Can you hear my jeep running? Neither can I. Not only is it just a picture but the jeep still will not start.

But WW2 jeep did start and many still do.  Let me change the subject too early pre-WW2 jeeps.  These were pre-standardized jeeps built by there manufacturers.  For more about the Bantam, Ford and Willys jeeps check out BANTAM, FORD, AND WILLYS—1/4-TON RECONNAISSANCE CARS.  The 1/4-ton, 4×4, truck of World War Two started out in thBANTAM, FORD AND WILLYS—1/4-TON RECONNAISSANCE CARSe 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.

You also might be interested in A WW2 Jeep History by H. Rifkind.
If you are interested in the history of the development of the jeep there is little substitute for the first effort done by H. Rifkind. This book was written from the Quartermaster Corps’ perspective but draws on numerous resources and documentation to put together a pretty good picture of what happened. What makes it even more valuable is that it actually lists the sources. So if you can figure where and how to find them, you find a gold mine of information to research. I know that I have used this information to track down at least one of the players in the jeep story–Major General George Lynch, Chief of Infantry. The Infantry was instrumental in the development of the jeep project–they saw the need long before anyone or any other agency jumped on the bandwagon.

Jeep – Its development and procurement under the Quartermaster Corps, 1940-1942 gives a great rundown of the early history of the jeep written near the time that the events actually happened.  If you love old jeeps, you will want this book.

I like a really good read and there’s nothing better than to dust off a book from WW2!

I like a really good read and there’s nothing better than to dust off a book from WW2!

The following was extracted from an article by the same name contained in Military Maintenance for MB/GPW Jeeps 1941-45 starting on page 86. (You can find the book on, and elsewhere.) The article originally appeared in the WW2 Army Motors magazine.

Regulation and manuals that could be helpful to the jeep restorer and historian. Starts with Army Regulations like AR 1-5, Index to Army Regulations AR 850-5 Marking of Clothing, Equipment, Vehicles, and Property. AR 850-10 Registration of Motor Vehicles AR 850-15 Motor Vehicles (“the bible of motor vehicles”) among others.

Field Manuals like FM 21-6, List of Publications for Training; FM 21-7 List of Training Films, Film Strips and Film Bulletins; FM 25-10 Basic Field Manual: Motor Transport Technical Manuals] TM 9-2800 Standard Military Motor Vehicles (ah, a book to drool over and included in the cd from military-media); TM 9-2810 Motor Vehicle Inspections and Preventive Maintenance Services; TM 21-300 Driver Selection and Training; and one of my favorites… TM 31-200 Maintenance and Care of Pneumatic Tires and Rubber Treads; TM 38-250 Basic Maintenance Manual; then there are the vehicle TMs. (get them on the CD for cheap or collect the originals or the 1947 reprints or the modern reprints in one volume).

And there were War Department Circulars
Training Circulars (“like TC 117 on the marking of bridges and vehicles”)
Technical Bulletins – this would cover changes to your vehicle
TMs and would be incorporated with the next TM change
Tables of Organization and Equipment – just how many jeeps and machine guns are supposed to be in an Infantry Division?

There are Ordnance Field Service Publications
Standard Nomenclature Lists – gives parts identification and allowances
SNL “H” parts in common
SNL “K” includes cleaning, preserving, welding, and lubricating materials
SNL N-19 motor-transport tool sets!
SNL G-19 Interchangeability Chart of Organizational Special Tools for Combat Vehicles

Don’t forget… Field Service Modification Work Orders (so you install those favorite mods they came up with like Winterization kits.) FSMWOs were replaced with MWOs.

Ordnance Field Service Bulletins
OFSB 1-1 Index to Ordnance Publications
OFSB 2-16 Storage and shipment of rubber tires, tubes, and camelback
OFSB 2-18 Requisition and issue of Spare Parts, Equipment, and Supplies
OFSB 2-25 Winterization equipment for automotive material
OFSB 4-21 Gun mounts for general purpose vehicles

I don’t even have half of this stuff and this isn’t everything listed in the article. There are many jeep specific publications and most of these seem to be missing from the general jeep collectors library. Perhaps someone is sitting on these and thinking of publishing them “someday”. I hope they will come forward. And as I mentioned before there are original articles from service publications, private and public that make interesting reading and collection. Many are still available. Happy hunting.

Sgt Half-Mast works on my carb.

Sgt Half-Mast works on my carb.

Dear Half-Mast,
I’ve run into some trouble with carburetors on the 1/4-ton Willys’ got a batch of them to overhaul and after I’d cleaned them up and replaced all parts with new ones, they were put back on the vehicles. But they just wouldn’t idle. I checked them all over: the idle jet was clear and all passages free of dirt and lead accumulations, the economizer was free of all foreign matter, the floats were set at the specified level, and the metering rod adjusted to the proper operating length. I also checked for cracks in the base of the carburetor and the body, and I checked the rivet plugs. All was in order. Can you clear up the mystery? Another question is: What are the Welch plugs on the side of an engine block for and what’s their purpose.
T/4 M.P.A.
Dear Sergeant,
There’s a lot of conditions in the engine that could prevent it from idling properly, But I’m gonna assume the engine idled all right before you overhauled the carburetor-and then I’m gonna suggest you check the throttle butterfly.
If you didn’t assemble the butterfly with the letter “C” facing the manifold and towards the port opening in the carburetor body at the air-adjusting screw, that ‘d be your difficulty. Because if you checked all the things you said you checked the trouble is probably improper assembly of the parts.
The Welch plugs on the side of the engine block are simply to close up the holes made by the core sand legs when the block was cast at the foundry. And just because a lot of guys call them freeze-out plugs, don’ t think they’ll prevent cracking of a cylinder block when the water inside freezes solid -they won’t.
Sgt Half-Mast
Army Jill in the 1942 Ford GPW.

You want tire pressure markings — we got tire pressure markings!

In a word, “yes,” but just barely.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 a 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.

Check out my website, for more WW2 jeep info!

You are right to ask yourself if you can work on the T-84J transmission.  For the most part, it is very easy. It doesn’t contain so many parts that you can’t do it yourself.

Even I can work on the T-84 transmission, how about you?

Even I can work on the T-84 transmission, how about you?

At a minimum you would normally want to replace the bearings at each end, gaskets and the small parts kit, oh, and perhaps the cluster gear shaft. However, if there is rust everywhere on the gears, you may find it necessary to replace even more. If you read the TM 9-1803B, it will help you by providing the required tolerances.  The last transmission I worked on had parts supplied by Richard Grace. His prices were very reasonable.  I believe that all the parts come to under $600 (2003 prices). I’m not sure he is still in business.  But you can get a rebuilt tranny for the price of the parts?  Right?  Well, apparently the secret is that you aren’t getting all new gears only what’s “necessary”.  So for the same amount of money you will know what you have. Of course, if you mike the gears for tolerances you may be able to get off much cheaper.

The two screws are likely Bristol types.

Though apparently other types have been used since the war.  If you have already mucked them up as I had done, I used a 3 piece tool set from Sears that is designed to remove mucked up screw heads.  No amount of fooling around with the mucked up screws allowed me to get them out…but less than 30 seconds with the Sears tool and I was done.

I wrote a book about the T-84J transmission called Trouble Shooting And Rebuilding The T-84J that you might find helpful. It goes into more detail with a lot more pictures than in the military manual.

This is the conclusion to yesterday’s article. It has been extracted from Military Maintenance for MB/GPW 1941-1945. Originally appearing in WW2 Army Motors.

What IS Limited Storage? If vehicles are to be out of service for 30 days or something less. or if vehicles. have to be ready for operation on call but are mostly just standing around. they are Placed In what IS called limited storage.  The following protective measures must be taken.

Battery. Preparing the vehicle for limited storage begins with the battery. If it shows signs of corrosion, remove it, plug the vent holes and clean it with a solution of soda ash or baking soda and water to neutralize the acid.

When you use soda ash, make the solution eight ounces to the gallon of water. If it’s to be a baking-soda mixture, use one pound of soda to a gallon of water. Clean the cable ends with the same solution.

After the soda bath, rinse the battery off with cold water – not hot water or steam. When you’re done, don’t forget to take the plugs out of the vents. Then scrape the battery posts and cable. terminals to ensure good contact – even the few minutes the battery is out being cleaned is enough for an insulating coating of oxide to form on the terminals, Coat the battery terminals.whether the battery is removed for cleaning or not, with petrolatum or light grease.

Never store a vehicle without first taking a hydrometer reading of each battery cell, If the reading is 1.225 or less, the battery needs to be recharged. Add distilled water (or if you can’t get any, pure drinking water will do) to bring the electrolyte level above the plates, but not more than 1/4″ above, If you expect to run into sub-zero temperatures, you’d better charge vehicle batteries to at least a 1.275 gravity reading, to protect it against freezing. The electrolyte’s resistance to freezing increases with the amount of charge.

Cooling system. Give the cooling system a good going over for leaks, and again, if you expect to hit freezing temperatures, test the antifreeze solution and add as much anti-freeze as you need.

Tires. Nothing is more important or more scarce than rubber (or had you heard?) so tires get the works. Clean ‘em, inspect ‘em and see that they are properly inflated, spares and all. If any of them need repair or retread – replace them with serviceable tires. Don’t put vehicles on floors, cinders or other surfaces that are soaked with oil or grease, If any oil, grease, gasoline or kerosene comes in contact with tires under any circumstances at all, wash it off immediately.

Road test. After giving the vehicle all these services, give it a road-test. Run it at least five miles – the air will do you good – and besides it never hurts to check the general condition of the unit. Correct any defects or jot them on the tag you’re going to put on the steering wheel.

Engine. Start the engine inspection at the oil dipstick. Bring the oil up to the proper level, adding the grade called for under temperature conditions expected during the storage period.  Remove the air cleaner from the carburetor, start the engine and let it run at a fast idle. Pour one pint of oil (Oil, lubricating, preservative, medium, Ordnance Department Specification ASX-674, of the latest issue in effect.) into the carburetor throat. Pour it in slowly so it won’t kill the engine – turn off the key immediately after the oil has been poured into the carburetor. With the ignition switch off, and the throttle wide open, turn the engine over five revolutions with the starter. This will leave a protective oil-film on the piston, the cylinder wall, and other upper-cylinder parts. Replace the air cleaner.

Brakes. Check the wheels and release the brake. If they’re air brakes, drain the air reservoirs thoroughly by opening the drain valves wide. When no water shows in the air stream, close the drain valves tightly.

Exteriors. Sandpaper off any rust you find on any part of the truck before storing it. To protect the wood or metal, repaint any painted surface that appears to need it. Coat exposed, polished metal-surfaces with oil. (Oil, lubricating, preservative, medium.) Even nice, shiny chromium will rust easier than you expect. Also, use this oil to coat winch cables and chains. Close the windshields and the cab-doors and windows on closed-cab types. Raise the top and install curtains and close the windshield on vehicles with open cabs. Paulins and curtains must be in place and firmly secured. Unroll rubber floor-mats, where provided, and put them in place on the floor. Leave equipment like pioneer tools, tire chains, and the fire extinguishers in their proper place in the vehicle.

When finally you have your trucks all neatly stored, you can’t just go away and forget ‘em. Vehicles in limited storage need a little routine inspection every week. Here’s a minimum weekly inspection under ordinary circumstances. If it needs it, give the battery the same service it got when you first stored it. If you add any water when freezing weather is expected, recharge the battery with a portable charger, or remove it for recharge – don’t try to bring it up by running the engine.

Inspect your tires again, repair any leaks that, may have shown up while the vehicles were sitting, and inflate tires to normal pressure. When vehicles are in ‘on-call’ limited storage for more than thirty days, give them the following monthly service in addition to the weekly inspections:

Remove the oil filler cap and start the engine. Watch the oil-pressure gage – if it doesn’t pick up immediately, turn off the engine and report the fact to the officer in charge. If the gage registers oil pressure, let the engine idle. Close the choke as soon as the engine will run without it. When the radiator temperature reaches 180 degrees F. (if~necessary cover the radiator to build up this temperature) advance the throttle to a fast idle, (not faster than 800 R.P.M.) and let the engine run at this speed and temperature for 30 minutes. After you stop the engine, put back the oil-filler cap.

Caution: If you’ve got a volatile anti-freeze like alcohol in the cooling system, check it every five minutes and add more as needed.

Repeat the ENGINE SERVICES, THE COOLING SYSTEM SERVICES, and THE EXTERIOR SERVICES, inspection when removed from limited storage. When you take the vehicle out of limited storage, take care of all repair items noted on the steering-wheel tag, give it the complete monthly maintenance inspection prescribed in Q.M.C. Form 260, plus any repairs the inspection shows to be necessary.

Cold weather is here…well, at least in some parts of the country.

What follows is a two-part story on how to store your vehicles (conclusion tomorrow).  This article has been extracted from Military Maintenance for MB/GPW 1941-1945.  The original version appeared in the WW2 Army Motors magazine produced by the US Army.

First came the ugly rumors – then, when a fearful little band of inspectors deployed throughout the field and returned with confirmation of the rumors, the authorities knew that the time for action had arrived.

The first stories merely reported the field as ‘utterly confused over what to do with vehicles in ‘limited storage’ -and this, of course, was no cause for alarm.

But when reports came in of certain outfits running their stored trucks for about fifteen minutes daily to ‘charge the batteries, distribute lube throughout the engine, etc.: followed by a story of three separate and distinct organizations using mothballs to put their vehicles in storage*, the revision of 850-18 began, Running trucks for a few minutes or a few miles daily to keep ‘em in shape is strictly no good, You all know that for every gallon of gasoline burned, a gallon of water is produced. Well, a good part of this water makes its way into the crankcase – and while normally, it’s evaporated by the engine heat, running the trucks for only fifteen or so minutes never works up enough heat to evaporate the water. Consequently, it stays in the crankcase and forms sludge, acid, and headaches.

Anyway, that’s the sort of thing that brought about the revision of AR 850-18 which will start to hit the field sometime in the near future. But in the meantime, the first part of it dealing with Limited Storage of Vehicles has been okay-ed so we can’t think of any reason why we shouldn’t pass it on to you.

The following is a liberal translation of the sections with the title ‘General’ and ‘Limited Storage’. We’ll shoot you the rest of the revision on ‘Dead Storage’, as soon as we get aholt of it.

What does a jeep weight?

Get me ready to sleep for the winter!

Before sticking your vehicles into live or dead storage there are a couple of things you’ve got to prepare and provide for:

1. Storage site. Store your unused vehicles in closed or covered buildings. If no buildings are handy, the great outdoors will do –but in selecting a site, try to pick a smooth, and well-drained spot. Except when the tactical situation calls for concealment, parking under low hanging limbs of trees should be avoided. (Low-flying Tarzans, sharp twigs and birds, you know).

2. Preparation for Storage. Before being tucked away, vehicles, their parts, and equipment have to be thoroughly cleaned, lubricated and inspected. Do this according to W.D. Q.M.C. Form 260, dealing with a technical inspection. And unless you have a good reason why not, the vehicle should be thoroughly repaired and put in good mechanical condition. If you can’t make repairs before storing, attach a tag to the steering wheel specifying the repairs needed, and send a written report of these items to the officer in charge of the vehicles. Finally, when your vehicles have been either repaired or tagged, your next step is to prepare them for either limited or dead storage. As we mentioned above, we’ve got the dope on ‘Limited Storage’ – ‘Dead Storage’ will come later.

3. Spacing vehicles in the park. Don’t throw your vehicles on the lot just any old way. Put them close enough together to conserve space and provide plenty of shade for the tires – but space them with enough room between vehicles to allow for servicing and inspections. Maybe it’s fun to see how close together they’ll go, but it doesn’t make the job, say, of checking the batteries, any easier.

4. Severe conditions. Remember, these regulations are for normal and average conditions. Extreme temperatures, quick temperature changes, very wet or very dry climates, dust, salty spray, corrosive vapors from nearby industrial plants, or any other condition that might annoy a truck that’s sitting quietly minding its own business, calls for special protective measures, figure them out to meet your own circumstances.

*A barefaced lie.