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  #1  
Old 12-17-2009, 04:46 PM
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wendle wendle is offline
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Default 1949 Dodge PilotHouse Ute from Australia.

Hi,
I need somewhere to document the building of my car and you guys seem like a nice bunch of blokes, so this will do.

I bought this truck from the second owner. Both owners drove the wheels off it travelling all over Australia, the first carrying beehives, the second carting hay. Somewhere back in the 50's or 60's it had the chassis extended and beefed up to carry more load. It was parked in a shed in 1986, and apart from moving a couple metres down the road into another shed at some stage, sat untill I bought it this year.

This is the shed it was in when I first saw it:



So I bought it and went back home (the truck was about 400km from my home town) and made some plans about how to build it up.

My vehicle building experience is limited to building rock crawling buggies, I have built about 4 of them, and scratch-building linked suspensions for road-going cars. This will be my first build of this nature.

Here is my current buggy that I built last year, Unimog portal axles, rear steer, etc:



The Dodge is built first and foremost as a driver for my girl, so it needed a more modern driveline, more power, better brakes, etc. Seeing as the original chassis was altered beyond belief, I chose to get a donor vehicle for chassis and drivetrain.
I picked up a 1977 Holden HX trayback with LPG (propane) powered 308ci V8, Turbo 400 auto and Salisbury (similar to a 10-bolt) rear end. These cars have leaf sprung rears and a pretty good coil sprung independent front end with disc brakes.

The one I picked up is very simlar to this one, I don't have any photos of mine yet:

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Old 12-17-2009, 04:54 PM
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The wheels were in motion so I needed to get the truck home. It was literally too big to get up my driveway, so I rented some yard space for a month and set about dismantling the thing to take away what I wanted. The old engine, gearbox and the chassis either side of the modified part were kept by my friend, who found the truck, for another future project.







Took away the front end bodywork first, ran it through a car wash and dropped it off at home.




Free plug for my business in this photo, I am a cabinetmaker by trade:

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Old 12-17-2009, 04:58 PM
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This was kind of devastating to me, but I cut the chassis behind the cab so we could slide the cab off the back and onto a trailer.





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Old 12-17-2009, 05:01 PM
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Fridge full of cold beer for the helpers



I can't believe I just cut a 60 year old truck in half for the sake of convenience

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Old 12-17-2009, 05:15 PM
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The inside of this truck was disgusting. Next stage in the project was disinfecting it.
When I first pulled what was left of the seat cushion out the floor was piled up with mouse/rat **** and chaff and bits of rope and string made into nests to the top of that seat frame.






Also found 4 of these mummified rats in there, and later on when I cut the bottoms out of the doors to repair the rust there was one inside one of the doors.



I also liberated about 20 live mice. They got to have a nice 400km road trip first at least


I keep getting errors saying I have more than the maximum 5 images in my posts when I only have 3 or 4?
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Old 12-17-2009, 05:20 PM
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Quick clean up on the way home.





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Old 12-17-2009, 05:23 PM
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The inevitable "Here we go again, why do I keep creating so much work for myself?" moment.



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Old 12-17-2009, 05:24 PM
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Love the pix of the dead rat. Kinda fits rat in wouldnt ya say?

Keep the pix coming. Enjoying this alot.
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Old 12-17-2009, 05:34 PM
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Moving forward, rust cut out of inner fenderwell cab corners, used 2mm plate on the bottom and folded it under the cab mounts, they seemed a bit flimsy in stock form.





Rust repair at rear of cab and channel widened to suit Holden chassis.
I painted this because I won't be able to get to it once the car is assembled if I change my mind. All the other repair work will remain raw. I want a car that looks like it has been used hard every day for 60 years without looking too derelict.

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Old 12-17-2009, 05:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ratcrazy View Post
Love the pix of the dead rat. Kinda fits rat in wouldnt ya say?

Keep the pix coming. Enjoying this alot.
Thanks man, I think I might crop the picture of the rat and use it as the avatar pic next to my username
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