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Sharps40

1937 Dodge, Ol Bessy Is Coming Home!

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And.  I just won an auction for a grill set that includes the ever elusive and nearly impossible to find crank hole cover.  Soon, Ol Bessy will have a complete grill. Top to bottom, for the first time in years and years.

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Drivers side grill half is completed.  Locked the remaining and stubborn rust down with three coats of Loctite rust convertor.  Followed by two coats prime and two coats flat black.  Pulled off the tape and the stainless shines right out.  One more side to go and then a crank hole cover to clean up similarly.

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Email to Dad.

Dad,

Just finishing up the passenger side of the grill here.  After the second coat of flat black paint but before removing the tape from the stainless steel bars.

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And here after removing the tape....

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Just waiting on the crank hole cover to arrive from Oregon.  Hopefully its in good shape.  Had to buy an entire grill to get it but we'll see about getting that little bit cleaned up and ready to install on your car.  First time in 60 or more years she'll have had a complete grill.  Be nice to see it.

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It only took about 60 years to find one Dad and I could both afford and in good enough shape to restore and install.

But....bought all of this.....

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To get this......The elusive crank hole cover.  All the rest can be dispensed with, this is the gold/keeper from the auction.

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Its resting in vinegar as I type this to remove the bulk of the rust scale.  In a week, we'll have, for the first time since we got the car in 1957, a complete grill for Old Bessy.

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Part out of the vinegar.  Came out about 95% bare metal with a hot water scrub.  Got some flash rust in the oven at 180F for 20 minutes to dry it off.  A quick shot of converter will lock it all down and ready for prime and paint. 

Some loss of metal on this lowest piece of the grill....also likely the wettest over the years.  But, still plenty of study metal and the silver brazed joints are strong.  So.  Clean up and it'll be ready to ride again in Old Bessy's snoot.

After cleaning and before taping off the stainless bars.

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Looks good - I like your approach to the whole grille renewal!  If you wanted to build up the thin metal on the crank hole cover a bit, a few coats of POR 15 should do the trick.

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Sealed all the bare metal with rust convertor then top coated with primer and flat black paint. Por15 is for rich fellas!  Should be good and no worries I think.  Fortunatly, the thin metal was only along the edge of a portion of two of the bars.  No compromise in overall strength for this part.  All it really has to do is hang in the bottom so, should be fine for another 40 or so years.

Edited by Sharps40

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It was and Awesome day at GoodGuys in Raleigh. But I gotta tell ya.....whats being offered in the $25000 to $40000 bracket are not much more than/or should be priced lower as daily drivers with their heavily flawed repaints or very poor base body work. Folks, I didn't see a car worthy of a high price untill we were looking at vehicles in the $50000 and up price range. Dad and I were in agreement, what we saw at or below $40K was in large part much lower quality than even the amateur work we did on numerous cars back in the 1980s and 1990s. We look forward to having the 1937 Dodge home soon as we believe its professional body and paint work would compete much better than the many overpriced samples we saw. Neither of us was disappointed with the show, but rather shocked on our first foray back to Hot Rodding in over 25 years. We do not recall such overpricing of very poor quality work from our days trolling the annual shows and swaps of Hershy PA.


And as for the old 37.  Doors are on and aligned.  Front motor mounts are out.  Much of the antiquated suspension is loosened and the car should be in the suspension/motor bay next week for transplant of modern heidts suspension front and ford rear and then the 5.3/4L60E.

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I think you see that at a lot of the really big shows. Guys jack up the prices hoping to find someone caught up in the moment. 

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Well, I appreciate the value of the labor and parts, etc.  But seems like if you want to sell it you must remember that you probably can never recoupe your investment unless you have one of the hi interest cars at the time.  As I get closer to retirement, I am strongly looking at getting back into the hobby for fun and a bit of profit.  But, I think I'm going to focus my efforts on start, run and stop to keep investment and market price balanced.  i.e. Selling the vehicle totally reliable but with its body and interior as is and ready for the buyers attention.  I have little interest in body and interior, lack many of the skills that make the showiest part of the car look good and I figure, that's a great selling point.  Its totally reliable and ready for "your" final touches.  I think it could work!

Edited by Sharps40

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Finally!  Progress on Ol Bessy....

 

Not the best video but Dad did good with his cell phone.

Now.....Dad doesn't know what the spark block or the fuel injection box is.....neither do I.....suppose I'll call the shop and find out what the jist of his conversation really was. In the meantime we confirmed LS3 is in the house (if Dad got the numbers right, I don't think he did cause that's too big.) along with the 4l60E. Also confirmed the use of FatMan 2" raised spindles for a ride height very close to original 1937 Dodge specs.....it'll allow for the use of 600x16 Wide Whites on Chrome Steelies with Baby Moons per my and Dads theme for the car.......a look commensurate with what an 18 year old on a tight budget might do in 1957......wheels, paint and motor.....i.e. it won't look like a hot rod.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uUZU...ature=youtu.be

Edited by Sharps40

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No call from Dad yet but I got a suprize....setting the motor and trans today......modern motivation for the old gal.....love it.....Ol Bessy our Family Girl is getting new guts!
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Once the weight is on we can finish the suspension set up.....
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Its close around the 4L60E,,,,,might need some floor work.
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Dad is trying to make more weekly trips down to see his car.  Good progress this week.  Motor and trans mounts being fabbed.  The v8 really fills up the very narrow engine bay of an early mopar.  

 

Here, motor mounts being fabbed and located.

 

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Floor board mods to accommodate the 4 speed auto are started, and its beginning to look like the x member is not really in the way.....I hope to keep it in place.

 

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Dropping the nose roughly into place to start getting an idea of forward clearance and room for radiator and condensers.

 

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And all the other bits of the front waiting their turn in the process....

 

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   It's looking like we have some initial plans for Old Bessy. If she's ready in time 2019 we'll ride to Devils Tower. Last we had her there was about 1969. Then if we can in 2020 off to Utah and try to run it in the annual trials on the Salt Flats. We'd be wanting to get Dad his 100+ MPH license.

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Lets see.....64 years after he buys the car, he gets it on the salt.

The car would be 83 years old.

Dad would be getting his first license at 81 year old.

Perfect.

Lets not tell the insurance company just yet.

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From the shop, Ol Bessy shows progress. Firewall is reinstalled and completly updated to fit the new V8 engine. Motor mounts are completed and the new floor is almost done.

 

 

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Just talked with Dad.  Evidently the fit is very tight.  As such, clearance was required both of the firewall, frame and the Fat Man Crossmember.

 

Dad advises that the motor mounts are frenched into the frame rails.  (This is because Ma MOPARs factory frame is boxed by extensions of the X Member/drive shaft loop.  Much stronger and stiffer than the factory GM/Chevy/Ford frames of the time.)

 

Additionally, the FAT MAN suspension crossmember had to be cut and reboxed to make room for the 5.3L V8 at the passenger side as well as a dimple in the frame for similar reasons.  Engine/Trans has been in and out of the car several times now and the next step is first paint.

 

In the next week or so, Bessy go's into the booth to have the frame and firewall sprayed and the first coat of 2015 HellCat B5 Pearl Blue shot onto the firewall area.  From there back to the maintenance bay for final driveline install and staring on the wiring/cooling/etc to get it all running before assembly and final paint. 

 

Good Progress.

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5 minutes ago, Sharps40 said:

Early frames are a bit narrow.   Some clearancing is needed for a 5.3l

 

 

 

 

Your lower a-arm in this pic seems to missing a welded in support triangle piece of steel between the tube in the rear back to the cross member that I have seen in all MII suspensions for many years!! Seems to me It must be there??

 

Please check on this, may be a major safety strength issue. ??

 

DJ

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None of the fat man tubular have gussets there at least I've never seen one on a car that was gusseted.   We used same on dad's 47 chev truck and 20+ years later it's still good.   I trust it. Fat man has a good rep in the industry. 

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A few of many pics of MII installs. Just to show what I am talking about.  Years ago Fatmans install kit Did not have the gussets.  Seems some install pictures I found do show them.

 

The pics are of many installs not all fatman's buth one is from a step by step Fatman install video. Too many pics to be continued.!!

 

Just to explain why I asked, your choice.😉

 

 

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Continued with screenshot Fatman install.

 

DJ

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