Underhood shovel

This is another thing that has been bugging me because people (who don’t know) are always asking what the brackets and strap are under the hood for.  

So I started looking around after the Denton rally.  You can buy the “correct” American made shovel for $75 + shipping, or an Omix Ada version for $30 less.  Originals are more than the American made repro.  You can buy a cheap ($30 + shipping) original – made for the Mutt and humvee,  but you will have to shorten the handle (they are 39.5″ – the M38a1 takes about 36.5 – 37.5″).

So I was sitting in the shop today looking at the tools against the wall. I had an old wooden handle #2 shovel with a cracked handle AND an old spade with a metal grip D handle. Why don’t I spend a little time and MAKE my own “correct” M38a1 shovel? 

So I separated the cracked handle and shovel head and the spade and handle. I sawed off the spade handle to the approximate length needed.  Then I tapered the end of the handle.  Then I tapered and test fit over and over until I had a shovel that would fit the Jeep. I ended up with a total length of 37.5″.

Next, I had to repair the bent and gouged tip. I straightened it on the bench vise and spot welded the gauges, then used the grinder to smooth it out. I drilled a hike through the handle and put a bolt and nut through. I welded both sides and ground them down to simulate rivet heads. 

Lastly, I sanded the metal and wood smooth and sprayed it with 24087 spray can. 

Once completely dry,  I’ll mount it in the Jeep so that it will be ready for display. I also posted on Willysmjeeps.com asking how the strap is supposed to be routed to secure the handle because I can’t figure it out! 

Hood – DONE (after 5YRS!)

I FINALLY finished the underside of the hood after 5yrs! I don’t know why I put it off so long,  but I can finally open the hood for display at shows!  The only thing I’m missing is a shovel for under the hood.  Seems eau enough to get one – WRONG!  It has to be a #2 point, 30″ long with a metal and wood “D” handle. You can buy ones with PLASTIC D handles all day long,  but can’t find metal. 

Here’s a pic of Pat and Don tooling around in the Jeep at the rally last week. 

Hood painted and other

I went out to sand and paint the inner hood this morning, The primer was still soft! I have NEVER has a problem with Rustoleum primer! I set it out in the sun for a little while and was able to sand it a little better, but ultimately had to go ahead and paint it. It wasn’t completely smooth, but it will do for the time being.


While the paint was drying, I finished another little project that has been bugging me – the star on the antenna mount. It was a pain because the stencil is about 5 yrs old – didn’t want to stick very well. But with a little masking tape and a little paint thinner to clean up the overspray afterward – it is done!


One other thing I marked off the list was replacing the ratty decals under the hood. The decals on the air cleaner pre cleaner was pretty much gone and the one on the inner fender well was also. I had a partial kit left from a few years back that just happened to have the ones I needed in it.


The one on the top of the oil filter needs replacing too, but I couldn’t decide whether to replace it or not – so I didn’t.

I got an email from Rick at Old Jeep Carbs LLC the other day saying that my carb was done. He sent me some “Glamour shots”

Today he sent me an email saying that it was done and tested – and sent me a link to the video of it running on his CJ5.

Carb testing

Excellent service from Rick – total price including replacing the missing choke bracket and replacing the leaking float plus shipping was a good bit cheaper than Midwest Military’s basic rebuild and comes with a 1 yr warranty from the date of install! His website is Old Jeep Carbs .

Now, do I install it on this Jeep or the other one?

Working on hood

I FINALLY got around to finishing the hood! It’s one of those unfinished things that has been bugging me for years. I figure with this car show coming up next month I would finish stripping, paint and stencil the underside of the hood. That way I can open the hood for display of the engine compartment.

I cleaned the underside of the hood a couple of years ago with Superclean and noticed that the undercoating was starting to melt away. So that was the first thing I tried today. It started to melt the undercoating, but dried before it finished the job. For some reason, after it dried, the undercoating was more brittle and chipped away easier. So after about an hour of chipping, I sanded it with the DA sander and cleaned it with paint thinner. To my amazement, the PAINT THINNER melted the undercoating instantly! Well that was an hour wasted when all I had to do was wipe it with thinner! It cleaned up pretty good, but still had some gouges from scraping.


I spray bombed it with Rustoleum primer. I will DA it again in a day or two and spray some color. Then all I have left to do is paint the stencil and find a shovel for display.


2017 Denton rally

Jordan and I went to the Denton rally Friday morning. The truck did fine pulling it.  We set up and went out to see all of our friends that we haven’t seen since last year. 

We drove around the farm a few times and set out the for sale items. 

Saturday was general admission day for the public and I got to talk to a bunch of people and sell some stuff – not as much as last year,  but enough to offset the cost of coming to the rally. A photographer caught a few pics of the Jeep when I wasn’t paying attention.

Going to pack up and try to get out of here before lunch tomorrow.