M201 VINYL HOOD

A plastic hood made of cloth reinforced vinyl was introduced in about 1970. These were fitted as a replacement from this time on and it seems likely that all jeeps rebuilt by E.R.G.M. at La Maltournée would also have left the factory with the new plastic hoods.
vinyl hood - inner strap Like the original canvas design the vinyl hood was secured and tensioned from within the jeep by straps fitted at each top corner. Both the strap and reinforcing piece were also made of reinforced vinyl which allowed strong water tight joints to be made by effectively welding the materials together using a heat process.

Unlike the earlier canvas hood the turn buckles did not extend along the whole of the side to the front as the vinyl hood was designed with a rigid opening door in mind (if fitted).

The hood was secured to the tubular cross member of the central hoop by two fastenings that were also 'welded' to the hood. (The canvas model had three shorter fastenings stitched onto the hood). vinyl hood - hoop fixing
When not in use the hood was removed from the jeep, folded and stored under the front passenger seat. At the rear the hood was secured by reinforced plastic straps and the design included a simple slot for the jerrycan strap to pass through.
vinyl hood - rear
The rear window panel was 'welded' to the hood rather than stitched. This made it completely water-tight but more difficult to repair. The clear plastic tended to turn brown, become opaque and brittle with ageing in sunlight and many of the hoods ended up with the glazing panel cut out.

Don't despair if this is the case with your hood, it can be repaired without resorting to stitching. The hood pictured above needed a new window when I got it but I had it repaired in a boat yard where they specialised in sails and vinyl covers used on yachts. They found it no problem at all to remove the remains of the old window panel and weld a new one into place.

side screen from outside
side screen from inside A winter all-weather kit was produced to compliment the new vinyl hood. It consisted of two rear side screens that were attached by a series of turn buckles (RHS shown above) and two opening doors at the front.

The bottom of each side screen was reinforced by a steel strip welded between layers of the vinyl. A steel upright was attached to this by a bolt (visible in the photo).

The steel strengthening strip at the front was not welded into the vinyl but secured by poppers so that it could be folded down and the side screen rolled up for storage when not in use. It hooked onto one of the steel strips shown in the mounting kit below which was fitted between the windscreen and the upright tube of the central hoop using the other fittings.

mounting kit

You will probably have worked out for yourself that the installation or removal of the 'Winter Kit' was hardly intended to be a five minute job. It was clearly meant to be left permanently in place or at least until the summer came again!

Each door came with its handle and hinges packed in a pouch made from an off-cut of the green vinyl material. One cannot say if this was intended to be kept as a source of material for any patches that might be required at a future date but it would certainly have come in handy and been used for this.

As far as I can tell the vinyl hood and its matching Winter Kit only came in one colour, green! Where M201s were painted in the green, brown and black European cammo pattern, the vinyl hood (and winter kit if fitted) were simply painted to match.

There were variations to the basic design for some of the specialised vehicles. One that I have personally seen had a circular raised section in the middle of the roof to accommodate the firing post of a Milan launcher.

In all of the photos I have seen the side screens are fitted so that they are effectively inside the metal hoop supports.

 

vinyl door kit

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