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Restoration of my 1941 Dodge WC16 Radio Command Car


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#76 American Graffiti

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Posted 16 July 2015 - 12:01 PM

I just love watching these restorations in progress, keep up the good work, and thank you for sharing and illustrating so well

AG



#77 zepher11

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Posted 18 July 2015 - 06:29 AM



This is a great thread to follow! Keep up the great work and post more photos!

 

Thank you.  I will.  

 



I just love watching these restorations in progress, keep up the good work, and thank you for sharing and illustrating so well

AG

 

Thank you AG.  Appreciate the feedback!

 

Here's a photo.  I was bolting up the bumperettes when it dawned on me that there were no safety chain eye bolts.  Not sure if the 1/2 ton Dodges came from the factory with safety chain eye bolts.  I had just figured that if there was a pintle hitch there would be accommodation for safety chains.  Maybe not.  I have some extra eye bolts and thinking about installing as I have a couple of trailers.  Likely never tow them, but good to be prepared.   :lol: 

 

CC_042.JPG



#78 cutiger83

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Posted 19 July 2015 - 12:31 PM

 

 I was bolting up the bumperettes when it dawned on me that there were no safety chain eye bolts.  Not sure if the 1/2 ton Dodges came from the factory with safety chain eye bolts.

 

Zeph.

 

With this restoration and your jeep restoration, this statement got me to thinking. :)   How much of your restoration would you say is original WWII parts and how much is current reproduction parts? Even with a donor vehicle, I would imagine that it would be very hard to find original parts. Would the engine be more of a current rebuild than the body?

 

Does this question make sense?

 

Thanks for the updates.....Kat



#79 zepher11

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Posted 19 July 2015 - 08:27 PM

 

Zeph.

 

With this restoration and your jeep restoration, this statement got me to thinking. :)   How much of your restoration would you say is original WWII parts and how much is current reproduction parts? Even with a donor vehicle, I would imagine that it would be very hard to find original parts. Would the engine be more of a current rebuild than the body?

 

Does this question make sense?

 

Thanks for the updates.....Kat

 

Hi Kat,

 

With the Jeep, I used quite a few reproduction parts like the front and rear floor pans, rear tail panel, steering wheel, instrumentation gauges as well as the inner windshield frame.  The fuel tank, radiator and front bumper were also reproduction as well as a few small accessories under the hood.  Very happy that these parts are available on the reproduction market.

 

Now the Dodge WC's do not have quite the robust aftermarket parts supply as the WWII Jeeps have, however I have noticed that more and more parts are becoming available all the time.  On this command car project, I have a number of half ton Dodge WC's in my so called boneyard which have come in very handy already.  I will likely end up with a reproduction canvas top frame and maybe a rear seat frame.  I think I have most everything else except I will need a wiring harness.  The engine will need new pistons and the usual rebuild components like bearings. I have an original radiator and most everything else will be original.  I'd say the command car will be about 85 to 90 percent original which is probably the best one can hope for.

 

Regards,



#80 zepher11

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Posted 28 July 2015 - 07:11 PM

Still moving along slowly on the CC.  Installed the front bumper, etc...  Although the frame hours weren't too bent up, it really took me a while to get all of the pieces to line up in order to get all of the bolts placed:
 
CC_053.JPG
 
The bottom bumper plates were the most difficult for me to align.  Maybe next time I may align the bottom plate first and then the top plates and tow hooks:
 
CC_063.JPG
 
CC_083.JPG
 
CC_093.JPG
 
CC_101.JPG
 
Ended up installing the safety chain eye bolts....just in case I want to pull a trailer:
 
CC_013.JPG
 
I also installed the shocks.  Basically to prolong getting started on the transmission and transfer case...which I have never done before for the Dodges.  Hope I don't destroy them.  If I can get those components completed, it's onto the body:
 
CC_023.JPG
 
CC_033.JPG

 



#81 cutiger83

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Posted 29 July 2015 - 08:09 PM

Zeph,

 

Great updates! It probably doesn't seem like it to you, but it looks like this restoration is going quickly. :)

 

I see you hung your "Keep 'em Rolling" sign. It looks great

 

....Kat



#82 zepher11

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Posted 31 July 2015 - 11:13 AM

Zeph,

 

Great updates! It probably doesn't seem like it to you, but it looks like this restoration is going quickly. :)

 

I see you hung your "Keep 'em Rolling" sign. It looks great

 

....Kat

 

Hi Kat,

 

Thank you.  I'm picking off the easy stuff for now.  The body will be the most time consuming.  I will just need to turn it into little projects here and there.

 

Plus, it has been hot here like everywhere else.  It was 115 degrees when I made it home yesterday afternoon.  Suppose to be a cooling trend next week...just at 100 degrees each day.  That'll be nice, so to speak.   :lol: 

 

Yes, I hulked out and hung up the sign.  I thought it would look good above the garage door like that.

 

Take care...Z



#83 zepher11

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Posted 02 August 2015 - 07:50 PM

I was thinking about using this case for the transmission, but looks kinda rugged.  I have a civilian transmission that came with, but isn't technically correct as it only has one PTO cover on the passenger side.  This one has two PTO covers...one on each side.  The mounting pattern is different between the two transmission cases as well, so need to verify that the correct bell housing goes with:

 

WC_Trans_07.JPG

 



#84 Piper Cub

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Posted 08 August 2015 - 09:57 AM

That's an amazing transformation already! It looks completely brand new. The transmission's sure gnarly though, it looks like it had water in it for years. 



#85 zepher11

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Posted 08 August 2015 - 02:25 PM



That's an amazing transformation already! It looks completely brand new. The transmission's sure gnarly though, it looks like it had water in it for years. 

 

Yep, it still had water in it.  I stripped it down today, but it really put up a fight with all the rust.  I had a really difficult time in getting the reverse gear fork shaft out.  The manual says to drive it out which I did, but I it was so rusted that I broke it and then it bent, so it wouldn't pass through the bore.  I had to eventually cut the hardened shaft to get it out.  Not easy.  One can see it is bent here:

 

CC_Trans_01.JPG

 

I was finally able to get the upper hand and get it all apart.  Looking the case over, it is surprising how good of shape it is in:

 

CC_Trans_02.JPG

 

Even the gears look decent..likely pitted.  Amazing.  Who knows how long it had water in there.

 

Here is the donor transmission.  It is a civilian model, but the guts are the same:

 

WC_Trans_06.JPG

 

I'm soaking the rusty case overnight and will be cleaning it up for the transplant.



#86 zepher11

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Posted 15 August 2015 - 07:23 PM

I cleaned up the double PTO cover transmission, but in the end decided to reserve it for the two other WWII projects I hope to complete someday.  Both have winches and would require this type of transmission case:

 

CC_Trans_04.JPG

 

Since the command car doesn't have a winch, I figured I should go with the single PTO cover transmission case.  Therefore, I disassemble the transmission.  Although it seemed tight and in good condition, one of the main bearings was pretty rugged and would catch when spun by hand:

 

CC_Trans_06.JPG

 

I started cleaning up the transmission components, and I have removed the old bearings.  I then pressed on the new main bearings.  I also have new cage/roller bearings.  Might as well replace everything while I'm at it: 

 

WC_Trans_08.JPG

 



#87 zepher11

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Posted 20 August 2015 - 05:46 PM

Completed the main gear box, but I still need to disassemble and clean the gear shift lever housing.  Then the transmission will be completed:

 

CC_064.JPG

 

CC_073.JPG

 



#88 cutiger83

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Posted 20 August 2015 - 06:49 PM

Zeph,

 

Great updates! I love to glance back to see the "before" and "after" pictures of your work. Did all of the gears work or did you have to replace some? Were any of them pitted?

 

...Kat



#89 zepher11

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Posted 22 August 2015 - 06:22 PM

Zeph,

 

Great updates! I love to glance back to see the "before" and "after" pictures of your work. Did all of the gears work or did you have to replace some? Were any of them pitted?

 

...Kat

 

Hi Kat,

 

None of the gears were pitted.  Some mild surface rust here and there, but I'm not an expert in this area by any means.  They looked about like my GPW gears that I reused looked., so I am hoping they will be fine.  Crossing my fingers.   :)  All of the bearings are new, so that will help.

 

Checked out the B-25 website.  I think I saw a photo of you in the cockpit.  Very cool!!

 

Zeph



#90 etienne

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Posted 22 August 2015 - 11:08 PM

Hello,

 

so we are watching a new season of the amazing serie "Zeph the magic mechanic" ... after season 1 "1942 Ford GPW", there we have the season 2 "1941 Dodge WC16", now watching episode 3 "gearbox got stripped"  B)

 

I really like this serie ... !!

 

E



#91 zepher11

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Posted 01 September 2015 - 06:09 PM



Hello,

 

so we are watching a new season of the amazing serie "Zeph the magic mechanic" ... after season 1 "1942 Ford GPW", there we have the season 2 "1941 Dodge WC16", now watching episode 3 "gearbox got stripped"  B)

 

I really like this serie ... !!

 

E

 

Thank you E for the kind words.  Been a little busy of late.  I did take the Dodge WC52 in a convoy on the 70th anniversary of the end of WWII.  Put quite a few miles on and made it home.  I was happy with that.  I am taking my WC54 to a car show in a couple of weeks, so I have been dinking around with it.

 

Here are a couple of photos from the "convoy" on VJ Day plus 70.  Northern California Veterans Cemetery:

 

VJ_Day_Convoy_02.JPG

 

Northern California Veterans Home:

 

VJ_Day_Convoy_04.JPG

 

Ralph was bummed that he didn't get to go, so he had to embed himself in the driver's seat when I made it home:

 

VJ_Day_Convoy_05.JPG

 

Later Gracie and Ralph in the WC54.  Ralph was trying his best to become the hood ornament.  He's a real go-getter:

 

WC54_Ralph.JPG



#92 zepher11

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Posted 03 September 2015 - 07:03 AM

Cleaned up and installed the transfer case.  Amazingly heavy.  I used the engine crane to lift it in place and then inserting the long bolts to hold it up while I disconnected the crane and jacked it up in place.  The bolts use castellated nuts, so I had to mark/index the heads so I knew where the bolt hole was located.  Not a lot of room under there for a wrench.  I would have designed the mounts just a wee bit different, so I could get my socket wrench in there on all the nuts:

 

command_Car_05.JPG

 

Command_Car_06.JPG

 



#93 cutiger83

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Posted 03 September 2015 - 09:58 AM

Zeph,

 

Great updates! I can't imagine how heavy the transfer case must be. It is really looking good!

 

Ralph really does look depressed that you left him behind. I thought about you on Saturday. This couple had their dog at the restaurant who was the same breed as Gracie and Ralph. He was a very sweet dog so I can imagine how sweet Ralph and Gracie are to you.

 

...Kat



#94 zepher11

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Posted 03 September 2015 - 06:38 PM

Zeph,

 

Great updates! I can't imagine how heavy the transfer case must be. It is really looking good!

 

Ralph really does look depressed that you left him behind. I thought about you on Saturday. This couple had their dog at the restaurant who was the same breed as Gracie and Ralph. He was a very sweet dog so I can imagine how sweet Ralph and Gracie are to you.

 

...Kat

 

Hi Kat,

 

Ralph is really getting with the program.  He is fearless, but cautious and loves everyone.  Good traits.  George is total stimulus = response, and Gracie is "let George do all the dirty work" while I watch from a safe distance.  B) 

 

They are all pretty sweet.  That's why they call them "Velcro Vizslas" as they always want to be with their owner.

 

Slowly picking off little projects on the command car.  When one looks at that transfer case, it appears manageable.  However, there is something about that WWII steel.  Very heavy!  Or maybe it is just because I'm getting older...naw, it couldn't be that!   :lol: 

 

Take care,

 

Zeph



#95 zepher11

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Posted 02 October 2015 - 08:54 PM

Still been working on the CC here and there.  Slipped in the drive lines a few weeks ago:

 

CC_084.JPG

 

CC_094.JPG

 

I then modified the rotisserie that I made for the GPW project to fit the CC body to make it easier for me to work on the hat channel and floor replacement.  A little undersized, but I think it will work for what I wish to complete:

 

WC16_01.JPG

 

WC16_02.JPG

 

WC16_04.JPG

 

Here are some shots of the rust.  Although the body is in pretty decent shape, the bones are a bit weak.  It's interesting in that the floor hat channels are the same channel used for above and below the floor pan to hold it in:

 

CC_074.JPG

 

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One can see the hat channels rusted out in the interior of the body here as well:

 

CC_102.JPG

 

Some of the holes...or basically, chunks of missing floor:

 

CC_015.JPG

 



#96 zepher11

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Posted 02 October 2015 - 08:55 PM

Now I'm trying to figure out how to hold everything together and compress the body back into the floor pan.  The hat channels were separating a bit from the the body:

 

CC_132.JPG

 

This is the worst area in and around the spare tire body indent.  The gap here is pretty wide, but I think I can get it back into shape with the floor jack pressure with the body on its side.  Wood block inserted in gap here:

 

CC_142.JPG

 

I can make up some of the gap.  Measuring with the wood block to check gap:

 

CC_15.JPG

 

I decided to have a go at what I though was one of the more difficult spots.  Replacement of this lower floor support hat channel:

 

CC_016.JPG

 

The front hat channel is in a recessed gap which was tough for me to get at to remove the spot welds:

 

CC_025.JPG

 

One can see here that the hat channel inserts up into the body from where the main channel sits below the floor:

 

CC_035.JPG

 

Checking a section of replacement hat channel where the one above was removed with the recess mentioned above:

 

CC_056.JPG

 

With the offending hat channel removed, I fumbled around with relief cuts to make the curved sections:

 

CC_086.JPG

 

CC_096.JPG

 

Then with the help of a neighbor, we heated up a section of hat channel and heated and bent slowly.  It actually turned up pretty decent.  Haven't had a chance to check for fit yet, but I hope I will have some time this weekend:

 

CC_103.JPG

 

Fortunately, there aren't a lot of curved sections, so I hope I can fumble along and get the exterior channels replaced in good order.



#97 zepher11

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Posted 08 November 2015 - 07:58 PM

Worked more on the floor hat channel around the spare tire indent.  This is the heat bent hat channel section:

 

CC_133.JPG

 

Used heat to bend the channel a bit here and there to match the curvature of the body:

 

CC_143.JPG

 

Sandblasted the area for welding:

 

CC_17.JPG

 

Fitting the entire mock up of the hat channel around the spare tire indent:

 

CC_18.JPG

 

Holes punched for plug welding:

 

CC_20.JPG

 

Weld through primer treatment:

 

CC_21.JPG

 

CC_22.JPG

 

Welding it in:

 

CC_017.JPG

 

CC_026.JPG

 

On to the passenger side wheel well hat channel.  Mother Nature has removed about half of this one already:

 

CC_036.JPG

 



#98 zepher11

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Posted 08 November 2015 - 07:59 PM

Passenger side wheel well hat channel out:

 

CC_046.JPG

 

Test fitting the replacement:

 

CC_097.JPG

 

Inside:

 

CC_104.JPG

 

This is the section that is above the battery box in the interior.  A little bit of rust damage here:

 

CC_114.JPG

 

All removed:

 

CC_134.JPG

 

New replacement mock up:

 

CC_144.JPG

 

This hat channel also need to go:

 

CC_152.JPG

 

Also removed the section between the wheel well and the battery box:

 

CC_067.JPG

 

Replacement section:

 

CC_124.JPG

 

Heat bent the drivers side quarter panel hat channel.  I think I will need to remove the entire lower channel below the tailgate.  The rear body is really beat up:

 

CC_087.JPG

 



#99 cutiger83

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Posted 09 November 2015 - 06:28 AM

Zeph,

 

Great updates! It is amazing watching your restoration. I am finding it very interesting now because I see some similarities between your restoration and working with aluminum on a plane. :)

 

Thanks for the updates....Kat



#100 Sparty On

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Posted 09 November 2015 - 07:53 AM

This is great!  I'm interested in seeing some close ups of how you attached the body to the engine stand to make your rotisserie.

 

Mike




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