2 wheel vs 4 wheel steering

rtadams89

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Phoenix, AZ
I'm in the market for a mule and initially wanted a 4 wheel steer model for the tighter turn radius. Since looking, I've heard the 4 wheel steer variants can be a pain between getting the wheels aligned and squirlyness at anything other than low gear speeds. Anyone here driven both to offer a direct comparison? Is the turning radius on the 2 wheel steer variants wide enough to make it worth getting the 4 wheel steer?
 

Recovry4x4

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I know there are plenty of folks here with mules and I'm sure they will be along shortly. I've only ever operated 2 wheel steers and they didn't seem bad. Question is, what will be the purpose of yours? Are there really tight corners where you plan on operating the machine? I think use should dictate function.
 

rtadams89

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I come from a M35A2, so I'm no stranger to a wide turning radius, and it seems the mule has a slightly larger turning radius. It seems advantageous to keep the radius smaller when operating on smaller off-road paths that the M274 would be on. I've been off-roading on trails with my pickup where I've had to do 3 point turns to stay on the trail, and that's with a ~20 ft turning radius. That's why I'm leaning towards a 4 wheel steer model; but if the 4 wheel steering makes it more of a pain to drive/maintain, I don't know if it's worth the "savings" of having to do a few less 3 point turns....
 

tommys2patrick

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fwiw-i think they are similar to a farm tractor in that it has no suspension other than the air in the tires. a little worse actually at least a tractors front wheels can pivot which helps a lot in turning in a plowed field with deep ruts. so in off roading if one or two wheels leave the ground on uneven terrain( as in off roading) having every advantage like more wheels to turn should not be undervalued. i think in most design situations it was planned to have this operate in relatively flat terrain on a military base. extremely good at carrying heavy weight like ammo cans loading and unloading planes and helicopters on runways. low enough height to get under wings and rotor blades. it could carry as much as it weighed empty. which most vehicles can't claim such. if I recall they weigh about 1000 pounds empty so a lot more than an atv and a lot of side by sides as well.
 

Monkeyboyarmy

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4 wheel steer is a lot more forgiving on tires and drivetrain parts since they are full time 4 wheel drive. Most mules are easily changed from 2 wheel steer to 4 wheel steer by simply removing a pin on the drag link and installing the drag link on either the fixed or steerable position.
 

Abbylind

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Palm Harbor FL & NM
A lot of A5s were A2s 4WS and were converted to 2 wheel steer. My A5 is one example. It still has the hole in the deck for accessing the 4 wheel to 2 wheel lockout bracket. Mine also still has the mounting studs for the rear bellcrank in place. Deco Grand is one of the companies that the military used to convert these.
 

Chaos357

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Sanford,NC
A lot of A5s were A2s 4WS and were converted to 2 wheel steer. My A5 is one example. It still has the hole in the deck for accessing the 4 wheel to 2 wheel lockout bracket. Mine also still has the mounting studs for the rear bellcrank in place. Deco Grand is one of the companies that the military used to convert these.
 

Chaos357

New member
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Sanford,NC
A lot of A5s were A2s 4WS and were converted to 2 wheel steer. My A5 is one example. It still has the hole in the deck for accessing the 4 wheel to 2 wheel lockout bracket. Mine also still has the mounting studs for the rear bellcrank in place. Deco Grand is one of the companies that the military used to convert these.
Abbylind A spirt is a drip under pressure
 

microjeep

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A lot of A5s were A2s 4WS and were converted to 2 wheel steer. My A5 is one example. It still has the hole in the deck for accessing the 4 wheel to 2 wheel lockout bracket. Mine also still has the mounting studs for the rear bellcrank in place. Deco Grand is one of the companies that the military used to convert these.
Thanks for this info, this explains mine, A5 data plate, 2 wheel steer, but has the hole for the steering linkage. I will have to look for the studs when I get a minute. As far as having 2 or 4 wheel steer I would love to convert mine, got a quote for $1200 to have it done and if it did more than a couple of rallies and events a year I could justify it with management(wife). That being said I would recommend 4 wheel steer, you can always move the rear steering draglink from the bell crank to the solid mount hence 2 wheel steer.

Story I was told by a Vietnam veteran,

The mule was changed form 2 to 4 steer due to rollover accidents, one would assume this would be from hightailing it out of a hot zone, his experience lead him to believe this was not the case. Most of the accidents he was aware of were bored motor pool guys having mule races.
 

microjeep

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Your welcome, and just want to add about my wanting 4 wheel steer, I have only had my mule out of low range a couple of times (on pavement) so most of my driving is low speed, but even in low range with no suspension it will go fast enough to rattle your brain, even on "flat" ground. Also if you have a 4 wheel steer and your not happy with it I can't see why you couldn't lock it out, if you get a two wheel steer your stuck with what you have.
 

microjeep

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rtadams89

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Phoenix, AZ
I was referring to an A5 that had 4 wheel steer added. Most of these conversion seem to lack the welded on frame tube attachment point to switch back to 2ws. Presumably with a u bolt and a bit of steel you could make a clamp on version to add that capability back.
 

MWMULES

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The few times I have had a mule in 4 wheel steer usually ended up on it side, anytime it got to or above 2nd gear in high range. A couple of times it was on a hardball and folks got scraped up pretty good. I only did it once the other times were by folks I let drive it after I had given them a warning on what not to do.
 

microjeep

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I was referring to an A5 that had 4 wheel steer added. Most of these conversion seem to lack the welded on frame tube attachment point to switch back to 2ws. Presumably with a u bolt and a bit of steel you could make a clamp on version to add that capability back.
Oh OK, 2 points,
1 a true A5 doesn't have the hole in the deck so you would have to crawl under to swap it, (or cut a hole in the deck and find a cover)
2 as far as using u bolts on the frame tubes, haven't tried to add anything but have been told the tubes are an odd size and finding u bolts to fit properly is hard:unsure:,

The few times I have had a mule in 4 wheel steer usually ended up on it side, anytime it got to or above 2nd gear in high range. A couple of times it was on a hardball and folks got scraped up pretty good. I only did it once the other times were by folks I let drive it after I had given them a warning on what not to do.
Thanks MWMULES for the life saving advice if I ever get mine changed back.
 
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