Posted: Tue Sep 20, 2022 5:10 pm Post subject: The Orange Jeep
Hey everyone! My grandpa was an Army mechanic in WW2 and ended up starting a shop after the war. He was a big collector of old military vehicles and ended up with about 30. So, I grew up around a bunch of different vehicles (mostly M38s and M38A1s).
Fast forward to high school, one of the M38s that my grandfather modified was passed down to me and was my daily driver. When I went off to college, I stored it with my uncle with the intent of taking it back after college and rebuilding it.
Well, I finished college about 3 months ago, so now's the time to start the rebuild. It's already pretty heavily modified, and I have no intention of restoring it to factory. My main goal with the project is to get it into a state when I can safely drive it when I want to. (Mostly in the evenings or the weekends). I don't really plan on using it as my daily driver to and from work.
I currently don't have a garage, so I'm not going to be able to do a full frame off restoration.
It has a broken rear axle, so the first step is to fix that and get it running.
For those who are curious, here is a list of modifications that my grandpa made to it back in 1970:
- Buick V6 swap (I think a 231, but it could be a 225)
- 12 Volt conversion
- Roll bar
- Bigger wheels and tires
- Orange paint job (but OD gas tank)
- Mustang front seats (I was told, not sure if that's true)
- Road runner steering wheel and horn
- Air conditioning unit
- Radio and speaker (Radio doesn't currently work)
Here are some things that I'm thinking about doing to it:
- Fix broken axle
- Rebuild engine
- Rebuild transmission
- Rebuild transfer case
- Regear diffs to let it drive a little faster (not planning on actually driving over 55 mph, I just don't like it when the engine is screaming at 4000 rpms at 50mph)
- Electrical work (there's something drawing power from the battery, so I have to disconnect it most days)
- Bikini top
- Body work and new paint (same color)
- 11" drum brake conversion
I just bought the M38 reference book, as well as a service manual. I saw that we can download it from the website, but I like having hard copies.
This is the first time I've ever done some serious work on cars, so I'm pretty excited. When I have technical questions come up, I'll post them in the other discussion board.
Let me know if you have any general advice on a first time rebuild or if I forgot to mention anything.
I asked for a photo album, so I'll post some pictures when that gets approved.
Joined: Nov 18, 2014 Posts: 128 Location: Connecticut
Posted: Wed Sep 21, 2022 4:22 pm Post subject:
Welcome to the forums! There's a lot of great knowledge here so make sure you familiarize yourself with the Search function. You already have a good plan for what you want to do, and what you don't want to do, so you're on the right track. Don't be afraid to make lists of parts you need and search regularly for them, M38 parts are not impossible to find so just always keep your eyes out for them.
Looking forward to seeing some pictures! _________________ Jake, Central CT
51 M38 s/n 35627
Here are some new ones. Its condition has deteriorated, but not as much as you might expect for such an old vehicle. It's still in pretty good shape. I had to move it today, and the engine fired right up.
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