My '44 Flying Control Dodge

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armyairforce
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Re: My '44 Flying Control Dodge

Post by armyairforce »

It's still a tight squeeze to work in there, but by moving the GPW backwards a little, it gave a bit more room at the rear right corner where I have some welding to do.

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I carried on stripping the fender first, uncovering some shipping data stencils. They appear to be on a more recent layer of paint, so probably applied by the Norwegian collector and not original.

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Re: My '44 Flying Control Dodge

Post by armyairforce »

At the bottom of the fender, the doubler had badly rusted and would need cutting off and replacing, but not today. The stripping continued along the side of the cab and under the screen seal.

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Time was getting on, so I switched to wiring brushing the bare metal hood and then got a coat of primer on to finish the day.

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Re: My '44 Flying Control Dodge

Post by Gordon_M »

I'd suggest that shipping stencil was applied in the US before the Dodge was shipped to Norway as Marshall Plan aid late '40's or early '50's, take a good look and photographic record. Sizes and weights will be ordinary data from TM-2800 or the manual.
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Re: My '44 Flying Control Dodge

Post by armyairforce »

Gordon_M wrote: Sun Sep 26, 2021 8:50 pm I'd suggest that shipping stencil was applied in the US before the Dodge was shipped to Norway.....
I don't think so, as it's not on the base layer of olive drab, but actually about two to three layers above the original paint. I think it's more likely to be the work of the first private owner in Norway.
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Re: My '44 Flying Control Dodge

Post by armyairforce »

September 27th/28th - Stripping, Welding and Priming

I started the 27th by stripping the step, the rest of the cab side and the front face of the rear body. I quickly moved on down the side until there were only nine checkers left on the whole truck.

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Other than the windscreen, the Dodge was all olive drab or primer. As I stripped away the paint, I found an old filler repair on the rear corner which needed proper attention. Many years ago, I didn't have a suitable welder to make repairs, only a 100AH stick welder which would blow holes in the thin metal. The area had been cleaned as best I could, primed, then filled with body filler. With a MIG welder in my tool inventory now, it was time to glue some metal in there.

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Re: My '44 Flying Control Dodge

Post by armyairforce »

There was some additional rot at the front corner of the rear body, just behind the step. This only showed up as surface rust discolouration on the checkers, until the rotary wire brush came out. One spot was just a few small holes which I welded up straight away. Just behind was a more rotten area that needed cutting out. The metal framework behind the rusted areas was cleaned with the grinder and wire brush, then given a coat of red oxide.

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At the back right corner, the indicator lamp was removed as this was in the way of the repairs. As I took it off, a load of water poured out. Closer imspection showed the lens had come loose, allowing rain water to enter the housing. Fortunately the LED cluster looked fine, with no signs of internal corrosion in the housing.

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Re: My '44 Flying Control Dodge

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Having prepared some replacement metal the day before, I started the 28th by welding in new sections, starting on the rear right corner. I don't like welding, mostly because I don't do it often and when I get back to it, my early welds aren't great. As I carry on through a job, the welds getter better as I re-familiarise myself. Today's welds were going pretty well and I got a fairly neat job with nice flush skins that didn't need much tidying up. It had been raining and was damp outside, so I primed that section straight away before moving on to the section behind the step.

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It was all slow progress. I clamped a chisel across the damage area, pinning the new sheeting against it. This kept the old and new pieces flush while I added some tack welds. The chisel and clamp were then moved and a new area tacked.

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Re: My '44 Flying Control Dodge

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With both pieces welded and primed, I thought I was finished welding until I remembered the front fenders. The design of the structure creates a perfect moisture trap, which has rotted out the fender skin at the rear between the supporting hat channel and doubling plate. The rust then slowly forced the two layers apart over time, allowing more water in. The fender had to come off to start the work. The doubling plate was riveted with six large, coach-bolt looking rivets. I needed to grind the heads off to remove the rotten doubling plate.

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The next picture shows the mess with the doubler removed. I cut out the rot with the grinder and cleaned up the mess. The hat channel came loose and fell off as I was cutting out the rotten fender skin around the remains of the rivets.

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Re: My '44 Flying Control Dodge

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The hat channel was cleaned up as best as I could while loose. The fender was bolted back in place to keep all the holes lined up and the hat channel was then welded to the fender to keep everything in the correct place.

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The fender was then removed again and the hat channel red oxide primed. Tomorrow's job is to cut and fit the new fender skin. I have a feeling I need to do the same on the other side, though it doesn't look as bad at first glance. Part way through the day, the dark olive drab paint arrived. For just twelve days work, I'm really happy with the way it's going.

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Re: My '44 Flying Control Dodge

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September 29th - Welding, Sanding and Priming

I began the 29th by cutting and welding a new piece of metal into the front right fender. I'd just finished welding it in place when I ran out of welding wire ( more on order ).

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Inset in the second picture is a new doubling plate, cut and primed, ready to fit. The original doubler was riveted, but I'd be replacing the rivets with coach bolts, as the heads looked very similar. I plan to use mastic between the doubler and fender to prevent water getting between them and starting the rust again. At present, the bottom of the fender is bowed out as it needs the rivets/bolts to hold it against the hat channel.

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Once the welding wire ran out, I switched to sanding the old paint, completing the fender, cab side and front end of the rear body. Rust spots were ground out and bare metal was primed. The lights on the right fender were also stripped, sanded and some areas primed.
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Re: My '44 Flying Control Dodge

Post by armyairforce »

On the 30th, I started stripping paint from the screen. It turned out that the inner frame was another area without any primer and the paint flaked away very easily. A little chipping on the outer frame showed it was primed and the paint was more stubborn to remove.

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Due to the difficult shapes, the wiper motors and the inner frame needing some rust treatment, I decided removing it and moving it to the workshop was the most sensible move. I'd have more space to work on it there.

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Re: My '44 Flying Control Dodge

Post by armyairforce »

With the screen off and out of the way, it left the cowl over the instrument panel easy to reach and so the remains of the paint, which had been under the screen, was stripped off. Some areas were wire brushed, the whole area sanded and a number of areas primed, along with some small fixings from the screen.

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The right side of the body was next, sanding paint and grinding rust spots and quite a lot of slight surface rust. So much of the body was stripped to metal, that after sanding the remains of the paint, the whole side of the body was red oxide primed.

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With the colder and more damp weather coming, I may finish the welding on the fenders and then get on with the painting of the olive drab. I can get the garage fairly warm with a heater and the paint can bake. The olive drab can then be left to harden fully while I work on the windscreen. By the time that is painted and can be refitted, the truck paint should be hard enough to climb over for the screen fitting.
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Re: My '44 Flying Control Dodge

Post by armyairforce »

October 1st/2nd - Filling, Sanding and Priming

October 1st - The last couple of days have been spent doing odds and ends on various parts of the Dodge. The passenger step was sanded and primed, followed by the front bumper. Much of the rest of the day was spent with the fine surface filler, applying and sanding it. On the instrument cowl, where the rubber screen seal sits, it gathers water and created a pitted line. There were also a few Norwegian Army welds that hadn't been dressed very well, allowing water to gather. More grinding, filling and sanding to smooth it all out.

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In most places, the toothpaste like filler is only one coat of paint thick. Filling the chisel marks and sanding the filler is easier than trying to sand them out of the previous coats of paint. The rear body needed quite a few patches of filler, mainly where the original paint was ground away to metal to clear rust pits. By the end of the day, it was all back in red primer.

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Re: My '44 Flying Control Dodge

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October 2nd - I started by centre drilling the large rivets on the driver's side fender doubler, followed by larger drills until I broke through the rivets. This wasn't as badly rusted as the other side. While the fender was pitted, there were only a few holes that could be welded up, rather than cutting large chunks of metal out and replacing it. What was there was sound enough to re-attach the fender to its hat channel. A new doubling plate was cut and both it and the hat channel primed. On the other side, the fender and doubler were given a coat of semi-gloss green. These faces wouldn't be seen, so I didn't want to waste the proper olive drab on unseen areas.

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I'm awaiting some short coach bolts in the mail, which will be used to attach the fenders/doublers. Part of the grille was painted in primer, with the other side to be done when it's dry and I can turn it around. I also did quite a bit of cleaning up of nuts, bolts, reflectors and tailgate hinges with the rotary wire brush, followed by a prime. Last job of the day was sanding the tailgate and giving it a coat of primer.

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Re: My '44 Flying Control Dodge

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October 3rd - Painting Olive Drab!

At last, adding a bit of colour. I wanted to get some paint on the Dodge today, but there were a few jobs to do before that. The hood hinge needed sanding, the tailgate needed a sand down on the inside and some priming.

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I needed to have a tidy up of stuff around and in the Dodge to give me better access around for painting. One of the bits in the way was the front roof bow. The best place for it was on the Dodge. I'll be keeping this wooden framework so the cab doors can still be used. It will of course be painted OD.

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