M109 rebirth into M48A2

USAFNB

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It's been a while since I have posted thanks to COVID and a PCS keeping us busy through all of 20 and now 21.

I have started looking at a tractor type truck for some projects I want and possible side business when I retire. I found a M275A2 roller close and it got me wondering what would be better towing up to 30K lbs (trailer and payload). The m275a2 modified with better brakes and possibly a different engine (LDS vs LDT) or would the 5 ton be a better overall towing vehicle for local trips and very little highway use. We have 60 acres of woods and I will need to take care of the area so regular maintenance will be required, this truck would help with that as well as move my equipment around. For reference I already have 2 - 2.5 tons (M35a2 and M109) and a 5 ton wrecker (M819), and I would regularly be moving a cat D4 sized dozer and ford backhoe. Our property is VERY rugged, this is why I am not looking at civilian tractors.

One important item is we plan to retire in TN hill country, I've read a few notes on here about the Cummins powered trucks just pull much better on hills.

I put this in the modified Deuce section due to the possibility of modding the M275a2 but if it should be somewhere else let me know and I can move it. Also would be interested to hear any experience with installing a mid ship winch on either platform (PTO or Hydro driven).

Any thoughts or advice would be appreciated, this will be my first tractor type truck with an eventual low boy purchase. My end goal would be something similar to the M815 bolster truck

Thanks,
Caveman
 

NDT

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For many years back in the 90’s I used my 275 like you describe, pulling a 20 ton lowboy with equipment loaded from tractors to Hueys. The truck has a 185 hp LDS but is otherwise stock. The trailer air brakes overcame the stopping issue. Happiest day of my life (well maybe not) was when my 915A1 was delivered. A far more capable tractor.
 

USAFNB

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@simp5782 - I was hoping you would chime in, my end goal is something similar to what you have and delivered my CAT 955 on.

@NDT - I have looked at the M916 (4wd variant of the 915) but it's out of my price range for a side hustle...if the venture proves out maybe I will invest and update to a more modern tractor. I have to admit the 915 and 916 are bad @ss looking trucks.
 

simp5782

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@simp5782 - I was hoping you would chime in, my end goal is something similar to what you have and delivered my CAT 955 on.

@NDT - I have looked at the M916 (4wd variant of the 915) but it's out of my price range for a side hustle...if the venture proves out maybe I will invest and update to a more modern tractor. I have to admit the 915 and 916 are bad @ss looking trucks.
There is a 915a1 in the classifieds here for 5k.
 

G744

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There is not much wrong with a properly serviced air-over-hydraulic system. They are not prone to failure.

Straight air brakes are fine as well. However, they have to have air to function.

Spring brakes will set if air pressure is lost, which can very unnerving. Lose an air hose on a semi rig the fun will begin in earnest.

Any brake system should be carefully maintained for safe operation.

Conelrad
 

USAFNB

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There is not much wrong with a properly serviced air-over-hydraulic system. They are not prone to failure.

Straight air brakes are fine as well. However, they have to have air to function.

Spring brakes will set if air pressure is lost, which can very unnerving. Lose an air hose on a semi rig the fun will begin in earnest.

Any brake system should be carefully maintained for safe operation.

Conelrad
Conelrad,

I agree, I had read some concerns on here about the single circuit brake system used on the trucks. Both of my Deuce's have had the brake system re-done and I would do the same on whatever truck I end up getting. I've seen a few threads on here about full air brake conversion on 5 tons so I thought I would ask the question. Thanks!
 

USAFNB

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Dover, Florida
I was able to get over and look at the roller M275 this weekend, sorry no pictures but it was buried back in a private junk yard. The truck was mostly complete minus the drivetrain and a few non M275 specific parts. Technically I passed on it, after some discussion on here and some research I have decided to go a different route.

I already have a 2nd, 2.5ton M109 truck which will have the 109 box removed in the coming months (if I can ever travel, thanks COVID) and I think building it into a M48a2 2.5 ton truck will be fun and serve my small logging/moving needs well. I know everyone said for my pulling needs I would want a 5 ton but for now I won't be pulling heavy loads (7.5tons max around my property) and an additional truck doesn't make sense. My thoughts are to use the truck, see how it does with the work and based on everyone's feedback I expect to notice it's shortfalls and will invest in a 5 ton tractor in the near future before retirement.

Now, I did say I "technically" passed on the truck, but my Dad did not. So the truck will be moving to Ohio in the near future and I will grab some pictures then. In the end, my dad has been wanting to get into the military truck game for a while and what better place to start than an M275!

I'll post some pictures soon as I start getting parts and working on the M109 deconstruction and rebirth as an M48a2.
 

Mullaney

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I was able to get over and look at the roller M275 this weekend, sorry no pictures but it was buried back in a private junk yard. The truck was mostly complete minus the drivetrain and a few non M275 specific parts. Technically I passed on it, after some discussion on here and some research I have decided to go a different route.

I already have a 2nd, 2.5ton M109 truck which will have the 109 box removed in the coming months (if I can ever travel, thanks COVID) and I think building it into a M48a2 2.5 ton truck will be fun and serve my small logging/moving needs well. I know everyone said for my pulling needs I would want a 5 ton but for now I won't be pulling heavy loads (7.5tons max around my property) and an additional truck doesn't make sense. My thoughts are to use the truck, see how it does with the work and based on everyone's feedback I expect to notice it's shortfalls and will invest in a 5 ton tractor in the near future before retirement.

Now, I did say I "technically" passed on the truck, but my Dad did not. So the truck will be moving to Ohio in the near future and I will grab some pictures then. In the end, my dad has been wanting to get into the military truck game for a while and what better place to start than an M275!

I'll post some pictures soon as I start getting parts and working on the M109 deconstruction and rebirth as an M48a2.
.
It's a long ride from Florida to dad's house in Ohio to be "Soldier B" when it requires more than two hands.
Congratulations to both of you!
 

USAFNB

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Dover, Florida
This is how the 109 currently sits, note the broken out front window from a recent storm in Ohio where it is currently stored. It will be getting moved to Tennessee in the near future where I can more easily work on it and have my wrecker available for the heavy lifting. Sitting next to it is the 43/44 Willys MB/GPW basket case I got for $150 (I am in the middle of searching for parts to restore this one properly).

It is currently a non-turbo multifuel, but it run's GREAT. It also has an air shift but a straight shift handle which smacks the dash regularly. I got the truck super cheap from a fellow SS member and did a minor resto on it. We used the box for storage while I was stationed in Ohio, so I resealed the roof seams, patched a few small holes and gave it a fresh coat of gray paint. I installed a new 3/4' marine grade plywood floor (before that would have cost me a small fortune thank goodness).

My current plan is to have it shipped to Tennessee (not currently highway worthy, I would like to go through the brake system and get new tires), then remove the box and I had planned to use it as a small shop since it is already wired and insulated. From there, I would do a complete resto on the whole truck including the brake, fuel and air systems, new tires (possibly 11x20's) and clean up the body and give it a fresh coat of paint (haven't decided on color yet, maybe three color camo or maybe just green).

My current parts list are:
- tractor 5th wheel, approach plates and other tractor related items.
- either turbo kit for the engine or I may swap it to the 5ton multifuel If I can find one reasonable
- front and Rear winch set up and PTO
- build a pipeline truck style headache rack and rear winch mount like the one I attached
- find a trailer (possibly military drop deck (i.e. M750 or similair), civilian style pintle hitch trailer or a bolster trailer... I'm undecided at the moment)
- new soft top

Any thoughts or advice on my plans would be appreciated!

AH4BE2~1.JPGaHR0cHM6Ly93d3cuc3RlZWxzb2xkaWVycy5jb20vYXR0YWNobWVudHMvdHJhY3Qyc18xNDYtanBnLjUwNTEwLw__.jpg
 

USAFNB

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Dover, Florida
How time flies, I have been traveling a bit for work and havn't had to chance to post on here with updates. I was able to get out to my trucks and check on them, all is well and they both started fairly easily. They definitely need a bath but otherwise, I am happy COVID hasn't infected them🤮

On a side note, I found this trailer close to my place here in Florida and wondered if anyone recognized it. It looks like a mil trailer to me, possibly a collapsible neck with at least 11x20's on it (maybe even 12x20's, these are from the online for sale add and I can't tell). I searched all old military trailers on the interwebs but came up empty for a match.

Any Mil trailer SME's able to ID it?

Otherwise, I am working to get my trucks moved from Ohio to TN and picking up parts for the conversion. I am also keeping an eye on a M750 van trailer I found as a possible tag along for the M48 once it's done.

I'll throw some pictures up when I'm not in the work dungeon and have access to my cell.
 

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Mullaney

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How time flies, I have been traveling a bit for work and havn't had to chance to post on here with updates. I was able to get out to my trucks and check on them, all is well and they both started fairly easily. They definitely need a bath but otherwise, I am happy COVID hasn't infected them🤮

On a side note, I found this trailer close to my place here in Florida and wondered if anyone recognized it. It looks like a mil trailer to me, possibly a collapsible neck with at least 11x20's on it (maybe even 12x20's, these are from the online for sale add and I can't tell). I searched all old military trailers on the interwebs but came up empty for a match.

Any Mil trailer SME's able to ID it?

Otherwise, I am working to get my trucks moved from Ohio to TN and picking up parts for the conversion. I am also keeping an eye on a M750 van trailer I found as a possible tag along for the M48 once it's done.

I'll throw some pictures up when I'm not in the work dungeon and have access to my cell.
.
It looks similar to the M870... I have pictures with two axle and three axle configurations - ASSUMING - that the pictures are labeled correctly. Picked this particular one because it has the neck dropped down for loading.

m870a1-30.jpg

Maybe the one you found was from the days of the M60 possibly - and the picture above was one of the early trailers for the M1?
 

wheelspinner

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How time flies, I have been traveling a bit for work and havn't had to chance to post on here with updates. I was able to get out to my trucks and check on them, all is well and they both started fairly easily. They definitely need a bath but otherwise, I am happy COVID hasn't infected them🤮

On a side note, I found this trailer close to my place here in Florida and wondered if anyone recognized it. It looks like a mil trailer to me, possibly a collapsible neck with at least 11x20's on it (maybe even 12x20's, these are from the online for sale add and I can't tell). I searched all old military trailers on the interwebs but came up empty for a match.

Any Mil trailer SME's able to ID it?

Otherwise, I am working to get my trucks moved from Ohio to TN and picking up parts for the conversion. I am also keeping an eye on a M750 van trailer I found as a possible tag along for the M48 once it's done.

I'll throw some pictures up when I'm not in the work dungeon and have access to my cell.
Man that is a sweet trailer. But the well looks pretty small
 

Mullaney

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Man that is a sweet trailer. But the well looks pretty small
.
Agreed, but it would be nice to have if the wheels rolled and the neck would move up and down.
I couldn't tell if they were maybe 60's vintage grease hubs in the picture. It definitely looks older for sure...
 

USAFNB

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.
Agreed, but it would be nice to have if the wheels rolled and the neck would move up and down.
I couldn't tell if they were maybe 60's vintage grease hubs in the picture. It definitely looks older for sure...
@Mullaney - 100%, agreed it would be a nice trailer to have. I'd love to find out more about it, capacity...etc to see if it's to big for my needs (5 ton truck is my the biggest prime mover I have). If I can get better pictures I'll post them.

@wheelspinner - it does look a little short in the picture, I assume trailers are like barns...you always need more space. I agree it is an older design, hopefully if I reach out to the owner they'll let me come look.
 

Mullaney

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@Mullaney - 100%, agreed it would be a nice trailer to have. I'd love to find out more about it, capacity...etc to see if it's to big for my needs (5 ton truck is my the biggest prime mover I have). If I can get better pictures I'll post them.

@wheelspinner - it does look a little short in the picture, I assume trailers are like barns...you always need more space. I agree it is an older design, hopefully if I reach out to the owner they'll let me come look.
.
Neat! You would require something with a 5th Wheel to pull that particular trailer. Funny how that works... Some folks get a truck and then need a trailer. Some folks get a trailer first - then find something to pull it with :) This one requires a winch to set the drop neck in "travel" or "load" positions.

Who knows, maybe there is a dataplate on it somewhere?

The little pony motor and air tank on the back is interesting too. Makes me wonder if somebody got tired of working hard (with a winch) to raise and lower the loading ramp. Maybe it drives hydraulics. Looks a little rusty, but if the pump is there and functional the motor to drive it could be replaced maybe...

I don't want to horn in on anybody's deal, but if you find out that you don't want it - and nobody else asked first - it would be nice to talk about it.
 

eric67camino

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How time flies, I have been traveling a bit for work and havn't had to chance to post on here with updates. I was able to get out to my trucks and check on them, all is well and they both started fairly easily. They definitely need a bath but otherwise, I am happy COVID hasn't infected them🤮

On a side note, I found this trailer close to my place here in Florida and wondered if anyone recognized it. It looks like a mil trailer to me, possibly a collapsible neck with at least 11x20's on it (maybe even 12x20's, these are from the online for sale add and I can't tell). I searched all old military trailers on the interwebs but came up empty for a match.

Any Mil trailer SME's able to ID it?

Otherwise, I am working to get my trucks moved from Ohio to TN and picking up parts for the conversion. I am also keeping an eye on a M750 van trailer I found as a possible tag along for the M48 once it's done.

I'll throw some pictures up when I'm not in the work dungeon and have access to my cell.
Looks kinda like some early Load King trailers.
 
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