Restoration of Ford M8 armoured car U.S Ordnance number 7373

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Big D
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Re: Restoration of Ford M8 armoured car U.S Ordnance number 7373

Post by Big D » Thu Nov 29, 2018 11:41 pm

Hi all,

Most of my spare time this week has gone into completing the recoil system. This is the setup I used to put the recoil system back together. Others might have a better method but this worked well for me.

I used two pieces of 10mm plate at each end. On the coupler end, I cut a hole in the plate and welded an old bearing cup to the plate over the hole. The diameter of the cup was a good fit over that end of the cylinder. I welded another tubular piece of steel to the other plate to act as a locater for a ¾” socket to hold the nut on the end of the cylinder piston rod.

I used two 1 metre lengths of 18mm stainless steel threaded rod. The rod size seemed like a bit of overkill but it was all the local scrap metal supplier had on the shelf of a decent length, and the good bugger he is, he allowed me to take it home, do the job and then just return it.

I found that size of rod gave some reassurance when winding the tension up and compressing the spring and I wouldn’t recommend anything under ½” or 12mm. The 10mm plate was just starting to bend a little at the peak of the spring compression.

I got some brass folded up for the sides of the recoil system. I looked at buying brass channel but couldn’t find any the exact size. In the end I got a local sheetmetal fabricator to cut and fold some brass sheet. Unlike the original, the folding meant there is a bit of a radius on the edges but hopefully with me using sheet that was slightly thinner than the original, this won’t be an issue. I used some 3mm diameter brass rod to secure the pieces to the cylinder. I will try the barrel sleigh on it soon.

An EBay search turned up a bronze bush of the same dimensions I needed for the mounting pin on the other side, so that is on the way to me. I am missing the little arm on the side of the recoil cylinder which I’m guessing is a valve of some sort, so I will find a suitable plug for that. I’ve also noticed that the buffer pin on the head of the cylinder is bent, which is making it hard to screw this in, so I will need to straighten that before I am finally done.

I have the pedestal headlight mounting connectors completed and ready for hard wiring in the hull. Thanks to Willy for the electrical connectors and Paul for the black plastic housing.

That’s all for this week.
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Darryl Lennane
NZ

1943 Willys MB
1941 LP2A MG Carrier
1943 White M3A1 AOP
1942 Willys MBT
1944 Ford M8 Armoured Car

G102
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Re: Restoration of Ford M8 armoured car U.S Ordnance number 7373

Post by G102 » Sat Dec 01, 2018 9:16 am

It's sad to say, I had a chicago cop store a low boy semi trailer of these gun mounts, all were complete , take offs and even had a NOS Carriage in the crate. I remember the frustration having to clean off all that cosmoline. Imagine that as a problem.
I was renting a customers building and he was pissed that I had this huge mess of what he thought was scrap metal. He was my largest customer at the time. He gave me two weeks to clean up the mess that was only supposed to be there for a few days. The cop wouldn't move the mounts and I ended up giving them away to a scrap yard to keep my customers business.

As I think about it that was the worlds collection of gun mounts, there as probably 50 of them. Big D is working so hard on this item and what I had would look like a gift from heaven.
A little piece of past history from 1983.

Big D
G-Second Lieutenant
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Re: Restoration of Ford M8 armoured car U.S Ordnance number 7373

Post by Big D » Thu Dec 13, 2018 10:58 pm

Hi Gary

Thanks for that. A nice story!
Darryl Lennane
NZ

1943 Willys MB
1941 LP2A MG Carrier
1943 White M3A1 AOP
1942 Willys MBT
1944 Ford M8 Armoured Car

Big D
G-Second Lieutenant
G-Second Lieutenant
Posts: 537
Joined: Sun Sep 20, 2009 12:22 am

Re: Restoration of Ford M8 armoured car U.S Ordnance number 7373

Post by Big D » Thu Dec 13, 2018 11:58 pm

Hi all,

I have the hydraulic lines for the clutch and brakes fitted in place in the front of the M8 now. I was in the process of making up the lines for the clutch using 1/2" tube, as per the manual. Copper nickel 1/2" tube is available in the US but not easily available here in New Zealand. I finally found a brake specialist here who could supply it, so I made up a template out of 3/16" tube and asked the brake guy to make me the same thing in 1/2" tubing. I wasn't confident I'd be able to fold the 1/2" tube without any kinks so figured I'd get a specialist to do it. The other lines I did in 1/4" and 5/16" came out good but the 3/8" was getting a bit difficult to bend without kinks.

When I spoke to the brake guys, all their 'experts' asked “why the hell would you need 1/2" tubing for that clutch application?” I told them that's what the manual says and that's what the M8 used, so go to it and make me it please! However, they came back to me later and said that while they could supply the ½” tubing they were having a real battle getting fittings for a 1/2" tube to match the 1/2" UNF thread on the master cylinder.

I told them about another persons experiences on another forum in that his M8 had 5/16” hydraulic line for the clutch and it worked fine. The brake company owner came out and looked at my M8 and the master cylinder for the clutch and he also thought 3/8" or 5/16 " tube should do the job for the clutch. He went away and had a look at the connectors he could get and the only way he could get lines and connections to fit the ½” UNF thread on the master cylinder was to have a 5/16" line with an adaptor to bring it up to 1/2" UNF for the master cylinder.

So, to save any more mucking around I told him to go for it and make me that line in 5/16" which he did. Interestingly, he used copper-nickel tubing which they bent by hand. Hopefully it works for me and I will update how this works/if it works, once I am able to test it.

I still need to complete the hydraulic lines for the throttle master cylinder. I have used 3/8” tubing for the lines, as per the manual. It took me a while to work out that these master cylinders use a tapered fitting, presumably of some NPT thread. I’ve sourced the T connections for the bleeding area so I’ll post pictures of these once I have them all fitted.

I spent a heck of a lot of time stripping down one of the two engine fan pulleys I was working on. If I could have found one on the shelf, I would have just bought it, as it cost me days of work trying to get it all apart. This is the one that was heavily corroded when I got it and I soaked it in molasses to clean it up. It had all just about become one big piece of metal and it was a real pig to get it all apart. The molasses did clean the metal up but I think it getting into the insides of the pulley didn’t exactly help in my efforts to strip it. The retainer wouldn’t let go, nor would the little spacer between the retainer and the bigger of the two bearings, and nor would the spacer between the bearings on the main spindle. I had to make bigger and bigger tools with bigger and bigger levers to try and undo the retainer, but I was starting to worry about the stress on the housing and in the end I virtually had to destroy the retainer to get it out. If anyone has a spare (as per the photo), it will save me time and money making another one.

After finally getting the pulley housing apart, I can see that I was never going to be able to press the pin out of the bearings as the metal was all completely stuck together. Liberal use of a cut off disc was required in the end to get the spacer and what was left of the bearings off, but it is now rebuilt and ready to fit.

I picked up a pulley wheel that is a bit quieter than mine, along with another adjuster, so I cleaned them up. I’ve also done a bit of painting and tidying up of some other parts.

I am back to working on the other two axles next week and I’m aiming to have those on the hull in the early new year.

Does anyone know which of the spacers in the photos is correct for the headlights? Both types were sold to me as being for the M8. I see the metal sleeve that sits in the hull actually sits a little proud of the hull when the brass bush is fitted from within the hole for the locking pin. The black spacers have a slot in the middle which fits over the metal sleeve but with this spacer on, it would take a lot of effort to push the sleeve down far enough into the hole in the hull to get the brass bush in place.

That’s it for this week.
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Darryl Lennane
NZ

1943 Willys MB
1941 LP2A MG Carrier
1943 White M3A1 AOP
1942 Willys MBT
1944 Ford M8 Armoured Car

Ralph, Rdg
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Re: Restoration of Ford M8 armoured car U.S Ordnance number 7373

Post by Ralph, Rdg » Thu Dec 20, 2018 5:38 pm

Hi
I am glad you found an m8 greyhound, as I.am also after one for the UK, any help would be great.

Many thanks

Ralph


Big D
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Re: Restoration of Ford M8 armoured car U.S Ordnance number 7373

Post by Big D » Sat Dec 22, 2018 1:00 pm

Hi Ralph

Are you after a running M8 or a project?
Darryl Lennane
NZ

1943 Willys MB
1941 LP2A MG Carrier
1943 White M3A1 AOP
1942 Willys MBT
1944 Ford M8 Armoured Car

Big D
G-Second Lieutenant
G-Second Lieutenant
Posts: 537
Joined: Sun Sep 20, 2009 12:22 am

Re: Restoration of Ford M8 armoured car U.S Ordnance number 7373

Post by Big D » Sun Dec 23, 2018 12:14 pm

Hi all,

Here are a few photos of what I’ve been working on over the last week.

Thanks to Willy for confirming the black rubber type spacers are the correct one for the headlights. These spacers do have a slot in the middle for the top rim of the headlight sleeve to fit into. When fitted on the sleeves, they need a bit of downward pressure into the hole in the hull so that the brass bush in the handle hole can be pushed through to lock the sleeve in place.

I have the fuel pump and fuel lines fitted in the front of the hull now. The line in the foreground of the photo would normally be at the very front of the hull but it seemed to fit nicely as I have it so I left it at that. I used a bit of thread sealant on all the connections so hopefully all will be well with them.

The reassembly of the intermediate and rear axles is progressing. I’m now at the stage of making up the fixed brake lines for the axles. I have no templates so I am working off photos and the plans from the parts manual to do these.

Does anyone have any axle brake T connections spare that they would be prepared to part with? I have fitted four of the six required but the other two I have are both used and have damaged threads. Originals seem to be very hard to find. Can anyone assist please?

What is the easiest way to install the intermediate and rear axle? The manual says that the back of the vehicle needs to be lifted to a height to get the two axles under it. I guess then it is just a matter of aligning the ends of the leaf springs with the two openings on each of the axles.

My plan was to get the boys in the engineering workshop next door to bring in their truck and hiab crane. We’ll lift the front of the hull and then fit the front wheels to the front axle. Then we can lift the rear of the hull enough so that I can roll the intermediate and rear axles under the hull.

Once the rear leaf spring ends are in the slots on the axles, will the weight of the hull settle enough on the axles to stop them moving around, or will I need to get the torque rods locked in straight away?

There is not a lot of information in the manuals about the torque rods in the manuals, and how they are fitted and adjusted. Has anyone got any first-hand experience with these? Are the top ones adjusted simply to keep the alignment of the axles correct?

I’ve noticed that the handbrake cable is a real bugger to fit into place on the hull side. The cable comes down tube in the side of the hull and has to make an almost 90 degree turn to go into the mount on the hull. The cable is quite stiff so getting it to slide down the tube and then sideways into the mount is not easy. Does anyone have any bright ideas on this? My one is just into the mount but it really needs to go in about another ¾ inch.

That is all.

Merry Xmas.
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Darryl Lennane
NZ

1943 Willys MB
1941 LP2A MG Carrier
1943 White M3A1 AOP
1942 Willys MBT
1944 Ford M8 Armoured Car

Big D
G-Second Lieutenant
G-Second Lieutenant
Posts: 537
Joined: Sun Sep 20, 2009 12:22 am

Re: Restoration of Ford M8 armoured car U.S Ordnance number 7373

Post by Big D » Sun Dec 30, 2018 7:09 pm

Hi all,

Xmas seems to have come and gone in a flash.

I have fitted the brake lines to the rear axle, along with the brake line shields that I had. I am missing one section of shield but will hopefully pick that up at some stage.

I didn’t have a lot of photos of the actual layout of the brake lines so hopefully these photos might help someone else who is doing them from scratch. The lines are a bit finicky to make to the right shape to fit the shields, and they need to have quite a tight angle to get around the shield and then up into the Tee connections.

I have found the brake Tee connections I need so they should hopefully be on the way to me shortly. I’ve made up the brake lines for the intermediate axle and will finalise these when the Tee connections arrive.

I have fitted the hydraulic lines from the front of the hull down into the engine bay area now. I still need to finalise the length of the extra sections for the bleeder nipples at the ends, and will get this done once I’ve finished all the rest of the plumbing.

A bit of a strange request, but can anyone post a photo of the underside of the pedestal headlights? I have the blackout headlight but want to confirm the pin configuration on the pedestal headlights so that I can finalise the headlight wiring connections in the front of the hull. I only have the one blackout light so not sure how the pins are configured on the actual headlight.

The paint stencils have arrived. Good fast service from Axholme Signs in the UK. A few engine parts also arrived.

While I am waiting for the Tee connections to arrive, I will do some work on the turret which is sandblasted and painted and ready for me to pick up. I will need to give the roller bearing surface on the underside a tidy up when it gets here, as it was moved along a concrete floor before it was taken to the sandblasters.

I’m looking at the best order to fit the gun parts. I have an idea that before the turret is fitted to the hull, it would be preferable to fit the gun cradle into the turret and the recoil system to the gun cradle. The barrel and sleigh could then be fitted into the turret (maybe through the back panel in the turret?) after the turret is fitted to the hull.

Does anyone have any thoughts on the best order to fit the gun?

That’s it. Happy New Year.
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Darryl Lennane
NZ

1943 Willys MB
1941 LP2A MG Carrier
1943 White M3A1 AOP
1942 Willys MBT
1944 Ford M8 Armoured Car

Big D
G-Second Lieutenant
G-Second Lieutenant
Posts: 537
Joined: Sun Sep 20, 2009 12:22 am

Re: Restoration of Ford M8 armoured car U.S Ordnance number 7373

Post by Big D » Fri Jan 11, 2019 2:12 am

Hi all,

The rear axle is now complete with hub, internal axles and drums and is ready to roll under the hull. I do need a breather for the axle so will have to see if I can find one of those.

The intermediate axle is awaiting the brake Tee connections which are on the way (thanks Mathijs). Apart from that it is also ready to roll under the hull.

I’ve now completed the hydraulic plumbing for the brakes, throttle and most of the clutch. The clutch is complete up to the engine bay area and I’ll finalise that once I get the engine and gearbox in. So far I’ve worked my way through about 45 metres (nearly 50 yards) of steel tube for the brakes, throttle, clutch and fuel lines. I’ll still need another couple of metres of ¼” tube to finish the fuel lines.

I was having a few issues finding a suitable connector for the 3/8” tubing to go to the throttle slave cylinder. The parts manual lists the fitting as: 11/16-20NF-2 x 5/8-18NPT which I’d never seen before. I thought I might have been stuck finding that but it sounds like I have located one and it is hopefully on the way. I also have the correct tube nut adaptors for the hydrovac input and output ordered and on the way.

I fabricated a couple of mounts for the hydrovac. This allowed me to get that in place and finalise the lengths of all the remaining brake lines. I fabricated a couple of small brackets for the flexible hose connections for the front and rear axles. Both of these brackets were missing off the hull. Hopefully where I routed the front line won't interfere with the protective cover that goes over the transfer case.

On the subject of hydrovacs, I have only just realised my hydrovac is a single input and single output unit. I’m not sure how I formed the impression that it had two inputs and two outputs and what I thought was an input port on one side was actually a plug! The hydrovac does appear to be a second series Bendix but looks like it is for one of the models of halftrack.

As a result, I won’t actually need the second (¼”) line I made up to go from the master cylinder to the hydrovac. That was waste of a couple of hours of my life making that. Haha. This actually simplifies things a lot for me though. What I’ve done is to adjust the plumbing a little for the lines to the axles. I have put an extra Tee connection on the hydrovac output so that all axles are connected to that one output. The 5/16” line running from the master cylinder is now to routed to the input on the hydrovac. My plan is to temporarily connect the 5/16” line direct to the ¼” line going to the axles so I can bleed and test the brake system. That will at least tell me that aspect of it is working alright before I get the hydrovac completed and connected.

I may do some painting with some of the paint stencils next week before I get the hull up on its wheels. The hull is at a nice height to work with as it is.

I am still looking for a nut for the steering gear sector shaft if anyone can help. This is 1 1/8-16NF-3. The wheel nuts are 1 1/8-16NF-2 and the thread is very close, but not quite right. What are the differences between NF-2 and NF-3?

That is all for this week.
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Darryl Lennane
NZ

1943 Willys MB
1941 LP2A MG Carrier
1943 White M3A1 AOP
1942 Willys MBT
1944 Ford M8 Armoured Car

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