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  • Weasel help wanted

    Our Chapter (Iroquois Chapter) is reviewing an "Community Service Project" opportunity to restore a Weasel currently on display at the Naval Park in downtown Buffalo, New York.

    Could any Weasel experts respond to this posting and advise what we might be in for. An initial review suggests that the interior needs alot of work including the floor pans. The exterior, now painted white but originally olive drab, has a lot of paint on it. We are told that the engine ran 15 years ago.

    We have been told that we could flatbed it to a workshop location with no time limit set or just make spot repairs on site.

    We just don't know. What should we look for - original specs, replacement parts?

    HELP !!!
    Peter Bishop
    Director,
    Northeast Zone

  • #2
    Do they want it restored to running condition, or just spiffed up a bit for display? If it has been sitting outdoors for a long time, expect that the tracks and suspension will need a lot of work. Simply rolling it onto a flatbed may cause the tracks to fall apart, if they are badly weathered. Reason being: the tension members in the tracks are steel wire cables embedded in the rubber strips, upon which the bogie wheels roll. Those rubber strips develop weather checks (cracks) which admit moisture, which wicks along the cables, rusting them completely. Then they part under the leads amount of stress.

    Parts are available, and I believe there were even some new tracks in the works ($$$$). You can get the military operator's and workshop manuals from Portrayal Press. I was going to point you to the Weasel website, www.M29CWeasel.org, but it has gone dark. Some searching may find it under a new URL.
    Gord Richmond, within Weasel range of the Alberta Badlands

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    • #3
      The DelMarVa Chapter visited a WWII Weasel factory on the last IDYSD. Check their website for details- www.delmarvasdc.org
      I also stumbled on this maintenance document- http://www.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc?AD=AD0696409
      Paul Johnson, Wild and Wonderful West Virginia.
      '64 Daytona Wagonaire, '64 Avanti R-1, Museum R-4 engine, '72 Gravely Model 430 with Onan engine

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      • #4
        Thanks for all the info. If you come across more please PM me.
        Peter Bishop
        Director,
        Northeast Zone

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        • #5
          Yes, probably the biggest issue with a Weasel today is the condition of it's tracks (if the hope is to make it operational).

          And there were some white Weasels, right?
          KURTRUK
          (read it backwards)




          Nothing is politically right which is morally wrong. -A. Lincoln

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          • #6
            The nice thing about a Weasel is that it is made of almost entirely flat stock metal. If your floors are rusty, it's nothing you can't fix with a piece of sheet metal, a welder, and a metal brake. The engine is exactly the same thing as a Champion 6 except for the distrubitor which is angled differently than that of a car. Aside from that, Champ 6 parts can be found if you need them. If you need parts for the rear end (differential) you can look up an Oliver tractor parts dealer. If I remember right, Studebaker used an Oliver Cletrac crawler differential in the Weasel's because Oliver was right next door! As for paint, OD Green can be bought fairly cheap, just do an internet search for it. The above posts about tracks are correct, they do become weathered. One other suggestion I have about tracks is from a friend of mine that restored them. Studebaker used rivets to hold all the track parts together, and you will think I'm nuts but if they plan on driving that Weasel around it would be a good idea to drill out all those rivets and replace them with bolts. By the end of that project your shop floor will look like a foundry, but the tracks will NEVER come apart as long as you use lock nuts.
            Is the weasel a standard M29, or M29C? (M29C would be one with flotation gear)

            Some Weasels were painted white, yes. They were used in arctic/snowy areas. Some were even painted red for use by the coast guard when they were brought back to the states.
            Chris Dresbach

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            • #7
              Chris, Weasel water pumps are different, very different, and they mount on an adaptor, too. Also, the oil pan is different. And all the electrical components.
              Gord Richmond, within Weasel range of the Alberta Badlands

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              • #8
                For help, input, insights, advice, parts, etc. I suggest you contact John Murray of TNJ Murray Worldwide Services in Dover, DE. He is the 3rd generation owner of a multi national military vehicle mfr & restoration facility. He, his dad, and his grandfather has restored literally HUNDREDS of Weasels to 100% fully operational condition over the past several decades. www.TNJMurray.com - 283 Persimmon Tree Lane - Dover, DE - 19901 - (302) 736-1790. Ask for John.

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                • #9
                  All the comments above are great. However, this sounds like a project assigned to a "committee"...and we all know how "off the tracks" that can go. (pun intended)

                  Another tired old cliche...No good deed goes unpunished, comes to mind. My suggestion is to organize. Choose a project manager, devise a plan, and stick to it. Plan your work and work your plan.
                  John Clary
                  Greer, SC

                  SDC member since 1975

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