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Experiences from a teacher.

Dear Editor,

Teachers learn from experience, too. Through teaching soldiers at the U.S. Army Chemical School, I've learned a few tricks on keeping an M17-series decon running.

* TM 3-4230-228-10 says to shut down the M17 by pushing the throttle to O. The trouble with that is that the sudden stop strains the belt for the water wheel and wears out the belt faster. Avoid that by gradually lowering the engine speed until the water wheel stops. Then push the throttle to O.

* M17s have 2-cycle engines that require oil mixed with MOGAS. The older M17s and M17A1s need 1 quart per 5 gallons of gas while the newer M17A2s and M17A3s need 1 pint. To avoid confusion, units need to color code fuel cans to match either the silver fan guards on the M17 and M17A1 or the black guards of the M17A2 or M17A3 to avoid putting in the wrong fuel-oil mixture. They also need to stencil ENGINE: TWO-CYCLE MOGAS ONLY on the cans.

Units also need to remember, though, many old M17s have been upgraded to M17A2s or -A3s, but the markings and instructions on the decon still are those for the older version. That could lead to someone putting in the wrong fuel-oil mixture. If your M17s have been upgraded, stencil M17A2 or M17a3 in big letters on the decon and paint out the old instructions for the fuel oil mixture. Stencil 1 PINT OIL, PER 5 GAL MOGAS somewhere like on the side of the burner.

* Don't let the wand waste water when you operate with a blivet. Hang the wand on the side of the blivet so the water goes right back in the blivet when you're not deconning. Idle down the M17 so that the water pressure is low. This is especially important in the desert.

* If the wires around the starting handle dangle, they can be ripped right out when you jerk the handle out. Prevent that by tying the wires back with several zip ties.

SSG Jorge Morel

U.S. Army Chemical

School

Ft Leonard Wood, MO

Editor's note: Whoa? You did good, Sergeant. Thanks for sharing your teaching experience.)
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Title Annotation:M17-Series Decon ...
Author:Morel, Jorge
Publication:PS, the Preventive Maintenance Monthly
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Aug 1, 2004
Words:359
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