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Projects My new 54 Dodge

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Kirsten, Sep 9, 2010.

  1. Chally
    Joined: Dec 18, 2006
    Posts: 155

    Chally
    Member

    Don’t be alarmed if the bolt pattern is not the normal Mopar 5 x 4 ½ bolt pattern…

    I sold my late’55 Dodge ¾ ton a few year back that was completely STOCK and the factory bolt pattern on the ¾ ton trucks was 5 x 5…
    <O:p
    It was very interesting to be finding brake drums and a replacement wheel…
    <O:p
     
  2. Ok, here are some more pictures/weird things. What do you all make of the dial that is under the drivers side of the seat? Short somewhere? Did something hook up to the battery? And how about the push buttons and the hole in the dash next to them??? I also included more shots of the motor, welded mounts and under side. General consensus now is that the motor is a poly 318. what do you think?
     

    Attached Files:

  3. Just found the VIN on the frame. She is a 1954 3/4 Ton originally with a 230 Flathead 6. Built in Los Angeles. #517.
    :D
     
  4. I was going to post that one side had left hand thread lugs, But I guess its a little late for that. :p
     
  5. Frankie47
    Joined: Dec 20, 2008
    Posts: 1,727

    Frankie47
    Member
    from omaha ne.

    It is a dodge truck hood ornament and looks fine.
     
  6. I had a 55 with the short/shallow box in the 70s in Portland Oregon....had the 230 with a 3 speed on the column. Ran strong, grabbed a healthy 2nd gear scratch! Brakes were a nightmare. I couldn't keep up with the leaking wheel cylinders....2 on each wheel. Not much of a photo sitting beside my trusty 57 super chief....did flames with puff cans of candy paint.
     

    Attached Files:

  7. Rocky, I think that is how mine was originally set up with the 3 on the tree...not sure how the automatic came to be...
     
  8. farmer12
    Joined: Aug 28, 2006
    Posts: 7,718

    farmer12
    Member

    That's a nice truck! Good luck with the build.
     
  9. OahuEli
    Joined: Dec 27, 2008
    Posts: 5,028

    OahuEli
    Member
    from Hawaii

     
  10. moparmonkey
    Joined: Aug 14, 2009
    Posts: 565

    moparmonkey
    Member
    from NorCal

    Yeah I'm almost positive that's a poly 318. They're good engines, and actually share quite a few parts with the later LA engines (273, 318, 340, 360) that were based on it. The non-overlapping parts are a little harder to get though.

    As far as the other pictures go...

    -I'd box those engine mounts before I drove the truck much! They may be a 1/4" thick, but they appear to cantilever the weight of the engine out off of where they're welded to the frame. Are they really just "L" shaped, with only one intersection with the frame (just perpendicular welds to the frame?)? If so, I'm surprised they aren't already cracked where they're welded. The passenger side especially looks pretty sketchy, although that may just be the picture. Also, since the mounts are so much thicker than the frame, they might cause the frame to crack at the mounts.

    -Normally I'd say that red "dial" was a battery cutoff switch. But based on the first two pictures and the writing on the dash, I'd have to suspect it was some kind of transmission lock out. I know zilch about push button transmissions though, so that's only a guess. I do know they were cable operated, so be on the look out for some kind of cable going from that switch to the transmission.

    -As far as the second hole in the dash, I'd bet that's where they were trying to mount that dial. Cut the hole, mounted it up, and couldn't figure out a way to connect it.
     
  11. Looks good and it is Great to have another Dodge truck on the HAMB ! I will try and help with any questions I have a 56 Jim
     
  12. Does it make sense that oil started leaking everywhere when I loosened the bolts on the valve cover??? I quickly tightened them back up and it stopped...
     
  13. 50dodge4x4
    Joined: Aug 7, 2004
    Posts: 3,535

    50dodge4x4
    Member


    Depends on where "everywhere" is. I had one of those old poly engines that was so crudded up inside that the oil that got pumped up into the valve covers couldn't get back to the pan. When you loosened the valve cover bolts, the valve covers emptied out all along the engine, both above the covers and below them. Once the covers were removed, I could clear the oil return holes (dig out the sledge) and reinstall the covers, change the oil & filter, and everything was good for another 6 months when I had to do it again. My old poly had over 200,000 miles on it and still ran great, except the oil return problem. Think I drove the thing about 2 years, the car nor the engine was worth repairing right.

    On your transmission, it looks like there may be a 727 auto with a cable shift push button in it. If that is the case, the shifter had 1 cable for the buttons and a 2nd cable for the parking brake lever. I do not see a parking lever with the button shift piece, that may have been the reason for the extra hole there, maybe the park lever was bad and someone came up with the knob thing under your seat to replace it. The good news is if that is a 727 auto, your swap to the 360 should be a cake walk, the 360 and auto will swap right in, all you will have to do is come up with a modern shifter setup. The motor mounts that are there will work, as well as the exhaust (except manifolds), radiator, drive shaft, and the trans cross member will work with the 360/727.
    Gene
     
  14. Thanks for the info Gene. I'm just so anxious to do something but I have limited skills and I don't want to screw something up! I don't even know if the motor runs. I don't have keys and the ignition is hanging from the dash...I did find the cable for the push buttons coming through the firewall. The parking brake is right below that but I didn't think to look for a cable. I suppose I should take her to a shop and let someone look her over in person and tell me what I have and where to begin.
    Thanks for your help!
     
  15. Ok, so today I found out that the motor is good! Fired right up after an oil change. Gas tank is good. The funny switch under the seat was to compensate for not having Park as an option. That will be resolved someday by finding a late model 727 Trans to replace the early one. Biggest thing I have to do ASAP is replace all wiring. The place I took the truck to said it was a fire waiting to happen. The kits are reasonably priced but to have someone else do it, I'm looking at $850 minimum. Anyone ever replace the wiring harness themselves? Should I even consider it? [​IMG]
     
  16. 73RR
    Joined: Jan 29, 2007
    Posts: 6,285

    73RR
    Member

    I would guess that 90% of the guys that buy a wire harness kit will do the install themselves. Consider that the various companies got into the business because regular folks wanted to do their own work.
    Of course you can do it! Check with some of the suppliers (including Hamb vendors) and ask for a copy of the installation instructions so you can see how complicated it isn't.

    .
     
  17. Thanks 73RR! I needed that vote of confidence. I have found a HAMB vendor for the kit and I will be sure to ask for the installation instructions.
     
  18. Abomination
    Joined: Oct 5, 2006
    Posts: 6,700

    Abomination
    Member

    You may need an adapter from 73RR to bolt up that late TF 727.

    '57 - '61 318 Polys (like your pre-1960 Alternator-less one) have a bellhousing pattern like an early Hemi.

    The '62 - '66 ones have a regular 'ol LA bellhousing pattern. They're real, real, real damned close, but there are dowel differences, etc.

    If that's indeed a '59 DeSoto transmission bolted to that 318 Poly (the one that the push-button linkage and panel came from), then you indeed have the older bellhousing bolt pattern, and thus, a pre-'62 318 Poly for sure.

    ~Jason

     
  19. I found someone who will trade me my early 727 for a later one so that's taken care of. That way I'll have the option to Park! Now I need to locate a 70-ish alternator and regulator. I'll start with the rewire and add a turn signal switch. Then I think I'll look for a 8 3/4 rear end. Not sure why someone swapped that out at one point... I have a project for sure but not as bad as it could have been I suppose. especially considering the purchase price of $400.;)
     
  20. Abomination
    Joined: Oct 5, 2006
    Posts: 6,700

    Abomination
    Member

    Early and late 727 transmissions have different bolt patterns at the bellhousing. To bolt a late 727 to a pre-1962 318 Poly you will need a small block Mopar-to-early Hemi adapter.

    As for the alternator, those can be found at your local auto parts store. ;)

    Go here: http://www.napaonline.com/

    And look up like a '66 Coronet with a 318 Poly - the alternator (part number BSH AL504X or BSH AL502X will fit, and both are 60-amp) is like $61 with a $13 core. Part MPE VR32SB is a $16 regulator that will work.

    You'll also need to make sure that there are voltage reducers on your gauges, if there aren't any already. You can build 'em for $3 each: http://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/showthread.php?t=448038

    Or buy them for $8 here:
    http://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/showthread.php?t=507514&highlight=voltage+reducers

    Make sure the all the lights, coil, etc are 12v also. The truck ran a 6v system to begin with, but no telling how much of it they converted to 12v when they did the swap.

    Another nice mod would be a Chrysler orange or chrome box and an electronic distributor to go with (from any 70s small block Mopar).

    ~Jason



     
  21. Jason, you are amazing. Why can't you live in my neighborhood??? I'm dying for someone to help me out and show me stuff in person so I can actually get my hands dirty on my own ride! I'm going to Summit tomorrow for the alternator and regulator, unless, its better to pull one out of something old? I'm just worried about pulling something that doesn't work so I was just going to buy them new. As far as the electronic distributor, is that like Pertronix? That's what I was thinking.
    I know the truck was converted to 12 volt somewhere down the line.

    Thank you so much for sharing your wealth of knowledge! If you were only closer...;)
     
  22. Nasty Nate
    Joined: Oct 17, 2009
    Posts: 155

    Nasty Nate
    Member
    from California

    Nice...... I love those old dodge's (not real common around here). I've had a '48, '49 '50 and '55. I love the dodge body style but not a fan of the front suspension or the flat 6 motors. Nice truck though
     
  23. Thanks Nate. My flat 6 has been replaced with a 318, so at least I have that going for me :rolleyes:
     
  24. OahuEli
    Joined: Dec 27, 2008
    Posts: 5,028

    OahuEli
    Member
    from Hawaii

    Absolutely! 1) You'll know your harness intimately when you're done 2) You can help others who are also reluctant to do it. It don't take a rocket scientist, and I'm living proof of that.
     
  25. Ha ha OahuEli! Well, I'm at least as sharp as a marble too so I'm gonna go for it! Thanks for the encouragement!
     
  26. 73RR
    Joined: Jan 29, 2007
    Posts: 6,285

    73RR
    Member

    Yes, Jason is a wealth of 'poly' knowledge, use him!

    Use a Moapr electronic distributor. Mother Mopar pioneered the electronic system and the others are merely tag-alongs. You can pirate all of the needed system/parts off of any 72-up junk yard dog. Only the dist has to be small block. Although the ECU can and does fail, it is not often and is almost always tied to an improper grounding circuit. The only part that is problematic is the ballast resister and they sell for about $2-$3.

    .
     
  27. Abomination
    Joined: Oct 5, 2006
    Posts: 6,700

    Abomination
    Member

    Aww, shucks, Gary. :eek:

    ~Jason

     

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