Jun 172001
 

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This is my fifth ex-military truck. It’s a 1970 Consolidated Diesel Electric Company M561 1.25-Ton 6×6 Gama Goat. I found it on Ebay. It has 6-wheel drive, an articulated chassis (i.e., the part that looks like a trailer rolls and pitches, but does not yaw from side to side like a regular trailer), 4-wheel steering (the rear axle steers in the opposite direction of the front axle, at half the rate), and it is amphibious. It has a Detroit Diesel 3-cylinder 2-stroke diesel engine, and a 4-speed manual transmission with synchromesh on second, third and fourth gears. The part that looks like a trailer is an integral part of the truck, with a driveshaft, steering linkage, etc. passing through the pivot point.

I sold this truck to another collector in Ohio in May of 2006. I hope he will be able to devote more time to restoring it than I could! I think this goat will clean up really nicely. A few days later, I replaced it with a 1964 M38A1 Jeep.

Pictures

This batch of pictures was taken at the RV storage yard where I orignally kept the Goat.

 

thumbnail Front right corner. The trailer is not visible.
6/17/01
thumbnail This right side view shows all three axles.
6/17/01
thumbnail The driver’s compartment. It’s hard to get in and out of the truck, but it’s fairly comfortable after you manage to squirm in through the window.
6/17/01
thumbnail Right front side, with engine access cover open. The cover is spring-loaded, and is a lot easier to open than you would think.
6/17/01
thumbnail Left side of engine. The alternator is missing. I knew that when I bought it, and I already have a replacement for it… but I’ll need to order another bracket to install it.
6/17/01

This next batch of pictures was taken in late 2005, after the Goat had been sitting in my field for a couple of years. The local rodents really made a mess of the insides by packing the hull with sticks and thistles. It took a couple of hours just to clear out the stuff packed around the fan so that I could start the truck, and then several more hours of work with hands, vacuum cleaner and pressure washer to get most (but not all!) of the rest of the junk out. Luckily, they didn’t chew up too many wires. Grr. Well, even after sitting for a couple years, the engine started up right away after I put in fresh batteries.

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Here are a few more pictures that I took on 11/20/05 after cleaning most of the rat nest out of the truck.

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Here are some pictures of the old radio installation holes in the cargo carrier, taken on 5/17/06:

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I sold my truck to another collector on 5/16/06. Here are pictures of it leaving for its new home in Ohio on 5/19/06:

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Specifications

These specifications come from TM 9-2320-242-34, dated April, 1970, and from my truck’s dataplates.

 


 

General Specifications

Name M561 1.25-Ton 6×6 Gama Goat
Manufacturer Consolidated Diesel Electric Corporation (CONDEC)
Year 1970

 


 

Weights

Curb weight 7,300 lbs.
Payload 2,900 lbs.
Gross weight 10,200 lbs.
Front axle GVW 2,745 lbs.
Center axle GVW 3,900 lbs.
Rear axle GVW 3,555 lbs.

 


 

Dimensions

Length 226.6 in.
Width 83.80 in.
Height (GVW) 90.80 in.
Reducible height (GVW) 65.00 in.
Tread 72.00 in.
Ground clearance 15.00 in.
Pintle height 22 in.

 


 

Engine

Make Detroit Diesel
Series 3-53
Type Liquid cooled, vertical in-line, two cycle, three cylinder diesel
Displacement 159.3 cubic in.
Horsepower 103 HP at 2,800 RPM
Torque 217 lbs-ft. at 1,500 RPM
Firing order 1-3-2

 


 

Transmission

Type Manual shift
Speeds Four forward, one reverse
Synchromesh shift 2nd, 3rd, 4th gears
1st gear ratio 7.06:1
2nd gear ratio 3.58:1
3rd gear ratio 1.71:1
4th gear ratio 1.00:1
Reverse gear ratio 6.78:1
Lubricant capacity 5.5 pints

 


 

Transfer

Ranges High – low
High ratio 1:1
Low ratio 1.79:1
Torque rating 2,500 lbs-ft.
Lubricant capacity 4.5 pints

 


 

Differentials (front, center & rear)

Type Dual pack limited slip
Ratio 5.57:1
Lubricant capacity 4 pints

 


 

Electrical System

Voltage 24 VDC
Amperage 60 A
Battery type 6TN, 12 V, 100 AH
Battery quantity two, series connected
Alternator 24 VAC 60A

 


 

Fuel System

Capacity 40 gallons (2 tanks, 20 gallons each)
Recommended fuel Diesel VV-F-800
Jet MIL-J-5624
CITE MIL-F-45121A

fuel systemfuel system

 


 

Cooling System

Capacity 19 quarts
Normal operating temperature 160-200°F
Normal operating pressure 7-14 PSI (MAX)

cooling system

 


 

Steering System

Type Mechanical front and rear, simultaneously operated
Steering ratio 24:1
Turning radius 29 feet

steering system

 


 

Suspension

Front and rear Independent coil springs at each wheel
Center Single leaf spring and swing axle

 


 

Service Brakes

Type Hydraulic, internal expanding, sealed drum Duo-servo master cylinder
Air pressurization 5 PSI

brake system

 


 

Bilge Pump

Type Electrically operated
Rating 54 GPM at 27.5 volts

 


 

Articulation

Roll at center axle +/- 15°
Roll at rear axle +/- 30°
Pitch at rear axle +/- 40°
Wall climb (vertical) 18 in.
Angle of approach 62°
Angle of departure 45°
Hump angle 140°

articulation systemarticulation systemarticulation system

 


 

Tires

Type 11:00×18 NDCC, tubeless, 6 ply rated
Highway pressure 22 PSI
Cross-country pressure 18 PSI
Snow pressure 12 PSI

Timeline

6/17/2001 My truck arrives from Escanaba, Michigan, on a flat-bed semi-trailer. I unloaded it with my M543A2 5-ton 6×6 wrecker, by lifting the rear end of the truck, having the driver pull his trailer forward until the front wheels of the Goat were near the back edge of the trailer, lowering the back end to the ground, pulling my wrecker around to the side of the trailer, lifting the front end of the Goat, having the driver pull the trailer forward again, and lowering the front end to the ground. It would have been much easier to hire the services of a tilt-bed wrecker, and it even would have been cheaper than the lifting sling I built, but it would have been a lot less fun! Unfortunately, I didn’t find out the delivery date until the last minute, and I wasn’t able to draft somebody to take pictures of the unloading process. The pictures would have been pretty neat.
5/19/2006 I sold my truck to another collector in Ohio a few days ago, and it left for its new home this morning. I hope he will be able to put more time into restoring it, because I think it will clean up very nicely. I sold it for what I had into it minus the original shipping from Michigan, and I’ve driven it 23 miles while I had it. Those were some expensive miles, huh?
5/23/2006 Today I bought my replacement for the Gama Goat: a 1964 M38A1 Jeep

 

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  16 Responses to “M561 1.25-Ton 6×6 Gama Goat”

  1. Do you have gama goat m561 for sale if so please call me at 9708198181

  2. Dear Sir I have a large quanity of new and used parts for M561. Send me your address and I will mail you a list of parts with prices. Thank you Art MVPA 185 CL

  3. Sirs,
    I am Japanese who has GAMA in Japan.
    Help!!
    Can not find brake line ferrules.
    If somebody knows about that, Help us.
    Thank you

  4. Greetings. I just wanted to let you know that I have driven that Gama goat but we never got around to swimming it. Aaron sold it last year to a guy in Pennsylvania so it has a new owner. It was a fun machine to drive although it was a bit loud. I have an M151, a HMMWV, and a CUCV myself. I found this site looking up info on what commo to install in my HMMWV.

    • Thanks for updating me on the Goat! It was a really neat truck, but I just didn’t have the time to devote to it. It sure was fun having it for a while, though. It’s easily the most unusual vehicle I’ve owned.

      • Yeah, Aaron said he didn’t have the time and ambition to do it up right either. It looked like a real nice unit though other that the bad shock that made the carrier lean a little. I wouldn’t mind having on myself someday but right now I lack the space.

        AC8EM by the way.

  5. I am looking for M561 gamma goat for the volunteer work that I do I volunteer for CERT is called community emergency response team and I go places where you get stuck with four-wheel-drive vehicles are used to drive a gamma goat in the army back in the early 80s and I know what they can do for gamma go I can get cargo people volunteers to ride with me and the areas that I go and flooded areas searching for people that’s what I’m looking for I’m find somebody to donate it Could be a great cause turn to donate

  6. after a 100 hour search ive found a replacment for the brakes on a gamma goat
    napa.number..UP/ 451-r..raylock brakes chevy c-2500,1988-2000.almost identical only have to trim top of new shoe to fit pyramid spacer on the goat..REMEMBER SHORT BRAKE PAD GOES TO THE REAR LONGER BRAKE PAD GOES TO THE FRONT..

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