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Chevy CUCV M1008 M1009 M10xx Trucks

The family of Commercial Utility Cargo Vehicles (CUCV, pronounced cuck-vee) began with the Kaiser Jeep M-715 and expanded to a large fleet with the Dodge M880 series trucks, procured from Dodge during 1976 and 1977. The gasoline powered Dodge vehicles were soon discarded however, replaced by more robust diesel trucks from General Motors' Chevrolet Division. The M715 was not called a CUCV, and originally neither was the Dodge M880/M890 series. The name Commercial Utility Cargo Vehicle (CUCV) originated with the Chevrolet M10xx series vehicles and was retroactivly applied as well to the similar Dodge trucks.

M1009 Truck, Utility, Tactical, 3/4 Ton, 4x4.  Photo: Government Liquidation.com
M1009 Truck, Utility, Tactical, 3/4 Ton, 4x4. Photo: Government Liquidation.com

Today in WW II: 1 Sep 1939 German troops, tanks, and aircraft begin Blitzkrieg attack on Poland, the start of WW II in Europe.   

Chevrolet CUCV Family of Light Trucks

Production and deliveries of the General Motors commercial utility cargo vehicles (CUCVs) began in February of 1984. The new 1 1/4-ton vehicle had a 6.2 liter diesel engine that was derived from the four-wheel drive Chevrolet and GMC pickups and utility vehicles sold commercially as Blazers and Jimmys. CUCVs came in several configurations: cargo, shelter carrier, utility, and ambulance models. The CUCV replaced the M880s and represented the first major military vehicle production undertaken by General Motors since World War II.

Initially, the diesel-powered Chevy CUCV was seen as far superior to the replaced vehicles. The CUCV has better traction. Its storage capacity is twice that of a jeep. The CUCV is equipped with improved air and gas filtration systems and its gas mileage is much better. Initial hopes for the CUCV were that it would be able to fully substitute for custom built military tactical trucks in many roles. However, in actual field use, the CUCV did not live up to its promise. Particularly in the Gulf War, where harsh desert conditions and primitive infrastructure put all military equipment to a severe test, the CUCV was highly disappointing. As a result, the CUCV trucks were phased out sooner than expected, unable to survive the hardships that the purpose-built military vehicles could endure. The Chevrolet CUCV lingered into the late 2000s but was eventually replaced by variants of the HMMWV in most military units.

The Chevrolet Commercial Utility Cargo Vehicle (CUCV) series, like its M880-series predecessor, was a militarized version of a commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) truck. Features of the Chevy CUCV trucks include these items as standard or optional add-on kits:

  • GM (Detroit Diesel) 379 cu in. (6.2L) J-series non-emissions diesel V-8 engine
  • GM TH400 (Turbo Hydramatic 400) automatic transmission with 3 forward and 1 reverse speeds
  • Manual NP208 2 speed transfer case (except M1031, M1028A1 and M1028A2 that have NP205 w/PTO)
  • Hydraulically activated, power-assisted front disc and rear drum service brakes
  • 12/24 volt dual voltage, 100 amp electrical system (200 amp on M1010 Ambulance and M1028)
  • NATO slave cable receptacle
  • Lockout hubs on Dana 60 10-bolt front axle. (M1028s, M1031 have Spicer limited slip Trac-lok diff)
  • Detroit No-Spin diff lock in GM 14-bolt rear axle
  • Tires: LT23W135R-16E Tires (except M1009 10.00R-15C Tires)
  • Brush guard on the front bumper
  • Cargo Tie-downs and cargo cover kit (M1008 and M1008A1 only)
  • S250 Shelter Tie-downs (M1028 variants only)
  • Pintle hook mounted on rear step bumper
  • Towing shackles mounted front and rear
  • Patient compartment heater and air conditioner, GPFU filter system, spotlight and patient compartment lighting, radio and antenna mount (M1010 only)
  • Communications kit (M1008A1 and M1028 variants)
  • Radio mounting brackets (M1009 and M1010 only)
  • Weapon brackets (except M1010)
  • Winterization kit
  • Swingfire heater kit

Find additional photos and hi-res versions of the Chevrolet CUCV at the Olive-Drab Military Mashup:

M1009 CUCV (Chevrolet Blazer) Courtesy: Government Liquidation LLC
M1009 CUCV, Chevrolet blazer.  Courtesy: Government Liquidation LLC
Chevrolet M1028 CUCV Pickup at the US Marine Corps Mechanized Museum, Camp Pendleton, CA.
M1010 CUCV Ambulance (Chevrolet)
Chevrolet M1009 Blazer CUCV at the US Marine Corps Mechanized Museum, Camp Pendleton, CA.

Individual Models of Chevrolet CUCV

The Chevrolet CUCV Family of Light Trucks includes these models and variants:

  • M1008-series trucks:
  • M1009 Truck, Utility, Tactical, 3/4 Ton, 4x4 (Blazer-based enclosed body, lighter chassis components) (NSN 2320-01-123-2665)
  • M1010 Truck, Ambulance, Tactical, 1 1/4 Ton, 4x4 (Ambulance body, air-conditioning in patient compartment, 200 amp alternator) (NSN 2310-01-123-2666)
  • M1028-series trucks:
    • M1028 Truck, Shelter Carrier, Tactical, 1 1/4 Ton, 4x4 (S250 commo shelter, communications kit and 24v/100 amp electrical) (NSN 2320-01-127-5077)
    • M1028A1 Truck, Shelter Carrier w/PTO, Tactical, 1 1/4 Ton, 4x4 (Same as M1028 with NP205 transfer case for PTO) (NSN 2320-01-158-0820)
    • M1028A2 Truck, Shelter Carrier w/PTO, Tactical, 1 1/4 Ton, 4x4 (Same as M1028A1 plus dual rear wheels) (NSN 2320-01-295-0822)
    • M1028A3 Truck, Shelter Carrier, Tactical, 1 1/4 Ton, 4x4 (Same as M1028A2 with NP208 plus dual rear wheels) (NSN 2320-01-325-1937)
    • M1028FF Truck, Firefighting, 1 1/4 Ton, 4x4 (M1028 with fire fighting equipment in cargo bed) (NSN 4210-01-259-4609)
  • M1031 Truck, Chassis, Tactical, 1 1/4 Ton, 4x4 (NP205 transfer case for PTO) (NSN 2320-01-133-5368)

The M1008 base chassis is used for most of these vehicles, including the M1010, M1028 and M1031. By removing the special bodies mounted to the chassis, the M1008 chassis can be recovered and used with a pickup body.

Manuals for the M1008, M1009, M10xx Chevrolet CUCV trucks will be numbered TM9-2320-289-xx where the xx represents the maintenance level. You can purchase the Chevrolet CUCV manuals at ABE Books.

Chevrolet CUCV Electrical System

The Chevrolet CUCV electical system is a hybrid 12/24 volt, using standard automotive 12v components for lights and instruments while using a military 24v starter. The standard system has two 12v batteries (Delco 1200 or military-type 6TN) in series and two 100 amp alternators (Delco 27-S1), wired in series to produce 24v. A NATO slave cable receptacle is wired to the 24v circuit so any 24v military vehicle can be interconnected for jump starting. The CUCV 27MT starter motor is a heavy-duty part, with increased strength pinion and ring gear teeth. Temperature self-regulating AC 13G glow plugs operate on 12v supplied by the 24v circuit through a resistor to drop the voltage.

The M1010 Ambulance and some of the M1028 trucks (with the S250 shelter) are equipped with a heavier 200 amp 12/24v system, that uses two batteries (Delco 1200 or military-type 6TN) and two 24v 100 amp Leece/Neville alternators. The 200 amp M1028s have not been provided with a different model designation.

Find More Information on the Internet

There are many fine websites that have additional information on this topic, too many to list here and too many to keep up with as they come and go. Use this Google web search form to get an up to date report of what's out there.

For good results, try entering this: cucv. Then click the Search button.

Especially recommended:

Although no longer actively maintained, Andy's CUCV Site is a repository of valuable information and photos of the Chevrolet series of CUCVs.

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