M1A2 SEP Tank…Avoid Slave Start Woes

Crewmen, slave start your M1A2 SEP tank the wrong way and you can seriously damage the generator drive shaft and the vehicle’s charging system.

A broken generator drive shaft makes your tank NMC. Replacing the shaft is a big headache because the power pack has to be pulled. In some cases, you may even have to replace the transmission.

gen drive shaft

You can avoid a lot of trouble and expense by slave starting your tank the right way. The steps in bold are different from what’s in the TM:

  1. Ensure all electronics are powered down on both the live tank and dead tank, including the Force XXI Battle Command Brigade-and-Below (FBCB2).
  2. To prevent damage, the external slave receptacle should be used whenever the situation allows. On both tanks, connect the battery box power cable by removing the protective cap and remounting the cable from the storage position to the power receptacle.
  3. For tanks equipped with 4.4.01 and earlier software, set the left battery compartment circuit breaker to OFF.
  4. Turn on Master Power for the live tank.
  5. Start the live tank.
  6. Plug the slave cable into the live tank.
  7. Plug the other end of the cable into the slave receptacle on the dead tank.
  8. Turn on Master Power for the dead tank.
  9. Check that the Parking Brake Set message appears on the improved driver’s integrated display (iDID) of the dead tank.
  10. Set tach idle on the live tank to ON.
  11. With iDID on the main menu, press the Power Sources pushbutton on both tanks.
  12. Make sure M is highlighted on the NATO UTL PWR A/M pushbutton on both tanks.
  13. Press the Battery Start P/A pushbutton until A is highlighted on the dead tank.
  14. Wait until the dead tank reaches 26 volts. This could take 15 minutes to one hour.
  15. Start the dead tank.

For vehicles equipped with 4.4.01 and earlier software, follow these instructions set the left battery compartment circuit breaker to ON.

  1. With iDID on the main menu, press the Power Sources pushbutton on both tanks.
  2. Make sure A is highlighted on the NATO UTL PWR A/M pushbutton on both tanks.
  3. Remove the slave cable from both tanks.
  4. Re-cap the slave receptacles.
  5. Let the dead tank recharge its batteries for a minimum 30 minutes using its own generator with tach idle on.
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