60 years old, ( I'm now 74, and
my wife suspects some senility ). I expect some rust, so I can
only imagine what is under those patch panels on the lower
portion of the body.
- roll bar
- front/rear bumper
- 2" trailer hitch
- It's what I want
- It RUNS
- I'm the original 'do-it-yoursselfer'
- and I have all the necessary tools required for a
OK, What the hell, I buy it!
So far, it's costing me:
- $200 for the trip down, including hotel overnight
- $3000 for the jeep
- $395 to have it transported
Now it's in the garage,
and I start some serious investigation - 06/15/2012 !
High-speed grinder / pneumatic chisel / pry bar(s) / drill /
Hammer / cold chisels / etc. / etc.
Approximately 3000 pop-rivets and 10 lbs of bed sealer later:
Next step - separate power plant / body / frame / axles /
sandblast the whole thing
Body/Frame Separated - 06/25/2012
I think it's a 'Goner' !
Frame/Engine look GOOD !
No rust-out, solid metal,
and it runs GOOD !
Next step, Power-wash crap off frame, lots of 'Oil Eater' for
the greasy gunk. Lots of parts available for the Electrolysis
rust removal technique.
Thanks to 'Bretto' of willysmjeeps.com for the data on
the electrolysis method of rust removal.
Definitely visit his 'photobucket' collection of the rebirth
of his M38, this is a THOROUGH individual! http://s1201.photobucket.com/albums/bb356/1brale/M38
Also http://www.rowand.net/shop/Tools/Electrolysis.htm for
SEPARATION - 07/02/2012
WAIT -WAIT - WHERE IS THE MANIFOLD ?? What else is new,
the damned stud broke off in the casting. Still working on it.
I REALLY didn't want to remove those parts!
Notice the most indispensable tool of all - a can of PB
Tomorrow I start disassembling the frame, preparing for a
combination of sand blasting and electrolysis. Should be
Final Body Clearance
Air tools are handy
Well, it USED to run !
Off we go to the "Sand Blaster Master"
Spring time in
Connecticut - 07/17/2012
My very 1st 'Bubba Mod',
"Duh, cain't find du bolt, duh, just hammer it like all du
AND, I get the frame/axles back today as well!
"Look, Ma, No Rust"
Problem now is:
WHERE AM I GONNA PUT IT ALL ????
SPRINGTIME in CONNECTICUT - 07/23/2102
These things are a PAIN in the @#$%^&*(
Bathing - This works GREAT!
Ready for Painting/Assembly
ACTUAL PROGESS - AT LAST !! - 07/25/2012
Finally - actually painted the front springs. After advice
from many people (all appreciated), I decided to go with the
'Frugal' approach that, coincidentally, makes a lot of sense
Although the main 'meat' of the springs was sound, the tapered
edges were deeply pitted, which would have lead to some future
severe rusting. I'd had experience with a product called
'Rustoleum Rusty Metal Primer' previously, and was impressed
with the results. Accordingly, That's what will be used
henceforth and forevermore on all parts.
at Home Depot & Lowes, spray or brush
Some info on my rework of the springs!
I was inspired to add all this extra work by the
terrible condition of the springs and associated rubber
and having read the excellent article, 'Leaf Spring
clean up and reassemble' by David Field,
available in the
'downloads' section on willysmjeeps.com. However, the idea
of using grease between the leaves didn't appeal
to me, I felt it would be a 'dirt magnet'. Instead, I chose
a product available from industrial suppliers, a dry
spray Molybdenum compound, which is an excellent lubricant
with no 'sticky' properties. Graphite could
also have been used.
Should any reader of this be tempted to clean/rework his
springs, the only real problem I had was, after removal
of the spring 'eye' center tube & rubber surround, the
remaining outer steel tube was a @#$%^& to remove. In
the case of the rear springs, I had to torch them before I
could finally get them out. Additionally, the metal inserts
that served to hold the rebound clips were totally gone, so
I replaced them with some steel tube (Home Depot) that
I machined to the appropriate length. The round head 'center
bolts' I got from Pete Debella, as well as the new spring
Here are the appropriate pix:
The 'molly' sprayed on each spring (one side
and the finished product, ready for OD, and another 60 years
Also thought you all
might be interested in another 'local manufacture' tool in my
repertoire - One chest freezer cabinet from the
local dump, with about $30 worth of parts added (+ about 10
hours labor). I already had the siphon blaster gun from Sears.
So far, a
crushed glass media seems to work the best. The Honda Gold
Wing in the back was my last project! Maybe someday I'l clean
rust on the cabinet, at least before I sell it on Craigslist
(hardy har har).
I've been FRAMED !!
2 days removing all that old GREASE!
Now WHERE do all these parts
Oh well! At least THESE are OK (Rear axle/brakes)
Look. Ma! No more GREASE !!!
Now to put it all back together with all those nice new seals,
then assemble & prime the whole mess.
Darn, ANOTHER problem!
This USED to be a steering assembly, apparently water
cupped in the (no horn button assembly) steering wheel, and
into the box. All bearing surfaces corroded, possibly beyond
redemption. Lets see what I can do with my mini machine
As I say, 'Frugality' !!!
I tried 1-1/2" EMT, walls were too thick!
Then tried exhaust tubing, diameter too small!
OK, I'll spring for the some aircraft grade tubing, .035"
wall! Found it online, but 6' length was the shortest I could
buy. Fine, I'll get it and save the spare length for someone
While I'm at it, I'll add a 'local fabrication' horn
switch mechanism. When you first disassemble this thing, it is
EXTREMELY confusing, especially when none of the bearings are
where they belong, AND it seems to be a hodgepodge of various
models, AND everything is floating around in a horrible
mixture of oil/grease/water.
ON THE POSITIVE SIDE - I actually painted the springs/ frame.
and rims OD, and am almost finished putting a 'rolling frame'
back together. Pictures in a day or so!
LOOK WHAT JUST ROLLED
OUT OF THE GARAGE!! 9/10/12
Finally! I was
beginning to think that I would never get it back
Now the problem is - I'm
running out of my 'Stash-of-Cash' !
I may have to go back to
WORK for a while (That really BLOWS)
I'll spend the next week or so fabricating some parts that
are defective, put the 'lower half' all together again,
then I can FINALLY work on the body. THAT should keep me
busy for the winter.
FINALLY -some more
I worked enough to
afford to finish the lower half, and add a few
modifications. At this point in time, since the system had
been converted (sloppily) to 12V, I decided that if I
couldn't do a full restore, I could at least make it LOOK
Here are the results -
Additionally, here is the completed lower half
Salvageable w/ new hat channels (local fab) ??????
Oh, My! That's a BIG hole!!
LOOK - NO MORE BIG HOLE -
I've never done body work before, so I surprised myself!
Patched, then sand-blasted (actually, the whole body,
dark area is semi-smoothed where some paint remained).
Can I keep up the good work?
Let's try the front now -
Jan 28, 2013! A New Year.....
Finally the holidays are over, and I can get back to
work. All the rusty stuff is gone/replaced, and I'm
working on the front floor replacement -
IN PLACE - 50% welded-in.
Grinding away the extra weld material
Holding off for the moment on welding the rear of the
floor, as I'm waiting on a new rear floor, and it MAY
have a new riser!
It's amazing how much ground up welding wire ends up on
the floor! It should be noted here that there is a
TREMENDOUS difference between MIG welding with gas, as
opposed to flux-core. Gas is FAR FAR better! Smoother
welds, far less splatter, better arc.
Probably getting the new rear floor in 1-2 weeks, so
I'll be off for a few days!
(Let's Go Out to The Lobby -
Let's Go Out to The Lobby --------)
April 22, 2013
LOOOONG delay - Had to wait till the snow disappeared
before I could dig the potential new rear floors out!
BUT, they were BOTH in worse shape than what I had
removed (see below)
Too much rusted out in too many places!
SOOOO, I sez to meself, "Self, there has GOT to be a
cheaper way than $300+!
SO, I visit my Buddy Jim (local sheet metal fab house)
and have THIS made ($75)
as well as THESE -
Which eventually results in THIS -
FRUGALITY KEEPS ME IN THE GAME - so I don't show up for
the judging, but I can still have FUN!!!!
This was the OTHER headache -
After MUCH cut & paste -
AND FINALLY - THE FINISHING
TOUCHES ON ALL THAT EXCELLENT WELDING -
BONDO - the HACKERS BEST FRIEND !
Credit where credit is due! I DID NOT do the Bondo work!
My son, an EXCELLENT body man did it all for me.
By the way - I DID trial fit the body before starting
the finishing touches, and it was a PERFECT match
(ouch, sore arm from patting
myself on the back)
OK, minor status change - still waiting for my Son
(The Body Man) to finish the main body, one day to go!
BUT, while I'm waiting -
SOOOOO much still to do - It may be done ONE of these
p.s. No, I don't have cats, I'm a Dog person (Golden
Retriever), but these are very handy containers to have
Bondo finished, waiting for guaranteed nice weather to
BUT, rather than wait, I've been fabricating a BUNCH of
#1 - Convert CJ tailgate to M38:
of how to make a TIGHT bend in 3/4"
Not a perfect replica, but I'm happy with it.
If I bend some sheet metal and weld it over the horizontal
bar in the back, should be indiscernible
FINALLY got the paint, now it's time to put it (Humpty
Dumpty) back together again! Just me, however, no
Kings Men or Horses.
Wish me luck, there are a LOT of parts still to go!
WOW - WOW - WOW !!!!!!
iT'S rEALLY done !!
'Purists' will not be happy with the motor
compartment (or possibly some other point) but I did
it for FUN!
Besides, it was ALREADY converted to 12V, I worked
with what I had (or could afford).
Still some little things to take care of, but it's
gonna be a LONG winter ahead...........
The 'TO BE CONTINUED' ending will no longer be seen,
at least on THIS project. I don't know WHAT I'm gonna
do next ......... See you on http://www.willysmjeeps.com
OK, some follow up information!
Attended two car shows, won a 'Peoples Choice' trophy
(left) at the first one (10/12), and 'Runner-up' the
Sorta make me feel all that work was definitely
OK, had so much fun last year, now I want to
TRAVEL a bit farther, but NOT at 45 MPH !!!!
SO, here is how I spent some of the LONG winter
Your basic used boat trailer with cross-members added
Add a few goodies (AFTER a lot of CAREFUL
Paint it up PRETTY .....
AND you end up WITH .....
More views ......
It tows GREAT, no problems at ALL (To be honest, I'm
surprised as Hell, but VERY satisfied!
Those are the loading ramps on the front floor of the
NOW to win some MORE TROPHIES !!!!!!
OK, Bored again!
What ELSE can I afford that's of Historical Military Vehicle
HEY - a TRAILER would look good in back of my M-38 - - - - -
- - - -
OOOHHHHHH !! Needs a little CLEAN-UP.
Off to the monument company for
for the next
You all know that I'm quite frugal, so I'll
confess that the canvas top
is made from a pair of shelter halves ($10 for both) !!!!!
BUT - After it was done,
I had to spend $25 to waterproof it (Damn)