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Minneapolis Moline M5 generator

oros35

Registered
I just picked up a 1943 Minneapolis Moline M5 generator. Starts and runs like a top. Generator output seems spot on too.

The history I know of it is it was bought in 1950 as Mil surplus in Norfolk VA, then taken to Queens New York where is spent the next 63 years. Made a short trip to Richmond VA where I picked it up and brought it to Pittsburgh PA. Same family had it since it was bought surplus so I'm the second owner in my book.

Original paint appears to be Navy Blue, has OD green on top that looks like a much later addition.

While it's functionally complete, There are a few parts I need. The gas tank is not original, and the original power plug was removed. It doesn't have lift rings on it (may never have had them?) Trouble light is broke. Battery box cover. Maybe a few other things once I dig into it.
Anyone help with these? Even good pictures so I can try to reproduce them my self.

Thanks!
 

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coyote62ny

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as far as i know the m5 military gen set was never made by minneapolis moline. i have a m5 also these gen sets are 3 phase 125volt 60 hertz 3000 watt . the engine in these sets is a hercules zxb engine 4 cylinder 11 hp. they run at 1200 rpm and are very quiet. that said they are not a gen set you can use to power your house. if you test the leads in the military plug at the bottom right under the control panal each wire to ground will give you 70 volts ac. to use this to power small power hand tools you have to wire one wire to one side of a outlet and another wire to the other side of the outlet. in other words you get 125 volts between any two wires in the military plug.the oil filter for these sets is a fram c-3 filter.if you have the parts in the tool box look under the engine compartment hoods and you may be lucky and find a steel plate bolted to one of the hoods under this plate there should be 4 extra head gaskets. the head gaskets are very hard to find and expensive. mine still had the head gaskets bolted to the hood and all in excelent condition. if you have any more questions or need any info you can pm me here or call me at 607-674-2881 evenings are best Dean
 

Military Dave

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Age
55
There is one at Ft. MacArthur museum where I work. It was built by O'Keefe and Merritt. It is an interesting little toy to fool around with.
 

oros35

Registered
Here are some more pictures.

It is made by MM. Tag says it clear. Maybe I have a pretty rare one?

The military 3 prong plug is missing and has been rewired with romex.

I found the TM. Found some good info on what kind of output these make. Pretty much like having 3 1000 watt generators in one.
 

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Military Dave

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Age
55
Due to the muriad of trucks and non-interchangability of parts for them in WW1, the War Dept. mandated standard militarization of equipment and material. Everyone knows that Ford made most of the WW2 Jeeps, but American Bantam came up with the design, and Willys Overland began serious production.
The same held true with everything built for our troops during WW2 and even today.It is obvious that more than one contractor assembled the M5 generator using off the shelf parts form other contractors. That is great that you put more pictures up showing the Data plate showing the builder. I see that O'Keefe made the Gen. part.
Your M5 is a great little unit and will power what you need well, within reason of course. She is runs a little on the thirsty side though. But she is in great condition and quite rare, so hang on to it.
I wouldn't mind to have it. :)
 

coyote62ny

Registered
if you clean that tag up on the engine block behind the generator that charges the battery i will bet that it is a zxb hercules engine. these sets are 6 volt negitive ground system. DONTconvert it to 12 volt you will distroy the bendix on the starter. that is a very hard bendix to find and also very expensive. i have a spare starter for mine that had to have new bushings brushes and a bendix. it took me two years to find one and cost 150.00 just for the bendix. mine i use to power my small shop mostly for lights and small power tools not that bad on gas about 1 and 1/2 hours to the gallon with a 15 amp draw on it. m/m must have just put these sets together mine is made by okeeif and merrit. the carb on these sets is a marvel shebler tcx-39 solid bronze they look nice when you get them all cleaned up. mcdonald carb and iginition has some parts for the carb. i think you have a kinda rare set there yours is the first one i have seen marked m/m as the builder.if i can help you send me a pm or call i have the shop manual on the zxb and the military manual. use only sae-30 non detergent oil in these as they have babbit bearings on the crank and they dont like all the addatives they put in the new oil.
 

Military Dave

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Age
55
That is correct on the engine, Hercules ZXB. oros35, you're lucky to have an electric starter. The one I take care of is strictly hand crank only. It is also a 1941 model.
 

coyote62ny

Registered
military Dave that zxb should start fairly easy with the crank mine starts in 2 or 3 quarter turns of the crank. mine is also electric start but its nice to have the crank option when the battery is low or dead.
 

Military Dave

Registered
Age
55
Coyote, the m5 that is available to me is at a museum and was used very hard for a long time and put away wet long before I started to give attention.
Both nos. 1 and 2 cylinders burn an excessive amount of oil and have low compression. It is fairly easy to start, it just needs to have the engine rebuilt.
Unfortunately it is at the absolute bottom of priorities and therefor not necessary as a correctly functioning unit. :(
 

dkamp

eMail NOT Working
Minneapolis-Moline, like every other manufacturer in the US, was converted to war materials production during WW2, and as noted, everything built, was built per a predetermined design. O'Keefe & Merritt and Hobart assembled most of these, and oftentimes, like other manufacturers, they had so many on the plate, that they farmed out parts and labor to other companies just to keep up with shipment schedules.

O'Keefe & Merritt originally manufactured kitchen appliances... two guys started by purchasing the Boyle Manufacturing company in Los Angeles. They eventually became absorbed into Tappan.

During WW2, Minneapolis-Moline manufactured war materials, particularly converting their farm equipment to serve as aircraft tow and flightline support. They developed the UTX and NTX Jeeps (before Bantam/Willys/Ford etc!), but didn't get high volume production sales of those. They managed to get contracts for lots of things that they did little more than pass paper on.. but they had a substantial labor force... they opened a new plant in Hopkins, Mn, that was predominantly staffed by women building ammunition and smaller machines. I wouldn't be surprised if they brought in the M5's componentry for assembly. I also wouldn't be surprised if Kato Engineering (KatoLight generators, of Mankato, Mn) wasn't involved in it as well, as they were well-versed in manufacturing things like this... :shrug:
 

minermike

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I noticed on the photo that there is no belt to drive the generator on the side of the engine. Where was the drive taken from ? Just curious .
 

Military Dave

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Age
55
Mike, if you closely you will a see second pully behind the generator pully. It is on the shaft that drives the water pump. It just doesn't have a belt on it.
 

oros35

Registered
Correct, the belt is missing, guy I bought it off of had one for it but I forgot to get it off of him before I left. Supposed to send it to me.

A gear in the front runs a shaft that spins the distributor and the pulley for the generator.
 

Military Dave

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Age
55
Well, what do you know about that? One of those generators was assembled by Mission Water Heater Co. of Los Angeles Cal.
I wish they were closer, I'd snatch 'em all up!!
 

Brownac1983

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Well, what do you know about that? One of those generators was assembled by Mission Water Heater Co. of Los Angeles Cal.
I wish they were closer, I'd snatch 'em all up!!
I would too. If they were within several hours of me I'd be all over it, but NY is way too far. I've never seen or heard of a Mission Water Heater M5 before.
 

oros35

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Well I guess I'm making a trip to NY!

Will have to see what condition they are in and decide what to do with them. I don't "need" 4 old generators :) They seem to be multiplying :D
 

nblack

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Well, congratulations! I was hoping that whoever outbid me would be someone that appreciates old iron. Seems like as of late, these little guys have been showing up all over. If you want a home for one, keep me in mind.
 
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