I'm thinking about getting an M35A2.
Any recommendations? Pitfalls? Things to look for?
What are the pros and cons of owning one of these beasts?
Multi-fuel engine; it will run on anything that burns.
All wheel drive.
Spare parts may be hard to come by.
No power steering.
As far as parts go, there are dozens of these trucks on governmentliquidation.com right now. Granted they are usually in various stages of disrepair, but occasionally one shows up that they state was 'driven in'.
If you get one, look for one with the PTO winch on the front.
If you go down a dirt road on a range area on Fort Polk at about 45MPH and hit a ramp, they will fly !
First of all, they are great for off road driving. I drove on trails marked "Jeep only" with never a problem. The engines are very reliable and tough but like others have stated, parts will be getting harder to find for cheap. You will find parts but you will pay.
The bad parts? Tires. Unless you can find replacement wheels to mount modern tires, you will be running split rims and really crappy tires. Fortunately, you cannot get over 55 MPH unless you dink with the governor (I had one that did 70 MPH). Brakes are air over hydraulic and have their attendent problems with water and debris. Drain the tanks daily and clean the system yearly. Fresh brake fluid every 2 years...IIRC, we used a purple sillicone fluid in the Army.
I would recommend against using gasoline as it is hard on the pump. But any diesel is good to go as is jet fuel and kerosene. The tanks will have scum in them. Clean the tank and fuel system immediately and pay attention to any rust spots as they will only grow.
You will spend a fortune on engine oil if you change it every 3000 miles. Don't do it, it is NOT necessary. Do use a good diesel oil and send off a sample every 3000 miles for recommendation.
Install a functional expansion tank on the cooling system. This will keep corrosion to a minimum. Use only distilled water with a good glycol coolant.
Probably the best Deuce and Half site on the planet:
I was toying with the idea of getting a deuce about 4-5 months ago.
What turned me off:
- No real place to park or work on it where I live
- Requires huge tools to work with; jackstands, rachets, jacks, you name it, they all have to be big!
- Hot in summer, cold in winter
- Very loud on the highway; ear plugs and muffs mandatory
- Top speed of around 55-60, maybe 65
- 10 wheels and tires; going to Super Singles, cost huge $$$ for the Michelin 46" tires
- At 6'4", I barely fit behind the huge steering wheel; seats are very uncomfortable
The cool factor cannot be denied. During your town parades, you WILL BE the most popular guy in town. They are pretty easy to work on and the lack of power steering is only hard at low speed on concrete or asphalt.
There is a reason you see them on EbayMotors for $3000-$5000 all the time. People buy them for the cool factor, then are faced with the reality of owning it and, pretty soon, it's on the market again.