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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

    Chrome plated brass....79 years of oxidation and soft and bendy. A ticklish polishing job. Can't bring it to a new shine without cutting through the chrome to the brass, but.....before the clean up....

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    And after....

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    Now to get the paint and rust off the mid piece and the gauge bucket in preparation for an interior coat of matt black.
     
  2. Sharps40
    Joined: Apr 28, 2015
    Posts: 887

    Sharps40

    Slowly coming together.

    The burl.

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    The backer to be glued to the burl.

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    Titebond, best there is .... burl sammich....

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    Paint and rust wire wheeled off the middle piece and the gauge bucket.

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    Priming the middle piece.

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    Flat blacking the middle piece.

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    Establishing a drill and shaping pattern for the burl and its backer after the glue sets in 24 hours.

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    Establishing center lines and margins on the pattern for test drilling when the gauges arrive.

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

    Sharps40

    Still a good bit of wire brush work, filing and final fitting to do, but, good for now, till the gauges come in and I can see just where to tweek the bucket and put in attachment screws.....

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

    Sharps40

    Pattern is used to find the part of the wood I like and its traced out in pencil.

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    The burl sammich plus the pattern bring the face of the burl to the right height inside the bucket.....top edge of the burl just at the edge of the light window. (Originally, this window left in light for the dash bulbs in the sockets just above. Later, I'll likely install small blue bulbs and when the high beams are on, the dash will have a soft blue glow. I think it'll be better than a glaring blue light in the middle of the face of the burl.)

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    With the freshly blackened mid piece and the chrome trim set on top, it starts to shape up. After the gauges are installed, I can finish blacking out the inside and outside of the gauge bucket.

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    And....I found half of what I need to shut all four doors, four new door striker plates....now to find 8 screws to fasten them to the B pillar.

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

    Sharps40

    Gauges are on the way.....

    Decided to go with the chrome/stainless trim theme instead of the gold rims....so tan/beige face, stainless bezel in the Quad gauge instead of the 5 gauge cluster.

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

    Sharps40

    I found a 40s Philco UN6-450 radio in the attic....already gutted it! (Nobody wanted it so......)

    And, I'm thinking that something like this (Touchscreen DVD Player Receiver GPS Navigation, Bluetooth, Wireless Remote and Rear camera included) needs to go in the modified case and placed somewhere convenient under the dash......prolly a job for after the car gets down here and I can see what the visibility areas are for driver and passenger.

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  7. BuiltFerComfort
    Joined: Jan 24, 2007
    Posts: 1,620

    BuiltFerComfort
    Member

    Hinge the radio delete plate, or radio covering. Hide that behind it.

    I looked at doing something like that - still may - but decided an iPad with a Bluetooth GPS is better for me, so I was just going to make an iPad mount. For backup camera (like you, a big car with small rear window) I was looking at small ip camera that runs on 12 v.
     
  8. Sharps40
    Joined: Apr 28, 2015
    Posts: 887

    Sharps40

    Was thinking of hinging the pilco cover or opening the cover (not the radio delete plate on the dash though....too small and requires cutting up the dash) with a window in double din size. I think a lot will require having the car here for the final assembly of the interior and getting a feel for where best to place the radio box under the dash/on the firewall. I'll place a vintage heater with 12v conversion first and go from there.
     
  9. Sharps40
    Joined: Apr 28, 2015
    Posts: 887

    Sharps40

    I recently found out that none of the door latch wedges remained on the B Pillars on the car or the spares up in Dads attic. I couldn't get into the parts boxes at the shop since a lovely Ford hot rod was sitting under the shelf and couldn't be moved. So....I did locate replacement door wedges at a decent price....but I was still lacking the fine thread screws and cone washers that fastened them to the B Pillar.

    Nothing was turning up on the interweb and I didn't have a B Pillar handy here in NC to check thread pitch.....

    The 37 Plymouth Sedan parts I purchased continues to be my gold mine. Looking over the box of small items I received with everything else, I noted I had a full set of door dovetails....and 8 screws with 4 cone washers!

    Happy joy, I am positive they are exactly the same length and pitch as the screws for the door wedges. So.....next trip up, I'll take em along and double check, but for now, quite happy!

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

    Sharps40

    Gauges arrived.....tan and chrome and domed lenses. Looks great.

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    One touch programmable electronic speedometer to work with standard ford or GM Pulse Generators. And lots of extra features beyond just mileage, including an over speed alert. Have to figger it out but in the bottom of the box....all the senders and wiring I'll need including a fuel tank sender that can be adjusted for depth of the tank.

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    Just checking some lay out possibilities. Snug but enough room for the gauges, signal lights (perhaps put them in vertically since they have directional arrows) and the Floating Power moniker

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    But for now, time to break out the trusty range and explosive safety compasses and get to measuring and drawing some well placed circles on the pattern board.
     
  11. Sharps40
    Joined: Apr 28, 2015
    Posts: 887

    Sharps40

    Just playing with the rough in. Might have to move the left gauge a touch more left but.......

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    The turn signals could mount horizontal with Floating Power up top or vertical with Floating Power at the bottom. I'll play with it while I check to see if the local hardware store has a good hole cutter or fly cutter.

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    Last edited: Jun 8, 2016
  12. Blue One
    Joined: Feb 6, 2010
    Posts: 10,936

    Blue One
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Alberta

    Nice work although I can't say that I like the Dolphin gauges. Hope you won't regret going with them, I have not heard or read good things about them.
    I went with Classic Instruments myself.
     
    Sharps40 likes this.
  13. Sharps40
    Joined: Apr 28, 2015
    Posts: 887

    Sharps40

    I read stuff all the time....if they were all that bad, they'd be out of business and if the CVT transmission in my Versa was as bad, there'd not be a Nissan on the road, same with Taurus revolvers, old ford Y blocks, babbit bearings, etc, etc, ...

    Lots of complainers that usually don't follow up. Not to impune you.

    I'm sure they'll be fine. May not last 80 years like the original speedo, amp, fuel, water and oil gauges but heck, they's easier to find or swap out and the speedo will use a stock GM pulse sender.....but really, the look is what did it for me. Black and orange or digital, etc, wasn't going to please me.
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2016
  14. Sharps40
    Joined: Apr 28, 2015
    Posts: 887

    Sharps40

    Well, if this is the dash gauge cluster that Ol Bessy is to live with for the next 80 years.....I think she'll be happy.

    Its coming together. Couldn't wait for a 3 3/8 hole saw to arrive and was concerned the torque would crack or break the burl, so scribed the lines in pencil and found the centers and drilled and used the scroll saw. Next steps will be to final sand the finish back to the surface to shave off the whiskers and then really get busy with the final finish. But for now......

    The face of the dash insert and the pattern now hollowed out to serve as the back spacer bring the insert to the final thickness and just right for the depth of the bucket.

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    The first parts installed are in tribute to the old. "FLOATING POWER" up top and NOS Case IH green bulb directional turn signal lamps.

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    And for the 21st Century, programmable electronic speedometer and gauge/warning cluster.

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    About half way done with this project now, so a first look at where the entire project is going.

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    Now, to locate upper dash light sockets and blue light bulbs for the high beam indicator and backlight this dash in soft blue when the brights are on.
     
  15. Sharps40
    Joined: Apr 28, 2015
    Posts: 887

    Sharps40

    More work on the gauge cluster today. The backer is fastened to the burl panel and its sitting with several coats of clear on it hardening overnight. Will sand and do some more filling and finishing of the burl tomorrow. Think I'll go to the range too....bout time to get back into muzzleloading, deer season is coming.

    But the paint and clear is on the gauge bucket and inner trim panel. Looking good and I just need to measure and go light socket shopping now. Maybe get to final assembly on Sat or Sun.

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

    Sharps40

    Old cars have terrible grounding pathways. Rust and now new paint and multiple joints from body to frame, etc. So, a piece of dovetail stock from the rifle bench. Just mild steel but its better quality than cold rolled, drills cleaner and takes a smooth strong thread.

    These will be the grounding points to connect gauge and instrument cluster lamps directly to the electrical system without going through the many old fasteners that route from gauge bucket to dash to body to frame. Should make for a long lived and low maintenance connection.

    I'll mount this to the back of the gauge bucket later....for now, first leveling of the finish on the burl was accomplished this morning and waiting for the 40eleventh coat to dry for more leveling and perhaps final rub out back to satin gloss.

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

    Sharps40

    About 8 coats of wiping poly were rubbed into the burl and the edges to seal the wood, each cut back to the surface with 0000 steel wool. Then 6 coats of clear acrylic enamel were sprayed and about every second coat leveled with 0000 steel wool. Final workout was to bring the shine back up and level the surface with terry and fff gunstock finishing compound.

    Gauges and turn signal indicators went in easy peasy along with the FLOATING POWER badge up top.

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    Once the brackets holding the gauges in place were snugged down a bit of additional clearance on the rear of the bucket was needed to make room for them and here finally, they slid home for the next 80 years.

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    Here the grounding buss is installed, the gauge panel secured to the bucket with brass screws and I'm starting the process of folding the chromed brass face trim back over the lip of the bucket.

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    In the next photos you can see the upper window that will allow for the blue lights I'll be installing as hi beam indicators above the gauge panel to reflect off the tops of the chrome gauge bezels. Might go shopping for the sockets today. Small bulbs will do I'm sure.

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    Almost done......some wiring, blue lights and a gauge cluster to dash gasket to make up yet.
     
  18. Sharps40
    Joined: Apr 28, 2015
    Posts: 887

    Sharps40

    Dad,

    At this point the gauge cluster is essentially done. Just have to make up a pair of horseshoe clips for the two hi beam indicator backlights, install the blue covers on the hi beam backlight bulbs and make a gasket to go between the cluster and the back side of the dash.

    The Ford/GM 1972 to 1995 license plate/side marker sockets work nicely for the high beam backlights on the top of the cluster and will locate behind the dash. Once I put the blue covers on them, they will be ready to wire together into the hi beam side of the selector switch. Both will glow on hi beam and will reflect blue light off the tops of the gauge bezels and lend an overall blue cast to the entire cluster in the evenings.

    I've run incandescent bulbs on everything. No sense messing with led's, don't know nothing about them and in any event, the incandescent will work with about any dimmer switch on the market...not all the led's will do that.

    I've installed a common buss for grounding and routed all lamp and gauge grounds through it to a master ground wire. We won't have poor conductivity due to multiple joints between gauge bucket/dash and frame.

    I have all the electronic senders and a fuel tank sender.

    All we'll need is the standard GM pulse generator that should come with the overdrive transmission....if not, a pulse generator is only $35 or so and I'll get one later.

    I also have all the wiring diagrams/identifications for the gauge harnesses for Eddie when we get to wiring.

    Finally, since the speedometer is programmable, it has a one touch selector button, we'll have Eddie place it in a small hole under the dash so this little but glaring red button is out of sight but still accessible.

    Speedometer goes to 140 MPH. GoodWife says I'm not allowed to try to burry the needle.....so, that'll be your job on its first run. Please see if Jim can arrange to clear off a nice straight stretch in front of the shop so we can give it a whirl.

    Rich.

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

    Sharps40

    I think part of (a bunch of ) the fun of hot rodding a 79 year old car is figuring out what parts from other cars (and for the dash, tractors) will do the job.

    For example, the old backlit dash bucket, had 3/4" diameter sockets for the lights. In converting them to hi beam lights, 72 to 95 Ford/GM side marker sockets were used....they go in a 1/2 in hole. So, retention. Easy peasy....a couple of modern (and blue, the propa color for Ol Bessy) oil cooler line clips work just fine to secure the more modern 194 sockets in the ancient lamp loops.

    And.....Ol Bessy got her pasties.....blue covers for the 194 bulbs that will indicate hi beams are on. Blue bulbs are available but, with covers, I can shop local instead of the innerweb if I ever need a new hi beam bulb.

    So, hi beam indication moved from center of the dash (originally the light switch lit up for hi beam) to the actual gauge cluster. Here, her new underwire supports and pasties in place.

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    Breaking out the old and trusty 6v/12v 2amp/6amp battery charger, its time for a test run. Soft blue on the gauge cluster and I'm happy!

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    And with a bit of a reflector over the high beam indicator bulbs, the stainless bezels turn blue and even the white towel the cluster is sitting on is turned blue. Cool.

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    And if I'm really lucky, these will be mine tonight at 11 PM. Not plastic. Not modern. Original, NOS glass blue dot and glass lens for out back lighting and still in their original packaging! Crossin my fingers and toes that I get these Lynxeyes, I didn't relish grinding holes in the original glass lenses to install blue dots on my own.

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

    Sharps40

    Woo Hoo! Turn Signals, Green Ones. Camera eye view is brighter but to my eye, its a beautiful bright green with a black directional arrow floating in the middle.

    But, either way, bright enough that even a forgetful driver won't be going around the world to the left!

    Left Turn...

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    Right Turn...

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

    Sharps40

    Good news....LynxEyes are mine!...well, they're Ol Bessy's anyway.
     
  22. Sharps40
    Joined: Apr 28, 2015
    Posts: 887

    Sharps40

    From Dad....

    On Tuesday, June 14

    Richard: They are beautiful---I always wanted the blue dots in there, but with the 6 volt system, it didn't matter much what color.

    I stopped down today---nothing new done. Spoke to one of the guys---said they are 'catching up', and there is a Corvette that is in front of us.

    I also mentioned to Jim (he commented that the dash panel looks great). I told him this is the second one--we can't find the other one you did. He mentioned that there are still probably parts on the lower level that belong to the Dodge. Next time you are up, we'll have to take a look on the first floor where the Dodge was for so long, and see what we can find.

    Keep them shining. Brake lights that is.
     
  23. Sharps40
    Joined: Apr 28, 2015
    Posts: 887

    Sharps40

    Dad,

    Think about it.

    The car is 79.

    The tail light lenses are up to 79 years old too.

    They got made for the car.

    They sat on many shelves.

    One box was lost but the lens never damaged or broken.

    The other sat in its box safely waiting.

    They probably moved around a lot.

    They got shipped to someone on ebay.

    I bought them and they got shipped to me.

    The car was built and drove and sold until you bought it in 1957.

    You gave it to me.

    I drove it daily for 15 years.

    A drunk hit the car.

    I "Sold" it (kinda) to Jim and it sat for 23 years.

    And now in 2016 we find out that in all them years you wanted blue dot tail light lenses.

    Never seen these for sale before, ever...not even in all the many summers we went to Hershey looking for parts and supplies.....

    Well, now you got em! Pristine originals.

    Rich

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  24. Mudgy
    Joined: Dec 4, 2010
    Posts: 231

    Mudgy
    Member

    Great job on the instrument panel Sharps ! Looking bloody great mate
    Cheers, Mudgy
     
  25. Sharps40
    Joined: Apr 28, 2015
    Posts: 887

    Sharps40

    Thanks Sir. Down under and round in that area, there are some amazing tropical hard woods! Afzelia Xylay, Amboyna Burl, would be wonderful to have a Woodie Wagon there and be able to use such species of wood!
     
  26. Mudgy
    Joined: Dec 4, 2010
    Posts: 231

    Mudgy
    Member

    Last edited: Jun 21, 2016
  27. Mudgy
    Joined: Dec 4, 2010
    Posts: 231

    Mudgy
    Member

    How's it looking Sharps? Keen to see what is happening here...

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

    Sharps40

    Dad visited over Independence day. Loves the gauge cluster. We spent the eves drinking good bourbon and watching g cowboy movies and the cool of the mornings slinging lead at flimsey cardboard invaders. Just waiting now for final prime so it can go to the suspension bay. With luck it'll make the move this month.
     
  29. Sharps40
    Joined: Apr 28, 2015
    Posts: 887

    Sharps40

    Email to Dad, 21 July 2016 (PS Three years to full retirement, less if the economy tanks and we get early outs in 2017! Yep, I'm counting down!)

    Dad,

    Picked up a spare center grill for the dodge, cheep. Which ever one is better gets installed. As needed, I'll take the lesser of the two and shorten it up/convert it into the crank hole cover for the lower center of the grill.

    Rich.

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

    Sharps40

    Dad was down and visited the shop. Got a chance to talk with the boss and the painter before moving forward. Mighta been a bit of confusion on the painters part. Very meticulous fellow, quite a painter. Hadn't moved forward because the car weren't ready. Boss explaned and Dad confirmed....we plan to drive it. Concours restorations are false representations of the vehicle in its original form as none ever came out of Detroit with bodies as straight or gaps measured to the thousands of an inch, paint polished to snot smooth and ultratittium booby gloss shine.....etc. So, as Dad said, don't skim coat the battery box and don't perfectly straighten the car floor along the drive tunnel or smooth the frame or even take the door gaps beyond what would be expected on a new car or better a driver car. He explaned we plan to haul dead deer in the trunk with muddy boots stepping on the running boards and sweaty stinky bloody gloves tossed in the back seat while driving down the dirt roads coming out of the woods.....i.e. we plan to use the car.....

    I think the painter is getting ready now for the final prime so we can do suspension/motor and then final paint. Dad seems satisfied that he clearly understands we'll be using Bessy, not looking at her under a $2000 fancy tarp in a climate controlled car bedroom!
     
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