Nice day for a ride

I got the jeep out of the shop today and took her for a nice ~15 mile ride – because it is 76deg in SC today! She’s mighty dirty because she’s been sitting in the shop while I’ve been doing the body work on the ’64 M38a1.

White she was outside of the shop, I went ahead and turned the rear top bow brackets around, which required adding and repainting them – glad I had some 24087 in the spray can left! I found this info on the g503 forum last night. Always wondered why it was so hard to get the bows to fit in between the rear brackets!

Also found out that the wing screw for the brackets is supposed to be installed from the inside!

When I was backing out of the shop, I backed into a chair sitting behind the jeep – I can’t do anything without messing something up! At least it was only the tag!


Small update – nothing major

Nothing much to update on. I haven’t been doing much with the Jeep. I took the doors and side curtains back off for summer and only drove it a couple of times. I have started working on my USMC M38a1 again which led to a little problem on THIS Jeep. I bought the same group (size) 24 batteries that were in the other Jeep when I bought it. When I got home I started to install them – they wouldn’t fit! As it turns out, the battery specs changed and they are about 3/8″ wider than the old batteries (who knows how old they were).

Anyhow, I opened up the battery box on this Jeep to measure the batteries before I went back to Wal-Mart to get different ones (my goal was to get a size in between these and the large ones that didn’t fit – which doesn’t exist!). When I pulled the battery box lid off I was greeted with corrosion on the outboard battery and tray! I removed the battery, flushed it with water and sprayed everything down with a battery acid neutralizer. I repeated until all of the acid was gone. Then I resprayed the battery hold down and tray with rust converter. I need some type of durable coating that I can spray it with. I checked the bateries’ voltage. The inboard battery was strong (with OVER 12v), but the outboard battery was weak (at 10.34v). I put it on the trickle charger overnight. It was showing charged, but when I unhooked it, it slowly fell to around 11v. I put it back on charge for a couple of days and tested again – it only dropped to 11.3v! So I put it back on charge yesterday before we left and will let it charge until we get home on Friday. Hopefully it will come back to full charge this time (because I don’t want to have to buy ANOTHER $115 (after taxes)  battery).

The only thing I can think of that might have caused this is the other Jeep. I was using these batteries to crank it when I was trying to get it running right. I ran the batteries pretty low a couple of times and I forgot to turn the switch off once, which killed them! When I put them back in this Jeep, the regulator must have been overcharging to compensate for the weaker battery which boiled it over. Sometimes I HATE 24v systems!

Winter Enclosure – DONE!

Well,  the winter enclosure is installed!  The passenger side was a little easier since I knew what to expect.  AND it actually fit better than the driver side.  The front turn button didn’t line up with the front eyelet of the side curtain on this side either though. I figured out that i am going to have to replace the upper windshield hinges to tighten up the top and level the doors.  With a level on the cowl,  the windshield is sitting back about 1/4″ – pretty sure tray is the reason that the doors are riding lower than they should be. 

I took a ride around the field (in the rain)  after I finished installing it.  No leaks in the top or doors,  but the w/a wipers SUCK! 

My NOS winter enclosure kit is here!

After 5 yrs of searching I finally scored some doors! Actually a full NOS winter enclosure kit. I’m not sure how old it is, but the packaging looks PRETTY OLD. I had my doubts about the canvas and plastic condition when I ordered it, but the seller said the canvas was NOT dry rotted and the windows were still clear and pliable.

I went to the next town to pick up the package because it was oversize. The box was about 4’x4′. When I opened the box and pulled the original packaging out of it, I was NOT thinking good thoughts! I was thinking the worst. The original tar impregnated paper wrapping was dry rotted and falling apart.



I cut the string holding the wrapping together and unfolded it until I reached the first piece of cardboard covering the first side curtain. Once I removed it, I was pleasantly surprised at the condition! The canvas looked (and felt) great! The window was clear with a little haze, but I think window cleaner will clean that off. Two of the buckles had a little rust on them and there were a few very small specks of rust discoloring the canvas. The metal plate for the door handle had some rust on it also.


I removed the next piece of cardboard and the second side curtain was in similar condition. Under the next piece of cardboard was the driver door. The frame had a few rust places on it and some of the turn buttons had some corrosion. The canvas was perfect (except for a few places where it contacted something that was rusted), and the windows were great! The door handles has a little rust on them, but not bad.


The hardware kit was still in the original bag and the channels for the upper door were in their original package. The hardware kit was pretty much complete (missing the 4 – 1/4″x 1 1/4″ bolts for the upper hinges and 2 – 6/32″ nuts (the screws were there) for the vertical side curtain rod upper bracket.


Unboxing an NOS M38a1 winter enclosure kit (part 1)

Unboxing an NOS M38a1 winter enclosure kit (part 2)

I looked at the kit laying on the floor while I drank a beer and decided to go ahead and start installing it. I installed the driver side curtain first. The vertical rod upper bracket that I welded on the top horizontal rod was in the wrong place (of course!), so the side curtain wasn’t tight. Next, I installed the door without securing the upper part of the cover.



Next, I opened up the door and marked the position for the turn buttons, drilled the holes and installed them.


I made sure they were in the correct position, then removed the door (had to remove the upper hinge to remove the door. I slid the upper part of the door cover into the rope channel, then reattached the upper hinge and secured the turn buttons. When I closed the door and secured with the door handle. The canvas was tight, but pulled itself in the frame to its final position.



Once I remove the upper side curtain lug and install the adjustable bracket that came in the hardware kit, then adjust the side curtain rod to vertical, it will look pretty good!




Wesley Memorial UNC first annual car show

Yesterday we had to get up early for the Girls On The run 5k which started at 8AM – 20 miles from home. It was 52deg and drizzling – NOT the ideal way to start a run! We finished in 47 min – not our best time,  but at least we finished and NOT at the end of the pack!

As soon as we crossed the finish line we had to run over to the test to pick up Jordan’s t-shirt, then had to jump in the car so we could get home to change cloths, jump in the Jeep and get to the car show which started at 8:30.

My cousin and I would be convoying to show via, the back roads, to the show about 15 miles away. When we turned into the driveway, he was already waiting on us. We got to the house, changed cloths, jumped in the Jeep and I met him at the end of the drive. He went to start his 1930 A model pickup and – nothing. I pushed him off and it started up, but choked down – didn’t have any slope left, so I couldn’t push it off again. I ran back to the house and grabbed the jumper cables, got back and hooked up (it is converted to 12v) – she fired right up and we were off! We had a nice drive to the show at about 40mph on the back roads and around 45 on the 4 miles of highway. Nobody crowded or pushed us on the way.

When we got to the church, there were only about 14 other vehicles there, so we had our choice of places to park. We parked at the end, set up and went to register.










They started judging about 1:30 and presented awards around 2. Surprise, surprise – I won “Fans Pick” and Brian won “Pastor’s Choice”!

We had to take off right after the awards because the clouds were mighty dark – Brian doesn’t have ANY windshield wipers installed and mine aren’t the greatest! We headed home on the same route and didn’t have any problems with traffic. We got within a mile of the house and Brian’s truck radiator cap blew open and threw antifreeze about 10 feet in the air – covered his windshield and front of the truck. It looked like he ran through a deep water hole – even got on the Jeep 40 feet behind him! He pulled into the yard and washed it off and filled the radiator back up. Everything was OK.

It was a long day, but a good one!

Afternoon adventure

I decided to go ahead and install my newly rebuilt carb on the Jeep since it is nice and pretty and the show is this weekend.

No big problem installing – just had a fuel leak that was fixed by tightening the fuel inlet elbow one more turn.  The Jeep fitted up quickly and idled better than ever!  Gassed it and it had NO hesitation! I decided to go for a ride.

I started out local – 2 miles one way and back.  Then I branched out – 5 miles,  side road to the highway,  highway for 10 miles – turned around and headed back. It was running so good and smooth that I decided to keep going.

OH CRAP – I forgot my phone!  Too late to go back and get it now – I kept driving. I got to the next town over and took a country road that led back to a highway that led to the house.  The road ended up being a little longer than I remembered – will I have enough gas?  Surely I will since I had only driven about 5 miles in Denton and about 30 so far today. I finally reached the side road leading back to the highway – this one ended up being longer than I remembered too! After about 5 miles I saw a driveway of a friend and knew where I was. I started up the last hill to the stop sign and felt a sputter – then another – then she cut off and I coasted to the side of the road at the stop sign to the highway!  OH CRAP!

I tried to restart – NOPE. All I could think of is NO PHONE – I’M A DUMBASS! I got out and opened the hood. THINK.  Check for fuel and spark. I stuck my hand down in the gas tank – plenty of gas. I grabbed the tool kit from under the seat and removed the gas line. Cranked it over – getting plenty of gas. I pulled a plug out – not wet, but a nice tan color, so it’s not flooded. I laid the plug wire next to the manifold and cranked it over – the sun was too bright to see a spark,  but I could HEAR one. I reinstalled the plug an’s wire.

THINK damnit, THINK!  DAMN it’s hot!  Plenty of cars and trucks passing by,  but none even slowed down to ask if I need help. I guess I can walk back to Sydney’s house if all else fails.

I pulled the distributor cap off.  There was a little carbon buildup on the rotor and cap. I pulled out the trusty ol’ Leatherman and filed them down.  Put it back together and tried to start – NOPE!

I pulled the intake hose off the carb to have a look. Hmm – gas at the opening. AND fairly strong gas smell.  Maybe it IS flooded? I left the intake hose off and tried cranking. I cranked for 15 seconds and got a hit. I owned the manual throttle and tried again – SHE STARTED! I threw the tools in the floor and slammed the hood – took off down the highway. I am still 6 miles from the house!

I drove about 4 miles and could see the main highway – then she sputtered again! I pulled over right before the stop sign and she was dead AGAIN! I opened the hood and saw gas at the carb throat.  It MUST be flooding.  Or could it be valor lock? Or maybe the coil is overheating?  After about 5 minutes, I tried cranking and she fired up. I took off down the highway and turned on the last road – almost home!  One of the other M38a1 owners was at the town hall in his M38a1talking to someone  and threw his hand up.  Can’t stop – gotta get home, I yelled!  She sputtered again – OH CRAP! I Pushed the clutch in and gassed it.  She ran until I was close to my driveway and sputtered again. I Pushed the clutch in and gassed it again.  She ran smooth down the drive to the house.

Three lessons learned: 1) take a phone, 2) have tools to work on your vehicle and 3) know how to use them!  If you are getting fuel and spark she should fire.  If it’s vapor lock, you’ll have to figure out a different way to get gas until the fuel line cools.  If it’s a bad coil and you don’t have a spare,  you’re screwed – but you wouldn’t be getting a good spark with a bad coil.

Getting stranded is one of my fears and keeps me from driving the Jeep more than I do.  Maybe this little adventure will help me realize that I know how to fix the simple stuff and to know what I need to add to my toolkit.

When I got home, I jumped in the car and ran back to where I saw the other Jeep owner. I explained that I wasn’t being rude – just having carb problems and had to get home.  They were at the town hall – I  forgot that election day was today and I needed to vote anyway.

My goal was to put 50 miles on the Jeep today – I made 49.