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Thread: Advice needed on a M109A4

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    Question Advice needed on a M109A4

    Hey guys,

    I'm really new at wanting to buy military vehicle and I would like to seek the advice of those who know more than I do about an AM General M109A4. I am wanting to take one of these and convert it into a bug out vehicle/RV. There is one that is from 93 for sale near where I live and it looks fairly clean overall with about 500 miles on the odometer and 120ish hours. It has a Caterpillar 3116 engine in it that looks to have been maintained. The electrical system in the van body does currently work. His asking price is $8000 for it. As soon as I figure out how to upload the pictures of it that I have I will post them as well. Any and all advice would be welcome.

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    3 Star General rtk's Avatar
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    You have a M35A3 chassis with the van body on it . Has air assist steering , CTIS , and a cat engine with a Alison Trans . DO NOT believe the odometer on any military vehicle they get changed all the time . I would recommend you have someone knowledgeable on MV's go with you to check it out . There is a LOT to it . That being said they are are like any former military vehicle they take constant upkeep . I would also recommend reading the TM's for that MV from this site , you can download them . I would think for a bug out vehicle you might want a Multi Fuel ? . Here are some of the things I would check before purchase :
    M35A3
    M37
    M101A2
    M274A5
    M274A5
    M1031

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    3 Star General rtk's Avatar
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    And we continue on , LOL . ownership , how is it registered ? is the title available , vehicle is probably a 70-71 rebuilt by AM General in the 90's check the ownership to the serial number on the MV , has any maintenance been done to the vehicle ? do a check of the mv for leaks of any kind , especially the wheels , take it for a ride , how do the gauges read , in the normal range ? does it shift in all gears ? Another big issue is tires , do they hold air could be o rings or a worse a quad ring , how are the sidewalls , any cracking ? as you can see you must do your do diligence BEFORE you lay your money down . BTW $8 K if it were a ready to go vehicle is the going rate now days , but that is my opinion . Good luck , feel free to PM me I could bore you to death with details on your MV , all the best Bob K
    M35A3
    M37
    M101A2
    M274A5
    M274A5
    M1031

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    4 Star General porkysplace's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OrrElse View Post
    Hey guys,

    I'm really new at wanting to buy military vehicle and I would like to seek the advice of those who know more than I do about an AM General M109A4. I am wanting to take one of these and convert it into a bug out vehicle/RV. There is one that is from 93 for sale near where I live and it looks fairly clean overall with about 500 miles on the odometer and 120ish hours. It has a Caterpillar 3116 engine in it that looks to have been maintained. The electrical system in the van body does currently work. His asking price is $8000 for it. As soon as I figure out how to upload the pictures of it that I have I will post them as well. Any and all advice would be welcome.
    Just a word of caution bugout discussion isn't allowed on SS ( in the rules ) and will get the thread locked.

    As for M109A2 ( as mentioned same as M35A3's except for the box ) you may want to do a search on wheel bearings and see if you care to keep the CTIS (wheel bearings are around $600 per wheel). There are some threads on converting them to M34A2 wheel bearings if you search the deuce forum.

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    Quote Originally Posted by porkysplace View Post
    Just a word of caution bugout discussion isn't allowed on SS ( in the rules ) and will get the thread locked.

    As for M109A2 ( as mentioned same as M35A3's except for the box ) you may want to do a search on wheel bearings and see if you care to keep the CTIS (wheel bearings are around $600 per wheel). There are some threads on converting them to M34A2 wheel bearings if you search the deuce forum.
    I did see the rule about bug out discussions. I just wanted to state my intention of looking for a specific vehicle but thank you for the warning.

    I have considered the option of converting them to the older style after reading some of the threads. I do like the idea of not having to worry about the CTIS in the event of flat.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rtk View Post
    And we continue on , LOL . ownership , how is it registered ? is the title available , vehicle is probably a 70-71 rebuilt by AM General in the 90's check the ownership to the serial number on the MV , has any maintenance been done to the vehicle ? do a check of the mv for leaks of any kind , especially the wheels , take it for a ride , how do the gauges read , in the normal range ? does it shift in all gears ? Another big issue is tires , do they hold air could be o rings or a worse a quad ring , how are the sidewalls , any cracking ? as you can see you must do your do diligence BEFORE you lay your money down . BTW $8 K if it were a ready to go vehicle is the going rate now days , but that is my opinion . Good luck , feel free to PM me I could bore you to death with details on your MV , all the best Bob K
    Hey Bob, thanks for the advice and the questions. I will try to answer as many of them as I can.

    1) It does have a clean title and is registered in the state where the seller is located.

    2) Serial number indicated that it is a 93 model and was rebuilt in the early 2000's.

    3) I do plan on taking a military buddy of mine who is also a mechanic to go with me to look at in person in a couple of weeks. According to the owner he drives it at least once a week so I going to assume that the tires at least hold air but of course I am going to check that out still.

    I have added some photos if you want to take a look at it.

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    I can say one thing that looking at the drivers seat, the truck has a LOT more miles on it then 500 or 120 hrs, which tells me that these gauges DO NOT WORK ?, I am guessing it is a HIGH mileage/hours truck, also it is a CLEAN truck, CLEAN HIDES a lot, I would rather look at a DIRTY truck to see the REAL condition that shows leaks ect.
    Last edited by 73m819; 11-05-2018 at 12:52.
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    3 Star General rtk's Avatar
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    Looks like it is all there , yup , take a second pair of eyes when you go for a check out ride . It does have the the air compressor relief valve fix , so it has some service in the past . It was rebuilt in 93 from a A2 to a A3 , probably serviced in 2000's , check the LS door frame for tags and run the info . As I stated before your MV most likely is a 70-71 A2 that was rebuilt in 1993 by AM General . When I did a major service on the brakes and wheel bearings I went the A2 route , a LOT cheaper !!!! I can almost guarantee you have some wheel bearing seals leaking , so that would be close to the top of my first service list . good luck Bob Kbob truck 002.jpg
    M35A3
    M37
    M101A2
    M274A5
    M274A5
    M1031

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    I have an A3 but myself bug out I would go Multi fuel. Then I would loose the bed and bolt on an Airstream trailer on the frame rails or go drop side bed and Airstream in bed.
    Real trucks don't have spark plugs! Me strong a bull smart as tractor. James

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