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M54 in Iraq?
Denimo
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Posted: Tuesday, April 16, 2019 - 09:44 AM UTC
I found a pic of an M54, nicknamed "Heartless Wonder" in desert camo. So off I went and bought AFV's kit and the Voyager pe set.

My question is, does anyone know where and how these were used in Sandy Spots?

Thanks Guys
Frenchy
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Posted: Tuesday, April 16, 2019 - 10:00 AM UTC
Are you sure it's a M54 and not a M809 series truck ?

https://armorama.kitmaker.net/modules.php?op=modload&name=SquawkBox&file=index&req=viewtopic&topic_id=268612&page=1

Here's a M809 truck used during Operation Desert Storm :



H.P.
HeavyArty
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Posted: Tuesday, April 16, 2019 - 10:39 AM UTC
I agree with Frenchy. I saw some M800 series trucks in Iraq when I was there, but no M54 series trucks.
RobinNilsson
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Posted: Tuesday, April 16, 2019 - 11:06 AM UTC

Note that the far side headlight is almost hidden by
the edge of the grille since the headlights are recessed a lot more on the M809 than the M54.
On this M54 both headlights are equally visible


The designs of the grilles are different.
The M54 has a straight grille and the M809 has an angled grille.
This can be difficult to see from the front. The pattern of the bars in the grilles are also different.
The front edge of the M54 hood is straight:

and the M809 hood has cut back corners (is the hood longer as well so that the cut back corners actually match the M54 hood??)




Note how the front edge of the grille is further forward on the M809. The M54 grille is in line with the point where the engine covers end on the fenders. The M809 goes forward a bit.

Many images out there on the internet are labeled incorrectly, saying that M809's are M54's ....
/ Robin

Edit

M809 brushguard showing the angled design.

Thanks to Frenchy for pointing out the most obvious way to distinguish between the M54 and M809. I forgot about that one, duh ....
See below
Frenchy
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Posted: Tuesday, April 16, 2019 - 05:53 PM UTC
On the M809 series trucks, the air filter is usually fitted to the left front fender.

EDIT : you're welcome Robin

Here are some M818 tractor trucks in Iraq :



H.P.
JavierDeLuelmo
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Posted: Tuesday, April 16, 2019 - 08:48 PM UTC
There were still a good number of M800 series beast in use in Iraq. Even some could be seen in Afghanistan.

The M800 hood is longer than the M54 one. The headlights remain in the original place, but the longer hood, new radiator position and angled grill make these to look more recessed.

With just a tiny bit of extra investment AFV Club could release an M800 series. Surprisingly Legend has not jumped on this by marketing a conversion set, I'm sure it would be a good seller.
RobinNilsson
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Posted: Tuesday, April 16, 2019 - 10:19 PM UTC
Weeellll .....
There is the M800 cab conversion by Real Model ....

I have heard that their "Quality Control" could need some improvement .....
It is a bit hit-and-miss .....
/ Robin

Edit: See customer review below
grunt26
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Posted: Tuesday, April 16, 2019 - 11:00 PM UTC
BEWARE!!!
I have that Real Model M800 conversion, and mine was USELESS!! The wheels for the 800 series from RM were junk as well. Hopefully yours will be a better experience, but mine was absolute [auto-censored]e!
Removed by original poster on 04/17/19 - 11:49:26 (GMT).
Removed by original poster on 04/17/19 - 11:51:25 (GMT).
jvazquez
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Posted: Tuesday, April 16, 2019 - 11:52 PM UTC



Whats interesting about the 3rd photo in this group from the USMC in Lebanon 1982/83 is that the truck foreground is in fact an M54, but the ones in the back of the picture are M809s. The Marines at the time still appeared to utilize both, and this would have been right before they started started phasing all of these out and going to the M923 series of trucks.
jvazquez
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Posted: Tuesday, April 16, 2019 - 11:55 PM UTC





Thats awesome! I had no idea that the Army was still utilizing the M809 series into the 2000s. I presume this photo is from sometime from 2003 through maybe 2005 or so?
Frenchy
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Posted: Wednesday, April 17, 2019 - 12:18 AM UTC
I agree the last picture I've posted may be from the early stage of OIF.

Here's another OIF picture showing a M817 guntruck :


M809 series trucks were used in Afghanistan as well.

"A [M813A1 I guess] truck full of U.S. Army soldiers fords the Pech River in Pech Valley, Afghanistan, during operations on April 9, 2006. The soldiers are attached to Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment."


Full size

I believe the truck above may in fact belonged to the Afghan Army, as the driver seems to wear a ANA uniform...As far as I can tell

I've used the word "usually" in my previous post because the air filter location depends on the type of engine fitted : the M809 series trucks with the turbo conversion have the air cleaner moved to the right side fender :





H.P.
Bravo1102
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Posted: Wednesday, April 17, 2019 - 01:08 AM UTC
Reserve components had M54 into the early 1990s but those units that deployed to support Desert Storm were reequipped with M923 series.
2/102 armor NJNG still had two or three M54 series in 1992. One was so old it didn't have the filter on the fender or stacks.

The filters on either side and different grilles confused me. A five ton was a five ton. No one ever called one or the other by nomenclature.
RobinNilsson
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Posted: Wednesday, April 17, 2019 - 01:36 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Reserve components had M54 into the early 1990s but those units that deployed to support Desert Storm were reequipped with M923 series.
2/102 armor NJNG still had two or three M54 series in 1992. One was so old it didn't have the filter on the fender or stacks.

The filters on either side and different grilles confused me. A five ton was a five ton. No one ever called one or the other by nomenclature.



Only the maintenance crews really need to worry about what kind of truck it is. The "users" need a 5-ton and that is what they get

"In the late 1960s the US Army needed more 5-ton (4,536 kg) 6x6 trucks. Kaiser-Jeep developed an updated version of the M39 series which had been in service since 1951. The primary difference was the engine change to Cummins. The hood and grille were lengthened to make room for the longer engine and the lighting system was updated to meet new US safety regulations. All had an air cleaner on the left fender, a way to tell them from the earlier M39 series.

Kaiser-Jeep was awarded the M809-series contract DAAE06-69-C-0009 and built them during 1969 and into 1970. In February 1970, Kaiser-Jeep was purchased by American Motors Corporation and on March 26, 1970, Kaiser-Jeep was reorganized as the "Jeep Corporation." The South Bend facilities where the M809-series was being built subsequently became Jeep Corporation's "General Products Division." Just over a year later, on March 31, 1971, this General Products Division was spun off and became "AM-General," a wholly owned subsidiary of American Motors Corporation. In 1974, a new contract for the M809-series was awarded to AM General, DAAE07-74-C-0120. This contract covered trucks built over the next 5 years at least. AM-General built all M809-series trucks between 1971 and 1982. In 1982, the M809-series was then improved into the M939 series. The first 11,000 M939s were rebuilds of M809s."
/ Robin
Frenchy
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Posted: Wednesday, April 17, 2019 - 02:10 AM UTC
Side by side comparison :


The M54 has had a long career in the US forces. The M54A2 pictured at the bottom of the page below served with the 127th Aviation Support Battalion in 1996 :



H.P.
Denimo
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Posted: Wednesday, April 17, 2019 - 04:10 AM UTC

Quoted Text


Note that the far side headlight is almost hidden by
the edge of the grille since the headlights are recessed a lot more on the M809 than the M54.
On this M54 both headlights are equally visible


The designs of the grilles are different.
The M54 has a straight grille and the M809 has an angled grille.
This can be difficult to see from the front. The pattern of the bars in the grilles are also different.
The front edge of the M54 hood is straight:

and the M809 hood has cut back corners (is the hood longer as well so that the cut back corners actually match the M54 hood??)




Note how the front edge of the grille is further forward on the M809. The M54 grille is in line with the point where the engine covers end on the fenders. The M809 goes forward a bit.

Many images out there on the internet are labeled incorrectly, saying that M809's are M54's ....
/ Robin

Edit

M809 brushguard showing the angled design.

Thanks to Frenchy for pointing out the most obvious way to distinguish between the M54 and M809. I forgot about that one, duh ....
See below



So, from the info kindly provided above, I take it that first pic in Robin's post is of an M54? That's the same truck I mentioned in my post.
Frenchy
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Posted: Wednesday, April 17, 2019 - 06:19 AM UTC
"Heartless Wonder" is a M813A1 (looks like it's fitted with drop sides) :



H.P.
RobinNilsson
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Posted: Wednesday, April 17, 2019 - 08:13 AM UTC

Quoted Text


So, from the info kindly provided above, I take it that first pic in Robin's post is of an M54? That's the same truck I mentioned in my post.



Nope. Heartless Wonder has the aircleaner on the M809-side as well as the angled brushguard, deeply recessed headlights, extended hood and brushguard pattern of the M809 so it is not an M54 (actually an M813 as Frenchy points out).

I hope AFV-Club continues with the M54 track and eventually also the M809-series
/ Robin
Reforger-Victim
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Posted: Wednesday, April 17, 2019 - 05:40 PM UTC
All Real Model conversions are just crap.Better wait for AFV or Trumpeter to release 800er series..

Btw: the voyager pe set for m54 has some really, really small parts ..have fun using them .Most parts are not better than the kit s parts..some parts are nice to use
Denimo
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Posted: Friday, April 19, 2019 - 06:41 AM UTC

Quoted Text


Quoted Text


So, from the info kindly provided above, I take it that first pic in Robin's post is of an M54? That's the same truck I mentioned in my post.



Nope. Heartless Wonder has the aircleaner on the M809-side as well as the angled brushguard, deeply recessed headlights, extended hood and brushguard pattern of the M809 so it is not an M54 (actually an M813 as Frenchy points out).

I hope AFV-Club continues with the M54 track and eventually also the M809-series
/ Robin





Dammit. Anyone have a HobbyFan 5 ton Wrecker theyd swap for a brand new AFV 54?
Denimo
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Posted: Friday, April 19, 2019 - 06:52 AM UTC

Quoted Text

All Real Model conversions are just crap.Better wait for AFV or Trumpeter to release 800er series..

Btw: the voyager pe set for m54 has some really, really small parts ..have fun using them .Most parts are not better than the kit s parts..some parts are nice to use



Ive heard that alot. The RM OIF dump guntruck conversion is on the shelf and its a "measure 3 times, cut once type of thing" im told. No hurry as im doing GW1 equipment first.

I really hope Trumpeter or AFV bring out the 800 series (and a 923/5).

Is Voyager's stuff smaller than some of the parts on the M923 set? I' m looking to sell or trade the M54 kit as I bought it in error and I'll probably add the pe set in the sale .