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Wayne Hingley 02-10-17 21:32

M37 Restoration (53-41242)
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Due to snow and high winds today, I'm waiting until tomorrow evening to pick up this M37 that I found down the road on a farm. It is in great overall condition. Cant wait to get it home and take a closer look. CFR is 53-41242.

Here is a photo of something that is not OD for a change!

rob love 02-10-17 21:51 signs of olive drab where the paint is worn on the major body panels, although a little is seen on the ancillaries like the lamps. Could it have been an airforce truck, or was it just sandblasted in it's civilian life and painted yellow?

Looks like a nice truck....looking forward to your progress.


Wayne Hingley 02-10-17 22:05

The main exterior of the truck was sanded or sandblasted over 35-40 years ago, and painted yellow with red oxide as the primer. The areas where the yellow is worn away are exposed red oxide. The interior is still semigloss OD, and under the fenders and frame there is the base semigloss OD and some evidence of the prairie camo paint scheme. The frame and underside is extremely clean... I haven't found any rust yet, other than a minor amount under the headlight mounts.

Two owners of the truck before me: one has had it for the last 5 years (cleaned out the carb & had the engine running, but never drove the truck - been sitting in current location). The first owner who got it from the CF, had used it for hunting for a while before parking it for about 30 years. Since coming out of service the truck has been here in the local area. I don't know the service branch or history, as this seems to be one of the early release trucks, with no info left in the system (unless someone can find something - that would be great!).

Wayne Hingley 04-10-17 05:12

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Something followed me home today...

Wayne Hingley 04-10-17 05:20

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The truck was sunk into the soil a bout 6" and had one half-flat tire, but with the help of the tractor it came out easily.

chris vickery 04-10-17 12:30

Looks great Wayne! A bit of a load for the Tacoma I bet?
If you only have a little bit of rust under the headlights you are lucky as this is the typical rust out spot on M37 trucks. It appears that you have a nice start for a beautiful project there.

maple_leaf_eh 04-10-17 17:53


Originally Posted by Wayne Hingley (Post 243257)
Due to snow and high winds today, I'm waiting until tomorrow evening to pick up this M37 that I found down the road on a farm. It is in great overall condition. Cant wait to get it home and take a closer look. CFR is 53-41842.

Here is a photo of something that is not OD for a change!

I haven't seen frost shields on any vehicle in years. There you have two on the windshield. One driveable defrosting solution I saw some time ago was a piece of 2" diameter PVC or ABS pipe plumbed from an unseen blower and the air aimed at the glass through a series of 1/4" holes. Not sure how well it worked, but necessity is the mother of invention.

If there is no rust, how damn lucky do you feel? Go buy lottery tickets!

Jes Andersen 04-10-17 18:34

Wayne, That looks like a pretty nice find. Rust repair panels for the area under the headlights are available from Charles Talbert at M-Series Rebuild if you can't make your own. The sheet metal looks pretty straight with nobody dancing on the hood or hardtop. What's under the hood? Still 251 with 24V stuff? More pictures once you get a chance. Now that you have one, you know that they have herd tendencies.
Have fun!


Wayne Hingley 05-10-17 03:23

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Terry; Yes it is nice to have a rust-free truck. There are two other M37's (one would be parts only) a farm a few miles from me, and they are both very rust-free as well. However one of them has been beat up pretty bad in its use around the farm. The other is quite good (both are currently on my radar). Fortunately those trucks probably didn't see much (if any) road salt in the winters out here. There were frost shields on both side windows and the rear sliding window too. All are gone except the rear one. Its just the outline left on the other windows. Frost shields were before my time; were they an effective device?

Jes; Below are a few engine photos. A bit dusty, but it appears to all be there. Still 24v and original. I do suspect that upon handling the wiring will start to shed its insulation. A new wiring harness may be in the future.

rob love 05-10-17 04:10

The owner really seems to have had a thing for fuel filters.

I am not to old to remember frost shields....they worked just fine.

Ooops, on hindsight, I guess the phrase should be: I am old enough to remember frost-shields. They worked just fine.

That looks better.

Wayne Hingley 05-10-17 04:56

Young guy...
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Rob, here is another one that will demonstrate how young you are...
The truck has one wheel with these clips (see photos) on the split ring. Again, not something I have experienced, but I understand they were to somehow help with ease of install and/or removal....???

rob love 05-10-17 05:09

Nope...those are bead clips. They prevented the tire from spinning on the rim (whilst simultaneously tearing out the valve stem from the inner tube) when driving the tire with low pressure for extra flotation. They basically kept the beads pulled against the outsides of the rim, simlar to what a beadlock ring would do.

Good old TM9-8000 (principles of automotive vehicles) covers it here:

TM9-8000 is the manual I initially read to become a army mechanic. A hearty tome, it will keep you up for many nights reading it.

The clips are not common to find. They could be saved if you did the tire repair by hand, but the big coats HIT5000 tire machines destroyed them.

Jes Andersen 05-10-17 05:28

It looks pretty complete under the hood. Strange routing for the multi fuel filter run, unless its coming from an electric fuel pump hidden under the dash or drivers side somewhere. I can see that something is cut off the fuel pump, either a vacuum connection or the original fuel connection to the carb. If I am correct, the air cleaner is a fording type but may just be a regular one after the dirt is cleaned off. Those clips are bead clips and not too common any more. When I redid a bunch of my wheels, the tire guy tossed those he found and we never bothered to find anything to replace them with. Wiring on anything this old will be toast and a replacement along with a cutoff switch, if it doesn't already have one is worth the effort and could save the truck or worse. These trucks had Douglas connectors originally but after many mods over their lives, its hard to know sometimes. Did you find the serial number? Not that there are records but it may help you know where in the range that this one lives. If you have access to any reasonable rust free parts trucks, they would be worth thinking about getting, especially if you have a place to store them or the take offs. As the guy I got my last two from told me, the parts won't get easier to find in 10 yrs...
Looks like you have a great project lined up. I just noticed the 'coolant recirculator' off the water pump elbow. That must be one of those rare bits we are all looking for... :D

Wayne Hingley 05-10-17 05:33


Originally Posted by Michael R. (Post 243331)
Traces of the white shite in the shade at roadside . . . ?

Unfortunately, yes. There was 4" of it the day before. Luckily the temps went up significantly and melted most of it quickly.

Wayne Hingley 05-10-17 06:14

Good info on the bead clips Rob. They make perfect sense after seeing the image in the link you provided. Thanks. I will try to save them when the old rubber comes off.

Jes: Yes I was thinking it was an interesting routing for that fuel line too. You are correct, there was an electric fuel pump under the driver side dash. In fact there is a brand new fuel pump still in the box that came with the truck.

I already have a quote for a new harness (not cheap). I dont want to risk the chance of having an exciting major event, and/or all the pain and suffering of tracking down multiple "ghost" issues due to old wires that are almost guaranteed to fail over and over.

S/N is: 91401501 delivery 2-10-53.

The two trucks down the road are both 1952 delivery.

rob love 05-10-17 08:07

Check with John Bizal at Midwest Military. He has/had NOS main wiring harnesses for a reasonable price a few years back. It gives you all the wiring under the dash and halfway forward into the engine compartment.

I did one a few years ago and just had to make up the short harnesses to each headlamp/signal lam, as well as the harness from the right cowl back to the tail lamps

Wayne Hingley 05-10-17 14:29

Thanks Rob. That's a great lead. With the main harness to work off, the remainder is relatively simple to complete. I'll look into that.

rob love 05-10-17 14:49

The same harness is also available on ebay:

I have also seen the rear harnesses for larger trucks like the M35 for a decent price. You can shorten it for the Dodge, which should give you the mil-spec wire you will need for the two small front harnesses.

You will be able to salvage the shells, the bakelite union, and the little steel grommet rings, however you will have to buy some of the little rubber grommets and the solder/crimp on male terminals.

maple_leaf_eh 05-10-17 16:35

Wiring - I like Rob's idea too. The M35 is an SMP, bigger, newer and much more common vehicle. If you are pulling the old one out, find a wiring diagram to read the code numbers on the little aluminum clips. They might correspond to the M35's (headlights, tail lights, Blackout, etc).

Installing an aftermarket M37 harness might be a problem of a wire that is just a bit too short where you were hoping for breathing room. The US 3/4t truck is different than the Canadian model, and in some respects, I understand it is the lesser of the two. But 65 years after delivery, and 35+ years after retirement, your chances of finding a good harness are less and less every year.

Frost shields - the concept is to put a stiff plastic surface on the glass that trapped a dead air pocket that won't frost over. The typical installation was on something that had a feeble heater and negligible defroster. The problem I remember with them was the plastic was always fragile, and invariably cracked or the seal let go. Not the mention the visual distortion of looking through another layer. The Highway Traffic Act might have words on visual obstructions ... If you can get away from them, that would be a good thing.

rob love 05-10-17 16:40

The numbering is fairly universal. There are some variations for the newer vehicles, but the old stuff is all the same.

When I installed one of these harnesses, I did have to add a couple of other wires for the Cdn model. One for the convoy light switch and thru to the convoy lamp, and of course a few extra for the turn signals. Also, depending on the year of your truck, you may or may not have the distributor filter (I think).

Use the M37 under dash harness, order a rear harness for the M35 or larger, and you will be most of the way there.

Jes Andersen 05-10-17 17:27

Wiring Harness
Having a new harness built will set you on your ear, and as Rob mentioned, there are some other options. When I got my first M37 about 40 yrs ago, there was no internet and lot of sources who had either a phone number or a small printed catalog. These days there are still a few of the old time vendor and a lot of eBay. If you look, there are reasonable prices but since most are in the US, it can get costly. John Bizal is one of the better US resources and there are still a few in Canada. You'll get to know them all by the time you're done. You likely know the differences between the US and CDN trucks but if you don't, I can give you the short list. Rob as both an owner and a maintainer would have all the answers. My experience is from learning the hard way in the early days with no manuals and only militia experience. Its all good fun. If you plan to strip to the frame and running gear, its a great time to do the wiring harnesses, fuel lines and brake lines. Brian Asbury had the wheel cylinders and some other parts that you may need.
We'll be following along on your new adventure.

Wayne Hingley 16-10-17 04:57

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I had some time today to remove the canopy over the cargo bed. I cleaned out all the mouse turds and pressure washed the truck inside and out.
I also realized the last three digits of the CFR are 242, and not 842 as I originally thought (242 was stenciled on the back of the driver's seat, so I went back and rechecked the frame stamp - sure enough, I had misread it the first time).

A couple of holes were cut in the front left area of the cargo box... should be easy to repair.

Jes Andersen 16-10-17 06:23

Looks pretty good all cleaned up. The troop seats still being there are a bonus. The stakes are available from the usual sources if you can't find any locally. That is the first jump seat that I have still on a truck. With the door mounted spare, it would have provided and extra seat space. All mine have spare carriers in the box, so may not have ever have had a jump seat. If you are short a battery box lid and can't find one, let me know as I think I have a spare somewhere up on the shelves in the shed. It looks like a good solid starting point for a winter project. I have one ongoing now for more winters than I want to admit...

Wayne Hingley 16-10-17 13:47

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Hi Jes; I have a battery box cover, but what I'm missing is the passenger seat bottom and backrest. I also need a tailgate and the spare tire carrier for the cargo box. I'll be on the lookout for those pieces.

As you point out, the jump seat is in tact and in good shape. There was a spare tire carrier in the cargo box (I can see the outline in the paint), but it was likely taken out when the canopy was installed.

Question: What are the brackets in the photos below for? There is one on each side.

rob love 16-10-17 14:05

You can patch the hole or simply unbolt the front panel and re-fabricate or replace it. Those boxes were great in that they were almost completely knock down assembly with just bolts.

Wayne Hingley 16-10-17 17:47


Originally Posted by rob love (Post 243576)
You can patch the hole or simply unbolt the front panel and re-fabricate or replace it. Those boxes were great in that they were almost completely knock down assembly with just bolts.

Good point Rob. I didn't look closely at the front panel, but I did notice all the bolted seams in the box. Great design.

I didn't know much about these trucks, but the more I learn - the more impressed I am with the details and design. Even the quality and detail of the repair manual is second to none.

Jes Andersen 16-10-17 19:29

I think the bracket you are asking about is used to stow the fording kit stuff or to stow the bows when removed I can't remember and don't have the manuals here at the cottage. The exhaust extension and intake snorkel would be stowed there. Your previous under hood pictures show an air cleaner that I believe is the fording air cleaner. It draws from a snorkel pipe set up above the jerry can holder. The fording kits are hard to come by and expensive but pieces may still be lying around. I have a few passenger seat plywood bottoms and the backrest if that will help. As n alternative for the seat bottom, I could do a paper pattern and you could make one out of 1/2" plywood. Not sure about getting stuff to you but the MLU express does cross the mountains once in awhile.

Wayne Hingley 16-10-17 22:59


Originally Posted by Jes Andersen (Post 243588)
As n alternative for the seat bottom, I could do a paper pattern and you could make one out of 1/2" plywood. Not sure about getting stuff to you but the MLU express does cross the mountains once in awhile.

Thanks, Ill send you a PM on this Jes. The pattern may be all I need.

Wayne Hingley 20-10-17 05:49

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Engine area cleaned up fairly well. The old wiring is definitely shot.

Wayne Hingley 22-12-17 16:56

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Merry Christmas! Thanks for all the info in 2017.

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