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NEWS | March 24, 2022

RCV Buffalo A2: When Water is Your Enemy


Water collects in the hull of the Buffalo A2 like a rain barrel on the side of a barn. Water drips off wet boots and uniforms, trickles in from the top of the vehicle, comes in from the wash rack and can seep in through loose drain plugs during fording. If you’re not careful, water can become your vehicle’s worst enemy.
 
The Problem
        
Water takes on three forms - solid, liquid and gas. All three create problems in your A2.
 
  • Solid: If you’re in a cold weather environment, water in the hull and under the floor plates will freeze. Since water expands as it freezes, lines and fittings are ruptured, causing all kinds of damage.
     
  • Liquid: Water under the floor plates will rust the vehicle’s air brake valves and just about anything made of metal.
     
  • Gas: As temperatures go up, the water evaporates and condenses on radios and electronic gear. Enough moisture can short out electronic equipment.
The Solution
        
To prevent these problems, open the hull’s drain plugs on the bottom of your Buffalo A2 after every use as stated in the AFTER PMCS checks located in Item 8 of Table 3 in WP 0114 of TM 9-2355-352-10 (Jun 20). There are three plugs, so make sure you open them all or you’ll leave water behind.
        
Make sure any water drained from the hull goes into a drip pan and is disposed of according to your unit’s SOP. That’s because any fluid leaks, like coolant, oil or power steering fluid, can end up in the vehicle’s hull. Do not dump contaminated water down a drain or let it run on or into the ground.
        
And don’t let water get back through the drain plug openings. Make sure you reinstall them before operation, and do it right. Plugs that are loose will vibrate free, and plugs that are too tight are hard to open and more likely to be left closed when draining is needed.
        
Make sure to apply a little anti-seize compound, NSN 8030-01-087-8254, to the threads before installing the plugs. That lets you tighten the plugs enough to keep them from vibrating loose, but makes them easier to open next time.
        
Just make sure you put the compound on each plug’s threads and the threaded portion of the hull. That way, all the threads are coated and the plugs aren’t sticking.
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