1973 Dodge Power Wagon 4x4

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


With many other irons in the fire, I am in no hurry to complete this. But here is the plan. This is basically another practice vehicle for developing my various customization skills. The plan for this project is to get the body back in as good a shape as possible and paint it with something very distinctive. This will be my first attempt at spraying color shifting paint. Alsa Corp has come out with a new chameleon-like product called " Color Force 3" that I would like to try. This is already a unique looking truck. A coat of Color Force 3 "Cool Lava" will undoubtedly make it stand out.
The interior will feature a customized dash, probably digital like the last 2 vehicles I have completed. I will also incorporate the chameleon paint to a limited degree on the interior metal. I am also considering trying a chameleon or dichroic type fabric (also sold by Alsa Corp) for the upholstery.

I will likely replace the existing 360 2 bbl engine with the beefed up 360 4 bbl and headers that I removed from the Electric Duster.
For the rest of the truck:
I plan to use a coat of spray on bedliner and do some minor clean up work on the underside. The bumpers are "custom" and welded on, I intend to leave them looking pretty much as they are. Again, here I may try an Alsa paint process that produces a look very close to chrome. The wheels are chrome but do have some rust. For these, I will probably do a home powder coating job. I have used some chrome powder in the past that looks very good.

Some Of The Issues To Deal With

It appears that the brakes will only need to be bled to be functional. However, the right rear bleed screw has been broken off, so replacing that will be the first job. I might have to remove the wheel cylinder to get that accomplished.
Asside from that, the truck actually seems in pretty decent shape and really only needs a few "minor" things. There is no tailgate but I found one complete with all necessary hardware for $25 on eBay.

The right front fender is in pretty bad condition. I thought about welding it up and straightening it, but ran across a replacement for only $50 including shipping. Gotta love eBay.

The rest of the exterior has a few dents and will need a patch here and there, but nothing major.

The floors have some rust issues. I haven't fully investigated the extent yet, so have not decided how best to remedy this, but new floor pans are available for only about $100. That may be the best way to go.

Besides a cracked windshield, there are a few other "cosmetic" issues to deal with.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Acquired April 19, 2009

Well, I just sold three of my Mopars to thin out the herd. So that left me with 2 Dusters, 1 Dart, and 2 Road Runners - all in various stages of rebuilding or modifying. I didn't really need another vehicle project but I saw this truck on the local Craigslist and couldn't resist the deal.

I did eventually want a truck to pull a car trailer with. I also wanted something like a 4x4 that would travel on the ice we get around here in the Winter. I definitely did not want a truck to be my main commuting vehicle. So I thought "why not build a restomod truck from the same era as my other Mopars?". It will be a part of my collection and still serve a purpose.

Even though the thing only cost me $738, I had extreme "buyer's remorse" after handing over the money. I'm beginning to feel like I have an affliction. That affliction is visualizing the finished project while grossly underestimating the amount of work and money that will be required to complete the vision. I have more projects than I can probably ever finish, and here I was buying another one. My grlfriend Jo Ann even went with me to look at the truck but did not even try to talk me out of getting it.

My buyer's remorse got worse when, after completing the deal, I realized that I couldn't drive the truck home because of a brake problem. The remorse worsened even more as Triple A deposited the shabby truck in my driveway, in the very spot that had just been vacated by one of the unfinished projects I had just sold.

I had a definite ill feeling the next day as I ventured out to the driveway to further inspect the object of my impulse purchase. Jo Ann walked over to console me when I starting noticing the good things about the truck. I was pointing out this thing and that to her, and what could be done to each area of the vehicle. After a while, we had both become excited about the possibilities of this new project. The more we talked about it, the more excited we became. We began looking at materials and planning colors. It was about then I realized she had now acquired the affliction too.