How Change the Oil on a Deuce and a HALF ( M35 Cargo Truck)




Recently having been asked by my employer to work on his M35 Cargo Vehicle commonly known as a Deuce and a Half. Having had very little experience with these types of vehicles I thought I would pass on a step by step of how to change the oil on one of these beasts for those of you who may be less experienced working on vintage army vehicles ( such as I was) 

You will need:

1 Drop Cloth
2 Five Gallon Buckets
Large Adjustable Crescent Wrench
2 LP132 Lube Filters ( with new gaskets) 
22 Quarts ( 5.5 gallons) of 30W or 30 SAE motor oil.


Step 1:

Step 1: 

Lay out your drop cloth under your work area. With out any leaks in the engines you are about to release ( in two different stages) a total of 5.5 gallons of used oil. Depending on where you are working you will want to cover to ground below. 

Put on you gloves and headlamp and  get under the truck with the adjustable crescent wrench and two five gallon buckets. 

Locate the drain plugs, two large bolt heads at the front and the back of the bottom of the engine (see photos) 

place 1 bucket under the plug, loosen bolt until almost out and then finish by hand ( so the bolt doesn't fall into the bucket, because then you are about top have to fish that out form all the oil it is about to fill up with) 

Leve that bucket to catch excess and then repeat process with the from plug. 

Allow adequate time for all old oil to drain from the engine. 

Step 2:

Step 2:

Pop the hood and locate the two oil filters Which sit to the right of the head (they look like two silos.)

Take your wrench and loosen the bolts on the top of the metal filter casing and then pull off the casing leaving just the free standing filter. 

Use caution for the filter will be covered in oil so again, use gloves. 

 With the casing off remove the filter ( the casing has a long metal rod which runs through the middle holding the filter in place, once removed the filter is un attached and should be removed very easily) 

Step 3:

Step 3:

Once the casing is removed you will see a a rubber gasket where the base of the filter housing sat snuggly. remove this ( it sits in a metal grove recessed into the side wall so you may take a little time to get it free.) 

Now open the new oil filter box and in one of the packets at the bottom there are replacement gaskets for the ones you just removed. Clear the slot where the original gasket sat of any debris and slowly work the new one into place ( It may seem as if it is too big due to excess "waves" in the gasket, this only means that it hasn't seated itself in the groove. If you work it around a bit it will fit nicely) 

Next grab your new filter, place in the original housing, flip over and engage the metal rod in the center back into the treaded hole of the oil filter housing.

keep in mind the there is a spring mechanism atop the shaft so you will need to apply slight pressure when tightening (begin by hand and then finish off with your wrench. remember, you want it monkey tight, NOT gorilla tight) 

repeat this process with the second filter ( yes there are two) 

Step 4:

Step 4: 

Once the new filters are in place you are ready to add the new oil.

Go back underneath the engine and remove the two buckets which were collecting the old oil. Take the plug bolts and re install them in the base of the engine ( make sure to check the gasket washers for excess wear, if they are in bad shape, they should be replaced) 

Once those have been put back in (again, monkey tight not gorilla tight) You may go back to the top side of the engine. 

remove the oil cap which is at the front of the engine and get ready to pour. You may want a funnel but to be honest the holes is fairly large and shouldn't require one. 

begin pouring the oil in until you have reached 22 quarts and then seal her up. Remember, you want 30 W or 30 SAE ( same thing) This is the approved oil for this engine.

Thats about it. The dipstick for the oils is located to the left of the engine in about the same spot as the oil filters sit on the opposite side. It looks just like another dipstick.  22 quarts is the recommended amount for the Deuce but wheckj the levels anyway and see if you may need a little more. 

After that, shut the hood, make sure its secure and you are good to go. Now you are ready to drive your well oiled wrecking ball of a M35 Cargo Truck!




    • Build a Tool Contest

      Build a Tool Contest
    • Tape Contest

      Tape Contest
    • Pocket Sized Contest

      Pocket Sized Contest

    8 Discussions


    5 years ago on Introduction

    I saw you on National Geographic,it's so cool !!!


    5 years ago on Introduction

    you can easily rig a kill switch, or do like we used to in the army. chain the brake pedal to the steering wheel and use a padlock.


    You should download the TM for the truck. It will tell you everything you possibly wanted to know and more!

    I have one question. How does he lock the truck up? I know they don't make ignition keys for military vehicles.

    4 replies

    A: Thank you for that link. I had a bit of trouble finding one of those at the onset of this project.

    B: unfortunately he doesn't have to. He has an indoor cargo space which enables him to keep it indoors. The only thing I could think of is rigging some sort of padlock system through the dash panel and around the accessories switch so that no would would be able to turn it/ start it and thus, steal it.

    Luckily the average hulligan isn't going to know which way is up when it comes to trying to start this thing.

    best of luck

    I have asked several people about that once at a military vehicle collector's meet once, and one of the most common "Anti-Theft" devices for many of the trucks was (is) actually to just disconnect the batteries on the truck, which effectively kills the whole starting system.

    It's simple, cheap, and not really that hard to do (although it would probably be a pain to disconnect and reconnect the batteries at every stop)

    But, then again, I don't think many thieves would want to steal a big, heavy truck that only goes 50 MPH.

    Its also good idea if you dont drive them in a while to do that so you dont have to "slave start" them. Or if you constantly forget to turn off your lights or radios.


    6 years ago on Introduction

    It's nice to be reminded how to change the oil in a deuce and a half, but I haven't had to do it in almost 30 years. And I don't plan to do it again (but ya never know...).
    Thanks for the trip down memory lane. :)