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M-42 Duster refurbishing project-a question


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#1 CW4AFB

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Posted 22 May 2019 - 02:44 PM

We at the Virginia National Guard HQ are refurbishing an M-42 Duster in our spare time. 

 

Our goal is to eventually refinish it, inside and out, and use it as a historical training device. We will give it Vietnam era markings and use it as part of our Vietnam vet tribute

 

As we have been removing the layers of rust, dust and old camo paint we found some lettering that we would like to re-do when we get to that point--

 

in the one picture you can see the shape it was in when it was delivered and after we put some test paint in different areas to see if the color was right.

 

the other picture shows the yellow lettering we uncovered on the one side--we can make out the words "Radio" and "Harness" but are at a loss for the rest---any ideas?

 

thanks,

Al

 

 

 

 

Attached Images

  • Duster paint test  (low res).JPG
  • Duster lettering (low res).JPG


#2 hbtcoveralls

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Posted 22 May 2019 - 03:54 PM

that would have been the MWO (modification work orders) pertaining to the radio sets installed

 

They would stencil it when the change was complete,

 

Contact Jon Bernstein at the ADA museum Ft Sill and he may have information about this duster for you

 

Tom Bowers



#3 RustyCanteen

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Posted 22 May 2019 - 04:28 PM

You could try posting it on the G503 forums too. While they are mostly a WWII jeep site, they have sections for all kinds of other vehicles from all eras. Even a radio section too, and someone might recognize it.



#4 Baron3-6

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Posted 22 May 2019 - 04:59 PM

If you want to expose different layers of paint, try using citrus strip gel. Apply lightly with a paint brush or Q-tip, but have a wet rag on standby to inert the gel when you expose what you want to find. I've done this on painted-over helmet markings with success. 



#5 CW4AFB

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Posted 22 May 2019 - 05:21 PM

HBT/Rusty/Baron---all good suggestions--I'll try them all.  Thanks for the help.

 

Al



#6 USARV72

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Posted 23 May 2019 - 05:38 AM

Does it run? Which engine?

#7 CW4AFB

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Posted 23 May 2019 - 10:57 AM

Does it run? Which engine?

It doesn't run....yet.......looks like it has the standard 6 cylinder gas engine----and appears to be in pretty good shape...we'll see....just lifting  the engine cover plates is a good exercise program.

Al



#8 USARV72

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Posted 24 May 2019 - 12:53 PM

Yea one gets a work out removing engine covers. Contentinal or Lycoming engine? Similar to a Big Corvair engine, lol

#9 CW4AFB

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Posted 30 May 2019 - 02:16 PM

USARV72---Appears to be a Continental----it was so hot here today it was like working on top of a stove but we are making serious progress---

BTW  we finally got the MWO info uncovered.as you can see---

 

we have run into a problem with the road wheels---by sitting still so long, every time it rained or someone mowed the grass around it, the water and clippings went into the same part of the rim and turned into serious rust--one today turned out to have rust clear through in one spot--hopefully we can find some other roadwheels to swap out if it appears others are as bad.

 

Al

Attached Images

  • MWO writing on Duster.JPG


#10 917601

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Posted 30 May 2019 - 03:57 PM

The road wheels can be bead blasted, acid etched, and welded...the bigger problem will be the bearings and axles if corroded out. Hopefully they were packed with grease when retired....hats off to you, it is a huge project, huge amount of manhours.

#11 USARV72

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Posted 31 May 2019 - 03:22 AM

Road wheels are 2 piece, IIRC, check MVPA and other military vehicle magazines for replacements. Guessing you all have track jacks and other special tools, working on tracks is hard work, especially when hot. TMs also can be found, you will need one when working on engine. Might want to remove mufflers when starting engine/ adjustinging carbs. LOL. Good luck, will be nice when finished.

#12 USARV72

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Posted 01 June 2019 - 03:11 PM

1DF3FA5B-CF39-4647-B731-E47E5D41B177.jpeg

Heres 2 that were used for convoy escort. IIRC a couple of times they were brought to bunker line. They belonged to a nother unit in our group.

#13 CW4AFB

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Posted 03 June 2019 - 05:10 AM

attachicon.gif1DF3FA5B-CF39-4647-B731-E47E5D41B177.jpeg

Heres 2 that were used for convoy escort. IIRC a couple of times they were brought to bunker line. They belonged to a nother unit in our group.

That's a great shot---are they using ponchos to cover the front part of the turret?  Inside the hull we found a full-size cover for the whole turret but it was so decayed I could only save the section with the cover nomenclature.

 

Here's a modern -day shot of two of our volunteers working on the road wheels.  lots of dust, rust and an occasional hornet's nest....

 

Al

Attached Images

  • Steve - roadwheels - 30 may 2019 (low res).JPG


#14 USARV72

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Posted 03 June 2019 - 12:08 PM

Al, the covers were “ issue”, you can see the attachment straps. Our unit was 3rd shop, unit that had these was 2nd IIRC. Lots of equipment was being transferred to the ARVNs then, they probably got the “Dusters”.

#15 CW4AFB

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Posted 11 June 2019 - 12:26 PM

Al, the covers were “ issue”, you can see the attachment straps. Our unit was 3rd shop, unit that had these was 2nd IIRC. Lots of equipment was being transferred to the ARVNs then, they probably got the “Dusters”.

yeah I read that most of the dusters in VN were turned over to the South VN army--most likely our dusters came from units standing down in German and Panama---

 

anyway, we got it and we love it---

 

here's another sign of progress---first, how it looked when we got it, and how some of it looks now---

 

we still have beaucoup hours of work on the undercarriage, tracks, roadwheels (which are filled with water again from the rain) engine compartment and inside the turret and hull---but it is nice to see some progress-- on Thursday we are going to try to grind off the welds that keep the radio operators hatch sealed.

Al

Attached Images

  • original duster turret (low res).JPG
  • June 11 2019 side (low res).JPG


#16 USARV72

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Posted 12 June 2019 - 03:03 AM

Looks good, whats inside like?

#17 CW4AFB

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Posted 12 June 2019 - 10:37 AM

Looks good, whats inside like?

 

It's pretty rough---looks like there was some standing water inside for a long time---the turret (second photo) is rough also but easier to work on then down in the hull---the drivers area ---seen here -- is actually the best area in the hull---the radio operator's seat is rusted to the floor --not sure how/if we'll be able to fix it.  but if it was easy, anybody could do it, right?

Al

Attached Images

  • Drivers hatch (low res).JPG
  • turret low res.JPG


#18 USARV72

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Posted 12 June 2019 - 12:31 PM

Yuck, sadly many display tracks have bad interiors. Low pressure sand blaster and large shop vac used at same time is easy method to resolve rust issues. Lots of work regardless, good luck.

#19 CW4AFB

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Posted 21 June 2019 - 03:00 PM

Some big breakthroughs lately---we finally got the radio operator's hatch open (it won't open all the way because the guns/turret are welded into place and block it) and we are starting to work on the front of the hull---we've taken pictures of all the unit markings so we can re-create them when we put it on display.

 

We also found and unplugged one of the drain plugs under the driver's seat so that any accumulated rainwater can drain out rather than sitting inside.

 

Al

Attached Images

  • open hatch low res.JPG
  • 3-111th low res.JPG


#20 USARV72

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Posted 21 June 2019 - 06:23 PM

Looking good. Did the *$+# idiots weld the turret in place? Right angle die grinder with thin discs are what you need. Lots of the “ demilling” got out of hand, just needs to a little spot weld(s) to do the job.

#21 CW4AFB

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Posted 23 June 2019 - 02:29 PM

Looking good. Did the *$+# idiots weld the turret in place? Right angle die grinder with thin discs are what you need. Lots of the “ demilling” got out of hand, just needs to a little spot weld(s) to do the job.

You're right---they went overboard on the welding---they even welded some of the selector switches on the guns...and every bin on the sides--the latches as well as the hinges---but heck, if it was easy, anybody could refurb one of these things....

 

Al 



#22 USARV72

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Posted 23 June 2019 - 03:30 PM

Yous guys have a project for a while.

#23 CW4AFB

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Posted 30 June 2019 - 06:19 AM

You are sure right about that--and we have several other vehicles lined up to be worked on next....but in the meantime, as we worked in the turret and scraped away some of the old paint and rust, we found markings for what items get stowed in the turret---

Yous guys have a project for a while.

 

Attached Images

  • Inside turret (low res).JPG
  • inside turret 2 (low res).JPG


#24 USARV72

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Posted 01 July 2019 - 03:09 AM

Very good! Need to find one of the old round stencil machines to make new stencils. Know where spare tools might be? Check “Army Motors “ of “ The Supply Line”, place in Kinston N.C. may even have some?

#25 CW4AFB

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Posted 06 July 2019 - 07:32 AM

Very good! Need to find one of the old round stencil machines to make new stencils. Know where spare tools might be? Check “Army Motors “ of “ The Supply Line”, place in Kinston N.C. may even have some?

 

We found some of the tools inside, deep in the hull, and badly rusted--plan on working on those on rainy days when we can work outside but so far every Thursday morning (our work time) has been clear---really hot but clear...and I'm curious about the lettering---it doesn't  look like stencils....maybe pressed on letters and a sealant?
 




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