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1943 T-24 Restoration Thread


Patrick Tipton
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On 10/22/2020 at 7:03 PM, 5280Beltfed said:

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 

Thank you!

On the MIG - I would guess you don't have the welds clean enough or something is going on with your shielding gas?

My shop is pretty modest so I am making some and having folks make some.  I didn't have a big enough brake so I went to a local shop and "supervised" while they bent up a complete new side.  @Rob Wsells hat channel kits that have the seat hat channels, inner hat channels and the "45 gusset" hat channel - they are beautiful.   I also have a little 21" press brake that fits in my shop press that I have used to make everything from small patches to seat belt brackets.  I have TIG, MIG, Arc & gas welders and a decent assortment of hand tools.

I will get you a picture of my less than organized work area.

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I finished installing the hat channels and did a final test fitting on the new side.  I need to finish drilling a few plug weld holes and it will be time to do the final install.  There are lots of things to check and it needs to be installed in a certain order (I am thinking) to ensure a great fit. I resorted to writing up a checklist. 

 

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@Patrick TiptonPatrick, again your attention to detail is commendable. Once the side is in, where to next? Can I make a suggestion for a practical mod while you have the hull repairs under way. I believe that a final drive oil drainage system would be of benefit to you further down the track. Below are photos of the two different styles of Final drive drain. The first is for a T24 final drive that I believe was not fitted with a drain plug. I have had to drill and tap a plug into the final drive housing. In the latter photo I have fitted a removable hull plate to access the later style M29C final drive drain plug. Hope this makes sense. Cheers

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12 hours ago, OZM29C said:

Once the side is in, where to next?

 

Can I make a suggestion for a practical mod while you have the hull repairs under way. I believe that a final drive oil drainage system would be of benefit to you further down the track. Below are photos of the two different styles of Final drive drain. The first is for a T24 final drive that I believe was not fitted with a drain plug. I have had to drill and tap a plug into the final drive housing. In the latter photo I have fitted a removable hull plate to access the later style M29C final drive drain plug. Hope this makes sense. Cheers

 

Appreciate it John.  I have a decent amount of fussing to do on the hull - repairs to the center bulkhead and coaming and just overall making sure I like where things are.  I am planning on taking the finished hull to a local media blaster, then having a buddy epoxy prime it - I am not equipped to spray those type of paints - then it will go into storage for a bit.

I love the idea of the drain plug/access port.  That seems like a pretty glaring omission by our friends at Studebaker doesn't it?  I guess the intended use suggested that oil changes would not be happening.  I will definitely add one - the access panel seems like a great solution and will be largely invisible.  I am still a newbie on the mechanicals so I need to spend a little time with the final drive.

My plan is to tackle the mechanicals after the hull is finished.  My final drive looks super clean.  I have to do the whole motor too....and the transmission and rebuild control pushrods and then the tracks....o yea...the tracks.

I managed to find and buy a set of 15 inch tracks that are runable as is but need to be rebuilt.  They will arrive next week and I can start thinking about that project. 

I am pretty happy with my progress but I don't think I am in any danger of finishing this project any time soon 😂

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I am a few hours away from being ready to install the side.  I ended up drilling lots of holes and will plug weld them up.  It  is faster to spot weld, but I don't have a lot of faith in the process with old & new metal and my equipment.  The good news is that the process of plug welding ends up looking darn close to a spot weld - the key is going hot with the MIG/TIG and moving quickly.  These holes are a little larger than I would prefer, but I used the spot weld cutter and they go quickly.  The holes are more or less located where the original spot welds were located...so not perfect at all but should be a largely indistinguishable repair.

I am going to use the panel bond on the lower hull seam and on the front and back sections where there is a decent amount of pitting.  I will wire wheel all of the primer because the seam sealer is made for bare metal.

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I am way past excited about this.  Just picked up a set of original 15" T-24 tracks.  Overall, they are in great condition for being 77 years old.  As you can see, they have been modified with an additional motorcycle chain band and can be run as is....I bought them on the basis of pictures so this is the first I am really getting to inspect them.  So far, I am very happy with what I am seeing.

More to follow.

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I got the new side welded on.  The welds are not perfect, but I am pretty happy with the outcome.  I did use a 3M seam sealer on the lower seam - nice product but it does raise hell with the MIG process.   I have a good amount of welding left to do, including cutting and hiding the top seam, but I am looking forward to having it finished over the next week or so.

If anyone is contemplating a similar repair, it is not too bad. I made a checklist for how I would weld it in - worked out fine, although I did get a little movement so I would add a couple of spots to keep things in alignment through the process of welding.

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46 minutes ago, 5280Beltfed said:

Did you try welding with seam sealer in place?

Yes and no.  The product is advertised to work with spot welders....you can spot weld through the sealer as I understand it. 

After I applied it to the seam - trying to stay clear of the weld areas - I cleaned everything up as much as I could so there was no visible seam sealer where the welds were going.  That being said...there was still some squeeze out and it was close enough to impact the welds in some areas. 

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I am wrapping up the top seam on this new side.  It is coming along nicely and should be finished in another session or so.

The process is pretty straightforward.  I tack the side a little above where the seam will be.  First picture.

Then I cut on a 45 degree angle with the angle grinder and a cutting wheel....more or less following the top of the new side and cutting through both the new side and the underlying original metal.  This leaves a nice bevel and you then push the new side down flush and tack again. You can see this in picture 2.

Place tacks until the seam is welding and clean up. Picture 3 is after the first pass.  I missed a couple of spots in this one and there is a little porosity (hard to clean original metal on inside) so had to add a few tacks.  The rest of the photos are after the second welding pass in spots, a little angle grinder and maybe a little 3m pad to really make it look nice. 

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@Patrick TiptonAgain BZ on your work👍👍.  When you finally get the hull into primer, it will take on a completely different character. The amount of work you have put into this hull will become just a memory when finished. Having said that the work required to restore this hull will certainly make a good talking point with fellow restorers. Completing those long welds is tedious but rewarding work. I look forward to the next instalment🙂

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Appreciate it John @OZM29C.  I am definitely looking forward to wrapping up these repairs over the next couple of weeks and moving on to the mechanicals.   You are so very right about the memory.... I hardly remember the hours and hours of prep work necessary to remove the drivers side....

Have you ever tried this overlap/tack/cut on a 45 degree method of making a patch?  I learned it from a couple of Youtube videos- very easy way to get great results.

Cheers!

Patrick

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Yes I did....fortunately, although they were very rusty in this area, I was able to get all of the captive nut locations off of the original hat channels.  I have a friend an hour or so away with a very original T24 too...and I have made a couple of trips to measure and draw.

Thanks for keeping me in line and out of the ditches John!

...on that note, I did forget one captive nut in the passenger area (the hat channel was all rotted away)....I will cut part of the hat channel away and fix it....

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