Well, Friday was the big busy day, Thursday could have been busy too, but I had to prove to a family member in order to get their financing for the needed body pieces, that 1st generation Dodge Dually fenders are really really hard to find used.
I’d found an add on Craigslist for a 1975 D300 that was being parted out at R&B Auto Wrecking in Molalla, Oregon. It was painted a horrible shade of purple, but it still had its dually fenders. I gave R&B a call and sure enough, the truck still had its fenders on, and they wanted $125 for the pair.
I spoke with said family about the rarity of the part and how I’d been searching parts for this project for well over a year, but no, had to call ALL of the salvage yards in the area.
So, to prove a point that I already knew to be true, I called every salvage yard within a 100 mile radius, as requested.
Not only did NO ONE have the dually fenders from a 1972-1993 1st Generation Dodge Truck, most didn’t even have any 1st generation Dodges, period. Lots and Lots of 2nd Generation and beyond…..
Well, this exercise in the obvious proved what I already knew, but made it so late in the afternoon that getting out to the wrecking yard that day and pulling the fenders before they closed wasn’t possible, bringing the chance that I might lose out on the fenders.
So, that brings us today, got up early, called them back, still had the fenders, zipped out there with my father and pulled the fenders. I debated very briefly pulling one of the rims, but a close examination revealed that all six wheels on the truck were using 16” split rims, uh… no. I’ll keep living, thanks .
Removing the fenders wasn’t too bad, mostly because the screws had rusted in place, so for a number of them, you’d get about two twists with the socket wrench before the top of the screw just broke clean off, made for fairly quick work.
You can see how the wheel opening on the 1st generation Dodge duallies are far larger than the those you see on a single-rear-wheel truck.
Obviously, these fenders won’t directly bolt up to my truck, so, what do I plan to do with them?
Easy, modify them to fit .
So, fenders obtained, check for $125 written, and we’re on our way back to town.
Quick turn around as I unload the tool boxes back into my pickup and the fenders behind the house, a fast shower to remove powdered pickup truck from all my pores, then its off to America’s Tire/Discount Tire to get my new Dunlop A/Ts mounted up.
The boys at the tire shop are on the bounce and have my tires mounted up in close to no time, my brain fart of forgetting to remove the old valve stems before repainting the rims slows them down a bit as the old valve stems (With 2 coats of paint and 2 coats of clear) don’t want to unbolt very easily.
By 6pm, I’m on my way back home with four shiny new tires on their shiny rims in the back of the suburban.
A little time with a breaker bar, my 1-1/8” socket, and two lug nuts, to temporarily mount the tires for clearance checking and I have this:
Everything checks out, and now its fender modding time!
Several hours with a jigsaw, a drawing compass with a sharpie duct-taped to it and a lot of fine tuning, and I have this:
Remount the tires on the truck for a visual inspection….
Can’t wait to be done!
Tomorrow will involve doing the fine sanding, then epoxying the mounting tabs to the underside of the fender so I can secure to the truck bed. I’ll later tape it off and do a little bondo work to make the two seamless, then the ugly purple will become a nice crisp white.
I’ll still need to find some clearance lights for the fenders, ironically, there was no signs of them ever having had any when they were on the old ‘75 D300, but Stuart’s has identical ones to the originals, but with LED lights in them vs the standard bulbs.
But, that’s a project for another day .
Hopefully tomorrow, my brother will bring home the 300lb rated torque wrench so I can put the final torque on the pinion nut and actually take this girl out for a test drive .