The M1009 is a variant of the Commercial Utility Cargo Vehicles (CUCV) produced in the late 1970s. The program to produce CUCVs was developed by the United Sates Army to provide a more cost effective Light Utility Vehicle to supplement the larger vehicles (Humvees and Gama Goats) that were currently in production. The first CUCVs that were produced were the Dodge D Series and the then Chevrolet C/Ks. The idea behind their use development was to save costs by purchasing commercial off the shelf vehicles and modify them to military specifications for use in non combat roles. They were soon phased out because they were unable to withstand the rigorous requirements expected of military vehicles. In the early 1980s, more vehicles were purchased from Chrysler Corporation, Dodge Division and from General Motors. They were configured to be used as cargo vehicles, utility trucks, ambulances, shelter carriers and chassis’ and were meant to replace the M37 and M715 Cargo Trucks.
Specifications of Chrysler CUCVs
These CUCVs were powered by 5.2 litre, 318 cubic inch gas engines and 12 volt electrical systems. They were also equipped with the following:
- 2 bbl Carter or Holley Carburetor
- 150 H.P.
- 230 TQ
- Torqueflite 727 automatic transmission
- 2-speed New Process transfer case, NP203 (full-time 4×4)
- Leaf springs all around
- Dana 44 solid front axle (4.10:1 axle gearing)
- Dana 60 solid rear axle (full-floating, 4.10:1 axle gearing)
- Front Disc brakes
- Rear drum brakes
- Manual Steering
- 70 MPH top speed
- 10 on road and 8 off road MPG.
General Motors CUCVs
The majority of General Motor CUCVs were produced in 1984. They were made from the parts of heavy duty light commercial trucks and used for the pickup, utility and ambulance style of CUCVs. The M1009 is a variant of the CUCVs produced by General Motors. It was designed as a 3/4 ton utility rig along with the M1008 basic cargo truck and M1010 ambulance variant. Over 90,000 CUCVs were produced by General Motors during 1983-1986.
The M1009 was based on the Chevy K5 Blazer 2nd edition. It was used primarily for command and control and basic transport duties. It was able to transport a payload of 1,200 lbs and tow just over 3,000lbs.
Like other CUCVs of the time the M1009, they provided less than desirable results in the field and were soon switched for the more expensive tactical vehicles they were designed to replace. They have since left mainstream military use and are popular civilian collector’s items. They are still used by the Range Control and at a few bases for troop transport.
General Specifications for Chrysler CUCVs including the M1009
- Engine: 379ci (6.2L) Detroit Diesel V8 engine
- Power: 155 hp (116 kW) @ 3600 rpm
- Torque: 257 lb•ft (348 N•m) @ 2000 rpm
- Compression Ratio: 21:1
- Transmission: THM400, 3-speed automatic
- Transfer Case: NP-208 (unsynchronized)
- Front Axle: Dana 60 Most were open except M1028’s which feature Spicer Trak-lock
- Axle Ratio: 4.56:1
- Wheelbase: 131.5 inches
- GVW: 8,800 pounds
- Curb: Weight: 5,900 pounds
- Tires: 235/85R-16E
- Fuel Capacity: 20 gallons
- Fording Depth: 20 inches
- Approach/Angle: 42 degrees
- Top Speed: 55 mph