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Restoration of my 1941 Dodge WC16 Radio Command Car


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Mopped up the other rear fender rust outs today:
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should at least outlast me!

 

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


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Zeph,

 

Your work is amazing! How did you cut the hole in the metal? It looks great. Do you have special tools for cutting thru that thick metal?

 

Also, you mentioned a special gripping screwdriver. Is that a special kind of screwdriver?

 

Your tool shop would probably put Tim Allen from Home Improvement to shame! :lol:

 

...Kat

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Zeph,

 

Your work is amazing! How did you cut the hole in the metal? It looks great. Do you have special tools for cutting thru that thick metal?

 

Also, you mentioned a special gripping screwdriver. Is that a special kind of screwdriver?

 

Your tool shop would probably put Tim Allen from Home Improvement to shame! :lol:

 

...Kat

Hi Kat,

 

I wish I had all the tools that I need! However, as I get older I do find it easier to get the wallet out and pony up to get the correct tool for the job. I used to just do it the hard way to save money. I actually drilled the hole in two spots...upper and lower and then used a Dremel tool with an abrasive cut off wheel to trim it out. It was two sheets of 14 gauge metal, so it wasn't too tough.

 

Here is a shot of the screw driver I have for holding on to slotted screws. It does come in handy. I searched a little online and they still make these. I even saw a Phillips head version:

 

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


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Hi Kat,

 

I wish I had all the tools that I need! However, as I get older I do find it easier to get the wallet out and pony up to get the correct tool for the job. I used to just do it the hard way to save money. I actually drilled the hole in two spots...upper and lower and then used a Dremel tool with an abrasive cut off wheel to trim it out. It was two sheets of 14 gauge metal, so it wasn't too tough.

 

Here is a shot of the screw driver I have for holding on to slotted screws. It does come in handy. I searched a little online and they still make these. I even saw a Phillips head version:

 

 

 

 

Thanks for the info! I know about using Dremel tools. I have learned how to use on to cut off the head of an old rusted bolt. :) Once I got over the fear of the strong smell it was very cool! :D They come in handy!

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Thanks for the info! I know about using Dremel tools. I have learned how to use on to cut off the head of an old rusted bolt. :) Once I got over the fear of the strong smell it was very cool! :D They come in handy!

 

lol Yes, those abrasive tools put out some nice smells!

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


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Found an NOS 12 volt distributor for the command car:

 

MWM_Dist_01.JPG

 

Sadly, the cap was broken. Who knows how long ago that may have happened? In need of a aged cosmoline clean up:

 

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All clean:

 

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Also found some 12 volt marker lights which I was missing:

 

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All clean:

 

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This weekend, I also worked on accumulating and rigging up the carburetor linkage. It's quite an array of linkage:

 

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I decided to use the original black out type drive light that came with this rig. It's 6 volt, so I need the step down resister shown to go from 12 volt to 6 volt:

 

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The engine is starting to come together:

 

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I was out early this morning, much to the displeasure of my neighbors, to sandblast the rear fenders. They were really wrinkled, so I decided to use a little body filler to fill in the valleys:

 

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Still waiting for the body to get back from the sandblaster...tic tic tic...

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


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  • 2 weeks later...

Painted the fenders...again:

 

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Picked up the body a couple of days ago:

 

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I had to do the primer and undercoating/OD in a couple of stages before I pulled the body off the rotisserie:

 

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First coat of undercoating on the primer:

 

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Then I started a little body work:

 

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Close up of the second coat of undercoating:

 

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


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Thought I would get under the dash with the primer and OD before I pulled the body from the rotisserie:

 

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OD over the undercoating:

 

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We have separation...from the rotisserie that is:

 

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The tail light sections were very beat up, so I had to fit the tail lights to see how much pounding I needed to do:

 

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Had to apply a little body filler to tighten it up:

 

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Found a stress crack near the tire carrier that I had to weld up:

 

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A little body primer video:

 

 

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Tailgate repair didn't turn out as well as I had hoped: Pretty warped and I spent about four hours tweaking it so it would fit the opening in the body. Close enough now that I think I can live with it....sadly:

 

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Also worked on the running boards. They were pretty beat as well. I used my shop press and a pipe to recurve the edges. Plus a lot of hammer and dolly action. Also had to make a number of captive nut holders. The originals turned to powdered rust:

 

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


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I have watched all of your projects that you have posted here....with amazement. All I can really say is that you really have it going. You do outstanding work. You have a great shop and work environment and a dedication second to none.

Keep 'em rolling!

Ronnie

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I have watched all of your projects that you have posted here....with amazement. All I can really say is that you really have it going. You do outstanding work. You have a great shop and work environment and a dedication second to none.

Keep 'em rolling!

Ronnie

 

 

Zeph, that's a lot of solid progress. Does it feel like you are in the home stretch now?

Terry

 

I am starting to get the feeling, but things are slowing me down here and there. I was hoping to get it together to take it to the MVPA show on August 10th. However, counting today I only have five workdays left to button it up for the trip. :unsure:

 

Simply WOW!

 

Thank you everyone. Appreciate the kind comments!

 

Yesterday I dealt with he tailgate issue. The heat warpage on the tailgate on the left and right sides may be a little more than a 1/2" deep. I placed a straight edge to show the indents. Not too happy and wasn't sure how to fix at the moment, but though I would give it a shot:
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This is the other fun problem. Sorta a chicken or egg thing. The latch cannot be inserted into the recess without cutting or bending the lip out of the way. This latch shown is actually bent toward the front of the vehicle, so it looks better to insert this one than one that is straight:
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I decided to mock up the pioneer rack to the tailgate. I used solid channel on the inside, i'm actually cannibalizing my rotisserie, so that I could clamp the tailgate sheet metal and hopefully make it somewhat straight. I ended up using ten bolts to clamp the pioneer rack to the tailgate. Usually only four bolts would have been used:
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Drilling the clamps to make sure all ten bolt holes line up perfectly:
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It actually worked pretty good. I think I can live with it now. I had to pry open and wedge the top opening a lot wider to get my arm in there for the bolts. It's a tight fit. The top of the tailgate is open as that is where the canvas doors are stored when not in use. I may not be able to get mine in there now, but that will be okay:
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Straight edge test again now that it is all clamped together. Not too bad:
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I also beat the battery tray back into shape, primered, painted and installed. I was happy I saved this. The tray is still factory riveted to the frame brackets that bolt to the frame:
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I'm also happy that the running boards turned out pretty decent given all the dents and rust holes in them before I started on them:
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Battery box:
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Inner fender panels:
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Collecting WWII USAAF Militaria and a Few WWII Vehicles Along the Way


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Impressive project so far!

 

Thanks Lee. Are you coming down to the MVPA event in August? I met you at the Portland show in 2013. Hopefully, I can get this rig down there.

 

Took the day off today. I slept in a bit and got outside at 6am. I was going to get up at my normal "going to work" time, but hey it's a day off! Really warm this morning, and it was more humid than usual. It was 112 yesterday, and this morning at 6am it was about 75 and 55% humidity. I was hoping it would be cooler as the temp rockets up fast.
I hustled and tried to get the command car painted before the heat took over. I barely made it. This thing is huge, and painting the inside and outside took a bit of time. By the time I was shooting the last coat it was drying before it hit the vehicle. Actually, it was so bad that after I cleaned up the paint gun and put it away, I had to pull it out and re-shoot a couple of the exterior panels. I tried to goop it on as the heat was brutal by then. Oh well. I ended up having a number of sweat bubbles in the paint. Only two major bug bombs that messed the paint up, but that's what one gets for painting in the great outdoors:
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Not as easy to install the body as it was to take off. I would have phoned a friend if I had any. Getting the body mounting bolts to align was a bit difficult. Tough to operate the engine crane and align the holes at the same time. My buddy Ralph stuck with me through the whole project:
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No idea how the oak blocks are aligned to mount the front of the body to the frame, so I just stuffed them in there and bolted them down:
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After bolting the whole body down, I started installing the rear fenders. Sure feels good to put things together:
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I checked the fit of the battery box. I had ordered some hinges from McMaster-Carr. I am hoping that I can make the hinges work for the battery box. I have not idea what the originals look like. The box arrived today via UPS...sans hinges. Totally vaporized...looked like ISIS used the box as key ingredient for a car bomb. I called McMaster-Carr and told them about it. Without question they are shipping another two hinges. I love that company. M-C and Summit Racing are the two best companies I have ever dealt with:
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The temperature in the garage was a balmy 106 degrees most of the day...at least it is shaded. The dogs were wrecked after a long hot day:
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I was bummed, however as I went to get a couple of bolts today and the water pump on my 7.3 Ford let go. I limped home and now I need to figure that out before I head to the MVPA convention with the command car on August 10th. Hadn't budgeted time for this project....

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


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I'm hoping to go to the show on the 10th. If I make it I hope to shake your hand. I am nearly useless mechanically and am in awe of what you've done here!

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I'm hoping to go to the show on the 10th. If I make it I hope to shake your hand. I am nearly useless mechanically and am in awe of what you've done here!

 

Sounds good mikie. I will be there. However, I believe the 10th is just a set up day. The actual show is on the 11th, 12th and 13th open to the public. I don't think they will let anyone in on the 10th as it is vehicle set up day.

 

I'll keep an eye out for you. On Thursday morning I will be riding the WWII troop train, but should be there in the afternoon.

 

Z

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


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Thanks Lee. Are you coming down to the MVPA event in August? I met you at the Portland show in 2013. Hopefully, I can get this rig down there.

 

Took the day off today. I slept in a bit and got outside at 6am. I was going to get up at my normal "going to work" time, but hey it's a day off! Really warm this morning, and it was more humid than usual. It was 112 yesterday, and this morning at 6am it was about 75 and 55% humidity. I was hoping it would be cooler as the temp rockets up fast.
I hustled and tried to get the command car painted before the heat took over. I barely made it. This thing is huge, and painting the inside and outside took a bit of time. By the time I was shooting the last coat it was drying before it hit the vehicle. Actually, it was so bad that after I cleaned up the paint gun and put it away, I had to pull it out and re-shoot a couple of the exterior panels. I tried to goop it on as the heat was brutal by then. Oh well. I ended up having a number of sweat bubbles in the paint. Only two major bug bombs that messed the paint up, but that's what one gets for painting in the great outdoors:
CC_0151.JPG
CC_0348.JPG
Not as easy to install the body as it was to take off. I would have phoned a friend if I had any. Getting the body mounting bolts to align was a bit difficult. Tough to operate the engine crane and align the holes at the same time. My buddy Ralph stuck with me through the whole project:
CC_0152.JPG
CC_0831.JPG
CC_0251.JPG
CC_0642.JPG
No idea how the oak blocks are aligned to mount the front of the body to the frame, so I just stuffed them in there and bolted them down:
CC_0349.JPG
After bolting the whole body down, I started installing the rear fenders. Sure feels good to put things together:
CC_0448.JPG
I checked the fit of the battery box. I had ordered some hinges from McMaster-Carr. I am hoping that I can make the hinges work for the battery box. I have not idea what the originals look like. The box arrived today via UPS...sans hinges. Totally vaporized...looked like ISIS used the box as key ingredient for a car bomb. I called McMaster-Carr and told them about it. Without question they are shipping another two hinges. I love that company. M-C and Summit Racing are the two best companies I have ever dealt with:
CC_0546.JPG
The temperature in the garage was a balmy 106 degrees most of the day...at least it is shaded. The dogs were wrecked after a long hot day:
CC_0737.JPG
I was bummed, however as I went to get a couple of bolts today and the water pump on my 7.3 Ford let go. I limped home and now I need to figure that out before I head to the MVPA convention with the command car on August 10th. Hadn't budgeted time for this project....

 

Poor pups! Its not easy supervising work!

 

It's always something isn't it? Hopefully the water pump will only be a minor set back. Keep up the great work!

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Poor pups! Its not easy supervising work!

 

It's always something isn't it? Hopefully the water pump will only be a minor set back. Keep up the great work!

 

lol That's for sure! I think the concrete in the garage was the coolest thing around.

 

I knocked out the water pump replacement yesterday morning on the truck. Wasn't quite as bad as I thought it would be. A little like building a ship in a bottle, but nice to have it done. No leaks afterwards, so that is a relief.

 

I managed to get a little completed on the command car. I installed the steering box/column and the firewall pad. I recall someone mentioning that the pad should be the first thing installed before one gets carried away installing things:

 

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


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Sounds good mikie. I will be there. However, I believe the 10th is just a set up day. The actual show is on the 11th, 12th and 13th open to the public. I don't think they will let anyone in on the 10th as it is vehicle set up day.

 

Howdy, yeah, I meant the 10th metaphorically, or something. If I can make it I'll most likely be there on Saturday. When you get that thing finished, post a shot of you in it or next to it so I can recognize you.

Mikie

 

I'll keep an eye out for you. On Thursday morning I will be riding the WWII troop train, but should be there in the afternoon.

 

Z

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I'm hoping to go to the show on the 10th. If I make it I hope to shake your hand. I am nearly useless mechanically and am in awe of what you've done here!

Sadly I won't be there... John knows why and he can tell you while you look this Dodge over...

f_poll.gif '29th,Let's Go!' f_poll.gif

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Sadly I won't be there... John knows why and he can tell you while you look this Dodge over...

Hi Johan. Do you often come over for these shows? I've enjoyed your posts about your jeep too. Would have been nice to see you.

Mikie

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It looks as if purchasing that Cherry Picker is one of the best investments you made for your motor pool, Zeph.

 

No kidding Dustin. I don't know what I would do without it. It has paid off well over what I paid for it!

 

Looks like I made a hash of putting that last reply together. Imagine what one of those CCs would look like if I tried building one!

 

lol That one did get outta of hand!

 

Sadly I won't be there... John knows why and he can tell you while you look this Dodge over...

 

We'll take some good photos for Johan. I know he really wanted to make the show with his family. There will be a next time I'm sure.

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


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Only ten days until the MVPA convention, so I dinked around some more on the command car today. I have a lot of pre-painted parts that I though I would install before I misplace them. I keep thinking I have parts that I have cleaned and painted, but can't find them...mostly bolts.
I had noticed on the command car that the windshield supports had some type of insulation or sealer between the supports and the cowl. I decided to use some butyl tape. I figured that something was in there to seal the bolts to prevent water from entering the passenger compartment...like that would be possible:
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The pillars extruded the butyl tape that wasn't needed:
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Although there were only five bolts and the safety strap eye bolt on each pillar, the nuts on the inside under the cowl were extremely difficult to get to. It took me a couple of hours to bolt these on. Only minor amounts of blood was spilled.
I started to install all the little things like the door hinges on the windshield pillars:
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Also installed the cowl welting where the hood sits:
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Installed the reflectors and the taillights. The seals for the taillights were rather large. I had to cut three inches out of them and super glue them together. Still didn't work, so I had to cut the rubber out on the inside circumference to allow the taillight to actually fit in there.
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Installed the door latches:
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With the original door handles. A bit pitted from the rust process, but they are the originals:
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It was slow going cleaning and painting all the bolts and screws for installation...

 

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


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