save M715 original or making it practical ?

Steel Soldiers is supported by:

daashadow

New member
4
0
0
Location
deltona florida
So a few days ago i got a 69 M715 running again. has the 6 cyl tornado motor. It says so on the cover. yaaa. And it moves down the road up to about 45 mph . the winch works ( scary as **** ) in and out, and there is no rust on the frame or the body. 4 high and low work, and whoever had it before converted it to 12v. so some electrical stuff works, some dont, and some not so well. Then breaks work, for now and it looks like it is holding its fluids.
So here comes the big question. If I restore it original , it seems that parts are very hard to find like brakes, seals, motor parts and so on. Its not very practical to use on a regular base because of speed limits, and its not like you can run down the street to gets parts. On the other side I am thinking of doing a mod resto . Changing engine, transition, getting rid of the scary winch, rewiring, changing axles so i am not making myself crazy trying to find rims that fit a weird bolt pattern and can use more often and so on.

So a few of you will feel that I am committing a mortal sin for these thought, for something that is so in tacked and in good condition relative to 49 years old, but my question is....

am I better off just fixing it stock and or selling it, or doing my modern resto so I could enjoy using it more? And if I do the modern updates, are there any tip or things anyone has done to make the path easier?
 

Barrman

Active member
4,334
17
38
Location
Giddings, Texas
Most of us have done what you optioned about. Our trucks are more usable to us now but worth less than an all stock one resale.

Stock in good tune. It should be able to run 60 or better on flat ground all day long. It will sound like it is about to throw parts all over the road, but all day long every day cruising at 48-52 mph is normally the happy speed where it just goes and goes.

The PTO winch once you learn it and actually have to use it. Will probably grow on you. They are awesome! Yes, if not used correctly they could take a limb or two in payments. But, used correctly it is pretty much unstoppable.
 

Barrman

Active member
4,334
17
38
Location
Giddings, Texas
Oh, if you decide to change everything. My advice is to go diesel. I went big block gasser and then diesel. Don’t be like me. Skip the intermediate step.
 

porkysplace

Well-known member
Steel Soldiers Supporter
9,089
180
63
Location
mid- michigan
Most of us have done what you optioned about. Our trucks are more usable to us now but worth less than an all stock one resale.

Stock in good tune. It should be able to run 60 or better on flat ground all day long. It will sound like it is about to throw parts all over the road, but all day long every day cruising at 48-52 mph is normally the happy speed where it just goes and goes.

The PTO winch once you learn it and actually have to use it. Will probably grow on you. They are awesome! Yes, if not used correctly they could take a limb or two in payments. But, used correctly it is pretty much unstoppable.

+ 1 on the winch you can't beat a PTO winch if you know how to use them . And all the information you need is in the TM's , there is even a recovery TM available in the SS TM section.
 

Recovry4x4

LLM/Member 785
Super Moderator
Steel Soldiers Supporter
33,400
237
63
Location
GA Mountains
This will likely have more questions than answers but here we go. Statement 1. I've only ever owned one M715 and I never drove it. Opinion 1. M715s beg to be modded but as Tim said, you wack the resale value of them when you do.

So, from an investment point of view, what could you do to minimize this while making the truck more enjoyable to drive? What mods could be reversed if one so chose? My thoughts are to be able to increase road speed and decrease RPM. Would the Tornado have enough power to push the truck if it has an NV4500 trans? If so you would likely have to change the transfer case as well. Modern tires can be installed on the factory rims and there are a few outfits that build rims for the 6 on 7 1/4 bolt pattern (IIRC). Provided the engine can pull the overdrive, that seems a sensible route.

Bottom line though, it is your truck. You can do whatever you wish and folks here or elsewhere are welcome to have an opinion but not a vote.
 

daashadow

New member
4
0
0
Location
deltona florida
can you add the mink to the pto tm. I cants seem to find it. And I was pretty sure I was working it right. I dont think the neutral on the front is working right. may just need to change or add fluid to it. which should tell me in that link?
 

porkysplace

Well-known member
Steel Soldiers Supporter
9,089
180
63
Location
mid- michigan
I could find the 715 tm's on SS but it should be in the -10 .

But you can go to the M715Zone.com and look at the top of the page for Online Manuals. You can view them or download them for free
 

SgtMajHarper

Member
99
3
8
Location
Falcon, CO
Greetings and welcome to the M715 world. I have a refurbished 1967 mostly original USMC M715 truck with winch and a 1962 M101 trailer. I spent @ 2 1/2 years scrounging parts, getting wrong parts, getting unreliable information, etc., but with patience brought it back to life. Mine was in great shape body wise, no rust, a few dents and dings, no top, seats gone, faded paint; but a pretty intact truck. It had not run in 6-8 years and once I got it running I started discovering leaks here and there needing new gaskets, seals, etc. and again hard to find but they are out there.

My original concern was like yours when I didn't know if it ran at all or not or should I drop in a new engine and convert it to 12 volts or not. Everyone that saw it asked a bunch of different question, but one shared by many was how original was I going to try and make it?Everyone seemed to brighten up when talking about keeping it original. For me; the biggest deciding factor was "IF" I could get the original engine running or not. Once that was answered I started the quest to get it back as original as possible.

It screams like a 747 at take off driving down the road at @ 60, it's hot in the summer, nicer in the winter since I installed a heater and defroster. Had the old paint sand blasted off, painted back and marked in original issue color and markings. New everything where it was needed or cleaned up and now it's a head turner. Where I live the weather is often harsh and I didn't want the truck getting trashed after all the work and trouble, so I built a garage for it. (Also my insurance company requires it be garaged since it is a "collector"). I use it for parades, car shows, running around once in a while but it is not my daily driver. I don't use it for any off road adventures, for that I have a Jeep.

So my two cents is if you want it for a daily driver to enjoy one maybe longer trips, less work and headaches when somethings breaks, you can put lotsa money into making an old truck run and ride more like a new one. If you want to keep it old school original I think the original power plant is vital to that and your search for NOS parts will keep you scratching your head, but you have a cool, rare old truck. Then there's the somewhere in between version where you can have it look old(er), run better, smoother, etc. and use it more often than not depending on your own desires.

Mine is a "special ride" not my daily ride, I have other vehicles to drive for comfort, faster, haul stuff around, etc. Also strongly encourage you to check out M715 zone. Like this awesome site and all the very helpful people you find here; that one is devoted mostly to M715's and there is a wealth of knowledge available.

Pictures....WE NEED PICTURES !!
 

M543A2

New member
Steel Soldiers Supporter
1,064
0
0
Location
Warsaw, Indiana
We have had four trucks with the 230 OHC Tornado motor. Two were civilian and two were M715's. We found the motor to be sensitive to tuning. Keep it in tune and we never felt we hurt for power. The first civilian pickup we owned had been used by a local elevator to pull loaded fertilizer buggies in fields to spread dry fertilizer. It had a PTO on it to run the spreader web and spreading spinning wheel on the back. With that same truck we pulled a 21 foot camper many miles with no problem. We bought it from the garage I worked at. It had been traded in with a miss. I worked on it and found it had blown the head gasket through between the two center cylinders. Sadly it had cut the block some because they continued to use it with the problem. The head was re-surfaced and instead of pulling the motor to deck the block I laid a piece of copper wire along the low area and put the head back on, knowing I was buying it and wanted to see if this fix would work. It never failed us. My son had an accident with it, took out a light pole, but we still have the truck. We are thinking we need to get the transfer and PTO out of it because it might be a rare unit. Put a tachometer in it if you can and keep it within normal limits. We REALLY wish people would not mess up these kind of trucks trying the 12 volt conversion, especially when they do it half-way. 24 volt systems are very reliable and there is less amperage going through the wiring system. Evidently the not-understood 24 volt system scares people into doing this. Learn about the 24 volt system and stay with it is the way we like to do it! But then everyone has their comfort zone.
 

Kaiser67M715

Member
692
7
18
Location
NH
I'm voting for stock, I do understand rims, and so an axle change (CUCV axles I think work) wouldn't be a bad change, but I think the engine is rather reliable. Only if I could never rebuild the stick engine(cracked block, crank, etc) would I then drop a 6.2/5 diesel in, with a nv4500.

In the end it is currently your truck, I've seen some very tastefully done trucks. Just make sure to think it through before you do any major surgury, much harder to return to stock/stockist form.

Sent from my SM-S920L using Tapatalk
 

daashadow

New member
4
0
0
Location
deltona florida
ok. I have checked it out, mostly. motor not to bad, like all jeeps its making its territory. did get the winch working right, and your right its a keeper. going thru the electrical today. like i said before, someone already changed it to 12v so I guess i will have to pick it up from there. did find a someone who will make wheels at a cost of about $250 each. What i am trying to hunt down is a light control lever. just one lever. anyone have an idea where i can get one?
 

SgtMajHarper

Member
99
3
8
Location
Falcon, CO
That place where you can buy / sell stuff on the internet ("something"-bay) would be a good start to locate said lever.......my guess is that finding a single lever would be harder to find than just biting the bullet and going for an entire switch assembly, but there some guys on there that do sell pieces and parts of things that would otherwise be junk. You need to start an "extra parts" box anyways. My extra parts box(es) has turned into an "extra parts" section in 2 garages...I checked, don't have a single switch lever tho.
 

Barrman

Active member
4,334
17
38
Location
Giddings, Texas
There are two styles of levers I believe. The older style switches had single blade screws and the newer ones had Phillip's screws. There is a very small but noticeable difference in the levers between the styles of screws. I didn't notice the difference when I was making my Gasser M35 back to 1951 specs until I started driving it. I had one of the phillips screw levers on the 3 lever and felt the difference one night when turning on the lights. One I felt it, I was then able to compare them and noticed they are different.

Just a heads up.
 

saddamsnightmare

Active member
3,568
13
38
Location
Abilene, Texas
June 5th, 2018.

One of these days you would do better to get together and set up an import corporation for the KIA version of the M715, it has the diesel and AC......!
 

nattieleather

Active member
1,773
0
36
Location
Cleveland, OH
The M715 was a temp replacement to the M37 so it was only built for 3 years (more like 2.5) but in a large enough quantity that there are still many of them out there. Unfortunately they were made with a motor that for whatever reason was given a bad rap (bad pr) and so when the trucks hit the surplus market the first thing everyone did was swap out the motors for a SBC. So the unmolested 715 became fewer and farther between. Now 50 years later finding a original 715 that has been not been modified is pretty hard.

So to address your question. If you spend the time and money to restore your M715 back to original you will have a kinda rare truck that will have a good market value in the HMV hobby. If you modify the truck to make it more modern with better road speed, better motor, brakes, creature comfort etc. you will have a great fun truck, but resale value may not be as good as the original.... (again this subjective to what a buyer is willing to pay, you might get lucky and find that one person who has to have your truck money is not option...then again...)

If it was me I would ask myself two questions. In present condition would it be better to restore to original condition or is the truck in such a shape that I would be better in the long run modifying it? What does my budget allow me to do?

Good luck with your truck and enjoy no matter which way you decide to go.
 

SgtMajHarper

Member
99
3
8
Location
Falcon, CO
I just can't stay away..gotta chime in (again). We drve mine with M101 trailer up to Denver for a parade recently. Took the back roads insterad of the interstate and met a couple of othe MV'a along the way to run up together forthe big link up with several others at the parade. What should have been a hour and some change drive in a car was double that in the truck, pulling trailer and a head wind most of the way. Taking the back roads was a blessing because it only wants to do @ 50 mph anyway and pucker factor 8 plus if you snag a short cycle traffic light. We (I) made the mistake of taking a much more travelled state highway south to escape Denver and encountered way too many lights. No lie, I was pushing on the brake pedal and sometimes pulling back on the parking brake while down shifting and blurting out portions of the lords prayer. We stopped at the half way point on the way home just to stretch as the heat coming off the floor and the seats were killing my back. I forget how many times I told the wife it is a "tactical vehicle".

Sooooo, with all that I am still glad I kept mine original and have it to show as such. I never really thought of mine as a daily driver and keep reaffirming that to myself when I take it out. I'm sure a smart guy could put all kinds of mods on one and make it look mean and run up and down the highway quiet(er) and with lots of power and a shiny paint job and still look cool (but just not as much as original).
 

Wascanimal

New member
2
0
0
Location
Saskatchewan, Canada
For all the guys that say to try and keep the M725 original, you got my vote. They have a character about them that can’t be matched. The Tornado 230 was a very unique engine that was very simple to work on but for whatever reasons the military called them complicated. The first time I pulled the valve cover of mine, I was surprised at the simplicity of the valve train!
I too thought the engine swap to something more modern would be the way to go. After driving my M725 for four years as a service truck, I will gladly try and rebuild it if I had to. When it fires on all six, It has fantastic power and will climb all the beach roads climbing out of the valley it works around without downshifting. Putting the original fresh plugs back in proved the worth of that 230! It’s a keeper!

I really lucked out finding the M725 in Canada. In fact it was found sitting on the side of the road in my city. No rust with the original paint. Only a few minor body dints that nobody else notices. The interior was all original with hardly a scratch. I bought it from the local collector who ended up having a large collection of US military vehicles. Some dating back to WW11 and still in great shape.
The M725 was in great shape because it was said to be stored inside an Airforce Base hanger in Montana. Only used once in a while for runs to the runway when needed as an ambulance. Probably driven to the local city for occasional parades. The condition of the inner paint had never seen a stretch slid in or out of it.
I have removed the bunk padding to save it in it’s original condition. Plywood replaces the padding to store toolboxes and totes to allow me to perform marine repair on boats in the area. It is only used in a 15 mile surrounding area so the all original power train works great for what it’s asked to do.
For me, keeping it original has worked out in it’s favour. It will see parade duty again this year.




Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

kvflyer

Member
70
0
6
Location
Fernandina Beach, FL
I know that this thread is growing whiskers. It has taken me years to accumulate the parts but mine is mostly original. I removed "improvements" done by previous owners. I do need to paint etc. but that is a work in progress. As you can see, I am strictly "Stock".

M715DrivewayFront.jpgM715DrivewayRear.jpg
 
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