Buying a M35A2 or M35A3?

Which is better an M35A2 or M35A3

  • M35A2

    Votes: 193 61.9%
  • M35A3

    Votes: 119 38.1%

  • Total voters
    312

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DonFDNY

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I've had a M37 and currently have a M151A2. I am toying with the idea of also getting a deuce. I like the M35A3 but the auto trans makes me nervous. Would you recommend an A2 or A3. The A2 has a manual transmission and I'm guessing less problems to maintain. So, my question is what yould you guys recommend, a M35A2 or a M35A3 and why?
Thanks,
Don
 
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KsM715

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St George Ks
:ditto: relatively speaking, A2= simple and cheap, A3= complicated and exspensive.


Unless money is not the main concern. If one has the money and can pay to have it fixed when it breaks then the A3 might be easier to drive.
 
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usmc320

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I went through the same decision and went with an A2. My reasoning was this: The A3, in my opinion, does not have a significantly better powerplant, and parts are not nearly as easy (and cheap) to find.
 

bullfrog1234

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Second that, parts and easier to work on. I have had experience with the A3s and I perfer the A2 any day. My suggestion is, if you can, pop the hood on a A3 and then an A2 and choose which one would be easier to work on. Because no matter which one you get, you will be working on it sooner or later. Now, the A3 is easier on the ears and has the electric windshield wipers along with power steering and a few other features but the A2 is just a hardy truck and cheaper than the A3s if you are going to bid on one. What I did was went to the screening before the sale and looked at what was up for bid and I pick the best one. Then, I placed 5,000 dollars to ensure I won the one I wanted. I did this becasuse most auctions do not go that high and I did not want to settle for one that I had to tow home or buy parts right off the bat. That is my 02.
 

hklvette

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From what I've seen, the A3 better than the A2 when in new condition. As the saying goes though, "Parts left off don't break," and on the A3 (especially the CTIS) that seems to happen a lot. A2s also can be had for a few thousand less than the A3s.
 

wreckerman893

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Akenback acres near Gadsden, AL
I like the M35A3 but the auto trans makes me nervous.
Go with the little voice in your head....the A3's were a failed (and expensive) attempt to modernize the deuces and allow them to keep up with the HEMMT's and HUMVEE's.

The CAT motor is underpowered and the automatic prevents push starting the vehicle in case of starter failure. Any engine painted yaller is going to cost you money when it breaks.

Don't get me started on the Central Tire Inflation System.

IMHO they were designed by an idiot after a long consultation with a group of morons.
Somebody in the gooberment realized the taxpayers were getting a (slow) ride for their buck and put the brakes on the project.

Uncle Sam then bought the LNTV, a far more complicated and expensive vehicle for the money.....then he paid to up-armor them after the fact.

There seems to be a pattern here.:roll:
 

Nonotagain

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Go with the little voice in your head....the A3's were a failed (and expensive) attempt to modernize the deuces and allow them to keep up with the HEMMT's and HUMVEE's.

The CAT motor is underpowered and the automatic prevents push starting the vehicle in case of starter failure. Any engine painted yaller is going to cost you money when it breaks.

Don't get me started on the Central Tire Inflation System.

IMHO they were designed by an idiot after a long consultation with a group of morons.
Somebody in the gooberment realized the taxpayers were getting a (slow) ride for their buck and put the brakes on the project.

Uncle Sam then bought the LNTV, a far more complicated and expensive vehicle for the money.....then he paid to up-armor them after the fact.

There seems to be a pattern here.:roll:
They're all expensive to repair.

Cat verses the Detroit, verses the Cummins. You get good, you get bad and you get mediocre.

Look at the number of threads on transmission problems a few months back. Lots of folks having issues with the Spicer 3053 as well as clutches.

Look at the number of exploding Multi-fuels.

The last of the M35a2 were built circa 1987-88. Unless you get one of these trucks you're stuck with a single cylinder braking system.

The A3 is fuggly, but like a Pug dog, they grow on you.

While the Cat 3116 is pretty much a disposable motor they still make more horsepower than a multi-fuel does. Don't like the CTIS, no problem dis-connect it. Problem solved. The in-cab heater, electric wipers, super singles, drop side bed, power steering and yes automatic transmission make it a much more friendly truck to drive.

If you have access to alternative fuels, then an A2 might make sense for your use.

When the A2 was designed, automatic transmissions in automobiles were options. Automatic transmissions in trucks were unheard of. Power steering, "we don't need no stinking power steering". Heat? "Man-up".

Yep, A3 do go for more money than A2's, but newer vehicles are also worth more money when you go to re-sell them.

Lastly, the FMTV was designed before the US Military set forth requirements for armoring everything short of a wheel barrel.

Thank your Congress critter for not exempting the Military from EPA regulations that dictated the all-electronic diesel.
 

Skycop

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I told you so

I told you there would be a great amount of opinions, didn't I? :p

I will have to support what Nonotagain has to say in that both trucks have their own problems. The CAT motor does produce more horsepower and it is noticeable when driving around, not in top end, but off the line (if there is such a thing in a M35)

I think the biggest and most sound advice that was given by Bullfrog:

"What I did was went to the screening before the sale and looked at what was up for bid and I pick the best one. Then, I placed 5,000 dollars to ensure I won the one I wanted. I did this becasuse most auctions do not go that high and I did not want to settle for one that I had to tow home or buy parts right off the bat. That is my 02. "


I think that you should set an amount of money that you are willing to spend, regardless of the variant you select. Go down to a screening and take a good hard look at various trucks. Make a bid on the one in the best condition and go from there. I think it mainly boils down to the automatic and "power" steering vs manual everything else. As I said before, in the context we are using our truck, those were "must have" items which is why we went with the -A3.

The final 2cents is that if you are going for a winch on the truck, the -A3 with the PTO driven hydraulic winch is HANDS DOWN better than the PTO/clutch set up on the -A2. Again, I am speaking about usability as the -A3 has a more complex system.
 

croftonaviation

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I have to say it comes down to money. I do not own an A-3 but I have been keeping one all winter for a fellow steel soldier. Now to be fair the truck came straight from GL to our farm so it has not been loved on. But having had it for a while I like the A2 better. If you have the money to fix it when it breaks than I thin the A-3 would be fine. But when it (and it will) break's it will be expensive. I think simpler designs age better. From what you already own I would say an A2 would be a very easy move. I would get one with a winch, as skycop pointed out. I have found many uses for mine and the A2 setup is not bad to work with. I have recovered tractors and pull heavy Good luck with whatever you do.
 

DonFDNY

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Long Island/New York
M35A1 & A2 models

Got some more feed back from some one who seems to know!

"First of all the M35A3 models were originally M35A1 & A2 models that were
sent back to the factory for a service life extension program and rebuilt as
the M35A3. The two drawbacks to operating one are the CTIS and the 14.5R20
tires. The CTIS is trouble and should be removed. Along with that system are
the special wheel bearings that are $800.00 each. The tires are an odd size
and replacements are $1,500-$1,800.00 each. Because there were so few trucks
built, there are not any good used tires in the market place. The wheels are
scare and expensive also."

Don
 

KsM715

Well-known member
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Location
St George Ks
whos buying tires and bearings for that much? :shock: obviously someone that does not buy "surplus" or salvage yard stuff and only goes directly to the dealer for "new" parts.
 

mooresM35A2

Member
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Location
Madison County IL
the A3 is powered by the Caterpillar 3116, it has more power than the multi fuels. however it was one of the worst engines CAT ever made, and like wreckerman said anything painted yellow will cost $$$ to get fixed, i can testify to that because im interning at a CAT dealer
 

swampzr2

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Algonquin, IL
They're all expensive to repair.
Cat verses the Detroit, verses the Cummins. You get good, you get bad and you get mediocre.
All the A3's I have seen are CAT's

All of the A2's I saw are Herculese, Continental or White motors. When did Detroit and Cummins make motors for the A2?

I bought an A3 for these simple facts:
Already has super single tires
Nicer seats
Heat
Drop sides bed
Less rust and body work to do
Less miles and newer
If I bought an A2, I would spend a few thousand to do these things, so I am at the price of an A3.
 
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