1952 M38A1 build - JeepForum.com

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post #1 of 17 Old 03-05-2017, 11:52 PM Thread Starter
Maverick1701
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1952 M38A1 build

I bought my M38A1 about 2 years ago out of a local farmers field. It started life in the Army before being sold to our local volunteer fire dpt (still has faded MFD markings) who used it as a brush rig (along with its twin which is now missing). Sometime in the 80s it was sold to the farmer who used it until the late 90s when he parked it in the field.

I have been working off/on for the past two years. About 2 months ago I decided to really start cranking on it. My goal is to have it on the road ASAP with May 1st being my self-imposed deadline.

Earlier this evening I finished cutting out the old wiring harness and installed my new wiring harness.
All I have remaining is my new tail-lights (they are on the way via snail-mail).

Here is a rough list of what has been done so far (I'm sure I am forgetting a few things)

-2 new batteries (24v system)
-removed home-made "roll-bar"
-restored my data plates
-got motor running & did compression test (I also drove around in the field next to my house)
-patched pin-hole leak in fuel tank
-new water pump
-new belts
-flushed radiator & cooling system multiple times
-replaced drivers/pass seat bottom & back canvas
-wheels/tubes/tires (7.00X16 NDTs on stock repro m38a1 wheels)
-installed top bow & bow storage brackets
-new front bumper
-full new wiring harness
-replaced entire brake system
-front/rear pinion seals
-front/rear diff gaskets & fluid
-replaced all fluids (motor, trans, x-fer case) & filters
-new steering wheel (old one was VERY tired)

There are only a few things left on the "must do before vehicle is road-worthy again" list:
-install tail-lights when they arrive
-replace broken leaf spring pack on drivers/rear (it's a double wrap so it might get pushed back a bit) I will probably do both rears to avoid having an uneven vehicle
-maybe do a carb rebuild (it ran well enough last year but I have a rebuild kit on the way just to get it done)
-remove PTO installed by PO (koenig 21) and re-install handbrake

I am slowly making a mental list of things I would like to do eventually...but aren't required for safe operation of the vehicle. So far this list includes:
-military canvas top (I am going to run a cj style bikini top in the mean time...or just go topless)
-electric winch (not sure if I want to spend extra $$ for a 24v winch or install some kind of extra 12v battery on its own 12v system)
-maybe install a 12v fuse-block for some 12v accessories (ham radio for example)

That's about it guys. I'm not planning on doing anything crazy. I prefer a nice, stock jeep as opposed to some modded out rig which barely resembles a jeep...so the plan is to keep it pretty much stock. Let me know if you have any Qs or advice. I'll include some pictures of the build process. Enjoy.

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IMG_20150428_191928.jpg   PICT0005.jpg  

1952 M38A1
1967 Kaiser-Jeep M35A2 6x6
2003 KLR650

Last edited by Maverick1701; 03-06-2017 at 12:44 AM.
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post #2 of 17 Old 03-06-2017, 05:38 AM
jason m
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Looks great and I cant believe how good those data plates look. What is the cut out on the pass side cowl section? Looks like a filler neck but the one for fuel is under the seat.


Jason.

1993 YJ 4.0 60 Front, Rear steer 60, bolth spooled, 5.38's, 700r/241 39.5 iroks and beating it like it owes me money.

And on the 8th day, God created the 14 bolt...


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post #3 of 17 Old 03-06-2017, 12:26 PM Thread Starter
Maverick1701
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Originally Posted by jason m View Post
Looks great and I cant believe how good those data plates look. What is the cut out on the pass side cowl section? Looks like a filler neck but the one for fuel is under the seat.


Jason.
Thanks! I am pretty proud of how the plates turned out.

The cowl piece is a power plug used by the military to jump-start other vehicles, equipment, etc. (or anything else 24v w/that plug). It's called a slave receptacle (jumper cable is called the slave cable).
Its easier to use vs having to access batteries with traditional jumper cables on every vehicle/piece of equipment when jump-starting. Just plug up both ends and rock.

1952 M38A1
1967 Kaiser-Jeep M35A2 6x6
2003 KLR650
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post #4 of 17 Old 03-06-2017, 03:11 PM
jason m
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You know ive been around Willys Jeeps since I was a kid, we have three ( 46, 48 and a 55 ) in the family between my dad and I, never seen that before. Heard of it, guess I just never paid it no mind. Again looks great and I like the idea of a mostly stock looking around town/farm Jeep.


Jason.

1993 YJ 4.0 60 Front, Rear steer 60, bolth spooled, 5.38's, 700r/241 39.5 iroks and beating it like it owes me money.

And on the 8th day, God created the 14 bolt...


The happiest people don't have the best of everything, they make the best of everything.



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post #5 of 17 Old 03-07-2017, 10:57 PM Thread Starter
Maverick1701
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Today I installed my new tail-lights (the old ones were pretty far gone). Unfortunately they came wired with Packard connectors (the new military standard) as opposed to the Douglas connectors (the old standard). I didn't want to cut any wires (I am going to try and build some Packard-to-Douglas jumper wires in the future) so I was able to connect the Douglas connectors to the Packard connectors with the help of some electrical tape (they already somewhat fit together anyway...but just somewhat).

I re-connected the batteries and did some testing of the new wiring harness. All the lights work but I have a few strange issues. The instrument panel lights work only on bright...on the dim settings I get nothing. Also if I push the blackout light selector all the way up I can activate my headlights (that shouldn't happen). Those two symptoms lead me to believe that the culprit is my light switch I bought used off eGay.

Tomorrow after work I am going to pull the switch off my M35A2 6x6 and try it in the jeep since I know that switch is fully operational. That will tell me if the issue is the switch, if I mis-wired something in the dash, or if I need to look elsewhere.

Another issue I will be tracking down is when I turn on my ignition switch, my gauges don't turn on. I don't know if my gauges are jacked or just not getting power.

Another issue I need to take a look at is my brake light switch. It worked on the initial light test & then just stopped. when I press my brake pedal my little am/fm radio plays significantly more static. So that leads me to believe I have something electrical activating when the brake pedal is pressed. A possible cause of this issue is related to a cover plate which covers the tail-light & trailer wiring. The issue started when I replaced that plate. I am going to remove the plate tomorrow and see if the issue persists. I don't really see the panel causing issues but you never know...stranger things have happened.

1952 M38A1
1967 Kaiser-Jeep M35A2 6x6
2003 KLR650
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post #6 of 17 Old 03-08-2017, 07:20 AM
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Great work man. I like it.
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post #7 of 17 Old 03-08-2017, 07:24 AM
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I like it. Good job.
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post #8 of 17 Old 03-08-2017, 08:40 AM
Jimbos_Jeeps
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Like your M-38A1. I had a 1953 M-38A1 as my first jeep.

Tried sending you a PM, but I'm too new on the list. I live in Collierville.
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Last edited by Jimbos_Jeeps; 03-08-2017 at 09:07 AM.
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post #9 of 17 Old 03-08-2017, 06:52 PM Thread Starter
Maverick1701
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CarModels View Post
Great work man. I like it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by CarModels View Post
I like it. Good job.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimbos_Jeeps View Post
Like your M-38A1. I had a 1953 M-38A1 as my first jeep.

Tried sending you a PM, but I'm too new on the list. I live in Collierville.

Thanks for the feedback guys. It really helps me stay on track & motivated.
I am on a few other less active jeep forums and sometimes it feels like I am talking to myself.


I am hoping my tail-light issue is just a bad switch since they aren't too expensive (like $13 for a new one). I am going to pull the panel off first and see if functionality returns to the circuit.

Also my carb rebuild kit arrived today. I have never rebuilt a carb before (just taken apart & cleaned) so I am a bit apprehensive. I may take it to the local mechanic and see if he will let me watch over his shoulder as he does the rebuild so I can watch/learn.

I am off tomorrow and the high temp is 81* so it will be a GREAT day to work on the Jeep. I'll report back with my findings.

1952 M38A1
1967 Kaiser-Jeep M35A2 6x6
2003 KLR650
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post #10 of 17 Old 03-08-2017, 08:15 PM Thread Starter
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Good news on the electrical side. It turns I wasn't pressing my brake pedal hard enough to activate the brake-light switch while testing last night. I was using my hand to test the lights last night as opposed to my foot. Once the switch had enough pressure (when I used my foot) the brake-light came on w/out any issues.

also I tracked my gauge power issue to a faulty "wiring harness to ignition switch" wire. I bought a new set and apparently the wire which brings main power to the ignition switch was DOA. I have checked with a test-light as well as a voltmeter.....and "he's dead, jim".
I am trying to get the seller to send me a replacement wire. I may try to splice it through just so I can continue testing my stuff until the new wire arrives.

I pulled the light switch from the M35A2 and stuck it in the M38A1 and everything worked well. It turns out my used eBay military light-switch is only partially functional....so I will be ordering a replacement switch here in a few min.

1952 M38A1
1967 Kaiser-Jeep M35A2 6x6
2003 KLR650
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post #11 of 17 Old 03-13-2017, 09:35 PM Thread Starter
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The new ignition wire arrived today. I installed when I made it home from work and now I have power to my gauges. The fuel gauge works great. The others I will have to troubleshoot using this method: http://willysmjeeps.com/downloads/instruments.pdf

The generator gauge only has one connector on the back but the wiring diagram shows two wires which should be connected. Any ideas here? I haven't figured anything out...but am still researching.

I went to rebuild the carb today and I discovered several issues. 1. It turns out I bought the wrong rebuild kit....doh! 2. I thought I had a carter-YS when in fact I have a carter-YF 928SD. Apparently the PO replaced the real carb with a CJ3/5 carb. I also noticed that I am missing some parts from my carb. Specifically the link which connects the throttle arm assembly to the pump.

So....what do I do now?
My first thought was to buy a used carburetor off eBay & rebuild (that way I would get those specific missing parts & still have the experience of rebuilding my first non-motorbike carb). If I am going to spend the money on a carb, I would rather buy the correct carb for my jeep not one made for a cj3 which seals poorly w/the 1/2 civilian & 1/2 military cobbled together intake system.

What are y'alls thoughts? At this point I am looking at buying the "real" carb for my jeep (since I am already spending the money). Specifically, a carter-YS 950S. They run about $275 from midwest military.


*** ADDED A FEW HOURS LATER***

I was able to get the voltage meter sorted. It turns out the wiring harness company sent me an incorrect wiring part...but I was able to MacGyver a solution.

I have a spider harness which branches power from the ignition switch to all my gauges. There is a 5 "leg" harness & a 4 "leg" harness (depending on which gauge you have....volt or amp). The wiring company sent a 4-leg and I should have had a 5-leg spider harness. The 5-leg harness supplies straight power to the voltmeter (one input) while the 4-leg harness uses those two wires shown in the diagram (which I mentioned in the last post) to supply amps. This turned out to be an easy fix.

It turns out I have an extra power wire coming off the ignition switch (this extra wire is used on newer military vehicles but it is extra when the new style switch is used on older jeeps). I used some of my old wiring & made a jumper wire from the extra switched ignition wire to the voltmeter (which is the exact same thing the spider harness does) and my voltmeter now reads good voltage. One step closer.

1952 M38A1
1967 Kaiser-Jeep M35A2 6x6
2003 KLR650

Last edited by Maverick1701; 03-13-2017 at 11:38 PM.
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post #12 of 17 Old 03-14-2017, 07:26 PM Thread Starter
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I knocked out a few minor things today after work. My replacement headlight and new military light-switch arrived today. When I made it home from work I mounted up the fuel/jerry can mount/holder (it has taken me a few tries to get the right sized bolts), installed the new headlight, and installed the new military light-switch. I tested the lights and everything works great now.

I also uninstalled my incorrect spider harness and will be exchanging it for a 5-leg spider harness via snail-mail. I thought about just keeping my jumper cable fix but I decided against it for two reasons. 1. I want it fixed & working correctly 2. I want to keep that spare 24v power output free in case I decide to add a 24v accessory (a small 24v-to-12v inverter, ham radio, etc). It is usually used for a heater on the newer vehicles so it can support an average sized accessory...but I don't plan on adding anything which pulls a heavy load.

I also ordered a Carter YS950S carb from a fellow jeep guy on Facebook. I am going to check it out once it arrives and decide what to do. If everything is there, I'll pick up a rebuild kit, rebuild it, and slap it on the jeep. If it turns out that it is more of a core then I'll but a rebuilt one from a jeep supply company and send them this one to fulfill my core exchange fee.

1952 M38A1
1967 Kaiser-Jeep M35A2 6x6
2003 KLR650
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post #13 of 17 Old 03-17-2017, 10:46 PM Thread Starter
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My Jeep progress is a waiting game at the moment (waiting on USPS/UPS). The only Jeep tasks I could complete today after work was re-install the passenger fender (it has been off since I initially removed it back 2-ish years ago) and re-rivet by data plates on the body panel.

Apparently the rivets which came in my rivet kit are the wrong type. I need to find some which are flush with the "rear" of the riveted surface (since that surface lays flat on the dash of the jeep). The current rivets I have are not flush which causes the data plate panel to not set flush against the jeep dash (and it looks odd).

I found a guy on my M38A1 Facebook group who had a correct model carburetor for sale (Carter YS950S). It arrived today (now to start the rebuid). I also ordered a set of new hard fuel lines. The correct fuel line setup should have hard lines going directly to the carb. The PO of my jeep replaced some of the hard lines with a re-routed soft line.

Once I finish the rebuild & the new hard lines arrive I'll slap everything together & can re-install my drivers fender, hood, & windshield.

I'm also waiting on the replacement spider harness to arrive from DeBella Jeeps.
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1952 M38A1
1967 Kaiser-Jeep M35A2 6x6
2003 KLR650
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post #14 of 17 Old 03-20-2017, 06:35 PM Thread Starter
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I ended up taking my carb to the local mechanic for the rebuild because he is the expert...also because he has a glass bead blaster so he was able to REALLY clean out the crud in the carb I bought off FB (and there was A LOT of crud).

I picked it up about 20min ago on the way home from work. The plan is to install it sometime this evening (if I don't get called out). I am waiting on my new hard fuel lines to arrive. Once those get here I can throw them on and hopefully rock & roll.

Here are a few before/after pictures of the carb
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1952 M38A1
1967 Kaiser-Jeep M35A2 6x6
2003 KLR650
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post #15 of 17 Old 03-22-2017, 05:30 PM Thread Starter
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I was off work today and REALLY churned & burned on the Jeep.

I started the day by installing the carb and hooking up all the odds & ends. I lubed the choke & throttle cables so they actually actuate now. I'm waiting on my new fuel lines to arrive. They should be here Tuesday according to ups tracking.

After that quick job I removed the PTO (Koenig Model-51). This project took most of the day if you include cleaning up the PTO after removal. I ended up splitting open the case while still installed on the jeep for two reasons. 1: I was having clearance issues reaching the final bolt needed to removal 2: the other bolts had fallen into the PTO after removal.

I am glad I did split the case because....wow...it was full of water!!!!! This water was probably from 1990 when the jeep was last operable. I was able to remove the case clean everything up (interior, exterior), lube the chain and put everything back together (thankfully the interior was not full of rust). The exterior of the case was a mess and cleaning took several hours with a wire wheel, wire brush, and screwdriver scraping.

After removal of the PTO I installed the cover plate on the x-fer case with 5 new bolts & gasket since I am not going to run a PTO. What is the value of a Koenig-51 these days? I would like to sell it and put the proceeds back into the jeep.

After I tacked that job I installed my e-brake handle, and e-brake mechanism under the jeep. I ordered a new e-brake connecting rod from KW because I couldn't find the one I bought off eBay. Of course...wouldn't ya know it...the day after I order a new one I found the old one...doh.

My next project was quick/easy since I getting tired & hungry. I installed new shiftier boots on the x-mission and x-fer case.

I have a few more parts coming in via snail mail. e-brake rod, fuel lines, new wiper arms/blades. all these should be here in a few days.

Attached are some pictures of the PTO cleanup project. Enjoy!
pics are:
putting humpty dumpty back together again
first opening the pto case
exterior clean
interior clean
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4.jpg   1.jpg  
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1952 M38A1
1967 Kaiser-Jeep M35A2 6x6
2003 KLR650
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