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About Me

Vehicles & Projects


  1. Starting a small production run of track bands that can be used for either the T15 weasel and/or the M7 Snow Tractor. The T15 takes 16 short and 4 long bands. The M7 requires 12 short bands and 4 long bands. Have run over 100 miles on the bands on my T15 and they are holding up well. Cost is $5000 for either the T15 or the M7 snow tractor. Expect bands by end of the year or early part of 2023. Taking orders at this time with 50% down and 50% at time of shipment. Contact Mike at mhowardems@gmail.com for more details.
  2. I have been spending a lot of time with tracks and the drive system of the Weasel. As tracks are probably the biggest issue in Weasel ownership, I am hoping to gather the collected wisdom on the drive system in this thread and then compile it into an article that will help the Weasel community and future owners as they wrestle with track issues. For what its worth, I love WW2 tech manuals. The manufacturers of WW2 vehicles and the War Department did an outstanding job supplying reference information to the motor pool back in WW2. Most of what we need to operate these machines today can be found in 3 or 4 manuals and a parts lists. That being said, there are areas that didn't need to be covered (ie refurb because new parts were available), tools that are no longer easily accessed (ie track tensioning gauge) and the fact that we now have to do maintenance that was never contemplated because the expected lifespan of the vehicles (measured in months in WW2), has so far exceeded design expectations. The topics I want to cover are as follows (please add if you see something missing). 1. The Weasel Track system - basic measurements, theory of operation, original track variations, track guides, 15" v 20", 55 grouser & 56 grouser, bands and cables 2. Alternate track systems - ie French, Consolidated/LAR style, other 3. Track tension 4. Steering and final drive adjustments 5. Sprockets, Drive Wheels and Hubs. 6. Track refurbishment One of the big problems with forums is that this type of information can build into a many page thread. Since the information is not "curated", the threads may have incorrect data etc. and it becomes a big chore for a new reader to parse through and figure out what is what, who knows what etc. My plan is to curate the thread and write an article - WIKI style - that the community can edit/amend over time as more information is collected. This thread will stay open, but eventually this first post will be amended to have a link to the article so someone can cut right to the information or peruse the thread to see how this all developed. This is a small exercise in collective knowledge. Let's see how we do. Thank you!
  3. I’m waiting on engine news so moved to suspension and tracks. Many things are going on and many of the steps have been written about already by others. Lately I have been working on the track idler assembly. When I removed the tension leaf spring the bends and damage were obvious. If the spring is damaged and not allowing the idler to move freely this may cause suspension problems down the line. My option was to build a new spring. The springs dimensions are close to the parts on a cargo trailer and they are plentiful in all kinds of price ranges. What I found at a spring shop surprised me at how well it worked out. I was lucky to find a spring that the mounting eye on one end turned down like the one I am replacing. No one at the shop could tell me what trailer this was for. This part has been on the shelf for way to long and they we’re happy to have somebody take it off there hands. The pictures show an original spring and another cut up with the leftovers. I made the main leaf a little longer so the adjusting bracket would sit on the spring better. The springs cut well with a small grinder using cut off wheels. I drilled the new holes for the center bolt with a cobalt drill bit on the slowest available speed and used cutting oil. Ends up it’s just like working with stainless steel. It worked best to drill through in one pass. Now there is a little arc to the spring, it’s all brand new and should have a good adjusting range. Before installing I plan to spread a thin layer of grease between the leafs and wrap them with duck tape to keep dirt out. This worked well on dirt short track stock cars years ago when the cars were close to stock. The reason for this step is we plan to drive this one regularly and it will not be in military colors. The next weasel will have that distinction. Fred
  4. Byron’s TM1990 Rubber Track Manual for Weasel M29 & M29C This manual explains how To fit the rubber track kit ready to accept the rubber tracks. The Rubber tracks are a modern substitute to replace the original tracks. The original tracks weakness are the bands that hold them together. The steel bands are encased in a rubber mould which over time crack and allows water to corrode the steel bands, eventually causing them to break. To use The rubber tracks, You need to fit the rubber track kit. When the kit is fitted you can continue to follow TM9-772 to fit the tracks in the same way as the originals tracks. I can confirm the track tensioning tools do still work in the same way with no problems. If you aren’t going through a full restoration, whilst fitting the kit, this is the best time to change any worn bearings or damaged seals. Refer to the parts manual for the bearing numbers and seal numbers. Most of these part numbers can be crossed reference to modern seals and bearings. “Good Luck”. In the rubber track kit you have:- 4 Large round spacers:- The spacers go each side of the hubs at the front return rollers so the front roller wheels space apart to accept the wider track centre guides. See figure 1 & 2. You will need to remove the hub from the axel to enable you to remove inner wheel to then slip one spacer onto the hub before putting the inner wheel back on. You can now refit the hub to the axel. NOTE - You will need to purchase 16x 5,1/2” x 3/8 UNF bolts as the originals are not long enough to bolt it all together. These are not supplied in the kit. NOTE - Make sure you Grease the front hubs thoroughly before finally fixing everything together as one of the spacers completely covers the hub grease nipples (This is a slight design fault) See figure 3. NOTE - Because the idler wheel closest to the hull has been spaced apart with the spacer, this becomes very close to the front carrier arm stub axle nuts, these nuts will catch the wheel if they are not locked off in a good position. These nuts can only be fitted when the wheel is loose on the hub to give you more nut turning space. See figure 4 and 5. 32 Smaller spacers and 16 longer shafts:- These smaller spacers go either side of the track suspension bogey hubs to space the small idler bogies further apart. See figure 6. The long shafts replace the original shorter ones to allow the extra length for the spacers. These spacers are to allow the wider track guides to run through the wheels. See Figure 7 & 8 NOTE - You will need to keep your original castle nuts and wooruff keys for your new shafts. NOTE - The oil seal each side in the support assembly now runs on the new spacers so keep these shiny and paint free to seal correctly. Originally these seals run on the smooth face inside of the wheels. See figure 7 8 x Cone shaped washers :- See figure 9 & 10. These are the hardest part of the kit to fit and require the track guid wheels to be removed from the shaft. You will need to remove all bearings and grease. The wheels will then need to be cut and re welded. The wheel part with the rubber needs to be cut away from the bearing hub part. These cones are then welded to the inside of the wheel part and to the outside face of the bearing hub part to widen the gap for the track centre guides to run through. See figure 11, 12 & 13. This can only be done on a lathe to ensure they run true again. These welds need to be neat and precise. I did not do these myself, I got a machinist to do this for me. Once these have been modified you can now refit bearings, pack with grease and fix back onto the shafts. NOTE - These modified rollers are available as reproduction parts rather than cutting the originals. This may be the most sensible option rather than cutting ww2 parts. I believe these come with one of the different kits as I have seen them on another weasel. I had no choice as our kit did not come with these, we were just supplied the cone washers for DIY. 2 rear drive sprocket :- To fit these you will need to remove the rear dive hub form the axel, then remove the drive sprockets wheels from the hub. Then re fit the bare hubs back onto the axel. See figure 14. When the bare hubs are fitted back onto the axel just simply bolt the new drive sprockets supplied in the kit to the out side face of the rear hubs. See figure 15. NOTE - You will need to buy 16x 2,1/4” long 3/8 UNF bolts as the originals are too short. Extra notes and reminders:- The rubber tracks are run considerably tighter than the originals, particularly because of how they are made and particularly to ensure the shorter track centre guides don’t let you run a track off unlike the original taller centre track guides. Because of this, It is worth considering fitting a solid 1,3/8” bar inside the front idler stub axels to help prevent these bending. See figure 16. By pushing a solid bar through as a tolerance fit will also confirm that you do not have a bent stub axel as the bar will simply not go though. If you have a bent stub axel, the weasel will continuously steer to one side. The inside of the tube may need a slight hone to clean ready to accept the solid bar. Like wise the bar may need a slight skim on a lathe to give you the correct tolerance fit. Remember to grease the front hub well before you put the spacers over the grease nipples Remember to tighten the nuts for the carrier arms before tightening the wheels to the hubs. I have now personally driven 50 miles with the rubber track kit and I have not had any concerns. We have previously owned another weasel, which come with rubber tracks fitted when we bought it and we had no issues with these. I have been in communication with a few guys that have run these tracks for years and I have mostly received positive reviews and it has kept their weasels running. WARNING - Some Weasel owners do not like the look of these tracks as they do not look original, which we can not deny. Expect to take some friendly banter but be confident your tracks will outlast the originals. PLEASE NOTE - I have tried to make this manual helpful for future people like myself who only has pictures and friends help fit these tracks. If you believe I have made an error with a description or are not happy with how I have described something please PM me so I can correct rather than fill the comments box with my mistakes.
  5. One of my weasels has tracks with 55 grousers and one has tracks with 56. What is correct? Thanks!
  6. Hi all, I joined the forum a year ago with the intention of buying a Weasel and sure enough one came up in March this year, a 1945 M29C with all the floater gear removed. I’m in the UK and the Weasel was in Norway. I’ve bought vehicles in the US and France in the past but buying during a pandemic was a learning curve and the deal was done with only photos, videos and phone calls. Shipping was the hardest part but back in June I travelled to Immingham docks to pick the Weasel up and bring it home. I was so relieved to find it was even better than described, very original (I think) and not messed about. The seller had said it needed new tracks and after re-commissioning (it’s been in storage for 20+ years) I finally drove it last weekend. The good news is that it moves ok in a straight line but any attempt at turning either way made the left track jump the sprocket teeth. Observations and thoughts are as follows, any advice would be greatly appreciated. The teeth on the left sprockets are very worn. I’m told that building them up with weld isn’t possible as they’re hardened. I’ve found new sets online from Accu-rite Machine in California and have read a couple of good reports on them on this forum. Anyone had any experience of them either good or bad? The tracks themselves seem in reasonable condition apart from one cracked groused. They have 55 grousers and have been rebuilt at some time with Norwegian inner bands and this bracket and link arrangement replacing the outer bands The tracks lack tension and the adjustment stops are fully at the bottom of their travel so there’s no adjustment left. The tensioning spring looks to have some arching in it but does anyone have the correct spec and would re-arching help get more adjustment? The rubber on the idler wheels, drive wheels and support wheels is damaged in places and varies in thickness between 1/16” and an 1/8”. The worst one is shown below, the rubber is level with the metal rim. Does anyone know the correct thickness and am I right in thinking having the correct thickness rubber on would gain me a bit more tension in the tracks? Three of the bogie wheels on the right side are odd with a much bigger offset than the others. Are they post war manufacture or off something else? TIA Chris
  7. Hi all, I'm interested in getting a group of us together who want to reproduce original and affordable Weasel tracks instead of the custom jobs you see (using cables, chains, conveyor belting, etc.). Those of us that own half-tracks went through a similar problem and eventually solved it - half-track tracks are now reasonably priced and available, and I hope to start something like that for the Weasel. I bought my M29C more than 20 years ago and was gun-ho about getting it going, but when thinking about tracks doused that fire. I have the belting to go that way, but I want the tracks to look original and I assume I'm not alone in this. Jeff Jensen
  8. I see several posts about reapiring or replacing tracks. Do anyone selling a repair kit? I have attached pics of the broken cable. Thank you
  9. Guys, Here’s a weasel track project from the T-15 ” skunkworks” you all might find interesting: This project has been in works for some time and is finally getting closer to fruition. Basically, the scope of this project is to remake OEM style bands for the T15 weasel. (T-15 tanium) 😉 (though a similar process could be used for the T-24/M29 series.) There are currently no plans to build those. The concept is to do the bands in a modular form, instead of a continuous band. The modular design is very similar to that of the M114/M116. That way if you break a band, you just replace the band/section and not the whole track. You still need a serviceable set of grousers to make this work. The band wires are fully vulcanized and encapsulated in rubber similar to the weasel. The wires terminate in steel blocks that are then bolted to the ½ way point on a grouser. Several sections of band make up a band assembly. Because the number of grousers on a T-15 is a prime number there will be one odd, band with one less grouser attachment. Bands, h plates and end terminals are vulcanized and encapsulated in rubber. Terminal blocks of different design have been tested in a tensile tester to 8,000 lbs pull before failure. The following photos should give some clarity to the design. Here are some screen shots....most of this is the early work that has been revised already....many revisions... final design before molding is not show. We hope to be cutting the molds soon. This is project is being done for Mike Howard. Contact him if you are interested. This particular band could also be used on the M7 snow tractor with some modification to the mold, but plans for that have not been solidified. Enjoy... tb.TIF
  10. Disassembly, road pad fabrication, sand blasting and powder coating complete. Re-assembly finally can begin!
  11. I thought that I would start a bog/story on my Weasel restoration. I sold an Amphibious Jeep back in the Mid 1990's and I decided to purchase another unusual vehicle that operates in two mediums. I came across a 'Weasel' and decided there and then that this was the vehicle for me. I was going to import a project weasel from the US of A but before proceeding I had heard of a weasel that was local to where I was living at the time. I contacted the owner and asked if I could have a look at the weasel to give me some idea what I was getting myself into. After looking at this weasel I decided to offer to purchase it from the owner. I came up with the figure of $6500AUD ($2000 for the weasel and $4500 that it would have cost at the time to ship a weasel out from the USA to Australia). The offer was accepted and on the 11/11/98 I took delivery of my new project. I have been restoring this weasel off and on ever since. The colour scheme you see on this weasel was made up by the owner. This weasel was purchased from Consolidated Industries and shipped to Australia in the early 50's. It was to be used on a large Sheep Ranch as a special vehicle for the owner to inspect his sheep during wet weather, however the weasel saw little use out in the far west due to drought. If you look closely at the hull, the owner had the hull raised 100mm/4"inches above the tracks so that mud would not get caught up between the sponson and the track. The damage done by this modification cost me a lot of time and effort to repair/restore.
  12. Hi! im a new member to this forum, and almost a new owner of a Studebaker Weasel m29c. The one I bought is in quite rough condition tho, only 3 leaf springs ass. and diff are still present. Also most of the bottom has rusted away. But im young, and optimistic, thus, I need pretty all parts that I can find. So send me everything that you can find! I am located in The Netherlands, and I don't really have the contacts to look for parts. So im hoping this will turn something up. of course shipping will be painfull, but still, let me know if you know something! I prefer parts from Europe, but, beggars can't be choosers... Regards, Pips
  13. Redoing M29c 20" tracks. Cannot find blueprints for tracks. I can't find the grouser spacing or number required. Trying a new approach. Anyone know?
  14. Well, Rusty our Weasel has French style tracks that are rusted out and breaking apart. So starting to take them apart in hopes that sometime after I finish replacing metal and welding and painting etc etc, I can use the grousers on a new style track system. BUT right now my question is ---- other than the grouser plate is there anything else that should be saved?? I could save the nuts that I don't have to cut off but anything else. The lock washer could be used again but only as flat washers. The rubber is in pieces but anything that it could be used for. I'm going to recycle the motor cycle link pieces as rusty steel but anything else?? Open to ideas.. Any ideas?? Stay Safe Later 42rocker
  15. Hi guys! The main point of concern with weasels is usually its tracks.. So with mine, i want to restore/update them as much as possible. The tracks are Norwegian reenforced with chainlinks, and they have the extra heavyduty rubber band on the inside. But, the small rubber block that are in contact with the road are pretty far gone, some are even missing. My question is, does anyone have experience glueing new ones on? I have bought Uhu Multifest 2 component adhesive for a little test. Are there any tips or recommendations on what glue or rubber to use? Thanks in advance!! Kind regards, Pips, from the Netherlands
  16. Good Evening, I recently purchased a M29C and finally got it running. Thanks to the helpful folks on this fourm! Runs great! Greased everything on the drive train, backed it off the trailer and started to test drive it and while backing up I bushed the left track partially off. I kinda had a feeling something was going to break and I was planning on either pulling these tracks off and going through them or rebuilding the spare set that it came with and swapping them out. Was hoping other people on here would have some insight on that... I'm new to the weasel world and have been doing some research, not a whole lot but some. Looking around it seems that the rubber bands for the tracks is hard to come by. I was wondering what people have done to repair/improve the tracks over the years. The part that broke was a chain link that somebody else installed I'm guessing years ago, and if possible I'd like to install something better, I'm sure this worked great if it didn't set and got frequent lube. However, it sat and froze up. I know that the OG had cables that ran along them and that seems like an okay idea but any insight on best way to go about this would be great. A little insight on my intentions (if it help). I was planning on getting the rig running, going through the tracks and boggie wheels and such, I'm not looking to restore the Weasel this winter but plan to later down the road. I mainly and trying to get it going to be able to move my cabin materials across a lake this winter and was to make sure that I won't have any issues with the tracks mainly. I'll continue to do research and studying on them but was mainly wondering what people have done in the past to solve the issue of replacing the hard-to-find rubber bands. Thanks in advance! Kennedy
  17. Hi! I have this track, it is belted, with reasonably heavy duty grousers . Can I have input on what they are and how they last? Anyone know if they had rubber road pads? (I dont really see any) Thanks! Dave
  18. Any M29 complete track available in any condition? One or? No gold plating required.
  19. Guys, I have a new set of LAR track, these have not been used. They have been stored properly on edge in a container and are on two pallets ready to ship. I have two sets of these and don't need two sets. Price is $11K New LAR track is $14K if you have any detailed questions give me a call at 208 845 0823 This is a google voice number that patches through to my cellphone. If you don't get me directly leave a message and your phone number. Thanks, Rob
  20. Hi Guys, im Byron. I was on the old weasel forum and I cant seem to find it. Has it gone? I restored a weasel roughly 6 years ago and kept a full diary of what I was up to. I also made a lot of hard ware for the weasels that a lot of guys liked bought. I have a new weasel project and would like to post some pictures. Out of all the ww2 vehicles I have restored, this is by far the most complete. Would be great to chat to you guys. Byron, England, Devon
  21. Hi, I'm sure that this has been addressed in some form or fashion in the past but I can't seem to locate it. Does anyone have a reference for modern bearing, race and seal numbers for the suspension on the weasels? Ive found the bogie seals with skf 12391. But can't find the bearings or races/cups. Also looking for the same info on the idler and drive bearings. And u joints for the drive shafts for that matter. Any help would be appreciated! Thank you!
  22. So I am starting a NEW post to see if anyone can answer the questions below? If you have rebuilt tracks or have personal experience, please chime in! I have all of the sources to do a build but before I pull the trigger I want to verify info. There will be a cost savings to do all inner and outer belts the same width if that is important. Continuous bands pre cut and drilled. So in theory just bolt on the grousers and other parts and install and play. (Sounds too simple) Measurements, photos and drawings are helpful! How many grousers on the left and right of M29 Are they all the same number? How many grousers on the left and right of T15 What is the proper thickness of the belting? What have others used with success? Too thick and power and steering problems and damage. Too thin and ???? Width of belt? Full coverage? 7 inch? 2 inch? (I am unfortunately am a 2 inch guy) Grade 8 bolts? T Nuts? Rivets? Hot glue gun? What size has been successful? Rubber track pad options? Belting? Cast? Old tennis shoes? Anyone have one NOS pad? Supplier options? Who have you used? Continuous bands? Conveyer? Hardware? Tooling? Photos of the process if you already did some, or in process, or? If we start with information, I'm sure Patrick could put some great drawings and directions together in his free time? It's not like he is really doing anything anyways. 🙂
  23. I have used this company in the past for bogies on other vehicles. FYI. Cynthia was the contact. Do not know if she is still there. Caster Concepts, Inc. 888.781.3379 16000 W. Michigan Ave., Albion, MI 49224 USA Caster Concepts - Heavy Duty Industrial Caster Manufacturer USA They have done rubber and other poly's
  24. Good evening, I recently replaced the rubber bands on my spare set of tracks and in the process of reinstalling the track on the rig. I was able to get the old track off mainly because it was 3/4 of the way broke already. I have the two brackets off the side of the haul and the front pulley loosened up. I can’t get the new track on, it appears that leaf springs have to be compressed in order to slide the track past the boggie wheels. I don’t see how that’s possible to do with a bottle jack because the track would get in the way. Anybody have any suggestions? Iv thought about splitting the track again and then using a few straps to suck the track back together and bolt it back one the track is on. thanks!
  25. I am about finished with my hull repairs and starting to gear up to do the mechanicals. I ended up finding a set of nice 15" T24 tracks. They are in good shape - with a roller chain added for stability. I am not sure what I am going to do about the bands yet, but I want to start fixing the grousers. I have two issues in some grouser plates: bends and then torn off road pads. 1. I am guessing the grouser plates are hardened? I have probably 6 to 10 that are bent. My plan is to heat them and bend them back. Any experience out there? 2. Where the road pads are torn, my current plan is to weld a 1/4 or 5/16 tapped plate in the "hole" - then screw in a delrin road pad. I am open to thoughts or suggestions. Thanks, Patrick
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