Results 1 to 8 of 8

Thread: So You Want to Buy a Deuce

  1. #1
    Moderator, wonderful human being & practicing Deuce Doctor. Steel Soldiers Vendor clinto's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Athens, Ga.
    MVPA
    21731
    Posts
    12,394
    Thanks
    1,227
    Thanked 6,512 Times in 2,254 Posts

    Default

    Attached Files Attached Files
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Click here for the Deuce Doctor-MV Servicing and Sales

    Click here for the Official 2018 Georgia Rally info thread!


    Having a problem searching or finding something on the site? Click here for help!

    __________________________________________________ _____________________________
    MVPA #21731
    1968 Baifield M274A5 Mule
    1967 Kaiser Jeep M35A2 w/w w/dump conversion
    1987 AM General USAF M35A2C w/w
    1987 Turtle Mountain M105A2

  2. The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to clinto For This Useful Post:

    CUCVLOVER (09-20-2015), NOLATAC (05-29-2015), Rmtaunton (08-20-2014), roveroverme (01-27-2015)

  3. #2
    Moderator Warthog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    OKC, OK
    Posts
    13,797
    Thanks
    1,521
    Thanked 5,565 Times in 2,755 Posts
    "We are all born ignorant.....but one must work hard to remain stupid" - Benjamin Franklin

  4. The Following User Says Thank You to Warthog For This Useful Post:

    Rmtaunton (08-20-2014)

  5. #3
    Modertator swbradley1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Dayton, OH
    Posts
    13,704
    Thanks
    3,904
    Thanked 6,151 Times in 2,696 Posts

    Default

    Broken out from Clinto's Word doc.


    "So you want to buy a Deuce…..”


    So you’ve decided you need a Deuce and a half…. And you are here to answer the myriad of questions you have. Fear not, we can help.


    First, read this entire article. It will answer 80% of the questions you will have. What answers cannot be found here can be found using the search feature on Steel Soldiers.


    Let’s start at the beginning. The scope of this article is aimed at the postwar, M44 series vehicles.


    The “deuce and a half”; so nicknamed because of it’s 2.5 ton cargo carrying capacity, began in WWII as the GMC CCKW. After the war, the Army tried out the GMC M135/M211 variants. Their rounded noses and automatic transmissions easily identify these models. Although the military has been interested in automatic transmissions since WWII, a bad experience with some of the early models that were sent to Korea for the conflict there soured many on their use and the successor to these Deuces used a manual transmission for the next 40+ years.


    That brings to what most of us call the “modern Deuce”-the M44 series. M44 refers to the chassis-an M44 chassis with a regular cargo bed is an M35. An M44 chassis with a shop van body is an M109. Get it? So when someone says they need “M44 series” parts, they are referring to what many folks would call “M35 series”.


    The M44 series began in 1949. These early models featured the Reo Gold Comet 331 cubic inch, straight 6, gasoline engine, along with a Spicer 3052 5 speed transmission (featuring a 1:1 high gear). The transfer was a Spicer T-136-21 2 speed transfer with a sprag, or automatic engagement for the front axle. This system features a sort of overrunning clutch for the front axle. When the rear wheels exceed the speed of the front wheels, the sprag engages and locks in the front axle, providing 6 wheel drive. This system is primarily found in older trucks, although some trucks being surplussed from active military service today can still be found with the sprag style unit in place. The sprag transfer demands that when changing direction, the operator shift the transmission from first to reverse, or from first to reverse before letting out the clutch, in order to engage the sprag correctly. There is linkage running from the transmission to the transfer that engages the sprag gears. It is also a big no-no to allow the vehicle to roll backwards with the transmission in a forward gear with the clutch in.


    Next, around 1961 came the first major upgrade. The M44A1 series. These were visually identical to the earlier models. A major upgrade lay under the hood, however. The new LDS-427 multifuel turbo diesel. An inline, 6 cylinder, liquid cooled turbo diesel capable of running on a multitude of fuels. Along with the new engine came a new transmission, the Spicer 3053. Identical to the earlier 3052 except the fact that it has an overdrive top gear, to compensate for the lower rpm range of the diesel engine. The transfer was still sprag operated. M44A1 models and their 427 series multifuels are pretty rare, as most have either been junked or rebuilt into A2 models.


    Next, around 1965, comes the M44A2. Due to some reliability issues with the LDS-427, came the LD-465. A non-turbocharged, inline 6, liquid cooled diesel engine with 478 cubic inches. Same overdrive transmission as the A1 series. Somewhere around 1970, a new transfer case began to replace the sprag style. Instead of the sprag, there is now an air operated solenoid in the transfer to engage the front axle and an air switch under the dash (beneath the instrument cluster) to engage the solenoid. Soon, the LD-465 sprouts a turbo and becomes the LDT-465-1C. Later the 465 is updated to the LDT-465-1D. At some point, the exhaust stopped exiting between the passenger’s side rear tandems and they started using an exhaust stack in the right front.


    In this iteration, the Deuce soldiers on for almost 30 years.


    At some point, the military decided to try and fix some of the perceived shortcomings of the M44A2 series and couldn’t decide whether to upgrade the old trucks or buy new ones. AM General offers the M35A3. They take 3 Deuces, cannibalize them and create 2 good M35A3’s. The M35A3’s feature a Central Tire Inflation System (CTIS) in which air is piped, through the hubs, to all 6 wheels and the air pressure can be raised and lowered from inside the vehicle. The Multifuel engines are replaced with Caterpillar diesels and the 5 speed manual transmissions are replaced with Allison automatics. The wheels are replaced with an A3 specific design with allows larger tires and the CTIS. There are a great deal of other changes, but the scope of this article is to initiate the reader with the M44, M44A1 and M44A2 series, so we will leave the A3’s to another article.


    Let’s answer come common questions. On a few of the questions, I have included links to threads already on the forum to demonstrate the kind of information that is readily available.


    “Should I buy one?”


    Sure, as long as you know what you are getting into.


    “What tools will I need?”


    You will need the standard assortment of automotive tools, plus a larger set of wrenches, sockets, hammers, etc, to deal with the increased size. The few specialized tools would include a special wrench for some of the nuts on the cylinder heads, the axle hub nut socket that will be necessary to remove the hubs, a Budd socket for the special lugnuts found on the rear and a 24 volt test light if you do not have a multimeter. If this is your first or only military vehicle, you will need a special set of crimpers in order to make the water proof connectors that military vehicles use in their wiring. Early models use “Douglas” connectors, later models use “Packard” connectors.


    “Where can I buy one?”


    From a private individual, from your State’s excess property pool (typically found on GSA’s website) or from Government Liquidation.


    “Is it legal to own?”


    Yes.


    “Do I need a CDL to drive it?”


    For the most part no, but search the forum, every State is different.


    “Who insures them?”


    Again, a search of the forum will answer this question. Lots of companies insure them, under many kinds of policies.


    “Do I have to buy a commercial, or ‘weighted’ license plate?”


    Typically no, but search the forum, as policies vary State by State.


    “What should I look for?”


    It’s the same as looking for a used car. You look for condition, missing components, corrosion, damage, etc. If it drives, you check to see how well it drives. If you are a newbie without Deuce experience, having an experience Deuceophile with you is a big help and is highly recommended.


    “How do I get it home?”


    You drive it, if it is safe. If not, you either towbar it with another Deuce (or a 5 ton) or have it hauled on a trailer. Deuces have been towbar’d behind duallies before…….but it is not recommended.


    Now, there is something we need to discuss here.


    As this is a single reservoir brake system, ONE failure……. ONE blown wheel cylinder, ONE rotted brake hose, ONE failed master cylinder can render you totally brakeless. In a 13K lb. truck, that’s bad. The parking brake on these trucks is not designed to stop 13K lbs. of hurtling truck. Before ANY Deuce is put into motion, a COMPLETE inspection of the brake system is in order.


    Any Deuce that comes from GL should have silicone (BFS – Brake Fluid Silicone or DOT-5) in it. Take some with you.


    Here are some threads with information and discussions regarding what you should take in order to be prepared on a GL pickup of an unknown truck:


    HYPERLINK "http://www.steelsoldiers.com/showthread.php?t=133" http://www.steelsoldiers.com/showthread.php?t=133


    http://www.steelsoldiers.com/showthread.php?t=16210




    “What is Government Liquidation like?”


    You create an account by signing up, put a credit card on file, find a truck you want and bid. Once you win, you will then have to file what is called an “End Use Certificate” (EUC) and send it in, along with your driver’s license and an export form. This paperwork proves to the government you are not a bad person and that you aren’t going to export the vehicle (or whatever else it is you won from GL that requires an EUC) to a bad place. If you search the forum, you will find all your EUC questions answered, it is a frequent topic. Once your EUC has been approved (by the friendly folks at Battle Creek DRMS), you will have to apply and pay an additional $65 for the SF97. This is the form your local DMV will need to issue you a title. A Law Enforcement officer will have to verify the VIN on your vehicle’s frame in order to fill out the SF97. Yes, it is a hassle and it is stupid, but if you want to buy from GL, it’s the system you will deal with.


    GL’s descriptions and pictures typically (there are exceptions to every rule) have no relationship to reality. If you see something that looks great on their website and you pay top dollar for it without inspecting it beforehand (“previewing” in GL speak), do not be surprised when you show up to pick it up and it has a hole in the engine block that they did not disclose in the ad. It’s “buyer beware” with them and you really should beware. Caveat Emptor is the order of the day.


    After you’ve won the auction and filled out the paperwork, you will have to pick your item up. You will need to schedule a pickup time with GL.


    Turbos


    Some trucks don’t have a turbo at all. Some trucks have the C-turbo, referred to as the Whistler. It’s loud, lots of folks love it, lots can’t stand it. Yes, you can add either to a multifuel Deuce.


    Neither the C or D turbo produce any more power than the other. In fact, the military didn’t even put turbos on the LD-465 for power or fuel economy. They did it for emissions. Smoke reduction. The turbo installation kit was even referred to as the “Clean Air Kit”.


    Threads concerning the rebuilding, diagnosing, swapping and installing of turbos can all be found on the forum.


    Transfer cases


    The air shift units are almost universally desired, due to their being relatively maintenance free (in comparison to the sprags). But sprag linkage can be adjusted (search the forum for instructions and hints/tips/tricks) and sprag transfer cases can be swapped for air shift units.


    Winches


    Winches typically add a few hundred dollars to the value of a truck. Winches can be added to any Deuce. They are a PTO driven, 10K lb. Capacity unit designed by Gar Wood.


    Dropside beds


    Some beds (a Deuce equipped with a dropside bed is an M35A2C – the C is for dropside) have sides that are hinged and can be opened like a tailgate to facilitate side loading. Standard beds can be swapped for dropsides and vice versa.


    Hardtops


    Some trucks have hardtops. Opinions vary as to what is better, soft or hard. They aren’t cheap to buy used. They simply bolt on, any Deuce can have one added.


    “Do they have air brakes?”


    No, they have “air assisted hydraulic” brakes.


    Brakes in general


    Most Deuces have a single reservoir master cylinder, with the brake fluid getting additional help from an air chamber referred to as an airpak. This is similar to the vacuum power brakes your passenger car has, except it uses air pressure instead of vacuum. Deuces built for the Air Force between 1987 and 1989 and the M35A3’s have a dual circuit system (the same as all passenger cars have had since 1967 due to Federal Legislation).


    As this is a single reservoir system, ONE failure……. ONE blown wheel cylinder, ONE rotted brake hose, ONE failed master cylinder can render you totally brakeless. In a 13K lb. truck, that’s bad. The parking brake on these trucks is not designed to stop 13K lbs. of hurtling truck. Before ANY Deuce is put into motion, a COMPLETE inspection of the brake system is in order.


    24 volts and other electrical stuff


    The Deuce uses a 24 volt system. Two 12 volt batters, wired in series, produce the 24 volts. 24 volt lightbulbs are available at NAPA and they typically have them in stock. The NAPA part #’s can be found on the civvy cross reference chart here on the site. You can convert a Deuce to 12 volts….. but why?


    There are ways of powering 12 volt accessories like GPS, communications gear and trailer brake controllers. Search the forum.


    Single rear wheels, dual rear wheels


    Most M44 series trucks had dual rear wheels. Some didn’t (See M34, etc.) but most did. You can convert the rears to singles. You can use your stock wheels, other military wheels (like the M35A3 wheels) or aftermarket models. You will have to flip the rear hubs. Search the forum, many folks have done this. There are tons of threads on the forum and most of them will link you to one of our member’s picture page with very good instructions:


    HYPERLINK "http://imageevent.com/cranetruck/m35dualstosinglesconversion" http://imageevent.com/cranetruck/m35...glesconversion


    “What’s a multifuel? Will it run on any kind of fuel?”


    The Multifuel engines are rated to run on several different fuels, see your Operator’s Manual for more info. The “multifuel” portion of the engine is in the combustion chamber, not the “Fuel Density Compensator” on the injection pump.


    Multifuels can run on biodiesel, search the forum for more information.


    Tires and wheels


    Most Deuces have a steel, 20” x 7.5” split ring wheel (occasionally referred to as a split rim) and a 9:00” x 20” ND (“non directional”) tire. These are a bias ply tire, which uses a tube and flaps. The Deuce split ring rim requires a tube.


    Split ring wheels require some specialized tools to dismount and mount tires and a hefty degree of safety. There is a significant amount of discussion in the forum about the proper methods these wheels demand. Here is a thread concerning disassembly:


    http://www.steelsoldiers.com/showthread.php?t=18810


    ND tires are readily available and reasonably inexpensive, but they are a compromise tire that does several things OK, but no one thing spectacularly.


    Maintenance and parts


    A good portion of the maintenance parts for Deuces are available at your local NAPA (or similar retailer). Some items are military specific and no parts house is going to have them, such as axle seals, brake shoes, etc. Those military specific items will have to be bought from surplus dealers or MV parts dealers. But filters, light bulbs, belts, hoses, etc. are all available at your local auto parts supplier. We have a civilian cross reference chart here on the site so you can find these items:


    http://old.steelsoldiers.com/index.p...esetter&tid=10




    General thoughts


    A Deuce is a fun vehicle to own and it can really earn it’s keep around your house, especially if you do your own yard work or home maintenance.


    But a few things to keep in mind:


    It’s a 30 year old truck that the US Govt. got rid of because they thought it too worn out to keep doing what it was doing. It was designed to go 30-40 mph in convoys and go through the woods carrying troops, bullets and MRE’s.


    You can’t really (reasonably) make it go 75 mph and if you do, you shouldn’t. It has brakes designed in 1949 and isn’t designed to stop that fast. If you want a fast military vehicle, buy an M1009 CUCV.


    You’re not going to get good gas mileage with it. If you want an MV with good gas mileage……buy a Jeep. You may improve it, but it’s still a truck with the aerodynamics of a barn that weighs almost 7 tons. Live with it.


    It’s going to be noisy….. yes, you can add a muffler, but it’s still going to be noisy.


    The Historic Military Vehicle hobby is lots of fun and full of good people, but like anything else, requires some common sense. You shouldn’t use your MV to anger your neighbors, even if they are putzes who deserve it. We should always remember to conduct ourselves with the highest levels of civility and professionalism. All it takes is one accident with a surplus military vehicle and one angry person writing their local news station saying “Why should the government be selling these vehicles to civilians? They do not need them and do not have proper training!” and you could see restrictions or an outright ban on the sales or ownership of military vehicles to the general public. Even without accidents, there are people within our society and government who think tactical military vehicles should not be available to the general public. Why give these people any ammunition to use against the hobby? If you are a troublemaker, we don’t want you. So please, conduct yourselves accordingly. And welcome!


    Clinto
    sw

    Yes, that's an image of my skull.

  6. The Following 11 Users Say Thank You to swbradley1 For This Useful Post:

    6tmile (09-07-2015), 82KBody (05-03-2019), CUCVLOVER (09-20-2015), General Kaiser (10-21-2016), helm108 (06-07-2018), Jeeper10 (01-12-2016), Justgaudot (11-22-2015), latvius (02-16-2016), QUADJEEPER (03-09-2016), Styk33 (11-10-2015), Wolfgang the Gray (03-09-2016)

  7. #4
    Colonel Wolfgang the Gray's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    New River, AZ
    MVPA
    37931E
    Posts
    308
    Thanks
    1,556
    Thanked 281 Times in 130 Posts

    Question

    Quote Originally Posted by swbradley1 View Post
    Broken out from Clinto's Word doc.

    Now, there is something we need to discuss here.

    As this is a single reservoir brake system, ONE failure……. ONE blown wheel cylinder, ONE rotted brake hose, ONE failed master cylinder can render you totally brakeless. In a 13K lb. truck, that’s bad. The parking brake on these trucks is not designed to stop 13K lbs. of hurtling truck. Before ANY Deuce is put into motion, a COMPLETE inspection of the brake system is in order.

    Clinto
    Can the single reservoir brake system be converted to a dual system (yank from an A3)? I didn't see anything about this possible option in the word doc.

  8. #5
    Colonel daytonatrbo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Tricities, TN
    Posts
    320
    Thanks
    206
    Thanked 128 Times in 86 Posts

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Wolfgang the Gray View Post
    Can the single reservoir brake system be converted to a dual system (yank from an A3)? I didn't see anything about this possible option in the word doc.
    The A3 master/booster is incompatible with the clutch pedal and PTO of the A2.

    Your "easiest" bet is to source the parts from the later "airforce deuce" that had a split system using a different master, twin airpaks and a special bracket to mount it all without interfering with the clutch pedal or PTO.

  9. #6
    Colonel iatractor's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    SE Iowa
    Posts
    225
    Thanks
    14
    Thanked 117 Times in 64 Posts

    Default

    This is one of the best threads for someone looking to get one. Helpful instead of telling someone to go download a tech manual and read previous forums. A few additional things I would add to the list: Have you ever operated a truck larger than a 1 ton pick up or U-Haul? Even though a CDL isn't required in many instances, learning to operated a large truck is imperative to seeing how little sight you have in a large vehicle, stopping distances, and just the ability to maneuver around is different than a pick up.
    Are you aware that by owning this type of truck you are obligated to participate with various veterans groups and other events? while there is no written document stating this, your truck is veteran just like the local VFW crew and should be treated as such. This is the fun part of owning the truck. You hear stories of the veterans experience with the truck. The public likes seeing it when the VFW and Legion are all piled in there. These trucks aren't meant to set in shed, they are meant for the people to see what it took to make one of the best fighting forces on the planet possible. As a civilian, I feel as though my duty with this truck is to honor their sacrifices and preserve the legacy of our fighting men and women. Thanks for you post Clinto. I have provided this to many of the teenage/early 20's guys around here that want to buy a truck like mine in the worst way.
    Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

  10. The Following User Says Thank You to iatractor For This Useful Post:

    clinto (04-13-2016)

  11. #7
    Colonel Wolfgang the Gray's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    New River, AZ
    MVPA
    37931E
    Posts
    308
    Thanks
    1,556
    Thanked 281 Times in 130 Posts

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by daytonatrbo View Post
    The A3 master/booster is incompatible with the clutch pedal and PTO of the A2.

    Your "easiest" bet is to source the parts from the later "airforce deuce" that had a split system using a different master, twin airpaks and a special bracket to mount it all without interfering with the clutch pedal or PTO.
    I also saw in another thread on this site where a guy installed the brake system from a Ford F-450 (or a 550) on an A2 to give 6-wheel power disk brakes. No doubt an expensive modification, but it would be great to remove that potential hazard.

    I'm 4th generation veteran & the truck is a few years my junior so I definitely understand the value of getting it & my fellow veterans out together. I've also joined the AMVCC (Arizona Military Vehicle Collectors Club) so once I finally take possession, I'll be able to gather with other like-minded owners & share with the public.
    As a group of soldiers stood in formation at an Army Base, the Drill Sergeant said, "All right! All you idiots fall out."
    As the rest of the squad wandered away, one soldier remained at attention.
    The Drill Instructor walked over until he was eye-to-eye with him, and then raised a single eyebrow.
    The soldier smiled and said, "Sure was a lot of 'em, huh, sir?"


    1969 Kaiser Jeep M35A2
    2016 Polaris Sportsman 570
    2008 Ural Gear-Up
    1991 Jeep Wrangler (355,000 + miles)


  12. #8
    Colonel Ajax MD's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2018
    Location
    Mayo, MD
    Posts
    332
    Thanks
    84
    Thanked 235 Times in 133 Posts

    Default

    Wish I'd found this thread sooner. It answered a lot of questions that I needlessly pestered people with.
    Motorpool:

    (Isn't owning one of this insanity enough??)
    1971 M813 "Ox" (named for Dewey Oxburger)

Similar Threads

  1. Looking for a front deuce spring set to bobb my deuce
    By miltruckman in forum Deuce Modification and Hot-Rodding
    Replies: 20
    Last Post: 09-05-2018, 21:02
  2. Replies: 40
    Last Post: 03-12-2016, 01:06
  3. Deuce or Bobbed Deuce as a Farm Truck?
    By 1dcorbin in forum The Deuce
    Replies: 17
    Last Post: 05-11-2014, 17:26
  4. M35A2 Deuce Questions- or a Deuce of a question!!
    By saddamsnightmare in forum The Deuce
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: 11-29-2012, 19:08
  5. Bondo Deuce, topless Deuce, bob time
    By whyme in forum The Deuce
    Replies: 19
    Last Post: 07-07-2011, 14:28

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •