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 begin 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 insure 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 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.