Sunday, January 3, 2010

Study Plans and Preliminary Specifications

I have been hanging out at the Steel Soldiers website and learning more and more about the M35A2 Deuce. I considered the M35A3 Deuce which is the same truck but it has a Caterpillar 3116 Diesel Engine and an Allison Automatic Transmission. The Cat engine is awesome, more powerfull and easier to drive with the automatic transmission. Problem is, it is not a multifuel engine. With the A2 Multifuel i will be able to burn any kind of fuel without much work involved. I want to be able to burn WVO (waste vegitable oil), WMO (waste motor oil), fuel oil and anyother fuel that may become available. I am going with the M35A2 that is a final decision.

Next up is tires and configuration. I decided to go with super singles. Since this truck will spend quite a bit of time on the highway, super singles will give better fuel mileage and allow the truck to turn easier. Turning the deuce with four tires on the rear rather than eight will help a great deal. I have pretty much decided on Michelin 395 XZL Tires 395/385R 20. This is an all-terrian all position radial tire for special service such as Emergency Response Vehicles. It has a non-directional tread and can run tubless. The tire is 47" tall. These are the best tires for the job I want to do.

I plan to run it with modified wheels made by CC Equipment. The wheels are two piece HEMMT wheels with the deuce wheel insert. Again this wheel selection isn't fixed in stone since I am wieghing my options.

The deuce has three 2 1/2 Ton Rockwell Axles. These axles are bullet proof, the strongest axles you can get save the 5 ton Rockwells. While the deuce will let you drive with the front axle disengaged all of that mass is still spinning. The drive shaft, ring and pinion gears, and the axles are all spinning as you go down the road. Hub locks are a must to add on to the front axle. The rear axles are both engaged full time. There is no differential between them so on hard paved roads they tend to fight each other. Locking hubs should also be applied to the front rear axle. When going off road it will take a few minutes to lock all of the hubs but the truck will ride smoother and better on the highway.

To create the camper I was thinking of cutting the frame and making the truck longer and welding in a new section of frame. This will cause me to have four welds in my frame. I now plan to disconnect the rear axles from the frame and shift them backwards under the new frame I plan to add on. This will result in no cuts to the original frame and simply extending the truck. The exact amount has not been decided.

In this photo you can see the bare deuce frame with the rear axles removed. While I can't approve of his jack stands he did a good job of removing the rear axles. I also plan to keep the cab of the truck making a walk through access to the rest of the camper.

This photo is the same truck getting modified into a double cab deuce. I feel I have a good handle on what I want to build. I now have to work up models of what the truck and camper will look like when completed.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Rough Concept

I spent a huge part of my day meeting with timntrucks from Steel Soldiers. He currently owns two deuces and a five ton wrecker. Five tons doesn't sound like much but this thing is designed to government standards so you know it is way over done. After looking at Tim's trucks I found two more trucks in Mandeville, one of them for sale. The deuce is very plentiful at least in Louisiana.

I have a rough idea in my mind of how I want this truck to look operate and using MS-Paint I came up with a frist draft of my idea. This is not cast in stone just a starting place.

I found some cool videos on youtube of the M35A2 going through its paces. This particular video was filmed in the town of Livingston not very far from where I live. This is not me or my truck. If you are the owner of this video please contact me.


Thursday, November 26, 2009

The Project Idea

My idea is to use an M35A2 - Deuce and a half, Military Vehicle to create a six wheel drive camper. A machine that can go off road to some extent and still travel comfortably down the highway. I have certain requirements I want to meet and the "Deuce" will give me those options.

* Must be able to run multiple fuels, diesel, kerosene, gasoline and most of all cooking oil.
* Automatic transmisson
* Air Conditioning from engine and seperate.
* Fully loaded with supplies and fuel should not exceed 26,000 lbs.
* Must have all wheel drive for offroad use on unimproved and 4WD only roads. It is not intended to go anywhere and certainly not a rock climber.
* Should be able to go in water 3ft deep without problems.

* Must be fully self contained to stay without contact for up to two weeks. (sewerage, power, fuel etc)
* Should have 50 gallons diesel capacity.
* Should have 100 gallon alternate fuel capacity.
* Need to process the cooking oil on board vehicle which mainly consists of filtering.
* Needs to have a dual water system, seperate storage for gray water and black water.
* Should have 50 gallon water storage capacity.
* Should have 50 gallon gray water and seperate 50 gallon black water storage.
* Should be able to carry tools and spare parts for self rescue.
* The camper portion should be handicap accessible with some kind of lift system for public access or my own if needed.
* Needs to have a generator, preferablly one that is diesel powered.
* Needs to have a solar panel system to provide energy with out using the generator.
* Under carriage storage for tools and equipment should not go below the center line of the axles and hung on the outboard of the frame.

Keep a watch on this post since I will keep it up to date with new requirements or drop requirements not needed.