority therefore must be to construct the cab floor and scuttle mounting frame and secure it, and the scuttle in position. Only then can the door position be fixed, and therefore the top and bottom runners which delineate the size of the uprights.

All of the main cross members with the exception of the shorter one in the centre of the cab have been cut to length (7 ft) and their position determined with the help of the various lockers.

The front and rear engine mounting bolts have been fitted and secured.

Need to bring

13 mm drill bit


Period 24 Apr-4 May

Fitted handbrake ratchet and attached it to the rod but as yet it is not adjusted. Found the missing brake line and fitted it, topped master cylinder up with brake fluid and tightened each joint in turn. First shot at bleeding undertaken – starting with the rear cylinders. More required.

Sprayed WD40 on the locker door fasteners and hinges. One latch was removed, but the others will wait until the WD40 does its stuff.

More work on establishing what goes where with the timbers, but the key will be the lining up of the scuttle which will in turn determine the position of the doors and provide a datum.

More timber sawn but not as yet planed. The timber is 1 to 1 “ thick and just over 6” wide so that it can be cut and planed down to 4/3/2” widths as required.

Loose fitting of the in-cab engine panels confirmed what additional tinwork repairs are required, whilst doing so also suggested that there is an elbow piece between the air cleaner and the carb.

Fabricated the cab floor framework, drilled the mounting holes and loosely secured it into position on the chassis. Once the scuttle is put into position a clearer indication of the exact location and height can be determined, plus any material (such as overall length) that needs to be cut off.

Drilled and secured the cab rear cross member and the next one along, mainly to continue to determine construction and also so that the cab floor frame could be positioned.

Considered in detail lockers and their construction.

Tuesday 8 May 2007

Fetched more timber from Warcop, including the thick pieces for the curved components of the cab. Other weekend work was sandblasting the good in-cab engine side panel (nearside) and the bracketry for the cab timber corners plus the window hinge mounts. These were subsequently sprayed matt black to avoid re-rusting.

Having cut suitable blanks at the weekend began fabricating the bonnet tops: work so far has been folding the safety edges, folding in the swage lines and putting in a basic curve using the rollers. The centres have been left, as has the final curvature, until the cowl and scuttle are secured in place and the wings are in position. This will determine the final fitting up, but so far things look promising.

The scuttle was lifted into position in order to determine mounting points and also to mark up the cab floor frame prior to cutting, final finishing and priming. In addition it was noted that the radiator cowl needs adjusting backwards, either by twisting the bottom brackets or re-drilling the mounting holes a larger diameter, then using a washer arrangement to allow for full adjustment in situ.

Finally received an e-mail with a photo of the Dodge at a rally – probably in the late 70’s/early 80s. Some slight adjustment to the hitherto imagined shape is required!

Wednesday 8 May

Removed scuttle to access the subframe.

Removed cab subframe ready to have the welds ground tidy, the cutaways made and primer applied.

Removed and straightened the footwell section that was bent to remove the scuttle.

Removed one of the bumper mounting irons to have the crack welded up.

Removed the cowl in order to re-drill larger bracket holes to allow adjustment. In addition there is some black paint to apply to the lamp strengthening bar, and the bottom plate needs to be fettled and re-fitted. A plate for the starting handle needs to be fabricated and fitted.

Air filter removed – double elbow pipe required.

Radiator needs to be raised a further 5mm or thereabouts.

Thursday 17 May

Removed instruments and switchgear from instrument panel. Stripped speedo to investigate jamming – found to be the odometer that was jammed and the fibre cog damaged. Cog and spindle removed and speedo now free to move. Hole in casing filled with epoxy, an OK repair but may require a rethink (a substitute casing but retaining the Smith’s face with the Dodge script?). Cleaned off the tags for the ends of the tank straps. Cleaned Play Dough off badge (causing rust!)

Cab subframe cutting and grinding completed, and frame primed. Subsequently put back into position on chassis, and the scuttle re-positioned.

Made repair sections for the engine cover plate and completely re-made gearbox cover ) although holes for gear and handbrake levers still require cutting). If the repair sections for the engine cover are unsuccessful then a complete new one will be made, although this will require the triangular pressing for originality.

Tank securing straps cut (still slightly too long) and bent to shape around tank.

Engine side cover primed.

Larger holes drilled in cowl mount brackets and screws replaced with large washers to enable adjustment. Cowl put back into position to enable curvature of bonnet tops to be further adjusted, and also to ensure that scuttle is more or less in the right position to enable the mounting holes in the frame to be drilled. Position of holes marked.

Most cross members now drilled for mounting bolts including the cab frame to cross member brackets.

Bumper bracket welded and re-fitted, both brackets subsequently removed and narrower bolts used to enable a little adjustment to clear bottom of cowl. Front bumper replaced.

Next batch of timber (2x2) ready for collection.

Monday 21 May 2007

Timber collected; all 2x2 and various lengths.

Tank strap ends welded on.

Repair panels welded on to engine cover, one at the upper edge, one at the lower edge, and one down the side. Seam sealer painted on underside.

Tuesday 22 May

Tank straps primed: they have been bent into shape and checked for fit with the tank in place. Just need to source some thin rubber or similar.

Engine cover primed. Some additional filling to do and the foldover on one side needs tightening but it looks like it will be better than trying to make one.

Mudguard stays/bottom bracket components cut ready for welding. They have been made from somewhat thicker material than the originals and so will be welded rather than folded.

Vents freed off: still some work required on the offside as the internal spring was overly stretched.

2 bonnet top brackets removed (before the drill ran out of power!)

Timber supplier sourced and timber priced up.

Fuel tank half painted in gloss black.

Period up to 21 June

Not a huge amount of progress – and therefore not much in the diary. However a number of tasks have been completed:

All the bonnet brackets have been removed and cleaned up

The fuel tank has been painted and placed in position, the retaining straps have been re-manufactured and the straps are now in position holding the tank.

The mudguard stays/bottom brackets have been welded up and bolted into position. The offside one required the removal and re-fitting of the brake push rod which was a little tricky. The nuts are not lockers and may need to be changed.

The cowl stays have been cleaned off and repainted.

The cab subframe has been painted in gloss black and bolted into position. The holes have been drilled and the scuttle bolted down onto the subframe.

The engine side panels have had the rust areas cut out and new metal has been fabricated and welded into position.

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