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

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

Post by Dawgman » Fri Aug 21, 2020 5:27 pm

Once again, fantastic work Darryl. You should be so proud.
This thread will also make an excellent resource for anyone in the future restoring an M8/m20.
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Re: Restoration of Ford M8 armoured car U.S Ordnance number 7373

Post by Big D » Thu Aug 27, 2020 1:00 pm

Hi Dawgman,

Thanks for that. It has been quite the journey and hopefully what I have found along the way will help someone else.

I've just about done the brakes so will post an update soon.
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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Re: Restoration of Ford M8 armoured car U.S Ordnance number 7373

Post by Big D » Mon Aug 31, 2020 2:06 am

Hi all,

I’ve been tied up working on some other projects so it’s been a while since my last update.

My brake guy has hopefully worked out a solution for me. You might recall in his testing he couldn’t fault one of the wheel cylinders I sent him but believed the other one was leaking between the cylinder and the sleeve. He has changed tack a bit and now believes some different cups will do the job. He supplied me with 12 x English made cups and 12 x Spanish made cups. These are about 1.5mm shorter than the Japanese cups (still good quality he thinks) I was using with the new kits. He fitted these in the two cylinders and had been testing them on the bench at 100psi with no leaks. They are noticeably freer in the cylinder bores than the other cups. I have now replaced all the original pistons and cups with these new pistons, springs and full cups. I’ve made a note that I’ve fitted the English made cups on the driver’s side of the vehicle and the Spanish made ones on the other side. I bled the brakes using the pressure bleeder and I will monitor the wheel cylinders now for leaks. I have my fingers crossed!

After bleeding the brakes, I moved the M8 under its own power in the workshop for the first time today. That was quite a feeling but the elation quickly disappeared when I realised I have some tweaking to do and need to sort a number of things out.

The transfer case linkages are not right as I could only select low range today and got no movement in high range. I also couldn’t engage the front axle using the lever. Hopefully it is not an interlock problem in the transfer case but I’m more inclined to think I have the lengths of both fabricated control rods wrong so I will need to adjust those.

I’m also not sure about the gearshift lever. I mentioned this some time ago that I had two different shaped gearstick levers, and both appeared to be originals. I had fitted the one that seemed to be a better shape but it really limits where you can have your legs without clashing with the gearstick lever and the steering wheel. I am going to try the other one which has a lower profile when in the forward position (reverse/first gear).

I’d have to say to that having never driven one of these vehicles before, they appear best suited to someone smaller than me! I am 184cm and 93kg (6 ½” and 204 pounds) and it feels a real tight fit in that driver’s area. It seems there is little room between the left side of the steering wheel and the side of the hull and the right side of the steering wheel and the gearstick. It also feels like you’ve just about got your knees up around your ears when you have your feet on the pedals. I think the fact that my body is well over 50 years of age doesn’t help either! LOL. What are others’ experiences? A slightly smaller diameter steering wheel would help I feel.

Thanks to Brian for supplying me some working ammeters. I’m not quite sure what I changed with the shunt wiring but after some experimentation, I now have a working ammeter in the instrument panel.

That is all for today…
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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

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

Post by armoured_smiler » Mon Aug 31, 2020 3:57 am

I bet your glad you got a SC for leg room then :lol:

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

Post by Big D » Mon Aug 31, 2020 4:22 am

Hi Paul

There is quite a difference in leg room!

By the way, I haven’t forgotten that email. Will reply soon.
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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SURPDLR
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Re: Restoration of Ford M8 armoured car U.S Ordnance number 7373

Post by SURPDLR » Mon Aug 31, 2020 10:17 am

DO you have the Armored front Floor, I forget.... If so, you are "up" about 2"-3" from the original intended driver seat position, as there was a dent in the front floor for the driver originally.
That said, we are about the same size and you get used to being bow legged to drive.

My mate drives his M20 WITHOUT a seat cushion (he is about 6' 3" tall)..... A double layer of GI blanket is about all he has room for. I will try to remember to get pics of him this weekend when we do a parade.

Gear shift lever thing is interesting. In Tom's M20 the lever is right there in your leg for reverse, but I am just used to it. I have 2 sets of levers to work from when I do my M8, but I think they are both the same. And also the same as what is in the Tom's M20.

On your transfer, don't forget the interlock in the shift housing! IF it is working right you need to be in Low range to use the front axle. I have always wondered why.... But never wanted to find out the expensive way why that is!
There should be some adjustment built into your 2 shift rods if you were able to copy originals. Hopefully the shift detents are working such that if you disconnect the shift rods, you can shift the transfer shift rails into the positions you need and adjust the rods as needed. Other than the lack of room to work.....

The last 5% of a restoration takes almost as much effort as the first 95% it seems sometimes!

Good luck!!!
JEFF HAIN-MATSON
FRONT LINE MILITARY VEHICLES
WRIGHTSVILLE PA
717-252-4489

INDIAN 741
INDIAN 841
MATCHLESS G3
MATCHLESS G3L
AND SEVERAL OTHER WHEELED AND TRACKED TOYS!!

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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 » Tue Sep 01, 2020 7:22 pm

Hi Jeff,

Thanks for the reply. Yes, I have the armoured floor in the front so I have a head start as such in the height. I will try the blanket idea. That seems a good way to lower yourself a bit more.

The foot pedal placement will also take some getting used to. How low are the clutch and brake levers supposed to be with respect to the floor or throttle pedal? It seems that you have to lift your legs quite high off the floor to even operate the pedals, which gives the 'knees around the ears' feeling. I adjusted both pedals today at the back of the master cylinders and this dropped the pedals a bit. I couldn't get as much adjustment out of the clutch adjuster though. I did wonder about putting in a thick strip of steel to act as a packer between the mounting holes on the clutch and brake pedal assembly and the hull using some longer bolts. This would have the effect of directly lowering the pedals which would help. Has anyone tried anything like this?

I will experiment with the other gear lever. I think the lower profile of it will help when the vehicle is in reverse.

I played around with the adjustments on the shift rods for the transfer case levers. The interlock on the shift housing is working correctly. I even took it out again and put a bit more grease on it. The high/low lever is still not right though as again with the lever right down it is not engaging high range properly. I'm sure this is an adjustment thing. The front axle declutch lever is a bit different though. How much of a 'click' does this give when used? Mine does not feel very positive, almost as if the interlocking ball in the transfer case is not engaging properly.

I'll experiment some more with both.
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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Re: Restoration of Ford M8 armoured car U.S Ordnance number 7373

Post by SURPDLR » Mon Sep 07, 2020 7:42 am

Darryl,
In no particular order here are some photos of me behind the wheel of my mate's M20. I am 6 foot tall if that helps. I am sitting on a seat cushion, and my head will hit the back wall, AND the top hatch if I sit up straight! Note the later factory "angle" foot rest added when they found out the original one was too low and led to "riding the clutch pedal" problems.

Image

Image
This is with the shiftier in Reverse, and clutch depressed, right foot on brake. Also note this M20 has been retro fitted LONG AGO with a cable throttle. The angle of the throttle pedal is somewhat taller than it should be I believe, but there is NO more adjustment to lower it and keep proper throttle response. (accelerator pedal angle was a LOT worse before I adjusted it years ago. VERY uncomfortable to drive back then)

Image
Left foot on foot rest, above clutch pedal.

Also on display is the "semi" period correct 1950's Sun "football" Tach I installed to keep people from over revving the motor.... Or at least I hope it manages to do that! These tachs can be modified to have an internal "sending unit and power source" these days.

Image

Hope these help give you some prospective. It is a shame we are not the average WWII sized GI (5'6" to 5' 8" and about 165lbs) any more!! It also does not help that bending like we were 20 works well in our minds, but not so much in our bodies any more! :)
JEFF HAIN-MATSON
FRONT LINE MILITARY VEHICLES
WRIGHTSVILLE PA
717-252-4489

INDIAN 741
INDIAN 841
MATCHLESS G3
MATCHLESS G3L
AND SEVERAL OTHER WHEELED AND TRACKED TOYS!!

MVPA #1833
IMPS #1726
MVT #9362

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

Post by Big D » Wed Sep 09, 2020 2:34 pm

Hi Jeff,

Great pictures, thanks. They are a big help.

Your seating position there is very similar to mine. As you say, the armoured floor makes a difference and I guess you sit about 2" higher with the amoured floor rather than in the hollow provided in the original floor. That extra height pushes your legs right up against the steering wheel which you wouldn't get as much with the original floor.

The clutch and brake foot pedals in your photo are lower than mine and after looking at mine a bit more, I need to adjust them way back which will lower the pedal height a bit. It seems bloody hard to adjust them in situ though. I'll also look at the throttle adjustment as my foot pedal is sitting quite high. I think canting it forward a bit more might help.

Its interesting looking at your gear stick. The angle of that against your leg looks like what will be provided with the other gear stick lever I have that I was going to try. Effectively it will sit lower to the floor in reverse. As it is, the one I have in there sits higher and it is very hard to get it into reverse with your leg there.

I can see a little more experimentation going on. Many thanks!
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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