Buying a M35A2 or M35A3?

Which is better an M35A2 or M35A3

  • M35A2

    Votes: 192 61.7%
  • M35A3

    Votes: 119 38.3%

  • Total voters
    311

Steel Soldiers is supported by:

CryoGuy6075

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I read this post from start to finish and I have to say that there is alot of information! I was on the fence on what I wanted to get and I have decided on the A2. Now all I need is the money!!!!
 

goodguyzy

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thats just the beginning, soon you will start wondering about an A3, then a 5-ton then a generator, then......in no particular order. green affliction
 

glcaines

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Welcome to Steel Soldiers! You have come to the right place and have gotten started off right, by reading the posts. There is a lot of information here. You should also start reading the TMs on the A2, especially the operators manual. You will enjoy your A2 when you find it.
 

Robo902co

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Ok guys let me start by saying this was an interesting THREAD. I did post a question today about what to go with an A2 or A3. I read every post on here and what i got was that basically either one will be a fun beast to own.I am knew to these vehicles and i think before i buy one i will continue to educate myself on SS.
 

michaelpilot1

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Kennesaw, Georgia
All good but A3 for me.

The A2s are a proven truck with a great track record. Although the A3s have a few issues (like CTIS, take it off), (expensive bearings, change over to A2 bearings if they fail), ( the "disposable" Cat engine, most of the A3s have so few miles on them that wearing the engine out will not be in my lifetime) the A3 is my choice. The two circuit brake system, Allison (easy and available rebuild kits and Parts) automatic transmission and single wheels (update the tires to easily available and inexpensive surplus Goodyear MVTs) make it a really nice daily driver with great road manners. Either truck would be great and I would love to own both but dont have the space.

Summery: There is no wrong choice.
 

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WillysNut

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I'm new to the M35 arena and am researching on which is the better way to go - A2 or A3. Up until a few days ago, I didn't even know there were different A2 or A3 models.

Having read several threads regarding this debate, one thing seems to be strikingly appearent - it is an issue of the haves vs. the have nots. Those with the cash prefer the A3, those without the A2's. I did not find one A3 owner regretting their purchase saying they wish they had bought the A2. The same goes for those who own, or have owned, both; they all have said the A3 is their perferred overall truck, except for maybe highway driving - though they enjoy driving both. These are the people whose opinon I respect and value the most. Yes, I am sure there are those dual owners who don't like the A3, I just haven't run across any.

By far, the biggest arguements for the A2 are that it is cheap to buy and that the parts are plentiful/cheap (which are valid) - and, oh, that it looks cooler (not so valid). Obviously, the A3's are the more expensive purchase. Yet given the required A2 upgrades in which to make it safer and more driver friendly (i.e.: more like the A3), the costs in the long run are very comparable, if not the A2 being more expensive.

Being a Jeep and Willys guy for over 30 years, I've come to the realization that, while they certainly look cool and and have character, the old Jeeps and Willys suck to drive. They're underpowered, uncomfortable, loud, handle and stop like crap, and are cold in the winter. But, they're cheap and I love 'em. However, that being said, I also spend thousands upgrading engines, steering, drivetrain, brakes, and suspensions (and on the resulting headaches) to make them feasible daily drivers in the real world. Fact is, on a daily, year round basis, I much rather drive a new JK Rubicon than a '54 M38A1.

From what I'm reading, the A2's fit into that "cool with character" camp, where as the A3's fit more into the real world daily driver camp. Guess it comes down for what one is using the truck. A2's seem to make better farm/ranch vehicles, while the A3's better daily drivers. I'm leaning towards the A3.
 

heavymetal land

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I just picked up an A3 , 1996 with 12,000 miles with a winch, i am very happy with the way the cat purrs,seems to run strong ! As for being newer and more complex,the most complex thing i have ever restored is a 34 ton baldwin steam locomotive,known as viscose # 6 ! Older does not always translate to simple ! To me my A 3 is like driving a pickup ,my 4 M 923 not to bad either ! Now a steam locomotive that is fricken work !I will get an A2 some day ,but 4 now i say buy what makes You happy and don't be afraid cause God Hates a Coward :tank:
 

rambler

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great thread,,, I was wanting a A2, because I drove a few while in the Marines many years ago..and like the "cool" factor of the multi-fuel .. but now I'm back on the fence.. LOL so like everyone says..buy both.. maybe someday !
 

Scar59

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Buy Both, you'll have the best of both trucks, when you're working on one you can still drive the other, just don't take them apart at the same time.
JC
 

glcaines

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Buy Both, you'll have the best of both trucks, when you're working on one you can still drive the other, just don't take them apart at the same time.
JC
I did buy both. Although I like both trucks, it seems like I'm always working on the A3 and driving the A2.
 

Scar59

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Gary,
Are you really repairing it or just modifing it? Once I got the bugs out of the CTIS system (leaks in fitting) and a leaking bearing seal, my A3 has been turn key, starts in two revolution of starter engagement. My A2 take a little TLC once in a while. Now the m813s, they started all winter long, never have an issue w/ them. Do you burn WMO in the A2?
JC
 

glcaines

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I haven't done any modifications to the A3 or the A2. I don't burn anything but clean diesel in the A2. I've had to clean check valves in the A3 fuel system a couple of times, replace the compressor governor, replace the air dryer, replace the priority valve, replace a wheel seal, replace the discharge air lines for the air assisted power steering, weld cracks in the hood, replace valve stem grommets and o-rings on 4 wheels, etc. All of this on a truck that had only a little over 3K miles on it. During this period, my 69 Kaiser A2 with ~35K miles has only had a flat tire. I'm still driving it with the flat tire since it is on one of the rear duals. Both trucks start fine, but the A2 starts much easier in cold weather. The CTIS on my A3 works fine.
 

Nelmst

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I just purchased an '88 A2C. ¿About me? I earn a living as an electrical engineer.
My job is keeping up a toy farm an its machines (8 acres & animals).
My decision was based on several things in order of importance:

1) The accessibility of parts. - I also restore 300 series diesel Mercedes, <sarcasm> in my endless spare time </sarcasm>
2) Simplicity. - Less parts mean less broke stuff.
3) No computers, brain-boxes or otherwise mysterious points of failure that can not be repaired.
4) Cost. - I see too many guys dumping thousands in their pick-up trucks to make them big & tough. Economically stupid, I say. Just buy what you need
5) Documentation. - I thought Mercedes documentation was insane. Wow :-D

This being my maiden post, thanks everyone for the time in contributing to such a wealth of information.
 
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