1955 M38A1 major renovation

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VRR-M38A1

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Columbus, GA
Hey everyone, I am new to the site and wanted to give you the details on how I got here. When I was younger, my Dad had an M38a1 that he and his friends used to go do some serious offroad/mud riding on some military tank trails. An M38a1 is a really tough jeep. I think it was used more by him than in the service. He is very mechanical and did some very unique modifications to help it perform better. Each time he tore it up, he would fix it back better and stronger. When I was about 10 or so, he stopped riding it, and left it broken down in their backyard, said he would had no interest riding again. He put a hard top on it, and just left it sitting there. You can see in the picture where my Mom planted bushes around it to hide it. This past Thanksgiving, we were in his backyard, and he asked me if I wanted the jeep, if I didn't he was getting rid of it. Of course I said yes. I had no idea what I was getting in to. He said it was going to take alot to get it running again, and he is right. I have since towed it to my garage, with all of the extra spare parts that he collected over the years. And so my journey begins...I have some pics of the resting place it had for approx. 25 years and some others of the initial clean up process. We are going to fix it up together, and for the first time in many years, he is actually looking forward to see/hear it running again. I am going to try to recycle as many of the extra parts that I can for use by others with their own projects. I am going to sell the hard top, I have no idea what it came off of, or who makes it. If there is a area on this site where you can post stuff like this, please help me find it. I will post pics as we go, and i'm sure I will be bouncing ideas and questions off everyone. Frank
 

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NDT

Well-known member
Steel Soldiers Supporter
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Camp Wood/LC, TX
Welcome to the site. My interest in MV's started with a M38A1 as well and I still have mine. Like you said, yours is going to take a lot of work, but I bet your little one there can't wait to ride in it. The top looks to be a JC Whitney special, not too sure if anyone is going to want it. The classifieds on SS require that you donate $15 to the site before use. Go to the "User CP" to pay up.

One thing I have learned about 60 year old vehicles: They cannot be "fixed up", you have to rebuild everything bumper to bumper. If you don't, plan on lots of breakdowns. Start with a complete disassembly and sandblasting. Good luck and post lots of pics!
 

jeeplvr247

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Ferndale, MI
Welcome to the site. It looks like you have a long project ahead of you, at least you have an assistant. When I was a kid, I worked as the assistant on my dads CJ7. Those were some good memories. Good luck with the rebuild.
 

VRR-M38A1

New member
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Location
Columbus, GA
This past weekend I moved a load of parts to my garage to begin the jigsaw puzzle and determine what might be missing. I got the radiator mounted and put the support rods in place. Lucky for me, the motor is not locked up. Every now a then, Dad would remove the plugs and pour motor oil in the cylinders to attempt to keep it loose in the event he or someone else was to bring it back to life. So now I am just going down the list to repair/replace the things it needs to crank. If anyone has any pointers, let me know. The only thing that needs some attention is the dist., but I found 5 or 6 replacements in a box, which I am sure I can get one working. I took a few more pics to show the progress, but as you will see, slow going, but no hurry. Be back soon.
 

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VRR-M38A1

New member
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Location
Columbus, GA
After countless youth sporting events, time to get this Jeep back alive.
As mentioned earlier, trying to put a distributor together that will work. I found several waterproof ones (24v) and some 12v ones that may not work anymore. I can't find the one The jeep has been converted to 12v and I want to keep it this way.
Got a few questions, what will happen if I use the 24v dist. on the 12v system (just alternator, starter and headlights)?

If this won't work right, what is the best route to take in finding a 12v dist that will work? I have seen several for sale that will work on 12v Jeeps, are some better that others? Thanks.
 

VRR-M38A1

New member
4
0
1
Location
Columbus, GA
Slowly but surely. Engine now running good, which takes me to the next project, front axles. Passenger side is currently taken apart, so instead of rebuilding with what I have, want to upgrade the axles to the Spicer style. Only problem is, I am not finding many options as to where to buy quality ones. Hate to go to this much trouble rebuilding with something that fails soon after. Any of you upgrade to Spicer axles and where did you purchase? Are you satisfied with the quality?
 

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