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Go Back   Armchair General and HistoryNet >> The Best Forums in History > Historical Events & Eras > World War II > Armor in World War II

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Armor in World War II Discuss all aspects & disciplines of World War II Armor here.

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  #1  
Old 03 Oct 17, 14:39
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M3 Stuart Air Cleaning arrangement

Does anyone have any information on how the air cleaners were arranged on the M3 Stuart? The cleaners themselves appear to be mounted externally on the engine deck, but was the air for these taken from inside the fighting compartment? Given the reliability of the Stuart, I'm pretty sure that the engine intake air wasn't sourced externally, but I'd be glad if someone can confirm.

Thanks in advance....
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  #2  
Old 03 Oct 17, 15:03
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Link to the technical manual for the M3 light tank. Hope it helps!

TM 9-726 1942 Light Tank M3 - Combined Arms Center

http://usacac.army.mil/cac2/cgsc/car...9_726_1942.pdf
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  #3  
Old 03 Oct 17, 15:58
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Thanks very much, but that book doesn't appear to confirm how the air cleaners worked, sadly. I found this picture on the internet:

M3 Stuart.jpg

It confirms the position of the air cleaners, and I can't see any external apertures, so my suspicion remains that it drew air from inside the vehicle.
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Old 03 Oct 17, 17:53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Juan View Post
Thanks very much, but that book doesn't appear to confirm how the air cleaners worked, sadly. I found this picture on the internet:

Attachment 72033

It confirms the position of the air cleaners, and I can't see any external apertures, so my suspicion remains that it drew air from inside the vehicle.
That looks like a photo from a Hunnicutt publication. Someone stated they had that book? Awthys?
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  #5  
Old 03 Oct 17, 19:38
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Quote:
54. Air cleaners.-
a. Description.-Two oil bath type air cleaners are used and are mounted on the'left and right rear sponson plates.
b. Maintenance.-After each 25-hour period of normal use, or daily, when conditions are extremely dusty, the air cleaner will be serviced as follows (fig. 30):
(1) Loosen thumbscrews on cup retaining rods and remove cup.
(2) Remove cup disk and retaining spring (fig. 30).
(3) Empty oil and dirt and thoroughly clean cup, disk, and spring (fig. 30).
(4) Carefully fill to oil level line with SAE 10 oil and replace cup disk and retaining spring.
(5) Replace cup in cleaner and tighten retaining rod nuts.
c. Replacement.-
(1) Loosen air cleaner outlet hose clamps and hose.
(2) Remove bolts clamping air cleaner support bands and remove cleaner.
(3) To install, reverse above procedure.
d. Cleaningfilter element.--
(1) Remove air cleaner.
(2) Remove cup and disk assembly.
(3) Wash filter element with cleaning fluid or gasoline.
(4) Apply coinpressed air through the cleaner outlet connection to blow out loosened dirt and to dry the filter element.
(5) Assemble and install air cleaner
Carpe Diem's link had that. It drew the air through an oil bath that would remove the dirt. That's likely why they are so large.
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  #6  
Old 03 Oct 17, 20:25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Juan View Post
my suspicion remains that it drew air from inside the vehicle.
That seems to be the case, although I haven't seen the intake apertures myself. If the engine seems to have lost power, one of the things the crew is admonished to check is that the air induction system is not obstructed. If so, they are to "[r]emove cloths or other material which obstruct the flow of air into the air cleaner from the fighting or battery compartment." The battery compartment was in the rear of the right sponson.
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Old 03 Oct 17, 21:36
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I'd bet it draws air from the bottom of the cleaner, that passes through the oil bath then into the engine.
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Old 03 Oct 17, 23:39
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You could try asking the manufacturer. Their contact page is:

http://vortox.com/contact-us/

Their history page proudly mentions being the primary air cleaner used on tanks and APCs from WWII onwards.

To me, it would make sense to draw the air from the engine compartment rather than from the outside. The engine compartment would serve to separate large debris and perhaps some of the heavier sand particles so that the filter only needs to handle the dust.

At first I thought that the gap between the bottom of the filter unit and the track cover plate was room for a bottom air intake to "breathe", but now I think it's room to remove the bottom cover and unscrew the oil cup to change the filter oil without having to remove the entire filter unit.
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Old 03 Oct 17, 23:54
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As you can see, the oil bath is at the bottom. Per the M5 tank maintenance manual, the hose at the top is the outlet, not the inlet.
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Old 04 Oct 17, 07:04
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Thanks to everyone for responding.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DogDodger View Post
If the engine seems to have lost power, one of the things the crew is admonished to check is that the air induction system is not obstructed. If so, they are to "[r]emove cloths or other material which obstruct the flow of air into the air cleaner from the fighting or battery compartment." The battery compartment was in the rear of the right sponson.
Yes, this indicates that air was taken from inside the vehicle, which was the eminently sensible thing to do.
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  #11  
Old 04 Oct 17, 07:18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NoPref View Post
You could try asking the manufacturer. Their contact page is:

http://vortox.com/contact-us/

Their history page proudly mentions being the primary air cleaner used on tanks and APCs from WWII onwards.
I was equally surprised that the company that made the air cleaners for the Cromwell and Comet are still going: http://www.britishfilters.co.uk/
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