Shackles cleaned/straightened and primed

I had to go out in the cold and misting rain this morning to make some video about some of my parts I have for sale for a fellow Steel Soldier. When I finished that I decided to get my shackles cleaned up. I fired up the turbine heater to warm the shop and went to work.

I used a wire wheel on my bench grinder to clean them and finished up with a wire brush. When I was working on the second one I realized that the ring was bent outward.2014-02-04_10-06-48_765

I have no idea how I didn’t notice this! I guess I was just so excited to find originals. I put the handy dandy 20Ton press to work,


I have the back end sitting on a piece of 1/8″ steel to give it a little extra bend because metal always tries to go back to its original shape when you are bending it. After I got this bend straight, I realized that the ears were bent in toward each other, so I used a steel with a wedge taper to push them apart.


After I laid them on the bench side by side, I saw that the other shackle ring was slightly bent outward, so a couple of pumps on the press straightened it right out. I sprayed a few coats of red oxide on them and I will spray some OD24087 on them tomorrow.


Finally found a missing piece of the puzzle!

My Brother and I went to Albemarle, NC  to Jim Henry’s parts yard today to pick up a few parts for our deuce. While we were waiting for him to get back to the shop we looked around one of his parts “fields” and I stumbled across an M38a1 frame just laying there on the ground. Believe it or not, it still had these on it!

Rare gold!

Rare gold!

These are usually one of the first things that get taken off (because they rattle)! The second thing is the parking brake – because it rattles.

Originals are getting as rare as hen’s teeth now days – mainly because of people like Jim Henry. I asked him how much and he told me “let’s go over here and get a pair that are already taken off the frame”. We went into a corner of his place and he looked in a certain spot on the floor – none there. Then he grabbed a large ammo box – none there. He said they used to be all over the floor and the ammo box was full of them! He used to have “probably 100 or so of them”! He said he has been having a problem with people stealing from him – batteries, radiators, starters, basically anything that can be walked off of the property.

Anyway, he sold me these original shackles and pins for $20 ea. I could have bought repros for $17-$22 each + shipping for the shackles and $7 ea for the pins, but originals are sooo much better!

Well, that’s my victory for the day, or week – depending on how you look at it!

Parts Jeep (and other stuff) for sale – SOLD

I received a couple of requests to upload some pictures of my parts Jeep. I think I am done with pulling parts off of it, so now it should go. I played around with the idea of throwing some parts at it and getting it running and driving, but I wouldn’t be able to get the 5-$600 back out of it when I sold it, so that was the end of that idea.

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Anyway, it is a 1954 model.

Body wise:

  • Front fenders are bent but repairable. (I think I have a couple I will sell fairly cheap if interested though)
  • Lower cowl area on both sides at floorboard are rusted and rusting through.
  • It was hit in the rear at some point in its life (needs a rear panel and both rear quarters are slightly bent).
  • Rear floor is ok.
  • Rear fender wells are slightly bent from rear panel being hit.
  • Fuel tank sump is rusted through in the front – may be easily repairable?
  • Front floors have small holes – I will look again if someone is interested, but the leaves and dirt and stuff that are in there were frozen solid and I couldn’t get them all out today.
  • Toolbox area isn’t rusted (had a leaky oil bottle in there, so it didn’t rust!)
  • Hood is fine – might have hood numbers under the Forestry Service paint (I haven’t sanded on it)
  • Battery box looks good inside (pans are not rusted up, original battery cables are still there)
  • Grill is fine.

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Extras: Here’s what I can think of, but might have other stuff also.

  • I will include a windshield frame (no glass or accessories)
  • I will include a driver seat frame
  • Gas tank: I have the original gas tank to my ‘a1 I will sell cheaply ( it was cleaned and lined about 15 yrs ago, but the acid wasn’t neutralized properly, so it needs to be stripped and checked for pin holes again). Will take $50 for it.
  • Fenders: If I have extra fenders, I will take $50/ea for them. SOLD
  • Hood: I have a spare hood I will sell for $50 SOLD
  • Grill: I have a spare hood I will sell for $50 SOLD
  • Rear springs: I will sell both for $25 SOLD
  • Generator: I will sell for $20 SOLD
  • M100 fenders: Both in good condition – $100/pr
  • M100 chassis: No tub, just the rolling frame – $450, or $500 with the fenders
  • CCKW grill – $75
  • 1993 Minnie Winnie 27′ class c RV – $4,500 obo SOLD
  • 1954 Farmall Cub – restored 6 yrs ago, needs carb cleaned out now – $3,000 obo


  • 3 tires were hold air, but down now (held for 3 yrs, down now). Right rear has a hole in it.
  • Right rear brake is locked up (why the tire has a hole in it – it was dragged down the side of the road for 5 miles)
  • Engine is not locked up
  • Driveline is all there, but can’t tell you anything about its condition – never drove it.


  • Passenger seat
  • Gas tank
  • Radiator
  • Carb
  • Fuel pump
  • Distributor is there, but missing parts
  • Regulator
  • Has civvy water pump
  • Rear seat brackets were torched off
  • Hood hold downs
  • Right rear taillight
  • Headlight bulbs
  • Some electrical ends

I have a title, but never registered it in my name because the guy I bought it from only signed one place and missed the other (so did I). For an extra $50, I will track down the guy I bought it from and go get the title. I will take $950 for the Jeep, w/s frame and seat frame. Price is FIRM – parted out, this Jeep is worth many times that amount. If you can do body work, about $500 worth of replacement panels will make this thing look good.

I can provide pics of any area you want to see.

Jeep is located in Richburg, SC.

I made some new floor mats

A Steel Soldiers buddy of mine gave me a 50′ roll of used conveyor belt that he got from work. We picked it up at the SS Georgia rally in October. Today was a nice, 73 deg December 21st day, so I went outside and worked on the Jeep. My floor mats were getting pretty ragged, so I grabbed a utility knife and sliced off a 2′ section of the belt and began measuring. The ones I had were about 20″ tall x 16″ wide with a few cutouts to fit around the tunnel. I cut mine about 20″ tall x 21.5″ wide to fit all the way over to the sidewalls. I had to cut out for the tunnel, floor drain and gas tank strap. The passenger side was about the same. This belt is about 1/8″ thick and slightly textured, so it makes a decent floor mat and covers more of the floor than the others did. I don’t think these will ever wear out!

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Now that I had the front ones done, I measured for the rear. I decided to make it a tight fit, going from wheel well to wheel well and all the way back to the seat supports. Now the whole rear is protected. I tried heating them up to “form fit” them to the front floors, but the belt was just too stiff. I used a propane torch but it didn’t work.

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After I finished with the mats I decided to take a drive. I followed my normal route down the back roads, back to the highway at no more than 40mph. She was running great (except for the annoying parking brake rattle that I haven’t fixed yet), so instead of turning down Main St. to go home, I stayed on the highway for another 3 miles and turned into a neighborhood. I rode around the neighborhood, then down more back roads until I got home. A nice ride!

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.

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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.