TOW mule project progress

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nickd

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It has been a while, I have some progress to report. The mule has been running now for over a year with the wide tires, fenders, and all of the deck mounted brackets to specially designed for the mule to carry and operate the TOW missile system with spare rounds and a ground mount. The 151 tow setup used 2 vehicles one carried the weapon and mount along with a couple of rounds. The second vehicle carried additional rounds.

Here are a few pictures with the T&E and optics mounted. The missile tube is locked in position on the T&E but is missing the launch tube
 

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poof

Dirty Hippie
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That looks FANTASTIC. Nick You Have done good.

I spent the day working on My Mule... Nothing compaired to what you have going on there.
Gonna go post a picture now.
great job..
J.P.
 

maddawg308

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Looks pretty cool, Nick! Great work.

Question, though, that TOW tube looks pretty short. I'm used to seeing the South Park movie ones, ya know, bigger longer and uncut. Is that the right TOW tube you have mounted, or is it another type I'm not familiar with? Is the tube you have mounted now only a transport tube, or can it be used to fire as well?
 

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nickd

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Mike, that is the missile tube in its mounted position in the T&E. The launch tube is missing but soon to be found. The TOW set up in your pictures has the launch tube and the one on the mule has the launch tube with the missile tube installed. Where did the picture of the TOW mule come from?
 

clinto

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That looks amazing Nick! :beer:
 

gunboy1656

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Nick, looks good. did you ever come across the control box?

Sounds like today must have been a mule work day, I replaced the second set of needle bearings on mine today. I HATE them things, but we cut down our replacement time from yesterday. If it was not for the stuck on gasket, we would have made good time.
 

nickd

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Scott, I found that stripping down all the axles at once, keeping all of the parts from each axle together, cleaning all the parts and replacing all of the needle bearings and pressing in new seals all at once works best for me. With all of the parts prepped, the assembly process goes a little better. I also bought a blind bearing puller that gets the needle bearings out easily. The other option is to press them out from the inside and the cap will fall out first. Then you can press the cap back into position first followed by the new needle bearing. Then the chisel method is not used.
 

maddawg308

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Mike, that is the missile tube in its mounted position in the T&E. The launch tube is missing but soon to be found. The TOW set up in your pictures has the launch tube and the one on the mule has the launch tube with the missile tube installed. Where did the picture of the TOW mule come from?

Good luck on getting the real tube, I know they are out there somewhere, but it's like that thing with the hen's teeth.

The pic of the TOW mule came from a previous thread on SS from years ago, I thought it was kinda cool so I saved in on my machine.
 

nickd

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thanks Mike, I understand my TOW mule is one of 3. I know the guy that has one in Georgia and there may be one on the west coast that showed up at the Tower Hill show. Can anyone get me in touch with the owner of the west coast TOW mule?
 

timm831

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Sorry guys, hate to put a damper on this thread but, can we atleast get the nomenclature right for the TOW System components? WHat is being referred to as the T & E is acutally called a traversing unit. WHat is being referrred to as the control box is actually called an MGS or missile guidance set. Oh, and TOW standds for Tube Launched Optically Tracked Wire Guided missile system In previous days they were mounted on M-151 jeeps, a jeep squad consisted of the following: (2) M-151 TOW jeeps each with a driver/assistant gunner., a gunner, 1 each complete TOW-2 Missile System, with three (3) rounds, a AN/GRC-160 Radio Set, and one (1) M-151 TOW Squad Leader Jeep W/M-416 Trailer. One the squad leader jeep there were missile racks that sat in the rear of the jeep and carried 6 missiles. None of the jeeps had windshields or tops on them for obvious reasons.

I never heard of a TOW being mounted on a MULE but, stranger things have happened.

I was a TOW gunner, squad leader and section leader with 1st Marines from 85-92, if you have any other questions regarding the TOW please feel free to send me a PM.

Tim
 

Austringer

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I believe the TOW mule show belongs to Eddie T. out of South Georgia. He had it on display at the Peachtree City, GA GAMVPA show in 2006.
 

nickd

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Here is a close up picture of the data plate for the mule TOW pedistal mounting bracket.
It reads,

TRUCK GUIDED MISSILE EQUIPMENT (MULE)
FSN 1450-176-2709 PART NO 10399043
SERIAL NO __________ DATE________
LAUNCHER GM M220 TOW FSN 1440-179-41523

I need a new data plate.
 

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nickd

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Jason, Eddie T was my inspiration and the source for the TOW mounting hardware. A really great guy to deal with and I keep in touch with him by phone regularly. His military experience and enthusiasm with the M901 TOW equipment was also very inspiring.
 

RetPara

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I never heard of a TOW being mounted on a MULE but, stranger things have happened.

Tim
The TOW Mule was not a real long lived weapon system.... When I got to the 82nd in '79 one of the AT Plt Sgt's in my Bn had a picture of one in his Plt CP. While the Corp went to the M151 in the late 70's it was about that time the Army started to phase out the last of the Mules in Abn units. Since the 82nd was the only abn unit after the 101st was taken off jump status, 82nd had a little bit more license to experiment.

The whole thing with a TOW on a Mule was to get something that was airdropable..... Even with the way that a Mule was 'rigged' for airdrop; they were still too light a vehicle. When a TOW Missie launches, there is a **** of a strain on the frame, somewhat more than what the 106RR caused because of the location that missile launcher was mounted.


Point of Irony. The Mule was one of the first ATV's.... DOD got rid of them because they were too light.... The below link is to a military model Polaris Ranger offloading from a CH-47 in A'stan.......

http://news.soc.mil/releases/News%20Archive/2010/October/327021.jpg
 
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