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Restoring M29C3284


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Hello all

I had this restoration thread on the old forum before it died, I then restarted when it was resurrected last year. But that didn't last long, so now I'm starting back up again here. Third time's the charm right. The first posts will be a recap of what has been done on it since i bought it back i 2010.

So I to start off, again, I bought back in 2010. And yes it didn't look much like a Weasel anymore. It was down right ugly and it also had, like many Weasels in Sweden, a Volvo B18 engine and transmission.



The hardtop was luckily just bolted on so it was quickly removed, as well as the Volvo drive train. The good thing was that I did get an original engine and transmission with the weasel.


When I started cutting away all the none weasel bits I found that the hull was actually in not that bad condition, the hardtop had helped keeping the water out. But the middle bulkhead had been cut away and the complete back end was missing so there was enough to do on it sheet metal wise.  



Being that the bulkhead had been cut away and the how back end was gone meant that the sides had started to sag.

While I was removing all the none weasel parts I noticed some modifications that looked to well made to be made by bubba. This got me thinking that this weasel was one of the 100 used by the Swedish army. More on this later.

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1 hour ago, Jesse Browning said:

I have a couple of junk hulls you could probably cut out the pieces you need from.

That won't be necessary as I have already repaired/replaced the missing sections, but thanks anyway. The pictures in my first post are from 2010 -2011.  

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So ones all the none weasel stuff was cut away I could start rebuilding the hull. 



I was fortunate to be offer a replacement pieces for the center bulkhead from a member on the old forum. Which I blasted and welding in. Though I did make a slight mistake by not checking that the top rolled edge was perfectly level before I welding it in. I later came to bite me when I replaced the floors and sides.

So with the bulkhead repaired I could focus my tension on the rear end. But to find the distance from the bulkhead to the back I needed to have the center floor in place, but I was missing the bomb box and could not find one. So I ordered the drawing for it from the Studebaker museum and made my own.


With that sorted the rear coaming was made and the tunnel sides.



I didn't do any more work on the rear end at this stage as I wanted to get the hull squared up first, the rear was still sagging. So next up was getting the sides off.


I had first planned on keeping the sides but they where too distorted by weld for the none original skirts that was installed, so I decided to replace them. 

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1 hour ago, Patrick Tipton said:

Wow - that makes my restoration look like a paint job!

Nicely done.

Thanks. Well I'm a purist:classic_smile:

After I getting the right side and floor off, drilling out over 100 spot welds, (luckily this is a M29C so there is half the number of spot welds then on the T24, I guess they had to speed up production) I tackled some projects within the project.

All the seat back where missing and I couldn't find an for sale so I made my own from the original drawing, ones again.


Starting out with a kit of parts.


With the bead roller and some hammer and dolly work the edge was folded over. This is 1,5 mm steel.


Seat hold down catch.


Lower reinforcement spot welded in. The back panel was rolled to form the curved sides. 


Had to make a simple jig and use the shop press to shape the hooks. The curve was the made with vice and a hammer. 



Hook spot and mig welding in place like the original.



Finished seat backs.


The next picture are of some other small parts I had to make.




I had to make a bunch of these weld nut since the a specific to Studebaker.



Img_4873 - liten.jpg

Edited by M29C3284
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Next up was some of the engine accessories.

Disassembling the starter and solenoid.



There must have been some water in the stater at some stage as the cloth on one of the winding was rotten so it have to come out and be recovered. The windings where checked and the were all good.


So after some cleaning, re-plating of the plated parts and painting the starter went back together.



The same procedure was repeated for the generator. Here I had to replace both bearings. I did not change the brushes on either the starter and generator as the where hardly worn.



Regulator, before and after. I have not tested it yet, other then the bench measurements described in TM 9-1825B, so I don't know it it works. But all the internals look and measured OK, so I'm hoping it will work.



Ready to install carb.


I had to have the radiator re-cored, and being a purist, I wanted the correct original type core. Which wasn't cheap. And yes I know, it should not be black, but I found black paint as the first layer, so that is why I went with black. I should be unpainted or vehicle color. I'm guessing that mine was replaced some time during it's life.


Edited by M29C3284
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3 hours ago, M29 said:

Welcome to the site Andrew

The seat backs you made are amazing and thanks for those nice repro seat back catches you made for me.



You're welcome. I was a little worried if you got the parts or not, when the forum went down and I had not means of contacting you.



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Continuing with the mechanical parts. I dismantled the engine and sent if of to an engine specialist. When i took the engine apart I found the cause of why it had been removed, the clutch linings where totally worn down to the rivets. They where so worn out that the rivets had worn grooves in the flywheel and pressure plate. Luckily I found a NOS pressure plate assembly and NOS clutch linings, they are the same as used on the 41-42 Studebaker Champion. The flywheel I have skimmed. As for the engine block it had never had any prior work done to it so everything was at standard, but I had to bore the cylinders to +.20 and the crank needed to be ground to -.10. The camshaft and cam bearings where good and could be reused. And of course the valves and valve guides needed to be replaced and the head and block was skimmed also. I did not install hardened valve seats as the seats where good and it is really not necessary on these low compression engines.

I made the mistake of buying NOS pistons. The box said they where +.20 but measuring them showed that none were the correct size, and the box had never been opened. So I learned that lesson. Now I only buy new quality parts for engines, and I can recommend Egge .


Block back from the engine specialist and ready for painting.



All painted.

Unfortunately I forgot to take picture during the assembly, but here's a few of it just finished back in 2015.  




And here's one from last summer when I finally got around running it in properly. Though I have run it at least once each year since 2015.


This is the readings a about 1200 rpm after it had run for about 45 minutes. 


I have set it up as per TM 9-1825B with idle at 900 rpm, point cap at 0.020" and dwell angle at 38 degrees. With these setting it start super easy and the temp never went over 150 F.


Can you find the date your was made? Yes you can, first we have the engine serial number. This is found on a boss on the left side next to the water pump. It should start with T24 which indicates it's weasel engine. Mine is T24 12070. 

Then we have the cast date of the block which located just forward of the dipstick tube base on the block, it is cast into the block and starts with a letter. For the weasel it should start with W or X which translates to 1943 and 1944, the number then is month and year. Mine has X 11 6 which translates to it being cast 6. November 1944.

Then finally we have, what I believe, is the engine assembly date. This is stamped near the forward most exhaust port on the block. As can be seen in the picture my engine was assembled  12. March 1945.

IMG_2359.thumb.JPG.8843506c5c92fc1e7a8bd68788825cd4.JPG 694313493_Img_3307-liten.jpg.42fbb4eb064c9a0ffd17d8025adbf1f7.jpg

I hope this information will be helpful to anyone.

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So after the engine was done not much happen for a year. Being busy with building a new shop and other projects. But after moving in to our new shop I finally could start making some real progress on the hull.


My frist plan was to make the complete sponson and then weld that to the hull. But I had some troubles with the alignment, my weasel is actually not equal in width over it's whole length, it's wider in the back and the front then at the center bulkhead. So I decided to replace the hat channels and angled reinforcement first and then weld the floor and side back on.  


But first I hade to repair a few bits and pieces.




Then off came the hat channels. I measured everything before I removed them so I could get the new ones back inte right place.


Some more clean up and repairs followed before the new parts where welded in place.



Next up was the floor. Before I welded it in place I epoxy primed the inside of all the open areas. I also applied some corrosion preventive compound, in this case Ardrox AV100D. We use it at work on the seaplanes we maintain and it's works great, so I thought I would try it on the weasel as well:classic_smile:



I had to compromise, as you can see by the long weld in the corner. By not replacing the entire floor piece this was the only way I could make it water tight again. I'm hoping that when the tracks and suspension is back on the weld will not be too visible.

The hull was then flipped back over and the same process repeated for the side.




As you can see in the last picture I had cut the side a bit to short so I had to weld in a piece. The weld will fortunately be hidden by the track skirt.

Flipped it back on it's side again and welded the side and floor together. It took some time to weld the whole thing, but it was a really good way to practice my tig welding skills:classic_smile:



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Just two views of the inside.IMG_6372.thumb.JPG.660185fa067a04a10e10a2f9a54762fa.JPG


Time to install the track skirt. 




The hinge half i bought from Rob Walsh several years ago on the old forum. I was lucky enough to find remnants of the hinges left on the original skirt so I got the new ones in the correct place. 




Front drain hole.




Edited by M29C3284
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2 minutes ago, Jesse Browning said:

Is there a point where we say “ just build a whole new hull from scratch”? Haven’t seen one yet, but it’s probably coming soon. Nice work.

That thought has crossed my mind. The only hard parts to make is the back lower part which the diff is attached to and the front around the front tube because of their shape and material thickness. The rest is "easy".    

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2 minutes ago, M29C3284 said:

That thought has crossed my mind. The only hard parts to make is the back lower part which the diff is attached to and the front around the front tube because of their shape and material thickness. The rest is "easy".    

I am a "newbie" when it comes to the Weasel construction, but agree with you.  I have a really ugly M29C parts machine and am seriously contemplating removing the front and rear "tunnel" pieces to form the basis of a new hull once the T24 is finished.  The rest of the hull is just bent sheet metal with a bunch of gussets and lots of spot welds. 

Thanks for sharing all of these pictures.  They are excellent!

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Time to repeat the same process on the driver's side. 



After a hundred or so spot welds... More rust, but not as bad as I expected. I think Studebaker dipped the hulls in linseed oil or something because it smell like it went I opened up the panels. And there where also some yellowish residue on the inside of the channels.


Time to sandblast and I of course managed to choose the hottest day of the year to do it. Talk about dirt sauna and sunless tan:classic_smile:


Out with the old...


and in with the new.



You can never have enough clamps.




All done, it took half the time to this side. Even though I had to replace the inner profil on this side because of rust. In hindsight I should have replaced it on the passenger side as well.  

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So with the sponson's ready and the hull straight again I could finally get back to rebuilding the back end.


I got the antenna mount reinforcements pieces from a member on the old forum years ago, but none when the time finally came to use them I had a thorough look at then and they were not in the best condition. So I decided to make two new once instead. 



All the internal parts welded in place. 


Next followed, like on the floors and sides, priming and corrosion protection of the open internal areas before the outer skin was welded in place.


Drilling the holes for the exhaust muffler and muffler guard and trail fitting them.


This was the first time since the 80's this hull was complete. And I'm very happy with the result.


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To get good allround access to the whole hull for final blasting and painting, I broke down bought myself a rotisserie.


So the next task of the never ending sheet metal repairs, was to repair the tunnel area. When someone in the past had fitted the Volvo B18 in this weasel they had hammered down the transmission mount to get it to fit. So I started at the center to get the trans. mount out to straighten it.


Trans mount back in place, and I've also started straightening the tunnel sides in that area.


New panels ready to be welded in place.



More rust.


New piece for the front cut. 


New panel in place after the standard treatment.


All done except some minor dents that I will try and shrink back.


So there we have it, this is where I'm at today. I will be posting whenever I make some more progress. I'm not the fastest so there may be some time between each post, but I'm getting closer to fun part when you can start putting things back together.  


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WOW!!  Work on this level is hard for me to comprehend, however, I have to replace some panels on my Weasel. The flat ones are pretty straight forward and easy for me, the hard ones are the front and rear bottom panels that have the radii. Would I be able to talk you into cutting out one of each for me please? I will pay you for them, naturally. Thanks Dave.

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Hi Alexander

The engine repair you did sounds like the same I will have to do on my T15 engine. I know the valves are all stuck and no1 cylinder is pitted. so a bore will be needed plus crank has some corrosion spots so that will have to be done as well. The dilemma I am having is I have a better engine from an M29C but it would not be the original. I wonder if the weasel gods would condemn me if I used the other block. I know I would still want to go through it as well so basically would save the bore  and crank grind work. I am really thinking that staying as original as possible is the best though. 


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