101-148

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Trailer EMEI

Information

ARN: 101-148
Nomenclature: Aust. Number 5 Trailer (aka ½ Ton Trailer)
Census: 6015G (old) 7800 (modern)
Chassis number: (as assembled in 1960's) 266 (originally with ARN 101-148 but now with ARN ???? after fleet reconditioning/rebuild)
Chassis number: (as assembled in 2014) 382 (originally with ARN 101-294 but now with ARN 101-148 after fleet reconditioning/rebuild)
DSN: 2320-66-049-4263

Introduction

We purchased the trailer (slightly used and around 50 years old), at an AFM Minto auction in 2014. It was in overall good condition. The design and contract was approved in 1964. Some trailers were made in 1964 and 1965 but the large majority of the trailers were delivered in 1966.
There is no need to think much about buying a Number 5: current prices are low. Just do it. Try to get a price from a tradie that is under $1000 all up to supply you something similar, fitted with a canvas cover, a electric connection to match your military Landy, and a pair of newish Michelin steel belted tyres as well. The ex-army trailers are a great value accessory when compared to a aluminium roof rack or a PTO winch for example.

Capacity And Weights

The official Army literature specifies an empty mass of 360kg (793pounds) including the canopy, canopy hoop, the tyres and wheel rims of course. The trailer is referred to a the "half-ton trailer" and it is designed to carry 500kg (1100pounds). Once the trailer is sold to the public it is subject to the Road Rules which specify that the trailer and its load shall not exceed 750kg (1653pounds) because no brakes are fitted to the trailer.
Now that many members of the public have purchased these military trailers there are more and more modified "half-tons" being seen on the road. The degree of modifications vary from the 'hard-to-spot' all the way to 'total rebuilds'. Some owners have unbolted the heavy steel trailer tub and fabricated different bodies to fit the chassis... and in doing this some more weights have been observed: weight without canopy and canopy hoop is 388kg (855pounds) and weight without the steel tub, i.e., the rolling chassis, is 249kg (549pounds). These measurements were made using a "Caravan Weight Control" unit (German made); see video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hdDDx25YZeo

Military Service

101-148 with 1ATF troops
According to AWM records 101-148 went over to Vung Tau on active service: Army file R553/5/4/42 has 101-148 listed onboard HMAS Jeparit coming back to Australia on the 14 November 1971. This was during the month-long withdrawal of the Australian Task Force from South Vietnam. It was listed as a 4RAR asset. 4RAR was the last Battalion to withdraw. 101-148 was unloaded at Townsville.

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Condition at Auction Sept 2014

On the negative side there was:

some surface rust where the paint was scratched or rubbed thin
some small rips and holes in the cam-pattern canopy
some damage and rust on the stop light protector/surround
the original rear indicator lights with circular glass lenses (1960's Lucas L488) had been removed and replaced with generic trailer indicator lights
the original rear loom is unprotected from rocks kicked up by the tyres of the vehicle which always seem to find their way to the rear light loom and cut a wire. I will have to re-do the rear loom and fit some cable protector
some slight bends in the canopy hoop
weight (empty) is 360kg (per EMEI H-110 Jan 93). It is designed (and A.D.E. tested) to carry 500kg of cargo which would mean a gross weight of 860kg. However, modern safety regulations state that trailers of a gross weight exceeding 750kg must have approved electric brakes fitted.

On the plus side:

it was certified road-worthy - in October 2015 I registered the trailer in the A.C.T.
it had been dismantled, sandblasted, rebuilt and repainted by the Army
it does not have bits of rod (to be used as tie down points for ratchet straps) welded in position on the tub floor corners. There are no grinding marks or other metal-work clues to indicate this tub had ever been fitted with the anchor points
it had near new tyres and the upgraded ROH wheel rims AYG8108 the same as the Perentie
the tub, the draw bar, chassis were straight
it had a Logbook with entries back to 1975. The pages are very old and fragile. Earlier info, for the decade 1964-1974, may be been recorded differently, such as single page inspections filed in a ring binder holding records for groups of trailers.

Gallery

Maintenance, Electrical, NATO plug

I obtained a spare NATO plug, Hella 12 pin, part ref 8JA 002 264-011 for the assembly, still available but costly.
Wiring arrangement of the NATO 12 pin - from info seen on line
Pins C & A & H are for 'Convoy' lighting (red wire with blue trace)
Pins B & I for 'Stop Light' (green wire with purple trace)
Pin D for ground/earth (black wire)
Pin L for ground/earth (black wire)
Pin E for 'Tail Light' aka 'Park Light' (red wire with orange trace)
Pin K for 'Auxiliary' (eg electric brake) (purple wire)
Pin F for 'Blackout' circuit (unknown colour)
Pin M for 'Indicator' aka 'Flasher', Lefthand (green wire with red trace)
Pin N for 'Indicator' aka 'Flasher', Righthand (green wire with white trace)
The NATO connector plug on the trailer was checked and it had no pin K and no pin F, i.e., the little K ('Auxiliary') and F ('Blackout') pins are missing. My trailer may or may not be 'as issued' in that detail.
The next step was to remove the old NATO trailer plug and investigate the wiring condition. The internal rubber bung that lifts, holds and separates the pins was stuck fast. It has two ridges of rubber that fit into grooves in the steel tube that is inside the plug.
I soaked the bung and pins for 24 hours with WD40. Then I wiggled it around but it didn't move. No progress.
I tried pushing the thick cable up into the NATO plug as hard as I could to push the bung out. No progress.
I got 4 old teaspoons with skinny handles and inserted them down the sides of the bung and put on more WD40. More wiggling. No progress.
I pushed with the teaspoon handles in as far as the second groove and wiggled them around. No progress.
I then used bullnose pliars to pull each pin through the bung. (I should have pushed and done it the opposite way, but anyway...) That made the bung less stiff and it was then simple work for the teaspoon handles to 'squish in' the bung and free it from the two grooves.
The next step was to check the wiring condition. All wires were soldered but all had varying degrees of contamination in the copper strands as you may expect. Each wire was then fitted with 10mm of heatshrink to simply identification; I got a permanent marker and marked each piece of heatshrink with its corresponding pin letter. Then I cut the wires to all the pins so I could remove the old bung and the plug (destined to be made into an adapter plug) and began fitting the new NATO plug on the old trailer cable. New cabling will have to wait. The plug was slipped down the trailer cable and out of the way for the 'setting up the pins into the bung job'. I soldered up fresh copper to the back of the pins - the corroded black copper was rubbed raw with 320 wet 'n dry paper.
I tested the connections with a multimeter. All good. Then I plugged the wired up/pinned up bung (still separate from the plug housing) into the vehicle NATO socket and checked the operation. Once that was done I pushed the bung down into place inside the NATO plug, squishing it down into place (carefully) using a piece of dowel that fitted between the pins. I place the dowel on the cement and placed the top of the dowel up into a gap between the pins and went around the outside circle of pins pushing down onto the rod. When I was happy I tightened up the ring clamp. All done.
The old NATO plug was then employed as an adapter-connector for flat 7 pin civilian trailer sockets.

Maintenance, Electrical, Indicator Lights

The original factory fitting was a pair of Lucas L488 amber glass Indicator lights. The L488 is a small light, originally fitted at the rears of the famous (and numerous) Morris Minor of the 1950's. The light lenses were roughly the diameter of a billiard ball with a stainless steel ring that held the lens in the mount. The lens was coloured glass. 'Made In England Lucas 488' was embossed on the lens which was held by a rubber lip and socket seal. (Asian suppliers are now selling replica glass lenses to fit the L488, 'Designed in England' -beware). I will fit the L488s when I re-do the trailer's rear loom and protect it. At the same time I may also lengthen the drawbar (a popular mod for good reason).
At some stage the Lucas L488 Indicator lights became non-available, non-economic, non-modern, or non-compliant and the ADF fitted Hella amber lens indicator lights to the rear chassis, Hella part 2100 (lens only is Hella part 2.6830.01), and in the last decade of service some trailers had a rectangular metal housing attached to each side of the rear of the tub chassis to fit the modern Hella combo lights, Hella part 2397. These Hella rear combo lights are very similar to the combo lights used on the rear of the Perentie (Hella part 2401) - the difference is that part 2401 has a reversing light in the center. (There is a Narva copy of the rear combo but it is a matter of 3mm different on the rear, the mounting bolts).

Maintenance, Electrical, Combo Stop/Tail/Number Plate Light

The original fitting was a pair of Lucas L488 red glass combined Stop and Tail lights. The L488 is a small light, originally fitted at the rears of the famous (and numerous) Morris Minor of the 1950's. The light lenses were roughly the diameter of a billiard ball with a stainless steel ring that held the lens in the mount. The lens was red coloured glass. 'Made In England Lucas 488' was embossed on the lens which was held by a rubber lip and socket seal. (Asian suppliers are now selling replica glass lenses to fit the L488, 'Designed in England' -beware).
At some stage the Lucas L488 Stop and Tail lights became non-available, non-economic, non-modern, or non-compliant. The pair of red L488s were replaced with a single Hella lamp, part 2386 (which appears to be similar to Hella lamp part 2314). It is a single combo red stop light and number plate lamp and it is fitted on the driver's side of the center of the rear chassis, inside a cylindrical steel protector. The Lens is red, and it has a Hella logo in the center and the edge has 'Made In New Zealand' 'Reg Des 10833' or 'Made In Australia' 'Reg Des 47243'. Three screws. There is a rubber O ring or seal around the lens where it contacts the base. The base has the contacts/holders for the two festoon bulbs, one is 21w or 18w for the Stop light and one is 5w for the Park/Number Plate light.
In the last two of the five decades "in-service" with the ADF (yes, 50 years!), numerous trailers had a rectangular metal housing attached to each side of the rear of the tub chassis to fit the modern Hella combo lights, Hella part 2397. These Hella rear combo lights are very similar to the combo lights used on the rear of the Perentie (Hella part 2401) - the difference is that part 2401 has a reversing light in the center. (There is a Narva copy of the rear combo but it is a matter of 3mm different on the rear, the mounting bolts).

Maintenance, Electrical, Reflectors

There are two circular red reflectors fitted to the rear of the trailer. They are perfectly serviceable but as yet the correct part number is hard to find.

Maintenance, Electrical, Blackout/Convoy Light

There is a light under the tub that illuminates a white square for blackout convoy purposes which I have yet to check and test. It is the same as fitted to Australian Military Land Rover Series 2A to illuminate the rear diff in blackout and convoy conditions and also fitted as a map reading light on the dash.

Maintenance, Mechanical, Lunette

I removed and checked the lunette ring that connects to the vehicle pintle hook. The hook has an internal diameter of 6 inches (15.24cm). The lunette ring is rated at 6600 pounds (3000kg). Six pieces of what resembles long wheel studs are welded on the drawbar or pipe in this case; the hex nuts on the studs are 14mm and the thread is 3/8 UNF. The ring assembly is built to rotate (hence the grease nipple) but the A.D.E. locked it/blocked it (by fitting a split washer instead of a plain washer), so it does not rotate (the pintle does the rotating). All was good; the ring was inspected and lubed and when re-fitting the ring a set of new nuts and spring washers were fitted.

Maintenance, Mechanical, Wheel Bearings and Seals

Wheel Bearings - info from the Repair Parts Scale and a visual validation - you need a total of four bearings for the trailer, two each side: the inner and outer bearings on each hub are identical and identified as "359S" Timken brand (for the cone) and "354A" Timken brand (for the cup), tapered 1.8125" x 8.8540", Cup Tapered Roller Brg 3.3464" x 0.6875" aka inside diameter 46.038mm, outside diameter 85mm, width 20.638mm, weight 480g each.
Wheel Bearing Seals - the seal part number is 50178. The dimensions for the Bearing Seal (if you want to get these bits from a bearing shop) 3.376" OD, 2 3/8 ID, 1/2" width. There is no outer seal, just a gasket only. quoted from Bearman http://www.aulro.com/afvb/military-trailers/215997-no5-army-trailer-wheel-bearings-seals.html

Maintenance, Mechanical, Axle

The axle is straight but until I service the bearings etc, it is an unknown condition.

Maintainance, Mechanical, Springs

The leaf springs on each side have 10 leaves, 2.75 inches thick, 36 inches long (?) Some suspension shops can have your spring leafs "reset" and trued for about $140 per side.
The spring bushes - "Mount, Resilient", part number "S19": ID:12.7mm OD:27mm L:44.5mm manufactured by Mackay Consolidated Rubber, phone 03 9276 4669 - NSN 5340-66-017-5340

Maintenance, Mechanical, Rear Towing Pin

I do not have the "Pin and Hook Assembly, Rear, Towing" NSN 2540-66-017-515 but since there are similar items available in rural supply stores I brought a few for about $14 each. There is a ROPS drawing if you want to make a replica (real one's are like hen's teeth to find).

Maintenance, Mechanical, Cover Hoop/Bar

The top hoop for the canvas has some warps and bends. Whether I fix it of replace it, its not a priority.

Maintenance, Paintwork and Cover

I obtained a NOS canvas trailer cover from a Townsville AFM auction for $170.
I plan on giving the underside of the trailer a few coats of fishoil.
I plan of rubbing back and repainting the camouflage paintwork.

Maintenance, Mechanical, Lashing Rings

There is a ring on all four corners but they are in need of a wire brushing and re-painting.

Maintenance, Mechanical, Drain Holes

New drain hole bungs (boat bungs) were obtained via ebay - these are Ronstan Boat Bungs, course thread, part RF738, UV stabilised.

Modifications, Popular Improvements

Over the years many mods have been carried out on the workhorse Number 5 Trailer to suit many applications. Here I am simply collecting information about the most popular modifications.
Rear Tailgate.
Some have fitted a rear tailgate. I have seen Number 5 trailers with a drop down tailgate but I have also seen swing-away tailgates that serve as tyre or jerrycan mounts as well. All the tailgate mods I have seen utilize Anti-Luce Fasteners or Over-Center Latches.
Shock Absorbers.
Some Number 5 trailers in private hands have been fitted with shock absorbers to behave better off road. The Australian Army Land Rover Pattern RAEME Workshop Trailers were factory fitted with shock absorbers.
Drawbar Extension.
This is a popular modification. A longer drawbar is easier to manage or "better behaved" when reversing the trailer. To do this you must take care to use the correct steel pipe and know how to weld properly or have it welded by a skilled welder. This is vital for road safety obviously. The pipe size is 80NB -nominal bore- and the heavier pipe wall thickness of 5.9mm is best.
Galvanising.
Some owners remove the box from the chassis and thoroughly restore their trailer. Hot or cold gal treatment, red lead treatment, simple coats of chassis paint or just Killrust. KLR Automotive in Windsor have done a lot of these.
Treg Hitch.
The Treg Poly Block Coupling has grown in popularity and for good reasons. The Tregs seem to stand up to a lot of abuse.
Spare Tyre Holder.
Many examples and options here. Commonly on the front of the box resting on the drawbar or on the rear of the trailer. One option I would like to see done is to winch the spare up under the trailer at the back, similar to the Australian Army 110 Land Rovers. I owned a Ford Falcon Wagon, model AU from 1999, and it has a winch setup for the spare. I removed it before the scrap yard got it after a frontal prang and checked out the mechanism. Simple gear and it looks up to the weight. Hmmm. If you weld a Spare Tyre Holder on your trailer make sure its a good weld. A tyre and rim can easily weigh 30kg.
Jerrycan Holders.
Many examples and options here. The Australian Army Land Rover Pattern RAEME Workshop Trailers were factory fitted with a Jerrycan Holder on the drawbar. If you weld a Jerrycan Holder on make sure its a good weld. A full 20litre (5gal) Jerrycan weighs 20kg.