1937 Dodge D5 4 Door Humpback Touring Sedan

Sharps40

Twelve Pointer
Home with a quiet exhaust. Rock solid great job. Very pleased. And while in Wadesboro we had lunch at the Ladybug. Bessy is happy. In the 92 degree heat she stayed cool at 55 to 60 mph never going over 200 degrees Fahrenheit (Small sweep gauges are hard to analyze but the heat gun tells me 205F on the gauge is 195F at the top of the radiator and under 190F at the thermostat housing. She's good for cooling I believe. Speedo is close, it reads about 3 to 4 MPH slower than actual speed at low highway speeds. Just needs a minor tweak.....gonna have to mark out an accurate mile and run it again to tweak the calibration.

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woodmoose

Administrator
Staff member
Contributor
Note to the fella driving the fully loaded log truck that road Ol Bessy's ass at 45-50 mph on twisty country roads....screw you!

he needed to get that load off and go back for another,,,,

don't take her to the WV mountains,,,coal trucks make them loggers look mellow!
 

Sharps40

Twelve Pointer
he needed to get that load off and go back for another,,,,

don't take her to the WV mountains,,,coal trucks make them loggers look mellow!
Used to live up near there, yet right! But, we will be taking Dad up there to revisit those mountains of his MD home this fall I believe.
 

Sharps40

Twelve Pointer
Dad.

Modified 51 Desoto passenger visor to fit 37 Dodge. Replaces what the shop lost. Removed ugly Lokar shift knob and fitted up Ol Bessy's original to the shift lever. And, a few shots of the new exhaust, looks like a factory install, right down to the round muffler.

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Sharps40

Twelve Pointer
Dad,

Got Ol Bessy's pinion seal replaced this morning while still cool out. The old seal on the right was the deeper truck 12 bolt seal, installed with a 1/8" braded wire spacer. Typically, it was leaking. It had been installed sometime back I'm sure after the shallower car 12 bolt seals went off the market. Glad we did this job, the pinion nut was a bit loose, breaking torque was under 60 foot lbs and the pipe dope sealing the splines had long since crumbled away. Good news is Strange Engineering had the proper shallow car 12 bolt seal and the yoke was in fine shape even though the dust cover had long since come loose. I removed the dust cover and tossed it in the junk bin. Too loose to restake it and no need for a new yoke.

Got the Strange Engineering Car Seal driven into place with grease and sealant and sealed the splines on reassembly. I pulled her nut up to 100 ft lbs, enough to retain the settings but not enough to crush the spacer sleeve any further. Back together and we'll get a rattle and leak free test ride today or tomorrow. Likely tomorrow as its 12 PM and already murderously hot out.

So, off to the garage again to see if the 55 Buick gas pedal can be mounted more comfortably than the current late model jeep gas pedal.

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Sharps40

Twelve Pointer
Long day. Went for a ride. Sprung a leak in the proportioning valve. Fluid coming out the reset pin and fitting thread. It was not real tight....snugged it up twice, down to a weep, snugged it up till the head is round with vice grips, went for a ride, no leak. I'll check in the AM but went ahead and ordered a CCP metering valve and a spare pv2 valve. Hopefully I can sort it with just a metering valve replacement.

Bumped it into second from third (about 25 mph) by accident, heard a ping/clunk. All was well below 45 mph but then picked up a vibration from the rear at 50 and up. Wasn't there before, I don't think, but its so much quieter now, perhaps it was and I just couldn't note it. Brought the car home and crawled under. Everything looks good, rechecked the angles, trans down 4.2 degrees and diff up 3.97 degrees. Nothing looks broken. While under there I heard another loud ping, something is not happy. I suppose tomorrow I'll check all the bolts and fittings, spring shackles, lug nuts, etc., from the trans mounting all the way back, drop the drive shaft and check the pinion nut, etc.

Still have a bit of a hitch in the steering. Rack has a 3/4 ford V shaft with a matching Borgeson joint on it. Can't seem to get it clamped all the way, it'll occasionally clunk when turning, mostly when still. So, gotta get it to clunk then crawl under and see if it'll snug up some more.
 

Sharps40

Twelve Pointer
Spent another couple hours under it. Can't see anything wrong with the pinion, put the wrench on it and I can just pull it up to 100-110 ft lbs with no movement of the nut. I think its about right for torque. Checked over the rear Spicer, its between the ears and the straps/bolts look good. Can't see anything wrong with the joints or the hook up. I looked at the rear axle on the leaves, doesn't look like it jumped the pins but i'll measure it tomorrow to make sure. I suspect I'll also pull the transmission mount bolt, raise the trans and check the mounting pad. Over all, it all looks good and I don't see anything out of wack yet. So, I think I'll play with total timing a bit tomorrow and perhaps take a ride again.

Meantime, 4 hours after today's ride, still no leak at the pv2 valve. Seems to be mangled tight enough for now. Got cardboard under it too and its all clean and dry too.
 

Sharps40

Twelve Pointer
Dad,

Continuing to stick close to the theme, "What you wanted to do in the 60s with Ol Bessy", and staying close to the period in materials. Inexpensive saddle blanket seat covers for now. Clean and though the colors are a bit garish, comfortable until the bugs are worked out and we are ready for professional upholstery.

As you recall the original floor mats and trunk liners were brown, ribbed battleship rubber. No longer available in brown or rubber I'm installing a good equivalent. Black ribbed (black go's with everything) garage floor mat. Tuff enough to drive on, much lighter and thinner than the original 1/4" or more thick rubber and flexible enough to work over Ol Bessy's driveshaft tunnel. Under it is two layers of buetyl and dense poly foam insulation/sound barrier. In the photos, the rear floor and trunk shelf are completed and permanently applied. New door sills of aluminum and the lower door seals are installed to keep her air and water tight. I'll get on the front end tomorrow and get the front seat back in place for the last time.

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Sharps40

Twelve Pointer
Dad,

Flooring is completed. Front floor mat is not down tight yet. I still need to make up the shifter boot and a heel pad for the accelerator pedal. But, mostly looking good and mud and deer blood will wipe right off. I'll have to start disassembling the old arm rests and use them for patterns. I'll get them made up and installed, planning to reinstall both original ash trays in the rear arm rests. No sense in not having a place to smoke cigars!

Tomorrow's job is to remove the rear axle, again, from the leaf springs. I stopped reading the internet and went directly to Spicer for pinion angle information. I'll take the pinion shims out from between the leaves and axles and see how she sits with no shims. We'll hope the shop set the axle perches for about 3 to 4 degrees nose down before they welded them in place. Need to get the vibration out of the rear end. Its only on acceleration so that tells me the up angle is too much and the pinion needs to go down. Shouldn't be hard, just a lot of really tight bolts to break loose.

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Sharps40

Twelve Pointer
Ol Bessy, 1937 Dodge, took her first trip to town in nearly 30 years. She's back on the road and prettier than ever.

A huge Thanks to the good folks at Brown's Hardware, Mount Gilead, NC for making this dream come true for me, for my 81 year old Dad (who has owned this car since 1957) and my Mom who got her drivers license in Ol Bessy. The vast majority of the nuts, bolts, screws, washers, brackets, electrical connections, etc, holding her together and making all her systems Factory New/Reliable were acquired right here at our Home Town Hardware Store.

You guys are the BEST!

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lasttombstone

Kinder, Gentler LTS
Contributor
I'll bet those guys really appreciated that photo op. Would be looking for it in some future advertisement.

"No matter how old it is, we've got your hardware covered".
 

Sharps40

Twelve Pointer
If they do the Christmas parade this year I might ask if they'll let me drive with their sign on the doors.

For now, I pulled the pinion shims out and she drives a lot happier with out them. Pinion is nose down a squeek over 4*. Spicer ap says it should be nose down, Tremec ap says it should be nose up, another says both are fine, more say it'll start brush fires if not perfectly parallel and some say perfect parallelity will send shrapnel up through the floor killing women and children in aircraft 10000 feet up..... and the forum fellas on the internet all disagree about both and neither and all the possibilities in between. So, I'm just going to drive it and see how it goes. So far, some smoother, especially above 50 mph and up to 60 mph.... and still no vibration decelerating.

Good we are in the vetting phase. Brakes were pissing oil at the PV2 metering valve, tranny is now pissing oil at the speedo and/or governor......but the radiator is tight, oil pan is tight and diff is tight, the spare tire is holding air in its new tube (despite my concerted attempt to destroy the brand new spare), I can hear the stereo, running boards are now snugged down (bassturds at the shop never fitted them and never welded the brackets on before painting).

Rather than weld the paint off I had to add a single stainless bolt through the top face front and rear. I'll change that to a stainless button or carriage head as soon as I can find them.....will be less obvious. Prolly do the same on the rear fenders. Shop left off both fender support brackets, cut the mounting tab off one fender (leaving me no option for welding one on now) and installed a bent fender on one side. But, at least with the left side being different than the right side, no one can see it! I bitch cause I have to fit the painted parts.

Now if the title inspector will just answer the dayum phone during duty hours.....
 

Sharps40

Twelve Pointer
Did a route recon today. Title inspection station in Ashborough. The closer facility in Albemarle is not answering the phone and even the Ashborough folks can't say why, just that they are seeing a large uptick in title inspections from the Albemarle area. Anyway, it'll be a nice morning ride some Mon to Thur up 134 and 220. Probably Ol Bessy's longest trip to date, about 45 miles one way. Hope to get up there in the next week or so, I already talked with the inspector, have all the paperwork and cleared the paint off the old lead alloy vin tag. That was a job, but all the numbers are perfectly visible and at least the shop didn't sand them off!

Got the rubber hood bumpers installed along with an air dam above the radiator. No more rattling hood and the bulk of the air should now flow through the radiator and not up and over. Also installed glove box bumpers, that doesn't rattle any more either.

Located a set of door bumpers. A job to install but they fit well and only required a minor outward tweak of each door striker wedge to have the doors close firmly. Been hearing the latches rub and squeak on the striker wedges so with luck, that'll stop now that each door is supported both above and below the latch.

Lastly, located a vintage 50s, 60s exhaust tip and got it in place. Looks good and should keep me from cutting my leg on the sharp tail pipe again!

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Sharps40

Twelve Pointer
Who says you can't nicely bend Forged Chrome Vanadium Steel with a low output propane torch, 60 seconds of heat and I had this lovely Small Block Chevy Distributor wrench made up, didn't even crack the Indian potmetalsteel! I have accumulated a small but useful collection of inexpensive tools just for such low impact operations. It was two minutes work to save an hour round trip and about $20 at the tool store.

But, then I lost the entire rest of the day.

Loosened up Ol Bessy's distributor clamp and went to start her up, totally dead. Seems the brake pedal jumped the switch and the lamps stayed on till the new battery was totally dead. Three hours later at 6 amp charge she grunted to life.

I bumped the initial timing from 6 degrees before top dead center to 10 degrees before. She smoothed right out and even sounded better. Checked her mechanical advance an it was a solid 32 degrees before top dead center at highway rpm. Added in the vacuum advance and she made 48 to 50 degrees of advance. Just about right for now. I may take out some vacuum advance but for now, didn't hear any pinging or rattles from the motor.. Readjusted the idle speed and took her for a ride. More pep off the line and feels and sounds smoother.

Looks like the fan controller is finally adjusted right. I have a 180F thermostat in it so have the fan coming on now at 195F. Seems a good balance for driving as the temps stay at or under 200 degrees and the fan doesn't run too awful long after shut down.

The axle seems much happier with the 2 degree shims instead of bigger ones that were in there. I just followed Spicers recommendations for operating angles and such. So, torqued all that down too.....before the test ride. Had her out about 65 mph for 15 miles or so, and feels plenty good. Honked at a few deer and a several folks and brought her home. Put her back on the battery charger at 6 amps for a few hours and later tonight I'll bump her down to 2 amps for the overnight. Should be charged like a bandit in the morning.

I don't see any leaks from the new coolant recovery system, so happy about that.

So all that done, still waiting on the metering valve kit to fix the brake leak and gotta raise the front end and see what the clunk is, don't know if its steering or control arms or just all the parts settling in to their new old spots.

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Sharps40

Twelve Pointer
Got really lucky. Found the leak on the transmission. Governor cap. I never installed a clip, didn't know it needed one. Lucky it didn't spit out the cap and the governor yet. So, sidelined till I can round one up off a th350 or a 700r4.

As for the leaking pv2 valve, I am glad I bought both a new metering valve and a whole new PV2 assembly from CPP. China crap I had on there from JEGS had to come off. Tried until the metering valve hex was rounded then oval, then gone! The valve wouldn't back out, but it sure would leak. So, side lined again as I now have to bleed all the brakes again.

Don't you know, once I got the new pv2 in place and hooked back up, I was at the bench and the dayumn stuck metering valve on the old PV2 backed right out with a pair of plyers.
 

Sharps40

Twelve Pointer
Finally Found a transmission govenor bail and got it installed on Ol Bessy. Should be able to get back on the road today. Some tuning to do and hopefully Monday we get the vin inspection and schedule her alignment. Cant wait. Got only a few weeks left till Dad is here to drive her for the first time in many years.
 

Sharps40

Twelve Pointer
Dad,

We should be about done with the "Building" at this point. Snapped the missing bail onto the transmission governor and went for about a 60 mile ride today. Looks like its all tuning and adjustments from here onward. Notes from our two hour jaunt this morning.

Hot......Just like she always was, no matter how much insulation, that firewall is a giant cooking griddle!

Gas pedal sucks.....very uncomfortable and needs to come out to be cut and bent up or worst case, replaced with a spoon. The giant transmission hump really limits options.

Steering good, alignment rough but she rolls straight (incidentally, my favorite tire shop wont align her so will have to try the speed shop about an hour and a half from here.).

No fuel leaks (but she's thirsty. I'll free up the air flow first and if that dosn't help, we'll jet her down a bit.).

Tune seems good (bit hard to start cold with the restrictive air cleaner on it, took it off and she fired right up.), no ping that i can hear.

Right front hood handle rattles to beat the band, Its a lot more worn than the left front side.

Draging noise from the rear, sounds like a brake shoe on a drum (probably right side as that one felt a touch warmer after the ride). I don't think its gear but if it is, I'll have to pull the differential for a rebuild.

exhaust is quiet.

cooling system is leak free and working well (she stays 185F on the road, under 200F in traffic)

brake leak is fixed.

right rear inner door handle needs a new spring (it won't stay locked and rattles like a second band in the back seat).

I'll likely rewire the electric fan. Working great but I don't like all the noise it makes blowing after shutting down the engine. Probably hook the fan controler to switched power and/or via a relay.

Might need 3 or 4 degree pinion shims but the roads are so rough here that i can't really tell if the vibrations are shitty roads or due to ujoint operating angles.

So, call Ol Bessy 98% Mechanically Completed. The last 2% is always the most work/takes the longest but we got this.

She's ready for you to drive. Get yer ass down here and drive her.

PS....Stopped off at Oreilly's today to show her off to the manager and staff who set us up with the engine. They were pleased.

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Sharps40

Twelve Pointer
Dad,
Temp solution to flooding cold starts. Add another filter so Ol Bessy can breath. She fired right up. Will run her a few days and if this is the answer then we need to stack both or find a less restrictive air cleaner that looks as good.
I guess Ol Bessy dont like wearing a mask either.

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Sharps40

Twelve Pointer
Woo Hoo! VIN inspection completed after only 4 trips we found it to be open for business and the inspector even seemed happy with the 83 year old rivets.....rivets rivets they are potentially more important then whether or not the number is even correct!!!!! HA!!!!!
 
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