1941 Dodge WC-12 "The Doge"

RyanO

Adventurist
#1
Just started on this forum and wanted to post my project.
The Doge is a 1941 Dodge WC-12 which was a military 4x4 model that was the predecessor of the Power Wagon which started its production in 1946. I got this truck in February 2015 and have been working on getting it running/road legal.

This is The Doge which got its nickname from this
 

RyanO

Adventurist
#2
Before I purchased the truck some fella decided to stretch the frame which is why in the pictures it may look weird. I am thinking of mounting a 50 gallon fuel tank in the space that currently exists between the cab and the bed.
 

RyanO

Adventurist
#4
Wheels and tires have been the biggest thing the truck has received in the almost 2 years I've owned the truck. The tires are 37 inch military tires that i picked up cheap because their kinda junky, but the wheels are by no means junky. the bolt patterns on old power wagons is a uncommonly large five lug pattern on a 2 piece "split rim" or widow makers. I wanted to get ride of the original split rims because they have a decadency to explode when aired up if the ring is not seated properly, look it up on youtube, insane stuff. Anyway to replace the wheels the option i went with were re-centered military H1 beadlock wheels which are awesome to say the least.
 

Haggis

Adventurist
Senior Staff
Editor
Founding Member
#7
Awesome! It's great to see a rig that isn't the standard Tacoma, Wrangler or 4Runner build. Looking forward to the progression of your ride.
 

RyanO

Adventurist
#8
Howdy ho ever one, I've been off the forum for a while because I've had trouble getting some drag link parts for the truck. The steering wheel used to have a ton of back lash before it would actually start to move the wheels. A friend of mine noticed that pitman arm moved independently in the drag link. The pitman arm and the drag link are supposed to in unison. I found that the inards of the drag link had been messed with and one of the springs inside the drag link had been broken. After finally getting my parts in I painted the parts chassis black reassembled the parts and placed them back on the truck.
 

RyanO

Adventurist
#9
More development is with the trucks bench seat. The seat that I got with the truck must have been out of a station wagon or something similar from the 1970s. I pulled a bench seat form a early 90's dodge which was wider then the cab of my truck. So to make it fit i did what any sensible person would do I chopped 6 out and welded the bench seat frame back together. I have moved on to modifying the foam of the seat and waiting for material so that i can reupholster the seat. i plan on covering the seat in gray vinyl and doing yellow Westfalia plaid inlays.

 
#16
The running gear in these half ton WC's was designed for a 90 horse power engine going through a four speed crash box transmission and single speed transfer case turning 4.89 axle gears with 31 inch tall 7.50 X 16 tires on dually type 5 and one half inch wide split rims. The fixed anchor drum brakes and cam and lever type Gemmer steering box in these things all adds up to a truck that is meant to be driven 45 miles an hour which is fine for 1941 roads and traffic.Having owned and driven a Dodge wc6 command car and wc26 carryall over 40 years and put over 50000 miles on the wc26 with stock running gear I have learned that the people over at the Dodge Mound Road Assembly plant knew what they were doing. The stock Gemmer steering in these trucks is just adequate for the 7.50X16 tires and is an armfull to steer. The Budd Wheel split rims that come on these trucks are safe as long as the rim and lock ring are not bent or rusty.I have changed dozens of these tires at home with just a bead breaker hammer, big screwdriver , dish soap and water.
I have nor have any of my associates in the MVPA have had any issues with these wheels.If you must run the big wheels one thing you can do with some modifications is use 55 through 59 Chevy or GMC pickup steering box, column and wheel. The GM steering is recirculating ball, vast improvement.
The steering knuckle bearings are tiny on these things and are always junk and the top knuckle cracks and the bearing race flops around loose.
So check this out or you will never get this thing to stop death wobbling. Also when you are in the front axle check if you have the Rezepa or Bendix axle shafts. Most have the Bendix. The Bendix axle has to have shimmed up right or it will break stuff. I think the Army repair manual reprint for the half ton wc series trucks is still available through the MVPA. I have gone thousand mile trips is those old clunkers without having to open the tool box but you cant go over 45 mph or hear yourself think over the noise. I think the best way to get one of these old Dodges to faster is on a trailer behind a Diesel dually tow rig. Good luck on the project inch by inch its all a sinch.
 
#17
On Dodge WC , Power wagon wheels. The Half ton WC wheels will not work on the three quarter ton WC or the Power wagon .
They will go on but they wont seat on the wheel flange and you will crack the wheels at the inside of the lug nut holes.
 

bob91yj

Adventurist
Founding Member
#18
The knowledge level in our little corner of the interweb, and willingness to share that knowledge, never ceases to amaze me.
 
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RyanO

Adventurist
#19
Wow that's a ton of great info, thanks for that I appreciate it. I'll have to keep that info in mind when I go through the axles this fall.
 
#20
The half ton series trucks even by 1941 standards was found to be lacking and too frail of a machine for military service. So in 1942 the three quarter ton series trucks addressed all of the shortcomings and weakness of the half ton series vehicles. In the Old School Photos section of this Forum there are some some photos of the WC 26 Carryall, WC 27 Ambulance, WC 52 weapons carrier, WC 57 command car and Dodge M37 on Desert trips from long ago.
 
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