Author Topic: M4A1 "Savage Sofie" progress  (Read 823 times)

RB-058

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M4A1 "Savage Sofie" progress
« on: April 04, 2020, 06:34:04 AM »
Hi all,

Herewith my thread at the start of my M4A1 project. I've posted some pictures yesterday in my weight for transport question thread so I will start out with 2 pictures in here for ease of reading down the line. I will not post all of yesterday's pictures in this thread because that will only take space. Link to my previous thread with more pictures: http://halftrackinfo.com/index.php?topic=2433.0

I find myself really fortunate that I was able to aquire this halftrack. After learning it's whereabouts approximately 3 years ago I reached out to it's owner to see if he possibly wanted to sell it to me. At that time it was not his plan but a couple of months ago I got a phone call that he was ready to part with it. Long story short, we came to an agreement and I can call her mine now. I don't have a lot of knowledge from it's history. It was (luckily) sandblasted and thorougly painted to prevent further corrosion so unit markings will not be found. That might be unfortunate but if the previous owner didn't take these steps this old warrior would probably be too far gone to be saved, so I'm glad he did this. My plan is to restore it as it's origine, M4A1. I'm reading a lot about 4th armored division right now because I just think it would fit in there, and because it's a 1943 HT it also fits the timeline of the units that fall under 4th armor and the time they were deployed versus the delivery date of this HT.
I already got a lot of help from Kevin and Pat on this forum with my research for m4's and units that they were attached to. I am looking forward to this amazing project!

Let the fun begin!

Rob
 
« Last Edit: April 13, 2020, 02:14:27 PM by RB-058 »
1943 White Halftrack M4A1

spillmk1

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Re: M4A1 progress
« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2020, 06:53:46 AM »
A great project.
Looking forward to watching your progress!!

Keith
1955 M38A1
1952 M100
1941 M2A1
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spec4don

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Re: M4A1 progress
« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2020, 08:50:30 AM »
Will be watching!

Don G
1941 M2A1 not restored
1942 M3 Diamond T Mostly restored
1943 M3A1 Under restoration
1967 M51A2 Tractor
1945 WC 63 needs restoration
1967 M36 Long wheel base duece
1951 M135 GMC Fire truck conversion

RB-058

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Re: M4A1 progress
« Reply #3 on: April 13, 2020, 01:58:14 PM »
Well, 1st week. Did not do as much as I would've liked. Still have to work in these crazy times, but I have minor progress! Mainly focussed on some kind of triage and took a tonne of pictures of wiring fuel lines etc. etc. for future purpose. My dual idler springs both look slightly bent. Asked about that in a different post yesterday and Steve1973 informed me that they should not be bent so I will have to fix some new ones.. My halftrack is stored in a commercial building close by but I can't have access all the time, which is not ideal but I'm glad I've got it stored somewhere inside. So my solution is to take dismantled parts home to my (tiny) workshop and restore it, bring it back and take some other parts and do it all over again. It is not the best and final solution, but it works for now. This weekend I was able to steal some hours to work on my doors. Had some roofing to do which seemed to have priority according to my wife... They really come from a different planet, but that is for a different forum..  ;D But got them almost dismantled. (I know what you think, it is not that much!) Only that one blind bolt of the door lock is really stuck... On both of them. Tried a impact driver but tore the bits. Think I will bring in the torch this week.. Also gave a thought to a nickname and came up with "Savage Sofie". Sofie is my wife her Starbucks name... :D :D  (Her real name is Fieke which she had to keep repeating at Starbucks so she went with Sofie.) My thought was to keep her connected to this project so had to give her this honor! Haha! Happy wife, happy life right!
I did find some interesting punch numbers on the outside - top half - passenger side door. Is anybody familiar with numbers on the outside? Numbers are read:
14
3741
17? (half on the edge of the panel)
The original panel number is punched on the inside. Please find photos attached.
There are sooo many questions!! Not sure if I have to make a different post for them in the particular topics or if I should vent them over here. I guess best way is to keep it sorted in topics right?

I've attached some pictures to give you an overall idea of my pride and joy!

Rob
« Last Edit: April 13, 2020, 02:01:16 PM by RB-058 »
1943 White Halftrack M4A1

Outsider

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Re: M4A1 "Savage Sofie" progress
« Reply #4 on: April 14, 2020, 05:51:06 AM »
If those numbers were on the outside of the panel when it is in the fighting position then someone put the panel on the wrong side of the ht as the numbers should be on the inside when in fighting position.

How do you eat an elephant?....One bite at a time.

Steve
Lots of green "junk" as my wife likes to call it.
Friends don't let friends buy Trailking Trailers!

RB-058

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Re: M4A1 "Savage Sofie" progress
« Reply #5 on: April 14, 2020, 06:33:19 AM »
The panel number is on the  inside so these numbers are quite different and they might have another purpose? Got mentioned that it might be batch number + date of production?

That is a good one Steve! I will take a lot of bites! Thanks!

Rob
1943 White Halftrack M4A1

yd328

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Re: M4A1 "Savage Sofie" progress
« Reply #6 on: April 14, 2020, 06:48:32 AM »
That looks like a great project. Looking forward to seeing the progress.

Gary

RB-058

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Re: M4A1 "Savage Sofie" progress
« Reply #7 on: April 14, 2020, 12:08:53 PM »
Thanks Gary! It sure is a great project, really happy with it! Will keep the posts coming!
1943 White Halftrack M4A1

RB-058

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Re: M4A1 "Savage Sofie" progress
« Reply #8 on: July 20, 2020, 12:55:49 PM »
It has been a while, but I've made some progress. Had some crazy times at work due to this COVID situation but it is becoming easier (all my projects got cancelled/ postponed because they're in the USA and I can't go there...) Some things goes faster than others, some things are incredibly stuck (rust or the enormeous layer of red iron oxide, and I'm learning my ways as well but I feel that I'm getting more handy every time! Got my first injuries from my beloved halftrack and it is safe to say that in three months time I've learned to swear like a sailor.. Everything comes with a price! On the other hand I'm changing the tires of my wifes car like I'm changing a light bulb, so it all has it's pro's..
Both front wheels are off. Right side didn't come off easy and took me some time.. With my first try I bended my 1" thick solid steel lug nut wrench. For my second try I bought a small torch set to apply a lot of heat but the nuts were not giving in. What did the trick was a $45 torque multiplier! My guess was that I was going to break it because it was so affordable and the nuts where stuck as a Ford GPW in 2" mud (I'm a Willy's kinda guy..) but amazingly it did the trick! Great tool and will probably become necassary somewhere along the line.
The rear bed is off (and on-ish again). Right side track is off (was the only one that was on) and got a fair amount of armour plating dismantled. Got the mortar base dismantled from the frame as well and found some original OD underneath it! Good times! I did already order 1/2 gallon of OD to check the color and flatness and it is coming really close to the original! I'm really excited about that.
I had to put the rear bed on again because there is not a lot of space at the place that it is right now.. I even have to "dig" it out everytime that I come to work on it as there will be pallets built around it by the owner and dig it in when I leave. Not ideal but good enough for now.  So I got the bed off and placed it back on some wooden beams so I will have some better access all around. Everything else that is dismantled will be shoved underneath. My plan is to have it completely dismantled before winter and then move it part by part to a new shelter in which I have more space available for blasting, sanding, painting and eventually building up again. This Thursday I will be getting the cover plates for the fuel tanks. I found two by accident, they're a bit rough but salvagable. Still in the hunt for an engine and gearbox but I have some good leads at the moment. Hopefully this will work out. Next thing will be getting the cab off, axles dismantlled and remove everything from the frame.

I have two questions, in the last two pictures there are some kind of brackets. Does anybody know what they are for? 1 is alongside the drivers seat and the other is on the rigt side in the rear bed. That one might be M4 specific?

I hope my next update will be sooner than this one!

Rob
« Last Edit: July 20, 2020, 01:22:40 PM by RB-058 »
1943 White Halftrack M4A1

8683jb

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Re: M4A1 "Savage Sofie" progress
« Reply #9 on: July 20, 2020, 01:39:30 PM »
Off to the races Rob! Great start!
'42 Autocar M2A1

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RB-058

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Re: M4A1 "Savage Sofie" progress
« Reply #10 on: July 20, 2020, 02:04:55 PM »
Thanks, wish it was my job. Love working on it!
1943 White Halftrack M4A1

mfrance

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Re: M4A1 "Savage Sofie" progress
« Reply #11 on: July 20, 2020, 04:27:22 PM »
Last picture  is m1 carbine butt stock holder with the barrel tip holder at other end
M16 halftrack have them also
« Last Edit: July 20, 2020, 04:31:16 PM by mfrance »

RB-058

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Re: M4A1 "Savage Sofie" progress
« Reply #12 on: July 22, 2020, 01:28:55 AM »
That makes sense now that you say it! Thanks! I really appreciate it!

Rob
1943 White Halftrack M4A1

supertrack

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Re: M4A1 "Savage Sofie" progress
« Reply #13 on: July 29, 2020, 04:03:51 PM »
Very nice project !