Passed 20,000 hits on my blog!

Well, THANK YOU all – AGAIN! This blog passed 20,000 hits yesterday! I am still amazed that this many people find my blog informative and keep coming back.

I have a few things in the process for next year like adding doors, finishing the radio install, hopefully snow rides, and (again) hopefully restoring my M100 so that the Jeep will have a partner. So keep on coming back – I will constantly be posting SOMETHING, whether it is just about a short drive or an unfinished project wrapup.



I ordered a few parts

I am about out of stuff to do on the Jeep, so I thought the next step would be to put doors on her. I posted a “want to buy” ad on the forums. I got a response from someone close by (well, FAIRLY close by ~170 miles). He said he thinks he has some door frames left, but didn’t know for sure until he gets back and checks. I don’t know what “gets back” means, but I figured I would give him a week before I emailed him and asked him. He also said I could have them if I came and picked them up! Good deal, as they go for ~$150 a pair! I figure 6hrs total driving and $40 worth of gas would still be worth it.

I still needed the hardware for the doors. This includes the upper hinges, lower hinge pockets and turn buttons. So I turned to eBay. A quick search turned up 8 lower hinge pockets and no upper hinges. I didn’t even look for the turn buttons. The hinge pockets ranged in price from $9.50 to $25 each – none of them were used or NOS, all were Omix Ada. I chose the cheap ones from a guy QTM Jeep Parts in Georgia. I have ordered quite a few parts from him and he is a good guy to deal with. I also ordered a brake adjusting eccentric for the left rear from him. 2 days later, the parts were here!

Last night I was trying to figure out how they fit under the door sill. Come to find out, the M38 pockets (which I ordered) are not the same as M38a1 hinge pockets!


M38 Lower hinge socket

M38a1 Lower door hinge socket

M38a1 Lower door hinge socket

So, I have not seen any M38a1 sockets for sale – that’s why I figured they were the same – I didn’t even think of researching it! I had to modify them to fit – easy enough to do, and possibly more robust than the originals since the originals just had a small tab under the pocket. All I had to do is cut the angled part off of the top with a sawzall and grind the sharp corners off.

One socket modified

One socket modified

Both sockets modified

Both sockets modified

I sprayed them with a couple of coats of paint, but don’t know how long it will take to dry since it is kind of cold outside. I guess I’ll install them next time I’m off.

Midwest Military has the upper hinges (new repros made by them) for $14 ea.

Yet another surprise – or disappointment rather!

I ordered 5 calendars on Monday and they arrived today – great shipping! I thumbed through the calendar about 10 times, stopping on April for an extended look each time. April is the month with the M38a1 in it.

Guess what? My Jeep IS NOT IN THE CALENDAR! I just spent $82 on calendars with Kaiser Willys and they didn’t put my Jeep in it after they announced that it was! I called and talked to the customer service guy and basically cussed him out. He told me that he would talk with the woman that is over the calendars and his manager and find out what is going on. I told him to start with, I want a refund for these calendars that I have no use for, and that they still ought to honor the $100 gift card as promised (that I haven’t gotten yet – the guy I talked to on Monday said they should be sending an email about those this week). Makes me wonder about how Kaiser Willys does business!

Anyway, I was hoping that my next post would be a scan of the calendar page that my Jeep was on – instead it turns out to be a venting session! Oh well – that’s how it goes. I guess life has its ups and downs, fulfillments and disappointments – life goes on!


I called Kaiser Willys back to get an RMA for these calendars – no use in them holding $82 of my money! I talked to Mike again (the customer service guy). He said, as it turns out, there are 3 Matt Freemans registered with Kaiser Willys – one in SC, TX and CA. He didn’t say which of the other 2 won (I know it wasn’t me, obviously!). He also said that all of us had ordered multiple calendars. He told me not to worry about shipping the calendars back right now – they would have them picked up and the whole invoice refunded to me.

Mike at Kaiser Willys emailed me on Monday.


I talked to my manager and he 100% aproved the refund for the calendars so I went ahead and did that today.  You should see the refund on your account soon.

Once again, I do apologize for the inconvience on the mix up.  Please keep the Calendars there, we don’t need them back.

Please let me know if you have any other questions.  Thanks

Michael Viola
Kaiser Willys Auto Supply
114 Bolton Ct Aiken SC 29803

At least I got something out of the deal! I like Jeeps (of course), so it will be a nice looking calendar to display.

Surprise, surprise!

I received an email today from Kaiser Willys telling me that the picture I sent in earlier this year was selected for inclusion in their 2014 calendar! The picture (and story) that I sent in was used for their “Jeep of the Week” feature back in the summer.  To top it off, they are giving all of the winners a $100 gift certificate! And I thought that being “Jeep of the Week: was a big deal!

Here’s the email (the text part anyway) that they sent today: Check out the catalog cover winners’ prizes!


 The wait is over! The judging was tough – we had so many wonderful entries! We want to thank all who entered the contest, and would like to remind you that even if your photo didn’t win one of the prizes below, you will still have the opportunity to be featured inside the 2014 Kaiser Willys Catalog. Now, for the winners!
2014 Catalog Cover Winners:
Front Cover Winner: Juan Pablo Murillo Villa 
($1000 Gift Certificate)
Back Cover Winner: Siva Aiken
($500 Gift Certificate)
2014 Calendar Photo Winners:
(All Calendar Photo Winners receive a $100 Gift Certificate)
Tate Annis
Larry Hammers
Susan Lane & Gerald Cecil
Roger & Wendy Goeckner
Donovan Jotblad
Amy Bodiford
Nathaniel Loyer
Jeep Hunters
Paul Hubert
Cameron Danner
Itsuro Shirasaka
Glen Heitman
Siva Aiken
Craig Brockhaus
Matt Freeman
The 2014 calendar has been sent off to the press and will be available on soon! If you are one of the winners, we’ll notify you when your gift certificate / account credit is ready. Thank you for being a part of our community!
- Kaiser Willys Staff


Georgia Steel Soldiers rally

Well, my brother and I have been at the Steel Soldiers Georgia rally for 2 days now and having a blast! We have been going on a couple of trail rides a day a night ride. I have some video to post when I get home – the internet connection is too slow here to attempt uploading.

The Jeep is doing ok. The only problems I have had are 1) the rear transfer case seal is leaking. I checked it before we left the other day and couldn’t feel ANY. It took about 2/3 quart to fill it back up! 2) The parking brake rattle is driving me crazy! I researched a little and think I found the problem though – it is supposed to have a spring that I don’t have installed – my bad! 3) She had a pretty good miss, or skip at idle, on the night ride the other night. I had adjusted it for the best vacuum last week. I adjusted the timing yesterday morning until it the miss was gone, but power is down – I guess I need to find the sweet spot there. 4) I have been noticing the voltage gauge drifting down to the edge of the yellow, and sometimes INTO the yellow at idle – I’ll have to ask about that on willysmjeeps forum. I know she is idling a little slow (after I adjusted the timing), so adjusting the idle might fix it. and 5) the solid mounted exhaust vibration is also annoying on deceleration or coasting down a hill in gear – I’m going to have to put some rubber on those 2 mounting points!

That’s it for now – will post some pics and video later after, I get home.

Ready for the rally!

I went and picked up the Jeep from the shop today. He said he left the Jeep parked over night and the only oil on the floor was under the rear main seal area! He said the play in the rear end didn’t seem “excessive” to him, so he didn’t change the seal. He also said that the valves sounded fine to him. He didn’t mess with the rear transfer case seal either. Sounds like he just didn’t want to mess with it! He added a little oil to the rear end.

I left with the Jeep and drove around for about 30 minutes, then decided to go to the gas station to fill her up with some good ol’ ethanol free gas for the rally. I put about 8 gallons in for a total of $27! I took the back roads home and backed into the shop.

First thing I did was to install my 12v accessory outlet in the glove box. I ran the wires straight back to the first battery and used ring terminals for the connection. Now I can charge my cell phone or run a portable radio. I am thinking about putting a 12v plug on my cb also. I replaced the fuse in the cb.

2013-10-02 13.54.45

I did a little troubleshooting on the fuel gauge and thought I had it (sortof). I unplugged the sending unit wire and grounded it – it went to full. Then I clipped a jumper wire to the gauge and a ground – the gauge read 1/2 full! I tried a different ground – 1/2 full. I unhooked the jumper and it stayed at 1/2 full. Turning the ignition switch of and back on didn’t help – it went back to 1/2. I figured this was an improvement and left it alone. Enough troubleshooting for now! I looked at it about an hour later – it was showing 3/8 tank!

Then I looked under the Jeep – there was a small puddle under the rear of the engine, but none under the rear pinion or transfer case. I guess I need to check the oil in the transfer case, huh? I started looking and tightened the oil pan bolts. Found that one of the oil lines on the side of the engine was leaking. I tightened it and it got worse, so I took it off and had a look. It looked like the flare was messed up, so I cut it off and flared the tube again. I re installed the tube and cranked her up – had a little bit of oil beading up at the top of the flare nut, but nothing major, so I snugged it a little more. An hour later I checked it and it had not dripped, so I guess it’s good now.

I loaded up the top, antenna sections, tool bag and spare fluids. I think she’s ready for the rally (except for checking the transfer case oil) now.

Steering is up to snuff now!

I took the Jeep over to a local mechanic to get the rear pinion seal replaced the other day. When I cranked her up, I smelled gas pretty strong so I looked underneath. There was a new puddle of oil – under the transfer case rear seal! I started the short drive over there, and about a quarter of the way there I hit a rough spot of asphalt – and she started the “Death Wobble” again! I had to pull over to get it to stop. Once I got there and talked to the owner, he said he was getting ready to go fishing – the shop was closed, because it was his birthday. He looked it over and told me to bring it back Monday and he would get on it. He said he would check the steering too.

OK, today, I started out with total focus on getting the “Death Wobble” fixed before I took it to the shop. Today was the only day that I had to work on her before I took her to the shop. I know that he probably won’t get her done before I go back to work, so I had to get everything done to her that I needed to today. I get off next Wednesday night, so she has to be ready to go on Thursday to the Steel Soldiers Georgia rally!

Anyway, I jacked up the driver side front wheel and checked for play in the wheel bearings and king pins – none. Then I looked over at the bellcrank while moving the wheel – I had about 3/8″ up and down movement on the bellcrank. I knew that this was a problem – I’ve just been procrastinating! I removed the bellcrank – the cinch bolt was hell to get off (very little room to move the ratchet). Everything else came off pretty easy (I used an impact and a wrench on the main pin). The old one was scarred up, but didn’t have too much play in it. I had a rebuild kit, so I installed it – the old bearings looked like they had some rust in them, as did the main pin.

2013-09-29 13.36.55

While I had the bellcrank off, I cleaned the cinch bolt slot – it had alot of grease and dirt in it. I used a dental pick to remove this stuff. I also cleaned the inside of the frame casting as much as I could.

2013-09-29 13.39.33

I had to use a socket and hammer to drive the old bearings out of the bellcrank (and reinstall them). I reinstalled the bellcrank, tightened the main pin with the impact and wrench, and reinstalled the cinch bolt with an air ratchet and wrench (then tightened more with a 1/2″ ratchet and wrench). It had a good bit less play in it after I finished!

2013-09-29 14.36.49

Next I hooked up the tie rod and then the drag link. I tightened the drag link plug with a big screwdriver with a wrench on it for leverage. I was able to get it alot tighter than I had it before, but I couldn’t get the holes to line up for the cotter pin.

2013-09-29 14.37.02

I went to the other end, but couldn’t get a big screwdriver in the tight spot. So, I came up with a decent solution. I found a short piece of 1/8″x 3/4″x2″ flat bar with a spot weld on it and it fit perfectly into an 11/16″ socket. I put this on a 1/2″ ratchet and was ablt to tighten it down as much as I wanted, but still couldn’t get the cotter pin holes lined up (I think I have the plugs mixed up end to end).

I checked the air pressure (all were low) and aired them up. I checked the spring and shock nuts – the left side spring shackles were loose, as were some of the shock nuts. All were tightened.

I took her for a ride down the road – about 10 or so miles total. I kept waiting on a shimmy when I hit bumps, but never got one – even in the driveway! I did feel a very slight one at maybe 25-30mph, but not bad enough to hardly even feel. She almost drove like a new one! I got up to 50mph and actually felt safe doing it!

When I got back to the shop, I set the timing by vacuum reading (set it to the highest vacuum reading), and set the carb again. It has a little bit of a miss with this timing setting, but has more power. I think the valves might need adjusting – maybe I’ll get the shop to do this while it’s there.

Next, I decided to finish up the power feed wiring. I installed the clamps (had to drill 2 holes in the body). Then I painted the clamps and screws OD so they would be less noticeable.

2013-09-29 15.59.23

Lastly, I gave her a bath. She was alot dirtier than I thought! I washed her inside and out – now she’s ready for the rally (once the shop gets her sealed up!).

2013-09-29 16.43.49



Put my rebuilt carb on today

I finally got around to putting the carb I rebuilt months ago on the Jeep today! I took the old one off – no problem, except that one of the manifold studs came out in the process. I tried everything I knew of to get the nut off of that thing so that I could re-use it, but it wasn’t going to happen! I had all but given up when I remembered the rebuilt head I had sitting up on the shelf. I went and checked – YEP, it had both studs in it! I put a second nut on that stud and pulled it out. I put a dab of Loctite on it and installed it in my manifold and put everything back together.

2013-09-17 15.20.56

I hit the starter and turned her over a couple of times to get some gas in the bowl, then turned on the switch and she fired right off. Then died. After a couple of rounds of this to figure out how much choke and throttle to use, she was purring along at a high idle!

I let her warm up a couple of minutes, then took off up the driveway. I got her good and warm and then went back to the shop. After a little fine tuning and adjusting the throttle and choke stops, she was idling at a low idle without the miss that has been present since I fired her up for the first time over a year ago!

I took her for a ride up the driveway again, and she now has a good bit more power – I can spin the tires without a problem, and catch second (this is on a dirt driveway, mind you!)!

Then I fixed the hand throttle that wouldn’t hold. I tuned it a little in the dash hole and straightened out the cable a little – works fine now! Then we took her for a spin around the field – a fast one! She did great! We went out on the highway for a short distance too (I didn’t have my driver’s license with me) – I was able to get her up to 35 in second before I had to turn into the driveway.

I still have the hesitation when I blip the throttle – may be a timing issue. My windshield wipers work much better now also – must have had a vacuum leak in the other carb. I also have that annoying bellcrank problem (death wobble) I need to do something about. And, of course, the puking rear pinion seal!

2013-09-17 15.21.55

Well, that’s about it for today – back to work tomorrow night!




Took a couple of rides yesterday

I was out in the shop doing some other work yesterday and looked over at the Jeep. I couldn’t remember how long it had been since I took her out on the road. After I finished what I was doing, I jumped in, turned on the switch, pulled the choke and hit the starter. After about 15 seconds of cranking, she fired up. I pulled her out of the shop and let her warm up. I took off up the road and drove around for about 10 minutes. During the drive, I remembered that the bellcrank was loose – after I hit a bump in the road and had a shimmy. I also smelled some burning oil and attributed that to the rear axle pinion seal leaking, throwing oil onto the exhaust.

I got back to the house and parked her. A couple of hours later, my daughter wanted to go to the field and drive the Jeep. We jumped in, she fired right up and we drove to the field. We switched seats, I threw the Jeep in low range, second gear and pulled out the hand throttle. She drove around for about 10 minutes or so, then we switched seats again and we drove back to the house. No problems except for the known issues that I need to jump on pretty soon – the rally is getting closer by the minute (24 days left!).

I need to put my rebuilt carb on, fix the bellcrank, and get the rear end checked and resealed.

Radio power feed almost done

The power feed is installed and wired up. I still have to find some insulated metal cable clamps and install them though. I started out by acquiring 8′ of 6 gauge stranded wire (everybody had red, but I needed black of course! That stuff was $1.60/ft! I bought a crimp on ring terminal and some shrink tubing too. I crimped the terminal to one end, then soldered it and put shrink tubing over it. Next, I decided on how long to make the wire by running it through the back side of the battery box and fishing it to the plug. Then I soldered the female end on and assembled the plug. I drilled a hole down through the tool box and ran the ground wire into the toolbox and installed a grommet. The ground wire attaches to the left seat pivot bolt. I installed the plug into the bracket and hooked and hooked up the power.

2013-08-29 16.06.52

I checked the power – 25v.

Then I ohmed out the MT299 wiring before I plugged it in – everything checked out. I plugged the power cord in and checked for voltage at the power wire on the mount – 25v. I unplugged it and installed the power supply and rt67. I plugged it back up and turned the power supply on – no lights or gauge movement! I turned it off so I wouldn’t burn it up. I turned it back on after a minute and started playing with the dial on the radio. After about 15 seconds the lights came on! I I turned the band dial and the power meter moved! I turned the power supply switch to send and receive and the radio to ring and it acted like it was sending a ring signal – if that makes sense (I know what I’m talking about). I turned it back off, unplugged the power and switched in the rt68. Same thing – everything seems to work!

Next, I put my wood blocks that I laid off the wheel well channels and hole locations on yesterday. I located the mount and blocks in the location given by some of the guys on Willysmjeeps website. It seems like it sticks out into the cargo area more than it should, but I am going to find out for sure before I drill any holes or cut the channels in the spacer blocks.

2013-08-29 09.30.25

I know – it’s blurry.

That’s it for this update.