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1931 Dodge Sedan/Coupe

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  • 1931 Dodge Sedan/Coupe

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ID:	729927 I'm back! I unfortunately had to sell the 29 dodge sedan i was going to build but have finally found a new project. I picked up a 31' Dodge sedan. The previous owner had decided to convert it to a coupe due to the front doors being gone. In doing so he split the cowl in half to accommodate the body being wider at the rear doors. Makes the car look very unique!

    My plan is to start by patching the cowl and upper window frame while the body is still on the original frame. Once thats done i will remove it and build a new frame. My biggest concern is the rear wheels. Since the doors have to stay functional and the wheel cuts so far into the door, i dont think i will be able to run an open wheel. I will definitely do some head scratching and wear out a tape measure before start cutting. Certainly open to ideas. This will be my first build so i plan to keep it simple and refine some of my fabrication skills. If it goes well i would like to do another in the future with more detail and a nice drivetrain. I will try to take pictures and post my progress.

  • #2
    Welcome back.
    Do you intend on shortening the front end of the car, or leave the wheel base pretty much as it is? As it, it looks like the body has been set back on the frame, I kinda like it. I think I would run all the fenders and the running boards too.

    Not knowing your metal working skills, I might suggest you might want to keep the rear fenders on this car. Filling the gap in the cowl and the firewall, and making new windshield posts and the front of the roof will be plenty of metal work for a beginner.

    As you gain in metal working skills, it appears to me that the wheel openings in those fenders are pretty big. You could shift the rear axle towards the rear of the existing wheel opening and fill in the front part of the wheel openings on the fenders.

    Depending on how deep the inner fenders are cut into the body you could get away without the fenders if you could shift the rear axle back so it was centered (front to back) with the rear edge of the back side window, but then you would need to cut the body for the tire clearance and fill the existing wheel opening on the doors. That would put the front edge of the tires pretty close to the back edge of the doors, but I think the tires would still be completely behind the doors. I don't know that I would want to run without rear fenders if the tires did not at least clear the rear edge of the doors. Gene


    • #3
      When they cut the front doors out and brought the cowl to the rear doors, it makes it look like the body is sitting back on the frame. I keep going back and fourth on front fenders. I agree, it looks really cool with them and the running boards but there is so much open frame i would need to find a big enough motor to fill the space. If i keep them, i would be needing a mustang 2 in the front right?


      • #4
        I figured as much concerning the front doors when I 1st saw the pictures.

        My point was, you get to decide how you want to build this car. If you leave the body back on the frame like it is now, you can just mount the motor close to the firewall like it would normally be positioned, and add a radiator just in front of the engine like would normally be done. There would be no reason to need a motor bigger then a normal motor, unless you wanted something bigger. In my mind, that would put the radiator at about the rear edge of the front fender humps (behind the front tires). The front suspension would remain where it originally was. They did a lot of that kind of stuff back in the late 50s and early 60s drag racing cars. (google "altered wheel base drag cars").

        The car is going to need some sort of front suspension, originally that Dodge would have had a pair of leaf springs and a beam front axle. By your pictures, I can't tell if any of that is still there. A Mustang 2 front end is one option, another option might be a beam axle with a cross spring (like Ford used for years). If your original axle and springs are still there, you could rebuild them and sue them as well. Speedway offers a few different front axle choices. When you compare prices, be sure those prices include a disc brake set up for whatever you choose.

        It really sounds like you are not sure what you want. I might suggest you make several copies of that side picture of your car and cut the body part out with and without the rear fenders and move it around over a picture (or drawing) of the frame (with tires and wheels added) and see what you like the best. Your car, build it the way you like it.

        I am also a bit concerned that this project may be a bit more then your ready for. Maybe starting with something more complete or closer to being a driver may be a better 1st time build. The 1st car I built was a 35 Dodge. It took me 5 years before I had the ability to even get started because I lacked the skills required. It takes a lot of determination to wait that long. Give that some thought. What ever you decide, we will be here to help. Gene


        • #5
          I like the long nose! Gives it that luxury look from that era, like the Rolls-Royce of the day!
          if you want a long engine... put a Cummins 6 cyl in it😁
          The Cummins is a heavy ***** though... what would be really cool is if you could find a straight 8 cyl..
          I think Buick did that back in the day...
          My build thread:


          • #6
            Got the patch almost done on the cowl. Im clearly not the best at sheet metal work but I think once it rusts up it should blend in decent enough. Going to wait on the firewall until have the motot and tranny in. Also picked up some headlights and a grill.
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            • #7
              Progress is always a good thing! I like the car (and also like the length with running boards) and hopefully the decision you make won't take too long- but don't rush. Good things to think about from Gene and Burnin #2. Looking forward to seeing pics as you move forward!
     1930 Chevy truck build link: