Terry Estes Has Wanted An M715 Military Jeep Pickup Ever Since He Went hunting with his father in one of these vehicles as a child. Estes must be more patient than us, because he waited years to find the right truck for his diesel-powered buildup. He ended up discovering this '67 M715 sitting in a field near his hometown of kemper, Texas. Once he acquired this five-quarter-ton monster, Estes began performing unique modifications to bring his dream truck to fruition.
6.2L GM Diesel PowerThe engine that Terry installed is a Chevy 6.2L diesel. To some, this engine swap seems like a rather unconventional choice, but these motors are relatively inexpensive and easy to come by. Estes is a diesel fanatic and appreciates the simplicity and mileage offered by the 6.2L. A k&n 3-inch intake and custom 31/2-inch exhaust help the engine breathe freely and can even spin the tires when wheel speed is necessary off-road.
Rolling stock consists of 44/18.5-15 Super Swamper TSLs mounted on USA6x6 double beadlock
Behind the 6.2L engine, Estes runs an SM465 four-speed manual transmission from a mid-'80s GM truck with the easy-to-adapt to small-block Chevy bellhousing. From there, power is routed to a divorce-mounted nP205 transfer case that splits torque to the steering Rockwell axles from a six-wheel drive M35A2 at each end of the Jeep. The 21/2-ton axles have the wheel hubs flipped in for a narrower stance and are fitted with 6.72 gears, Detroit Lockers, and Wilwood pinion brakes.
Four-Wheel SteeringThe front axle steering consists of a 2-inch bore, 8-inch stroke hydraulic ram from a forklift that turns the 11/2-inch, 3/8-inch wall DOM tie rod mounted behind the axle. The ram is plumbed to the stock Saginaw steer- ing box, which is located downstream from a borgeson steering shaft and Ididit tilt steering column. The rear steering uses the same ram and tie rod as the front to keep things simple; however, it is controlled by a switch mounted on the dash instead of the steering wheel.
Simplicity continues with the suspension, which consists of the stock leaf springs in front and Superlift 6-inch Chevy springs in the rear, both slung over the axles and used in conjunction with custom traction bars.
Combat FatiguesWhen Estes found his M715, it had already passed through many hands, and multiple layers of military, Forest Service, and fire department paint jobs had done a good job of fending off rust. He chopped 20 inches off the back of the bed for an improved departure angle and returned the paint to its original olive drab green splendor.
The 21/2-ton Rockwell axles at both ends of the Jeep use Wilwood pinion brakes and 6.72 ge
Since he works as a welder for the Department of Defense, Estes had no problem fabricating a rollcage and other parts for his Jeep. The cage was constructed from 2-inch, 0.120 wall DOM tubing and fits under the stock canvas top to retain the vintage look. This theme is continued throughout the interior and exterior, which was kept as original and basic as possible.
Tires And WheelsThe beauty of the M715 is that it has huge wheelwells that can accommodate 38-inch tall tires without any lift. The suspension Estes is running allows him to fit 44-inch Super Swamper TSLs and still have the truck look proportional. The tires are mounted on 15-inch USA 6x6 double beadlock rims with custom centers to match the Rockwell axle bolt pattern. The use of inboard pinion brakes accommodates the 15-inch rims and negates any issues with caliper or drum clearance.