Almost bought a truck today

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Active member
Altoona pa
I went to buy a 72 deuce today it was in excellent shape with about 30k miles. It had winch, heat, air t case, spring seat, paint was nice, tires were in decent shape. Everything on the visual inspection turned out fine and I was really starting to think that this was the one not to mention that the price was below market value. Then I opened the hood and started to look around the fdc was not bypassed and fuel still had the safety wire so I was starting to like that it was most likely not abused. Then I get to the passenger side of the engine and the flame heater was still connected and did not appear to be leaking but I looked down to see if I could find evidence of the flame heater leaking on the turbo (return trip home is about 3:30 hours at deuce speeds). And I find the deal breaker it is a non turbo truck. The for sale add did not have any pictures of the engine bay and the seller claims that he thought the flame heater was a turbo. He seemed genuine and I believe he did not know the difference but regardless I wasted most of my day and some of his because I am not interested in a non turbo truck.

I am really bummed out that this didn’t work out I really liked the truck but I don’t want to have to do a turbo conversion. Plus it probably doesn’t have the updated head gaskets and I don’t want problems. These trucks already require lots of general maintenance when you get them because you don’t know when the brakes were last serviced or the wheel bearings repacked so all of that needs done on top of a full fluid and filter change.

I was able to find a old thread discussing the process of the turbo conversion but I was not able to find much on the total cost of all the parts. If someone knows what the total parts cost is let me know just for curiosity sake.


Well-known member
Steel Soldiers Supporter
NORTH (Canada)
And if you absolutely must have a turbo, bring that creampuff home, get the parts needed (the kits are still out there; add your own turbo) and slap one on. Really not a big deal. That is what the military did.

The non-turbo performance penalty is small and especially when equipped with a hardtop, the non-turbo LD engines are a lot less noisy. The LD is better at keeping mosquitoes away when under load.

As for cost: here is one example:
Here is another....for half the price.....on a well known auction site.....M35A2-TURBO-MODIFICATION-KIT-OIL-LINE-2-5-Ton-011681548-/152133806860
Here is the cheapest I found in all of five minutes of searching:

Plus turbo...maybe another 200-400 bucks for good used or 600 for new.

It all depends what one wants.

If you are worried about headgaskets, the non-turbo is probably less likely to blow one. Multifuels all either have received a new headgasket or will need one. That is the reality.
You cannot really buy a 40 plus year old vehicle and and expect to get by with "operator level" maintenance where you check the oil and call it good. You'll very likely need the more in-depth manuals to repair and replace stuff, that is almost a given if you use your truck on public roads.

If all you need is a work horse on private land, you get by with doing nothing until it stops moving. But you already know that, going into this green adventure.
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Active member
Altoona pa
I know that the turbo only adds 10/15 ho or so but it is not a matter of power as much as a matter of what I want. And in my opinion it is not financially feasible to add a turbo to this truck looking at parts coating about $1,000/$1,300. In the past I have settled on things that I knew I really did not want and regretted it. With this purchase I am going to need to be patient and wait for what I want.


Well-known member
Lubbock, TX
I actually wish my truck was's one less thing I have to worry about breaking.
I've more or less decided that when my turbo dies I'm going to replace it with a normal exhaust setup and just run NA
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PSVB 3003
Steel Soldiers Supporter
Lexington, South Carolina
The turbo adds FIVE HP to the engine (134 to 139) but cleaned up the exhaust to satisfy the EPA. Now when you get into the LDS engines meant for the five-ton's, they have the turbo and a lot more power out of the same block, but there are a lot of different parts including the block (Thick Deck markings, etc).


Moderator, wonderful human being & practicing Deuc
Staff member
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Steel Soldiers Supporter
Supporting Vendor
Athens, Ga.
I know that the turbo only adds 10/15 ho or so but it is not a matter of power as much as a matter of what I want. And in my opinion it is not financially feasible to add a turbo to this truck looking at parts coating about $1,000/$1,300. In the past I have settled on things that I knew I really did not want and regretted it. With this purchase I am going to need to be patient and wait for what I want.
LOL @ financially feasible.

This is like guns and ammo - the Garand will eventually be a pittance of what you spent on ammo.

I think I paid $3300 for my '87 USAF M35A2C from Govt. Liquidation in 2011. I'm now somewhere between $15K and $20K in total investment and that doesn't count fuel or insurance.

What a $3500 truck looks like:

Then you add
Factory front winch
24V 18K lb Warn MRAP rear winch
Civvy hitch
HMMWV dual voltage alternator
Stand-alone civilian 12V harness for 7 pin connector and trailer brakes
Dual M44A3 seats
Reverse lights, midship lights, 150W wrecker floodlamp
M939 marker lights
Toolboxes (X2)
Bumper steps
Pioneer rack and tools
Locking door handles
Passenger side jerry can mount
Upgraded wipers
G177 tire upgrade
Front axle caster modification for radial tires
Coolant filter
Rebuilt IP
Flushed fuel system
Haldex air dryer
M44A3 3-point seat belts
Hella H4 headlight upgrade
NOS cargo covers (one in tan for now, one in green for when I paint it)
All the usual service work (new axle seals and boots, all new fluids and filters, lights, belts, coolant flush, etc.)







Even if you're more of a purist than a hot rodder, your eventual financial investment in the truck will be multitudes higher than what you paid for it. It's a 50 year old 3 axle medium duty truck that was never cared for and sat outside it's entire life.

Remember, people were putting Road Runners and Chevelles on rotisseries and doing nut and bolt restorations when they were half the age of these trucks.

Now, if you're a hard core collector and you want a factory winch truck with all the stuff being factory installed, I get it. A collector who wants a black Hemi Road Runner isn't content to buy a green car and repaint it. I get it.

But you can't prove which trucks had a turbo and I'm not sure when they started getting turbos on factory built A2s with LD-465s. I've had a ton of Sixties deuces and all of them had evidence of being non-turbo models at some point (torched fender for j-pipe, remnants of rear exit exhaust, etc.).


Well-known member
Steel Soldiers Supporter
London England
Well if the truck was that much cheaper as a deal, You would still be quids in after paying for the turbo parts, And end up with you 'perfect truck'.
We fitted a turbo to my M45, It took my lad just a evening to do everything from parts we had around the shed.
The IS a HUGE difference in power, and the 'scream' is awesome!.
The exhaust emission is no difference.


Active member
Altoona pa
He wants 6k from what it sounds like that is a little steep. The trucks I have seen locally have been on the high side for price.


Active member
Seville, Ohio
6k for a "turn key" deuce really isn't too bad. especially if it's been cared for. Like the other gentlemen said, there's not much to installing a turbo.


Active member
Steel Soldiers Supporter
As to waiting for the right sale. I had found what I thought were good deals, even paid a mechanic in another city to do a mobile check on one truck. But the sellers were sketchy and the sale didn't feel right. Guy was willing to pick me up at the train station, then we'd drive to the middle of the nowhere where I'd give him the money for the truck...why not just do the deal at the station? If it doesn't feel right, wait for one that does.

As to the turbo, unless you want a C turbo because your hearing survived your teen years and it's time to rectify that, it alone wouldn't put me off a deal. Still, I specifically didn't want a C turbo, but if the deal was right, I could always replace it with a D. Also good to keep in mind a good deal in Kansas might not be so good if you live in Florida once you figure in the travel/ship time/cost. That being said, I found that if time isn't a factor, shipping might be as low as $1/mile. If time was a factor it might be $8/mile.
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