Weasel Track History
Submitted by - Stephen Grammont
Revised Date 6/13/01

 

One of the most often discussed Weasel topics is, of course, the unique tracks they use. First, some terms defined:

Track one full assembly of parts to provide one side of a Weasel with the means to propel itself.

Set of Tracks two of the above. One "set" per vehicle.

Grouser Plate (or Plate) flat piece of stamped steel with various crimping and welded pieces to form a single "building block" of the track. There were various different grouser designs , but all of them had a drive hole in the middle to allow the drive wheel's sprockets to grip the plate.

Track Guides (or Guides) a piece of molded steel attached to the inner side of the grouser plate in order to guide the Weasel's wheels and to prevent the track from slipping off.

Drive Lugs (or Lugs) each track has two of these riveted inbetween the track guide and the grouser plate over the drive hole. These were designed to strengthen the plate from the force and wear of the drive wheel's sprockets.

Track Bands (or Bands, or Cables) rubber coated steel cables that were used to attach grouse plates together in order to form a track. Some tracks have two bands, some four. When four are present they were in pairs (inner and outer). Sizes and shapes of the track bands differed depending on the tracks they belonged to. However, all were riveted into the grouser plates. The original belts were made by BF Goodrich.

 

 

Bogie Wheels (or Bogies) the wheels which the vehicle puts weight on for support. Each bogie was attached to an arm, which in turn was attached to the vehicle's chassis. A leafspring provided the arm with the flexibility to drive on uneven terrain.

Guide Wheel (or Return Wheel) two of these were located so as to keep the top part of the track at the correct height and alignment.

Idler Wheel (or Idler) a larger wheel which provided tension for the track so it would not slip off. For the T-15/M-28 this wheel was in the back, for T-24/M-29/M-29c this wheel was in the front.

Drive Wheel a wheel similar to the idler, but containing two sets of sprockets ("teeth") used to drive the track. The sprockets would enter the grouser plate's hole and thus secure that plate to the wheel as it turned. For the T-15/M-28 this wheel was in the front, for T-24/M-29/M-29c this wheel was in the back.

 

 

The pictures below show a good comparison of the four 20" tracks. From top to bottom they are Original, French, Ambilary, and Bofors (Swedish) tracks. Click on the link at the bottom to see details on these and the earlier 15" tracks.

 

 

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