Are you looking for a symbol, er, star?

Are you looking for a symbol, er, star?

 Was there something other than a star on the hood of WW2 vehicles? You can trust the old WW2 Army Motors to give us an answer!
May 1944, Army Motors:

If you see some peculiar white shapes riding around on vehicles in your vicinity—don’t shoot, they’re not enemy ski-troops. Most likely they’re the new “national symbols” authorized
by Change 10 to AR 850-5 (25 March 1944).

Vehicles assigned to tactical units anywhere and designated administrative vehicles overseas, still wear the familiar white star. But all other vehicles now sport the following national symbols instead:

ASF vehicles (except contractor operated ones at class IV installations) wear the insignia of the appropriate Service Command;

AAF vehicles flash an insignia prescribed by the Commanding General, AAF;

AGF vehicles carry a symbol specified by the Commanding General, AGF.

What could be symboler?


Don't let this be a headache.

Don’t let this be a headache.

The question is should you tighten the engine head of your jeep?
A question came up on one of the threads on whether “the manuals” tell you to tighten the head more than once.

It depends on which TM you look at. Maybe tightening the head more then once after installation was a common knowledge then for 1940s mechanics? At any rate, you have to have more than one manual with these jeeps. I found the answer on page 69, No. 18, TM 37-2810, March 1945.

“Caution: Cylinder heads should not ordinarily be tightened unless there is a definite indication of looseness or leaks. If tightening is necessary, use a torque-indicating wrench and tighten in the sequence and to the tension specified in the vehicle Technical Manual. When a new gasket is installed, tighten three times as follows: First, upon installation, second, after engine is warmed up, and third, after completing final road test.”

For the WW2 jeep you would follow the pattern as indicated in the graphic below:




See Cylinder Head Tightening Chart for more info.

From TM 9-803 Willys Overland Model MB and Ford Model GPW 1/4 Ton 4×4 Technical Manual .



Bantam BRC-40

Chief of Infantry, that is.

For the past few months (1941), the Holabird Quartermaster Depot has been doing considerable test work in connection with the current development and procurement of motor vehicles. This and pressure of other work delayed the departure of the test convoy for Fort Bragg until the early part of March. Undergoing test now by the Field Artillery Board are the following vehicles in the test fleet:

¼-Ton Liaison Truck:

The Field Artillery Board is concluding its test of ten ¼-ton liaison trucks, manufactured by the Bantam Car Company. So successful has been their performance that recommendations have en submitted for issue to field artillery units on the following basis:a. In lieu of all motor tricycles listed in T/BA’s.b. Substitution of two ¼-ton trucks in each liaison section of light and medium artillery and in each firing battery of motorized artillery.c. The addition of one ¼-ton truck per battalion headquarters battery of horse and horse-drawn artillery. Extension of the use of this vehicle beyond that given above is anticipated as experience in gained with it.For more on the Bantam see …Bantam, Ford, Willys–1/4-ton Reconnaissance Cars is a book I have written to discuss those early vehicles that became known as “jeeps”.  The book includes a number of rarely seen “jeep” photos.



A Bantam BRC-60, one of the original 70 jeeps built, being put through its’ paces by going for a swim.

A Bantam BRC-60, one of the original 70 jeeps built, being put through its’ paces by going for a swim.

The troops immediately fell in love with the vehicle that in a slightly different form would go on to help win the war with nearly 600,000 copies being produced.

Overall height of vehicle is low.

Overall height of vehicle is low.


The book is filled with photos of the Bantam BRC-60 and BRC-40.  Specifically covered is the BRC-40 preserved at the Veterans’ Memorial Museum in Huntsville, AL.  This is a great museum to visit with a good size collection of military vehicles.

The book also covers the Ford GP and Willys MA.  You can purchase a copy of the book directly from the publisher or through (and other booksellers).

ISBN: 978-1-8472818-8-3  Price: $24.95 plus shipping. Price subject to change.
You need these books.

Are you in to WW2 jeeps, like me? Then you will want these books!

if you’re jeep isn’t running then you need some remedial summer reading. One of my books could be just what you need!

I’ve written or edited a number of books related to WW2 jeeps.  You can find many of them on  Check them out, you might find them very useful.  If you need help with your WW2 jeep transmission  there is a book to cover that.  If you don’t know a lot about working on WW2 vehicles then there are books for that as well.  Check out
Gotta rear seat?

Gotta rear seat?

Is your rear seat missing from your WW2 jeep?  It really should have a rear seat. Often in an unrestored jeep the rear seat will be missing.  This could be because Bubba didn’t need a rear seat and wanted that little bit of extra space to haul groceries to the farm.  Well, I’ve found a pretty good solution to your problem Bunky.

Rear Seat Frame for Willys MB 1941-45
Is your WW2 jeep without a rear seat frame? Mine was….of course it didn’t have a rear panel either! Rear Seat Frame for 1941-45 Willys MB Replaces part number: A2782 Can be used in 1942-45 Ford GPWs but of course will not have the “F” mark.
The part is from OMIX-ADA.
Sometimes the WW2 jeep can be hard to shift.

Sometimes the WW2 jeep can be hard to shift.

Maybe one of these reasons are why…check out the solution.

Interlock plunger missing

Remove transmission and transfer case, install interlock

Clutch fails to release
Adjust clutch pedal free travel or replace

Gear shift end worn or damaged; binding in housing

Shift plate worn or bent

Shift rods binding in case
Replace, check case for damage

Transmission loose on bell housing

Clutch shaft pilot binding in bushing case or shift housing damaged
Replace pilot bushing, measure pilot end for tolerance, examine housing

And of course the easiest reason might be not enough free play on the clutch.


WW2 Jeep Tire Pressure Stencils?

I’m not fond of being pressured but I do like to keep the correct tire pressure on the jeep.  One way to keep it right is to paint the proper tire pressure near by. And while this is often thought of as a post-war phenomenon but here I can present some evidence that it actually appeared in the late WW2 era!

WDC 174 ( 12 Jun. 45) says tire pressures are to be stenciled on vehicles—the tire pressure prescribed in TM 31-200. (Pending revision of this TM, the latest list of correct tire pressures appears in TB 31-200-7, 23 May 45.) Here’s where it goes: On the instrument panel (prominently displayed) of all wheeled, general purpose, special equipment, and special purpose vehicles— in the driver’s compartment (prominently displayed) of all tank-like wheeled combat-vehicles—on the outside of the fender, or on the body near the wheels, of trailers and semitrailers.

The markings should be legible block or stencil-type letters, not over one inch high, and put on with approved white, lusterless, stenciling, synthetic enamel, except when the area to be marked is painted white; then, the markings go in approved black, lusterless, stenciling, synthetic enamel.

From Military Maintenance for MB/GPW Jeeps 1941-45 which is available through booksellers everywhere or directly from the publisher.