Making my M35A2 submersible

Steel Soldiers is supported by:

T'Con

New member
5
0
1
Location
Lexington KY
Hi,
I bought a 1969 Kaiser M35A2 for passing thru my country road when it gets flooded in spots.

I have installed a snorkel, but need a bell-housing plug and a pipe for the air compressor intake (connecting air compressor to engine's air-filter housing).

I'm not sure what else I may need, but suggestions would be appreciated. I've seen water get 4ft deep in a couple spots on the road (only way in/out). I'm not an adventurer seeking to cross rivers, etc. I work in a hospital and cannot simply call-off when road floods.

Thank you,
Todd
Richmond, KY
 
Last edited:

Firehound

Member
125
14
18
Location
New Caney, TX
Look up the Tactical Repair Channel on Youtube, and search for Central Vent System video. There is a 3/8" fitting on the bellhousing that gets no more than 2-3PSI for positive pressure ventilation. (I've heard that an M35A2 air shift lever will do the trick, if you put in a regulator.)
 

ZiggyO

Active member
Steel Soldiers Supporter
464
114
43
Location
Nebraska
I have modded 5 m35a2's (in addition to other vehicles) for deep water fording over the years-- Four were for various agencies, the fifth is my own truck. Right out the gate, don't waste your time looking for a deep water fording kit-- they are expensive when found and don't offer much for what they are.

To set it up right, so as to be reliable and safe, you need to do the following:

- first off, make sure all seals are in excellent shape-- not only all axle seals , but shift boot, etc.
-remove all breathers and run 1/4 inch lines minimum to all axle vents, transfer, bell housing (actually bell housing line ideally should be larger since it feeds the bell housing and trans (via the input shaft).
-if you have the 60 amp alt, remove the voltage adjust plug and run a line to that port as well (that port is 1/8" npt and feeding air to it will assure that nothing can breach the alt). I learned this one over time after examining some alts that failed during flood rescues.
- I like to use a ball valve on the bottom of the bell housing (more convenient) but the plug will work just as well
-raise master cylinder vent, fuel tank vent, and airpack exhaust vent (do not rely on the one way vent valves as they fail at the most inopportune times)
-raise your air intake-- the original kit used a flex hose-- those are garbage. I had the intakes made from 4" steel exhaust pipe to bring the intake to the cab roof level.
- put a "T" on your slobber tube, route the horizontal outlet up along side the air intake, and put a ball valve under the "T" to allow direct to ground routing for normal operation.
- tie the lines from the axles together via any manifold design you like, route to a regulator (with gauge preferably) set to supply 3.5 psi
-tie lines from transfer, bell housing, and alt to second regulator set to 3psi (the reason the axles are higher is that they are lower and subject to higher static pressure when fording
-tie both regulators to an air valve of your choosing-- an airshift switch works nicely.
-find some way to seal your fuel tank cap effectively (the best is to have an m35a3 tank with the threaded cap that can be properly gasketed). The other options that I have seen used are a welded on collar around the filler that can accept a plug, or, plumbers putty tightly pressed around the cap right before fording (the caps seem to be a weak point when fording extensively)
-liberally grease (with dielectric grease) all exposed electrical points like battery terminals, battery cable to starter post, etc.

The above is just the beginning. On the trucks I modified, the operator procedure went as follows:

Driver would stop before fording, get out and shot valve on slobber tube to redirect to raised hose, shut bell housing valve, press a bead of plumbers putty around fuel cap (if applicable), get back in and slowly enter water, flipping the air switch on right as the front wheels would enter. Fording would then commence for whatever purpose (usually flood rescues as my clients are fire depts/rescue squads).

Immediately after fording:
-shut off air just as truck leaves water, then stop, get out and open slobber tube valve and bell housing valve; clear radiator of debris, do a quick walk around, then get back in and do a few sequential slow speed stops to ensure brake function.

Within a few days of fording:
-inspect all gearboxes, brake fluid, engine oil for water infiltration, inspect wheel bearings and repack where needed, inspect front knuckles, inspect steering gear box, open/drain/dry all compartments.
-take off turn sig and brake light covers and check for water intrusion
-remove plumbers putty from around gas cap (if applicable)
-check fuel for water infiltration


Some other notes and observations: pressurizing the axles and gearboxes serves to limit the possibility of water intrusion thereby saving the need to replace gear oil. Is it possible that water could still find its way in? Yes, but in that instance, the pressure helps to mitigate the amount of water that gets in during a fording exercise. Wheel bearings still need to be inspected and possibly repacked as well as the front knuckles as they technically would not see much in terms of pressurization if seals are correctly in place and doing their job.


The above mods and procedures have been used on many flood rescues going back as early as 2006 and none of the trucks reported any significant failures (also this setup has been modified for other vehicles to include some m35a3's a pair of 900 series 5 tons, and an m813 ). Be forewarned that it is very labor intensive and setting the truck up right can be costly. But, assuming everything is done right, it can be done reliably and safely.


Z
 

ZiggyO

Active member
Steel Soldiers Supporter
464
114
43
Location
Nebraska
Forgot to add that batteries, if not the sealed type, will suffer shortened lives when fording-- thats just the nature of the beast. Note: many of the trucks I did for fire depts. usually had some sort of continuous charging (maintainer)-- when they got forded the batteries got about 2 years of life out of them-- in that case just getting the wal-mart specials with the 3 year replacement warranty worked out great.

Z
 

T'Con

New member
5
0
1
Location
Lexington KY
Thanks, Folks! I really appreciate being pointed in the right direction!!

Any one have links on parts for making locking differentials?

Thanks!
 
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