Any piece of equipment that is designed for continuous operation, such as the M3A4 smoke
generator, is subject to breakdown. Smoke generator "downtime" (the amount of time a generator does
not operate due to a mechanical failure) must be kept to a minimum in order to help assure the success
of the smoke mission. To assist the smoke generator operator, a set of procedures has been developed to
correct the most common problems encountered during operation. A well-maintained smoke generator
can benefit the operator as well as mission effectiveness. It is easier to perform the required
maintenance during training lulls in the unit area than to find yourself in a generator emplacement on a
smoke line trying to correct a generator that will not start, overheats, or produces little or no smoke.
Another benefit of a well maintained smoke generator is reduced fuel and fog oil consumption. If you
have ever rolled drums of fog oil, or carried 5-gallon cans of gasoline, to a generator emplacement, you
will strive to ensure your generator uses the least amount of fuel and fog oil.
In lesson 1, you will learn about the M3A4 smoke generator. You will also learn about operator
maintenance. In order to perform technical inspections on the M3A4 smoke generator, you must be able
to describe the M3A4 smoke generator and check operator maintenance on it. Once you have learned
how to perform technical inspections, it becomes a tool that you can use to troubleshoot the M3A4
In lesson 2, you will learn how to troubleshoot the M3A4 smoke generator. This will enable you to
identify what corrective measures are required. In order to understand how to troubleshoot the M3A4
smoke generator, you must be able to troubleshoot it when the engine will not start, when there is no or
low smoke (white) output, and when it overheats.
The correct use of troubleshooting procedures is a valuable tool for the smoke generator operator.
These procedures can mean the difference between the effective production of smoke and failure of the
The information you will learn in these two lessons can make the difference. Read each lesson
carefully; then do the practice exercise at the end of each lesson. When you have completed a practice
exercise, use the practice exercise answer sheet to check yourself. Review any questions you have
missed before going on to the next lesson. Study the illustrations. They will assist you in understanding
When you have completed all the lessons, review the material before proceeding to the examination.