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Willys M Jeeps Forums :: View topic - 1953 M38A1, restored, modified
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1953 M38A1, restored, modified

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Joined: Apr 22, 2018
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2018 8:27 pm    Post subject: 1953 M38A1, restored, modified Reply with quote

The restoration of the vehicle started around 1998 and used parts from three Jeep vehicles. The goal was to create something that looks like an old military Jeep, but has great off-road capabilities and is fun to drive. Nearly everything was new or rebuilt. The owner passed away a few years ago before finishing the restoration, and the family decided to get the Jeep running so it can be sold.
The body is modified from the original M38A1 configuration in that it does not have the electrical connector port on the right front fender and it has a tailgate like the civilian Jeeps. A rollbar is included, but not installed. The windshield is a single piece of glass, but has a divider installed to make it look two piece.

The engine is a Chevy 283 V8 from the mid-60s. The engine was completely rebuilt at the start of the restoration and it was first started in 2017. It uses a Mallory dual point distributor, a Holley (part number 0-90670) 4-barrel 600CFM carburetor made specifically for off-roading, an Offenhauser intake manifold and Hooker headers. Cooling is provided by an aluminum radiator (bought new in 2017) originally intended for a 1957 Chevy.

The transmissions is a 4-speed Borg-Warner T-18, which are extremely reliable. The 2-speed transfer case is the stock Dana 18. The axles are upgraded for extra stregth. Hydraulic clutch master and slave cylinders are from an early 1970s Ford 2-ton truck.
Axles have a 43/8 ratio. The front one has an OX manually lockable differential, and the rear Dana 44 has a Detroit Trutrac limited slip differential and Dana 23 full floating axles. Both front and rear axle have manually locking hubs, so all the hubs can be unlocked for flat towing. The springs are Rough Country brand and provide 2.5" lift over the stock ride height.

The front vented disc brakes, rear drum brakes (11x2.25"), master cylinder and booster are from a 1977 International Scout.

The steering features a GM power steering box and heim-jointed 1" diameter tie rods.

A heater box was built and has a heater core, but it's not completely finished or plumbed to the engine. One of the extra parts that comes with the Jeep is a fan motor.
The windshield wiper motors are new and work when jumped, but currently the wiring is not connected to any circuit.

A top frame and a new top is present, but not installed. Door frames are present, but not installed. Front and rear seat upholstery and foam is new.

No parking brake is present, but a pair of cables is included as extra parts. Jeep comes with a large plastic tote full of spare parts and build notes from the restorer.

Needs new tires, as current tires are flatspotted from sitting and vehicle shakes over 25 mph. Will need general sorting as we've only drive it about 5 miles.

Located in Colleyville, TX, close to Dallas. Asking $11995.

Email me at for pics.
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Joined: Aug 09, 2010
Posts: 168

PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2018 8:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds like a Frankenjeep not a restoration.
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Joined: Apr 22, 2018
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2018 9:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, the guy that built it has passed away, so we can't tell him. I'm just trying to help out the family.

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Joined: Oct 20, 2017
Posts: 369

PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2018 11:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Easy there.

I love my FrankenJeep! Very Happy
'52 Dodge M37, '42 GPW, '48 FrankenJeep CJ2A/M38, '50 CJV-35(U), '51 M38, '42 WC-57 Command Car, '44 WC-51 Weapons , (2) M1941 Sperry 60" Anti-Aircraft Searchlights, John Deere M-gator, '44 White M3A1 Scout Car
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Site Administrator

Joined: Apr 04, 2005
Posts: 14980
Location: Wisconsin

PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2018 10:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll offer a bit of help here. Here's the photos that Csaba sent me:

The body looks like 55-64 CJ5 but looks like an M38A1 dash was bolted in, the frame may or may not be M38A1. The grill is M38A1 heavily modified to make it shallow enough for the modified radiator. The photos do not offer enough detail to be absolutely certain on a lot of things.
Wes K
45 MB, 51 M38, 54 M37, 66 M101A1, 60 CJ5, 76 DJ5D, 47Bantam T3-C & 5? M100

Mjeeps photo album:
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