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Buying a M35A2 or M35A3?

Which is better an M35A2 or M35A3

  • M35A2

    Votes: 195 61.7%
  • M35A3

    Votes: 121 38.3%

  • Total voters


New member
Luling, La.
I just got an a3,Ive had over 50 deuces and 5 tons.I didnt think I would like the a3 from what alot of people said.I am very happy with it.It is alot tighter,quieter and more comfortable to drive.I still have a a2 that I plan on keeping.
Exactly my near future plan.. Love my A2 but I also want and plan to buy an A3 for the quiet comfort features mentioned..

Both have their +'s and ='s... But both are sweet rigs..


New member
Grand Rapids
Got some more feed back from some one who seems to know!

"First of all the M35A3 models were originally M35A1 & A2 models that were
sent back to the factory for a service life extension program and rebuilt as
the M35A3. The two drawbacks to operating one are the CTIS and the 14.5R20
tires. The CTIS is trouble and should be removed. Along with that system are
the special wheel bearings that are $800.00 each. The tires are an odd size
and replacements are $1,500-$1,800.00 each. Because there were so few trucks
built, there are not any good used tires in the market place. The wheels are
scare and expensive also."


You are not limited to one tire size. For example you can get used 395/85/20's for 160.00 each.


New member
Welcome to MV Fun!! If you had to ask I would say neither. Get a civi vehicle.

CIvi vehicle has:
· Modern brakes
· Oil bath axle bearings in the axles
· Too many more to list features, just compare a MV to Civi

Now, if you have gotten to this point and still want a Duece go get one and enjoy it for what it is, a big little truck that can go through some hella mudpuddles.
I am pleased as pickles with my A3 in spite of the alternator I replaced, The CTIS airline fracture behind the left front wheel, the leaky air line on the cab fire wall that engages the front axle, the anticipated cost of the tranny flush with Castrol Tran-Synd ($40 a gal for 21 quarts), the CAT topend job (whatever that is) and at present, unseen repairs and maintenance that will be required to keep ole A3 running in to shape. The CTIS on my A3 works good and I figure I will keep on using it to keep the H20 out of it. 3 tires seem to leak down and I will try to address the o-rings and valve stem grommets when I feel like it. I am considering the reprogramming of the CTIS box to 55psi for the highway mode. Due to personal disability, I really like the auto tranny and the air seat.
I thought of collecting a cherry A2 and that would be another fine MV for all the reasons others have listed as fine points about them but I realized for me shifting gears is fatiguing and I can only maintain one Duece so I’m sticken with the A3. On the battle field I think the A2 probably makes more sense due to less complexity. My A3 , I am hoping with regular use and maintenance will be trouble free.



Well-known member
Steel Soldiers Supporter
Fort Worth, Texas
I'm at this crossroads at this very moment. A2 vs A3. Initial cost isn't the issue, just what is better of a truck in the long run (very loose term I know but time to stir the pot). I want to hear more from A3 owners too.

I love the A2's multi for simplicity, sound, and its slightly improved MPG by what I've compared to fellow MVer's A3s. I have a semi-steady flow of WMO/WVO should I choose to use it. Also parts are cheaper (dont know for how long though as supplies dry up) and the enjoyment derived from a manual transmission is unparalleled when driving. It's also fun to tell people it has a hyper-cycle engine in it not to mention the obvious benefit of burning just about anything for fuel. Overdrive is nice and a slightly higher stock top speed is nice too.

But then again..the A3 has the "creature comforts" as wreckerman posted in another thread. Electric wipers, better "butt bucket", power steering, and was rebuilt more recently. CTIS has been a crap shoot; I've seen the GL pics for many years and read many threads on capping them, but it seems often there is a good truck without leaks or problems. The duel circuit brakes are a nice standard option. Hydro winch is a big plus! Allison auto tranny makes for easier in town driving.

What bothers me the most is the word on the street on reliability for the CAT 3116 and Allison. 3116 designated a disposable engine? Then why is it used in a variety of other non-military roles? Allison not engaging? Why wont she marry the poor sap? *joke* I personally believe its just due to those A3 owners who have issues visit the forums to solve the problem so we hear about them most. Please chime in either way. I just know that if something does break like all things eventually do they will be costly.

The one thing I'd also like to know is realistic cruising speeds of an A3 with larger tires: 395/85 R20? I read the beads for the 395/85 R20 don't match up and would require re-centered HEMTT rims, true/false? A2's can hit up to 65-67 with 395's.

On a last note I believe the A3 is ugly due to being dropped on its face as a child but hey..it does kinda of grow on you like that of mold in the back of the fridge. :drool::drool::drool:


Last edited:


Well-known member
Princeton WV Lake City FL
What bothers me the most is the word on the street on reliability for the CAT 3116 and Allison
Let not your heart be troubled. My neighbor works on power co trucks and also calls the 3116 a throwaway. Yes, if it dies after a couple hundred thousand miles they toss them due to the solid block. Look at school bus auction sites for busses that have them and have 100k or more, also trucks. They are work horses. I think our problems come from the months of non use. My cooling system was full of stuff, that can lead to heating which these engines do not like.

Also be assured the beads match up on the tires fine. I doubt you will see an A3 cruising at 67 mph without some sort of re-gearing of the slosh box or something. The Cat would be screaming!

I love my CTIS but it did throw me a curve ball last week. Went to Lowes, ran the CTIS, got to the parking place, turned the CTIS off first, then the engine. I hear a pretty impressive air dump occuring! Started the engine and CTIS, ran the tires up again, turned the system off and problem solved. But I was a little shaken.


Staff member
Super Moderator
Steel Soldiers Supporter
Dayton, OH
Doghead's sig says it best.

"The Internet is full of false information." Ben Franklin



New member
Grand Rapids
I sure hope so....

Misinformation is SOOOO prolific on Mr. Gore's INTERNET. :deadhorse:

I personally know one of the engineers who designed the first multi fuel. He worked for Continental and was part of the first government contract. He told me that they ran whiskey during the first test before military officials. He told me that without adding oil to the non diesel fuels the engine would only get you out of a tight spot. The original contract was for 2000 engines. After that they lost the bid to Hercules. He was the engineer that reworked some of the costs and was able to win the next contract. He was also helping to design a multifuel for the 5 ton but they didn’t make it in time and the government went a different direction.


Wall, South Dakota
Well thsi thread has been a interesting thread to say the least. I have been trying to decide what to buy as a 1st Duece. I had a chance to look over an A3 today from GL and I had the chance to look over 5 or 6 A2s and drive one alittle. The goal is to Bob one. The big question is what do I really want, at this point I just can not decide.

I have a chance to buy a a2 with 105 trailer at a reasonable price locally , but there is also a low mile / hour A3 here that looks "CHERRY". The A3 is a nicer truck but I keep reading about slow top speeds and repair cost. While the A2 is older and lacks power steering and some of the nicer adds of the A3.

So far the only answer that makes since is to buy one of each, now to convince the wife.......

Thanks for all the info guys, I would ask which is better but its seems there are 2 schools of thought and neither side is a clear winner. Both are cool trucks I just dont know which to start with.



Steel Soldiers Supporter
San Luis, colorado
I voted for the A2, i have one, but, I think a A3 would be nice too, so I'm trying to find one of those too. I think they are an excellent long term investment that you can enjoy for years and years to come. I think you should buy the best truck you can, either model, then start looking for the other one too.;-)


Active member
medford oregon
A bobbed A2 looks better, bobbed A3's dont resell well, cheaper platform to start with, top end is to low even with 46" tires. unless you really need an auto but still its to slow for a everyday driver so you might as well use an A2 and modify to a automatic.
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