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Hi Moses I nearly bought a J20 & then this came along & these things are as rare as over here so I had to have it after seeing a fargo power wagon on an old movie & just thought it was the most awesome truck i had ever seen

this 1 has been built from various trucks that had all seen better days but the old guy who had been restoring it had to give up due to age & health reasons but it is 95% done the body is done as is the mechanical & electrical it only needs the glass fitting & maybe paint the hood he was going to leave it due to good patina but im not sure it works with the rest of it being painted it has the 251 flat head six & non syncro 4 spd the cab is a 46 aussie dodge cab the chassis is m601 & much of the panels came from a 54 power wagon

so im still waiting for it to arrive so ill get more pics & some more detail when it arrives cant wait

cheers Ian

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Hi, Ian...Great to see your post and the entry of this exciting project into the vintage Dodge 4x4 forum!  We both cleave toward vintage iron, especially rugged utility vehicles.  The military versions of the Power Wagon have a real legacy, playing a vital role in history and the Allied effort.

Age 17, I worked a summer at a Sierra Nevada lakeside resort that had a vintage (even then) Dodge 4x4 weapons carrier for the campground service truck.  Postwar U.S. surplus sales placed many of these trucks at ski lodges, national parks and in energy/power and mining companies.  These vehicles were not well-suited for highway use with their extreme low gearing.  They like to work in the dirt and rough terrain.

My first roadworthy pickup was a '51 Ford F-3 with an L-head six (Ford's 226 cubic inch design) and a spur gear (non-synchromesh) 4-speed much like this Power Wagon...That taught me double-clutching.  The Chrysler 251 is a high torque L-head inline six nicely matched for this WWII icon's era.  Not in a hurry, the truck's original powertrain is reliable and ready to work!

The postwar Power Wagons have always held my attention, your rare find for Australia comes with right-hand drive and looks solid and intact.  I and others will enjoy your photos and finishing touch in the restoration of the Power Wagon.  Glass is well within your purview, I recall the Willys pickup.  Have fun and keep us posted.  Looking forward to your photos...Glad you're sharing this legacy vehicle!

Moses

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Wow, Ian, it's a driver!  I'm excited, too.  Are we showing our age?  Or is this just our truck history perspective?  (Age denial is always a good thing!)  Can't wait to see what you do with this truck!

Powertrain seems intact, the 251 wants to run...Nothing like spur gears and double-clutching.

Moses

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Hi Moses I just spent the day sorting through the spare parts & putting them in the shed i took it for a short drive & loved it as you can tell by the dumb grin on my face so yes there is still some work to do but the hard part is all done

cheers Ian

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Ian, this truck is really intact!  Sheet metal looks solid, functional and well worth your grin!  The tires are aggressive, there should be no place this hefty truck would lose traction. 

A neighbor up the street works for the water company and brings his new G.M. 6x6 home.  It's a one-off Kodiak tier medium duty with the Duramax diesel V-8 and Allison automatic, beam front axle and all.  None of that is as impressive as your "new" Power Wagon!

I see you put this workhorse to the task already.  Does the bed tilt?  The transfer case has a PTO.  You've got a functional machine there.  Jess should be convinced how "valuable" the truck is around the property, paying for itself, right?  Looks like you got an extra engine in the package.

What's the sensible top road speed with the gearing?  I see there were two axle ratios available.  Worth slowing down.  45 mph, maybe 50? 

Did some research for details.  Is the spur gear transmission a First Series or were later transmissions still spur gear?  The engine is a later 251 six?  Here's a snapshot of the info I found at https://www.vintagepowerwagons.com/1-ton-flat-fender-dodge-power-wagon.  Your Power Wagon looks like a 1-ton.  You can verify the accuracy of information at this site.  Some of it seems contradictory:  

Main distinguishing features:

  • Approximately 8" high radiator cowl with protruding radiator cap (radiator can be filled without opening hood)

  • Has chrome “Dodge” name plate attached to radiator cowl, and chrome “Power Wagon” name plates attached to either side of split butterfly style hood

  • Cowl lights mounted on side of cab (until 1964)

  • Available with optional bolt on frame extensions for winch assembly

  • 2-speed 1.96 to 1 New Process 200 transfer case

  • Standard 5.83 axle gear ratio with optional 4.89 ratio available

  • 230 Flathead 6 cylinder engine (1945-60), 251 Flathead 6 cylinder engine (1961-71)

Would be odd to shift a common U.S. H-pattern cane shifter from the right-hand drive side of the cab.  I'm sure this is normal if you do it all the time. 

Moses

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  • 3 months later...

Hi Moses Ive made a start on the power wagon stripped a few bits off & painted them black ive got the doors off ready to get them straight & paint the inside of doors & cab but theres a bit of work needed to straighten up the repaires that old Daryl has done ive decided to paint the cab in a dark metallic grey & the fenders & grille & bumper etc in black I think it will look good also I have removed the tray off the back & im going to build a well body tub in the style of the originals except with tiber sides instead of steel to give it that vintage look so ive got lots to do

cheers Ian

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Ian...This is going to look sharp!  I like the finish on the fenders, headlamp shells, etc.  What is your prep and paint process?  Method of prep?  Primer/sealer?  Paint type?  Application method and tools?

Moses

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  • Moses Ludel changed the title to Vintage Dodge Power Wagon: Finally Got One

HI Moses

yes that black paint is great isnt it so glossy it looks wet

its a 2 pack urathane enamel & the primer im using is a hi build etch primer I wet sand everything with 600 grit wet n dry to make sure its smooth before painting also I have a very good DeVilbis gun i treated myself to a few years back & it works very well its not the best shed to paint in but it was ok for the smaller items

cheers Ian

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The results are great, Ian...Good equipment and system.  Etch primer helps with adhesion.  Enamel is easier without a clear coat. 

Do you use a fresh-air system for your breathing apparatus or a respirator?  I invested in this Turbine Products Breathe-Cool outfit a few years ago and added an extra 25' of hose.  I use 3M full-suits for involved work, the Tyvek hood that comes with this kit works okay.  A fresh air supply is the only way to go.  I added the Turbine Products welding helmet insert, way better than a fan, the hood insert won't move shield gas around:

https://www.turbineproducts.com/breathecool-ii-supplied-air-respirator-system-w-tyvek-hood/

Moses

 

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HI Moses

yes I wish I had a better system but for now I use a mask that take filter canisters im sure its not 100% but better than nothing it is rated for paint fumes & I cant really smell much in the way of fumes when im wearing it but I will be upgrading at some stage

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Ian...I understand and wore a respirator for years.  Standard test is whether you "smell paint", as you share.  I did use quality respirators/filters for painting and still do when it's not practical to unpack and assemble the fresh air system.

Interesting how we rationalize that a "small job" doesn't require protection.  The paint and thinner VOCs are worse today than ever, and rattle can paint flashes as quickly as spray gun systems.  I make an effort to slow myself down long enough to put on protection or suit up. 

The fresh air system is a fail-safe, especially if you have facial hair or a beard.  Respirators seal poorly with face hair.  Also, VOCs have an affinity for moisture:  eyes, sinus membranes, mouth/throat, ears, etc.   The fresh air system takes the stigma out of these concerns, you're literally "bathed" with fresh flowing air that pressurizes the hood.  I use the 50' hose to get the BreatheCool turbine pump far away and upwind from the paint area.  Fresh air is only as fresh as the air intake source.

Check out the BreatheCool.  You're resourceful and may be able to replicate this setup if you can find a suitable turbine pump.  A Tyvek hood is just that:  a Tyvek hood, nothing special other than the feed hose that arches up in the hood to hold the hood's shape and direct moving air downward at your face.  The moniker "BreatheCool" comes from the pump bringing fresh, cooling air into the hood regardless of your local work environment.  This is especially useful with the welding hood insert.

I do like the BreatheCool for its low temp rise when moving air.  If you build a system, turbine air should be as cool as ambient air, not heated by compression.  The link I shared is the basic setup that works.  Not cheap but certainly paying for itself in comfort, peace of mind and a clear head!

Moses

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  • 1 month later...

Hi Moses got a bit done on the doors this weekend I had quite a bit of trouble with the right hand door the paint that was on it reacted to my primer so I had to strip it completely the other door wasnt a problem but there was a clear difference in the paint type & thankfully the paint on the cab looks to be the same as the left door so hopefully that will be ok if you look at the pics I posted earlier you can clearly see the difference on the rh door

cheers Ian

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Oh, boy, Ian...Chemistry!  Was the primer applied to the OEM paint?  Was that an enamel or lacquer?  You're using acrylic enamel primer or epoxy two-part primer?

I've had good luck with two-part epoxy primers.  They provide good sealing effect.  Applied skillfully, which you do, they usually require no sanding (some need "abrading" or scuffing) and will serve as a good base for single stage enamel or a urethane color coat (must use correct primer for each type).  I would guess that you're using a single stage acrylic enamel color coat?  Which type of primer/sealer do you use for a base?

I use a flat black two-stage epoxy primer as a base and finish (single stage) coat on bare, glass-beaded and pressure washed iron castings.  When this primer is not exposed to UV, it lasts a very long time and is far more durable than primer and enamel.  Easy to apply in one step, the look is natural.  It seals and adheres well to bare iron.  Works well beneath the chassis body where UV is not an issue.

As usual, you went right to work on the Power Wagon!  This will be a standout when done...

Moses

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Hi Moses that door appears to have been painted with a cheap enamel spray can so it was probably the best outcome 

the primer im using is an etch primer it seems to be an acrylic lacquer & ill be painting it in a 2 pack urethane base coat clear coat system the paint shop assured me the primer is compatible with the paint i purchased so better the reaction is sorted out at the prime stage of the job

the rest of the paint on the cab & other door seems to be acrylic lacquer also so im not expecting any more trouble it was only that 1 door that was painted with different paint & i believe it was the can of enamel spray paint that came with it

cheers  Ian

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Hi, Ian...The etching primer and its adhesion to your prepped base (the old OEM and rattle can) paint will steer the adhesion.  Your two-stage urethane is contemporary, an extra step, and will "pop".  Can't wait to see another Ian restoration!

Moses

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