Our Dragoon

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Madmedic

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Once again, APOLOGIES to Austringer for the deviation on his thread.

Here's picts of the Dragoon. We got it from the Littlefield auction last year. As with so many other vehicles from that auction, the description DID NOT match the actual condition of the vehicle. The Dragoon was/is NOT in running condition.

Problems identified so far: Batteries, Transmission, control systems (parts for this were in boxes in the Radio Operator's Area), Tires, Brakes, Steering, Missing Engine Compartment Panels. Missing Seats. Hydraulics, hoses, lines, and pumps. Waterproofing seals, and plugs. Bilge Pumps.

We will not be updating this thread very often, as the vehicle is located at a shop 20 Miles as a crow flies, and 45 miles by road from us.
But as we hit milestones we will up date with new pictures.

Once restored to full operational condition we plan to add a Day/Night Thermal Camera System, on a boom, which will be operated from the Radio Operator's station. Also a 360 Degree camera system for the driver/Co Driver. That is,,, if we can find the room. For those of y'all who haven't been in one of these? Evidently the designers intended for it to be operated by 8 year olds, or members of the Lollipop Guild. Normal Sized or BIG people? FORGET IT. THERE IS "0" room inside.

20140820_132432.jpgDriver's Hatch 1.jpgIMG_0307.jpgIMG_0308.jpgIMG_0325.jpgIMG_0332.jpgIMG_0332.jpgIMG_0329.jpgIMG_0341.jpg
 

baseballump

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As a V-100 driver in Nam in 1970 at the age of 19 we thought they had a lots of room. A couple of years ago as a 63 year old got to see Rory V down in Texas. We question him about the size of the V. It sure seemed like it was a lot smaller than we remember. But, it seems as we were a lot bigger.
 

Madmedic

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Yeah,,,,,,,

I realize that we were ALL a lot skinnier when we were in the service. And I was light infantry, so we either walked or flew to wherever we were going. The only times we thought about armor and their crews was when we were either trying to get as far away from them as possible before the Artillery Hit'em, or when they had gotten themselves in trouble, and we had to go in and rescue them.

But as Jeremy points out, you can see how little room there is for the driver and co-driver, by looking at my partner sitting there. The running joke between us, is that ONE of us can still wear the class "A" uniform he was issued prior to discharge, and it ain't me. He's got a 36-38 Waist, and is 6'2. A 36" waist is pretty common even today in the Military. And some of the picts I've seen of the Dragoon's Children/grandchildren being used today, don't show any more room than their ancestor.

The ONLY reasoning I can see for the cramped quarters, is to keep the width of the vehicle within certain limits so that they are maneuverable on city streets. Especially since this type of vehicle and it's variants is sooo popular with law enforcement agencies around the world.

But knowing that I'm gonna have to let someone ELSE drive my vehicle,,,,, kind of a bummer.
 

turnkey

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WOW, this for the little people....Why does the word, ROYAL SHAFT come to mind when looking what you got ...Verus what you paid for..just saying....Best of luck on this one.......Could offset the cost you paid for it, by renting it out as a play house to the cub scouts...
 

Madmedic

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Oh don't get me wrong. We're NOT crying sour grapes. We knew what we were getting when we bought it. And we're VERY happy with it. It could be worse!! It could be SOVIET. On my "wish list" is an Israeli-Captured BTR-80 Series.

Saw them in Israel when I went to Israeli Jump School. The Israeli's ripped out the Russian Engine and Tranny, and replaced with US. They also modified the driver's seats to fit normal people. BUT, the Russians have a MAXIMUM height limit for their Armored Vehicle Crews. (I THINK it's 5'4).

But armored vehicles aren't the only dichotomy in our military when it comes to size. USAF aircraft land on looooong BEEEEG runways. Yet all their FIGHTER pilots are SMURFS. The US NAVY planes have to land on little itty bitty aircraft carriers, where space is at an absolute MINIMUM, yet THEIR fighter pilots compete with the SEALS for the 6"+ Blondes.
 

M813rc

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My youngsters positively scamper around inside the V100, but they are all in the 19-24 range. For me, the worst chore on each day I operate it, is to go in the side door, squeeze past the turret, and try to drag myself into the front seat so I can open the overhead hatch. From then on, all my in/out of the drivers seat is by climbing up the side onto the roof and getting in from above. Now that my age starts with a 5, and my weight with a 2 (despite my best efforts, darnit!), well... Lets just say that 5 years ago, it was a bit easier.
But these were designed to be operated by the 18-30 crowd, and for them it just seems easy.

Thanks for all the detail pictures. I've been curious about the Dragoon interior for a long time, since I haven't had access to one to examine closely.

If my history is correct, the Dragoon was designed by some folks who had worked on the V100/150 at Cadillac Gage, and went on to design an improved vehicle when CG was reluctant to (this being pre-M1117). I gather the engine arrangement was mirrored over to the right side to avoid copyright problems.

Looking forward to watching the progress, I'll be patient!

Cheers
 

Madmedic

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I don't think anyone means any disrespect. It's an awesome piece to have. I wish it was in my driveway.:tank:
No offense considered/or taken.

One of the things we are considering, is some kind of modification to the front seat area, and making it a single space for the driver. One of the many things different from the V-100/150's, (I think. scrammed brain right now) is that the seats are actually a hyrdaulicly lifted bench, instead of individual seats, if you look carefully at the last couple of picts you can see the lifting mechanism, as the bench is frozen at the 1/2 point.

Rory, if you're in the area, feel free to stop by Earl's and crawl around. He's got it moved over/into the beeeg shed now. And you are correct on your history.

We're considering adding the turret. an un-named personage has.... (ummmhhhmmmph, cough cough, "PARTS") which include a LAV Turret, which will mate to the large turret ring space on the dragoon. A non-mil intercom system has already been purchased for installation, so internal communications between a Vehicle commander in the turret, and driver. I'm just trying to think of how I'll justify the additional cost to our client. Their desire (and ours... mostly) is for a smaller commander's cupola with mount for a crew served and splinter shield.

BUT THAT TURRET WOULD LOOK SOOOOO COOOOOOOOOOOLLLLL!!!
 

Another Ahab

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If my history is correct, the Dragoon was designed by some folks who had worked on the V100/150 at Cadillac Gage, and went on to design an improved vehicle when CG was reluctant to (this being pre-M1117). I gather the engine arrangement was mirrored over to the right side to avoid copyright problems.
Cheers
I'm no patent attorney, but i'm not sure that is enough to defend against infringement (the design intent is still there, just one side or the either).

That's an interesting twist, though. Wonder if anybody here knows if it's the actual case.
 

M813rc

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One of the things we are considering, is some kind of modification to the front seat area, and making it a single space for the driver. One of the many things different from the V-100/150's, (I think. scrammed brain right now) is that the seats are actually a hyrdaulicly lifted bench, instead of individual seats, if you look carefully at the last couple of picts you can see the lifting mechanism, as the bench is frozen at the 1/2 point.
You are correct. The V drivers seat is mounted on a manually operated scissors arrangement and has several height adjustments. You can also slap the handle, which will drop the seat to the bottom setting, if folks start sending unwanted objects your way while you have your head out. One must be very careful to not hang onto that handle though, because there is only a slight clearance with the hull when you get near the bottom!
The front passenger seat is either a piece of rather thin foam glued to the hull (!) in the head-down position, or a little fold-out seat for the head-out position.

Your bench looks like a good idea, though as you say, can get stuck part way. It looks rather narrow for two, but with an auto transmission, that wouldn't be a huge problem. No back support, I notice.

And yes, that turret would be sweet!

Thanks for the permission to coonfinger the Dragoon. I'll be up that way in the near future, I'll definitely stop in. :)

Cheers
 

Another Ahab

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M813rc;1697152[COLOR=#ffff00 said:
]V100 driver area for comparison.[/COLOR]

Cheers
It seems relatively roomy.

But so many blind-spots (I mean they are everywhere). Never thought about it (never being a tanker). But if you knew the vehicle, you could come up with so many ways to defeat it, it seems.
 
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Madmedic

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I've seen interior picts of the Current ASV, and they kept the bench, but added a back support that will fold completely back and down, like a chaise lounge back. But they're still reserved for smurfs only.

AHAB, there's not a lot of truly documented history on the Dragoons. Ours is clearly one of the 1970's prototypes. There are a number of minor differences between ours and ones produced for Law Enforcement, prior to the company being bought out. The most glaring difference is the A.C. System. In ours, AC is provided by 2 units directly located behind the driver and co-driver positions, and connected to compressor in engine. I was able to go look at Houston PD's, which is a 1980 model, and it has an AC System that has blowers set up against the wall of the Engine Compartment, by the side door, passenger's side. Then has a duct system running on the edge of the hull where it curves to be the roof.

But back to the history, as most of us know it. The 2 gentlemen most credited with developing the V-100 Family, left Cadillac Gage, and formed their own company. The shifting of the engine may or may not have been to avoid patent infringement. However, that is the working theory. The change to the diesel engine was to make parts inter-changability possible, because the engine and transmission are the same as the 5 ton truck. The operator's control panel is the same as in the M-113/114 Family. A limited number of prototypes like ours were made with various differences, and submitted to the U.S. Military for consideration.

The intended family included APC versions, Scout Versions with a turret like that of the V-150 series, NBC recon Version, a Communications/Command and Control Version, and a Armored Service Vehicle version. (did I forget any?). They also marketed the Dragoon to Law Enforcement for Riot Control Vehicles, and that version could have a water cannon mounted on it.

While all this was going on, over the space of approximately 5 years, the company was bought out by General Dynamics (I THINK).

But the idea of a law suit would have been difficult, as there are many different countries that were producing Wheeled APC's that were all similar in various ways.
 

Madmedic

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Yeah, compared to the dragoon, the V-100 driver's area is roomy.

And you are correct, lots and lots of blind spots. That is why in addition to a different mirror system in the front, we're planning on putting in cameras, for 360 degree vision. Not so much as a military/tactical consideration, as to try and keep from turning Lincolns into Yugos, when driving it on the road.
 
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