We were surfing the Government Liquidation Web site (www.govliquidation.com) to see what types of cool military stuff we had to have. We thought we wanted a tank or Hummer, but those aren't sold to the public. Instead we came across what looked like a Chevy 1-ton 4x4, and it was located at Camp Vandenburg, just a few hours from our office. We decided that a trip to check it out was in order, and off we went to see what they had. When you visit a military base, you need to be sure to call ahead to the site manager, and he will put you on the list to get on the base. Then when you arrive you may need all types of identification to get on the base and it's a good idea to leave your guns, knives, and weapons of mass destruction at home, since they probably won't let you bring them in with you.We were surfing the Government Liquidation Web site (www.govliquidation.com) to see what t On the base you will probably find trucks in various states of disrepair. Be sure to ask the site manager which trucks are for auction and what the auction and lot numbers are so you are sure to inspect the right trucks. You may find that the truck's engine or body doesn't appear to be in great shape, but the axles or other parts may be new or in good condition. Though the vehicles are usually being sold for a reason, it is not often obvious, and sometimes they are just being replaced, and thus you can get a sweet deal on a lightly used truck. We found one truck with just 20,000 miles on it, but it looked like a few of those miles were when it fell from a plane, while another truck had 40,000 miles and it looked like it had been driven by a little old chaplain to church once a week. Guess which one we bid on?On the base you will probably find trucks in various states of disrepair. Be sure to ask t Using the Government Liquidation Web site is really easy. First you need to register so that you can bid. Next, enter a word to describe what you are looking for in the "search for" box and click search. We found that "Chev," "Ford," "Dodge," "Jeep," or "4x4" all worked pretty good. This is an example of the lot page on the Government Liquidation Web site. This is where you find the pictures and descriptions of the vehicles. Also note the open and close dates of the auction. You'll learn to not bid right at the beginning of the auction as that gives the competitors a chance to outbid you. Rather, wait till near the end to make your offer, but don't take too long because you always need time to up the bid again if someone tries to beat you.Using the Government Liquidation Web site is really easy. First you need to register so th Though we wanted a 1-ton truck, you can also find other cool stuff on the Web site and at the bases such as tools, secret military machines, and 2 1/2- or 5-ton trucks.Though we wanted a 1-ton truck, you can also find other cool stuff on the Web site and at Tech Editor Kennedy couldn't think of any reason why he shouldn't own a 5-ton truck, though we think cruising in L.A. traffic may be a bit of a chore. If you have to have one of these big trucks, be warned that you will need to fill out an End-Use-Certificate and get your background checked before the feds will let you buy one. It's no biggie, really--just trying to keep terrorists and foreigners from having all the really big axles for their 4x4s.Tech Editor Kennedy couldn't think of any reason why he shouldn't own a 5-ton truck, thoug The truck we finally decided on is an '86 Chevy also known as a Commercial Utility Cargo Vehicle (CUCV). These rigs are basically a bare-bones 1-ton with a 6.2L diesel, a TH400 tranny, a 208 transfer case, a Dana 60 front, a Corporate 14-bolt rear with 4.56 gears, and a Detroit Locker. There were also some CUCV Blazers, but they weren't 1-tons and didn't have the burly axles we wanted. After we bid and won our truck, we headed back to Vandenburg to pick it up. Though we hoped to drive it home, we eventually towed it due to some rotten tires and a bent rear driveshaft.The truck we finally decided on is an '86 Chevy also known as a Commercial Utility Cargo V Since we still needed to get the truck on the trailer, we threw in two Yellow Top deep-cycle Optima batteries. You need two batteries because almost every military vehicle runs on 24 volts. The CUCVs use two alternators and two batteries in series to run the 24-volt starter, though everything else on the truck is 12-volt. We added a few gallons of diesel fuel, checked to make sure all the belts were tight and the radiator had fluid and the engine had oil (it didn't), and twisted the key. To our amazement the old beast rattled to life and easily lugged itself up onto the trailer. We were smiling like fools on our trip home with our new camouflaged toy.Since we still needed to get the truck on the trailer, we threw in two Yellow Top deep-cyc When we got home, our first project was to change the fluids (we actually changed the oil twice within the first month to clean it out), and got this shot after we also did some suspension work. Changing the oil is very, very important to diesels, especially the old 6.2L, since the diesel blow-by gets the oil very dirty very quickly. From now on it's new oil time at every 3,000 miles with no excuses. We decided on using the premium Royal Purple Synthetic oil for the engine as well as its Max Gear Oil for the diffs and Ultra Performance Grease for the U-joints and tie-rod ends. The engine also got a new Fram Sure Grip Tough Guard oil filter. Remember, like Dad always said down on the farm, "Oil and grease is cheap, parts ain't."When we got home, our first project was to change the fluids (we actually changed the oil Under the hood we tightened a fuel line that was loose, and then flushed and filled the radiator with some Prestone Quick-Fill Antifreeze/Coolant. This stuff is already mixed 50/50 with water and is set for -34 to 265 degrees Fahrenheit.Under the hood we tightened a fuel line that was loose, and then flushed and filled the ra Glow plugs are some of the few parts of a diesel engine that actually wear out. We got a set of Autolite plugs to replace our originals, though they still seemed to work. A glow plug that wears out and breaks off in a cylinder can be bad news for a diesel truck.Glow plugs are some of the few parts of a diesel engine that actually wear out. We got a s After replacing the driveshaft with a junkyard special and spraying some black primer where one of the camoflauge colors had oxidized away, we decided it was time to give this old veteran some new shoes. Our goal was fitting 37-inch tires, and to do that we needed some more suspension height. Almost every suspension company makes a lift kit for the early box Chevys, but we were picky. The kit had to have all new leaf springs and no lift blocks, and we didn't want more than a 4-inch lift to clear our new rubber. The answer came from Skyjacker's Softride Suspension. A trip to the Burbank 4-Wheel Parts Performance Center allowed Albert Cuevas to install the kit on our CUCV in about a day and a half.After replacing the driveshaft with a junkyard special and spraying some black primer wher Though everyone told us we would need more than a 4-inch lift, we didn't want the truck that tall. In the end we needed only a small bit of trimming to make the fenders clear the tires. The install is pretty straightforward, and we only had a few small hiccups, such as rusted spring-eye bolts (replacements not included), rusted U-bolts (replacements are included), and weird military fuel lines that ran right where the front dual-shock mount is designed to go. The kit we received included front and rear springs, longer brake lines, spring and sway-bar bushings, front and rear H7000 Series shocks, and a steering stabilizer and dropped pitman arm.Though everyone told us we would need more than a 4-inch lift, we didn't want the truck th Our new suspension gave room for some 37x13.5-17 Pro Comp Xterrain tires. After running a smaller version on our Toyota, we felt these tires performed great on the highway and could hold their own in the mud. Plus, we had seen them do well on many trucks in the rocks. We also got our hands on one of the first sets of black steel Pro Comp RockCrawler wheels in a 17x9-inch size. These tough steel rims not only add to the military truck look we like, but are much cheaper than other 17-inch rims on the market. As much as we like bead locks, we felt they would be overkill for this daily-driver weekend warrior.Our new suspension gave room for some 37x13.5-17 Pro Comp Xterrain tires. After running a Back in our April '03 issue we smashed a bunch of diff covers, and one of them was from Off Road Unlimited. Big Steavie at ORU took the loss to heart and decided that it was time for a serious diff cover made of nodular iron instead of aluminum. What you see on the left is the new 1/2- to 1-inch-thick Big Steavie Cover by ORU for our front Dana 60. For the rear axle, we went with a 1/4-inch-thick diff cover from Wagoner Machine Shop for our Corporate 14-bolt. These are important upgrades since some of us are not used to driving fullsize trucks and will most likely be ramming the diffs into plenty of obstacles.Back in our April '03 issue we smashed a bunch of diff covers, and one of them was from Of SOURCES Autolite 800-890-2075 www.Autolite.com Prestone Burbank 4 Wheel Parts Performance Center Pro Comp Tires 8-66/-232-0665 www.procomptires.com 4Wheel Parts Wholesalers 8-00/-421-1050 www.4wheelparts.com Royal Purple Fram 800-890-2075 www.Fram.com Skyjacker P.O. Box 1678 West Monroe LA 71294 N/A 3-18/-388-0816 www.skyjacker.com Government Liquidation Wagoner Machine Shop Off Road Unlimited www.offroadunlimited.com « | 1 | 2 | View Full Article Enjoyed this Post? Subscribe to our RSS Feed, or use your favorite social media to recommend us to friends and colleagues!