SMALL RESTORATION PROJECTS ON MY M35A2 TRUCK

1970 model M35A2

I bought a very used former US military truck from Ken Kublo at Kublos Surplus in Northern Pennsylvania.  The truck was in need of some cosmetic TLC but appeared mechanically in good condition.  Everything worked when I tested it with the exception of the nearly dead batteries which were replaced before I took delivery of the truck.

RESTORATION AND REPAIR PROJECTS

Heater / Blower Repair

Starting Difficulties
(This link redirects to a different webpage.)

Throttle Cable Replacement

 

 

All M35A2 trucks are essentially identical regardless of which manufacturer built them, or in which year they were built.  REO, AM General, Kaiser-Jeep and a few others supplied these trucks to the US Army, Air Force and Navy from the late 1940's to the 1980's.  Very few changes were implemented in all the manufacturing years.

The particular truck I bought is a 1970 model.  The only "extras" it has are a front winch and a cab heater/defroster.  Neither are standard parts.  This truck has the spring-cushioned driver's seat.

The winch is rated at 10,000 lbs maximal capacity and comes with a 200 foot cable.  It is driven by a PTO (power take-off) that is connected to the truck's engine.

The cab heater uses engine heat.  It is not the "Arctic heater" that was installed in some trucks for deployment in the far northern regions of the globe.

The test drive took place on the Kublo property.  I had not driven a stick-shift for many years but got quickly back into the old habit of stomping on the clutch and shifting by hand. 

The truck had a damaged roof which I asked Ken to replace with a soft top.  I may enjoy driving "topless" in the summer time. 

The hood showed an inward dent, possible the result of someone standing on it.  There were signs of rust in one area of the hood.

The bed showed some light surface rust - nothing serious.

There were a few drops of fuel on the ground under the engine.  Since the truck had not been moved in a while, I assumed fuel leaked from one of the hoses of my truck.

The essentials under the truck appeared to be in good condition. 

The truck was very dirty from having stood outside near a dusty road for a long time.  I'll try to keep it reasonably clean when the truck is at my home but I'm just as sure it will get quite dirty at times.

I had the dented metal roof replaced with a soft top.  This was a personal preference.  The soft top can be removed to drive the truck "topless".  Metal roofs tend to get very hot in the summer and radiate that heat into the cab.  The disadvantage is that soft tops can tear and that, of course, leads to rain and melt water leaking into the cab.  In the winter time, the soft top keeps enough heat in the cab to keep the driver comfortable as long as the heater is running.  These trucks are not tight.  Cold air will enter through the window frame and through openings in the floor.

The throttle cable broke during Ken's demonstration.  I replaced it at home.  The heater and defroster cables were stuck.  It took two days and a lot of WD40 to get them to work again.

The outside of the truck was extremely dusty.  I'm not a clean freak but these trucks stand near a dirt road and collect a lot of dust.  Dew helps the dust to adhere, and it simply shows in a bad way.  I'll use my power washer to loosen the dust and will hopefully blow it away.

  THROTTLE CABLE

Problem:
The throttle cable was so loose that it did not hold the gas pedal.

Fix:
Since I did not have original parts available, I fabricated two clamps from short pieces of aluminum pipe (less then an inch long) and two sheet metal screws.
- I drilled a small hole into each piece of pipe and inserted the screw.
- The cable was removed from the engine compartment and pulled all the way back to the driver's foot room.
- I inserted one pipe and fed the cable back to the engine compartment.
- I pulled the second pipe over the cable in the engine compartment.- The cable was stretched out and the end hooked to the little bracket on the accelerator pedal cable. Now I could see where the throttle cable should be clamped down at the wall that separates the engine compartment from the cab. Be sure that the core of the cable can move back and forth to pull and release the accelerator while that cable case is secured at the wall.
-
By tightening the screws right at that wall I prevented the cable from slipping.

Result:
It works very nicely now. (08/29/2010)

 

HEATER BLOWER (DEFROSTER)

Problem:
When the windows fogged up when really cold rain fell, I noticed that the blower did not work. I tried both the "high" and "low" settings.

Fix:
- I checked for a loose wire but could not find one.
- I removed the four screws that secure the blower motor to the heater housing.
- When I pulled the motor off, the fan wheel slipped right off. Aha !!
- I pulled the fan wheel out of the heater housing.
- Visual inspection revealed no obstacles in the heater itself.- I slipped the fan wheel back over the shaft of the motor. It slipped all the way back and got hung up on the two screws in the motor housing. By carefully pulling the fan wheel off by a fraction of an inch, maybe two millimeters, I freed the fan wheel on the shaft.
- I loosened and then retightened the screw that is supposed to hold the fan wheel in place with an Allen wrench.
- I tested the fan. It worked fine now. Be careful ! The wheel may move unexpectedly in the high setting.

Problem:
When I tried to reassemble what I had taken apart, the ground wire broke right off.

Fix:
- I replaced the broken off contact loop and retightened the screw holding it in place.

Problem:
With the fan wheel attached, the wheel and motor could not be inserted into the heater housing.

Fix:
- I removed the bolts and nuts that hold the heater in place and pulled the whole heater back.
- Insertion was easy now.
- The four screws that hold the motor at the heater housing were tightened again.
- The flexible hose was pulled over the heater end and the adjustable ring clamp was tightened again.
- The bolts and nuts were put back to secure the heater housing in place.

Result:
The fan works fine in both speed settings now. (08/29/2010)

 

   

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