M-4 Sherman Tank Drive.

The synchcromesh transmission housing being machined. You can see many cases in the background. I only have this one photo showing the manual transmission for the M-4. I’m thinking this work was being done in another factory other than #02 at Buick, probably #31 or #66.

A footing for a machine at factory #02.

This shows the conversion from automobile shipping to tank drive assembly. These are the footings going in for machines in the east annex of factory #02. Parts of some machines are already in place.

This still shot (from a Leonard Thygesen documentary film) shows the layout of factory #02, as described in the following photos taken during World War II at Buick.

A diagram of the cast differential housing of the M-4 medium tank. Nicknamed the “Sherman”. From the cast in markings these came from different foundry’s near Chicago. You can look them up in the “Sherman Minutia” link.

A finished housing.

Milling machine. Looks like all mill and drill work took place in the east annex of factory #02.

Loading a multiple drilling machine.

Loading a multiple drilling machine.

Loading a multiple drilling machine.

There are many of these photos, so I will post a few.

A large automated milling machine in the east annex of factory #02.

A large automated milling machine in the east annex of factory #02.

Mill work being performed on the armored cast differential housing.

Mill work in the east annex of factory #02.

Hand grinding.

Looking north in the east annex of factory #02. A lot of automobiles were loaded onto boxcars from this area before World War II.

Some finish work.

This would be the west side of factory #02 in the assembly area. You are facing east.

Mill work in the east annex of factory #02.

Multiple drilling operation.

Multiple drilling operation.

Mill work.

A single drilling operation.

The armored cast differential housing having the alignment pins installed.

This is the east annex of factory #02.

A multiple drilling machine.

The armored cast differential housing being machined. This appears to be where one of the two alignment pins will be installed. Two on each side for the final Drive installation.

The armored cast housing being machined.

Differential carriers ready for machining. These came from the same foundries near Chicago as the differential housing. “Sherman Minutia” Looking west in the factory #02 train shed.

Differential carrier machining.

Differential carrier machining.

Differential carrier machining.

Differential carrier machining.

Differential machining. One of many multiple drilling machines.

Differential carrier machining. I believe this is the same operation shown farther below, only from a different perspective.

Differential carrier machining.

Differential carrier machining.This actually shows a large lathe table cutting a perfect mating surface for the transmission.

Differential carrier machining. A multiple drilling machine saved many hours of work.

Differential carrier machining. This multiple drilling machine photo has been shown in many Buick publications.

Differential carrier machining.

Differential carrier partial assembly.

Heat treating on a differential gear. I see bevel and straight gears shown hear. This would most likely be in factory #38 heat treat. Link:

Michigan Motor Casting Company

Diagram of the final drive housing.

Final drive housing machining.

Final drive housing machining.

Final drive assembly.

Here a right hand final drive is being installed.

Final drive housing machining.

Final drive housing machining.

Final drive housing machining.

This final drive gear is shown in the diagram below, and also in a finished final drive farther below. The hearing bone pattern of the gear teeth was the main reason American tank drives were more rugged than those of most other nations during world War II.

This diagram shows the parts of the final drive for the tank track.

A sleeve being press fitted on an axle.

Final drive hearing bone gear being machined. I’m not sure yet of the factory doing this work.

Brake drum machining.

Machine work on the brake shoe.

This is the brake lining being installed.

Facing south in the train shed. Looks like maybe tool repair going on but I’m not sure.

Here were in the west side area of factory #02, weighing loads of small parts. I know that every factory was busy making small parts and large parts. I wish I had more information on all the operations at Buick. The hunt for more knowledge is always going on.

Here a part is heated before placement, then cooling shrinks the part for a tight fit on the differential housing. We are obviously facing north in the train shed #02. The reinforced concrete annex was on the west side of the train shed and a smaller annex (old car shipping area) on the east side. Boxcars were lined up here in the past. I took a photo here in 1997 in (almost) the same spot with the identical direction.

Heat shrinking (heated then cooled) for placement on a differential part. This is facing west, at the north-end of the (larger) main train shed of factory #02.

Inserted differential ready for testing.

Testing a finished differential.

Assembly on the M-4 differential.

Assembly on the M-4 differential.

A finished differential.

Inserting a differential.

Only the differential in place.

This is the differential splash-pan partially visible below.

Here is the finished differential with the right and left brake drive units all in place.

The transmission on the left with the differential housing on the right. This is the operation being performed below.

Here the transmission is being mated with the differential carrier, before that complete unit mates with the armored outer housing.

This is a cutaway of the M-4 power train. This gives a great view of the differential assembly and you can also see the brake bands used for steering the tank.

Here is final drive assembly.

Here we see the left hand final drive already installed, with the left one in process.

Final assembly of the M-4 power train.

Here we see the manual transmission (synchcromesh). of a finished unit.

This view (facing south-east in the old train shed #02) shows a finished assembly ready for shipping to the assembly plants.

This view (facing south in the old train shed #02) shows a finished assembly ready for shipping to the assembly plants.

This view (facing south in the old train shed #02) shows a finished assembly ready for shipping to the assembly plants.

This view (facing south in the old train shed #02) shows a finished assembly ready for shipping to the assembly plants.

Here is the finished transmission and differential drive unit being installed at the factory in Grand Blanc, Michigan just south of Flint. SHERMAN MINUTIA Links:

Genesee County Tanks

M-6 Heavy Tank

Another view inside factory #02/08

Inside train shed 1942 + early 20’s

Northend factory #02/#08

Factory #02 Train Shed Vehicle Entrance

Factory #02 train shed 1923

Train Shed At Buick Rail Entrance

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s