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Thread: M870A1 Acquisition Thread

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    Hundredaire Socialite Castle Bravo's Avatar
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    Default M870A1 Acquisition Thread

    After several years of looking for one, I finally found and purchased a M870A1 40 ton lowboy semitrailer for my M916 tractor. I had Soni (aka M920) take it from Oklahoma to New Mexico. The trailer did not have any lights or electrical, brake components were missing and no air lines were present. The tires were in sketchy condition. I loaded up some 10R15 tires on the back of the 916 and set out for New Mexico. Its about 500 miles away and so I made the trip in about 12 hours with stops at 55 mph.

    Soni had helped me round up a lot of the required parts, like the air valves and slack adjusters. Some of the ports on the valves were different sizes than what was on the original pieces, so some adapters were used. The trailer has just about 100' of 3/8" plastic air brake tubing, as well as some 1/2" and a bit of 5/8". (Which is very expensive) The rear deck over the area between the axles was removed and this made it considerably easier to access the brake components.

    The trailer rear end was lifted with the FEMTT crane and set it on some jack stands so that I could work on the tires and hubs. The bearings were in good shape and the oil was too. New Stemco hubcaps were installed and filled with gear oil. I picked the most road worthy tires and cleaned all the mating surfaces on the hubs, wheels, and spacers, and the dayton wheel assemblies went together with no fuss.

    Soni installed some stick on reflectors and I think that was an excellent idea. The lights were handled by the trusty wrecker light bar. Now that the trailer displayed a hint of maintenance, I felt it was up for the trip home, which was uneventful except for a dude laying on the highway that I had to drive around. (really!)

    The trailer came with 16 or so tires and I purchased some others to bring me up to darn near 40 of them now in various conditions. The 10R15 tires are still out there for sale and I think I'll end up having a good set of the Michelin tires, as they seem to be the best available. The next steps are sandblasting and paint, followed by installing electrical components, and then wood decking.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    1993 Oshkosh M1070 HET
    1979 AM General M916 LET (w/Allison HD4070 7 Speed Auto Transmission)
    1986 Shoals American Industries M870A1 40 Ton Lowboy Semitrailer
    1954 Pressed Steel Car Co M172 25 Ton Low Bed Semitrailer
    1986 Chevrolet M1028 CUCV Shelter Carrier
    M197A1 Converter Dolly Trailer

    Previously M925A2, M925A1, M925, M931, XM818, M35A2C, M127A2C, M750, M146, MK18A1, M332, M105, M103, M101A2, S250/G

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    Hundredaire Socialite Castle Bravo's Avatar
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    Some more photos.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    1993 Oshkosh M1070 HET
    1979 AM General M916 LET (w/Allison HD4070 7 Speed Auto Transmission)
    1986 Shoals American Industries M870A1 40 Ton Lowboy Semitrailer
    1954 Pressed Steel Car Co M172 25 Ton Low Bed Semitrailer
    1986 Chevrolet M1028 CUCV Shelter Carrier
    M197A1 Converter Dolly Trailer

    Previously M925A2, M925A1, M925, M931, XM818, M35A2C, M127A2C, M750, M146, MK18A1, M332, M105, M103, M101A2, S250/G

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    Hundredaire Socialite Castle Bravo's Avatar
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    I didn't really do anything to the trailer that didn't need to be done to make the trip home. No brakes on a 20000 lb trailer is not okay. All in all, it took a few days to complete and everything worked correctly on the way home.
    1993 Oshkosh M1070 HET
    1979 AM General M916 LET (w/Allison HD4070 7 Speed Auto Transmission)
    1986 Shoals American Industries M870A1 40 Ton Lowboy Semitrailer
    1954 Pressed Steel Car Co M172 25 Ton Low Bed Semitrailer
    1986 Chevrolet M1028 CUCV Shelter Carrier
    M197A1 Converter Dolly Trailer

    Previously M925A2, M925A1, M925, M931, XM818, M35A2C, M127A2C, M750, M146, MK18A1, M332, M105, M103, M101A2, S250/G

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    groundog (10-23-2014), M920 (10-22-2014), rtk (10-22-2014)

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    4 Star General NDT's Avatar
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    Thanks for the post. I'll never understand why these trailers are always so severely cannibalized, not like the parts can't be bought at any truck parts house.

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    4 Star General maddawg308's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NDT View Post
    Thanks for the post. I'll never understand why these trailers are always so severely cannibalized, not like the parts can't be bought at any truck parts house.
    Because if you are a private in the motor pool with a good trailer on the left that's missing a few parts, and another one on the right, they will save time and paperwork and use parts from one to keep the other one going. Plus, what you're asking begs the question: if it's anything related to government, should it make sense?
    Mike
    maddawg308

    avatar: Jayne Cobb from TV show "Firefly"

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    Sweet! That trailer looks great with your m916! I guess it should as it was designed for it!

    I have been watching them for years and you are right, most seem stripped out when they sell. But they still sell high!

    Congrats!
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    Looks like you had a good trip and the trailer looks great!!
    Trucks: 43 Willy's MB, 52 M37, 71 M35A2 w/w, 84 M936, 85 M923A1, 85 M929, 84 M925
    Trailers: 86 M105 W/ CBC, 92 M105A2, 08 M200A1
    Gen: 03 MEP-803A, 01 MEP-805B
    S-280 Shelter

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    Tough trailer to find-good job in getting one to pull with the M916. How well does the winch set up work in lifting the trailer up and locking it into the 5th wheel? Always see lots of dents in the approach ramps on the tractors.

    You indicated a 55mph cruising speed in driving out bobtailed. What revs does that yield with your OD transmission, and was that just a good traveling speed. On the loaded return what did you run at and how did it handle?


    The 10:00 R15 tires are not too easy to find back here, I'm running them on a M172A1 behind the M916A1. Makes for a great package, but you're limited in deck space to a single piece of armor(their generally shorter). Would be fun to have all that room to load up the kitchen sink as well.

    John

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    Quote Originally Posted by ReoRider View Post
    Tough trailer to find-good job in getting one to pull with the M916. How well does the winch set up work in lifting the trailer up and locking it into the 5th wheel? Always see lots of dents in the approach ramps on the tractors.

    You indicated a 55mph cruising speed in driving out bobtailed. What revs does that yield with your OD transmission, and was that just a good traveling speed. On the loaded return what did you run at and how did it handle?


    The 10:00 R15 tires are not too easy to find back here, I'm running them on a M172A1 behind the M916A1. Makes for a great package, but you're limited in deck space to a single piece of armor(their generally shorter). Would be fun to have all that room to load up the kitchen sink as well.

    John
    55 mph is pretty much 1700 rpm - Owning a HET also and driving a lot of other slow vehicles, 55 mph is just fine to me. When I first got the Allison M916, I thought it was so cool that it'd run 75 mph, but now I mostly enjoy that it'll do 55-60 mph at lower rpms. 55 is nice in that it makes a huge difference over even 50 mph in terms of how driving long distance wears you out. I did 55 - 60 on the way home. I had to stop and adjust straps on some of the tires so often that I wanted to make up some time and drove a bit faster.
    1993 Oshkosh M1070 HET
    1979 AM General M916 LET (w/Allison HD4070 7 Speed Auto Transmission)
    1986 Shoals American Industries M870A1 40 Ton Lowboy Semitrailer
    1954 Pressed Steel Car Co M172 25 Ton Low Bed Semitrailer
    1986 Chevrolet M1028 CUCV Shelter Carrier
    M197A1 Converter Dolly Trailer

    Previously M925A2, M925A1, M925, M931, XM818, M35A2C, M127A2C, M750, M146, MK18A1, M332, M105, M103, M101A2, S250/G

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    4 Star General 11Echo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Castle Bravo View Post
    I didn't really do anything to the trailer that didn't need to be done to make the trip home. No brakes on a 20000 lb trailer is not okay. All in all, it took a few days to complete and everything worked correctly on the way home.
    It's a good feeling having the proper trailer for a tractor.
    Attached Images Attached Images

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