My '44 Flying Control Dodge

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Re: My '44 Flying Control Dodge

Post by armyairforce »

Down at the bottom of the hill was Sherburn Village. There was an old bus stop next to the memorial which is no longer a bus stop. It allowed me to stop right next to the memorial.

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Steve Carr

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Re: My '44 Flying Control Dodge

Post by armyairforce »

The last stop on my tour was Pittington memorial, located at St Lawrence's Church, in the church yard. There was no parking next to the memorial, so I parked just outside the church yard, amongst the trees and walked in.

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Steve Carr

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Re: My '44 Flying Control Dodge

Post by armyairforce »

I grabbed a few pictures of the Dodge amongst the trees before heading for home. It was a little over a 26 mile round trip and with the sun out, not particularly cold, even on the coast.

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Though tinged with sadness, it was a rewarding and educational trip. I saw a few Carrs inscribed on some of the memorials and couldn't help but wonder if they were related. My own grandfather, Joseph O. Carr, served in the Army Service Corps at Ypres during WW1 and thankfully survived.

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Since the Dodge is such a tight fit in the garage, I'm leaving it outside until after Sunday's service. There's no point in making more work for myself, having to strip the back off just to put it away. With overnight rain expected, the Dodge is wrapped up in a plastic sheet for the next couple of days.
Steve Carr

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Re: My '44 Flying Control Dodge

Post by armyairforce »

Remembrance Service - November 14th

The 14th was the second outing to Seaham for the Dodge and was a much cooler day. Mist hung over the memorial site but much larger crowds had gathered by the time we got there. Due to the larger crowds and parades, the vehicles were parked in the parking bays beside the memorial, rather than around it. The service was also much longer than on Thursday, with participation from veterans and several uniformed organisations. There was no grand tour afterwards, just a drive straight home.

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Re: My '44 Flying Control Dodge

Post by armyairforce »

December 4th - Dodge Mounted Crane

Converting the Dodge from a Flying Control truck, back to olive drab was just the first stage of its transformation. Having had something a bit different for so long, I didn't want the Dodge to be completely conventional. I still wanted something that would stand out from other Dodges, a field-mod conversion that might have been seen on an airfield and something that would be useful too.

I've already posted a picture on the previous page about potentially using one of the steel beams from the old garage to make a crane in the back of the Dodge, something like a No.7 set crane seen in GMC trucks. It was going to be a large amount of steel to store if I needed it out of the truck for any reason and I wouldn't be able to start any work until the garage doors were raised. Something lighter, quicker to set up and more easily stored would be a better option.

An idea struck me ( it was a glancing blow and I was quick to recover!! ).

The diagonal braces of the original design were just there to help support the removable beam, but did I really need the beam at all? That and its supporting structure was going to add most of the weight and complexity. It would also take up quite a bit of space in the back of the truck.

If I made the diagonals an A-Frame crane, it would dramatically cut down on the amount of weight, steelwork and welding needed. Instead of the beam carrying the weight, the A-Frame would carry it, braced by a hand operated wire winch. The winch could raise and lower the A-Frame, giving a longer reach or bringing a load to the point where it could be lifted onto the tailgate/bed of the truck. The chain hoist would still be used, mounted on the end of the A-Frame, to give precise and easy control of any lifting, such as removing a Jeep engine.

My Daughter's child seat is currently mounted on a framework on top of the false floor that contained the spare wheel. The false floor would be removed and this framework would be lowered to the truck bed. The frame would then be extended rearwards to form mounting points for the lower pivot of the A-Frame, while a bracket would be added at the front to mount the hand winch on. The two bars of the A-Frame could be quickly removed and stowed for transport.

I already have the chain hoist and the winch should arrive by courier tomorrow. I just need to finalise the steelwork required to make the A-Frame and extend the framing on the floor. For that I need to get some measurements of the existing seat frame structure and to work out how to mount the winch, once I have its size, so I know the required handle clearance from the floor.

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Steve Carr

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Re: My '44 Flying Control Dodge

Post by armyairforce »

December 8th - Crane Winch and Materials

Work in the house loft paused when I ran out of materials, so I turned my attention to the truck crane. I bought a winch on Ebay to support the A-Frame bars and this was primed and sprayed olive drab this morning. It was left in my curing cabinet to bake hard.

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This afternoon, I took some measurements in the back of the Dodge and finalised the sizes of the steel work required. This has just been ordered from a local branch of Metal Supermarkets. Hopefully it will all be cut in time to collect before Christmas. The next step will be to remove the seat frame and false floor from the back of the Dodge and refit it at bed level. The other parts will then be built up from there.
Steve Carr

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Re: My '44 Flying Control Dodge

Post by armyairforce »

December 10th - Crane Materials Arrive

I got an email confirmation on the morning of the 10th, to say that all the metalwork was cut and ready to collect. I had a number of odd jobs to do, so combined them all into one trip. When I got there, all the box section was cut from the wrong material, so I had to wait a while for it to be recut. Once home, I laid out the main A-Frame parts and winch to get a sense of scale.

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Steve Carr

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Re: My '44 Flying Control Dodge

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December 11th - Seat Frame Removal and Refitting

A busy day in a chilly garage on Saturday. With all the Dodge crane materials here, there wasn't really an excuse not to get started. The first step was to remove the metal framework that supported the child seat and had also supported the observers chair when the seat was positioned under the dome. Some of this structure would be reused. It didn't take too long to get it out.

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Re: My '44 Flying Control Dodge

Post by armyairforce »

With the frame out, the false floor was next. That was quite easy as it was just held in with machine screws. Being inside the truck rear body, they were protected from the weather and came out without any fuss, shortly followed by the 4 x 3ft sheet of ply.

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The steel angle support frame for the floor was a bit more stubborn, having long bolts from inside the body to the wheel arch. They were very rusted and due to the difficult to reach location of both ends of the bolt, Lynne helped and unscrewed the bolts from inside while I crawled under the wheel arches. That brought that frame out.

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Steve Carr

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Re: My '44 Flying Control Dodge

Post by armyairforce »

The original seat frame had a few bits cut off and some of the mounting brackets removed, to be refitted once I'd sorted the new mounting position. So the frame was placed on the truck bed, more or less in the same fore/aft position it had been in, but now about 12 inches lower. My Daughter was called out to check her leg length in the new position and once I was happy that she'd fit, I began to remount the frame.

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Re: My '44 Flying Control Dodge

Post by armyairforce »

The frame itself is a little narrower than the truck bed, the gap made up with a wood shim. This allows a bit of clearance for getting the frame in and out after the shims are knocked out. I was thankful I made it this way to start with, as it did make the frame removel easier, especially as the wooden bench seat overhangs the side of the bed. I need some new shims for the new mounting positions.

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I also discovered the Norwegian metal bed in the truck is mounted slightly on the wonk, being 1/4 inch lower on one side. Later in the day, I used some clamps to support the winch frame in place, to check the clearance for the handle. It all seemed like it would work.

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Steve Carr

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Re: My '44 Flying Control Dodge

Post by armyairforce »

At the rear of the frame where the seat mounts, I'll add two new vertical mounts to brace the frame from tipping forwards under braking loads.

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The rear of the frame was extended back another 30 inches for the A-Frame mounts and was bolted through the bed at the rear. The last picture is a general view of the bed with the progress so far. Not a bad day's work.

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Re: My '44 Flying Control Dodge

Post by armyairforce »

December 12th - Seat Frame Bracing and Winch Fitting

Sunday was another busy day in the garage, but not so cold. The vertical braces for the side of the seat frame were marked up, drilled and bolted in place. The lower end was then welded to the seat frame, followed by cutting a triangle reinforcing piece and welding that in. After that, I moved on to the winch mount.

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Much of the day was spent cutting, grinding and trial fitting, followed by a few minutes of welding thrown into the mix. The first part of the mount was the two vertical supports.

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Re: My '44 Flying Control Dodge

Post by armyairforce »

The diagonals were cut next, which needed lots of fettling to get them to fit the uprights and around the old seat mount at the bottom. The plate for the winch was used to clamp them together to get them parallel for the test fits.

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Once welded in place, I clamped a piece of metal across them to hold the winch base plate around half way up. The winch was attached and it was checked for clearance for the handle to rotate without hitting the floor or front face of the truck bed. I also needed to make sure there was hand/knuckle clearance!! Once I was happy the the position, it was tacked in place and the winch checked again!

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Steve Carr

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Re: My '44 Flying Control Dodge

Post by armyairforce »

I was happy with the location so welded it up solid, then added a brace across the top of the two vertical mount pieces.

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Steve Carr

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