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1943 T-24 Restoration Thread


Patrick Tipton
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I got the engine stand built and the '45 dated engine mounted.  Will be testing soon although I still haven't decided whether I am going to put this in the T24 or find a correctly dated '43 Champion 6.  I am going out to the shop for a long work day.  The goal is to finish the hull other than for paint prep.  I will report back later.

 

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Got the last major welding done on the hull and am just cleaning up plug welds and details.  I had to make a cut along the lower edge of the bulkhead behind the driver because I got the new side about 1/16 too high in the middle.  I need to do a little more welding on the corner but it is getting close.   I have a couple of buddies coming over Tuesday and we are going to inspect the hull and mark everything that is left...I am about a month behind, but I think I am still in pretty good shape to have this ready by August for the MVPA convention.

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@Patrick TiptonGreat engine video. From my experience, if the opportunity does present itself, get your crankshaft crack tested. For whatever reason I had 5 crankshafts tested in the search for a usable crank. They were all cracked. In the end I paid a premium and purchased a NOS crankshaft. Also if in your repair programme you have had to run a thread tap right through your spark plug holes, you can fit a longer reach spark plug. In my case I fitted good quality NGK BP6HS plugs.

Keep the updates coming👍👍👍

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Appreciate it John @OZM29C!  The Studebaker crankshafts were forged so it is pretty interesting that they were cracked - something extreme must have happened! 

The crank in this motor was in excellent condition - there was still a little over a thou on the rod bearings but I replaced them as I was in there.  The mains were within new spec and all journals showed almost no wear...

I have two other cranks...the one with the bad babbitts and one that came from a junk Champion 6 but the crank still looks decent.  Surprisingly the bad babbitt crank journals don't look terrible...I will have them magnafluxed and ground.....

I did clean out the spark plug holes...have noted the NGK plug number and will give them a shot.

Thanks again for sharing your experience John!

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I worked a little more on this engine.  Super happy with how it is coming out.  After about 20 minutes of running, the compression ranges from a low of 95 to 104 lbs...from the TM we are looking for 105 lbs so those are good numbers in my book.  This engine was in a flood and sat for 20 plus years - first in Arizona and then upstate NY.  The bottom end was very clean but I replaced the rod bearings because while still in spec, they only had about one thou left in them.  The mains were nearly new and looked great.  I did a valve job on it, replaced one exhaust valve and just cleaned up the cylinder walls with 3M pads.  Pretty inexpensive overhaul!

The valve covers are leaking so I need to do a little work on them and the carburetor needs a proper rebuild, but this engine will be ready for final cleanup, paint and install soon.

I also worked a fair bit on the back panel.  I welded up the last few pinholes and used a little "non-lead" lead on it where the inner gussets block access to repair old accident damage completely.  A little more rust removal and I think it is pretty much ready for paint...... finally.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I took a little vacation last week but I am back on the grind.  Restoring water pumps, adding insulation tabs, fixing details.  I am hoping to paint next week but I have a lot of little things yet to fix.  I also found a second set of 15" tracks....the grousers are in great shape overall...the bands...not so much.  These are going to be more work than my other set (repaired with chains) but will come out nicer.  Tracks are still a bit away, but I am starting to think about it.

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7 hours ago, M29C3284 said:

 Did you forget to install the long bolt on the water pump before you pressed on the pulley?

Ha!  You busted me!  YEP 🙂  Had to push it off and redo.  Good eyes my friend!😅

By the way, I took a flyer on a coupe of NOS Studebaker water pump rebuild kits for a 40's truck....same as our Weasel.  I paid far less than what is currently being charged for the NOS Weasel impellers...and it came with the impeller, shaft and seals 🙂

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1 hour ago, Patrick Tipton said:

Ha!  You busted me!  YEP 🙂  Had to push it off and redo.  Good eyes my friend!😅

By the way, I took a flyer on a coupe of NOS Studebaker water pump rebuild kits for a 40's truck....same as our Weasel.  I paid far less than what is currently being charged for the NOS Weasel impellers...and it came with the impeller, shaft and seals 🙂

@Patrick TiptonOut of interest Patrick, in my weasel spares parts box, I have two styles of replacement water pump impellers. One style is what you were using in your video (Jeep style with carbon ring) and the other has a more modern style mechanical seal pressed into the impeller. The biggest problem I see with repairing a weasel water pump is the seal surface in the housing. In my case mine was shot and I had to machine and fit a replacement 316 Stainless Steel collar. Well done on the videos👍👍👍Keep them coming.

Water pump 005.jpg

Water pumps Seal insert pressed into position.jpg

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23 minutes ago, OZM29C said:

The biggest problem I see with repairing a weasel water pump is the seal surface in the housing. In my case mine was shot and I had to machine and fit a replacement 316 Stainless Steel collar.

John - that is a beautiful repair - my machining skills are not there at this point.  😍

Both of the water pumps I have opened up so far have had very nice seal surfaces that cleaned up with just a little 3M pad.  Given that Weasel water pumps are pretty hard to find these days, your solution is fantastic to salvage an otherwise unusable water pump!

Cheers!

Patrick

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Posted (edited)
16 hours ago, Patrick Tipton said:

Ha!  You busted me!  YEP 🙂  Had to push it off and redo.  Good eyes my friend!😅

By the way, I took a flyer on a coupe of NOS Studebaker water pump rebuild kits for a 40's truck....same as our Weasel.  I paid far less than what is currently being charged for the NOS Weasel impellers...and it came with the impeller, shaft and seals 🙂

Not so good eyes actually, more been there done that😄

That is good to know. I think Studebaker used leftover weasel parts in their M series trucks.

Edited by M29C3284
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Hey Patrick 

just watched your most recent video with the insulation tab install and paint prep, and noticed you like may others have rebuilt your "bomb box" I've researched this a lot and would love the help of the community here.

What was in the "Bomb Box"? TNT blocks? sticks of dynamite?

and how did it work? did you have to remove and set the charges? was it activated by some control in the vehicle?   

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On 5/21/2021 at 1:59 PM, Price USMC said:

What was in the "Bomb Box"? TNT blocks? sticks of dynamite?

and how did it work? did you have to remove and set the charges? was it activated by some control in the vehicle?   

Greetings!

So there is a section in TM 9-772 that describes how to activate and blow up the Weasel.  It has quite a few pictures and diagrams - very cool system, although I have almost no hope of ever seeing any original bits! The detonator itself is stored behind the driver in that little compartment (cover almost always gone) on the bulkhead.   If you don't have the manuals, you can download them (links above) or we sell a set of everything for a little over $100....

I believe the charge was C3.....plastic explosive but an earlier and less stable version of C4....

There is a polish gentleman making very nice repros too....about $300.

 

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I have started working on the parachute brackets and related hardware.  I was incredibly lucky to get them.  I am missing one bracket out of 8...not a difficult fab project.  I will get good pictures and dimensions for everyone who needs these shortly, but here is a little teaser.

 

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Beautiful @OZM29C John!  I was super fortunate to get three of the four of those brackets and the hardware...which includes 4 cast pieces...the circle "spacer" you see in the 2nd to last picture.  I need to make one bracket....which should be pretty easy...I will probably have my local metal supplier cut the plate and I will drill and weld the circle up at the top.

Fun stuff and thank you for posting!

Patrick

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I am down to a few more small fixes and the hull is finished.  Yesterday, we were chasing threads and drilling holes that had been welded up by a PO.  We also painted the first couple of pieces white.  It is a great feeling to see white.  Since the original T24 lower hull was painted with what they called "Bakelite" paint - it had phenolic in it to keep the snow from sticking to the hull and undercarriage parts, I am guessing it would have been semi-gloss or glossy...just like the bottom of a set of skis. 

I am still painting the sides and top with a base coat clear and a more matte clear to make it look more lusterless - which I think should look pretty original and still be easier to maintain than a true lusterless paint.

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Thanks @OZM29CJohn!  I am having fun with it.  As for the yellow paint...I am not sure if that is it the Bakelite paint or not....it would certainly make sense.  What confuses me is a series of factory photos that show the undercarriage of early T24's (like hull #023) where the hull is all white... 

One theory is that the Bakelite paint was applied by brush at the same time they applied the black camo.  That color picture you have is the clearest example of "yellow"....otherwise the bottom of all of the T24's in service I see are enough in the shadow that I am not sure....I am going to have to make a choice soon!

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12 hours ago, Patrick Tipton said:

One theory is that the Bakelite paint was applied by brush at the same time they applied the black camo.  That color picture you have is the clearest example of "yellow"....otherwise the bottom of all of the T24's in service I see are enough in the shadow that I am not sure....I am going to have to make a choice soon!

I think you are right about that @Patrick Tipton. My T24 (Hull no. 197) still have a few spots of the bakelite paint left on the bottom. And from what I can remember from when I last had a look at it, it looks like it was brushed on.

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Lots more progress.  Still no hull paint, but loads of progress!

The parachute brackets are really interesting.  The outer brackets were welded by a master welder....the guy (gal)...was dragging the electrode from weld to weld...never lifting and having to restrike....the evidence is everywhere.  Very cool.  I can imagine welding all day long.....between boredom and motivation to do my part to win the war.... and thinking...hey, how efficient can I be...

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I will do a complete writeup at some point on M29 Ord # 1005...the third production M29...very similar to the T24 with just a few changes.  I found the original registration number under a few layers of paint.  I am going to try and strip the yellow from the outside of the hull and see if I can get the original camo....tbd.

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