Novemeber, 2004: This beast is Busch &
Busch's old shop truck- a 1966
Kaiser-Jeep M35A2 6x6 2 1/2 ton cargo
truck, affectionately known worldwide as
the "deuce and a half". We picked it up on
Halloween '04 from Idaho Motor Pool.
It was painted in a (non-standard) 3 color
CARC job that lasted until recently.
There's some dings here and there, some
of it had been brush painted, and there
was light flash rust in the bed, but overall
this was a solid bodied truck. This picture
was taken several days after we got home
(the stencils were painted on the road trip
back, we couldn't wait!)
It's a pretty nice example- low miles, a
turbo multifuel (meaning it can run on
diesel, gasoline, jet fuel, biodiesel,
whatever you have lying around, but its
been converted to diesel only for now),
NOS winterization kit, troop seats/cargo
racks, good tires, strong runner, fresh
vinyl top,and no rust. It's just missing a
winch, and airshift- not really requirements
but luxuries. I also planned on the
Memphis Equipment REB shift kit, as the
sprag is malfunctioning (very common). I
also installed a pinion parking brake kit on
the rear Rockwell, and added a 3" bullet
race muffler. Not a huge difference, but it
makes it easier to hold a conversation.
These things are beefy to say the least and can go anywhere (well, anywhere that they'll fit!). It really helps to have single,
modern, tires and the six wheel drive functioning properly though. With a fording kit it will even run underwater for up to
four hours, and it just needs a winch to be unstoppable. The best part is that the bed has three times the square footage of
my truck, and the t-bucket (or jeep, or other small vehicle) will fit right in the bed- who needs a trailer? Well, not that we
plan on towing the bucket, but you never know.......
I drive it about 3 or 4 times a week, and absolutely love it. It gets about 9MPG, has a top speed of about 47 safely,
is very bumpy, has manual steering, and runs about 100dB or more at speed, but you can't beat it! It's an old
truck, but is surprisingly well built for the era. If it weren't for the size it would be a good daily driver.
And here she is in all her original glory! I had contemplated what color to paint her, and settled on forest green as it
was an acceptable color for Vietnam era trucks. I was against Olive Semi Gloss, but after seeing a local MV enthusiast's
M37, I was converted. The Olive Semi Gloss was the original color on this truck, so I thought it was fitting. The cargo
racks were left off, partly because they are heavy and awkward, and also because we think it looks great without them.
Those will be done up later. For now we just need to paint the winter front in standard Olive drab to match the top
(which is vinyl incidentally, spray painted with good results) to give it a more vintage canvas look.
That's right- contrary to popular belief, these
things can get stuck, quite easily. There are
three major factors contributing to many of
the stucks I've been the victim of- poor
controllability (steering) due to massive
understeer caused by the locked rear axles
(locked by a driveshaft between them).
Though I did not intend to drive into a ditch,
that's what happened, I had no control over
it. Another factor is the dual rear wheels.
They tend to float on top because there is so
much tread contacting the ground, and the
military realized long ago that single rear
wheels are vastly superior to duals. The
swap is relatively easy but there are some
disadvantages to singles. The third factor is
that these NDT tires have SUCH POOR
traction- I've never seen anything like it,
having a large, rounded, smooth rubber
tread with barely any ridges to contact the
ground. As they say, NDT stands for
"non-directional travel", meaning you aren't
going anywhere when stuck!
Mud and sand are another story, it's pretty
good in those areas, even in 4 wheel drive.
Danny not enjoying his Sunday
Though it will bruise your ego a bit, it only
takes a slight tug to get free from most
situations; once the deuce gets rolling it's
fairly good off road (because it just plows
through most obstacles). Stop in the wrong
spot, you're screwed.
View from the cab. When the going gets tough, the tough get a deuce!
For more info on these trucks, check out Steel Soldiers. Look there for more info and pictures of my
truck, my heater install, parking brake install, and a bunch of other projects.