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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. 

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5 hours ago, OZM29C said:

 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. 

 

 

Grabbing my popcorn and looking forward to more. I have a few ideas about how this modification might have been done - a massive project for sure and I can imagine even more difficult to undo.

Thanks for sharing John.

Patrick

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Not much physical work was done on the weasel until 2007. Marriage, children, new job etc got in the way. Having said that I did purchase a number of goodies that were necessary for the restoration. Purchases included an extra windscreen wiper motor, NOS Rudders, A NOS Canvas canopy, a capstan winch (some assembly required!), Front and rear float tanks to mention a few parts. I also investigated ways to repair the existing tracks. BTW The track repair idea was a absolute dismal failure. Out of interest, the front and rear float tanks I purchased from a fellow in Missouri. Paid only $600 for them but the final bill for the tanks landed here in Oz was $3500.

In 2002 I stripped the hull and then literally cut it in half and that's where the restoration was put on hold until 2007.

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In 2002, I came across a fellow in Tasmania who had recovered container loads of weasel parts and stuff from Antarctica. The parts were recovered to help restore a weasel for the Antarctic Division display weasel. See the last photo. I was fortunate enough to purchase a ute load of surplus parts from him. Out of interest, here are a number of photos taken on the day of the visit. The EPF and USN weasel are still here in Oz but I don't think any restoration work has been done on them to date.

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In 2007, family life had settled to the point where I could take up the weasel restoration challenge. I had stored the Weasel on my parents ranch for intervening years. Below are photos of the weasel arriving at my place on the family truck.

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I started with the lower hull by removing the damaged sheet metal where the hull extension was made. I wanted to make an aesthetically pleasing to the eye hull join. In some of the photos below you can see the damage done to the upper hull in way of the extension join.

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Again this is as far as I got as I was distracted by a number of projects etc over the next three years. I purchased the 'Red Weasel' for $4500 from a fellow in Duluth Michigan and shipped it to Oz at great expense. This weasel almost had all of the floater parts I needed to complete my restoration. On arrival in Oz a friend of mine took this Weasel (warts and all) to the National Studebaker Car meet on the Gold Coast. By amazing chance a fellow walked up to my friend and pointed at the surfshield and said that he knew where one was. I thought that he had mistaken it for a GPA surf guard but no, it was the real weasel deal as a later photo revealed. I organised a trip down to Jindabyne on the Australian snowfields and came away with a surfshield, three rudders, numerous panels, track water ejectors and 5 pairs of track aprons. In the 1950's, five weasel floaters were imported into Australia for use on the snow fields as ski tows. The amphibious gear was removed from the weasels and dumped only to be recovered almost 60 years later by moi. You can see the photos of these weasels on the snowfields here; http://australianalpinoversnow.blogspot.com/2011/09/m29-weasel.html

Finding the track aprons completed my floater outfit. I decided to have a go and repair the Red weasel hull but after removing as much of the corroded sheet metal as I could, I decided that it was a lost cause. The red weasel hull was cannibalised and used to repair a T24 hull that I posted about on this forum awhile back.

In my attempt to repair the red weasel hull I was offered a weasel hull to cut up and use for donor parts. I imported this weasel from Sweden and when it got here I just could not cut it up as it was too good. This weasel became the second floater project.

Before I knew it, 2010 was on me and it was time to get back to reality and again work on my original weasel.

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Before I knew it, 2010 was on me so it was time to get serious with getting my restoration back on track. I started with the hull.  I moved the top half into my shed and to start the ball rolling I did some exploratory metal surgery to see how bad the corrosion was behind the sheet metal No surprises, it was bad.

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I started to unpick the track skirt sheet metal etc to be able to repair what I found underneath. The photos below tell a common weasel story.

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What metal I could save I treated with a Zinc Phosphate rich rust killer and then a single pack epoxy paint. I also started to bend up the patch panels.

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The rear of the hull was a mess that I will detail the repairs later. Same goes for the front of the hull where a towing eye was fitted and in turn pulled out the sheet metal.

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More sheet metal being removed. Most of the hat sections, contour flanges etc had corroded from the inside. Although they look Ok from the outside the sheet metal was paper thin. One section of OEM hat sections I managed to save.

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Then the time finally came to rejoin the two halves of the hull back together. I used the rear float tank as a Jig to help align the rear of the hull and I made a jig to align the front of the hull.

There were some large gaps to fill.

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Remember the red weasel? Well I used donor hull parts from it to help repair the rear tow point.

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Here are some more photos showing the work needed to bring the hull halves togetherP6180632.JPG.9362bffc1d501df659fb7422ac1432f2.JPGP5290626.JPG.c0347c63adba7031d7309941b8967e6a.JPGP5290623.JPG.2bdba0844beddaa3a4154d3dd400351e.JPGP5290622.JPG.00a69fdba8e9f21ebeb2fcb505661876.JPGP5270614.JPG.dd25173d6955044d082c6d6e2c8f89f4.JPG

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When I was working on the front section I had the front cross tube in place to maintain correct alignment. My front cross tube is the originl one to this weasel and was repaired by Jacobsens Automotive Engineering.

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I took the opportunity to fit a removable plate under the final drive drain point.

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A lot of other sub tasks were going on as well. I had the engine reconditioned by friends who are in the engine reconditioning business. Its easier to say what was not replaced in the engine. Only the original camshaft and flywheel remained. Everything else was new/replaced.

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The hull had some bubble rust blowouts between some of the overlapping sheet metalP6180629.JPG.2c53fac3b7853bbd398b4ffe7f39b5b9.JPGP6180631.JPG.2e88a18ba019a29022a96efd4c6349c9.JPGP6180630.JPG.5b7d19fad8476bba91482d549958833f.JPG

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I also fitted the Accelerator Modification. Here are photos showing a comparison between an unmodified and modified accelerator pedal.

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John,

For some reason I do not have this Weasel on my list.......

Is M29C 7333 the ORD/MFG number or the hull number?

If you would be so kind...I would like to add your numbers on this vehicle to my list.

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