The basic frame of the truck was taken from Dodge’s Model T245. The truck has an L-head with a 6-cylinder engine. The M37 truck weighs nearly 5,700 pounds without the optional winch. With the winch, it’s nearly an even 6,000 pounds. Its cruising speed is 45 mph with a maximum speed of 55 (going downhill with the wind behind you). The 24 gallon fuel tank burns at a fuel efficiency averaging 6 miles to the gallon, with a maximum range of 150 miles before refueling is required.
Battle Tested: M37 Variations
- The M43 ambulance – The M43B1 was an ambulance specially fitted to be able to carry four patient litters, or six to eight passengers sitting upright. The four litter bunks could be folded up and latched to the wall to accommodate upright passengers on bench-style seating. Thousands of these were used to transport wounded soldiers to field hospitals and aid stations between 1951 and the ceasefire in 1953.
- The M201 telephone maintenance vehicle – Also known as the V41 Telephone Installation Light Maintenance and Cable Splicing Truck, this vehicle was mounted with a winch and spotlight for repairing cables, telephone poles, and other communications infrastructure
- The XM132 bomb service truck – This variation of the Dodge M37 was outfitted with an open air back and an arch-shaped metal cage for transporting bombs and other live ordnance.
- The M42 command truck – The back was outfitted to make this vehicle a mobile office, including curtains, windows, interior lights, and a folding desk table.
- The M56 tool truck – The M56 Chassis was mounted with an industrial winch and heavier suspension. This was a heavy duty maintenance vehicle and was used to build crash trucks for Navy and Air Force research.
- The R2 airfield fire engine – This fire truck was often mounted with a winch, water tank, and fire hose. Not surprisingly, it was painted bright red.
- The V126 radar truck – The large satellite dish on the back makes this variation hard to ignore or mistake.
- The MB2 fire and rescue truck – The MB2 was similar to the R2, though this vehicle was used for “forcible entry” rescues requiring the vehicle to crash through walls.
- The M152 utility truck – The M152 was extensively used by the Canadian military to haul tools and special equipment.
Interesting trivia- GE and Monsanto converted an M-37 to an electric Vehicle in 1967 under a project for the U.S. Army Engineer Research & Development Laboratories. The M-37 truck weighs 8,000 pounds, more than three times the weight of a passenger automobile, and is powered by a 40-horsepower, GE traction motor.
A 20-kilowatt fuel cell, mounted under the hood of the truck, generates the direct current that operates the traction motor. GE’s “automatic transmission” matches the constant voltage output of the power source to the variable voltage demands of the motor. Full Document my be downloaded by clicking http://dodgem37.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/electric-m37dodgem37com.pdf
M37 REPLACEMENT PART CONVERSION DATABASE (for modern equivilents) part numbers, oil weights, seals, etc.
Bed Wood Measurements from the old Big Electric site
The uprights are 21-1/4″ long, 1-9/16″ wide and 1-1/8″ deep. There are three 5/16 holes drilled into the 1-1/8″ wide surface. The first is 3/4″ from the end, the next is 2-3/4″ from the end, and the third is 15-7/8 from the SECOND hole or 18-5/8″ from the far end (this sets the proper height – or you could make it ). The double holes are for the corners bow corners and the single hole is so it can be bolted into the bed stake.
The horizontal bows are 55-1/4″ long. The horizontal width is 1-9/16″. The vertical side is 1-1/8″. There are four 5/16″ holes in the vertical side to mate to the metal bow corners. These match the pattern of the uprights, which are one hole 3/4″ from the
end, and the second hole 2-3/4″ from the end; repeat for the other end. Flip the bow 90 degrees and on the wide flat, you drill two 1/4″ holes, each 1-5/8″ from the middle of the bow (which is 27-5/8″ from each end). Double checking, these two holes should be 3-1/4″ apart. After drilling, they need to have a recess of 3/4″ diameter by 3/16″ deep to clear the bolt head. These two holes and bolts hold the ridge pole in place via brackets.
All corners are to be rounded. Suggest using a router. All holes are to be drilled on the centerline of the wood. These dimensions were taken from a NOS set of bows. All measurements for the holes are to the center of the hole.
Seats and Side Boards
upper board, 2 each side 2.75″x77″ (use 1″x3″x8′ boards and cut to length )
headache rack, 2.75″x?? (use 1″x3″x6′ boards and cut to length)
seat, driver side are 3.5″x77″ (use 1″x4″x8′ boards and cut to length)
seat, passenger side with rumble seat are 3.5″x61.5″ (use 1″x4″x6′) otherwise use same dimensions as used on the left side.
seat, passenger side jump are 3.5″x?? (use 1″x4″x6′ board and cut to lengths)