M197A1 Converter Dolly Refurbish

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Castle Bravo

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A while back, I picked up a M197A1 Converter Dolly. This thread will document my refurbish job on it. Its in serviceable condition except for the tires, which had large cracks in the tread surface.

My plan is to do about what I did to my M332 Ammo Trailer (http://www.steelsoldiers.com/showthread.php?96196-M332-Refurbish) and clean it up, replace broken/damaged/worn items, and give it a new coat of paint. I'll inspect the brakes and repair/replace as necessary.

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While I wouldn't call it rusty, it does need some attention before paint. Hopefully, most of it should be pretty straightforward and easy.

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I have 4 nice tires to put on it when I'm done.

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Rear reflectors. I like how they are protected.

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Cut off and painted over data plates. I don't imagine I can easily find a new M197A1 data plate.

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Broken off landing gear handle and bent retainer.

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The U-bolts that secure the chains to the trailer are bent like something heavy was dropped on them.

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I like how the air lines are

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I think this is the same "ordnance" axle that is on most of the trailers.

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This dolly uses the same air/hydraulic setup like a M105A2.

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Brake components seem to be in good condition.
 

Castle Bravo

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Made some progress today after the first post.

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Easily my favorite "how in the world did I do this before without this" tool is an impact driver. Most of the time, it will remove the most stubborn screws without even damaging anything. Its especially great on flat head and phillips head screws that are usually holding down reflectors and data plates.

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Took the reflectors right off with no fuss.

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This hose is probably a good candidate for replacement.

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The air hoses pass through this gap in the doors that has some wood buffers so as to not damage them. I need to replace the buffers.

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Doors and air hoses and bulkhead air connector removed.


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Took off a bunch of stuff today.

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That U-bolt is pretty well bent. Not sure how I'm going to handle that yet.
 

Artisan

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Is the axle coming off? If so* grab a forklift, remove the Ubolt, put the
dolly on it's side w/ the outside of the bent frame down, on flat cement, or steel plate,
heat up the bent area and massage it w/ a 20lb sledge. If to tough
cut the reinforcement plate's welds off from inside the frame, repeat
and reweld on reinforcement plate.


*It might be possible w/ the axle on.
 

Wildchild467

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Very nice! I wouldnt mind having one of those. Not sure what I would do with it, but would be great to have! :-D
 

RAYZER

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Very nice! I wouldnt mind having one of those. Not sure what I would do with it, but would be great to have! :-D
I would pull a 6ton trailer (m146 or m373) with the converter dolly behind a cargo truck, use the trailer for camping purposes and the cargo truck bed to fill up with parts for the swapmeet!
 

MWMULES

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Heck Matt, if I knew Dan was going to sell it I would have bought it when I was down there last year. I thought is was weird how the tires were only cracked open where they had been in contact with the ground, must be that desert heat.
I had a 105 that the the lifting handles were bent down like that, I cribbed up the trailer tongue so it was up under the Deuce frame, put a 4x4 block under the handle with a high lift jack used some heat then bent it back up with the high lift.
 

Castle Bravo

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Not going as fast as I thought it mine, but I got some more done.

dolly18.jpg

Newly painted reflectors.

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New gladhands and new air lines (almost 40' worth).
 

Trailboss

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There were a few converter dollys that came out of Biloxi a few months ago. Almost every one I've seen was made differently with different hose connections, storage boxes, axles/hubs. I got a 1975 Pines and a 1980 Miller dollys with dual comercial tires that look like they're on a single rim with oil filled bearings. All the tires on mine also had the deep age cracks in the tread.
 

Castle Bravo

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M35A2-AZ came over the other day and helped me (He did it, really) straighten out the U-bolts and bent sections of the frame. Heat fixes all.

You can see a few more parts that I painted hanging to dry in the sun underneath the dolly.
 

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Castle Bravo

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Been a while since I updated, but have finished a few more things.

dolly23.jpg
Sandblasted safety chains and sandblasted and repaired crank handle.

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Painting chain is tedious work.

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Works now and looks great.

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Started on the body primer.
 
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RAYZER

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Your doing a good job on this!
That looks like the same 6 ton axle that's under the m146 trailer.
If you decide to rebuild the brakes I have some wheel cylinder rebuild kits available.
 

rebelqwes87

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What is the purpose of the bar mounted to the top of the springs? I assume it's to minimize axle wrap, but what forces would cause that in this application?
 
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