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Jomani

New to me 1947 WD-21

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Hi everyone. New to this forum and new vintage Dodge owner. I spotted this truck on CL and had to have it - probably paid way too much but it is hard to find anything with a clear title and no back fees. Been burned by the strict DMV rules in California in the past.

 

i just finished an old Jeep project and have done a couple of older Fords in the past. This will be my first endeavor into an older Dodge - looking forward to all of the help that a forum like this can provide. The PO listed it as a 3/4 ton but it has to be a 1 ton from everything I can tell. Has 132” wheel base and running boards that go all the way back to the rear wheels so it began life as a pickup.

 

The Body is very solid - no rust or patches that I have been able to spot. Typical dents and dings that you would expect to find on a work truck. Seems to be fairly complete and original. Someone did convert to 12 volt at some point in the past. Evidence suggests that it came from Northern Ca. Probably the Redding area.

 

Still undecided what the future will bring for her. I prefer to keep my projects as stock as possible. I was able to get the engine running - will pull it out and do a partial tear down to see what condition it is in. Appears to be the original 4 speed and rear end - I will check those for wear before deciding a direction to go in. From everything I have read, parts for a 1 ton can be hard to find.

 

 

 

 

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With that 134" wheel base I'd say that's a 1.5ton or more.

Plug the vin number into this site and it'll tell you just what it is.

http://www.t137.com/registry/help/decode.php

 

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7 hours ago, Reg Evans said:

With that 134" wheel base I'd say that's a 1.5ton or more.

Plug the vin number into this site and it'll tell you just what it is.

http://www.t137.com/registry/help/decode.php

 

Thanks for the link. Unfortunately, the vin plate is missing from the door frame. Not sure what the stamped plate on the door frame actually is but didn’t work in the vin registry. I pulled the front fenders off the truck and was able to find the vin stamp on the frame.  It worked in the vin decoder and came up as a 1947 WD20 or WD21. Since it has the longer wheel base, it must be a WD21.

 

Decodes Vehicle Identification Numbers (VIN) from most Dodge, Plymouth, and Fargo Trucks manufactured from 1936-1980. Over the years Dodge had several different lengths (from 7 to 13 characters) and styles (mix of alphabetic and numeric characters) for identification numbers; this decoder attempts to correctly recognize and properly decode the variations. This VIN Decoder is based on official Chrysler documentation including Parts Lists, Service Manuals, and Serial Number Guides. Some of the information presented such as wheelbase, engine displacement, and engineering codes, is not directly addressed in the identification number but is extrapolated from the appropriate Chrysler documentation. Please report any errors, additions, suggestions to the email address at the bottom of the page.
Serial Number 86002914
Year 1947
Make Dodge
Model WD-20, WD-21
Engine 230 Flathead Six
Wheelbase 120, 133
Rating 1 Ton
Engineering Code T116
Plant Los Angeles, California
Build Number 1526

 

Now that you've successfully decoded your 1939-1947 Dodge Truck, please consider adding your truck to the 1939-1947 Dodge Truck Registry. Thank you for your interest and participation! add.jpg

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you can buy a reproduction tag and stamp the data onto it.  oh and your plate that didn't work in the decoder is likely the cab #. Should start with 41. The next number represents what type of cab(enclosed cowl only etc) and then a manufacturer ID #. 

Edited by Young Ed

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What a great looking truck. The engine sounds real good too, congratulations on a great find.

                                John

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WD-21's are great trucks. I've kept mine essentially original including the flatbed. It is a great hauler and easy to maintain. Parts are easier to get than for the 1/2 tons in many cases as they match the military items. Vintage Power Wagons and others have everything you'll need for all the running gear and brakes and suspension.

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After getting the engine running, I was pretty much convinced that I would be keeping the truck as original as possible. That was until I pulled the top off the transmission. Definitely been sitting with water in it. After pulling it out, I also found an old repair to the case. The transmission is toast. Now I need to locate another 4 speed or look at different drive train options. Anyone have a spare 4 speed laying around?

 

 

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Just got the engine number clean enough to read. Looks like a 218 out of a 53 Plymouth.

 

P24*4400*

 

Since it isn’t original and the Transmission is shot, pretty much made up my mind to go with something different. Anyone in the market for a 53 Plymouth 218 Motor?

 

 

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Has anyone tried to install a Dodge 360 in one of these trucks? I tried searching this forum and couldn’t find anything. I have an opportunity to pick up a 1977 Dodge motorhome with a 360, 727, dually for cheap.  Thinking of keeping the original truck frame and making as few modifications as possible. I am guessing I will run into issues with the steering box and firewall clearance.

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Many years ago a friend picked up a hot rodded WD pick up with a small block Ford in it.  Right away he did the right thing and swapped in a LA series MoPar.  'Course any "will it fit?" conversation must include the Cessna powered '39 Plymouth pick up....54nmBL4.jpg.30e23ee3f445d6fa740e53d2ea7883d6.jpg

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I just stumbled across an engine and transmission combination that will allow me to bring the truck back to near stock. It is a Spitfire that the owner claims is out of a mid 50’s Chrysler paired to a synchronized 4 speed. It is currently in a 47 Power Wagon and purrs like a kitten.

 

Since this is a longer engine, can anyone tell me the best way to accommodate the extra length?  The Power Wagon appears to have the original front engine mount, original radiator placement, etc. Perhaps it was built to handle the extra length. Maybe I am overthinking this. I have read posts that talk about pushing the radiator forward, but nothing specific to a WD-21. Anyone out there have this is the same truck?

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Jomani,

 

By watching your video it looks like you have some room at the front of the fan and back of the engine. There is only 2" difference in length so I would think you could find some fudge room to move the radiator forward if you needed extra clearance. Without seeing you mounts and how they're arranged it is difficult to be sure but I'm guessing there's room.

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8 hours ago, Jomani said:

Since this is a longer engine, can anyone tell me the best way to accommodate the extra length?

Some of the guys on the site for the 1939 - 1947 Dodge trucks have done this . The rear of the engine stays in the same place and the extra room needed is taken up in front . The radiator gets moved forward . I don't remember if the U shaped part the holds the radiator gets reversed or not , perhaps just use the forward mounting holes . Modify the front mounting bracket for the engine too . Probably the same modification used on the Pilot House trucks for the longer 25 " engines also . 

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I have a 47 WC that someone put a 25" six into. They put some angle iron onto the frame to make the front mounts have a place to bolt to and to live the engine a little so the pulley cleared the cross member. Not sure how much extra stress that placed on the rear engine mounts. They also took a torch to the radiator U to move the radiator forward. However you are supposed to be able to take the U and install it backwards to fix the bigger 6. 

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Thanks for the responses. I went ahead and purchased the engine and transmission. Busy stripping paint right now so it will be a bit before I have a chance to test fit it.

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