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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, My Dad and I made an interesting purchase recently....
the retired test mules of General Dynamics' TAC-C (Tactical Autonomous Combat-Chassis).
We ended up with 3 vehicles that seem to be mostly there, minus a lot of guidance and robotics equipment that had been pulled, and one mocked-up rolling chassis.

the other night, we dug in a bit to see what was under the skin, and whether or not we could get any of them running.
Two of the three units are powered by Volkswagen TDI motors, with GM CVT transmissions.
These vehicles are running 24V electrical systems, though one of them has a good bit of 12V components as well....
they're all configured quite differently in a lot of ways, though the two TDI ones are pretty similar.
The two TDI units have RaceRunner coilovers with airbags to adjust ride height, with a pretty beefy IFS and IRS suspension setup.
The rear coilovers are mounted in the center tunnel.

The third unit is powered by a 2.2L Ecotec, and the transmission looks like it's a conventional automatic. This appears to be a much more basic configuration in general -
no onboard air, but all of the coilovers are mounted inboard with hydraulic rams at the end of each to adjust ride height.
It appears that each of the 4 corners is height adjustable independently with 4 separate sliders.
This unit also appears to have a normal 12V electrical system, though portions of it (the rear steering motor) are 24V.
This vehicle has NO labels on any of the controls, but at least the controls are MUCH more basic than the TDI ones, so we've made a little bit of progress on getting this one figured out.

Unfortunately, all 3 units have completely dead batteries, so the TDI ones will have to wait to try to crank -
the Ecotec one we got to crank for a while, but it appears to have no power at the fuel pump and what fuel WAS in the tank smelled like benzene.

Basically, we're just going through, discovering what these things really are, and what it might take to make them work.
There are some very cool bits of engineering, and I got pictures of everything I could - though unfortunately they're just cell phone pics, so the quality isn't fantastic.

Here's a PDF from General Dynamics on the basics of what the vehicle was designed to do: http://www.gdrs.com/about/prof...5.pdf

On to the garage to get a closer look.









First, the TDI models. These were much more complex under the hood and interior than the pretty basic-looking Ecotec unit.

140 amp 28V industrial alternators:



TDI, tucked in there underneath the airbag solenoids and ridiculous wiring. Intercooler piping on the right - radiator and trans cooler are mounted in the hood.



Deep Cycle Odyssey batteries, wired in 24V with 2 gauge cable:



Shifter on the two TDI models - the actual shifting is handled by an electric ram connected to the transmission shift lever under the hood.



The CVT fill hole and where the ram connects to the transmission for shifting:

 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
The rear suspension and airbag mounted inboard on the TDI units:





Howe power steering system w/ cooler, billet radiator overflow tank, RaceRunner coilover w/ airbag:



Grille/intercooler on the TDI's:



Miscellaneous bundle of disconnected electronics in one of the TDI's...LOTS of this kind of stuff.



TDI gauge/control panel, nicely labeled.







What I'm assuming are some of the airbag solenoids and whatnot:



Hood-mounted radiator and power steering cooler:

 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
One of the front coilovers:



Misc. box that had a serial port for programming (I guess?):



EXTREMELY beefy aluminum control arms up front. The front suspension is pretty ridiculous on these things.









Even the hood hinges were beefy aluminum pieces:



Projector headlights!



Naturally, even on a military vehicle the VW ECU throws a CEL :p



Another overview of the engine bay:

 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Brakes are pretty beefy on the TDI's - unfortunately the rotors were removed from one of them as it was being decommissioned, so that will have to be resolved.



One of the two TDI's had a bunch of 12V stuff on it, hence the battery equalizer:



Now for the Ecotec unit. Completely different configuration, doesn't have the one-piece hood, different suspension design, etc... - really is totally different in every way.



I love the suspension design!







Fuel cell mounted under passenger side floor, with standard GM fuel pump:



Some of the electronics found under the passenger side. As far as we can tell, these control the ram on the transmission shifter, the ride height adjusting panel, the rear steer system, and likely other functions when the vehicle was driven autonomously. There are definitely components missing from this area that WERE there - wired taped off, etc...





 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·








The knob at the left shifts the transmission. The two switches above? Unknown. The 4 sliders we're assuming will adjust each corner of the suspension individually.



Hydraulic rams for each suspension corner to adjust height:



One of the block/track systems on the end of the suspension ram:



The very basic and completely unlabeled Ecotec gauge cluster/control panel. The cluster shows 820 miles.



Saturn lives on!

 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)


Also, forgot to mention that they all have 37" tires on them for size reference
the Tan one seen in the background, has portal box knuckles.
the two TDI ones have Atlas2 T-cases. and wilwood brakes, one is just less the rotors.
seems like they are newer Tahoe/Suburban style Diffs, with about that size axle shafts.
they are all 4 wheel steering, with Crab walking option.

these things are cool as shit. :grinpimp: If anyone local wants to come out and help figure them out, they are more than welcome.

One of the diesels fired right up with a pair of fresh batteries, and I got to drive it around

here is a pic with the airbags inflated.










 

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Wow! That looks like some cool stuff. Thanks for posting all the pics.
 

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Cool rigs, thanks for the detail.

What are you planning on doing with them?
 

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no wonder the government taxes us so much.


Nice garage.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Yeah, I'll try to keep this thread updated as we find more stuff out about them.

If anyone finds other info put out by the Gumbment, or GD about these, i'd love to see it.

The plan is to keep 1, or maybe 2, for down at our farm in WV for hunting if we only keep one.
Or set one up for some trail riding if we keep 2, and sell the others off.
 

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It looks like the goverment had Polaris build their cages. :flipoff2:
 
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