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Projects 1953 Dodge Pilothouse Build

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Ford Mike, Nov 30, 2011.

  1. samuel addison
    Joined: Oct 19, 2012
    Posts: 31

    samuel addison
    Member
    from Bay Area

    Great build! with lots of cool info. Check out my 52 Pilothouse stakebed in my album!
     
  2. I checked your truck out and it's very cool. Im glad to see a hopped up flatbed!

    Oh what the heck, it's been awhile. I just got done patching up my screen doors, I mean fenders. (sorry I get the two confused!)

    A little before and after so you get what I'm talking about...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The patches look better in person, but I'm getting better at my sheet metal work.

    I also started on the rear panel with the tail lights. I'm using a junk tailgate to give it a little character as well as making it match the truck as if it was factory made. There is an actual reason I am using a raised panel to mount the tail lights too but for that, you'll have to wait a little while.

    I started where I left off in my last post. Made a template that will bolt to the back of the truck and cut it out.

    [​IMG]

    I quickly realized that I didn't like what I was seeing so I did a little modification.

    [​IMG]

    I can only show a sneak peek for now because I'm not finished but you should be able to get the idea.

    Also if anyone out there has an extra glass lens for a 52 Buick tail light, let me know I'm in the market for one!
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2012
  3. Much better...

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Hemiken
    Joined: Sep 21, 2012
    Posts: 492

    Hemiken
    Member
    from Australia

    Hey Mike,
    Thanks for the link buddy :D
    I like your build, and i have thought that the rear fenders should have come with the front radius as standard on the larger fenders as you have done, i will be doing this same mod on my DeSoto Panel when i get my truck home.
    Looking forward to new updated posts buddy. :cool:
     
  5. Here's a taste of a long needed update... As usual I get side tracked and can't stay on one thing until its done. I decided I would start a few more tiny mods on the rear. Sorry no full pics, only small ones because I actually can't get the whole truck in frame at once because the garage is so cramped.

    I decided the rear piece didn't look right so I extended the stake pockets down about 2 inches. I actually don't know how much because I eyeballed it...

    [​IMG]

    Surprisingly I haven't touched the panel under the tailgate since my last update, I don't know what the hold up is there.

    Anywho... Drum roll please... It's time for the much awaited rear fender re radiusing! It still needs A LOT of work but it's great to see an idea come to life.

    [​IMG]

    Quite a few guys have been waiting to see it, and honestly so have I. So far it still needs to be finish welded and done to the other side. I still haven't decided if I want to section the fenders an inch or 2 so they line up with the fronts, since I plan on running a smaller tire and wheel I think I may end up needing to section it. Oh well... Thats for another time.

    Who knows if I get this stuff all tied up maybe some outside shots will be in order.
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2012
  6. Fixed the pics and I figured I would post up my idea for the finished truck...

    [​IMG]

    Its basically a template of a piece I saw of "skull" aka Jim's truck that I did with my own spin. It's a long way off but its nice to finally see what I'm aiming for.
    Until next time...
     
  7. Hemiken
    Joined: Sep 21, 2012
    Posts: 492

    Hemiken
    Member
    from Australia

    Thanks for the update Mike, looks way cool. I see you took a little bit of length off the fender flare to fit up with the length of the wide fender, good move. The bed post really flow in well and connect up with the lower panel real neat.

    The picture shows what you are going for now, thanks, i am hooked, i'll be watching always. ;)
     

  8. Thanks for the positive response Kenny. The fender flare I was using had some pretty severe damage on part of it where it had a cobbled together repair. The Hot Rod Gods were on my side tho because the chunk I had to take out turned out to be the same size as the damaged area! I also pie cut the bottom in the back to make it flow into the fender smoother. Seeing it all blue with a little bit of chrome and the tail lights in place should really be cool!

    If you plan on doing this to your truck's fenders I used the drivers side front fender flare for the passengers side rear fender. For some reason it follows the contour of the fender better, and surprisingly their shape isn't the same as you'd expect.
     
  9. Hemiken
    Joined: Sep 21, 2012
    Posts: 492

    Hemiken
    Member
    from Australia

    I love it when a plan comes together Mike. It really is looking good, and in full color it will look like a natural factory thing to have the flared rear fenders, to this day i do not know why it was not a standard part. I will be doing the same thing to my DeSoto panel, but the thing is that i will blend a full cut down rear fender like you have on your truck and put the flared section on that as well, at the moment my Panel has smooth sides with a bolt on flare section, i like the look of the later model Panels with there chunky wide fenders, but i still want that symmetry from front wheel arch to rear wheel arch like you have now. And thanks for the advice, i am like you and i would have tried both sides and stood back to make sure which one conformed best with the application old mate.

    Do you have any other custom touches in mind Mike ? i am going to suicide my doors on my Panel, trucks look way cool with a tall door swinging backwards. :D

    Kenny.
     

  10. I don't have too much in mind as far as custom stuff. All of the mods I plan on doing I want them to appear to be stock so if the average Joe looks at it he won't notice anything standing out. I had wanted to put 55 dodge grill bars on the front of the truck but MoparMan4GZUZ pulled off the idea first, I really don't want to copy anyone directly so I need to go back to the drawing board. In my opinion the truck needs a floating grill though.

    Other than that a one piece hood is going to be in order if I can find the right hinges and I am debating on doing something with the running board to include the exhaust since I had planned on just building new running boards after we get it on the road and licensed.

    I had always wanted a Dodge panel. I never was into suicide doors so personally if it was mine I would weld the back doors together and make it open to one side, but that's just me! :D
     
  11. Hemiken
    Joined: Sep 21, 2012
    Posts: 492

    Hemiken
    Member
    from Australia


    Not too much in the way of custom :rolleyes: your killing me Mike. One piece hood that opens alligator style :eek: , talk about a major modification, you are one funny guy old mate, that is gold right there my friend....... :D

    I hope you do go looking for another project after you finish your Dodge truck and that you do find a Dodge Panel Truck buddy, Dodge trucks are different alright, but a Dodge Panel Truck would be down right cool in my book. ;) I do love my Dodge Trucks, but for me a Panel is just that little bit better for my own taste.

    Enough of me chin waggin over here, i will let you get back in to it old mate, keep up the great work. ;)
     
  12. Great strides have been made within the past week or so on the old Dodge. The steering is now in working order (with a ton of help from Sid at http://www.droppedaxles.com/) and hopefully (knock on wood) it doesn't have to EVER come apart again. The truck now has the brakes all plumbed up so that means the check list to the first drive is getting shorter and shorter. Pretty much the only major thing left is installing the gas tank and getting a gas pedal set up.

    I have also started thinking about what I want to use for tires, I did get a much awaited package however...

    [​IMG]

    I've been looking for a set of these caps since I started dreaming this truck up in my head. Finally they popped up on Ebay, and I had to have them!

    Here they are in the new fender...

    [​IMG]

    I have to say it doesn't look too shabby, but the wheels need more back spacing (atleast I think thats the right word) I really want to avoid having to section the fenders. The Appliance mags fit so amazingly good but I want to run hub caps so they aren't going to stick around for long, I'll probably just put them on for a change if I get tired of the caps...

    Until next time...
     
  13. Hemiken
    Joined: Sep 21, 2012
    Posts: 492

    Hemiken
    Member
    from Australia

    Nice update buddy, and an awesome score on the hubcaps. We need to see your truck back on the ground to see how far your wheel tucks with the caps now old mate . . . . .
     
  14. Well technically the truck is at its final ride height because the jack stands are under the axles. Here is a shot from the side.

    [​IMG]

    Here is the other side with the mag on it to demonstrate the difference in fit...

    [​IMG]

    Its not from exactly the same angle, but its the closest picture I have on my computer. Oh and surprisingly the wheel openings are the same on both sides!:eek:

    We will more than likely just reverse an extra wheel and see how it looks. I just think it looks goofy with anything except the 10 inch wide slicks but I don't care for the aluminum mag. The best thing about running full caps is if the home made wheels look like a Frankenstein rig they will just be covered up!

    Have a Merry Christmas Kenny, and all others who view this!
     
  15. Hemiken
    Joined: Sep 21, 2012
    Posts: 492

    Hemiken
    Member
    from Australia

    Hey Mike,

    Merry Christmas to you too buddy.

    I am loving that fat wheel well, that extra flare makes the fenders look tough.

    It would be hard to adjust to a skinny wheel after seeing those fats under there bud, do you have plans of lowering the truck further at all ? I will definitely be doing that same mod with the flared fenders on my panel, thanks for being the first buddy, looks great.:D

    Kenny.
     
  16. proartguy
    Joined: Apr 13, 2009
    Posts: 454

    proartguy
    Member
    from Sparks, NV

    I don't know who was first to use the later grill bars in a '53, but I did these in 1989.

    [​IMG]
     
  17. Hemiken
    Joined: Sep 21, 2012
    Posts: 492

    Hemiken
    Member
    from Australia

    Nice Panel Truck, some more ideas for grille treatment.
     
  18. Thats such a great looking panel! Thanks for posting it! I love the idea of using the 54-56 grill bars, it goes along with my idea of they should have done it from the factory, much like the rear fenders. If all my other ideas fail, I'm going to be using that idea as my backup.

    I have been doing a little brain storming as well as breaking out the sketch pad for grill ideas. I don't want to build something custom, I'd much rather use a piece off another car of the similar vintage (like 48-60). I can't explain my reasoning for that I just want to do it that way. Needless to say, I've come up with an idea I really like and I think it might work out. I just need to maybe do a Photoshop and see if I still like it. After that I will need to scrape some cash together and make it happen.

    As always guys thanks for the input.
     
  19. Hemiken
    Joined: Sep 21, 2012
    Posts: 492

    Hemiken
    Member
    from Australia

    Hey Mike,

    Can you post up your sketch ideas for your grille buddy, PLEASE. :D
     
  20. Well, since you asked nicely Kenny...

    I was leaning heavily to the left, Nash grill. I got some measurements from one and it was nearly a perfect fit. Not to mention that I think the look is right. Now all I need to do is find one... Oh and ignore the rough buick headlight ideas, I'm having trouble thing of a good turn signal idea so I figured I'd give that a try...

    [​IMG]

    There has been some great progress made on the truck, I just haven't felt it was necessary to update this, but since I'm going to be bumping it up I may as well.

    It finally moves under its own power, and moves FAST. Since it was out and about I took the liberty of snapping a few pictures.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The rear fenders look real good, I am really pleased with the outcome and glad I went for it even though folks were telling me I'd be ruining a good pair of fenders!

    The only real problem is that the truck barely turns. I have no idea why, it turns the same amount both ways but there is no way you could drive it in traffic. Could anyone out there in hambland do me a huge favor and check how many turns you get from all the way one direction to all the way the other direction? As I recall I get about 6 with the stock steering box of course.

    It is slowly becoming the same color, but the front will most likely stay grey while the rest of the truck turns blue. I dont know what I want to do with the nose so it make no sense to paint it. My buddy Nik coined "Gray Nosed Goat" I like it, and I think it might stick for the summer, or however long it takes me to make up my mind about the grille.

    [​IMG]

    A glimpse into the wheel/ tire combo... These with the Chrysler New Yorker caps and 3 1/4 Firestone Whitewalls. Ahh yes, I am truly excited to see this come together!

    [​IMG]
     
  21. 6 turns lock to lock sounds about right...I'll check it out on my truck tonight.

    Wonder if your rear diff is messed up somehow. If the rear wheels won't spin at different speeds, then the truck will want to go straight no matter what direction the front tires are pointed.
     
  22. Thanks for checking it yours out for me. Nothing is wrong with the rear, which would only mean something else is wrong with the dropped axle installation. All the parts on the frontend are stock, its just lowered. The way it is now I don't think it could be driven in traffic the way it is. Tomorrow I can even get a few shots of how tight it turns.
     
  23. MoparJoel
    Joined: May 21, 2012
    Posts: 860

    MoparJoel
    Member

    Love the custom body stuff coming along nice, the taillight thing is right up my alley! i love when people do factory looking custom stuff looks very good, not to fond of the drivetrain though but to each his own.;)
    -Joel
     
  24. Thanks alot man! As far as the small block chevy is concerned, I figure if its good enough to put in a ford, its good enough to put in a dodge... Maybe some day if I get the money and the parts it will get a traditional small block. Until then its going to be a cookie cutter power plant. :D
     
  25. 4msfam
    Joined: Jun 25, 2011
    Posts: 69

    4msfam
    Member

    Can you post pics of your front end, steering components and such? I can't remember... you went with a Sids axle? Did you drop the tie rod ends with their extenders? Must be some weird geometry going on... still stock Pitman arm (the drop arm from the steering box to the tie rod?
     
  26. Yep I went with Sids' axle, and I thank him for putting up with my almost constant emailing him with questions. I did buy the tie rod drops from him but like a big dummy I didn't remember Dodge used huge tie rod ends, so they won't work. The tie rod does bump rub the spring on the passengers side, so the only options at this point would be to either switch to a ford tie rod and tie rod ends or modify the Dodge one. Since the Dodge tie rod has brand new ends, it will probably get modified. The pitman arm is still stock, with the drag link off the it steers about 6 turns lock to lock if I remember correctly. Pretty much the only funky thing under the front is the tie rod bumping the spring, which probably is the problem
     
  27. Hemiken
    Joined: Sep 21, 2012
    Posts: 492

    Hemiken
    Member
    from Australia

    Hey Mike,
    Those rear fenders look awesome buddy, they alone are a great improvement for sure. I love the color you have chosen for the steelies too, it will be one sweet looking truck when done. My thoughts on the grille and your sketching are, GO FOR THE 300 LOOK, i mean WOW, that is an awesome idea and it will look right at home for when you do your one piece hood too, having a section welded in between the two Chrysler grilles will make your truck have a whole new look, you may even have to change the name of the truck to 1953 Chrysler 300 pilothouse build !
    Then you will be getting questions like, how many Chrysler trucks did they make, or i remember my pappy had one of those Chrysler trucks just like that when i was just a twinkle in his eye. ;)
     
  28. MoparJoel
    Joined: May 21, 2012
    Posts: 860

    MoparJoel
    Member

    Just another Idea for the grill though kinda Funky I have seen a few people do dakota/durango grills on these. this ones kind of goofy looking but i have seen a pearl white flatbed with a chrome/plasic dakota grill and it was actually kinda cool looking wish i had a picture of that one though, but I just thought i would throw the idea out there :D
    [​IMG]

    Uploaded with ImageShack.us
     

  29. I saw someone do that at a show locally, and I don't know if it fits the vibe of my truck, its a little on the street roddey side. Although they are the same size to fit in the stock grill opening! I will probably be going the 56 dodge grille route because one of my dad's friends has one he is going to junk. I'm going to see him tomorrow probably so maybe I can talk him into selling the whole truck, I hate to see one go to the junk yard. Anyone have a clue what a rough 56 might go for? I don't really want to pay too much since it will be solely a parts truck.

    Heres a picture of the truck, hopefully someone can give me an idea...

    [​IMG]

    Thanks
     
  30. Dezert_Racer
    Joined: Jan 16, 2013
    Posts: 33

    Dezert_Racer
    Member

    I hope it don't get crushed I could use a lot of parts off of that like inside windshield frame bed sides rear fenders running boards tailgate
     

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