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 originUnited States
Production history
No. built115,838
Specifications (with winch[1])
Mass5,917 lb (2,684 kg) (empty)
Length15 ft 10 in (4.83 m)
Width6 ft 11 in (2.11 m)
Height7 ft 3 in (2.21 m)

EngineDodge T-245
78 hp (58 kW)
Transmission4 speed X 2 range
SuspensionLive beam axles on leaf springs
225 mi (362 km)
Speed55 mph (89 km/h)
An M56 used as fire truck in Lane Motor Museum

The Dodge M3734-ton 4x4 truck (G741) was Dodge's follow-up to their successful WC Series from WWII. Introduced in 1951 it was used extensively by the United States armed forces during the Korean war. During the 1970s, they were replaced by the commercial truck based ​1 14-ton M715 and M880 series.


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. Outside of the fenders, there were sheet metal differences between all the vehicles.

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, 115,000 M37s were produced. 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 of military trucks.

1953 Dodge M37


Dodge M42 in the Overloon Museum
M152 truck 1952
  • M42 command truck
  • V-41 telephone maintenance vehicle, also M201
  • M43 ambulance
  • M56 tool truck, has a bumper-mounted winch
  • M152 enclosed utility truck, Canadian variant
  • R2 air field fire engine
  • V-126 truck, for AN/MPX-7 radar
  • M283 Long Wheel Base (LWB) Cargo Truck
  • MB2 Fire and Rescue Truck (M56 with Gichner body)
  • M506 truck, hydrogen peroxide servicer, PGM-11 Redstone



The powerplant was identical to the World War II era WC vehicles line, as was most of the drivetrain. The straight-six 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



  • 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 has been initiated by the Army, which requested the U.S. automotive industry leading companies to submit their proposals for the replacement. Several prototype vehicles passed through the preliminary examination, eventually leading the military to accept General Motors XM705 1​14-ton Truck and derivative XM737 Ambulance, which was supposed to replace both the M37 and M715 series of trucks. Nevertheless, Congress cut funds for that replacement, and the XM705 never reached the assembly line. Below are the comparative specifications of the mentioned vehicles.[3]

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 3​12 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 Aug 2015.
  2. ^ creinemann. "1953 M37 Dodge Restoration". Retrieved 16 May 2012.
  3. ^ 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.
  4. ^ Reinemann, Carl
  5. ^ Reinemann, Carl

External links[edit]