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keeping an old Dodge in service

Discussion in 'Truck & Equipment Repair' started by Megunticook, Dec 4, 2006.

  1. Megunticook

    Megunticook Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 190

    I have a 1973 Dodge W100 that I plow with (just my own 900 foot driveway and sometimes a neighbor).

    I've had the truck for 10 years now (5th plowing season) and the rebuilt 318 runs great. I put a used Fisher plow on it (belt-driven) which has been very reliable--I'm in the process of giving it some long overdue TLC.

    The big headache is body rust, of course. This new liquid calcium chloride they're putting down rots steel like you wouldn't believe.

    Anybody else out there in the north running a 30-year old truck? How do you keep the body together? It gets tough to pass state inspection even when all the mechanicals are sound (Maine says no holes in body).

    Can you get aftermarket replacement parts that don't rust? Where?

    Or should I just save up for a new truck? I kind of like the idea of keeping this old beast going, it's easy to work on myself and it pushes snow like you wouldn't believe.

    REAPER 2000 Club Member
    from 60050
    Messages: 2,230


    On the left side is a menu. Click your Dodge truck there by year. They have front clips and a stock hood. At the top is a link for complete beds but it looks like they are only available for Chevy and a few fords.

    Maybe a conversion to make your truck a Dodgevy?

    Start looking for fiberglass panels though and you should be good to go. If you do it yourself there are enough places if you google to do it at a reasonable price to get it looking pretty good.
  3. Megunticook

    Megunticook Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 190

    Thanks for the link--interesting site.

    FG definitely seems like the way to go.
  4. Sharpshooter77

    Sharpshooter77 Senior Member
    Messages: 162

    If you just want to do a temporay fix you can use some sheet metal and pop-rivet it over the rot on the body. Same goes for mass, you can have no holes in the body. On my 1985 F-250 I just cut out the old rusted metal until I found clean metal primed and panited it and them riveted over the the hole with new sheet metal. Until the warmer weather I fix do a better fix on the truck.:drinkup: :waving: :salute:
  5. Jpocket

    Jpocket Senior Member
    Messages: 302

    Man an old dodge...thats gonna be tough to find body panels for every few years. If it were a Chevy you would be able to find any and every part just about anywhere for Cheap.

    Even a Ford would be alittle better as far as parts availablility.
  6. Megunticook

    Megunticook Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 190

    Well, I decided to switch my registration to a "farm vehicle" since Maine lets you get by with a partial inspection that just examines mechanical stuff, not body condition, if you have farm plates. Catch is you're not supposed to drive over 20 miles from your farm...but at least I can run down to the village legally.

    But I was looking closely at my cab today and I really need new rocker panels and a floor pan...the rot has really accelerated in the past 3-4 years. Anybody else noticed that? Apparently it's the new liquid ice melter they're using. Mechanics around here say they've been replacing brake lines like crazy since the state started using the stuff (after going 7 years with no brake line issues, suddenly I've had 5 blow out on me the past 3 years). I've got another one that's starting to flake that I'm going to proactively replace with a nickel/copper alloy that resists corrosion even more than stainless (these brake lines are pricey but if want to solve the problem once and for all consider it--check out this link: http://www.fedhillusa.com/brakelinehome.html.)

    About floor pans--do they make them in fiberglass by chance?
  7. wahlturfcare

    wahlturfcare Senior Member
    Messages: 323

    73 truck

    i have a couple old dodges like a 74 1/2 ton and 77 1 ton. you can get parts very ealsily for them. i wouldnt put fiberglas parts on it as they dont fit and have a tendency of cracking later.
    i know what you mean on repairing them and how well they push. I have a 93 dodge and my old one plows in 2 wheel that it does in 4 wheel.lol
  8. DBL

    DBL PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,310

    lets see some pics of the old dodge
  9. Megunticook

    Megunticook Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 190

    Interesting...found a place in Cleveland that has rocker panels and floor pans, name of Mill Supply (rustrepair.com). Anybody deal with these guys?

    Sounds like quite a lot of work (or money--if I pay someone else to do the work). I'd really like to keep this truck in service, though.

    Oh, somebody asked for a picture. This was taken 5 winters ago, not long after I bought and mounted the plow:


    That's Kenai sitting next to truck. He navigates in the passenger seat.