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M109 rebirth into M48A2

USAFNB

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Xenia, Ohio

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Mullaney

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I was able to track down photos of another similar trailer on this forum (how amazing is that) in this thread:
https://www.steelsoldiers.com/threads/show-us-your-military-trailers.52277/page-41. @maddawg308 posted it from some time ago, pictures definitely make me believe it's a mil trailer.

one thought from that thread was it was designed for the 10 ton tractors, also an interesting two axle dolly set up for it.
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That is a neat find! Amazing how sometimes you just can't see the forest for all the trees :) .
The dolly gives (gave) the owner a pintle to drag the trailer around the yard with his big blue tractor?
 

USAFNB

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Xenia, Ohio
Well, it's been a minute since I updated. COVID really makes traveling a pain so not a huge update. I was able to get a complete winch kit for the truck....I will probably add a rear facing PTO later to power the rear winch.

On a related note, I found a trailer I am REALLY interested in. It checks all my boxes and is even close to my property in TN. I do have a few questions for anyone on here who may know.

The trailer is an M313 "expansable" van body built onto the M295 chassis. Does anyone know very much about these trailers? Picture is below, I haven't seen it in person but looks to be in decent shape. Now my questions:

1. What maintenance would I want to do in order to move it 3 hrs over roads (no highways)?

2. How would a trucker move it? Do they have transportation plates or something?

3. Does anyone have experience pulling a similar trailer behind a 2.5 ton truck? Any advice?

Any other recommendations for when I look at it? I downloaded the TMs and parts list...I'll scan through those when I get back from temporary duty.

Thanks all!
Nick
 

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USAFNB

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Xenia, Ohio
I'm picking this project back up after a deployment and bit of TDY's.

I ended up getting some lifting jacks another member used to lift his M109 box off his truck...I plan on installing the brackets and jacks this weekend. I will post some pictures but it's pretty straight forward. Once that's done, the box is going to Tennessee to be a workshop near my cabin and I'll begin going over the truck. I have a couple questions.

1. Has anyone replaced the brass air lines with the newer plastic lines semi trucks use nowadays?
2. I'm rethinking the winch, since I will most almost always be by myself. I've seen a few hydraulic conversions of the 10K Garwood on the forums but if I wanted to install a 20K "midship" winch...does that cause any issues? I think the short answer is yes, the 10K rating and line speed would be based on GPM and Line Pressure. 20K would be at minimum a different line pressure, right? If anyone smarter on hydraulics wants to chime in I would be grateful.
3. I don't have access to large quantities or air or water where I have the truck stored, will standard paint stripper remove the CARC paint? Anyone every tried it?

More to come, It's great being back in the states and close to my trucks.

Update: I wanted to give credit where it was due, @SMOKEWAGON66 and his posts about removing his box are what I used for my Idea. It looks like it will work great and allow me to move the box around our property as we develop it.
 

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Mullaney

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I'm picking this project back up after a deployment and bit of TDY's.

I ended up getting some lifting jacks another member used to lift his M109 box off his truck...I plan on installing the brackets and jacks this weekend. I will post some pictures but it's pretty straight forward. Once that's done, the box is going to Tennessee to be a workshop near my cabin and I'll begin going over the truck. I have a couple questions.

1. Has anyone replaced the brass air lines with the newer plastic lines semi trucks use nowadays?
2. I'm rethinking the winch, since I will most almost always be by myself. I've seen a few hydraulic conversions of the 10K Garwood on the forums but if I wanted to install a 20K "midship" winch...does that cause any issues? I think the short answer is yes, the 10K rating and line speed would be based on GPM and Line Pressure. 20K would be at minimum a different line pressure, right? If anyone smarter on hydraulics wants to chime in I would be grateful.
3. I don't have access to large quantities or air or water where I have the truck stored, will standard paint stripper remove the CARC paint? Anyone every tried it?

More to come, It's great being back in the states and close to my trucks.

Update: I wanted to give credit where it was due, @SMOKEWAGON66 and his posts about removing his box are what I used for my Idea. It looks like it will work great and allow me to move the box around our property as we develop it.
.
Those plastic lines work. It mostly depends on you and how long you will own that truck. If you go back with DOT certified rubber line and the hose fittings will need to be the same - you won't be fixing leaks in a few years. Those plastic line fittings are surprisingly expensive. Having spares in your truck is a good thing no matter what airlines you decide to go with.

If you notice, the Stewart & Stevens M107X and M108X trucks (Meritor Axles) all have been migrated to wire reinforced rubber air lines.
 

ToddJK

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As far as the winch goes, the stock winch is plenty sufficient with a snatch block or two and a cable or rope in good condition, but from what I've read on other threads, the line speed will be different. The stock winch is a pita to use by yourself, but if ease of use is what you want, it's hard to beat an electric winch that you can use a remote for while standing a safe distance away while also having a higher load capacity. I'm too cheap to replace mine with an electric one, lol, but I have thought about ditching the steel fiber cored cable and going to synthetic winch lines as those can be had at a good price and can be spliced together to make the length I want as well in case the line ever breaks, not to mention most have a really good working load limit for the size of rope.
 

USAFNB

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Location
Xenia, Ohio
@Mullaney - thanks for the feedback on the air lines. I didn't even think to look for reinforced rubber lines like you referenced... I plan on keeping this truck and my other two (M35 and M816) into my "retirement" from active duty, they will be a big part of my welding/fab business.

@ToddJK - thanks man, I appreciate the thoughts. My only concern with an electric winch set up (something like an 18k Warn or 25k Sherpa) is the duty cycle honestly. Most of them are a fairly short cycle...I would say a pull over 20k will not be common but 10k will be a regular day at work. I figured dragging stuff up onto a trailer, a longer duty cycle would be preferred (PTO or Hydraulic driven). Plus those electric winches ain't cheap lol
 

USAFNB

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Xenia, Ohio
Got some work done this weekend, I was able to get the brackets mounted on both sides. These couldn't have worked better, the pre-drilled holes sat almost perfectly in the middle of the M109's Box supports running side to side. I mounted these per the manufacturer's instructions with 3/8" grade 8 hardware. I didn't plan on having to clean off so much undercoating but it went quick. I'll do a test lift soon (with pictures!) and I also need to build some cribbing for it to sit on when off the truck until we transport it to the cabin.

Also, to clear the jacks...I'll have to remove the outer rear duals. If only the wrecker was here in Ohio, this would have been so much easier haha

Once I get the box off and stored, the truck is going to get a good pressure wash to remove 3 years of outdoor storage gunk and prep for fresh OD Green.

any thoughts on cribbing? I was going to use railroad ties
 

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ToddJK

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@Mullaney - thanks for the feedback on the air lines. I didn't even think to look for reinforced rubber lines like you referenced... I plan on keeping this truck and my other two (M35 and M816) into my "retirement" from active duty, they will be a big part of my welding/fab business.

@ToddJK - thanks man, I appreciate the thoughts. My only concern with an electric winch set up (something like an 18k Warn or 25k Sherpa) is the duty cycle honestly. Most of them are a fairly short cycle...I would say a pull over 20k will not be common but 10k will be a regular day at work. I figured dragging stuff up onto a trailer, a longer duty cycle would be preferred (PTO or Hydraulic driven). Plus those electric winches ain't cheap lol
That makes sense, as you're correct about the duty cycle. I know as long as the winch isn't working too hard, usually you can push the envelope on th duty cycle, I have seen it quite a bit on the Harbor Freight Apex winches and those darn things just keep pulling, so I imagine a high quality one "should" do the same, but if it don't, yes, that can possibly be an expensive eff-up, lol.
 

USAFNB

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Location
Xenia, Ohio
@ToddJK - Ya, I'm trying to make this a do-it-all truck with front/mid winches and a fifth wheel set up for towing. I'm also looking to buy or build an oil field bed with tail roller for it, that I could remove when towing fifth wheel. we'll see, I didn't really pay much for the truck so I'm willing to spend some money upgrading and changing it to suit my needs for my "adult job" post active duty but like I said before it will almost always be just me...so ease of one man operation is a plus.
 

USAFNB

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Xenia, Ohio
Well, I was traveling for about 3 weeks of November but I was able to get all the bolts holding my 109 box taken care of. With the duals mounted, a few of these were buggers for sure. This weekend I'm planning on doing my test lift with the truck frame still under the box, and if all goes well then I'll plan to re-arrange how everything's stored to give me room to work.

I'm also going to be mounting a 2" reciever under the front bumper to make moving my trailers around easier...I'll get some photos of that too.

This is the last big muscle movement before I can really dig into the truck and start my work.

Also looking at these tail roller beds to go behind the winch, maybe a poor man's pipeline truck/bed.
20231119_130652.jpg
20231119_130706.jpg
Capture.JPG
 
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USAFNB

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Xenia, Ohio
Made some more progress this weekend now that I've been home for a week or two. I was able to do a test lift on the box using the lifting supports but ran into a snag with one of them. I guess I should have tested all of them and their full range of motion...it seems like one of them is binding and won't fully retract. This probably isn't an issue for lifting the box off but setting it down onto a trailer would be impossible.

As of now I guess I'll reach out to manufacturer since they are still under warranty.

but I SEE DAY LIGHT! Box came off very easily with the lifts, I have about 10K of lifting capacity but a very smooth operation. I'll switch gears to work on a few other things until I hear back from manufacturer probably after Christmas.

I'm eligible to deploy again in a few months so I'm trying to knock out as much as I can on this project.

more to come fellas.




20231216_141005.jpg


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USAFNB

Member
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Location
Xenia, Ohio
Well I'm back at it after the holidays and a couple training trips for work, I got the trucks repositioned with the 109 in the back to make it easier to remove the box. I ran into a couple issues along the way but for the most part nothing serious.

First: Has anyone had issues with rust in their tanks? I assume my M109 sat for long periods of time and developed rust in the tank. I plan on replacing the A2 tank with an A3 tank if I can find one, if not I'll refurb or replace this tank but onto my issue. The truck is ALWAYS an easy starter and great runner but it was stumbling and stalling out just idling. I cleaned out some crud by the pump by removing the small allen head screw used to check fuel pump pressure/function. After that it seemed better, plan for now is to pull the pump, remove any crud and clean it. Pump is still humming away so that's good. Would it be better to drain the tank and try clean it out as best as possible? Would that be a temporary fix?

Dad is coming down in 2 weeks to help me on the trucks and at our Cabin...trying to get a few things done before I'm deployed.

I'm also going to be trying some paint stripper to remove the layers of paint, I don't have access to compressed air or water (only what I can bring on a small trailer). If this doesn't seem to work well, I'll give the truck a 10-20 foot paint job mostly to keep corrosion at bay until I get back and can move it to my shop when we build a house.

Has anyone used on of the dual circuit brake systems listed in the classifieds? Looking for some feedback on how easy it was to convert what I have now to the dual circuit system.

More in a few days,
- Caveman
 

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USAFNB

Member
92
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Location
Xenia, Ohio
Made some great progress this weekend, I got the fuel pump removed (it was in sad shape) and the final test on my lifting jacks before dad shows up to do the real lift next weekend.

The truck had some starting/idling issues last time I moved it so I planned to start with the pump. It would have been a PIA if not for a previous salty motor pool troop who "modified" the underside of my box. Looks like a BFH went nuts but it worked liked a charm, without that I would have had to drop the tank. (see picture) The pump was a mess, quiet a bit of rust...so I got to work cleaning it up and disassembling. I got the pump cleaned up and found the problem straight away, the intake end of the hose was plugged solid with rust and crud. I cleaned it all out and flushed the pump, and after reinstalling it the truck fired right up. I love these trucks.

anyone have any experience with a good fuel resistant paint? I'm planning on pulling the pump again now that I know it works and really going through it and I'd love to repaint it with something to resist rust. Right now I'm looking at Rustoleum oil and fuel resistant paint.

I also tested the jacks one final time and lifted the box about 1". It all worked great, I'm getting super pumped to remove the box and begin the real work on the truck. The box is getting repurposed as well, it'll be my workshop at my mountain property in Tn.

More to come next week.
 

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