The subject of using silicone versus regular brake fluid comes up several times a year among old vehicle collectors.

Silicone brake fluid: yes or no?

Silicone brake fluid: yes or no?

Regular brake fluid can be a good paint remover. Of course, if you plan ahead for a spill, it isn’t that big a deal. But is silicone brake fluid the be all, end all cure for poor paint surfaces and poor maintenance technique? Consider that while silicone will not remove paint, it can lead to what is called “cupping” where paint will not adhere to the surface being painted. So it could be a concern if you have to do any touch ups at a later time.

Which to use? Appears to settle upon a few factors:

1. If your preventive maintenance skills are lax then the use of silicone is likely your best bet. If you are capable of changing your brake fluid every couple of years then perhaps glycol is best for you.

2. If you can’t fill the master cylinder without spilling it all over your painted surface then perhaps silicone is the way to go. However, be forewared that while silicone doesn’t eat paint it keeps it from adhering to the surface and leads to “cupping”.

3. If you have more money then time then silicone is perhaps best for you. In most places the same quantity of silicone is several times the cost of glycol. But on the flip side you will need to replace your glycol several more times than silicone.

4. Do you drive your jeep thru water, wet roads when it rains? The jeeps’, like many brake systems are open to the atmosphere. Glycol is designed to absorb moisture and has inhibitors designed to reduce corrosion. Silicone is not designed to absorb water.  Moisture will pool in silicone and can lead to corrosion.

5. Spongy feeling. Silicone has a higher compressability then glycol which can lead to a spongy brake pedal sensation. Silicone has a slower pour rate (higher viscosity) than glycol. This may explain why it can be difficult to bleed the air from silicone equipped brakes. Once air is mixed into silicone (bubbles) it can take a long while to bleed it out.

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I love my jeep

I love my jeep.  But how did it get it’s name?

There’s a book by Paul Dickson, “War Slang: American Fighting Words and Phrases Since the Civil War, Second Edition“” that says the jeep is “1, a small, low, khaki-colored car in general use in the Army. 2, a rookie; a recruit.” OR you could go with his quote from another source, San Francisco Call-Bulletin, November 22, 1941, “Do you know why those swift little army cars are called ‘jeeps’? It’s Model G-P produced by that automobile manufacturer–and G-P easily becomes ‘jeep’.” In 1941 Ford was producing a vehicle for the Army that was a model GP. The vehicle pictured in this blog below is actually a 1941 Ford GP.

The unfortunate thing is that the War Slang book does not mention the jeep term being used during WWI or the inter-war period.

If you are interested in finding out more about WW2 era jeeps then you might want to check out my book on the subject: BANTAM, FORD AND WILLYS-1/4-TON RECONNAISSANCE CARS.

It might be a bit too cold to change the oil on your WW2 jeep right now.  However, it won’t be long when you will need to climb under the jeep, turn some wrenches and get that oil changed.

I really do hate dirty oil, don't you?

I really do hate dirty oil, don’t you?

Occasionally it will be necessary to flush the oil system because of an accumulation of sludge or other foreign material. Here are some instructions from WW2 manuals:

  • Drain the oil from the system after warming the engine to normal operating temperature. Be sure to useCAUTION as the oil will be HOT.
  • Fill the oil pan to half the indicated level with light engine oil.
  • Start the engine and allow it to warm up thoroughly. This will allow the light oil to clean the system. Watch the oil pressure gage, and stop the engine at the slightest sign of low oil pressure. This may be caused by a clogged strainer.
  • When the engine is thoroughly warmed, turn off the engine and drain the oil.
  • Fill to the proper level with the correct engine oil.
  • If the oil filter has a replaceable filter element, inspect it and replace if necessary.
Caution: These are recommendations from WW2, always consider if this practice is considered safe for you or your equipment for proceeding. If you follow these instructions I would use extreme caution and watch closely the oil pressure gauge. I would also try using 10w oil as my “cleaner” and I would fill it till it was at the full mark instead of half. The sump pickup in a jeep may not pickup the oil if it is only half full. I suggest always changing the oil filter when changing the oil. But I wouldn’t change the filter until after the cleaning. Again, exercise caution.
Whether you new at mechanics or just new around WW2 military vehicles, you might be interested in Automotive Trouble Shooting for WW2 Wheeled Vehicles: Volume 1 and Automotive Trouble Shooting For WW2 Wheeled Vehicles, Volume 2.
Even I could work on the T-84 transmission, how about you?
Got a spare tire and no where to stow it?

There comes a time when your WW2 jeep is just about finished and you begin to look for the little parts to complete the project.  One of those parts is the tire carrier.  You will need to figure out which one is correct for your year model jeep.  So if you need a place to hang that spare tire…

Omix-Ada 12021.11 3 Bolt Style Tire Carrier for Willys MBs/Ford GPWs Omix-Ada 12021.12 2 Bolt Style Tire Carrier for Willys MBs/Ford GPWs

You need to purchase a Tire Carrier. The 3-bolt late style tire carrier is the easiest to use.  It’s almost like mounting a wheel to the axle (with two less bolts, of course).

2 Bolt Style Tire Carrier for Willys MBs/Ford GPWs version is also available.  With this version you will also need a disc that actually holds the wheel on.

Need other parts?  The supplier has many other parts as well.

Don't you just hate it when you hear rattles?
Don’t you just hate it when you hear rattles?

[1] A rattling sound, apparently originating in the clutch, may be caused if the clutch-pedal pull-back spring is disconnected. Connect the spring, and check to see if the rattling is eliminated.
[2] If rattling continues it may due to weak pressure-plate retracting springs or excessive clearance between driving lugs and cover. The clutch assembly must be replaced.

Other trouble shooting information and tips can be found in the following two volumes:

Automotive Trouble Shooting For World War Two Wheeled Vehicles, Volume 1,The GARAGE version with a spiral wire binding so that the book can lay flat! Automotive Trouble Shooting For World War Two Wheeled Vehicles,Volume 1, is a useful manual for anyone. Do you know what to do when the cranking motor will not crank the engine? Engine fails to start? No spark? Misfiring at high speeds or under full load? Problems with your battery or battery cables? Do you know how to adjust your breaker points? Inspect the coil? Do you know how to polarize the generator? Use a jump wire to test your main light switch? Adjust your headlights? Trouble shoot your carburetor or fuel pump? All these and much more are covered. Put a copy in your truck for those little roadside emergencies! Originally produced by the US Gov’t, Ordnance School, Aberdeen Proving Ground, August, 1945. Edited by Robert Notman. Product Number: 16997587

Also available from and other fine bookstores!

Automotive Trouble Shooting For World War Two Wheeled Vehicles, Volume 2, is a useful manual for anyone and it takes off where volume one ended! Learn about the engine oil system. Do you know what to look for when rebuilding a block? Problems with valves? Find out how to trouble shoot and adjust the valves for wheeled vehicles. Problems with the clutch rattling? Check this manual out! Worried about your transmission or transfer case making noises? Check out the trouble shooting section. Any noises coming from your propeller shafts, universal joints or axles? Its discussed here. Trouble shooting the wheels, hubs, and rims? Chassis. Steering. Do you have brake problems, including Hydrovac brakes? Its all here and much more. Put a copy in your WW2 truck for those little roadside emergencies! Originally produced by the US Gov’t, Ordnance School, Aberdeen Proving Ground, August, 1945.Edited by Robert Notman. Product Number: 57304889

To order on line click the product number above OR call TOLLFREE (US) at 877.809.1659 and give the operator the product number. Ships worldwide. Prices subject to change.


This book covers the Bantam BRC, Ford GP and the Willys MA. There are many pages of original documents that have not been published before (as far as I know, anyway).

Lots of detailed photos of all three jeeps!

These jeeps are on display at the Veterans Memorial Museum of Huntsville, AL.

The 1/4-ton, 4×4, truck of World War Two started out in the hands of the Infantry and a little company called American Bantam Car Company. Bantam worked with the Army’s Quartermaster Corps to produce the pilot model that was accepted and then fulfilled their initial contract for 70 trucks. During testing of the pilot both Ford and Willys-Overland were invited to check out this new vehicle. The vehicles were studied in great detail. Soon, at their own expense, Ford and Willys-Overland submitted pilots for testing too. This book covers the production prototypes–Bantam BRC-40, Ford GP and the Willys MA.

(Front Cover), also available from and other fine booksellers!

Product Details:
Printed: 170 pages, 8.50″ x 11.00″, perfect binding, 60# white interior paper, black and white interior ink , 100# exterior paper, full-color exterior ink
ISBN: 978-1-84728-188-3
Publisher: Robert Notman
Copyright: © 2006 by Robert Notman Standard Copyright License
Language: English

Shipped worldwide!


The Complete WW2 Military Jeep Manual can help you with just about everything except mud!!!

The Complete WW2 Military Jeep Manual (Brooklyns Militarey Vehicles)If you own a WW2 jeep or are interested in purchasing one, you need The Complete WW2 Military Jeep Manual.  This is a reprint of several jeep manuals you will need to operate and repair your jeep.  They won’t be especially helpful in restoring  your jeep but they do contain a ton of information on how to operate your “new” jeep as well as steps on how to repair it.  Need to rebuild your front or rear axle?  That’s covered.  Want to rebuild your transmission? Covered as well.

It’s a good collection and well worth the price while you look to collect the originals!


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