A special wartime axle discovery!
If you read yesterday’s update, you saw that I recently got a pair of axles for free from a G503 forum member… well, after cleaning them up I got a great surprise!
As I mentioned in the update from yesterday, someone on the G503 forums posted that they wanted to get rid of two MB (Willys) axles… a full set! They said they were in SoCal, and wanted them gone for free. I jumped at them when I saw the post. So on Wednesday evening I went and picked them up! They seem to be in great shape but will need a full restoration. My Jeep has CJ axles on it, so even though these were not listed as GPW axles, I figured they were free and at least wartime. Here’s the rear axle.
I decided to take a nylon wire wheel and try to clear the almost quarter-inch thick grime and dirt caked on the axles to find any markings so I could verify exactly what type of MB axles they are and maybe get a better date range. I started with the main hub and cover on the axle to look for where markings usually were.
Suddenly… this appeared! A GP number. For a moment, I said to myself… is this a GPW axle?! I knew it was too good to be true…
I had read that the quick way to spot a GPW axle, other than the GP number I found was too look for F stamps on the spring connectors, so I quickly went to work with the wire wheel…
And to my sheer joyful surprise, I spied an F stamp! I then tried the other side of the axle…
And found ANOTHER F stamp! My excitement was through the roof! I had a GPW front axle! I decided to keep going and see what else I could discover on this axle.
I found original wartime, as far as I can tell, red paint around one of the zerk fittings! This was common practice during the war to paint the areas around the zerk fittings red so they were easier to spot when adding more grease to the various spots on the Jeep.
I noticed some of the bolts were labeled RA. I did some research and found these are correct wartime labeled for a GPW!
On the brake line hose guard, I spied a large GPW and F stamp! So so cool!
Here are the other markings on the front axles… including ‘FRONT AXLE’.
Also the two patent numbers… 2018188
And the other patent number of 1968618
There were no dates, that I could see, on the round donut-shaped areas on the front axle. I’ve heard, however, that’s more of a MB thing than GPW axles.
But continuing on, I found many bolts with F stamped heads!
So, I figured, at least I had a GPW front axle. The rear must be MB then… so I hit the same spring connectors figuring I wouldn’t find anything…
But I DID!! Clear as day GP 3024 rear axle with F stamp buried under the grime! My excitement was now almost sheer shock and luck that I had a PAIR of wartime GPW axles! And for free!
The F stamp on the other side of the axle (looks double stamped!) It’s like finding buried treasure each time you uncover an F stamp like this. Who knows when the last time that metal saw daylight?! This weekend I’m going to open them up and see their condition on the inside, and also continue to uncover and document any F/GPW stamps there are. There appears, from research online, that there should be a LOT of them throughout the axles! That’s all for this quick fun update!