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Thread: Towing M135 with a 5 ton M54

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    General superburban's Avatar
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    Default Towing M135 with a 5 ton M54

    I just bought an M135 and M54 from a friend in Montana. I live in Utah, 500 miles away. I'm storing them both at another friend's ranch (also in Montana) until spring. I'm planning on flat towing the deuce with the 5 ton on the trip back to Utah. I've found lots of info about towing M35s and newer trucks, but not a lot about the early deuces.

    Are there any idiosyncrasies about towing the M135?

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    4 Star General porkysplace's Avatar
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    Probably would be a good idea to pull the driveshafts .

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    4 Star General nattieleather's Avatar
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    The 5 ton will pull that duce with no problems, but as porky said pull the drive shafts. It is very easy to leave the transfer case in gear and you'll burn it up flat towing it. Trust me I learned the hard way. With the drive shafts pulled it should be an easy pull. Also is that a gas M54 or a diesel? I don't see the air cleaner for the diesel and that's why I'm wondering if it is a gas. Either way plan on a ling trip at 45 mph.
    Last edited by nattieleather; 12-15-2018 at 16:03.

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    General superburban's Avatar
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    They're both gassers.

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    4 Star General porkysplace's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by superburban View Post
    They're both gassers.
    Are you planning on having a chase vehicle will extra fuel ?
    Them old gassers weren't built for mileage.

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    4 Star General AMGeneral's Avatar
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    As others have stated, pull all 3 driveshafts, or if you are worried about the differentials, pull all 4 rear axle shafts and the front drive flanges and cover the holes.

    If you do option 2 , there is less drag on the 5 ton ( less mechanicals rotating), you may want to back the brake shoes off on the 211 as well if the brakes on it do not work.

    Always remember to use 2 safety chains and cross them as you would when towing a trailer.

    It may have been overkill on my part, but I always used 2 5/8 diameter wrecker chains as my safety chains when flat towing.

    With the 6602 I would carry at least 50 gallons of extra gas (non-ethanol) for emergencies plus the usual spares,(plugs, wires, dist cap, rotor button, fuel pump, etc).

    It's not a gigantic powerhouse, but with 224 hp and almost 600 ft/lbs of torque, it's definetly no slouch!

    I will say in my expierence , the GMC deuces (M135/211) flat tow and follow better than the Reo design.
    Last edited by AMGeneral; 12-15-2018 at 21:00.

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    General superburban's Avatar
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    Awesome!

    Thank you for the help guys. I'm well aware of these trucks' thirst for fuel. I figure i paid so little for them that i could throw several hundred gallons of fuel into the balance sheet and I'll still be ahead!

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    Default M135 flat tow caution

    If you're talking about two fully serviced deuces rolling on a 500 mile trip next year then it could be a cool documentary. With the wash out we've seen in M135 bearings, pulling 6 wheels, hubs, bearings, races and that sassy front knuckle is a starting point.

    Greasing the front steering knuckle can be done externally and I'm sure it's even got a PSI spec so having a grease system with a pressure gauge would work to eliminate a full knuckle pull.

    Steering component parts should meet tolerance to feel good about the pull too. Good maintenance would catch a cotter pin missing on a tie rod end but we have stories of simple items like this killing folks.

    You're lucky if you've got a spot you can work on them before a trip. Since most of the old deuces need a ton of work before hitting public roads, I just get them hauled....but I envy the adventure you're on. Rolling with those two trucks is historical.

    Page 70/71 9-8024 states flat tow over 15mph and 10 miles in distance requires the removal of front axle drive hub flanges, transfer to pillow block propeller shaft assembly and transfer to forward-rear-axle propeller shaft assembly.
    Last edited by m1010plowboy; 12-15-2018 at 18:26.

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    Where in Montana you coming from?

    I live in Martin City MT up by Glacier Park.
    Blessings to you and yours!

    Monte


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    General superburban's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcv1964 View Post
    Where in Montana you coming from?

    I live in Martin City MT up by Glacier Park.
    I'm from Fairfield originally. That's where the trucks are parked currently.

    I've driven through Martin City plenty of times. I love that part of the state!
    Last edited by superburban; 12-27-2018 at 14:48.

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