Military Gear & Army Surplus Gear Blog

How To Buy a Deuce

How To Buy a Deuce



Hanan folks bc here you want to do some guns and today I want to answer probably the most common question on my channel which is ABC I'm about to look at a Deuce and a half to buy why should I be looking for well I'm going to tell you already first of all let's start with the basics number one do not get caught up and who manufactured the engine they were all made the same specifications there is no engine manufacturer that was better or worse than the other and what we're talking about engines let's talk about the two different types of engines or probably to come across when you're shopping for a Deuce and a half this is all information about the m3 582 by the way the majority of engines are going to find are going to be either a C code or D code of course the C code came before D code they both make the same amount of power they're both just as reliable just a slight difference in head gasket sealing and the D code engine is a little bit better it's nothing to worry about honestly if you come across a good do stat the C code versus D code or vice versa go for it it really doesn't matter for the Morgan regards the engines completely disregard any kind of odometer reading because the military changed out odometers willy-nilly without ever actually matching the old odometer reading to the new odometer reading when odometer went bad they throw in a new unit with a zero miles on it or they would salvage an old unit so there's no telling how many miles are on the truck now my trucker she came to me with 48,000 miles on it I believe and I have no it if that's accurate I've know what it was on a chassis I do know that the transmissions been rebuilt the least once and that may not be the original transmission it could have gone through several transmission four or five I have no idea also I do know that the data plate on the engine which is at decode Hercules the data plate says October of 1987 which means that was this build date the October 1987 build date does not mean that's when it was installed in the truck here so that engine with probably sitting in a warehouse for a decade it might have been installed here in the 90s who knows because there is no paperwork to actually back up any of that and now let's say that you found a deuce that you're interested in call the owner and ask the normal questions you would for any other vehicle was it maintained correctly how often you changed oil what do you use it for do drive it often does it have any issues as I have any maintenance issues that need to be taken care of things that nature just like any other vehicle it should be purchasing from an individual private party and almost forgot make sure the deuce you're looking at actually has a title because when the government auction these things off they do not come with tunnels that came with basically a person certificate and you took that down to your state's DMV and you got a title issued to you now depend on your state they've been on your DMV that could be a very easy quick process or a very difficult and long process so make sure that the deuce you're looking at actually has a title just to keep you from having any kind of issues further down the road okay let's say the owner answers all your questions satisfactorily great and you're still interested in this deuce awesome now tell the owner going to come stop by check out the deuce and tell the owner that you do not want them to start it you want to hear a cold start on a deuce if you show up and you put your hand on a manifold that's warm walk away because the others probably hiding something because you want a cold start to listen to see if it has any issues most diesel engines and most multi fuel engines start new problem when it's warm when it's cold that's when the issues show up if there are any now if the deuce had been started in months and months you know there's spider webs on the fan and whatnot you can tell it's not going to start in a long time then it could take a few cranks it could take a little bit of cranking to get the fuel pressure rise to actually get her started that is normal but if the owner brings out a can of ether to get it started start spraying it into the intake walk away there is some serious wrong with that engine the engine does not need either to get started unless it is crazy cold 30 degrees or so below zero Fahrenheit this engine is going to start up like a dream with any issues all right now before you actually start up the engine you want to take a look at everything first so first of all go ahead and climb up on the fender open up the hood feel the engine make sure it's nice and cool finding to run a little bit so it's a little bit toasty and you want to check the radiator now you open it up suck it on the car and there should be radiator fluid right about here down below the necks just barely be able to see it because that allows it to expand also make sure that the coolant color is nice and green like a normal vehicle should be now keep in mind that a diesel does use a diesel SPECT coolant so don't get that switched up with a normal vehicle also you want to check the oil here so take out the dipstick this is not the way you're going to check the oil level although there should be some oil on the dipstick here it unscrews because they're coarse water tight and you will look at that and you want to take a look at the oil on there and hopefully it's going to look like normal oil if it looks like chocolate milk walk away because that means a head gasket is bad and it's leaking coolant into the crankcase into the world can sloshed up and is making basically what amounts to chocolate milk also if you find some gunk in the coolant that could be oil get into the coolant again walk away unless you're really into changing out the head of gasket on one of these and over here make sure that the juices air filter is actually there let's take a look you can tell just from the edge to see that it's actually is really nice and clean so wouldn't button it back up you're ready to start her up also take a look at the actual brake fluid itself it should not be cloudy it should be very clear it'll be tinted red but it should be clear and not quietly if it is cloudy it's got some water or moisture issues and also the level of the brake fluid should be right near the bottom of the threads now you can take a look at the brake fluid reservoir through the excess panel in the bottom of the driver's side of the cab right near your feet also remember to check the three engine belts to make sure they're not frayed cracked or excessively loose the same rules apply to your normal standard sedan versus two Deuce and a half engine and now it's time to start to do so if the engine stop button is not already pushed in go ahead and push that sucker in there's a lever there the ignition switch turn it from the opposition to the on position and when you do that because there should be no pressure in the air system you should get into nice buzz if you don't that's a problem because that should be there it's a safety feature you need very nice now get a few moments that actually let the diesel pressure on us from the fuel tank make sure your out of gear and push the red button there you go I can do that because the deuce is already warmed up let me drive it all day don't bring your dues when you first started dragon air pressure up stop the bus there we go that's better once the air pressure hits 60 psi it goes all the way to 120 which it's 60 that means that you're safe to drive it and the brakes will work with 60 psi so the bus goes off then you should reach 120 psi on the gauge pretty quickly actually at this point we can also hear the turbo there's a turbo sound okay I'm going to turn that off now and now let's quickly run through the gauges here the speed of course should be zero you're sitting still the fuel level should be whatever is in it hopefully if it's reading something that should go up to somewhere hopefully the guy does not have the thing running on empty the tachometer should be showing an idle once it's warmed up about seven eight hundred you know rpm now when it's cold when it's completely cold you may have to use the throttle lever over here to get it about a thousand rpm and let it warm up there that's completely normal that is not unusual so cold engine pull a throttle just you know just two notches maybe one two notches and you're good that'll keep you at about a thousand rpm and then once it's warmed up completely once the actually error you know low air indicator stops then you can push that back in usually an old lower back down to about seven or eight hundred rpm now the oil pressure should be sitting about thirty now I have heard there was a mixup in the military with the different types of cinders some cinders why she read about fifteen but it should be thirty if everything is correctly done the air pressure should have climbed very quickly hit the 60 mark within a minute or two and then continued all the way to 120 the generator should be almost straight to the green it might charge a little bit if it's not been started for a while not to charge the batteries up but it should be riding a green air and temper gauge should be zero because of course you asked the owner to not start the engines engine should be cold so that will climb up once it takes a while to get gallons of gallons of oil and gallons and gallons antifreeze warmed up but once it's fully warmed up and operational it should be around 180 degrees Fahrenheit and as a truck warms up and the pressure build walk around the truck take a look at the tires mixer is plenty of life left in them because they are not cheap especially when you need about ten of them eleven if you want the spare to match and also check the PSI on a couple of them just to make sure they're all around 50 psi and now if you've not actually driven a Deuce and a half before go ahead and take a look at my link here shifting on a deuce because the shift pattern is a little bit wonky and also second gear when you're going from first to second second gear is a little stiff on all of them that is completely expected once you actually change over the transmission oil to a straight weight 30 40 or 50 weight oil like specified by the manufacturer Spicer just shift to second is a little bit easier but it's still stiff it's still not a sports car and never will be and during a test drive pay attention to the brake pedal the brake pedal should be firm but not overly mushy soft or extra extra hard it should feel like a normal decent sized truck the brake pedal math 250 feels very similar to the brake pedal in my Deuce and a half it should not feel mushy it should not go all through the floor nor should it be rock-hard from the very top and now we're done with your test drive and you got a few more things to check before you can make your final offer and decision on buying this deuce or not everyone does a check the lift pump and the fuel tank now you can't hear the lift pump when the low pressure buzzer is going off nor when the truck is running so I'm going to show you right now what this sounds like what it should sound like when it's actually working correctly Oh low now with the truck not running but the air pressure up and the Misses switch on you can hear the lift pump running now the dues and 1/2 will run without the lift pump but it's extra hard on the higher pressure pumps in the engine so make sure this is working sometimes it's just a fuse or breaker but sometimes the actual motor itself and pump itself is burnout also once the test drive is over turn everything off and just sit in a cabin listen listen for the telltale sign of the hiss of high-pressure air escaping from the airlines as you can tell I don't have that because I have fixed the vast majority of my air leaks there's only one air leak left and it's actually in the gauge which is why it's kind of fogged up now that was not the case when I first bought this Deuce I picked it up I could hear the hiss I thought was normal I'd heard it before and other deuces so I thought was normal I didn't have a channel like this on the internet to tell me that was not a normal thing so driving a home in the interstate and the hiss got louder and got louder so finally the air compressor could not keep up and actually lowered below the buzzer limit warning which is 60 psi so once it risks below 60 the buzzer started going off and the emergency bells start going off pull over because you could lose your brakes so I'll pull over off the interstate to the first truck stop I came across stopped it when I turn it off the air pressure basically just immediately flatlined down to zero so also you had a problem and with dick of Mohammed – and I pulled out two air hoses one of them went to the actual gauge the air gauge and you're going went to the pneumatic switch that actuates the front axle front wheel drive and now I took the two airlines they were so bad and dry rodded actually tear apart my hands if I wanted to and luckily the actual truck stop had a NAPA complete full service napa auto center on the grounds which was great I took those air hoses in and they built me completely new ones and with a little bit of teflon tape I was golden and actually that solved all my leaks except for the tiny little one and egauge itself everything else is kind of personal preferences do you want the sprack front end that automatically engages the front wheels when the rear ones slip or do you want the pneumatic front end drive basically where you can engage the front axle whenever you want to I recommend a ladder because the sprek front end can't cause some problems if you are a little overzealous with the first gear and the throttle and also while not being a deal breaker walk around make sure all the bulbs work all the switches work as far as like the turn signals and hazard lights and the headlights were both high and low beam just make sure all that works because this is kind of a hassle trying to find 24 volt bulbs they are available usually have to order from the internet so if they're not working maybe the owner has some spares around they can give you or maybe they'll give you a few bucks extra just to help you out and get those things taken care of now remember the Deuce and a half is a 24 volt system so it's got two full-size car batteries in there so take a look the battery box make sure that the batteries are on a date and fairly new now technically the the correct battery for The Deuce and a half is actually two separate heavy dude military-grade batteries but you can get away with two full-size car batteries in there that's what I've got and they're just fine and that's pretty much the nuts and bolts of looking at a Deuce and a half for a purchase everything else is pretty much like a normal old vehicle purchase how much rust is on it how much does a leak what doesn't leak and are those things bill breakers well guys I got for you do will be enjoyed it hope you found it helpful if you have any comments questions or show ideas leaving a comment box below the video I try to get the videos as possible and progresses evening I'm going to go ahead and enjoy this fall day I'll suggest you do the same see ya


Reader Comments

  1. Most issues we had with them was the operators/drivers did not drain the air tanks. Moisture would build up/damage the low air pressure sensors by the tanks. Master light switches/turn signal switches. The engine/transmission rarely had any issues. Maybe the sprag unit if the sprag unit was not unwound/ serviced at its recommended time set by the -10 /-20. Starters are heavy as hell. Almost lost a digit one time trying to dislodge a starter motor out of this beast. lol! Oh and I ruined a brand new radiator on one of these trucks as well. lol! I forgot to secure the brackets on the side of the radiator after I had installed it. Started that bad boy thinking I was the best damn mechanic in the world. Then I heard a horrible sound. Radiator had fallen back on the fan! lol! I was a PV2 at the time and though my motor-sergeant was going to tear me a new one! He was actually pretty cool about it. We ordered a new one which came in a week or two later. This time I made sure I double checked all of the mounting brackets/bolts. lol!! The good old days. lol!

  2. OH the nostalgia! I used to work on these in the Army(63B). My first assigned vehicle too. lol! It was a work out to drive. NO POWER STEERING. LOL!

  3. I don’t know why I got recommended this. But how are you having brake fluid and air brakes? I’m just curious.

  4. Change the extremely annoying buzzer out for a bright red light. Unloaded we would start off in 2nd gear. 1st was way to low. Launched one off a sand dune in northern Kuwait.

  5. Thanks for bringing me back in the 70s when I got a lot of experience changing head gaskets, pressure pumps,engines, trans, transfer case, without air impact guns. It was a great learning experience in Schoefield Barracks Hawaii. Loved it but I have no need for that truck.

  6. I wonder if there are any after market manufacturers that make stuff for these vehicles. Block heaters, suspension and drivetrain upgrades, transmissions or maybe even a crate engine or complete kits for swapping in the most popular diesel engines for this rig.

  7. "if the owner walks out with a can of ether…" – say no more. Whether he's using it to start the truck or not, the owner walking out with ether is probably a red flag for any purchase. Unless you're buying ether, i suppose

  8. Thanks for the video it's been alot of years(decades). I have actually slept in the back of a deuce but never had the misfortune of having to drive one. My baby was an AMGeneral 916 pulling an armored D7F.(combat engineer)

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