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M37CDN "Gertrude"

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Moderators: Cal_Gary, T. Highway, robi, Monkey Man

Re: M37CDN "Gertrude"

Postby Jess » Sat Nov 25, 2017 10:08 am

To echo RMS, that's a pretty straight farm truck! Very nice place to start rather than the rust buckets many of us have or had. You will find a number of Canadians on here and the other usual sites and since you are in Ontario, there are lots of MV owners on your doorstep. some with M37s. You have found the CAR/CFR number, which is confirms the original build date. The serial number is stamped on the frame drivers side just behind the rear cab mount. Its should match any paperwork that you might have, regardless of what the data plate tells you. Canadian trucks went through several Depot level rebuilds, both in Germany and back here in Canada during the 25 or so years they were in service. Things like door mounted spare tires etc would have been added then, along with other options that were not on the original build. The door mounted spares would have accommodated a radio shelter or similar mods that needed the space a box mount would have taken up. As far as I understand, there were no B1 CDN trucks built and every M37CDN that I have seen had a hardtop originally, unlike the US Detroit build trucks. If you haven't already been there, you can check out the MLU (Maple Leaf Up) forum which is generally WW2 focused, but has a post war section and many members have or have had M37s. Some have parts in your area and documents or other interesting stuff trades regularly. I only mentioned this because you are in Canada and local sources are better than having to import bits. Steel Soldiers forum has an active M37 section and many of us from here also follow along and occasionally post there.

Let us know if we can help out and post pictures as you move along.

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Re: M37CDN "Gertrude"

Postby RCrombie » Sat Nov 25, 2017 3:32 pm

Jess wrote:To echo RMS, that's a pretty straight farm truck! Very nice place to start rather than the rust buckets many of us have or had. You will find a number of Canadians on here and the other usual sites and since you are in Ontario, there are lots of MV owners on your doorstep. some with M37s. You have found the CAR/CFR number, which is confirms the original build date. The serial number is stamped on the frame drivers side just behind the rear cab mount. Its should match any paperwork that you might have, regardless of what the data plate tells you. Canadian trucks went through several Depot level rebuilds, both in Germany and back here in Canada during the 25 or so years they were in service. Things like door mounted spare tires etc would have been added then, along with other options that were not on the original build. The door mounted spares would have accommodated a radio shelter or similar mods that needed the space a box mount would have taken up. As far as I understand, there were no B1 CDN trucks built and every M37CDN that I have seen had a hardtop originally, unlike the US Detroit build trucks. If you haven't already been there, you can check out the MLU (Maple Leaf Up) forum which is generally WW2 focused, but has a post war section and many members have or have had M37s. Some have parts in your area and documents or other interesting stuff trades regularly. I only mentioned this because you are in Canada and local sources are better than having to import bits. Steel Soldiers forum has an active M37 section and many of us from here also follow along and occasionally post there.

Let us know if we can help out and post pictures as you move along.

Jess


Thanks Jess. You're right about repairing rust, I have spent far too long patching holes in Datsuns to enjoy that any more! There is a bit of rust repair to do in the corners of the cab and along the bottom door sill. The toolbox is pretty badly rusted out too, I think because of the way the exhaust ends slightly under the box. It must have collected moisture on short runs. There is also a bit of damage from a bullet through the tailgate and some other damage through the back of the cab but that's part of the truck's story so I wont do anything to change that. I wish I knew where the truck has been but I doubt I will be able to find much since I understand a lot of the old records are gone, and the truck has been stripped and painted.
I have noticed there is a three prong electrical connection between the cab and the bed, is that standard or is that a feature of the trucks that were equipped with radios?

I will take a look over at maple leaf up and steel soldiers, thanks. Its always motivating reading about other people's restorations. I don't think I will be restoring Gertrude back to the way she was in the military, but I do enjoy learning about all the details. My plan is to get her back on the road sometime in the next year or two, and to just put a few miles on. I'm sure I will need parts to replace the things I can't repair, so it will be good to get in touch with people in the area that are like minded and are able to help.
I'll try to post pictures as I go. Maybe starting with a better picture of that bracket in the engine bay.
Progress is.... slow... sometimes though!
Cheers,
Rob
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Re: M37CDN "Gertrude"

Postby just me » Sat Nov 25, 2017 5:47 pm

The three pin connection is 24v to power radios. (If it is a round Amphenol 3 pin.)
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Re: M37CDN "Gertrude"

Postby m-37Bruce » Sat Nov 25, 2017 6:48 pm

I Jess, I have learned a lesson, our neighbors to the Great North have schooled this old coot! Looking forward to watching & following your build.
Thanks,
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Re: M37CDN "Gertrude"

Postby Jess » Sat Nov 25, 2017 9:46 pm

Bruce, I have learned much over the years from contributors here and the Big E forum before this one, including your many posts. The build is RCrombie's not mine and we'll all follow along as it progresses. On my stuff, just because I have had M37CDNs for almost 40 years, there is still lots to learn and exchange information about them. Being able to participate in this and similar forums is what keeps me interested in the trucks. I currently have 4 but common sense says I should 'reduce the herd' and let someone else have some fun with a couple of them. Storage doesn't do any favours for these old trucks out here on the 'wet' west coast and I only have indoor storage space for a couple of them.

RC, have fun and let us know if we can give you a hand.

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Re: M37CDN "Gertrude"

Postby m-37Bruce » Sun Nov 26, 2017 11:37 am

Hey Jess,
The Big Electric days were a blast, I have an ex brother in-law in your neck of the woods, I shared him with lots of Big E folks back then, not going to name him, as I am not a fan, the his work was outstanding, his rig was an 71 Oshkosh USAF Fire tanker, turned into a RV, named it DRACO, you remember that one?
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Re: M37CDN "Gertrude"

Postby Jess » Sun Nov 26, 2017 6:05 pm

I recall the Drago name but can't remember the details. I thibk that as I get older, some of the stuff up there just gets shifted out.

Here is a link to some M37CDN numbers and a couple of 'in service' pictures. Unfortunately, I don't think this site is being updated any longer. Other good stuff on the host site if you are easily distracted....

http://ramtank.ca/m37list.htm

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Re: M37CDN "Gertrude"

Postby RCrombie » Mon Apr 09, 2018 10:56 am

Well, just a little update on things. I've slowly been plugging away at the truck over the winter, although it was pretty cold so mostly focused on little things. Bought some new hoses for the rad, as well as spent some time cleaning it out and soldering up a few cracks. None of the local shops wanted to touch it so I wasn't out anything by giving it a shot myself. I figure with the low pressure system these trucks run, it should be fine.

IMG_0173.JPG
Painted radiator
IMG_0173.JPG (104.36 KiB) Viewed 89 times


Adjusted the valves, and surprisingly most of them were fairly close. A few were a bit tight, but I expected worse after this long between adjustments (15-20 yrs). I must say, I couldn't imagine setting them while they were hot! What a pain to get at the back ones.

I also took the blackout lights off and modified them to hopefully retain an unmodified appearance, while making them brighter. I had a number of LEDs left over from a previous project, so I made up two arrays for each front marker light. They are mounted on a piece of PVC plastic so they can be removed and the light housings can be returned to stock if necessary. I also took the lower lenses out and removed the blackout shield inside, and then sanded and polished the lenses to remove the oxidized plastic. I think they came out okay, not perfect but then again this is not going to be a perfect restoration.
IMG_0152 (1).JPG
before and after sanding
IMG_0152 (1).JPG (103.24 KiB) Viewed 89 times


IMG_0151.JPG
Front marker light
IMG_0151.JPG (118.68 KiB) Viewed 89 times


Lastly, did a bit of sanding on the frame and found the numbers for the truck. Serial # is 91401417 and CAR # is 53-41171. I don't think there's much to be found out with these numbers as I guess most of the records are long gone from the military archives, but I'll at least be able to put them back on the truck when I get around to painting it.

Regards,

Rob
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Re: M37CDN "Gertrude"

Postby RMS » Mon Apr 09, 2018 11:58 am

thats fn cool. great work! how hard would it be to make a sequential array for markers that could replace the black out portion ?
Image
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Re: M37CDN "Gertrude"

Postby Cal_Gary » Tue Apr 10, 2018 3:36 am

That radiator looks good Rob! Glad you're making progress!
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Re: M37CDN "Gertrude"

Postby RCrombie » Tue Apr 10, 2018 4:51 am

Thanks guys, it’s pretty slow going but at least there’s progress.

RMS, I looked into doing something like a sequence when they flashed but I found that I would probably need to control it with either a microprocessor like an Arduino or some sort of integrated circuit. Since I have no formal education in electronics and just learn as I go, I decided to keep it as simple and low cost as possible. My main intention is to improve the systems on the truck where I can, while still maintaining the classic/antique appearance.

As for the rad, thanks Calgary. It turned out to be fairly easy to solder the rad, although the cracks were all down in the bottom tank so I didn’t have to touch the tubes which cut down on the work involved.
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