Towing M135 with a 5 ton M54

superburban

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I just bought an M135 and M54 from a friend in Montana. I live in Utah, 500 miles away. I'm storing them both at another friend's ranch (also in Montana) until spring. I'm planning on flat towing the deuce with the 5 ton on the trip back to Utah. I've found lots of info about towing M35s and newer trucks, but not a lot about the early deuces.

Are there any idiosyncrasies about towing the M135?

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nattieleather

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The 5 ton will pull that duce with no problems, but as porky said pull the drive shafts. It is very easy to leave the transfer case in gear and you'll burn it up flat towing it. Trust me I learned the hard way. With the drive shafts pulled it should be an easy pull. Also is that a gas M54 or a diesel? I don't see the air cleaner for the diesel and that's why I'm wondering if it is a gas. Either way plan on a ling trip at 45 mph.
 
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AMGeneral

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As others have stated, pull all 3 driveshafts, or if you are worried about the differentials, pull all 4 rear axle shafts and the front drive flanges and cover the holes.

If you do option 2 , there is less drag on the 5 ton ( less mechanicals rotating), you may want to back the brake shoes off on the 211 as well if the brakes on it do not work.

Always remember to use 2 safety chains and cross them as you would when towing a trailer.

It may have been overkill on my part, but I always used 2 5/8 diameter wrecker chains as my safety chains when flat towing.

With the 6602 I would carry at least 50 gallons of extra gas (non-ethanol) for emergencies plus the usual spares,(plugs, wires, dist cap, rotor button, fuel pump, etc).

It's not a gigantic powerhouse, but with 224 hp and almost 600 ft/lbs of torque, it's definetly no slouch!

I will say in my expierence , the GMC deuces (M135/211) flat tow and follow better than the Reo design.
 
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superburban

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Awesome!

Thank you for the help guys. I'm well aware of these trucks' thirst for fuel. I figure i paid so little for them that i could throw several hundred gallons of fuel into the balance sheet and I'll still be ahead!
 

m1010plowboy

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M135 flat tow caution

If you're talking about two fully serviced deuces rolling on a 500 mile trip next year then it could be a cool documentary. With the wash out we've seen in M135 bearings, pulling 6 wheels, hubs, bearings, races and that sassy front knuckle is a starting point.

Greasing the front steering knuckle can be done externally and I'm sure it's even got a PSI spec so having a grease system with a pressure gauge would work to eliminate a full knuckle pull.

Steering component parts should meet tolerance to feel good about the pull too. Good maintenance would catch a cotter pin missing on a tie rod end but we have stories of simple items like this killing folks.

You're lucky if you've got a spot you can work on them before a trip. Since most of the old deuces need a ton of work before hitting public roads, I just get them hauled....but I envy the adventure you're on. Rolling with those two trucks is historical.

Page 70/71 9-8024 states flat tow over 15mph and 10 miles in distance requires the removal of front axle drive hub flanges, transfer to pillow block propeller shaft assembly and transfer to forward-rear-axle propeller shaft assembly.
 
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superburban

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Where in Montana you coming from?

I live in Martin City MT up by Glacier Park.
I'm from Fairfield originally. That's where the trucks are parked currently.

I've driven through Martin City plenty of times. I love that part of the state!
 
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fasttruck

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In an earlier life I flat towed a M813 with a broken motor mount from Ft Drum, NY with a M62. We had 20 cans of gas on the crane platform and used all of them. Crawled up the hill on I81 southbound at Preble, NY in 2nd low range. Advised assistant driver one more gear and he was pushing. Left Ft Drum same time as rest of march unit and got the Washington, N J 4 hours behind everyone else and did not break down. Was relieved to get rid of tow there. Snake in the grass motor sergeant figured if he had one on the hook he wouldn't have to stop and render aid on the road. Couldn't you find a jeep to tow ? I hope there are no significant on your 500 mile trip. Could only run the M62 in 5th gear when going down hill.
 

cmpman

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I towed a M135 home 60 miles about 6 years back with my Dodge Cummins 3/4 ton. I pulled all three drive shafts and tied them up. I kept the speed to 45 mph and had no issues....the truck towed as good as any trailer. I can't remember if I tied the steering to the approximate straight ahead position....I often will in case the steering decides it wants to go hard over after a turn.

When I was in the military we used to pull them with the M62 wreckers and would suspend tow the front. Back then we would just pull two rear axle shafts and stuff some rags in the tubes. But in the likelihood that the deuce has not been serviced in the past 20 or 50 years, I would suggest pulling the driveshafts and leaving the axle shafts in place. Better chance that some of that oil finds it's way into the bearings if need be on a long trip like that. Best bet of course would be to pull the six wheels and do a quick repack of the bearings.
 

porkysplace

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cmpman;2183940[COLOR=#ff0000 said:
]I towed a M135 home 60 miles about 6 years back with my Dodge Cummins 3/4 ton[/COLOR]. I pulled all three drive shafts and tied them up. I kept the speed to 45 mph and had no issues....the truck towed as good as any trailer. I can't remember if I tied the steering to the approximate straight ahead position....I often will in case the steering decides it wants to go hard over after a turn.

When I was in the military we used to pull them with the M62 wreckers and would suspend tow the front. Back then we would just pull two rear axle shafts and stuff some rags in the tubes. But in the likelihood that the deuce has not been serviced in the past 20 or 50 years, I would suggest pulling the driveshafts and leaving the axle shafts in place. Better chance that some of that oil finds it's way into the bearings if need be on a long trip like that. Best bet of course would be to pull the six wheels and do a quick repack of the bearings.
That's a lot of weight and mass with no brakes behind a 3/4 pick up , fairly unsafe and dangerous. The D.O.T. would have a huge windfall of cash if they seen that here in michigan.
 

superburban

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That's a lot of weight and mass with no brakes behind a 3/4 pick up , fairly unsafe and dangerous. The D.O.T. would have a huge windfall of cash if they seen that here in michigan.
WOW! Yeah. I'm not brave enough to attempt a pull that far eith just a pickup truck.

Although....
... my friends in Montana retrieved the 2 trucks and towed them out to my one friend's ranch, about 6 miles away, using a 3/4 ton Dodge pickup! They did have a second driver in the towed vehicle the whole time.

I found a new replacement clutch for the 5 ton, and a new fuel pump for the deuce. Now i have to find time in my schedule to drive up to Montana to pick them up!

Oh, and i still need to buy a tow bar.
 

cmpman

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We have no traffic density here, no curves on the highway, and no hills. Also, this province seems to have no money to pay the transport inspectors to work on weekends. Even so, there are normally none between the two points I was towing.
My original intent was to travel along gravel backroads all the way, but a heavy rain the night before cancelled that idea.
 

1944mb

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Nice, I grew up north of the Mormon church from sunriver, on the east end of the Fairfield bench, by Randy Parker. I flat towed mine with a m35 from laurel to big timber on the back roads. My fear for you would be once you hit the interstate and if you have trouble it could be interesting. If you have trouble I'd be willing to come lend a hand. Where at in Fairfield are the trucks. Sure have put a anhuscher Busch sure has built a ton of grain bins up there since we raised barley for them.

I'm from Fairfield originally. That's where the trucks are parked currently.

I've driven through Martin City plenty of times. I love that part of the state!
 

dmetalmiki

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If you're talking about two fully serviced deuces rolling on a 500 mile trip next year then it could be a cool documentary. With the wash out we've seen in M135 bearings, pulling 6 wheels, hubs, bearings, races and that sassy front knuckle is a starting point.

Greasing the front steering knuckle can be done externally and I'm sure it's even got a PSI spec so having a grease system with a pressure gauge would work to eliminate a full knuckle pull.

Steering component parts should meet tolerance to feel good about the pull too. Good maintenance would catch a cotter pin missing on a tie rod end but we have stories of simple items like this killing folks.

You're lucky if you've got a spot you can work on them before a trip. Since most of the old deuces need a ton of work before hitting public roads, I just get them hauled....but I envy the adventure you're on. Rolling with those two trucks is historical.

Page 70/71 9-8024 states flat tow over 15mph and 10 miles in distance requires the removal of front axle drive hub flanges, transfer to pillow block propeller shaft assembly and transfer to forward-rear-axle propeller shaft assembly.
If you follow the advices given, Then it would be good safe trip, (As),
(For my 1/2 penne'th)::
When you do flat tow it all the way home. (Just because you can), DO NOT 'cruise' flat out or anywhere near max.
A Medium, Or Heavy tow Bar, Used with your combination, (And the correct adaptors), Will NOT allow the towed (Unladen!) vehicle to 'Veer off course', IF, You drive at the appropriate TOWING SPEED.
This NOT the 'Solo' Driving speed.
Check the T.Ms. Before setting out.
Just 'Take Care and Arrive alive'.
Follow all the above, and will have an Albeit longer, "Happy", un-worried, and Interesting trip.
 
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