My M38A1 build -
Sign Up   Today's Posts
User: Pass: Remember?
Advertise Here
Jeep Home Jeep Forum Jeep Classifieds Jeep Registry JeepSpace Jeep Reviews Jeep Gallery Jeep Clubs Jeep Groups Jeep Videos Jeep Events Jeep Articles
Go Back > General Jeep Forums > Jeep Builds > My M38A1 build

ROGUE FAB Tubing Bender with choice of 180 degree die set TeraFlex BIG Brake kit Jeep JK **Deals At Rockridge4wd.comBlack Friday and Cyber Monday Sales at

Unread 09-16-2015, 11:52 PM   #1
Registered User
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Spanaway, Wa
Posts: 10
My M38A1 build

Howdy, just thought I'd check in an update my m38a1 build. To recap it is a 1953 m38a1 that I'm powering with a Kubota v2203di. I've added a kkk 03 turbo from a VW Passat, an inter cooler from a Subaru, an oil pan and dipstick and tube from a Bobcat skid steer, I'm using a replacement aluminum radiator for a m38a1. The cool thing about this is the ic fits inside the shroud in front of the radiator. At this point it is back apart and painted, and the bodywork has begun. Unfortunately things have came to a stop for the past couple of weeks as I've been involved with a pole building I've putting off all summer. As soon as I can I'll post progress photos

Ironbutterfly is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 09-17-2015, 06:34 AM   #2
Registered User
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Marietta, Ga
Posts: 1,452
Hounds like a cool build. Would love to hear more about the Kubota engine.
84jeepcj7rock is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 09-21-2015, 02:03 AM   #3
Registered User
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Spanaway, Wa
Posts: 10
The Kubota is a v 2203 direct injected. It came from a Carrier reefer off a semi trailer. It seems the state of California has banned Diesel engines on reefer units earlier than tier IV making low hour engines pretty affordable. I was originally looking at 4btc Cummins but in my neighborhood people think they are made of platinum. Then I started looking seriously at my frame. While it is in good shape and the drivetrain I'm using is excellent (coming from a 1962 cj5 that I've had and been building/wheeling since 1988) I don't really think any part of it would stand up to a reasonably tuned 4btc. Then I was considering an Om617 Mercedes. The oil pump is mounted on the front of the engine making a second sump at the front of the pan. My front axle lives there. It would probably work on a longer wheelbase or a rig with SOA . I'm doing a resto mod . Then the Kubota came along, Stauffer Machine in Tracey, Ca. Offers an adapter that is absolute art. There is also a company in Canada offering adapters to t90 as well as sm465 ( which what I'm running) , Overland Manufeacturing. Stauffer uses a crank adapter to mount a stock Chevy flywheel, Overland uses a machined Kubota wheel , both use a machined plate to mount either a Jeep (Overland) or a Chevy bell housing. I went with Stauffer and I have only good things to say, Ken is a great guy to work with. Back to the engine, it is available in eithe idi or di. I would recommend the direct injected as they make more power, a bit better fuel mileage, and the fuel system is a bit easier to modify if you want to turbocharge it. The engine is rated at 57 HP at an 1800 RPM governed speed. You. Will need to change the oil pan to one for a bobcat skid steer and when you do you'll lose a way to add oil and a dip stick. You will need a dipstick and tube for a model 753 bobcat and you can use the oil fill and cap from the carrier pan by drilling out the blank cast into the valve cover. It takes a 1 1/2 NPT tap, and a bit of screwing around. What you're looking for is the tube can interfere with the rocker arm on #1 intake. After you make the mod set the cover on the head without bolting it down and turn the engine by hand, if it rises, which it probably will, get in there with a peanut grinder and keep taking material off until it clears then take a little more to allow for expansion. The alternative; a bobcat pan and cap $150.00 and the cap is recessed into the same casting, ie. A $150 mud funnel. As for adding a turbo, I'm using a KKK 03 from a 1999 VW Passat. There are a lot of other that can be used as well as a couple of kits to bolt on one in plug and play fashion. In the journey you'll have to drill a couple of holes in the block, one on the left side for the bobcat dipstick tube. There is a flat spot cast into the block for this, it takes an 11/32 bit and a bit of patience. I would suggest doing this with the pan off since the carrier pan won't fit anyway. Drill a pilot hole and look inside the block to make sure you're centered. The second hole, if you add a turbo, you'll need a drain. There is a flat spot in the casting behind the pump on the right side of the block that a lot of people drill for the dip stick and the left side for the turbo drain. If you look inside the block there is an oil passage cast very close to that flat spot. I could easily screw that up so I chose to drill mine on the left side in an open spot in the block, tapped it to #8 pipe to JIC and ran a single wire #8 hose from an adapter I built off the bottom of the turbo. The tough part on these engines are they are industrial engines, the alternator mounts on the bell housing and there is no provisions to mount a steering pump other than splines on the end of the crank. You can get a double pulley from Parts Barn and you'll have to create from there. The governor needs to be reset, which can be done by changing springs. You can use a bobcat spring that'll give you 2800 rpm, I added another spring inside the bobcat spring that gives me 3100rpm. If you add a turbo you'll need to turn up the fuel, I would recommend adding a boost and EGT gauge before you start tha process. I think you can add enough fuel to melt a lot of parts you'll like to keep. I haven't been able to drive this as yet, what I'm looking for is similar torque that I had with the small block Chevy that I've had since 1990 with a little more range. A plus is the Kubota is about 100# lighter. Sorry for such a long post, I hope it gives some info!
Ironbutterfly is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid e-mail address for yourself.

Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Thread Tools

Jeep, Wrangler, Cherokee, Grand Cherokee, and other models are copyrighted and trademarked to Jeep/Chrysler Corporation. is not in any way associated with Jeep or the Chrysler Corp.