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1943 T-24 Restoration Thread


Patrick Tipton
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More cleaning in preparation of installing the new side.

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I also received a nice package from @M29C3284 Alexander with the radiator support hat channels for my project.  He did a fabulous job on them including replicating the original style nut plates.  Awesome!

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I am pretty seriously considering using a 3M panel bonding product in addition to the spot welds when I install both the hat channels and the side.  I like that this product offers rust protection beyond the weld thru primer.  The only downside I can see is that it would make any future repairs much more difficult.  I am going to order some today and play with it a bit to see how it works.

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Glad you liked the parts, I just hope they fit. And on the plus side you got some bubble wrap to play with.:classic_smile: 

Being the purist that I am I would go with spot welding as mush as possible and plug welding where you can't use the spotwelder.

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This is my spotwelder it's an Wielander Schill InvertaSpot ATM H2O I bought it used very cheap as it was not approved for use on modern car because they changed the steel composition in new cars a few years back and this welder could not weld that type of steel properly. It's a 400 Volt water cooled machine and It's one of the best investment I ever made.

What I have learned after doing "a lot" of spot welding is that to get good welds with the standard hand held spotwelder, is to not have the tips to pointy. They need to have a flat of around 3,5-4,5 mm and when you weld you need to be quick and put the right amount of pressure on the tips. I know this can be difficult when using long arms. And if you hold the weld for too long it will only overheat the metal and you end up with brittle welds. When doing a lot of weld you need to watch the temperature of the arms, the quality of the weld goes down when the temperature goes up.

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Thanks Alexander.  I have a couple of spot welders - a tong style 120 volt which doesn't work so well and a "PanelSpotter" 220 volt machine that has two handheld grips which allows two spots on the same side.  It works pretty well, but again, everything needs to be just right.  It does a great job of leaving spot weld dimples though - so I did plug welds in some areas of my jeep and then went back over them with the PanelSpotter - looks factory but I didn't have to worry about the quality of the spot weld.  

I may upgrade yet again - I am looking at a couple of bigger machines here for pretty good prices....

The biggest challenge with the side is that you need a solid 24 inch throat to get down to the bottom of the vertical hat channels. 

To be continued....

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I mostly finished fitting the new side and began adding hat channels.  First, I installed the 45 degree gusset.  I ended up leaving about 8 inches off of the back so that I can fit the side over the angle iron gusset that connects the bottom and side of the hull to the rear panel.  I will add that piece after I weld the new side in place.  Overall, it is progressing nicely and I am pretty happy with how the side fits.  

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This weekend's project is adding all of the captive nuts to the inner hat channel pieces and getting them installed.  The plan is to add all of the hat channels on the bench and then do the final installation of the side.  I could do it either way - but doing the hat channel install on the bench is a lot easier from an access perspective - the only downside is that I could distort the panel and then have problems with the final installation.  I will do another test fit after I install the inner hat channel and I don't think the seat/control hat channels are likely to cause distortion.

 

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I began adding captive nuts to the inside corner hat channel for the new side.  In the process, I realized that I missed one on the other side so I will have to do a little creative welding over the next couple of sessions.  I got the rear floor panel captives installed and drilled almost all of the holes for the front.  The hat channels I got were cut short to fit in a shipping box so I need to weld it together.  I am going to do that on the bench when I install the hat channel - probably this weekend.IMG_6681.thumb.jpg.f304dc8a2be27c5636831155314b7b68.jpg

 

These hat channels did not look all that bad until I started working on them.  I am glad that I replaced everything on the floors - worth the effort in my mind.

 

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Another big milestone mounting the engine cover/dash today.  I purchased this T24 already disassembled so it is neat to get to see her start taking shape.  I have a lot of metal work to do on these components, but they are all salvageable with some effort.  The stretcher mount will come off.  The dash lines up with the new captive nuts well - it has been welded in its earlier life in a few spots and is distorted....  I will probably have to remove the driver heat door section in order to repair it - more spot weld drilling!

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There is a strange little brass bolt on the lower edge of the dash.  It looks like a wire is supposed to pass through there.  I don't think it is correct for the T24 - anyone recognize the part?

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I snapped this shot as I was leaving the shop yesterday evening.  I am excited but all I can keep thinking about is how much time with a hammer and dolly it is going to take me to get that front panel looking nice😂

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I also popped it off of the rotisserie to make a few changes.  My balance adjusting mechanism/attachment for the front are pretty sorry designs.  I need to do some refinement so the hull goes easily around - I want to be able to turn it 90 degrees to weld in the side and I need complete access to the bottom to fix a bunch of spots there too.

 

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@Patrick Tipton

<<<There is a strange little brass bolt on the lower edge of the dash.  It looks like a wire is supposed to pass through there.  I don't think it is correct for the T24 - anyone recognize the part? >>>>

Patrick, as a guess, it looks to be the remains of the outer part of the M29C Capstan winch engagement cable??????

Does it have a hex nut underneath?

BTW keep up the inspiring work. You are raising the restoration bar even higher with this T24 restoration👍

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5 hours ago, OZM29C said:

Patrick, as a guess, it looks to be the remains of the outer part of the M29C Capstan winch engagement cable??????

Does it have a hex nut underneath?

BTW keep up the inspiring work. You are raising the restoration bar even higher with this T24 restoration👍

John - many thanks.  Yes, it has a hex nut.  That sounds like the right answer - I tried to find a picture on the web but could not - I will take a look in the manual for a picture to confirm. 

Other than the cutout for this cable and an access hole on the front lower right corner of the dash, are there other differences between the T24 and M29/C dash panel?  I am not seeing anything else and since this is what I have, I will need to fix it to be correct for the T24.

...and thanks for the kind words John - you inspired me to go deep 🙂

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  • 2 weeks later...

I was busy this week on a bunch of Weasel projects, but did not advance the side very far. 

First, I pulled a bunch of parts out of my donor, including the engine and a damaged but repairable radiator/engine panel.  I learned that the Norwegians had installed a T90 so have started the quest (and think I have found) a correct T84 for it.  The motor has a crack in #1 cylinder that is likely to render the block unrepairable.  I am talking to a couple of folks about possible repairs.  More on that shortly.

I also pulled all of the controls out of the donor.  They are rough, but I need the brackets to ensure that I get the control section and the final last two captive nuts installed in their correct locations.  I was at it last night for almost 2 hours and just got a few things disassembled.  Lots of rust, lots of heat and slow going.  I will probably have to remake several of the shafts or source replacements, but I want to give myself the option of repairing so I am taking my time to disassemble without any major damage.  Most of it will clean up nicely even though it looks so ugly sitting there.

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@Patrick Tipton Ah Patrick, the controls are an assembly that you can spend an exhobitent amount of time restoring. Trust me, I know from experience. First off you can almost guarantee that this collar;

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is frozen solid with rust and corrosion onto the shift lever shaft. You need to free this collar to get the shift lever assembly apart. Enjoy! A lot of the bronze bushings will be toast as well. In my case I had to replace some of them. I also took the liberty of machining grease ways in the shafts to allow the levers to operate smoothly and also to allow me to get the assembly apart if needs be. There is also a Modification that came out to strengthen the steering levers.

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12 hours ago, OZM29C said:

@Patrick Tipton Ah Patrick, the controls are an assembly that you can spend an exorbitant amount of time restoring. Trust me, I know from experience.

😅🙄  I am seeing that John.  That little bugger of a spacer/collar is rusted on solidly.  The whole unit is going into a pail of Evaporust shortly.  At least it will be a clean stuck unit.

Now, why didn't our friends at Studebaker just slap a grease zerk or two on there?

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  • 2 weeks later...

@OZM29CI finally won the battle against the spacer.  Loads of fun! 

For those of you following along at home, the big challenge is that the shift lever and the shift plate both block most access to that bugger of a spacer.  This makes it really hard to heat up - my favorite persuasion for rusty and stuck parts.  I must have heated it 25 times over about 6 days.  I put it in the hydraulic press too and eventually got it to move.  I bent the shaft slightly in the process, but was able to use the hydraulic press to straighten it out.  It is in surprisingly good condition with only a little pitting on the shaft that is hidden by the 2/3 shifter shaft.

I spent a couple of hours yesterday just mocking up the control system and making sure that everything is going to line up correctly.  2106274012_ControlCluster.thumb.jpg.62c744eccaf05964c79c1c19640807ec.jpg

I really try to avoid jumping around (like to work on this control cluster), but I don't want to weld all of these hat channels and control cluster mounting plate etc. only to find out that I goofed on a measurement.  I am pretty confident at this point that everything will work as it should.  I am going to spend a couple of hours repairing the instrument panel and making it correct (removing the capstan winch clutch control) for the T24.  Right now, it fits poorly and would be hard to install on a painted hull without making a mess of the paint.  I am going to remove the heater door area so I can properly fix it. 

I also need to finish fabricating all of the seat hat channels - the plan is to mock up everything and maybe even tack them in place, remove the side and do my final welding.

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On 9/20/2020 at 6:48 AM, Patrick Tipton said:

Now, why didn't our friends at Studebaker just slap a grease zerk or two on there?

The common WWII Weasel video answers that question, and also why they would make a boat out of a spot welded sheet metal vehicle. The video shows the army’s requirements for the weasel. It was only required to last 1000 miles.

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2 hours ago, Jesse Browning said:

The common WWII Weasel video answers that question, and also why they would make a boat out of a spot welded sheet metal vehicle. The video shows the army’s requirements for the weasel. It was only required to last 1000 miles.

Yes.  I am also thinking that grease gets awfully hard in harshly cold conditions.....

 

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@Patrick TiptonThe sponson is really starting to take shape now. Well done! You will have to agree that its a lot easier to fabricate off the vehicle 😀 When you recondition your bogey wheel yokes, I would recommend investing in a thread tap to clean the threads in the yokes. I got mine off ebay but with you being in the US of A, it should be a lot easier to track down these old imperial thread taps from your local engineering parts outlets.

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11 hours ago, OZM29C said:

You will have to agree that its a lot easier to fabricate off the vehicle 😀

@OZM29C John - absolutely.  The only part that makes it a little harder is the loss of access points for measuring, etc., but it is so much easier to control all of the variables and get a great result.  For most folks with floor issues, I think the side replacement is a better alternative than patching because there is so much rot under most of these hat channels.  I am going out later to work on getting the rear seat hat channels installed and then will tackle the drivers seat & control section over the weekend.  Getting pretty exciting and I am just working on the next step and how to make sure I get this new side to fit exactly how I want it. 

Thanks for the heads up on the tap.  I broke one of those bolts already removing it so a good chase will definitely be in order.  The one thing I completely miscalculated is how many pieces there are in this suspension.  I have a lot of work to do🤣

 

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@Patrick TiptonRebuilding the suspension is a whole new sub-adventure. Lack of grease lubricant between the suspension bolts and bushings is more often than not the main reason for the excessive wear. I have only seen replacement NOS stock suspension bolts available and they are getting more expensive and harder to find by the day. Fortunately 3 different sized threaded suspension bushings can be machined from just the one readily available Aftermarket suspension bushing Studebaker vendors. Unfortunately though, the longest threaded bushings fitted the the bogey wheel rocker arms is not available. Rubber bump stops were available from Dave Yamulla. Check your spring set as this is essential for good track tension. The Spring set dimensions were posted on the old Weasel forum, regrettably I did not take any notes. I am sure forum members would happily measure their springs for you. When it comes to bogey wheel bearings and seals, have a read of Brock J’s excellent article. Also have a quick look at my thread on bogey wheels and seals. There are a myriad of 3/8” UNF threaded bolts that hold this suspension assembly together. Some bolts are unique to the weasel having machined tapers on their ends. All of the bolts will need to Have their threads chased and then bead blasted etc.. You can guarantee that most of the external tooth lock washers will be past their use by date. I could add lots more but I am sure that will keep yourself amused for many hours restoring this sub assembly. I did😄😄

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I test fit the side again to verify measurements before I weld in the control cluster mounting plate and seat hat channels.  I am very happy with the fitment.  I spent a good bit of time planning the assembly, which I think needs to be done in an order (to be finalized) in order to get all of the seams and hat channels tight.  I am going to write up an assembly checklist because there are so many things to weld and the possibility of welding one area and pulling another one out of place that a checklist will give me peace of mind.

I may drill a couple of holes in the lower hull hat channels and use bolts to pull those sections flush, but otherwise I think I have good access and clamping methods.  I am still planning to use a 3M panel sealer in a couple of places to try and provide better corrosion protection and additional structural support.  I am going to plug weld most of this (MIG and TIG) and then will use my spot welder in order that it look original.

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I haven’t read they your entire thread yet but soon will. What a big project! I was in the collision industry about 20 years ago and at that time we used many panel bonding products. Norton speed grip, Lord Fusor products etc. Today I’m sure it’s heavily used. We used it mostly for sectioning panels, limited  on any structure panels like rear body panels. Instead of pulling the rear glass out to change a quarter we always sectioned. The glue was good for the section splice/overlap as it doesn’t distort like welding. Shiny metal will not bond as good as sand blasted metal. The tighter you can get the bond the better. On a rear body panel we would use a vice clamp every possible square inch and still tack welded where we could. We liked glue for patches as you didn’t need to remove interiors because of fire threats of welding. I remember darting across the shop to push a car on fire outside to save the shop once. Slow burn from welding.  If you cannot reach a spot with vice grips, self tapping sheet screws to force a bond. The longer the cure the better but we used 5 minute all the time for patches. I’ve seen a couple bad glue jobs from other shops totally pop off. That’s why we welded in spots! 

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Thank you for the insights.  I am going to use the 3M product in two spots - a line where the upper hull overlaps the lower hull and one up near the top where the coaming hat channel attaches to the side.  It is probably overkill and making my life more difficult than it needs to be, but I sorta have it my head that I want to use it.  I am going to be plug welding plenty so the product's job is corrosion protection and sealing more than structural.

Thanks again.

Patrick

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I finished making the new seat belt attachment brackets and got the rear hat channels ready for installation.  The tool looks embarrassingly ugly, with the MIG wire etc., but works pretty well.  I need to clean that up🤠

I have to do final work on drivers seat and controls - welding on the seat belt brackets and retaining clips, footman loops, seat "posts" and the control cluster bracket, adding joggles to all of these hat channels and then weld the final hat channels in. 
Other than a little more prep work on the hull, I am getting close to the installation date for the new side - big milestone!IMG_7047.thumb.jpg.ce4a7904554f53f1ad71a3b0d111af64.jpgIMG_7046.thumb.jpg.d51bf080c978f2e0d7629f9eee7169e2.jpgIMG_7048.thumb.jpg.577f75c37cbbd2dfe2997af42f6ac070.jpg

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Looks very nice! I’ve been struggling with MIG over existing welds. I switched to fluxcore and it went better. Are you making all the repair panels or having them made? Pictures of your shop equipment would be nice if you’re making stuff. Mine is a fix as it breaks weasel but someday I might need to take it further. Thanks 

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