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1955 M38A1

 
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jnissen
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Joined: May 12, 2018
Posts: 32
Location: Austin Texas

PostPosted: Sun Sep 22, 2019 11:28 pm    Post subject: 1955 M38A1 Reply with quote

Here is the latest pics. Getting closer to being done. Still need to add the black out light on the fender (long story) and the stencil paint for the numbers and such.

A bit of background... my son purchased this as his very first vehicle to do a restoration on. We verified the title number was matching the engine. The data plates were missing. The patent plate was present but so corroded that nothing was legible. WE found no distinguishing numbers on the frame and only found some rebuild tags on the steering box, transmission and the engine.

Update: I was able to gently sand the surface paint off the patent plate and I believe we have a number MD 74784 under there. I don't see any preceding 2A or anything like that. Not sure if there should be or if that was printed and not stamped?

The Willys was previously converted to 12V so we decided that the expenses of trying to re-create all the original 24V wiring, starter, generator, etc... was not economically viable.

The original tub had cancer so bad we decided to go with an aftermarket tub. By going down that path it influenced several other decisions. Upgrading to a high torque 12V starter, one wire alternator, and all modern gauges was a bit easier to swallow. If we had started with a Jeep that was closer to original then we likely would have gone down the 100% original path for the restoration. The vehicle is a compromise and we are not claiming it to be original. It's a driver and not a trailer queen.

Being a drivers vehicle the running gear was torn down and inspected. Both axles were in fairly good condition so other than a clean up and new fluids the axles were not rebuilt. The brakes however are all new from the wheel cylinders to the master cylinder.

The transfer case and transmission was completely rebuilt with NOS components and new bearings and seals. In fact we went with a front sealed bearing for the T90 to avoid the possibility of having a leak up at the front of the transmission.

The frame was sandblasted and painted before all the rebuilt or new parts were installed. The engine was torn down and inspected but passed. It does not smoke and indicates 60 PSI while running and about 25-30PSI at idle hot. It was last rebuilt in 1961 according to the tag and I doubt it has more than a 10K or 15K miles since that rebuild. Bearings were good, pistons, etc.. cleaned up the valves and installed new seals.

We used the original style light switch and added a 24V military style turn signal switch and just used a standard 12V flasher module in place of the solid state 24V module. Works just fine. The rear tail light were changed for the Goat type lamps on both sides so we have full brake, turn, parking and black out running lights. I also added diodes and a dropping resistor for the front black out housings that were modified to accept miniature type 1157 bulbs so turn signals, running lights and even the black out lights still work up front. The front turn signal is fairly bright even with the blackout housing. Nothing like a modern vehicle but we enabled it to be functional yet look original. The trailer connector is wired for 12V and should work according to the specs. The 24V power outlet on the side of the unit obviously is now only 12V but it's functional. If anyone needs a complete 12V wiring harness schematic how it was hooked up I have one!

The vacuum fuel pump was never present on this engine so we kept the CJ5 style fuel pump that was already there. We did run some custom hard lines for the fuel as well as the PCV system. The original carburator was missing and a Solex was being used. We just recently replaced the carb with a Carter YF type. If we can find an affordable Carter YS some day then that will change. For now the YF is a significant upgrade over the small bowl Solex.

With no vacuum pump we went with inexpensive 12V electric wipers that have a park feature. They require +12V, GND, and a grounded switch. When first installed the auto park feature would not work well because the two independent wipers on the same switch would cause the wipers to only stop once they became synchronized. To avoid that issue the wiper motors were modified with a blocking diode on the PARK pin. That allows each motor to properly park with only a single switch. We used a 3 pin 90 degree Mil-Spec connector in place of the OEM vacuum valve. If we need to remove the windshield it's easy as unscrewing the connector and were in business.

Speaking of wiring... We went with more modern electrical support. A 500A master disconnect switch is in place of the original master power switch. Opted for power and ground bulkhead pass through connectors for the high current needs under-hood. A 60A fusible link was inserted on the alternator side. A waterproof fuse/relay box https://www.amazon.com/Concours-Specialties-Universal-Waterproof-Bussmann/dp/B01FWILL20 along with a master circuit breaker are installed under dash. A key switch is used for starting and ignition. All circuits are protected by fuses and any high current loads (headlights, horn, wipers, gauges, etc...) all have individual relays. A custom wiring harness ties this all together and everything is inside braided loom to make it look clean. Used modern Weatherpack connectors so we can remove the gauge cluster. Also used the same waterproof connectors up front for the lighting and each rear tail light has weatherpack connectors.

For the gauges we used Stewart Warner Heavy Duty series gauges. The Speedometer is an electrical unit that indicates upto 85MPH (yeah I tried to discourage my son going this route but he has to live with it!). The speedometer cable was replaced with a 16 pulse per revolution GM sender. The Speedometer required a calibration phase where we traveled one mile and pressed a hidden button on the unit. Now it's quite accurate and can be re-calibrated if he ever changes tires or axle ratios some day.

The fuel tank was a Bubba Mod tank that was fairly clean inside. We did coat it with some tank liner and replaced the sender, pickup and all with more modern equivalent. It works but the drivers seat is slightly elevated to clear everything due to Bubba making the tank slightly tall. Some day if an OEM tank can be found for low $$$... Yeah we can dream. The fuel runs through brass bulkhead connectors to new 3/8" hard lines. A shutoff valve replaces the original unit that was corroded badly.

It starts and runs like a new one. Some of the purists in this group will cringe at our modifications and thatís OK. This Ď55 will never be like the day it rolled off the line but this one will be driven and enjoyed none the less! Getting it registered and plated now.








My album:
http://www.willysmjeeps.com/v2/modules.php?set_albumName=album666&op=modload&name=gallery&file=index&include=view_album.php
_________________
Jim Nissen
1955 M38A1
Patent Plate MD74784
Engine Plate MD85578
Contrived Hood Number 20974784


Last edited by jnissen on Mon Oct 14, 2019 10:27 am; edited 6 times in total
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jnissen
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Joined: May 12, 2018
Posts: 32
Location: Austin Texas

PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2019 6:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks.
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mdainsd
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Joined: Oct 20, 2017
Posts: 299

PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2019 7:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's a sharp looking A1. Nice work. Good choice on the Goat tail lights lenses.
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1952 Dodge M37, 1942 GPW, 1948 FrankenJeep CJ2A/M38, 1951 M38, !942 WC-57 Command Car Undergoing factory original restoration, 1944 WC-51 Weapons , (2) M1941 Sperry 60" Anti-Aircraft Searchlight, John Deere M-gators
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wesk
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Joined: Apr 04, 2005
Posts: 14408
Location: Wisconsin

PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2019 8:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello ____________??

Be sure to read the first posted sticky on this "Projects" page: http://www.willysmjeeps.com/v2/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&t=7578
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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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jnissen
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Joined: May 12, 2018
Posts: 32
Location: Austin Texas

PostPosted: Tue Sep 24, 2019 10:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wes, I have read through the info and updated my profile. My name is Jim by the way! I will update the original post to add some older photos and indicate where we made short cuts to reduce expenses.
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wesk
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Joined: Apr 04, 2005
Posts: 14408
Location: Wisconsin

PostPosted: Tue Sep 24, 2019 11:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Jim,
I see you did not add a location to your profile nor did you list your jeep model along with your signature. It makes life a lot easier on web sites of this type.
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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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jnissen
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Joined: May 12, 2018
Posts: 32
Location: Austin Texas

PostPosted: Wed Oct 02, 2019 8:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here is the Patent Plate and Engine Plates. The Patent plate was thought to be unreadable but a light sanding to remove some of the old paint helped to reveal the original numbers. The engine plate is a different number and what the Jeep is actually registered under. No wonder they didn't use the patent plate - it was almost impossible to read.

So now the hood numbers are next. We sanded and looks like a fire department may have had this Jeep at one time. It was sanded bare and there was nothing to find under the years of paint. We took it down gently to see if there was anything to be found but looks like it's gone forever.

If we do paint new numbers on the hood I guess what would be a good range? I believe from the original patent plate numbers were likely somewhere in mid 1955 from what I can tell. Any other suggestions?





Any idea on the rebuild facility? B.E. Calif? I'm thinking obviously in California but B.E.?
_________________
Jim Nissen
1955 M38A1
Patent Plate MD74784
Engine Plate MD85578
Contrived Hood Number 20974784


Last edited by jnissen on Fri Oct 04, 2019 8:23 pm; edited 1 time in total
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wesk
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Joined: Apr 04, 2005
Posts: 14408
Location: Wisconsin

PostPosted: Wed Oct 02, 2019 10:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Could be
Quote:
156.10.4 Records of Benicia Arsenal, CA


If you searched for "Contrived hood numbers Willysmjeeps" on Google you will learn a lot about jeep serials vs jeep hood registration numbers.

http://www.willysmjeeps.com/v2/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&p=65383

Did you give anymore thought to my suggestion to update a signature entry in your profile to include your real first name and year/model of your jeep?
_________________
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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jnissen
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Joined: May 12, 2018
Posts: 32
Location: Austin Texas

PostPosted: Thu Oct 03, 2019 1:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thought I already did? Ahh I see I need to actually attach it with the little button!
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Jim Nissen
1955 M38A1
Patent Plate MD74784
Engine Plate MD85578
Contrived Hood Number 20974784
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jnissen
Member


Joined: May 12, 2018
Posts: 32
Location: Austin Texas

PostPosted: Fri Oct 04, 2019 8:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Were fixing to order some stencils for the hood numbers and stars and such. Seeing that I feel the above serial number plate likely was the original I'd like to come up with some contrived number.

Believe we need to start with a 20 then follow that with a prefix number and then use our serial number. I realize this likely is complete BS with regard to actual hood number but unfortunately in our sanding and scraping on the hood it came back blank.

So something like this:

20774784 which would give us 8 digits. Is this even close? Since we do not know the branch of service that it was under (likely US Army but not positive from the engine tag) were thinking of a generic USA and then the number under it.
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Jim Nissen
1955 M38A1
Patent Plate MD74784
Engine Plate MD85578
Contrived Hood Number 20974784
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wesk
Site Administrator
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Joined: Apr 04, 2005
Posts: 14408
Location: Wisconsin

PostPosted: Fri Oct 04, 2019 11:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote



Here's an example of your period of 8 digit hood numbers so I would say 20974784 would be perfect.
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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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jnissen
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Joined: May 12, 2018
Posts: 32
Location: Austin Texas

PostPosted: Sat Oct 05, 2019 9:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fantastic! Were ordering the stencils tonight and yes 20974784 it is.

Got it safety inspected on Friday. Passed with flying colors. Technically we didn't need to do the inspection but it just makes it easier here since the registration office people likely are not familiar with the rules that old military vehicles are exempt from inspection. We figured for the $7.00 fee it will be one less argument at the tax office!

Good news is the title office made the transfer process really easy for us here in Texas. Our title was last properly updated in the mid 80's by a gentleman in Junction Texas. When the title official saw the name and town where it was from he said, hey I know this family and I went to school with his son! Small world some times.

Monday we get the plates and registration taken care of. Were going to go after a antique plate since Texas allows you to use a plate from the same year as the vehicle was built. In the post above you can see we temporarily hung it on the jeep for the picture.
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Jim Nissen
1955 M38A1
Patent Plate MD74784
Engine Plate MD85578
Contrived Hood Number 20974784
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wesk
Site Administrator
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Joined: Apr 04, 2005
Posts: 14408
Location: Wisconsin

PostPosted: Sat Oct 05, 2019 9:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is always very nice when you can slide right thru the government's bureaucracy and start driving!
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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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jnissen
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Joined: May 12, 2018
Posts: 32
Location: Austin Texas

PostPosted: Tue Oct 08, 2019 9:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yep got the title and registration process completed. Can legally drive it on the roads now. Fixing to repaint some of the assembly scratches and then will apply the stencils to do the stars and numbers. Bow kit arrived and will get painted as well. May do canvas at a later date since we like the look with the top down.
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Jim Nissen
1955 M38A1
Patent Plate MD74784
Engine Plate MD85578
Contrived Hood Number 20974784
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