Alley Cat 151

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Re: Alley Cat 151

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Re: Alley Cat 151

Postby m3a1 » June 15th, 2017, 8:16 pm

Today I took the rear differential out of the Alley Cat. There was clear evidence that it had been leaking but I had an idea that it might be in much better internal condition than the differential in my A2 which continues to make some rather discouraging noises. So I got up under there and, after removing the left axle, gave her guts a spin and it felt like it was running much tighter than my A2's differential. So I plucked it out and got it up where I could play with it a bit.

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I scraped it down with that dull knife I keep in the toolbox and followed up with a wire brush, then some PB Blaster and a tooth brush and a bit more scraping here and there. Wiped it all down and power-washed it, keeping the focal point of the spray nozzle well clear of the seals. Hit it with some degreaser, scrubbed it and power-washed it all over again. After some primer and paint, this is what she looks like! Sexy, eh?

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Once the paint cures I'll be going in and renewing the seals. I cannot seem to get the drain plug to come loose. Its stubborn-ness is being compounded by the fact that the differential isn't mounted in the truck so I can't get much leverage on it. I'll try it again when I get it back in the truck.

Author's Note: After putting this in the A2, I still couldn't get that plug loose! As a result, I wasn't able to see what the lube looked like inside this contraption so, I will share with you and couple of thoughts. I should have flipped it over and drained it through the fill-plug. I got distracted by some other things going on around here and wasn't thinking about what I was doing. As a result, I forged ahead with my original plan to remove the plug once it was back in the truck which is not a wholly unreasonable plan, right? Well, guess what. WRONG! I put the rear end in and I couldn't get the drain plug out...and I wanted to drive my truck. I really wanted to drive my truck! I have been limping along with a horrible rear differential ever since I got the A2. So basically, I threw caution and good sense right out the window. I put this component into service without really knowing what I had in there for lube. It felt good and smooth while turning it by hand but the bottom of that differential could have been filled with peanut butter, for all I knew. Things worked out OK but it was actually a roll of the dice and I really don't enjoy operating like that. So, here I am, two days later and the plug is still grimly hanging in there. I have scraped away the paint around it and am dosing it daily with PB Blaster and running the truck but only barely. All that lube and all those micro vibrations should help it come loose. I think being patient with it is really going to be what is needed to get it loose and I won't have to tear up the plug by forcing it.
Last edited by m3a1 on May 12th, 2018, 9:11 pm, edited 8 times in total.
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Re: Alley Cat 151

Postby m3a1 » June 16th, 2017, 1:46 pm

i got into the seals on the output shafts as they appeared to be the primary sources for the leaks which were enormous. I once posted that you should never, ever assume that the guy who had been in there before you was an Ace Mechanic. And here we have something to back that statement up.

The output shafts leaked like sieves because no one installed the seal sleeves on the flanges! In short, the seals were larger than the neck of the flange. Oh, they touched...but only just a little bit as we can see from the highly polished wear marks. If you are new to this, the nicely machined surfaces on the flanges are not the surface that mates with the seal. You have GOT to have a sleeve on there!

In this picture we see the undressed flange, with a new seal sleeve as yet uninstalled. The seal sleeve is going to be pressed over the neck of the flange. It is a very precise fit. The chamfered (or tapered) edge is the leading edge of the seal sleeve; the part that would come into contact with the new seal first when you reinstall the flange. It serves to ease the seal sleeve into the seal without damaging it. You may have noticed that the neck of the flange also has a chamfered edge.
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Here's the old seal, still in place. Poor thing. It never really had a chance to do it's duty. :cry:

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And here's a Public Service Announcement for the last guy who worked on this!

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New seals and sleeves installed and, with that done, the whole thing got a repaint.

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I can't wait to get this into my A2!! :D :D :D Maybe I should have gone ahead and replaced the input and tail shaft seals as well but evidence suggests they were still good. If they fail, my penance will be to replace them with the differential still in the truck.
Last edited by m3a1 on May 13th, 2018, 11:54 am, edited 12 times in total.
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Re: Alley Cat 151

Postby rickf » June 16th, 2017, 3:45 pm

You should take that vent out and clean it out real good while it right there in front of you.
1964 M151A1
1984 M1008
1967 M416
04/1952 M100
12/1952 M100- Departed
AN/TSQ-114A Trailblazer- Gone
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Re: Alley Cat 151

Postby m3a1 » June 16th, 2017, 3:53 pm

Excellent idea! The cap is kind of banged up but it still moves and it is springy. Or, I may just swap it out for a brand new one.
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Re: Alley Cat 151

Postby m3a1 » May 12th, 2018, 8:54 pm

Ok, it's been a while on this project. So much going on around here but we are out from under some dark clouds family-health-wise and my mechanic's curiosity is up and I'm feeling wrenchy.

The Alley Cat never really made it to the front burner and truth be told, I've never actually had this truck running though I have it from a trusted source that it was. It's just been sitting around here since I got it, donating an occasional kidney or lung here and there and that has got to stop.

I have achieved most of what I wanted to do on the A2 and my son's M38 has occupied most of my time and my beloved half track is presently out of reach. So, to keep things fresh, I'm going to do a few things to prep the Alley Cat for a start up. I think it's all A1 under there with the notable exception of the suspension which is A2 (thank heavens).

Marvel Mystery Oil has been in the cylinders for some time now, not because of any known problems but because it's good practice... and the distributor is going to need a coil (and guess what I just found at the bottom of a box of stuff!) and I have to repair some wiring at the starter switch and I may just hot wire the ignition switch to ON as I don't believe I ever had the keys for it...unless another master power switch presents itself.

Since I've had it, two issues surfaced that are the most likely cause of the Alley Cat having been orphaned. The right rear wheel bearings (a problem which has been remedied and documented on this thread) and the faulty wiring at the starter switch (which is about to be remedied).

There is the issue of a carburetor (there is none installed presently but, if I have good results starting it without a carb, I'll get a kit, rebuild it and we'll see what develops. All this is in direct violation of my usual rule of having working brakes on a vehicle before anything else happens but, I DO have a new master cylinder installed already so the worst job of the brakes has been rectified already. So, if everything runs reasonably well, I'll wrap the brakes up with all new bits.

Meanwhile, having fallen prey to PhotoBucket's shenanigans, I'll try to resurrect the photos on this thread and freshen it up.

Never a dull moment around this place!

Cheers,
TJ
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Re: Alley Cat 151

Postby m3a1 » May 15th, 2018, 9:01 pm

Made a little headway today on the old Alley Cat. I FINALLY managed to resurrect most of the photos I took so long ago. Those photos were supposed to jog my memory and happily, the ones that I finally unearthed, did. Filling in the blanks took some long staring (and a few beers helped) but I'm pretty sure I got the starter button hooked up correctly. If not, it'll be an awesome fire when the time comes. :lol:

Pawing through some of the parts trunks assigned to the M151s, I found some very interesting parts...stuff that I had forgotten I purchased. Some of it was parts meant to make the Alley Cat more MUTT-ish and some of it was parts that are just very good to have kept in reserve. It's always like Christmas when I get into those trunks.

Cheers,
TJ
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Re: Alley Cat 151

Postby m3a1 » May 23rd, 2018, 7:47 pm

Ok, here's a little update on the old Alley Cat.

I've been actively prepping this truck for a wake-up for about a week now. The engine sat with oil in the cylinders for some time and I've pulled the plugs and turned it over by hand so everything appears to be free. All cylinders are huffing so I'm concluding the valves are doing their thing.

Carb cleaned, rebuilt and set aside.

Reinstalled the starter switch (button) and repaired several wires that had gone bad.

I've been into the distributor and am dealing with the capacitor wire (it's insulation is cracked and flaking off) so I'll be putting on some heat-shrink tubing for the time being. The wire on the exterior connector to the capacitor is not in good shape either. For now, I'll just dope it up and if this turns out to be a good runner, I'll sort it out mo betta.

Plugs are cleaned up.

Plug wires are cleaned up and painted.

Distributor housing cap received a detailed cleaning, stripped of its paint and repainted. Threaded connections cleaned.

Detailed cleaning of distributor housing, cap and rotor.

Still a few things to do and I'm sure once I get it turning over we're going to see a coolant leak (stuff was coming from somewhere while I was turning it by hand) and probably some other minor headaches.

Vent lines fabricated and installed (which is really putting the cart BEFORE the horse).

Cheers,
TJ
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Re: Alley Cat 151

Postby m3a1 » May 24th, 2018, 8:06 pm

Installed the carb today (Hooray! The new correct gasket came in the mail) and I finished up with the distributor after putting heat-shrink tubing on the lead from the capacitor because its insulation was dried, cracked and flaking off.

Still trying to decide what to do with the connector going to the capacitor from the wiring harness. That wire's insulation is also badly dried, cracked and flaking off and the wiring is actually compromised right where it goes into the connector hardware.

Have any of you ever disassembled this connector and replaced the wire? Seems a shame to drop big money on a new one.

We are nearly ready for an attempt at getting this engine running!

Cheers,
TJ
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Re: Alley Cat 151

Postby rickf » May 24th, 2018, 8:16 pm

Liquid electrical tape.
1964 M151A1
1984 M1008
1967 M416
04/1952 M100
12/1952 M100- Departed
AN/TSQ-114A Trailblazer- Gone
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Re: Alley Cat 151

Postby m3a1 » May 24th, 2018, 8:22 pm

Yeah, I thought about that but about half the wire strands are gone so the wire is essentially compromised and needs to be replaced.

It kind of looks like one might be able to cut the wire off, press the guts out and solder a new wire onto the actual connector and put it all back together. Looks can be deceiving though.
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Re: Alley Cat 151

Postby m3a1 » May 25th, 2018, 7:28 am

Many things yet to do that coincide with getting it running -

Install the exhaust system.

Hang the rear differential on the Alley Cat (the one that I swapped out of my A2 because it was excessively noisy)

Install new universal joints on the rear axle shafts (which got refurbished some time ago) ...and then put them on.

Install the rear drive shaft.

And, if this truck turns out to be a decent runner I'll put the new wiring harness in it and finish overhauling the brakes.

Not a long list but it looks like days and days of work yet to be done.

Why is the work NEVER DONE? :roll:
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Re: Alley Cat 151

Postby rickf » May 25th, 2018, 5:44 pm

If you leave off the exhaust you won't hear the loud differential. :roll: :lol:
1964 M151A1
1984 M1008
1967 M416
04/1952 M100
12/1952 M100- Departed
AN/TSQ-114A Trailblazer- Gone
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Re: Alley Cat 151

Postby m3a1 » May 25th, 2018, 9:38 pm

Hey, man. Zoomies are not totally out of the realm of possibility. That's what I love about the Alley Cat. the whole idea that nothing is totally out of the realm of possibility.

Actually, I think the problem with that diff is that it was not properly shimmed but for now, it goes in and then, if everything turns out ok, maybe I'll swap front and rear diffs or maybe I'll crack it open and have a look-see.

Getting anxious to throw some batteries in and see what happens, tho!
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Re: Alley Cat 151

Postby m3a1 » June 9th, 2018, 9:28 am

Just a little update and I'm almost ashamed to make it. There have been many, many distractions around here. It has been tough to get back on track. By the time I get free each day, it's about 100 degrees outside. I may just have to set up some fans and start sweatin' to the oldies.

New capacitor connector finally arrived for the distributor housing. VERY expensive! Now that I have a replacement, I feel I can remove the old one and try to disassemble it and attach a new wire to it. If that fails, I'll use the new one.

Someone give me a kick in the pants.... PLEASE!
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Re: Alley Cat 151

Postby m3a1 » June 9th, 2018, 11:10 pm

The family went swimming today. Ahhh! Peace and quiet. So, I thumbed my nose at the heat and got to work.

Started the day dealing with the connector to the capacitor in the distributor. As it turned out, my connector was not salvageable and the wire to it was absolutely shot. When I attempted to disassemble the connector, it turned out to be completely frozen up and I wasn't going to risk putting stresses on the distributor housing and ruining something else. Happy to say I have a brand new replacement but I had hoped that I might be able to salvage the old one.

So, for those of you who are curious as to the order of disassembly for that connector, here's a quick description -

See the bit under my thumb? That's a nut in and of itself. Let's call it a cap nut for lack of a better term. The large nut-shaped nut is the bit that secures the whole thing to the distributor housing and as we know, it should turn freely on the whole connector assembly. Let's call that the retaining nut. Now, the cap nut screws onto the tail of the inner sleeve (the inner sleeve holds the rubber insulator) and the cap nut simply serves to capture the retaining nut on the assembly.

If you are going to successfully take apart an old connector assembly, particularly one that is as bad as mine was, it's very likely going to be tough going but, here's how you do it.

First, leave the whole thing plugged in and firmly nutted down on the distributor housing. I would recommend backing off the retaining nut first, then snugging it back down just to be sure that it is free. See the groove on the inner sleeve? It's there for one reason only and that is to help anchor that inner sleeve and keep it from turning so you can take the connector assembly apart. The fact that it is properly plugged in and nutted down is what is going to hold the inner sleeve stationary while you try to remove the cap nut.

Attempt to unscrew the cap nut (lefty loosy) keeping in mind that it might not want to give way. This is the moment when you have to decide if you want to risk ruining the whole shebang for a part that might not be worth fooling around with. Mine was pretty much corroded to the point where I decided I'd rather not run the risk.

If you are successful, once the cap nut is removed, what is left of the assembly can be removed from the distributor housing and at this point, the retaining nut can actually slide off the sleeve. That exposes the rubber bit within the sleeve as much as it can be exposed.

Deeply embedded within the rubber sleeve is the connector (that bit on my fingers). I pretty much ruined mine getting it out (since it was ruined anyway) but I wanted everyone to be able to have a look at it. You can see that the irregularities in it the connector serve to keep it very firmly seated in the rubber but take a good look at it's length. If it is to be successfully removed from the rubber in its entirety, the rubber bit must be able to expand and that means having it out of the sleeve. In my estimation, removing the connector from the large rubber bit is unnecessary. You should be able to solder in a new connection aft of the inner sleeve and re-insulate it where it passes through the cap nut. To be fair, this is all bold talk (in that I didn't have mine fully apart) but it sure looks do-able.

So, even though I was not successful, I still think these can be renewed if new parts aren't available. It just takes some finesse and a cooperative connector assembly.

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And now, I offer up a lesson in why it is not wise to attempt to start an old engine with the cooling system still closed up and unchecked. Imagine all that lovely junk making it's way into the radiator and resolving that sort of catastrophe would create a rather large hole in one's wallet, eh? I know what you're going to say - Well, TJ, that thermostat cover is obviously toast! To which I would reply - Yes, but the thermostat housing on my M38 looked perfectly normal on the outside but was pretty much Chernobyl, just like this, on the inside. Anyway, potential problems like this should be the focus of our attention before attempting to start an old engine, yes? It's just good business to get in there, snoop around and look for problems before throwing caution to the wind.

And, Yes, this IS as packed with debris as it appears to be.

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There's even fallout in the radiator hose. Yummy!

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So, I took the shop vac to the whole mess. Yup. That's a hole in the top! Put these dissimilar metals - Aluminum, Brass and Iron all in close proximity to one another and the results are predictable. The loser is....ALUMINUM!

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I'm happy to say, the bolts were cooperative for once. However, there was evidence that coolant had made it's way into the threads of the lower bolt; plenty of deposits in there to show that it had. Thermostat didn't look too bad and it kept all the junk out of the block. That's a good thing.

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My thermostat (180 degree, by the way) didn't want to dislodge itself from the block and its design offers very little to grab onto. So, I cautiously used a screwdriver to see if that would help me hook it out. I did this rather delicately and it worked like a charm. The better way would have been to hook it on either side of the little trap door and pull it straight out. But, handle it like a gorilla, or pry on it and it would be easy to ruin it, right?

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Gasket came off intact and still attached to the old thermostat cover. This mating surface will clean up nicely.

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The thermostat is a very clever design and the center disc pivots like a door when the heat is up. It was placed with the pivot points of the "door" on the vertical and I reinstalled it the same way. It is also oriented in such a way that the half of the door that opens into the thermostat cover very sensibly directs the flow of coolant toward the hose. In other words, the way I have it oriented in my hand in the picture below is how it should look when it's fitted to the engine block.

I cleaned this thermostat up with an old tooth brush and some tooth paste (which did a very nice job) and yes, I checked it to ensure that it worked before reinstalling it.

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Made my own gasket and after applying Permatex Form-A-Gasket, just let it set up a bit on the new thermostat cover while I ran to Tractor Supply for some new lock washers I was going to need for putting the axle shafts back in.

A word about this replacement housing. The tabs for the bolts are quite a bit thicker than the original, which I'm sure everyone will agree is a good thing. But, if you have also gotten yourself a new one, this is something to consider prior to reassembly because likely as not, you'll need slightly longer bolts. as I found I did after I laid on the final coat of Permatex. And so, I had to get back in the truck, drive BACK to Tractor Supply and get longer bolts. :roll: Well, I can't be expected to do everything right!

You will remember that I said there was evidence that coolant had found its way into the threads of the lower bolt. So, to preserve that bolt and help the next guy, I coated my bolts with Permatex Thread Sealant to keep those threads dry and healthy.

I ended up using new 5/16" x 1-1/4" grade 5 bolts (with star washer) and the book calls for them to be torqued 10-15 ft lbs which, for those of you working without a torque wrench, is just beyond snug. Do NOT make these bolts gorilla tight. We won't be lifting the truck by the thermostat cover.

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Cheers,
TJ
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