1937 Dodge D5 4 Door Humpback Touring Sedan

Sharps40

Twelve Pointer
Dad,

You've had me working on and under Ol Bessy for as long as I can remember. The earliest jobs were checking and changing the ammeter fuse before each night trip and making sure we had enough fuses in the glove box to have headlights all the way there and back. I remember when I was 8 or 9, Joppa Town Maryland, Ol Bessy failed inspection for an exhaust leak. You showed me how to fix it, hangers cut and straightened into wire, coffee cans cut into strips, wrap the pipe at the leak with coffee can smeared with muffler cement and twist the coat hanger wire tight around the coffee can patch. Go for a ride to heat it up and seal it for re inspection.

And all those years and all those cars I put weather stripping and rubber seals on using 3M adhesive. Just like you taught me, smear a coat on the steel and the rubber, let it dry, pull off all the stringy stuff that got on everything and every place you didn't want it, smear on another light coat of 3M goo on the rubber, press and hold.

Where the hell was 3M weather strip tape when I wore a younger mans clothing? Peel, stick to rubber, peel, stick to car. Done. No strings and no black or yellow goop on my hands for days.

In the time it took for you and I to wrap an exhaust pipe in tin and wire, all four doors are sealed.

Thank the Good Lord its the 21st Century.

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Sharps40

Twelve Pointer
Dad,


Off duty for the hurricane (no worries, I'm in the mountains over 4 hours from the coast and more than 1.5 hours from the edge line, getting some rain here but not expecting more than flooding the roads and low water crossings). So, since I don't have to "work", I went to work this morning on your Ol Bessy.

Window sweeps. I have enough to do all 4 doors, both garnish side and exterior side. For now, working the garnish side as they are retained by clips. Parts cars provided sufficient clips to restore two car's worth of interior garnish sweeps.

A touch of contact cement to hold the sweep to the window garnish, install a clip, crimp with vice grips and ..... one done, three to go.

Super easy. Sorry, can't do the exterior sweeps today....gotta drill out the rivets and then go get more rivets. Can you believe it? I ran out of rivets!

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Sharps40

Twelve Pointer
Dad,

Found enough parts to replace broken springs and rebuild the Drivers side window garnish molding and vent wing. Rubber seals look good and I installed the stainless bottom plate. Used stainless hardware to attach the vent wing. Should hold up fine. Just waiting on glass for the vents and front door but proceeding on now to rebuild the Passenger side front door window garnish.

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Sharps40

Twelve Pointer
Dad,

Passenger side front window garnish and vent wing is fully rebuilt and installed. Fit is very good.

This was the broken part that I took a replacement into the shop for them to use. They painted the broken window garnish molding instead. In any event, I took parts from a spare window garnish off one of the parts cars and was successful in rebuilding the painted piece. New rubber and window sweep is installed and looking grand. I had to cut the mainspring of an old Mauser Rifle in order to come up with a final spring for the tensioner on the vent window. The Dodge springs are 83 and they just break when you back the clamp screws off.....too old and stiff to flex any more. In any event, this one is up and running and looking fine.

Next job is back to the back doors. I think the glass is tight in its bottom track. Once cleaned and inspected I'll be getting started installing rear door window sweep on the exterior and putting in the fuzzy channels for the glass to move in. Hopefully this week I'll have all the glass installed except for the Drivers door and both front vent windows (those three are the pieces we had to order.)

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Sharps40

Twelve Pointer
Dad,

Fitting up one door with window channel. It don't get glued, thank goodness, pinch fit. Grabbed the worst of the unbroken panes of glass to check fit and function, this piece of glass had several gouges in it and a chip.

Got it all together, working great, (figured out/remembered, on the Dodge you have to install the glass THEN feed in the channel it rides in. What a pain).

But, put in the last screw, tink, cracked bottom to top. No worries, I have two much newer pieces of glass that match and have no gouges. Also have one more 83 year old piece of laminated glass, also clear and defect free.

Now to get those pieces of glass on good risers so I can install them.....now that i remember how!

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Sharps40

Twelve Pointer
Dad,

Rear door glass is in and functioning. All external sweeps riveted on. Seals tight. Nothing busted.

Originally there were no exterior window sweeps, dodge had rubber bumpers in the middle of the door pressing on the outer face of the glass. These prevented rattles but are long rotted away. I'd put sweeps in in the 90s, liked it better for sealing up the door and window. So, did it again here, a sweep inside and outside and no rattles.

The riser track on the passenger side door was worn. Closed it up as much as i could but the fix to keep the button from jumping out of the track was to bend the riser arm slightly, it pushes the button into the track now rather than pulling it out. Works fine. Just got to let the adhesive holding the track to the glass set for 24 hours and then we should be in business.

If needed, after the glass runs have set in for a while, I'll glue the tops in place or set them with small sheet metal screws should they look to be loose. But, the originals and the ones I had put in in the 90s were not glued or screwed and never fell out. I suspect the additional efforts will not be needed. Starting front windows as soon as I get the 3 pieces.

Ol Bessy is nearly buttoned up!

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Sharps40

Twelve Pointer
Dad,

Glass #8 of 11. 3 pieces to go when they arrive. This is passenger front door. Small strips of electrical tape at 4 locations center the pane.

Gorilla adhesive for glass instead of urethane or butyl tape (easier to clean off and edge is paintable to black out the seam.) Clamped lightly to line it up in the bottom of both grooves. Grabs fast so I can pull the clamps and remove the ooze out while soft. I think it'll be fine.

Off to inspect the differential now.

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Sharps40

Twelve Pointer
Dad,

Not a positraction but still rear gear gold. Made 1970. Chevy. 12 bolt. Low wear. Ratio is 3.31 to 1. So. Itll be perfectly happy with a small displacement small block engine and 3 speed or a torque making 350 chevy and a 4 speed. I couldn't be happier!

Just set the last of the original glass in place, passenger side front door vertical window. All sweeps and felt channel in place too.

Got the underside of the new trunk floor primed and painted black.

Pulled the cover on the rear end and see its a good Chevy/Chevelle 12 bolt with a 3 series carrier and a 3.31 to 1 gear. No posi but has the bolt in brake cylinders and the gear lets do about any engine and trans we could desire. Very little sludge inside the pumpkin and I believe it'll be a good rear for the car.

Getting together a list for all the wiring now, that'll be the next big job.

Crawled under the front. Good we are pulling the LS engine. Zero clearance between steering rack and engine/power steering pump. Hoses would be a supreme challenge and with the steering shaft less than 1/4 inch from the power steering pump, hooking up the steering column would likely be impossible.
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Sharps40

Twelve Pointer
Dad,

Finished for the day. Gotta do yard work. I'll get back on her this week.

Finished setting up the drivers front door for glass. Riser is lubed and working fine, glass channel cut and fitted, exterior window sweep installed. Just waiting on glass.

Pulled the fuel sender from the NOS tank I'd put in back in the 90s. Sender is a VDO and still works but we can't use it for the new gauges. I'll have to modify the tank for a 6 bolt sender since the Dolphin gauges come with a modern 6 bolt sender. But I'll check the ohms first, maybe the vdo sender will run the dolphin gauge.........

I cleared the gunk from the fuel pipe that connects tank to motor. Inside of the tank is great. No Rust Icicles and I think it'll spray clean. May give it a vinegar or CLR bath right before installation and let it dry inside good with a hot air blower running in it.

Pulled the gas tank filler neck to paint, the solder on the old vent line broke off. No worries, I'll get a bulkhead fitting and we'll have a functional vent, while I'm at it, I'll add a roll over valve on the tank.

Toying with using the hood welting at the front of the hood too. There are holes there for rubber bumpers but taping the hood welt over them makes the hood sit in place vibration free. Much more so than the rubber bumpers do.

I added black chicago screws to the hood corners for now, I want to find some brass or stainless split rivets like it had originally.
 

Sharps40

Twelve Pointer
Dad,

Good news. On a goof I went down and looked at the gas tank again. Also looked at the Dolphin sender. Believe it or not, the modern sender bolts right up to the ancient gas tank. Life is grand. I can clean the tank and put it right in, no modifications, no drilling, no cutting. Just a nice clean install!
 

Sharps40

Twelve Pointer
Dad,

Doing well here on Ol Bessy. Awaiting the last of the glass, when it arrives, about two hours work to get her buttoned up if all go's well.

So, getting her ready for the next phase, electrical. On order from Painless Wiring is 21 circuit universal harness, 4 ground straps, heavy gauge battery cables, dimmer switch, headlight switch, dome light switches, ignition switch, reverse light switch and bracket.

From Headwinds is the parts needed to finish the headlights.

From Newport Engineering is a set of modern 2 speed electric wipers to replace the old slow unreliable vacuum wipers.

I spent so much today that Visa locked my account for safety. No worries, got it unlocked and finished the orders. Expecting to see all the glass and electrical components arriving in the next week or so.

So, after our September visit, I'll get rockin on powering your girl......which begs the ultimate question.....

How many speakers do you want installed? The rear package panel is already cut out for two 6"x9" speakers. (Back in the good old days we could still get the 6 volt positive ground to 12 volt negative ground converter/inverter for such installations!) Two more up front in the kick panel? Stereo in the glove box? The stereo with blue tooth and usb and the pop up TV? (not the tv, please!)
 

lasttombstone

Old Mossy Horns
Contributor
^Too bad you are opting out on the vacuum wipers. They were so much fun when you had to floor an old 6 cylinder power glide to get by someone poking along in the rain.................... and everything stopped. Where is your sense of adventure. LOL>
 

Sharps40

Twelve Pointer
Dad,

We need a lamp to activate the alternator, since I won't use a single wire hot rod alternator. 3 wire with remote sensing back at the bulkhead connection is the best way to set up charging.

Found this. Should work nicely in the panel. So, left to right in the factory holes in the panel will likely be headlight switch, alternator lamp, ignition switch, Choke, wipers.

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Sharps40

Twelve Pointer
^Too bad you are opting out on the vacuum wipers. They were so much fun when you had to floor an old 6 cylinder power glide to get by someone poking along in the rain.................... and everything stopped. Where is your sense of adventure. LOL>
Drove that car from Age 16 to over age 30 as a daily driver. She was my only car all those year, rain snow, crossing many states. I love vacuum wipers....then. Now,,,,,not so much!

I had that old gal over 105 mph on I495 around DC area on the VA side near 0100 hours one Saturday evening/Sunday morning......mighta been some alcohol involved there, don't remember. I do remember letting off the gas. Everything was fine till i let off the gas, all 4 corners settled down at different times and I used all four lanes and the inside shoulder getting her back straight. I don't drive that fast anymore either! :)
 

Sharps40

Twelve Pointer
Dad,

Main harness arrived. Neat package. Every single wire labeled where it goes. I remember installing another big companies harness back in the 90s,.....nothing labeled. This one should be be more fun and less trouble.

Also arrived is the back up switch. It'll fit what ever automatic transmission we select and light up that single white bullet light we acquired and added to Ol Bessy's rear bumper so I can see what i'm running into at night. (I only added one reverse light on the drivers side cause when I'm leaning out the window backing i can't see what i'm hitting on the passenger side anyway, so no need for two lights.)

The battery cable kit is good and heavy. We can use it for top or side post battery. I ordered the 8 foot kit in case we decide to stick with the factory battery box location, which is under the drivers seat. If not we can move the battery out board the passenger side frame rail, under the fender, just like your 47 Chevy Truck.
Ground straps and switches should be here soon, glass too.
Guess i ought to dig out my battery charger so I'll have something to test circuits with as they are installed.

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Sharps40

Twelve Pointer
Dad,

Electric Wipers and ground straps arrived. Wipers installed. Not too bad, only had to install the wipers three times.

First, the holes in the roof for vacuum motors are under 1/2, the electric shafts are beefier and need 5/8" holes.. ....ticklish job drilling in a painted car. But done and the edges of the wider holes are primed and painted.

Second, I fitted it up, it was loose and wobbled and bonked the motor against the roof line and the transmission stuck out quite far which would entail a big ugly bump in the headliner.

Third, seems the instructions don't mention the motor mount tab that must go behind the first headliner strut support, instead of in front of it. Once i took it out the third time and put it back in i was able to bow the mounting brace to fit the curvature of the roof, fit the motor mount tab behind the headliner bow support brace, drill one more hole and anchor the motor.

Nice fit, and it appears to have the clearance it needs to operate. And the transmission is far enough in that there should only be the slightest bump in the headliner when installed.

I'll fish the wiring Sunday, install the new two speed switch and give Ol Bessy's new wipers a run.

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Sharps40

Twelve Pointer
Dad,

Video with sound. Your gal has wipers. Running slow on 2amp battery charger but fully functional. Hey Dad, your girl has an AWESOME pair of wipers!

 

Sharps40

Twelve Pointer
Dad,

Still waiting for switches (should arrive tomorrow, my last day at work....forever) and the glass. But making progress.

Remember the old Mazda bulbs that were original, and the little tiny second lamp in the lens that served as running light? Remember you replaced them with 6V sealed beams....and forever after burned out the sole 30 amp fuse on the car every hour on the hour that you used headlights? I remember....I was in charge of changing fuses, even hot! My hands fit under the dash better while you were driving.

Well, now Ol Bessy has 12V sealed beam halogens. I'll put them on hi and low beam relays. This will remove all the high amperage load under the dash (less fire risk) and assure the headlights get the full 14.8 volts from the alternator. Should by just like the two blazers I put on relays, darn bright at night. The Headwinds sealed beam conversion kit looks good. I'll need to replace the plastic retainer, they'll probably be off once or twice more and are getting a bit beat up with all the fitting. No worries....even Walmart has the retainers. We can get them anywhere.

As for the running and turn lamps up front. I made up new steel brackets with a brace against vibration and got them painted and mounted tonight. Even hooked up the battery charger and tested them out. Looking good out front.

I also received the red dash lamp which will ensure the alternator is energized on start up. Mounted the red lamp and the wiper switch on the dash plate.

I have one more red lamp I need to find a spot for without drilling holes in the dash. This one will be for brake warning.....loose a brake circuit (front or rear) and the red warning lamp will let you know half your brakes are gone.

Finally, rear brake cylinders arrived. Time to tear off the wheels and drums and see what needs done for stopping that big 12 bolt out back.

See you soon.

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Sharps40

Twelve Pointer
Dad,

Switches arrived. Got your dash set up from left to right. Lights with dash dimmer, Alternator Charge Lamp, Ignition switch (with accessory position), hole for choke (yep, we'll likely have a real manual choke on those dual Rochester carbs), temporarily upside down wiper switch.

Later i'll get a set of dash knobs off a 50s dodge and replace the various knobs so they all look the same.

The shop didn't weld the hole in the floor for the headlight dimmer, here roughly in place till I wire it up. Also picked up a self resetting breaker and two relays to put the headlights on full power.....just got to find a place to mount them under the hood, damn its tight in there....more about that in a moment.

Rear cover is back on and sealed up, I can fill it in the morning. Still got to clean and paint the rear axle and possibly replace the pinion seal. Rear brake cylinders arrived so I'll soon pull the wheels and see if the drums and hardware need work or replacement.
As for the tight under hood space. It was a 23" long 6 cylinder about a foot wide and it kinda filled the engine bay. I have no idea if an AC compressor will fit in there. Certainty not down low and as the real high mounted AC compressor/alternator combinations just look like hell, a high mount is a last resort.

A mid mount set up needs 32" across the top of the valve covers. We have 28" with the hood closed. I am thinking that what will work for us is Power steering on the DS side, probably just below mid mount and alternator on the Passenger side just above mid mount. Essentially, there don't appear to be room for an AC compressor, but we'll see when the motor is set in October.

Additionally, we have two options for brake master cylinder, under the floor (shop cut out and disposed of all the original under floor bracketry, pedals, pedal mounts and linkage) or up on the firewall. I will have to make a mount in wood (due to the firewall being recessed 4" right in the center line position where a master cylinder would hang) and then copy it in steel for a firewall master cylinder but I think it will fit in with the new engine. Again, we'll see once the engine is in place.

Over all, no worries but i can see that the easy jobs are coming to an end and the whiskey and a cigar sitting on a milk crate while thinking and listening to rock and roll challenges are about to commence.

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Sharps40

Twelve Pointer
Dad,

Very successful first day of 6 weeks practice to retirement. I exceeded my sleep in goal of 0500 wake up by not waking up until 0600.

Among other thing, including sitting on the porch at 0615 with a cup of coffee and watching other folks go to work......I started fun with paint on Ol Bessy.

Not knowing what color they shot, and irritated enough with them not to call and ask, I assumed they used what I requested, Dodge, PB5 Electric Pearl Blue. Given all the marks and unpainted interior trim I ordered a can of Patritot Pearl Blue PB7 as its a shade darker than the PB5.....and the aftermarket sprays always seem a shade light.

So, I was sent Intense Pearl Blue PB3, a shade lighter. Didn't notice till the first coat was shot on the Opera Window Garnish. So, inside the car, it'll be fine, matches well and the opera windows are not too close to other painted garnish. But, its no match for the PB5 we assume is on the car.

So, Ok......we won't tell anybody the rear trim is a different shade of blue and they'll probably never notice anyway. But, I have to try to find PB5 or at least PB7 to work the dash, if not, I'll just repaint all the interior trim in the lighter shade I used today.

Also, laid out the Painless Performance wiring harness. Looks good, every wire is labeled. It won't be easy but it won't be too hard. For now i can start wiring everything from the dash to the trunk. Can't wire forward of the firewall because all the sheetmetal has to come off to set the motor and radiator.

I'll get you some photos of Ol Bessy Lit up as soon as the wiring starts to go in place this week.

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Sharps40

Twelve Pointer
Dad,

21 circuit wiring harness....that means more than double that in wires cause what comes in the box, has to go out the box and around the circuit.

So, started by dividing the harness up. Painless has it rough divided into accessory, engine and tail. I further divided each loop/set of wires in the bundles. A total of 13 loops to handle.

First job is to decide where to hang the fuse box. After that, the big loop at 6 oclock is the start point, thats the tail section with dome, turn, brake, fuel sender, etc.

Gonna have to make a lowes run, looks like we are going to need a box of wiring loops and about 40eleven feet of cable cover.
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Sharps40

Twelve Pointer
Dad,

Picked a spot for the fuse box. Driver side, cowl. The tail section wiring, I'll probably route as original, inside the car, up and over the doors, down and out through the factory hole in the trunk.

Looks a mess right now don't it?

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Sharps40

Twelve Pointer
Dad,

This is the original wiring hole in the DS side of the trunk. To keep the connections weather free all the rear wiring was routed inside the car, in this case, like factory, up and over the inside of the roof on the drivers side. Everything is wrapped full length front to back.

And to allow for easy repairs, addition of tow connections, etc, I did like we did back in the 90s by installing a gang block which provides hook ups from top to bottom as follows: Left turn/Flasher/Brake, Right turn/Flasher/Brake, Left running lamp/license lamp, Right running lamp, Left reverse light (right reverse lamp is left off/not in use), Ground point for all rear lamps and the fuel sender.

From the gang block I'll take ground from trunk floor to frame.

Probably finish this up tomorrow and that will be all the wiring for the rear end. Only about 80sixteen more wires to go.

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