Dodge WC64 (KD) Body Panel Reproductions

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Forgotten Field
Technician 3rd Grade
Technician 3rd Grade
Posts: 356
Joined: Sat Mar 17, 2007 7:52 pm

Dodge WC64 (KD) Body Panel Reproductions

Post by Forgotten Field »

Update: This project has started. I have made a few of the wood pieces for the roof in preparation for having new sheet metal roof pieces made. As I learned more about the body, I realized that the roof would need the supports made in order to be properly specified and then constructed. Just to give you an idea, the two side supports alone for the KD roof cost $250.00 for the blanks to be made, still needing some relief cuts made and fitting to other pieces. But the project is moving forward. If you or anybody you know is interested in having this work done, let me know. It doesn't make it any cheaper but the makers can knock out multiple pieces at one time instead of prototyping them one at a time.

FYI,
After looking hard at my KD patient compartment body panels, and looking at how they are constructed, I have decided I need to have made new patient compartment front bulkheads, sides, and roofs. My questions are if anybody out there has already done this, and if the people who did it are still around? If you know of people who have done this, I'd like to be in touch with them in case I don't need to re-invent the process.

The sides are composite construction with metal cladding, wood support framework and attach angles, cardboard insulation, and masonite inner paneling. The roof is built the same way but has complicated machine-carved supports. The front bulkhead is steel with insulation and masonite inner paneling. I have had a few sheet metal people look at what I need and can do it, but it won't be a cheap effort. The wood framework for the sides is a straight forward job that I can do. The roof needs a good furniture manufacturer, which I am still locating and vetting. But based on what I have found, I am pretty sure I can do this. FYI, in case you are wondering, these components WILL NOT fit onto a WC51/52 body and I am not interested in making them to fit (although it could be done and I think it would be neat to do so).

If anybody is seriously interested in having these made for themselves to the extent you are willing to write a check for deposit on the work with my sheet metal fabricator (and possibly a contract between you and him), let me know. My time line for doing this is early next summer, but making arrangements will take up until May 2014.
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Forgotten Field
Technician 3rd Grade
Technician 3rd Grade
Posts: 356
Joined: Sat Mar 17, 2007 7:52 pm

Re: Dodge WC64 (KD) Body Panel Reproductions

Post by Forgotten Field »

BTT, please note updates.
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Forgotten Field
Technician 3rd Grade
Technician 3rd Grade
Posts: 356
Joined: Sat Mar 17, 2007 7:52 pm

Re: Dodge WC64 (KD) Body Panel Reproductions

Post by Forgotten Field »

The more you learn, the more you know you have to still learn. Some information for prospective WC64 (KD) owners which may be of assistance to you.

The patient compartment is composed of a lower body which roughly resembles the body of a Weapons Carrier, but which is designed specifically for the KD as an ambulance. To construct the enclosure and mounts for the two upper stretcher mounts, included from front to rear are; a front panel which has a door including window and regulator (it rolls up and down); two side panels; two rear stanchions which act as door mounts and jambs for the three rear doors; a roof; two upper stretcher racks. I have examples of each of these, rough but enough for pattern, and the body which came from Idaho which is still together.

But I have never put one of these together before. After getting the two side supports carved, and beautifully done to boot, I started looking at how these fitted together with the rest of the body. It is simple- just some bolts similar to the bed floor bolts, nuts, washers. The front, side and roof panels are constructed with wooden supports, which are then clad with steel, and which are then clad on the inner surface with masonite. The issue this presents is that the real support, which is the wooden pieces hidden by the masonite and steel sheet metal, cannot be adjusted, modified, and finally trued after it is all bolted and screwed together. This is kind of important, as the four doors and two upper stretcher racks have to be mounted on this wood which must have good geometry or the moveable stretcher racks and four doors won't open and close properly.

So without original drawings of these compartment pieces, it is necessary to have a straight, true, leveled lower body finished and put together in order to dry-fit all the pieces of the sides, roof, front panel, and stanchions. I had planned to finish all these components (cladding and masonite attached) as I finished the lower body. But since the geometry of the wood will be hidden if I do this, I am not finishing off the components until I have all the upper wood cut, and a straight true lower body to dry fit it before finishing construction of the upper components.

That is probably too much information for most people but I thought it might be interesting to the future restorer of the KD Ambulance.
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