M101A3 Upgrades

cloud9actual

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Hi folks,

I've been a lurker for a while but I figured I'd post up on here since I'm making some upgrades to my M101A3 trailer. I recently had to sell my M101A2 in tan due to chemo bills but now that I've been recovered for a bit I picked up a new trailer. I got an M101A3 in woodland. Unfortunately it wasn't in as good of shape as mine was when I sold it. I really do like these trailers. They trailer so great off-road and I can drive pretty fast without my cargo going flying due to the decent suspension.

It's missing the bows for the cover and the cover. I replaced some bolts that were missing or corroded.

I ended up buying a cover online but I decided that the bows that were available were going to be too expensive for me to buy and ship so I'm going to build my own. I wanted something heavier duty anyways than the ones that come stock so I picked up some 2"x1.5" steel rectangular tubing and I'm going to bend a couple corner pieces and use the shorter profile unistrut to cross over the top between the corners. More to come on this project.

I also picked up this to replace the missing crank handle for the built in jack and it works well: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000GGJQ7G/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I ended up putting a grade 8 bolt through the brake system to disable it since the piston needs to be rebuilt. But on a trailer this light, there's really not a need for brakes IMHO. I'll eventually get it repaired but it's lower priority.

I wanted to also fix the paint job. it seems that this woodland paint isn't as durable as the tan stuff on my old trailer. It is flaking off in several places. That'll be next on my todo list after getting the cover working.

I'm also planning on building a light conversion box to allow me to run the 24v lights and switch between IR and visible lights for use under nods. I'm working on doing this currently for my truck too. Obviously this is primarily for off-road use on private land but I do want it to be trailerable on the road for utility purposes.

honestly I think I prefer the older A2 over the A3. This one doesn't trailer quite as nicely but it's definitely overbuilt and heavy duty!

Any recommendations are appreciated! I want to restore this to it's original glory and also improve on the design a bit in the process.
 

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Recovry4x4

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You could put the same rims and tires you had on your A2. I have them on my A3 trailer and the work really well. 55" between the inner fenders sure helps out a bunch.
 

Tinstar

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Sounds like you have a plan.

The A3s were not built in the numbers the A2s were. You scored.
There’s pros and cons of anything but I only have the A2s and have been extremely happy with them.
A3s are much harder to find.

eBay prices on bows are ridiculous.
Post in classifieds if interested. I’m sure someone has some.

Recommend fixing the surge brakes sooner than later.
Easy to work on and not too terribly expensive to fix.
Get some decent weight in the trailer and you’ll wish you had brakes during a hard panic stop or wet roads.

I think the M101 series trailers are the best the military has ever fielded.
 

Coug

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16 inch rim with a bolt pattern of 8x6.5 is still pretty common. Heck, you can buy them down at Tractor Supply with tires already on them.
 

juanprado

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Common civy utility and boat trailer 8 bolt.
Any 8 bolt from 70-early 90's non metric chevy , Ford, or dodge 3/4 ton pick up. Center hole does not matter as these are lug centric. Easy to find at junk yards.
 

cloud9actual

New member
5
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Location
Fort Worth, Texas
Sounds like you have a plan.

The A3s were not built in the numbers the A2s were. You scored.
There’s pros and cons of anything but I only have the A2s and have been extremely happy with them.
A3s are much harder to find.

eBay prices on bows are ridiculous.
Post in classifieds if interested. I’m sure someone has some.

Recommend fixing the surge brakes sooner than later.
Easy to work on and not too terribly expensive to fix.
Get some decent weight in the trailer and you’ll wish you had brakes during a hard panic stop or wet roads.

I think the M101 series trailers are the best the military has ever fielded.
Yeah I plan on fixing the brakes. I have to dig through my research I did for the A2. I found the commercial replacement part for the reservoir and strut assembly for the surge brakes.

I'm currently looking at making my own bows. The guy I bought it from threw them away if you can believe it. 🤦‍♂️

Good to know the A3s are more desirable. Might make it justifiable to pickup some bows instead of making them. I will post up in the classifieds. Thanks for the suggestion!
 
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