Posted: Sun Oct 04, 2020 9:41 am Post subject: 1951 M38
I got this Jeep back in 2011 from my Uncle that got it after doing some dozer work for a guy. After seeing the Jeep sit there for a while I asked him if he was doing anything with and he said no and said I could have it and do anything to it as long as I didn't sell it. He told me it was a 1949 Jeep and I didn't do the research at the time to figure out what it actually was.
Initially it had a faulty fuel pump, no brakes, a busted head gasket, and you could not get it into 3rd gear. I replaced all of these parts thinking that it was a 1949 CJ2A. Which all the parts seemed to work on this jeep with no issue.
After replacing those parts and driving it for a little bit I decided to do a complete restoration. And after doing all the research and finding all the identifiable parts on the jeep to determine what it actually was I found that it is a 1951 M38.
I began taking it apart around 2015, and going through college and moving away from my parents in 2017 4 hours away the process had come to a halt. But now I want to get back to it and make sure everything it correct and that it looks like it did by in 1951 out of the factory.
Would love after this Jeep and once I get my own shop to do this all the time and sell these vehicles or keep them for myself. Who knows? _________________ Ryan F
Last edited by JeepFregia on Thu May 25, 2023 8:28 pm; edited 2 times in total
Wanted to add some of the known issues I have with the Jeep that I will have to address at some point during the project. If you ever encountered these issues feel free to let me know how you fixed it. I would appreciate the help.
- When in Low gear the lever will pop out of gear if not tied down
- There is a lot of slack in the steering
- It is a 12V system, but considering turning it back into a 24V system (I have seen a few post on why one way or the other, still need to read through those)
- It came with an MB engine, for now I am going to stick with it and might replace it with an MC engine if I ever find one
- Body and Frame issues, like all of them do _________________ Ryan F
Joined: May 14, 2007 Posts: 720 Location: Placentia, CA
Posted: Tue Oct 06, 2020 7:38 am Post subject: M38
Looks like a solid starting point but you have a lot of parts to track down. It gets very expensive if you want to put it back to original. I stopped keeping track of how much I was spending after a while. My Jeep had a GPW engine in it when I got it. I sold the GPW engine for $600 and purchased an RMC engine for $500. Pretty much an even trade considering the effort to move the two engines around.
I have had all your issues on one vehicle or another; you need a complete set of TMs and read them all.
But first, get the green book on M38 restorations; and memorize it; can't haver an M38 without that super resource.
You also need to learn how to weld, and do body work; it's so easy a 12 year old girl can do it.
You need to have a few $K to buy the 24 volt parts; they are definitely not cheap. Like $850 just for the wiring harness, and generators and starters are hundreds of $. Each.
Popping out of gear; your T90 needs rebuilt most likely. You can do that yourself.
Paint? Very easy; I do it outdoors. Your M38 was originally 2430, which is now 23070. Use xylene, and again, super easy. Of course you need a compressor and a gun.
Steering; you need to rebuild the whole system from gear, to bell crank, pitman arm, to tie rod ends, also you need to service the entire front end, king pin bearings, wheel bearings, drive axles, and you need a special puller for the rear end; no way to do it without one. I have a feeling that no one did the PMCS on this vehicle for decades; they never do.
Study the SNL and you will learn all the parts. One thing at a time, on a restoration.
Never keep track of how much you spend; you will quickly become depressed and your wife will kill you.
MV restoration is a serious disease, but it is also the remedy. I can't stop. _________________ M38 23100 June 51
M38 34523 Sep 51
M606/CJ3B 1964 Kaiser 57348 118458
Willys MB 1944
Ford GPW 1942
Dodge WC63 1943
Dodge Power Wagon WM300 1967
Plymouth Barracuda, 1973, 340 4 barrel
All ground up restored by me.
Lots of others.
I won’t get to see the Jeep for a while, but will be buying what I need over the next couple of months. Goals for the end of summer!!
- Both Axles on Frame
- Engine painted and installed on frame
- Transmission and Transfer Case assembled and installed to frame
- Tub on a rotisserie for body work and paint _________________ Ryan F
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