Before starting your World War Two jeep, take a look at the US Army instructions from TM 9-803 Willys-Overland MB and Ford Model GPW Jeep Technical Manual. Still pretty good advice after about 60 or so years.
a. This inspection schedule is designed primarily as a check to see that the vehicle has not been tampered with or sabotaged since the After-operation Service was performed. Various combat conditions may have rendered the vehicle unsafe for operation, and it is the duty of the driver to determine whether or not the vehicle is in condition to carry out any mission to which it is assigned. This operation will not be entirely omitted, even in extreme tactical situations.
b. Procedures. Before-operation Service consists of inspecting items listed below according to the procedure described, and correcting or reporting any deficiencies. Upon completion of the service, results should be reported promptly to the designated individual in authority.
(1) ITEM 1, TAMPERING AND DAMAGE. Examine exterior of vehicle, engine, wheels, brakes, and steering control for damage by falling debris, shell fire, sabotage, or collision. If wet, dry the ignition parts to ensure easy starting. Ed. Note: Of course in the modern era you aren’t likely to have most of these but if this is the first time you’ve driven this particularly jeep, it’s a good idea to eyeball everything carefully.
(2) ITEM 2, FIRE EXTINGUISHER. Be sure fire extinguisher is full, nozzle is clean, and mountings secure. Ed. Note: The World War Two fire extinguisher used carbon tet is considered unsafe and obsolete today–you might invest in a modern fire extinguisher to keep on hand.
(3) ITEM 3, FUEL, OIL, AND WATER. Check fuel tank, crankcase, and radiator for leaks or tampering. Add fuel, oil, or water as needed. Have value of antifreeze checked. If, during period when antifreeze is used, it becomes necessary to replenish a considerable amount of water, report unusual losses.
(4) ITEM 4, ACCESSORIES AND DRIVES. Inspect carburetor, generator, regulator, cranking motor, and water pump for loose connections and security of mountings. Inspect carburetor and water pump for leaks.
(5) ITEM 6, LEAKS, GENERAL. Look on ground under vehicle for indications of fuel, oil, water, brake fluid, or gear oil leaks. Trace leaks to source, and correct or report to higher authority.
(6) ITEM 7, ENGINE WARM-UP. Start engine, observe cranking motor action, listen for unusual noise, and note cranking speed. Idle engine only fast enough to run smoothly. Proceed immediately with following services while engine is warming up.
(7) ITEM 8, CHOKE. As engine warms, push in choke as required for smooth operation, and to prevent oil dilution.
(8) ITEM 9, INSTRUMENTS.
(a) Fuel Gage. Fuel gage should indicate approximate amount of fuel in tank.
(b) Oil Pressure Gage. Normal oil pressure should not be below 10 with engine idling, and should range from 40 to 50 at running speeds (at normal operating temperature). If gage fails to register within 30 seconds, stop engine, and correct or report to higher authority.
(c) Temperature Indicator. Temperature should rise slowly during warm-up. Normal operating temperature range is 1600F to 1850 F.
(d) Ammeter. Ammeter should show high charge for short period after starting and positive (plus) reading above 12 to 15 miles per hour with lights and accessories off. Zero reading is normal with lights and accessories on.
(9) ITEM 10, HORN AND WINDSHIELD WIPERS. Sound horn, tactical situation permitting, for proper operation and tone. Check both wipers for secure attachment and normal full contact operation through full stroke.
(10) ITEM 11, GLASS AND REAR VIEW MIRROR. Clean windshield and rear view mirror and inspect for cracked, discolored, or broken glass. Adjust mirror.
(11) ITEM 12, LIGHTS AND REFLEICTORS. Try switches in each position and see if lights responds Lights and warning reflectors must be securely mounted, clean, and in good condition. Test foot control of headlight beams.
(12) ITEM.13, WHEEL AND FLANGE NUTS. Observe whether or not all wheel and flange nuts are present and tight.
(13) ITEM 14, TIRES. If time permits, test tires with gage, including spare; normal pressure is 35 pounds with tires cold. Inspect tread and carcass for cuts and bruises. Remove embedded objects from treads.
(14) ITEM 15, SPRINGS AND SUSPENSION. Inspect springs for sagged or broken leaves, shifted leaves, and loose or missing rebound clips.
(15) ITEM 16, STEERING LINKAGE. Examine steering gear case, connecting links, and pitman arm for security and good condition. Test steering adjustment, and free motion of steering wheel.
(16) ITEM 17, FENDERS AND BUMPERS. Examine fenders and bumpers for secure mounting and serviceable condition.
(17) ITEM 18, TOWING CONNECTIONS. Examine pintle hook for secure mounting and serviceable condition. Be sure pintle latches properly and locks securely.
(18) ITEM 19, BODY AND LOAD. Examine body and load (if any) for damage. Be sure there is a cap on front drain hole under fuel tank. See that rear drain hole cap is available in glove compartment. CAUTION: Rear drain hole cap should be installed when about to pass through deep water.
(19) ITEM 20, DECONTAMINATOR. Examine decontaminator for full charge and secure mountings.
(20) ITEM 21, TOOLS AND EQUIPMENT. See that tools and equipment are all present, properly stowed, and serviceable.
(21) ITEM 23, DRIVER’S PERMIT AND FORM 26. Driver must have his operator’s permit on his person. See that vehicle manuals, Lubrication Guide, Form No. 26 (accident report) and W.D. AGO Form No. 478 (MWO and Major Unit Assembly Replacement Record) are
present, legible, and properly stowed.
(22) ITEM 22, ENGINE OPERATION. Accelerate engine and observe for unusual noises indicating compression or exhaust leaks; worn, damaged, loose, and inadequately lubricated parts or misfiring.
(23) ITEM 25, DURING-OPERATION SERVICE. Begin the During operation Service immediately after the vehicle is put in motion.