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The Orange Jeep
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labmonkey
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Joined: Oct 03, 2017
Posts: 14
Location: Maryland

PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2022 5:10 pm    Post subject: The Orange Jeep Reply with quote

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)
- Overdrive

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.
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Mike_B
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Joined: Dec 10, 2017
Posts: 337
Location: Southern Maryland

PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2022 9:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome to the site!

I'm looking forward to seeing your Jeep and following along on your rebuild adventure!

Mike B Smile
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Mike B
1953 M38A1 Brush Truck
1952 M38
1951 M100 Trailer
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jake138
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Joined: Nov 18, 2014
Posts: 128
Location: Connecticut

PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2022 4:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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!
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Jake, Central CT
51 M38 s/n 35627
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labmonkey
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Joined: Oct 03, 2017
Posts: 14
Location: Maryland

PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2022 8:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As promised, here are some pictures!

First some old ones, back in the 80's





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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labmonkey
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Joined: Oct 03, 2017
Posts: 14
Location: Maryland

PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2022 7:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Small update: tried to remove the broken rear axle today, but had no luck. I couldn't figure out how to remove the shaft nut because the axle with nut spun every time I tried to loosen it.

I posted a question about this in the technical skills forum.
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Cooper
1952 M38
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labmonkey
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Joined: Oct 03, 2017
Posts: 14
Location: Maryland

PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2024 9:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey all, I've been getting back into Jeep work over the last couple months, so thought I'd post an update here.

The last couple years weren't too kind to the Jeep. I didn't have a garage, so it sat out in a parking lot with a tarp over it through an entire Georgia winter with a ton of rain. After the winter, when I tried to start it, a bunch of gas dumped out the top of the carb. I ended up moving up to Maryland, where I now have a garage, so thought I'd figure out what was wrong.

I pulled open the carb and found out that the float had a hole in it, so I'm thinking that the float got stuck and flooded. Currently in the process of rebuilding it, but it's my first time, so I've been running into some issues getting it all clean and running smoothly.



After getting the carb completely rebuilt, I'm thinking about redoing the fuel system before starting it up. The tank is in pretty rough shape and has a lot of particles sitting inside it. When I was in high school, the tank rusted through, so as a temporary fix, we fiberglassed over it. It's probably time to think about a permanent fix, so I'm debating on whether I should try to repair the tank or buy a new one. I looked into getting a reproduction one on Kaiser Willy, but I'm not sure what the correct tank is. The dimensions on the M38 tank on their site is 34x21, while mine is about 24x18. Does anyone know which one is the correct M38 tank? I looked at the green book, but couldn't find any dimensions on the tank.





Other than that, the rear axle is still broken. I'm not sure if I'm going to be able to fix that myself, so I may need to take it to a local shop to have them fix it. That's a problem that I'll solve after I get it running again.
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Cooper
1952 M38
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RonD2
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Joined: Oct 02, 2014
Posts: 1925
Location: South Carolina, Dorchester County

PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2024 8:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The dimensions of my M38 tank --- as it sits in the jeep --- are:
8 inches tall
18-3/4 inches front to rear
24-1/2 inches drivers side to passenger side

Shop around. KW is notoriously overpriced on everything.
Pretty sure this is the tank you need:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/204576177563?_trkparms=amclksrc%3DITM%26aid%3D1110006%26algo%3DHOMESPLICE.SIM%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D264184%26meid%3De74d6ae85d8d4387be590fc9211b3d8d%26pid%3D101224%26rk%3D2%26rkt%3D5%26sd%3D186205276252%26itm%3D204576177563%26pmt%3D0%26noa%3D1%26pg%3D2332490%26algv%3DDefaultOrganicWebV9BertRefreshRanker&_trksid=p2332490.c101224.m-1
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Ron D.
1951 M38 Unknown Serial Number
1951 M100 Dunbar Kapple 01169903 dod 5-51

ďThe only good sports car that America ever made was the Jeep."
--- Enzo Ferrari

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wesk
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Joined: Apr 04, 2005
Posts: 16265
Location: Wisconsin

PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2024 10:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I assume you removed the differential to see if you could stop the axle shaft from turning and found the shaft snapped inside the axle housing. If you haven't checked inside the differential housing then do that first. There are other failures internally in the differential that will lead you to believe you have a broken axle shaft when your shaft is actually still in tact.

If your axle shaft has snapped leaving you no way to hold it still while trying to turn the axle nut it is probably easiest to simply cut the nut off.
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Wes K
45 MB, 51 M38, 54 M37, 66 M101A1, 60 CJ5, 76 DJ5D, 47Bantam T3-C & 5? M100

Mjeeps photo album: http://www.willysmjeeps.com/v2/modules.php?set_albumName=Wes-Knettle&op=modload&name=gallery&file=index&include=view_album.php
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4x4M38
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Joined: May 30, 2014
Posts: 3447
Location: Texas Hill Country

PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2024 2:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You can boil that crap out of the tank and ospho it, and seal with gas tank sealer. Unless you have huge holes. But as you say, you have to get the fiberglass out.

If itís just the bottom it would behoove you to consider cutting it out and welding in a patch. The repro tanks along with other repro parts have a questionable reputation when comparing with the factory item. Many issues with dimensions and poor fit, including the filler.
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Brian
1950 M38
MC11481
http://www.willysmjeeps.com/v2/modules.php?set_albumName=album372&op=modload&name=gallery&file=index&include=view_album.php
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labmonkey
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Joined: Oct 03, 2017
Posts: 14
Location: Maryland

PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2024 4:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the tips! Back when we fiberglassed it, the hole was pretty small, but it was surrounded by a lot of rusted, rotted metal, so I think it's pretty bad. I've never done any metal repair work, so I think I may just take my chances with one of the reproduction tanks.

I did look inside the diff housing and didn't see anything that looked wrong. I assume that it would be pretty noticeable if something inside the diff failed, right?

I was actually able to get the axle nut off. I just had a lot of problems trying to pull the actual axle out. Would the broken part of the axle come out easily if it actually was broken?
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Cooper
1952 M38
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wesk
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2024 9:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Normally yes. Did you have someone hold one rear wheel still while you turned the other one and observe the behavior of the differential gears?
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Wes K
45 MB, 51 M38, 54 M37, 66 M101A1, 60 CJ5, 76 DJ5D, 47Bantam T3-C & 5? M100

Mjeeps photo album: http://www.willysmjeeps.com/v2/modules.php?set_albumName=Wes-Knettle&op=modload&name=gallery&file=index&include=view_album.php
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labmonkey
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Joined: Oct 03, 2017
Posts: 14
Location: Maryland

PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2024 7:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No I haven't tried that yet. So if I do that, then if theres a broken axle the diff gears shouldn't move, while they will move with an unbroken axle, right?
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Cooper
1952 M38
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wesk
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2024 8:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Depends on the type of break in the axle shaft if there is one. Some break clean and do not interfere with their rotation. The trick here is the axle often appears to be broken when in reality the problem is in the differential gearing which may not be driving the axle. This all assumes you have the correct roiginal Spicer axle assembly. How exactly did you determine before this post that the axle was in fact broken????
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Wes K
45 MB, 51 M38, 54 M37, 66 M101A1, 60 CJ5, 76 DJ5D, 47Bantam T3-C & 5? M100

Mjeeps photo album: http://www.willysmjeeps.com/v2/modules.php?set_albumName=Wes-Knettle&op=modload&name=gallery&file=index&include=view_album.php
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labmonkey
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2024 1:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I guess we never narrowed the issue down to just the axle. When something broke, we couldn't drive it normally, but if we put it in 4WD, the front wheels would pull it. So we knew the problem was in the rear end. I think one of my uncles said it was most likely the axle that broke, since this Jeep has apparently broken a few axles back in the day. Before I make any decisions on what to do with the rear end, I'll definitely pull the diff cover off and the diff gears while turning the wheels to see what's going on. That problem will probably have to wait a week or two, as I'm trying to get the engine running first.

Over the last few days, I pulled the fuel tank out, and it looks like it's in pretty bad condition, so I think I'm going to go with a reproduction tank. I'll save the one I have though, in case I want to do a full repair on it in the future. The fuel lines also look pretty bad, with a lot of residue on the inside. I'm going to pull the fuel line out and check it for rust, and if it's bad I'll just replace the lines.

While I was taking the tank out, I decided to take out the rest of the interior like the seats, roll bar, and a few other pieces of hardware. My girlfriends gone for the weekend, so I have the entire garage to work on it for two days haha. I'm going to try to clean up the floor panels and everything I pulled out. My current plan is to use a paint stripper, then try to get all the rust off. I'll probably just use a wire brush and some sand paper, but I've also seen some rust removal products. Does anyone know if those work well? Then I'll just put a coat of spray paint on everything. I don't have the tools or skills to do any real metal work, so I'm really hoping none of floorboards are completely rusted through, and that it's just surface rust. At some point, I'd like to get the entire body painted by a professional (or me if I learn how to do a good enough job) but I just don't have the time now.

I also finished the carb rebuild. It was my first time doing it, but I think it turned out well. The old float had a hole in it, and I'm almost positive that's what caused the original issue with it. Now that it's rebuilt, everything seems pretty smooth, but I'll have to get it on the engine to tune it. Before I do that though, I want to give it the best chance it has, so I'm going to change the oil, air filter, fuel filter, battery, and possibly the coolant. Oh and the fuel tank and fuel lines. Is there anything else I should do before trying to start the engine?

Thanks all for your help! I really appreciate the advice I've gotten on my rebuild.

(I tried to upload some pictures to my gallery, but it said "I'm not allowed to perform this action")
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Cooper
1952 M38
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wesk
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2024 3:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cooper, I looked at your album and there appears to be nothing closed on it. Are you making sure you are signed in on the web site before you try to load your photos? Are you keeping the photo formats withing limits as listed in the Photol Rules? http://www.willysmjeeps.com/v2/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewforum&f=9
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Wes K
45 MB, 51 M38, 54 M37, 66 M101A1, 60 CJ5, 76 DJ5D, 47Bantam T3-C & 5? M100

Mjeeps photo album: http://www.willysmjeeps.com/v2/modules.php?set_albumName=Wes-Knettle&op=modload&name=gallery&file=index&include=view_album.php
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