Dodge lorry rebuild Dodge truck restoration

Time to de-rust the chassis now that the axles and bodywork have been removed.

Restoration Part 7. Click here to return to the main Dodge lorry restoration page. Part of Contact page.

June 2007.
Previous installments have shown the body panels and running gear being removed from the Dodge, leaving the bare chassis and body frame sat on axle stands.

While the engine was being dismantled during June, time was also spent attending to the filthy, but rock solid, separate chassis that all old proper lorries have beneath them. The rear body frame, as built by Mulliners, will be cleaned up later, but in June it was the chassis that received the clean-up and de-greasing work. With the axles and engine/box out of the way, it makes cleaning up the chassis a whole lot easier (if no less messy!).
Dirty chassis With the outer panelwork removed, this is what was left. The body frame, including the curved arch section visible here, will be attended to afterwards. For now it is the substantial chassis that will be cleaned up. Seen here is the offside rear chassis area.
Rusty chassis In places the chassis is just dirty with very little corrosion. In other places the corrosion is slightly more advanced which will leave a slightly pock-marked surface. Shown here is one of the front body mounting brackets fitted to the chassis, with some rather basic looking mounting blocks in place.
Front chassis members The quality of the steel used in this 67 year old American lorry chassis is top notch as can be seen in this photo of the front chassis members. Here they have been cleaned back and work started on de-greasing them prior to paint.
Rear chassis now cleaned up The same corner of chassis as shown in the first photograph, where the rear axle is normally situated. Note how much deeper the chassis members are forward of the back axle.
Side chassis member A closer look at the stripped offside chassis member, forward of the back axle. The sturdy nature of commercial vehicle chassis' usually means that little more than a comprehensive clean-up is required prior to a coat of chassis black being applied. The scale of the chassis on this 26' long vehicle means that this is still not a quick job.
Cross bracing A higher up view of the part-cleaned chassis showing the substantial cross-bracing that gives the chassis its strength. If the floorboards had been left in place, none of this would have been accessible.
Spring shackle mounting Close up of the offside front spring shackle mounting, all cleaned up and ready for paint. New shackle bushings will need to be made up before the axle is re-fitted - still quite a long way off!
Return to the Dodge lorry restoration page for more info on this rebuild.
Previous Page: Part 6 - Repairing the water-damaged cylinder head.
Next Page: Part 8 - Dismantling both axles.
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