Updated date:

The M1009 CUCV: A Manly, Eco-Conscious, Military-Rejected, Survivalist's Dream Vehicle

Looks Beautiful in the Snow

Looks Beautiful in the Snow

To Hell and Back

Are you a survivalist nut? Do you crave a real man's vehicle that will take you anywhere and let you pull tree stumps out of the earth if they get in your way? Are you looking for an authentic, "I've been to hell and I'm going back," rolling chassis with original toxic military grade paint (called CARC, which ironically stands for Chemical Agent Resistant Coating)? How about that perfect addition to the mountain militia armada?

Do you want a vehicle that features no complicated computers and electronics and still has the old round air filter housing that sits on top of the engine with a little butterfly nut instead of the goofy air canister casings that are off to the side and out of the way in the engine compartment found on modern cars? How about a bare bones - no carpet interior that embodies the spirit of the no-frills, exclusive society of men that own at least two handguns, two rifles and a shotgun, and secretly cry while watching movies like Gran Torino?


Poor Military Vehicle but Great for Civilians

Look no further than the ex-military M1009 CUCV. What the heck is a CUCV? It stands for Commercial Utility Cargo Vehicle and was brought into military service as a converted civilian vehicle intended as an intermediary for the more expensive and capable amphibious Gama Goat and the rock climbing, trail blazing HMMWV. It is rumored that while the M1009 served in combat during Desert Storm, the results were "less than desirable," and it has been supplanted by the Humvee (HMMWV) it was intended to support.


What Is a M1009?

By now, you're burning with curiosity—what is a M1009 exactly? It's an old Blazer with a diesel engine. The models converted for military use were built from 1983 to 1987—the big hair years.

Despite its ordinary K5 Blazer heritage, you just can't ignore the standard rifle rack. It does hold only two rifles, but hey, that's better than the over-the-top expensive and plushy Tahoe at your local dealer which has no hunting accessories at all! Speaking of expensive, you can pick up a used M1009 for dirt cheap. Often, they can be found with extremely low miles. Specimens of this common breed have been seen on eBay with 70,000 miles, in great running condition and a new paint job and undercarriage paint for between 5 to 6000 dollars. There are some that have even less than 50K miles!


Veggie Conversion

In addition to the reinforced tow hooks attached to the front and back of the M1009 optimal for Chevy maintenance intervals, the standard non-turbo diesel engine is an ideal platform for bio-diesel or veggie oil conversions. Just think, that old corn field you've just let grow wild can now be harvested to run your M1009! Or you can just hit the local Chinese buffet or McDonalds and instead of meekly begging for grease with your pasty, white vegetarian eater's complexion and your wimpy diesel Vanagon parked behind you, you can instead roll up in your beefy, military, olive drab monster of a truck, step out with your plaid hunting jacket over a pasty, white skin and flabby, aging, meat eater's body and subtly imply that it would be in their best interest not to interfere while you suck some of the goo out of their grease trap.


Big Gun

There is no end to the benefits of owning a Blazer CUCV, not to mention that the official designation of your M1009 sounds a lot like a really big caliber weapon that needs a tripod to operate safely. The combination of the 6.2 liter diesel engine with the tough TH400 transmission and the locking differentials hooked to the NP-208 chain driven transfer case make this militarily inadequate SUV the perfect off-roader for the tough and independent outdoorsman.

Sweet Smell of Freedom

And just think, converting the beast to take used vegetable oil will not only add to your sense of independence from the oil industry and the government, but it will also confuse the hippies who want to condemn your fuel guzzling choice of transportation and complain about the dirty diesel exhaust. They will stall like a Smart car going uphill when they smell nothing but french fries as you pass by.

Be Different

You want independence? You want to be different? You want to be the epitome of the rugged individualist? Then find yourself a good used M1009 to put those MRE's and camping supplies in and take off for parts unknown. (Don't forget the toolbox, it's still a Chevy).

Fording Deep Waters

Rock Climbing

What Do You Think?


This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.


Dustin Shadle on December 27, 2019:

The Blazer version was never meant to have a heavy trailer hooked up. Basically think of a single axle or small double axle ATV/utility trailer. I worked with a guy who had several properties, and bought 2 of the 1009 models, they were near perfect so far as the body goes. he had them wrapped in a "grass and leaves" pattern, made the top basically permanent attached. He used these 2 blazers to haul a medium twin axle utility trailers with 2 john deere ZTR mowers, 2 push mowers, 2 weed wackers and the oil and fuel for these, and some hand tools. these ran all over the town and some of the more well to do properties. he had the pump rebuilt, added fuses instead of fuseable links and fuses near relays to keep things simple. each of the trucks had a marine grade stainless shotgun and the people were all licensed to carry. being that it was olkahoma, there were snakes and some critters did not like the noise of the lawn machines. these guys commonly had a revolver with snake shot ready. these were just what he needed. he did get the pickup he bought down and put in 3.73 gears and wen to a pair of lockers that werent gov-locks, i know the front got an OK locker but not sure on what model Dana locker it had. the front had a custom snow blade and winch mount. they used the same frame mounting points and there was a plug for the winch, and one for the blade. the rear had a custom bumper made out of 1/4 inch wall 3x6 inch tubing, and it served as a second tank for the air compresser that he would pin inside the box and the stow away for the winch, which slid into the 4 heavy wall 3 inch ID recievers. after you slide in 6 pins and plugged in the power, the winch would work out the rear. he got some military slave jumpers then wired it up to run higher amps in 12 volts and had good clamps off an old welder ground line and he could jump start anything. all in all, the guy had a 6x6 tractor and a flat bed, and low boy, and im sure hes got more in the last 10 years. he lent the company i worked for, his tractor, so they could use it as their yard truck was gone, it caught fire. they were very impressed that it had easily handled the sometimes swamp like yard, and never had troubles. it had a winch on the front, but they didnt use it. spring came around, work got busy, and soon we see a new 6x in the lot. it ended up losing the winch to a company next door to finish off their semi tractor tow rig. knwoing them, all were done in trade for future favors. as good as cash if the people were solid. anyway, the new yard tractor got a nice 8 way adjustable blade. they didnt need to contract anyone to move snow. i think they spent under $10k and all the milsurp stuff is worth looking at. im going to be rebuilding some of the 5/4 axles to put under a friends suburban, so he can haul the family and their sxs and dirt bikes to their events, and even slow roll some trails. as i am a paraplegic, i have a seat that extends out and lowes then lifts and positions me and it was made for those square body chevy full size. i just dont know if i should go for the pickup or blazer? i would be replacing the seats with quality suspension seats. may throw some 5/4 axles with 3.25 or 3.55:1 ratios and a solid pair of lockers, since i dont always like to just watch people ride trails. i miss trail driving a ton. im a ford truck, or a cj guy, but i can work with anything thats proven. no malice to the bowtie. sorry this is so long

Alexander Silvius (author) from Portland, Oregon on July 17, 2019:

I've posted some fan mail M1009ForSale. Thanks for visiting. I think this is a good way to get some lookers as the CUCVs aren't as easy to find as when I first wrote this article.

M1009ForSale on July 16, 2019:

I have a 1984 M1009 for sale, runs great, have had it for 9 years. Was googling the vehicle and saw this board, thought I 'd offer it up here before posting it for sale (July 2019).

Darryl on January 26, 2019:

I'm buying an M1028 myself soon: The Pickup truck version of the CUCV with a helper spring system so that it can haul more weight. They also come with a Spicer Trac Lok on the front and Detroit lockers on the back, 4.56 rear gear ratio. I've heard fuel economy reports of 18MPG in stock form, even for this big heavy fella. They'll Idle up darn near anything. If you're looking to buy one, track down Mike Morin in Massachusetts. He charges more (paying $12,000 for my M1028), but he totally goes through the trucks before selling them, doing every bit of maintenance they need, including changing all the fluids. Oil, Transmission, Axles and Transfer case. My truck had the wiring harness hacked up to make it 12V, and he transferred a full wire harness in to fix it. Rewired the entire truck rather than just fixing what was cut up. Real standup guy that's sold to people across the US and even Canada!

Religiously do the maintenance on one of these, and the entire truck will live longer than you will. Many of them are very low mileage (Mine is just under 6,000 original miles documented on the military maintenance reports). Many have a lot of idle time on them, but considering they don't have a lot of real stress from driving, put the little bit of work into them that they need and hop in and drive away!

Freda77744 on November 27, 2018:

I have a 86 M1009,its aggravating finding parts but loads of fun driving and best mpg I've ever had! Sometimes hard to start wo ether,but I love it. Gave 1700 got 4000 in it. It loves $100 bills... Not for sale.

muddy mopar on September 26, 2018:

Being a big 93 360 magnum ramcharger fan I like the shape and the french fry oil for free thing is also very cool I would still prefer mopar but I live in the rust belt and I would be glad to cruise any decent 2 door 4x4 suv like thease I am deeply disturbed that all our decent mens off road suvs have turned into wimpy ass 4 door grocery store and soccer field rats looks like a good woods truck if I could find one in my area I would proudly hunt and fish the heck out of it

Matthew Edwards33 on August 16, 2018:

ChikChak, absolutely not.

M1009's didn't even come with a towing receiver capable of pulling a trailer.

They had a pintle hitch bolted to the rear bumper where the license plate would normally be.

Not only that; they have 10 bolt rear axles with 3.08 ratio and feeble gov loc carriers combined with a non turbo diesel making 160hp and 275 lb ft of torque.

Not a good choice for a tow vehicle.

Some were rumored to have more leaves in the leaf spring packs although my 86 m1009 had the same as any civilian K5.

Now, I installed a Class 3 receiver hitch and I can tow a 3,000 lb trailer.. slowly.

But that is after I also swapped the rear axle for a 12bolt with 3.73 gears.

ChikChak on July 30, 2018:

I had heard that the towing and hauling capacity of these military Blazers is uprated from the civilian model to satisfy DoD requirements. Can anyone confirm this?

Matthew Edwards33 on June 12, 2018:

The M1009 CUCV was NOT military rejected. It was not a front line battlefield vehicle.

It grates on my nerves that this article is the first thing you see when searching CUCV and the title is blatantly wrong.

To state "Military Rejected" based on a single anecdote, the source of which is not named, is wrong.

The CUCV program was so successful, some of them are still in use today; 31 years later.

The M1008 series were governed at 55 mph.

The M1009 Blazers had the same fuel injection pump governor as the m1008 trucks but the 3.08 gear ratio allowed them to travel in excess of 80mph.

In stock form the M1009 was capable of 21 miles per gallon fuel economy with it's 27 gallon tank giving it the greatest endurance of any CUCV.

Also the lightest CUCV at 5,400 lbs depending on options.

Don't even think of running veg oil in one.

Just don't do it.

Your first task when you get your CUCV with the 6.2 diesel is to remove the fuel injection pump and send it to a reputable injection specialist for a rebuild.

They are 30 years old and will run another 30 years.

But don't delude yourself into thinking you are going to drive away into the sunset without some serious work first.

Starter relays are known to stick and burn up the starter motor.

The resistor bank of the hybrid 12/24 volt electrical system is known to degrade and either short out to ground and burn up or short internally providing 24 volts directly to the 12 volt glow plugs causing them to burn up. $80 bucks for a set of glow plugs by the way.

The harmonic balancer of the 6.2 is known to decay causing it to seperate or stop damping the harmonics of the crankshaft which can lead to catastrophic engine failure.

Replace the harmonic balancer as soon as you get the truck.

Glow plug relays are know to fail.

Glow plug cards; the only electronic engine related component onboard, are known to fail.

The 6.2 requires strict oil change intervals.

It has a very small 6 quart oil capacity for a very dirty diesel engine.

Speaking of soot; the 6.2 has no emissions equipment at all.

It expels clouds of black smoke under acceleration and it is a very loud motor both inside the cab or standing outside.

Go ahead and get one.

I did.

I love my M1009.

But do not expect to drive it without issue.

These are 30 year old trucks.

Some may have low miles on the odometer but unknown time spent idling.

Many are found third or fourth hand; ARMY first, Sheriffs dept, another guy, you.

There is no telling the service it has had or what has been molested under the hood.

Just be ready to either work on it yourself or pay someone else to do the work.

You can expect to pay $4,500 to $11,000 for an M1009.

The price they ask does not necessarily correspond to the actual reliability, condition, or driveability.

It is just what some guy thinks it is worth and right now these square bodied Chevys command absurdly unrealistic prices for what they are.

Go ahead and do your homework.

Then buy one.

John on March 16, 2018:

There's a nice M1009 posted in Austin Texas on Craigslist. it's in great shape and has humvee axles and tires on it. it's listed for $8500 with somewhere around 30k miles

Scott A Smith on December 25, 2017:

if anyone has info to where I can find some of the m1009 blazers for sale I would appreciate the info 310-879-7724 or email scottsmith0326@yahoo.com thank you

Alexander Silvius (author) from Portland, Oregon on November 26, 2017:

Danke, Herr Schue. When I was last in Holland visiting relatives (ten years ago) I saw a decent number of older American cars parked on the street, so I am not too surprised to see your comment. My article is a little dated as far as finding deals, but it looks like Jason down below has done some more recent searching and states that M1009s are still findable. I hope you find yours.

alexander J. Scheu on November 12, 2017:

no further other comment .necessary..

---absolutely competent..

present time - I'm looking for an M1009

late but not too late

Thank you so much Gentleman alexander Silvius

Npov. 2017, Worms/Rhein Germany

Jason on October 30, 2017:

Just came across the story while searching for CUCV add ons, 3 days after acquiring 2 froma government auction (govdeals.com). They have become more rare, but deals still can be had. K5 Blazer (D10) with 82k for 1600. Drove it 600 miles home, drives great. And a 85 CUCV Ambulance with 20k for 2800. Towed this because of the 4:56 gears. Great truck, just needs tires and a drive shaft. Sorry that the article is 6yrs old, but the deals are still out there at the government auctions for future readers

edward martis on February 17, 2017:

had one with tons of parts and all radio's-etc. ---the CA NG unit that I was in was going to crush all parts and all radios "DESTROY ALL RADIOS" and ALL PARTS AT LOCAL LEVEL (for scrap value).....So for 'scrap value' I acquired loads of stuff----a little later I acquired a M-1009 from the Phoenix PD/ painted police white---for $2800....with 30,ooo miles on it-----the thing was an absolute beast and Toyota crusher-----7,500 lbs worth....DO NOT buy one unless you can afford it----repairs/ parts/ maint/ tires etc

axelsteve on May 26, 2016:

I am into mopars but that Blazer makes sens,my only problem with a blazer is then I would have to start buying blazer parts.That would not be too much of a problem though.I could use used oil from oil changes and auto trans services and burn it in the blazer.

Alexander Silvius (author) from Portland, Oregon on October 16, 2014:

The last few times I have looked around (now and then I do a search), they do seem hard to find so the affordability aspect of this article may be a bit out of date. Great that you found one you can live with. Hummers are awesome but expensive to maintain I think because of the specialized parts - I think you'll be happier in the end with your CUCV - standard GM parts as far as I know, so it should be fun to maintain and modify as little or much as you want. But with the military setup, I don't think it needs much, maybe some rubber carpeting ha ha. Thanks for visting and commenting and don't fall out when you're tearing down a trail with the top off! I am envious.

chickendumpling on October 16, 2014:

In the process of buying a 84 M1009. High miles... Been looking for along time and tough to find one that is not all rusted/beat up and original. Most I have crossed have been modified, as expected, but looking for original as possible. Absolutely not my first choice, it was the bottom choice ... what kicked it up was price and ability to bring along more family/friends. Plus pop the shell for some fresh air! My first selfish pick would be HMMWV M988 Humvee.

Alexander Silvius (author) from Portland, Oregon on May 21, 2013:

That is hilarious! You drove through 4 or 6 feet of water and made it all the way to the beach only to get stuck! What a great story, did your passenger have to swim after all? Oy. Thanks for dropping in Possum.

possum lover from the backwoods just to the North of South Carolina on May 20, 2013:

I found what said about fording deep waters with a military Chevy Blazer very interesting, especially since I did just that in the service. I was driving a full bird colonel around, and we were on a landing craft which was approaching an island in the Caribbean. The landing craft couldn't get any closer then about 200 yards to the island because of the tides and water depth. He said he wasn't walking, and ask did I think I could make it. I had no idea, but I wasn't going to pass up on this once in a lifetime chance. I put it in 4 wheel drive and off we drove across the ocean floor through the water. The water at times went across the windshield, and at one point a little fish swum by, but we never slowed down until we hit the beach. Once on the beach we immediately got stuck in the dry soft sand. That's when we discovered that the 4 wheel drive didn't even work. It was a a total blast, but I wouldn't recommend trying this with your own vehicle :)

Alexander Silvius (author) from Portland, Oregon on March 03, 2013:

Cool! Thanks for reading. If you get one, I hope you come back and let me know how it goes. Although, those Jeepneys over there are pretty cool too.

Jane Katigbak from Philippines on March 03, 2013:

Now I really wanted to have this beast. Thanks to this hub!

Alexander Silvius (author) from Portland, Oregon on February 21, 2013:

Highlander, I haven't kept up with the current values, but I would say that a good all-around price for a decent CUCV with low miles (50K) would be around 5000. I've seen decent ones online for much cheaper and I would say for an '84 with 8000 miles, anywhere from 4000 to 7000 dollars if it's in great shape - but these are just guesses at this point. The best thing to do is search craigslist using Search Tempest (find it through Google) to search CL nationwide, check Ebay to see if there are any on there now or in the recent past - they pop up all the time if you're looking, and government surplus sites like www.govliquidation.com and check the condition and mileage of the CUCV's you find. Make sure it's the M1009 not the M1008.

Alexander Silvius (author) from Portland, Oregon on February 21, 2013:

Jared, I am so sorry I missed your comment, for some reason it was marked as spam. I hope you are still loving your beast, I would love to see another comment about your experiences with it, and how it runs in the snow! Thanks so much for commenting.

jared sherrill on August 03, 2012:

Thank you for a well written article about these machines. I traded a 96 f150 for mine about a week ago and love it. Monstrous offroad capabilities but loads more maneuverable than my m35a2's ever were. No a/c kinda sucks though its been 106 for the last 3 or 4 days

Alexander Silvius (author) from Portland, Oregon on June 03, 2012:

Hi Megan, thanks for commenting. If you haven't already, see my comment above, it might help. Good luck!

Megan Wright on June 03, 2012:

So I really want to buy one of these... I know someone who has one. Where can I get one and for how much. Please email me if anyone can give me specifics.


Alexander Silvius (author) from Portland, Oregon on May 20, 2012:

Check the first link under the last picture and these:



You can also try state auctions and Ebay comes up with some good deals - but you'll have to be patient.

Contacting a Guard or Reserve station might net you some results too - but that is a long shot I think.

Prices vary wildly, if you buy from an auction, you may get one cheap but you can't be sure about the condition. I think a decent one will run you about 5000 bucks.

Thanks for visiting!

BARBARA on May 20, 2012:

where can i find surplus military vehicles along with the price Thanks

Alexander Silvius (author) from Portland, Oregon on May 12, 2012:


Prashant cool on May 11, 2012:

It's Very Difficult ?

Alexander Silvius (author) from Portland, Oregon on April 30, 2012:

Simmi1313, that's really cool. Do you get to drive it?

Simmi1313 on April 06, 2012:

Lolz my grand father bought one and it is awesome

Alexander Silvius (author) from Portland, Oregon on March 23, 2012:

Thank you I1a1man!

l1a1man on March 19, 2012:


Try Boyce Equipment in UT. They have lots of parts and rims. Goodyear Silent armor are the new version of the original tires. I run them on my M1009 and they are the best tires I have had on a 4x4. Hope this helps. www.boyceequipment.com

Alexander Silvius (author) from Portland, Oregon on March 19, 2012:

Hey Paul, I'm sorry you're having trouble, I don't understand how rims can be discontinued unless they are a special order item for military specifications - that's kind of goofy. In the meantime, a seller on Ebay that seems to sell quality military equipment including CUCVs appears pretty knowledgeable and helpful might be a good place to start: http://myworld.ebay.com/ebaymotors/scyros35/ . Maybe send him an email or peruse his listings. Let me know if it pans out!

Paul Womancatcher on March 18, 2012:


I've got an '86 M1009. Rubber is good, but alas—no spare! No one here in NE Oklahoma has tires or rims for this truck. "Discontinued" they say. Anybody know where I can get 'em?

Thanks in advance for any help.

Alexander Silvius (author) from Portland, Oregon on October 20, 2011:

Alot if you're poor and a pittance if your rich. Check out the links and Ebay - often there are CUCV's there.

Phillip Slaton on October 19, 2011:

How much?

Alexander Silvius (author) from Portland, Oregon on September 09, 2011:

The M1028 sounds like a real workhorse - no Cummins needed for you! Thanks for the link, that one worked. I'm not sure I have that in the article, so now visitors have another resource to go to.

Noise is the only thing that would get to me, but the trade-off is an awesome rough terrain vehicle.

l1a1man on September 08, 2011:

Here is the link: http://www.govliquidation.com/

Yes, the M1028 is geared really low and it won't go over 65mph. It is geared so low it chirps the tires when you take off. They were meant for heavy loads. The M1028 we bought is a rare model, it has a heavier front axle, rock crawlers like to buy them to strip them off for their Jeeps. The M1008 is not geared as low but again they only go about 65 mph unless you change the gears in the rear end or put taller tires on them. Fuel economy is about the same. The 1028 is way quieter inside than the M1009.

Alexander Silvius (author) from Portland, Oregon on September 08, 2011:

That doesn't sound too bad, especially for an older vehicle. Do you find there is a huge difference between the 1028 and 1009 as far as performance? Checked out the website, looks like it is no longer an official site but now has a bunch of links going to other places :-(

l1a1man on September 07, 2011:

Negative, leave her up. Kinda gives it cool points being on here. I love that truck. Only issue I had with it was the glow plug card, I bypassed it with a manual switch, replaced some wheel bearings, and that is it. I ended up taking the roof rack off and doubled my MPG. I am pulling about 20 miles to the gallon on the highway. These are very simple to work on. Check out governmentliquidations.com, I also picked up a M1028 there as well in very good shape.

Alexander Silvius (author) from Portland, Oregon on September 07, 2011:

I1a1man, that is really cool! That is a beautiful picture and I'm honored to have you visit. Let me know if there is any problem with copyright infringement and I'll take it off.

It is really good to hear a success story and that you're still in love with your beast. Reliability is a huge must when you're off road. I don't think my Tahoe can go where yours can.

Alexander Silvius (author) from Portland, Oregon on September 07, 2011:

Hey Matt, can you switch those axles?

l1a1man on September 07, 2011:

I say hell yes, especially since that rig in the first photo is mine (roof rack, gas can M1009). Wouldn't trade it for anything else. Two years of reliable service driving it everyday. I have put 37,000 miles on it.

Matt on September 07, 2011:

Ill stick with my M1008 it has one ton axles better than the M1009 weak 10 bolt axles.

Alexander Silvius (author) from Portland, Oregon on August 31, 2011:

No kidding, I have a Tahoe and although it has a bunch of computers, I like its simplicity. I have manual window cranks and a rubber floor. If I were searching for a perfect survival vehicle today, I would go for the CUCV or the old Blazer with a carburetor and vacuum fuel pump to name a few things I like. Of course the diesel is fuel injection, but the general durability of a diesel makes that a moot point IMHO. I'm glad you mentioned the Chevy diesel engine problem, and unfortunately, I'm hazy on the details, but I know it can be fixed. I'm betting that's the same problem you are talking about, and it's good to know which years are safe.

Thanks for coming by and thanks for the compliment Chris, hope I've added something useful. And congratulations on your purchase - wish I was you. Post a link if you put up pictures or videos, I'd love to add it here.

Chris on August 31, 2011:

Great site. I picked up an 85 m1009 and I love it. No frills and all fun. The 6.2 has been great so far, I have read that the 1983 6.2's had some problems but fixed for 84 and up. I wish modern vehicles were a little more practicle, a 4x4 is not supposed to be a luxurey vehicle.

Alexander Silvius (author) from Portland, Oregon on July 24, 2011:

Thanks for dropping in and leaving your link.

fashion on July 23, 2011:

Very informative hub.Thanks for posting.

Alexander Silvius (author) from Portland, Oregon on July 10, 2011:

You got the bug bad that's for sure!

Matt Mitchell on July 09, 2011:

Yea when I do finally get back behind the wheel it will have to be a recrational vehicle for me just because of my kids. I know my kids could ride but...... Lets just put it like this, I won't be the best driver with the CUCV. I know exactly what these babies can do I just haven't had the chance to do them do to they were government owned. Just thinking about it makes me want to sell my car and just go and get a CUCV.

Alexander Silvius (author) from Portland, Oregon on July 08, 2011:

Glad to hear a positive report - some people complain about the engine not being reliable, but I hear that if you have that problem, there is a relatively easy fix for it. Roaming around Youtube, I saw plenty of videos exemplifying its toughness and off-road capability, including a cold start in sub-zero weather! I'm with you, if I ever replace my Tahoe, I'll be looking for a CUCV. There's a guy on Ebay that sells military equipment in good shape. He doesn't have any CUCV's right now, but when he does, he's the guy I want to get it from: http://myworld.ebay.com/ebaymotors/scyros35/?_trks... . Good luck!

Matt Mitchell on July 08, 2011:

Boy oh boy would I love to have one of these bad boys. I know that Active Army got rid of them a long time ago, but my unit with the National Guard still had one or two when I joined. I drove one of these CUCV's, solid back box for tool storage and generator, all the way up to South Dakota one year. I would love to get my hands on one of these beasts. I don't care what anyone says I love this vehicle to death. Oh and yes it is true these trucks have been through hell and back.

Alexander Silvius (author) from Portland, Oregon on May 12, 2011:

I mean the insulation was awful and the shower was for midgets. Plus it was always damp in there. Rather sleep outside :-)

Gypsy Willow from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand on May 12, 2011:

But you're a foot taller than I am!

Alexander Silvius (author) from Portland, Oregon on May 12, 2011:

I lived in an Airstream for a half year, it was awful.

And you're right, some people swear by Chevy, but there are plenty of lemons out there!

Gypsy Willow from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand on May 12, 2011:

I still want an Airstream like the one in "Open Season 2" and a dachshund to go with. After all it's still a Chevvy!

Alexander Silvius (author) from Portland, Oregon on May 09, 2011:


50 Caliber from Arizona on May 09, 2011:


Alexander Silvius (author) from Portland, Oregon on May 09, 2011:

Whoops. I spoke with an Amazon representative (yeah right) and they mumbled something about "hazardous waste issues," yet surprisingly, size mattered not (if you use their Yoda shipping deal).

nicomp really from Ohio, USA on May 09, 2011:

You left out the Amazon capsules. How are we supposed to order this stuff?

Alexander Silvius (author) from Portland, Oregon on May 02, 2011:

Hey Sunnie! You are so right, the bug and the Blazer are two completely different driving experiences. What's weird though is that when I drive my Tahoe, I get almost the same rush that I did driving my diesel rabbit, especially around corners. It may be that there is a sports car hidden in that big SUV frame ;-)

Thanks for the read and the compliment.

Sunnie Day on May 02, 2011:

Hummm great hub Mark but is not my bug!lol I do like the vegetable oil though for gas...It looks like a good rugged vehicle..Thanks for a great informative hub.


50 Caliber from Arizona on April 17, 2011:

Yeah it's possible but they get so tall you have to have a 2 to 4 foot stepladder to get in. They are best left alone I remember mine drove like a dream and floated down the road.

Alexander Silvius (author) from Portland, Oregon on April 16, 2011:

I've actually thought about doing something like that, is that possible? I won't though, the ride is out of this world. Yep, it is mine. She's a beaut isn't she?

50 Caliber from Arizona on April 16, 2011:

Coool is that yours? Buy a wrecked Ford F-250 4x4 and put the running gear under it and you'd have an urban assault vehicle, LOL

Alexander Silvius (author) from Portland, Oregon on April 16, 2011:

Thanks for the chuckle 50, that would be hilarious, unless you were of course driving one of those GM wagons with the diesel! A few women actually like the fact that I own a wagon, I think they think it makes me more "real". I hope it's not just because it's a family car! Mine is a smooth running cruiser and if it weren't for the dent in the front and the fading woody siding, it would be the most beautiful car in my eyes. Here is a link if you want to see it - there are a lot of pictures so don't feel obligated to look through them all: https://picasaweb.google.com/105791875226972428794...

50 Caliber from Arizona on April 16, 2011:

Man station wagons are cool! you don't see them any more, If I were to want one I'd like the old Buick Wagon built on a tube frame and a fire breathing 454 hiding in it and when the teens pull up laughing fry the tires and split!

Alexander Silvius (author) from Portland, Oregon on April 16, 2011:

Well, you win. You have lived the life I only imagined. Pulling horses around in a luxurious diesel truck camper unit with swiveling captain's chairs, flying helicopters and now living away from civilization and hanging out with the wild animals. I'm just glad when I can drive down to the ocean. In fact my biggest goals this year, (other than building an online income from writing) are to start flight training and start surfing regularly.

Your setup with the truck reminds me of the Millenium Falcon, and you are Han Solo, living life on your terms.

You may wish you had kept your truck, but I think your lifestyle is different now, and it's perfect the way it is.

Just last night I dreamed of my KLR, a good motorcycle but always in the shop for something costing me loads of money. I miss riding but not the headache of negotiating dangerous city traffic and the repairs. I have a great old station wagon I absolutely love, but want to sell and can't because of the sentimental value. Stupid, maybe I just need to move on.

50 Caliber from Arizona on April 15, 2011:

I still like the Cummings 12 valve and rotary pump over the noisy clatter of the 24 valve inline computer pump.Your right that engine with a 5 speed could take off in 3rd gear and accelerate fast and with my 4 horse trailer and living quarters with all my tack and 4 1800 pound Belgians a trip to Shawnee national park for a week stay, they still got 20 mpg at 70 cooking down the road with added captain chair seats that reclined and swiveled the passenger could turn all the way around prop his feet on the fold down seat and recline then keep me awake driving with all his snoring. I wish I had kept that truck!

Alexander Silvius (author) from Portland, Oregon on April 15, 2011:

Hey 50, those sleepers look pretty cool, but I see that you have to lay across the width of the truck, and I am 6'4". Those things are great, but probably wouldn't work for me ;-) I had to chuckle when I saw one for a Toyota with a walk-in door on that website. I wish I was shorter!

For a long time, a Dodge Cummins was THE diesel to get, I remember working with two brothers who had the Dodge trucks with extended cabs and the straight six Cummins diesel engines with turbo. Those things accelerated like nothing else, I am still impressed to this day. That was the old body style before Dodge went with the "semi" look.

I just checked out that link - that is cool. There were two other useful links on there - the surplus warehouse is only 200 miles south of me, so I envision a trip down there in the future, maybe I'll take some pictures for you.

People don't realize what a treasure trove used military equipment can be. Wonder if the military will ever get Ipads? That is a great article, thanks for turning me on to it. I'll let you know if I get some cool stuff from there. Apparently they also ship.

50 Caliber from Arizona on April 15, 2011:

check out this....


Alexander Silvius (author) from Portland, Oregon on April 15, 2011:

Thanks for coming by Silver, glad you like the manly truck.

Silver Poet from the computer of a midwestern American writer on April 14, 2011:

Awesome vehicle, very rugged looking!

50 Caliber from Arizona on April 14, 2011:

I'll have to get some pictures scanned, it was a cab and chassis with a wheel base set for a 14ft bed and I built the bed and a tool box that was tall enough to set a sleeper that was being made at the time. It was made to span a pick up bed and a boot between. One person could climb up and sleep in it, parked or while another drove. check this, they show them on angle iron but I made a tool box that went all the way across with a door at each end, you could put long items like shovels or tent poles in it.


I put a 454 gas out of a low mile [20k] wrecked motor home because it was a straight bolt in for $1,200.00 vs 5k+ for a new 6.2 diesel. Just hook the wire for run and shut off on the coil hot lead and drain the tanks and fill with gas. I figured 4k at the $.95 cent to $1.08 would buy a lot of gas, then I bought a Dodge 1 ton cab and a half with the drop down rear seats and a Cummings that got 22 mpg and sold the Chevy.

Alexander Silvius (author) from Portland, Oregon on April 14, 2011:

If I were to convert a truck to a machine you can sleep in, I would connect the cab with the camper too - that is awesome. But this is why I bought the Tahoe, a 2 door SUV that is built open to the back. I like the idea of not having to get out for safety and comfort - in case there are zombies roaming around and you know they leave you alone if you stay inside till sunrise. Also, you can't lean back in your seat in a single cab truck like in a 2 door suv.

I guess those 6.2's are pretty durable. Why did you go to gas? Tired of the smoky slowness? You sure don't skimp when it comes to power though!

I like your style. If the world ever runs out of 2 door suvs, I'll get a truck with an extended cab and put a nice camper on the bed and mate them together like you did.

50 Caliber from Arizona on April 13, 2011:

The one ton diesel was the only new vehicle I bought, it was an 82 GMC 1 ton cab and chassis, I built the bed and tool boxes and a long cross bed box with a sleeper mounted on it access through the rear window with a boot installed to weather proof it. I got 387,000 miles out of the 6.2 diesel and put a 454 gas in it after that, mpg went from 16 to 6 but rolling at 30 mph you could fry the duals on command.

Alexander Silvius (author) from Portland, Oregon on April 12, 2011:

That's a great breakdown - and that's a lot of money! I had no idea that you can easily spend 30k in five years on fuel alone. That makes it worth it to buy a newer Toyota or Camry if you want a reliable commuter. Not for me, I'd rather preserve capability and have room and power available and just pay for the gas as long as I can afford it.

You're right, there's enough info to write another hub. My suggestion is you write a hunting trip story including your Jeep or anything else you use off road. I have absolutely no doubt there are at least a few stories rattling around under your hat.

One ton diesel? Would that happen to be a Kaiser Jeep?

50 Caliber from Arizona on April 12, 2011:

The Devils desk is just a joke about him being under ground in hell and when your buried to the frame your in a hell of a fix, Ha!

here is a break down of 30k vs. a M1009CUCV, SO you'll have to know what's tore up and the price you'll end up spending putting it back on the road. 30,000 is 6000 gallons of fuel at 5 bucks a gallon and 12 mpg is 72,000 miles, liability insurance only, cheaper tags, big savings on sales tax,no interest or monthly payments in a fix it yourself configuration. I'd go 5k total fixed right to go another 100,000 miles the most I'd spend on one buying it and doing the labor myself. If they are 6.2 diesels as long as the air intake and exhaust is above water you can use a swim mask and snorkel to see and breath as you ford a river. You need to allow the truck to fill with water or it will float enough to tumble. It would have to be dire for me to try that. Military jeeps had add on fording kits that put the exhaust and intake at roof level, and being gas they had a rubber boot for the distributor and the oil and differential vents went to the highest point under the body and hood for the front. If you sink one you need to drain and refill the differentials and engine oil as soon as possible and re-grease all the joints and wheel bearings, a lot of work but some times hunting in northern California I'd sink my jeep to cross the 3rd fork of the Eel river. I towed my hunting jeeps with a big 1 ton diesel so 70 miles an hour over 55 could be done on the main highways and a quieter less jarring trip could be done. Man this has gone all over the map, could have written a hub as some of this is incomplete. Dusty

Alexander Silvius (author) from Portland, Oregon on April 12, 2011:

Holy cow, you know exactly what you want! Can't really say much to that. What is the devil's desk?

I was talking with my brother about the exorbitant cost of a new car, no matter what we get screwed. Why is it the minimum wage goes up barely three times what it was in the 90's but the cost of living quadruples? The cost of a new vehicle is even worse.

I just replaced the radiator in my Bronco myself, and there are a couple other things I can fix because it's old. That's probably the best way to go, but then it's good to have a backup vehicle!

Check out the links and Ebay for an M1009. The gov auction ones usually have CUCV's that need a lot of work.

So those Jeeps are outlawed here because they can be used as assault vehicles? Then it makes sense to send them overseas!

Some people think you have to be an American citizen to buy a CUCV, but it's not true, even permanent alien residents can serve up to 8 years in the military - but that doesn't make a lot of sense either ;-)

50 Caliber from Arizona on April 12, 2011:

Those would do, I was thinking along the lines of the old style with steel wheel flares, they outlawed personal armored vehicles I think, do to car to car shoot outs while rapping. Most of the ones I'm thinking of go to sales like in the Philippines. Most cool stuff is no longer sold to us here by laws. I bought a 41 Willis at an Army surplus, 175 bucks in '65 I think, no top, no cage, just a jeep with 5 bullet holes in the passenger side and two in the passenger floor board. A flat head 4 banger with a 3 speed that would do 50 to 55 and in low gear hubs locked about 20, but would climb a tree. Unlike today's jeeps they had Chrysler style posi units front and rear, I paid 300 each for Dana 44 axles that had the same type posi in them, If I were to get a new or newer jeep I'd swap out the Dana 30 front and 35 rear for these 44s, they are what is under the M1009, cut and narrowed. A so called 4x4 with 1 legged axles better buy a winch and mud boots cuz if they get out much they'll need them both [ask me how I know] ever since I went to the 44s my winch is mostly for looks but I have had to get out and un-spool the winch with all four wheels digging graves. I've found that the "R" on the shifter is best used if you realize in time, backward is a good direction, if it's to late and your plowing dirt on the devils desk, if you don't have a rider shotgun side to deploy the cable and maybe drive an old axle in the ground to tie off to, there will be some getting in and out to be done and now days that high step on the old jeep is making the new ones that don't have it pretty attractive, my days of throwing my right leg 34 inches up and over then using the roll bar to pull my old butt in are getting thin. The new jeeps are just trying to compete for the poorboy's Humvee and at 38k I can't even talk to them about the sales tax much less price. I'm looking for 75,000 mile lease turn ins or something, I'd take a m1009 for the right price. Dang son we need to go email at this rate of exchange, dusty[when it ain't raining]

Alexander Silvius (author) from Portland, Oregon on April 12, 2011:

Are you talking about this one: http://www.jgms.com/products/ ?

50 Caliber from Arizona on April 12, 2011:

They still use jeeps but not for ied road patrol. If they start surplussing them out I will be after one, dusy

Alexander Silvius (author) from Portland, Oregon on April 11, 2011:

I heard that that particular diesel has some kind of weakness, but every vehicle does.

I read some of the off road mags at work (at an FBO strangely enough), and it seems that Jeeps are the most popular. Last year I almost bought an old Wagoneer and the guy also had an old Jeep and said they are the easiest to work on and modify. It's easy to see why one would want one, you can work on it and they're built for off road purposes.

Maybe the military should have stuck with Jeeps.

50 Caliber from Arizona on April 11, 2011:

I'd like the roominess of the inside, but every part ever made for my jeep can be bought, A 41 or a '89 the M1009 has the 6.2 diesel that many don't like but I've had good luck with them in the past. For the right price I'd get all over one still, Dusty

Alexander Silvius (author) from Portland, Oregon on April 07, 2011:

LOL, I'm that convincing? Thank you Utrecht.

Utrecht11 on April 07, 2011:

No way I will drive one of those but the way you describe it almost makes me want one. With the emphasis on almost.

Alexander Silvius (author) from Portland, Oregon on April 07, 2011:

Thanks JSMatthew, I think you got the point of this hub :-)

JS Matthew from Massachusetts, USA on April 07, 2011:

Great Hub Alexander!

I want one! It would be great to just get in one filled with supplies and just take off!


Alexander Silvius (author) from Portland, Oregon on April 06, 2011:

I don't think they have to be heavy, I just want the room and power. I hear the Samurais are great off-roaders. I saw a video of a short 2 door 4runner (must have been South America) that went through a mud hole and climbed up a hill like a goat, while the M1009 behind it could not make it out of the mud hole no matter how many times it tried. Eventually the Toyota pulled it out!

Timothy Donnelly from Ontario, Canada on April 06, 2011:

Cool stuff. Tell me though, do 4x4s have to be Big and Heavy - not that there's anything wrong with that? I think I would go for the downsized Jimmy, even though there's not much capacity to haul around heavy guns. I just know from experience that it's a lot easier getting a lighter vehicle UN-stuck, because having any one of them just begs you to go where the risk of getting stuck is just a yard away! I'd definitely drive one of those mothers though, if I could afford the luxury - and if I did get stuck, I bet I'd have a lot of fun doing it!

Alexander Silvius (author) from Portland, Oregon on April 06, 2011:

Having one of those would be nice. Initially I wanted a 2006 Unlimited, but those are pretty pricey even used, so I have a Tahoe and a Bronco (talk about being disloyal!).

WillStarr from Phoenix, Arizona on April 06, 2011:

We bought a 2010 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon last spring, and that's enough 4WD for me!

Alexander Silvius (author) from Portland, Oregon on April 06, 2011:

I heard about the Dodge's doing that, that would be a joykill for me. Kudos to you for making the best of it. I currently have 2 4X4's and they are more maintenance intensive than anything else I've owned. Love having them though.

Thanks for stopping by.

WillStarr from Phoenix, Arizona on April 06, 2011:

I had a military Dodge, 3/4 ton, 4WD pickup. It had no power steering and no front axle hub locks. It was fun, but it was also a pain to drive, especially in rocky areas where the steering wheel would suddenly whip and darn near break your thumbs!

Nice Hub!

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