Making M101A2 street legal

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Angryman

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I have just got home with a M101 A2 trailer I picked up at Letterkenny. It is in fantastic shape, but needs a few things. It is missing the crank handle for the landing gear. Also, does anyone have any suggestions on modification to electrical system to get lights working with a 12 volt system?
I would like to change as little as possible, any help would be appreciated greatly.

Thanks in advance!
 

BKubu

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CUCVFAN in MD was going to get some of the crank handles made. I am not sure if he has any left or what he was asking. Send him a PM.

In order to use the trailer with a 12V system, all you have to do is make sure the bulbs are 12V!
 

SteveKuhn

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My A2 doesn't have a crank on the landing gear. It's a fold-down. I put a Reese jack on it from TractorSupply that has paid for itself many times over, cheaper than the next item.

A3 crank reproductions are available on EBay. I think they're a regular item - easy to search.

I bought a 108"+ 12V lighting kit at Pep Boys. It had a license plate mount that's illumnated from the left light. I disconnected then removed the 24V lights and mounted the 12Vs. Bolt holes matched right up. Ran the wires forward along the 24V wiring and cable tied it every 10" or so, leaving enough extra at the fold point. About 18" from the front of the bed, I started some flexible wire loom/tubing and brought it forward along the A frame iwth enough extra for jackknife. Extra wire is pulled back, coiled and tied underneath out of sight and snag.

Took about 30 mins.

Hope yours goes as easily.
 

Angryman

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I was thinking it may be as simple as changing the bulbs. I would like to get a female coonector to adapt to my suburban so I can retain the original connector on the trailer.
I printed out the TM so I could figure out the electrical system. 415 pages!!!! Good thing its not complicated......
Thanks for the fast response
 

quickfarms

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For the lights you will need to change the bulbs and either add the military connector to your truck or put a civilina connector on the trailer, ther is an electrical junction on the tongue under the metal cover. you can get the correct wiring ends so that you do not have to cut the military harness.

The A2 landing leg is a simple pivot but many A2's have the A3 landing leg that is a crank up jack. If you have the crank up jack look in the classifieds for the handle. If you can not find one you can cut a slot in the end of a piece of a piece of pipe to turn the jack
 

SteveKuhn

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I thought you were just asking for getting it on the road. Didn't realize you wanted to keep original.

I'm told that there are 12V bulb replacements but before I could find the number I decided to go the easy way and put on the civilian harness. I'm sure someone here knows those bulb numbers.

I did see a civilian wired vehicle-end connector/adapter with coiled cord on EBay that makes the conversion to the military connector but I remember that it was 'way more expensive than I wanted to pay to keep the original wiring functioning.

I figured that it wasn't worth it since I'm towing with an Econoline for freight runs.
 

Recovry4x4

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Bulbs, 1156 and 97 will get you there, 2 ea. If you add a military trailer receptacle to your pintlle hitch and put a 4 flat on the back, you can use not only the hitch, but the trailer with any vehicle with a receiver hitch.
 

tamangel

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either add the military connector to your truck or put a civilina connector on the trailer,
just take a connector/plug from both ends/needs and have an auto electrical shop make you up a cable (civi plug on one end, Mil plug on the other) then you will have everything you need and won't have to change anything..

Mike
 

Nonotagain

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Bulbs, 1156 and 97 will get you there, 2 ea. If you add a military trailer receptacle to your pintlle hitch and put a 4 flat on the back, you can use not only the hitch, but the trailer with any vehicle with a receiver hitch.
I would like to add to what Kenny said and let you know that Grote sells LED tail lights that are omni-volt, operating from 10-32 volts. They are super bright which is a plus in my book. You want to be seen.

A dealer on eBay sells them for around $25 each BIN or make an offer for $21 or so.

The military connector for the trailer runs $23 or so from Erik's Military Supply.
 

Recovry4x4

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I will be mounting a military connector to my suburban too so that I can remain "authentic" with the trailer and then get those LED's that run off 10-32 volts.
I have a mil connecror on my burb. I wished that instead of mounting it on the truck, I would have mountedvit to my hitch head and attached a 4 flat to it. I could easily move the hitch from truck to truck and plugged right in.
 

Angryman

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LED lighting

I would like to add to what Kenny said and let you know that Grote sells LED tail lights that are omni-volt, operating from 10-32 volts. They are super bright which is a plus in my book. You want to be seen.

A dealer on eBay sells them for around $25 each BIN or make an offer for $21 or so.

The military connector for the trailer runs $23 or so from Erik's Military Supply.


I like the idea of using the LEDs, tho it looks like I would have to replace the entire housing because of the shape. It is looking like the most sensible thing to do would be change the bulbs to the proper voltage and replace or adapt the connector.
If I have to replace the housings to accomodate the LEDs, at that point I just as well could buy kit form and run wire harness like Steve suggested.

I found a crank handle, now just to figure out where it is stowed on the trailer. The only spot I can figure is a bracket on the landing gear itself.

Man, am I glad Matt at GL told me about this site, it is a fantastic resource.
 

Nonotagain

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I like the idea of using the LEDs, tho it looks like I would have to replace the entire housing because of the shape. It is looking like the most sensible thing to do would be change the bulbs to the proper voltage and replace or adapt the connector.
If I have to replace the housings to accomodate the LEDs, at that point I just as well could buy kit form and run wire harness like Steve suggested.

I found a crank handle, now just to figure out where it is stowed on the trailer. The only spot I can figure is a bracket on the landing gear itself.

Man, am I glad Matt at GL told me about this site, it is a fantastic resource.
The light are attached via 2 3/8-16 bolts with star washers. Very easy to replace provided you can read the numbers on the metal tags on the wiring harness.

As for the lights being a different shape, the light buckets on my M105A3 matched the Grote shape as well as a couple of other all metal lights that I have.

If you compare the difference in brightness of the LED's and incandesant lights, the LED's win hands down.
 

Ratch

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I was just looking at your location thinking you're around the corner from me, but you're not... I almost lived in an apartment in Media about a year ago... Now I'm up on the border of Chester and Berks.

Since I seem to have started selling/giving/trading these trailers a lot (I will stop when I find 1 that's perfect for me...or 2), I've gotten changing to 12v down to a 15-20 minute science. 10-minutes on-site if I pre-make the trailer harness. Running new lights and wire is the hard way IMO... :D

You pop the lens off the military light with a drill and flat head bit, swap the bulbs in, then crimp on connectors to a flat 4-wire civvy harness, and you're done. Spend an hour if you want to make it really nice...
The first one I did was pretty sloppy, I sold that trailer, but wish I could go back and re-do it. Since then, I've started making the harness ahead of time, which takes about 15-20 minutes to do it nice with wire loom and sealant tape. I have 2 or 3 on my workbench right now.

One small way to save $3 and 15 seconds... The top bulb in the military can is the running light, and the one below it is the brake light (bottom two are completely unused in civilian applications, consider them spare running light bulbs). If you leave the top bulb military/24v and just swap out the one below it (or move the one below it into the top position), the lower civilian voltage will light the mil bulb at a running light brightness, about the same as a smaller 12v light. I may catch flak for that suggestion, but I've had it next to my civvy pickup and commuter car running lights, and it's the same brightness. Changing that bulb to a 12v bulb is not necessary. Plus, a 24v filament will last longer when run at 12v. I do the same thing at work with expensive fixtures, buy the 240v bulbs and run them at 110v (not good for CFL's, btw).

I believe M101's are under the required size for marker lights, but I'm going to start adding them to trailers I convert. I always thought they help the driver at night, and my brother in law cemented that idea to me when he said the same thing as we hooked up his M101 for a late night tow.


Hard to tel in the pic, but that's wire-loom around the 4-way wire, not a cut up mil harness. Although I have so many mil harness's, I did start cutting them up and adding 7-way flats to stop using an adapter on my tow vehicle.
 

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armadillofz1

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I would like to add to what Kenny said and let you know that Grote sells LED tail lights that are omni-volt, operating from 10-32 volts. They are super bright which is a plus in my book. You want to be seen.

A dealer on eBay sells them for around $25 each BIN or make an offer for $21 or so.

The military connector for the trailer runs $23 or so from Erik's Military Supply.


I like the idea of using the LEDs, tho it looks like I would have to replace the entire housing because of the shape. It is looking like the most sensible thing to do would be change the bulbs to the proper voltage and replace or adapt the connector.
If I have to replace the housings to accomodate the LEDs, at that point I just as well could buy kit form and run wire harness like Steve suggested.

I found a crank handle, now just to figure out where it is stowed on the trailer. The only spot I can figure is a bracket on the landing gear itself.

Man, am I glad Matt at GL told me about this site, it is a fantastic resource.
the whole light is $20 bux each off of ebay, as photographed, plug and play. i have several 101A3s and for $20 each would never imagine running anything but the LED Grottes.
 

rosco

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Replacing the lights with CIVI lights is dumb, dumb, dumb! Micky mouse cheap plastic lights, made in china------ well, I just guess that I might be a little biased

Changing the two bulbs in each light is the way to go. Those military lights are bullet proof, along with the waterproof wire connectors. They are water proof (the light), as well as shock proof. There is a junction on the tongue to replace the pig tail. If you just cut of the military plug and replace it with a male "RV" plug, and connect the respective wires, it is about as easy as it gets. The RV cinnector is a good match. At some time in the future, you can replace the military plug pig tail, and your back to stock. LEDS are great too, but more expensive, and you need to change out the light, itself. They do have their advantages though.
 

Angryman

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I noticed in the Tech Manual for the trailer they list an optional LED light that inserts into the bayonet base the 12 and 24 volt incand. bulbs go into. Are these LEDs available? Does anyone sell these or have any info on them??
I agree the LEDs are a much better choice, but the only thing I have seen other than the 4" round Grotes is a $138 LED from Eriks Mil supply.

Also, I found a 12 pin female receptacle to install on my 'burban. It has a dual plug setup and I have never used the one, so I will install the mil plug there so I wont have to cut any wiring on the trailer.
 

moose53

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I just changed the bulbs to 12v, and made an adapter from an old mv receptacle and four flat plug. no mods are needed either to the trailer or the tow vehicle that way. its the cheapest and easiest way to make it street legal and usable with any tow vehicle. I used a Y cable to feed a license plate light to complete the project. total cost was under $25.00

Jim
 
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