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Restoration of my 1941 Dodge WC16 Radio Command Car


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Hey Zeph how come you don't put this on video ?? Better than most of the stuff on Velocity ! I can see it now you could take Foose's slot !

Yeah,but he would have to find a talk to much host and a bimbo to round out the team.

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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

 

Thanks Kat. I would think it would be very similar...as long as the hammer is large enough! B)

 

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

 

Thanks Mike. Here are a few photos of the attached body to the rotisserie. This is the same rotisserie I made for my Jeep tub. Just extended to accommodate the much larger command car body. Below is the rear attaching point. I had some old base plates used to tow a car that I had lying around. I used some angle iron and bolted on the base plates which had holes that aligned perfectly with the reflector mounting holes on each side of the rear body. I had to modify, drill, etc... to get everything to fit properly. Actually worked out pretty good. I used really large washers to spread the weight at the four attaching points/reflector holes:

 

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It took me a bit to determine which way to go in attaching the cowl to the rotisserie. I had to modify my angle iron attachment to meet the hood latch brackets on the cowl at the proper angle. I couldn't find any holes that I thought would work for me, so I went with the direct approach and welded the angle iron directly to the hood latch brackets:

 

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One can always click on any of my photos to make it larger.

Collecting WWII USAAF Militaria and a Few WWII Vehicles Along the Way


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Hey Zeph how come you don't put this on video ?? Better than most of the stuff on Velocity ! I can see it now you could take Foose's slot !

 

Hmmmm...if I only had one more hand. :lol: Actually, I have taken a few videos of things and post them on my youtube channel. One can google zephsyt on youtube and find some videos I have posted. I did a walk around of the command car chassis for reference before I dismantled it. It is on there.

 

I would love to get like a Gopro camera and try something like that out as posting photos and videos actually motivates me to work on my projects. If I could find an easy way to edit the video as well that would really make it worthwhile. I like the idea. I hadn't really thought about it, but I do get a lot of folks contacting me for information about my restoration threads and photos. I will think about that. May be a niche out there for something like that as you mention.

 

Yeah,but he would have to find a talk to much host and a bimbo to round out the team.

 

I could use my dogs as comic relief. Our Vizsla puppy Ralph is totally into the garage experience. If I weld, use my air impact gun, or grind metal he is in my face wanting to know what is going on. Here he is as I was grinding out a hat channel section and fabricating the new one earlier this evening:

 

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I finally was able to get the hat channel section heat bent and curved to fit the body. It took a bit as I didn't want to over do it. It turned out pretty decent:

 

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Collecting WWII USAAF Militaria and a Few WWII Vehicles Along the Way


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Hey Zeph when are you going to blast the tub ? Isn't better to have clean metal to weld to ?

 

After I get most of the hat channels replaced. I wanted to make sure that the body wouldn't crumple while at the sandblaster's shop. I have been sandblasting the tub after I remove the rusted hat channels and before I weld in the new hat channels. I also use the weld through primer on the tub and new hat channels before I weld them in place.

 

I went to a veterans day parade today, and after I returned home I sandblasted the areas where I will weld in the new hat channels that I just fabricated this past week. I wanted to get the areas sandblasted before it started raining. Here is what it looks like after today's blasting:

 

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After I get the body stabilized with the replacement hat channels, I will take the tub to the sandblasters and then finish up any other metal work it may need. I also didn't want to sandblast the whole tub and then put it in primer. I hate having to sand all the new primer off to work the metal and weld in replacement parts. I know it's backwards than most would do it, but I only want to sandblast and clean once and then put it in primer if I can.

Collecting WWII USAAF Militaria and a Few WWII Vehicles Along the Way


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Well, my Ralphie boy is turning into quite the garage dog. Now he is learning how to supervise my activities in comfort!
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Had some time today and fitted this lower hat channel section into position. It was sort of a chicken or the egg dilemma. If I fit the "below the floor hat channel", which needed to be welded in place first, I couldn't really get this interior section in place due to the intersections of the other interior channels:
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I finally just had to do it. My plug welds are looking a lot better vs. that first section I installed:
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I finally was able to get it back in there, but it took some doing:
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Lower view of the section between the wheel well and battery box welded in. One can see the interior section to the left with the plug welding holes already punched and ready for welding:
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The wheel well section is ready to go after final fitting. I should be able to weld it in tomorrow:
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Collecting WWII USAAF Militaria and a Few WWII Vehicles Along the Way


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Well, my Ralphie boy is turning into quite the garage dog. Now he is learning how to supervise my activities in comfort!

 

 

 

Zeph,

 

Great picture of your foreman! :D Ralphie is too cute! :love: Do you worry about the dogs getting too close when you are welding? Do you lock them out of the garage so they don't look at your welding and hurt their eyes?

 

Also, great updates on your progress. Your welding skills are amazing.

 

...Kat

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Hi Kat,

 

Yes, I keep the dogs out of the garage when welding. I really didn't need to worry about it with George and Gracie as they would be long gone as soon as I made any noise...they aren't much in the garage dog category. Ralph, on the other hand, isn't scared of anything. Therefore, I have to kick him out, or he would be right there helping if I let him.

Collecting WWII USAAF Militaria and a Few WWII Vehicles Along the Way


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  • 1 month later...

I have been working a little more on the underside of the CC. I’m a little behind on my postings, so here are a few photos. I started working on the passenger side quarter panel hat channel:

 

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As well as this mess of the lower body panel below the tailgate:

 

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One can see how the quarter panel is pushed in a bit from some accident from another life time ago:

 

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Cut out the offending channel:

 

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Used this contraption to help me get the corner back into shape:

 

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Not too bad. One can see the gap where the floor pan was pushed in. That will need to be corrected as well:

 

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Next I had to deal with the quarter panel where it was rippled from one or more poor back up jobs:

 

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I used the hydraulic ram to realign the wheel well area first:

 

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Collecting WWII USAAF Militaria and a Few WWII Vehicles Along the Way


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The wheel well turned out pretty decent:

 

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Next I had to deal with the crease in the quarter panel:

 

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The fender needed a little love as well:

 

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After some hammering, pounding, heat and general bending and tearing it started to come back into shape:

 

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I then had to cut out the hat channel that ran the length of the body section below the tailgate:

 

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With all the hat channels removed, I beat the floor into submission as well as the lower body section under the tailgate:

 

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Collecting WWII USAAF Militaria and a Few WWII Vehicles Along the Way


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Fixed up the curved hat channel section for the quarter:

 

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Then I found the panoramic selection on the camera phone and hadda try it out:

 

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Back at it:

 

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The inside curve fit well:

 

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After hammering the lower section into place, I made a new replacement hat channel for that area:

 

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It’s been a little nippy in the mornings, so my Ralphie boy found a nice spot:

 

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I also had a bit of work to do on the cowl. Not only was there a hole in the cowl, but there were other sections rusted out where the side panels bolt to the cowl:

 

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Just above the lower bolt hole, one can see the half-moon area that has rusted out. The side of the cowl can be pushed in here pretty easily:

 

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Same on the driver’s side:

 

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Collecting WWII USAAF Militaria and a Few WWII Vehicles Along the Way


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I had to cut and shape some metal here:

 

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The gap was much larger on the driver’s side, so had to shape the metal a little more here:

 

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There was some other crackage as well that I took care of:

 

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Also had a nice crack in the upper cowl/dash area:

 

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Collecting WWII USAAF Militaria and a Few WWII Vehicles Along the Way


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So far, everything still seems to be in alignment. I’m not as worried now that I have all the replacement hat channels in there now:

 

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Also had a little project that I have been pondering for some time. The alignment of the body sides are bent a bit. Here one can see how the rear section bends inward somewhat. I wasn’t sure I knew what to do here, so just did it:

 

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Tried to get the same angle. Much better now:

 

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A good match to the driver’s side now:

 

On to plugging that ugly hole in the cow. Cut out some metal:

 

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Fit a replacement patch in there:

 

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Curved the patch panel to fit and tacked:

 

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Much better. Thankfully, this section is covered with the windshield supports:

 

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Also had issues with the interior side support hat channels:

 

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Collecting WWII USAAF Militaria and a Few WWII Vehicles Along the Way


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There was a little rust in one wheel well I had to deal with as well:

 

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There was also a little rust in the driver’s quarter so I heated up and bent a little patch for that:

 

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The driver’s side floor/firewall section had a little rust through:

 

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I had to cut out the section which was actually two layers of sheet metal. I blew it here, however, as I inadvertently cut the gusset out as well. I meant not to do that:

 

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I think all I have left now is to replace the hat channels that support the floor panel now. Those and replacing a sizable section of the floor pan and I think the bulk of the rust repair will be completed. That will be a good day when it comes! B)

Collecting WWII USAAF Militaria and a Few WWII Vehicles Along the Way


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That is a lot of work. Keep going!

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Forum Member #1691 since September 2007

Served in the US Army from 1960-80

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Vietnam 1967 with 7-15th FA ~ [8"/175mm Gun] First Field Forces

Vietnam 1968 with 1-30th FA ~ [155mm] 1st Cavalry Division [AIRMOBILE]

President & Historian 30th FA Regiment Association ( WWW.HardChargers.Com )

Celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the 30th Field Artillery Regiment in 2018

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Hello Zepher11,

 

I have to admit that I am a little bit jealous when I see that :blush: ... but still a big fan of the Zepher11's Restoration mini-series B)

 

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E

Collecting USMC AEF 1917-18 & PTO 1941-45, US Navy PTO 1941-45.

 

Most seeked items : USMC dog tags from 1915 to 1945, USN corpsman dog tags and other identified items, USN id'd M1 helmets.



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That is a lot of work. Keep going!

 

Thank you!

 

Hello Zepher11,

 

I have to admit that I am a little bit jealous when I see that :blush: ... but still a big fan of the Zepher11's Restoration mini-series B)

 

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E

 

Hi E, I know what you mean. I used to marvel at the shops I would see. I feel very fortunate to finally be able to swing one!

 

Great work, John....

 

Already looking forward to seeing this CC in person at Pleasanton next Summer

 

Hi Johan, Thank you, and I know the Pleasanton show is only like eight months from now! I really need to get a move on, but I will bring it in whatever stage of restoration it is in at that point. I was able to slip out of work and get the T211 engine into the engine shop yesterday. I've been trying to get time to get it there for a few months. It is seized and rusted solid. I hope that the shop can save it, and at a minimum it will only need cylinder sleeves.

 

I LOVE to watch your progress. It is amazing to see the restoration.

 

Ralphie looks like the perfect foreman!

 

...Kat

 

Thank you Kat. Yes, Ralphie has wormed his way into our hearts. He's a real character.

 

Another little project is welding closed some holes in the body. Unlike my GPW project that had over 400 holes to weld closed, only a handfull on the CC. I have been trying to figure out which holes are original where the antenna base mounts:

 

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The items circled in red are tabs to pin down the doors I believe. The green circled holes with the large hole between them is what I believe was an added antenna mount of some sort. It almost appears that there were two identical antenna mounts. The three blue circled holes are exactly the same pattern of the green circled holes. I can tell the large blue circled hole was drilled and not factory. At this point, I think the five holes that are not circled may have been the way this CC came from the factory. Not positive as I do not have an antenna base MP-46. They seem to be extremely rare as I can't find one anywhere. I will likely need to fabricate something. In any event, I have found this MP-37 which is rare enough nowadays. Sadly, there is a terrible story that goes along with this:

 

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I like this photo of a radio CC showing the antenna components:

 

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Collecting WWII USAAF Militaria and a Few WWII Vehicles Along the Way


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Started the replacement of a section of the floor today. Using 14 gauge sheet metal which is pretty thick....and heavy:

 

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The original floor has some beads in it for strength. I wanted to duplicate them, but not really set up for competing such a task. I thought I would give it a try anyway. I cut a cement stake to the size I wanted:

 

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I used the driveway as my form holder. It worked a little, but there was quite a bit of distortion to the sheet metal. I tried heat first and then just brute force:

 

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Cut the original out trying to be careful to maintain the main body supports/mount:

 

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Fitting the lower hat channel:

 

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Collecting WWII USAAF Militaria and a Few WWII Vehicles Along the Way


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Great job, Zeph!!

 

I am a little late tuning in to your latest project but I really enjoyed the first season starring the Jeep, so I plan to follow you closely again form now on!

 

Cheers,

 

Sjef

- Sjef -

By God, I think the Devil s#!+$ Dutchmen. [sir W. Batten, 1667]

Actively seeking: WWII USAAF, ETO and PTO bomber crew related items.

 

My collection

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Great job, Zeph!!

 

I am a little late tuning in to your latest project but I really enjoyed the first season starring the Jeep, so I plan to follow you closely again form now on!

 

Cheers,

 

Sjef

 

 

Fantastic, an artist that works in metal! Truly amazing transformation.

 

Thank you for the kind comments. I have had a change in plans. I scrapped the original idea and have decided to replace a much larger section of the floor. This will replace basically all of the front and rear passenger areas all the way back to the trunk area which is in much better shape than the rest of the floor. Tried to take the easy way out, but I think this will be a much better repair.

 

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Had to add some additional support. Hate to have it fold up at this point:
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Much better access to the hat channels I replaced earlier. Plus, I have coated all of insides of the body mount channels with POR15 now that they are exposed. I wouldn't have had access to these areas previously. Should last a little longer:
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Much easier access to the other two hat channel cross floor supports. I'll be able to make a nicer complete replacement of the three hat channels in this area of the floor:
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Grinding all of the metal out and fitting the replacement sheet metal is quite a time consuming project. If I knew what I was doing, it would be much more enjoyable. :lol: Anyway, I'm learning more as I go along.

Collecting WWII USAAF Militaria and a Few WWII Vehicles Along the Way


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Grinding all of the metal out and fitting the replacement sheet metal is quite a time consuming project. If I knew what I was doing, it would be much more enjoyable. :lol: Anyway, I'm learning more as I go along.

 

 

Zeph,

 

Great updates! Learning as you go along probably makes it much more interesting! I do understand about brute force you mentioned earlier. We had to bend a piece of thick sheet metal. It took 3 of us and a large fulcrum!

 

....Kat

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