The M42 was an M37 with a "Command Car Kit" applied. The kit included the
following: Map light and reel, map harness, junction box, map table, side
curtains with clear plastic windows, and end curtains, an additional step, a
manual, and data plates. Also, most M42's were also radio trucks, which had
radios that were bolted down to the troop bench directly behind the driver,
and also had the larger 100 amp generators.
The front end curtain had tabs for the map light harness to pass through.
The side curtains were high enough to clear the side boards, so that the
side boards did not need to be removed, and had 3 clear plastic windows in
each one. The right and left side curtains had different part numbers, even
though they appear to be the same.
I know of three different types of steps on M42's. One has a 4 step ladder,
one has a single step that hooks on the bumperette, and some others had
fold-down type steps that were attached to the middle of the tailgate.
The map table had a 1/2" plywood top with two telescoping legs with wing nuts
on top to tighten them down. The table had two Z-shaped brackets and was
stored by fitting the Z-brackets into the sideboards. When the table was
used it was supported by the folded down troop bench on one side with the
legs partially extended. It could also be used by leaning it against the
tailgate with the legs fully extended, as shown in ORD 9, page 4.
The map light bracket has two screw holes. These are screwed into the bottom
of the ridge pole very near the front of the truck. When you needed the
light at the back of the truck, you pulled it and it spooled line off the
reel and you could then use it in the back. Putting it up near the front,
kept you from hitting your head on it when you climbed in and out of the
The junction box was mounted inside the cargo box, at the front. This
junction box had a wire that ran through the 1/2 hole in the back of the cab
and connected to the batteries.
This had several plug-in sockets where the radio plugged in, the map light
plugged in, etc.
The dataplates came with the kit, and were supposed to be removed from the
truck if and when it was decommissioned back to an M37.
All of this is explained in detail in a manual (probably only a couple of
pages) that came with the command car kit. It covers every single step
necessary for converting an M37 to an M42.
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