M1010 fire rig to camper conversion

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cruzer747

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Excited new M1010 Owner

Hello all, I am excited to say the least about my new ambulance.... I have been lurking and reading a lot and there is such a wealth of information here I am very grateful to everyone who contributes and am now ready to ask and contribute some things on my project.

I have been looking for a camping rig for many months on craigslist and I knew that there was a good deal that had popped up only it was on the other side of the country :/ I got what I think was a great deal on shipping and as of a few weeks ago am the proud new owner of a 1985 M1010. Not sure of it's entire history but I would imagine that it sat around at some base for many years and then it was bought by Osakis Fire Dept in Minnesota. It had two ~60 gallon water tanks in the back and a pump that led to what I imagine was a water cannon in the back for wild fires that needed the 4x4 capabilities of the m1010. They owned it about 10 years and then after a brief shuffle of hands I purchased it and had it carted over to Ca where I am planning on making it a dedicated camping rig. One great thing about it so far is that it only has just over 10,000 miles on it so things are still in really great shape. It looks like someone who was competent enough has turned it into a dedicated 12v vehicle. I am now finding myself in a spot where I have some questions as I am trying to ruch things along to get it up to snuff for its first trip.

I will attempt to post some pics of the thing and then ask my first question or two. I will try and only ask what I could not answer through searching the forum.

Anywho, my first question is about a vibration on the alternator belt. At idle it sounds (to steal another threads description) as though someone is strumming a guitar... and goes away past idle, worse when cold. I will read in the manual the directions on tightening the belt but I got it as tight as comfortable without knowing what I am after and I do not own a belt tension meter. The answer I read on here was it was normal... I would love to make it better also I took some video to share. After some staring at things while it was idle after dispatching the third wasp nest.... I noticed that the bottom pulley was a little wobbly. Not only that but the balancer as well so I will hope to kill two birds with one stone and take care when tightening the pulley on to "center the slop out of it and maybe my strumming belt will fix itself?

So one of the things that I am not the first to notice is the lack of gauges. I did not see anyone take my approach which is to find a stock gauge from similar era vehicle and swap it into the dash along with it's correlating sending units and I would imagine nip the threads off the back of the gauges so the stock printed circuit could remain intact and "hotwire" a different gauge cluster in. I went to the junkyard and found a triple gauge that may replace the fuel gauge that has oil pressure, water temp and volts (12v) all in one, then all I would need is a small fuel gauge which I can put in either the Gen2 spot or the current nonop volt meter spot and have something that told me a bit more about what is going on. Of couse more to follow, I also obtained an autometer tranny temp gauge at the junkyard and have a mini digital tach coming in the mail soon....

Another project that I tackled was the battery trays. It shipped with the original battery trays with an mtp-24 and an mtp-65. At the junkyard I got a pair of trays from a civi blazer and welded em together to fit two mtp-24s side by side at the front passenger side leaving the rear tray ready to accept something else such as other recommendations (through reading here) an air compressor or...? Unfortunately the mtp-65 does not fit right and though they are about 6 year old batteries they are still doing fine so I will strap em in for good measure and when I replace the pair they will fit perfect up front there. I did have to shift the innermost battery tray in a good inch to have the width between the second tray and the radiator. The radiator neck was leaking and solder has cured that for now and the overflow had a 2" hairline crack which has been subdued with an epoxy/fiberglass patch for now...

Now the focus is on weatherizing it as there are lots of holes from the fire department that need patching so it can get wet and stay dry on the inside. Wiring the rear box after that and then insulation.

Another cool thing you may notice are the auxiliary front and back receivers and 7000 hitch... At the moment gutted it weighed in at #6400 and is still a dog going up inclines so I don't think Ill be wanting to tow anything anytime soon.

Anywho, hello and cheers!:D

197.jpg200.jpg202.jpg010.jpg008.jpg009.jpg011.jpg013.jpg

At some point I will try and tackle the AC issue but just having it on its way back together and something that I can trust going for 500 miles at a time would make me happy.

Back to wrenching... (of course right when I get a new rig my work truck gets jealous and shows her need for attention by leaking coolant into cylinder #2 :/ (1994 gmc 6.5T) Which will slow things down somewhat but I can limp along with that one for a while I think...

Here is the belt vibration video along with the pulley wobble.
https://vimeo.com/281029663
https://vimeo.com/281029839

I put the brush on the outside of the balancer to show the runout better....
 
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cruzer747

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Ahh, not sure if I should make an edit or just add this post but one issue I am unsure uf is the glowplug operation. I have read conflicting bits and find on this vehicle (12v conversion) that the card is working but only turns on when it is "cold" I would like to have it turn on at a bit higher temps as it is deciding to at the moment and am torn between a manual momentary switch vs trying to fool the card into thinking it is always cold.

Thoughts?
 

joshuak

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Welcome aboard, that's a really good looking M1010, needs some green paint though. :razz:

Congratulations and good luck getting her how set up how you want her. :beer:
 
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someoldmoose

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Welcome from Lancaster, PA and WOW ! Super nice M1010. Your post was kinda long so for now I'll just hit a coupla points. Replace the balancer before anything else. Very common and well known deficiency of the 6.2. I have seen these fly apart and if yours is already wobbling it's just a matter of time. That MIGHT also fix your belt "strumming". The balancer does just that, helps eliminate harmonic vibration from the rotating parts being "hit" over and over by the combustion process. The belt issue CAN be a harmonic resonance of the belts. That's often why it goes away above idle, different resonant frequency. The mirrors on my big girl are the same way. At idle it's like wearing "drunk goggles" when looking at them. Bring the revs up even 200 rpm and clear as a bell.

Gauges ? It's now 12 volt so add whatever gauges you want. Also, I like the a-post clusters when available. Something besides the mirror to look at when "scanning" to the left.

Engine power ? Fuggidabowdit ! Unless you wanna spend a fortune, the 6.2 is the 6.2. Low horsepower, decent torque for it's era. WILL tow almost anything but NOT rapidly. For what it would cost to "goose" that engine you can "drop in" a Duramax / Allison take-out and have instant h.p. and torque of a modern truck. In fact you'll probably need to upgrade other driveline components if you go that route. Mild upgrades on D-maxes are cranking out 700 h.p and 1200 ft. / lbs. The 6.2 WILL run forever if cared for ( like my nhc250 ) but she's old tech.

Beyond that the possibilities are almost endless. You have a chassis that almost EVERYTHING is available for from NOS to bullet-proof ( nigh unbreakable ) aftermarket parts.

Best wishes and, again, congratulations ! Good luck and Happy Motoring !
 

cruzer747

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Thanks for the replies, new balancer is on order as well as the seal. And hopefully the color will go back to green soon but I am focused on mechanics first.

One more thing is that I hope I posted this in the right spot on this site..?
 

joshuak

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This is good place to introduce yourself. You may want to ask a MOD to move it, if you'd like to keep it as a build thread as well.
Try these other two sections for CUCV specific threads.
https://www.steelsoldiers.com/forumdisplay.php?47-CUCV
https://www.steelsoldiers.com/forumdisplay.php?151-CUCV-Hot-Rodding-and-Modification
and the CUCV help threads
https://www.steelsoldiers.com/showthread.php?123199-CUCV-Helpful-Threads
I'm interested to see how you incorporate other gauges. I added a generic gauge set from the parts store to help the dummy lights on the panel, but with the GEN 1 and 2 lights (not functional in the M1010 model), it leaves a lot of open area. On my to do list is add gauges in those locations. Here's mine, haven't updated in a while.
 
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antennaclimber

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Ahh, not sure if I should make an edit or just add this post but one issue I am unsure uf is the glowplug operation. I have read conflicting bits and find on this vehicle (12v conversion) that the card is working but only turns on when it is "cold" I would like to have it turn on at a bit higher temps as it is deciding to at the moment and am torn between a manual momentary switch vs trying to fool the card into thinking it is always cold.

Thoughts?
This glow plug card has an "additional heat" option to turn the glow plugs on when the engine is warm.
http://www.glowplugcards.com/

I moved this thread to the CUCV forum.
 
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cruzer747

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So I had some more time to put into getting it up to snuff. Swapped out the harmonic balancer, glad I did, I felt no play and the front looked pretty good but the back was starting to get plenty of warning cracks in the rubber. Also the biggest leak that I can tell is the front oil seal which I also swapped out. It MAY have helped the pulley wobble a bit but not dramatically. I wonder if a new pulley would mellow that out? For the record as far as balancer installs... not too bad going from underneath with just belt removal. You can also use the puller as an installer as the thread on the puller threads into the crank and with a washer you can use the body of the puller to press it back on with a crescent wrench. Better than hammering! Did not see that in the threads here.
frontIMG_20180725_154110.jpgrearIMG_20180725_154042.jpgnewIMG_20180725_154025.jpg

I installed a tee to split the oil sender units... new sender for new gauge, old one still in and working. The stock elbow had a bit of a countersink before the threads as it seems to be like a compression fitting? Not my area of expertise but I wadded up the teflon good on the tee and no leaks, may need to redo this some time.
IMG_20180725_192849.jpg

I also wired up the back of the new gauge cluster with a pigtail of sorts that I will hopefully be able to run through the dash and connect to the appropriate wires. I bench tested the gauges and they work well, also I grabbed another out of a later chevy van which was a little nicer than the vandura. My only question at this point is where to install the temp sender. There are what appear to be 3 senders, I will say I have not had the time to look at the manual and can answer this myself when I have time but I see two, one in each head (driver front pass rear) and one at the driver side rear. Ultimate solution would be remove plate at pass rear and reroute fuel line that is close to there and add at that point but I am curious if it would be a no no to remove one out of the sides of the head as my guess is it is redundant?
IMG_20180725_210507.jpgIMG_20180725_210534.jpgIMG_20180725_210547.jpg

ahh, also I realize that not only will I be needing to add a fuel gauge but a seat belt light and an E-Brake light as well, no biggies but wish I had thought about that before my trip to the junkyard (1 hour drive).

After replacing the starter in my other truck it reminds me how slow an old starter can be and before I change the glow plug card I will put a new starter in as I think that will be the best move for now as far as hot starts (seems to be it could be the IP headed south after much reading on here.)
 
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joshuak

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I may be mistaken but, sender on rear head passenger is for idle cold advance/fast idle (IP), drivers side rear is for the GP and the one on the front drivers side is for the dummy light.

Keep up the good work.



Edit. Diagrams F7 and F10 in either Appendix F of TM-20 or Appendix E of TM-34 show these sensors.
Those manuals can be found here, among other places on the web or if you'd like the colored wiring diagrams here.
 
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cruzer747

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thankyou for the links! I do have the TMs downloaded but had not seen the colored ones, printing those out now!

Looks like I will be modifying that blockoff plate!

I tore into things last night and while complicated I am going to tb pretty happy with how it all turns out. I will take some pictures when I get a chance, I was very surprised to see how thorough the 24v delete was done as they removed the pins on the dash harness for gen1 and gen2 and snipped them back at least a foot and taped them off. I have my work cut out for me as the old fuel gauge and my new gauge are at different depth so I will need to weld some tabs as well as put the small fuel gauge I nabbed at the junkyard, also a 90ohm and benchtested fine, just need to repaint diesel over the unleaded part. Vdo 4k tach and autometer trans temp gauges will go where door ajar light and old voltmeter were, E brake and seatbelt will be visable after cutting out lower portion of new gauge. If I could get gen1 light working somehow that would be nice but I could also put another gauge there .... possibly save it for a second fuel tank if I ever go that route.

Sounds pretty mickey mouse but when it is all done I think it will work well and look like it ought to so will post pics when I get another chance to stab at it.
 

someoldmoose

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If somebody already addressed it, I missed it and I apologize. The remaining wobble in the bottom pulley can only be "cured" one of two ways, replace the pulley or apply some "love taps" to the old one. The balancer going ( this time, or before ) probably caused the run-out in the pulley. I have done it both ways. It all depends on how much it's out of whack.

All your other work looks outstanding. Sorry to hear about your work truck. I too believe in automotive "karma" or jealousy. Keep on trucking !
 

cruzer747

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If somebody already addressed it, I missed it and I apologize. The remaining wobble in the bottom pulley can only be "cured" one of two ways, replace the pulley or apply some "love taps" to the old one. The balancer going ( this time, or before ) probably caused the run-out in the pulley. I have done it both ways. It all depends on how much it's out of whack.
I just spent 10 minutes making calls and surfing the web and can not find the proper 4 belt pulley. Being that I am only using one I am tempted to try the one that they have at Saturn Surplus but that one is a 3 belt and the diameters are different as well so I may try and source the right one when I get more time. I could try and tap things but a new pulley would save some of my sanity.... as far as my work truck, the Kseal head gasket repair seems to be holding so I will be able to pick a better time to investigate... I am not surprised and agree with your automotive jealousy theory :D
 

someoldmoose

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Please don't shoot the messenger, but I thought you already knew the "right" pulley is scarce as hen's teeth ( rare ). One idea if the love tap method or replacement aren't viable MIGHT be to convert the accessory drive to the serpentine style used on later models. I DO NOT know for sure if this can be done but if it were mine I'd surely consider it.
 

Mad Texan

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Nice looking M1010! I saw it on Craigslist... it disappeared quickly. Who shipped it for you? Did you feel the price was reasonable?
 

cruzer747

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Nice looking M1010! I saw it on Craigslist... it disappeared quickly. Who shipped it for you? Did you feel the price was reasonable?
Coastal Auto Shipping was the shipping co, based in Fl so it started local for them.... they were very competitive and I do not have any complaints aside from the lack of communication as far as arrival date, it came MUCH earlier than I anticipated and threw me for a loop when I got the call to meet. Other than that they were great and I still would like to go online and add to their great feedback (which was part of why I chose them). I don't mind saying the cost of shipping here but can share via PM if you want to know exactly. Not sure if it is frowned upon for any reason?

As far as if you were asking if the price of the vehicle was reasonable... I negotiated what I feel was a reasonable deal and have not done a full diagnostic engine check but aside from anything major breaking soon I am very happy with the purchase, in spite of the real life burden of getting it up to speed for camping turning out to be a bit more than anticipated.... but I am fine with that.

That said I hope to be getting the dash back together tomorrow and will share pics soon, unfortunately the VDO tach I got came with a rattle in it and out popped some chip so I am going to be tachless for a week. I did get a digital tach to confirm the vdo's accuracy. Pics soon...
 

cruzer747

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Okay, I know it has been a while but I have been really busy trying to get my work truck (6.5TD)back together... H.G job and a little bit of deck repair on the block :(

Here is a sneak peek at the dash and gauges before I put the top bezel on along with a question or two.

So I swapped the fuel filter and solved the leak, swapped the starter (discovered 3 broken teeth during the job as well as the old style worked well with the starter bracket but the new one was nowhere close so I cut and redrilled the bracked so it would do its job. Out of curiosity was it possible I had a 24v starter with a 12v solenoid or did they change the stud on the rear of the starter at some point? The starter given was the same for my 94 gmc 6.5.)

I also after looking at the new gauges do there thing noticed an odd sometimes erratic jumpiness of the oil pressure gauge. For the most part it stays where it should...60 cold, 30 hot... watch it momentarily go from 0 to 60 a split second after start, I am confident it is reading PRETTY well but sometimes it has a bit of bounce and I have even seen it go to what might be 70 psi or so which is past the limits of the gauge and I believe around the start of the oil bypass? After seeing this I put on a new WIX filter and new oil. Today it still did the same thing with no rhyme or reason but I usually notice it around idle. This is just food for thought at the moment as when I get a second I will be adding a mechanical gauge on top of the sending unit driven new gauge to verify the spikes/fluctuation. I am pretty confident with my connections but you never know.

My other question is this hill that always gives me trouble. It just becomes anemic beyond what I feel is normal for the rig... I mean 10 degrees less slope and I can accelerate past 50 if wanted, this hill, no dice, power goes away and I struggle with holding 35 with the pedal mashed. Fuel tank issues? Any other place that could be tilt sensitive?

Final notes are that the filter/starter swap have completely solved the hot start issue. I would have this dash done but there was a bad unit sent and so I had to wait for a return and am now awaiting a replacement. I am going to be installing the vdo 4k and referencing using the tiny tach that is mentioned around these parts to adjust the trimmer on the thing to get it dialed. Hopefully will have it all sorted soon. Here are some vids of the hill climb and the gauge bouncing. Oh and all sending units are new.

https://vimeo.com/284867750
https://vimeo.com/284870678
 

joshuak

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About starters for the 6.2, I was only aware that they came in 2 styles, direct drive and gear reduction. Warthog shows them here. Does yours look like either?

Can't help with the up hill acceleration comparison, the only hill around is a landfill and I'm not willing to speed up that.
 

cruzer747

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That is it, old one was 12v direct drive and new one is 12v gear reduction. Thankyou! As far as the uphill thing goes I am almost convinced it is fuel tank/pickup related (cracked tube or bad baffle) that might lower the pressure to the ip? Not sure but with so much on my plate it will be a while before that comes into focus on the do list. For now it will be finishing the gauges and verifying the accuracy of the oil pressure gauge and then Back to wiring the box up for camping and fixing leaks... I was surprised at how many spots were letting in water. The Fire dept did not worry too much as I am sure it was always garaged. The windows they put in were installed sideways so weep holes needed to be filled and re cut... eventually replaced.

About starters for the 6.2, I was only aware that they came in 2 styles, direct drive and gear reduction. Warthog shows them here. Does yours look like either?
 

cruzer747

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Some new pics

slow going on the progress but it's going. I am at the tailend of a stud and head gasket job on my 6.5T work truck... ugh. Anyways, while the work truck is down I have been happy to get to drive the rig around and I have made progress in the dash area so I thought Id put up some new pics and share some notes. Not done but getting there, the dash pad is pretty cracked up and I removed it for the time being while I consider options and it also gave me much easier access. I undid the blackout bypass as I saw the headlights and dash flicker the other night and I figured it may be a bad bypass, I like the blackout lights and am happy to say that it all worked well aside from the BO headlight switch does not stay in the on position when flicked up (or down). Also replaced the broken BO tail light today so all good there.

Here are the dash pics, as far as the funny readings I think it is my fault, I originally picked up a gauge from a 86 van, then ordered the sending units for said gauge but then I saw what looked to be an identical gauge from a 91 van. Nope. The temp senders I believe are the same in function but different body. The 3/8 thread required use of a bushing which took the already short sending unit a bit out of the flow compared to the 1/2" thread and longer reach of the sender for a 91. Temp is now more accurate (~10 degrees higher than what I was seeing before) .

As far as he oil pressure goes, again different sender, went from the can style to the smaller OPS. I have not yet installed it but for what its worth if anyone else does this the middle pin is to the gauge. I did compare the resistance of these two gauges and they are different but I could not easily bench test/compare them as to what one reads vs the other at a middle of the road resistance ~50 ohms as I could not find any pots that go sub 100 ohm with any accuracy but I believe the new sender will give me a better reading and hopefully cure the erratic needle. If not I will tee in with the mechanical gauge to verify as I really dont want to have to modify another gauge as it was pretty tricky to cut the hole for the seatbelt and ebrake light just so. I also added he clear lens from a blazer I got parts from as this was needed to easily cover the small fuel gauge. I was originally planning on a small piece of plexi but I found the donor that had a full size lens. The smaller 91 gauge has been screwed to a cut out fuel gauge to mount into the dash as it should. I had to trim back the hole where the new small fuel gauge goes and glue it in with enough room for the light I installed (it was on the printed circuit and was installed with some careful drilling)

All now works as it should but the tach and tranny temp are not receiving input yet from sending spots. Also I will need to put a pot on the light to each of those so I can dial down the brightness to match the rest of the dash. Will be installed with whatever reading resistor that it works out to be for each.



IMG_20180805_230900.jpgIMG_20180805_113108.jpgIMG_20180805_113034.jpgIMG_20180821_151218.jpgIMG_20180821_170154.jpgIMG_20180822_134926.jpgIMG_20180822_134836.jpgIMG_20180822_134920.jpg
 
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cruzer747

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so I finished dialing the brightness by adding some resistance on the bulbs that go to the tach and trans temp gauge. I ended up using 50 ohms on the VDO tach and ~5 ohms on the trans. Also used the blue gel light filters but cut the tips off to try and give enough white to match stock. I should have used a better camera but here is a before and after of the brightness/color fix.
IMG_20180827_215001.jpgIMG_20180827_224101.jpg
Now on to other wiring. It seems the previous owner (fire department) hacked the harness off that feeds the box. I am wondering if someone here can point me in the right direction for finding a replacement? Otherwise I will just make due with my own splicing. Here are some connector pics. Cant wait to get the rear wired so I can finally insulate and get to the fun stuff!IMG_20180828_133238.jpgIMG_20180828_133245.jpg

edit: oh, and the proper sending unit cured my funny reading oil pressure... silly mistake but worth noting.
 
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