DOD P22 P24 KME pumpers
Looking for opinions from guys who have used the KME P22 V2 P24 V2 (the flat windshieldd version) or the newer V3 (rounded windshield) engines. Looks like P22 is 4x2, P24 is 4x4.
I think all have only 1000gpm pump. Not sure of booster tank size). Looks like DOD transitioned from V2 to V3 around 1994.
Need start looking to replace our 1985 Ford L9000 1st out/only pumper and not much $. A good usable fully functional unit with at least a few years on it. But it's already 25yr old. Use DOD surplus whenever it is logical/possible to stretch the limited $.
DOD is surplusing V2 and have neen a few V3 recently.
Those that have used these ,what do you say? Is a compete unit worth dragging home and repainting? What say about pump, valves, engine/drive train. 1000gpm is an issue but begger/choosers. If these don't fall in the "pretty decent" category we'll look for another direction but looking for informed observations.
If I remember correctly they have 600 gallon tanks, VERY short hosebeds, and I think the pumps were Darleys. They are a basic, no frills engine.
As you stated the P22 is 2 wheel drive, and the P24 is 4 wheel drive. The flat faced ones were in use when I was a CFR for the ANG.
The first versions were just going into production when I retired from the Air Force. I can tell you that I toured the KME plant and saw the first ones off the line. The were designed by the USAF and KME got the contract to build them. The vice president of KME said they would like to build them without anyone knowing KME was the builder as they were poorly designed. The 4x4 canopy cab was a problem because the crewmembers had to crawl into and out of the seats due to lack of headroom. The operator also had to watch his/her step at the top mount pump panel because you had to step down to reach certain controls on the ends of the panel. The 4x2 version wasn't much better.
The later versions using the KME cabs are much better because they are based on proven off the shelf designs. Our local base has had a V-3 for 10+ years and it is still first due structure engine.
I would closely inspect any former federal fire engine you are considering buying. The military does not turn over the fleet on a fixed time frame. They are thoroughly checked and run up at least weekly (in many cases daily) and often need a complete refurbishment.
I have had a bit of experience with the AF pumper fleet. I was on the job when the first P-22 series trucks were delivered. My position was that they would never last. They were pop rivited together and the finish work was poor and there were somethings that didn't make much sense (huge permanent mount deck gun). I was proven wrong. They weren't the sharpest trucks around but they were quick,had a short turning radius and were a significant improvement over the previous pumpers. There was a significant fix issued by the AF on the riviets around the pump house but KME fixed that and on the trucks I worked with there weren't any major problems. The Darley pumps always passed the pump test and my last base was at over 6,000 ASL. Many bases upgraded the warning lights, added compartments on the left side and dressed the rigs up a bit. I wouldn't heitate to get one, but just male sure you do a good check out of the vehicle before accepting it. And if you're lucky maybe you can get one of the red/white repaints.
Were discharge valves 1/4 turn ball or butterfly? Apparently some KME products had butterfly/leaky valves (1st time I heard of). Plumbing know doubt is threaded pipe for 90s vintage.
The discharges were all ball valves. There were some long linkages that could get out of adjustment and cause leaks. Checking them and turning the rods usually stopped the leak. The front suctions on the first version had a pre-con valve in the line. There were leaks with those and the valve partially blocked the waterway. We took those out and used manual valves for the front suctions. I think the later versions had air or electric valves in the suctions which were moved to the rear. I'm not sure on the tanks, but they weren't plastic. Probably either fiberglas or steel.