Your oil is important…use the right stuff!

Stay away from non-detergent oils. Stay away from high viscosity oils like 20w50. Stick with 10w30 or plain oil 30wt oils. 10w30 is kinda nice because you don’t have to remember to change your oil in the cold times. The engine was designed for 30 wt oils at normal operating temperatures. Colder temps called for 10 wt oil. You can use the synthetics if you like but maintain the proper wt and wait till after say 500 miles (a break-in period for the engine).

If anyone asks, keep the oil filter. Those that tell you to remove the oil filter or to block it off are sorely mistaken.

Oil pressure is going to vary. Consult the manual for details (although as I remember they are fairly vague and not detailed). But I think you should see 50-60 lbs of oil pressure at start-up. Once it is warm and at idle it will trail off perhaps as low as 25 to 30 lbs. When you accelerate the oil pressure should, of course, go up.

If you have my book, Military Maintenance for MB/GPW Jeeps 1941-45, ( or the old wartime Army Motors ) you can read about oil and petroleum from the WW2 perspective (and most of that information is just as true today!) starting on page 137.

Sometimes you need a cover up...

Sometimes you need a cover up…

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What is a blackout main light switch?

What is a blackout main light switch?

The blackout light switch is a push-pull type in the “early” jeeps, later jeeps came with rotary type switch. The switch controls all the lights, depending on which position it is set to.

Blackout Main Light Switch

Blackout Main Light Switch

You know you need to have some taillights on a WW2 jeep, right?

You know you need to have some taillights on a WW2 jeep, right?

WW2 jeep taillights

Two combination taillights and stop lights are located in the rear panel of the jeep body. Each light consists of two separate units in a housing.

The left-hand light contains a combination service tail and stop light unit in the upper part, and a blackout taillight in the lower part. The upper unit consists of the taillight lens, gasket, reflector, and a 21-3 candlepower lamp. The lower unit consists of blackout lens, gasket, reflector, and 3-candlepower lamp.

The right-hand light contains a blackout stop light unit in the upper part and a blackout taillight in the lower part.  The upper consists of the blackout stop light lens, gasket, reflector and 3-candlepower lamp. The lower unit is the same as the unit in the left light.

These lights are controlled by the blackout (main) light switch.

Are you up on blackout headlights?

The blackout headlights on the WW2 jeep are two very small lights that emitted only horizontal light rays. The theory is that it presented less of a target.

Blackout headlight used on the WW2 jeep.

There are two blackout headlights used in the jeep. These headlights are illuminated only when the blackout (main) light switch is in the blackout position. Mazda 1245 (6 volts) lamps are used.

I just love olive drab paint. I get goose pimples just thinking about it !

I just love olive drab paint. I get goose pimples just thinking about it !


One of the many things that can cause quite a “stir” is the discussion of paint…specifically lustreless olive drab paint. Paint called lusterless olive drab has been available at retail from a number of sources. Until recently none of the manufacturers (or retailers) have sufficiently documented their paint. Basically, this is olive drab, buy it or not.

A good friend of mine, Paul, at TM 9 Ordnance Paints decided to produce an authentic version of the WW2 lustreless olive drab. He really did his research to develop this paint. He first developed a modern version of the paint that used a catalyst as a hardener to leave a very tough finish. Die-hard purist had to wait a few months until he came out with a synthetic enamel version of the paint that replicates the wear and finish of the original. You should know that during the war there was only ONE olive drab. These means that there wasn’t an early or late version of the paint that had any visual difference in the color. Some retailers claim there is an early vs. later, which just isn’t true. What is true is that the paint would look different with different batches or even within the same batch. There is so much angular material in the paint that its final shade can depend on how well you mix it. Manuals from back in the day acknowledge that the color would appear different with each paint job. This doesn’t mean that the color was hugely different. An interesting article about olive drab can be found at olive-drab.com.  The TM9 paints are now owned and sold by Midwest Military.

For period articles about the paint used in WW2 and how to use it, you might be interested in my book – Military Maintenance for MB/Gpw Jeeps 1941-45.  It covers paint and much more!

I just love that "Go-Devil" Engine! But what I really love is all the little details about the jeep--check out this book!

I just love that “Go-Devil” Engine! But what I really love is all the little details about the jeep–check out this book!

Here’s an announcement: Herbert R. Rifkind’s book “Jeep -Its Development and Procurement Under the Quartermaster Corp 1940 -1942″ is available. It is in the original manual script format. Photographs inserted were chosen to replicate the ones that Rifkind originally chose. Some were left out because I could not find the image or because the image appeared to be from a copyrighted source.

This edition contains the complete text which the 1983 and 1988 did not have. This version did not have as many pen and ink changes present as the 1983 version. I think you will find it more readable then the British (1988) version. You can find the book at on line booksellers like Amazon.com and Createspace.com–and it should be available everywhere on line. The retail price is 19.95. 228 pages (including an introduction that I added).

ISBN-10: 146370917X
ISBN-13: 978-1463709174

CreateSpace: Jeep – Its development and procurement under the Quartermaster Corps, 1940-1942

Amazon: Jeep – Its development and procurement under the Quartermaster Corps, 1940-1942

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