Dodge M37

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Dodge M37
RAFBF 90th Birthday Air Show, East Kirkby - - 1440198.jpg
M37 cargo truck
Type 34-ton 4x4 truck
Place of origin United States
Production history
Manufacturer Dodge
Produced 1951-1968
Number built 115,838
Specifications (with winch[1])
Weight 5,917 lb (2,684 kg) (empty)
Length 190 in (480 cm)
Width 83 in (210 cm)
Height 87 in (220 cm)

Engine Dodge T-245
78 hp (58 kW)
Transmission 4 speed X 2 range
Suspension Live beam axles on leaf springs
225 mi (362.1 km)
Speed 55 mph (89 km/h)
An M56 used as fire truck in Lane Motor Museum

The Dodge M37 (G-741) is a three-quarter ton four-wheel drive truck. It superseded the Dodge WC-51, WC-52, and WC-54 trucks in U.S. service and was used extensively by the United States armed forces during the Korean war. Variants included configurations as: the M42 command truck, V41 telephone maintenance vehicle, M43 ambulance, M152 enclosed utility truck, and R2 air field fire engine.


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. 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 of the accessories on the M37 engine are identical to the engines from that era. 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. 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. It was common in the 1970 and 1980s to encounter these vehicles with failed engines in government auctions. Many of the vehicles were transferred to civilian agencies and some are still in use today in rural areas.

Engine upgrades were made commercially available by the Hercules company. The vehicles were out of significant military service by the late 1970s, replaced by the M715 and M880 series of military trucks.


Dodge M42 in the Overloon Museum
Dodge R2 at the Hellenic Air Force 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

Dodge M37 Specifications[edit]

  • Model: T245 Dodge
  • Type: "L" Head, 6 cylinder
  • Power: 78 bhp (58.2 kW) at 3200 rpm
  • Displacement: 230 cubic inches (3.8 L)
  • Bore: 3 14 in (82.6 mm), Stroke: 4 58 in (117 mm)
  • Oil capacity: 6 U.S. quarts (5.7 L; 5.0 imp qt)
  • Radiator capacity: 25 U.S. quarts (24 L; 21 imp qt)

(Canadian version used the larger 250.6 cu in (4.1 L) engine)


  • Borg & Beck Model 11828 10 in (250 mm) single plate dry disc

(Borg & Beck 11 inch clutch used on Canadian version.)

Fuel System

  • Carter carburetor Model ETW-1 sidedraft
  • 24 U.S. gallons (91 L; 20 imp gal) tank (vented through engine air intake for fording purposes)


  • Ignition, starting, lights, 24 volts


  • New Process Model 88950 (or NP420)
  • 4-speed, Synchro-Shift in 3rd and 4th gear

(Canadian trucks used Canadian Acme Model T-98, a stronger, more reliable transmission.)

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)


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


  • Gemmer Model B-60, worm and sector type


  • Cargo Model M37: 112 in (2.8 m), Command Model M42: 112 in (2.8 m)
  • Ambulance Model M43: 126 in (3.2 m), 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


  • Max Speed 55 mph (89 km/h), Cruising Speed 45 mph, Range: 150 mi (240 km), 6 mpg US (39 L/100 km)


  • 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)

Torque Specifications

  • Clutch (Borg and Beck Model 11828) main bearing cap screws, 80–85 lb·ft (108–115 N·m), connecting rod hex nuts, 45–50 lb·ft (61–68 N·m), cylinder head bolts, 65–70 pound force-feet (88–95 N·m), cranking jaw, 110 pound force-feet (150 N·m) minimum, intake and exhaust manifold stud nuts 15–20 lb·ft (20–27 N·m). (TM 9-1840A, Ordnance Maintenance Engine (Dodge Model T-245, p. 124)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "TM-9-2320-212-10 Operators Manual for M37 series" (PDF). US Dept. of the Army. 30 Nov 1973. Retrieved 30 Aug 2015. 
  2. ^ creinemann. "1953 M37 Dodge Restoration". Retrieved 16 May 2012. 
  • Crismon, Fred W. (2001). US Military Wheeled Vehicles (3 ed.). Victory WWII Publications. pp. 243–245. ISBN 0-970056-71-0. 
  • Doyle, David (2003). Standard catalog of U.S. Military Vehicles. Krause Publications. pp. 62–69. ISBN 0-87349-508-X. 
  • "TM 9-2800 Military Vehicles". US Depts. Of the Army and Air Force. February 1953. pp. 169, 172, 174. Retrieved 1 December 2014. 

External links[edit]