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    Default LMTV question

    SO, I have bought an LMTV last year. Got it finally to California and its been sitting in the shop waiting for the transmission pan to be dropped. Busy shop with good people so I am fine waiting.
    Not having the truck has given me plenty of time to read the TM's, read Steel soldiers, and cruise the interwebs regarding these trucks. trying to get as much information as i can before i start working on the truck.
    The one thing that has struck me is that these trucks have a negative review by the people that said to have driven them. Complaining about reliability, parts availability, overall performance and just a negative outlook on them. Why?
    Both the motor and the transmission are decent units, The axles are great and the cabs are Steyr cabs that have been around for years. Was their a maintenance issue in the field that led to this? Overall misunderstanding of what these trucks were about and the average enlisted person not being educated? I appreciate that by the time they are released issues come up. Electrical and so on.

    Just curious what people think that have them in the civilian world think.

    Blair

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    This gets talked about a lot. Here are some of my previous answers (I should really make a canned answer for this, to cut/paste)...

    https://www.steelsoldiers.com/showth...=1#post2143552

    https://www.steelsoldiers.com/showth...=1#post2106874

    https://www.steelsoldiers.com/showth...=1#post2076805

    https://www.steelsoldiers.com/showth...=1#post2088391

    Bottom line is that to anyone who has tried to measure it, they are WAY more reliable. They are also more complex, and that breeds points of failure that deadline the truck until fixed as well as fear of computers/unknown/new-things/etc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blairg View Post
    SO, I have bought an LMTV last year. Got it finally to California and its been sitting in the shop waiting for the transmission pan to be dropped. Busy shop with good people so I am fine waiting.
    Not having the truck has given me plenty of time to read the TM's, read Steel soldiers, and cruise the interwebs regarding these trucks. trying to get as much information as i can before i start working on the truck.
    The one thing that has struck me is that these trucks have a negative review by the people that said to have driven them. Complaining about reliability, parts availability, overall performance and just a negative outlook on them. Why?
    Both the motor and the transmission are decent units, The axles are great and the cabs are Steyr cabs that have been around for years. Was their a maintenance issue in the field that led to this? Overall misunderstanding of what these trucks were about and the average enlisted person not being educated? I appreciate that by the time they are released issues come up. Electrical and so on.

    Just curious what people think that have them in the civilian world think.

    Blair
    The 3116 cat is a gutless kitty. It is a designed throwaway motor and it's hard to work on. It is a ◊=$&%(@[$* to time. It requires alot of special tools and it's one of the worst cat motors.

    Parts are not made on the commercial grade that other previous trucks were. They were designed by a company for the military. Almost every m809,939,915 series truck part can be acquired by almost any parts place in 24hrs. Even the m35s that the LMTVs replaced had easy find or interchangeable parts.

    The civilian world likes them for the overland mostly. They are pretty slow trucks in the base models. Even with high speed gears they are still slow to get there and maintain it in any hilly conditions.

    As far as those people who work surplus military trucks. They would not hold up well. I have customers that run old deuces at fuel and service trucks and they take a beating. They may not hold up. In the 5 ton class. Working as a pull out log truck. Or grinder puller. They will not last very long before they are either blown up or torn up

    It will depends on what you are going to do with it
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    Quote Originally Posted by simp5782 View Post
    The 3116 cat is a gutless kitty. It is a designed throwaway motor and it's hard to work on. It is a ◊=$&%(@[$* to time. It requires alot of special tools and it's one of the worst cat motors.

    Parts are not made on the commercial grade that other previous trucks were. They were designed by a company for the military. Almost every m809,939,915 series truck part can be acquired by almost any parts place in 24hrs. Even the m35s that the LMTVs replaced had easy find or interchangeable parts.

    The civilian world likes them for the overland mostly. They are pretty slow trucks in the base models. Even with high speed gears they are still slow to get there and maintain it in any hilly conditions.

    As far as those people who work surplus military trucks. They would not hold up well. I have customers that run old deuces at fuel and service trucks and they take a beating. They may not hold up. In the 5 ton class. Working as a pull out log truck. Or grinder puller. They will not last very long before they are either blown up or torn up

    It will depends on what you are going to do with it
    Have you owned an FMTV yet? I know last time we had this discussion you had not.

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    The statement was that I did not have a use to update the parts list.
    Unfortunately I have operated more LMTVs and FMTVs than you have laid eyes on. I see their conditions from right off the base, to nice and nearly new to going to the military truck heaven in the sky. My experience with military trucks like the M809, M939s, LMTVs or even the heavy 915 trucks is nothing you want to question and alot of people will have no problem telling you that.

    Guess I should move these trucks out then .

    And I have alot of experience with the 3116 that came in the A3 trucks. it's the same gutless turd. Turn the governor up to 2800. Fuel screw in 6 turns. Crimp the wastegate off and she will be pretty good for power.

    The LMTVs are decent around town as they allow you to park on the front row in even a Walmart. Great turning and all around ok for light stuff but not to be worked very hard.
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    Oh, quit with the bravado, as if your opinions are beyond reproach.

    If anything, you are proving my point exactly. By all measures, these are the best trucks the military has ever had, and then there are several very vocal people who disagree based on their "unquestionable" experience alone.

    Quote Originally Posted by simp5782 View Post
    The 3116 cat is a ... throwaway motor and it's hard to work on. It is a ◊=$&%(@[$* to time. It requires alot of special tools and it's one of the worst cat motors.
    The basis of the term "throwaway" being that it can't be re-sleeved? Most military or civilian uses will never see the life expectancy of even this "throwaway" motor, so it makes little difference. It's rated at 500,000 miles.

    You can work on almost all of the motor without any special tools. You do need an expensive tool to set the fuel timing, but it would only be expected to do that a few times in its lifetime if well maintained. I actually can't think of any other special tools you need besides that - I haven't had to buy any. It's not like it's all put together with Torx security bolts or something.

    Quote Originally Posted by simp5782 View Post
    Parts are not made on the commercial grade that other previous trucks were. They were designed by a company for the military. Almost every m809,939,915 series truck part can be acquired by almost any parts place in 24hrs. Even the m35s that the LMTVs replaced had easy find or interchangeable parts.
    I'm not sure what that first sentence means, but I think it's saying "The parts for previous trucks were higher quality." Possibly, but parts being designed specifically for the military does not necessarily make them better either. A significant reason the military is trying to move towards commercial parts is that they are cheaper and have the benefit of a more mature history.

    I haven't had any problems finding parts for the engine or transmission. Axles are a bit more problematic, but the older trucks have the advantage of being around for several decades longer - the FMTVs are still "young" on the market and don't have as much supply chain built up.

    Quote Originally Posted by simp5782 View Post
    The civilian world likes them for the overland mostly. They are pretty slow trucks in the base models. Even with high speed gears they are still slow to get there and maintain it in any hilly conditions.
    We certainly have a lot of overlanders here with them. There are getting to be a lot of these trucks out there, and we surprisingly don't hear much from the majority of other owners out there. I've been curious what they're up to.

    LMTV does 58MPH. How fast are other military trucks? A quick google search says M939 is 63MPH, M809 is 54MPH, and M915 is 55MPH. If those are correct, or close, it's not like these things are dragging behind. With "high speed" gears an LMTV can hit 73MPH (3.90/3.07 * 58MPH = 73MPH), if you're willing to run the tires that fast.

    Quote Originally Posted by simp5782 View Post
    As far as those people who work surplus military trucks. They would not hold up well. I have customers that run old deuces at fuel and service trucks and they take a beating. They may not hold up. In the 5 ton class. Working as a pull out log truck. Or grinder puller. They will not last very long before they are either blown up or torn up
    Just bias and theories here. It's not like you just drive down the road and it blows up like it hit an IED. These haven't been out long enough to know of a customer "running an old LMTV as a fuel or service truck". The military has 100,000 of these trucks, and they just keep buying more (and more variants and things based on it), so it's not like they are having huge issues with them being able to do the work.

    --------

    There are pro's and con's, for sure. However, these trucks are fine by any empirical measure. The older trucks aren't bad, either. The FMTV represents an attempt to modernize, upgrade capabilities, and improve reliability that all the data says has been successful.

    ultrareliability_chart (1).png

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    Quote Originally Posted by Awesomeness View Post
    Oh, quit with the bravado, as if your opinions are beyond reproach.

    If anything, you are proving my point exactly. By all measures, these are the best trucks the military has ever had, and then there are several very vocal people who disagree based on their "unquestionable" experience alone.



    The basis of the term "throwaway" being that it can't be re-sleeved? Most military or civilian uses will never see the life expectancy of even this "throwaway" motor, so it makes little difference. It's rated at 500,000 miles.

    You can work on almost all of the motor without any special tools. You do need an expensive tool to set the fuel timing, but it would only be expected to do that a few times in its lifetime if well maintained. I actually can't think of any other special tools you need besides that - I haven't had to buy any. It's not like it's all put together with Torx security bolts or something.



    I'm not sure what that first sentence means, but I think it's saying "The parts for previous trucks were higher quality." Possibly, but parts being designed specifically for the military does not necessarily make them better either. A significant reason the military is trying to move towards commercial parts is that they are cheaper and have the benefit of a more mature history. If they are reliable then I guess that means those convoys with a wrecker for every 1088 with a tanker in it are just along for show. The newer trucks are more powerful and more reliable yes. But can be electrical nightmares.



    I haven't had any problems finding parts for the engine or transmission. Axles are a bit more problematic, but the older trucks have the advantage of being around for several decades longer - the FMTVs are still "young" on the market and don't have as much supply chain built up.



    We certainly have a lot of overlanders here with them. There are getting to be a lot of these trucks out there, and we surprisingly don't hear much from the majority of other owners out there. I've been curious what they're up to.

    LMTV does 58MPH. How fast are other military trucks? A quick google search says M939 is 63MPH, M809 is 54MPH, and M915 is 55MPH. If those are correct, or close, it's not like these things are dragging behind. With "high speed" gears an LMTV can hit 73MPH (3.90/3.07 * 58MPH = 73MPH), if you're willing to run the tires that fast.



    Just bias and theories here. It's not like you just drive down the road and it blows up like it hit an IED. These haven't been out long enough to know of a customer "running an old LMTV as a fuel or service truck". The military has 100,000 of these trucks, and they just keep buying more (and more variants and things based on it), so it's not like they are having huge issues with them being able to do the work.

    --------

    There are pro's and con's, for sure. However, these trucks are fine by any empirical measure. The older trucks aren't bad, either. The FMTV represents an attempt to modernize, upgrade capabilities, and improve reliability that all the data says has been successful.

    ultrareliability_chart (1).png
    You do not have a clue what a grinder is or what it takes to pull one. There is a reason that a good many loggers use m809 and 939 trucks with NHC250 engines. They have power and they are reliable. Parts are found anywhere. Those 1088s arent doing that. So reliable that I see convoys of 1088 tankers with a wrecker for every truck in the convoy and not just for looks.

    As far as parts comparable. Look at the 5 ton parts spreadsheet compared to your LMTV spreadsheet. Not even in the same ballpark of parts being easier obtain regardless of being young on the market. It is the class of parts they used. The older trucks use parts of what was common on civilian trucks for more availability and cheaper cost due to supply and demand.

    To work on a CAT 3116 for anything other than small maintenance requires special tooling. Actually several thousand dollars in tooling for any major 3116 repair. Apparently you have never been in one as that mechanical rack would run you in the ground trying to adjust it.
    Compared to engines in its class it is the bottom feeder for power. Hint as to why they went to a 3126 and to the c7 and now back to Cummins since cat skipped town on the truck market.

    The LMTVs are a better ride than the other class of trucks due to air ride cab. Add air bags to the rear springs and it rides even better. Nothing biased about it. I like having one to run around town in on occasion.

    As far as speed. A 915 base model will run into the 70mph range with the cat 7155. Uphill. Even loaded carrying 2 FMTVs.. That is one truck you do not want To mess with if it's running well. Base 916s will run 61 at their 2150 governor. 939s are degoverned in the A2 trucks and can run nearly 67 to 70mph. Yes an LMTV can run 73mph but it cant hold it and the slightest incline it will feel and drag it down to a crawl. Much like an 855 truck. It doesnt have the guts to keep it up there neither do they 939a2s can hold their own but the non OD transmission doesnt help it at all. And having a turbo that goes on a 5.9L doesnt help it either. An 8.3 has a few options for improving power wise that puts it and a 3126 on the same playing field and maybe even a c7 with some more motivation. As far as the LMTV category. They replaced an aging reliable workhorse in the M35a2s. A big gap to fill. So reliable they will be still be used long after the first generation of LMTVs are dead and scrap. The LMTVs can be an electrical nightmare trying to chase down what is what. There are common problems that everyone runs into on here but there are issues that some wont see or have to deal with atleast.

    As far as drivetrains. Yeah not fond of the planets. 939 parts reliability is that I have never repacked or replaced a wheel bearing in 260,000+ miles. And only replaced 4 inner seals on the wheels and 1 set of brake shoes. And no I did not repack the bearings whenever I removed the hubs.
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    You're right, how could anyone else know what a grinder is? Loggers would have had to be using those trucks because they were all that was available, and I imagine they would continue to use them because they know and like them. I'm not saying there is anything wrong with them.

    What parts are you worried about? It seems like most of the things I want to replace on mine is easily found. The stupider things are the ones I've found hard so far, like the wheel o-rings.

    I've had the 3116 almost completely apart. I didn't mess with the fuel rack, which does take special tools to adjust, but it didn't need it. Everything else has been straightforward. Did no previous trucks ever get engine upgrades? Doesn't seem to indicate anything.

    LMTVs are more complex, yes, and thus can have issues with those extra complexities. I think that's exactly what scares a lot of the haters. Over time more of those will get worked out, have alternatives/workarounds/replacements available, etc. They don't benefit from being on the market for several decades, like the older trucks.

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    Just some observations running the LMTVs I'm responsible for at work vs. M35, M800 series, M900 series we also have.

    The M35A2 sort of sets a standard that's hard to beat. In a SHTF situation...I'll take one of those. It starts every time - it will run with no alternator input beyond the point the batteries are 0.00 volts - they're simple to repair and very rarely require it provided they have BFS in the brake system.

    When you start climbing up the model ladder...800 and 900 series trucks have Control Box problems. Easily resolvable...but it's something introduced that fails (frequently) that wasn't an issue with the M35/ M54 trucks. And I have axle/ wheel oil seal issues on a bunch of 900s I rarely saw on the earlier generations.

    Moving up to FMTVs...I like the trucks. I like the design, the overall layout - and in general I like driving them. The drawbacks have been mentioned. The 3116 powers an awful lot of gear out there but if you hop out of an M35A2 and into the M1078...you're leaving stop signs slower - it takes longer to get up to speed - and it bogs on hills faster.

    I see up there aways that there's the suggestion they changed over to the 3126 for more power. Not so in anything I've read. What seems to have happened is that the Emissions Nazis kept forcing more and more onerous changes on the use of the engines civvyside (motorhomes and commercial vehicles) which gave rise to the 3126 and later on the C7. Not a performance thing at all. Just an emissions-thing. Mileage may vary but I spent a lot of time looking into it.

    The LMTV vs. the M35A2 has some pluses though. The cab has far better visibility and is far more comfortable. The heater actually generates as much heat as it does noise. The cab-forward design makes for a great turning radius in addition to the great visiblility, which is likely why Steyr stuck with the design through many Euro iterations of the truck (which is why the FMTV II program returning to a conventional layout...makes my head spin.)

    Early FMTV problems...wow. Alternator failures and wiring harness problems causing charging issues...a major bitch. Door handle problems got so bad that there were zero parts available for a time, because the design is...not remotely soldier-friendly. Early A0 vehicles with the Allison transmission computer directly beneath the dashboard shift pad were *plagued* with condensation/ water ingression issues given their position on the dashboard and different operating environments. Throttle linkage seems very susceptible to contaminants which result in a very stiff pedal, or restricted pedal travel so you can never open it up to the degree it should be able to go. That really should have been foreseen.

    Cargo area etc. mostly well done - especially the ISO format box/ top/ sides - with the caveat that the metal bow system is stupidly complicated and clearly not meant for any vehicle that needs to be re-roled in a hurry, or have the superstructure removed for operational concerns to be remounted quickly later. You won't be doing that. When it's all erect it's infinitely superior to the bow setup in earlier pattern vehicles -- but only if the vehicle is in a role where the top will be up its entire service life.

    FMTV tires are outstanding. Great choice of tire/ tread. The biggest slayer of those tires is the CTIS system which they can't seem to ever get right whether it be 900 series trucks, HMMWVs or FMTV. It's not reliable. It cannot be made reliable. Any vehicle left in a Guard unit for a month or so unused will be sitting on a flat developing a nasty sidewall crack unless regularly monitored/ inflated. But FMTVs have that in common with 900s, so free pass there.

    One other thing I would've changed if I'd been on the drawing-board is the air brake setup. Rockwell wedge brakes - in common with the 900 series trucks - are not great. I don't seen any reason they couldn't have gone with the S-cam setup of commercial trucks, which would've made organizational maint a lot easier and could've actually offloaded regular brake adjustment/ maintenance into the -10 manual from the -20. But...go figure.

    From what I gather the latest iteration of the FMTVs have addressed a bunch of those problems, so maybe they're destined to wear the reputation of the M35s for the next generation of collectors. I still think a lot of it could've been headed off at the pass at the design stage, however.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wile E. Coyote View Post
    The heater actually generates as much heat as it does noise.
    I laughed at that. It makes a ton of heat (and noise)... biggest issue is it only seems to have two settings, off and volcano.

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