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Just when you thought it was safe another one turns up


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Don't you think Jeeps are are bit like an itch they never seem to go away?.

So that's how GPW frame number 14768 DoD 2nd week of April 1942 turned up in the workshop a couple of years ago, on inspection the overall condition was not bad with a lot of early features still in place. The usual post war British service mods were still in evidence and a rebuild plate giving the post war army reg number 24-YH-46 in place on the frame. The body was very good, unfortunately not the original script but a very early composite ACM2 body number 2958 produced in the 1st week of Jan 1944 which was interesting in its own right. The usual problems were evident in and around the tank well and front foot wells other wise not too bad.

 

So this was the starting point, these photos were taken when I picked the jeep up as you can see at face value not too bad.

 

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Edited by Pete Ashby
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Looks good. ....I almost like the very basic stencils, looks more like a rushed war time look thrown on at the docks type thing.

 

I know what you mean Gareth, it does have that in service well used look

 

Pete

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With the tub off there were no nasty surprises and no welding required all good news :yay: so it was out with the engine and transmission and time for a bit of pressure washing to remove a large amount of old grease and flaking paint

 

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Edited by Pete Ashby
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As you may be able to see from the photos in the previous post the pressure washing reveled some interesting paint colours, from the first to the last it was as follows: Yellow chromate undercoat, factory OD, desert sand, post war gloss green and finally another coat of OD applied at some stage in it's recent history.

Now it was time to remove the springs and axles and get on with taking the paint back to bare metal, there was really no corrosion to speak of so I decided not to use media blasting but to use time honored paint stripper and rotary wire brushes in the angle grinder.

Once the paint was removed the frame was carefully checked over for the following: cracks, busted welds, loose rivets oval or damaged spring hangers and then measured for twist, everything checked out fine.

The frame was first given a coat of rust preventive (fe-123 from Rustbusters used this on numerous restorations and found it very good can also be sprayed if diluted... no connection with the company) then: 2 coats of Zn182 primmer, 1 coat of high gloss grey and three coats of Cromadex OD semi matt.

 

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During the paint removal some very nice script 'F's were uncovered, this frame would have been one of the very early all Ford built frames GPW's from Feb to the end of March 42 used Midland frames as fitted to the MB.

For those that like to see this kind of Jeep porn here's some close up's for those that don't my appoligies:blush: SDC15243.JPG

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:D:D:D bit of both Gareth actually. This is the eighth jeep I've done, three of my own and the rest for other people so it doesn't take too long, start to finish was about 14 months with other projects in between.

 

Pete

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So with the frame done it was time to look at the axles,

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both were completely stripped noting the markings on the carrier bearing caps so that correct realignment on re-assemble would be possible. The diffs were then removed for inspection and again a pleasant surprise, there was minimal ware on both front and rear crown wheels and pinions with no spurling or pitting of the drive faces.

Both sets of carrier bearings were replaced as a matter of course and all the axle oil seals. The pinion bearings were found to be nearly new so these were good to go again. The diff and pinion for front and back were then reassembled and shimmed as per the book to obtain pre-load on the pinion bearing and correct tooth contact on the crown wheel. I always find this operation a real pain on jeeps as both carrier bearings and shims have to be pushed onto the diff and the caps fitted before contact and pre load can be determined then the whole thing has to be disassembled and a bit of maths done to work out how many thou the crown wheels has to be moved left or right, I'm not proud and I admit I find it a bit taxing as it's the easiest thing in the world to stuff a brand new carrier bearing >:( even when using the correct braced twin arm extractor. Having said that time spent setting the axles up correctly is time well spent in the long run.

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The front axle king pin bearings were replace and the king pins checked and found to be well inside factory spec, the shim packs were then adjusted to obtain the correct pre-load using a spring balance as per the manual again time well spent.

The pivot arm bearings and shaft were very badly worn....odd as the rest of the axle was not that bad... so a new pivot pin and bearings was fitted after driving out the old locking pin and shaft some careful use of the hot spanner is often required here and this one was no exception. Hub swivel oil seal surfaces at the end of the front axle were found to be ok with very little pitting so they were polished up to a smooth finish.

 

Then it was remove grease and old paint then one coat of Zinc 182 undercoat one coat of red oxide one coat of gloss grey and three of Chromeadex OD for both axles. The back plates with all new cylinders, shoes, and springs were then fitted the anchor pins and cams were found to be in good condition and were used again. Where ever a threaded part was reused an appropriate sized UNF or UNC dia or tap was used to clean the thread and then a smear of copper grease applied before assembly.

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Edited by Pete Ashby
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The next task was to examine the springs for cracked or broken leaves, worn spring eye bushes and worn shackle eyes. I had a mix of MB rears and GPW fronts all of the early pattern. The rear spring packs were in good shape and I decided to use them with new eye bushes even thought they were MB the decision for this will be explained later in the thread. The fronts were pretty flat and had seen some hard service so I decided to bite the bullet and replace them with a new set the chances of finding a NoS set of GPW early front springs was next to 0 so I decided to have a set made up by a company I have used before (Jones Spring Engineering Ltd from Darlaston no connection with the company except happy customer) these guys are very good and have the original specs to set the springs with the correct camber and load bearing capacity. Unfortunately they cannot supply the correct GPW spring clip but I'm happy with what they provide it's very close to an MB style and I'd rather have good springs that aren't 100% correct than original ones that are a danger.

New swinging shackles and bushes all round and they were ready to fit to the frame. Along with the rebuilt steering box, this had a new sector shaft, bushes and oil seals, the worm and races were in good usable condition

 

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Time moves on.

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Next unit to be overhauled was the engine here are a couple of photos of the unit still installed

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And here it is on the workshop floor awaiting cleaning and dis-assembly

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and here with the head and oil sump removed

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All components were measured against the factory specs for ware tolerance, if found to be with limits they were reused but if worn or any doubt existed components were replaced with new. The 1955 dated rebuild plate on the oil filter bracket stated Mains std, big ends std, bore +20 this was found to still be the case and although there was ware it was just on the limit of being OK indicating that since 1955 this engine had not done excessive mileage another plus:-)

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Close inspection of the block showed up a tiny crack radiating from the middle head bolt so the decision was made to send the block away for heat treating and fusion welding... expensive.... but but worth it in the long run. The block was then sent to my local engine machine shop, real old school. They polished and then cross cut the bores to maintain +20 and took -10 off the crank and big ends to clear, all in all not a bad result

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The head was found to be slightly bowed in both directions but with some careful work by the machinist it milled flat without loosing too much under the water jacket. A good result as its an early Ford 'f' marked head contemporary with the DoD of the vehicle.

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This is probably the appropriate point to fess up, you'll notice that the block is finished in Ford grey all very correct except it's not a Ford block it's a Wilson Foundry block as fitted to MB's........OH dear bit of a scam on my part:blush: actually maybe not and this is why. Apparently Ford had problems supplying block castings for the first 3 months of GPW production so Wilson empty bare blocks were supplied to the Ford plants who then installed ford and GPW components into the block and fitted their own heads and ancillaries and painted them grey. Every component inside the engine was of Ford manufacture including the early riveted and soldered drain hole on the sump however to be truthful, the casting code is wrong by a month and the construction stamp on the sump flange is out by two months on DoD the engine number is odd too as it's just stamped very faintly on the block pad a 16600 no MB or GPW prfix the engine was definitely in the truck in 1955 as the rebuild plate uses the same number. So is it a rebuild salad? very possibly is it an early factory fit? may be but it's close enough for me to feel happy painting it Ford grey.

The early f marked non vacuum ported inlet manifold was broken at the block lug so sadly I have fitted a Nos latter replacement however I kept the nice f marked exhaust after having it faced of with the new inlet manifold. The water pump was the early GPW type but I have had very limited luck when trying to repair old pumps so I opted for a late war pump fit and forget and pretend I can't see the heater take off plug..... I can and it irks me, but reliability is more comforting:angel:

So engine rebuilt with new mains @+10 new big ends @+10 new rings@+20 the piston skirts were fine and the ring belts well with tolerance so they were used again. 8 new valves, springs and adjusters, the tappets, cam, and valve guides were good to go, new cam shaft bearing, thrust plate and spring, new timing chain and rebuilt oil pump the distributor was fine so that just had points rotor and cap replaced and it ended up looking like this.

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The carb was cleaned overhauled with a NoS kit and the throttle shaft and bushings replaced.

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The bell housing had the following marking LV US/ORD G503 737108 this in 1" black letters on post war duck egg blue replacement engine colour

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Edited by Pete Ashby
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So with the engine complete the next task was to tackle the dirt and grease encrusted transmission. All the gunk was removed from the outside of the cases to prevent contamination before the transfer and gear box where split and dealt with individually.

I looked at the gearbox first and this turned out to be a 1943 replacement which by this stage was not unexpected as the whole vehicle was showing classic signs of full British army overhaul.

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However on the plus side the whole truck was very complete without the usual civilian additions/bodges and not suffering any WoF bolt ons.

Back to the gearbox, dis assembly went well with nothing jammed or bent however when the bearing surfaces and thrust washers were measured against factory specs it soon became evident there was a lot of ware so a full rebuild was in order.

All the bearings were replaced along with the cluster gear which was out of spec on the bore and the shaft showed corresponding ware. 2nd gear had taken a real bashing and the syncro hub fingers and blocking rings had seen better days, probably why 2nd was in such a poor condition.

The case was good and not cracked and the bearing and cluster shaft bores where not worn and well within spec the bottom of the gear stick was in very good condition as was the selector gate so these were reused along with the selector rails.

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As a matter of course I changed the detent rail springs and balls and with a new set of gaskets it was good to go with a new thrust washer and return spring.

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I should add the fly wheel clutch surface was faced off before being installed on the engine and a new clutch disk and pressure plate fitted.

Edited by Pete Ashby
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Continuing with the transmission theme the transfer case was next on the list for attention. All components were removed from the case and this was then examined for cracks and out of spec bearing and shaft openings, everything checked out well within spec. the gear teeth were in very good condition but there was some ware on the thrust washers so these were replaced along with all the bearings and seals.

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I always like this part of any restoration as it's now that things start to come together and the vehicle takes shape, rather being a group of parts in the corner of the workshop.

First new tubes, flaps and tyres were fitted to the combat rims that had been previously checked for true and then painted and put aside for a couple of months to let the paint harden off. Then the rims were fitted to the frame and the whole assembly pushed under the crane to drop the engine and transmission in which had previously been bolted together as unit. New mounts for the engine and transmission were installed as it hung on the crane and then everything was lowered and bolted up loosely while still taking the weight on the crane to ensure alignment then it was lower away and tighten up fully. The re-cored radiator was then fitted and coupled up with new hoses I elected to use the later type hose and metal pipe rad hoses rather than the one piece rubber of the early design.

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Thank you Steve,

I've been at this sort of thing a long time now, but I should point out that I'm not a time served engineer like some of the guys on here. I learnt from my Father who was class 1 REME fitter in ww11 and have been lucky to call among my friends in the MVCG as it was then some very good professional motor engineers. I've also been lucky in that I've had the opportunity to own and work on a cross section of the Allied WW11 B vehicle list.

 

regards

 

Pete

Edited by Pete Ashby
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So that was the frame, springs, running gear, engine and transmission all back together and finished all that remained was to clean the the prop shafts, check for true, push out the old UJ's and refit new ones (making sure the Zerk...that's grease nipple in the Queens English... faces out) paint and fit in place.

Time for a test run of the engine :cool2:. The oil pump was packed with Vaseline before assembly and then if possible I always like to fill the main oil gallery via the gauge line using an old style 1 pint squirt can just before the first start. By doing this I find that a few revolutions with the ignition off will start to show pressure on the gauge. Hook up a hot wire onto the coil and second pull and away we go:-D. No matter how many times you've done it there is nothing like that first start to bring on a smile. Oil pressure was as per the book so after everything came up to temperature and the choke was off I adjusted the timing a tad then shut off and started on the body.

 

First job was to go round the tub and make a list of the jobs that would be required and then sit down with a mug of tea and draw up a simple plan (posh word for list) so that work could be done in the most time efficient manner.

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Yet another absolutely cracking job :) she looks incredible :)

Just out of interest ....you say this is the 8th you have done...and I was at the Evesham show on the weekend and there were dozens of Jeeps there ......does anyone have a vague idea of how many Jeeps there are in this country these days? .....what with the massive number of Hotchkiss 'imports and those that were already here and the ones that have recently come in from the States ???? ...just a stab at a guess anyone ??? :)

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Thank you Bob,

yes there certainly are comparatively a lot of jeeps about, I think I saw an estimated figure on the G503 forum once that suggested around 5 to 6 thousand world wide but I'm not sure how accurate that figure would be.

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The first thing to do was to drag out my Heath Robinson body jig from the depths of the hay barn. I made this some time ago out of scaffold poles and clips with castors attached at the corners. It lets me move the body around the workshop and by using universal swivel clips on the up right posts I can rotate the body, very useful for welding and painting.

I decided to start by plug welding the extra holes in the sides of the tub using 0.6mm mig wire and universal Arga shield cover gas. I try to find a washer that is just a bit smaller than the hole to be filled then clamp this in position with a heavy duty copper heat sink at the rear then just tack weld round slowly letting the copper take the heat out of the body to avoid distortion. The weld and washer can then be dressed down using an air driven power file with 80 and 100 grade belts or rotary grit flap disc in the angle grinder.

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Removing paint and gunk from the front of gusset leg I found the ACM2 body number clearly stamped, this is a very low number and it would appear from information received via the G503 forum that this was constructed during the first week of production for the composite body......that equates to the first week of January 1944.

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These photos show some of the additional holes welded shut and dressed down

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Edited by Pete Ashby
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With all the extra holes welded shut it was time to look at the foot wells. The rotten bits were cut out, then thin card (the stuff you get in new shirts is ideal) is held up from underneath and the shape of the hole traced onto the card with felt pen. The patterns are then cut out and the shapes traced back onto new steel. These are then cut out and welded in using mig 0.6mm wire and universal Argashield cover gas. The whole lot is then dressed back flush with the power file and flap disk.

The top hat section that needed replacing were also cut off and replaced with new top hat section and treated hard wood fillers.

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Now it was time to tackle the tank well the only option here was to cut out the old well and replace with a reproduction part.

Before I did any cutting I took accurate measurements made drawings and took photos of the tank position in the floor both inside and out of the tub also the depth at which it sits front and back relative to the floor. It is critical that the replacement is not too far to the right as the distance between the well and the outside face of the frame is very tight when the tub is installed.....too far right and it won't fit:(. Some people get over problem by doing this job with the tub on the frame.

I was careful to drill out spot welds where possible to enable the new sump to use the remaining flanges as datum points. I do all my straight cutting where necessary using ultra thin cutting discs in the grinder they give a 1.5mm width cut and are very easy and controllable to use.

The new tank well mounting flanges were drilled to enable plug welding and a dry run undertaken first to make sure every thing lined up and matched the drawings and measurements

 

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A little bit of welding on the drivers side panel and all the tin bashing is complete

 

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Now it was down to removing the paint from the underside of the tub and preping for painting. 2 coats of 182 Zinc primer,

1 coat gloss grey 3 coats of Cromadex semi mat OD.

 

This photo shows the front half in gloss grey and the rear in Zn182 primer

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The tub was turned over and the paint was removed from the upper surfaces.

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Then it was on with the primer coat as before but this time a coat of spray primer filler was applied and lightly rubbed back this was to blend in the repairs.

 

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The standard gloss coat of grey and three coats of OD

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I left every thing for a couple of weeks to let the paint harden off and got on with some minor repairs to the top hat section on the drivers wing and then removal of paint from the wings, grill and bonnet and then my standard repaint sequence.

The wings are nicely marked on the top face with a script 'f' and are of the early pattern with no black out light holes so they may well be contemporary with the early frame, the grill has the indent in the middle of the top rail this came in mid 1942 to enable Ford and Willys bonnets to become interchangeable so is not contemporary with the frame and is not 'f' stamped the bonnet is 'f' stamped on the hinge and had the interesting detail of a small hole drilled just in from the leading edge on the center line. When I measured it the dimensions corespond exactly with the position specified in British standing orders for a pennant mount for Field Officers.......interesting feature but I have to say I have welded it shut as it will let the rain in.

 

It was now time to sling the body on the crane, push the frame underneath remove the steering wheel and undo the steering box mounting bolts and slide the frame forward while lowing away on the tub, engage the steering column in the foot well hole and lower and move the frame back carefully until everything lines up. Perhaps worth mentioning at this point I always wrap the column in masking paper so the paint don't get torn off during this operation.

 

This is my team fitting out the body prior to lifting :)

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And this is what it looked after the strops were removed and the body bolted down

 

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Edited by Pete Ashby
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