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For all ground-operating modelling subjects.
External differences -- M113A1 and A2?
khurasanminiatures
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United States
Joined: March 09, 2011
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Posted: Sunday, March 22, 2015 - 07:23 PM UTC
Hi, I'm wondering if any Track aficionados can give me some pointers on the main external appearance differences between the M113A1 and A2.

I think the suspension was slightly higher on the A2? Also there were external fuel tanks (on the sides of the rear ramp) and smoke grenade launchers. Anything else? Thanks.
Frenchy
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Rhone, France
Joined: December 02, 2002
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Posted: Sunday, March 22, 2015 - 08:04 PM UTC
AFAIK, the external armored fuel tanks located on each side of rear ramp are a A3 feature (even though EAFTs are/were fitted to M113A2-based variants like the M981 and some foreign A2's as well )...The A2 has one extra shock absorber per side (on the second roadwheel).

The exhaust pipes are another giveway :

A1 type (the pictured one is a from a M113 FSV ) :

http://svsm.org/albums/M113A1FSV/IMGP0525.jpg

A2 type :

http://data3.primeportal.net/apc/dan_hay/m113a1/images/m113a1_062_of_132.jpg

You can compare these two walkarounds for more differences :

http://svsm.org/gallery/m113a1
http://www.primeportal.net/apc/carl_dennis/m113a2/

More info here :

http://www.inetres.com/gp/military/cv/inf/M113_variants.html

http://afvdb.50megs.com/usa/m113.html

H.P.
khurasanminiatures
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Posted: Saturday, April 04, 2015 - 10:58 PM UTC
Belated thanks for that. In looking at your exhaust pipe pics it looks like the A1's exhaust grill on the front starboard deck of the vehicle went right up to the edge of the vehicle, whereas it didn't on the A2. Is that the case on all A1s and A2s?
HeavyArty
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Florida, United States
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Posted: Saturday, April 04, 2015 - 11:02 PM UTC
Yes, the grills on the engine deck are different as you note.
BruceJ8365
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Kansas, United States
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Posted: Saturday, April 04, 2015 - 11:23 PM UTC
It needs confirmation but I think the A2 uses a steering wheel while the previous variants used the two control levers.

Maybe I'm thinking of an even later variant...
HeavyArty
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Florida, United States
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Posted: Saturday, April 04, 2015 - 11:28 PM UTC

Quoted Text

It needs confirmation but I think the A2 uses a steering wheel while the previous variants used the two control levers.



The M113A2 still uses steering laterals. It is the A3 that uses a steering yoke (similar to an aircraft yoke, not really a wheel).

M113A1/A2 steering laterals.



M113A3 steering yoke.

Vodnik
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Warszawa, Poland
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Posted: Sunday, April 05, 2015 - 12:06 AM UTC
The easiest way to recognize whether you are looking at M113A1 or M113A2 is to look at the track above the fifth road wheel. If the track rests on the wheel and then goes almost horizontally to the idler, you are looking at M113A1 (or even M113). If the track "hangs" about one inch above the fifth road wheel and goes back slightly upward toward the idler wheel, you are looking at M113A2 (or M113A3, but there is a lot of other features that make recognizing M113A3 easy). The reason for this difference is that in M113A2 the ground clearance was increased (by one inch - so the road wheels are lower, relative to the hull) and idler wheel raised (by two inches), so the tops of idler and road wheels are no longer at the same height, as they were in M113/M113A1. Now there is 3 inch difference, what is quite noticeable.
Of course my way of recognizing versions only works with in-service vehicles with proper track tension, and it is difficult to notice on vehicles with side skirts attached (although it still is possible by wheel positions relative to the skirt bottom edge, just not that easy).

Compare these pics:

M113A1:



M113A2:



By the way, all available M113 kits have A1 type suspension - even those that are supposed to be A2 or A3 (just adding the additional shock absorber is not enough, as you can see).
long_tom
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Illinois, United States
Joined: March 18, 2006
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Posted: Sunday, April 05, 2015 - 07:45 AM UTC

Quoted Text


By the way, all available M113 kits have A1 type suspension - even those that are supposed to be A2 or A3 (just adding the additional shock absorber is not enough, as you can see).



What? I am shocked, SHOCKED! Not.
CorvetteK225
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Pennsylvania, United States
Joined: June 27, 2016
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Posted: Sunday, May 10, 2020 - 05:46 PM UTC
I know I'm quite late to the thread, but the information is pertinent for future readers all-the-same:

M113A2/A3 track tension must be adjusted after the vehicle comes to a "coasting" stop. I have seen many tracks look to be out of proper tension both due to actually being so, as well as how they came to a stop in combination with the terrain they were parked on. Here is a link to the Army's PS magazine on the tool to use and how to do it:
logsa.army.mil/psmag/archives/PS2015/747/747-05.pdf

God, I miss my track...
trickymissfit
Joined: October 03, 2007
KitMaker: 1,307 posts
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Posted: Monday, May 11, 2020 - 12:13 PM UTC

Quoted Text

The easiest way to recognize whether you are looking at M113A1 or M113A2 is to look at the track above the fifth road wheel. If the track rests on the wheel and then goes almost horizontally to the idler, you are looking at M113A1 (or even M113). If the track "hangs" about one inch above the fifth road wheel and goes back slightly upward toward the idler wheel, you are looking at M113A2 (or M113A3, but there is a lot of other features that make recognizing M113A3 easy). The reason for this difference is that in M113A2 the ground clearance was increased (by one inch - so the road wheels are lower, relative to the hull) and idler wheel raised (by two inches), so the tops of idler and road wheels are no longer at the same height, as they were in M113/M113A1. Now there is 3 inch difference, what is quite noticeable.
Of course my way of recognizing versions only works with in-service vehicles with proper track tension, and it is difficult to notice on vehicles with side skirts attached (although it still is possible by wheel positions relative to the skirt bottom edge, just not that easy).

Compare these pics:

M113A1:



M113A2:



By the way, all available M113 kits have A1 type suspension - even those that are supposed to be A2 or A3 (just adding the additional shock absorber is not enough, as you can see).



to add to this:

it was not uncommon to see an M113a2 with the M113a3 gas tanks up north, anyway. Never paid much attention to them, as they were big targets to stay away from. But my brother inlaw was a TC with the 1st of the 1st Armored Cav in 68 and 69. He showed me a picture of his track with a 50cal case nailed into it. This was to seal a 51cal bullet hole! He said they installed them before he got there, and never fixed the bullet hole! Asked him where he took the hit, and it was a thousand yards north of my base camp! Told him, I could have told you to stay outta there! I've seen ACAV's with factory trim vanes. sheets of plywood, and the later ones installed.
gary
HeavyArty
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Florida, United States
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Posted: Monday, May 11, 2020 - 12:20 PM UTC

Quoted Text

...it was not uncommon to see an M113a2 with the M113a3 gas tanks up north, anyway.



Sorry, Gary, but you are mistaken here. The M113A3 was not fielded until 1987. None were in Vietnam. The M113A3 fuel tanks we are talking about are the external tanks that extend past the rear of the track.

M113A3

RobinNilsson
Staff MemberTOS Moderator
KITMAKER NETWORK
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Stockholm, Sweden
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Posted: Monday, May 11, 2020 - 05:33 PM UTC

Quoted Text


Quoted Text

...it was not uncommon to see an M113a2 with the M113a3 gas tanks up north, anyway.



Sorry, Gary, but you are mistaken here. The M113A3 was not fielded until 1987. None were in Vietnam. The M113A3 fuel tanks we are talking about are the external tanks that extend past the rear of the track.

M113A3




and the M113A2 with the external fuel tanks came somewhere around 1979? Well after the Vietnam war had finished ...


Was there a noticeable change in the appearance of the internal fuel tank between gasoline powered M113 and diesel powered M113 A1?
Vodnik
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Warszawa, Poland
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Posted: Monday, May 11, 2020 - 06:26 PM UTC

Quoted Text



and the M113A2 with the external fuel tanks came somewhere around 1979? Well after the Vietnam war had finished ...


M113A2 APC in the US Army service never carried external fuel tanks. They were capable of it, but it was never done. M113A3 was the first APC version used by the US Army to use external fuel tanks.

Please note that I write specifically about APCs, as some specialized variants based on M113A2 did have external tanks in US Army, but not basic APCs.

But yes, M113A2 entered service after the Vietnam War.
trickymissfit
Joined: October 03, 2007
KitMaker: 1,307 posts
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Posted: Tuesday, May 12, 2020 - 10:08 AM UTC

Quoted Text


Quoted Text

...it was not uncommon to see an M113a2 with the M113a3 gas tanks up north, anyway.



Sorry, Gary, but you are mistaken here. The M113A3 was not fielded until 1987. None were in Vietnam. The M113A3 fuel tanks we are talking about are the external tanks that extend past the rear of the track.

M113A3




the gas tanks on the back of his track were different than the photo you posted. Maybe some retrofit; I don't know. Next time he calls, I'll have him send a copy of the track in email. The tanks were about 2/3rds the size, and you could tell by paint alone that they were newer than the hull.
gary
nikon1
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Kansas, United States
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Posted: Tuesday, May 12, 2020 - 11:06 AM UTC
The antennae guards on the A2 are more angular or Vee shaped rather than more rounded or U shaped as on the A1 variant.
Cheers
Charlie