Requesting expert opinions on if this M38 is a good choice to buy

Steel Soldiers is supported by:

FarmerRob

Member
148
2
18
Location
Chandler, TX
So, like another member who posted here recently I'm considering purchasing an M38. I'm making the leap from big Vietnam trucks (M35A2, M816) to something smaller, more manageable and hopefully more fun. To my MV-oriented eye, this one looks pretty complete and accurate but I welcome any constructive observations from anyone who has owned and worked on them.
Seller has said that it "runs kinda rough" and that the brakes are a little soft, plus it has some title issues that will need to be resolved. Mechanical issues don't concern me but I would like to get it registered for road use. Asking price is $8500.

Thanks!
 

Attachments

Last edited:

dependable

Well-known member
1,604
51
48
Location
Tisbury, Massachusetts
Looks like a nice M-38, might be worth $8,500. If it has no title, would want to be sure it is seller's to sell. Whether or not you need title to register on older stuff varies by state.

I'd pay close attention to the body, its channel frames, etc. Might even be a reproduction body. but that may be OK if you want a driver, but lowers value. If it is not original, would expect it to be intact and driveable without too much work. Of course it will need some.

If you are tall & getting older, make sure you like to drive it. Flat fendered jeeps were big part of my early driving life, had an M-38, MB and some rusty CJs. I looked at a rusting GPW for sale a couple years ago, got in and realized there was not much leg room, esp when running clutch.
 

FarmerRob

Member
148
2
18
Location
Chandler, TX
Dependable: thanks for that. I hadn't even considered the driving position. I'm not tall but kinda fat and definitely not an 18-22yo that most MVs were built for. Also, is there any way to easily differentiate between an aftermarket and reproduction body?

Got some originality issues: wrong bumper, tires, fuel tank, wheel on spare bracket. Missing top bows and brackets, the entire 24 volt system, pintle hitch. Paint is wrong color. Price too high.
Thanks. The missing top bows and brackets is all that really concerns me. That's around $1000 to replace everything. What would be a fair price, in your opinion?
 

WillWagner

Loose Nut
Super Moderator
Steel Soldiers Supporter
7,551
182
63
Location
Monrovia, Ca.
Ignition might be incorrect, it is not the military waterproof type. Also, check the steering for play, you can get repair kits for the steering but the sector gear and shaft are getting hard to find.
 

FarmerRob

Member
148
2
18
Location
Chandler, TX
Thanks for everyone's input. I ended up passing on the purchase. It just needed too much. The entire electrical system has been hacked (literally), front driveshaft was shot, RF tie rod end was loose in its tapered seat (new knuckle) rear pinion bearing was shot, tires are all dry rotted, engine was out of a late-40s CJ (as far as I can tell... no serial number, so I'm going by the casting number), exhaust was half missing, the floor pans and cargo bed had been poorly replaced with sheet metal and unistrut, a tailgate had been grafted in, the body had a weld seam in the middle of the door sill on both sides so I think it had been cut in half and reassembled, plus all of the missing and incorrect parts we saw in the pics. Just way more than I wanted to get into.
 
Last edited:

FarmerRob

Member
148
2
18
Location
Chandler, TX
You are very wise, sounds like a $2000 deer hunter special.
Indeed. I made him an offer of $3000 but even that made me cringe a little. He said that he got it in trade from an old farmer... that told me everything I needed to know. The farmer had "made it work" and sprayed some paint on it but not actually fixed anything. Looking at the wiring harness completely cut through in at least four places was scary and sad.
 

exhogflyer

Active member
125
34
28
Location
Albany NY
The MV market is getting kinda ridiculous last few years. People want money, and everyone thinks that because it's " old army" it's worth thousands or is a rare " collectors item". Maybe too many TV shows or something. I'm always looking at what folks list for sale and can't believe the junk that they want 9k for. Walk away.
 
Top
AdBlock Detected

We get it, advertisements are annoying!

Sure, ad-blocking software does a great job at blocking ads, but it also blocks useful features of our website like our supporting vendors. Their ads help keep Steel Soldiers going. Please consider disabling your ad blockers for the site. Thanks!

I've Disabled AdBlock
No Thanks