Advice needed on a M109A4

OrrElse

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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.
 

rtk

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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 :
 

rtk

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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:beer:
 

porkysplace

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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.
 

OrrElse

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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.
 

OrrElse

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Location
Maryland
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:beer:
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.
 

73m819

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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.
 
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rtk

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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
 

Floridianson

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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.
 
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