M38A1 First run in 13 years! 11/10/2011 – 11/19/2011

I finally got her to run on 11/10/2011. Although I had to use a 2.5 gal gas can turned upside down with a fuel line and filter clamped to it  run to the carb and bungee corded to the cowl as a redneck gas tank, she cranked up and ran for more than 5 seconds. The fuel pump wasn’t pumping. The gravity feed works great for now. The shop filled with smoke (couldn’t tell if it was burning the oil I put in it to keep the cylinders from rusting or actually burning oil from the engine). Maybe it was running real rich too? I let it run for a minute and shut it down. I could tell that there were exhaust leaks everywhere, there was oil bubbling from around the exhaust manifold, paint was burning off of the manifold – too much to take in at the moment + the excitement of her running again!

After I let her cool down for about five minutes (I couldn’t wait any longer) I pulled the choke out halfway and hit the starter. She fired right up! Push the choke in – wouldn’t idle, so I pulled the hand throttle out a notch. She was running real rough – missing a little, still smoking, but still running. Then I checked my guages. Temp guage wasn’t working because I didn’t have any coolant in her. Ammeter was showing maxed out on the CHARGE side of the guage – too high I thought. Oil pressure was showing 60psi. I feathered the hand throttle (because the gas pedal wasn’t hooked up yet) to see how she responded – she did good. She had run long enough, so I shut her down.

Friday afternoon on 11/11/2011, I went out to the shop to put the one remaining hard line from the master cylinder to the front end on and bleed the brakes. I got the line put on and went to the left rear to open the bleeder – it snapped off! So I unscrewed the drum screws and pulled the drum. Then I changed the wheel cylinder that I had bought back in 1998. Put the drum back on and adjusted the shoes. I moved over to the right rear – snapped the bleeder. On that side I ended up having to drill the screws out. Removed the drum and changed the wheel cylinder. Put the drum back on and adjusted the shoes. I decided to go ahead and change the front wheel cylinders. The left front drum screws came out easily, but the lower kingpin bearings have about 1/4″ of play in them – will need replacing – the drum took about 1/2 hour to get off. I changed the wheel cylinder and scuffed the drum and shoes. Put the drum back on and moved to the last one. The screws had to be drilled out and the drum took 1/2 hour to get off. I changed the wheel cylinder, scuffed the drum and shoes, put the drum back on and adjusted the shoes. Then I filled the master cylinder and bled the brakes – couldn’t get a good pedal. I tried 3 times before I realized it wouldn’t build pressure unless the m/c cap was on. Bled the brakes again and had a decent pedal! Then I checked for leaks. I had one at the master cylinder and one at the left rear wheel cylinder – tightened them up – had a better pedal. Something still wasn’t perfect with the brakes though.

By that time Jordan was home and wanting to see it run, so I cranked it up for her – she was so excited. She’s been wanting to ride in the jeep for at least 3 years. I cut the engine off and decided to fill the radiator. I started adding water and noticed it was running straight out – I didn’t tighten the petcock. Once tightened I started adding water again. water started coming out again – leaking out of the water pump! Oh well, I didn’t have another one to replace it. On to the exhaust leaks. I started at the exhaust manifolf tightening stuff up. I found 2 exhaust nuts loose. Most of the flange bolts were slightly loose too – tightened them up.

I couldn’t wait any longer – I had to make her move! I put the tires back on and set her back on the ground. Put a little air in them because they had none. Fired her up, clutch in, first gear, clutch out easily – she moves! Push the brakes just to check – she stops! So I move her out of the shop and start up the hill – she chokes down (because I am still using the hand throttle and I had her on a fast idle). Push the brakes to keep from rolling back down the hill and they hold. I let her roll back, start her back up, give her a little more throttle, and up the hill she goes! I got her to the flat place in front of the shop and backed her up and parked her – Jordan was about to go crazy wanting to go for a ride, but couldn’t understand why I didn’t trust the jeep enough to take for a ride yet + I still didn’t have any coolant in her, so I couldn’t run her long anyway. I decided to let her sit there for a while why I cleaned the spot she had been taking up for the last 5 years and so I could admire the fact that she was sitting in front of the shop where she had moved under her own power for the first time in 13 years! After Jordan and I cleaned up a little, I moved her back to her parking place, although this time I pulled her in (she was backed in 5 years ago). I am very happy – Jordan is very happy – life is good!

On Sunday, 11/13/2011, I removed the front drums and cleaned them then painted them with black caliper paint. While the drums were off, I stripped the hubs of all the layers of paint and cleaned the brakes. I painted the hubs green and put the drums back on. Then I moved on to the rear and did the same. Looks much better and one more thing off the list.

I moved on to the engine again. By this time, I had probably run her for at least 15 minutes total. She wasn’t burning oil anymore that I could tell, but was running a little rich so I decided to adjust it. I adjusted the carb until she ran a little smoother. Then I adjusted the timing a little – come to find out the distributor nut wasn’t even tight. She was running a little smoother, so I adjusted the carb a little more. She’s still not running as smooth as I’d like, but useable. Guages still look good – charging still high I think. I start looking around for other stuff to do and see another brake leak. I decided to go ahead and check all the brake lines and tighten them. That’s all for for Sunday. Still happy.

On Monday, 11/14/2011, I was just going to do a few small things with her. The brake lights looked like they were staying on all the time, so I tried adjusting the push rod – no change – still wouldn’t work right. I tried using a wire wheel to strip a wheel – no way that was going to work with all that paint! There were still some rattles when she was running, so I found a couple of those and fixed them (seat pans loose, shackle brackets loose, bumper loose). That’s all for Monday.

On Tuesday, 11/15/2011, I decided to strip the hood. I moved the jeep out of the shop and set up some sawhorses in the shop – sure is nice to be able to use the floorspace in there! Then I took the DA ans 60 grit and started sanding – and sanding – and sanding! I thought I had a straight hood – I think this one is worse than the original one! I sanded out most of the bondo and all the paint. Then I flipped it over and started stripping the 57 year old undercoating off the underside with a propane torch and a scraper. 4 hours later it was stripped – and I was worn out! It was dark outside, so I swept up and moved the jeep back inside. Enough for today.

Hood undercoating half stripped

On Wednesday, 11/16/2011, I ordered a water pump rebuild kit, kingpin bearings and cups, a hub nut socket and gaskets. Hub nut socket is backordered so it won’t ship until Monday, 11/21/2011. I have to go back to work tonight so I won’t be working on the jeep.

On Saturday, 11/19/2011, I couldn’t sleep so I got out of bed and decided to work on the jeep at 3:00 pm. I went out and tried something I found online about how to check the brake light switch – didn’t come up with anything except that the brake lights weren’t working – instead of staying on all the time – I’ll have to check the switch for power next time. I put the brake pedal spring on – much better pedal now. I checked the generator for charging – 26.2v at idle and 28.2v at fast idle – perfect! I got my repro (crap Omix ada) tank out and measured and marked it for the gas line and harness tabs that didn’t come on it. Then I cut out some tabs and welded them on. Almost ready to paint the tank after I fit it in the jeep first. ‘Til next time

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