Wednesday, August 29, 2007

SOLD and now in Nevada

The Jeep has been sold. The new owner came with a trailer and hauled it home to Nevada. On the way, they stopped at the Grand Canyon. Here is a photo of the Jeep at the Grand Canyon on the way to its new home.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Finished and FOR SALE .

The project is complete. Now for sale with many spare parts and extra new items that I accquired during the project. I have receipts for more than $19,000 in parts and outside labor. I also put in two years of my time in the garage to do this frame off restoration. When it is sold, I will remove this blog. You can email me at if you are interested or need more details. I am also interested a possible trade for a Corvette or Airplane or what have you?

Sunday, June 10, 2007

First Car Show

Here is a photo of the Jeep in the first car show, "Still Cruizin - Show Low Days". All classic cars and hot rods. This was the only Jeep and the only military vehicle entered. So it did not win any trophy.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

The top is on. PROJECT FINISHED !

The canvas top has been installed. It needs to stretch and get the right overall tension, but it looks good. Smells like Army canvas too. This is the last item on the list of things to install. So this project is completed.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Road Testing, First Trip

First road trip to the gas station, about three miles from home. Drives and handles like an old Army Jeep. Engine is now running good after fixing a bad wire inside the distributor.

There is also a video of the first drive around the neighborhood. Click the link on the right side of this page.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Larry behind the wheel

Out of the garage again. Engine is running rough. Might be the gas or the high altitude. Rear seat is now installed and everything is hooked up and working. Waiting on the canvas top to arrive in a few weeks.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Almost done....never!

Got the Jeep out of the garage and drove around the block. Found a few leaks that need to be fixed in the brake system, but overall, things are working well. The generator is still a problem. A new voltage regulator is on the way and that should get the electrons flowing to charge the batteries.

Remaining major items, in addition to the generator, are mount the rear seat, add the canvas top when it arrives next month, and touch up the paint, bolt heads, scratches, etc.

After rebuilding and/or restoring several airplanes, I know that this Jeep project, like the airplanes, will never be 100%. There will always be a list of little things that need to be improved upon, or touched up just a bit. As we start to drive it around town, and to some of the local events, we will find things that we want to improve, or make better.

We hope to drive the Jeep some before we park it for the winter and head back to our sailboat. Next month is the Taylor Corn Festival, which has classic cars on display. Last year we saw a military Jeep there, so we hope to drive up to Taylor and put this one on display.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

It moves under its own power.

If you compare this photo with others taken from this angle, you will notice that something is missing. The Jeep was moved outside, under power, with brakes working too! WOW.

This allowed me to sweep the floor and clean up where the Jeep had been sitting for most of the past two years.

Still having problems with the generator / regulator which prevents me from putting on the right front fender and the hood.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Front Seats are installed

The front seats are now installed with the new canvas seat cushions. Also the new steering wheel is now on. Running the engine today, put it in gear and actually moved it a few feet forward and back.

Major things still to do; Install the left headlight, get the generator working, adjust the brakes, install the right fender and hood.

The end is in sight! I have very few parts left to install. I am running out of bolts and holes to put them in, so it must be almost back together again.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Seats and Military Markings

This past week was spent on striping, cleaning, sanding and painting the front seat frames plus the gas can. The seat cushions and canvas covers are ready to install on the seat frames as soon as the paint has dried. Also the military markings arrived and most of them were applied to the Jeep.


The bumper unit markings are for the 12 Group, 11 Batallion, 128 Aviation, vehicle # 6. The 128 Aviation Company was my unit in Vietnam 1965 - 1966. In the early years of the Vietnam war, Jeeps like this one were in use. White markings were seen on vehicles and aircraft until 1967 when the Army switched to black markings. The uniform patches also changed to "subdued" black on green.

Monday, July 31, 2006

First Start Viedo with sound

Click on the "First Start Video" link on the right side of this page to see and hear the first crank up.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

The engine has been started up.

This week the engine was stated up for the first time! It put out some smoke, and the new paint on some parts burned off, but it ran great. After 15 minutes of running, I shut it down to re-torque bolts, check valve clearances, timing, etc.

I had one problem with the oil pressure gauge. So I installed an old direct gague that I had in the garage to confirm that I really did have oil pressure. I figured out that the problem was the sending unit on the engine was bad. Not sending the right signal to the gauge on the dash. A new part is on the way from NY.

The rear seat frame arrived and has been painted. It is ready for the new seat cushions when they arrive. I have stated to install the front fenders (see photo) and horn, lights, etc. Not many loose parts lying around the garage left to put on the Jeep. The hood will be the last item after it gets painted with the big white Army star.

I have located some other old military items, such as ammo cans, that will be put in the Jeep for display. I will even have a Vietnam era flight suit with unit patches to wear when I drive the Jeep. Gotta look the part too!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Before and After example

Here is one example of what it looked like before, and now today.

Engine compartment

It is now July 2006 and I am working on the Jeep almost every day. The radiator and grill are on and things are being connected to the engine, the gauges on the dash, and to the brake and clutch pedals. The Jeep has been converted back to the original 24 volt electrical system, which has a Generator.

The body goes back on.

The body, fenders and all small parts have been sandblasted, primed and painted. Now it is time to put the body, or "tub" back on the frame. Before the tub was put on, the new electrical harness, fuel and brake lines and other things that go "under the floor" were installed.

The drive shafts got new U joints. One was bent and required a new end be welded on by a local drive line shop that could do the proper alignment.

Even though it is starting to look like a Jeep again, there are hundreds of things still to do. Almost daily trips to Ace Hardware looking for bolts, nuts and screws. Many of the old bolts were too rusty to clean up and use.

Notice that some parts are a different OD green. As I buy parts, some come with the old World War II color, some come with the Korea War color. Those that don't match, are cleaned up, sanded and repainted with the correct Army OD color. Right down to each nut, bolt and screw.

Wheels and engine

A big step was getting the new tires and tubes installed so that I now had a "rolling chassis". Next, the overhauled engine/transmission package is put back into the frame.

The date is now June of 2006. Of course we were on the sailboat for 9 months, so not much happened with the project as it sat in the garage collecting dust until this spring.

Starting to put it back together.

Here is the overhauled, with new parts and new paint, axels and frame. Starting from the bottom up. This is what they call a "frame off" restoration. This is the correct color of Army Olive Drab, or OD paint that this Jeep would have had when it left the factory in Toledo, Ohio in December of 1953.

As it comes apart.

Here are a few more photos of the Jeep as it came apart.

Now time to start overhauling things and getting it back together! The UPS and FedEx trucks pull up to the house almost daily. The drivers are starting to ask, "how is the Jeep going?"

More disassembly and getting a list together of parts that will be needed later. At this point, I had purchased several military Technical Manuals and Parts Manuals to help with the project. The military is great at creating detailed manuals with plenty of pictures and drawings. You just need to learn to read the "military way".

For example, in one of the manuals you want to look up the part number for the bracket that supports the generator. You go to the index and look for; Brackets, End, generator in section 0601.1 where you will find the original Willys-Overland part number, WO-118835. Confusing at first, but once you fumble around the books, it starts to make sense.

Here are some more photos of the Jeep as it came apart. Oh, the yellow paint came from Mr. Favro, the former owner, who worked for Catipillar in Phoenix, so he used the same yellow paint you might see on a bulldozer.

Cleaning and Removing Parts

After getting the Jeep home, I started cleaning, then taking it apart. But first, I took many photos that would help later in putting it back together. I also used "zip lock" bags to put bolts, nuts and small parts in, and labeled the bags. Here are some photos as the Jeep was disassembled.

My M38A1 Jeep Rebuild Project

Here is a photo of the Jeep as it looked when I found it sitting under a tree. It was just down the street from our house in Show Low. I had driven by and looked at it for many months. Then one day I stopped and asked the lady that answered the door if the Jeep was for sale. She said her husband should sell it, as it did not run and he had no need for it now.

I came back a few days later and talked to Mr. Favro and he agreed to sell it to me. I first wanted to have a friend, who knows Jeeps, look it over and tell me what it was worth. That is when I figurd out that it was really an ex-military Jeep, built in 1953. I had thought it would be fun to have a Jeep, something to fix up and drive. Now, it became a military restoration project!

We agreed on a price of $1700, and I towed it home December 20, 2004.