Gun Truck Brutus.

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vtdeucedriver

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One of my fellow SS and local MV club member has been hounding me to start this thread. For a long time I have said that I am not doing this for the SS membership's entertainment. Recently I have changed my tune on this for now as maybe some might learn a few things about historical preservation. I feel that this is one of the things that the SS forum is starting to lack. I am still going to concentrate my time in posting at another location where those who I am doing it for can be apart of it and see it all come together.

When I throw a pic or two up, this is where it will be. My fellow SSer's who will be helping me........FEEL FREE to put em here.

Stay tuned.........

"This was the Noblest Roman of them all" Anthony, Act 5 Scene 3, Line 68 Julius Cesar.
 

Danger Ranger

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hmmm. I am following. Waiting for updates...

I am also interested to hear more about your new stance on this.
 

vtdeucedriver

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History Lesson #1.

The Gun Truck Brutus was built in early 1969 in the 359th Motor Pool. The maint officer who was known as a SGT. Bilko who could get just about anything, wanted a Gun Truck with a BIG GUN. He originally set out wanting to find a 20mm Vulcan gun from a downed jet but with the realization of trying to mount it in the back of a truck, he settled with the XM-134 minigun. The mini gun would be "aquired" from the 1st AirCav AHC unit called the "Gun Runners". Having a brother serving in the unit, 10 cases of C rations sealed the deal. Companying the Mini would be two M-60s in the forward corners.

The truck would go through many changes from 1969 to the final days with 8th GP in 1972. I will post more as time allows on those nights where I cant sleep and if I have that late Sweet Tea as I often do, there will be a few.
 

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vtdeucedriver

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[QUOTE

I am also interested to hear more about your new stance on this.[/QUOTE]

Well I thought about it and as I started to distance myself from the forum due to the large amounts of "modifications of trucks" and surplus finds and deals for thread content. Just trying to help a fellow M39 series owner has become difficult and since History has taken a backburner, I thought that this little thread might be a place where those actually appreciate it can hang out and maybe pick up a thing or two. I have been listening to these guys talk about what they did since 1997 and one of the things they would like to see is that no one forgets the sacrifices. So since I have spent countless hours doing the research, I figure whats a few minutes to help spread the history.
 

vtdeucedriver

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The Build:

Oh about 2001 I bought a 1968 Kaiser M-54A2C. This was going to be my gun truck but with life and other trucks such as 3 deuces and a M-37 and the M-151, it kept getting on the back burner. It would not be until 2011 when at a event in June where I got to drive behind a GT in my tractor while it carried the Unit Veterans and family members of the Brutus crew did the fire light under my ass to get my own GT done and to build a roman chariot.

I started cutting steel this summer to make sure that I had the right method of how to replicate the 3x4 steel plates that were used on the Gun Box. I also became in contact with a 2nd Veteran who was the original welder and a crew member of those early months. After a good converstion, I also found out that he still is a good stick on the welder and likes to ride his Motorcycle all over New England in the summer :) so a visit is planned to get some "Stick" time on the replica box with another fellow veteran builder wanting to joining him.

A change would take place in the fall of 2012 as the original Brutus was a truck that was powered by the ENDT-673 Mack engine. This has bothered me for a very long time and would be one of the in accurate features of my build. Well in Nov, I was awarded the winning bid of a 1967 M-54A1. Just a hour before the bidding would end, the HARASSMENT on the phone from my fellow SS member would get the best of me and my wallet when he and his sons figured out that the data plate on the dash was a depot rebuild tag from the facility in Taiwan. With me helping another historian in Texas complete the markings of a M-52 that served in Vietnam and his also having been rebuilt in Japan, that these trucks were ACTUAL VIETNAM veterans. It would be a very nerve racking time on the computer and it would take a couple of days for it to sink in that I actually bought it.

Maybe some night I will explain the torment it gave me to get it 300 miles but it is here finally.
 

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The Build:



Just a hour before the bidding would end, the HARASSMENT on the phone from my fellow SS member would get the best of me and my wallet when he and his sons figured out that the data plate on the dash was a depot rebuild tag from the facility in Taiwan.
Some people just have no boundries! It's almost like Julius Ceasar is a puppet show.
 

AMGeneral

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Subscribed.

Good luck and Godspeed Jeff,if you need a set of 10 ton mirror arms for Brutus,I think I have a spare set around here.

I have always liked the M39 series trucks,mainly because of the history behind em.
 

vtdeucedriver

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Subscribed.

Good luck and Godspeed Jeff,if you need a set of 10 ton mirror arms for Brutus,I think I have a spare set around here.

I have always liked the M39 series trucks,mainly because of the history behind em.
Thanks brandon for the offer. I got 2 sets, one will make it on Brutus and the other will eventually find a home on the M-62. Thanks for getting me up to speed on the ENDT...............I found out why you like em so much a couple of weekends ago. They really do like to get up and go.
 

Triple C

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Noble project vtdeucedriver. I wonder how many of these trucks were made? I had a friend in Vietnam late 60's who wrote me a letter about mounting a minigun on a gun truck (though I was under the impression it was a tractor/trailer) and it ripping out of it's mounting the first time they shot it. It has been a really long time though, I might not remember the story correctly, or he could have been sharing war lore. Think I might check with him though, I hear he lives pretty close. Thanks for doing this I agree with the historical aspect. That's why I am not changing the 925 I bought. The tan CARC looks like it was painted on with a garden hose. My brother in law (a desert storm vet) tells me that's a sure sign it is a DS vet cause they painted them in a hurry and didn't take too much time or prep. Again, thanks for what you are doing and thanks for being willing to share.
 

vtdeucedriver

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Noble project vtdeucedriver. I wonder how many of these trucks were made? I had a friend in Vietnam late 60's who wrote me a letter about mounting a minigun on a gun truck (though I was under the impression it was a tractor/trailer) and it ripping out of it's mounting the first time they shot it. It has been a really long time though, I might not remember the story correctly, or he could have been sharing war lore. Think I might check with him though, I hear he lives pretty close. Thanks for doing this I agree with the historical aspect. That's why I am not changing the 925 I bought. The tan CARC looks like it was painted on with a garden hose. My brother in law (a desert storm vet) tells me that's a sure sign it is a DS vet cause they painted them in a hurry and didn't take too much time or prep. Again, thanks for what you are doing and thanks for being willing to share.
Please find your friend!!! Brutus had a initial problem with its mounting!!!! Small world if its the same.
 

vtdeucedriver

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Two years ago I was able to bring a few guys together at the Living history show in Ft. Drum NY. Here is Bob behind the wheel of my M-52A2 that has has his unit numbers and truck number on the bumper. Bob not being the shy type, demonstrated how he and other drivers would relieve themselves while the convoy was moving. Bob was one of the many drivers that Brutus would watch over.
 

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F18hornetM

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Great project, thanks for the pics and glad your keeping it original. Those who want to modify the trucks I think is creative and cool looking. But I prefer original. Our M35 and M813 are painted exactely like we got them.
Did you really use 3/4" plate for the sides? Or did I read that wrong?
 

vtdeucedriver

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Great project, thanks for the pics and glad your keeping it original. Those who want to modify the trucks I think is creative and cool looking. But I prefer original. Our M35 and M813 are painted exactely like we got them.
Did you really use 3/4" plate for the sides? Or did I read that wrong?
The plates were originally 3'x4 that were 3/8" thick. Where I have cheated is I am using 5/16" plate. The reason I am doing this is that I am making a actual Gun Box that will be built separate from the truck. The ones in Vietnam, these boxes were removable and could be transferred from one truck to another. The reasoning for this is that I want to document how they were built in pictures. My M-54A1 will be painted as a standard Line Haul truck. I will drive it on to the field where the existing Gun Box is waiting and we will raise it using a pair of 5 ton wreckers and install the box and back the truck under it and put it in place. Then the door armor will be hung and the final details will be painted. As far as I know, all other replicas have the walls welded to the truck bed.
 
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You will need a nice level spot to weld up that box. How much steel do you have so far? You could bring a few plates to our place to drill if that would help the timeline.
 

F18hornetM

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Oh gotcha, was thinking how heavy and hard to handle 3/4" plate is. Ive made plow blades from 1" AR400 plate and its deceiving how heavy it is. I've always been interested in the gun trucks of vietnam and have looked through tons of pictures. I agree if I ever build one, it will be removable as well. Even at 5/16", its pricey unless you can find surplus somewhere.
Hope you post pictures of the "box" construction. If you lived near me I'd be happy to weld it up for you. I welded stick on the road for years, rarely do now as MIG is quick, but still know how and have welders/shop. I think its cool you wanted it welded with the original process as well.
 

vtdeucedriver

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Oh gotcha, was thinking how heavy and hard to handle 3/4" plate is. Ive made plow blades from 1" AR400 plate and its deceiving how heavy it is. I've always been interested in the gun trucks of vietnam and have looked through tons of pictures. I agree if I ever build one, it will be removable as well. Even at 5/16", its pricey unless you can find surplus somewhere.
Hope you post pictures of the "box" construction. If you lived near me I'd be happy to weld it up for you. I welded stick on the road for years, rarely do now as MIG is quick, but still know how and have welders/shop. I think its cool you wanted it welded with the original process as well.
I am sure that there will be some welds in Mig but I would like to have the bulk of the visual welds in stick. Ive seen some pretty good closeups of the n armor on some of these GT's including the Brutus Gun box. Pretty they were not, just functional.
 

F18hornetM

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Just leave some slag on the welds. It will look just like a mechanic in the motor pool welded it up in a hurry. As was probably the case. Good idea MIG some hidden welds, and stick the outside. Great project, keep us posted.
 

jasonjc

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Thank's VT for sharing this build with us. I think it's great the work you are putting into this to make it right. It means a lot. From one vet to anther thank's and keep us posted.
 

vtdeucedriver

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[QUOTE

I am also interested to hear more about your new stance on this.
Well I thought about it and as I started to distance myself from the forum due to the large amounts of "modifications of trucks" and surplus finds and deals for thread content. Just trying to help a fellow M39 series owner has become difficult and since History has taken a backburner, I thought that this little thread might be a place where those actually appreciate it can hang out and maybe pick up a thing or two. I have been listening to these guys talk about what they did since 1997 and one of the things they would like to see is that no one forgets the sacrifices. So since I have spent countless hours doing the research, I figure whats a few minutes to help spread the history.[/QUOTE]

Well in recent actions displayed in the forum, I have changed my direction once again.
 
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