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1942 Dodge WC51 Maintenance blog / Engine replacement


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Today I had the annual checkup and the Dodge failed to get through the tests.


Brake lights / rear lights

Brake lights stopped working completely

Right rear light is much brighter then left light



Uneven braking between left and right wheel, probably a leaking brake cylinder.


Anybody have any tips on these issues? I'm going to look into it more closely on saturday, have a funeral tomorrow :(

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Well, nothing much to be honest. We did learn that the way the wheel bolts are unscrewed differs on the left and the right side. We did not know this and with brute force wrecked 5 perfectly good bolts while trying to get to the brakes. We then cleaned the brakes (both left and right) and opened up the brake cylinder on the left side and cleaned the cups (sp?). Then we had the luxery of being able to test them.


We bought new rear-lights units and that solved the problem too. All in all a busy day but luckiy there wasn't much wrong with it.

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Sorry to hear it failed, from what I've heard brakes can be a problem on Dodges so I suggest you speak to some one who has been running one for some time, they should be able to point you in the right direction.







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My advice would be get a rebuild kit and do all four cylinders at once,for what they cost it's worth getting some spare bleed nipples too,just in case.


Good luck!



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Today I bought a rebuilt kit for the leaky brake, the rest seem to be okay and were redone earlier this year so I hope this will fix it. But Matt you are right, those things are very cheap (€10).


Also I'm trying to get somebody who owns a Dodge to help, let's hope I'm lucky.


edit: photo's do not work so I've removed them.

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I spent some years restoring a WC53 Carryall, which included complete brake overhaul, now I did purchase a new wheel cylinder from a dealer, this cylinder just leaked fluid from the seals, in fact it poured out. I had far more success in honing the wheel cylinders, and also the master cylinder and replacing fitting new seals, I have been running the Carryall since October 2004, the brakes have give me no problem. I assume the fluid is leaking by the seals on your Dodge/

I also have a lot of spare take off hubs, complete with studs,




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Nice looking truck!


We think it's the cups that are leaking but not entirely sure.




The left brake with the leaking brake cylinder before we cleaned it, if you look closely you can see the damaged bolts:



And after:



The Dodge on the raised bridge:



My friend Marc (co-owner) working on the rear light:



The belly of the beast:



This is where it's stored and where we usually work on it:







Edited by Joris
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Yesterday we wanted to work on the Dodge again to make some final adjustments to get it throught the MOT test (and replace some damaged bolts). When we wanted to drive it into the garage we found that it would not move forward nor backwards. The gearbox was working, the main differential was working, the back axle differential was working but still no dice......


DAMN, one of the rear axles was broken... How this happened, nobody knows but that did not change the fact that it was going to be a different day then planned. First we got some cofee to make plans and study the manual and then we took out the left axle. This was looking fine so it had to be the right axle. When we got it out (which was far harder then the left one) we immediatly saw that this was causing the problem.






This ment that there was still a part of the axle in the axle differential. But first I needed to get me a new axle. A shop nearby sells these items but they close at 12:00 on saturdays and by the time I was leaving it was 11:15. I checked my bag how much money I was carrying with me and found out that I had left my wallet at home. So I first drove home and then to the shop. An extra handicap was that my car needed fuel, badly and I was unsure if I would make it to the shop and back to a gas station. Since the only other option was to fill up the car and be to late at the shop I took the gamble. Not observing any speed limits I managed to get there on time and with a new axle I drove towards the nearest gas station. Luckily I got there in time and was then able to drive back to the Dodge.


The new axle:



During my frantic drive for the Axle my dad had been busy too, opening up the hatch to get to the diferential and replacing the damaged bolts.


Rear axle differential



Then we took out the clockwork:



And saw the missing piece of axle locked firmly in place :(



Empty housing of the diferential:



After a lot of effort the piece finally gave way and came out:



Then we got most of it back together but getting the differential back in proved very hard and we deceided that we needed somebody with experience to do that. So monday morning one of the regular car mechanics is going to give it a go. I do hope he succeeds....


To be continued.....








Edited by Joris
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Sorry to tell you this, you should have removed the diff unit complete from the front, removed the broken part, and refitted diff. unit. You will now have to remove, as the backlash needs to be set up, impossible in this postion, your mechanic will tell you this

If this was the early unit, small crownwheel, I think the broken part could have been knocked out without diff. unit removal. The later unit large crownwheel, its not possible to knock the broken part through.

Good Luck

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Could you be more specific because I'm not sure I understand you. We did took out the differential and this was the only way to remove it, there is no opening on the other side.


I did however got the feeling that we did not had to remove the differential but this was hindsight...

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And I'm starting to lose confidence... I now have this truck for 3 months, 2 of which I spent under it. I hoped this will stop soon and that I can actually drive in it....


Well you aren't on your own there :cry: mine has been of the road since Nov 13th..........and I have a lot to do yet :cry: :twisted:


But at least when you have done it, it is done!




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Hello. Remove the propshaft, 2 U bolts & 4 nuts, you aready have you drive shafts removed, assumed you have drained the oil, if not then drain, remove the nuts which secure the diff. unit to the axle casing, they should be 14mm or 17mm spanner size, just beware as the unit is heavy, you may need to break seal to casing, then withdraw from the casing, again suggest 2 people carry out this operation.

Do you have a workshop manual?, the setting of the crown wheel backlash is important, the part you have already removed, suggest you find a mechanic to help you with this.

Don't give up, it will work out o/k in the end.

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This is exactly what we did this saturday. Took out the differential (this time the whole differential) and brought it to a friend who will do the magic on the dif. If all is well we can put it back in next weekend and have a drive Dodge again.

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I spent all last winter under my WC 56, took it to Normandy for 2004, by the time I had got to Horndean it had cracked the exhaust manifold, and used all the oil and notice that oil pressure was low, oh and had a flat tyre.

So pumped up tyre and filled with OKO?

And then checked oil level every day.

The Dodge then ran perfectly every day, and out performed the jeeps in the dunes.


Last winter checked cylinders and replaced piston rings, checked crank and replaced big end and main bearings with the engine in situ. Found bearings just starting to fail.

And replaced exhaust manifold.

Engine still had low oil pressure, found oil pressure relief spring in two pieces.


I have had problems with leaking brake clyinders as mentioned honed cylinders and problem cured.


I hope that you cure your problems.

Looks a nice dodge, as does the Carryall.

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