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  #1  
Old 03-08-22, 05:27
rob love rob love is offline
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Default FGT Restoration

I thought I would share some shots and document the restoration of my Ford Artillery tractor. There are no data plates, but between the commercial gauges and the wheel flanges, as well as a lot of bonding straps, I am going to guess this one is a 1944 vintage truck. The engine is a running 8BA. I may keep that engine, although I will move the dipstick to a more suitable location, and install the truck type water pumps.


As is typical of so many tractors, this one had been converted into a tow truck and had a lot of hard use. The frame has been repaired, patched, fishplated, and cracked and welded again and again. This is the problem when people try to weld a boom onto a relatively light frame. My intent is to replace the frame with a 15cwt frame. I purchased a suitable cab and chassis 15 cwt a few years ago for this project.

Here are some photos of the truck as it is, along with the rear body which will be used.
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DSCF0113.jpg   DSCF0118.jpg   DSCF0120.jpg  

Last edited by rob love; 03-08-22 at 05:51.
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Old 03-08-22, 05:33
rob love rob love is offline
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Below are some shots of the condition of the frame and brackets on the tractor. This frame is not restorable.
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DSCF0114.jpg   DSCF0117.jpg   DSCF0122.jpg   DSCF0123.jpg   DSCF0131.jpg  

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Old 03-08-22, 05:50
rob love rob love is offline
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I have stripped down the 15cwt frame, and found the side rails to be nearly identical to the tractor. The metal thickness is the same, and many of the rear cross-members are the same, although a few have to be re-located to different positions and some added.

I have two main issues with this frame. Someone had modified the crossmember over the transfer case, and also elongated the holes at the hitch and drilled a number of different holes in the last foot of the frame for dump body hinges. I have drilled the various rivets on the brackets and punched them through with a hammer and a punch. I will likely drill the holes to just under 7/16, ream them to size, and install grade five 7/16 UNF bolts with suitable length shanks into the holes. Locknuts will be all metallic feature as opposed to nylon. These were the method the military used with frames like the MLVW.

One consideration is whether to sandblast and paint the frame before installing the brackets, or after. Doing it before will get a lot more paint into the project, but will leave a few thousandths of an inch of soft material where I bolt on the cross-members. In the big picture, I don't think it will matter, as long as the nuts are re-torqued after a few years.



For the hitch area, because the tractor has the hitch that sits between the frame rails, and the 15cwt had the hitch below the frame, I am going to cut off the last foot of frame on the tractor and graft them in place of the back foot of the 15cwt frame. Besides welding them, there is a very large and heavy plate for the rear roller fairlead that will keep everything together.
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DSCF0108.jpg   DSCF0110.jpg   DSCF0116.jpg   DSCF0127.jpg   DSCF0129.jpg  

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Old 03-08-22, 05:58
rob love rob love is offline
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Just wanted to mention that we are fairly rust free here in Manitoba. If there are certain frame brackets anyone needs off the 15cwt that I will have extra, please ask. I will put up some photos of what is spare a little further in the thread.



At this point I am disassembling the tractor. I have removed what I could from the rear frame, as well as removed the rear axle and springs. The overload spring packs have some bent leaves from the harsh duty the boom subjected them to. I will salvage some new leaves from either the 15cwt springs, or else from some spare MLVW spring packs that I have. I am now just removing the cab floor and will remove the remainder of the drive-train after that. I did notice this cab had a lot of bonding straps...many more than I am used to seeing on any vehicle.
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Old 03-08-22, 14:51
Alex van de Wetering Alex van de Wetering is offline
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Rob,

this will be an exciting project to follow. The frame on my C8 was bad (cracked, welded, beefed up, cracked etc.), but probably not as bad as yours!

I know the subject of the actual difference between 15cwt and FAT chassis has come up on the forum before; so it's interesting to see the hands-on differences you'll find along the way.

Well done on finding an original body!

p.s. would that be the original chassis number painted on the door???

Alex
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  #6  
Old 03-08-22, 18:08
rob love rob love is offline
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Pretty sure the number is meaningless. It would have likely had a domestic number on it. I will carefully strip the door with the CAA and see what I can find.

At this point, aside from the hitch difference, I would say the frame rails are identical. All the holes are there for the winch, the various crossmembers, and even the winch guide. There is one hole on the rear crossmember that has to be enlarged for a cable guide, but the frame itself seems identical aside from the hitch area.

The toughest part is going to be to salvage some of the frame gussets near the winch. A lot of them have been welded over to the point that I don't even see the rivets anymore.

Notable is that the crossmember from the 15cwt that was behind the transfer case had to be moved up about a foot, and there needs to be a pair of spacers underneath as the frame gets wider. I was able to salvage those from the tractor frame. All the frame holes were there.

Last edited by rob love; 03-08-22 at 22:12.
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  #7  
Old 03-08-22, 18:34
m606paz m606paz is offline
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Good lock with the proyect Rob! Thanks for sharing!

If you need any measurement or pic , we have this 1944/45 FGT http://www.mapleleafup.net/forums/sh...ad.php?t=31692
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  #8  
Old 03-08-22, 22:24
rob love rob love is offline
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We have a couple of unrestored FATs at work, so I can measure here if I need. I have noticed some differences already though between the one earlier Cab13 FAT here at my workshop and the late one I own at home. There is one more down at the dustbowl which served as Bill Greggs gate guardian. I have not been down to check that one in a while. The wood-ticks should be mostly gone down there, but the poison ivy will have had a good growing season so I try to avoid that compound.
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  #9  
Old 03-08-22, 22:52
Chris Suslowicz Chris Suslowicz is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rob love View Post
I did notice this cab had a lot of bonding straps...many more than I am used to seeing on any vehicle.
Fitted For Wireless? It's usually done as an interference suppression measure.

Chris.
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Old 04-08-22, 01:00
rob love rob love is offline
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That is what I figure, but there are multiple bonding straps going from the frame up to the cab floor into 2 different spots just 6" apart. Then another one from the frame forward maybe a foot or so going from the frame to the floor again. Opposite side of the truck has the same thing again. There was even a bonding trap to the door from the pillar, and short ones from the floor to the firewall frame.



I have unhooked the floor to frame ones as I want to lift the remainder of the cab off tonight. I just have to make sure everything is off. I was working on removing the steering box last night when it got too dark to work.
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DSCF0110.jpg   DSCF0111.jpg  

Last edited by rob love; 08-08-22 at 00:35.
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  #11  
Old 04-08-22, 17:17
m606paz m606paz is offline
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Both FGT we have, 7B2 and 7B3 body, a lot of bondstraps . Hood , doors and dog house and others places.
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20220108_112825.jpg  
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1944 Ariel WNG
1945 FGT FAT

Last edited by m606paz; 04-08-22 at 21:31.
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  #12  
Old 04-08-22, 18:31
Chris Suslowicz Chris Suslowicz is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m606paz View Post
Both FGT we have, 7B2 and 7B3 body, a lot of bondstraps . Hood , doors and dog house and others places.
It'll be safety related, static protection in case there's loose explosive about, and redundant straps in case of combat damage.

That would be my guess.

("Licenced powder wagon" for pyrotechnics requires lots of bonding between all metal parts (also screened wiring, no earth returns via chassis, etc.)

Chris.
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  #13  
Old 04-08-22, 19:13
rob love rob love is offline
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I pulled off the steering box last night and it had a bonding strap from the frame to the box, with an extra bolt hole half way along the strap. They may have been for the floor toe plate or the front cowl. There is a part number on a little plate attached to that strap, so maybe the prefix to the part number will give an idea to the rough date. At this point I don't have the FAT specific parts manual, rather I am using the earlier and more generic manuals which covered all the Ford CMPs in one manual.
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DSCF0113.jpg   DSCF0112.jpg  

Last edited by rob love; 08-08-22 at 00:16.
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  #14  
Old 08-08-22, 00:24
rob love rob love is offline
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Below are some shots of the spacers for the crossmember just behind the transfer case. I have to remove these and move them over to the other frame. They were welded to the tractor crossmember and the whole unit rivetted to the frame. Since I am moving the crossmember forward, there is the need for these spacers. I am also showing why it is better to remove the rivet head before center punching and drilling. You just can't trust the peened end of the rivet to represent center.



Best bet is to get rid of the rivet head and center punch the shaft. I then like to drill around 1/8 about 3/4 the way through the rivet. I follow that up with a 3/8 bit, then knock it through with a punch and hammer. A pnematic hammer with punch are also good, but the neighbors will not like you and as well you lose the tranquility.
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DSCF0117.jpg   DSCF0119.jpg   DSCF0120.jpg  

Last edited by rob love; 21-08-22 at 16:35.
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Old 08-08-22, 00:33
rob love rob love is offline
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Today I removed the cab floor, the transfer case, the engine and transmission, the transfer case shifter, and a few other mechanicals. Another day and this frame will be done. I need to remove the crossmember for the transfer case yet, the front axle with springs, and the steering box bracket. That bracket would appear to be mostly bolted along with a few welds. I will have to check the two at work to see if they were welded as well, or if this was post service.
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DSCF0127.jpg   DSCF0133.jpg   DSCF0132.jpg   DSCF0130.jpg   DSCF0126.jpg  

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  #16  
Old 08-08-22, 00:39
rob love rob love is offline
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Amongst the many decisions to make now, is whether to keep this 8BA engine, or go back to one of the original Ww2 engines. I am leaning towards the 8BA but putting on the truck water pumps, the WW2 exhaust manifolds, and am tossing on whether to go back to the early distributor or retain the 8BA top distributor. In fact (for the weak of stomach, shield your eyes and ears) I am leaning towards making this a 12 volt vehicle. That will be a first for me.
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Old 08-08-22, 06:57
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Lynn Eades Lynn Eades is offline
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I'm very hazey on this Rob, but should you consider putting the earlier heads on the 8BA (or vice verca) I understand you need to open up a couple of the water ports in the block? Apparently the new style starter bendix holds up better using 12 volts, with a 6 volt starter. A 6 volt instrument cluster would need a voltage reducer for fuel, oil and temp guages. It's easy. You can buy them for singles, or a unit that does all 3.
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Last edited by Lynn Eades; 08-08-22 at 07:13.
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Old 08-08-22, 13:39
rob love rob love is offline
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I can live with the 8BA heads (maybe), or I may do as you suggest. As to the starters, I have used a separate 12 volt battery on all my carriers over the years and never had a starter issue. Besides,starters are a fairly common item, and are also readily available online.

This is my first Ford with the round gauges, so I may end up replacing all or most with their equivalent in modern repros as used on the US military stuff.
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Old 08-08-22, 14:09
Bruce Parker Bruce Parker is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rob love View Post
This is my first Ford with the round gauges, so I may end up replacing all or most with their equivalent in modern repros as used on the US military stuff.
Chev CMP gauges are dead wringers for Jeep, etc, and therefore modern replacements. The visible difference between the CMP and jeep/modern ones is that the CMP's have a flatter outer ring holding the glass on. The faces of Ford gauges are different (go figure). Example battery voltage instead of ammeter.
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Old 08-08-22, 17:13
rob love rob love is offline
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This one has an ammeter. Good confirmation on the gauges. These actually don't look bad, aside from the speedo. They may get restored, we'll see.
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Old 08-08-22, 17:55
Bruce Parker Bruce Parker is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rob love View Post
This one has an ammeter. Good confirmation on the gauges. These actually don't look bad, aside from the speedo. They may get restored, we'll see.
Watch out for the radium in the speedo if you take it apart, but I'm sure you know that.
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Old 08-08-22, 19:19
rob love rob love is offline
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Yep. Radium is pretty commonplace here at work. But thanks for the reminder.
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Old 08-08-22, 21:50
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Bruce, Rob, on the Ammeter verses the volt meter, the Australian pattern carriers had them both, but which was fitted depended upon which generator was fitted. The two brush went with one and the three brush, with the other. I don't recall which with which, but my guess would be the volt meter with the 3 brush?
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Old 21-08-22, 15:09
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So one of the questions, as mentioned earlier, is if a 15cwt frame can be used for an artillery tractor. And if so, why are the part numbers for the side rails specific for the FAT? I think I have the answers now.

Yes, the 15cwt frame is pretty close. All the holes are already on the 15cwt frame for installation of the winch, the overload springs, and the installation and relocation of the various crossmembers. Except... the rear hitch and rollers. The last foot or so of the frame has completely different holes for the hitch that is at frame level, and the large plate that holds the sheaves and roller. There is also a long bar on mine that goes forward of the crossmember and bolts to the underside of the frame. Aside from those, the frame seems identical.



I think I may have found another anomaly in the brackets for the winch. I have a gap at the top of the brackets, in which I may have to make up a shim to space it out. The old frame in that area was so beat up I can't be sure what the height was, but I will measure one at work to compare.I noticed that the one at work has these plates welded to the frame at the top and bottom....they did not depend on the 8 smallish rivets to hold the winch in place under load.


There were too many holes on the back horns of the 15cwt frame to allow merely redrilling to fit the FAT hitch and rollers, and as the back part of the FAT frame was not that bad, I decided to graft it onto the new frame. I did note that it seemed the FAT frame was about a 1/4" longer, although that is likely not critical. I made my cut and weld at an angle to give more welding area and ground them reasonably flush. The winch will likely never be used, and certainly not heavily, so I am pretty sure it will be OK. I had considered boxing the inside of the frame in the area that the weld is, but I think that may be overkill. Time will tell.



The plan now is to remove the rear brackets again, sandblast and paint the frame, then start installing the various brackets and crossmembers. Before that I need to re-enforce the bracket that holds up the cowl on the frame. It was quite cracked, and I note that the later frames had a second layer of sheet metal spot-welded into them so it may have been a weak spot.


I spent yesterday moving the two piles of parts from the donor 15cwt and the FAT. It was getting to be a nuisance driving around them, and winter is just 3 months away. My hope is to have a rolling chassis by then, and I have no expectation of having the cab ready to go back on. That will be for next spring.


Attached are some photos of the graft.
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DSCF0138 (1).jpg   DSCF0144.jpg  

Last edited by rob love; 21-08-22 at 15:22.
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