1/4 TON TRAILER
I picked this trailer up from Lee Edwards in Livermoore Ca. The trailer is made by Gemco Eng. & Mfg. Co. Inc. I have been looking for a WWII 1/4 ton trailerfor quite some time. I beleive this trailer is in very good shape considering it's age of 56 years. A previous owner, not Lee, backed into something and tweaked the bed but with some pulling here and squeezing there my son and I were able to get it square.
The WWII 1/4 ton trailer was an amphibious trailer and was required to carry a weight of 500 pounds when in the water. The trailer could, in reality carry 1000 pounds and there is evidence that they carried much more then that. The floor of the WWII trailer differs from the M100 in that the WWII trailer had 0ne drain plug where the M100 had two.
The data plate is in very good condition. Before and after restoration.
Stats on trailer:
Manufacturer Gemco Eng. & Mfg. Co. Inc.
Serial number 529
ACM number 135821 stamped on the frame under the front left spring hanger.
U.S.A. number 0885163
Click on thumbnails to view larger image.
Right side of trailer. There is some minor rust on the right fender on the front facing edge.
Left side of trailer. There is very minor damage to the left fender. And two combat wheels!
Rear view of trailer. The trailer has four original reflectors. One is faded from the sun.
Damaged landing leg. I tried to bend it straight but I will need a hydraulic press.
The front panel of trailer has a few holes drilled in it. These four holes held an axe bracket in place.
Somebodies bright idea for a trailer hitch. It has been welded to the frame both on the bottom and the inside.
Complete with brake lever and both brakes work and the cable is free and in good shape.
The floor drain that works. The floor is straight and undamaged.
The brightness showing is the bare metal of the floor. There was a wooden grate in the bed that protected the floor.
Below is some of the repair work
The bed was tweaked and here from front left to right rear I used a 7500lbs ratchet tie down to help pull the corners together. From the front right to the left rear I used a jack and 4X4 to spead those corners. Measuring diagonally I was able to get within 1/8 of an inch.
The civilian hitch had been welded to the tongue rails along the bottom and along the inside. This proved to be quite difficult to remove with out damaging the tongue rails. I used a die grinder and small cut off blades and was able to clean it up.
This is a picture of the tongue rail after the civilian hitch was removed and the welded material was cleaned up.
Here the tongue rails have both been repaired and all of the civilian hitch has been removed. The next step will be to sand blast, prime and paint each of the parts for reassembly.
The trailer disassemled into major componants; tongue, bed, axle, wheels and fenders. The trailer was very easy to disassemble taking only about 45 minutes.
BIG BEAR 2003 THE LAST HOORAH
I had a heck of a time getting the combat wheels apart. I used a neighbor's tire machine just to break the bead and could only get one bead on one wheel to break free. I used a die grinder and cut the side wall out so I could get to the bead and cut them lose from the wheel. Once apart I found the wheels to be in outstanding condition with two good bead locks.
I was lucky enough to find on the left rear of the trailer and under the civilian green paint this U.S.A. There are two finish paints and one primer paint on the trailer. Red oxcide primer then the late war OD, then U.S.A., then the civilian green paint. I used a pencil to outline the U.S.A. and numbers.
On the right rear of the trailer I found the numbers 0885163. As with the U.S.A. the numbers are on top of the late war OD and primer and under the civilian green paint.
The four reflectors are Corcoran Brown NO 100s. Three of them are faded pretty bad from direct sun light.
Here the back of the reflectors clearly shows the Corcoran Brown logo and the original OD paint. Also visible is the putty used to seal the bolts holes. Willys used lead washers to seal the bolt holes. It is not clear weather Bantam and the others used putty but evidence seems to point that way.
The original OD paint behind on the body where the reflectors were mounted. Again, visible is the putty used to seal the bolt holes when the relectors were installed. Because these trailers were amphibious they needed to be water tight.
There were a lot of holes in the body that had all kinds of different stuff attached. Here is where the axe sheeth was mounted, looking from the inside. The two holes on the side were bolted on tie downs.
After the holes were filled in I used a die grinder to clean them up. These holes are where a strap was rivetted on to hold the axe handle.
The lunette is cleaned up and ready for installation. I was lucky enough to find this lunette, all the wiring, tail lights and black out switch. Note that there is a difference between the WWII 1/4 ton trailer and the M100 and M416 trailer lunettes. The WWII is much skinnier and less beefy.
Here is the tub and all the trailer parts at Eagle Sandblasting and Painting in Bakersfield, Ca (661-746-6303) Pictured is the owner, Pat, doing the blasting himself.
After I got the trailer home I pulled it out of the truck and looked it over and it turned out great!
Here all the parts after they were sandblasted. Everything looks good.
I'm making headway! After a little body work I laid the first coat of red oxcide primer on the trailer tub.
A trailer parts "mobile".
The combat wheels came out better than expected. Here they are all primed and ready for the OD paint.
It just keeps getting better! Here the trailer is painted and has some of the parts installed.
A rear and somewhat underneath view with the tail lights mounted.
I've moved the trailer inside and mounted the springs at the bolt end and have the axle positioned and ready to attach.
With the axle mounted and the bearing cleaned, inspected and repacked with grease, it's ready for wheels.
A front on view that shows the brake lever assembly and the lunette with casting.
Here it is. Finished at last!
Just for fun
The above scene is my MB pulling Chuck Lutz' Bantam T3 and my Gemco T-1 behind it. I had just finished the restoration work on Chuck's trailer and he and I put it all together and thought how fun it would be to put the three together.
After all the stars and numbers have been applied. It is being pulled by my MB.
Above I mentioned these trailer were amphibious? What do you think? At Tower Park Mike Wright and myself rowing with all we had. It wasn't good enough. Chuck Lutz and Frank Berg spanked us bad!
Just for more fun