My Mitsubishi JDF Trailer

Quarter-ton trailer series, Wanted, USED PARTS FOR SALE NO EBAY or COMMERCIAL SALES., and Knowledge Base
Paul Randazzo
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My Mitsubishi JDF Trailer

Post by Paul Randazzo » Mon Apr 02, 2018 7:00 pm

I acquired this trailer last year, did some research and found out it's a Mitsubishi JDF. I thought at first it was a Bantam T3 but it had no data plate (there never was one on it) and it had no ACM number on the tub. Prior to this I had never heard of these trailers. It is in remarkably good condition with no rust holes. It lived well covered under a carport for the last 15-20 years, as a result the registration was lost. It had the original Yokohama NDT tires, Japanese tail lights and license plate frame. I started to sand the tub to expose any military markings only to find Japanese writing and other alpha numeric markings (notice the Cherry Blossom on the back panel and the side wall of the tire. The serial number was very rusted. I turned it onto it's side to clean the steel to reveal the number. After wire brushing, steel wool, soaking with white vinegar and muriatic acid, I was able to see something (with a high power eye loupe) but not good enough. I applied a couple of coats Dykem Blue, then steel wooled the surface. The dye got below the surface and revealed the numbers but very faintly. The two Cherry Blossoms became more defined as well. I got all of the information I could get from it and disassembled it for media blasting then restoration. Here are some photos. I'll post more as the restoration goes.
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1960 Hotchkiss M201
1951 JDF 1/4 ton
Fleet Automotive Tech ret
Chief Veh Maint Mech Museum of American Armor Old Bethpage NY

Ben Dover
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Re: My Mitsubishi JDF Trailer

Post by Ben Dover » Mon Apr 02, 2018 7:50 pm

I would not mind owning a Mitsubishi quarter ton trailer.
2011 MVPA PIONEER AWARD - MVPA #1064
HONOR GRAD-WHEELED VEHICLE MECHANIC SCHOOL 1960 - US ARMY ORDNANCE SCHOOL(MACHINIST) ABERDEEN PG 1962 - O-1 BIRD DOG CREWCHIEF - 300,000+TROUBLE FREE M-38A1 MILES
LIFE MEMBER AM LEGION-40/8-DAV
7 MIL SPEC MAINTAINED MV'S
COL. BRUNO BROOKS (ARMY MOTORS) IS MY HERO

Paul Randazzo
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Re: My Mitsubishi JDF Trailer

Post by Paul Randazzo » Thu Apr 05, 2018 6:14 am

Yes Ben this trailer is in really nice condition. After more sanding and disassembly I found more interesting information. The "7 24V" on the front panel is the same marking I've seen in picture of another JDF trailer. AC Delco shocks I've seen them somewhere else too. My springs were not stamped with the 3 diamonds but on one set they were clearly stenciled with part numbers in sequence with the 3 diamonds. The Cherry Blossom was clearly visible on the rear panel as well as the right side panel in front. The rims were stamped as well J.M.W. 4.50x16 Well off for media blasting.
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1960 Hotchkiss M201
1951 JDF 1/4 ton
Fleet Automotive Tech ret
Chief Veh Maint Mech Museum of American Armor Old Bethpage NY

Ben Dover
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Re: My Mitsubishi JDF Trailer

Post by Ben Dover » Thu Apr 05, 2018 6:59 am

Nice Trailer, nice restoration, I'm envious. I could use one more 1/4 ton to go with my MBT. Mitsubishi is welcome in my fleet. The search is on. :wink:
2011 MVPA PIONEER AWARD - MVPA #1064
HONOR GRAD-WHEELED VEHICLE MECHANIC SCHOOL 1960 - US ARMY ORDNANCE SCHOOL(MACHINIST) ABERDEEN PG 1962 - O-1 BIRD DOG CREWCHIEF - 300,000+TROUBLE FREE M-38A1 MILES
LIFE MEMBER AM LEGION-40/8-DAV
7 MIL SPEC MAINTAINED MV'S
COL. BRUNO BROOKS (ARMY MOTORS) IS MY HERO

Paul Randazzo
G-Staff Sergeant
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Posts: 52
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Location: Long Island NY USA

Re: My Mitsubishi JDF Trailer

Post by Paul Randazzo » Thu Apr 05, 2018 7:02 am

Thanks Ben my eyes will be open for you
1960 Hotchkiss M201
1951 JDF 1/4 ton
Fleet Automotive Tech ret
Chief Veh Maint Mech Museum of American Armor Old Bethpage NY


Ben Dover
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Re: My Mitsubishi JDF Trailer

Post by Ben Dover » Thu Apr 05, 2018 9:06 am

The majority on the Northeast Coast were imported by SARAFANS. I sure miss doing business with them-never a dull moment with Michael.
2011 MVPA PIONEER AWARD - MVPA #1064
HONOR GRAD-WHEELED VEHICLE MECHANIC SCHOOL 1960 - US ARMY ORDNANCE SCHOOL(MACHINIST) ABERDEEN PG 1962 - O-1 BIRD DOG CREWCHIEF - 300,000+TROUBLE FREE M-38A1 MILES
LIFE MEMBER AM LEGION-40/8-DAV
7 MIL SPEC MAINTAINED MV'S
COL. BRUNO BROOKS (ARMY MOTORS) IS MY HERO

Paul Randazzo
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Posts: 52
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Re: My Mitsubishi JDF Trailer

Post by Paul Randazzo » Thu Apr 05, 2018 9:11 am

Yes,thats what I was told too. They were about an hour's ride north of me back in the day. I did make a trip there back in the early 80's for my CJ5 parts.
1960 Hotchkiss M201
1951 JDF 1/4 ton
Fleet Automotive Tech ret
Chief Veh Maint Mech Museum of American Armor Old Bethpage NY

Chuck Lutz
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Re: My Mitsubishi JDF Trailer

Post by Chuck Lutz » Thu Apr 05, 2018 9:19 am

Paul....

From what I have been able to ascertain, the Okinawa returns to Japan (1/4 tons) were rebuilt for US Forces and were augmented by whatever spare parts could be found as NOS in theater or, as take-offs. At some point in time the Japanese began copying the trailers. Since they provided rebuilds to not only the US but to the JSDF, there were some differences; mainly the US wanted them rebuilt as original and the JSDF required some modifications.

The fact you found something indicating this one was possibly 24-volt, tells me this is one made for the JSDF and the Kangi characters reinforce that so we know this was a JDSF trailer by that and in how it was fitted out.

It would be up to you or to Joel to restore this one as a Korean War era trailer in 6-volt or fit it out like the Japanese did as a JDSF trailer in use by US forces and towed by a 24-volt vehicle.

Pretty interesting stuff and not enough known about them beyond the ones made expressly for US Forces and often bearing a repop data plate for Transportation Equipment and a tag next to it identifying it as rebuilt.
Chuck Lutz

GPW 17963 4/24/42 Chester, PA. USA 20113473 (USA est./Tom W.)
GPW 108552 4/17/43 Louisville, KY. USA 20371278 (DOD est./Tom W.)
Bantam T3 4582 10/29/42 USA 0173499 (est.)

Paul Randazzo
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Re: My Mitsubishi JDF Trailer

Post by Paul Randazzo » Thu Apr 05, 2018 11:19 am

Thanks Chuck. I read your historical post on the Jeep draw page and found it most interesting. As for the 24 volt, that sounds right, however the lamps I pulled out were 12 volts (modern civilian use no doubt). The trailer plug was an original Koito plug. Well my plan so far will be WWII paint scheme. The BO switch is the "bee hive" looking one that is broken. I'll put asphalt wire loom in and out of it so it looks functional. I'll use 2 left side tail lights for safety but I'll add wiring to change over to BO if decide to change later. Funny though It will be 24 volts because I'll tow it with my Hotchkiss M201 which is 24 V. All fun. Thanks. To be continued......
1960 Hotchkiss M201
1951 JDF 1/4 ton
Fleet Automotive Tech ret
Chief Veh Maint Mech Museum of American Armor Old Bethpage NY

Paul Randazzo
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Location: Long Island NY USA

Re: My Mitsubishi JDF Trailer

Post by Paul Randazzo » Mon Apr 16, 2018 3:41 pm

Back from the media blasting shop. Prepped for paint. It came out remarkably well. I had to pound out a few dents, weld up a few holes in the floor from someone who used a punch to add drain holes. Extra reflectors were added and those holes and the license plate bracket mounting hole welded too. The tub floor was amazing, no rot holes or blow through from the media blasting. I tried my hand at some Bondo work on the fenders. I chose a WWII restoration look (I kept all of the original JDF lights and brackets). I used 2 part etching primer since it was down to bare metal, WWII lusterless OD paint went on too. It all came out great. I ordered my stencils already.
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1960 Hotchkiss M201
1951 JDF 1/4 ton
Fleet Automotive Tech ret
Chief Veh Maint Mech Museum of American Armor Old Bethpage NY

Chuck Lutz
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Re: My Mitsubishi JDF Trailer

Post by Chuck Lutz » Tue Apr 17, 2018 9:58 am

Paul....I think it would be pretty cool to find out what the Kanji characters on the trailer meant. You might want to print out pics of them and take them to someone who speaks Japanese for a translation.
Chuck Lutz

GPW 17963 4/24/42 Chester, PA. USA 20113473 (USA est./Tom W.)
GPW 108552 4/17/43 Louisville, KY. USA 20371278 (DOD est./Tom W.)
Bantam T3 4582 10/29/42 USA 0173499 (est.)

Paul Randazzo
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Re: My Mitsubishi JDF Trailer

Post by Paul Randazzo » Tue Apr 17, 2018 11:34 am

Hey Chuck I already did. I sent the pictures along with my wife when she went to get her nails done. Although they are from China they recognized one character as meaning North, it's the same thing in Japanese. We've had some visitors come through the meseum where I volunteer that were Chinese and Korean both confirmed North but one said another charactor ment Maintenance with the meaning of preservation (what ever that means). I do have them all saved and on my phone for a quick retrieval when the time arises. Let's see what comes about. I even used Google translate, North came up there too. Is Kangi a dialect? The plop thickens.......
1960 Hotchkiss M201
1951 JDF 1/4 ton
Fleet Automotive Tech ret
Chief Veh Maint Mech Museum of American Armor Old Bethpage NY

Finn42
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Re: My Mitsubishi JDF Trailer

Post by Finn42 » Sun May 13, 2018 11:05 am

Nice work! I had a couple of these and started a thread on how to id these, mostly so people didn’t think they were buying a bantam. Maybe you could add to it!!
1942 GPW, vep
1942 T2 wla
1942 Bantam
1942 WC40

TonyStandefer
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Re: My Mitsubishi JDF Trailer

Post by TonyStandefer » Sun May 13, 2018 5:15 pm

The two quickest "tells" would be the shape of the leaf springs and clips, and the holes for the light bracket on the rear cross member, other than that they seem to be an identical copynofca bantam trailer. When I bought my mitsu trailer I thought it was a bantam, having never heard of the mitsu trailers. The plus side is they usually in great condition and make for an easy resto and great stand in for a wartime trailer
Willys MB 340931. DOD 6-9-1944
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Finn42
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Re: My Mitsubishi JDF Trailer

Post by Finn42 » Sun May 13, 2018 6:52 pm

1942 GPW, vep
1942 T2 wla
1942 Bantam
1942 WC40

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