Steelsoldiers’ BIG M756A2 Project!

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Recovery Day!

Well, we did it! We recovered the M756A2 today!

My brother, Chad, and my dad helped me load a ton of tools, fluids, etc... in the pickup this morning and then we headed out to the storage yard where the pipeline truck has been sitting for the last 16 years. We last had the truck running and driving around 6 years ago when my dad was trying to sell it. Everything seemed to work just fine then, so we hoped we wouldn’t have too many issues today, but you never know what will happen after things have been sitting for a long time.

Once we got to the yard, we gave the truck a good looking over. It was a little rustier than we remembered, but everything seemed to be in good order. We popped the hood and checked all of the fluids. The coolant was a little low, so my dad topped it off with some 50/50 pre-mix. While he was doing that, Chad and I got ready to put the batteries in. Unfortunately, when Chad opened the battery box door, he discovered that some stinking copper thief had cut off the battery cables! Fortunately, we found a set of cables on a junk refrigerated trailer. Chad crawled underneath the truck and spliced the cables into place. After that, we installed the batteries and tidied everything up for a test run. We cranked it a little to get some oil circulating. Then, we pushed the fuel shutoff in and it cranked right up!

We let the engine warm up while checking all of the vitals. Once we had air, we used a glad-hand air hose to air up all of the tires. Then, we were ready for a test drive! I ran it around the storage yard a few times checking out the trans, steering, and brakes as I went. Everything seemed to be in good working order, so we packed up all of our stuff and headed for home. We stopped in town for fuel and then made the 30 minute drive cross-country to my house. The truck never missed a beat! We hit a bunch of steep grades and that LD465 pulled like a champ!

Now, the real fun begins. I am looking forward to getting the rear winch and gin poles installed and operational. Once all of the mechanical and electrical systems are working perfectly, I’ll start on the rust repair and painting. It’s going to be a big project, but it’ll be so worth it in the end!

Here is a video of our recovery:
https://youtu.be/On-_QZQ-xbo

I’ll post some pictures tomorrow and will keep doing regular video updates as this project progresses!
 

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Some new parts arrived yesterday! I found two new work lights for the headache rack and an NOS block and tackle. The only BII items I am missing now are the stake pocket adapters. Please let me know if you know of any for sale. Otherwise, I’ll fabricate some.
 

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Some new parts arrived yesterday! I found two new work lights for the headache rack and an NOS block and tackle. The only BII items I am missing now are the stake pocket adapters. Please let me know if you know of any for sale. Otherwise, I’ll fabricate some.
Do you have the block and tackle with the hook for the U bolt in the bed?
The stake pocket adapters are nice to have but probably will never get used much mine has been rigged over the side once.
 

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Do you have the block and tackle with the hook for the U bolt in the bed?
The stake pocket adapters are nice to have but probably will never get used much mine has been rigged over the side once.
Yes, one came up on GL years ago and just happened to find it with an NSN search. It’s still in its original box at my dad’s house.
 

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Spent a little time this evening putting the data plates back on. My dad took them off years ago to keep some jerk from stealing them. The screws were nowhere to be found and there was no way I was putting them on with shiny zinc-plated hardware, so I soaked some new screws in vinegar overnight to give them the correct look. It turned out pretty well, don’t you think?

Yes, my windshield is super roached. Luckily, I found a Steel Soldiers member in OH who was selling a good takeout unit. Just gotta figure out how to get it here!
 

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Decided to do a “quick little repair project” the other morning just to keep the project moving. The door handle on the driver’s side was pretty rusty and the one on the passenger side was half gone. I used my impact driver to spin the screws off on the driver’s side and had the new one installed in about a minute. I thought to myself, “Man, I love little projects like this. It’s so satisfying to check something off the list in so little time.” Then, I went to the passenger side and promptly snapped off both screws in the door latch. Dang it! Now, I have to pull the latch and remove the broken screws. So much for quick little projects! :???:
 

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Got to use the 756A2 over the weekend to haul some scaffolding to our house. My pickup truck is in the shop, so the deuce got called into action. Before I took it out on the four lane, I had to replace the mirrors because the old ones were cracked and broken. The R&R went pretty well and the new mirrors look and function much better. They just need a coat of OD! The truck got lots of looks on the road and it performed flawlessly!
 

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My dad dropped off some very important M756A2 parts today! While cleaning out the garage, he found the gin pole couplers, the rear winch chain, the rear winch PTO sprocket, and assorted bolts for installing the winch. The winch chain is rusted solid, so I ordered a gallon of Evapo-rust and will give it a good soak to see if it will loosen up.
 

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steelsoldiers

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So, when are we starting the Cummins swap?
Would love to do a 6BT swap in a deuce sometime, but not in this one. It’s going to stay as stock/original as possible. I had a chance to drive one of the military 6BT conversions some years ago. It had the air-o-matic steering too. Was a sweet machine.
 

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I used the 756A2 to haul our rented scaffolding back to Sunbelt Rentals this past Saturday. When I got there, one of the guys in the yard said, “Hey, you’re leaking fuel all over the parking lot!” I jumped out and raised the hood to investigate. I discovered that the injection pump supply line had been rubbing against the return line long enough to wear a hole in the supply line. Thankfully, the Sunbelt guys loaned me some tools and gave me a barbed fitting to repair the line. I cut the line in half, shoved the barbed fitting into place, and then I was good to go! After I fixed that, the guy said, “Hey, you know you have a headlight out, right?!” I didn’t know that, but I guess I wasn’t surprised.

Who carries the correct clear fuel fuel line for the deuce? I’m going to go ahead and replace all of it.
 

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I used the 756A2 to haul our rented scaffolding back to Sunbelt Rentals this past Saturday. When I got there, one of the guys in the yard said, “Hey, you’re leaking fuel all over the parking lot!” I jumped out and raised the hood to investigate. I discovered that the injection pump supply line had been rubbing against the return line long enough to wear a hole in the supply line. Thankfully, the Sunbelt guys loaned me some tools and gave me a barbed fitting to repair the line. I cut the line in half, shoved the barbed fitting into place, and then I was good to go! After I fixed that, the guy said, “Hey, you know you have a headlight out, right?!” I didn’t know that, but I guess I wasn’t surprised.

Who carries the correct clear fuel fuel line for the deuce? I’m going to go ahead and replace all of it.
I had to do a similar repair, but used rubber fuel hose and hose clamps. about 2 inches long each slit lengthwise, on the line that had the leak we put two hose clamps side by side on the spot, with the slit 180 degrees away form the hole. On the other line we put the clamps near the ends. That way there was the additional rubber and clamps to wear away before it became a problem again. YMMV.
 

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The chain for the rear PTO was rusted solid when my dad got it years ago. It came off of Kenny’s incredibly rusty M756A2 from Puerto Rico, so no big surprise there. I decided to try one of those new fangled rust dissolver products to see if I could save it. Evapo-rust has really good reviews on Amazon, so I bought a gallon of it and have been soaking the chain in it for the last couple of weeks. It did a great job removing all of the surface rust and scale in just a couple of days, but the chain still wouldn’t move. After another week in the soak, the chain finally began to move with considerable effort. It seems to be getting more and more flexible with each passing day. I’m going to give it a few more days in the tub, and then I’ll wash it with hot water and soak it in ATF. The nice thing about the Evapo-rust is it’s non-toxic and can be dumped when you’re done with it.
 

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