M2 Half Track

Military vehicles other than M-151s that might be of interest to our members

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rickf
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Re: M2 Half Track

Post by rickf » May 5th, 2021, 2:37 pm

I have been buying tap and die sets at auctions for a while and most of them are older, some are quite old. The quite old ones are also the sharpest. They were made out of REAL tool steel back then. I think most of the crap out there today is nothing more than case hardened mild steel. Now when you find carbide tools at an auction you simply offer a cheap price with a ho hum look on your face and most people pas it by and you walk out with the set with the same ho-hum look until you get to the truck, SCORE!!!!!!!!!!
1964 M151A1
1984 M1008
1967 M416
04/1952 M100
12/1952 M100- Departed
AN/TSQ-114A Trailblazer- Gone

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m3a1
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Re: M2 Half Track

Post by m3a1 » May 5th, 2021, 8:05 pm

Unfortunately, at a glance I cannot distinguish a sharp tap from a dull tap. Since I typically need these only for very specific important jobs, I simply buy what I need when I need it, thus beginning with fresh cutters each time. Considering each tap is just a bit more than $7.00 I feel that's money well spent to ensure a quality cut. I have enough headaches in my world without trying to make the disposition of my estate the stuff of legend.

Plus, half track parts seem to be nearly worth their weight in gold (that seems to be the pricing standard, anyway) so I don't really dare sink money into tools that I only might need in the middle of this resurrection. By way of example, the thermostat housing for the White 160AX comes in right around $110 (shipping included, Thank God). Worth having? Well, yes, in the interest of the overall longevity of the vehicle (mine is cracked). From a more practical aspect, I'd actually be content to let it weep given the extremely limited use the half track sees.

On balance, what does one cost for the M151? Not much and you can be thankful for it!

Speaking of resources, I decided I couldn't sleep well if I were to use the shiny new Grade 8 bolts the fastener guy supplied to me. I just don't think they'd be ductile enough to do the job in the way the original head bolts are called upon to do. Grade 5 is really the outer limits on these old mills.

I really only need to replace the one where some farmer had substituted a stud (I cannot fathom why) which appears to have worked okay but ultimately, is not correct. And when I say "worked okay" I mean that oil and or coolant was staying generally in the areas where it was supposed to be, but frankly, I was really aghast by the variables I found in the torques of 22 different bolts when I removed them. THAT, my friends, had me thinking I was going to be looking at a real horror story when the head came off but, NOPE.

These old engines. WHEW! Oh MAN, they're tough.... Tough, like a barrel full of sledge hammers!

The torque settings for these is something like 85 ft lbs so we are not exactly talking about a performance engine here and Grade 8 just ain't right. Given that I came up short by ONE head bolt I just called up my half track parts supplier who will provide me with 5 good take-offs (NOS head bolts seem to be nowhere to be found) and despite their age, they are far more correct than anything I'm going to get from modern suppliers.

Cheers,
TJ

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Re: M2 Half Track

Post by m3a1 » May 15th, 2021, 1:38 pm

I swear! The moment I try to do ANYTHING on this half track, the bottom falls out around here and I am pulled away to do something ELSE! Actually, this has been an ongoing theme with this particular vehicle for as long as I've owned it. Always the bridesmaid....never the bride....and it has GOT to STOP!

(end of rant)

Baby steps forward....trying to get these parts renewed, paint dried, gaskets made and the whole shebang reinstalled before the rainy spell. Expecting a full WEEK of rain! Gawd.... :roll:

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Re: M2 Half Track

Post by m3a1 » May 16th, 2021, 12:30 pm

I am pleased to report our protracted threat of rain seems to be abating somewhat. Stayed up late on Friday, cutting gaskets and annealing copper washers so as to be able to get these pieces back on the engine Saturday morning before the rain came. Didn't seem wise to have this wide open under high humidity. (STILL waiting for the final head bolt!)

Beat The Rain Achievement Badge AWARDED! :D

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And when the time came when the rain was supposed to be upon us...

THIS!

This is what 60% chance of rain looks like. SOMEONE needs to be fired!

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Beat The Rain Achievement Badge RESCINDED! :roll:

I'm not complaining, of course....but I AM wondering what our weatherman is smoking lately.

Cheers,
TJ
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Mark
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Re: M2 Half Track

Post by Mark » May 16th, 2021, 4:46 pm

he probably is talking about another part of the country,
mark


1968 m274A5
1960 m151
1981 m151A2
1964 m416
1971 m416

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Re: M2 Half Track

Post by m3a1 » May 20th, 2021, 2:36 am

Today, after finding yet another empty mailbox, I called my half track parts supplier to inquire around the head bolts. Had they been sent?? WHEN had they been sent?? It turns out they were knowingly NOT sent and it took MY follow up call (a full week later) for me to finally become informed of the matter. I'm not at all happy about that.

More to the point, I am extremely disappointed at the lack of their interest in taking care of the customer and it is something I WILL keep in mind when doing future business with them. I even discussed needing this stuff ASAP, owing to having an engine open to the humidity (despite being well-wrapped up)....which is information that apparently fell on deaf ears. People just don't seem to care about anything anymore. What the heck is wrong with people?

Now, if had I been told they were unable to fulfill my order I would have called McMaster Carr straightaway and I would have had everything I needed by now. Some people just don't get it. What it takes to get some of these projects off the ground begins and ends with good communication and other people's interest in doing their part when it comes to the matter of support at ANY level. The tasks before us are difficult enough without finding the same people who are SUPPOSED to be helping us are effectively working against us.

Amd naturally, M.C, has only plated bolts. :roll: Not necessarily a deal breaker but really not what I wanted, either. Better than nothing, I suppose.

(end of rant)

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Re: M2 Half Track

Post by Mark » May 20th, 2021, 9:35 am

The new American work ethic--people don't care about doing their job good or at all.They just want to get paid.IMO
mark


1968 m274A5
1960 m151
1981 m151A2
1964 m416
1971 m416

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Re: M2 Half Track

Post by rickf » May 20th, 2021, 9:51 am

Ok, so WHERE are the bolts coming from now?
1964 M151A1
1984 M1008
1967 M416
04/1952 M100
12/1952 M100- Departed
AN/TSQ-114A Trailblazer- Gone

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Re: M2 Half Track

Post by m3a1 » May 20th, 2021, 12:22 pm

I doubled down. I kept my order open at the offending place (hoping against hope).

I have a ten-pack of plated bolts of the correct size and grade coming from M.C. as a backup when what I really need is un-plated (I reckon I can unplate it if it comes down to it being a 'do or die' situation).

I even hit up my buddy who had a half track until recently in the hope that he might just have some extra hardware left laying around. No joy there.

I only need ONE bolt. ONE freakin' bolt!

On the PLUS SIDE, each successive re-cleaning of the top of the block yields a bit better result and we are on cleaning number four at this point.

I have been wrestling with the idea that I would be much better off if I had simply removed these valves altogether and cleaned them up as well but at the risk of cracking an intake or exhaust manifold (which must be removed to do the valves) I'm pulling my horns in and putting my money on freeing them up and reassembling it. The very necessary cleaning of the valves hopefully will be achieved chemically, by the means of additives to the fuel and a lot of protracted running of the engine. If I get skunked, I'll just have to go back in and take the more correct route. The difference really comes down to the additional expense of a single head gasket which isn't the end of the world. A nice fresh set of valves never hurt anyone.

Remember, this engine ran tired, but reliably well, and for a vehicle that only does parades, so we'll cheat and see how much more fun we can squeeze out of the old girl..

On the matter of the present Work Ethic... I cannot imagine us benefitting as a nation from this Every-Man-For-Himself-And-Screw-The-Other-Guy ethos. Our lives simply aren't in the kind of desperate straits that might otherwise justify it.

I took the time to explain my situation to the supplier in order to impress upon them the importance of my having those parts posthaste. Apparently I was wasting my breath and I got kicked to the curb like some street urchin....OR (to be entirely fair) maybe they simply made a mistake.

Once is happenstance. Twice is circumstance. Thrice is enemy action and so, the countdown begins.

Cheers,
TJ

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Re: M2 Half Track

Post by m3a1 » May 23rd, 2021, 2:53 pm

McMaster Carr supplied me with 10 new (plated) bolts in a pack (cannot buy less than a pack, apparently) for $22 and they arrived very quickly. I only need one and I'm still waiting to see if my original supplier will come through as I would much prefer to have an original.

It's raining again so waiting isn't all that big of a problem BUT it galls me, knowing I may be waiting ANOTHER week....probably for nothing.

AND, I'm beginning to think I'm in Online Shopping Hell. A simple order on eBay quickly turned to disappointment when only half the order arrived necessitating a shout out to the supplier to point out the deficit and hope they get off their behind to make THAT correct.

DANG IT!

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Re: M2 Half Track

Post by m3a1 » May 26th, 2021, 3:02 pm

NO sleep last nite. I'm a wreck. Setting the tone for the day, two out of the three flashlights I wanted to use were dead. :roll: So, after a little marathon battery changing session, they're all working again. These are the little freebie lights with the magnets (the ones Harbor Freight used to hand out for free). Very useful (when they are working) and I keep them strategically placed all over the place so, there is usually one close at hand.

Sometimes it's easier just to use a flashlight for a quick job rather than set up a trouble light

My big stand up compressor clicks but won't start (probably the switch). One step forward...two steps back. Not something I want to deal with today in my deteriorated state.

I did ruck up and get under the half track and opened up a specific inspection plate and lubed up the throwout bearing and the clutch pedal linkages and....

OMG!....the head bolts arrived today! BUT....I'm too darned tired to do a victory dance.

Cheers,
TJ

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Re: M2 Half Track

Post by m3a1 » June 10th, 2021, 6:07 pm

Let's see...how long has it been? A month and a half since the head came off? GAWD. :shock:

I stepped outside today and wonder of wonders....the weather was hot, dryish and just about perfect for moving forward on this half track business. So I rounded up the head and the thermostat housing bits and gave them all a final cleaning and got them into paint which was Dupli-color's high heat engine enamel with ceramic. CERAMIC? Wow. The times we live in.

Anyhoo, that selection was just what was closest to me while I was looking for paint for the head. I've always felt that letting fate play a hand in important life-choices would make things far more interesting than doing, like, actual research. What would be the BEST product to put on my beloved half track? Heck I don't know!

One thing is assured. Whatever I put on there is far better than what WAS on there so I'm claiming victory where this paint is concerned.

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Cheers,
TJ
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Re: M2 Half Track

Post by m3a1 » June 11th, 2021, 5:12 pm

Humidity & temps are climbing here so I've got a feeling I'm in a race with the weather.

Head bolts sat overnight in a vinegar bath and all of them took a ride on the wire wheel this morning. If you have been in this hobby for any time at all, you have encountered bolts whose hex heads have a pile of rock hard rust on them and no amount of wire wheeling will bust through it. Well, gentlemen, white vinegar is your friend. I will not say that these look brand new but they are definitely NOT rusty anymore. The vinegar doesn't actually dissolve the rust, per se.. but it softens it to a point where the much of the rust can be wiped off or buffed off with 3M and whatever remains will succumb to the wire wheel very nicely.

If you are going to work at cleaning up your stuff in this way, may I suggest gloving up for the final wire-wheel phase? Rust, emulsified in vinegar WILL stain skin and you'll spend some time working to get it off so, prevention is the best course of action.

I plucked out the worst four head bolts and after adding the five replacements I sourced, I now have 22 darned good head bolts ready for use and they are in baggies with desiccant packets, waiting for the big day. Admittedly, some are better than others which is just the nature of the beast we are dealing with. You lead with your best original stuff because there is no NEW stuff. Thermostat housing and spacer are all cleaned up and painted. Gaskets for the thermostat assembly have been cut out and nice round holes for the bolts were stamped out with my new punches. This evening I will get the head gasket out and look it over and check it against the old gasket

Now, some bad news, the person I ordered the thermostat from so long ago was unable to fulfill the order. Alas, I had forgotten that until yesterday... so I ordered another. It's a wonky shaped thermostat which accounts for the rather extravagantly designed housing. No matter. That won't be an issue. The goal is to get the head on and THEN we'll start worrying about ancillary equipment!

Forward!

EVER FORWARD!


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Cheers,
TJ
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Re: M2 Half Track

Post by m3a1 » June 12th, 2021, 3:23 pm

Today is MORE Half Track goodness.

Got out there, cleaned up the area around the track and removed the tarp over the hood.

Ants.

LOTS of ants.

I'm running a Half Track Ant Farm.

Oh HELL NO!

I am NOT running a Half Track Ant Farm.

Nope. I am running Auschwitz for Ants.

So I dosed the area with Orthene and went back to cleaning up around the half track. Finally got around to opening the hoods and propping them up securely with the 2x4s I have cut just for that purpose.

MORE ants.....but they were covered with Orthene. EXcellANT!

So, I went about untarping the engine and I was expecting the worst but the metal prep had done it's work, despite the high humidity. Silicone is great stuff for any number of reasons. Since I had planned on having to clean the head again anyway, I used the time to really take a look at the work I had performed thus far which amounted to playing a light across the top of the block at a low angle which really brought out the deficiencies left over from the two prior cleanings. Not a lot left to be done, but if one wants things to be 'just so' that goal is sometimes best served by stepping away from things for a while and coming back refreshed. My absence has been enforced, of course, but I'm making the best of it.

I got out the fan, some rags and a tool for scraping (Can you believe it? I don't own an actual automotive scraper! Maybe on Father's Day someone will be good to me.) and wiped off some of the metal prep. Then, with some emery cloth, I proceeded to locate and smooth out any leftover high spots on the top of the block where the head gasket will reside. Wiping and repeating the process until I no longer trusted my eyes and switched over to feeling the surface with by fingertips which yielded a few places that needed improvement.

The metal prep that remained on the block did yeoman service in that it gathered the stuff I was sanding off into a nice pasty mess that wiped off easily. Because of this, grit wasn't going places where I would have to track it down later (like cylinder walls). So there is yet ANOTHER tip from your ol' buddy and another use for silicone-based sprays!

Followed up with some compressed air and got into all the bolt holes and then strayed into a coolant passage...

GEYSER!

....which made a huge mess which resulted in yet another detailed wipe down. Well, that's how it goes sometimes. After lunch, I'm going back out and figure out how we're going to gently put this head on because it weighs a ton and we're having to lean over the big swoopy fenders which doesn't help matters at all.

Cheers,
TJ

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Re: M2 Half Track

Post by rickf » June 12th, 2021, 4:38 pm

I keep seeing that "we" word. That kid of yours ain't dumb, I am sure he has bug out plan #6 already in motion and by the time you call for him he will be with his buddies on the other side of Austin! And I SERIOUSLY doubt the good doctor will be performing reconstructive surgery on the halftrack! :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
1964 M151A1
1984 M1008
1967 M416
04/1952 M100
12/1952 M100- Departed
AN/TSQ-114A Trailblazer- Gone

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