Making a deuce a reliable daily driver? Help make a to-do list?

TechnoWeenie

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So, I've been thinking about the best way to make sure that a deuce is a reliable daily driver. I'm trying to make a 'To Do List'.

Because I don't know the history of a vehicle that I buy, I usually replace all the fluids as a start, but this heavy equipment being 50+ years old, and not knowing what has and hasn't been done, I figured a more exhaustive list would probably be best.

So, here's what I'm thinking...


Primary:

  • Change oil
  • Change gear oil (axle)
  • Change trans fluid
  • Flush brake system
  • Replace fuel filter
  • Flush coolant
  • Adjust air assist steering
  • Adjust parking brake
  • Replace belts

Secondary:
  • Replace inner and outer bearings
  • Replace axle seals
  • Replace oil filters with spin-on kit
  • Replace all rubber brake lines
  • Replace all rubber air lines
  • Replace all rubber fuel lines
  • Replace all wheel cylinders


Future upgrades

  • Dual circuit master/braking
  • Full hydraulic steering
  • Lockable/unlockable front hubs
  • 1200/20 G272 'Stryker tires'
  • ROPS/Rollover protection

The idea, is to turn one into a tiny house, and live in it.... Which means it'll be a daily driver, and it will need to be as reliable as it can be...

What else needs to be added to list? What am I overlooking?
 
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Menaces Nemesis

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Can't remember who said it, maybe M35 Tom, but the point was made that you've got to thoroughly PMCS the truck in a way that you lay your hands and eyes on every single inch of the truck, every light socket, every contact, every inch of line, check every bearing, seal, spring and fastener possible. Even after you do that you most likely will have problems that didn't get bedded down the first time, and you'll have to revisit them until the bad part/adjustment/seal etc. is corrected. With a 50+ year-old chunk of equipment with spotty/suspect maintenence, you're likely to have frustration until you've given attention to everything in this manner, and you've given the truck thousands of miles in between to shake down and check again, until you find that every component is happy and getting along with it's counterparts as it should. I wouldn't go replacing things like bearings and brake cylinders unless they're found to be bad. As far as air and fuel line goes, I'm a big believer in replacing ALL that old rubber and copper with DOT nylon (except at the compressor discharge, where I'd use braided stainless). In my opinion, a huge part of keeping equipment reliable is that IT MUST BE USED ON A REGULAR BASIS. Makes me so frustrated when folks buy equipment, leave it sitting for months or years on end, and then act surprised when it fails to work properly. Just like Newton said, "Objects in motion tend to stay in motion". Same goes for your truck. Maintain it regularly, drive it weekly, and it's apt to be very reliable. Park it for long periods, letting the elements and temperature swings get to it, and it's likely to want to stay dormant when you try to start it.
 

TechnoWeenie

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Can't remember who said it, maybe M35 Tom, but the point was made that you've got to thoroughly PMCS the truck in a way that you lay your hands and eyes on every single inch of the truck, every light socket, every contact, every inch of line, check every bearing, seal, spring and fastener possible. Even after you do that you most likely will have problems that didn't get bedded down the first time, and you'll have to revisit them until the bad part/adjustment/seal etc. is corrected. With a 50+ year-old chunk of equipment with spotty/suspect maintenence, you're likely to have frustration until you've given attention to everything in this manner, and you've given the truck thousands of miles in between to shake down and check again, until you find that every component is happy and getting along with it's counterparts as it should. I wouldn't go replacing things like bearings and brake cylinders unless they're found to be bad. As far as air and fuel line goes, I'm a big believer in replacing ALL that old rubber and copper with DOT nylon (except at the compressor discharge, where I'd use braided stainless). In my opinion, a huge part of keeping equipment reliable is that IT MUST BE USED ON A REGULAR BASIS. Makes me so frustrated when folks buy equipment, leave it sitting for months or years on end, and then act surprised when it fails to work properly. Just like Newton said, "Objects in motion tend to stay in motion". Same goes for your truck. Maintain it regularly, drive it weekly, and it's apt to be very reliable. Park it for long periods, letting the elements and temperature swings get to it, and it's likely to want to stay dormant when you try to start it.
I think it was Doghead that said 'If it's rubber, replace it, if it's electrical clean it' or something to that effect...

I agree that there will be stuff that pops up. The idea being to make everything as bulletproof as possible, to minimize frustrations/failures down the road... pardon the pun.

The logic behind replacing all bearings and wheel cylinders, is I'm gonna have to tear everything down for inspection anyway.... if I'm there, I might as well replace it with known good stuff, instead of just repack/inspect and guess as to how long they'll last. This way, I'll KNOW they're replaced, and from what I've seen, they're not that expensive....

So, per axle, I'm looking at...

$30 Wheel cylinder x2
$30 Inner wheel bearing x2
$40 Inner wheel bearing x2
$11 Inner/outer bearing race x4
$40 inner/outer/hub seals

=$284/axle

I think that's pretty cheap insurance.....

I mean, bearings are wear items.. They could look great, and but fail under stress shortly after, right? I don't know how old they are. They could be original, for all I know..

Please correct me if I'm wrong.
 
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Recovry4x4

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I think it was Doghead that said 'If it's rubber, replace it, if it's electrical clean it' or something to that effect...

I agree that there will be stuff that pops up. The idea being to make everything as bulletproof as possible, to minimize frustrations/failures down the road... pardon the pun.

The logic behind replacing all bearings and wheel cylinders, is I'm gonna have to tear everything down for inspection anyway.... if I'm there, I might as well replace it with known good stuff, instead of just repack/inspect and guess as to how long they'll last. This way, I'll KNOW they're replaced, and from what I've seen, they're not that expensive....

So, per axle, I'm looking at...

$30 Wheel cylinder x2
$30 Inner wheel bearing x2
$40 Inner wheel bearing x2
$11 Inner/outer bearing race x4
$40 inner/outer/hub seals

=$284/axle

I think that's pretty cheap insurance.....

I mean, bearings are wear items.. They could look great, and but fail under stress shortly after, right? I don't know how old they are. They could be original, for all I know..

Please correct me if I'm wrong.
Well, if you're going to be in there, might as well replace brake shoes linings and hold down and return hardware. I would be sure to save some of the removed hardware for emergency trail repairs. My used bearings get cleaned, inspected, repacked and sealed in ziplocks or mylar.
 

Menaces Nemesis

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I've seen lots of new parts that were bad right out of the box... Could y'all explain to me how a used wheel bearing that's properly packed, geometrically correct, shows no sign of heat, galling, etc., just "fails" all of a sudden? And how is the out-of-the-box, yet to be field tested, new bearing better than the old, use-proven bearing that passes inspection?
 

TechnoWeenie

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Well, if you're going to be in there, might as well replace brake shoes linings and hold down and return hardware. I would be sure to save some of the removed hardware for emergency trail repairs. My used bearings get cleaned, inspected, repacked and sealed in ziplocks or mylar.
Do brake shoe linings fail due to age vs use? Brake hardware, like springs, I can see.. Shoe linings/pads/drums? Not sure if that's needed?

Parking brake, I can see as well...
 

Recovry4x4

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Do brake shoe linings fail due to age vs use? Brake hardware, like springs, I can see.. Shoe linings/pads/drums? Not sure if that's needed?

Parking brake, I can see as well...
Considering the work to get to them and the relative low cost, it would be a cost/labor benefit analysis. Shoes often fail from age. Either chunks of lining fall or or linings completely come off. Attached is what happens when hold down hardware fails and no one does PMCS.

I would put brake shoes as preventative maintenance over an inspected and repacked bearing. Odds are better than average that at least one set of shoes have oil on them.
 

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Jbulach

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I think it was Doghead that said 'If it's rubber, replace it, if it's electrical clean it' or something to that effect...

I agree that there will be stuff that pops up. The idea being to make everything as bulletproof as possible, to minimize frustrations/failures down the road... pardon the pun.

The logic behind replacing all bearings and wheel cylinders, is I'm gonna have to tear everything down for inspection anyway.... if I'm there, I might as well replace it with known good stuff, instead of just repack/inspect and guess as to how long they'll last. This way, I'll KNOW they're replaced, and from what I've seen, they're not that expensive....

So, per axle, I'm looking at...

$30 Wheel cylinder x2
$30 Inner wheel bearing x2
$40 Inner wheel bearing x2
$11 Inner/outer bearing race x4
$40 inner/outer/hub seals

=$284/axle

I think that's pretty cheap insurance.....

I mean, bearings are wear items.. They could look great, and but fail under stress shortly after, right? I don't know how old they are. They could be original, for all I know..

Please correct me if I'm wrong.
I would only buy enough for one axle to start, then start going through the truck one axle at a time inspecting and replacing only what needs it. Wheel cylinders I could see replacing just because, however wouldn’t spend money on bearings without inspecting them first, but I’m cheap...
 

V8srfun

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The while you are there’s will drain your bank account real quick with these trucks. Saying wheel bearings are wear items and should be replaced when showing no signs of wear is like saying you replace your headlights every night because they were used.

I would change all fluids and filters, replace rubber lines, replace axle boots and seals, repack bearings, and fix any and all fluid leaks first. Then drive the truck for a while and see what you want to change/ upgrade. After you get some hours behind the wheel your prospective may completely change.
 

fleetmech

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For daily use, I would add a remote brake reservoir to keep tabs on the brake system, and perhaps swap out the turn signal flasher for a civvy one, or at least carry a spare oem part. I would also inspect the often overlooked oil in the steering box.

I second the addition of a backup camera, those things are really handy in DD situations, especially when other (clueless) people are around.

Spin on filters dont just make routine maintenance easier, they are also easier to change and possibly more available out on the road should you get a load of bad fuel in your travels.

Do whatever makes you happy with the bearings. But, bear in mind that not only are a lot of new parts of inferior quality to the old ones, a lot are bad out of the box... I would inspect, repack, and keep any that arent damaged but thats totally up to you.
 

tobyS

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I have to comment about the sentence on your OP . Your goals of making a tiny house and daily driver seem to conflict. Do you have a deuce already? It sounds like earlier than A3, which comes with its own set of problems.

My idea of a daily driver is a bobbed deuce with the bed made into a trailer that can be your tiny house but not follow you everywhere.
 

TechnoWeenie

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I have to comment about the sentence on your OP . Your goals of making a tiny house and daily driver seem to conflict. Do you have a deuce already? It sounds like earlier than A3, which comes with its own set of problems.

My idea of a daily driver is a bobbed deuce with the bed made into a trailer that can be your tiny house but not follow you everywhere.
Already have an A2 I have an eye on.

I'm houseless right now, so it would be a camper/rv of sorts but more tailored to long term use.
 

TechnoWeenie

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Spent about 4 hours doing a pre-trip inspection.... Probably should have taken 45 mins but... I'm a little slower these days. Ironically enough, laying under the truck checking the diffs was the easy part. heh.

Used about a gallon of DOT5 flushing the brakes. They're pretty good, but not perfect. I'm guessing master isn't that great, so a dual circuit one is in the works.

I added about 2.5-3 quarts of 80/90, between the 3 axles, trans, and transfer case.. So, while they were low, they weren't THAT low. The rear diff was the worst, about a quart low. The oil in everything but the transfer case looked pretty good. Transfer case oil looked like it needed replacing sooner rather than later, but not horribly so.

Fuel filter housing is leaking about 1 drop every 2 seconds, which will be fixed by spin on fuel filter kit. Minor leak at the oil filter housing gasket, also easily fixed by a spin on kit. Hubs were actually almost cold, after a 60 min trip, and no excess heat anywhere in the driveline. Shifts good. Clutch is good.

Radiator cap is leaking when it gets up to temp. I'm guessing the gasket/seal on the cap is toast.

Big issue is the air assist steering. It assists to the right, great... But if you try to steer to the left, it's like you're FIGHTING against the assist. It was a recent addition by the previous owner, and I'm guessing he either didn't install it properly, or there's issues with the valve body.

Engine has an 86 contract date, but the truck is a 68, so the engine is newer, at least.

Made a 100+ mile trip with zero issues.
 

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Karl kostman

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This may have been asked or you may have already addressed it but are you going to put a shelter on the truck or are you going to build something? The S280 shelter is a very good unit and big enough that you can do a lot with it. Take your time and find one in very good condition my guess is you going to pay equal to or less than building one yourself!
Good luck
 

TechnoWeenie

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This may have been asked or you may have already addressed it but are you going to put a shelter on the truck or are you going to build something? The S280 shelter is a very good unit and big enough that you can do a lot with it. Take your time and find one in very good condition my guess is you going to pay equal to or less than building one yourself!
Good luck
Was thinking about cutting down a 20' connex and removing the bed, mounting to the frame, but the prices of those have skyrocketed.

I'm leaning more towards making my own, because I really want a cabover.

I may use an M109 box, but I'm not a fan of the space limitations, and modifying sounds difficult.
 
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