So is the M1161 a complete orphan vehicle that I should avoid?

M1165A1

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One seems to have about fallen into my lap, an M1161 for sale locally. It seems to be in OK shape, I have to verify the year and give it of course a thorough inspection. The seller is asking a lot, comparatively, as he wants to make back his auction cost and something on top of that.

Is it a crazy thing to buy? I would primarily use it for off road use, on Colorado mountains. I have the garage space to tuck it next to my M1165A1.

Things that I'd like to know:

- What do these actually sell for on the secondary market? I see the past sales on govplanet, and that gives me an idea, but there's a wide range. How much is a fair price for an average condition M1161?

- Maintenance and availability of parts. HMMWV parts are expensive, but plentiful. Are Growler parts available? I am aware many of the engine parts can be sourced from Brazil, but as far as I know there aren't any TMs for the Growler. Does the OEM sell parts or TMs to the public?

- Any tricks to the inspection? I know to check if the 4 wheel steering is welded up. Any other known problems to be aware of? General tips of what's good and not? The one I am looking at has a winch and it has the soft roof, two pluses.

- Are there any gun mounts available? I have a few good beltfeds I would like to mount and shoot as I do out of the turret on my HMMWV.

- General thoughts?


Thanks for any/all thoughts, I'm looking to make a decision this month (August 2021, for posterity).
 

W427

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Most replies you get are uninformed or misinformed trash-talk or simply wrong, from bystanders that are not as-familiar with the ITVs. I strongly suggest you get real answers from real owner/operators by checking here: https://www.growlerforum.com/

Straight-talk — my Itvees are not perfect by any means, and neither are your MVs. Let's get the facts straight. @M1165A1, also post your questions over there (I do not pretend to be a Guru) and let's get you some good answers to make your best decisions on both forums. (y)
 

jmpogue89

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One seems to have about fallen into my lap, an M1161 for sale locally. It seems to be in OK shape, I have to verify the year and give it of course a thorough inspection. The seller is asking a lot, comparatively, as he wants to make back his auction cost and something on top of that.

Is it a crazy thing to buy? I would primarily use it for off road use, on Colorado mountains. I have the garage space to tuck it next to my M1165A1.

Things that I'd like to know:

- What do these actually sell for on the secondary market? I see the past sales on govplanet, and that gives me an idea, but there's a wide range. How much is a fair price for an average condition M1161?

- Maintenance and availability of parts. HMMWV parts are expensive, but plentiful. Are Growler parts available? I am aware many of the engine parts can be sourced from Brazil, but as far as I know there aren't any TMs for the Growler. Does the OEM sell parts or TMs to the public?

- Any tricks to the inspection? I know to check if the 4 wheel steering is welded up. Any other known problems to be aware of? General tips of what's good and not? The one I am looking at has a winch and it has the soft roof, two pluses.

- Are there any gun mounts available? I have a few good beltfeds I would like to mount and shoot as I do out of the turret on my HMMWV.

- General thoughts?


Thanks for any/all thoughts, I'm looking to make a decision this month (August 2021, for posterity).
 

W427

Member
60
31
18
Location
Seattle, WA area
I haven't seen you post your questions for the Growler owners, so I'll take a quick shot at them from my perspective. You have many nested questions, but I'll try to touch all of them, and just from my perspective.
- What do these actually sell for on the secondary market? I see the past sales on govplanet, and that gives me an idea, but there's a wide range. How much is a fair price for an average condition M1161?
The private sales are tough to assess and vary widely. Original auctions ranged from about $5k (empty shell) to almost $60k (freshly upgraded and rebuilt by Uncle Sam). As a general rule-of-thumb, most Itvees appear to bring 2 to 3 times their auction price. This is entirely expected and valid for relatively rare and unique vehicles like these, as described in this post. One thing I've found, is that there is no reliable "average condition" for ITVs, as there are so many variables. It's worth what the buyer and seller can agree it's worth on that day.
- Maintenance and availability of parts. HMMWV parts are expensive, but plentiful. Are Growler parts available? I am aware many of the engine parts can be sourced from Brazil, but as far as I know there aren't any TMs for the Growler. Does the OEM sell parts or TMs to the public?
One of the most attractive features of Itvees is their design requirements. This included every part possible be commercial off-the-shelf (COTS), and one reason I've made one of mine a nearly daily-driver. With the exception of the chassis structure and body parts, most every part is available online with a click. Not to say they are cheap, as top-notch parts were used throughout, but they are mostly available parts or have alternatives. While "rare" usually mans hard-to-find parts, this one is the opposite for most things.

For the engine, MWM is a global producer, just not for the American market with it's much more stringent regulations. All who have tried to source engine parts for the Navistar/MWM diesel (that I know of) have been successful, mostly from European sources where it has been used globally in Volkswagen trucks. Other sources are countries that had them in Nissan, General Motors, a few Fords or other users. MWM has almost 1/3 of the diesel market share globally (they're big), but we Americans don't see that.

The effective parts difference for owners is that Hummvee parts have specialty dealers, whereas Itvee parts are available to everyone, so the convenience of ordering from your favorite supplier is not a common option. Dealers can't mark-up a master cylinder for $300 when they know you can buy it at NAPA for $60. Instead, you have to determine what the part is and where to find it yourself, often from your local auto parts store or online for a lot less than other MVs.

Other times it is a bit confusing or frustrating, because you know the part is out there (maybe everywhere) and you just don't know what it is or who has it. It took a couple months to finally confirm the control arm bushings were a common Chevy part and $5 each from RockAuto, or that the axle shafts are used by the Porshe crowd. Enter the power of the Growler community and sharing knowledge. Treat it like servicing a custom-built off-road rig, and go at it.

The 600 page operators manual is available, but the service or shop manual equivalent is still classified as a research program and part of a "weapons system". This is a big hurdle, as you don't have much specific info to tell you how to work on it or where wires go. Again, the community has done some very intensive research and fact-sharing to ease this situation. Still, you would greatly benefit from some mechanical and electrical skills if you need to do miantenance and diagnostic work. Most things are familiar to mechanics, such as the Bosch fuel injection, used on millions of engines from Cummins to your neighbor's VW, or the Chevy brake hydraulics, Ford differentials, GM Blazer/Colorado transmission, NP241 transfer case, Fox shocks, Wilwood brakes, etc.
- Any tricks to the inspection? I know to check if the 4 wheel steering is welded up. Any other known problems to be aware of? General tips of what's good and not? The one I am looking at has a winch and it has the soft roof, two pluses.
Condition is relative, and the same process for any MV. First is to remember that unless the seller did a lot of work, you found a vehicle sitting for 10 to 15 years. It will need extensive maintenance, same as any "barn find" of any type, even with easy to find parts. Belt, hoses, filters, fluids, wipers, etc. Priority is to verify every last thing and function works, properly. Check everything. Anything that is missing, fritzing or broken can mean added costs, and especially added labor. Many are missing cannibalized parts, and while you can probably find new ones, it can be a pain to locate some stuff, and pricey to install unless you're DIY. Most of them have bent skid plates, and often bent driveshafts from stupid forklifting.

Likewise, extra stuff is a bonus. Your winch and its mount adds a chunk of value (if it works), although even that is available from Ramsey new (24V Patriot 9500), and the mount is not exactly rocket science to make yourself. Some canvas is reproduced, but doors not yet, so unique body stuff like that is a nice plus.
- Are there any gun mounts available? I have a few good beltfeds I would like to mount and shoot as I do out of the turret on my HMMWV.
Yes, and I saw one original early-on auction. However, most now would be fabricated reproductions. Search for threads about parts, plans and 'complete' setups from other belters.
- General thoughts?
Sure, I have some random ones: The soft tops and doors will not keep you dry. If you are tall, you won't fit into the short PMs with less leg room. Maintenance can be a bigger challenge if you're used to a Willys, as there is a lot of hardware crammed into these things, and much is not easy to get to. With the turbo-diesel clattering, the compressor humming and cooling fans whirring, they can be annoyingly noisy. On the other hand, with their pneumatic sneezing and farting as tires auto-adjust pressure, or suspension operates, they do exhibit unique character.

I have only had one of mine out 4-wheeling once, so I can't help much with that perspective, although others can that do. It was fun offsetting the suspension (leaning) when cross-traversing a slope, that nobody else could, and tight maneuvering with 4-wheel steering was awesome. They were highly praised by operators for their impressive performance during their testing and trials. They aren't a "jump into of holes and over moguls" type like a Polaris or quad, and don't take corners at high speeds at max ride height... LOL There are reasons Marines received extensive driving instruction, and the dash-mount Lev-O-Gage (tilt angle) they have can be important. I imagine they would be very happy pulling your camping trailer into the outback.

I love my stubby PMs. They are like a heavy and fast over-powered Samurai. They get more attention than most hot rods and collector cars on cruises. Waves, salutes and honks are endless, but interruptions and questions happen every trip out. That's great for a while, but now I carry info sheets to hand-out following the 150th time I heard "what the hell is that?". Crabbing down the street with cross-controlled 4-wheel steering is a huge crowd pleaser, especially after hissing from max suspension height like a scared cat to squatting on its haunches. Get used to cameras and videos on cruise night, while gawkers ignore the Ferraris and Lambo's around you. Seriously. I had mine a month and a paparazzi-style shot appeared as the sole photo on the front page of the newspaper covering Independence Day stuff. I've owned multiple classics, and this one is a magnet.

I hope this short overview helps, and the Growler community is very friendly if you want more answers. I wish you well on your decision!
 

Mullaney

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I haven't seen you post your questions for the Growler owners, so I'll take a quick shot at them from my perspective. You have many nested questions, but I'll try to touch all of them, and just from my perspective.

The private sales are tough to assess and vary widely. Original auctions ranged from about $5k (empty shell) to almost $60k (freshly upgraded and rebuilt by Uncle Sam). As a general rule-of-thumb, most Itvees appear to bring 2 to 3 times their auction price. This is entirely expected and valid for relatively rare and unique vehicles like these, as described in this post. One thing I've found, is that there is no reliable "average condition" for ITVs, as there are so many variables. It's worth what the buyer and seller can agree it's worth on that day.

One of the most attractive features of Itvees is their design requirements. This included every part possible be commercial off-the-shelf (COTS), and one reason I've made one of mine a nearly daily-driver. With the exception of the chassis structure and body parts, most every part is available online with a click. Not to say they are cheap, as top-notch parts were used throughout, but they are mostly available parts or have alternatives. While "rare" usually mans hard-to-find parts, this one is the opposite for most things.

For the engine, MWM is a global producer, just not for the American market with it's much more stringent regulations. All who have tried to source engine parts for the Navistar/MWM diesel (that I know of) have been successful, mostly from European sources where it has been used globally in Volkswagen trucks. Other sources are countries that had them in Nissan, General Motors, a few Fords or other users. MWM has almost 1/3 of the diesel market share globally (they're big), but we Americans don't see that.

The effective parts difference for owners is that Hummvee parts have specialty dealers, whereas Itvee parts are available to everyone, so the convenience of ordering from your favorite supplier is not a common option. Dealers can't mark-up a master cylinder for $300 when they know you can buy it at NAPA for $60. Instead, you have to determine what the part is and where to find it yourself, often from your local auto parts store or online for a lot less than other MVs.

Other times it is a bit confusing or frustrating, because you know the part is out there (maybe everywhere) and you just don't know what it is or who has it. It took a couple months to finally confirm the control arm bushings were a common Chevy part and $5 each from RockAuto, or that the axle shafts are used by the Porshe crowd. Enter the power of the Growler community and sharing knowledge. Treat it like servicing a custom-built off-road rig, and go at it.

The 600 page operators manual is available, but the service or shop manual equivalent is still classified as a research program and part of a "weapons system". This is a big hurdle, as you don't have much specific info to tell you how to work on it or where wires go. Again, the community has done some very intensive research and fact-sharing to ease this situation. Still, you would greatly benefit from some mechanical and electrical skills if you need to do miantenance and diagnostic work. Most things are familiar to mechanics, such as the Bosch fuel injection, used on millions of engines from Cummins to your neighbor's VW, or the Chevy brake hydraulics, Ford differentials, GM Blazer/Colorado transmission, NP241 transfer case, Fox shocks, Wilwood brakes, etc.

Condition is relative, and the same process for any MV. First is to remember that unless the seller did a lot of work, you found a vehicle sitting for 10 to 15 years. It will need extensive maintenance, same as any "barn find" of any type, even with easy to find parts. Belt, hoses, filters, fluids, wipers, etc. Priority is to verify every last thing and function works, properly. Check everything. Anything that is missing, fritzing or broken can mean added costs, and especially added labor. Many are missing cannibalized parts, and while you can probably find new ones, it can be a pain to locate some stuff, and pricey to install unless you're DIY. Most of them have bent skid plates, and often bent driveshafts from stupid forklifting.

Likewise, extra stuff is a bonus. Your winch and its mount adds a chunk of value (if it works), although even that is available from Ramsey new (24V Patriot 9500), and the mount is not exactly rocket science to make yourself. Some canvas is reproduced, but doors not yet, so unique body stuff like that is a nice plus.

Yes, and I saw one original early-on auction. However, most now would be fabricated reproductions. Search for threads about parts, plans and 'complete' setups from other belters.

Sure, I have some random ones: The soft tops and doors will not keep you dry. If you are tall, you won't fit into the short PMs with less leg room. Maintenance can be a bigger challenge if you're used to a Willys, as there is a lot of hardware crammed into these things, and much is not easy to get to. With the turbo-diesel clattering, the compressor humming and cooling fans whirring, they can be annoyingly noisy. On the other hand, with their pneumatic sneezing and farting as tires auto-adjust pressure, or suspension operates, they do exhibit unique character.

I have only had one of mine out 4-wheeling once, so I can't help much with that perspective, although others can that do. It was fun offsetting the suspension (leaning) when cross-traversing a slope, that nobody else could, and tight maneuvering with 4-wheel steering was awesome. They were highly praised by operators for their impressive performance during their testing and trials. They aren't a "jump into of holes and over moguls" type like a Polaris or quad, and don't take corners at high speeds at max ride height... LOL There are reasons Marines received extensive driving instruction, and the dash-mount Lev-O-Gage (tilt angle) they have can be important. I imagine they would be very happy pulling your camping trailer into the outback.

I love my stubby PMs. They are like a heavy and fast over-powered Samurai. They get more attention than most hot rods and collector cars on cruises. Waves, salutes and honks are endless, but interruptions and questions happen every trip out. That's great for a while, but now I carry info sheets to hand-out following the 150th time I heard "what the hell is that?". Crabbing down the street with cross-controlled 4-wheel steering is a huge crowd pleaser, especially after hissing from max suspension height like a scared cat to squatting on its haunches. Get used to cameras and videos on cruise night, while gawkers ignore the Ferraris and Lambo's around you. Seriously. I had mine a month and a paparazzi-style shot appeared as the sole photo on the front page of the newspaper covering Independence Day stuff. I've owned multiple classics, and this one is a magnet.

I hope this short overview helps, and the Growler community is very friendly if you want more answers. I wish you well on your decision!
.
Nice write-up W427 .
Especially the good part at the end where the money has been spent and the fun has commenced!
 

M1165A1

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So an update from my end. I never did post the thread at growlerforum. That's because I test drove the M1161 and although it was fun I didn't see it being a suitable off road vehicle for mountain usage. In addition, given the weight, it would be impossible to tow out of the backcountry.

I think there is a RAZR in my future . . .
 

BKubu

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I want to preface my comments by saying I don't have one and really know nothing about them, other than what I read on this site or watch on YouTube. I personally think they are fairly cool looking. To me, they look like a more modern M151. My big problem with them is that several (many?) states will not tag them for on-road use. I am unsure why this is. I recognize the OP planned to use it off-road. To me, I could NEVER justify spending big dollars on an off-road use only vehicle. At that point, it basically becomes an ATV, and I already have a Polaris Ranger. I see M1165A1 is after a RAZR. Personally, if you have the money and time to look for one, try to find an M-RZR.
 

Mullaney

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So an update from my end. I never did post the thread at growlerforum. That's because I test drove the M1161 and although it was fun I didn't see it being a suitable off road vehicle for mountain usage. In addition, given the weight, it would be impossible to tow out of the backcountry.

I think there is a RAZR in my future . . .
.
A RAZR is a neat toy for sure!!

The Growler sure looks neat though... I read the post before yours from W427 and I could imagine myself having fun with a one. On the other hand, I think another vehicle might be better for me. Have a friend with a diesel powered Kubota UTV / RTV. Wouldn't have had much appeal until it got hot weather. His has a top on it and doors that close tight. AND air conditioning and PTO and several other attachments including a scrape blade and a dump bed. Granted his $30,000 price tag wasn't cheap.

The Growler will out pull and deal with more rugged terrain, but that ugly orange 4 wheeler would be my choice. I climb in, hit the starter and go play. Change the oil every now and again and keep playing. No hunting for parts. No buying a carcuss and the associated work.

I love my green trucks. I enjoy working on my green trucks too!

On the other hand, I am not sure that if somebody gave me a M1161 that I would want to spend the money to make it right.
 

BKubu

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.
A RAZR is a neat toy for sure!!

The Growler sure looks neat though... I read the post before yours from W427 and I could imagine myself having fun with a one. On the other hand, I think another vehicle might be better for me. Have a friend with a diesel powered Kubota UTV / RTV. Wouldn't have had much appeal until it got hot weather. His has a top on it and doors that close tight. AND air conditioning and PTO and several other attachments including a scrape blade and a dump bed. Granted his $30,000 price tag wasn't cheap.

The Growler will out pull and deal with more rugged terrain, but that ugly orange 4 wheeler would be my choice. I climb in, hit the starter and go play. Change the oil every now and again and keep playing. No hunting for parts. No buying a carcuss and the associated work.

I love my green trucks. I enjoy working on my green trucks too!

On the other hand, I am not sure that if somebody gave me a M1161 that I would want to spend the money to make it right.
I always wanted a UTV with an enclosed cab with A/C and heat. I could never stomach the cost. I got my Ranger from my brother for FREE! It is a 2007 and it had only 56 hours on it (I have owned it for about three years). I could not pass up FREE. It does everything I need and more. But, I'd love to find a UTV with A/C like you found.
 

Mullaney

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I always wanted a UTV with an enclosed cab with A/C and heat. I could never stomach the cost. I got my Ranger from my brother for FREE! It is a 2007 and it had only 56 hours on it (I have owned it for about three years). I could not pass up FREE. It does everything I need and more. But, I'd love to find a UTV with A/C like you found.
.
There is nothing like free! An extra coat and better gloves in the winter + ice chest for the summer would cost much less than the new (to me) UTV for sure!
 

Mullaney

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MULLANEY, I'd love to hear how well the A/C works.
.
It does amazingly well BKubu. I am more like a bear I guess. I have some built in insulation, and cool air makes me happy.

I can say for sure that when the women folks go for a ride in the summer they bring a sweater.
They generally point all the vents in my direction too! That AC seems to work really well.

Even with that big wide tall window in the front - sun in your face - it still keeps you cool enough to be happy.
Maybe the best way to describe it is: I haven't put a thermometer in the vents so I could complain that it wasn't working well enough?
 
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