Willys MB / Ford GPW Front Floor Drains

The front floors on the WWII Jeeps have a drain fitting on the left and right and these are threaded ¼ NPT to accept plugs.

The correct plugs are ¼ NPT slotted, early were brass and later steel and often Cadmium Plated.

Ref: Willys TM-10-1186 – Change No1 July 1, 1943.

The GPW part number is FM-358019-S

This is the correct slotted plug. Square headed plugs are not correct.

 

Below is a picture of an original floor with the correct plug fitted.

 

The plugs were installed as shown from the top down using the screw driver in the Jeep Tool kit. This allowed for the plugs to be installed without leaving the vehicle.

Do not install the plugs from underneath the vehicle as they can be dropped and easily lost.

Original Jeep publications call for the plugs to be stored in the glove box although where the Slat Grille Jeeps without Glove Box had them stored is unknown.

Here are links to the plugs and sockets:
M.V. Spares
Midwest Military

M.V. Spares has been manufacturing parts for WWII Jeeps for more than 40 years as well as having restored over 50 Willys MB and Ford GPW Jeeps. Experience we are pleased to pass on to our customers.

Happy restoring,
Darcy Miller

Trailer Wiring Kits – Bantam BRT & Willys MBT

You will no doubt be aware of the difference between the Bantam and Willys Trailer kits where the original Bantam kit external braiding was black in a coarse cotton with a pattern peculiar to the BRT and the Willys kits were taped in the same manner as the Jeep wiring kits.

We have now reproduced the original style cotton braiding to correctly replicate the complete Bantam BRT braided kits, no other manufacturer has gone to this trouble.

Happy restoring,
Darcy Miller

Wiring Kit – Part A

There are a number of things to be considered when deciding which manufacturer of WWII Jeep wiring kits you should choose for your restoration.

The first and most important consideration is the individual wire used in the harness.

In the 1940’s the wire was multi strand wire that was coated with a rubber insulation compound and then a further cotton braid applied over the rubber as a protection for the insulation. However, being natural rubber, it was somewhat fragile and easily damaged.

This process was initially seen in applications such as household appliance cords, fans, desk lights, etc, as well as the actual wire run in conduits to distribute electricity throughout homes and industrial buildings.

It followed that the same type of wire was soon being used in the Automotive field. With the different requirements of individual wires in vehicles, certain color codes developed with varied tracings to assist with making connections and troubleshooting.

One very important aspect of the cotton braiding for Automotive applications is that it was lacquer coated. This is critical because the specially formulated lacquer coating (which is not unlike a ladies nail polish) protects the wire from the oils and grease found particularly in engine bays. Equally as important the lacquer coating penetrates the surface of the insulation material, thus binding the cotton to the insulation and permanently prevents the cotton braid from separating from the base wire.

Application of the lacquer coating is done in specially designed machines and between 6 – 12 coats are applied with each coat dried before application of the subsequent coat.

Modern wire is no longer rubber coated but it coated with a Polyvinyl chloride or PVC insulation which has too many excellent properties to list here.

When you look at a correctly coated cotton braided modern M.V. Spares wiring kit the lacquer coating can be seen. Unfortunately there are producers in China and India who make similar material but they do not lacquer coat the wire. Kits made from this cheap material have a limited life and M.V. Spares does not use these suppliers.

All wire used by M.V. Spares is manufactured in the USA to the highest standards and we recently set up a facility in the USA to specifically manufacture our wiring kits.

We are proud to say our kits are “Made in USA”

We hope you find this article interesting and will soon publish “Part-B” covering terminals, taping, asphalt loom used on our kits.

 

Happy restoring,
Darcy Miller

A-971 Knob Gearshift Lever

The WWII Willys MB and Ford GPW gearshift / transfer case lever knobs are often misunderstood and some manufacturers of replacement knobs are prone to misidentifying their products in order to promote sales.

The original Willys A-971 Gearshift Knob drawing calls up the material of manufacture as “reconstituted rubber” and one can assume from this there was a concerted effort during wartime to conserve raw materials as many earlier gearshift knobs were manufactured from natural Rubber. Reconstituted  rubber one might assume to be in the main worn out automotive tyres.

Reconstituted rubber does not have the same flexibility as virgin rubber hence the somewhat harder feel to original knobs although after 70 years one can expect original knobs to have become even somewhat harder due to the natural aging process.

It should be noted WWII Jeep Gearshift Knobs were never made from Bakelite and knobs portrayed as being made from this material are offering a very incorrect type of knob for a quality restoration.

M.V. Spares Gearshift knobs are faithfully reproduced using a correct rubber compound to duplicate the style and feel of original knobs, our knobs include what is referred to as the Saturn Rings which was a mold joint.

The original style rubber compound is easier on the hand when changing gears than the false and significantly harder Bakelite knobs.

 

 

 

 

Happy Restoring,
Darcy Miller

M.V. Spares Jeep Wiring Kit Selection

Selecting the correct Wiring Kit for your Jeep

We have provided the following table to assist you with the selection of the Wiring Kit you require for your Jeep.

Please select the features of your Jeep and you will be able to correctly order your Wiring Kit.

 

A-2000A Wiring Kit
Early

This kit is for either of the early production MB/GPW Jeeps such as the Slat Bar Grille MB or the 1942 GPW which is not fitted with the following:

Fender mounted Blackout Driving Light Trailer Connection Socket in the Rear Panel

These early production Jeeps will be fitted with a Radio Filter Box mounted on the firewall under the dashboard and a Push Pull Main Headlight Switch.

Connectors required for this kit:  3 x 2 Wire & 2 x 3 Wire

 

A-2000A*D Wiring Kit
Early

This kit is for either of the early production MB/GPW Jeep which is not fitted with the following:

Fender mounted Blackout Driving Light Trailer Connection Socket in the Rear Panel

These early production Jeeps will be fitted with a Radio Filter Box mounted on the firewall under the dashboard and a Push Pull Main Headlight Switch.

This kit is set up for Twin Red Oval Stop Lights.

Connectors required for this kit:  4 x 3 Wire

 

A-2000B Wiring Kit
Standard – Push Pull Headlight Switch

This kit is for either of the mid series production MB/GPW Jeeps which will be fitted with the following:

Fender Mounted Blackout Driving Light
Trailer Connection Socket in the Rear Panel
Radio Filter Box mounted on the firewall under the dashboard

These mid series Jeeps will be fitted with a Push Pull Main Headlight Switch.

Connectors required for this kit:  4 x 2 Wire & 2 x 3 Wire

 

A-2000B*D Wiring Kit
Standard – Push Pull Headlight Switch

This kit is for either of the mid series production MB/GPW Jeeps which will be fitted with the following:

Fender Mounted Blackout Driving Light
Trailer Connection Socket in the Rear Panel
Radio Filter Box mounted on the firewall under the dashboard

These mid series Jeeps will be fitted with a Push Pull Main Headlight Switch. This kit is set up for Twin Red Oval Stop Lights.

Connectors required for this kit:  1 x 2 Wire & 4 x 3 Wire

 

A-2000C Wiring Kit
Late – Rotary Headlight Switch

This kit is for the late production MB/GPW Jeep which will be fitted with the following:

Fender Mounted Blackout Driving Light Trailer Connection Socket in the Rear Panel

These late production Jeeps will be fitted with a Rotary Main Headlight Switch and not fitted have a Radio filter Box under the dashboard.

Connectors required for this kit:  4 x 2 Wire & 2 x 3 Wire

 

A-2000C*D Wiring Kit
Late – Rotary Headlight Switch

This kit is for the late production MB/GPW Jeep which will be fitted with the following:

Fender Mounted Blackout Driving Light Trailer Connection Socket in the Rear Panel

These late production Jeeps will be fitted with a Rotary Main Headlight Switch and not fitted have a Radio filter Box under the dashboard.

This kit is set up for Twin Red Oval Stop Lights.

Connectors required for this kit:  1 x 2 Wire & 4 x 3 Wire

King-Bee Reflectors

There has been much information offered on this subject over recent times, some informative, constructive and historically correct, unfortunately some has been incorrect. We will attempt to provide sustainable data thus allowing the end user to make their own decision in an informed manner.

The questions are:

  1. Should the King-Bee reflector lens be marked “King-Bee Pat Pending” or “King-Bee Hy-Power”.
  2. Should the reflector lens be glass or plastic?

I have owned four (4) GP’s over the past 40 years and the first was by today’s standards a reasonably complete and original GP and it was fitted with “King-Bee Pat Pending” reflectors. An approach was made to various individuals well known in the trade, in the USA and the UK and they kindly provided original samples from their collections.

From the UK, a used and a NOS example and they were clearly marked “King-Bee Pat Pending”. Then a couple of well-known USA based GP restorers provided examples including those taken from original GP’s and the glass is clearly marked “King-Bee Pat Pending” whereas another appears to have no markings at all. There has been comment that because the patent approval date preceded the GP production dates “King-Bee Pat Pending” could not have been used by Ford. Original samples clearly show this belief to be incorrect.

Consideration might well be given to the huge buying power and indeed volume purchasing principles of Ford who apart from using King-Bee reflectors on GP’s were also using them on other Ford Trucks. It is reasonable to assume Ford would hold large stocks as would Dodge, another substantial vehicle manufacturer using King-Bee reflectors. The “King-Bee” manufacturer being involved in volume production would themselves have stock to rotate before new molds were produced and production of “King-Bee Hy-Power” put into effect.

One can conclude that both “King-Bee Pat Pending” and or “King-Bee Hy-Power” were used on GP’s and many other Ford and Dodge trucks. One should also be aware that there are two distinctly different “King-Bee Hy-Power” markings on such lenses and there is no evidence as to production dates.

There is no such thing as a Ford GP or Dodge reflector, just a commercial reflector purchased from external vendors and used by those manufacturers. The lenses were glass, plastic lenses were never used and are totally incorrect. An aluminum reflector plate and cork cushioning ring were installed during assembly.

Restorers should be aware that the mounting holes sizes were different for various vehicle manufacturers, the Ford GP used #10 size round head screws whereas the Dodge trucks used larger #12 screws so the holes in the Bezel will vary.

The choice of which reflector to use is clearly up to the individual and their decision will reflect their own preferences or interpretation of the data available and the quality of the reflector assembly on offer.

Happy restoring,
Darcy Miller