M37 Barn Find

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jeffhuey1n

SMSgt, USAF (Ret.)
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Laramie County, Wyoming
Haven't got that far yet. The previous owner apparently used the truck for hunting and as a bug out vehicle in case of a zombie apocalypse. I've removed probably close to 1,000 pounds of stuff from the cab and tool box. I've still got to clear out the bed, which has 6 or so chained up water and gas cans, a 25 gallon drum of something (not sure what's in there) and what appears to be a NOS winch cable still on its spool. I hope to try it out in the next couple days.
 

mdainsd

Member
193
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18
Location
San Diego, CA
M42 weren't produced as such. A kit was installed on a regular M37 to make an M42. The kit included a dash data plate. Also included were different bed side curtains that had non-reflective windows and black out covers. The end curtains are different, of course the table, ladder and map light were also part of the kit. The 100Amp generator system was not part of the basic M42 kit and was applied separately, if at all. The blanked off hole in the front of the bed is on all M37s (at least all I have seen).

Since your truck is missing any of the physical evidence, it is up to you to decide if you want it to be an M37 or a M42! If you put the M42 canvas on it, slap a M42 data plate on it. Im not getting theimperession you want to return it to a 1000 point technically correct truck.

Nice truck, and Im sure you will have fun with it. I hadn't fooled with M37s or M43 for thirty years or more (moved on to Mutts, Goats, Mules, 2 1/2 and 5 tons), now I find myself with another one...they are just good honest trucks.
 

Storm 51

Just a Grunt
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Seattle, WA
The were different configurations of the M42 Command Truck. There were straight Command trucks and Radio Command trucks. You can tell by the registration numbers (they begin with 201 and 9 digit registration numbers were factory trucks and 8 digit numbers were field or depot modified Command trucks). If they have the 100 Amp Generating System (Chapter 21 of Change 3 to TM9-8030) , Battery Box Upgrade (TB9-2320-212-20-2) and various tactical radio sets (A/N GRC-3, -5 ,-7, GRC-19 and others), it would qualify as a Radio Command truck. The basic components of the Command truck are listed in the manual (TM9-8030) and are:
1.) Map Table
2.) Windowed side curtains
3.) Wiring harness for the map light reel
4.) Center zip opening rear end curtain
5.) Front Cargo Bed Command truck curtain (it has a black out cover and provisions for the wiring harness from the cab (optional circuit # 10)
6.) Inertial Reel Map Light
7.) M42 Placard on the dash or defroster duct.

Here are a few pictures of the canvas on an M42 Radio Command Truck (the registration numbers are not correct). The photos are merely to illustrate the canvas installation. The map table can be glimpsed in the rear view. The front cargo bed curtain is also not shown because of its location.
 

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Maple Leaf Eh

Member
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Location
Ontario, Canada
The defroster kit is something I remember seeing installed on someone else's truck. That was a long long time ago. But hey, whatever works and passes the road safety inspection.

I suggest keeping it simple. The restoration urge is to make everything back to specification, regardless of practicality or actual usage. Yes, the checklist said it was equipped with X, Y and 2x W, but that doesn't mean the users actually tolerated (or ever had) a Y and that second W. Keep it simple, stXXXX.
 

Storm 51

Just a Grunt
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Keep in mind that you now have complete control of the budget and you have the final "command discretion" decision making power; therefore you can do whatever you want to accomplish "the mission".

Also remember that "no combat ready unit ever passed inspection, and no inspection ready unit ever survived combat".
 

jeffhuey1n

SMSgt, USAF (Ret.)
Steel Soldiers Supporter
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Laramie County, Wyoming
Update: I spent the afternoon playing in the engine compartment and the battery box. The truck was converted to 12 volt. At first, the starter was disinclined to perform correctly. After repeated failed attempts for the starter to work, it fixed itself. The engine turns over nicely and I can get the engine to kick over but it won't stay running. Part of the troubleshooting was to chase fuel lines. And my first speed bump. The mechanical fuel pump lines are disconnected. Not sure why. Using an idea from hendersonj, I scabbed in a small gas tank that gravity feeds gas to the carb. I could get it to briefly start but it just don't want to keep running. After too many failed attempts, I pulled a spark plug... icky to say the least. I'll have to replace the plugs. While I'm at it, I'll look into the distributor cap and check the points. Which bring up a question: what make of engine is installed? It is a V8, the distributor is on the back of the engine. The alternator and fuel pump are on the passenger side on the engine. The power steering pump is on the drivers side. It has a two barrel Motorcraft carb. I'm still looking for any markings to determine firing sequence. I think it's a Dodge 318 but with distributor on the back, it's either a Dodge or Chevy motor. That's it for now, I'll update when I can work on it again.
 
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superbee70

New member
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Location
Alden, NY
no. As far as i know all mopar small blocks had dist in rear. 360 down. As someone mentioned earlier if it has center bolted valve covers it may be a poly motor, these are mid 60's and earlier. i'm doing a 360 swap now and the valve covers are bolted at the edges, later motor.
 

jeffhuey1n

SMSgt, USAF (Ret.)
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Laramie County, Wyoming
Eureka I have found it! The number is on the front of the engine on the passenger side just below the head in really big numbers. According to the net source I found, it's number is 2468230, which indicates the motor is a 318 of the A family of MOPAR engines. Now to find the year codes so's I can find what year it is...
 

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jeffhuey1n

SMSgt, USAF (Ret.)
Steel Soldiers Supporter
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Looks like it was manufactured from 1957 thru 1967. It uses Champion RJ12YC. Still looking for a replacement fuel pump, tune up kit, probably water pump and maybe new belts.
 

jeffhuey1n

SMSgt, USAF (Ret.)
Steel Soldiers Supporter
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Location
Laramie County, Wyoming
Got the truck running! Yippee, yahoo!!! Now that that's out of my system... Manual choke cable had more wiggles than a belly dancer. Fortunately I have a brand new one. The automatic choke is fubared (I should have said that firstly). The wiring under the dash looks like one of those garter snake mating balls. If it works now, I'll fix it better later. Fortunately, the stock light switch doohickey is amongst the extra parts that came with the truck. More later...
 

jeffhuey1n

SMSgt, USAF (Ret.)
Steel Soldiers Supporter
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Location
Laramie County, Wyoming
It is alive!!! She's smoking like a coal fired freight train but she runs!!! Still need to check the cooling system but the fuel is working (from a small temporary gas tank).
 
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