U.S.M.C. MZ-2 Radio Jeep restoration.

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Farrell Fox
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U.S.M.C. MZ-2 Radio Jeep restoration.

Post by Farrell Fox » Wed Apr 28, 2010 10:06 am

Since the original photos posted on this thread have been permanently lost, some postings have been edited to make sense and updated with photos taken later in restoration. If anyone has saved the original photos that were posted here, I would love to recover those photos!

Frame: 388901
Engine: MB588405 (MB501544 Nov. 7, 1944 to be installed)
Transmission: Oct. 30, 1944
Transfer: Oct. 27, 1944
Front Axle: Friday Nov. 10, 1944
Rear Axle: (To be installed), Friday, Nov. 10, 1944
Body: MIA (155xxx Range)
Data Tags: MIA
Dash Tag: 2137 (estimated)
Estimated DoD: Monday November 27, 1944
S.N.: U.S.M.C. 103875 (estimated)



Brought home a 44 MB last week, and I am almost certain its a Marine Corps/ Navy jeep. The tub has Ford tags of a DoD 5-21-42 wich were probably thrown in there.

What leads me to believe its a Marine or Navy jeep is the bumper hooks mounted above the gussets. There are holes on the bumper almost in front of the gussets to mount rings to. The rear has carriage bolts (I thought they were rivets) and rings were mounted there as well. Other than that, Im not sure what else to look for.

What I'm stumped on is the paint. The undercarriage had this kind of tar sprayed underneath, which left the original O.D. paint in perfect shape! (no such luck for the hat channels :( ) But its not the typical Marine O.D. it looks like mid to late war O.D. The top side had 6 to 8 layers of every color, plus up to 1/4 inch of bondo on the entire thing! Even epoxy yellow! The last three colors were Semi gloss O.D. dark shade O.D. then a grey with no primer underneath. With the dash I was able to chip away the paint in large chunks. The missing rotary switch plate left a shadow, with what looks like grey paint.

I found no markings on the hood or anywhere else :cry: But I did find a decal on the windshield cowl, with a gold "FTA", and smaller in a black banner in yellow letters "???ANGE?? I can't get the rest of the paint off without taking the decal with it.

So besides the bumper hooks, which I suppose the Navy used as well, what can I look for to identify the branch of service on this jeep, and how can I estimate the branch of service numbers?

These photos are from the original Craigslist listing. They are very pixilated and blurry, but these are the only ones I have left after I lost all of the original photos I took.

Image
Image
Image
Last edited by Farrell Fox on Fri Nov 03, 2017 7:52 pm, edited 22 times in total.
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Mark Tombleson
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Re: U.S.M.C. jeep S.N. ? 44MB

Post by Mark Tombleson » Wed Apr 28, 2010 11:55 am

I have one MB-NAVY-MZ-2 with a frame tag MB-388986... less than 100 from you so it may be of the same run.

Review the following and post some photos if you can of the areas noted below. :wink:

The MZ-2 had the following:
A round gusset, composite body with numbers sequenced with the standard MB body (64000+ to 158000).
There were front seat cushions without zippers.
Two stud spare tire carrier with foot.
All Navy TCS radio equipment installation, sheet metal and accessories were included in the contract. There is evidence that some MZ-2 had SCR-608 and other radio systems installed. One such installation was done by the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard. Others may have been done in the field.
Radio data plate labeled MODEL MZ-2.
The nomenclature plate was marked NAVY instead of ORD.
There was Hallett shielding surrounding the ignition system.
There are some easy ways to tell if you have an N.O.M. or Navy MB:
To start with an N.O.M. will have holes in outer windshield frame for the electric wiper and harness and a hole in the cowl for the wire harness. The frame will have holes in the front bumper for the rings, and lack rivets where the rear frame attached to the cross member as the rear rings used bolts. Finally, there would be traces of forest green paint (WO A-3266) over red primer throughout the frame, body and drive train. The yellow markings were 2” high on the side of the jeep above and below the grab bars with square periods between the letters U.S.M.C.
The radio jeep can be further identified by the six footman loops on the windshield skin, or holes for them. The passenger’s side body pillar will have a reinforcement piece and the glove box will have an oval shaped hole in the bottom. The floor of the body behind the transmission will either have a hole for the PTO belt to pass through, or the cast iron generator mount will remain. There will be no holes for the rear foot rests, but instead over forty holes in the rear floor, wheel wells and rear panel. There will be no rear panel reinforcing plates or hooks for the rear seat, as they would have interfered with the rear radio boxes. The antenna wire and mount was at the driver’s crash pad location, where a small triangle shaped hood and reinforcing was attached to the inside of the body side panel. None of the radio jeeps will have the standard radio terminal box mounted on the inside of the passenger’s side body, under the seat.
MB-NAVY-MZ-1 352625 - 07/20/44 (DOD est.)
U.S.N. 133818
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Re: U.S.M.C. jeep S.N. ? 44MB

Post by Farrell Fox » Wed Apr 28, 2010 9:29 pm

You have described my jeep pretty well! I was just looking at the transmission hump and noticed a long cut away. The drivers side crash pad area has a triangle peice of metal I had no idea what it was for. The foot rests, rear seat brackets, and such are all uninstalled and not present. The wndshield has holes for a harness and the cowl has a hole as well as holes for footman loops. Glove box hole is there as well! :D There are also screws left from data plates on the dash.

The previous owner did a pretty good job of making another floor and simply screwing it in place. So I did not notice this stuff at first. But the rear cross member still has it's rivets. They have been left untouched. The front bumper did have holes for the ring mounts though. Can you post some pictures of your jeep, and tomorrow I will take pictures of all the things noted! The round body gusset was destroyed in favor of a bigger steering box. Lucky for me, I have an original blank replacement!

Do you have a S.N. range and DoD, maybe a U.S.M.C. number? I double checked the tag, it reads 388901, so its 85 jeeps before yours. How many were made? What is there purpose?
Last edited by Farrell Fox on Sun Sep 07, 2014 10:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: U.S.M.C. jeep S.N. ? 44MB

Post by Mark Tombleson » Wed Apr 28, 2010 10:30 pm

Look at this thread and you will see what took place on ALang's two jeeps. It is a long read with plenty of photos and will help.

http://www.g503.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=84&t=107382" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

As for help... Army Motors issue 120 has an article about the USMC/Navy jeeps and radio jeeps I wrote some time back. You can buy a back issue from them here:

https://www.ltmhosting.com/mvpastore/st ... how_detail" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

And yes, that is my MZ-1 on the cover of issue 120. :D

While you are at it you may want to get back issues #121 and 123 by Fred Coldwell on modifications to these radio jeeps. There are also some earlier articles on USMC radio jeeps by Lloyd White in Army Motos issues 65, 66, 68 & 73.

I would like to have your engine number for my records but MB-588405 is too late to be the original engine. Too bad you don't have the body number. Please post those photos.

Oh, look again at the passenger's side of the jeep where the grab bar is and the driver's side hood as well as the back side of the rear bumperettes for a USMC number.
Last edited by Mark Tombleson on Wed Apr 28, 2010 11:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
MB-NAVY-MZ-1 352625 - 07/20/44 (DOD est.)
U.S.N. 133818
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Re: U.S.M.C. jeep S.N. ? 44MB

Post by Farrell Fox » Wed Apr 28, 2010 10:44 pm

Hi Mark,

I just looked at the thread. Great stuff. I know what I have now. My engine does not match. Its MB588405 4-23-45. As far as numbers, nothing so far :( . The bumperets are the last thing to look at, I have not touched those yet. The jeep was painted with epoxy at one point, so the epoxy that chiped away, took the paint with it!

Where can I get tags and parts for this thing? Does it need a 24 Volt system? Or is this going to be a long treasure hunt?

Will get photos tomorrow!
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Re: U.S.M.C. jeep S.N. ? 44MB

Post by Mark Tombleson » Wed Apr 28, 2010 11:08 pm

I saw that engine number but edited my post too late. :oops:

The ignition and light system remains 6 volt. The inbetween the seats generator was usually 12v but can be 24v (like mine).

There are several MZ-2 restorations in progress. Some of the parts are hard to find and some reproduction parts are available but it all takes time and money. In this particular restoration the jeep is only half the battle. :wink:
MB-NAVY-MZ-1 352625 - 07/20/44 (DOD est.)
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Re: U.S.M.C. jeep S.N. ? 44MB

Post by Farrell Fox » Thu Apr 29, 2010 10:36 pm

Hi Mark,

Here are the photos I took, some are of the items you mentioned. This jeep is turning out to something really special! Though no marking were found. I pressure washed the bumperetts today, and they turned up blank. :( So I have no numbers or unit info I was really hoping for. The jeep runs and drives at the moment, but needs a lot of parts, and a LOT of welding.

Image
Image
Image
Image
Image


What do you think the S.N. or markings would look like? Although we are not yet ready to paint, this restoration is moving quite quickly! The only thing slowing us down is the lack of available parts! So, in the mean time, we are taking our time cleaning all the parts, rebuilding the Carburetor, and maybe even the engine. This jeep was bought with the intent of making a perfectly restored jeep. Hopeully, we can find the Genny, and radios that go with her! :D
Last edited by Farrell Fox on Tue Feb 16, 2016 9:21 am, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: U.S.M.C. jeep S.N. ? 44MB

Post by Mark Tombleson » Thu Apr 29, 2010 11:44 pm

Your markings were like this on one side.

Image

And like this on the driver's side.

Image

Don't feel bad... to date I have only two of 25 original markings on MZ-2 in my data base and those two are suspect. It may be the USMC thought the jeeps could be tracked by the enemy or they stripped the numbers off when surplussed.

I could guestimate a number that would be within the range and not used by any other known jeep... You may want to look at the USMC serial number list.

http://www.g503.com/forums/viewtopic.ph ... 94&start=0" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

U.S.M.C. 53722 is as good a guess at this point as any unless you have another number?
MB-NAVY-MZ-1 352625 - 07/20/44 (DOD est.)
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Re: U.S.M.C. jeep S.N. ? 44MB

Post by Farrell Fox » Fri Apr 30, 2010 12:09 am

Awesome, so now my restoration begins on the right foot. 2 SNs of the 25 MZ-2s? You mean of the 25 MZ-2s known to exist, or the 25 that were made?

Thanks a bunch for sharing your knowledge Mark! I look forward to seeing your jeep in the MVPA issue. I want to see how yours is done up, that will give me a great reference to go off of!
Last edited by Farrell Fox on Mon Apr 27, 2015 3:56 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: U.S.M.C. jeep S.N. ? 44MB

Post by Mark Tombleson » Fri Apr 30, 2010 12:18 am

Oh, there were more made, I'm just not quite sure how many MZ-2 as I have not seen any documents yet on contract numbers. There were factory conversions as well on this model.

I almost forgot, another jeep guy posted a generator mount for sale on Ebay.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayI ... :MESELX:IT" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

I don't know what his reserve is but these mounts have been going in the $100-150 range.

Just a heads up on parts. :wink:
MB-NAVY-MZ-1 352625 - 07/20/44 (DOD est.)
U.S.N. 133818
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Re: U.S.M.C. jeep S.N. ? 44MB

Post by Farrell Fox » Mon May 03, 2010 8:36 pm

Hey Mark,

Where is a good place to get those fording plates that go on the dash? Arent there 3 of them? Also, what specs or reference did you use to make your radio cabinetts? I haven't ordered the 120 issue of Army Motors yet, I barely have time to post this! :roll:
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Re: U.S.M.C. jeep S.N. ? 44MB

Post by Mark Tombleson » Tue May 04, 2010 1:08 am

I don't think those data plates are being reproduced, but I'm not sure of that. I only remember two plates but different kits may have had a different number of data plates. One was similar to the standard nomenclature data plate, the other maybe 2" high by 4" wide.

I had a shop use an original from a museum in S. California and make 4 sets of of reproduction boxes. There have been a couple of other sets of boxes made using my boxes for measurements. I know of several people stating they want to get boxes made but nothing has come of it yet. $$$ are a big issue as the boxes and fasteners are not cheap.
MB-NAVY-MZ-1 352625 - 07/20/44 (DOD est.)
U.S.N. 133818
2nd place Restored Class 2008 Portland Convention
MVPA Hall of Fame - 2013

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Re: U.S.M.C. jeep S.N. ? 44MB

Post by Farrell Fox » Tue May 04, 2010 9:13 am

Wich shop was that? I live in S. Calif. Maybe they can make me a set as well! Right now the restoration is on hold, work and Military duty are taking up my available time. I think the biggest challenge will be finding the radios. A vet neighbor of mine just so happened to mention he has a boxed up fording kit he would like to give me. So I may have lucked out on that if he can find it.
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Re: U.S.M.C. jeep S.N. ? 44MB

Post by Mark Tombleson » Tue May 04, 2010 9:34 am

Burbank Sheet Metal
MB-NAVY-MZ-1 352625 - 07/20/44 (DOD est.)
U.S.N. 133818
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Re: U.S.M.C. jeep S.N. ? 44MB

Post by Farrell Fox » Mon May 10, 2010 8:15 pm

I was able to aquire a set of TCS-5 radios for my jeep over the weekend, Im just waiting for FedEx to show up. I have a buddy who says he has the genny I need, and I also located the correct antennas.

What I still need is the cast genny mount, and bracket, correct air filter, antenna mount, cabinets, ect.
I need some wiring diagrams and a list of parts needed. I bumped into a friend who may have the wiring harness I need for the TCS-5 radios.

Mark, if you still have the measurements for your cabinetts I would greatly appreciate a copy. The local fabrication shop has a good reputation for doing good work, so I think I will contract them to do the job. Also, if you know anyone who has that cast genny mount, if I can't find an original, I can borrow someones and take it to a foundery. I can have repros cast for relatively cheap. Provided I have the materials to supply them.
Last edited by Farrell Fox on Sun Sep 07, 2014 11:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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