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Differences between M1A2 and M1A2 SEP?
cabasner
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Posted: Monday, January 28, 2019 - 11:29 AM UTC
Hi All,
I am doing some planning for my next few M1A1/A2 tank builds, and I came upon a new Echelon decal sheet, D356250. The decal sheet is described as 3rd ACR M1A2 Abrams (OIF), and describes the decals as for 'These are straight M1A2s (non SEP versions) which 3 ACRs fielded during the beginning stages of OIF.' So, what are the difference between an A2 non SEP and A2 SEP tank...can anyone tell me what the differences are? I'd love to use these cool new Echelon decals, but I need to know the differences between an A2 and A2 SEP. I was planning to use my Rye Field RM-5007 full interior model. Can I build an M1A2 non SEP tank from that kit? I'm guessing the answer is no, because the decal sheet shows that the tanks on the Echelon sheet have External Auxilliary Power Units, and the RM-5007 doesn't seem to have an EAPU. Thoughts?


Thanks for any help!!
b2nhvi
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Posted: Monday, January 28, 2019 - 11:38 AM UTC
http://www.military-today.com/tanks/m1a2_sep.htm
HeavyArty
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Posted: Monday, January 28, 2019 - 12:47 PM UTC
The SEP version has a Vapor Compression Unit (VCU - A/C Compressor) in the rear turret bustle basket as opposed to the APU.

VCU


The APU was moved to the left side of the rear hull as an under armor APU (UAAPU) or as the Hawker Battery system (storage batteries).

UUAPU and Hawker Battery System. Disregard how they are labeled. The UUAPU is on the left w/the exhaust on the rear next to the light. The Hawker Battery System is the layout on the right.


cabasner
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Posted: Monday, January 28, 2019 - 02:06 PM UTC
Thanks Timothy and Gino. I have some additional detail questions, though.

Does anyone know when the first M1A1 AIM tanks were fielded? In the M1A1 AIM Dragon kit, an APU was included in the kit (3535), but none of the M1A1s I've seen (mostly the April 2003 Thunder Run tanks) appeared to have APUs. Assuming the lack of APUs on the Thunder Run tanks, can I presume that the M1A1s had to run their main engines for any kind of aux power?

Now, as Gino has so nicely noted, the M1A2 had/have an APU, and M1A2 SEP tanks had/have a VCU. So, presumably, the RM-5007 kit is another incomplete kit (at least when stating that it can build an M1A2 tank), because it does not appear to have an APU. Correct? And, is it correct to say that an M1A2 could have a Hawker battery system instead of the VCU or APU (so there would be no external indication of aux power on an M1A2, IF it had the batteries (but could have one of the 2 options for deck plates, as per Gino's illustration.

My head is beginning to hurt! Are there any complete lists of what M1A1, M1A1 AIM, M1A2, and M1A2 SEP had, as far as auxiliary power sources (and when those aux power options became available)?

Thanks again for these crazy questions!
HeavyArty
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Posted: Monday, January 28, 2019 - 03:31 PM UTC
The Rye Field M1A1/M1A2 kit (5007) has the turret basket APU as not used parts on the B sprue; B25, B26, B34, B37, B40, & B41. You have to build it yourself w/o instructions, but it is pretty easy to figure out.

For a straight M1A2, it would only have the turret basket mounted APU. UUAPU and the Harker Battery System were not introduced until the M1A2 SEP.

I'm not sure when AIM tanks started being fielded, but most of the tanks in 3 ID during OIF 1 were M1A1HC (Heavy Common) tanks, pre AIM. Most were originally fitted with turret basket APUs, but many of them broke down. The crews dumped them in exchange for the extra storage space.


Quoted Text

I presume that the M1A1s had to run their main engines for any kind of aux power?



Yes, we went through a lot of fuel since they had to run the main engine most of the time to keep the batteries charged.
cabasner
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Posted: Tuesday, January 29, 2019 - 12:52 AM UTC
Great info, Gino! Many thanks!
Tankrider
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Posted: Tuesday, January 29, 2019 - 10:49 AM UTC

Quoted Text


Does anyone know when the first M1A1 AIM tanks were fielded?

Are there any complete lists of what M1A1, M1A1 AIM, M1A2, and M1A2 SEP had, as far as auxiliary power sources (and when those aux power options became available)?



Curt,
M1A1 tanks that went through the AIM Program began being fielded to the force in the early 2000's - I want to say in 2000 or 2001 to the two divisions stationed in Germany - 1st Armored and 1st Infantry Divisions. Both Divisions deployed AIMs to Iraq, with 1st AD in 2003 and 1st ID in 2004. I deployed in 2005 with 3ID and we drew M1A1 HAs from stores in Kuwait, from the former APS Afloat stocks vice shipping the pretty much ragged out M1A1 HCs that were at Ft Stewart, Georgia.

External Auxiliary Power Units (EAPU) that were mounted in the turret bustle racks of the M1A1 family (M1A1 HA, HC & AIM) and the M1A2 in the mid 90's.

Under Armor Auxiliary Power Units (UAAPU) M1A2SEPs from 1999-2000. All have had the UAAPU removed and converted to Hawker batteries.: The M1A1.

John

M4A1Sherman
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Posted: Tuesday, January 29, 2019 - 11:11 AM UTC
HOLY CATS!!! Gino and John are the "Go To-Guys" when it comes to Modern US Equipment!!!

PS- Mike "165th', too!!!
razor500
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Posted: Tuesday, January 29, 2019 - 12:39 PM UTC
For the early M1A1 Common and M1 you can use the HOB APU, which hung on the right rear of the hull. They were in common use until at at least 99 in 1ATB to provide power without having to run the turbine. They are included in the older M1A1 Tamiya kits. We only used them in the motor pool however as they would get torn up in the field.
razor500
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Posted: Tuesday, January 29, 2019 - 12:51 PM UTC
The Dragon AIM kit includes the parts to build the older M1A1HC used on the Thunder Run. Ditch the extra antenna mounts, Boxes on the back (field phone etc). Use the earlier model hatches and blow out panels. Lose the GPS antenna. Also lose the APU. Keep the add on bustle rack. Also either the T158 or T158LL track can be used.

cabasner
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Posted: Tuesday, January 29, 2019 - 02:10 PM UTC

Quoted Text

The Dragon AIM kit includes the parts to build the older M1A1HC used on the Thunder Run. Ditch the extra antenna mounts, Boxes on the back (field phone etc). Use the earlier model hatches and blow out panels. Lose the GPS antenna. Also lose the APU. Keep the add on bustle rack. Also either the T158 or T158LL track can be used.




Thanks, Steve. Looks like you're new here...welcome aboard! I've built several Thunder Run M1A1s, with the exact changes you mention. I used the Dragon 3535 kit for them!
cabasner
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Posted: Tuesday, January 29, 2019 - 02:37 PM UTC

Quoted Text

HOLY CATS!!! Gino and John are the "Go To-Guys" when it comes to Modern US Equipment!!!

PS- Mike "165th', too!!!



Agreed!! Thanks to John and Gino!

I did check that the APU parts are in the RM-5007 kit, as Gino stated. It turns out that the kit also has the Vapor Compressor Unit and the instructions say that the VCU is supposed to be in the turret bustle rack, which is, per Gino's posts, incorrect. The VCU is supposed to be for the M1A2 SEP, and the SEP is not one of the (at least stated) options of this kit, even though the instructions for the M1A2 tell you to put the VCU in place instead of the APU. Perhaps you can actually make an M1A2 SEP if you remove part E4, which is the power 'conduit' from the APU to the turret, which the instructions say you do NOT install for the M1A2.

In addition, the instructions actually do tell you how to put the APU together (in item I on page 10). The other instruction oddity is that they say that part E4, the power 'conduit' from the APU to the turret, is NOT to be used for the M1A2. I'm guessing that has to be wrong, because the M1A2 DOES use the APU, as per Gino. Maybe the 'conduit' wouldn't be used for an M1A2 SEP. In fact, assuming the Dragon kit 3536, the M1A2 SEP, is accurate, and whose instructions I just checked, DOES NOT have the conduit, but DOES have the VCU. So, the RM-5007 instructions need a little tweaking to build a non-SEP M1A2, and they apparently COULD be changed (added to) to build an M1A2 SEP.

I've probably confused EVERYBODY by now. But, if you could follow all my run-on text above, am I all wet, or am I correct?
cabasner
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Posted: Tuesday, January 29, 2019 - 03:29 PM UTC
Hey all,

One more thing I just noticed about an M1A2 SEP. Looking further into/at the Dragon M1A2 SEP kit instructions, it looks like there is a set of pieces UNDER the bustle rack that lead from under the VCU to the turret. I'm guessing that this must be the connection between the VCU and the turret. Assuming that to be the case, then the RM-5007, which I thought might be able to be built into an M1A2 SEP with only (possibly unused) kit parts), might not be able to built into the SEP, due to the lack of those parts (the Dragon parts I'm talking about are W1, W2, W3, W4, W12, W20 and W23 in step 20 of the Dragon kit 3536 instructions. - Correction...the Rye Field RM-5007 DOES have those parts, but instead of the 7 parts in the Dragon kit, that 'connector' is in 2 parts, E81 and E82 on page 14. Again, these look like M1A2 SEP parts, not non-SEP M1A2 parts.

And, the Dragon M1A2 SEP has the same 2 rear deck covers that Gino showed for the Meng kit. For the Dragon 3536, the Under Armor APU hatches are on part W14, and the Hawker battery hatches are part W8.

For the Rye Field RM-5007, the rear hull hatches include the Hawker battery cover (Part B14 on Step 25 on page 26). The alternate cover is part B15 but it does not look like the UAAPU cover shown for the Meng and Dragon kits. Perhaps that hatch cover is for the M1A1 - yep, just verified that that cover is the cover for an M1A1 (per the Dragon 3535 M1A1 AIM kit), and that hatch, presumably is the same for the M1A1 (non-AIM). So, if you're going to build an M1A2 SEP from RM-5007, your only choice will be for a tank that has the Hawker batteries, and not the UAAPU.

Whew...getting tired of all this verifying!
HeavyArty
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Posted: Wednesday, January 30, 2019 - 12:45 AM UTC
Yup, you are all over it Curt. The Rye Field kit can be pretty much made into any M1A1-M1A2-M1A2 SEP variant with the parts in the box, you just have to sort them all out. It even has the HOB (Hang On Back) APU that Steve mentions on the same B sprue area as the turret basket APU parts. As a note, the HOB APU was only used in limited numbers and mainly stateside in the late '80s to about ODS-timeframe. Some units deployed with them to Saudi for ODS.

Good luck.
seanmcandrews
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Posted: Wednesday, January 30, 2019 - 02:25 AM UTC
Thanks Gino, was puzzling about what HOB meant.

Sean
razor500
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Posted: Wednesday, January 30, 2019 - 06:45 AM UTC
The HOB APUs were used by 2/13 and 2/81 AR at Ft Knox until at least 99. They were a PITA to mount and dismount every cycle before we took the tanks to the field. Great to have in the winter when the batteris turned into slushies. You could use a CUCV to slave start them from the tanks receptacle.

If you model them with the battery box open, run 2 thick wires from the rear bulkhead of the battery box to the positive and negative terminals on the bus bar. The positive wire has red tape at the terminal. Pre 93 tanks have metal bus bars in the battery box. Post 93 the metal bus bars were removed and much safer cables were installed. For the tanks build a 1991 ODS tank with the T156 track or a slick M1.

cabasner
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Posted: Wednesday, January 30, 2019 - 02:11 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Yup, you are all over it Curt. The Rye Field kit can be pretty much made into any M1A1-M1A2-M1A2 SEP variant with the parts in the box, you just have to sort them all out. It even has the HOB (Hang On Back) APU that Steve mentions on the same B sprue area as the turret basket APU parts. As a note, the HOB APU was only used in limited numbers and mainly stateside in the late '80s to about ODS-timeframe. Some units deployed with them to Saudi for ODS.

Good luck.



Gino,

I am really thankful for all your info and encouragement. I now know I've got lots more options than I even thought I had!!
cabasner
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Posted: Wednesday, January 30, 2019 - 02:13 PM UTC

Quoted Text

The HOB APUs were used by 2/13 and 2/81 AR at Ft Knox until at least 99. They were a PITA to mount and dismount every cycle before we took the tanks to the field. Great to have in the winter when the batteris turned into slushies. You could use a CUCV to slave start them from the tanks receptacle.

If you model them with the battery box open, run 2 thick wires from the rear bulkhead of the battery box to the positive and negative terminals on the bus bar. The positive wire has red tape at the terminal. Pre 93 tanks have metal bus bars in the battery box. Post 93 the metal bus bars were removed and much safer cables were installed. For the tanks build a 1991 ODS tank with the T156 track or a slick M1.




Steve,

Not having been a tank guy, your descriptions, while extremely detailed, don't help much without some kind of photo or other visual. I'd love to see at least an illustration of those bus bars and the wire connections you describe.
seanmcandrews
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Posted: Thursday, January 31, 2019 - 02:25 AM UTC
Hi Curt,
I'm guessing this is the later cabled setup he describes

http://www.toadmanstankpictures.com/m1a1_abrams_65.jpg

Sean
cabasner
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Posted: Thursday, January 31, 2019 - 03:15 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Hi Curt,
I'm guessing this is the later cabled setup he describes

http://www.toadmanstankpictures.com/m1a1_abrams_65.jpg

Sean



Sean, I think you're right! MANY THANKS!!
Majekm
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Posted: Friday, February 01, 2019 - 07:21 AM UTC
Hello everyone,

Speaking of RFM Abrams kits, none of the RFM 5007 ones had the J sprue (the one with VCU) when I bought them at the beginning of 2017. RFM were kind enough to send them to me later.

Did the later batches have any other inprovements/additions?

Also, I remember that the original 3-in-1 5004 kit had some sprues retooled in later revisions. I think commander's cupola was enlarged. Does anyone remember what other improvements were made? And if the improved parts were then used in the 5007 and later kits from the beginning?

Many thanks in advance!
Majek
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Posted: Friday, February 01, 2019 - 07:31 AM UTC
in the first picture, is that black round item to the left of the sprocket the base of an expended 120mm round?
HeavyArty
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Posted: Friday, February 01, 2019 - 07:57 AM UTC

Quoted Text

in the first picture, is that black round item to the left of the sprocket the base of an expended 120mm round?



Yes it is.

system
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Posted: Friday, February 01, 2019 - 08:35 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Hello everyone,

Speaking of RFM Abrams kits, none of the RFM 5007 ones had the J sprue (the one with VCU) when I bought them at the beginning of 2017. RFM were kind enough to send them to me later.

Did the later batches have any other inprovements/additions?

Also, I remember that the original 3-in-1 5004 kit had some sprues retooled in later revisions. I think commander's cupola was enlarged. Does anyone remember what other improvements were made? And if the improved parts were then used in the 5007 and later kits from the beginning?

Many thanks in advance!
Majek



Hi Majek,

1. Yes, RFM eventually got around to adding the missing J sprue with the VCU. I have two boxings of this kit; in the first one it's missing; in the second it's in there. I have no idea how you know which one you're ordering without peeking inside.

2. Yes, RFM did a lot of retooling of their original 3-in-1 TUSK kit (2004) after it was issued and the retooled parts found their way into all the subsequent kits. IIRC Pawel Krupowicz advised them. The M1A2 cupola was enlarged and updated to represent the later type; the M1A1 cupola hatch opening was made more accurate in shape; there were a bunch of detail changes, for example to the .50cal ammo feed parts; the track end connectors were improved; and a number of other tweaks. RFM did a good job on improving their Abrams. Also...

3. A lot of the improvements found their way back into the later issues of 5004 TUSK 3-in-1 kit. Again, I have two of this kit and they have different parts. The later one has all the changes above, plus more accurate belly armour, improved parts for the TUSK shields around the M1A1 cupola, and probably a couple of other tweaks.

Long story short, RFM made a lot of improvements to their M1 in the course of production, but it's hard to tell which parts are in which box.
Majekm
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Posted: Friday, February 01, 2019 - 08:58 AM UTC

Quoted Text


Quoted Text

Hello everyone,

Speaking of RFM Abrams kits, none of the RFM 5007 ones had the J sprue (the one with VCU) when I bought them at the beginning of 2017. RFM were kind enough to send them to me later.

Did the later batches have any other inprovements/additions?

Also, I remember that the original 3-in-1 5004 kit had some sprues retooled in later revisions. I think commander's cupola was enlarged. Does anyone remember what other improvements were made? And if the improved parts were then used in the 5007 and later kits from the beginning?

Many thanks in advance!
Majek



Hi Majek,

1. Yes, RFM eventually got around to adding the missing J sprue with the VCU. I have two boxings of this kit; in the first one it's missing; in the second it's in there. I have no idea how you know which one you're ordering without peeking inside.

2. Yes, RFM did a lot of retooling of their original 3-in-1 TUSK kit (2004) after it was issued and the retooled parts found their way into all the subsequent kits. IIRC Pawel Krupowicz advised them. The M1A2 cupola was enlarged and updated to represent the later type; the M1A1 cupola hatch opening was made more accurate in shape; there were a bunch of detail changes, for example to the .50cal ammo feed parts; the track end connectors were improved; and a number of other tweaks. RFM did a good job on improving their Abrams. Also...

3. A lot of the improvements found their way back into the later issues of 5004 TUSK 3-in-1 kit. Again, I have two of this kit and they have different parts. The later one has all the changes above, plus more accurate belly armour, improved parts for the TUSK shields around the M1A1 cupola, and probably a couple of other tweaks.

Long story short, RFM made a lot of improvements to their M1 in the course of production, but it's hard to tell which parts are in which box.



Thank you, Ed! Much appreciated. I wish there was a complete list of what to look for.

Do you know if the 5007 and later kits contain all the improvements, even the initial batches (except for the J sprue)?

Thanks!