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Customs 1937 Dodge, Ol Bessie Is Coming Home

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Sharps40, Apr 29, 2015.

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  1. Sharps40
    Joined: Apr 28, 2015
    Posts: 887

    Sharps40

    Had a long talk with Dad on the budget tonight. The initial budget was about $15K to $18K running and driving. We are both a bit concerned. At about $20K in with lots of great labor, parts and supplies and we havn't hung suspension and engine yet. I know this is being worked at a much lower rate than off the street but, its still concerning. Dad will be stopping in to talk with the shop about the budget and moving forward or whether we need to find a stop point. We'd really like to get it in paint and rolling under power. Rubber/trim/felts, glass, wiring, upholstery are all items we figgered we could do at home/later once its a runner in color.

    As I told Dad, sold all the guns....well, still got a few and could sell em but they won't be enough. So, before we get to a point where I can't pay out whats due, we gotta know what's due and whats to do/due.

    Fingers crossed!
     
  2. Mudgy
    Joined: Dec 4, 2010
    Posts: 231

    Mudgy
    Member

    Best of luck for a favourable outcome mate
     
  3. Sharps40
    Joined: Apr 28, 2015
    Posts: 887

    Sharps40

    Our initial goal was to get running, driving, primed for sure and possibly painted body in that $15 to $18K range. We'd do upholstery, trim, rubber, gauges, etc.
    Just waiting for Dad to chat with the shop, he's minutes away where I am hours away. But, I still believe we'll be okay.
    Its prudent to have this discussion again since I've played out my original string and in fairness to the shop and me, we need to mutiually review the tallies.
    We should know more today or tomorrow depending on the various personal and business schedules.
     
  4. Sharps40
    Joined: Apr 28, 2015
    Posts: 887

    Sharps40

    Heavy sigh.....good news.

    Dad got in to have a look and a good chat about progress.

    The body work is all bought and paid for. No worries. On looking over the quality, shop owner didn't like it and it is being redone on shop time/dime. I get the impression one team member is no longer working on Ol Bessy. So.......Dad describes the work as 8 out of 10 and the assignment was 9.5 out of 10 and so, Bessy is getting adjusted.

    A full up 5.3L Vortec with auto, wiring, PS, PB, computer, headers, etc, etc, etc is in house. Shop is looking about for another package in the interim for choices, etc.

    A 20K mile Pontiac Le Mans rear is in house and ready. Front suspension is lined up and will be in house just as soon as the body work meets or exceeds the shop owners criteria.

    Everybody is on the same sheet. We are looking for running/driving car that is painted. (Dad and I decided we can throw a horse blanket over the seat and make the first trip without door panels if necessary!) So.....still tracking to our original goals for the Ol Gal and it looks like the Suspension/Rear/Engine/Trans set up will be the next infusion of cash at about $4K to $5K installed and driving.

    Hoo Ahh!
     
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  5. Mudgy
    Joined: Dec 4, 2010
    Posts: 231

    Mudgy
    Member

    Good news mate, I hope the install goes smoothly for you
     
  6. Sharps40
    Joined: Apr 28, 2015
    Posts: 887

    Sharps40

    It will. I am sitting 300ish miles south of the car drinkin Corona and the occasional Fosters and smoking cheep cigars while them youngsters do the work.

    So far, this is my kind of build......I never hired out any work before but so far, I'm kinda likeing having the really heavy lifting taken care of for me. Getting too old and sore to be squattin and layin on the garage floor. Gotta save my energy for driving and shootin deer with Dad!
     
  7. Sharps40
    Joined: Apr 28, 2015
    Posts: 887

    Sharps40

    Its so cool when you meet with somebody in the hobby and they just got their baby back and their eyes light up and they get all so excited when they see the parts they came to look at.

    Met a fella like that today. He got his car back like I got mine back. His is in pieces, delivered home after 15 years on a box truck and missing lots of stuff. A 37 Plymouth 2 door sedan with humpback trunk.

    He went home with a grill, grill center, grill surround and the clips that survived 79 years, inner fender wells, fender supports brackets, tail lamp buckets, tail lamps stands, tail lamp lenses, tail lamp bezels, door sill plates, three flat head water pumps, a working 6v foot pedal starter and two MOPAR oil bath air cleaners with carb clamps.

    We settled for $200 and we agreed to meet up and roll once both are back on the road.
     
  8. Sharps40
    Joined: Apr 28, 2015
    Posts: 887

    Sharps40

    Email this morning to Dad:

    Pops,

    We broke even on the Plymouth car parts. $1200 invested on the old Plymouth spares and have sold that much in unneeded components.

    At this point, we stand to make a bit of a profit on the investment as I still have the door shells, hood and grill shell to sell.

    So, a good investment. We have many of the small parts we could need like window/door latch mechanisms, glass bottom channels, door handles, trunk hinges, headlight buckets, spare fenders, spare trunk lid, spare windshield trim and windshield crank/hinges, etc., etc.

    Let me know what you see on your next trip to the shop.
     
  9. Sharps40
    Joined: Apr 28, 2015
    Posts: 887

    Sharps40

    Dad,

    Am considering setting up the dash board insert. I'd like to use the attached Dolphin gauges.

    The speedometer is electronic and fully programmable for any tire size and gear ratios.

    Next trip, talk to Jim, specifically: Should I order a GM Pulse Generator so the transmission can talk to the speedometer......also, will he need specifications on the gauges, specifically the resistance values on the fuel gauge in order to set up the fuel tank sender....?

    Photo is a 6 gauge set....we'll use a 5 gauge set eliminating the tachometer. No need for a tach on a classy lady....she won't be driven for flash or cash.....

    -----------------------------

    Gauge set particulars from the Dolphin Web Site:


    Dolphin Automotive Gauges feature a Convex gauge lens, air core movements, glare free lighting, polished stainless or gold bezels, and come in a choice of face colors. All Gauge Sets come with water, oil, and fuel sending units. The Electronic Gauge Sets include an electronic speedometer that is fully programmable for easy calibration with any tire size/axle ratio. Speedometer are 3-3/8" and Oil, Temp, Volt and Fuel are 2-1/16". *Note: if you have an older transmission and are ordering the programmable speedo set, don't forget your pulse generator (Ford and GM available).

    5 Gauge sets include:
    * 140 M.P.H. Programmable Speedometer
    * Temperature gauge and water temperature sending unit for engine.
    * Fuel level gauge and fuel sending unit for gas tank.
    * Oil pressure gauge and oil sending unit for engine.
    * Voltmeter gauge.
    * Mounting hardware and installation instructions.
    * Mechanical sets include a mechanical Speedo and four electronic gauges.


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  10. Sharps40
    Joined: Apr 28, 2015
    Posts: 887

    Sharps40

    Dad.

    Locate a vintage Guide reverse light for Ol Bessy. It on the way from Arkansas. Works. Will rebuild though with new wiring and a ground. Will also make a nice steel clamp on bracket so it will fit on the drivers side rear bumper bracket. Send it to ya when its done.

    So, that should be it on exterior lighting. We have modern headlamps, front turn and running lights, out back is run/stop/turn and the reverse.

    No loose wires on the upgrade wiring harness then.

    Time to capture the dash insert from the shop and some curly maple or walnut cause there is no way in hell I'm putting billet aluminum flashycrap in the dash with the new gauges....what color do you want the dash high beam and turn signal indicators, blue, green, yellow or red?

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  11. Sharps40
    Joined: Apr 28, 2015
    Posts: 887

    Sharps40

    Dad,

    On this months visit, I'd like to return with some more parts we don't need and get them advertised and sold.

    Dash Gauge insert set (to build the new dash then sell the original gauges and inserts. I believe there is one at the house and one in the shop from the original and the parts car)

    The brand new and unused brake drums at the shop. (Raysbestos brand I believe, back when they were making them in the 80s and 90s for the old 37 cars.)

    The spare windshield mechanism with the broken tape down at the shop.

    The after market running board brackets I sent Jim, I have a full set of originals I'll bring along to install on the car, even have original DPCD fine thread bolts!

    At the house, I want to verify we have a spare 1937 Dodge front axle and its not a 47 Chevy unit. If its dodge, I'll pull the drums, hubs, spindles, drag link, shock mounts, etc. All are easily shipped. We may be cutting the axle to get the spindles as the axle is too big to ship/no value anyway. We'll do the same with the original axle when it comes out from under the car soon.

    See ya soon.


    Rich
     
  12. Sharps40
    Joined: Apr 28, 2015
    Posts: 887

    Sharps40

    I found the one single 1937 Dodge instrument cluster photo/for sale on the entire internet. I have two. Many moons ago, I opened one of mine, rebuilt the gauges, repainted the dials, repainted the markings on the glass and refurbished the entire background. Put it back in Ol Bessy and BAM!!!! Drunk hit me.

    So, as I recall, the front separates from the back to remove the glass. Gauges come out the back.

    I'll disassemble and polish the remaining housing so that I'll have the dash mounting tabs and chrome trim for reinsertion into the dash opening. Inside, instead of glass and gauges I hope to install a nicely finished chunk of walnut or curly maple with Dolphin gold rim gauges, two turn signal lamps and a high beam lamp.

    Crimp it all back together and send it back to the shop for installation in the dash. And, the guts (and spare complete cluster from the Raleigh Parts Car) can go up for sale to pay for the new gauges, etc.

    Fingers crossed.

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  13. Sharps40
    Joined: Apr 28, 2015
    Posts: 887

    Sharps40

    Reverse light is rebuilt and grounded. Now to make a bumper bracket bracket.

    New contact, wire and spring. Added ground to the original weep hole....oddly enough there is another weep hole near the bezel screw so, this one can be used for ground (with a non rusting stainless screw and nut) and the lamp can be installed with the other weep hole/bezel screw at 6 oclock.

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    New old stock reverse lens was glued in place last evening in the chromed brass bezel. Looks good on this old Guide B31 lamp.

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    Works good too....

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  14. Sharps40
    Joined: Apr 28, 2015
    Posts: 887

    Sharps40

    Just ordered a 3/8" x 2.5" engraved brass saddle plate for the new dash insert. The engraving will be all caps, block lettering like the original speedometer....FLOATING POWER. MOPARS early marketing strategy for its motors that "hung" (sort of) from the front mount instead of pushing down and transmitting all the motor movement to the frame.
     
  15. Sharps40
    Joined: Apr 28, 2015
    Posts: 887

    Sharps40

    A simple bracket to slip over the bumper bracket and rest right in front of the rubber frame cover. Should look and work great.

    First bends in the steel. Cold bending is fine for this job, just trying to keep the bends even and not get things too far out of wack from side to side.

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    A loop on top for the light to sit on and a loop around the double portion of the bumper bracket.

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    Roughing it in on the bumper bracket.

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    Adding some stainless steel hardware and checking the look. Just need to make a small spacer to fill the gap and keep the snugging up screw from pulling the bracket into a squished shape. It'll ride plenty tight on the bumper bracket and look good, I think, right there on the drivers side back end.

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  16. 56 Dodge Pickup
    Joined: Jul 1, 2009
    Posts: 1,813

    56 Dodge Pickup
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    1. H.A.M.B. Chapel

    Nice job Sharps 40 bracket looks good! Hobo Jim
     
  17. Sharps40
    Joined: Apr 28, 2015
    Posts: 887

    Sharps40

    Thanks.

    Prolly finish it up this week and take it up to the shop over the Memorial Day weekend. Crossing my fingers and hoping to see the body work finally all done and the suspension gone from underneath!
     
  18. Sharps40
    Joined: Apr 28, 2015
    Posts: 887

    Sharps40

    Seems to be a common theme in the business of owning and enjoying MOPAR....ya get one, ya loose it and then ya get the same one back....

    Met another fella with a similar story to mine today. Contacted me about purchasing some windshield hinges.

    Seems he had a 36 Dodge Coupe for 40+ years.

    Got broke ($$$) somewhere along the line about 15 to 18 years back and sold the coupe.

    Got a hankering here of late but didn't make a move.

    His good Son, went out.......

    Located the Original Coupe.

    Bought it for his Dad for Christmass!

    Way to go Son!!!!!
     
  19. Sharps40
    Joined: Apr 28, 2015
    Posts: 887

    Sharps40

    The other person I talked to with a story like this, called me on parts for his 32ish Dodge. Built it.....sold it 10 years ago. Went out last month, bought it back. On the trailer home, it was hit by a knuckle head....bounced it around in the trailer and smashed in the drivers side of the car between the fenders. I suspect he's got it home now and on the hunt for parts instead of getting to enjoy its return immediately.
     
  20. Sharps40
    Joined: Apr 28, 2015
    Posts: 887

    Sharps40

    Dad,

    Just back from Ol Kantuk....TSA stole my toothpaste on the trip out....tube too big....don't seem to matter it was only a spit left in the tube.....I fixed em though. Bought an even bigger tube for the trip back and they missed it, the maglight and the cigarette lighter on the way back through. So much for consistency in inspection....as we are aware from years of experience in Munitions QA and Safety, 100% inspection only rarely uncovers more than 80% of deficiencies.

    But....to the car.

    Brass plate is for the new wood dash insert. I want to keep some flavor of the original Dodge so, even though the gauges will be new, we'll be using the original trim and gauge housing and glass and adding this plate somewhere above or just below the gauge set.

    As for the reverse light. As you can see, its done. When I visit next weekend we will install it on the rear bumper up in the attic. That way, it'll be done and won't get lost as we wait for the right time to deliver the final parts to the shop for installation.

    See ya soon!

    Rich.

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  21. Sharps40
    Joined: Apr 28, 2015
    Posts: 887

    Sharps40

    Dad,

    This is the walnut burl I have selected to build the new gauges into and insert in the original chrome dash insert. (Front and back sides, thin slab for lamination to a sturdy backer).

    This section of the burl is 11.5" x 23.5" by .125"

    I'll pick up both sets of dash inserts (one in attic, one at shop) next week when I come up.

    Will wind up setting up one original dash insert with the walnut, glass and gauges + the Floating Power name plate I had made up. The other dash insert, likely the one from the Raleigh parts car will get sold.

    Should look nice, the burl walnut under glass and set back into the original chrome housing.

    I decided we'll be using a two gauge pack (each is 3 3/8" dia) with two green turn signal lamps and a blue high beam indicator. 120 mph self programming electronic speedo. Other gauge will be combo electric oil/temp/fuel/volts. Gauge packs come with all sending units. We may need a speedo pulse generator if the trans doesn't already have one on it.

    I'll get it all together and wired and grounds made up then ship it up to you in the next several weeks.

    See ya soon.

    Rich.

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  22. Sharps40
    Joined: Apr 28, 2015
    Posts: 887

    Sharps40

    Getting excited. Less than a week till we visit. Dad is excited too. He said we should go to the shop twice while I'm visiting just to see what changed from one day to the next!

    I gotta start listing what to take and what to bring back.

    Take up: original running board brackets, reverse light assembly, etc.

    Bring back: 2 dash gauge clusters, spare windshield transmission, 2 new brake drums, up to 6 original brake drums, NOS/lightly used front leaf springs if removed, 4 steering knuckles if removed, 4 front hubs if removed. All four lower front shock/sway bar mounts if removable from the axles , the two front upper shock mounts if removed, drag link/steering box/steering column if removed, horn button, etc.
     
  23. Sharps40
    Joined: Apr 28, 2015
    Posts: 887

    Sharps40

    Located turn signal indicators for the new dash. New Old Stock Case IH indicators. I'll likely have to black them out, they look chrome but that's no issue, it'll make em disappear into the walnut burl.

    [​IMG]
     
  24. Sharps40
    Joined: Apr 28, 2015
    Posts: 887

    Sharps40

    Turn signal indicators arrived. Very nice. Original stock and a good size. Glass lens, black arrow, green bulb, easy fit in a hole in the dash panel and even a tab to keep the arrow from rotating when you twist/snap the light socket into the housing.

    They'll be dark against the burl walnut except for the fine chrome rim. (Might have to go chrome rim gauge pack now....will look nice on the dark wood.) And then, the black arrow will be back lit by green when I signal a turn. Should be kinda vintage looking all the way.

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  25. Sharps40
    Joined: Apr 28, 2015
    Posts: 887

    Sharps40

    Timing now. Blast shop is waiting. Paint booth will be freed up soon. Blast the last of the rust from the roof, get Bessy in the booth for good prime. Repairs to the trunk and roll pan and left rear quarter are looking much better now. And, all other rust/accident damage repairs look right as rain. Some parts are done and set aside for assembly at this point. They have pretty much had all the repair/blocking done on them. All the work is paid up through complete prime and ready for color. Next steps, july/august time frame are suspension and assembly and color. Last is power pack.

    For now....photos!

    Wrinkled mangled firewall is hammered straight.

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    Unneeded holes for coil and foot starter are plugged.

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    Both front quarters have all rust damage and holes repaired.

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    The most significantly damaged, lr quarter. Shaping up much better on the rework.

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    The ugly trunk seams from before are cleaned up, smoothed and properly seam sealed now. What I can see without moving parts around looks grand.

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    The complete new rear roll pan is getting its final shaping and the lip to the trunk is looking much more "stock".

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  26. Sharps40
    Joined: Apr 28, 2015
    Posts: 887

    Sharps40

    Some drip rail work

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    Window mechanism tested and functional....good tape and crank.

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    Capturing some pics of my old work on woodgraining the steel dash to help with the burl walnut dash insert to be made up.

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    The completed nose, stashed out of harms way.

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    Fenders and other sheet metal, completed and stashed out of harms way.

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  27. Sharps40
    Joined: Apr 28, 2015
    Posts: 887

    Sharps40

    Found the gauge cluster from the Raleigh parts car. Havn't found the original one yet but we keep digging....a Ford was in the way, didn't want to dig much and risk dropping a part on someone elses car!

    But....can start the new gauge pack soon.

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    Found the original running board mounts so won't need these aftermarket universal fit jobbies.

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    Front spindles, backing plates, steering arms, shock mounts and spring perches I won't be needing....

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  28. Sharps40
    Joined: Apr 28, 2015
    Posts: 887

    Sharps40

    Some of the other work in the shop this weekend....

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  29. Sharps40
    Joined: Apr 28, 2015
    Posts: 887

    Sharps40

    First step in getting the gauge cluster into the 21st Century....break out My First Craftsman and get busy carefully releasing the crimps that hold the front chromed brass bezel to the rear mounting case.

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    Three crimps top and bottom and one crimp on each end.

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    Once those are loose, I flip it over and start to remove what is left of the gauges, speedo, amp and fuel.

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    Fuel gauge is out, packed for now but i'll put a lightbulb on it for a load later and if it reads 1/3 to 1/2 it should be good to go to somebody that wants to restore their original gauge cluster.

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    Amp gauge is out....I'll have to get some low current running through it and see if I get a deflection to positive...if so, another potentially good gauge a restorer! :)

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    On the old 37 D5, a single 30 amp fuze here kept it all going. Soup to nuts, one fuze.

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    Speedo is out....Floating Power, be recreating that on the new dash face in brass. For now, this speedo needs at least swarfed out an lubed, perhaps rebuilt. But also good for somebody restoring. Not good for me. Its out with the old here too.

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    The face separated from the base.

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    Removing the inner glass. Good for a restorer. all the numbers and lines are engraved, fill em with new paint and Viola! Perfect new dash face.

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    Removing the outer glass. Clear, probably won't reuse it as the new gauges are domed glass faced and the turn lamps are also glass....so, perhaps black out the inside of the base and reassemble the trim bezel over the burl walnut insert I'll be making up.

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    This is what I'm left with for the dash cluster. Base, middle and outer bezel. All the rest of the old is out and the new will go inside. When done, it'll fit nicely back into the dash on its original mounting tabs. And....NO POLISHED BILLET ALUMINUM! YEAH!!!!

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  30. Sharps40
    Joined: Apr 28, 2015
    Posts: 887

    Sharps40

    The burl walnut is not flat. Lots of movement in the grain and the thin sections do not dry flat. So, for starters, careful work (not overheating the wood) with the belt and palm sanders to level the face and back of the panel selected for the dash cluster. Once there and through very worn 120 grit for a polished finish, the face grain is frozen for further sanding and polishing later using a deeply penetrating urethane finish. Next step will be to laminate the burl to a 1/4" thick section of oak plywood for strength and potentially to decorate the edges of the cluster face with stainless steel screws, not sure on that but for now plenty of work to do to get ready for gauges and lights and grounding bar.

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    I'll use the face frame to help decide where to make the final cuts on the perimeter to fit the gauge face down in the base of the cluster.

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