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Hi I am new to this forum and not sure how to search old blogs so I thought that I would just ask a couple of questions. I started working on a t15 and the rubber on some of the road wheels are none existent so my question is if any one else had this same problem? I had made a mold and used liquid rubber 90 shore hardness to put new rubber on the rims but the rubber just came off the rim so I tried tacking roller chain on the rim and recast the rubber and now after some use the rubber is chewed up and coming off, the original wheels are good. If any one had to put rubber on road wheels what did you use or where did you send them to get re done? Also the rubber on the idlers wheels and the drive wheels are either gone or in poor shape so I am wandering how thick the rubber was on them also the track belts are worn out and broken so someone had welded chain on the inside and outside to keep the tracks running so I am interested in replacing the belts. Has anyone any spare parts out there to be had any help or information would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance

Larry

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Hi Larry

Here is a link to G503 site showing DRH refurbishing bogey wheels. Looks like he was using PMC 780 for the urethane to mold the wheels. I am refurbishing a couple T15 tracks that are in bad shape as well fortunately all the pads were not to bad of shape. I am doing a conveyor belt outer band #" to the each side of both tracks. What I understand about the T15 track it was not very good with only the two center bands the bogeys run on. I  feel that adding belt to the outer portions of the track will add much more strength and stability to the track. I will post more pictures as I get further along. It would be nice to see some pictures of your project.

Dan

 https://forums.g503.com/viewtopic.php?f=77&t=311864

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Larry 

the bands are original but lots of rot and track bands broken in several places on each track. About the best I can hope for for the center bands is that it be a smooth enough surface for the bogeys to roll on. The 3" wide outer band conveyor belt will add the strength to hold the track together. The T15 track even with good main bands is a really poor designed track. The center guides are  the wear plates for the sprocket so very thin. In my view to have a usable track for the T15 would mean a complete redesign. I realize in putting the effort into restoring my T15 it is really going to be a very limited use machine mostly a display. So if I can take it to some of the military shows etc that will be the extent of use.

Dan

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Yes Jesse its amazing what you can do with time and knowledge he is very talented. I have cast rubber onto 5 of my bogies but after a short dive in the pasture 2 of them decided to come apart. The product that I have been using is smooth on pmc790 it is a 2 part polyurethane rubber with a shore hardness of 90. The 2 bogies that came apart are on the side with the real bad belt coincidence or reason? I am not sure why the designer decided to run these wheels on such an angle but I feel it was the wrong move. I would like some input on my band replacement, I plan on getting rid of the bands and run 3/4 inch belting from the band position to the outer edge of the track pads using 8 bolts to secure the belts to the pads, kinda what Dan is doing. My one concern about doing that is the extra drag on the track, will a half worn out 70 hp engine be enough to turn them. I am looing for input so feel to comment good or bad. I will try to down load some pictures at a later date

Thanks

Larry

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Larry

Use 1/2" belt. 3 ply. It wont cause any drag. Use 4 bolts per pad. I will have mine done in a week or so and will post pictures. The replacement bands will be nice but without a better design on the guides which basically are the wear pads for the sprockets your use of the machine will be short lived once the guides wear through. Many of my guides are worn to 1/16th thickness where the sprocket hits. If you get new bands you will have to break off the rivets which will free the guides.Maybe they are less worn on one side or the other so you could rotate them. Or build up the wear on the guide with weld.

Dan

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Hi Larry

I re-read your earlier post and you state you want to run the belting the width of the track pad to the guide to the place the Bogeys ride on? That would be hard to do on the T15 because there are raised portions on the pad that would prevent you from doing this. Granted I may be wrong but others that have looked at this as well have also come away with the same conclusion. The best you can do for the track Imho is to replace the center bands with new as Mike Howard is developing or leave on existing bands and belt the 3 inches of pad that is flat on each side of the center bands. Please let me know if you have discovered a way of running the belting over so the bogeys can ride on the belt like you can on the M29. I also noticed you said you had a running T15 (driveable), which is something in itself as I only know of one that is operational and it is on youtube? Are you the owner of that weasel? If not would you mind posting some pictures  on this site of your T15?

Dan

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Hi Dan

Yes I am the owner of that t15 the serial number is 132 I think it is an early one built in 42 and still has the original engine in it. Someone painted it yellow so I can't see the US # I will have to carefully sand the paint to find the number. Yes it runs very nice but after a little drive in the pasture I found a few hiccups, fuel supply, fuel pump leaks oil and the biggie one track belt broke but all in all it drove nice. There is no rust on the body just a few minor dings which I am working on. It would be my goal to replace the bands and keep it original but I haven't found a source of them yet, how close is Howard to completing his project? I would love to share pictures but I don't know what I am doing wrong as every time I drag a picture to the site the computer say this site cant be displayed, I am very computer illiterate, I will get my daughter to help me tomorrow.

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Welcome aboard Larry - great to have you on the site.

As for posting pictures, you should be able to "choose files" at the bottom of the posting window.  Once the file is uploaded, you should see the picture.  There is a + sign in a black circle on the picture.  If you put your cursor in the message where you want to insert the picture and then click on the plus sign, the picture should be inserted where you want it.  If your daughter has any trouble, give a call.

Regards, Patrick

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Hi Larry

The T15 on youtube is painted white and is very clean with nice tracks although they have chain on the pads as well like yours but continuous. Your bands are really shot ad well as the guides.  The bogeys need a reasonably smooth surface to run on your bands are showing all the cable lugs. new bands would be the way to go. You will obviously need some track guides as well. How is the rest of your T15? Is it complete with all the T15 jewelry like headlight, ski racks etc.I will await further photos. I'm not sure when mike howard will have bands available for purchase. I think the project is currently in the stage of have a mould made.

Dan

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Hi Dan

I did get some pictures downloaded here they are

No all the goodies are on it, it is missing the headlight, tail light, the ski racks and the front of the 30 cal. mount is missing I am not sure what else but I am more than happy with the condition it is in. I tracked down some 1/2 in. belting today and on my way home I had a thought, I only have one very bad belt so what if I covered that belt with the 1/2 belting that I bought today that means that I would have to drill out the rivets and bolt the belting over the belt and belt clips . One thing I don't know and worry about is will the cover belting bubble as it bends over the sprocket wheel and rear wheel. Is there any good track guides out there or would one have to try to reproduce them him self. Did you make a jig to drill your holes in the track guides and belting? I guess the best way of dealing with the bands is to wait until Mike's bands are done and test them out as it look awesome.

Larry

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Hi Larry

Anytime you go over old rotten rubber with another layer is most likely a failure waiting to happen.  Nothing is out of the realm though. If you did  the belt as an overlay over your old band you would want to mill the rubber off evenly on the old band down to the top of the cable lugs. A router with a jig fixture would cut the rubber down to an even layer. A very good rubber to rubber cold vulcanizing adhesive is Rema Tip Top SC4000. There is a possibility you could remove bands from a M29C weasel and adapt them to your track I was thinking about that today. I have a couple M29 tracks and will check measurements to see if my thought on this will work. There are M29 tracks to be found with better bands than you have. Another thing you mentioned is drilling out the rivets . To remove the rivets drilling works OK but is slow inmho. I use a air chisel called the big nasty that really works fast and shears them right off. Forget drilling any holes in the pads with standard twist drills. That pad material is hardened even cobalt is slow going. I use a jig with 1/4" holes and do the holes with a plasma cutter. It does surprisingly well and is quick in comparison to drilling. In one of the photos in this thread there is a picture of the jig.  If you have a plasma cutter try some practice holes before putting holes in your pads. In one of the pictures I posted I show the holes I did with  my plasma cutter. It looks like you have a pretty good T15 body not a rust out one so if you get the track issue resolved you will have a nice weasel.

Dan

http://www.rematiptop.com/products/remabond-cements/sc4000-cement.html

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Hi Tom

Those bogie wheels look pretty awesome where did you have them done? do you recall how thick the rubber is on the drive wheels and idlers?

Dan

Thanks again Dan for the advice and all your help in trying to solve my track problems, it sounds like you have a lot of experience. Have you or Tom ever taken the rad out of your t15's if so how the xxx do you get at the bolts, it looks impossible please don't tell me I have to pull the engine to get at them. How rare is the headlight and would the small black out drive lights in the grill of a jeep work for the tail light on the weasel, they kinda look the same.

Thanks guys there is always so much knowledge on forums like this and me a new comer can tap into that knowledge is just great.

Stay safe

Larry

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Hi Larry

The first thing you should do is get all the manuals you can on repair and parts for the T15 which is aka M28 weasel. Pat Tipton who is the originator of this forum and founder of Portrayal Press has them.

Tom who just replied in a previous post in this thread has much more experience regarding the T15 than I have so to have him providing help here is great. By the way Tom could you post some pictures of you T15 restoration? The pictures on your site do not show the detail.

I have not removed my radiator yet but it is going to have to be done as my engine plus all running gear will have to be removed to  rebuild the body.

The wheels that Tom had recast look like the way to go. It would be nice to know where they were done and an idea on cost.

The headlight is very rare. It is  a Trippe Speed light. Graham Trippe produced headlights for a number of years back in the day so you cab find some parts on ebay. It is 8" in diameter . My lens was broken and I just bought a replacement recently for 65.00 on Ebay. The headlight bucket is the unique part to the T15 which would be hard to come by.

As a project weasel to restore the T15 in my view is easier to restore body wise than the M29. It does not have all the hat channels and hidden rust areas that the M29 has to deal with in a full restore. My machine is a rust bucket but all flat panel replacement will make restoring much easier and faster. The issue and challenge is the tracks and bogeys. The springs also can be broken. I recently had a quote to have my springs re-tempered and was quoted about 275.00 per assembly. To remake 4 springs sets was around 1K. 

The other thing as I ramble on is how much to spend restoring the T15? Only a few were made in comparison to the T24 and M29 so parts are very hard to find if non existent. Larry your machine has tracks and so does mine which is a major deal on the T15. Many don't have tracks or are missing guides and pads. I understand that only 500 T15s were produced and were short lived in field trials mainly because the track and bogey system was not adequate. I am sure it did not take long for The war department to see the problems. I also wonder who came up with the crazy design to angle the bogeys? Maybe if were lucky Jim Gilmore will have something to say about this. As for cost what is the limit? and to others that own T15s what are your thoughts?  I think the T15 I see on youtube that is running with every conceivable  rare part on it sold for 14K which is a drop in the bucket in what you can spend to bring one of these back to original condition.

At the end of the day just speaking for myself I am going to push on with my restoration and try to keep cost down by doing as much work myself as possible. I would like to have new track bands but how much will they cost? and then that only solves part of the track problem. What about the sprockets eating up the guides? With new bands and  very expensive bogey remakes it will not take long for the sprocket to eat right through those guides then you back to space 1. Lets face it until a complete  solution to the track problem is developed which includes guides and  sprockets (which will not be cheap )I think the T15 is at best a limited use or static historical display.

Dan

 

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A few comments on some of the postings.......

"....Pat Tipton who is the originator of this forum and founder of Portrayal Press has them...."

While Pat is the originator of this forum....he is not the founder of Portrayal Press. It was my good friend Dennis Spence that was the founder of Portrayal Press. Dennis was one of the founders of the Military Vehicle Collector's club ( now the MVPA) and is member # 1.

"...Only a few were made in comparison to the T24 and M29 so parts are very hard to find if non existent...."

While this is true for all of the major parts there are many of the smaller parts and fittings the also were used on the T-24/M-29. Parts that fit the M-29 that have a Ordnance part number prefix of "G-154-" are also used on the T-15.

 

"......I understand that only 500 T15s were produced..."

There were 766 T-15 vehicles built not counting the test vehicles.

"......I am not sure why the designer decided to run these wheels on such an angle but I feel it was the wrong move. ..."

"................ I also wonder who came up with the crazy design to angle the bogeys?..."

Although it would seem looking back from 2020 to 1942 that this was a wrong design or there were problems with this design but the facts are very different.

The T-15 was a design that was VERY thoroughly tested and there were many track/bogie wheel designs tested and discarded as not the best usable design in the snow and hard ground.

There were track plates tested that were polished steel, pressed steel, rubber coated steel, screen, wood and other materials and designs. The bogie wheels and the suspension were also tested with various designs. Some bogie wheels were tested with vertical wheels like the later T-24 used but they were found to be problematic with snow and ice packing and were not flexible enough and led to track throwing.

It is not well known that the T-15 track was designed to not only roll around the drive, return and rear roller/wheels but to flex not only up and down but sided to side as well. To allow this movement and keep the track on the vehicle it was necessary to cant the bogie wheels in a "V" design and use a narrow spaced track rubber belts. The "V" also allowed the flexibility of the bogies to cant left and right when running over rough ground and snow/ice and still guide the track.

"...........and were short lived in field trials mainly because the track and bogey system was not adequate........I am sure it did not take long for The war department to see the problems...."

Actually it was just the opposite.......the field trials were not short....in addition to the original development testing the production the vehicles were thoroughly tested by various Military Units in Colorado, Michigan and other areas. In the winter testing in Michigan and Wisconsin over 100 T-15's were used on winter maneuvers ( I have a list of all the ORD numbers of these vehicles) and their performance satisfied the Ordnance Department. It must be remembered the T-15 was a purpose built special vehicle and not one that was for general use like a CCKW or Jeep.

The T-15 would have been produced in larger numbers if if were not for a "fortunate accident" discovered in the original development testing. It was found that a T-15 would run better in deep snow if it was running in reverse....ie. backing up. One of the test vehicles was fitted out with the controls/driveline reversed to allow the vehicle to run backwards as "forwards" Nicknamed the "Wrong Way Corrigan" it was tested and this led to the design of the "motor up front" T-24.

The T-24 bogie and track design came about through testing and it was not so much as "better" than the T-15 track but due to the need to carry four men and/or cargo. The T-15 was designed to carry two men and their weapons only and not cargo...that's what the Studebaker made wooden sleds (T-15 trailers) were made for. With the added weight of the T-24 and it's cargo a less flexible track was needed and the vertical bogies with transverse springs was developed for this reason and not that the T-15 track/bogies were a defective design.

I have been through hundreds of testing and development documents in the National Archives (and copied most) on the T-15, T-24, M-29 and M-29C and this information comes directly from them.

 

Jim

 

 

 

 

 

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Just for fun....here are two photos of my former T-15 ORD #414.

It was VERY original and the one photo shows the motor compartment  and the other shows what is probably the rarest item on a T-15....the canvas cover for the distributor.

It is just under the spark plug wire conduit and you can see the snaps on it.

Also...note that this motor is still painted in the original Studebaker grey paint which is a blue-grey and not the light gray that most restorations use.

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Hi all

I am wandering if someone can give me some info about the thickness of rubber on the idler wheels, drive wheels and return wheels on a t15 the rubber on mine are in very bad shape and on some nonexistent. I also need to clean the gas tank and the book says that you have to take out the radiator and I cant figure out how to get to the bottom mounting bolts, even if I would have 6ft. long skinny arms I am not sure if I could work a ratchet in that tight of space, has anyone done this and how? I have a mold to cast rubber on the bogies  and they turned out quite good so that is one job done.

larry

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Hi Everyone

I thought I would post a picture of one of my completed T15 tracks and one being finished. The additional bands on the outer parts of the track have made the track much more stable than  original.

Dan

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