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Jim Clark

1944 M4 High Speed Tractors

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Over the last weekend we continued with the next stage in the HSTs restoration which was to remove the cab and then the damaged transmission assembly.Before the cab was taken apart we pushed out the dents in the front of the cab roof and the front panel. Doing this with the cab altogether makes it easier than on the bench as you can use a hydraulic ram to gently push out the panels and dolly the high spot down at the same time.Sorry if the last paragraph does not make sence.

The cab/crew compartment is of a bolted construction so is fairly easy to take apart. I opted to use the cutting torch to blow most of the bolts as they were rusted and I intend useing new ones anyway. It may sound a bit harsh but if you weigh up the cost of the time to remove by hand and then sandblast and paint all the nuts,bolts, washers etc against the cost of buying new it all makes sence.

 

Cab roof came off first.

 

hst4001.jpg

 

I think the cabriolet version might be nice if the summer is good.

 

hst4004.jpg

 

The front panel, center and rear sections were then removed

 

hst4007.jpg

 

hst4006.jpg

 

hst4013.jpg

 

With all the upper body removed we then removed the 120 gallon fuel tank.

 

hst4018.jpg

 

hst5004.jpg

 

I think the fuel filter may need to be changed.

 

hst4019.jpg

 

This made it easier to get to the pipes running from the torque converter and gearbox also the oil filters and the transmission fluid tanks.

 

hst4014.jpg

 

I then split the tracks and removed the complete transmission assembly ie torque converter, gearbox and final drive unit.

 

hst4016.jpg

 

hst4017.jpg

 

Leaving an empty hull apart from all the dirt, sand and muck in the bottom.

 

hst4022.jpg

 

next weekend we will start with the repairs to the hull and rectify the civilian modifications.

 

Jim.

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What are the condition of the tracks Jim, and are they compatible with anything else size wise. ?

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Tracks are the same as Sherman but that's no excuse for cutting the end connectors! :nono: :-D

 

Well spotted Adrian, yes I know not the best thing to do, but I lent my track connector pullers to someone and despite promises to return them before the weekend they did not appear. So as I have plenty of NOS connectors out came the torch.

 

Mark, the tracks are in good condition and they are the same as the narrow Sherman tracks.

Jim.

Edited by Jim Clark

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Well spotted Adrian, yes I know not the best thing to do, but I lent my track connector pullers to someone and despite promises to return them before the weekend they did not appear.

Jim.

 

Don't you hate it when that happens? The standard track jacks are designed for Stuart and the end connector puller pin is not really man enough for Sherman. The later ones have a larger pin in double shear and these are much better.

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Are you going to strip the torque converter down just in case while it's out? :goodidea:

 

I'd be interested to know what make it is :coffee:

 

Just chasing the Alliance man (yet again :argh:)

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Great stuff Jim. You seem to have done loads since I was with you. No time for all those biscuits, then?

 

MB

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Are you going to strip the torque converter down just in case while it's out? :goodidea:

 

Hi NOS, I intend to to use the transmission assembly from one of the other HSTs and use this one for spares or repair. I think that having been in civilian use since the war its had a hard life, the cracked casing proves this in my opinion, and as the other HSTs have vertually no miles on the clock they will be a better bet. I am going to just swop the complete assembly, fit the engine and other running gear and try it before fitting the cab and upper body this way should there be any faults they can be rectified easily. Obviously I will do some checks but not a complete strip down.

Jim

Edited by Jim Clark

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Great stuff Jim. You seem to have done loads since I was with you. No time for all those biscuits, then?

 

MB

Hi Mark, Not much time for biscuits mate just plenty of coffee to keep me alert. Its surprising have much you can do when you set yourself a target, it helps to have the tools and equipment though to do the job.

Jim.

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Marvellous. With the right tools you make it look like a giant meccano kit, only lots more fun. Well done. I would be interested to see how it progresses.

 

Tim (too)

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Keep up the Good work Jim From the crawfords m18 hellcat crew.

I:e Alex

Thanks Alex, please give my regards to Alan.

Jim.

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As the weather was good again this weekend I decided to strip down the donor HST to source the parts I will need for the yellow one. The ammunition box, engine cover, radiator and engine were removerd first. I then removed the winch and its relevent controls and drive shaft also the air brake tank and pipe work.

 

 

hst5008.jpg

 

 

The plan was to keep the hull in one piece but it is too far gone to anything with except remove all useable parts and scrap the rest.

 

 

I cut the rear panel off to copy as the yellow HSTs rear panel was missing. It is very simple to fabricate as its only 4mm sheet steel with reinforcing strips and 25mm round bar for the winch rope exit hole.

 

hst5001.jpg

 

Bolted to the windscreen latch was a bracket which I think maybe something to do with the "comb" on the front panel. Correct me if I am wrong but to me it looks as if the brake control ropes may have been passed through this bracket, as shown in the third pic.

 

hst003.jpg

 

hst5022.jpg

 

hst5023.jpg

 

 

 

I then removed the cab/crew compartment as one, giving me access to the transmission which i will check and then fit in the yellow HST. I did remove the cover of the diff out of interest, the oil is clean and apart from a small amount of surface rust its like new but then it should be with only 239.9 miles on the clock.

 

hst5030.jpg

 

 

Hopefully next weekend will be nice and I can start repairing the yellow hull and fabricate a new rear panel.

Jim.

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Oh and by the way I was not happy about cutting up the HST, I think its a shame when vehicles get to the point of no return.

Jim

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two short clips of a Allis Chalmers M4 HST unloading and manuvering .

 

Something went wrong...

 

 

Something went wrong...

 

These clips are part of a collection of 43 videos listed under ASPHM , The Assoication of Safeguard of the Military Historical Heritage. A new museum apparently being orgainized in France

Edited by abn deuce
added back ground on source of clips

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It makes a nice smokescreen!

Very cool vehicle, I want one.

 

(Now lets get myself the money...)

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Fantastic noise!

 

What engine(s) in the one in the video?

 

I've already added one to my wanted list.

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The engine in the HST in the video is a 6/71 Detroit 2 stroke diesel. a more economical alternative to the original Waukesha 145GZ petrol engine.

As the bellhousing is an SAE fitting swopping engines is very easy.

Jim,

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That'll explain the high revs and the smoke then!

 

As a matter of interest what speed is `high speed' for these things? Presumably a bit faster than a Sherman given the lighter weight.

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Jim,

 

only a few weeks I overtook a lowloader on the motorway here in Holland with a Monstertruck on a Chalmers chassis on the back! If I remember correctly it even had the chassis back to front.

 

Have you had any time to work on the M4 projects recently?

 

Alex

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Any more progress on the high speed tractors?

I was really enjoying this thread and it seems to have gone quiet.

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With A and E 2012 coming up soon I thought I had better start on the M4 HST again. I know its been 2 years since I last posted on this thread, but other projects and work got in the way. Anyway here is an update of the progress I have made. Last summer we blasted the hull and all the running gear ,transmission etc.

 

ALLISCHALMERSHST1025.jpg

 

ALLISCHALMERSHST1024.jpg

 

ALLISCHALMERSHST1026.jpg

 

ALLISCHALMERSHST1028.jpg

 

ALLISCHALMERSHST1029.jpg

 

ALLISCHALMERSHST1032.jpg

 

 

The bottom 6inches of the side was perforated over about 7 foot so I removed the center and rear wheel stations to cut out and weld in a new length of steel.

 

ALLISCHALMERSHST1040.jpg

 

ALLISCHALMERSHST1042.jpg

 

ALLISCHALMERSHST1044.jpg

 

The rear panel had been cut out by the previous owners so I had a new one pressed up out of 4mm sheet steel, i will post more pics of this later when I have uploded them.

 

Jim

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Just don't know where you guys know where to start! Looking forward to seeing this at A&E 2012!

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