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Old 05-26-2012, 05:27 PM   #1 (permalink)
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1952 Dodge Cummins tow rig

I started this build about a year ago. I started a build thread over on 4btswaps when I was going to run a 4 banger Cummins in this truck, but since I came to my senses and put a motor with more power in it I thought I would share it with you guys where I have been lurking for a while. I'm not a big 4x4 guy, but some of the tow rig builds on this board are really awesome and the 4bt board seems to be a little uptight, so I'm hoping you guys can give me some inspiration and ideas on what would make this ride better in the end. I don't expect many people to be impressed. This thing was built by a couple of shade tree mechanics, without a tree. I don't hold a candle to a lot of the fabricators on this site. It will be safe and fun, but I'm not guaranteeing anything else. So here it goes a 1952 Dodge body on a 1979 P30 bread van rolling chassis with 1997 Cummins 6bt power and a nv4500 transmission.


The initial plan was to make a hot rod truck with a wrecker bed or cut down fire truck bed for hauling trailer towing. Still looking for one of those by the way. I started looking into engine/chassis combos that would fit under the hood of this truck and give me a more updated drive train. I found that the GM p30 chassis had an almost identical track with as the Dodge and the Cummins 4bt re-powered version would give me a decent performing diesel engine that would fit well under the original hood of the truck. Well, as I got more into the 4bt and even scored a couple including a p pumped version my plan changed to be able to use this truck for more heavier towing chores and also 4 cylinders just wasn't going to be quite enough power for my tastes so I decided to cut the firewall and make a 6bt fit in this thing so I could haul a gooseneck trailer if need be and just haul ass when unloaded. Mechanically it's almost all fabricated, it's not pretty yet, but I plan on slowly tearing it back apart cleaning, painting, etc once the fab is completely done. We'll see how far that gets, it might just get pressure washed and rattle canned. Anyway, here's the build from start to now, I'm hoping to be on the road in the next couple of months and finished sometime before someone wants to give me an insane amount of money for it or I die, whichever comes first.



I started off with a pretty beat, but complete 1948 truck, but the price was right. I am keeping it for parts until the truck is done, then probably selling/scrapping the rest. If anyone needs something off it let me know.







As the project got started I came across a 1952 truck in nice shape up north of Dallas so I paid out a little cash and saved myself lots of body work. Right now, I'm thinking keeping the body as it is, the paint has a nice patina.













First things first, tearing apart the truck. We had the aid of a forklift for this, the front clip was kept bolted to the cab and it was all lifted as an assembly.





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Old 05-26-2012, 05:30 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Here's the p30 chassis with the stock 52 Dodge cab mounts. The frames are the same width, this made the body swap as simple as cutting the rivets that held the mounts to the old frame positioning them and bolting them to the new frame. I also decided to reuse the original front bumper so the front of the 52 frame was cut off and welded to the front of the p30 frame.







Here's the cab mocked up on the p30 chassis without the motor. This is where the hard part began, measuring to see what had to be modified to fit the 5.9 and the radiator and intercooler that go in front of it. Surgery was going to be needed on both the firewall and core support.





We cut the core support out to get the intercooler as far forward as possible. The intercooler is out of a 6.0L Ford. It's the biggest one I could find that would physically fit and afford. The radiator is an aftermarket aluminum unit built for a 58-59 Chevrolet pickup, once again the largest thing I could find that fit in the space.









With the new core support built and placed it was time for the body to come off again and the motor to be put in place. Here's some pictures of getting the motor in place. The stock motor mounts were used with fabricated frame pieces to position the engine as far forward as possible with fitting the intercooler and radiator in the front of the truck.







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Old 05-26-2012, 05:31 PM   #3 (permalink)
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We noticed it looked like the head gasket was leaking on the back of the motor, and the injector pump seal was leaking oil everywhere so no better time to reseal the motor. While we were at it the pump was advanced a few degrees for good measure and of course the KDP was tabbed.





Got to have a/c. A stock Dodge low mount bracket was cut and fitted to a modified stock alternator bracket. A piece of square stock was welded to the bottom of the assembly and drilled and tapped for the idler pulley.







With the drive train in place it was time once to mate the body with the completed chassis. The firewall needed surgery as did the floor to fit the transmission.











The truck came together pretty well with only one major unplanned hurdle. The turbo exhaust housing was aimed right at the firewall where the passenger's feet would go. I didn't want to intrude more on the passenger floor so we decided to space the turbo down and in enough to clear the floor.



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Old 05-26-2012, 05:33 PM   #4 (permalink)
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The stock pedals out of the p30 and the gas pedal out of the 97 Dodge were made to fit under the dash of the truck. Using the p30 stock hydroboost and Dodge clutch master cylinder with a shortened shaft.





The steering wheel is also out of the p30 bread van, it's standard 70's Chevrolet with a simple column. I'm planning for a different steering wheel, but the straight column helps keep it looking old school.





Here's where it sits, not too much different looking than when I started this. Still lots of work left to do, next is floors and a removable dog house to go over the motor. Then wiring, lights, and all the details to make it road worthy. One of these days I may even find a bed for it.

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Old 05-26-2012, 06:37 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Fuck it dude, I think that thing is bitchin'.

Thanks for sharing...

I think an old school square side, beaver tailed bed with a 5th wheel would be extra pimp

EDIT: something along these lines:
http://herrinhauler.com/images/dodge...erbedlarge.jpg
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Old 05-26-2012, 07:03 PM   #6 (permalink)
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fuck ya!
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Old 05-26-2012, 07:28 PM   #7 (permalink)
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The fancy tig welded unlimited budget shop builds are cool, but they aint got shit on a backyard fabbed truck the average Joe could learn from and "copy".
Keep up the good work man, you've got a hell of a start!
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Old 05-26-2012, 07:30 PM   #8 (permalink)
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nice !!!

or to stay with the theme of the previous posters ; fucking nice

that lowered turbo is very trick
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Old 05-26-2012, 09:35 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Between you and RoosterBooster I am getting all kinds of ideas for a what I thought was dead 52 L-110 binder project!

A bit pricey but who knows it may be what your looking for.
http://albuquerque.craigslist.org/grd/3018944334.html
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Old 05-26-2012, 09:37 PM   #10 (permalink)
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The truck came together pretty well with only one major unplanned hurdle. The turbo exhaust housing was aimed right at the firewall where the passenger's feet would go. I didn't want to intrude more on the passenger floor so we decided to space the turbo down and in enough to clear the floor.



Subscribed.

Good job.

Nice way of fixing your turbo clearances with what you had. If that ever gives you trouble, Cummins has exhaust manifolds that swing the turbo down right beside the engine block like on my school bus.

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Old 05-27-2012, 12:55 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Rat Rods are very hot now, and even Bryan at Chrome Shop Mafia did a rat rod themed Peterbilt.
From what I am seeing in your build, you have nothing at all to appologise for!
Common sense shit for sure!
I wouldn't touch that paint !!!! Maybe shiny wheels, or even get the OEM wheels blasted and powder coated. They have powder coat that looks like polished aluminum, and some that looks ALMOST chrome.
Still looking for a wrecker body for ya, but most around here are rust piles.
Keep up the good work.
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Old 05-27-2012, 10:03 AM   #12 (permalink)
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We looked at the school bus manifold that moves it more rearward and down, it would have still needed more floor trimmed. I thought of flipping one and putting the turbo high and to the front but that would have caused clearance issues with the a/c and lines. Then, there was a piece of stainless tubing lying around that fit the flange with a little negotiation and it turned out to be the best idea. I ordered a machined exhaust adapter and tight 90 degree bend and it clears everything perfectly. I'm going to wrap everything by the floor to try and keep the heat down.

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Subscribed.

Good job.

Nice way of fixing your turbo clearances with what you had. If that ever gives you trouble, Cummins has exhaust manifolds that swing the turbo down right beside the engine block like on my school bus.

Nat
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Old 05-27-2012, 10:06 AM   #13 (permalink)
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I'm thinking blacked out wheels and I have some 40's Dodge polished stainless hub caps that I'm hoping to adapt over the lug nuts. Haven't decided if I want flat black to match the truck fenders or shiny to get them noticed. Maybe some trim rings if I can find or make them?


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Rat Rods are very hot now, and even Bryan at Chrome Shop Mafia did a rat rod themed Peterbilt.
From what I am seeing in your build, you have nothing at all to appologise for!
Common sense shit for sure!
I wouldn't touch that paint !!!! Maybe shiny wheels, or even get the OEM wheels blasted and powder coated. They have powder coat that looks like polished aluminum, and some that looks ALMOST chrome.
Still looking for a wrecker body for ya, but most around here are rust piles.
Keep up the good work.
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Old 05-27-2012, 10:13 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Thanks for the encouragement. Rooster is definitely a source of inspiration. That bed is close to what I'm looking for, but I kind of have my heart set on fenders. Here's a Photoshop of what I envision the completed truck to look like. I took a photo of a Dodge Holmes wrecker and cut down the bed sides about 10 inches and lowered the whole truck. The wrecker booms will go, this will just be a hauler. I found a whole wrecker up in Dallas for sale that close is to this, but the guy wants tons of cash if I can get him down I may have a bed soon.





Quote:
Originally Posted by bigun View Post
Between you and RoosterBooster I am getting all kinds of ideas for a what I thought was dead 52 L-110 binder project!

A bit pricey but who knows it may be what your looking for.
http://albuquerque.craigslist.org/grd/3018944334.html

Last edited by lunacy; 05-27-2012 at 10:13 AM. Reason: typo
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Old 05-27-2012, 10:49 AM   #15 (permalink)
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oh hell yes !!!.... that looks just perfect

if it would be my truck (sadly it is not ) maybe i would make the bed a tad shorter on the front and add a headache rack with black stacks in between cab and bed.
i`m not a fan of messy weed burners; imho vintage trucks with diesel engines can get away with stacks without looking gaudy ...
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Old 05-28-2012, 03:04 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Awesome build.I love the look of old Dodge trucks
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Old 05-28-2012, 03:12 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Love the build. Wish you would have used the Pilot House, but the Job Rated cab looks almost as good. Shame that the hood ornament is missing. Good luck with the project and let me know what you have left over from the 48, i am interested in it for a few parts for mine.




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Old 05-28-2012, 05:03 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Nice flatbed, I think my next project will be a 48-49 1/2 ton daily driver with a 4bt. I will send over a PM with what I have left over when I get it done.
My truck is actually a Pilot House. It has to do with the cab design which is the same from 48 to 53, even though it says Job-Rated in the grill. The true Job-Rated series are the 39-47 trucks, but they used the name a lot past that. I have been thinking about pulling the cross bars and Job-Rated badge out of the grill and seeing what it looks like wide open and show off the intercooler. I do kind of like the grills on the 48-50 trucks better. I've been thinking about mounting a hood ornament on it too, this truck never had one.

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Love the build. Wish you would have used the Pilot House, but the Job Rated cab looks almost as good. Shame that the hood ornament is missing. Good luck with the project and let me know what you have left over from the 48, i am interested in it for a few parts for mine.

Last edited by lunacy; 05-28-2012 at 05:05 PM. Reason: don't need pics again.
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Old 05-28-2012, 05:30 PM   #19 (permalink)
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sometimes old junk is just to cool for words
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Old 05-29-2012, 06:43 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Nice flatbed, I think my next project will be a 48-49 1/2 ton daily driver with a 4bt. I will send over a PM with what I have left over when I get it done.
My truck is actually a Pilot House. It has to do with the cab design which is the same from 48 to 53, even though it says Job-Rated in the grill. The true Job-Rated series are the 39-47 trucks, but they used the name a lot past that. I have been thinking about pulling the cross bars and Job-Rated badge out of the grill and seeing what it looks like wide open and show off the intercooler. I do kind of like the grills on the 48-50 trucks better. I've been thinking about mounting a hood ornament on it too, this truck never had one.
Yeah, meant to say Pilot House early/later Job Rated grill. I bought that one for the stainless grill sections and when I got the truck home it ran. Also have a 50 1/2 ton shortbed that will eventually be a street rod with a 413 in it. Hope you get the hood ornament on there, nothing cooler than the stretched out ram.
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Old 05-29-2012, 07:48 AM   #21 (permalink)
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very sweet project lunacy! you picked the right place to post it. i agree with your viewpoint on the "other" forum. haven't been on there in years.
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Old 05-29-2012, 08:20 AM   #22 (permalink)
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I'm not a big 4x4 guy, but some of the tow rig builds on this board are really awesome and the 4bt board seems to be a little uptight, so I'm hoping you guys can give me some inspiration and ideas on what would make this ride better in the end. I don't expect many people to be impressed.
Safe to say you fit in fine around here.

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The stock pedals out of the p30 and the gas pedal out of the 97 Dodge were made to fit under the dash of the truck. Using the p30 stock hydroboost and Dodge clutch master cylinder with a shortened shaft.
This is the kind of junkyard tech that IMHO originally built this site. People have gone from there to TIG-welded works of art, but low-budget tech still rules.

Great truck project. I agree, keep the original paint/patina.
I also like your bed ideas.

Think about an MDT transmission swap. I'm here to tell you that you will appreciate having 7, 9, or 10 gears.

....or a Brownie box that would fit that era of truck.
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Old 05-29-2012, 09:49 AM   #23 (permalink)
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I say you cut up the old cab and make your truck a quad cab.
looks bitchen BTW.
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Old 05-29-2012, 11:14 AM   #24 (permalink)
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I say you cut up the old cab and make your truck a quad cab.
looks bitchen BTW.
in theory i love that idea...
but i would fear that with every surface convex and rounded it can quickly turn into a sheetmetal nightmare
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Old 05-29-2012, 12:42 PM   #25 (permalink)
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in theory i love that idea...
but i would fear that with every surface convex and rounded it can quickly turn into a sheetmetal nightmare

There is a guy over on the HAMB that was working on one. Put it on a 3/4ton Dodge chassis. It was coming out pretty nice. I think the roof section off a panel wagon got thrown into the mix of two cabs.

For me, it's day cab only. I just think they look cooler and I am not planning any cross country trips for this truck, it's mostly to haul projects within the state. I don't have any kids or big ass dogs to haul around either.
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