6×6 Trucks.

Dec 102012
Looks Like My M936A1 Works

Another collector is buying my incomplete M1022 shelter dolly carcasses to use the parts for a couple of creative projects. They’re a bit hard to move around in any case because they’re all missing critical parts like the drawbars, but we had to deal with the added complication that they were pushed out of the way with a bulldozer before my home construction project, and then I built a house between them and the driveway. So, extracting one of them yesterday was a job for my new M936A1 wrecker.

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Aug 272012
1965 Kaiser-Jeep M543A2 5-Ton 6x6 Medium Wrecker SOLD

9/29/2012: This truck left today for its new home! Here’s the old for-sale listing…

I bought this 1965 Kaiser-Jeep M543A2 5-Ton 5×5 Medium Wrecker back in 2001, and I’ve been using it as a yard crane ever since. It was never road-worthy since I got it, and I never found the time and energy to fix it up into the fine truck that it could be. Now that I just got a very nice M936A1 wrecker to replace it, I’m putting it up for sale so it can move to a new home where it can get the attention that it deserves. Read on for details!

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A Family Portrait

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Aug 042012
A Family Portrait

The rural dirt road leading to my property has some trees along it that were starting to intrude into the road, so I pressed my M923 into service today for some tree-trimming. I used the bed and troop seats as a work platform, and cut off what I could reach. If I can’t reach it from the bed of a 5-ton 6×6, then it shouldn’t be in the way of trash trucks and fire trucks.

When I got home, I parked it alongside the new M936A1 for a family portrait.

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Aug 042012
My New M936A1 Wrecker

I just bought this 1984 M936A1 5-ton 6×6 medium wrecker in yet another government auction. It’ll be replacing my 1965 M543A2 wrecker, which is pretty tired out… there’s not much on my M543A2 that doesn’t need repair, and I just haven’t had the time and energy to take on that restoration job. I’m hoping that this new M936A1 will work better for me, and need a lot less work! The M543A2 hasn’t been road-worthy since I got it, and it has decayed further while I’ve had it. I plan to put the M543A2 up for sale very soon.

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Apr 222012
M923 Gets a Keyed Battery Switch

One of the modifications that I commonly make to my military vehicles is to add a keyed battery master disconnect switch. This adds a small amount of security even though the switches all use the same key and have simple warded locks, because the trucks normally don’t have any keyed locks or switches at all. The switch I usually use is Pollak part number 51-916,  and I buy them from various distributors or on eBay. They are much better switches than the cheap plastic knock-offs of Hella switches or battery-mounted knife switches that are commonly found. There are also similar heavy-duty switches that other military vehicle collectors like to use, but I stick to this model so I only have one kind of key to keep on hand.  I just finished installing one of these in my new M923, and here’s how I did it.

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Apr 072012
First Test Drive in my New M923

I just took my new M923 for its first spin. I got it over a week ago, but I haven’t had time to play with it on weekdays, and I did a bunch of little stuff to it first like fixing some air leaks behind the dash, installing the cargo cover kit, adjusting tire pressures, cleaning windows, and so forth. I don’t have it titled yet, so I just stuck to the dirt roads around where I live.

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Apr 012012
M923 Gets its Cargo Cover

I spent much of this weekend playing with working on my new truck. I fixed some air leaks under the dash, and I installed the new cargo cover kit that I bought. The cargo cover kit, consisting of a large fitted vinyl tarpaulin and a set of bows, came in a large crate about the size of a coffin. I had to pick it up at the nearest truck freight depot.

So, the truck is ready for a spin around the neighborhood now! Unfortunately, by the time the truck was ready, I wasn’t. Getting old stinks! I’m exhausted, and my back, hands, knees and elbows are killing me. Oh, well, next weekend for sure! ;)

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Mar 282012
M923 Arrives at Mark's Green Truck Ranch

The delivery trouble that I had last Friday turned out to be a temporary little speed bump, and I got my new M923 5-ton 6×6 truck today! All is squared away with the towing company, and I’m likely to use their services again.

The tow truck driver (he’s the manager of the company, as well) was able to start and drive the truck in the GL (Government Liquidation) yard in Barstow, and this was quite fortunate because he says that the trucks were all packed in there like sardines. If he wasn’t able to drive it, then he would have spent hours dragging it into position where he could load it onto his Landoll tilt-bed trailer. The power steering came in handy then, too!

When he arrived at the end of the pavement about a quarter mile from my home, he correctly realized that it’d be silly to drag his low-bed over-the-road rig over my local rough dirt roads when his load is a well-running off-road tactical truck. So, he offloaded at a convenient clearing, called me up for the go-ahead, and drove the truck the rest of the way to my property. It was delightful to see that giant beast driving up the road to my property!

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Mar 022012
M923 5-Ton 6x6 Truck

I’ve found a solution to my dilemma about whether and how to convert my HMMWV! By the simple expedient of buying an M923 5-Ton 6×6 truck in a government auction, I have determined that I’ll keep my HMMWV as a commo shelter carrier for the time being.

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May 252006
M35A2C 2.5-Ton 6x6 Cargo Truck

Since I’ve sold my other 2.5-ton 6×6 trucks (I had as many as 6 at one time!), this is now my only one left. This M35A2C is a cargo truck, which is the same as the most common M35A2 truck except that it is equipped with an improved cargo bed whose sides fold down to allow loading with a forklift from the side. This kind of truck can also carry a communications shelter, such as my S-448.

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M52A2 5-Ton 6×6 Tractor

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Jun 072003
M52A2 5-Ton 6x6 Tractor

This truck is a 19?? (dataplate missing) Kaiser-Jeep 5-ton 6×6 tractor. I won it in a goverment surplus auction, and picked it up on June 7, 2003 from March Air Reserve Base. I ended up selling it a few months later. It was a neat truck, but it was really uncomfortable to drive on a rough dirt road without a trailer, due to the very stiff rear leaf springs. I’m sure I would have fixed that by adding a trailer if I had kept the truck.

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Jun 172001
M561 1.25-Ton 6x6 Gama Goat

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.

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M44-Series 2.5-Ton 6×6 Truck Brake Vent Modification

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Mar 182001
M44-Series 2.5-Ton 6x6 Truck Brake Vent Modification

This page contains excerpts from PS Magazine (a monthly magazine published by the US Government for Army personnel involved in maintenance) which describe how to perform a necessary brake vent modification on M44-series 2.5-ton 6×6 trucks such as the M35 cargo trucks or my M109A3 shop van. I used to have a couple of pages with many PS Magazine excerpts with 2.5-ton and HMMWV tips, but they are no longer necessary now that you can download individual articles from 1988 on at the PS Magazine web site. I kept these particular excerpts here because the vent line modification was published in 1983, and is not yet available on the PS Magazine web site. It’s a very good idea to check the PS Magazine index for other articles which may apply to your truck. For example, there’s an article in issue 542 (January, 1998) which describes a necessary brake light switch modification which replaces the old hydraulic pressure actuated switch, which could blow out and leave you rolling without brakes!

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Dec 031999
M44-Series Truck Parts Cross-Reference

This page lists cross-reference data for some of the common expendable supplies and replacement parts used by the M44-series 2.5-ton 6×6 trucks with LD-465-* and LDT-465-* multifuel engines, such as the M35A2 cargo truck and the M109A3 shop van. This data may not be applicable to trucks with other engines (such as the OA-331 gasoline or LDS-427-* multifuel engines). I will update it occasionally as I find more information. Please comment if you find any errors, or if you can provide any more information.

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