Checked out a deuce

moalaska

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I recently looked at a deuce for a possible purchase. Some things I noticed about this deuce.
Tires were bouncy at low speed, either because it was sitting or they are old. Don't know if it will smooth out over time.
Second gear was very hard to find, it seemed like there was slop in the shifter. Had a tendency to randomly pop out of reverse.
Brake pedal seemed to travel about halfway before it would grab, when it grabbed it was good but it seemed like excessive travel to me, made it hard to judge braking.
It seemed doggy in second going up a slight incline. Possibly needs new fuel filters.

Engine started fairly easily and sounded good.
Most everything worked cosmetically except passenger wiper, and the unlock lever for the parking lights got stuck.
Owner had truck for 18 years, but doubt he maintained or even drove it regularly. It's a sprag socket front axle, no winch no canopy truck. Has a diesel heater. Transfer case shifted fine.
He's asking 4k right now. Any thoughts?
 
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HDN

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I don't think I'd offer more than $3000 for the truck. Based on your description, it sounds like it needs:

  • Tires - will run you at least $1000 whether you go super singles or duals.
  • Brake work - probably needs a brake system flush with the proper fluid. Who knows what's wrong exactly? Could be a $100-$500 repair depending on what you need.
  • Transmission work - probably need a new gear shift lever if you're having trouble finding 2nd gear, maybe detent balls? I forget what causes gears to pop out on their own, but it should be fixed.
I agree with starting with a fuel filter change to see if that fixes the power under load issue. Have any pictures of the truck?
 

cattlerepairman

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I see you are in AK; we have some members from there and it would be cool if they could chime in regarding going prices and availability.
What do you plan to do with the truck?
If I wanted one as a trail rig, I would be more concerned about drivetrain and brake reliability; less concerned about cosmetics, including cab rust etc.
Sprag transfer case is fine when it is in working order (don't roll backwards with a forward gear engaged....) and can also be swapped for air shift, if desired.
Sloppy gear shift can be as easy as a slightly bent shift fork or worn top plate (easily fixed by swapping out transmission top plate) or a sign of deeper tranny trouble. Good takeouts are available, if needed.
 

HDN

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Sloppy gear shift can be as easy as a slightly bent shift fork or worn top plate (easily fixed by swapping out transmission top plate) or a sign of deeper tranny trouble. Good takeouts are available, if needed.
I second this. My dad has had two different trucks (a WW2 jeep, halftrack) where the shifting problem was within or near the shift tower. All the repairs were made with the transmission in the truck. Sounds like a good place to check the tranny issues first.
 

moalaska

New member
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Alaska
I see you are in AK; we have some members from there and it would be cool if they could chime in regarding going prices and availability.
What do you plan to do with the truck?
If I wanted one as a trail rig, I would be more concerned about drivetrain and brake reliability; less concerned about cosmetics, including cab rust etc.
Sprag transfer case is fine when it is in working order (don't roll backwards with a forward gear engaged....) and can also be swapped for air shift, if desired.
Sloppy gear shift can be as easy as a slightly bent shift fork or worn top plate (easily fixed by swapping out transmission top plate) or a sign of deeper tranny trouble. Good takeouts are available, if needed.
I live in anchorage in the city, so I would need it to be daily drivable shape if you call it it that, even if I were to use it as a trail trig I would be going through 45 minutes of stop and go traffic to get on the highway out of town. Not sure what I will use it for yet, just want the capability of hauling anything and going anywhere. I'm not as much concerned with the cosmetics, I can fix most of that stuff, mechanical stuff takes up more time and money. Everything is more expensive here, I've seen ugly deuces with no brakes and all sorts of problems for 3k. Honestly with the tires I would want to put 395s on it eventually. Here's the cg link
 

Karl kostman

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I am going to throw in my two cents since you live in AK, how are you going to heat the engine? Will the truck be parked inside a heated building? If not your going to want to secure an arctic kit for the truck and a block heater that you can plug in when the truck is sitting and its cold. The flame assist starting system has been the best I have found and I know people complain about leaks but I have had no trouble after I fixed it once about 12 years ago I like it way better than ether, that stuff can be hard on engines! With the Deuces all the same rules apply to cold weather operations that pertain to every other diesel engine. The truck sounds pretty decent if you going to be driving in a lot of snow and ice I would be looking at singles instead of duals but if your going to run duals you will need to drop the rears pressure down to 20 to 25 psi and they still completely suck if they are the NDT type tires you will be using the front axle all the time. Good luck and they run fine in the cold when the needed precautions are in place!
 

moalaska

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Alaska
I am going to throw in my two cents since you live in AK, how are you going to heat the engine? Will the truck be parked inside a heated building? If not your going to want to secure an arctic kit for the truck and a block heater that you can plug in when the truck is sitting and its cold. The flame assist starting system has been the best I have found and I know people complain about leaks but I have had no trouble after I fixed it once about 12 years ago I like it way better than ether, that stuff can be hard on engines! With the Deuces all the same rules apply to cold weather operations that pertain to every other diesel engine. The truck sounds pretty decent if you going to be driving in a lot of snow and ice I would be looking at singles instead of duals but if your going to run duals you will need to drop the rears pressure down to 20 to 25 psi and they still completely suck if they are the NDT type tires you will be using the front axle all the time. Good luck and they run fine in the cold when the needed precautions are in place!
There's lots of options on getting something started up here in the winter. Block heater, oil pan heaters, putting a space heater in front of the engine will warm things up quickly. Usually a good block heater is enough.
 

fasttruck

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In cold weather think about taking the battery box out (it is designed to be removed for this very reason) and put it in a warm place in the winter. Take the warm batteries out and put them in the truck when you need to start it. If you have electricity available a block heater will also help. The Army had fuel fired heaters as accessories for artic locations to warm up engines to start.
 

fasttruck

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Either the operators' TM, 9-2320-209-10 or the organizational manual or both should describe the amount of free travel allowed in brake and clutch pedals. Brake, I believe, is 1.5." The Army has been using DOT 5 brake fluid for at least 20 years so your truck likely has this in the hydraulic system.
 

HN6

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alaska
I have been looking at the same truck online. Thanks for the report. If you want one its the only one for sale right now that I have seen.
 
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