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Author Topic: Newly aquired MG-1 Cletrac Need answers to questions  (Read 5543 times)
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william70d
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« on: January 20, 2009, 11:25:05 AM »

I have just aquired an MG-1 Cletrac.  I found it out on a farm in the middle of a bunch of old tractors.  I pulled it out and moved it to my house yesterday.  The tracks are in beautiful shape and it steers nice being pulled as well.  The metal is very good on it.  I think the motor might even run after a little work.  I was wondering what this thing might be worth.  It doesnt have the air compressor or the generator on it, But I think that is all that is missing.  Also I was wondering where a guy could get parts if he needed them.  Particularly for the engine in case of an overhaul.  Let me know what yall think.  I am 26 years old and have been on a farm my whole life.  I have worked on many tractors and have built many engines, but the cletrac is new to me.  To be honest this is the first one I have ever seen and am looking forward to starting a restore on it.  Thanks alot

One more thing what is the difference between the Mg-1 and the Mg-2  I have a maintance manual I found for the Mg-2 and most everything seems pretty similar.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by william70d » Logged
william70d
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« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2009, 11:58:51 AM »

Doesnt anybody know anything about the mg-1 crawlers.  I thought this was suppose to be a forum where people discussed this kind of thing.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by william70d » Logged
hotratz
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« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2009, 07:04:03 PM »

Be patient young William, Someone who knows about the Military crawlers will pipe up soon. (if you're nice  :wink: )
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by hotratz » Logged

waayfast
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« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2009, 02:33:51 PM »

Hi, wow ---on a whim I decided to visit the cletrac forum and found your post. I haven't been here for quite some time.
  Cool that you found a MG-1  ( I think M2 is just more designation of the the same machine by the military--samo-samo).
  Yep ,it's a pretty rare beast and very typical to no longer have the goodies like the compressor or generator.
  The main thing is the tracks--they are an orphan--they only fit that machine and nothing else.And nothing else is compatible.In other words--break one and your done.
   I have always had an interest in these because my family had one when I was a kid.
   Like the other fellow said, be patient-others will chime in with info-you need to be aware that there's very few people on the planet that even know that these exist--and you just found them.
   Although I live in ID ,Ihave family in TX--Where you at?
   Good luck, Jim
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by waayfast » Logged

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Ol Paint
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« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2009, 10:10:31 PM »

The repro maintenance, parts, and operator's manuals I have all refer to Cletrac model MG-1, which is Cletrac's model number.  M2 is the military designation (in the military nomenclature, M2 is the second vehicle type-classified as a high-speed tractor--although nothing I've turned up so far lists an M1 HST).  I've seen reference on this board to "MG-2," but I haven't figured out what the difference is.  The data plates on the two I have both have M2 and MG-1 on them.

First stop for parts would probably be Zimmerman's Oliver Cletrac (http://www.olivercletrac.com).  I'm close to having completed teardown of the engine in my '42 and haven't really gotten into the serious parts search, yet.  My engine is siezed, so I've been holding off searching actively for parts until I can determine exactly what needs to be replaced.  The WXLC3 does not appear to be the most common of Hercules engines, but it does appear to have been used in some generator applications (military), as well as in some Hough HO loaders and Galion motorgraders from the '50s.  Unfortunately, I don't have a solid source of parts for either of these.  

ktenntex (near New Braunfels, TX) has some parts, but she'd need to know what parts you need so she can look to see if she has them.  You'd have to arrange shipping after negotiating a purchase.  She's good to deal with, though.  I don't know if she's still checking the forum.  If you send me your contact info, I'll pass it along to her.

Values are really dependent on what you feel comfortable paying and what the seller is willing to take since these vehicles don't come on the market too regularly and are a bit out of the mainstream for the tractor guys and even for the military vehicle guys.  According to the 2nd Edition of the Standard Catalog of US Military Vehicles
Class 6 vehicles would be ~$1200, (Parts Vehicle)
Class 5 = $3,000 (Restorable.  Needs complete restoration, but is not wrecked, weathered, or stripped to the point of being useful only for parts)
Class 4 = $6,000 (Good.  Functional or needing only minor work to be functional.  Also, a deteriorated restoration or poor amateur restoration.)
Class 3 = $8,500 (Very Good.  Complete and operable original or older restoration, or a very good amateur restoration with all presentable and serviceable parts inside & out)
Class 2 = $11,000 (Fine.  Well-restored or a combination of superior restoration and excellent original parts.)
Class 1 = $14,000 (Excellent.  Restored to maximum professional standards, or a near perfect original.)
So not a whole lot in the grander scheme of things.  As has been mentioned, tracks are key.  Unlike the similarly constructed halftrack tracks, replacements for the M2 HST haven't been made in several decades, as far as I can tell.*  It is also relatively difficult to find the accessories--compressor & air system and the generator.

Douglas

*With a production run of only a little more than 8,500, it's not hard to guess why.  You may have noticed a sporadic thread where we've been tossing around the idea of getting a group together to find out if the molds are still available & whether we could convince someone to make a limited production run, but it's only low-level talk at the moment.


[Edited to add another sentence about the military designation.  And to fix language.]
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Ol Paint » Logged
william70d
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« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2009, 10:51:36 AM »

Thank yall very much for the information.  I live in Dumas, Texas which is about 40 miles north of amarillo.  The mg-1 that I recovered has excellent tracks on it and all the rollers turn freely.  I might be interested in selling this thing because or the limited availability of parts.  If I was going to keep it I would probally retrofit it with another engine of some kind and make me a recovery vehicle that I could take down to the river on the weekends and I am sure that I would have everyone on this forum mad at me for doing that.  I think that someone else might be better suited for this rig than me.  As rare as they are I would rather see someone use it as a restore project.  The old engine on this thing might even run with a little work.  It seems to me like it is stuck from sitting. but if you put juice to the starter you can watch the fan wiggle like it is trying to move.  The spark plugs are froze in the head but I am going to work on them to get them unstuck.  If anyone is interested I can get some pictures emailed to them.  Just let me know what yall think.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by william70d » Logged
Ol Paint
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« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2009, 06:33:25 PM »

I can't speak for anyone else, but as long as the machine stays relatively intact, I've got no complaints.  Ultimately, it is the owner's decision on how to modify or restore it, no matter what anyone else has to say.  Of course, there will always be wailing and gnashing of teeth if valuable parts go to the smelter.  I actually think that using it as a recovery vehicle at the local mudhole would be a good application for the tractor in its stock form--compressed air, winch, plenty of traction, and easily set up to run a fender-mounted AC alternator for powering a welder.  For that application, lack of a compressor/air system or a missing generator isn't an issue since you'll probably want to use modern units for better compatibility with modern tools & equipment.  

If you ever get it stuck, though, it'll take some doing to break her free...

My '44 acts the same way when trying to turn it over with the starter, but it also has extremely worn ring gear teeth.  I haven't   My '42 was frozen solid & had significant pitting & corrosion in three cylinders (I've been hammering on the pistons to get them out for several weeks, now).  I forgot to mention that some models of the LVT amphibians also use the WXLC3 engine.  It would also appear that there may have been a diesel version of the block as as used in the Gun Motor Carriage T1--Hercules DWX DFS??  Not sure how much commonality there is there beyond the displacement, though.

I don't think that it would be too difficult to adapt a different engine.  As it is, the engine is bolted to an adapter plate that is, in turn, bolted to the bellhousing.  As long as you can get a clutch to bolt up to the flywheel and accept the splined driveshaft, you should be good to go.  You will have to install custom motor mounts, since the WXLC3 has a forward mount just behind the pulley on the front (and is hard-mounted), but that should be an easy fabrication job.  There aren't any side mounts as on a typical automotive engine, so it'd need a couple of simple brackets welded in.

I've got two projects on my hands as it is, but with good tracks, I'm sure someone will be interested.  I'm trying to restore mine with the original type engine, because I think it makes the tractor more interesting, but I do have a back-up plan if the block turns out to be unrestorable.

One more thing about the starter:  According to the maintenance manual, the current draw at stall is 490 amps, so it's going to take a fair amount of juice.  I'm not sure how you are hooking up the battery, but you'll want to make sure that you have a solid connection to the starter to handle the current.  When we were fooling around with my '44, we were using jumper cables to try to turn it over since the starter wiring isn't completely intact.  I don't know if a better connection would've made a difference, but it's a possibility.

Douglas
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Ol Paint » Logged
David Pope
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« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2009, 10:25:30 PM »

The engine was seized on mine when I got it. They have an updraft intake and a downdraft exhaust so moisture has a hard time getting to the cylinders. On mine mice had gone up the exhaust and nested in the manifold. This caused most of the valves to seize in the guides so a simple valve job fixed it. There wasn't a trace of rust in the cylinders. I reused the head and intake gaskets with the help of some copper gasket compound. Including a new set of spark plugs it cost about $50 in parts to get it running.
Having said all this, I'd recommend pulling the head before getting ready to replace the engine.
Regarding value, I asked Jacques Littlefield (RIP) about that several years ago and he suggested that a complete restored unit would be worth around the $40K mark and he should have known.
Jaap Reitveld  in Europe had an M2 and in the pictures I couldn't see any differences.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by David Pope » Logged
do-gmc
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« Reply #8 on: February 06, 2009, 12:37:50 PM »

I wish you were closer as I would be willing to take it off your hands.  As for parts for the engine.  I have made dozens of calls and parts are very scarce for the engine.  I finally got in contact with a Hercules specialist in NY (sorry I have to find his name again) and he gave me some details.  Most main and rod bearing will have to be custom made.  Not a problem but will run $400 for mains and $300 for the rods.  Rings are not a problem.  Head gaskets are not a problem but most others will have to be made.  Pistons can be matched up with others on the market.  Cranks can be built up and turned.  In summary his comments was that there is a 95% chance that the engine can be rebuilt but it won't be cheap but that is the case for most older engines.  I know price has been mentioned but the last one of these I saw sell (at auction last fall) went for $38,000.  This was a nicely restored example with most of the equipment (a/c, generator, windshield).  If you do remove parts to re-power I would suggest that you put them on eBay or list them in one of the military magazines.  No mater how worthless you may think they are someone will be most like ready to pay for them.  I just bought headlight lenses for mine at $50 each and I felt that was cheap.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by do-gmc » Logged
pmarriott
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« Reply #9 on: February 06, 2009, 03:44:44 PM »

I know it is of no real help but I got a complete engine gasket kit WWII NOS from Jaap Rietwald in Belgium for around £65 pounds. I believe the kit has all but a couple of gaskets. The oil cooler to engine block gasket is different.

I can easily get a gasket kit from Jaap when I next see him and ship it to the US for cost of postage if that helps anyone. I can check that he still has gasket sets available.

I am going to need rod bearings as well, I will check out a couple of possible sources in  Europe over the next few weeks.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by pmarriott » Logged
Ol Paint
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« Reply #10 on: April 10, 2009, 11:02:05 PM »

If you happen to get a chance to check on them, I'd be interested in a gasket set, if it is a complete set for the engine and the price is still somewhere around 65 pounds.  My need isn't super critical, so don't go out of your way.  

Do you have Jerry Biro's number?  He sells Hercules Engine Parts and, I think, had picked up some of the inventory when Hercules went bankrupt in 1999.  I've called him about some pistons & a camshaft & it seems like he has most, or all, of the parts needed to rebuild the WXLC-3.  I haven't bought anything from him, yet, but I will.  I'd seen his contact information on the internet before & Zimmermann's directed me to him, as well.  So far, they've been really good about calling back, although we've been playing phone tag so far (I think my lunch hour is the same as theirs).

Jerry Biro
P.O. Box 206
Martinsburg, OH 43037
Phone 740-745-1475

Douglas
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Ol Paint » Logged
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