A little mail call

Well, of course I’ve only been working on the 64 M38a1 and doing NOTHING with this one. Hopefully that will change over the summer and I’ll have time to play with BOTH of them. Three Denton rally is coming up in a couple of weeks – I am taking the 64 this year, so I’m doing everything I can to get it ready! Only a few more small things and a couple of large things (get it running right and change the clutch and flywheel) before she’s done.

Anyway, I thought I would share a couple of pics of what I ordered from the MVPA – no true M38a1 lover should be without one!

I don’t really like the M2 .50 cal mounted on it, the b.o. drive light on the wrong fender, or the stars with USMC rear bumper (on the bottom pic), but not many people will know the difference. I STILL might send them an email regarding it being an inaccurate representation – something the MVPA should know better than selling!



It’s hard to believe that this blog is still getting the traffic that it is after 5 1/2 yrs! It’s still averaging about 800 views per month even though I have moved on to working on my ’64 M38a1 and not updating this blog very much. Thanks for the support! I don’t get any money for the traffic on these blogs (although I wish I did) – I just do it to (hopefully) help someone out on their project M38a1

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!