Brainstorming a Gen Trailer build > mep003a/m101a2

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WalkingToFreedom402

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Hello all,

I have the opportunity to purchase a MEP-003a & I think it's exactly what I am looking for... simple mechanical diesel genset!

I am actually considering snagging two because the price is reasonable.

My initial idea is to mount one inside my m101a2 trailer. I love the idea of having a portable genset & I think that it would be a fun build.

I am an electrician & I have been thinking of how I would set it up.

I love the size of the m101a2 trailer because I could include a number of extras on board.

I want to have a variety of electrical cords, panels, & boxes that are easily deployable for any situation.

I also want to have a heavy duty lockable toolbox, a spare tire, & an auxiliary diesel tank.

Other future ideas (that there may not be room for) would include a solar setup, deep cycle battery bank, & some type of Comms setup.

I have a really decent trailer with the bows & cover that has been waterproofed.

What would be the downsides to this setup?

I like that I could store this generator in a somewhat weather resistant enclosure & be ready to take it wherever I needed it.

I was thinking that in scenarios where noise wasn't a major factor I could roll up the sides leaving the canvas over the top allowing a good flow of air.

Maybe I would build some baffled ducts allowing for fresh air intake & exhaust if it was to be used in a setting where it would otherwise be too loud.

Based on the measurements I read online...it should easily fit in the trailer allowing for some maintenance room.

I would probably mock it up & go shopping for a second hand auxiliary tank/tool boxes before mounting everything permanently... of course paying attention to leaving myself room to maintain the unit.

I would love to hear some feedback... I want to go get one asap but I'm not sure if I shouldn't just grab two.

Also...I've been researching them but I have never owned a diesel or military genset.

Feel free to give me any pointers or things to look at when inspecting them.

The seller has several of them on hand to choose from so I plan on looking then over good.

Thanks in advance.
 

gimpyrobb

dumpsterlandingfromorbit!
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A trailer with bedsides will limit your access to the generator. I'd look for an m116 version.
 

WalkingToFreedom402

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Valid point. I am going to go look at/purchase one tomorrow. I will haul it home with the trailer that I have & that should give me an idea of how it fits in there.
According to Al Gores internet I should have 13.5" of total clearance between the wheel wells.
I was hoping to either center it Or better yet, favor it to one side that may require more accessibility.

Two reasons that I am going to explore this more... I already have this trailer & I want to have a number of additional items that may not as easily fit on a m116 trailer.
 

Chainbreaker

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If you can snag a 2nd one at a decent price go for it! Having a backup genset can be a blessing, not to mention that it could end up being a very valuable parts donor used for troubleshooting by swapping out known good parts. MEP-00Xa parts are starting to become a bit limited.

Here are some things I added to one of my MEP-002a generators on a M116A2 trailer: Spider Box & Auxillary tank.

One thing to consider when adding options is how they will affect tongue weight. After adding the 50 gal aux tank upfront I needed to add a jack leg.
 
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WalkingToFreedom402

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Thank you for the link to that thread!
I will read through it when I sit down tonight...

I see prices all over the place so I guess that I'm not 100% sure.

The seller had bought around 20 of these 003a's one year ago at a local GSA auction.

He was selling them to people he knew for $850 each.
He still has 8 or so based on the pic that he sent me but he hasn't attempted to get the remaining ones operational yet.

He told me $550 each if I do the leg work to get it going & that he has a few 'parts units' I could utilize if I needed an item or two to get one going.
I was hoping to snag two of them (assuming there are 2 decent ones left) for $1000 or worst case $1100.

I figure that two is one & one is none....plus like you said it will be easier to figure out what's going on with two in front of me.
 

uniquify

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A couple years ago, I built a custom trailer with help from my nephew and brother-in-law. The 2 main things I added to the trailer were an aluminum auxiliary tank / toolbox combo that I found on craigslist and an electrical panel that I put together with a variety of outlets. The goal was to be able to roll up to wherever power is needed and be able to plug in and run for multiple days.
 

Chainbreaker

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He told me $550 each if I do the leg work to get it going & that he has a few 'parts units' I could utilize if I needed an item or two to get one going.
I was hoping to snag two of them (assuming there are 2 decent ones left) for $1000 or worst case $1100.

I figure that two is one & one is none....plus like you said it will be easier to figure out what's going on with two in front of me.
I would jump on that deal with both feet! If you go on eBay and look at used MEP-003a parts you can hit $550 in parts with just a couple of items.

I have firsthand experience having a genset malfunction 2 days into a power outage ice storm that took down power lines & poles. It was so nice having a fueled and ready to run spare generator to roll into place that dark icy night.

So, if it was me and those deals were available I would probably buy 3. I'd then get them all running and sell the 3rd one as running/load tested unit and that would in all likelihood pay for all 3! On the other hand, I just might hoard all 3 for myself...one primary, one backup and one parts unit.
 

Guyfang

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A trailer with bedsides will limit your access to the generator. I'd look for an m116 version.
I worked on a lot of small gen sets, on trailers. I have to tell you, any trailer with bedsides, drove me crazy. Simply not enough room to move around. Or store things. Most units going down range put their small gen sets on m116 type trailers, and ended up regretting it. For one unit I suggested that they remove the side doors hinge pins. Then replace them with quick release pins, to remove the doors so the could check oil, do Maintence and such things. Helped, but was far from satisfactory.

Two sets on the same trailer would not be a good idea. There are some nice trailers made for just this setup. When I am at my computer, I will list them. The TM's are posted here. You can take a look at them. For my money a AN/MJQ-34 type trailer would be the way to go. You could do your mods, and rig a cover for it.

Now to covers. They are nice, but if they are not high enough, working under one is a PITA. Too high, driving down the road puts a lot of strain on the canvas and bows. As for lowering the canvas to keep noise down, not good. The heat buildup will cause the sets to overheat quick. If the exhaust is not vented, the air filters plug up ASAP. Don't laugh, saw it happen twice. And these guys could not understand why the set shut off.

As mentioned before, the C/B changes, and overloading of the trailer is soon a problem. I am not sure the M116 type trailer will not handle two sets.
 

SCSG-G4

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MJQ-18 is two 10K MEP-003A generators on an M-105 type chassis that is a foot longer than a standard M105. Two MEP-003A without anything else would overload an M-116 trailer. Think about your total weight and what you have to pull it, AND what it will take to stop it safely!
 

Chainbreaker

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Not sure the OP was planning to put 2 gensets on one trailer as he said "My initial idea is to mount one inside my m101a2 trailer." However, he has the option to buy 2 gensets, or more, at a good price. Regardless, if ever planning on using a "M116A2" trailer, I agree that a MEP-003a is longer than a -002a and if he is wanting to put in a good sized aux tank it would be a tight fit with just 1 generator. Might be doable if the MEP-003a was remounted all the way to the rear.

Guyfang, you mentioned M116 trailers with bedsides... I have never seen a M116A2 that had a generator mounted (designated as a PU-751) that came with bedsides. I do recall seeing some M116's that had a metal panel plate across the front but no bedsides. Were these M116's that had bedsides designed for something else, or were they early models that came with bedsides? Just curious about other M116 configurations...
 

WalkingToFreedom402

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Thank you guys for the feedback. I may purchase additional units but have no plans of ever housing them on the same trailer.
I went there today & picked up the nicest of the 5 complete units sitting there. I have the option to snag a 2nd one for $450 more (2 for $1000) but I ran into a problem.

The seller had a ton of cool mil Spec equipment on site & I saw a truck that I had to have...so I put my money for a 2nd genset down on a former Air Force k30 crew cab diesel Chevy..
I love the purr of the 6.2! I think that I will try to act quick on a 2nd genset before it's too late.
 

gimpyrobb

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Green iron addiction strikes again. Just mount one in the trailer bed and one in the pickup bed!

Post some pics, we all love pics!


Edit, I wouldn't bat an eye at that price for 2.
 

Chainbreaker

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Based on the condition, although from afar, of the one that's being loaded it appears to be complete from the side view and doesn't seem badly weathered or abused. I would do the 2 for $1k deal in a heartbeat if funds permit. For a multitude of reasons you won't ever regret having 2 generators if you live in a power outage prone area. If you get it running & load tested you will always get your money out and then some if you ever need to liquidate it later.
 

Guyfang

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Not sure the OP was planning to put 2 gensets on one trailer as he said "My initial idea is to mount one inside my m101a2 trailer." However, he has the option to buy 2 gensets, or more, at a good price. Regardless, if ever planning on using a "M116A2" trailer, I agree that a MEP-003a is longer than a -002a and if he is wanting to put in a good sized aux tank it would be a tight fit with just 1 generator. Might be doable if the MEP-003a was remounted all the way to the rear.

Guyfang, you mentioned M116 trailers with bedsides... I have never seen a M116A2 that had a generator mounted (designated as a PU-751) that came with bedsides. I do recall seeing some M116's that had a metal panel plate across the front but no bedsides. Were these M116's that had bedsides designed for something else, or were they early models that came with bedsides? Just curious about other M116 configurations...

They were the normal cargo bed M116 trailers. The units were desperate for a way to transport all the ground mounted sets. So they got out drills and poked holes in the beds. Some even put a metal plate under the bed. Hillbilly fix, BUT, it worked. Not well. Didn't satisfy anyone, but better then the darned thing sliding around in the bed of a 5 ton truck. I saw both 002A and 003A's mounted this way as well as 802A and 803A sets.

Later, I saw some PU sets that had one MEP-803A mounted on what looked like a couple of giant I-beams, in the bed of M116 cargo trailers. The I-beams got the bottom of the doors higher then the top of the cargo bed. I cant say what the system was it powered, but can say, it was the unit that did the Abo Grab deal. This was a mod done by an agency other then CECOM. So it was not something you will ever see in a TM.


EDIT: There is a M116A2 setup for the MEP-003A. Its the PU-753/M. And the M751/M was for the MEP-002A. Both were without sides. If it were me, I would find an MJQ-18 trailer. Its made for two MEP-003A's. I would only mount 1 gen set, then you would have lots of room for other "Things". Its an M103A3 trailer, so pulling it with a pickup truck might be a bit of a problem.
 
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scrapdaddy

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Here's my setup that Guyfang, I believe is talking about. I took one gen, off and added a 250 fuel tank. I then built a spider cart to move where it's needed and can be stored for transport.
 

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