The new Bantam jeeps on one of the first field tests.

The new Bantam jeeps on one of the first field tests.

The above photo is from the National Archives and depicts the very early (some of the first 70 prototypes!) out on field maneuvers.

Even the jeep like the Bantam pilot could get stuck! Or is it!!

Even the jeep like the Bantam pilot could get stuck! Or is it!!

 

 

Any military vehicle can get stuck.  In the picture above it looks like the Bantam pilot might be stuck.  Is it?   Very likely it isn’t stuck, perhaps just waiting for the GI to engage the front axle.   Looking at a JEEP (Trademark owned by FCA US LLC) today you might not think that it once was a revolutionary vehicle for the military.  It was tiny compared to other conveyances.  It was very lightweight as well.  Four guys could easily man-handle the jeep out of most situations.

I like to read about the early jeeps -- do you?

I like to read about the early jeeps — do you?

I like to read about the early jeeps — do you?

For more about the Bantam “jeep” check out my book:
BANTAM, FORD AND WILLYS-1/4-TON RECONNAISSANCE CARS. Available from Amazon.com and other booksellers.  The book discusses in detail the pre-standardized WW2 jeeps: Bantam BRC, Ford GP and Willys MA.

Also take a look at the book by Paul Bruno: Project Management in History: The First Jeep (Project Management in History Series) (Volume 1). The PMP info in no way detracts from this great history regarding the Bantam’s development during 1940. Paul has dug deep into the National Archives and found information that many of us thought was lost to the ages! A great companion to Paul’s book is the jeep history by Rifkind, Jeep – Its development and procurement under the Quartermaster Corps, 1940-1942.

How many jeeps were produced during WW2?

How many jeeps were produced during WW2?

Do you ever wonder how many jeeps (of all types) were produced during WW2? Well, here at 42FordGPW.com (and blog) we do!

The Willys MB and the Ford GPW made up the bulk of WW2 production in "jeeps".

The Willys MB and the Ford GPW made up the bulk of WW2 production in “jeeps”.

Item name or description 1939-1945(Total) 1939-1940 1941 1942 1943 1944 1945
1/4-Ton, 4×4, all types total 647,345 70 15,401 177,759 180,417 182,068 91,628
Amphibian 12,774 0 0 5,055 7,741 0 0
Command (jeep) 634,569 70 15,401 172,726 172,676 182,068 91,628

The above information is from THE UNITED STATES ARMY IN WORLD WAR II – STATISTICS – PROCUREMENT
Prepared by Richard H. Crawford and Lindsley F. Cook under the direction of Theodore E. Whiting.

Do you ever think about jeep parts? I do...

Do you ever think about jeep parts? I do…

The WW2 jeep like any vehicle is made up of thousands of parts.  The parts are not all made by the automobile manufacturer.  Other companies produce the parts that are used in the vehicle.  This was true with the Ford and the Willys WW2 jeep.  One relatively small but impart part was the two Bristol screws used in the T-84 jeep transmission.

Bristol Screws were used in the T-84J transmission.

Bristol Screws were used in the T-84J transmission.

According to Wikipedia: The Bristol screw drive is a spline with four or six splines, which are not necessarily tamper resistant. The grooves in the wrench are cut by a square-cornered broach, giving a slight undercut to the outer corners of the driver. The main advantage to this drive system is that almost all of the turning force is applied at right angles to the fastener spline face, which reduces the possibility of stripping the fastener. For this reason Bristol screw drives are often used in softer, non-ferrous metals. Compared to an Allen drive, Bristol drives are less likely to strip for the same amount of torque; however the Bristol drive is not much more strip resistant than a Torx drive. It was created by the Bristol Wrench Company.
The arrows point to Bristol Screws in the T-84J transmission that must be removed in order to remove the rails.

The arrows point to Bristol Screws in the T-84J transmission that must be removed in order to remove the rails.

The T-84J transmission is used in the WW2 jeep.  It is a very basic transmission and relatively easy to work on.  You only need a few tools and either the TM 9-1803B Power Train, Body, and Frame for Willys Overland Model MB and Ford Model GPW 1/4 Ton 4×4 Technical Manual or my own book, Trouble Shooting and Rebuilding the T-84J Transmission, that goes into much more detail.

It's 1944, pick a month. If you're a GI you should be on the lookout for advice that can save your life. After all, you want to go home!

It’s 1944, pick a month. If you’re a GI you should be on the lookout for advice that can save your life. After all, you want to go home!

We argue over the meaning and first use of the word jeep. Was it used because of a Popeye character that first appeared in 1936. Or was it due to a contraction for GP or general purpose because the QMC could only procure general purpose vehicles when the jeep was initiated. Was it because Ford referred to their vehicle as a model GP? What about the use of the word before the 1/4-ton? Some say it goes back to WW1!

Well, forget all that for the moment…what did the Germans call a jeep…at least in German…

German for jeep

German for jeep

A couple of umlauts (spelling?) and three very long words equal jeep.  Certainly is a mouthful. The above drawing is from a US WW2 Intelligence Bulletin, Vol III, No. 4, dated December 1944.  It is chock full of information needed by GIs to defeat the WW2 Japanese and Germans.  It covers certain tricks employed by the enemy.  Things to look out for.

For more about the WW2 jeep, especially the early jeeps, check out Jeep – Its development and procurement under the Quartermaster Corps, 1940-1942. It’s a great book of about 228 pages presenting the US Quartermaster’s view about how the jeep was developed and procured during WW2.  The best part is that it includes all the footnotes as this is a reproduction of the original manuscript by Rifkind.
For more about the very first jeep, the Project Management in History: The First Jeep (Project Management in History Series) (Volume 1) provides an excellent history of it’s design and construction. The author has written about about jeep history coupled with lessons in project management.  The author’s effort does not distract from the early jeep facts.  This book coupled with the Rifkind really provides a good history of the jeep.

 

Do the WW2 manuals get it right?

Do the WW2 manuals get it right?

Many times questions were asked about “is it normal for the jeep (T-84J) transmission to be “noisy”.  I have asked this question myself.  It had been too long since I “rebuilt” my transmission…about 15 or so years, so I couldn’t remember what it sounded like when it was “new”.  Some claim that the jeep transmission is normally noisy…or it’s cousin the transfer case is.  So according to them it’s no big deal.  Perhaps it is all a matter of degree. One man’s noise is another’s music? Before I rebuilt my transmission last year I was deeply concerned over the noise coming out of the transmission.  To be fair to those who responded to my questions, it is difficult if not impossible to diagnose sounds that have been translated into the written word and, of course, this was being done over the Internet.As it turned out, I had right to be concerned, the counter shaft gear was about 1/3 gone!  And still Frankenjeep™ lived!  It clung to life even as I pushed it to 55mph (with an evil non-sacrosanct or is that synchrosanct over-drive) for a final round trip of about 138 miles before the rebuild.  The tranny never let me down.When I disassembled the T-84J that is when I discovered the damage.  Not knowing what other damaged might have been caused by bits of metal “floating” around in the case, I elected to buy all new gears and shafts.  For this project I purchased most of the parts from three vendors.  I repurchased some parts because the brand new synchro from one vendor turned out to be brand new junk…could not get it to slip.  Some parts I purchased from Europe through Ebay.
While many of my parts were likely re-useable I felt it best to use all new gears and shafts.  I did re-use the shift forks, the case and the tower.  Pretty much everything else was new.  I figured that if there were any problems with the tower, it’s an easy to replace item while the transmission is still installed in the jeep.Assembling the T-84J is really not difficult. There are about 58 parts, so it isn’t brain surgery, just following the steps and asking for clarification when the steps aren’t as clear as they could be. That’s why I am wrote/edited/filmed a how-to rebuild the T-84J and now produced this book.  So anyone with basic tools can do the job.After assembly and installation in the jeep, I have now driven it for over a year…not as many miles as I would have liked…but I can tell you that the transmission is NOT noisy at all.  Sure it’s not coup de’ville caddy quiet. But there are no loud whines or any grinding noise….except when I mis-shift.Why would anyone think that the T-84J is a noisy transmission?  After all, if you purchased a rebuilt transmission from respected dealers, you would expect it to be in good condition, right?  Perhaps all of you know this but I didn’t.  Rebuilt can be a misleading term.  I was told by a dealer that I respect that basically a dealer rebuild consists of new bearings, synchro, new shafts, gaskets, seals and small parts kit as I remember it.  The gears aren’t replaced. This doesn’t mean they wouldn’t replace a broken tooth gear but also means that the parts could be just inside of their wear tolerances (like the bushings).Of course this all could be my imagination.  I distinctly recall that my transmission was very loud prior to the rebuild.  I even tried synthetics (okay) and higher viscosity lubes (don’t do it!).  I drove it this morning without the top and I couldn’t hear it, perhaps just a quiet, “hmmmm” but nothing more.So if you don’t know the condition of your transmission and it is noisy perhaps it isn’t “normal” and is begging for a rebuild.  My last T-84J rebuild included about $600 worth of new parts from Richard Grace. Very reasonable.  Sure the fellow I rebuilt this for could have purchased a “new” rebuilt transmission for that but it would have had all new guts for that price?  I put it together for him and that might have been worth about $400 of my time, if I had been charging.  So for about grand you could have basically a new transmission.  It took me several weekends to take the transmission apart, order the parts I needed and to assemble the transmission.  I discovered other parts (shift rails) that failed to clean up, that needed to be replaced.  Also, I was filming the rebuild.  All of this added up to delays.  It more than likely wouldn’t take a shadetree mechanic, more than a weekend to rebuild the transmission, assuming you pre-ordered all the parts up front.If you assemble it yourself instead of having someone do it; you would save a lot and learn a lot.

While I enjoy driving my jeep much more than working on it…sometimes working on it can be fun as well.

If you want to learn about rebuilding or troubleshooting your own T-84 transmission, check out my book –

Trouble  Shooting And Rebuilding The T-84J

Trouble Shooting And Rebuilding The T-84J
Still only $34.95 plus shipping

Army Jill on Four Jills in a Jeep on DVD

Army Jill on Four Jills in a Jeep on DVD

What’s not to like?  What GI isn’t going to love looking at four attractive women? And then of course there’s the star of the movie–the Jeep!

Four Jills in a Jeep - DVD

Four Jills in a Jeep – DVD

Four Jills in a Jeep on DVD.  This star studded musical is a cinematic tribute to the successful USO tour of Kay Francis, Martha Raye, Mitzi Mayfair and Carole Landis who entertained soldiers from England to North Africa. Embellished with some fictional romance, striking choreography and plenty of laughs, this patriotic film salutes all the entertainers who did their part for “the boys.” Includes special appearances by Alice Faye, Betty Grable, Carmen Miranda, George Jessel and the Jimmy Doresy Orchestra.   The film is from 1942.
Four Jills in a Jeep – Publicity still.

See the blog Film Noir Photos for a bit more!

 

Are you working on your jeep?  How about the carburetor?  Is it time you over hauled it?

Are you working on your jeep? How about the carburetor? Is it time you over hauled it?

Now that spring is officially here in most of the country, maybe it is time to start working on your jeep.  One of the things you can do is to repair your carb.  Sometimes using  a repair kit is your most cost effective option.  Omix-Ada 17705.04 Carburetor Repair Kit is available at a reasonable price.

If repairing your carb is not an option or beyond your skills, you might go with a brand new Omix-Ada 17701.01 Carburetor.  This is not a cheap option but it will really make your jeep pick up and take notice.  I tried this option while waiting for a rebuilt WW2 jeep carb.  It will take some getting used to as it doesn’t have a choke as we know it.  If you want to more about the Solex carburetor, click the link.

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