It was a pretty good rally – ended up with about 45 total vehicles and trailers with spectators coming in Friday through Sunday when we left. I gave a few rides in the Jeep and, I think, inspired a few people to continue, finish and start their own M38a1 projects. I also talked to a few veterans and helped them relive their pasts. My Brother and I took a little road trip into the town of Denton before breakfast this morning to stretch the Jeep’s legs before loading up for the ride home.
I started off by pulling my old front springs off and installing my NOS ones. It was a pretty easy and quick job.
It sits a little more level now, but I measured before and after (floor to fender lip) – I actually LOST 1/4″ of height!
After I finished the springs I went for a drive around the field (ACROSS the old corn rows) to settle the springs. I pulled back into the shop and checked all of the nuts again – glad I did, because most of the spring plate nuts were loose! I torqued everything back down to 60#.
Next, I turned my attention to the driver side rear brake adjusting eccentric. It was the only one that I couldn’t get to move the last time I adjusted the brakes. I ordered one off of eBay months ago, just never got around to installing it. I tore that side down and changed out the eccentric. It looks like I will be changing brake shoes and hardware before long too.
I put the drum back on and adjusted the brake shoes (these brakes are NOT self adjusting!). I went around the rest of the Jeep and adjusted them all. Before I adjusted them I read the instructions in the manual – adjust the front shoe until you feel scrubbing and back off slightly, then tighten it down. Then do the rear shoe the same way. Lately, I would have to push the brake pedal down to about 3″ from the floor before they would stop the Jeep. Even then it wouldn’t stop fast enough. After I finished adjusting them I felt the pedal – 2″ travel and it stopped the tire from spinning! I adjusted the pedal free play to 1/2″ by adjusting the pedal rod. I went for a road test and it will literally skid the tires on pavement now!
Last but not least, I installed the chains on the front shackle pins. I wanted to use the “correct” drive screws, but nobody around here carries them and I wasn’t going to order a box of 100 for just the 2 that I needed! So, I looked through my screw drawer and found a very small Phillips head screw, drilled a hole slightly smaller than the screw in the original drive screw hole and forced the small screw to thread into the hole. I think it turned out well – not many people will know the difference!
I guess all that I have left to do before the rally is take the top down and wash it, overall cleaning, check all the fluids and check the tire pressures. The rally is only 12 days away!
I can’t believe it – 25,000 views of this blog! Keeping on reading everybody – THANKS AGAIN!
I finally got around to installing my radio set! I made the sc-c-28600 spacer blocks last year, but never got around to installing the radio set. I have been doing a LOT of research on how the MT-299 mount should be installed, but couldn’t find a drawing that showed exactly how (how far from the seat back, how far the blocks go back on the wheelwell, etc) to install it. I had the drawings and measurements for the blocks, but nothing showing me how to install them.
So I went out and set the blocks on the wheelwell and set the mount on top of them. I drew a line in pencil on the wheelwell to mark where the edge of the block would be after testing to see that the seatback would not hit the top of the radio. I marked the edges of the wheel well ridges on the blocks. When I looked at the mount feet, the holes in them were too far over to get good contact with the wood. I ended up moving the blocks so that the inside edge of the mount feet were flush with the edge of the wood. I used a circular saw to cut the channels and used a forstner bit to counter sink the holes 1/2″ and drilled through with a 1/2″ bit. I assembled everything and positioned it on the wheelwell. I had to re mark the edges of the wood. Then I disassembled everything and marked the position of the wheelwell holes on the blocks (half way between the ridge and the side of the body and half way between the edge of the wheel well and the 1st ridge). I counter sunk these holes 1/4″ and drilled through with a 1/2″ bit. I put a T nut in each of these holes.
I re assembled everything again and checked the fit on the wheelwell. Then I marked the center of the wheelwell holes and drilled them out. I applied 2 coats of OD24087 (I know this isn’t the correct color, but I wasn’t going to order special paint for this – I’m not putting this in a show for judging) on the blocks and let them dry.
I reassembled everything one more time and set the completed mount on the wheelwell. The holes lined up! I tightened the hardware down and admired the work.
I hooked up the power cable and installed the power supply, RT-67, LS-166/U speaker and HS-22/PT handset. It’s looking like something now!
I turned the power supply on and then the radio. The lights came on but I didn’t hear anything. I adjusted the squelch and volume – still nothing. I turned the power supply to “Receive and Transmit” and key the mic – I heard a clicking in the radio, but nothing in the handset. Oh well, at least it is installed – I’ll leave the troubleshooting for another day! I went ahead and installed the speaker under the radio set.
I picked up my CG-330/G cover from the Post Office this morning. After I had everything installed, I installed the cover – the finishing touch!
Tomorrow I am planning on changing out my front springs, changing the left rear brake shoe adjuster and adjusting the brakes, I also need to go ahead and take the top off and wash the Jeep.
Well, a little disappointment this afternoon. I had agreed to buy a 1955 (title and plates) USMC M38a1 this weekend and was to be delivered today. The guy showed up with the Jeep and we unloaded it. He handed over the title and I checked it against the data plates and it matched – flipped it over and it was titled in someone else’s name! Apparently it had been sold in another county in 1989. The buyer never titled it in his name. Some way or another the original seller got the vehicle back and sold it to the guy trying to sell it to me. I told the guy that I couldn’t do anything with that title – if he wanted to get it straight, I am still interested. He took the Jeep back home with him. Bummer! The Jeep was in decent condition. It needed the passenger floor and side panel, battery trays and battery box bottom replaced. The fenders weren’t great either. Other than that, it was pretty much complete down to the spare tire and carrier. It ran and drove good and the gauges even worked! Oh well, I guess it was meant to be!
No work has been done on my Jeep since the last post – just a new piece delivered today.
I got my H-33/PT handset today. I found it on eBay last week. Most of them are either well used pieces of crap or NOS priced at $70! I didn’t need anything that is perfect, so I waited. My speaker is used, but not worn out. Anyway, I ran across this auction last week – it said used/vg condition. I won the auction for $26.50! I received it today in a vacuum sealed package, wrapped in paper, inside a peanut packed box – excellent packaging! I opened it up and couldn’t believe it – if it isn’t NOS, I don’t know why it isn’t. This thing has some rub marks on it but that’s it – the cord even still has the talc on it! I am very impressed. So now my VRC-9 is complete except for the cx-330/G cover and mounting it – and maybe getting a shorter antenna cable.
Today was a rainy, fairly cool day and I didn’t want to sit inside all day. I have a few things on my list to do before the rally, but I didn’t want to start a big project. One thing on the list was to make an adapter plug to convert the 12 pin military trailer receptacle to a 7 pin civilian RV type receptacle. With this I can pull any civilian trailer behind the Jeep or Deuce and have running, turn and brake lights – as long as the trailer has 24v or LED bulbs installed. These adapters are available to buy, but they run about $150!
I found a couple of old military trailer pigtails in my M100 trailer earlier this month and 1 of them still had a plug end that was still ok, albeit not presentable. The cable was shot – crumbled when bent, and the metal cover and spring were rusted beyond saving. I cut the cable and clamp off and used the cable stub as a means to pound the rubber grommet out of the plug housing. Once the grommet (with pins) was out, I sprayed some penetrating oil into the grommet holes and let it soak for a minute. This made it easier to pull the pins out from the back of the grommet. Notice I said “pull them out”. If you try to push them out without the proper tool, the pin WILL bend! Trust me, I bent 2. The proper tool for pushing them out is a hollow punch the same diameter as the grommet hole and inner diameter of the pin. You can pull them out from the back side fairly easy with a pair of pliers – and lube.
Once I had all of my pins out, I got all of my supplies together: 7 pin vehicle side receptacle, 7 wire trailer cable, solder, torch and a utility knife. The 7 wire cable is what I had left over from adding trailer brakes and rewiring my Brother’s car hauler – about 2′ long. I wanted to make a 4′ long adapter, but I ended up using what I had available.
Next step was to remove the wire from the pins and solder the new wires to them. I fired up the propane torch and grabbed a pin with a pair of pliers. Hold it over the heat and pull the wire with another pair of pliers – the wire will come out of the pin when it gets hot enough.
I only needed the yellow, green, white and brown wires, so I cut the wires to length and then snipped off the red, blue and black wires. Here is how they pin out:
- White – GND – Pin “D”
- Brown – MRK/Tail – Pin “E”
- Yellow – LT/STP – Pin “B”
- Green – RT/STP – Pin “J”
Now, to solder the pins to these wires is quite simple. Strip about 1/4″ of insulation off each wire and clamp the whole cable in a vise to hold it steady. Fire up your torch, slip a pin over the end of a wire, and apply a little pressure with pliers – start heating the pin about halfway down it. The pins that had wires attached will still have a little bit of solder inside them. When the solder melts, the pin will slide down onto the wire. Then take your solder, reheat the pin and apply a little solder – it will suck up into the wire and pin. Let it cool and pull gently with pliers to make sure it is securely attached. Do the same with the other 3 wires. The white wire in my cable was a bigger wire – maybe 12 gauge. I had to trim off some of the strands to make it small enough to fit in the pin.
The last step is to push the pins back into the grommet – in their correct holes of course. The grommet holes are marked with letters on both sides. Grab a pin at the base and push it into the correct hole (using the pinout above). I put the grommet up against my vise and pushed the pins in.
Next, feed the other end of the cable through the plug housing and press the grommet all the way down, lining up the slot in the grommet with the tab in the housing. Pin J and H should be at 12 o clock. There is a notch that the grommet ring sits in when fully seated (notice the bottom ring in the pic above). I had to use a 1/2″ diameter bolt to help push the grommet down, but that might have been because of the rusty housing.
Last thing to do is secure the rubber plug with a hose clamp. First side is finished!
On the RV receptacle side, it is really non standardized. The markings on the housing tell you one color, but you end up hooking up a different wire. You really have to by the diagram included with the receptacle. It will show you which pin does which function – compare it to the pinout above. Slide your cable grommet up the wire and run your cable through the housing. Strip off about 1/4″ of insulation and hook them up (harder than it sounds – you are dealing with real short wires and small connectors on these),
Lastly, use your multimeter to check continuity on all of the wires and secure the housing and grommet.
I plugged mine up to the Jeep to test the function. Obviously I have something wired wrong because I couldn’t get voltage on either of the turn signals – marker lights worked fine. I’ll save that project for another day!
Since the metal parts on the military plug were too far gone (spring was rusted apart so the cover wouldn’t stay closed and the lock was pretty rusty too), I decided to just cut them off – I didn’t have a need for them to be waterproof anyway, so I would save some bulk and weight. The vehicle receptacle cover has a tab the fits into a notch in the rubber part of the plug to keep it from coming out – not to mention it is a pretty tight fit. I cut the cover arms off with a sawzall and ground them down with a bench grinder and wire wheel. Lastly, I shot a coat of flat black on the metal parts to keep the rust down.
All in all, I think I spent about 1.5hrs on this project and spent a total of $8.82 on the receptacle (since I already had the wire and military plug), for a grand savings of $141.18!
You can see the plug is a little disfigured, but as long as it works I don’t care!
If for some reason I need a longer cable, I should be able to install it in about 1/2 the time now that I know what I’m doing!
After I finished the cable I went ahead and changed the oil and filter on the Jeep. I ordered a couple of filters from a guy on ebay for $12 ea – delivered! Figured I had better buy a couple for that price – the last one I bought about 3 years ago was almost $20! These filters look to be in a military box, but not old – and it is WIX! The oil change went well except that I need to come up with a GOOD way to get the old oil out of the filter housing – I don’t like leaving a quart of old oil in the engine! While I was there I checked the air filter – it was pretty clean, so I didn’t mess with it.
After I changed the oil I let it run up to temperature to check for oil leaks and pressure. Then I adjusted the carb. The old engine is sounding pretty good now.
The next few days are supposed to be cold and rainy, so I will probably get back out there and work on the brakes and maybe the springs – we’ll see!