cost of ownership (the real cost of a deuce)

Dipstick

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There are some interesting comparisons in both our stories. I was an Engineman aboard the USS Coronado for four years. We once spent about six months in drydock so I've experienced a lot of the shipyard thing. It's neat that your Deuce is ex-Navy. I rode in a Navy Deuce in Bremerhaven Germany once. I really enjoyed the ride. I've owned Brutus since 2013 and I've spent more time fixing/modifying him than driving him. I met John (Jatonka) years ago at the Sussex, N.J. MV show. He is a fine gentleman indeed. Brutus has all of his fuel and oil filter adapters. It was one of the first mods I did. As far as the speedo and tach go, I replaced my tach and speedo cables years ago. My Speedo and tach pointers would jump or hang up. The new cables took care of that. The original cables were very stiff from wear and age. My fenders are rusting through too. I have two new ones sitting in the garage. I also have new rocker panels to weld in. Hopefully this coming spring.
 

Gypsyman

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Just me, but I don't think of my deuce in monetary terms. If I did, I wouldn't own one.
An old post but to me the most accurate. I paid around $10k (with out of state transport) for a clean, rust free, complete M35A2C AF Deuce with split brakes. I started out ahead based on the condition of the truck. Unfortunately, in my typical fashion, I started stock piling spare parts and accessories. Being late to the game means that I missed the heyday of cheap parts. I'm current sitting right at $25k including the purchase price.

Due to some outside factors here I am 2 years later and I've just started driving and wrenching on the beast. I enjoy the truck so much that I've sold all of my other projects and put the proceeds into it.

Deuces can be expensive if you let them but that feeling I get everyday when I walk in the shop and see it is priceless.
 

ToddJK

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An old post but to me the most accurate. I paid around $10k (with out of state transport) for a clean, rust free, complete M35A2C AF Deuce with split brakes. I started out ahead based on the condition of the truck. Unfortunately, in my typical fashion, I started stock piling spare parts and accessories. Being late to the game means that I missed the heyday of cheap parts. I'm current sitting right at $25k including the purchase price.

Due to some outside factors here I am 2 years later and I've just started driving and wrenching on the beast. I enjoy the truck so much that I've sold all of my other projects and put the proceeds into it.

Deuces can be expensive if you let them but that feeling I get everyday when I walk in the shop and see it is priceless.
So true my friend. Some will never understand, but we do!
 

montaillou

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I go to car shows and still tell people you can get into a driveable, stock one for $5k or less, it's all the extras that drive the cost up. I also tell people that there's no such thing as a Deuce with nothing wrong with it. This partly reflects the age of these vehicles but also reflects how people LIKE to work on them, and even if nothing is wrong, they'll still find a reason to work on it and maybe change something.
 

Hummer Guy

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An old post but to me the most accurate. I paid around $10k (with out of state transport) for a clean, rust free, complete M35A2C AF Deuce with split brakes. I started out ahead based on the condition of the truck. Unfortunately, in my typical fashion, I started stock piling spare parts and accessories. Being late to the game means that I missed the heyday of cheap parts. I'm current sitting right at $25k including the purchase price.

Due to some outside factors here I am 2 years later and I've just started driving and wrenching on the beast. I enjoy the truck so much that I've sold all of my other projects and put the proceeds into it.

Deuces can be expensive if you let them but that feeling I get everyday when I walk in the shop and see it is priceless.
Same here, I really wish I had one when waterloo was making all those kits for it, especially the overdrive kit
 

7bdiver

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It's been over a year now, so I just tallied up how much I've put into my deuce. Its an 1985 and was in pretty good shape. I bought it for 8k and then paid a buddy that used to work on trucks in the military to put the new heads on. Just needed gaskets, but new heads were quicker than getting the old ones faced. Plus they had all the new goodies in them too. I have the old ones ready for the next time.:roll:

Here's what I've done with the truck, and ballpark costs. To kind of give you an idea what small stuff and some mods can tally up to. A good mix for you folks to see what you might have coming if you do this.

Truck. 8000
New heads + labor 3000
Led headlights Included
New thermostat. Included
New brake master cylinder. Included
Density compensator bypass
New belts 40
Flame heater delete
Pyro, boost gages. 80
New antifreeze 80
All oils changed. 80
Hub service, diff oil 90
All new brake flex lines. 150
Flushed with all new dot-5 100
New brake cylinder, springs 50
Two Spare tires 1120
Tire chains 500
Block heater. 80
spring seats on both sides 600
Floor mats. 50
Overhead console with stuff 400
Center console 100
Greased all zerts
Vent tubes on differentials 40
Lockout hubs 500
Psc hydraulic steering assist 2000
Quick detach steering wheel 180
Locking door handles. 65
Big lock box in the bed 200
New mirrors 150
Spin on kit and all filters 300
Tools, misc for truck 800
Med/trauma kit 100
Fire extinguishers 50
Electric wipers 80
Solar battery tender Included
New batteries. 700
New huge tires and rims. 3300

That's 23000 bucks. For a solid rig with 23k miles, and I still have single circuit brakes. I blew plenty of money where I could have saved, and saved where I certainly could have gotten shafted.

Could I get a really nice 5ton for less? Yes, but a 5ton is so big, its hardly even usable. My truck gets ok mileage and I can do 60mph no prob. I can still park this thing at work, at the gym, at the hardware store...

Oh, and I'll be lucky if I dont need new head gaskets again within 10000 miles. Would I do it all over again? Yeah. I had deuce fever real bad.2cents
 

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Mullaney

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It's been over a year now, so I just tallied up how much I've put into my deuce. Its an 1985 and was in pretty good shape. I bought it for 8k and then paid a buddy that used to work on trucks in the military to put the new heads on. Just needed gaskets, but new heads were quicker than getting the old ones faced. Plus they had all the new goodies in them too. I have the old ones ready for the next time.:roll:

Here's what I've done with the truck, and ballpark costs. To kind of give you an idea what small stuff and some mods can tally up to. A good mix for you folks to see what you might have coming if you do this.

Truck. 8000
New heads + labor 3000
Led headlights Included
New thermostat. Included
New brake master cylinder. Included
Density compensator bypass
New belts 40
Flame heater delete
Pyro, boost gages. 80
New antifreeze 80
All oils changed. 80
Hub service, diff oil 90
All new brake flex lines. 150
Flushed with all new dot-5 100
New brake cylinder, springs 50
Two Spare tires 1120
Tire chains 500
Block heater. 80
spring seats on both sides 600
Floor mats. 50
Overhead console with stuff 400
Center console 100
Greased all zerts
Vent tubes on differentials 40
Lockout hubs 500
Psc hydraulic steering assist 2000
Quick detach steering wheel 180
Locking door handles. 65
Big lock box in the bed 200
New mirrors 150
Spin on kit and all filters 300
Tools, misc for truck 800
Med/trauma kit 100
Fire extinguishers 50
Electric wipers 80
Solar battery tender Included
New batteries. 700
New huge tires and rims. 3300

That's 23000 bucks. For a solid rig with 23k miles, and I still have single circuit brakes. I blew plenty of money where I could have saved, and saved where I certainly could have gotten shafted.

Could I get a really nice 5ton for less? Yes, but a 5ton is so big, its hardly even usable. My truck gets ok mileage and I can do 60mph no prob. I can still park this thing at work, at the gym, at the hardware store...

Oh, and I'll be lucky if I dont need new head gaskets again within 10000 miles. Would I do it all over again? Yeah. I had deuce fever real bad.2cents
.
Nice looking truck and a well thought out list of parts.
When/If you decide to sell this thing one day, having the receipts in a shoebox will add value to your sale.
.
 

Hummer Guy

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Got mines at 8k in November

Mt price list

All oil & fluid/filters around 250-300

Waterloo Power steering, not yet installed: 3k

Interior painted: around $70 for the carc substitute paint & paint brushes, yes, I brushed painted the interior.

Fuel sending unit: $80

Mirrors: $80

All new rubber seals for the windows & windshield: $300

Snorkel $300

Windshield blades $30

LED Headlights: $137

Shifter Covers: $40

Accidentally & bought 8 tires too big, 53 inch tires & MRAP rims: 3K

Adapter plates: $800

I still have yet to install some of these parts, the next thing on my list is to get the 46 inch tires since I already got the rims & adapter plates. The main 2 things that keep me from driving the m35 a lot is the steering and top speed. I'm pretty sure it's going to be 5x better to drive once I install the waterloo power steering kit & and get the bigger tires. Right now my top speed is around 45 at 2k rpms, if I had the ability to cruise at 52-55 mph, it'll make it a world of a lot different to drive, especially on somewhat long road trips
 

montaillou

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if I had the ability to cruise at 52-55 mph, it'll make it a world of a lot different to drive, especially on somewhat long road trips
When I got mine, 2016, it had stock sized tires and I could hit and drive at 55 for hours. I drove it back from where I got it, 1k miles over 3 days. When I moved to super singles the top speed went up to over 60, but I usually kep the speed at 60. My biggest problem then was handling but flipping the castor shim was a big help there. I've since moved back to duallies, though 44" tires.

Power steering has always been at the bottom of my list. Once the truck is in motion, I just don't need it. Though, the front end will be much heavier with super singles and if you think you need power steering with stock tires, you'll definitely need it with the 46". There was a stretch a couple years ago where I drove this road with 6 traffic circles several times in one week - after that I was thinking maybe power steering wouldn't be so bad. Once I switched back to a lighter tire/wheel the front end responds better now.

My price list is unusual. Before 2019 I had spent very little on the truck, got my 46" tires + wheels surplus, few minor repairs really.

After 2019 I decided to get serious: Just the biggest ticket items.

Cab overhaul, part 1: $3500 Removed the top half of the cab and replaced it with a roof with 6" additional cab height and a roof strong enough to hold 1k lbs. + a roof rack.

Air lockers on first and third axles, $2k each (locker price + labor to adjust the lockers + plus a shop willing to rip the truck apart and keep it that way for a week while the lockers were worked on.

Cab sound insulation: $1250 - the effect was dramatic, I shaved 40 decibels of sound. Quieter inside than my BMW.

Engine swap: $10k, most of this was labor as I traded my engine and a spare deuce engine for the swap engine (Cummins 6BT) & workshop space. I never planned on getting an engine swap as I expected it to cost $20k. Had I known I was going to do it, I wouldn't have spent nearly as much on sound insulation.

Custom aluminum wheels and commercial tires: $10k. Looking back on it, I probably would've gone a different route and saved some money, but I still would've ended up spending probably $6k. Commercial tires are expensive, but more convenient to replace should you need to miles from home.
 

montaillou

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Dbluff

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Just purchased the deuce. Drive it daily, clean truck, was just gone through completely about 5 years ago. Only issues is two wheel cylinders now leaking, only drive on my land right now. Also want to add air assist steering and new fiberglass top. Have prior taken it around town and small trips such at 55mph. Everything works and functions. Added dump bed kit.

Cost so far:

$8K for 71 M35a2
Has new A3 super singles and 46” tires
LED headlights $75
Wheel cylinders $200(awaiting install)
Dump bed kit $2K

About $10,500 in clean no rust good running truck
 
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