MRAP Buffalo Trainer

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fuzzytoaster

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For those who haven't heard I've come into possession of a Buffalo MRAP trainer built on an M925A2 chassis. I want this thread to document the unique nature of this machine and updates as I work on it (even if slowly). I felt this should go under the "Heavy Armor" category due to the extensive retrofit work by the military in modifying this vehicle to replicate the Buffalo MRAP. I believe they did a fair job at it considering they reused a lot of readily available parts I'm sure.

By quick glance anyone can see features of the M939A2 series truck including tires, wheels, frame, and air tanks. From what I could tell during the short time before dark is that everything frame and below is stock to the M925A2. I'm unable to tell if a truck was pulled from existing stock or rebuild before going through this transformation at this time. The cab/firewall was reused as part of the design when the body/v-hull was built leaving it with a very M939 feel when in the driver seat. The body/hull is thick and will require further investigation as to it's actual armor but the windows are very much real. I assume it was easier to requisition the real stuff from inventory than outsource fake glass but this is only light speculation.

https://youtu.be/QpyMeztbFIk

The power plant is a Cummins 6CTA 8.3 turbo'd engine mated to a 5 speed transmission and t-case as expected on an M939A2. The engine was refitted with a 200V dual output Neihoff HMMWV alternator (again..working with that's available) and an A/C compressor was adapted on the driver side. The mount and pulley setup looks to match the factory Red Dot parts I have from an actual A/C kit through the hoses and inside cab components are build from the Red Dot catalog. The condenser is in the rear of the vehicle and hidden from view. One coolant line stretching the length of the frame began leaking so they have some additional plumbing going on that will require "tracing and replacing".
 

fuzzytoaster

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2019-11-09 16.58.44.jpg

Wes got the truck running with fresh batteries and plumbed it to a 5 gallon jerry can to load it up yesterday. He jumped it at the starter to prevent any electrical issues as the vehicle has been sitting for 5 years outside. I believe it was the right call as there are 12v, 24v, and 120v systems going on. KISS method! I did the same to get it started and unloaded. The tires are typical 14.00's of a mixed variety and all need to be replaced. The fronts are absolutely garbage and wouldn't take air after deflating for transportation (hints why the video was shaky). I didn't see a CTIS controller or module on quick glance so it may have been removed.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oc2SD-eZsCk&feature=youtu.be

The video shows it seats 6 comfortably and includes VIC-3 stations for each occupant. No headsets were found but there were more commo components in the back where the system was based including a 1000w converter. The batteries for the truck were relocated from inside the M939 cab to the boat shaped rear internal storage box opposite of the A/C condenser. I'll have more photos in the coming days as I poke around and clean up to help make sense for anyone reading this...also we all love pictures, right? :)

The boat shaped rear of the truck is..unique on its own. You do feel like you're boarding a vessel climbing the ladder to get up into the back. The truck measures about 12.5' tall with the arm on top, but I've not verified that against my own measurement, so that's a fair ways to climb up. The air intake and fuel systems appear to be completely stock. The exhaust was routed horizontally using the stock muffler and will likely all need to be replaced. The external lighting is either stock M-Series lenses and housings or some various remote control light kits that have come from surplus back in the GL days.

There are 4 sunroofs/escape hatches I'm assuming that are accessible from inside. They all need to be replaced due to decontamination and all the windows need a heavy scrubbing to see out of. As one would expect there are many blind spots on this vehicle but seeing forward wasn't as bad as I had thought. It feels like an M939 due to hood length except there's that arm in the way of course. There are cameras mounted on the front and rear for the operator but I'll get into electronics in another post when I know more about what is what and what may be classified. That being said..

If anyone happens to have access to the TM 9-2320-327-10 I'd appreciate a copy, the TM is unclassified according to the Army Publishing Directorate but not published. The owners manual that came with the vehicle is nice and moldy.

2019-11-09 17.11.40.jpg
 

simp5782

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The headlight boxes are common buffalo boxes. MWMules has some at the beefco warehouse in Ohio. To replace the one thats broken. They use mack retainer rings for the lights and freightliner buckets.
 

pontiac62

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What an interesting truck. Don’t know much about them. Will be following your story as it unfolds.
Any guesses as to how many are in private hands?


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simp5782

I'm the dude, man!
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I know of atleast 5 in civilian hands. 1 in alaska. 2 in texas now. 1 was sold out of Lima, OH a few months back and another is a carcass in southern Georgia.
 

M813rc

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These and the MRAP trainers are made out of thick steel, but not armour, so they are "just trucks" as far as surplus is concerned. Most have stencils on them saying they are not armour and are for "Training Use Only".
When I was working with the Army at Ft Irwin ten odd years ago, there were a bunch of the M939-based MRAPs in use, and a couple or so of these Buffaloes

Cheers
 
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