What were the jeeps before they were called jeeps?

What were the jeeps before they were called jeeps?

1941 Bantam BRC Spoken Here - Yard Sign
The were called Bantams! 1941 Bantam BRC Spoken Here – Yard Sign.  Let everyone know you like talking about the 1941 Bantam BRC. Use it as an ice-breaker with WW2 veterans or others.   Ships worldwide. Order TOLL FREE (US) by calling 877.809.1659 and giving the operator the product number or by clicking the link to order online.

Availability: In Stock.Product Number: 376581522

Product Information
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  • Measures 22″ wide x 15″ high
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It’s not just a jeep, it’s a US Navy GPW pulling a US Marine glider! I wrote about this in Military Vehicles Magazine some time ago.

US Navy jeep pulling US Marine glider.

US Navy jeep pulling US Marine glider.

Yes, the US Navy and Marines used jeeps during WW2.  There doesn’t seem to be as many pictures as US Army jeeps but they do exist.
Close up of USN and Navy registration number.

Close up of USN and Navy registration number.

Now in my estimation this is the most interesting part of the photograph. This is clearly marked as a US Navy vehicle.
Also note, the “S” to the left on the cowl. This is blue drab! The “S” was used to designate vehicles that had been tested and passed for radio suppression.

I like my jeep to have the correct wartime markings. Don’t you?

AR 850-5 is the governing regulation for the marking of vehicles (and other equipment).  When the war started the basic regulation was dated AR 850-5, September 25, 1936.  In this regulation, it specifies the markings required on Army vehicles.

Section III, paragraph 6d. Marking. (1)U.S. registration symbols and numbers.
(a) When marked. — Motor vehicles will be marked with the U.S. registration symbols and numbers prescribed in AR 850-10.
(b) How marked. — The marking will be conspicously done on the vehicle with white paint by means of a stencil and on U.S. registration plates by a metal stamping device and white painted figures as indicated in (c) below.
(c) Height of letters.– The height of the letters and figures will be two inches on trailers, and on U.S. registration plates, and four inches on all other types of motor vehicles. The character and style of marking will be as follows:

Example of the registration plate from a Ford sedan:

Example of the white USA and registration numbers on an early Dodge truck:

AR 850-5, Change 2, April 22, 1942

Section III, paragraph 6d. Marking. (1)U.S. registration symbols and numbers.
(a) When marked. — Motor vehicles will be marked with the U.S. registration symbols and numbers prescribed in AR 850-10.
(b) How marked. — The marking on the vehicle will be with blue-drab lusterless enamel by means of a stencil, and on U.S. registration plates by a metal stamping device and blue painted figures as indicated in (c) below.
(c) Height of letters.– The height of the letters and figures will be two inches on trailers, and on U.S. registration plates, and four inches on all other types of motor vehicles. The character and style of marking will be as follows:

C2 appears to have been carried forward as far as character and style of marking in AR 850-5, August 5, 1942. However, the height was now, “…2 inches on trailers and on all other types of motor vehicles.” Also, when the marking was to be done was addressed as well, the original numbers were to be affixed by the manufacturer.

Sort of neat. I hope to be able to find Change 1, January 40, 1939 and Circular 136, 207, and 248 (1941) to complete this discussion.

I believe that this brief glimpse at registration numbers helps to explain the ‘square’ periods in U.S.A and when they should be applied. Certainly, the regulation change them by April 22, 1942. This doesn’t mean that contracts specifying markings would have been changed by this date. Quite the contrary you will find a number of factory photos that show jeeps with the square dots.

An example of a MA jeep with the square registration “USA”:

and what appears to be blue drab paint at least as opposed to white.

Square periods and blue drab at least as opposed to white in appearance.

I’m not sure that this really proves anything conclusive but I saw it and thought I would report what I observed in the regulations and some pictures.

Have you checked your brakes recently?  Come on, tell me t he truth, did reading my brake post from a couple of days ago set you to action?  I can tell if you’re lying to me!

a. Introduction. If the hydraulic brake system, and the drum and brake shoe clearance are satisfactory, when brake pedal is depressed with sufficient force to set brakes firmly, the pedal will have a “solid” feel, with at least 2 inches of floorboard clearance. During the initial 1/4 to 1/2 inch of pedal travel, the pedal should move freely (if pedal clearance is correctly adjusted it will be 3/4 inch for the WW2 jeep). The sub-paragraphs below furnish probable remedies for various behaviors of a defective brake system, based on the behavior of the brake pedal as a symptom.

b. Pedal Has Less than 2 Inches Floorboard Clearance. Adjust clearance between brake shoes and drums.

c. Pedal Has a “Springy” Feel. This is usually evidence that the brake shoes are improperly set, or have been relined with incorrect thickness of lining. Improper shoe setting would indicate need of a major brake adjustment. Before making a decision on this type of condition, road test the vehicle (or test it on a brake machine). This will indicate a “hard” pedal and a “poor” stop, if these conditions are present. After road or machine test, pull wheels, check lining thickness, contact, drum condition, fit of shoes to drum, and anchor adjustment, to determine exact cause of difficulty.

d. Pedal Has a “Spongy” Feel. Bleed air from hydraulic system.

e. Pedal Jams or Binds. Check for mechanical interference; also check for broken piston stop wire in master cylinder. Check master cylinder mountings and linkage, and if a booster is used, check mechanical linkage between master cylinder and booster.

f. Pedal Goes to Floorboard and Can Be Built Up by Pumping. If pressure can be built up, hold down hard to see if pressure will decrease. After holding l/2 minute, reduce pressure on foot without releasing pedal, and press lightly to see if pedal moves down under light pressure. This test will reveal a master cylinder cup which is thin, permitting fluid to bypass within the master cylinder without showing signs of leaking on the outside of the master cylinder.

g. Pedal Goes to Floorboard and Cannot Be Built Up by Pumping. Check fluid level in master cylinder reservoir. If insufficient fluid is present, test brake pedal action and perform operations described under new symptom. If sufficient fluid is present, continue with operations described in this sub-paragraph. Where accessible, feel the master cylinder boot to determine if wet with brake fluid. Squeeze boot with fingers; if fluid is expelled around or through boot, it is an indication that the master cylinder is leaking and should be removed, inspected, repaired, or replaced. If no evidence of leaks is apparent at the master cylinder, inspect all fluid lines along the frame, all hose and hose connections, the bottom edges of all brake flanges, and the inner side wall of tires for signs of brake fluid leakage. If no external signs of leaks are found, but pedal still leaks off under pressure, pull all four wheels and inspect the wheel cylinders. If no external fluid losses are found, but pedal “eases down” under constant but light foot pressure, it is a good indication that pressure is bypassing within the master cylinder; in which case, remove and repair or replace.

If you have a WW2 jeep or want a WW2 jeep, you need this book – The Complete WW2 Military Jeep Manual.  You will found out how to service the brakes and a lot of other important staff–it’s a must have book for the real WW2 jeep enthusiast!

ArmyJillwithrifleArmy Jill stands guard to protect her jeep.  You can protect your jeep by knowing how to operate it properly.

I was looking at the synchronizer the other day and it made me recall a discussion concerning “double clutching” and whether or not you need to use this method of shifting with the T-84J.  First, off, what the heck is meant by, and how do you “double clutch”?

Double Clutching, was a prescribed feature of Army driver training.  The “purpose of double clutching is to synchronize the speed of the flywheel and the turning clutch disks so that gear shifting may be accomplished with a minimum of clashing of gears.”

What is the procedure?

  1. Depress clutch pedal
  2. Move gearshift lever to neutral position
  3. Release clutch and at the same time depress the accelerator until the engine speeds up and the gear speeds are more nearly synchronized.
  4. Depress clutch pedal again move gear-shift lever to the next lower position.
  5. Release clutch pedal and at the same time accelerate engine to obtain desired road speed.

…the procedure is the same for shifting to a higher speed, except that the engine is not accelerated while the gears are in neutral, per TM 21-300 page 113.

Double clutching is also mentioned in TM 21-305, dated November 1944.

However, according to TM 9-803, page 18, para 5c(6): …No double clutching is required…

The only time you might want to double clutch is when shifting from 2nd or 3rd into 1st gear. Not a practice that I recommend but sometimes you may find yourself in need of lower gears. Just use caution.  I guess you might also find it necessary to double clutch if your synchro is badly worn, too.  Don’t rely on this procedure–rebuild that transmission as soon as you can.

from USMC Preventive Maintenance Manual, 1943 and Trouble Shooting And Rebuilding The T-84J.

Have you bled your brakes recently?

Have you bled your brakes recently? I thought so…so listen up, Bub!

Now I know there are at least two schools of thought: 1. silicone and 2.  non-silicone.  I’m strictly for non-silicone.   Sure I have a little more work to do but let’s face the WW2 jeep’s brakes system is open to the atmosphere.  Either choice is going to end up contaminated.  Well…maybe silicone has an advantage if you never actually drive your jeep!  As I said I’m strictly non-silicone, maybe that is old school but really bleeding the brakes is pretty simple.

The hydraulic brake system must be bled whenever a fluid line has been disconnected or air gets into the system. A leak in the system may sometimes be evidenced through the presence of a spongy brake pedal. Air trapped in the system is compressible and does not permit pressure applied to the brake pedal to be transmitted solidly through to the brakes. The system must be absolutely free from air at all times. When bleeding the brakes it is advisable that the longest fluid line from the master cylinder be bled first. The proper sequence of bleeding is right rear; right front; left rear; left front. During the bleeding operation the master cylinder must be kept at least 3/4 full of hydraulic brake fluid.

To bleed the brakes first carefully clean all dirt from around the master cylinder filler plug. Remove filler plug and fill master cylinder to the lower edge of filler neck. Clean off all bleeder connections at all four wheel cylinders. Attach bleeder hose and fixture to right rear wheel cylinder bleeder screw and place end of tube in a glass jar, end submerged in fluid. Open the bleeder valve 12 to 3/4 of a turn. See figure above.

Depress the foot pedal by hand, allowing it to return very slowly. Continue this pumping action to force the fluid through the line and out the bleeder hose which carries with it any air in the system. When bubbles cease to appear at the end of the bleeder hose, tighten the bleeder valve and remove the hose.

After the bleeding operation has been completed at all four wheels, fill the master cylinder reservoir and replace the filler plug. It is not advisable to re-use the fluid which has been removed from the lines through the bleeding process.

If you’re old school or a rookie…or,  maybe just want to know how we did back during the war years, you should check out Automotive Trouble Shooting for WW2 Wheeled Vehicles: Volume 1 and Automotive Trouble Shooting For WW2 Wheeled Vehicles, Volume 2

Is your jeep using too much oil?

Is your jeep using too much oil?


Ever so often there is a complaint that a vehicle is suddenly using too much oil.  Apparently,  it isn’t leaking out of the case or getting past the piston rings.  A little detective work will sometimes show that the missing oil is passing through a cracked diaphragm on the windshield wiper booster pump, and going into the intake manifold.  That’s one way of oiling the valve stems but at the same time it isn’t doing the carburetor adjustment a bit of good.  Any kind of an air leak in the intake system places the carburetor behind the eight ball and should be attended to before giving the carburetor a bad name.

But let us suppose that the linkage is all tight in the joints, all flanges have good snug gaskets, the automatic choke is functioning correctly, the vacuum diaphragms in the distributor automatic advance and windshield booster pump are not leaking, and that everything we’ve mentioned so far is just as it should be. Yet there can be be something that will give the carburetor all the symptoms of a sick headache. You’ve guessed! The exhaust system!

Information is from the trouble shooting series – Automotive Trouble Shooting For WW2 Wheeled Vehicles, Volume 1 and Volume 2.  The books are available form Amazon.com and other fine booksellers.


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