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Project M-TRV

1953 M37

The need was born when two brothers mentioned that they had acquired three M37 vehicles at an auction and wanted something “cool” built out of the mess. Now to paint a picture of these boys at first glance they are not ones to mess with, standing in the shop these two big guys make normal people look like midgets, so fearing the outcome of saying no Maxbilt accepted the challenge.

After spending time with these guys on and off the trail we realized that though they are big and intimidating they seemed to have the kindest mindset constantly helping others when needed. The motto of “Be prepared” kept springing to mind, they were always the one with the right tool to fix a busted rig on the trail, great problem solvers to conquer an obstacle, and the first one to hand over an ice cold beverage when the day has come to an end, it seems as if they had thought of everything. However their sheer size posed the issue of how to fit them in a rig comfortably and have them not break everything….

The solution came as the M-TRV the Max-Bilt Trail recovery vehicle, in the form of a 1953 M-37. Our project will become the ultimate trail recovery and repair rig while doubling as a fun weekend driver so the brothers can enjoy having a great time and be able to help others in need. Working with several recognizable companies we will incorporate strength and functionality to this rig. The strength will come from the swapped in Dana 60 front, and 14 bolt rear outfitted with 5.13 gears and locked. A reworked stock power plant will carry power through an NP420 4 speed transmission while an NP200 transfers the power to the axles. The rims are none other than the Trailready HD Bead locks wrapped in an Interco 40” M16 tire. Reworked leaf sprung suspension will be utilized to carry and twist the load.

The real magic comes from the truck itself, not only is it an M37 however the truck we chose is a M37 V41 Utility truck with a box on the back capable of carrying everything we need, with a little fabrication help. Onboard amenities will be a Miller Bobcat welder/generator, 20 gal air compressor, fold out work table with vice, torch set, Rigid industries led work lights, refrigerated cabinet, propane grill, Warn Winch, power inverters, common replacement parts ie u joints axles, fluids, etc. To share all of the surprises would be like cheating so keep checking back to see the progress!!!

Click on any image to start the slideshow

10frontaxle 11frontaxle 12frontaxle 13frontaxle 14frontaxle 15skid 16skid 1before 2before 3before 4before 5newaxles 6rearaxle 7rearaxle 8frontaxle 9frontaxle IMG_1906 IMG_1916 IMG_1917 m37_20 m37_21 m37_22 m37_23 m37_24 m37_25 m37_26 m37_27 m37_28 m37_29 m37_30 m37_31 m37_32 m37_33 m37_34 m37_35 m37_36 m37_37 m37_38 m37_39 m37_40 m37_41

Featured in Offroad Magazine
Check out the 'Kitchen Sink' article about the M-TRV is Offroad Magazine's October 2012 issue.

Featured on Warn's Blog
Check out the feature that Warn did on the M-TRV Project on their blog!. Click Here.

Bumpers, Shocks and More
Last week we built a stout ¼ inch plate steel bumper for the M-TRV that will be strong enough to take many a hit, as well as fabbed up the front shock mounts after receiving our FOX Remote reservoir shocks. We also received our RIGID LIGHTS!!!! Stay tuned as we keep you in the loop!

Testing Flex and Steering Upgrades
We've built the steering with a Crane hi clearance high steer arm along with a Scout steering box with a modified frame mount to gain power steering. We used a Bronco pitman arm. We converted the rear 14 bolt over to disc brakes, measured for shocks and began building the bumper. Next is to finish up the bumper and start on seats and fab up shock mounts when the shocks come in.

Wheels, Tires & POWER!
We got the wheels and tires mounted. The welder, spare, and air compressor are mounted out back. We are replacing the motor with a Crate 383 stroker and a SM465 transmission!

1953 M-37
Crate 383 Stroker
Interco Tires
Trail Ready Beadlocks
TnT Customs
TnT Customs
Warn Winches
ARB Lockers
LED Lighting:
Rigid Lighting
Alpine Stereo
Corbeau Seats
Fox Shocks
Red Robin Auto Glass
Miller Welders