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My 1940 Dodge truck Build

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  • My 1940 Dodge truck Build

    This isn't a pick up.....it's a Rack Bed Dumper. Not sure but maybe 1.5 Ton. I added a picture....

    Trying to get a plan going for this build and since I'm new at Rat Rodding (not new to hot rods & customs) my minds going in a million directions....lol. My first step is to pull the cab off the frame and start cleaning it up, chop it, fix some of the rot that's inside the cab ect. The body is very solid and most of the rust/ rot is inside the cab.... bracing above the windshield, floor ect.

    I'm going to try to sell the dump rack bed, it's all there....hinge, ram, linkage ect. If there's a classified here I'll post it.

    My first question is do I rework the existing frame? Can I get it to lay frame? Or do I drop this on a dakota frame? It has some big split rims on it that I'd love to use.

    I'd love to have any idea's you guys might have.
    Attached Files

  • #2
    That style of Dodge truck was built between 1939 and 1947. I'd say yours was probably a 41 or newer because the headlights are on the crown of the fenders. Earlier truck had the headlights on the panel between the fenders and the grill shell.
    There are a lot of parts available for that era Dodge truck because that was the cab Dodge used on all military trucks from 1939 until around 1967. There are several companies that are repoping parts (though most are not cheap). A couple of parts suppliers that are actual making parts are: www.vintagepowerwagons.com and wwwrobertsmotorparts.com
    There are several builds of these trucks right here on Killbillet. There is a 39 on a Dakota chassis in the 30s truck section, and there are a few 46- 47's on Dakota and S10 frame in the 40s truck section.

    As far as laying frame, any factory frame will need to be modified in order to lay frame, including the current frame under the truck. If your current frame is in good condition, you may as well check into modifying it because you already have it in your possession.
    Where are you located? I have a 49 1/2 ton frame sitting here in north west IL with a nice front axle, springs, and steering I'd let go pretty cheap. Gene

    Comment


    • #3
      Hi Gene,

      Thanks for answering my post and all that info. I was under the impression that only flat fendered trucks were used by the military. There's a picture of my truck in the intro section of the forum. I believe it's 1.5 ton which now has a dump rack on it. I'd like to try and sell that dump rack. I want to build a rat rod similar to the rod I've attached. Since I want an I beam front suspension it might make sense to use what I have. Any idea if the front suspension could be used? I also think the wheels I have are cool as well but I don't know if they would lend themselves to a rod of this style.....
      'm in NJ by the way. Any insight you can offer is much appreciated. I attached one of my rack truck here as well

      Thanks
      Couper
      Attached Files

      Comment


      • #4
        Couper,
        You are correct in that most of the military trucks had flat fenders rather then the big curved ones like your truck has, but a lot of the trucks used early in the war effort were civilian trucks like yours. The flat fenders were cheaper to make and used less material, both of which were good for the war effort. All the military trucks sent to the war by Dodge used the same cab as your truck has, and they used that cab for military trucks until 1967.

        The truck in the picture that you would like to model your after may, or may not be able to lay frame, I can't see what hew is using for springs. I suspect that by the picture the truck has the ability to be raised and lowered by air bags, it has the look of a well planned and built truck. If it is actually sitting at driving height I probably couldn't drive it very much around here, it wouldn't clear the patches they put on the roads. If the condition of the roads in NJ haven't improved since I was last there 40 years ago, you probably couldn't drive it much there either. Low looks cool, but driving something low is a real pain in the butt, been there, done that.

        Under those big fenders on your truck, the front axle (as well as the rear axle) is held in place with parallel leaf springs, that means there is a leaf spring on both sides of the axle, and the axle is sitting about in the middle of the spring. I think I have a picture of a 1/2 ton front axle, your truck has bigger springs and a bigger axle, but will look about the same.
        You can use your axle, but you will need to modify your springs to get the look of the pictured truck.
        Attached Files

        Comment


        • #5
          I built my rat around a 1.5T Chevy frame from the late 40's? Early 50's?....
          I liked it because I KNOW its strong.
          mine is on 4 link from and rear and bagged.
          it will lay the frame to about 1/4" or less and aired up gives me about 5"

          check my build thread... [you gotta go to the end as photo bucket screwed me outta all my early pics, but if have Q's just ask and I can explain/get detailed pics]
          Click image for larger version

Name:	20190526_175638.jpg
Views:	352
Size:	1.11 MB
ID:	724441
          My build thread:
          https://www.killbillet.com/forum/20s...at-is-it/page7

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Gene 2 View Post
            Couper,
            You are correct in that most of the military trucks had flat fenders rather then the big curved ones like your truck has, but a lot of the trucks used early in the war effort were civilian trucks like yours. The flat fenders were cheaper to make and used less material, both of which were good for the war effort. All the military trucks sent to the war by Dodge used the same cab as your truck has, and they used that cab for military trucks until 1967.


            Cool Beans......I didn't know that. Interesting


            The truck in the picture that you would like to model your after may, or may not be able to lay frame, I can't see what hew is using for springs. I suspect that by the picture the truck has the ability to be raised and lowered by air bags, it has the look of a well planned and built truck. If it is actually sitting at driving height I probably couldn't drive it very much around here, it wouldn't clear the patches they put on the roads. If the condition of the roads in NJ haven't improved since I was last there 40 years ago, you probably couldn't drive it much there either. Low looks cool, but driving something low is a real pain in the butt, been there, done that.



            I like that look alot and I guess if it didn't lay frame it would be ok. I hear you on the ride and the roads in NJ. I own a tricked out lowered 98 Dakota that has 1" of travel between the bump stops and I have to drive it very carefully. Although I do like the look of laying frame on the Dakota and other trucks I like the look of wide tires that are flush or slightly stick out of the wheel. The Dakota is staticly lowered with pocketed A Arms / lowering springs and rear spring hangers by Hotchkis. I'll add a picture of the truck and hope it doesn't get me thrown off the forum :o(


            Under those big fenders on your truck, the front axle (as well as the rear axle) is held in place with parallel leaf springs, that means there is a leaf spring on both sides of the axle, and the axle is sitting about in the middle of the spring. I think I have a picture of a 1/2 ton front axle, your truck has bigger springs and a bigger axle, but will look about the same.
            You can use your axle, but you will need to modify your springs to get the look of the pictured truck.

            Yes.... got it. I spent a few hours last night looking at and reading about different front end styles. Seems the best look for fender less is Dropped I Beam with the single perpendicular spring. There are some pretty custom IFS but they are 5k.

            Pic of my dakota, and a pic of another fenderless build I found that I really like alot.

            Thanks for your reply!


            Couper




            Attached Files

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Burnin#2 View Post
              I built my rat around a 1.5T Chevy frame from the late 40's? Early 50's?....
              I liked it because I KNOW its strong.
              mine is on 4 link from and rear and bagged.
              it will lay the frame to about 1/4" or less and aired up gives me about 5"

              check my build thread... [you gotta go to the end as photo bucket screwed me outta all my early pics, but if have Q's just ask and I can explain/get detailed pics]
              Click image for larger version

Name:	20190526_175638.jpg
Views:	352
Size:	1.11 MB
ID:	724441
              Hey there.... Your Rat is awesome! Yah....photobucket is getting ready to dump me as well. I hate to pay that 8 bucks a month but looks like I'm going to have to. I'm gona have some questions but have to get back to work. Hit you later.

              Comment


              • #8
                Gene, I have the 4 bolts out of the cab corners and I took my fenders off. The front grill area seems very solid and I can't seem to find the bolts. I have a manual coming but from CA and won't be here for I guess a week or so. Would you have a diagram of it?

                BTW.....Fenders are off

                Thankss
                Couper
                Last edited by Couper; 11-05-2019, 01:59 PM.

                Comment


                • #9
                  The entire grill assembly and radiator mount are bolted together and need to be removed from the truck before it can be dissembled. If your front fender braces are still there, you might want to unbolt them from the radiator support. you also will want to unbolt the inner fenders that sit below the hood and attach to the radiator support and the truck firewall if they are still present. You need to disconnect both radiator hoses and disconnect any wiring running from the grill/radiator section. Then you need to remove the nuts from the firewall end of the two rods that connect between the radiator and the firewall. There should be two pretty big nuts/bolts located on the bottom of the front crossmember. After you remove those two bolts, the entire radiator support and grill come off in one piece, be ready, its a pretty heavy assembly. On a big truck, you might want a cherry picker to lift the radiator support off the frame. Yea, its that heavy.

                  Once the assembly is off the frame, there are 3 (I think) bolts on each side holding the radiator to the support & grill assembly. Once the radiator is out of the way, you should be able to see the bolts that hold the radiator support and the entire grill together and remove the radiator support. If the chrome grill piece (or maybe its painted on your truck) that covers the seam between the bottom and top grill sections is still there, you will need to remove the bolts that hold it in place. The are are 6 (or 8) bolts that come up from the bottom of the grill assembly that attach the bottom section and the upper section of the grill together. If you are lucky, they will unbolt rather then break off.
                  I think there are pictures of some of this stuff in the 30s truck section, look at the "39 Dodge on a Dakota chassis" posting.

                  Just for fun, I'm posting a few pictures of my 39 Dodge pickup. Gene

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Gene, Thank you for all the detail......that's super! Love your truck. I didn't think the dakota a-arms for look good fenderless but from what I can see it looks great! Do you have any pictures that show a closer look at the a-arms as they stuck out from under the hood skirts?

                    Oh.....one more question. Is that a different grill shell or did you weld 2 tops together?

                    Thanks again for taking the time
                    Couper
                    Last edited by Couper; 11-06-2019, 06:26 AM.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Gene 2 View Post
                      The entire grill assembly and radiator mount are bolted together and need to be removed from the truck before it can be dissembled. If your front fender braces are still there, you might want to unbolt them from the radiator support. you also will want to unbolt the inner fenders that sit below the hood and attach to the radiator support and the truck firewall if they are still present. You need to disconnect both radiator hoses and disconnect any wiring running from the grill/radiator section. Then you need to remove the nuts from the firewall end of the two rods that connect between the radiator and the firewall. There should be two pretty big nuts/bolts located on the bottom of the front crossmember. After you remove those two bolts, the entire radiator support and grill come off in one piece, be ready, its a pretty heavy assembly. On a big truck, you might want a cherry picker to lift the radiator support off the frame. Yea, its that heavy.

                      Once the assembly is off the frame, there are 3 (I think) bolts on each side holding the radiator to the support & grill assembly. Once the radiator is out of the way, you should be able to see the bolts that hold the radiator support and the entire grill together and remove the radiator support. If the chrome grill piece (or maybe its painted on your truck) that covers the seam between the bottom and top grill sections is still there, you will need to remove the bolts that hold it in place. The are are 6 (or 8) bolts that come up from the bottom of the grill assembly that attach the bottom section and the upper section of the grill together. If you are lucky, they will unbolt rather then break off.
                      I think there are pictures of some of this stuff in the 30s truck section, look at the "39 Dodge on a Dakota chassis" posting.

                      Just for fun, I'm posting a few pictures of my 39 Dodge pickup. Gene

                      Great instructions! Perfect all done except lifting it off. Thank you.

                      Any idea what the cab weighs?

                      Couper

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Couper,
                        Gene and Gene 2 are the same guy. Gene is my original username here.

                        I would guess the cab weighs somewhere around 800 lbs. If all the glass is still in it, that may add another 100 lbs or so.

                        I have a 4" x 6" wood beam with a hole in the center. On my cherry picker, I have a stud welded on top of the lift arm at its end (just above the hook chain) that the wood beam sits on. I usually open the cab doors, stick the wood beam through the door opening (the wood needs to be as close to the windshield as possible for front to rear balance) and I use the cherry picker to lift the cab off the frame, just high enough to clear the frame (if the shifter handle is still on the truck trans, pull the shifter handle, and anything else that would increase how high the cab will have to be lifted to clear). The cherry picker tends to tilt the cab quite a bit (OK, maybe a lot) in both the highest and the lowest position, but it does work for me. I can move the cab on the cherry picker by myself on my cement driveway, but its probably better to have help. Be careful here, if things go south, get out of the way. Its easier to fix a damaged cab then it is to fix a damaged person.

                        You want to be sure you don't have to lift the cab any higher then you need to, the cherry picker gets pretty tipsy with that much weight up that high. As soon as you clear the frame, lower the cab to a more easily managed level. You will also need something to set the cab on when you get it off the frame (I use (4) 8" cinder blocks) because the cab won't sit down on the cherry picker legs, and it won't sit down on the ground. Gene

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Gene View Post
                          Couper,
                          Gene and Gene 2 are the same guy. Gene is my original username here.

                          I would guess the cab weighs somewhere around 800 lbs. If all the glass is still in it, that may add another 100 lbs or so.

                          I have a 4" x 6" wood beam with a hole in the center. On my cherry picker, I have a stud welded on top of the lift arm at its end (just above the hook chain) that the wood beam sits on. I usually open the cab doors, stick the wood beam through the door opening (the wood needs to be as close to the windshield as possible for front to rear balance) and I use the cherry picker to lift the cab off the frame, just high enough to clear the frame (if the shifter handle is still on the truck trans, pull the shifter handle, and anything else that would increase how high the cab will have to be lifted to clear). The cherry picker tends to tilt the cab quite a bit (OK, maybe a lot) in both the highest and the lowest position, but it does work for me. I can move the cab on the cherry picker by myself on my cement driveway, but its probably better to have help. Be careful here, if things go south, get out of the way. Its easier to fix a damaged cab then it is to fix a damaged person.

                          You want to be sure you don't have to lift the cab any higher then you need to, the cherry picker gets pretty tipsy with that much weight up that high. As soon as you clear the frame, lower the cab to a more easily managed level. You will also need something to set the cab on when you get it off the frame (I use (4) 8" cinder blocks) because the cab won't sit down on the cherry picker legs, and it won't sit down on the ground. Gene

                          Hey Gene... Yes I did see the post where you had to register again and went to Gene 2.

                          Thanks for that info.....good stuff. When you say cherry picker, is it like a larger version of an engine hoist?

                          Me and my son got the grill / radiator assy off tonight.

                          I'll let you know how the cab removal goes.

                          Thanks again
                          Couper​​​​​​

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Yep, cherry picker = an engine hoist. In the down position mine stands about 5' high and the legs are about 3' wide. Gene

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Gene View Post
                              Yep, cherry picker = an engine hoist. In the down position mine stands about 5' high and the legs are about 3' wide. Gene
                              Huh.....my kid has one but I don't think it goes that high. Maybe if I put it in the bed of one of the kids beater pick up trucks

                              Comment

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