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Thread: Gun truck build questions

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    Sergeant Major Sikorsky502's Avatar
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    Default Gun truck build questions

    So I think that in the future I may want to do a gun truck project and I'm curious what truck everyone recommends to start with. Also, is anyone out there making repro. Armor for these or does anyone have the plans for the armor that I could get to have all the steel cut? What else should be considered when doing a build?

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    Colonel badassissimo's Avatar
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    subbed

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    4 Star General dmetalmiki's Avatar
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    Google deuce gun truck, and a variety of interesting sites and information come up. Hre is one usefull link for you to peruse and give you some insight.
    DIAMOND T M20.
    M54A2 I.H. M62. wrecker
    M54A2 5 Ton (with Praga command station surveillance body fitted)
    M45 530C TFFT fire truck
    1942 Ford Jeep (with underfloor tulsa winch)
    1945 Willys Jeep (with V8 flathead Engine) And overdrive.
    Packard Staff car. (WW11. General Pattern Tribute).
    Ural Military Motorcycle.
    Ex Army Hyster 4 ton Fork lift.
    Onan 7.5 kw ex army generator.

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    Sergeant Major Sikorsky502's Avatar
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    I've read that the deuce was what they used as the first gun trucks but eventually went to the 5 ton. Was it the m54 or m809 series?

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    4 Star General dmetalmiki's Avatar
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    As gun platforms they were used in the 5ton and 2 1/2 ton trucks in vietnam. the older multifuel trucks.
    DIAMOND T M20.
    M54A2 I.H. M62. wrecker
    M54A2 5 Ton (with Praga command station surveillance body fitted)
    M45 530C TFFT fire truck
    1942 Ford Jeep (with underfloor tulsa winch)
    1945 Willys Jeep (with V8 flathead Engine) And overdrive.
    Packard Staff car. (WW11. General Pattern Tribute).
    Ural Military Motorcycle.
    Ex Army Hyster 4 ton Fork lift.
    Onan 7.5 kw ex army generator.

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    I am thinking of building an early war "tribute" gun truck and plan to start with a M35A2 deuce rather than a M54 5-ton. I visited the Army transportation museum at Ft Eustis a few years ago where I saw "Eve of Destruction". I recently bought two reference books about gun trucks, including the book "Gun Trucks in Vietnam" by James Lyles.
    1. Regarding the construction of the gun box, some were made attached to the outside of the truck bed while others were made to fit inside the truck bed. I intend to do the later method. The walls look to be about 48" high. Details indicate the plate was attached to the bed by clips made from short pieces of angle iron. Any suggestions about this?
    2. I am planning to add a door to the rear of the gun box for ease of entry, similar to a WWII halftrack. While this does not appear to be common, I think it will make the truck more useful for those of us that are less agile than the typical 20-something GI.
    3. What I can't tell is how the armor was attached to the cab doors. Can anyone shed light on how the door armor was attached? By it's own set of hinges attached to the cab frame or directly to the door itself? I intend to make the top part of the plate fold down for better visibility and safety when driving on public roads.
    4. Paint will be semi-gloss black with light trim paint. Does anyone have knowledge about the various hood stripe colors?
    Any suggestions and info on details of construction from any gun truck crew members would be greatly appreciated.
    MVPA #30764
    Military Vehicle Collectors of Colorado
    1942 Dodge WC52 w/w
    1942 Chevrolet 1 1/2 ton 6x6 w/w
    1951 Dodge M37 wo/w
    1968 Case Master M101A1 trailer
    Vietnam tribute gun truck "Grim Reaper", 4th ID, 4th S&T, B15
    Colorado Military Historical Group, Inc

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    Most gun trucks are M35A2 heavily modified.....Most reprod gun trucks use 1/4 steel plate as easy to work with and cut....Check out a local CNC metal shop in you r area when you have the plans for the rebuild up to that point....cheap easy and the work is done right there....Had some work on the farm gear done that way.....Way to easy and cheap...But dam good work...best of luck on this one.

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    4 Star General vtdeucedriver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by turnkey View Post
    Most gun trucks are M35A2 heavily modified.....Most reprod gun trucks use 1/4 steel plate as easy to work with and cut....Check out a local CNC metal shop in you r area when you have the plans for the rebuild up to that point....cheap easy and the work is done right there....Had some work on the farm gear done that way.....Way to easy and cheap...But dam good work...best of luck on this one.
    Easy???? Yes but not cheap.
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    4 Star General vtdeucedriver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sikorsky502 View Post
    So I think that in the future I may want to do a gun truck project and I'm curious what truck everyone recommends to start with. Also, is anyone out there making repro. Armor for these or does anyone have the plans for the armor that I could get to have all the steel cut? What else should be considered when doing a build?
    Get the books by James Lyles............you can get the set off Ebay, tell Dan that Jeff send you. I have had the armor replicated and cut. It cost me a pretty penny. You need to consider COSTS!!! This has been a long road for me but nearing completion. I am still short on funding but part of that is my own fault but even then, I still would be short. What I will say, if your going to do it, don't half ass it. Don't do a "tribute" truck. Once in the circles of those who served on them, the reward is much bigger for following through with something that once existed................just my .02
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    Since I made my first post I've done more research and bought additional books about the GTs. The new Doyle book has great photos of "Eve of Destruction" and details of door and windshield armor, etc. Very useful. I'm waiting to get my plate fabed by a local steel shop and then start welding things together. I'm doing a full length box, inside mounted, on a deuce chassis. Does anyone know what kind of jump seats were mounted in the box? I have seen pictures of small round seats but don't know what they are from or where to get them.
    MVPA #30764
    Military Vehicle Collectors of Colorado
    1942 Dodge WC52 w/w
    1942 Chevrolet 1 1/2 ton 6x6 w/w
    1951 Dodge M37 wo/w
    1968 Case Master M101A1 trailer
    Vietnam tribute gun truck "Grim Reaper", 4th ID, 4th S&T, B15
    Colorado Military Historical Group, Inc

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