The real cost of armor?

HDN

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Although I've had experience working on my dad's halftrack, I think it has a lot more in common with trucks from the period than fully-tracked vehicles. My dream tank is a Leopard 1 to romp around my property with. But what does it take to maintain one?

Stuff I can think of off the top of my head:

  • Grease (like anything else that moves)
  • Fuel - lots of it (like the big trucks)
  • Spare parts - I'm not sure where I'd start, and I don't think this is an easy one
  • Tracks - I'm familiar with the costs and maintenance of halftrack tracks, but not mechanically-linked tracks.
  • Big tools - bigger than what's used for the big trucks? At least have a 5-ton wrecker on hand?
  • I'm not looking to make any weapons functional - too much red tape it seems, especially in NY!

Does any of this change for smaller armor like the CVRT family or FV432s besides the amount of fuel and grease needed? What about big and inexpensive armor like a lot of things former Soviet?
 

DaninNM

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lots of time on the Internet to find increasing rare and often expensive spares.
time readings manuals on routine maintenance and not so routine maintenance
lots of time on the computer and networking with other owners
soviet or eastern European armor - finding the big tools in the USA in Metric sizes!!!!
 

HDN

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Location
Finger Lakes Region, NY
lots of time on the Internet to find increasing rare and often expensive spares.
time readings manuals on routine maintenance and not so routine maintenance
lots of time on the computer and networking with other owners
soviet or eastern European armor - finding the big tools in the USA in Metric sizes!!!!
I consider Steel Soldiers to be truck-oriented, so is there actually a tank message board somewhere? I haven't actually looked yet.
 

sigo

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I consider Steel Soldiers to be truck-oriented, so is there actually a tank message board somewhere? I haven't actually looked yet.
Multiple areas are devoted to armored vehicles. Some are even very specific.

 

HDN

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I've been talking to a mechanic with decades of experience on the Leopard 1 family of vehicles. He gave me these figures on engine fluid capacities, which is a twin-turbo 2280 cubic inch V10 multi-fuel diesel:

Engine oil change: 53 quarts (about 13 gallons or 50 liters) - About $180 15W-40
Transmission oil change: 95 quarts (about 24 gallons or 90 liters) - About $300 15W-40
Coolant change: 42 gallons (160 liters) - Almost $600

So for that size motor we're looking at spending at least $1000 in fluids.
 

CMPPhil

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I've been talking to a mechanic with decades of experience on the Leopard 1 family of vehicles. He gave me these figures on engine fluid capacities, which is a twin-turbo 2280 cubic inch V10 multi-fuel diesel:

Engine oil change: 53 quarts (about 13 gallons or 50 liters) - About $180 15W-40
Transmission oil change: 95 quarts (about 24 gallons or 90 liters) - About $300 15W-40
Coolant change: 42 gallons (160 liters) - Almost $600

So for that size motor we're looking at spending at least $1000 in fluids.
Hi

Years ago our Military Vehicle Club visited the Massachusetts National Guard Tank maintenance facility, I can remember our tour guide talking about similar figures for M60 tanks they had. He went onto explain that they had just changed over from replacing oil based on the calendar or run hours instead they were now sampling the oils and having them tested to see if they needed to be change. He said the savings were very significant.

Cheers Phil
 
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Henderson, NV
Although I've had experience working on my dad's halftrack, I think it has a lot more in common with trucks from the period than fully-tracked vehicles. My dream tank is a Leopard 1 to romp around my property with. But what does it take to maintain one?

Does any of this change for smaller armor like the CVRT family or FV432s besides the amount of fuel and grease needed? What about big and inexpensive armor like a lot of things former Soviet?
I've got six Leopard 1's myself and I can tell you that the biggest problem with owning them is that spare parts don't exist (for the most part) here in the US. At least with my M-60 and M113's, there are plenty of spare parts you can find here in the States. Some countries don't like selling parts and then there is always the hassle making sure you get what you pay for. The fluids and everything else in the easy part.

V/R
Ron
 

Mullaney

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I've got six Leopard 1's myself and I can tell you that the biggest problem with owning them is that spare parts don't exist (for the most part) here in the US. At least with my M-60 and M113's, there are plenty of spare parts you can find here in the States. Some countries don't like selling parts and then there is always the hassle making sure you get what you pay for. The fluids and everything else in the easy part.

V/R
Ron
Ohhhhh 6 Leopards. That is cool. An M60... An M113 would be the most practical for me only because it isn't as heavy. Definitely neat. I thought having a couple of big heavy trucks was cool - but having an APC would wow me for sure. Of course lumbering down the road or more likely a field with an M60... Ahh (drool)

Tim
 

HDN

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Of course lumbering down the road or more likely a field with an M60... Ahh (drool)
Add oversize permits to the list for road driving, unless you have an ag exemption, maybe!

I've thought about potential problems with sourcing parts for the foreign MVs, but it's my hope that I can work with a machine shop to get duplicates manufactured. I can do the CAD work - just need the equipment to get it made!
 

Mullaney

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Add oversize permits to the list for road driving, unless you have an ag exemption, maybe!

I've thought about potential problems with sourcing parts for the foreign MVs, but it's my hope that I can work with a machine shop to get duplicates manufactured. I can do the CAD work - just need the equipment to get it made!
We used M4's with the top removed, flat decking and then assorted equipment mounted on them. REALLY neat machines. I can't remember exactly the track width other than to remember about a third of the track hanging over the RGN trailer we hauled them on. I remember the bright yellow Wide Load banners too and driving daylight only.

There wasn't much "room" to get onto the trailer correctly. Centered was really important. Metal tracks on that metal edge could get slippery! Especially with cleats welded to the steel track.

The absolute neatest thing we ever did with those tractors was spending the time installing "Street Tread" and roaring down the street. No lights or signals. Just a pickup behind it with a yellow flashing light... 35 miles an hour doesn't sound like much but it felt like you were flying! Pull that steering lever just a bit to hard and your head would slap that metal "roll bar" and definitely ring your bell...

All gone over and done now. Sadly that company went bust about 20 years ago. I loved every day of my job when I worked there "playing truck and tank".


Tim
.
 
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Add oversize permits to the list for road driving, unless you have an ag exemption, maybe!

I've thought about potential problems with sourcing parts for the foreign MVs, but it's my hope that I can work with a machine shop to get duplicates manufactured. I can do the CAD work - just need the equipment to get it made!
The parts we have needed are all electronic. We've even got one of our Leopards live-firing again through in-house fabricating but nobody works on German "computer" engine management systems.

Since we have so many Leopards, we used blueprints from the Australian AS1 to mod our Belgium 1A5BE model into the AS1.

V/R
Ron
 

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Mullaney

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The parts we have needed are all electronic. We've even got one of our Leopards live-firing again through in-house fabricating but nobody works on German "computer" engine management systems.

Since we have so many Leopards, we used blueprints from the Australian AS1 to mod our Belgium 1A5BE model into the AS1.

V/R
Ron
Ron,

German printing machines are pretty impressive. Not a Leopard tank - but cool all the same. Like everything else, eventually these machines aren't serviceable by the manufacturer so we have gone about it the hard way some times...

We have computer driven printing and finishing machines in our business. NOT being a computer whiz, but over the years we have managed to hunt, peck, tweak, adjust, and occasionally say "not nice" words. But, often times we whittle the problem down to a board. There are vendors here that we work with who seem to simply wave a magic wand and solve our system board level problems.

Many times they will ask for pictures and ask for voltage (etc) measurements, ask for a particular voltage to a pin or several, then ask for more measurements. Once they have confirmed the component they believe is "broken" they will make the repairs, ship it back and solve our problems.

Do you have a similar service on your end of the country? Somebody that might help at the board level?


Tim
 
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Do you have a similar service on your end of the country? Somebody that might help at the board level?

Tim
Tim,

Not that I know of. I'll ask the guys to exact details of what happened to it but I thought it was a panel/box that went bad. They pulled one from another and confirmed that was the part. I just haven't had much time to source the part as we've been busy working on the "AS1" conversion and getting our T-62 up and firing. I know I need to get to it though :confused:

V/R
Ron
 

HDN

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The parts we have needed are all electronic. We've even got one of our Leopards live-firing again through in-house fabricating but nobody works on German "computer" engine management systems.
I didn't know any of the Leopard 1s were equipped with ECUs - haven't gotten that far into the Haynes book yet! I don't even know where to begin finding someone who could service or make a new ECU for a German tank engine! Although considering MTU is still an engine manufacturer, I'd think there'd be some third parties who'd be willing to take a stab at it. If I had a bad ECU, maybe I'd take it to the RIT campus and see if any of the Micro E guys could figure it out :p
 

kcimb

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Parts are easy to get for the most part. Plenty of folks in Europe need To sell stuff and Americans need to buy.

in the last month I’ve picked upbrake drums, brake boosters, fuel pumps,brake cylinders, water pumps, valve cover gaskets, all sorts of things. Easy to get.
 
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