M54a2 brake lines

Gentlemen. I’m Dave. Lifetime lurker, first time poster.
I’m posting in hopes that someone may be able to steer me in the right direction.
I am trying to learn how the brake and air lines were routed on this vehicle.
I am primarily concerned with frame rail to wheels.
I think I have exhausted my ability to research for myself, and thus turn to the “masters”-you all.
Any help will be greatly appreciated.
Thanks in advance.


Maybe you’ll find what you’re looking for in one of these TM’s



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Cant beat a bit of lurking … lol … welcome ex lurker :grin:

Boy Frenchy, those modern TMs seem to do everything possible to avoid actually using a photograph or a technical drawing so a GI might actually, possibly, maybe, LEARN something from them.

They are no fun. All they do is put me to sleep.

So typical - documents written by an egg head engineer who seems to forget that guys right out of high school with sometimes little to no practical experience have to understand them.

If a picture is worth a thousand words then these guys today must write a million words just to avoid using one photo!

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A very basic diagram. The M54 uses an air over hydraulic brake system, not an all-air brake system like the M900 series trucks. It is basically standard hydraulic brakes with air assist.

Gentlemen. I thank you, one and all, for your help, as well as your words of welcome.
I’ve lurked for so long I feel like I’m suddenly in the company of legends.
Frenchy, you are always the “firstest with the mostest”.
HeavyArty, I have found your knowledge and insight invaluable over the years.
165, I can’t argue with you there, and Johnny, thank you.
Thank you all.

First off, these manuals are not “modern”. I believe that they are updated versions of those written in the 1960s. Manuals written in the 21st century and published digitally often do use photographs in lieu of words and text.

And on the contrary, they are written for someone with less than a high school education. The previous manuals were too complex and contained too much extraneous information. Look at the manuals from WW I and the 1920s and 30s if you think these manuals have too high of a text-to illustration ratio. The TMs Frenchy linked to contain much less text than those written in the late 1940s and 1950s, and more, directly relevant, illustrations.

The driver of the vehicle needs to know how to operate and perform basic maintenance. They do not need to know about different types of brake fluid, friction coefficients, or fluid mechanics. More detailed information on the vehicle is covered in the -30 and -40 manuals. The theory of automotive vehicles is covered in general manuals and instruction courses.

Also, there is very little that can be done in the field to “repair” systems, so the philosophy is more one of replacement. Field units just don’t have the equipment - or time - to rebuild things or make new parts. Talking about that in an operations manual is noise.

The fact that those who are not working on a vehicle in front of them find them boring, or that they are unhelpful for detailing models, is not really relevant to the form or content of the manuals.



Well (IMHO) I will take a well illustrated WWII TM over most modern manuals any day and i imagine i will learn a whole lot more from them.
By “modern” I was referring to things from the 60s onward. Truly modern manuals seem to be returning more to the use of drawings but even these (again IMHO) convey far less information and are harder to understand that the TMs of the 50s & 50s.

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OK I am really not trying to be mean here but I can’t resist the humor in this. However it sounds like I am describing a 1940s manual that tells you how to adjust the valves, versus a 21st century manual that tells you not to drink the radiator fluid.

I have used both the 1940s and the 2015 manuals to yes, build scale models. But Kurt you know me, I will do what I can to really investigate how a vehicle works (as though I am really going to work on the real thing) before I get into the scale model. And my opinion here is I would far prefer to have a detailed 1940s style TM than these modern day documents any day!

It amazes me that given our youthful, modern day, short attention span society that anyone would try and write a sleeper publication like most of our modern military vehicle manuals. Also how many times do we need a page that only says [Page Left Blank Intentionally] ? I thought we were trying to SAVE paper there.

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Oh yeah, always loved those. I never drove or worked on trucks, so I can’t comment there, but I have some armored vehicle manuals from the 60s/70s that were illustrated with b/w photos. Later TMs used drawings, some being obviously copied over from the photos.