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1-Ton Power Wagon Dodge called it the General Purpose Power Wagon; 1946-1968 WDX-WM300, the civilian truck with the military look. Also has come to be known as the flat fender Power Wagon, abbreviated FFPW

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Old 12-20-2011, 11:39 AM   #1
joemcc
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FFPW and M37 DIFFERENCES

I was wondering what the differences were between the civilian power wagon and the M37. I know the axles are the same ratios and they look identical. Is it the length of the axles that is different? I know that the M37 has waterproof ignition and all that. Was it the springs and suspension that was the difference in the rating a FFPW as a 1 ton and the M37 as 3/4 ton? Just wondering.
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Old 12-20-2011, 04:13 PM   #2
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I was wondering what the differences were between the civilian power wagon and the M37. I know the axles are the same ratios and they look identical. Is it the length of the axles that is different? I know that the M37 has waterproof ignition and all that. Was it the springs and suspension that was the difference in the rating a FFPW as a 1 ton and the M37 as 3/4 ton? Just wondering.
It may be easier to ask, "What are the similarities between an M37 and a WDX-WM300 model Power-Wagon?" I believe they used the same horn button and neither had flat fenders. Anyone else? Is Frank Irons in the house?

Seriously, here is a list of what I am aware of as far as the parts they shared:

Wheels
Basic engine (though engineering code is different)
3rd members
A lot of the bearings and seals

Axle housings are different as well as the length of the axle shafts. I don't think any suspension parts interchange. Transfer case uses different yokes and mounts differently. Transmission has a different shift tower from the same basic unit used on some Civilian Power Wagons. The M37 has a shorter wheelbase and a completely different frame. The suspension is lighter on an M37, that and the smaller size of the cargo box is partly why the M37 is rated at 3/4-ton rather than 1-ton like the civilians.
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Old 12-20-2011, 05:19 PM   #3
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Brake parts - drums, wheel cylinders, shoes, springs, etc. - are the same, except for the master cylinder and the brake tubing. The master cylinder is not the same between the two trucks, but are interchangeable. I am not sure about the flexible brake hoses. And of course, the steel tubing is not the same length or arrangement, but that's not too big a deal, since tubing can be purchased in various lengths and custom bent and flared (double-flare only, no single flares allowed) to fit as needed.
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Old 12-20-2011, 06:06 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Clint Dixon View Post
It may be easier to ask, "What are the similarities between an M37 and a WDX-WM300 model Power-Wagon?" I believe they used the same horn button and neither had flat fenders. Anyone else? Is Frank Irons in the house?

Seriously, here is a list of what I am aware of as far as the parts they shared:

Wheels
Basic engine (though engineering code is different)
3rd members
A lot of the bearings and seals

Axle housings are different as well as the length of the axle shafts. I don't think any suspension parts interchange. Transfer case uses different yokes and mounts differently. Transmission has a different shift tower from the same basic unit used on some Civilian Power Wagons. The M37 has a shorter wheelbase and a completely different frame. The suspension is lighter on an M37, that and the smaller size of the cargo box is partly why the M37 is rated at 3/4-ton rather than 1-ton like the civilians.
You pretty much covered it Clint, the only thing I can add is universal joints.

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Old 12-20-2011, 08:04 PM   #5
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Thanks so much for the quick replies. I have an M37 and never knew just how much difference there was between the two.
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Old 12-21-2011, 06:16 PM   #6
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M37

The M37 is a 1 ton truck. The military downgrades the carrying capacity to 3/4 ton, for off road load handling.
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Old 12-22-2011, 07:08 PM   #7
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The M37 is a 1 ton truck. The military downgrades the carrying capacity to 3/4 ton, for off road load handling.
I did not even think to mention that. I think this was true across the board with the military trucks. Just look at the 1/2-ton Dodge, definitely downgraded from a 3/4-ton when compared to Civilian Dodge 1/2-tons.

So, does this mean the Power Wagon is actually a 1-1/2-ton? The few that were bought by the government, and the M601 trucks, were always known as 1-tons.
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Old 12-23-2011, 06:05 AM   #8
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The M37 is a 1 ton truck. The military downgrades the carrying capacity to 3/4 ton, for off road load handling.
The military also tends to up the factor of safety on everything too, for good reason, can't have it failing under "usual circumstances" when the stuff hits the fan.

And because (in my experience) a bunch of young kids in the military are going to abuse the crap out of it far more than your average civilian owner.
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Old 12-23-2011, 05:11 PM   #9
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Even considering the downgrade notion, the M37 does not have as much rear spring, does it?
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Old 12-23-2011, 09:34 PM   #10
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Even considering the downgrade notion, the M37 does not have as much rear spring, does it?
Actually that depends on the variation of the military model. As far a springs go; the leaves used in all M37 spring packs are wider (2") than those used on civilian models, thus the individual leaves are heavier. The standard M37 cargo truck has 7 leaves in the front packs and 11 in the rear. The heavier bodied trucks such as the ambulance, (M43) uses 9 in the front packs and 13 in the rear. The even heavier trucks, (M201) contact maintenance trucks used 9 or 10 in the front and 16 in the rear. In actual service, many variations in spring leaf count was seen depending on the individual application. Users mixed and matched in local shops to meet their specific needs, so there is literally no end to the combinations one may encounter in both suspension and other modifications.
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Old 12-28-2011, 08:01 PM   #11
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Differences M37&FFPW

I saw an old advertisement with the specs for the M37 and it said it was rated 2000lbs highway and 1500lbs off road. So I would say it a one ton truck.
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