This black and white, declassified US Army training film, created in 1942 and released in 1943, (TF 10-980, full title: Automotive Trouble Shooting Part 11c, Section 2, Chevrolet 4×4 and G.M.C. 6×6 Steering System Adjustments) offers troubleshooting advice for mechanics calibrating the steering of military automobiles (TRT: 15:24).
Title cards: “This Film is Restricted” over a stenciled banner “Restricted” and “Official Training Film, War Department” with a US War Office seal (0:08). “Produced by the Signal Corps for the Commanding General Services of Supply.” Titles continue over shots of mechanics hands, wrenches at work (0:22). A mechanic works with jack lifts under the chassis of a Chevrolet G506 1 ½ ton 4×4 truck (produced as the Chevy G7100, and originally G4100 models). He zeroes in on the steering column. He inserts a bar in a wheel. A closeup shows even weight distribution. The other wheel demonstrates excessive play, indicating loose pinion bearings (0:45). The tie rod is disconnected by removing the clamp bolt and yolk. The upper bearing cap follows in closeup. Shims are handled with care (1:46). Shims are removed from the lower bearing cap from a reverse angle, as heavy grease drips out (2:45). Proper steering knuckle resistance is demonstrated, then the tie rod is reconnected (3:11). The toe of the wheels is checked, using a telescopic toeing gauge. A helper drives forward slowly (3:50). The gauge reads 1/16”. The steering arm clamp bolt nut is locked (4:25). The mechanic climbs behind the steering wheel and turns it gently, testing. The separate components of the steering gear assembly. The steering shaft worm gear and tapered bearings in closeup. A ball nut is added in a cross-section shot, then filled with ball bearings and tubular guides. A nut locks the assembly housing together (5:16). Closeup on the mesh of two gears teeth. Calibration is adjusted with a screw and nut (8:11). The mechanic at the wheel loosens a bracket underneath the dashboard, then climbs out of the truck (8:35). The steering rod is disconnected from the pitman shaft (9:04). A lock nut is loosened and a screw is turned. Then, the worm gear bearings are adjusted (9:29). Passenger’s side POV: The Mechanic returns and rotates the steering wheel smoothly back and forth, finding the center (10:46). Re-tightening the steering gear assembly with a wrench. The steering wheel is re-tested to ensure an increased load and consistent resistance (12:12). A highlighted section of a mechanic’s manual: “Using J-544 Steering Gear Checking Scale, measure the pull at the rim of the wheel…” An illustration indicates the proper positioning of a checking scale (13:00). Checking alignment of the steering column jacket. The mechanic re-aligns the steering column jacket, working from the driver’s side wheel well (13:25). The steering column is fixed in place, and the drag link is re-connected (14:09). The mechanic checks the wheel one last time, ensuring a job well done (14:51). “The End” (15:03)
The “G506” truck chassis depicted in this film was manufactured in mass quantity by the Chevrolet Motor Division of GM during the World War II era. This model of vehicle became the standard truck for the US Army and Air Corps during the 1940s, as over 150,000 such vehicles were purchased. Of these, roughly 47,700 were shipped to the Soviet Union under the “Lend-Lease” program.
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