Beverly Hillbillies, Part Deux

Vehicles and items that do not fall into the general M151 categories

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Re: Beverly Hillbillies, Part Deux

Unread post by m3a1 » March 28th, 2024, 7:52 pm

Had ourselves quite a day yesterday. I had somehow managed, after much effort, and quite a bit of very timely luck, to get a couple of my friends together so that they might strike a deal on a rather nice 1941 Dodge WC-6 which is the early, half-ton rated Command Car of WWII. Now I know how Jim Lange, host of The Dating Game, felt all those years. There are far too many opportunities to screw things up!!

But, after getting these two together and then turning them loose, we finally had a date to go and look this sleeping giant over. Half-tonners of WWII always look a little spindly in photos but in person, they aren't. Nope, not at all. So we loaded up everything, including the kitchen sink in order to shake this machine out of its long slumber. Sixteen years, stuffed in a garage and as per normal, it was fairly well silted in by odds and ends including the cavernous trunk which must have had 400lbs of stuff in it.

We rolled up our sleeves and began with examining at the spark plugs (which looked perfect) and added just a bit of oil to the piston tops. Checked the oil which was right on the line and didn't smell like anything other than oil. Followed that up by manually turning the engine over and it did so very nicely. Added air to the tires which were only low, but probably had flat spots on them (we would find out in a few days that they most certainly did). Ran into a bit of a speed bump when the donor battery we were going to use turned out to be a clunker. We threw it on a charger and did what old guys know how to do best which is - Drop everything and go to lunch. When we got back, the battery was still not much better off than it had been, so out came the 20' jumper cables...

...and we needed every inch.

There were a few slow rotations in the beginning. After that, she turned over very happily and didn't lope while doing it. With that, we decided to swing for the fences.

I handled the carb work and that old T214 was only too happy to run but I was having a difficult time giving it the right amount of fuel. We decided to see what the old fuel looked like and the old boat tank (which was the older, steel kind) was a write off. It wasn't going to play well with us or give up a single drop of fuel. After a few false starts, we decided to stop screwing around and sawed off the boat tank fitting from the hose, stuffed it down into a gas can and let the electric fuel pump do the deed...

...and discarded the ratty old steel boat tank. I never want to see one of those again.

Flushed out the fuel line and found nothing untoward so, I put the fuel line back on the carb and we were in business. The darned thing ran like it hadn't been in storage at all. Oil pressure - stellar. Electrical - 100%, charging, and all the lights worked (an absolute miracle)! Coolant - looking very good and coming up to temp without so much as a drop lost. Oil leaks - present, but less than usual. Canvas top - marvelous. Brakes - No pedal whatsoever. Ah well. One can't have everything.

These two launched straight into haggling and I excused myself so they could work out their deal in private (as it should be because I'm only the matchmaker). And before long, I was hearing these two talking about when we could return to pick it up.

Music to my ears!

Cheers,
TJ
Last edited by m3a1 on April 5th, 2024, 9:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Beverly Hillbillies, Part Deux

Unread post by rickf » March 28th, 2024, 9:24 pm

Told you it would fire right up. You can't kill those old flatheads. But I also guarantee the block will be full of silt and rust halfway up the water jackets so might be a good idea to pull the engine and head and pressure wash it out. Try draining some out of the block drain and if nothing comes out you will probably find it quite deep and solid, not something a simple flush is going to touch.
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Re: Beverly Hillbillies, Part Deux

Unread post by m3a1 » March 29th, 2024, 1:49 am

Well, clearly you don't know the guy who owned it and it's not a barn find. It's a very well kept vehicle - one that has had two U.S. Presidents riding in it (at the same time). But I'll take it under advisement and pass the suggestion along to the new owner.

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Re: Beverly Hillbillies, Part Deux

Unread post by rickf » March 29th, 2024, 8:31 am

You DID tell me it had been setting for many years.
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Re: Beverly Hillbillies, Part Deux

Unread post by m3a1 » March 29th, 2024, 11:29 am

Yeah, but it was pretty much in tippy top shape when it was parked. It's not a prickly barn find quality.

This is how the former owner had been using it and, YES, that is an image of the very truck we're talking about.

That's President Bush and beside him.... the OTHER President Bush.
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But, it would be an intelligent move to get one of those point-and-shoot laser thermometer thingies and take some readings over the block while the engine is up to temp before doing a bunch of work that isn't necessarily necessary.

Cheers,
TJ
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Re: Beverly Hillbillies, Part Deux

Unread post by m3a1 » March 31st, 2024, 12:11 pm

Happy Easter, you mutts!

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Re: Beverly Hillbillies, Part Deux

Unread post by m3a1 » April 4th, 2024, 9:43 pm

Well, we got it home. Xloflyr purchased himself a pre-war (Aug 1941) Dodge WC-6 Recon/Command Car.
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Had some minor electrical dramas when we found that the switch (formerly used to run the electric fuel pump) literally came apart on our last visit, unbeknownst to us. After we figured that out, we still had no power. Apparently when it came apart, it grounded and blew the fuse. Naturally, none of the wiring is marked. So, with some patient sleuthing, we found the little inline fuse and replaced it.

Tah dah!

We drove the old girl out into the sunlight for the first time in 16 years. Flat spots on all the tires were our reminder to treat her like a lady. She climbed onto the trailer very sweetly and we strapped everything down. The work will soon begin, starting with wheel cylinders (which leak very badly) and hopefully, new soft lines and new master cylinder.

Quite a day!

Cheers,
TJ
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Re: Beverly Hillbillies, Part Deux

Unread post by rickf » April 5th, 2024, 8:39 am

That appears to have the good old M37 rims, are they 9.00-16 tires? Great looking vehicle.
1964 M151A1
1984 M1008
1967 M416
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12/1952 M100- Departed
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Re: Beverly Hillbillies, Part Deux

Unread post by m3a1 » April 5th, 2024, 9:58 am

7.50-16s

As with a lot of WWII vehicles, there's always an acre of fender to lean over before anything can be done underhood. :lol:

Dave is thrilled because there's enough to be done on this machine, he'll be busy-busy-busy for a very long time.

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Re: Beverly Hillbillies, Part Deux

Unread post by m3a1 » April 13th, 2024, 12:02 am

Well, we cut into Dave's WC-6, expecting to find that, because there were NO brakes and NO pedal, and because the insides of the front tires were noticeably wet, we would find that this vehicle would sorely be in need of wheel cylinders and a master cylinder.

There would be a huge surprise in store for us.

The first surprise was, the spindle nuts were 8-sided rather than six, which made for a slightly sticky situation and naturally, the large socket I had, left over from my olde days of M3A1 Scout Cars, was lost...along with the other 87.359% of the stuff I know I have but cannot find. So, we dropped back and punted and managed to get them all off without damaging anything.

The second surprise was, with the hubs and drums off, we were staring at 'As New' innards from a freshly overhauled brake system from some 16-20 years past. Even the wheel cylinders had no rust on them. Such is the evidence of a carefully used and stored former military vehicle. It had never even been in the rain.

Third surprise was, once disassembled, the master cylinder (which has a ridiculously tiny reservoir and a huge bore) was not only empty, but was also in 'As New' condition on the inside. We tracked down the leak which appeared on a freshly soiled brake line on the back axle and even that would have been undetectable except for the fact that Dave had tried the brakes during the pre-loading period wherein a new owner takes his new rig for a 'Once around the pea patch' ride. What tiny bit of DOT5 that was left in the system had managed to find the tiny hole and weep out.

So, by appearances, with new hard lines installed, we should be able to restore the brakes to working order...at least until the flexible hoses decide they have had enough. Happily, they also appear to be as new as the rest of the brakes.

And what was the stuff on the inside of the front tires? Glad you asked. The previous owner had removed the front axle shafts and these axles are meant to be wet all the way out to the steering knuckle hubs where it was stopped by the inner seal. Since the inner seal had nothing to seal against...it simply rained gear oil all the way out to the hubs and after some time, it began to weep out. Bleah!

The source of the death wobble was identified. Preload on the trunnion bearings is either lacking, or there is some unusual wear on the trunnions..or both. In order to return the axle shafts to this truck, ALL of that stuff has to come off and be cleaned, checked and renewed as necessary...

just the way I like to do it.

In a brief respite from all this mechanical mayhem, the Dodge Truck and Power Wagon Owners had their soirée not to far from my place and I had been invited and told, privately, that I should bring DIrty Gertie. However, showing up in a GOAT at such a gathering is a bit like showing up at a pony ride on a Clydesdale so, I declined and BillyBoi and I showed up as just two guys..

...and it was a lot of fun. Began the day with a lovely ride in the Hill Country in the right front seat of a 3/4 Ton Dodge Command Car. The gal in the back seat mentioned that it was "loud".

Clearly, she has never spent any time anywhere near a Gama Goat.

Got a chance to assist in figuring out what was wrong with an M37; a rusty gal that had been brought to the party without her dress. The front clip was off and laying in the bed. A bunch of guys were standing around it pointing at this and that on the engine. They read me the list of things that had been going on before it refused to start again and since I had a fresh perspective, I pretty much nailed it straight out of the gate. It ran kinda okay and then began to stutter, then refused to restart. Points ignition. Two dead batteries and a weak spark. Yup. Someone had left the master switch on, which boiled the coil and the batteries (which admittedly weren't good to begin with) were punked out.. With two new batteries and a new coil, the truck ran very well.

It's STILL an unattractive truck, though. Sorry Rick. M37s are just pug ugly.

Lots of cool rigs there. Here are some highlights -
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As a minor point of interest, that blue bus has been owned for 51 years and it has been all over North and South America. The owner is a dedicated spelunker and that bus is his home away from home. Pretty cool.

Cheers,
TJ
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Re: Beverly Hillbillies, Part Deux

Unread post by rickf » April 13th, 2024, 8:24 am

They may be ugly but they will pull your F350, trailer and all with a house on the trailer with no problem. Not fast but they will pull it all day.
And I love the bus! Did he say if he built it or was it a special order from Dodge? I had a great uncle that lived in an old WC-54, he was a prospector for gold, silver and uranium. He would drive that thing all the way across the country to visit his sister, my grandmother. And he loved to talk since he never had anyone to talk too when he was prospecting in the desert. He had a parrot that taught me a lot of Interesting words that my parents were not happy about. I was only 8-9 years old but I remember Uncle Charles like it was yesterday. His remains were found in that truck in the 70's out in the desert, We figured the uranium was what did him in. But he lived and died his way, in that old ambulance.
1964 M151A1
1984 M1008
1967 M416
04/1952 M100
12/1952 M100- Departed
AN/TSQ-114A Trailblazer- Gone

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Re: Beverly Hillbillies, Part Deux

Unread post by m3a1 » April 13th, 2024, 4:24 pm

He and some other spelunkers all tossed in $100 back in the early 70's and the bus became their mobile base of operations for their subterranean hobby. He's the last man standing.

Bill and I took the Hill Country tour in it today. What a comfortable rig, and because it has been repowered it has some serious gittyup! Oddly, even with the windows down, one can have an easy conversation with anyone else in the bus, even at full speed and with some minor gear noise emanating from below the floor to remind you that you are in a Power Wagon.

Seating is a special arrangement, completely custom and installed so that it can either fold up on itself and remain a single bench seat across the width of the interior, or fold out to the entire length of the bus and be supported 18" off the floor, or 36" off the floor through a system of spring loaded pins on the ends of each section of panel.

I cannot fully describe how much genius is at work in this old rig. Annnd there were some new arrivals. Enjoy the pics. Cheers!
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Re: Beverly Hillbillies, Part Deux

Unread post by Mr. Recovery » April 13th, 2024, 8:30 pm

8)
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Re: Beverly Hillbillies, Part Deux

Unread post by rickf » April 13th, 2024, 8:45 pm

Love the 6x6 with the serious winch and especially the rope capstans!! That is some serious engineering there.
1964 M151A1
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12/1952 M100- Departed
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Re: Beverly Hillbillies, Part Deux

Unread post by m3a1 » April 14th, 2024, 12:04 am

That began it's life as a Dodge WC-63 'Big Shot'. Frame has been stretched and has had too many other mods to mention.

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