Editor’s Note: This series contains how-to articles and photos providing you with great tips on how to complete your next restoration project (or finish the one currently sitting behind your barn).
Issue #2: Coolant Maintenance
The cooling fluid circulates out of sight and does its job of transporting heat from the engine to the radiator with only one control valve, the thermostat and one monitoring device, the dash mounted engine temperature gauge. Many cooling system problems can occur without an immediate indication on the temperature gauge.
It will not tell us, right away, about such things as low coolant level, defective radiator cap, leaky radiator, low coolant flow rate (caused by failing water pump or restrictions in the water passages or just a loose fan belt) or poor heat transfer (caused by build-up of deposits on the water jacket walls, bent fan blade, air in the system or just debris blocking the air flow through the radiator).
In short, your MV’s cooling system needs your frequent personal care and inspection over and beyond the occasional glance at the gauge.
CLICK HERE to learn Coolant System Maintenance Basics.
Issue #1: Calling Up MV “Zombies”
Two questions that MV owners most often hear (besides, “is it hard to get parts for?”) is where and how they found and bought their vehicles. As most military vehicle enthusiasts know, the general public usually assumes that “Army trucks” are purchased at official government auctions where brand new WWII Jeeps still in crates go for $50 each…except you have to buy 200 at a time.
While many MVers do buy their vehicles from genuine government surplus dealers, and some actually purchase them at government auctions, most military vehicles end up in hobbyist hands from private sources. Many of these vehicles are purchased in at least towable, if not actually drive-away condition.
Still, there is another category of private-party MV buying that’s a source of often funny, sometimes horrific, and usually fascinating adventure stories. These are the tales of those brave and determined individuals who, generally by accident, stumble upon some rusty old MV zombie half-hidden by weeds in a cow pasture, buried under blackberry vines beside a farmer’s barn, or back in the woods with a young tree growing up between the front bumper and the radiator grille. There are countless variations on this theme, but the adventure usually begins after the vehicle has been purchased… and often for a very reasonable price after its owner finally decides that his son is never really going to build a monster truck out of it.