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Old 1st March 2009, 00:29   #1
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Default Willys MB, Ford GPW on meter gauge tracks

Hi

People i have been driving a willys MB 1942 for the past ten years now, I have the original combat wheels which split into two. Now i have read in quite a few places that the combat rims were designed to split so that the inner part of the rim could be run on the railway meter gauge . Now i would request from the 4*4 forum to help me know if this is a myth or the truth . I hope the jeepers will share their knowledge on this aspect of the jeep
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Old 1st March 2009, 10:02   #2
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ssarmast,

No the combat rims were not designed to be used on a rail track.
They were designed so that the tyres could be changed faster in the war. I have not seen a period picture with the Willys MB/ Ford GPW running on a rail track on the inside half of the split rims. Neither have I found any documented reference to the same.
Since you bring up the topic, here is an interesting pic I found on the net long time back. Notice the rims.

Cheers
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Old 1st March 2009, 14:01   #3
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I do not see any brakes on that arrangement. And no sleeper. A point of order, does this really qualify as "off-roading" ?
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Old 1st March 2009, 14:20   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ssarmast View Post
....I have the original combat wheels which split into two....
Hi ssarmast,

Please do post pictures of your rims. Would like to see them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DirtyDan View Post
...A point of order, does this really qualify as "off-roading" ?
Well they certainly aren't driving ON the road, are they?

cya
R
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Old 2nd March 2009, 03:21   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DirtyDan View Post
I do not see any brakes on that arrangement. And no sleeper. A point of order, does this really qualify as "off-roading" ?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rehaan View Post
Well they certainly aren't driving ON the road, are they?
Good point. There was an Italian made diesel locomotive at Coorg. It not only had independent suspension at every wheel, it had an electric motor at every wheel with power generated from the diesel engine. None of that fooling around with drive shafts and differentials. But it did not do well at Coorg. Some say it was a weight to bhp problem. They should have uncoupled the 80 coal cars before attempting the river fords. OThers say the steel wheels lacked aggressive lugs for true mud running.
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Old 2nd March 2009, 03:35   #6
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Gotzuk is right the wheels were only designed that way for quick changes. The railway wheels were different. I always thought that the split rims were designed so the jeeps could run on a narrow gauge track too.

One of my jeeps has the split rims on, will try and get a foto of it..

Heres another photo with the railway rims on...
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Old 6th March 2009, 23:48   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rehaan View Post
Please do post pictures of your rims. Would like to see them.
Here is a closeup picture of the split rim (a.k.a combat rim) that I shot about a year ago at a Vintage Rally:
Willys MB, Ford GPW on meter gauge tracks-image012.jpg

Below is a description about the combat rims that I had saved on my PC. I found them on some site long time ago, am unable to find the name and link of the site now.

Quote:
The jeep wheels are usually known as combat rims or split rims, because a tire can be changed in the field without requiring removal machinery. The damaged tire is deflated and the rims separated, a new tire and tube inserted and the rims reassembled. The wheel rims are of two piece construction with an inner main stamping and outer ring affixed with 8 bolts. Originally the rims had a "bead lock" ring between the halves to stop tube pinching
The picture below shows the two parts of the split rims:
Name:  NOSRims2.jpg
Views: 6860
Size:  103.7 KB
Picture Courtesy: JeepDraw Home Page

Picture below shows how these Jeep could pull heavy loads on railway tracks. Picture posted elsewhere on t-bhp:
Name:  WillysMB001.jpg
Views: 5113
Size:  43.2 KB

Last edited by S@~+#0$# : 7th March 2009 at 00:03.
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Old 24th March 2009, 18:44   #8
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We must have had some of them locally as well. There is a period photo of one of them at the College of Military Engineering at Khadki, Pune, shot on the campus itself.

Related reading here

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/264807-post34.html
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Old 3rd May 2013, 16:53   #9
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Default Re: Willys MB, Ford GPW on meter gauge tracks

No running a Jeep on railway tracks does not qualify as off roading. Where is the spirit of unknown adventure tracks, soft ground trench crossings, gully pits, dunes, mud ploughs here ?

It is all about an additional use for a Jeep.

A Jeep tilling a farm land too would qualify as farming not off roading.
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Old 4th May 2013, 18:05   #10
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Default Re: Willys MB, Ford GPW on meter gauge tracks

Yes, jeep or General Purpose (GP) vehicles were designed to be mobile where no roads existed, used to haul heavy railway loads when possible on a meter guage tracks. Hence the track of the GP was to be equal to the meter guage lines which ran across Nazi Germany at that point in time (WW2). I am not sure if the Combat split rims helped in running or tracks or not.
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