41-W-448 vs. 41-W-449?

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Fred Coldwell
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Re: 41-W-448 vs. 41-W-449 - Identity Crisis!

Post by Fred Coldwell » Mon Aug 05, 2013 1:14 pm

Hi All:

Well, back to this interesting topic. My theory on why Willys-Overland listed the 11" auto wrench as an incomplete "41-W" is that it received conflicting information from the Army as to the correct 41-W number for the 11" auto wrench and wasn't sure (until June 7, 1945) whether the correct FSN number was 448 or 449. The conflicting and confusing Army specifications for the auto wrench may also be the reason why Ford supplied the 12" Moore auto wrench with some GPWs.

Ordnance drawing TKAX2B listed federal stock number 41-W-448 for a 12" adjustable auto wrench. Ordnance OSP&E SNL G-503 dated April 12, 1943 also listed the 41-W-448 adjustable auto wrench as being 12" long per ORD drawing TKAX2B. If Ford used the specs for 41-W-448 as the basis for choosing the auto wrench to got into its GPW tool kits, then those wrenches would have been 12" long, just like the 12" Moore. If Ford used another source for determining the correct length of the auto wrench to go into the GPW tool kit, then it may have supplied 11" adjustable auto wrenches for the GPW tool kit. 'll leave resolution of that puzzle to the GPW gurus on this Forum while I stick with the MB tool kits.

Even Ordnance was confused. In ORD 9 SNL G-503 dated January 15, 1944, Ordnance on page 188 lists the Offical Stockage Number for the Willys A-377 11" auto wrench as 41-W-448 but later on page 213 in the same Parts List shows 41-W-449 as the OFS. No wonder Willys was confused. :?

And this confusion extended to 11" auto wrench supplier Universal Metal Products in Los Angeles, Calif. Here are the front sides of four 11" adjustable auto wrenches made by Universal:

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and the back sides:

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The bottom two wrenches are both 41-W-448:

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with the lowest wrench having raised characters forged into the handle and the upper wrench having the FSN stamped into the opposite end of the handle. I think the lower wrench with the forged characters and no two digit delivery code in the factory address is the earliest of all 4 wrenches while the stamped 41-W-448 wrench with delivery code "23" between "Los Angeles" and "Calif." is the later of these 2 wrenches and the second oldest of the 4 wrenches.

The top two wrenches are identical to the stamped "41-W-448" wrench except they have "41-W-449" stamped into them.

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But what is most interesting is that the uppermost wrench originally was stamped "41-W-448" but was overstamped with "41-W-449", as can be seen here:

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Is this the first documented case of jeep tool identity theft? :o This double-stamp "fix" suggests to me the uppermost overstamped wrench is the third oldest of the four Universal 11" auto wrenches wrenches while the lower of the two "41-W-449" wrenches with the clean single FSN stamp is the newest of all four Universal wrenches. The overstamping further suggests to me that "41-W-449" is ultimately the correct FSN for the 11" adjustable auto wrench notwithstanding the confusing and contradictory FSNs listed in Ordnance publications during and after WW II.

Comments, observations, arguments to the contrary and reactions of shock and awe are solicited and warmly welcomed. Tool on! :D
Happy Jeep Trails,

Fred Coldwell
1944 CJ2-09 - X33
1945 CJ2-26 - X50
1944 Dodge T233 CC
1945 Dodge T233 Utility
MVPA #283C


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Re: 41-W-448 vs. 41-W-449?

Post by Chuck Lutz » Mon Aug 05, 2013 1:26 pm

To add to Fred's post....the two digit city postal code ("23" in Los Angeles) system was developed in 1943 by the USPO so that wrench would have to be no earlier than sometimg in 1943 or more likely...in 1944.
Chuck Lutz

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Re: 41-W-448 vs. 41-W-449?

Post by JAB » Tue Aug 06, 2013 6:36 am

That's quite a bit of detective work there Sherlock Coldwell!

I wonder how often UMP changed their dies. Using a blank die & later stamping the info would be an easier way of making changes as opposed to the raised letter method. The fact that they used both methods on this tool might suggest some degree of uncertainty during the early manufacturing process. The fact that you found an over-stamped version is amazing. My UMP auto wrench is different from all four of yours, so they obviously made several changes over time.

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-Jeff

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Re: 41-W-448 vs. 41-W-449?

Post by lucakiki » Tue Aug 06, 2013 7:54 am

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When ages ago I purchased this wrench, it was greeted as one of the best options.

I kept it until I purchased my first Fairmount 11", then for fun I included it in a Toolkit assembled with as many as possible "41" marked tools.
The discussion on whether 41 marked tools are legitimate wartime replacements is far from new, and since I do not own any 41-C-4145 can opener I will leave that C.O.W unopened.
I will dare to express a conjecture, though: the UMP 11" adjustable with forged in information predates the kind with stamped in information.
This supposedly later variant reminds me of many postwar 8" crescent type adjustables which are absolutely identical the only difference being the brand stamped in the scalloped space on the shank.
Luca

WillysMB#344142 6-19-44 Navy N.S.Blue Grey
45 Bantam T-3 #57248 1-10-45
42 Willys MB-T #13560 11-42
43 Willys MB-T # 25417 4-43
Way too many WWII military tools,hopefully thinning down,and way too many posts...

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Re: 41-W-448 vs. 41-W-449?

Post by Fred Coldwell » Tue Aug 06, 2013 8:09 am

Hi Jeff:

Well, I see the Wisconsin mice have chewed a large hole in my cheesy timeline theory by producing another different UMP drop forged 11" auto wrench that includes the two digit city code "23" in the factory address. Your wrench also has wider spacing between the raised characters, spreads them along the full length of each side and has the wrench description and manufacturer information on opposite sides from my wrench. So much for pretty bows and tidiness! :lol: And now I have yet another variation of the UMP drop forged 11" auto wrench to track down and purchase. Will it ever end??!!

Thanks for posting your photos and adding to the discussion. The "23" on your drop forged wrench raises the possibility that both the drop forged and stamped name wrenches might have been produced by UMP at the same time, something that was not likely under my initial theory. Oh well, back to the chalk board. :wink:
Happy Jeep Trails,

Fred Coldwell
1944 CJ2-09 - X33
1945 CJ2-26 - X50
1944 Dodge T233 CC
1945 Dodge T233 Utility
MVPA #283C

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Re: 41-W-448 vs. 41-W-449?

Post by JAB » Tue Aug 06, 2013 5:48 pm

Sorry Fred, I didn't mean to throw a wrench into your plans.............. :oops: I couldn't resit.
-Jeff

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Fred Coldwell
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Re: 41-W-448 vs. 41-W-449?

Post by Fred Coldwell » Tue Aug 06, 2013 7:16 pm

JAB wrote:Sorry Fred, I didn't mean to throw a wrench into your plans.............. :oops: I couldn't resit.
And those 11" autos are heavy . . . OUCH !! :lol: :lol:
Happy Jeep Trails,

Fred Coldwell
1944 CJ2-09 - X33
1945 CJ2-26 - X50
1944 Dodge T233 CC
1945 Dodge T233 Utility
MVPA #283C

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Re: 41-W-448 vs. 41-W-449?

Post by lucakiki » Wed Aug 07, 2013 6:16 am

So, is there anyone among you guys willing to suggest a likely date of production for thos UMP adjustables?
Not before 1943, that has been underlined already, but before 1945 or after 1945 :?:
Luca

WillysMB#344142 6-19-44 Navy N.S.Blue Grey
45 Bantam T-3 #57248 1-10-45
42 Willys MB-T #13560 11-42
43 Willys MB-T # 25417 4-43
Way too many WWII military tools,hopefully thinning down,and way too many posts...

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Re: 41-W-448 vs. 41-W-449?

Post by JAB » Fri Mar 07, 2014 7:26 pm

Chuck Lutz wrote:To add to Fred's post....the two digit city postal code ("23" in Los Angeles) system was developed in 1943 by the USPO so that wrench would have to be no earlier than sometimg in 1943 or more likely...in 1944.
And was completely eliminated in 1967 (gradually eliminated starting on July 1, 1963) when zip codes were introduced, which means it's possible that this wrench could have been made at any time from 1943-ish to 1967. I cannot find any info on Universal Metal Products in LA, but a company by that name in Ohio states that it's been stamping things "for over 50 years". 2014 - 50 = 1964. Is it likely that the Ohio company closed a branch in LA, or moved from LA, after making these in the mid '60's in LA?
-Jeff

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Re: 41-W-448 vs. 41-W-449?

Post by gpw_42 » Mon May 03, 2021 3:10 pm

See also Len Jones' post from 3MAY21 in the FSN marked tools thread viewtopic.php?f=48&t=291321&p=1883415#p1883415 which compares the weight of a Universal Metal Products 41-W-448 (1 pound, 12.8 ounces) with a Billings and Spencer 41-W-449 (1 pound, 9.6 ounces). Neither wrench which Len posted passes the hub nut test.

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Re: 41-W-448 vs. 41-W-449?

Post by Wingnutt » Tue May 04, 2021 7:03 am

As long as the thread got bumped, I don't think I've ever posted this anywhere here on the G. I added UMP to the 'Verified A' list a long time ago, but I never excerpted their contracts before. The years are nearly illegibly marred by the scan, but you can make out a "1944" in the start date for the Navy spanners contract. The MWSC lists are ascending, so the Ordnance Dept auto wrench contract is not later than 1944 and possibly earlier.
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