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Mark's M29C Restoration #6739


Lighthorse 31
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Hey all. So here's the beginning of my road to restoration! The history, as I know it for this unit, is that it was owned and modified by a power company in Montana for line inspections and maintenance. The orange box is quite ugly, but appears to have protected the interior quite well from it sitting out in the elements for so many years. Here's some things I've noticed so far that I'd love input on to see if they are a huge deal or not.

1. Bottom areas were under-coated which seems to have preserved most of the metal parts (except the very bottom front which you can see in one pic has rusted through

2. The rear wall and associated stock exhaust system has been cut out in order to add a rear access door

3. The unit does not run, but all shifting, high/low gear, and track braking seem to run smooth and fine

4. Original windshield has been replaced

5.  All original seats have been removed

6. Some (or all) of the gauges appear to have been replaced

7. The front leaf springs appear to have been modified just behind the idler wheels (see pic) compared to what I have seen other stock Weasels look like. Any idea why they might have done this?

I have a few questions though that will help me plan the restoration journey if anyone wouldn't mind steering me in the right direction:

1. Dumb question, but were ALL M-29C models built as amphibious versions? If so mine appears to have had a bunch of parts removed. In other posts of M29C's it appears this may have been a common practice when modified for post-war use. Is this an accurate assessment?

2. My original intent was to restore it to an M29 (before I realized it may have been an amphib). I don't have the need here in Colorado to try and restore it back with floats and everything (if I could even find the parts). Is it worth it to try and restore as close to original at all? Would it be an odd ball it I restored to land configuration even though it was originally an marine version?

3. Does anyone know where I can find seats (I understand Weasel seats are hard to find) but maybe jeep seats or something close that will work? Maybe know of a company that can fabricate Weasel seats?

4. I see from time to time people have old M29 hulls laying around. Are there any still out there, and would it be worth it to cut the rear off an old hull and retrofit back onto mine?

Sorry if some of these questions have been answered elsewhere. I've look but it's information overload out there! (that's a good thing I guess) Thanks in advance for all the help! 

 

Oh, because of the size limit on pics, I'm going to break this up into separate posts by categroy.

Mark

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Edited by Lighthorse 31
wanted to follow thread
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Here are pics of the tracks and suspension. You can see that the tracks are in so, so condition but the pads are dry rotted. Not sure if they can be repaired or best to look at another track set as a replacement. Also, the bogie wheels have slight cracking at the base near the metal. Is this a big deal? In two of the pics, you can see the leaf spring mod I referred to in my last post. Why would they do that?

 

Mark

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Edited by Lighthorse 31
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Did some work in the engine compartment today. I took out two old batteries, the air filter, generator, carb, volt regulator, distributor, ignition coil, and instrument panel. The voltage regulator and generator appear to be replacements as they are not Autolite (can someone tell me if there were other manufacturer electrical components used?). There were MANY mods to the electrical system and the original wiring harness was not up to my liking in many places. You can see the spaghetti lab of wiring they had behind the panel,  mostly for added lights inside and out of the vehicle. It also appears that they completely removed the oil filter and never put in a replacement, unless the new one is under the engine and I haven't gotten to it yet. Overall I think things are looking in pretty decent shape compared to some of the other posts I've seen guys have to restore (beautifully I might add). There were two distributers that appear to be slightly different from each other and three coils, all three of which appear to be different.  

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21 hours ago, Lighthorse 31 said:

7. The front leaf springs appear to have been modified just behind the idler wheels (see pic) compared to what I have seen other stock Weasels look like. Any idea why they might have done this?

I have a few questions though that will help me plan the restoration journey if anyone wouldn't mind steering me in the right direction:

1. Dumb question, but were ALL M-29C models built as amphibious versions? If so mine appears to have had a bunch of parts removed. In other posts of M29C's it appears this may have been a common practice when modified for post-war use. Is this an accurate assessment?

2. My original intent was to restore it to an M29 (before I realized it may have been an amphib). I don't have the need here in Colorado to try and restore it back with floats and everything (if I could even find the parts). Is it worth it to try and restore as close to original at all? Would it be an odd ball it I restored to land configuration even though it was originally an marine version?

3. Does anyone know where I can find seats (I understand Weasel seats are hard to find) but maybe jeep seats or something close that will work? Maybe know of a company that can fabricate Weasel seats?

4. I see from time to time people have old M29 hulls laying around. Are there any still out there, and would it be worth it to cut the rear off an old hull and retrofit back onto mine?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Congrats Mark:

Plenty of work to restore it back to original, but it appears to have good bones and a good running gear and the hull looks pretty darn nice.

7.  The modification to the track tensioner is to make up for slack because the tracks have stretched/drive wheels are worn so the tracks slip.  Ultimately this will need fixing....but one thing at a time.

1. & 2 Apparently there were M29C's made without float tanks.  Float tanks are cool, but they definitely make a Weasel much less maneuverable so most of those tanks were removed post war.  You will be in good company with a float tankless M29C.

3.  The seat situation is a little tough.  Keep your eyes and ears open.  Not sure what you can do as a substitute...

4. Hard to tell from the one picture of the rear.  There is nothing hard to fabricate on the rear panel/area of a Weasel so I think you will be better off just making it.  The opening for the exhaust/cooling looks intimidating to make, but you can do it pretty easily with a hammer form and a little patience.  Otherwise, there is a strengthening gusset along the top - the rest is flat sheet metal.

Are you planning to do a full restore or are you going to try and get it running and then fix parts?

Patrick

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Lots of stuff to take off. But at least you are starting with some good stuff. Like a floor that does not have lots of major rust. Tracks that seem like they will go around and stay on and not break apart. 

Good Luck with everything and Thanks for sharing the pics. Try to enjoy the trip of rebuilding.

Stay Safe Everyone.

Later 42rocker

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On 11/1/2021 at 5:49 AM, Patrick Tipton said:

Congrats Mark:

Plenty of work to restore it back to original, but it appears to have good bones and a good running gear and the hull looks pretty darn nice.

7.  The modification to the track tensioner is to make up for slack because the tracks have stretched/drive wheels are worn so the tracks slip.  Ultimately this will need fixing....but one thing at a time.

1. & 2 Apparently there were M29C's made without float tanks.  Float tanks are cool, but they definitely make a Weasel much less maneuverable so most of those tanks were removed post war.  You will be in good company with a float tankless M29C.

3.  The seat situation is a little tough.  Keep your eyes and ears open.  Not sure what you can do as a substitute...

4. Hard to tell from the one picture of the rear.  There is nothing hard to fabricate on the rear panel/area of a Weasel so I think you will be better off just making it.  The opening for the exhaust/cooling looks intimidating to make, but you can do it pretty easily with a hammer form and a little patience.  Otherwise, there is a strengthening gusset along the top - the rest is flat sheet metal.

Are you planning to do a full restore or are you going to try and get it running and then fix parts?

Patrick

Patrick,

  The plan was to eventually get it as close to original a possible. IN the short term, I think just getting it running would be a win! I can always work on swapping back in OEM stuff and modding the hull back to original as I am able to find the parts and get the time.

Mark

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So I need some advice. Yesterday I was able to obtain a bunch of spare parts from a guy who sold his weasel a few years ago. One of the items was an engine. I'm wondering which engine I should put back into my hull. The engine in it now does not have a serial number stamped on the upper left side of the engine. The "new" engine does have a T24 serial number and a data plate that appears to be from somewhere overseas (Norway?). which engine would you guys put back in? 

Here is the original engine it it now.

 

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Just now, Lighthorse 31 said:

So I need some advice. Yesterday I was able to obtain a bunch of spare parts from a guy who sold his weasel a few years ago. One of the items was an engine. I'm wondering which engine I should put back into my hull. The engine in it now does not have a serial number stamped on the upper left side of the engine. The "new" engine does have a T24 serial number and a data plate that appears to be from somewhere overseas (Norway?). which engine would you guys put back in? 

Here is the original engine it it now.

 

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And here is the engine I just acquired

 

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Just now, Lighthorse 31 said:

And here is the engine I just acquired

 

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As a side note, the oil filter was removed from the current engine. I was told that maybe they did that because of a loss of oil pressure? The newly acquired engine is supposedly in good shape according to the guy I got it from.

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Need some help. I'm trying to remove the oil pump. The idler gear came out no problem, but I can't get the driven gear out. The manual says to gently pry it out but it won't budge and I don't want to force it. I tried a 90 degree flat head screwdriver. It fits underneath fine (there is enough slack) but I can't get it to move. Any ideas?

 

Mark

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3 hours ago, Lighthorse 31 said:

Need some help. I'm trying to remove the oil pump. The idler gear came out no problem, but I can't get the driven gear out. The manual says to gently pry it out but it won't budge and I don't want to force it. I tried a 90 degree flat head screwdriver. It fits underneath fine (there is enough slack) but I can't get it to move. Any ideas?

 

Mark

 

It should come off.  The Woodruff key must be hanging up.  I would take a dead blow/rubber mallet and tap in a bit...maybe with the screwdriver behind it so I don't create a bigger nightmare.  See if you can get it to move in and start working it back and forth.  As a last resort, I would use heat, but those are likely heat treated gears so it would really be last resort.  FWIW....they have always come off with almost no force for me....so something is a little off here.

The top end looks a little beat up, but nothing that can't be fixed.  I am guessing you are going to need valves...might end up needing to put inserts in, which isn't a bad idea anyway.

The engine in your Weasel is likely a post war champion - nothing wrong with that and if it runs, even better!  If you want original though, this other engine is a 1943...and was made for the Weasel program....so.......

 

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Thanks Patrick. I ended up getting it out, but had to take the gear off the shift from inside the engine. The outer gear was forced on because the woodruff key wasn't in straight. 

On a second topic, I've looked all through the forum and have found a lot of references to the engine color bring a gray-blue but not much on specifically what exact color it is. Has anyone found that color in a spray can that I won't have to mix up and put in a spray gun? 

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For the t-24 through M-29-C I like to use Rust-Oleum light machine Gray. This matched up to the original gray i found Items that where gray as follows. Drive line, fuel tank. Black symbolized a replacement part. But i believe that the exhaust was black, also top and bottom of...

dan

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  • 1 month later...

I finally got the replacement engine I acquired disassembled and cleaned the block as best I could. I also cleaned the pistons up. Hopefully they can be re-used. I also included a pic of a couple things I finished rebuilding. Just the carb, oil pump and distributer drive assembly. Not much but it's a start! I will be dropping off the major engine components to a local machine shop who specializes in old engines so they can help me make sure everything is within tolerance and goes back together correctly. 

I do have a question about the pistons though. On 3 of them the connecting rod swings back and forth fairly easily. The other three are VERY stiff. I took them apart and the piston pin pretty much has to be hammered into the stiff ones on re-assembly. The other 3 that move easy I can kinda get in by hand with only a slight tapping. Is it ok for them to be so stiff? I saw on page 78 of TM9-1772 that the piston can be heated to allow the piston pin to be slid in more easily, but I couldn't get them in without using a rubber hammer using that method either. Is this normal?

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Congrats.  One little step at a time! 

On the wrist pins, it is a little strange that they are different. Wrist pins/pistons/connecting rods are very precise parts.....and there are a whole bunch of related tolerances.  On page 300 of TM 9-1772, you will find all of them.  I would sort this out before putting the engine back together - easy fixes at this point, not so much once the engine is together.

I have sets of NOS pistons if you end up needing them - most are standard, but I think I have a few sets of .20 over etc.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Got the transmission out and at appears I have a T86E-1. It looks to be in good shape. Oil was clean, no water, and everything spins and shifts smoothly. I also have a NOS casing for a T84 G-1. Can I get some help with questions?

1. The T86 has a little wobble in 2 spots which I pointed to with a pencil. Slight wobble where the bearing race sits in the housing and in between the two gears I pointed to. Is this OK or normal?

2. Is it best to stick with the T86, or build up the T84? I'm not super concerned right now with historical correctness. Which would be the better move?

3. I have a couple NOS innards for the T84, but nowhere near everything I'll need. Are the components in the T86 compatible with a T84? If not, would I be able to find all the parts I need?

Thanks for all the help guys!

Mark

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@Lighthorse 31Cant offer much advice on the T86. Having said that if you were to again use the T84 and looking at your photos, you will have to replace the drive/propeller/tailshaft with OEM. The T84 does share some internals with the standard MB/GPW Jeep T84. Namely the Synchroniser assembly, 1st gear, 2nd gear, reverse idler gear(with shaft) and the cluster gear (with shaft and some modifications). The main drive gear and mainshaft are unique to the Weasel. I have attached 2 photos showing the thicker cluster gear thrust washer that I fitted in order to use a standard MB/GPW Jeep cluster gear.

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