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Old 12-10-17, 18:30
rob love rob love is offline
carrier mech
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Shilo MB, the armpit of Canada
Posts: 5,724
Default M43CDN Amb

A local Aviary operator recently gave us this M43Cdn. It had been sitting for some 20+ years after the starter broke on it. Of course, it came complete with the mouse nest from hell, which I have taken steps to remove most of it.

The truck was used to bring food out to the hives in the winter, so unfortunately it had it's stretcher racks removed and some modification to the back. The mouse nest in the roof panel resulted in some rot thru of the upper right roof, and there are a few other minor rust thru in the typical places like the roofline and one cab corner. Hood has a severe dent from flying open, but on a good note the fenders do not have the usual rust under the headlamps.

Some careful sanding produced the artillery tac sign on the front left of the hood.

One puzzle is the only red cross that can be seen is one on the roof, underneath where the roof rack was. I can find no traces of red crosses on the sides or back. Did the trucks not come with them from the factory? And did the Army remove them back in the day for camouflage purposes? Or could some of them have been re-issued for other uses besides ambulance?

The carb had been replaced with a civilian carb, and left without the aircleaner, so through moisture transfer the engine was found to be tight. A night with some acetone/dexron mix in the cylinders, and the engine can be pried over now. I just finished repairing and testing the starter, so it is time to re-assemble. Bonus was that the original aircleaner and carb, along with the original distributor, wires, and even spark plugs, were all in the back of the truck.

It will join the line-up in the back yard until the time comes that there is a need for a running ambulance within the museum.
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Last edited by rob love; 13-10-17 at 05:41.
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Old 13-10-17, 03:03
Jes Andersen Jes Andersen is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Black Creek B.C. Canada
Posts: 134

Nice, The dryer climate must be a factor in so many units sitting for years outside and not dissolving into the ground. Here on the wet west coast the lifespan is pretty short if not under cover. Even less if under a poly tarp. Your new acquisition should clean up nicely and live on given the chance. I can't recall seeing any large red crosses on the trucks in service, but that was in the early '70s and late in their useful lives. Somewhere I have pictures taken at Sarcee showing compounds full of 152's and M43s that were taken out of service, likely for similar issues or a lack of available repair parts. I'll look for them and see if any of the markings show up. In those days, I had a 'pocket' camera that wasn't exactly the pinnacle of photo equipment but it served its purpose and wasn't all too obvious.
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Old 13-10-17, 05:41
rob love rob love is offline
carrier mech
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Shilo MB, the armpit of Canada
Posts: 5,724

I believe it is more than just the dry it is known as "dry cold". We love to hear those in warmer climates complain about how terrible the damp cold is at -7 when we are having to deal with the dry cold at -35. But it is good for the artifacts, keeping things in deep freeze for 4 to 6 months of the year ensure they last.

In this case, the truck did suffer from all the mouse urine. I took 3 garbage cans of refuse out of the truck, but the smell of mouse still permeates. At the same time, every hinge and latch worked, and after some oiling the doors close as good as any that I have ever dealt with.

I got the starter on, cranked it over a bunch of times to spread out the oil, then had a quick once over of the ignition system. Points were contacting at first, but after very slight tinkering I had spark. The spark plugs had a quick run through the spark plug cleaner and tester, and with a snort of ether the engine smoked to life. I'm not going to work on the fuel system at this time....the carb was covered, the cylinders re-oiled, and the truck brought outside to one of the line-ups. One by one this compound keeps filling up.

I tired to google the M43CDN ambulances, and most of them were restorations, so of course got the red crosses. I did manage to spot a couple on google that didn't have them. But as a last minute find, as I closed the two barn doors at the back of the truck, I spotted a little bit of red around the escutcheon of the right door handle, so I guess I have my answer. It did have red crosses at one time, but they are well hidden under a layer or two of paint.
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Old 13-10-17, 08:32
super dave super dave is offline
Dave Good
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Onoway, Alberta, Canada
Posts: 624

Here are a few pictures that are posted on the Canadian Military Vehicles forum on Facebook showing the red crosses on Canadian M43s.
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12322674_10154709616434937_8323669461685999467_o.jpg   12322705_10154709615924937_4182645562993075606_o.jpg   12494667_10154494894054937_1672068831556765117_n.jpg   12670270_10154589628639937_5557316594818914552_n.jpg  
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Old 13-10-17, 13:05
charlie fitton's Avatar
charlie fitton charlie fitton is offline
HLIofC - Normandy Pl
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Maryhill Ontario
Posts: 836

Where was the "cinquante et un" rack fitted?
Charles Fitton
Maryhill On.,

too many carriers
too many rovers
not enough time.
(and now a BSA...)
(and now a Triumph TRW...)
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Old 29-10-17, 16:34
paul53's Avatar
paul53 paul53 is offline
Registered User
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Prince George,B.C
Posts: 46
Default M43cdn ambulance

Hello Rob,
I went through some of my pictures looking for an answer to your question about the red cross painted only on the roof and wanted to share what I found.
I had taken these pictures some time ago and you can just see the faint outline of the White on the roof showing the Red Cross. In the early 50's the red cross was a round circle and then the later paint scheme went to the square design that everyone is used to seeing.

My RCAF 52' M43 has them on the roof and sides but there was no need to use a cam pattern, just good o'l blue.

Hope it helps.

Cheers Paul
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Don's trucks Quesnel 983-5492 030.jpg   Don's trucks Quesnel 983-5492 033.jpg  
53' M38A1
74' M151A2 CDN
86' ILTIS #88170
M101 CDN2 1/4 ton trailer
52' M43 USAF 917th AC&W / RCAF 55th AC&W
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