Parts ordered

Well I guess I’ll have stuff to work with next week when I get off. I ordered shocks, footman loops and 2 headlights (used – $12 ea.). I also ordered a head gasket set.

I am planning on pulling the side valve cover to check to see if the valve clearance is too tight (causing the valve to stay open), or if I have a bent valve. If the valve aren’t tight, I am going to pull the head off and check the valves on cyl # 2. If the exhaust valve is bent or burnt, I am going to go ahead and replace the valve guides and the valve (I already have the guides and have been reading up on how to replace them without pulling the engine). I know the guides are broken at their tops anyway. I ordered the head gasket set from Oreilly Friday and picked it up Friday after work – $23

I’m also planning on picking up some Starblast from Porter Warner and blast and paint all the wheels.

‘Til next week

The shocks will be test fit and then painted and installed (they are red and yellow – wouldn’t look quite right!). I bought Gabriel Guardian 82007 for the fronts and Gabriel Guardian 81147 for the rears – $19.99 ea plus free shipping from Auto Zone.

Mostly playing today

I started off by putting the driver’s seat frame back in.

I double checked my hand brake before I pulled the rod off to paint it and made the call to shorten it. It was not clamping down completely on the drum before the handle got to the last notch. I shortened it by 3/4″, put it on the lathe and turned it down small enough to thread it. After threading, I checked the length and sprayed a quick coat of paint on it. While the paint was drying I put the skid plate on (that covers the transfer case). Then I got bored waiting on the paint to dry and went ahead and put the hand brake rod back together and installed it (still tacky).

I took the Jeep out and drove it around the field and driveway for a while – for about 20 minutes. I had no problems. When I got back, I saw a couple of drops of oil coming from the oil pan, so I tightened all of the oil pan screws.

I decided to put a few more miles on it then. The ol’ ‘A1 couldn’t stand it any longer, so I went and hooked up my M100 trailer.  Boy, you can really tell that it is down on power (because of the valve problem) pulling a trailer. I had to put it in low range to pull up the hill! I pulled it around the field and up and down the driveway a few times, then had to try its articulation on the hill.

And here a photo op in the field – I think the trailer and hitch line up pretty level.

Running from its own gas tank – FINALLY!

Well, I went to Tractor Supply this morning and bought a piece of 5/16″ metal rod to make my handbrake rod with (my other one was broken off). I finally got out to the shop around 2:30 this afternoon to start on the Jeep. I took the rod and held it up to the old rod and made marks with a Sharpie for the bend and cotter pin locations – als the length I needed and the thread length. I put the rod in the vise and bent it 90 deg at the end and cut it off. then I threaded the end for the clevis to thread on to. Then I drilled the 2 holes for the cotter pins. Add a cotter pin, 3 washers and a spring and you get a finished handbrake rod (a used one will cost you $25 from a surplus dealer).

I tried for about 3 hrs to get the pump to pull gas from the tank (by running it from the redneck gas tank, then switching to the jeep fuel line). I finally figured out that the pickup was plugged by using my vacuum pump. I rodded it out and blew air through it and put everything back together and now she’s running fine (glad I didn’t put the seat frame back in yesterday)!




Well I finally got around to taking the tank back out and welding the little tab in the filler neck for the gas cap chain to hook to. While it was out I went ahead and installed the fuel pickup and sending unit. I had to chase the threads with a tap to get the new screws to go in – I guess it had some paint buildup in them. I also had a place on the tank where the driver’s seat frame was rubbing on the tank, so I “massaged” that area for clearance.

After I put the tank back in I went ahead and finished installing the fuel lines (2 of them). One of them goes from the fuel pickup on top of the tank and down beside the tank through a hole in the body to the elbow under the body. The other line is a short one that goes from the elbow to the frame rail – not original, but I worked with what I could get at the time. I also went ahead and ran the new wiring harness from the sending unit to the fuel gauge, but didn’t hook it up.

I ran out of time, so I didn’t get to add gas a fire her up pulling gas from her new tank (instead of using the redneck gas tank on the cowl), but tomorrow is supposed to be a nice Spring like day – it will get done then! Here’s a couple of pics of the tank.

Gas tank finished and installed


Hey guys and gals!

If you enjoy reading about the progress (or lack thereof!) that I make on my M38a1 on a daily or weekly basis, you can subscribe to my blog and get an email when I update it. There should be a tab at the bottom right corner that says “Follow”.  Thanks for all of the views and kind words I have received so far! I will be posting more photos and video when I make noticeable progress on the Jeep (or if you want to see something in particular, give my a shout and let me know).

Thanks again,


Engine testing today

I borrowed a compression tester today and decided to check the engine out this afternoon when my other plans fell apart.

I warmed the engine up and re-adjusted the timing by ear (like the guys on told me to do). Got her running pretty smooth again and adjusted the carb again. Then I pulled the plugs out to do the compression test. The plugs were black and sooty. I tested each cylinder twice – here’s the readings for the 2nd time: 137, 77, 125, 130. When I re-assembled the engine, I thought that #3 had a stuck exhaust valve, but I guess it was #2 by looking at the readings. I guess it DID come back to haunt me! I cleaned the plugs and put them back in. That also explains the low power I was experiencing while I was driving around yesterday – I thought it should have had more pull going up hill in 1st gear!

Next I did a manifold vacuum test (you can tell all kinds of stuff doing this test – when done right). The readings I got were pretty low compared to what the manual says (or it could mean that the engine isn’t timed right). Also, the needle was jumping around a lot while the engine was cold – which means a valve is sticking (#2 exhaust valve). The low readings could also be because I didn’t hook the meter up at the right place – I asked the forum about that already.

Well maybe tomorrow I can get the gas tank done (the big thing I have been dreading and putting off for the last 4 months!

Well, the fuel pump works!

No pics or videos today – nothing to really take a picture of. Maybe I can get Mandy to take a video of me driving the Jeep one day.

I had a good bit of success today – here’s a list of stuff I accomplished: 1)Checked the fuel pump and found out she was pumping great! 2)Hooked up the fuel line and ran a line from the gas can on the cowl, 3)Adjusted the points, 4)Adjusted the timing, but it runs worse adjusted by the manual! 5)Adjusted the carb, 6)Cleaned the plugs, 7)Tightened the exhaust flanges and added a spacer on the muffler mount, 8)Cleaned and installed the speedometer cable, 9)Removed and correctly installed the drag link, 10)Installed the hand brake parts on the drum and 11)Installed the vacuum lines from the distributor to the fuel pump.

When I checked the fuel pump, I ran a hose from the inlet to a gas can and put a bowl under the outlet at the carb. When I cranked it up, gas was shooting out all over the firewall. I hooked up the line to the carb and ran the line from the gas can on the cowl to the pump – until I get the fuel tank and lines completed.

It’s weird that the engine ran better at around 15 deg BTDC than it did set by the manual @ 5 deg BTDC – I guess I will set it back to where it was. The #1 & 4 plugs were a perfect tan color, but #2 & 3 were sooty. I cleaned them and put them back in. After I tightened the exhaust flanges the engine was a good bit quieter – I had 5 bolts that were a little loose and 1 that was very loose. I put the spacer on the muffler so that the exhaust wouldn’t be hitting the bumperette causing that weird noise like you have your hand over the exhaust. They made a turned down exhaust tip, but I really don’t need it now.

I pulled the flex cable out of the speedometer cable housing and cleaned it because when I removed it 14 years ago the speedometer was twitching and dropping to 0 mph. I drove it up the driveway and it seemed to be working correctly. I installed the hand brake hardware and pulled the hand brake rod (that connects the hand brake lever inside the cab with the brake) from the parts Jeep (because I couldn’t find the one I bought 13 years ago), cleaned it up with the wire wheel and painted it. When I installed it, it was too short! I was about 1″ too short to hook up to the brake lever on the drum. I’ll have to ask some questions about that on

I rode up and down the driveway and around the field and then to the big field – drove around for about 15 minutes today. It was a pretty bumpy ride in the fields!

Well, that’s it for today – I’ll get back on it either Sunday or Monday.