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1960 Dodge Phoenix Convertible


TooOld

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On 8/30/2021 at 3:01 PM, StevenGuthmiller said:

Well, that’s the great thing about taking on these kinds of modifications.

You learn so much by taking the plunge and they just get better with each successive attempt.

I’m just really happy to see that there are others doing this sort of thing, especially with interiors.

These old kits deserve this kind of attention, and this way I get to see what they “should” look like without having to do them all myself! 😉😁

 

 

 

 

Steve

Yep .  This being my first attempt at something like this was a learning curve and I'm really looking forward to doing another one !

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19 hours ago, slusher said:

Bob, great shade of red sure looks realistic with your other detail work..

Thanks carl!

17 hours ago, CabDriver said:

You’re nailing it Bob!  Love that interior especially! 

Thanks Jim !

4 hours ago, bobthehobbyguy said:

Absolutely stunning work.

Thanks Bob !

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Now that you've all seen the parts how about the completed interior ?  I sprayed some more semi-gloss on the seats and couldn't resist putting it all together for some more pics !

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On 8/31/2021 at 5:47 PM, FLHCAHZ said:

Wow!  Amazing work. Really captures the time period!

Thanks Chaz !

On 9/1/2021 at 11:15 AM, espo said:

This interior is amazing looking. Chrysler products of this era had some pretty colorful interiors and you really captured that look.  

Thanks David ! 

21 hours ago, David G. said:

Seeing it all put together, that interior is a complete knock-out.

David G.

Thanks much David !

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Wow, so much goodness there!  That is stunning detail work, Bob.  It is giving me a lot of inspiration. 

You see, when I was a kid I customised to death a 1964 Chevelle wagon.  I have since acquired, at considerable cost, a replacement mint kit.  I have been following the work of Steve G and yourself for some time and I think the time is fast approaching to tackle it, using the techniques that you guys have developed.  Thank you for the inspiration, and for all the time you guys take to document the process.

Cheers

Alan

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On 9/3/2021 at 7:44 PM, alan barton said:

Wow, so much goodness there!  That is stunning detail work, Bob.  It is giving me a lot of inspiration. 

You see, when I was a kid I customised to death a 1964 Chevelle wagon.  I have since acquired, at considerable cost, a replacement mint kit.  I have been following the work of Steve G and yourself for some time and I think the time is fast approaching to tackle it, using the techniques that you guys have developed.  Thank you for the inspiration, and for all the time you guys take to document the process.

Cheers

Alan

Thanks very much Alan !  I'm also inspired by the work I see Steve and others doing here and it's inspired me to try some new things . You should give it a try !

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19 minutes ago, TimKustom said:

Just came across this thread, and a beautiful build is going on here. The interior is quite inspiring! Keep it up!

Thanks much Tim !

Time to start prepping the body for paint .  This body is about as close to perfect as you can get so I've been very careful when handling it so not to mess anything up . Then I picked it up to start prepping and PLINK ! . . . the vent window post goes flying across the room !  I actually looked up and saw where it landed , that's never happened before .

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I figured I might as well just make a new post , that way it will match the drivers side I replaced four months ago .  So a piece of .040" square stock filed to shape was glued in place .

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When dry I reinforced it with some CA glue , also filling any gaps . A little clean up and it's done .

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Next I double checked the fit of the bumpers .  The front almost snaps in place !  The only issue I see is the top of the headlight buckets don't match the top of the fenders .  I think a little trimming along the top of the grille and where the bumper wraps around on both ends will solve that .

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The rear bumper also fits nicely , in fact both bumpers fit better than any kit I've ever built .  

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Another self inflicted wound is a small depression at the screw mounting post on the trunk , I remember doing this when trimming the post to clear the chassis . . . stupid mistake .  This will be fixed .  Note the mold line across the trunk .

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All of the mold lines are so faint that I merely scraped them off with a single edge razor blade .

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Then followed that with some 400 grit and lightly sanded them all smooth . Almost too easy !

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Up front the molded in wipers will be removed . 

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They're not very pronounced and easily came off with a small file .  They were also molded incorrectly being mounted where the washer nozzles should be . I've drilled the new wiper mounting holes in the correct location .

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I've got a bunch of wiper sets but the only set the correct size are from the '58 Plymouth , not the best looking set with a lot of flash that needed to be cleaned up .  The mirror is from the '57 Chrysler kit . I would normally pin these using .020" dia brass rod but the mirror and even these wipers have a small mounting post molded into them .

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I make my own antennas using hypodermic tubing and insect pins .

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I've found the easiest way is to insert the pin into the tubing where you want it then use a sharp razor blade , rolling the tube to cut through .

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Then I drilled and shaped a short length of .050" rod for the antenna base and cut it at a 45 degree angle .

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Here's the wipers , mirror , and antenna in place . 

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I'll tackle the front bumper and the trunk tomorrow . :)

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This morning I worked on the fit of the front bumper/grille to the body , it needs to be moved upward to match the top of the fenders .  The arrows show the areas where material will be removed .

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As long as I'm working on this it was a good time to drill out the molded headlights .  Starting with a small hole drilled in the center of each headlight I used progressively larger drill bits until it matched the diameter of the headlights .  The headlights I'm using have a concave back side instead of flat , I've set one in place to check the fit . I'll use Molotow on the buckets later .

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Here's a comparison of the original fit (top) to the fit after the modifications (bottom) .  Much better !

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That's all for today , time to take care of other business . 

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Nice work with the wipers and antenna. Currently I use 17 gauge guitar string to replace the antennae on my builds. It doesn't have the telescopic effect that your method does but it's better than the chrome garden hose offered by most kits.

Excellent job on correcting the fit of the grille and the headlight mod will be a nice addition too.

David G.

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@TooOld my friend.

Many nice tips for me to refer back to when I get to my Polara.

I notice several subtle body differences between the Phoenix and the Polara.

Great work on the detailing, and getting things to fit properly on your rare kit.

I like what your doing. I'll keep following along as you progress. 👍

Edited by carbuilder1950
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On 9/9/2021 at 7:36 AM, David G. said:

Nice work with the wipers and antenna. Currently I use 17 gauge guitar string to replace the antennae on my builds. It doesn't have the telescopic effect that your method does but it's better than the chrome garden hose offered by most kits.

Excellent job on correcting the fit of the grille and the headlight mod will be a nice addition too.

David G.

Thanks David !  I sometimes use guitar string also but I prefer the two piece look .

19 hours ago, carbuilder1950 said:

@TooOld my friend.

Many nice tips for me to refer back to when I get to my Polara.

I notice several subtle body differences between the Phoenix and the Polara.

Great work on the detailing, and getting things to fit properly on your rare kit.

I like what your doing. I'll keep following along as you progress. 👍

Thanks David ! Yes there are several subtle styling differences between the two . Also the Polara was the top of the line model for 1960 with a 122 inch wheelbase while the Darts had a 118 inch wheelbase .

18 hours ago, Codi said:

I missed this one Bob.  Great thread and "how-to" as well.  It's a great looking vehicle and that interior is phenomenal.  cheers, tim

Thanks Tim !

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I only have an hour every morning to work on this so this is another small update .

To fill the sink mark on the trunk I used Evercoat Polyester Putty .  People complain that it goes bad to quickly but I've been using it since the early 80's and have never had any problems with it .  If you mix the contents of the can thoroughly every time you use it , and keep the lid clean so it will seal properly , it will last for several years .  Eventually after many years it will be unusable but I've had this can going on five years and it's still good !

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 Last night after sanding the area with 400 grit I taped off a small area to spray with primer . This morning I taped a slightly smaller area for the putty . Never try to mix a tiny amount , it will never work  !  You need to mix about a spoonful with a dab of hardener to get it right .

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It's ready to sand in about 15 minutes .  I sand it to shape with 220 grit using a craft stick as a sanding block , then finish it with some 400 grit .

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I need to check the entire body again for anything that needs fixing then tomorrow I can prime it and hopefully get some color on it Sunday .

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On 9/12/2021 at 10:40 AM, thatz4u said:

Very nice work, well done...

Thanks Al !

3 hours ago, David G. said:

Nice work. It's the small subtle details that make the biggest difference.

David G.

Thanks David !  

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On 8/4/2021 at 9:57 AM, TooOld said:

Over the weekend I finally started on the chassis , after doing the interior this should be a piece of cake !

For those that don't know 1960 was the first year for the Unibody but it still used the earlier front torsion bar suspension , I don't think the K-member front was used until 1962 or 63 . This is a drawing of the chassis layout , looking at photos on the web it's not exact but is pretty close .

5 - 1960 Dodge Chassis

Before doing anything I used the JoHan chassis to mark the axle centerlines on the wheel arches . I took some measurements but figured this was a good backup .

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Here's the AMT '64 Belvedere chassis and parts I'll use for the unibody .

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The rear axle from an AMT '58 Plymouth is more correct for the Dodge and it's the correct width . I just added some mounting posts to move the springs inboard .

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Here's the rear suspension set in place . In the background is the frame from the '58 Plymouth .

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I removed the front subframe and will add some .060" strips to each side so the chassis will fit snugly in the body .

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Those strips were glued in place and trimmed . I also added a filler plate to the rear of the chassis .

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Fits like a glove !

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The original plan was to make a new subframe using the AMT '57 Chrysler 300 but then I realized that the '58 Plymouth was more accurate for the Dodge .  In this photo you can see that the wheelbase has been stretched on the Chrysler frame . The Plymouth is also the correct wheelbase and I actually looked at using the floorboard and chopping up the frame to make it a unibody but there was too much interference with my interior .

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So I just cut the front off and made the new subframe .

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This is how it will look on the chassis .

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The JoHan tires in my kit are in good condition but I really like these Firestone Deluxe tires so they'll be swapped .

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Here's everything in place to check clearances .  Some of you will be disappointed that this will remain a curbside model .  Opening the hood and adding the engine compartment along with all of the miscellaneous goodies is something I'm just not up to right now . I will install an engine just for appearance sake so the chassis will look finished .

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And after three months my Dodge is finally up on all four ! :D  I had thought that the ride height would be too high and I'd have to make some changes to the suspension but it looks pretty good . That's a relief . . . something actually worked the first time !

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This build looks great

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Another busy week but I actually accomplished quite a bit .  Monday I detailed the bumpers and grille with some black paint , a black wash , and finished the headlight buckets with some Molotow chrome .

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Tuesday I finished going over the body and sprayed two coats of white primer .

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Wednesday morning I sprayed two coats of Vermillion Red and Thursday morning it got one coat of clear .

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Edited by TooOld
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