M813 Or M35A2?

delta5

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Hi guys,

I have a chance to buy a very nice M813 for about the same price the average M35 is selling for, at least from the dealers. Im a 20 year semi driver, so I am not afraid of big trucks. But I am wondering if an M813 is a bit more truck than I really need for just a toy to dink around with. I am curious to hear the plus's and minus's of owning both. Im guessing the fuel mileage will be about the same if the engines are running right. That Cummins 250 is an older engine, but im sure there are plenty of parts out there for it. Im not so sure about the multi-fuel, as I have not had much experience with it. Repairs on the M813 will have to be mostly done at a local shop since I don't have a place to work on something that big. Im lucky to have a good truck shop that does suspension work near by, (they could even bob it for me if needed) as well as a fuel injection shop, so no worries about that. I am interested in turbocharging the Cummins, they used to call it installing a smoke kit. If the motor has piston oilers and the right numbers, a turbo shouldn't be a problem. I hate to pass this M813 by, because its priced right and extremely clean and straight (it doesn't look like a tree fell on it...). Any comments would be appreciated..

Richard
 

wreckerman893

Possum Connoisseur
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The 800 series trucks are LOUD and everything on them is heavy. If you want a 5 ton you can prob get a 900 series for what you'll pay for the 800. The 900's are more user friendly and if you get a HARSCO version with the 8.3 Cummins in it you will save a bunch on fuel. The 250 is a good engine but it is getting hard to find an old school mechanic that can work on them. Parts can be an issue too.
I still have a soft spot in my heart for the deuces but they are old and have issues I don't want to deal with anymore.
 

fuzzytoaster

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Fort Worth, Texas
Hi guys,

I have a chance to buy a very nice M813 for about the same price the average M35 is selling for, at least from the dealers. Im a 20 year semi driver, so I am not afraid of big trucks. But I am wondering if an M813 is a bit more truck than I really need for just a toy to dink around with. I am curious to hear the plus's and minus's of owning both. Im guessing the fuel mileage will be about the same if the engines are running right. That Cummins 250 is an older engine, but im sure there are plenty of parts out there for it. Im not so sure about the multi-fuel, as I have not had much experience with it. Repairs on the M813 will have to be mostly done at a local shop since I don't have a place to work on something that big. Im lucky to have a good truck shop that does suspension work near by, (they could even bob it for me if needed) as well as a fuel injection shop, so no worries about that. I am interested in turbocharging the Cummins, they used to call it installing a smoke kit. If the motor has piston oilers and the right numbers, a turbo shouldn't be a problem. I hate to pass this M813 by, because its priced right and extremely clean and straight (it doesn't look like a tree fell on it...). Any comments would be appreciated..

Richard
The 5 ton is bigger in every way and that hurts the wallet. I own both and will tell you the m35a2 is more need fitting to own/operate for the average joe. Mileage according to my GPS for the m813 is 5.4 MPG and the M35A2 is 9.8MPG, now factor in condition of the engine and if you cut your fuel with WMO/WVO for the M35A2; the deuce wins in the $'s per mile category. The M35s are getting older as wreckerman893 said so you will be dealing with odds and ends as they age, this should be applied to the m800 series as well as they were built in nearly the same time frame. There are plenty of parts for both trucks out there but as with all thing's it's what you can afford and what you can locate. Treat each truck as it's own (basket) case if need be.

The Cummins 250 doesn't have piston oilers so keep that in mind. A turbo option is possible but the longevity and power difference are still TBD as miles are logged. I want a turbo on my M813 as well but I'm not willing to deadline my vehicle just yet if things go wrong.

Now for my 2cents.. they are both awesome, get them both! Realistically go with the M35A2 if it's in good condition. It will be easier on your wallet, easier to maintain, cheaper to operate, a bit smaller to fit places, and it gives you the option to run alternative fuels. They are more iconic and recognizable by the public so better conversation pieces. Steering is easier in the m813 and you have more "umph" to get moving but they top out at the same speed. Personally the sound of the M35A2 turbo is like music to me and being able to drive for near nill frees my funds up for other MV projects.

But I repeat.. see what your needs are and what you can manage. Go with what suits your fancy and most importantly have (safe) fun. Also pics..post pics.[thumbzup]
 

Scar59

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Fuzzy is spot on. Could not have said it better. I own both and drive them for different reasons. I enjoy working on both engine types. Deuce parts and tools are heavy , 5 ton tools and parts are real heavy. Just sold a good M813 to my neighbor, he loves it and I miss it already. At least me drives by the farm on the way to town. Get one of each. Good luck.
JC
 

delta5

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Kalida/Oh
The M813 that I am looking at has the extended bumper with the winch on it. That truck looks like a real beast LOL. If I were to put big super-singles on it, or even bob it, it would really turn heads at the big monster truck show held nearby.
 

muthkw25

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It all depends on your application for the truck. The multifuel is a great engine, but they all have their limitations. The 5 Ton has more power but also weights 4 ton more. It all depends on what you want to accomplish. I love the multifuel, but my next purchase will be a 5 Ton for the sheer size and extra capacity.
 

dburt

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NE Oregon & SW Idaho
Loved my M35 w/w but did not like the non-power steering. Without power steering, it could be problematic should you blow a front tire at highway speeds. So I ran new radial tires on the front axle to give myself a safety margin. The 5-ton 813 w/w I now have is much nicer to drive as pertains to the power steering, but is very loud at highway speeds. Plus it does not get very good fuel mileage (5-6 mpg) compared to the M35's 9+ mpg and the option for multi-fuel use in a pinch can't be beat.
Get the 813 first, and if you don't like it, then sell it and get an M35- that is unless you can afford both at the same time!:naner:
 

rrrr

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Missouri
Use the search function in the forum. This has been discussed many times and will provide you with a lot of information. I own a M35 and a M932a1. I like them both but for different reasons. The search should answer most of your questions.

Welcome to the forum !
 

EMD567

Driver for the Ga Mafia
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Go big or go home. You think a 5 ton is loud? Try listening to that turbo on the multi fuel for a while. You still have to wear ear protection in both!! If you drive the 813 right, you can turn 6.5 MPG, and with a little work, I think they will do 7. I like the power steering in the 5 tons, and the extra torque of the 250.

The one good thing is that the deuce's will just about burn anything. But instead of one filter and pump on the 5 tons, you have 2 pumps and 3 filters to worry with on the deuce.
 

EMD567

Driver for the Ga Mafia
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Go big or go home. You think a 5 ton is loud? Try listening to that turbo on the multi fuel for a while. You still have to wear ear protection in both!! If you drive the 813 right, you can turn 6.5 MPG, and with a little work, I think they will do 7. I like the power steering in the 5 tons, and the extra torque of the 250.

The one good thing is that the deuce's will just about burn anything. But instead of one filter and pump on the 5 tons, you have 2 pumps and 3 filters to worry with on the deuce.

I dearly love my M814, even if it is longer than a country mile.
 

TacticalDoc

Member
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Otisville MI
I was going to say "go big or go home" but someone already did.
The advantage to the 5 ton is that its easier to drive, newer and better motor. Maintenance I would say is the same but I'm new to the 5 tons. I had an M35A2 and sold it 2 years ago. Picked up my 5 ton and love it. I can actually turn the wheel when I'm stopped.
 

delta5

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This doesn't look like much of a muffler for a big M813.... I wonder if a guy could add a small truck or tractor muffler to the outside exhaust pipe and still keep it looking fairly stock?


m813muffler.jpg
 
Last edited:

dilligaf13

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south, florida
I've owned numerous M35A2, M813. and M939. The 813 was the easiest to bob because everything is simply bolted on. The M35A2 is a PITA because they used rivets and you have to grind or torch them out. If you add hydraulic or air assist power steering to the M35A2 it's a much friendlier drive and basically on par with the M813. The brakes on both the the M35A2 and M813 underperform and are probably their biggest deficiency. Personally, I started with the M35A2 and after restoring and modifying a few I moved up to the M813 and eventually the M939A2. The M939 is nice because it has power steering and airbrakes (since you already have your CDL)...
 

HDN

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Finger Lakes Region, NY
I love my M35A3 deuce, but if I chose my first truck again it'd be a M939 5-ton. They seem to have less issues and limitations compared to the deuces, only downside of the 5-ton I really see is the size, fuel efficiency, and weight of everything. I never hear about 5-tons being overloaded or towing stuff that's too big, or anything about rear suspension spring seat failures. You don't even have to flip the hubs on a 5-ton to run super singles!
 

tobyS

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Don't forget about backing up in low TC on a 939 series. Most of the site work can be in low and not worry with the 809s TC. That's one reason to stay with the 809 series.

Have you looked into locking differentials?
 
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