US Army Signal Corp Radio Mount FT-250
This site is dedicated to the FT-250 Radio Mount commonly used to mount specific radios in World War Two vintage jeeps and other vehicles. There are several radio setups for different uses by the US Army during World War Two, and probably a half dozen could and were found installed in jeeps and front line tactical vehicles. Two of the most common were the BC-610 and the BC-659; which along with their respective power supplies were known as the Signal Corp Radio (SCR)-510 and SCR-610 when installed on a vehicle. These two radios along with a BC-1000 (SCR 300), were mounted on the jeeps (and other vehicles) using the FT-250 radio mount. The FT-250 can NOT be used to mount any other radios in vehicles (that I am aware of).
In 1998 I purchased a BC-659 to install in my 1942 GPW jeep. I then discovered that original FT-250 radio mounts were next to impossible to find, and very expensive when you did find one for sale. It seems that my restoration projects are always on a tight budget, so I simply could not afford to buy an original mount. However, I did know where one was, and after looking at the mount, I was convinced that I could make one. I studied this mount and "reverse engineered" the mount using the original as a guide. I built one by hand, and found a few errors in my design, but I had a FT-250 for my radio.
It was not until after I had spent way too much money and untold hours of working on the mount that I discovered that I had made an exact copy of a FT-250-K model, which was actually made in 1952, and was NOT the same as an original World War Two vintage mount. It was a nice looking mount, but was not "correct" for a WWII vintage vehicle.
The whole process was a learning curve, and I learned a lot from my mistakes. I learned that I didn't have to drill all those holes by hand, I could get them laser cut if I had a computer generated drawing. I also learned that I didn’t have to bend those angles by hand in my shop, I could get a local sheet metal shop to bend them for me with a 100 ton press brake and do a much better job. I was determined to make a “correct” mount for my GPW. I paid a $500 deposit to borrow an original FT-250-A, made in 1942 by Galvin Manufacturing Company. I then sat down and meticulously measured every angle, curve, length and hole in the mount and made a computer drawing of the whole thing and all it’s bits and pieces.
After a couple of starts and stops and a few trips “back to the drawing board” , I finally came up with an exact copy of the original FT-250-A mount, the FT-419 and FT-420 brackets (legs) the FT-429 reinforcing bracket, and the MP-50 radio antenna base bracket. I researched and found the exact same rubber mounts, made by the same manufacturer as the originals. I searched and found a supply of the exact same rivets as originally used, and the exact same size bolts, washers, nuts, and other hardware as used on the originals. I had to have some special washers cut, and still hand make the spacers between the rubber shock mounts. I had the data plate reproduced to the point of being a photo image of the original. The end result is a 99% accurate copy of the original FT-250-A radio mount as made by Galvin Manufacturing Co. The only difference between my copy and the originals is the data plate. Mine are solid aluminum where the originals were some sort of plastic coated material, and my data plates do not have a serial number.
After laser cutting, the blanks are then bent using a 100 ton hydraulic press brake. The company utilized for this work has been in business for over 60 years and do the highest quality work.
After forming the blanks are given two coats of automotive quality primer. Any rough edges, burrs, or fine adjustment is taken care of during this step.
Finished sections, with rubber shock mounts attached, are then given two coats of Gillespie #319 Olive Drab paint. The sections are then joined using hardware that is exactly like the original in every respect. The name plates are added during this stage, and the finished product is wrapped for shipment.
These reproduction FT-250-A radio mounts are available to collectors and restorers of vintage military vehicles. Spare parts are available, in limited quantity, for those who need to repair an original FT-250-A mount. Also available are the two brackets FT-419 and FT-420 which are needed to support any FT-250 in the rear of a WWII jeep. Please note that these two brackets are ONLY for the jeep, and will not work for other installations.