How I do what I am doing-

Getting parts apart-

I will have to say, getting parts apart that have been together for over 50 years is not easy.  At first I relied on brute strength and a impact driver, when that failed I stopped and used my head.  I used a couple of different rust looseners; Liquid Wrench, PB Blaster,Beck’s Beer* and Kroil– of all of these Kroil worked the best. I sprayed Kroil onto the nut, bolt, or part, then giving the bolt a few sharp taps, letting it penetrate. After a a couple of applications most bolts came free.  I did break a few, and some spun rather than backed off, for these, I drilled out the bolt, then used the impact wrench to snap the remains off.

Getting the combat rims apart was a challenge-  Removing a tire from a wheel, took 3 hours.  I cut the tire from the wheel with a saws-all, then used a grinder and chisel to cut through steel cable on tire edge. I pried off remaining tire parts off of wheel, stuck with rust onto wheel. After removing the 10 combat lock nuts from the rim I then proceed to lightly tap combat wheel with 15 lbs sledge hammer, after delivering 2-300 gentle taps on the wheel and using the Kroil technique (see above), I got the rim to separate into two halves.

* Beck’s Beer is used to lubricate the mechanic’s mind while allowing the bolt to be penetrated with Kroil. Unlike Kroil, care should be taken while using Beck’s (or your favorite beverage) as beer can have a disastrous effect if applied improperly or in too great a quantity

Sheet Metal Repair-

If I can do it…anybody can
As a newbie to this whole restoration venue, I was able to take tips from online forums, online body shop tips, and believe it or not, watching shows like Orange County Choppers, and TV ‘Garage’ shows and work on my m37. After getting a quote from a body shop to have my front fenders repaired (OUCH!) I decided to take the plunge.

For cutting the metal as cool as possible, I relied on my jigsaw, with fine tooth metal cutting blades (bulk pack). I cut my patches from stock steel and then finessed them in with as close as possible tolerances.
For fixing round or odd shaped pieces, I shaped templates out of thin cardboard (like shoe box) paper, cut them to fit, then smoothed it out and traced the template on steel, cut it out and formed it to shape. My forming tools consist of an assortment of hammers, ball peen, flat, pinking, and a 15 lbs sledge, and 4 inch chunk of railroad track, The piece of railroad track has curved surfaces, flat surface, and is good for the hammer on hammer off technique.

For welding I have a Lincoln Electric wire feed welder, I weld about an inch, then move opposite side of where I was, sort of going around the patch like a star shape. If there were gaps or burn through’s, I used a homemade copper paddle behind the weld to fill it in.
I finished with the grinder and sander. So far it is coming along nicely.

Steering Wheel Restoration-

My steering wheel was cracked, and bent a little, so, to restore it, I took a triangle file, opened up the cracks, and filled them with epoxy. After the epoxy set, I sanded all smooth, and then touched up some of the low spots and sanded the wheel again. After it was all dry, I gave it a several coats of gloss black paint.



New gauges

After a lot of looking around and pricing, I decided to go with VDO gauges (see parts spreadsheet on diagrams page) and senders for my M37.  I went with the ‘Vision’ series gauges as I felt they matched closely the stock gauges, but offered some innovative lighting elements that would help on dark evening rides.  While the fuel tank was out of the truck, I installed the fuel sender,  the VDO sender is just slightly larger than the stock sender on the M37, but it offers unlimited adjustment for tank depth.  Instead of trying to enlarge the mounting hole by a 1/16th inch, I removed the fuel line cover plate and fuel filter, and had ample room to install the sender.  Following the instructions I measured the tank, marked off the depth and length of the fuel float according to the chart, and mounted them while the unit was inside the tank. The mounting holes lined up perfectly, though I did use a bit of sealant to make sure it was fuel tight.

Electric Fuel Pump-

I decided to add an electric fuel pump to my truck to ensure an adequate flow of gas to the engine.

I used NAPA Posi-Flo Fuel pump, mounted to the drivers side frame, just rear of the shock absorber.  I ran a new piece of steel fuel line from the tank to an inline fuel filter, then into the fuel pump, the pump then connects to the trucks fuel line at the junction near the center cross member.  The poser supply come via a fuel pressure switch (PS-135) mounted just below the oil pressure sender on the engine. The fuel pressure switch will ensure that the fuel pump will shut off, if the engine stalls or quits, and the ignition is on.

I replaced the entire fuel line to the carburetor at the same time.

The fuel pump specifications are:

12 Volt
Fuel Pump (Universal In-Line Solid State Type)
Pressure Rating: 4 – 6 PSI
Gallons Per Hour: 35 GPH
Fitting Size(s): NPTF 1/8” – 27 Int

120 Liters/hour
Two wire design
Self Priming
NAPA part# 6101050 or EP12S

Note: the second fuel pump burned out as well, replaced it with a heavier duty marine grade pump. My voltage regulator went phlooey and sent a surge, the only part effected was the fuel pump.

Wiring Harness-

After researching the issue of replacement wiring harnesses, and knowing my truck had been converted to twelve volts, I decided to build my own wiring harness.  After mounting all the electrical parts, lights, gauges, etc. I began by running 14 gauge wiring in all the same places as the original harness.  The only exception was adding circuits for the fuel pump, and all electrical gauges.  This took two and a half spools of 100 foot wire, almost 250 feet of wire!! once all the wire was laid out and LABELED, I put wire ties about every 2 feet (to be removed later), at split-offs and junctions, I red a red cable tie and those wires tied together. Note nothing is actually attached to anything yet.

Then the entire loose harness was removed from the vehicle and tape wrapped with 3M electrical tape. I bought three surplus unknown harnesses from AB Linn.  These had the Douglas connectors, and plenty of them I needed for tail lights, headlights, and blackouts.  (they were cheap two, and NOS). I used a 14 block fuse block mounted underneath the dash, all circuits are fused.  The trickiest part of the whole procedure was the mess coming out of the firewall.  I connected one circuit at a time testing each connection with a circuit tester.

Pedals Draft Pads-

The pads went on fairly easily, I lubed them up with tire mounting lubricant, and pulled them over the pedals, TWICE, the first time I put them on backwards, and had to reposition them.

I found a brass grommet in the hardware store for the gas pedal seal, had to file it open a bit, but it fits fine.


  1. jason smith
    jason smith
    June 8, 2015 at 3:42 am

    I want too say a very heart felt thank for all you have created on this site. The information is awesome! Thank you very much for sharing. Just bought 37′ Jay

  2. John J Gonsalves
    John J Gonsalves
    October 21, 2015 at 4:13 pm

    Excellent restoration job.I am in the process of
    redoing 1951 m37.I have replaced old flat head with 318 dodge and NP 435 transi.Had to order electric
    winch as the old mechanical winch would not adapt.
    No ROOM ! But other than that no other hick ups .
    12 volt system . All old 24 volt systems was really tired and previous owner had tried repairing 24 volt
    wiring what a mess. truck is now covered up till spring time.My one stall garage just has to many tools
    no room to fit m37. Again great job. neighbors think I’M CRAZY at 67 to mess around doing another M37.
    But it’s half way there.Will keep looking at your blog
    for more tips . Always something you can learn

  3. Mike Petrella
    November 1, 2015 at 10:48 am

    I would also like to thank you very much for everything you have posted on your web site. You made everything look fun…. so I went out and bought a 53′ M37 in 2010 and a M101 trailer in 2012. I was in the Us Navy for 4 year and enjoyed being around all heavy duty hardware on board ship. This truck reminds me of those years served in the Navy. So thank you for all those handy tips, and please visit my web sight and check out my truck and trailer. Mike