MB42/GPW43 Frankenweenie

Create a thread to track the progress of you MB/GPW restoration progress. Previously a General Discussion board.
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ww2DAD
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Re: MB42/GPW43 Frankenweenie

Post by ww2DAD » Thu Apr 25, 2024 3:39 pm

I know it's been a couple of weeks, but we've been busy here. Father-in-law had open heart surgery and the house across the street burnt down. Fortunately, in both situations my father-in-law is doing well and the woman in the house made it out okay and no one was injured. Unfortunately, we had 30 mile an hour winds that day, and the wind was blowing toward my house. I've spent the last week trying to fumigate the house and my truck which was sitting in the driveway. I stayed home just to make sure our place didn't burn. Took them 8 hours to put the fire out. Got to hand it to the fire fighters for trying to fight that in 90-degree weather. Changed clothes 4 times that day. Still smells and tastes like burnt chutney and hair in the truck (as the GEICO racoons would say). Go figure. At least there were 6 fire trucks and a ladder truck to fight the fire - big house (~ $1 mil).

So, I have rounded second base and am heading down to third. Working on the left side and will still have some small things to do on the back panel. I threw an idea out to my brother which I think I am going to pursue. The jeep before rebuild in 1945 was used as a follow-me jeep. It was painted yellow over the khaki before being painted OD and then blue. If you look at the 2nd picture you can see a large indentation and hole in the left rear corner area. There used to be a bracket welded there which I believe held the checkered flag for the follow-me jeep. There are numerous dings below the bracket area from what may have been the flagpole banging into the jeep's lower corner. Unfortunately, I threw the old bracket away (I thinking of doing something else at the time) but I do have pictures of that area before sandblasting. It was definitely a Joe Snuffy building job and I thought I should save that bit of history. I plan to recreate this and add it to the jeep. Only thing is that it will interfere with the lift handle on that corner so I will most likely Joe Snuffy something together. Last picture is of my red-neck bend it back in place tool. Lower corner of the wheel well was bent out so I had to bend it back in. Aren't 2x4s great.

Anyway, till next time. Hopefully it will be quite around here for a while.

Mike
Attachments
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Fire
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Rounding corner to third
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Red neck tool


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ww2DAD
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Re: MB42/GPW43 Frankenweenie

Post by ww2DAD » Thu May 02, 2024 11:18 am

Left side banging done. Just have to return to the back panel and knock out a couple of hard spots. Found a stupid useful tool at Harbor Freight. It's a tire tread bead breaker and was only $8. Cut off one end, and the long slightly curved other end makes a great flat bar to get into tight spots to whack out the dings. Soon the welding will begin.

Till next time.

Mike
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Front left bent area
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Back left previously welded spot

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ww2DAD
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Re: MB42/GPW43 Frankenweenie

Post by ww2DAD » Wed May 08, 2024 7:45 pm

Flipped the tub back over to begin banging a few dents out that were in the floor. While on its back, and not happy with the work I did on the left rear lower panel I took a closer look at how I could get into this area and straighten out the bumps. At first, I thought the dents were from the checkered flagpole that sat here but - after closer inspection I noticed that this back lower area was slightly out of alignment with the right side. In my previous post I had tried to bend this area back into alignment and now know why it's bent out of shape. At one point in its life, the jeep had an accident in this area and Joe Snuffy banged it back into shape with a heavy dose of welding to make it look right. He also welded the damaged lower pan from the toolbox to the side panel and that was why I could not get this area banged out. I had also noticed earlier when we took the body off that one of the L shaped channels used to bolt the body to the rear frame member was sheared off (I had bought a replacement to weld in here when I had the time). Now that the tub is on its back, I went ahead and cut the damaged lower pan out and removed the sheared off channel. I also took out the bracket for the rear light. Now I have complete access to the inside of this area and can bang out those annoying dents. Once done I will straighten the pan and weld it with the bracket and channel back in place. Should have thought of this earlier but live and learn. I know I'm spending a lot of time banging dents out, but I hate having to use a lot of filler.

Mike
Attachments
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Area not happy with
image000003.jpg
Bracket removed welded pan to side
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Pan removed

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Re: MB42/GPW43 Frankenweenie

Post by Raflad » Sat May 11, 2024 2:12 pm

Keep the updates coming Mike. Always enjoy reading your posts.
Adam Smith
GPW 80535, 11-19-42
MBT 2470, 8-42, USA #0160905

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ww2DAD
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Re: MB42/GPW43 Frankenweenie

Post by ww2DAD » Mon May 13, 2024 8:00 pm

Adam,

Will do and thanks. Learned something new today that helped me bend, straighten, and flatten bumps and I should call myself a donkey for not thinking of it sooner. I am sure others have learned or knew of this but here it goes.

As I was sitting in the garage today looking at couple bumps and bends I could not get to with my hammers and dollys, I was looking at my ten inch cast iron or steel 1950s Armstrong clamp and the idea hit me like a lead brick. Dummy. Take the clamp and clamp it to those areas you can't get to with a hammer and dolly and bang - flat, straight and can be bent in any direction. No hammering and in 1/2 hour I straightened out all those smaller areas I couldn't get to. If I had a clamp that had a 2 foot reach, I'd be able to do all of the floor area dents in the back. This thing puts enormous pressure on the area and with a couple of small thick steel plates made to fit, would straighten any bump or ding with a little heating to help. Dummy - should have thought of it sooner. Would have saved me time. I have one or two holes also that I can't get to, but with two pieces of steel, a bolt and a nut I can flatten those areas, and if I make the bolt long enough, I can use it as a lever and bend the area around the hole in any direction. Geeeeez.

Here's some pictures of my clamp bumping out dents. I used a short piece of pipe as a cheater bar to add extra torque when tightening. Bought the clamp at a flea market for $5 years ago to use on disc brakes.

Mike
Attachments
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Flattening and straightening an area I could not reach
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Cheater bar/pipe

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Re: MB42/GPW43 Frankenweenie

Post by 70th Division » Thu Jun 06, 2024 12:32 pm

ww2DAD wrote:
Thu May 02, 2024 11:18 am
Left side banging done. Just have to return to the back panel and knock out a couple of hard spots. Found a stupid useful tool at Harbor Freight. It's a tire tread bead breaker and was only $8. Cut off one end, and the long slightly curved other end makes a great flat bar to get into tight spots to whack out the dings. Soon the welding will begin.

Till next time.

Mike

Hello Mike,

Wow you are making great progress, and it is looking great !!

I am now getting back to being able to work on my GPW project again, and will start building the engine !
I am feeling good again !!


Keep us posted !!

Best Regards,
Ray

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Re: MB42/GPW43 Frankenweenie

Post by ww2DAD » Thu Jun 06, 2024 9:33 pm

Ray,
Glad to hear your doing ok. I hate when you get sick and it puts a crimp in your project. I have been remiss in my posting because we just got back from a trip to Canada for family business. 48 degrees and cool up there and I am back at work in the garage at 107 degrees (today - temps have been in the low 100s all week). Geese. I must be nuts but when you paint here in these temps, you don't need a paint drying booth. It's instant. No rain here for the last 3 months.

Upon our return I took a break from hammering and welding. Instead, I chased all the threads in the caged nuts that connect things to the tub (floorplates, fenders, etc). Then I went to work on cleaning the tail lamp housings. Here's the pictures. Since the studs on the back of the housings were broken off, I decided to use my mill to cut the areas flat. Hadn't used it in a while and it needed some love. Made it easier to drill new stud holes. The old wiring connections had welded themselves together over time. I had to carefully cut thru the outer steel casing at an angle with my dremel in order to peel the connection off. Rest went fast but as you know, if it can happen it always will. Had just finished sandblasting both housings when I noticed one of the tabs used to hold the screw for the cover was bent out. So a little bending and you guessed it - snap. Either weld it back on or silver solder it. Didn't feel like welding but did it anyway and it actually worked better than I thought. I think I may have my welder at the right setting for thin sheet metal now.

Take care and hope you are better.
Mike
Attachments
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How they started. Peeling connection off
17.jpg
Milling broken studs/drilling new holes
15.jpg
Sandblasted housings
14.jpg
Primed/painted housings. My truck bed drying booth

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Re: MB42/GPW43 Frankenweenie

Post by ww2DAD » Sat Jun 08, 2024 9:07 am

Final on the taillight housings. Since I drilled the new stud holes slightly smaller, I went ahead and tapped them out with a 1/4 x 20 tap, bought some 1 x 1/4 inch bolts and turned the heads round, and then thinned the head thickness to about 1/16 on my lathe. You can chuck them in an old drill and use a file to do the same. Screwed them in and added the star washers and nuts. Probably could have done this before I painted but oh well. Just had to remove a little paint where the bolt head contact areas were inside the housings before I screwed them together. Since the housings had no covers and bulbs when I acquired the jeep, I have a set of originals on the way in. Then its done. I plan to leave the housings green but paint the covers strata blue to match the outside of the jeep. I will covert these to LED lights when the time comes.
Mike
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11.jpg
12.jpg

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Re: MB42/GPW43 Frankenweenie

Post by ww2DAD » Mon Jun 10, 2024 7:02 pm

Tail lamp housing covers and bulbs came in today. I have read the various posts and comments on LED conversion, so being bored I decided to disassemble one of the bulb units to see for myself. I am trying the ply the cover off method, and if you use a small sharp flat tip screwdriver and a good set of smooth jaw pliers it can be done. The bulbs I have are crimped all the way around. Watch a movie while you're at it and take your time. It took about 45 minutes before everything came apart. Since this one is a blackout drive stop light bulb the inside is painted a fuzzy black color. I unsoldered the bulb and tomorrow will blast everything clean even thou this was new. I'm glad I disassembled it because there was rust on the inside. When I reassemble this, I plan on cutting the bulb's cover edge back and make it just 4 small tabs. That way if I have to do this in the future, it will come apart easier. Once I get the 6v LEDs I will let you know how it went back together.
Mike
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Disassembled bulb unit

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Re: MB42/GPW43 Frankenweenie

Post by Klaas » Mon Jun 10, 2024 10:17 pm

Hi Mike, while you got the tail lights apart, why don't you open up the hole for the bulb to 1 inch diameter, so you can fit the bulb (for the stop/tail light) in from behind? Much easier to replace a burnt out bulb and for converting to LED later on.
My GPW is on 12 Volts and therefor impossible to get 12V replacement units over here. plenty 6V ones but no 12V.
I converted the units to accept standard 12V lamps. Only thing you have to do is file off the upper thingy to fit the lamp directly in the lamp housing.
Also you have to make a spacer on the bulb unit to make it seat properly (in my case it is about 10 millimeters / 3/8 inch).

I made a holder (from some left over pieces of plywood) for the unit to clamp in a vice for the opening up of the bulb hole with a sheet metal conical reamer.
See pictures.(sorry they are in last-to-first order)
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20240507_101742.jpeg
20240503_085109.jpeg
20240503_085232.jpeg
Klaas
GPW17331 - April 21 1942 - Dallas, "J-dot"
BSA Airborne Bicycle R49171 - 1944

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ww2DAD
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Re: MB42/GPW43 Frankenweenie

Post by ww2DAD » Thu Jun 13, 2024 9:42 am

Klaas,
Thank you for the information. I was thinking about opening up the hole in the bulb can to just slide over an LED bulb instead of building a new unit. I haven't decided which route I'll take. Mine's 6 volt and I have all NOS bulbs but want to convert to LEDs. In the state I live in unless you are actually sitting with the person who is driving in front or behind you, they had better be able to see your lights from 2km away. Thats how bad it is. I will take your suggestion up, and making spacers is no problem. Again thanks for the suggestion. I let you know what I finally do. Here's a picture of the finished cans. The cans are green and the covers are blue. The blue covers match the paint color I am going to use on the jeep - post war strata blue US Air Force. That was how they jeep came. Take care.
Mike
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image000000 (1).jpg
Painted cans


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