• Steel Soldiers now has a few new forums, read more about it at: New Munitions Forums!

  • Microsoft MSN, Live, Hotmail, Outlook email users may not be receiving emails. We are working to resolve this issue. Please add support@steelsoldiers.com to your trusted contacts.

 

Hi. Another new member, wanting to say hello...:)

ihavea65

New member
10
16
3
Location
Idaho
Hi, I just read a "hello" from a new member and I thought it was a hela va good idea for me to introduce myself as well. My name is Jay and i live in Idaho. I am new to the forum, and new to the world of military vehicles as well. I bought an old school bus, a short one, but not a van type, and what I wanted to do, was make it into a 4x4, off road camper. It has a 454 and a 5 sp. I was going through in my mind, converting the front axle, then putting on a crew cab, onto the GMC 7000 series chassis. That brought me to military axles, which made the little light go off above my head. "Why don't I convert a military vehicle instead? lol. Then I did a search, and OMG, the sky opened up, and the sunshine rained down from above. It's been done 100's of times, who knew? Not me, lol.
Anyway..........I have a million questions, naturally. I did buy at auction a 1968 Kaiser M54 5ton with super singles and 16x20 or 22.5, i forget now which. My plans are to convert it to a hard top, possibly crew cab, extending the frame. and putting on air ride, building an insulated camper, disk brakes, and two circuit air over hydraulic disk brakes. It runs great, but could use more power, locking diffs (if its possible) winch, modern seats.......and a hundred more things. I love it, already. We drive it around town and people kink their necks looking at us every where we go, lol. Even my wife and dog love it. It looks like a great community here with lots of information! I wish i got something newer, now that i know a little about the parts issues, but, I got it for a steal, and I pretty handy, but not wealthy! Whats the standard waiting time before i start bugging the members like a new puppy, with questions? Glad to meet every one!
 

Karl kostman

Well-known member
Steel Soldiers Supporter
2,282
836
113
Location
Fargo ND
Welcome to the madness Jay!
You are correct the M54 is an old timer with a multi fuel engine and you are always going to wanting more power! If I may make a suggestion that will guaranteed to save you money in the long run and because of a number of reasons primarily I would hate to see you dump a whole lot of money into a truck that a lot of people dont want, not that its a bad truck its very out dated and parts are getting more difficult to find out there! The other things you are going to find is if you dealing with a little more modern 5 ton say a 939 series there is actually a whole lot of parts available at your local NAPA and if you planning on doing some traveling in this truck parts availability is going to be important. Driving comfort, the newer trucks are much quieter and have an automatic transmission so other people can help with the driving duties. Both trucks are relatively easy to work on but the 939 has a lot more amenities and comforts available to help keep the wife on your side. Putting money into a 939 series like an M925 with a hydraulic winch is a great setup to start building on and its a truck that is in demand so your chances on loosing money on it are greatly diminished. If you look online at a lot of the companies building off road camping trucks a fair number of them are starting out with this truck!
Give it some thought before you start spending on the M54, there are better alternatives.
 

ihavea65

New member
10
16
3
Location
Idaho
Wow! You are right. I do see what you are saying. Thank you for the wisdom, my friend! I am so glad I asked. This truck, I got for less than what the tires cost. Everything works. It is also registered and drive-able. I have already used it to buy steel, that was far too long for my regular truck and trailer, so it has utility, and i think now, since your counsel, I will just build a low cost "Van" type overland, maybe even keeping the soft top, and selling it. With, cabinets, a bed, toilet, table, solar, etc, I think I might be able to sell it to someone quickly for their own low level overland? What do you think? Or should I part it out, keep the ties and wheels, and just get a 939?

What could I get one for, do you think? I also really like those 8 wheeler s, I don't know the name of those, and I also like the ones with a crew cab for the fam to travel comfortably. I never felt comfortable when my kids were young and we had our class A that was about as safe as a rocket. Thanks again for the timely wisdom!
 

Attachments

Jbulach

Well-known member
Steel Soldiers Supporter
2,511
1,848
113
Location
Sunman Indiana
Welcome from SE Indiana!

Sad but true, as usual Karl is correct… Just the lack of having to do the brake mods you listed would be worth going with a newer truck.

Not sure how much you want to extend the frame, but check out/for the less common M927, M928 and M934 trucks.

Don’t get too hung on finding a M925 or M928 with winch unless you need 100% duty cycle. For less money than the premium the winch trucks bring you could probably add an easier, safer to operate, detachable electric winch that could be used front, rear, or on the rest of your future MV fleet

If you plan on building a “box” you maybe able to start on top of that truck, then switch it over to a newer 5 ton when it comes along, as the frames are essentially the same other than length.

If thats a “good” truck I wouldn’t part it out, just keep it if you can afford until you get a newer truck to see if you need to swap tires, then sell the old truck whole.

Also, a lot of the less common Marine trucks had locker’s installed.
 

Mullaney

Well-known member
Steel Soldiers Supporter
Supporting Vendor
7,157
18,515
113
Location
Charlotte NC
Hi, I just read a "hello" from a new member and I thought it was a hela va good idea for me to introduce myself as well. My name is Jay and i live in Idaho. I am new to the forum, and new to the world of military vehicles as well. I bought an old school bus, a short one, but not a van type, and what I wanted to do, was make it into a 4x4, off road camper. It has a 454 and a 5 sp. I was going through in my mind, converting the front axle, then putting on a crew cab, onto the GMC 7000 series chassis. That brought me to military axles, which made the little light go off above my head. "Why don't I convert a military vehicle instead? lol. Then I did a search, and OMG, the sky opened up, and the sunshine rained down from above. It's been done 100's of times, who knew? Not me, lol.
Anyway..........I have a million questions, naturally. I did buy at auction a 1968 Kaiser M54 5ton with super singles and 16x20 or 22.5, i forget now which. My plans are to convert it to a hard top, possibly crew cab, extending the frame. and putting on air ride, building an insulated camper, disk brakes, and two circuit air over hydraulic disk brakes. It runs great, but could use more power, locking diffs (if its possible) winch, modern seats.......and a hundred more things. I love it, already. We drive it around town and people kink their necks looking at us every where we go, lol. Even my wife and dog love it. It looks like a great community here with lots of information! I wish i got something newer, now that i know a little about the parts issues, but, I got it for a steal, and I pretty handy, but not wealthy! Whats the standard waiting time before i start bugging the members like a new puppy, with questions? Glad to meet every one!
.
Welcome to the Outfit!

You might want to download the TM's (Technical Manuals) for your truck. Simple things like the LO (Lubrication Order) might be really worth your time to read through.

.
 

ihavea65

New member
10
16
3
Location
Idaho
Welcome from SE Indiana!

Sad but true, as usual Karl is correct… Just the lack of having to do the brake mods you listed would be worth going with a newer truck.

Not sure how much you want to extend the frame, but check out/for the less common M927, M928 and M934 trucks.

Don’t get too hung on finding a M925 or M928 with winch unless you need 100% duty cycle. For less money than the premium the winch trucks bring you could probably add an easier, safer to operate, detachable electric winch that could be used front, rear, or on the rest of your future MV fleet

If you plan on building a “box” you maybe able to start on top of that truck, then switch it over to a newer 5 ton when it comes along, as the frames are essentially the same other than length.

If thats a “good” truck I wouldn’t part it out, just keep it if you can afford until you get a newer truck to see if you need to swap tires, then sell the old truck whole.

Also, a lot of the less common Marine trucks had locker’s installed.
Awesome. Thank you!
.
Welcome to the Outfit!

You might want to download the TM's (Technical Manuals) for your truck. Simple things like the LO (Lubrication Order) might be really worth your time to read through.

.
Thanks! I just did. Got distracted for hours reading a lot of those :)
 

ihavea65

New member
10
16
3
Location
Idaho
By the way what year is your school bus, and are you sure it has a 454 in it?
Hi. I was told it did. But I have seen a few others with 427. The school bus is an 84 or 85 GMC. I saw where someone used the bus and put it on a 5ton like mine. I guess I could do that. I paid 5k for the 5ton and 2500 for the bus. They both run and drive. I was wondering about body twist, though. The bed on my 5ton is pretty stout, but the bus, or box, would sit pretty high if I just put it on top. I saw where an outfit sells the zero torsion brackets, and they still are high, but less high. I like the idea of making my own box out of aluminum and foam. Also that makes it easier to put tanks and a garage under the mattress. Also, I can still sell both vehicles, I mean, it was going to be my business, so combining the two may be walking backwards. Either way making both will be expensive.
 

ihavea65

New member
10
16
3
Location
Idaho
BTW...what number, or designation or series, should I try to find. OF COURSE id love a locker, or several. I also like the 8x8's but im sure they're pricey. I would prefer a crew cab, but not necessary. I also like the ones where the engine is in front, not underneath, although they are shorter overall...so I am not locked against it. I think something that is 6x6, unless its a unimog. I'd die for one of those. I dont know I guess. I probable need something cheep, with power and longevity. Thanks for your help!
 
Top
AdBlock Detected

We get it, advertisements are annoying!

Sure, ad-blocking software does a great job at blocking ads, but it also blocks useful features of our website like our supporting vendors. Their ads help keep Steel Soldiers going. Please consider disabling your ad blockers for the site. Thanks!

I've Disabled AdBlock
No Thanks