Dodge M37

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Dodge M37
RAFBF 90th Birthday Air Show, East Kirkby - - 1440198.jpg
M37 cargo truck
Type34-ton 4x4 truck
Place of originWarren Truck Assembly, Michigan, United States
Service history
In service1951 until varying per country
WarsKorean War
Vietnam War
Laotian Civil War
Cambodian Civil War
Nicaraguan Revolution
Salvadoran Civil War
Guatemalan Civil War
Production history
No. built115,838 – across:
M37: ~63,000 units (1951–1954)
M37B1: 47,600 units (from 1958)
M37CDN: 4,500 Canadian (1951–1955)
Specifications (with winch[1])
Mass5,917 lb (2,684 kg) (empty)
Length15 ft 10 in (4.83 m)
Width6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Height7 ft 5 in (2.26 m)

EngineDodge T-245
78 hp (58 kW)
Transmission4 speed X 2 range
SuspensionLive beam axles on leaf springs
225 mi (362 km)
Maximum speed 55 mph (89 km/h)
An M56 used as a fire truck in the Lane Motor Museum

The Dodge M37 34-ton 4x4 truck (G741) was Dodge's follow-up to their successful WC Series from World War II. Introduced in 1951, it was used extensively by the United States armed forces during the Korean war. In the 1970s, they were replaced by the Commercial Off The Shelf (COTS) based 1+14-ton trucks Kaiser M715 (late 1960s), and Dodge's M880/M890 series (1970s).


Six prototypes of the vehicle were produced in early-to-mid 1950 based on the WC series Dodge vehicles used in World War II, with the first pre-production pilot vehicle rolling off the assembly line on 14 December 1950.[2] Many of the components on the M37 are similar or identical to the World War II vehicle and many deficiencies of the previous series were corrected in the M37. Notably, a conventional pickup truck style bed replaced the platform on the World War II vehicle, simplifying production. There was significant drivetrain and powerplant commonality with the WDX series civilian Power Wagons. The M37 shared no sheet metal with the WDX Power Wagon.

Production of the M37 began in earnest in January 1951, with approximately 11,000 vehicles made by the end of that year. By mid-1954 63,000 of the vehicles had been produced. In 1958 a number of modifications to the design resulted in the new vehicles being designated as M37B1. From mid-1958 until the end of production 47,600 M37B1 vehicles were produced. Approximately 4,500 Canadian M37CDNs were also produced between 1951 and 1955. These vehicles continued in service worldwide in the Israeli and Greek militaries.

In total, between 1951 and 1968, some 115,000 Dodge M37s were produced. From 1968 onwards, the U.S. military replaced them with the M-715 family of vehicles, which saw service in the Vietnam War. Although these were higher (114 or five-quarter ton) rated, they were militarized "commercial off-the-shelf" (or 'COTS') trucks – and the Kaiser Jeep M715s were considered underpowered and fragile, compared to the purpose-built Dodge M37 tactical trucks they were built to replace.[3] Starting 1976, the U.S. military went back to Dodges, when the M715s were replaced by the Dodge M880 series, again a 1+14-ton militarized COTS truck.

It was common in the 1970 and 1980s to encounter these vehicles in government auctions. Many of the vehicles were transferred to civilian agencies and some are still in use today in rural areas. They were out of significant military service by the late 1970s, replaced by the M715 and M880 series.

1953 Dodge M37


Dodge M42 in the Overloon Museum
1952 Dodge M152
  • M42 command truck
  • M43 ambulance
  • M56 tool truck, has a bumper-mounted winch
    • MB2 Fire and Rescue Truck (M56 with Gichner body)
    • R2 air field rescue truck (w/winch)
  • M152 modified enclosed utility truck, Canadian variant
  • M201 / V41 telephone maintenance vehicle
  • M283 Long Wheel Base (LWB) Cargo Truck
  • M506 truck, hydrogen peroxide servicer, PGM-11 Redstone
  • V126 truck – for AN/MPX-7 radar


  • XM152 experimental enclosed utility truck used in small numbers by the USAF
  • XM708 experimental dump truck used mostly by airborne units
  • XM711 experimental wrecker truck



The powerplant was identical to the World War II era WC vehicles line, as was most of the drivetrain. The Chrysler Straight-6 cylinder engine was derived from a 1930s era passenger vehicle engine that was widely produced. This was in line with a long-standing military procurement strategy that attempted to use commercially produced vehicle variants in military service.

Many deficiencies with aging design became apparent in the 1960s, including a tendency of the connecting rods to fail at high rpms due to the long cylinder stroke of the engine. As the average speed of the vehicles in the military increased, these engine failures became commonplace due to the low gear ratio of the vehicle, which was originally designed as a multipurpose vehicle capable of transporting heavy loads of ammunition.

  • Model: T245 Dodge
  • Type: "L" Head, 6 cylinder
  • Power: 78 bhp (58.2 kW) at 3200 rpm
  • Displacement: 230 cubic inches (3.8 L) (Canadian version used the larger 250.6 cu in (4.1 L) engine)
  • Bore: 3+14 in (82.6 mm), Stroke: 4+58 in (117 mm)
  • Oil capacity: 6 U.S. quarts (5.7 l)
  • Radiator capacity: 25 U.S. quarts (24 l)
  • Carter carburetor Model ETW-1 sidedraft
M37 B1 Standard specifications sheet (1968).



  • Borg & Beck Model 11828 10 in (250 mm) single plate dry disc (Borg & Beck 11 inch clutch on Canadian version.)


  • New Process Model 88950 (or NP420)(Acme Model T-98 on Canadian version)
  • 4-speed, Synchro-Shift in 3rd and 4th gear

Transfer Case

  • New Process 88845 (or NP200)
  • Ratio: High 1:1, low 1.96:1
  • Twin lever operation, one for 4×4 or 4×2 selection, one for hi or low range

Drive Shaft

  • MFG Universal Products


  • Dodge Full Floating (hypoid), ratio 5.83:1
  • Front Universal Drive New Process (Tracta joint)


Fuel tank

  • 24 U.S. gallons (91 L; 20 imp gal) tank (vented through engine air intake for fording purposes)


  • Ignition, starting, lights, 24 volts


  • Wagner hydraulic drum
  • Parking—external contracting band, 48 square inches (310 cm2)


  • Gemmer Model B-60, worm and sector type


  • Cargo Model M37 and Command Model M42: 112 in (2.8 m)
  • Ambulance Model M43 and Tele. Maint. Model V41: 126 in (3.2 m)


  • M37 without winch: 5,687 lb (2,580 kg), M37 with winch 5,987 lb (2,716 kg)

Tire Size

  • 9.00 × 16 - 8 ply non-directional military


  • Braden LU-4, PTO operated, 7,500 lb (3,400 kg) capacity (250’ of 7/16" wire rope [75 m by 11 mm] – 10’ [3 m] chain with hook)

Replacement program[edit]

During the late 1960s a competition was initiated by the Army, which requested the leading U.S. automotive companies to submit proposals as a replacement for the M37. Several prototype vehicles passed through the preliminary examination, eventually leading the military to accept General Motors XM705 114-ton Truck and derivative XM737 Ambulance, which were supposed to replace the M37, instead of the militarized COTS M715 series of trucks. However, Congress cut funds for the program, and the XM705 never reached the assembly line.[4]

Below table lists the comparative specifications of the vehicles involved.[5]

Vehicle XM705 M715 M37
Engine Chevrolet 8-307 Kaiser Jeep 6-230 Chrysler T-245
Maximum horsepower 200 at 4,600 rpm 132.5 at 4,600 rpm 94 at 3,400 rpm
Net brake horsepower 140 at 4.000 rpm 116 at 4,000 rpm 79 at 3,400 rpm
Speed (miles per hour) on 312 percent slope with towed load in 4th gear 41 0 0
Cruising range (miles) 300 225 122
Weight distribution (percent) Front 44 36 42
Rear 56 64 58
Ground pressure (maximum) 128 16.1 12.75
Ground clearance under axles (inches) 11.8 10 10.75
Angle (degrees) of Approach With winch 61 33 38
Without winch 61 45 44
Departure 45 25 32


See also[edit]


  1. ^ TM-9-2320-212-10 Operator's Manual for M37 series trucks (PDF). Technical manual. Headquarters, Department of the Army. 30 November 1973. Retrieved 30 August 2015.
  2. ^ creinemann. "1953 M37 Dodge Restoration". Archived from the original on 20 March 2012. Retrieved 16 May 2012.
  3. ^ M-715 Kaiser 5/4 Jeep – Olive-Drab
  4. ^ Accessed 20 October, 2021
  5. ^ Statement of Maj. Gen. Henry A. Miley, Jr., Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff, United States Army, Department of Defense Appropriations for 1970, pt.3, pp. 146-148.
  6. ^ Reinemann, Carl Archived 15 July 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ Reinemann, Carl Archived 15 July 2007 at the Wayback Machine

External links[edit]