53? Studebaker truck Rebuilt into multifuel

Dunkeye11

Member
54
4
8
Location
Fairfax, Virginia
Had my deuce for over a year it’s been a pretty dependable truck when I drove it been redoing the hubs and finding some aweful things from the previous owners “work” but also finally saw the frame serial number and it didn’t match my data plate. I was told by the kid I bought it from the the truck was a gasser before and I just assumed it got a new data plate at rebuild. The dash has the smaller gauge cluster with only a speedometer and then tach is mounted at the bottom of the dash
dates I can find
67 date in Data plate
53 dates hard top
80s multifuel contract number

other then that is has a c turbo and a airshift transfer case. Older style head light brackets with and electric horn. And side panels with big gaps on one side

everything else has been painted over 1 million times and cant be read at all

Did trucks get new data plates when they became A2s?
 

Attachments

Last edited:

NDT

Well-known member
Steel Soldiers Supporter
9,136
2,787
113
Location
Camp Wood/LC, TX
Your VIN is M56477 and that would have never changed in military service officially. Who knows what happened along the way. Personally I would have a problem with this, and I would re-title the truck so the VIN matches the frame stamp.
 

NDT

Well-known member
Steel Soldiers Supporter
9,136
2,787
113
Location
Camp Wood/LC, TX
Digging around, the highest Studebaker VIN I can find is 1959 M49864. A 1955 is M38281. So maybe they were doing 5000 per year. So yours would maybe be a 1960 or 1961, right before the M35A1 came out with the LDS427 engine.
 

runk

Active member
Steel Soldiers Supporter
537
51
28
Location
Houston, TX
Not to disagree with NDT, but my truck is the same. Former Gasser, probably M26937 on the frame (really hard to read, even cleaned off), but the dash plate and all the paperwork from the military matched and said 1970 date and serial number. I can't find the old thread discussing this, but there were several other people with similar mismatches.
I've always wondered if there was some sort of effort like the A3 program around 1970 re-manufacturing the gassers into A2's.
At least in Texas, the title people seem to be a lot happier with the paperwork matching, I know from some other vehicles it is real hard to get them to correct even a typo in the paperwork.

Some information I posted in that thread (from about 10 years ago)-

Some collected early serial numbers and years (and manufacturer)-
M22008 - ?
M25420 - 1952
M26937 - ? mine (note below, 1951? axle)
M30708 - 1953
M30798 - 1953
M31239 - 1953 (Studebaker)
M32558 - 1953 (Studebaker)
M35002 - ? O.P.'s
M42506 - 1957
M51584 – 1959 axles
M53355 - 1968

If I'd known then what I know now, I would have registered my truck with the early frame number (which was buried under about 10 layers of paint) instead of the 1970 date and numbers which were on the dash and all the paperwork (including turn in inspection and some of the maintenance records) that came with the truck when I bought it 2 years ago from GL (Red River). I have learned a lot over the last two years (mostly here on Steel Soldiers !), and can now spot a lot of the differences due to my truck's age. It has a modified frame/engine mount, gasser cab and probably bed (but modified with late ammo tie downs), and the smaller, different layout dash panel. 2 axles have 1967-1969 dates on them, but one of the axles is still a Timken with a probable date of 1951 (the tag is very hard to read). The engine and trans are dated 1989, and the transfer case is an air shift. Inside the headlight buckets are still the old style metal (Packard ?) electrical connectors. It still has an original style air governor (although it leaks and needs to be replaced).
It's interesting to be working on something and have to dig out one of the older TMs versions to figure it out (the oldest I have is the 1976 version), because it doesn't look anything like the drawings in the latest 2006 version, even though both parts do the same job. For instance, the Timken axle has different brake shoe adjusters (different bolts, lock slightly differently).
 
  • Like
Reactions: NDT

Dunkeye11

Member
54
4
8
Location
Fairfax, Virginia
Yea I have so far seen a lot of different things in my truck my headlights had the old metal connectors that I just tossed away they were falling to bits and squirels ate though them
My two rear axles are both different generations the intermediate axle has bolts holding the brake backing plate on and my rear is rivited it seems newer and in better shape
(Just broke a bolt off getting to it for the first time.....)
very little grease in my hubs previous owner had it a year and didn’t touch the maint side of it at all.
 

Attachments

fasttruck

Well-known member
1,268
603
113
Location
Mesa, AZ
I bought a M35 from GL about 8 years ago that was listed as a 1953 Studebaker. However it had a turbocharged engine, air shift transfer case, new style seat and a instrument panel with a tachometer. No tags on it but its appearance and equipment suggested it had been the object of a depot level overhaul at some point .The sale document from GL lists the VI N as M34848 and the "hood" number as 04K1869. The truck had composite lights and Packard connecters. I sold the truck several years ago.
 

fasttruck

Well-known member
1,268
603
113
Location
Mesa, AZ
This is what I had. Pic attached. Electric windshield wipers were apparently a late issue MWO. The switches were mounted on the mullion that separated the two halves of the windshield. Not too many set up that way.
 

Attachments

Dunkeye11

Member
54
4
8
Location
Fairfax, Virginia
Mine is just like that wiper motor and switch centered works well the washer was never hooked up though thinking about doing that

also realized I have round turn signal guards with composite lights vs square ones idk how common that is.
 
Last edited:

DavidWymore

Well-known member
1,583
122
63
Location
El Centro, CA
If the passenger rear engine mount has rivets to the frame, it is original. If it has bolts, it was likely a gasser changed to multi.

If the front engine crossmember is vertically oriented rectangular tubing, it is likely A1. If it is open channel laid "flat", it would be A2 era.
 

msgjd

Active member
196
237
43
Location
upstate ny
Dunkeye11. , I have a '62 White Motors Utica-Div M49C the military converted to A2. They changed the tag, it says AM General with a 1975 (re)build date. They at least did stamp the original VIN onto the new tag. What bothers me is it's no AM General, and it's no 1975 with its hole in the floor for the starter pedal and early-style wheel cutouts. Have a similar situation with my M62. It has IHC part numbers on many castings and a '53 build date on tag, but the GSA people in their infinite wisdom sent me a SF97 saying it was a 1953 AM General. Trying to get that registered was like trying to register a 1953 DeLorean. Neither company existed then. I've also run into titling problems with the M809-series. The year seen on their tags are clearly stated as a contract date. The first was let in 1969. Without going outside to look and if I remember correctly, subsequent contracts were let in 1974 and 1979. Thus I received a SF97 for a 1969 that's actually a 1970, a 1969 that's actually a 1972, and a 1974 that's actually a 1976. (by dumb luck they got my 1969 XM818 correct) . The actual build date of M809's are found within the VIN. Try arguing that with certain motor vehicle people. Some may actually run the VIN and figure out the truth and help you finally get the correct paperwork. Others will fight you tooth and nail that someone at GSA or GL or GovPlanet or a DRMO filling out SF97's must know what they're doing thus the SF97 is correct. :cautious: oooooh---kaaay.

Good luck with your truck, Dunkeye11. it's a beaut and is unique that it retains most of its former gasser features, especially that it didn't receive the small-diameter stack typical to deuce A1's and they didn't remove the starter pedal.
Someone on here once said that not all rebuilds received new tags. I can add that not all rebuilds or modifieds were tagged correctly. Heck, in my armor unit we had a few 5-tons that were newly-built as multifuel A2's, re-motored with Mack A1 engines, but kept their A2 tags.
 
Last edited:

asteeleks

New member
11
11
3
Location
Parkerville KS
Thanks for all the input. After digging through paperwork and crawling and/over my “Little Deuce Coupe” I found the registration number that was mentioned earlier. My son and I got lucky. This truck is in great shape ( after some brake work and maintenance) we drove her 40 miles home. and we got a second one for parts and spent $1600 plus $100 to have the parts truck hauled to the house.
 

SETOYOTA

Well-known member
Steel Soldiers Supporter
2,333
251
83
Location
georgia
Has anyone ever seen an MWO for the conversion? I have been to.d it exist but have never actually seen it. would have helped when I converted my 53 Studebaker
 
Top
AdBlock Detected

We get it, advertisements are annoying!

Sure, ad-blocking software does a great job at blocking ads, but it also blocks useful features of our website like our supporting vendors. Their ads help keep Steel Soldiers going. Please consider disabling your ad blockers for the site. Thanks!

I've Disabled AdBlock
No Thanks