Many car or truck people grew up around them, parents or friends who tinkered with them on projects. Well that is not me, my dad works in marketing and my mom was a stay at home mom. Growing up we had cars that served the basic needs like a Honda or a minivan. I did not spend weekends rotating the tires or even changing the oil, in fact to this day I still just take my cars in to be serviced and tires rotated.
I have always loved cars, I think it was in my blood from my grandfather but it definitely missed a generation. In 2008 I had an opportunity to purchase a 1939 Dodge Truck, I did not know anything about these trucks at the time I just liked the looks and figured I could restore it… how hard could it be anyways?
If anyone tells you that you can not accomplish anything hopefully this will prove that you can do anything you set your mind to. I have no training in welding, mechanics, or anything that relates to building a truck. Spending countless hours on the internet I gleamed some information. Thanks to the members of Cummins Forum, 4BT Swaps and a 39-47 dodge truck group I decided to take on a project no one has ever attempted. Everyone told me it was not possible to fit a Cummins 12 Valve engine in the old truck. I like the power, reliability and mechanical attributes of the engine so I kept to my goal not being dissuaded by others opinions. I did however take into consideration everything people said and made sure to address the concerns. Some said I would tear the old frame in half with the power and torque, so I boxed in the frame rails from front to rear with .25” steel plate installed inside the frame channel to add more strength. Cross members will be strengthened. The old rear axle has a ratio that would not work with current highway speeds, so I replaced it with something out of a newer semi truck, and the matching front axle will be used up front so I now have matching disc brakes in the front and rear. Unfortunately the front axle was too wide so I went to Off road components is in Boring Oregon to have the axle narrowed to match the width of the 39 axle. I went with semi truck type wheels and tires so I can handle large loads and the cost is less for large tires.
One would think that project would be hard enough, but not me. This is a complete frame off restoration I had everything sandblasted and primered. I wanted the truck to be comfortable so I decided to install a full air ride suspension system. After talking with Joe at AirBagIt.com I ordered a custom setup with custom braces, mounts and supports. With a air ride system I decided that I would run a triangulated 4-Link in the rear and a parallel 4-link system. I used massive heim joints on each end of the bars so I can park a few cars on the bed of the truck and nothing will happen. The rear axle is rated for 19,000 LBS. the reason for that is so I can haul the product I manufacture, the RocLok each pallet weighs over 1,200 lbs.
Now to make the truck more ecologically friendly I decided to run a fully automated WVO system supplied by Plant Driven. I will have a separate tank for WVO and Diesel, the system will change valves to run WVO when it reaches a specific temperature.
To assist in loading pallets of RocLoks on the truck a Waltco lift gate will be installed, the lift gate was cleaned with Metal Blast provided by Rust Bullet and then painted with Rust Bullet. This paint works over existing rust, does not have as many steps as POR-15 and is very wear resistant which will be great for the deck of the lift gate. I will also be using this paint on the frame and other areas where rust would be bad and wear is possible.
I welcome you to subscribe to this site so you can be updated as things progress. No information is sold nor do I really look through who is a member. Initially this project was planned to be a community build as I had no experience, and many people had spare parts they were offering up for free. I would still appreciate help, or parts to complete the project, or you can just Send Money ☺… well enjoy the site, hopefully it will continue to grow and more people will be inspired to take on things they never imagined possible before. No only means I do not think so, so go prove someone wrong and put a smile on your face.
I have an old thread here; Interested in a Community Build of a Cummins Powered 1939 Dodge?
with the initial progress to this point
I will update this thread as we progress