Military Vehicles, June 1997,: [MV] Engine Swaps and Such

[MV] Engine Swaps and Such

David C. Decker (
Tue, 17 Jun 1997 15:34:26 -0700

The M37 series MVs were fine trucks for their day, but come on guys,
their day was the late 30s and 40s. When you go adding horsepower, you
change the engineered 'balance' of parts in the whole system. How many
broken axles have been changed by you M37 owners? Before you know it, you
are chasing down the weak points of the system and updating them with
newer, stronger assemblies. Every vehicle - every single one ever made -
has it's strong points and it's limitations. Why try and reinvent the
wheel? Or in a not so gentle way of putting it; you can't make a silk
purse out of a sow's ear. Settle down now folks, I know of many very fine
M37s out there, and I have seen quite a few stock M37s. My advice on
those chopped upped vehicles is to do your best to restore them to stock
and realize their limitations. If you have to have higher highway speed,
more horsepower, etc. etc. then start with a more modern design. Without
a doubt, that vehicle would be the M715 series. First and foremost is
that they are of 1960 vintage with gives them a few decades of design
improvements to start with. Next, they are rated 1 1/4 ton off-road by
the military. They come stock with Dana 60 front and Dana 70 in the rear.
The engine is the only weak link and it is a bolt in conversion to put a
whole bunch of different types of engines. The list goes on and on. The
wiring is easier to work on. Sheet metal parts for the cab forward are
easy to come by as Jeep used many of the same parts for their civilian
trucks. On that line, civilian heaters, power steering, up-dated brake
systems all just bolt in. Jeep truck parts are still in the salvage yards
and are usually passed over by many buyers, so the selection is good. I
just bought a 82 Jeep PU for $500 for parts, I'll strip the parts I need
and still sell the rest for more then I paid for the whole thing!
Now the clincher. M715s are still pretty cheap and still available. I
just saw a 715 stock with PTO winch in Phoenix for sale for $1800!!!!
Different people like different things, I don't think any one of us would
have it any other way. But if one can put emotion aside and compare the
facts; if you start with a more modern and more capable truck to begin
with, you will end up with a better one with a lot less hassle.
The M37 has soldiered on with pride for a long time and will be around
forever, it is a fine vehicle and performed well in 3+ wars and heaven
knows how many mountain and desert places. But it is not a 715, a Hummer
or a Unimog. (OK, that's the end, I'm ready for the rebuttals)

Dave in Flagstaff,AZ.,USA

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