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Old 02-22-2021, 05:21 AM   #1
DubSpangle
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1946 Dodge Truck Rebuild

I finally decided to rebuild my 1946 Dodge truck from the ground up. My father originally built the truck in the 80s and drove it 200 miles round trip to work everyday. I eventually was driving it to high school before I blew the Buick 318 engine.

After trying to figure out how to rebuild it to daily driver reliability without spending a huge amount of money, I decided the best course of action would be to take a donor vehicle and remove the body and place the body of my 46 on the chassis.

I want it to be all Mopar, so I made a list of donor vehicles that I thought would be compatible. As it turns out, a coworker of mine had one of these vehicles.

Meet my donor vehicle:
1999 Dodge Ram 1500 single cab short bed. It is equipped with a 3.9 Magnum V6 engine and 2x4 4 speed 42RE transmission. The vehicle has only 128,xxx miles! It runs and drives, but needs some minor work to be road worthy.

I will try to update as much as possible as I go through this endeavor.
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File Type: jpg 20210213_120905 (5).jpg (51.0 KB, 1 views)

Last edited by DubSpangle; 02-22-2021 at 09:20 AM.
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Old 02-22-2021, 09:31 AM   #2
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Re: 1946 Dodge Truck Rebuild

The bed on my truck is from a 1948 Dodge, and I had to completely remove the floor because it was the original floor and was falling apart. I'm wondering if I could cut the sides off of the Ram bed and weld the side of my 48 bed on there. That way, I wouldn't have to worry about fabricating mounts or spend the money to rebuild the bed floor. I know the bed of the 48 is about a foot longer than the ram bed, so I would have to do a little floor fabrication.


Also, it seems my 46 has a track width about 8 inches narrower than the Ram, so I'll have to use 1 ton finders for the tires to clear.
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Old 02-24-2021, 07:34 AM   #3
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Re: 1946 Dodge Truck Rebuild

My 46 is buried in my garage, hopefully I'll have it out soon to take pictures.

In the mean time, I've been having to repair the Ram. The catalytic converter was hacked out and the fuel tank was punctured while at the previous owner's house.

I'm going to weld a y pipe where the catalytic converter was, and I'm planning on keeping the stock computer setup so I'll have to modify the exhaust in order to install a new upstream o2 sensor. I will use the good ol' non-fowler trick for the downstream o2 sensor.

I did get the bed off of the Ram after the winter storm we had.
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Last edited by DubSpangle; 02-24-2021 at 07:40 AM. Reason: Added pictures
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Old 02-25-2021, 03:49 PM   #4
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Re: 1946 Dodge Truck Rebuild

OK, I hope someone can help me out. I noticed the floor is rusted through in some spots and it is not strong enough for the seats I want to put in (Silverado/Tahoe with built in seatbelts). I called the local customs shop and was quoted $2,500 to fabricate a new floor and body mounts. I cannot afford that right now so I am thinking of a new plan:
cut the cab off of the Ram but leave the floor attached to the frame and just weld the cab of my 46 to it.

Has anyone done this? If so, please give me advise.
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Old 02-26-2021, 06:53 AM   #5
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Re: 1946 Dodge Truck Rebuild

So here are some pictures of the truck. A couple of years ago I decided to sand down the body and prep it for paint, but only got through the front fenders.
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File Type: jpg 20210226_065231.jpg (277.9 KB, 2 views)
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Old 02-28-2021, 08:03 AM   #6
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Re: 1946 Dodge Truck Rebuild

I got the 1946 to start and run last night. I'm going to try to drive it out of the garage today and park it beside the Ram to get a good look at how the body will line up on the chassis.

Years ago I decided to replace the engine (Buick 318) in it and a few other things. I got it running but the fuel tank was so rusted it kept clogging the fuel filter. I pulled the fuel tank and cleaned it out and was going to use some Red-Kote to seal it, but after noticing how much work I would have to do to salvage it, I decided to start from the ground up and make it all Mopar again.

I haven't decided what I'm going to do with this chassis after I take the body off. I know my father would like to hang on to it since it has a lot of sentimental value but neither of us have room to store a chassis. I'm toying with the idea of maybe donating it to someone who wants to rebuild their old truck.

In the meantime, here is a picture of my temporary fuel set up:
"Come with meeee, and you'll beeee in a world of OSHA violations..."
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Old 03-01-2021, 10:33 AM   #7
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Re: 1946 Dodge Truck Rebuild

Here are some pictures of the 46 beside the 99. Everything lines up pretty good.
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File Type: jpg 20210228_161810.jpg (190.5 KB, 3 views)
File Type: jpg 20210228_161907.jpg (153.9 KB, 2 views)
File Type: jpg 20210228_161647.jpg (210.7 KB, 2 views)
File Type: jpg 20210228_161538.jpg (277.8 KB, 2 views)
File Type: jpg 20210228_161427.jpg (255.7 KB, 2 views)
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Old 03-16-2021, 06:28 PM   #8
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Re: 1946 Dodge Truck Rebuild

Alright, I've been taking my time getting the Ram running better and I think I've reached that point. There are a few things I will have to do in the near future like motor mounts and power steering gear box, but it is something I can do after the body transplant.

Since it is going to be storming the next two days and I'm doing this outside, I'm going to focus on getting the dash removed. After that it's the seats and make sure I have all electrical wires and connectors out of the truck and everything detached from the firewall, then I'm going to start cutting the cab off...
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Old 03-16-2021, 10:35 PM   #9
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Re: 1946 Dodge Truck Rebuild

Quote:
Originally Posted by DubSpangle View Post
OK, I hope someone can help me out. I noticed the floor is rusted through in some spots and it is not strong enough for the seats I want to put in (Silverado/Tahoe with built in seatbelts). I called the local customs shop and was quoted $2,500 to fabricate a new floor and body mounts. I cannot afford that right now so I am thinking of a new plan:
cut the cab off of the Ram but leave the floor attached to the frame and just weld the cab of my 46 to it.

Has anyone done this? If so, please give me advise.
Dub, nothing against the cut and weld, but many fab shops might have a couple of square aluminum plates in their scrap that could be bolted or welded to "shore" up and stiffen where you want the GM seats.. i bought two- 1/8" squares for under $60 in colorado, and it held the 7-power Acura seats in a 73 Chevy 1-ton van..
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Old 03-16-2021, 10:41 PM   #10
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Re: 1946 Dodge Truck Rebuild

Quote:
Originally Posted by DubSpangle View Post
I got the 1946 to start and run last night. I'm going to try to drive it out of the garage today and park it beside the Ram to get a good look at how the body will line up on the chassis.

Years ago I decided to replace the engine (Buick 318) in it and a few other things. I got it running but the fuel tank was so rusted it kept clogging the fuel filter. I pulled the fuel tank and cleaned it out and was going to use some Red-Kote to seal it, but after noticing how much work I would have to do to salvage it, I decided to start from the ground up and make it all Mopar again.

I haven't decided what I'm going to do with this chassis after I take the body off. I know my father would like to hang on to it since it has a lot of sentimental value but neither of us have room to store a chassis. I'm toying with the idea of maybe donating it to someone who wants to rebuild their old truck.

In the meantime, here is a picture of my temporary fuel set up:
"Come with meeee, and you'll beeee in a world of OSHA violations..."
hang the chassis as art work on the back of your shop.. it's not like it will rust, or someone will steal it, haha..
and i love that song.. i'm WAY out in colorado, so "...and i try, and i try..
..i can't get no, OSHA-actions.. i can't get me no.."
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Old 03-19-2021, 09:39 PM   #11
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Re: 1946 Dodge Truck Rebuild

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Originally Posted by ctesla View Post
Dub, nothing against the cut and weld, but many fab shops might have a couple of square aluminum plates in their scrap that could be bolted or welded to "shore" up and stiffen where you want the GM seats.. i bought two- 1/8" squares for under $60 in colorado, and it held the 7-power Acura seats in a 73 Chevy 1-ton van..

The floor is not salvageable and I have to cut the center to build a tunnel for the transmission anyway, so it would be a lot less work to "cut and paste" the cab.
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Old 03-19-2021, 09:43 PM   #12
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Re: 1946 Dodge Truck Rebuild

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Originally Posted by ctesla View Post
hang the chassis as art work on the back of your shop.. it's not like it will rust, or someone will steal it, haha..
and i love that song.. i'm WAY out in colorado, so "...and i try, and i try..
..i can't get no, OSHA-actions.. i can't get me no.."
Unfortunately I do not even have a shop. I have a 1.5 car garage that my wife has claimed. Best I could do is rent a parking space for it at the local storage facility.
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Old 03-19-2021, 09:47 PM   #13
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Re: 1946 Dodge Truck Rebuild

I did manage to pull the dash out of the Ram in preparation for the cutting of the cab. I also amputated the right front fender...
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Old 03-25-2021, 07:39 PM   #14
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Re: 1946 Dodge Truck Rebuild

OK so I've got a lot done with putting my 1946 Dodge truck on a Ram chassis.

I've cut the Ram cab off leaving the floor attached to the frame. I did this because the floor of the 46 is not in good enough shape to safely support bucket seats with built in seat belts.

I've removed the cab of the 46 from its chassis and set it on the floor of the Ram to see what fabrication I need to do. I found out 2 things:

1. I have to cut out a lot of the transmission tunnel on the Ram, so I'm just cutting the whole thing out and fabricating a new tunnel.

2. The floor of the Ram near the back I raised, so I have to cut the floor to allow the cab of the 46 to sit level.
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File Type: jpg 20210325_192155.jpg (163.1 KB, 3 views)
File Type: jpg 20210325_192232.jpg (181.1 KB, 2 views)
File Type: jpg 20210325_192334.jpg (171.6 KB, 2 views)
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File Type: jpg 20210325_192449.jpg (262.3 KB, 4 views)
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Old 03-25-2021, 08:46 PM   #15
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Re: 1946 Dodge Truck Rebuild

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Originally Posted by DubSpangle View Post
Unfortunately I do not even have a shop. I have a 1.5 car garage that my wife has claimed. Best I could do is rent a parking space for it at the local storage facility.
just noticed you've been adding on...
i DEFINITELY feel your pain about the garage being claimed..
i'm looking to move; just so their is an attached garage, AND a detached garage for shop space.. tired of laying in snow and ice; or shuttling cars and then running the propane for 2 hours to bring it above freezing..
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