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1944 Dodge Power Wagon Hybrid - High-Country Krawler

Posted in Project Vehicles on December 1, 2009 Comment (0)
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Sometimes a vehicle build takes many twists and turns before the project is finished and we end up with a different rig than we planned on. When Carl Buckingham of Aspen, Colorado, bought his '74 K20 Blazer new, he never dreamed it would turn out to be the classic-looking hybrid Power Wagon it is today.

The front axle is an '82 GM Dana 60 with 5.13 gears, an ARB locker, and chromoly inner and outer shafts. Bobby Long Super Joints were used for peace-of-mind strength. The steering system uses Offroad Design's high-steer arms and crossover steering components and is fitted with a custom PSC hydro-assist.

During its transition from a Blazer to a '44 Dodge, many parts came and went, but Carl stuck with the '40 cab from an old Dodge military farm truck (body style designated VC), the front fenders and hood are from a '44 6x6, and the sloping front hood is from a 3/4-ton truck. The axles, engine, transfer case, and transmission are a mix of custom parts and components from other vehicles. This patchwork Dodge is extremely unique and carries a little bit of Dodge history in every part of it-we found this cool truck not just anomalous in character, but extremely capable on the trail.

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Tech Specs
1944 Dodge Power Wagon(hybrid)

Drivetrain
Engine: Chevy 350ci V-8
Transmission: SM465 4-speed with Chelsea PTO
Transfer case: Advanced Adapters Atlas 3.8
Front Axle: '82 GM Dana 60, 5.13 gears, ARB locker, disc brakes
Rear Axle: GM 14-bolt, 5.13 gears, Detroit locker, TSM disc brakes

Suspension
Springs & Such: Rancho shocks and 4-inch lift leaf springs (front). Triangulated four-link, 16-inch King coilovers (rear).
Tires & Wheels: 40X13.5R17 Goodyear MT/Rs on 17x9 Trail Ready beadlocks
Other Stuff: Off-Road Designs high-steer arms and crossover steering, PSC hydro-assist, tilt front clip, Warn 16,500-pound winch, York 210 onboard air compressor, Garmin GPS,Flo-Fit seats, Billet Specialties steering wheel, Braden 10,000-pound upright winch behind cab, 350 U-joints, chromoly inner and outer axleshafts, Bobby Long Super Joints, custom truck bed and front and rear bumpers.

The engine compartment was fitted with a Chevy 350ci V-8 and fed by a four-barrel 750-cfm Quadrajet carburetor. The classic and removable tilt front clip allows easy access to the engine compartment for maintenance and repairs. The interior of the '40s VC Dodge cab was designed to be low maintenance yet comfortable and functional. The dash and door panel were skinned with aluminum for durability, and Flo-Fit seats were installed for comfort and safety on the trail. Dodge has a place in automotive history by stamping out virtually the same cabs from 1938 to 1972. ('68-'72 models were for export only.) The VC cabs from 1938 to 1942 have a recessed firewall and a longer skirt below the doors.

The 14-bolt rear axle uses a Detroit Locker for dependable traction, and TSM disc brakes were used for safe stopping power. The rear suspension uses a triangulated four-link design with 16-inch King coilovers. The coilovers are mounted above the bed on custom mounts. The custom truck bed on Carl's Power Wagon was built from 13/4x0.120-inch DOM steel tubing and carries everything necessary for wheeling the Rocky Mountains and Moab. As most project builds go, the bed is still under construction and awaiting the aluminum diamond-plate deck and a few more storage compartments.

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