Jump to content

Father-Son Weasel Project


Recommended Posts

Hi all, 

My son Charlie and I are very happy to join the Weasel community with our acquisition of a M29 hull and running gear from Patrick. (By the way, thanks to Patrick for graciously spending time with us and filling us in on Weasel lore!) We have just begun tearing into it and cleaning it up for restoration. We absolutely love it!

Some quick initial and I think interesting observations.

The tag number is 2003, which according to the appendix in David Doyle's excellent book, Images of War, M29 Weasel, which is the first unit of a lot of 100 added to an initial production of 1,000 units under contract 271-ORD-4727. 

There was some discussion with Patrick about the "fender flares" and whether they were added on after production and not actually original to the unit. There are sections of "fender" that are obviously riveted on and not appearing at all to be original. However, other sections look to be welded to the side of the hull. Upon close inspection of the welded sections after some stripping of paint, there is a layer of zinc-chromate primer such as what would be applied in the factory. This leads us to believe that perhaps the "fenders" are indeed original to this unit. It is also interesting to note that holes for the lower bolts of the parachute brackets are underneath the welded "fenders". Could this mean that the 100 units of the contract were transitional units between the "non-fendered" M-29s with parachute brackets, and the "fendered" M-29s with no brackets? 

We are just newbies at this so maybe somebody out there knows better.

Another item we discovered was a tag on the differential from a repair shop in Lyon, France dated March 1957. Was it a repair shop serving a US Army unit before they shipped it off to Norway?

Finally, regarding paint, we have been trying to carefully strip off paint layer by layer in search of any markings that may identify units that may have operated this vehicle.No luck so far, but we have found a layer of what appears to be a white and brown camouflage near the top of the layers. My question is what have you guys seen for paint schemes on Norway return vehicles?

A quick note on photos:

Photo 1 shows a joint between the riveted section of "fender" and welded section. Note the zinc-chromate primer on the welded section.

Photo 2 shows Charlie cutting off the riveted sections

Photo 3 shows the two lower bolt holes under the "fender" where he removed a riveted section and you an see the third hole under the small section of welded "fender"

This is just the start of the fun for us and again many thanks to Patrick for helping us get started and for this excellent forum!

Don M





Link to comment
Share on other sites

@DonM I am by no means an authority on Weasel production changes but when you mentioned the 'Zinc Chromate paint' found under the track skirts and also looking at the how the skirts have been fabricated and welded to the hull, I would hazard a guess that your hull may have gone through a rebuild in the 50's by for example, the Letterkenny Ordnance depot.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Congrats again Don & Charlie.  I am really happy to see this machine in your capable hands.  Can't wait to see it running and driving!

Very interesting about the side skirts....those do look like traditional factory welds on the side skirts.  Maybe your Weasel was indeed shipped with 20 inch tracks.  @Jim Gilmore should be able to help us on this - he is slow on his responses, but I will see him this weekend at the Gilbert, PA Redball Show and will make sure he jumps in here.

Thanks again and welcome.  Be sure to post lots of pictures.  We all enjoy seeing the restoration process.  I am a few weeks away from getting back on my T24 - starting with the engine build.  Looking forward to it!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks OZM29C!

Is the "serial number" referred to in the bulletin the same as the "hull number"? Our hull number is UST-24-2003 but the serial number plate is odd, it has "1003 AND UP" for the serial number.

Here is a photo of the two plates.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 minutes ago, DonM said:

Thanks OZM29C!

Is the "serial number" referred to in the bulletin the same as the "hull number"? Our hull number is UST-24-2003 but the serial number plate is odd, it has "1003 AND UP" for the serial number.

Here is a photo of the two plates.


@DonM There are learned Weasel scholars out there who can better offer advice regarding Weasel identification numbers however I can say for sure is that your ORD plate is a reproduction but your hull tag appears to be OEM. The serial number stated in the documentation is taken from the ORD plate positioned on the bulkhead behind the drivers head, not the Hull tag located on the upper right bulkhead in the rear compartment. Could I suggest that you have a dig around the rear bulkhead behind the driver as you might just be lucky enough to find a USA number. See position in the attached photo.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

One last thing, this production change list is a handy reference tool that might help you correlate the changes in production to your weasel;

All production changes follow the ordnance serial number, found on the data plate behind the driver seat, and all changes came into effect on the serial number after the one stated in the list.


  • Oil seals instead of just gaskets are now installed on the drive sprocket shafts.


  • The heater switch is no longer installed.
  • The ignition switch is changed to a three position switch.
  • The radiator is changed to one with large capacity.
  • The fan shroud is changed
  • The fuel filter is moved from the front coaming next to the fuel tank to in front of the radiator on the right hand side.
  • Grease fittings are installed for lubrication of the bogie wheel shafts.
  • Shims are now installed on the bogie wheel shafts to aid in setting bearing pre load.
  • The engine compartment divider panel is changed to a two piece design.
  • A canvas seal is installed around the gear shift shafts in the engine compartment side panel.
  • The radio terminal box changes location.
  • The radio antenna cable on the left side of the hull is no longer installed.
  • Name change from T24 to M29.


  • Track deisgn is changed, 20" tracks are installed.
  • Track skirts are now installed.
  • The pintle hook is changed to none swiveling type.
  • An H plate is installed on the gear shift lever assembly.
  • A guide bracket is installed on the engine for the gear shift rods.
  • The compass is no longer installed.
  • The voltmeter is no longer installed.
  • The hand crank is no longer installed.
  • The demolition charge is no longer installed.
  • The drivers hand hold is no longer installed.
  • The cargo partition is no longer installed.
  • The installation of the bogie support arm is changed.
  • The bogie wheel yokes change design to being cast instead of shaped from sheet metal.
  • The extra rebound bumpers on the two middle traverse springs are no longer installed.
  • The design of the traverse springs is changed.
  • The idler wheel is changed to a split type design.
  • Oilers are installed on steering lever shafts.
  • Grease fittings are installed in the guide wheels.


  • The transmission cover gets a breather hole.


  • Change of the safety clip in the clutch.


  • The hand crank hole is no longer installed.
  • A transmission service access panel is installed in the rear floor.
  • The search light is no longer installed.
  • A fixed headlight is now installed.
  • The battery is changed from one 12 Volt to two 6 Volt wired in series.
  • The location of the fire extinguisher is changed from the back to the front of the vehicle.
  • More grease fittings are installed in the bogies.
  • The brush guard design is changed, and can no longer be folded down.
  • The top back curtain is now a separate piece.


  • All weasels are now painted OD instead of camouflage white and black.
  • All canvas parts change colour from white to OD.


  • The radio interference filter on the generator regulator is changed to a condenser.
  • The generator to regulator electrical harness is changed to a shielded type.


  • The track tension springs are changed to a 7 leaves design.
  • An oil drain plug is now installed in the differential housing on the left side.


  • The fuel pump is changed from a two valve type to a six valve type.
  • The air cleaner is change to the oil bath type.


  • Name change from M29 to M29C.
  • Flotation tanks are now installed.
  • The guide wheel shafts are now replaceable and no longer welded to the guide wheel mounts.
  • The canvas seal around the gear shift shafts in the engine compartment panel change colour from white to OD.
  • Stretcher brackets are now installed.


  • Lubrication free bushings are now installed in the clutch pedal shaft.


  • Grease fittings are installed in the drive wheel hubs.


  • Seat belts are no longer installed.


  • The text ”LIFT HERE” is now painted next to the lifting holes.


  • The mechanical fuel pump is no longer installed.
  • Electric fuel pump installed in the fuel tank is now installed.
  • A new tool to check the track tension, by the use of a torque wrench, is now introduced.


  • A warning placard is added about the use of the clutch.


  • An opening is now in cut the left hand radiator support panel to aid in air circulation.
  • The design of the canvas seal around the gear shift shafts in the engine compartment side panel is now changed to a metal and felt design.


  • The differential drain plug is changed to magnetic type.


  • The transmission drain plug is changed to a magnetic type.


  • The design of the clutch control linkage is changed.
  • Drive wheel carrier brace rods are installed.
  • The fuel tank is changed from a metal tank to a self sealing type.
  • A ground wire is installed on the electric fuel pump.


  • Reinforcement rings are now installed on the drive wheels.


  • The light switch design is changed to the rotary type.
  • Blackout drive light is now installed.

around. 14999: (Planned, but not executed)

  • Track tension spring design is changed from leaf spring to coil spring.


  • Weasel production ends, 1945.08.29.

around. 15562: (Planned, but not executed)

  • A scraper is installed on the drive wheel carrier to keep dirt and debris out of the drive wheels.

ca. 15681: (Planned, but not executed)

  • A handbrake is installed.

Edited July 11, 2021 by M29C3284
New information added

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

I think maybe OZM29C is on to something about a depot rebuild,  as we are removing paint, there are fewer layers on the skirts than on the side of the hull. Man there are a lot of layers of paint on this thing! Maybe they were trying to "up armor" the hull with paint 🙂

The hull came with 20" tracks so maybe they did do a field upgrade from T-24 to M-29 at some point?

Patrick, can you tell us where we can source drawings for sheet metal on the hull, specifically the right and left hand floors? I saw you did similar work. 

Finally, we are looking for an engine, I see there are a few Champion 170s from cars out there but from what I've seen in posts, the configuration is different for the Weasel. Any ideas?

The fun continues!!


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Greetings Don!

John @OZM29C is 100% correct that the dataplate is a reproduction.  Someone made those up using the picture from the manual and not realizing that the "1003 and up" was supposed to be a number😃

@James Di Giovanni might have some insight as to what serial number the side skirts were added.  You may have a transitional machine there.

The Studebaker museum and archive has drawings.  That being said, I have pretty good dimensions and some drawings that we were working on that probably will get you what you need.  Give a call or text and we can work on that.

As for engines, give @David Yamulla a buzz - he has takeouts.  You can message him here or look up under the articles and find his contact information.  He has lots of good Weasel parts.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Charlie and I are anxious to head down to PA to see Dave Yamulla's collection of Weasel engines in a couple of weeks! I spoke to him on the phone today and he seems like a real nice guy.  I saw his web site and he has an amazing collection of material. Thanks Patrick for vectoring us over to Dave! 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Its pretty dusty right now as we are in the processor stripping off the paint but here are photos of the floor in the following order... left floor forward, left floor aft, right floor forward, right floor aft. We appreciate your insight OZM29C!


left floor fwd.jpg

left floor aft.jpg

right floor fwd.jpg

right floor aft.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@DonM Mate, you have everything remaining there in your hull that is needed to fabricate replacement sponsons. IMHO I would fabricate the replacement sponsons off vehicle and then fit them into place once complete. You will certainly be able to salvage most of the hardware for re use. Regrettably the original hat channels, contour flanges and such corrode/rust from the inside out so don't be lulled into thinking that they will be reusable.  Attached are a number of photos to study on how I repaired a T24 hull years ago.

@Rob W Rob Walsh had available years ago, a hat channel repair kit that was worth every cent. I don't think Rob has them in stock nowadays but it might still be worth asking the question of him.






  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wow that's some good work OZM29C! I'll touch base with Rob and see what he has. We are still in strip down mode on the inside and top of the hull, then we have to fab a rotisserie jig so we can really start hacking away at it. It is inspirational to see what you guys are doing and how you do it!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@DonM Here's another school of thought for you to consider. I repaired another T24 hull whereby I welded the sponson sheet/panel into position first and then populated the sponson with the required hardware. In this case I used zinc annealed mild steel sheet metal which necessitated the use of 'Plug Welding' in lieu of spot welding. By and large the end result was more than satisfactory, however I must say that this was a quick repair job and some fine details were not finished to an OEM standard. The pictures tell a better story. Cheers

PS For some reason I can only post 18.55kb photos???? Anyway rather than post photos, head on over to this thread and you will see what I have discussed;


  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Very interesting! I think as we get to cutting out the rot, we’ll have a better idea of what direction to take. As far as welding goes, we’re newbies. Done a few patches here and there on a Jeep but this is by far the biggest job we’ve tackled. 

On another topic, is there a good way to remove the “buttons” on the coaming without wrecking them? 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 10/18/2023 at 1:00 PM, DonM said:

Very interesting! I think as we get to cutting out the rot, we’ll have a better idea of what direction to take. As far as welding goes, we’re newbies. Done a few patches here and there on a Jeep but this is by far the biggest job we’ve tackled. 

On another topic, is there a good way to remove the “buttons” on the coaming without wrecking them? 

@DonM The buttons appear to be made from solid metal however looks can be deceiving, they are actually a light gauge pressed steel cap crimped onto a stud. As they have been in place for many years there is a good chance that they could be destroyed in trying to remove them. In my case I just left them be and only replaced the damaged/missing buttons. @Jim Gilmore Jim Gilmore used to make an excellent reproduction button kit in years gone by. According to my records they were $69USD. It might be worth contacting Jim and asking the question if replacement buttons are still available. Having said that a good machinist could reproduce replacement buttons with ease. Cheers

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 10/18/2023 at 1:02 PM, DonM said:

Also, any suggestions about tipping the hull on its side as you did in your shed without damaging the hull or maiming any humans?

@DonM In my case Don, I just used my engine hoist to roll the hull onto its side. To support the hull I just used some lengths of soft wood timber (Lumber) offcuts. The ultimate way of course is to fabricate a rotisserie. 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I too started by tipping my hull using a chain hoist in my shop with two of the springs/bogie sets still attached.  I was able to do a lot of work that way.

I ultimately built a rotisserie similar to Mark which was awesome.  Even the painting process becomes really easy with a rotisserie.

I have had almost no luck removing buttons - they always seem to get too deformed etc....even with ample heat.  I am going to be dealing with this shortly....will keep you guys apprised and we may be able to make more and get better pricing.

Cheers, Patrick

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We had an exciting day today. We trekked 228 miles down to beautiful PA to see Dave Yamulla and procured a very complete Weasel engine. It appears  locked up but it looks quite clean and no sign of external cracks. The dipstick was very clean and free of any signs of water or corrosion. We also got a repro header pipe which I know is hard to find. 

Had a great visit with Dave and we were extremely impressed with his amazing collection of "stuff". Definitely recommend Dave as a go-to guy for Weasel parts. I've never seen a more eclectic collection of military vehicle parts including a beautifully restored M48 tank engine.

The engine serial number is T24 815 which I suppose means it is a fairly early production model? Definitely looking forward to tearing into it!

I have posted a photo of the engine and and the serial number.

weasel engine.jpg

serial number.jpg

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Congrats!  That is indeed an early engine.  All of the Weasel engines (post T15) were marked T24...so that would have actually been a T24 engine.  They were not "matching" as far as I know, but I think we are safe concluding that one would have been early.

Start putting your favorite penetrant of choice down the spark plug holes. It is likely only slightly stuck. 

As soon as I finish my current jeep project (very soon), the first project up is to put together my T24 engine - all fresh from the machine shop and ready for the new parts.  Will be lots of fun!

Congrats guys!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@DonM Well done 👍 refurbishing the engine alone will give you hours of unmitigated fun.

Amongst all of the work you have planned to refurbish this engine, can I suggest two extra things borne from both my experience and others?

1. Fit an Aluminium camshaft timing gear

2. Have your crankshaft crack tested by an Automotive engineer

@Patrick Tipton Patrick, any idea as to why I can only post piddly max sized 18.55kb photos?


Edited by OZM29C
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...