My '44 Flying Control Dodge

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armyairforce
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Re: My '44 Flying Control Dodge

Post by armyairforce »

Some heavier loads would be better lifted with the crane raised higher, putting more weight down the A-Frame, rather than loading the winch cable. This would bring the load closer to the rear of the truck, but then the tailgate could be in the way of the lift.

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To allow the tailgate to fold down out of the way of any heavy lifts, the pioneer tool rack was removed. Now any heavy loads can be lifted near the back of the truck, passed the lowered tailgate. If the load can be lifted high enough, the tailgate could be raised beneath it, allowing it to be lowered onto the tailgate and pushed into the truck bed for transport. The tool rack will probably be mounted inside the truck, possibly on the bench seat back rest, next to the child seat.

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Steve Carr

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Re: My '44 Flying Control Dodge

Post by armyairforce »

Before moving on, I did another load test with me swinging from the crane. OK, so I'm not 700lbs plus, but it's a start on the lifting test! I'll slowly work up on the lifted weight.

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After that, I dismantled the crane and then removed the floor frame. With the frame out, I was able to finish the welding that couldn't be reached with the frame fitted in the truck.

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It was then taken into the workshop where a nut was welded into the hinge mount and a quick release bolt made for the hinge pin. It's now all ready for a final clean up and prime, followed by top coat painting.

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Steve Carr

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Re: My '44 Flying Control Dodge

Post by armyairforce »

December 19th - Crane Construction

Sunday the 19th was a bit of an easier day with just a little welding and some painting. The two A-Frame bars were cleaned down with thinners and given a coat of red oxide primer.

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While they were left to one side, I welded some triangle reinforcing pieces to the uprights that support the winch, then added a loop for the pulley block to hook onto when not in use.

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Steve Carr

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Re: My '44 Flying Control Dodge

Post by armyairforce »

The old observer's seat support tube needed trimming down a bit so that it wouldn't rub on the winch cable, but now that the pulley has somewhere to hook onto, it stops the cable unravelling from the reel.

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The original dull dark green floor frame paint was given a quick sand all over, then all the upper surfaces were painted in the same olive drab as the Dodge. That was as far as I could go until the first layers of paint dried.

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Steve Carr

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Re: My '44 Flying Control Dodge

Post by armyairforce »

December 20th - Painting

Nothing much to report other than the bars got their first coat of olive drab and the floor frame underside was painted, plus a second coat on the upper and side surfaces.

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The bars still need a second coat of olive drab, but the floor frame is fine and just needs the paint to fully cure before it can be fitted back in the Dodge.

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I need to think about some form of storage for the bars in the back of the truck. The Dodge won't fit in the garage with the crane attached, so for storage when parked up and also for driving to events, I want to have the bars secured so they don't roll or slide around.

I also want to add some small wooden blocks to the bars, like Jeep screen hood rests, so stop the metal to metal contact between the bars and tailgate when the crane is rigged. They only need to be 1/4 inch thick, held on with some small self tappers.
Steve Carr

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Re: My '44 Flying Control Dodge

Post by armyairforce »

December 21st - Final Details

The A-Frame bars received a second coat of olive drab and were once again left to dry. The winch was mounted onto the floor frame and the handle painted with 'UP' and an arrow to avoid confussion due to the gearing, as the handle rotates the opposite direction to the reel.

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The reel was fully unwound too, as the inner crimped end was pointing into the reel and the cable was getting snagged on it wound onto the core of the reel. To solve this, the inner crimped end was cable tied to the centre bar of the reel and taped over with duct tape to give a more even surface for the cable to wind onto. Approximately half of the 20 metre cable was carefully wound onto the reel and this was then given a couple of wrappings of duct tape. I don't need the full length of the cable anyway and this keeps at least half the reel from unravelling if there's no tension on the wire. The rest of the wire was then wound onto the reel, forming a nice even coil side to side as it was wound into place.

I'll give it all a couple of days for the paint to harden, then the frame can be fitted into the floor of the truck. With that done, I can work out where the wooden pads need to go on the A-Frame bars which I think is the final job.

There's rain forecast for the next few days, but looking ahead, the 28th looks dry, so I may try to take the Dodge and Jeep out for a short drive and photoshoot with the crane.

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Steve Carr

Dodge WC51 - 'Follow Me' Jeep - '43 Ford GPW
Roset Trailer -- B-17G Fortress BO-1 #42-31035
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Re: My '44 Flying Control Dodge

Post by armyairforce »

On the 22nd, the chain hoist was stencilled to avoid confusion as to which chain to pull. It's actually a 1 tonne hoist, but wanting it to represent US wartime, I stencilled it slightly under rated at 2,000 pounds.

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December 23rd - Frame & Seat Fitting

On the afternoon of the 23rd, the frame was carried back out to the Dodge for fitting. Most of the bolts were reused as they were, but a couple that went through the floor needed around a half inch trimming off. The wooden shims at the front fixings needed a little trimming, but everything went together without problems.

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Once it was all fitted securely, I brought the A-Frame bars out and fitted those to establish the position of the wooden blocks I wanted to add. They were epoxied in place and left to set for a while.

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Steve Carr

Dodge WC51 - 'Follow Me' Jeep - '43 Ford GPW
Roset Trailer -- B-17G Fortress BO-1 #42-31035
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Re: My '44 Flying Control Dodge

Post by armyairforce »

While the epoxy was setting, my daughter's child seat was fitted back into the Dodge. It now sits much lower down than before, so she can see what's going on during a trip out and is probably further out of the draft from the cab roof. She currently still fits the modern child seat which fastens into this dummy B-17 pilot's seat, but before long, we're going to have to make a new padded seat and back rest. The four point harness is attached to the seat frame, as the modern seat relied on using the car seat belt. Before locking up the garage, all the bolts were given a coat of olive drab.

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Once the epoxy had cured sufficiently to hold the wooden blocks in place, the bars were de-rigged and taken back to the workshop where they were drilled for some self tapping screws. The screws were a little reluctant to cut through the 3mm steel, so a UNC thread was cut into the metal with a tap and that gave the screw the help it needed to start threading itself. With the screws in, both blocks were given a coat of olive drab and may need one more before they have good coverage. Other than some stowage for the bars and mounting the pioneer tool rack ( probably to the left of the seat ), I think it's all done. I can't wait to get the Dodge and Jeep out and do a little photoshoot with it all set up.

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Steve Carr

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Roset Trailer -- B-17G Fortress BO-1 #42-31035
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Re: My '44 Flying Control Dodge

Post by armyairforce »

December 24th - Crane Storage

While many are winding down and relaxing in preparation for Christmas, I've still been busy with the Dodge, pushing it towards completion for hopefully a trip out in a few days. Two hardwood rests were cut for the bars.

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They will be screwed to the locker lids but won't prevent the lids from opening. With the rear rest mounted right at the back of the locker lid, it doesn't stop anyone from sitting on the bench seat if the crane is mounted rather than stored.

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Steve Carr

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Re: My '44 Flying Control Dodge

Post by armyairforce »

The crane head tucks in between the rest and the front of the truck bed. There's probably enough weight in them to keep them there, but if needed, I'll add something to hold them down.

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The rests were trimmed down and then given a coat of olive drab. The first coat is always a bit thin, so they probably need a second coat. They are currently baking in my curing cabinet.

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Re: My '44 Flying Control Dodge

Post by armyairforce »

December 25th - Finishing Touches

After Christmas present opening was over and there was a lull before the family descened for Christmas dinner, there was time to finish off the crane installation. The last job was a quick ten minute task to fit the crane bar supports. Just two woodscrews in each one, hold them in place. Two small holes were drilled through the locker lid, countersunk on the rear.

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The bar rests were held in place and a pilot hole for the screws drilled through the lid and into the rest which then allowed the screws to be easily fastened in.

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Re: My '44 Flying Control Dodge

Post by armyairforce »

Even with the bars in place, the rear locker can still be accessed if needed. I keep a few spares and fluids in that locker and will probably empty the rear right locker to keep the chain hoist and shackle in. They'll be easily accessible from that locker.

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I need to look for a shorter tool box which will probably go in the front left locker. The long tool box I had, used to live under the false floor along with the spare wheel. That is too long to fit in any of the lockers and I don't want it on show. Now I just need a dry day to get the toys out for some pictures.

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Re: My '44 Flying Control Dodge

Post by armyairforce »

Dodge Crane Photoshoot - December 30th

On Thursday 30th, after several days of rain, it was finally dry enough to take the Dodge out for some photos of the completed crane. I started to get the Dodge and Jeep out of the garage at 9am and everything was out and assembled just before 10am, when Andy was due to arrive. He was coming along so there'd be more than just me in the pictures. I planned a local drive, a little over 14 miles, around some familiar stops and a few new places. I assembled the crane at home as the first stop wasn't far away, so if there had been any issues with it rigged while moving, it wouldn't be long before a safe place to stop.

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All was well however, with the crane rock solid. At the first stop, the Jeep was brought up close behind and the crane lowered into position for a fake engine change. One day, this may happen for real, but I need to test it on increasing weights first.

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Re: My '44 Flying Control Dodge

Post by armyairforce »

At the next stop, our camping gear "ammo boxes" were the next items to swing from the chain. I'd found some parachute harness webbing which had been used to fit the very first child seat in the Dodge. It still had some steel hardware on the ends and it made an excellent strop around the two ammo crates.

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Doing some loading, unloading and transferring to different vehicles will be great for events like the Beamish show where we can drive around and set up at different locations. I'll have to make some lifting accessories to suit different loads and possibly a load spreader for engine lifting.

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Steve Carr

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Re: My '44 Flying Control Dodge

Post by armyairforce »

It was quite a mild day and we were lucky to see the sun after so much rain, though the ground was very muddy under foot. My daughter spent some time in the Dodge before switching to the Jeep and then back to the Dodge again. I'd given her my little action-cam, hand held, shooting some video. From that video, I took several stills of the trip.

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Steve Carr

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