Attended a car show today (August 16th) held to benefit the Fisher House Project at the New Haven VA facility. Seems like a great idea, so check out:

for additional info
Also, I was handed this poem that I felt like sharing:



You are about to become visitor # 

I had a 'comments' section, but there were TOO many 'Spammers' around!

Type the email address (illustrated) below to contact me or simply comment:

That Jeep took me all over Europe, including:
  • Skiing in Garmish, Germany (Hitlers 'Eagles Lair) for 2 weeks
  • St. Tropez, France (30 days on the Riviera)
  • Monaco
  • Switzerland
  • Italy
  • and Paris (every other weekend)

I even paid to have it returned to the US. THEN I made a BIG mistake, and SOLD it!!

Fresh from the salvage yard


OK, time for some fancy painting (spray cans, 7 of them / Beer, 5 of them)

Swiss Alps


 THE END ???

 HELL, NO !      

It's now 52 years later

Fast forward to 2012, I've been looking for another jeep of the same type/vintage for 4 years, and I finally find this one in Baltimore, MD (I live in Connecticut)


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.

Obvious errors:
  • hood
  • shackles
  • roll bar
  • front/rear bumper
  • 2" trailer hitch
Good points:
  • It's what I want
  • It RUNS
  • I'm the original 'do-it-yoursselfer'
  • and I have all the necessary tools required for a retrofit
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:



but DEFINITELY in need of a replacement


new choke & throttle cables already purchased on ebay,
and that original light switch WILL be used!
Remember those patches on the bottom of the sides ??

Here are some assorted pix of the project to date - 06/20/2012:

storage                                                                      inside                                                                       looks nice!

MIG welders are GREAT                                        now to build an adapter for both types of hitch      spare parts, FREE !

Nice shackles (Bye-Bye)                                         Oh, Yeah! Remember to fix steering box                 Better, but EXPENSIVE

NICE steering wheel (NOS ??)                               WTF                                                                         I'm getting a sick feeling


Bottom line - Level of Satisfaction -

Less than I HOPED for, but MORE than I expected !

Now to get enough money for the new parts

it shall be referred to as:


(returned from the dead)

Next step - separate power plant / body / frame / axles / springs

sandblast the whole thing

Body/Frame Separated - 06/25/2012

OK, Maybe!                                                                                                                                               OH-OH !!!


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 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! restore

Also for further details.

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 Blaster stuff.


Tomorrow I start disassembling the frame, preparing for a combination of sand blasting and electrolysis. Should be interesting!

Final Body Clearance                                                                                                                             Air tools are handy 


Final Cut
                                                                                                        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 udders!"


AND, I get the frame/axles back today as well!
"Look, Ma, No Rust"


Problem now is:



These things are a PAIN in the  @#$%^&*(

B4                                                                                                                                                                         Work Area           


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 to me.
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.

     $30 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 inserts,
and having read the excellent article,  'Leaf Spring clean up and reassemble' by David Field
, available in the
'downloads' section on 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 eyes.

Here are the appropriate pix:


The 'molly' sprayed on each spring (one side only)                                                                              and the finished product, ready for OD, and another 60 years of service!


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 up the
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 GO?                                                                                                     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 ran down
into the box. All bearing surfaces corroded, possibly beyond redemption. Lets see what I can do with my mini machine shop!



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 else.

 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!


Finally! I was beginning to think that I would never get it back together.

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 progress!

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 somewhat military.

Here are the results -

Additionally, here is the completed lower half

Since the original crossover tube didn't align properly with the WO carburetor, guess what I'm going to do with THIS -

FINALLY - the frame can be moved into the storage tent for the winter, and the body can enter the garage (heated, of course). That is going to be a LOT of work!

This is gonna take a while, so I'll certainly keep busy this winter! However, I'm still convinced I'll actually have a finished project one of these days.....

Be patient, viewers -------

Two weeks later - 12/20/2012

Spare parts for sale - CHEAP!                                                                                                                               Sure glad I bought a complete floor!

Salvageable w/ new hat channels (local fab) ??????                                                                                                                  Oh, My! That's a BIG hole!!

LOOK - NO MORE BIG HOLE - 12/28/12

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 -





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 days !

p.s. No, I don't have cats, I'm a Dog person (Golden Retriever), but these are very handy containers to have around.


Bondo finished, waiting for guaranteed nice weather to start painting!

BUT, rather than wait, I've been fabricating a BUNCH of components:

#1 - Convert CJ tailgate to M38:


It used to say 'Willys'.                                                                                                                                                  MANY thanks to Wes Knettle for the dimensions he has in his gallery


The ONLY original part in this assembly (Actually, I DID buy the Jerry can holder, that was TOO much to fabricate)

#2 - Make a Blackout Lamp

Fabricated hoop & base - lamp is junk yard special from a dead jeep rock climber, some sheet metal magic, and the bottom of a 10 lb. propane bottle!
I still have to cut the 'notches' for the light to get out, and make the flat bar to mount the light to the base (tomorrow night)

Regarding the rear floor, just DON'T look underneath!

Someday I MIGHT buy real ones, who knows!


How 'bout that!


    more welding
    more grinding
    more priming

Time for the real thing.

Remember this picture (shudder - shudder)

I think it looks a LOT better now!


07/15/2013 RAN OUT OF PAINT! So while I'm waiting:                                                                                                         
Close-up of how to make a TIGHT bend in 3/4" EMT!    


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


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 next day!
Sorta make me feel all that work was definitely worthwhile.


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 months.........

Your basic used boat trailer with cross-members added -

Add a few goodies (AFTER a lot of CAREFUL measuring...

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 trailer.

NOW to win some MORE TROPHIES !!!!!!

OK, Bored again! What ELSE can I afford that's of Historical Military Vehicle value!

HEY - a TRAILER would look good in back of my M-38 - - - - - - - - -


OOOHHHHHH !! Needs a little CLEAN-UP.

Off to the monument company for sandblasting!

AND (TAAA-DAAA) - The finished version -  ready for the next show!

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)