Canadian M152 Camper/Bugout Mods

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thmpr

Member
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Phoenix, AZ
1484734-0-large.jpg1484734-8-large.jpgBeen on this site for years waiting and waiting to pounce on the right M152 communications/command truck. Found an excellent condition, running, driving unit with less than 10,000 miles? in Denver, licensed and titled in Colorado. Bought it for, I believe, a song considering its condition, and being shipped to Phoenix, AZ right now. This is going to become my camper/bugout vehicle and looking for correct advice on certain things. Experienced hot-rodder here not afraid to modify/improve whatever to acheive a comfortable, relatively reliable, safe vehicle. My daily driver is a hot rodded 1952 Willys Overland pickup truck with tbi 454, 4L80e, NV c241, 14 bolt, 4 wheel discs ... and custom 5 window extracab.

Ideas: improve performance and gas milage of the 251 ci six or swap engines. What is available for the 251? Add Tom Langdon headers? Dual carb manifold? Raise compression? Or ... engine swap ... have available right now an Isuzu 4bd2t with NV4500 adaptor plate - similar to a Cummins 4bt but smoother and quieter. Desire a 4bt, but most that make this swap wind up selling in a few years because of the excessive NVH. "Cummins" does rolls off the tongue better than "Isuzu". "Wow! An Isuzu Power Wagon!" But with 17 - 30 mpg, I would be smiling.

Thinking the stock axles with 4.89 gears, 4 wheel disc brakes, dual circuit 1584 master cylinder and a NV4500 5 speed overdrive would be adequate for 65 mph? I would be happy driving cross country at 65mph. My Willys is comfortable at that speed. Or ... is there an overdrive unit that can be added to the stock Dodge transmission? Willys could simply bolt on Warn .75 overdrive. Been looking at "brownie boxes" but they are really expensive.

Can do an axle swap ... GM 14 bolt rear with discs (dually?), shortened Dana 60 front with discs ... 4.10 gears. Would require a change to 8-lug tubeless wheels. This axle swap would be less expensive than changing to 4.89 gears and discs on the stock axles.

Rear axle width is not a problem as M37 rear fenders can be grafted to the command box and, IMO improve the looks. Have a photoshop picture of the possible M37 fender add - looks great.

Power steering? Will drive truck stock for a while and see if it is needed.

How many of you have upgraded bulbs to 24 volt LED? DOT Military 24 volt LED headlights ($250) or H4 bucket with 24 volt H4 bulb ($80)? 24 volt LED 1157, 1156, dash, interior bulbs?

Going to vinyl wrap the M152 in Desert Storm camo with white roof (Arizona). Add self-stick flexible 24 volt solar panels, charge control and inverter, convertable sofa/bed, sink, toilet, refrigerator, microwave, cooktop, propane, fresh water and black water tanks, grey water discharge, hand-held outdoor shower stored in side compartment, portable generater ... and airconditioning.

Here we go again :smile:

Glenn
Phoenix, AZ
 

02smokemaker

New member
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moodus ct
I will definitely subscribe to see this!!
Also pics of your willys!!
I love cummins but I'm a big fan of doing something different. So I say isuzu! I would swap axles also. If your going to really wheel it much more aftermarket support.

Sent from my LG-LS997 using Tapatalk
 

thmpr

Member
56
14
8
Location
Phoenix, AZ
Holy Crap! Things change quickly. Made a smokin' deal on the two (2) Isuzu 4bd2t engines, one complete and running and one with a cracked head. The runner has an attached, brand new NV4500 bell housing, clutch and throw-out bearing (a . Both engines have 12 volt alts, airconditioning compressors and gear-driven power steering pumps. To close the deal, he threw in a fresh, rebuilt NV4500 with overdrive fix. Now, have to change my underwear, fix my single axle trailer floor and go get them. About one ton worth of stuff. NV, pieces, parts in the pickup bed, two engines strapped in to trailer?

Forget hop-up info on the 251.

Glenn
 

just me

Member
322
6
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phoenix,az
I've seen that Willy's around. Wasn't it 4 Wheelers a week or so ago?

You didn't check out the M37 in Las Vegas with the Como bunker on it? That was a bargain price for that truck.
 

nattieleather

Active member
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Cleveland, OH
Looks like a nice truck to start with. Since you made a killer deal for the Isuzu diesel. Go with that. I believe the Isuzu doesn't have electronics on it so it would be good for what you want. The cost of the kits to convert to disk brakes it would be cheaper to swap axles and you would get the lower gear ratios without a lot of extra work. Only problem is making the front axle fit the vehicle so you are right in having to shorten the front axle to fit or moving the springs out. Either or. Good luck and keep the pictures coming as you build.
 

thmpr

Member
56
14
8
Location
Phoenix, AZ
I made a vehicle speed spreadsheet years ago and just plugged M152 numbers in tonight. M152 Speeds.jpg Eye opener. The stock Isuzu 4bd2t has 135 HP at 3000 rpm and max 255 ft lb torque at 2,000 rpm. This can be tweaked up. I used torque max of 2,000 rpm as the goal in the speed range. 4.89 axles are out. Have to switch to a GM 14 bolt that comes in a several ratios. I think 4.10 is borderline OK - 65 mph at 2,000 rpm. 3.73 and 3.42 are really good. The bottom calculation is the 3.42 in stock transfer's 1.96 low range. OK ... hunt for narrow 14 bolt duallies :)

Overall vehicle height is a concern. Stock M152 is 7'9" tall on its NDCC tires. New wheel and tire selection has to be close so the vehicle will fit under my 8'0" overhead garage door. Want it garaged. Spreadsheet shows 32" tires. Maybe can go up to 35's - 1.5" taller.

I beleive the stock M37 transfer case is divorced ... so does the NV4500 need to be for 2 wheel drive with a short drive shaft to the transfer? Please say yes, because the included NV4500 is two wheel drive case.

Finally, the Isuzus are coming with 12 volt alternators. Should I convert the electric to 12 volt? Shouldn't be too difficult to do.

If rear axle is wider than stock, attached a photoshop of M37 fenders grafted to rear of command box. I like the way it looks.
1484734-11-large-Fender.jpg
Glenn
 
Last edited:

thmpr

Member
56
14
8
Location
Phoenix, AZ
I've seen that Willy's around. Wasn't it 4 Wheelers a week or so ago?

No ... not at 4 Wheeler. But it's at the Pavilions car show almost every weekend.

You didn't check out the M37 in Las Vegas with the Como bunker on it? That was a bargain price for that truck.
Do you have a link to that M37? Would love to check it out.
Glenn
 

nattieleather

Active member
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Cleveland, OH
Yes 2WD on the transmission so the set up you have will work fine. You could change the NP200 transfer case to an NP205 which would help with your road speed and heating problems that the 200 has.
 

tennmogger

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Its too bad the trend to highly modify these old Steel Soldiers grates on the nerves of the 'restoration' advocates who predominate SS.
 

thmpr

Member
56
14
8
Location
Phoenix, AZ
Its too bad the trend to highly modify these old Steel Soldiers grates on the nerves of the 'restoration' advocates who predominate SS.
I respect a 'restoration' advocates positon, but I simply have zero appreciation of garage queens. Zero. Most vehicles are meant to be driven. And, because of the M152's special design, it will enjoy a future of traveling this great nation ... forests, beaches, national parks ... and be seen by thousands more people than those just at a local 4rth of July parade. In the end, this appreciated M152 will be grinning from headlight to headlight and screaming "Thank you, son!" for giving me a new heart and vibrant life instead of parking me in a restorer's nursing home. You're welcome, dad. You deserve nothing less.
 

Lebowski

Member
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Location
Manitoba Canada
Windowed M152.jpg
Maybe photo magic that and see how it would look with the rear wheel well opened closer the the front sizing.
I think the factory made the rear opening too small.
 
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