Removing Inner Bogie Wheels on Horizontal-Volute Suspension

Instructions for removing the inner bogie wheels on the M4 tank with horizontal-volute spring suspension (HVSS) from Army Motors, Vol. 5, No. 11, February 1945.

Meaning: Horizontal-Suspension M-Four Tank. If that is your brand, this SOP is your oyster.

If you’re an M4-series medium tankman. with a new-fangled horizontal-volute suspension to nurse, you’ve a break comin’ that’ll help with your chores. A new set of special tools just issued to the 2nd and higher echelons makes a couple of tough jobs a damn sight easier—to wit, removing the volute springs from the suspensions, and taking off an inner bogie-wheel.

As you know if you’ve seen them, these horizontal-volute suspensions come with two types of tracks—the T66 with all-steel track-shoes, and the T80 with rubber-shod track-shoes. If you’ve got a T66, you can use the riser block as originally designed, but if it’s a T80, be sure to use the modified riser block. Any or all volute springs can be removed while the center bogie-assembly is raised up on the jack. We posed the T66 for the revealing photos that follow.

When you go to remove an inner bogie-wheel, be sure to leave the hub-caps on throughout the job or you’ll have the wheel-bearings full of grime and grit before you know it—and we don’t have to remind you that spells woe. Another thing—if the outer bogie-tire is worn, you’ll be wise to change it before you start to change the inner bogie-wheel. Then you’ll have good clearance between the wheel and hull, and between the wheel and track on the inner wheel. Carry on.

M4 Tank Track Tools
Fig. 1—Here’s all the special tools you need to do either of these exercises: (A) Block, riser, bogie-wheel, Fed. Stock No. 41-B-1411-200 (before modification). (B) Block, riser, bogie-wheel, Fed. Stock No. 41-B-1411-200 (after modification). (C) Adapters, volute-spring removing, Fed. Stock No. 41-A-30-650. (D) Lock, riser-block, Ord. No. B-7080204. Any other tools you’ll use are OVM or common tools found on your M1 Heavy Wrecker.

HVSS Suspension M4 Tank, Figure 2
Fig. 2—To remove the volute spring, first loosen one wheel-bolt on each wheel of the bogie assembly involved. Place riser blocks, one in front of each wheel of the center bogie-assembly, and hunch the tank forward until the bogie-wheels center on the blocks as you see them here.

HVSS Spring Jack, Figure 3
Fig. 3—Put your 30-ton jack under the bogie bracket, high-speed side outside, and raise to its full height. Right now is a good time to disconnect the shock absorber—so go ahead and do it. With the center bogie-assembly jacked up thisaway, you can flip out any volute springs on this side of the tank.

Bogie Wheels, Figure 4
Fig. 4—Slip the riser blocks out and let the wheels drop. You may have to use your 8-ton jack to lift the wheels, one at a time, to get the blocks out. Now you’re ready to attach the adapters, one to each loosened wheel-bolt. Put them on as shown, and be sure to draw the bolts up tight.

HVSS Horizontal Volute Spring Suspension, Figure 5
Fig. 5—Connect your track-connecting fixture to both adapters and tighten it to draw the wheels together, releasing the volute spring’s tension. Release tension on the idler as much as possible with your track-adjusting wrench, thus eliminating all drag on the bogie wheels.

HVSS M4 Tank Track Repair, Figure 6
Fig. 6—Get a fellow sweat-merchant to compress the spring so it’ll clear the bracket, as you pry up-and-out with a crowbar. Replacing the spring is just reverse action. Seat the small end of the spring in the boss of the spring seat, knock her in with a sledge, and go on from there—backwards.

Inner Bogie Wheel Bolts, Figure 7
Fig. 7—Now to take off that inner bogie-wheel: First step is to loosen the capscrews on the inner bogie-wheel. Quite a trick, too—you’ll have to attach the 1 3/16″-socket wrench, with sliding T-handle, from underneath the tank. At least, you don’t have to manipulate it from there.

Bogie Wheel Assembly, Figure 8
Fig. 8—Use the crowbar from the outside for leverage on the T-handle. After the capscrews are loose, lay the head of your track-adjusting wrench just behind the outer wheel on the other end of the same bogie assembly. Place it along the track, out of the way, as illustrated.

M4 Tank Wheel and Tracks, Figure 9
Fig. 9—Now the riser block goes into place, behind the outer wheel of the pair you’re concerned with. Jockey the tank till it’s perched like this on the block and the wrench-head. Finish removing capscrews, with the ratchet from the 44″ square-drive set, and lift off the wheel.


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