Jedawson1 M37 preservation/restoration

jedawson1

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Hello All, here is my story:

I purchased this April of 1951 M37 from a gentleman in VA with the help of fellow SS MadDawg. Its a solid truck, but the previous owner had an unfortunately medical issue that forced him to leave the truck parked outside for 3 years under tree's. With that said, there is no major rust, but it is showing signs of rust creeping in at the fender joints and the undercarriage. I was waiting to build a larger shop before taking on a preservation project, but god had different plans; My neighbor of 10 years has a 17 year old son named Kyle who still doesn't have his drivers license or a truck, now this is not his fault, his father is a provider but hasn't in the last 10 years shown encouragement or interest in his sons life. Just the other day I asked Kyle to help me take the trash off since I have recently had minor surgery (jersey finger) and cant use my right hand for a few weeks. While driving with Kyle I asked him "how will you know when you become a man" (book "Raising A Modern Day Knight") he spouted the typical answers like "I have nuts, and when I got pubic hair" etc... I asked him to think about what separates him from his friends, after some time to think we agreed that his actions separated him I said "great now we are making progress". I then pointed out that there are childish actions and manly actions, to which I had to clarified MMA fighting does not constitute manliness, but toughness and skill. After some silence to let the question sink in, I then proposed the 4 principals of manhood from "Raising A Modern Day Knight"; 1)reject passivity 2)accept responsibility 3)lead courageously 4)expect gods greater reward. Kyle listened while I dialoged examples of these principles so as not to leave them open to misinterpretation.

Anyway, I mentioned needing to disassemble my M37 and asked him if he wanted a summer job helping me. He said yes and we ended up working all day Saturday and Sunday bagging up bolts, labeling parts, and taking pictures to remind us just how everything fits together. I paid him $10 an hour and after handing him his first $100 bill I asked "how much do you need to buy your first truck?" Kyle said $3000, I said "how many of these do you need to buy your first truck" and it started sinking in...to which I explained "now you only need 29 more 10 hour days". I paid him again yesterday another $100 bill, and told him to ask his parents at supper if they would match him $1 for $1 or $.50 on the dollar (probably wont happen). But my wife received a text message saying "Kyle asked me to open him a savings account, tell Jason thank You."
Man it felt good to know my talk is sinking in, time will tell if he's ready to "reject passivity" but he's off to a good start. God is good!

Now to the truck, the goal is preservation; (1)to prevent minor rust spots from becoming cancer by dis-assembly, stripping, and painting (2) get a good protective coating on the chassis like POR (3) go through all the mechanical systems including entire drive-train and breaks to get them up to near 100% so I can enjoy driving it knowing its properly serviced.

Here are some pictures of the truck when I brought it home, and showing progress disassembling the bed to which Kyle had to drill out all of the floor bolts because the corrosion was too strong for the Phillips head bolts to withstand without stripping. The bolts seem like a medium steel as they were pretty slow to drill even with good bits, but not as hard as grade 8 that I've drilled through on bulldozers.

IMG_20130826_180957_870.jpgIMG_20130826_180944_394.jpgIMG_20130826_180932_029.jpgtapatalk_1369936490924.jpegIMG_20130630_100913_233.jpgIMG_20140427_131016_930.jpgIMG_20140427_131006_239.jpg
 

Storm 51

Just a Grunt
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That truck looks to be in great shape! Congratulations on your purchase and project.

You need to get some pictures of you and Kyle in there too. Need pictures of the team with the project.

Storm 51
 

jedawson1

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That truck looks to be in great shape! Congratulations on your purchase and project.

You need to get some pictures of you and Kyle in there too. Need pictures of the team with the project.

Storm 51
Should be getting some pictures with Kyle this weekend. On another note, I found a mobile sandblaster locally that charges $150 an hour, sound better than days behind a sander or grinder with a wire wheel, that means Kyle and I can focus on the mechanical aspect a little more. Rear Axles and brakes here we come...
 

jedawson1

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uploadfromtaptalk1399812530398.jpg
Kyle disassembled the entire bed, now to remove the gas tank and bumperettes. I've got to locate replacements for the rear and forward most cross members, mine are too rusted I think. All the other parts are in great shape, just needs blasted and paint.

I'm thinking about blasting then sealing the frame with POR15. Its a little too glossy but should be a better long term preserver.
 
Last edited:

jedawson1

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Oh and the filler opening on the gas tank is gummed up with a red substance, curious what the inside of the tank looks like. Truck was sitting for three years prior. Hoping vinegar and steam wash will take care of the build up.
 

jedawson1

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uploadfromtaptalk1399895248620.jpg
What would you do with this?

Cross member is in good shape on the outer sides, rivets seem tight, only rust is where the top to bottom seam. I was thinking of spraying the inside of it with some POR until it drips from the seams? I just don't want to worry about rust going forward. I just don't know about dirt that may be inside.
 

Storm 51

Just a Grunt
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Be sure to ask about this over on G741 too. There are lots of very knowledgeable people over there who have a great deal of experience.

I've never had to deal with frame issues, so I'm not much help.

Great to see the picture of Kyle. He looks like he enjoys what he is doing and it always is nice to have a helping hand.

Good luck on your project. It looks like you will have a great truck when you are done.

Storm 51
 

jedawson1

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Thanks Storm 51, I logged in to G741 and will likely start a similar thread there focused more on just the truck. Here are some more pictures, I've been on Kyle to label bolts and for the most part he's been doing it. Kyle just gets ahead of himself, especially when he feels there is progress to be made, then he wants to skip the stuck bolts. I've really enjoyed bantering back and forth with him. Attached are some more pictures, it's coming along nicely, I'll be looking for a body shop soon.

IMG_20140517_103127_677.jpgIMG_20140518_153215_707.jpgIMG_20140427_134349_669.jpgIMG_20140518_153215_707.jpgIMG_20140518_153149_212.jpg
 

jedawson1

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I have a question for you seasoned restorers; I'm going to be priming and painting all of the parts "off the truck" When I re assemble the body, all the bolt's will be unpainted (most replaced with new bolts). Should I prime and put one coat of paint, then re install all the body parts and come back and paint the truck one final time after assembly? How did these roll off the assembly line in 1951, were the bolts painted over from the factory?
 

Storm 51

Just a Grunt
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I had all my bolts and nuts cad plated (saved me a lot of time cleaning and running a tap or die through each one). Bulk price was very cost effective.

I did not repaint my nuts or bolts (or truck when done) because I liked the look of the silver bolts / nuts against the O.D. background color (it almost makes it look riveted from a distance). I'm sure it is not the way it came from the factory, but I like it, and most people don't even notice. I can send you some more detailed pictures than what is in the avatar pic so that you can see what it looks like if you like. Just PM me your direct email because we can not attach any photos (or anything else) to PM's.

Storm 51
 

jedawson1

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Murfreesboro, TN
Question about part!!! In the attached picture, under object U is the "Filter, Ignition Assembly 1268949" from page 6 in TM9-1840A in the manual

I am having trouble locating details about this part, specifically what wire should be going into it and where should the wire out be going to, what type of wire etc...?

I've noticed this "ignition filter" is not being utilized on my truck currently, nor is the stock fuel filter but I found details on the fuel filter so I can re plumb it correctly using the TM.

Your help is appreciated.

Thanks

Jason

View attachment Engine Compartment, Right Side..docx
 

jedawson1

Member
Steel Soldiers Supporter
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Location
Murfreesboro, TN
Question about part!!! In the attached picture, under object U is the "Filter, Ignition Assembly 1268949" from page 6 in TM9-1840A in the manual

I am having trouble locating details about this part, specifically what wire should be going into it and where should the wire out be going to, what type of wire etc...?

I've noticed this "ignition filter" is not being utilized on my truck currently, nor is the stock fuel filter but I found details on the fuel filter so I can re plumb it correctly using the TM.

Your help is appreciated.

Thanks

Jason

View attachment 496037
uploadfromtaptalk1401464939404.jpg
 

Storm 51

Just a Grunt
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Talk to John at Midwest Military about how to deal with the old style filters. These were on the early trucks and I believe there was an MWO to upgrade the trucks to the new style radio noise suppressor which is all self contained within the distributor.

Others here, or on G741, may have more detailed or historical information on these early installations.

Storm 51
 

jedawson1

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Made good progress so far, Kyle is running out of body parts to remove. We are contemplating how to go about removing the cab while dealing with the electrical.
 

jedawson1

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I have some questions concerning rewiring the truck. Currently the wiring is a birds nest. Has anyone rewired one of these trucks and what would you say about your experience??? I'm ok with purchasing a brand new harness but I am no electrical guy and am concerned with getting everything ran from the dash to its proper place be it light, horn, oil pressure etc.
 

Storm 51

Just a Grunt
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Order a new harness from Vintage Wiring of Maine. It is expensive (but not as expensive as an electrical fire). Get the complete set (Main front and rear harness, instrument cluster, etc.) for your truck. Install it per the manuals (you should have purchased the hard copies of the manuals by now). It is not that hard, everything is numbered and plugs together. Remember, 17, 18 & 19 year old privates did this back in the day. To make it really easy, just be sure to sequence it properly with your re-assembly (it is pretty obvious when you get to that point - be sure to always inspect PRIOR to cover or close).

Be sure you are sitting down and very relaxed and calm when you call Vintage Wiring.

Good Luck with your project / adventure!

Storm 51
 

jedawson1

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Murfreesboro, TN
I appreciate your input, I saw vintage power wagons website posted, I think it was $1100 for the full harness. I want it done right and I know that's going to cost more than it does to just keep it running.

I'll give the guy in Maine a call Monday. Also, thanks for the lead on paint, won't be long. My oldest is 6yrs old and he was helping Kyle and I. Good times, good time.
 

rtk

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Just a quick note on the wiring from Vintage , if you want to add some lights or maybe an electric fuel pump in the future , have Vintage run the wires in the harness . I had them run wiring for a electric fuel pump back by the tank and it came out great . You just give them the details and they will fix you up .100_1276.jpg
 

Storm 51

Just a Grunt
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Also, I forgot to mention to be sure to get the correct connectors for your truck (Packard or Douglas). Also specify whether you want a a two wire or three wire rear tail light set up. Do you want turn signals? There is also a connector for a map light that goes on the lower right corner of the dash (near the passenger door) that you may want to consider having available (I find it very handy).

So, before you order from Joe at Wiring of Maine give some thought to your order. Know the difference between the harness for a M-37 and and M-37B1. They are different. Review the manuals (especially the wiring diagrams) and talk to other owners about their harnesses before you call to place your order.

The harness can be modified after installation, but it is much easier if you don't have to.

Just a suggestion.

Storm 51
 
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