Dodge WC-21 Restoration Project

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wc56daveyboy
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Re: Dodge WC-21 Restoration Project

Post by wc56daveyboy » Tue Jul 31, 2018 4:50 am

Good morning. I'll be watching your posts and progress as you go along!

Now. I want to comment on your latest photos..

I see a VERY worn spring hanger /shackle in the last set of pics. It appears as if the shackle itself is completely worn away from the mount. Maybe just the pin is gone, not sure, but that cast mount is rusted away.
Now that's going to require immediate attention
To be safe to drive.

You will need a donor frame here is my guess, perhaps just for that mount or maybe a replacement frame altogether.

Not saying this to discourage in any way. I'm saying this because of the suggested approach just remove a bit here and replace as you go vs the complete tear down and rebuild from ground up approach. Though I have myself done this approach in the past, it wa just to keep something running until
I got around to a full rebuild.

In the case of the "repair and replace" approach that's great for a solid, running and driving truck. Or a cosmetic restoration.

In the case of this truck, it looks like you may need to tear this down to at least the frame and running gear and address those frame / spring hanger issues.

I have restored a number of trucks over the years and found that tearing down to the frame and running gear and building up works best.

You can address each issue and actually see all areas this way. You also have full access ability to each part for repair.

Full sandblast of everything to see where the frame issues might be (I.e. Rust thru sections)

I know this may seem like a large project to do this way, but by cataloging your pieces and keeping large assemblies intact it isn't so bad as you may think. Is this your first attempt at a restoration like this?

Personally I think the 1/2 tons are easier to restore than a jeep in a lot of ways. So if this is your first restoration, it's a good choice in my opinion .

Especially for a big guy like me trying to get into tight places, the dodges have much more room to get under the dash for instance then a jeep.
I think they are much more straight forward and simple as well.yea, larger heavier assemblies but not tight and compact as a jeep either.

I don't know what your level or skill is, your budget (it will get costly) your final intentional use of the truck ( just running around off road at low speed or a road worthy driver) and your accessibility to tools, welding equipment, sand blasting, lifting tools and jacks, etc.

Take a look at past restorations (mine is on this site) as well as ongoing restorations, like Oz and Zephs trucks to see what work you have to do.

Please understand I'm not trying to discourage you in the least!! I applaud I buying and saving these trucks!

I'm just offering MY opinion on what I see and MY opinion on how to successfully complete a truck restoration where you'll be happy with the final project later!!

Remember. All of us are here to help!

Ghostrider5211
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Re: Dodge WC-21 Restoration Project

Post by Ghostrider5211 » Tue Jul 31, 2018 10:03 am

Hi wc56daveyboy,

You are correct in the worn spring shackle. It's totally shot. It's gone. It's completely destroyed. Knew that when it was purchased.

I'm hoping to just use a donor frame for that part only... I would hate to reframe the whole thing. A complete frame off restoration will be required for this vehicle to get it where it needs to be, HOWEVER, I think I'm going to approach this in a hybrid method. I will need to tear this thing down all the way to the ground to assess and make repairs as needed. The overall condition of the truck demands it.

This isn't my first rodeo with a frame off resto. My dad and I did a 1943 Ford GPW and completed it last year, and we are in the middle now of a 1942 WC-55. Just about finished blasting the frame, actually.

As a young father, I'm not expecting this to be done in a timely manner, especially since dad's workshop is currently backlogged with the WC-55 and the other WC-21. I just had enough space in my garage to take the parts truck and as I've been going through it, I just feel like I wanna give this thing a good chance. It IS still a WC-21 with its own story. With the other truck more than likely remaining in its US Army livery, I want to realize my dream of making a US Navy tribute MV. And instead of picking this one totally clean and casting away the rest, my inner collector/restorer says... what if? What if I took this particular truck under my care and started taking initiative and restoring each piece, slowly, one bit at a time. I do not have much room here, and I do have access to blasting and welding, but not at my house. I've got sources though, made through the WC-55 project and the jeep project. This is me purely wanting to save something that has potential. Who knows, maybe it is scrap. But I just wanna give it a fighting chance.

As my room, my time, and my money are so limited, I will be doing the cheapest thing first... tearing the bubba junk out and tearing the thing down. Then, I will take simple easy bits into the basement and learn what they are, how they work, and restore that part. Then, I will move to the next thing. By the time we are finished restoring the -55 and the other -21, maybe I'll have so much work done in this -21 that maybe my dad will be impressed enough to keep it.

I have no idea how to weld, but I'm gonna learn... I have friends who are welders standing by. I work for a grating company, and I have access to their big walk in sandblast cabinet.

Don't worry. I know what I'm getting into here. I'm just trying to give the "loaner" a chance. And a chance to prove to myself I've learned a thing or two about working on MVs.
1941 WC-6
1941 WC-21
1942 WC-21
1942 WC-55/52
1943 Ford GPW
1944 WC-51
1952 M37

RIP Adam R. Lang 10/2/87 - 9/8/16

wc56daveyboy
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Re: Dodge WC-21 Restoration Project

Post by wc56daveyboy » Tue Jul 31, 2018 10:36 am

Fantastic ! Now i understand your situation and plans.

Bravo to try and save it rather than "pick the bones clean" and discard the carcess!

Having that sandblasting available to u is immeasurable in my opinion.
Wish I had that option!
I can weld, I learned on my own. Sometimes the welds are rough and require second and third passes, other times I amaze myself at the bead!
You can learn this skill easy enough.
I say go for it.

Well I'm glad to hear your plans and I once again offer any advice I can having been there

Ghostrider5211
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Re: Dodge WC-21 Restoration Project

Post by Ghostrider5211 » Tue Jul 31, 2018 6:45 pm

I rolled right out of my car when I got home today and straight into the garage... teardown has begun! I gave everything a good once over and decided the first thing to do was take out everything that doesn't belong... and to me, the most glaring items in question were that speedometer and that weird finned box below the glovebox.

Oh no...no bubba... NO!!! :evil: :shock:
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The seats weren't attached to anything in anyway except by baler string. Cut the baler string and the seats came out. Easy enough.
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That nasty old completely wrong speedometer was hanging on by one small threaded screw, and this is the hole they cut to put it in. Great.
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Bubba got a heater and drilled two un-necessary holes in the firewall to mount it. Two large nuts loosened and it came right out.
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This is how the fab cab is connected to the original cab, essentially. It is bolted together in some areas, and in others, it's welded like this. There is an L-angle piece of channel that extends over the flange of the original cab. You can feel the rolled edge underneath with your fingertips. This may be tricky to undo, but if I can just cut the weld, it may come off that simply.
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Lots of olive drab under that red paint. I applied paint stripper and let it sit 15-30 minutes before taking a plastic putty knife to it as gently as I could. I see traces of blue drab, but nothing readable.
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There's an example of the blue drab just barely hanging on. I'm not sure if I'm doing this right...

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My loot! An Arvin heater, a speedometer with no manufacturer's name on it, and the original light switch in *very* good condition. Still smartly clicks through all positions! Came out easily. I have it in my basement and will be doing an overview of it on my Youtube channel soon, once my camera and lighting equipment arrives from Amazon.



I'm pleased with the progress today. I'm sad to see the damage done, but I've been reading Zephyr's Carryall restoration posts, and ya know what, if he can do a restoration THAT hard, then I believe that I CAN pull this off! We'll fix it together!
Attachments
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1941 WC-6
1941 WC-21
1942 WC-21
1942 WC-55/52
1943 Ford GPW
1944 WC-51
1952 M37

RIP Adam R. Lang 10/2/87 - 9/8/16

Ghostrider5211
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Re: Dodge WC-21 Restoration Project

Post by Ghostrider5211 » Wed Aug 01, 2018 8:01 pm

After reading through some of 17thAirborne's WC12 restoration thread, I realized I might be going about the hood number recovery all wrong. I had been approaching the hood with paint stripper and a plastic putty knife, getting no results.

I had my wife pick up some 325 grit sandpaper at the store, and it was waiting on the hood when I got home from work. I set to work right away.

I think the results speak for themselves. Allow me to re-introduce Dodge WC-21, Hood number W-236412!

My thumbs are blistered. Enough for one evening.
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1941 WC-6
1941 WC-21
1942 WC-21
1942 WC-55/52
1943 Ford GPW
1944 WC-51
1952 M37

RIP Adam R. Lang 10/2/87 - 9/8/16


70th Division
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Re: Dodge WC-21 Restoration Project

Post by 70th Division » Thu Aug 02, 2018 9:44 am

Hello,

Great discovery and recovery !!!

You should have a star on that hood as well :D :D :D

Keep us posted,

Best Regards,

Ray

wc56daveyboy
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Re: Dodge WC-21 Restoration Project

Post by wc56daveyboy » Thu Aug 02, 2018 4:21 pm

Very cool!

Ghostrider5211
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Re: Dodge WC-21 Restoration Project

Post by Ghostrider5211 » Thu Aug 02, 2018 7:49 pm

Objective for the night completed. Get the gauges out of the dash.

I also found the body tag and sanded off the paint covering it. 4190-20162. I find two things odd. First, with only 14000 or so WC-21s built, how can the body be the 20,162nd off the line? Second, I thought it would be a 4166 or 4176 body tag, referring to transverse seats present or not present. But instead, it has flat faced cowl with bucket seats... I think that it's saying that it this truck has two bucket seats for the driver and passenger, not a bench seat. Is this correct?
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1941 WC-6
1941 WC-21
1942 WC-21
1942 WC-55/52
1943 Ford GPW
1944 WC-51
1952 M37

RIP Adam R. Lang 10/2/87 - 9/8/16

Ghostrider5211
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Re: Dodge WC-21 Restoration Project

Post by Ghostrider5211 » Fri Aug 03, 2018 7:46 pm

Little warm tonight but that didn't stop me.
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found this tag attached to the bed. It says "Delivery Date 11-4-41". Now I am not sure if that's for the bed only, or if it's for the whole truck. But I don't think the truck can be any older than that date.
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Dash is cleaned out of all the remaining add on clutter, chocke and throttle cables, and about 3 or 4 switches for which I have no idea why they were there.
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Main electrical bus is disconnected from the firewall now.
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I was successful in removing the driver's side fender. It's easier when bubba forgets half the bolts. The fender looks intact but there are some spots where it's roached. I set it aside. I removed the headlight too. It has some condition problems as well. Hope they're both salvageable.
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By the end of the night I managed to get the fender sidewall off as well, and again, bubba forgot to put all the bolts in, as it was held on the truck by one bolt. I got my first up close view of the frame. So far, it looks good and not bent, cracked, or rusted through anywhere.
1941 WC-6
1941 WC-21
1942 WC-21
1942 WC-55/52
1943 Ford GPW
1944 WC-51
1952 M37

RIP Adam R. Lang 10/2/87 - 9/8/16

wc56daveyboy
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Re: Dodge WC-21 Restoration Project

Post by wc56daveyboy » Sat Aug 04, 2018 5:04 am

This stuff is so addictive is it not?

I see the drop light meaning burning the midnight oil I see!

So good news on the frame condition
Maybe a donor spring hanger replacement will do it for u!

Yea that tag on the bed is for the bed delivery only. The beds were made but another comapany and delivered to the factory for install on the trucks. So they have there own "birth date"

peterh13
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Re: Dodge WC-21 Restoration Project

Post by peterh13 » Mon Aug 06, 2018 1:25 pm

What a great truck. I have a couple of jeeps but my dream vehicle is a Dodge Command Car. Not too many around in Australia where I live.
GPW Ford Jeep.
MB Willys Jeep.

Ghostrider5211
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Re: Dodge WC-21 Restoration Project

Post by Ghostrider5211 » Tue Aug 07, 2018 7:26 pm

Well, give a man a 17 dollar grinder and a borrowed circular saw, and stuff happens!

It may seem a little ridiculous to move from one thing to the next haphazardly, but I figured if anything was gonna be next, it had to be the removal of the fabricated cab. I don't have the room and organization, let alone the tools, to do an engine lift... I'll leave the front end alone for now. With cab removed, I would be able to access things so much easier and get the *actual* cab ready for lifting off of the frame. 8)

It took two evenings, one pretty bad cut on my arm, a lot of sparks, and cussing... :?

BUT BABY, THE FAB CAB IS GONE!!!
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Assessing the situation. Most of the cab was held in place by long welds or simple, careless blobs.

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Grinding away. I used the circular saw for large areas and the little grinder with a diamond blade for smaller cuts and breaking the horrible welding jobs keeping the door frames secured to the original cab flange.

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Nasty business.


Monday night ended with a large hole cut in the roof... and that was it. I thought I could get the back loose, but it had a long weld holding it to the door frames... so tonight, that's what I targeted.

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After today's work. The cab is no more. She looks like a WC-21 open cab once again!

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I like it!

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The floor pan is really not in bad shape, but it has some rust problems. One issue at a time. I'm pleased with its condition. There's some rough welding jobs holding the front braces together. Not gonna worry about that right now.

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The worst damage to the body flange is right here, passenger side. This was present before I started cutting the weld and I did no further damage to it because of my cutting. I was good at this whole grinder business by this point. Besides filling some un-necessary holes, this is all the repair work that needs done on the cab flange.

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Ok, this is what I DON'T know what to do with. This appears to be the original curved top piece of the windshield. It's in bad, BAD shape. It has the hood steel welded to the top of it in the worst way. I'd like to try and take it off the top of the windshield but it appears to me that it won't come off... there's two bolts that appear to be stopping it from lifting off... one bolt is busted off, and the other is rusted completely tight and WILL break if I try to turn it. Is it worth trying to save this piece?


I got the front end of the bed off as well to access the screws holding the back of the cab on. It's in average shape down to near the bottom, which has completely rotted away and there's some nice riveted steel haphazardly stuck on there. I'll get pics later. Another mini job for the winter.

It looks like a WC-21 again tonight. I'm very, very happy!
1941 WC-6
1941 WC-21
1942 WC-21
1942 WC-55/52
1943 Ford GPW
1944 WC-51
1952 M37

RIP Adam R. Lang 10/2/87 - 9/8/16

Ghostrider5211
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Re: Dodge WC-21 Restoration Project

Post by Ghostrider5211 » Wed Aug 08, 2018 7:54 pm

More teardown. This is hard doing by myself, but it's working out.

The frame is looking promising so far, and the first crossmember looks good. So far, we're okay. I have no help for the forseeable future so I'm going to focus on taking bits off the engine, finish gutting the wires out of the cab, and prepare both engine and cab for extraction, then start on the bed, where I am praying at least the frame will be okay, except for the one spot.
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1941 WC-6
1941 WC-21
1942 WC-21
1942 WC-55/52
1943 Ford GPW
1944 WC-51
1952 M37

RIP Adam R. Lang 10/2/87 - 9/8/16

brian in denver
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Re: Dodge WC-21 Restoration Project

Post by brian in denver » Thu Aug 09, 2018 9:28 am

WOW, good job on the hood numbers. scrolled through twice didnt see a frame number mentioned. did you give those to wolbolt for the list ?
have you sent for your build cards ?

BB
keeping it strac here boss
I hate aquaphobic horses ;)

Ghostrider5211
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Re: Dodge WC-21 Restoration Project

Post by Ghostrider5211 » Tue Aug 21, 2018 7:46 pm

I've been down the last few days with some sort of stomach flu... finally kicked it. Back to work.


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Got the windshield assembly off. Total bear.
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Not sure if this is supposed to be two pieces. But this floor board is off as well.
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Stripped the handbrake lever, 2x and 4x4 selector lever, and the top of the transmission off today. This will keep things that will hang up the cab during its removal to a minimum.
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Nice in there! Gear oil in the bottom too! I'll take what I can get! Probably will put new bearings in if needed and new seals, otherwise, good to go!
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Looks good here too!
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Stupid push button for the horn is gone and so is the bracket. I intend to separate the steering column from the steering box. This way, I can remove the wheel, shaft, and all that in one go. The steering wheel won't come off. The nut is frozen to the threads.
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Brackets.
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I removed one of the two smaller data plates off the dashboard. I'm working on the other one still attached. Need to decypher what it says.

Still waiting on my build cards.

I wanted to remove the pedals but I will have better access to them once the cab is removed. They aren't really impeding it that much.
1941 WC-6
1941 WC-21
1942 WC-21
1942 WC-55/52
1943 Ford GPW
1944 WC-51
1952 M37

RIP Adam R. Lang 10/2/87 - 9/8/16

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