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Final drive Housing

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  • rrunnersb
    Just below the top row of protected bolts on the outside front of the final drive there what appear to be seven plates that may have been in the sand casting
    Message 1 of 7 , Nov 1, 2004
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      Just below the top row of protected bolts on the outside front of
      the final drive there what appear to be seven plates that may have
      been in the sand casting when they poured the mould. I'm almost
      positive they were plates of some sort as you can see where in the
      corners they what appears to be small rivet heads are are visible on
      the surface of the casting. They are almost the size of the internal
      alunimum serial number tag on the inside but not quite as tall. Has
      anybody else seen a casting such as this. Is Joe out there? He seems
      to know everything.

      The casting number on the unit is:

      G E8543

      0655

      LO

      I believe it to be the original unit that the tank was built with in
      May 1945. M4A1 E8 76M
    • Joseph DeMarco
      Hi Jim, I think those little cast in plates may have been a feature of the last batch of final drive castings from American Steel Foundries /Granite City. Just
      Message 2 of 7 , Nov 1, 2004
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        Hi Jim,

        I think those little cast in plates may have been a feature
        of the last batch of final drive castings from American Steel
        Foundries /Granite City.
        Just taking a quick look through some M4A1(76) pix,
        there is one that has them in Auburn, Nebraska.
        The casting number on the unit is:
        "G in an octagon" E8543
        D 279

        The one you saw is probably D 655, not 0655.
        I believe D was the last batch.

        It almost looks like you could read what was on those plates.
        Can you make out any of the writing?

        There are some other impressions seen in castings, such as
        nail heads, pieces of wood, & flat spots.
        Sometimes it's possible to tell who made a casting based on
        anomalies in the casting.

        HTH

        Joe

        ----- Original Message -----
        From: "rrunnersb" <rrunnersb@...>
        To: <G104@yahoogroups.com>
        Sent: Monday, November 01, 2004 12:39 PM
        Subject: [G104] Final drive Housing
        >
        > Just below the top row of protected bolts on the outside front of
        > the final drive there what appear to be seven plates that may have
        > been in the sand casting when they poured the mould. I'm almost
        > positive they were plates of some sort as you can see where in the
        > corners they what appears to be small rivet heads are are visible on
        > the surface of the casting. They are almost the size of the internal
        > alunimum serial number tag on the inside but not quite as tall. Has
        > anybody else seen a casting such as this. Is Joe out there? He seems
        > to know everything.
        >
        > The casting number on the unit is:
        >
        > G E8543
        >
        > 0655
        >
        > LO
        >
        > I believe it to be the original unit that the tank was built with in
        > May 1945. M4A1 E8 76M
      • rrunnersb@aol.com
        Joe I have looked very closely at my final drive housing and I can t make out any writing. They were definately some sort of id plate I m sure. Any guess as to
        Message 3 of 7 , Nov 4, 2004
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          Joe

          I have looked very closely at my final drive housing and I can't make out any writing. They were definately some sort of id plate I'm sure. Any guess as to why they would put plates in the casting and so many at that? I know my turret number is the highest number you ever recorded so it is one of the very last built. You don't think they would have let the workers put their names on the plates do you? Maybe since it was May of 45 and the contract for tanks was over and filled they let them run amuck? The more I look at this the less sense it makes. Right on the nose of the tank?

          Jim
        • Joe DeMarco
          Hi Jim I have no idea why those plates were put into the casting. The castings do look like they got a bit sloppier towards the end of production. Maybe the
          Message 4 of 7 , Nov 7, 2004
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            Hi Jim

            I have no idea why those plates were put into the casting.
            The castings do look like they got a bit sloppier towards the end of
            production. Maybe the molds were starting to wear out?
            There are a lot of M4A1(76)HVSS on display as monuments in Indiana.
            Looking through some more pix, I suspect the little plates might have been
            in all the "D" diff. housing castings.
            (The "C" castings don't appear to have them.)
            For instance, the one in Griffith, Indiana has them.
            The part serial number of that diff. housing - the highest noted -
            is "D 1456."
            Its Union Steel turret serial number is also very high - 3581.
            As you know, the tank serial number does not appear to have been stamped
            anywhere on the exterior of those M4A1(76)s, & that has been the source of
            a little frustration, so I appreciate your noticing this & bringing it up.
            Along with the high turret numbers, I think it might be another clue
            of the last 200 or so M4A1s produced.
            If you notice any other odd stuff, or find any stampings up under the hull
            or on the firewall, would you give a little report?

            I was thinking your Sherman was accepted in June 45.
            Did you find something that says May?


            Joe

            ----- Original Message -----
            From: <rrunnersb@...>
            To: <G104@yahoogroups.com>
            Sent: Thursday, November 04, 2004 12:57 PM
            Subject: Re: [G104] Final drive Housing


            > Joe
            >
            > I have looked very closely at my final drive housing and I can't make out
            any writing. They were definately some sort of id plate I'm sure. Any guess
            as to why they would put plates in the casting and so many at that? I know
            my turret number is the highest number you ever recorded so it is one of the
            very last built. You don't think they would have let the workers put their
            names on the plates do you? Maybe since it was May of 45 and the contract
            for tanks was over and filled they let them run amuck? The more I look at
            this the less sense it makes. Right on the nose of the tank?
            >
            > Jim
          • rrunnersb@aol.com
            Re accepted/ no Re build date: All roadwheels are dated May 45 except one which is April 45 Jim Keep up the good work.
            Message 5 of 7 , Nov 8, 2004
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              Re accepted/ no

              Re build date: All roadwheels are dated May 45 except one which is April 45

              Jim

              Keep up the good work.
            • Joe DeMarco
              Hi Jim ... Pressed Steel Car wasn t even one of the companies originally considered for the tank program. John MacEnulty, their president, must have been a
              Message 6 of 7 , Dec 18, 2004
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                Hi Jim

                >Of all the manufactures it seems to me the least publicity during the War
                >was for the Pressed Steelcar Co.

                Pressed Steel Car wasn't even one of the companies originally
                considered for the tank program. John MacEnulty, their president,
                must have been a good salesman, since he convinced the British to
                refurb an abandoned plant in south Chicago & start building Grants there.
                They must have done it right, since they were the only RR company
                to continue manufacturing Shermans right up to the end of WW II.
                I'm almost positive that the first tank they made is the Grant
                currently on display at Bovington.
                The absolutely last Sherman produced rolled off the line at
                PSC in July, 1945. Maybe it'll turn up somewhere?

                I don't think any of the tank builders got, or wanted,
                a lot of publicity. There was a great concern for security.
                In a book about the history of Lima Locomotive, it's mentioned that
                "The "Tank Arsenal" consisted of a 125,000 square foot addition to the
                rear of the existing Shovel & Crane Shop...It was off-limits to all but
                people assigned there and was the most secret part of the firm's
                operations."
                I was at the Pa. RR Museum looking through the Baldwin Locomotive
                mags from the war years. There was hardly a hint that they had anything
                to do with building tanks.

                >The American Steel foundry, does it still exsist in any form?

                Yes. It's now ASF-Keystone. Notice they still use the same octagon logo.
                They have three manufacturing locations - "a cast steel foundry in Granite
                City, Illinois; a hot wound coil spring manufacturing facility in Hammond,
                Indiana, and an end of car parts facility in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania."

                http://www.asf-usa.com/story.htm

                Perhaps they are still doing some defense work?

                There is an article about "hillbilly armor" in the current issue of
                Newsweek. It talks about APG, applique armor kits, materiel
                priority conflicts, lighter, faster vs heavier, slower,
                & Congressonal investigations.
                Some of the same subjects that came up during WW II.

                Joe
              • Kees Huyser
                ... The article is online at: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6700920/site/newsweek/ --kees
                Message 7 of 7 , Dec 18, 2004
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                  On 18 Dec, 2004, at 15:25, Joe DeMarco wrote:
                  > There is an article about "hillbilly armor" in the current issue of
                  > Newsweek. It talks about APG, applique armor kits, materiel

                  The article is online at:
                  http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6700920/site/newsweek/

                  --kees
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