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M151A1 Military Mini-Muscle

This is a discussion on M151A1 Military Mini-Muscle within the Classic Muscle forums, part of the Vehicle Specific category; I have been hounding my youngest brother to get another project to work on. He went from running dirt track ...

  1. #1
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    '02 WS.6 / '07 Suburban

    M151A1 Military Mini-Muscle

    I have been hounding my youngest brother to get another project to work on. He went from running dirt track cars, to motocross, to street bikes and then after selling his Buell and Yamaha really had nothing to tinker on. I was kind of hoping that he would get a car that he could join us at the track with. A few weeks ago, he asked if I could hook up the trailer and go get his next project. It wasn't exactly what I was expecting, but after checking it out I think it is going to be a cool restoration that he will have a lot of fun with. The project is a late 1960's MUTT (Military Unit Tactical Truck) M151 A1 that was most likely built by Ford Motor Company.

    Apparently, when the military auctions these off, they had to be cut into four (4) pieces before they could be taken off base. An individual about an hour east of here that owns a military surplus store purchased around 40 of these back in the 1980's. This was one of the two he has remaining in his possession. He had started to braze the the vehicle back together, but didn't get too far on re-assembly. The odometer shows something like 9,000 miles, and from the look of things, it is possible that is correct. The entire construction of the MUTT is rather interesting. One thing that stands out is the fact that the front and rear differentials are interchangeable as they have pinions in the front and the rear of the housing. The entire charging system, including spark plugs, is run in braided conduit with molex connectors. Each wheel hub has a bracket that allows the MUTT to be easily airlifted or picked up with a crane for shipping. The grill slats run horizontal rather than vertical so as not to infringe on Jeep's design. The suspension is designed for pure off road and these early versions are known to be quite easy to overturn. Changes were made in 1969 to alleviate this problem. The engine is a straight 4 that has around 65 horsepower funneled through a 4 speed transmission. Top speed is 55 mph.












    After trailering it home, my brother wasted no time in tearing it down. He welded up mounting tubes for the front and rear and constructed a rotisserie is his garage in order to gain better access to the body. His plan is to get the body back together and everything starightened out before beginning the restoration process on the subassemblies. He has also started the hunt for parts and information and it appears that there is a decent market for items. I plan on looking at Carlisle in a few weeks as we have almost always stumbled upon military items there.





















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    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    Very cool. Don't tell anyone, but my wife and I have a secret passion for old military vehicles. I'd love to have one of those bigger trucks with 3 axles (name escapes me) to just drive around town everywhere.
    I'd also like to find a military GM pickup truck or Blazer from the 70's, they are stout pieces. Good luck on the build.

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    Thanks, FBJ. It is going to be an interesting project. The simplicity of things should make it go a lot faster than what I am accustomed to. One thing on the vehicle that has me totally stumped is the brake master cylinder. I can find no method for adding fluid to the system. The cylinder sits up high under the dash, there is no access port, no cap, no external reservoir... I am stumped.

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    Member sjgreen6's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pajeff02 View Post
    Thanks, FBJ. It is going to be an interesting project. The simplicity of things should make it go a lot faster than what I am accustomed to. One thing on the vehicle that has me totally stumped is the brake master cylinder. I can find no method for adding fluid to the system. The cylinder sits up high under the dash, there is no access port, no cap, no external reservoir... I am stumped.
    Check out this web site for access to the original Technical Manuals for your jeep library m151 publication maintenance manual tm-2320-218 tm 9-2320-251

    I took a quick look in TM 9-2320-218-10 Mar 83 and found the instruction for checking the brake fluid.
    Attachment 24038

    I learned how to drive a stick in basic training in 1982 on these things. Fun to drive off road but be very careful as they tend to like to flip over in corners due to the independent suspension in the rear.

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    Thanks! We have read a few articles that detail their stability issues and the fixes that went into the replacement model. I'll be sure to look up the brake fluid check procedure.

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    Senior Member tatertot91's Avatar
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    Had the pleasure of riding around a few canadian army jeeps a few years ago, construction looks very similar
    Wish i had something like that to cruise around town in, they were a blast. Should be a cool restoration and really looking forward to seeing the progress.



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    Those are certainly interesting looking. Any idea who made them?

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    Senior Member tatertot91's Avatar
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    They were made by bombardier, really fun to ride around in and it crept up some extremely steep hills on the property we were on. Below 1st gear was an even lower gear just for crawling up steep inclines. Just looked it up, it's called a bombardier lltis, youtube came up with a bunch of videos. Kinda making me want one haha

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    silver
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    Duce and half.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Firebirdjones View Post
    Very cool. Don't tell anyone, but my wife and I have a secret passion for old military vehicles. I'd love to have one of those bigger trucks with 3 axles (name escapes me) to just drive around town everywhere.
    I'd also like to find a military GM pickup truck or Blazer from the 70's, they are stout pieces. Good luck on the build.
    Deuce and a half..?

    Cool stuff Jeff!

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    Senior Member REVNORR82's Avatar
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    silver
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    That's one with 3 axels

    Sent from my DROID BIONIC using Tapatalk 2

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    Senior Member tatertot91's Avatar
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    Any progress on this thing Jeff?

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    He has welded and reinforced the rear frame rails and fixed the alignment of the rear body panels, made a trip up to see a guy who is also into these things and came home with a pile of parts for it. Right now, he is drawing up the dash panel so he can build a replacement at work rather than piecing this one back together. He also has a line on side panels for the body and is considering a set rather than fixing what he has. I need to get my camera down there and will post up some pics of the progress.

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    Senior Member tatertot91's Avatar
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    Please do when you have time. I love restoration projects like this.

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    My brother is now well into the fabrication work on the Jeep -- started by reinforcing the frame rails that run down the center of the unibody, patched a few areas and began the process of rebuilding the passenger compartment and dash panel. Lots of rusted metal cut away and new stuff going on in its place. The new dash panel, floor pans and battery box were all custom fabricated. So far, no commercial or used replacement pieces are being utilized.




























    These two shots show the dash panel that was removed by drilling all the spot welds and its replacement:







    At some point, the engine and transmission will be heading up to my garage for inspection and to repair of any obvious issues. We'll then get the engine running and see how things check out. Absent any major issues, gaskets will be replaced and it'll then be cleaned up and painted. Probably have to fabricate some sort of stand so that we can perform the necessary work and then run it on.

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    this is pretty awsome i like old stuff so yea...whats paint plans if you guys have thought ahead that far? standard military camo? top it off with a browning mounted on the pass side haha

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    Thanks, Jon.

    I don't believe he has decided on a color -- I am a fan of the olive drab look, so we'll see what happens.

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    Former Mopar Man 2002ssslp's Avatar
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    Nice project. It should run great with an LS2 and a T-56 trans in it. lol
    My ride is a 2002 Camaro SS SLP #3296 with 30k, LTH, 3" Y, CME, Frost tune, K&N, ported TB, Blackwing lid, Bellows, MSD, Denso Iridium, and 85mm MAF, Bilsteins, Eibach springs, SLP strut brace, Adj. Panhard, TA Girdle, UMI, Pro 5.0, Nitto NT555
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    Senior Member tatertot91's Avatar
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    Glad to see the progress on this thing. Looks like it's gonna be a hell of a nice ride when he's done

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