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1953 M38A1 Pintle Hook Tie Plate installation
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willysmjeeps.com :: View topic - Stuck picking up my kids from school!
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Stuck picking up my kids from school!

 
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Ryan_Miller
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Joined: Apr 03, 2005
Posts: 1515
Location: Kansas

PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2018 6:44 am    Post subject: Stuck picking up my kids from school! Reply with quote

So I actually had the afternoon off yesterday and I got my M38 out - first time in almost a year- and went to pick up the kids from 6th grade. It was running a little funny and started hard. The fuel gauge said empty but sometimes after it sits that long it doesn't work right away (I touch up the neg contacts to make it work). I pick up the kids and as soon as I get to the end of the parking lot it quits and won't start. I figure it must be flooded because it acts like it wants to start.

Then some clouds come up and it sprinkles just a little but it looked like it was going to rain all of a sudden - fortunately it did not as I did not have the top. AND all the parents are having to drive around us.

Long story short I hitch a ride from another parent and get some gas because I am out of other options. I fill it with gas and it runs great again and the fuel gauge says I am at 1/3 tank - about right for 5 gallons.

I could have sworn I filled the tank last year, but at my age I don't remember what I had for breakfast.

How embarrassing! Rolling Eyes
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Ryan Miller
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wesk
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Joined: Apr 04, 2005
Posts: 14503
Location: Wisconsin

PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2018 10:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's even more embarrassing in an airplane. Had a customer call me on a Sat morning about 10. Said he had made a dead stick landing in a bean field 80 miles east of me. I asked if he had any gas in the tanks and he said I am sure I have about 45 minutes left in the tanks.

This is a 1941 Waco biplane with two 25 gallon tanks in the upper wing center section. Only gauges are a float in a clear glass tube. She burns 13 gals per hour so 45 minutes remaining fuel should be about 10 gallons.

I drive over and the first thing I do is open the fuel strainer at the bottom of the firewall. No gas. I pull the hose off the carb/no gas. I open the carb bowl's drain plug no gas. I take a plastic container and remove the drain plugs from both sight gauges and I got the 3 ounces out of each that lays in the gage all the time.

I turn to the owner and I said "I think you are out of gas"!

Fortunately he only tore off one of his main wheel pants, I pulled the other off, threw them in my truck, added 15 gallons a side gas and the farmer chopped down two rows of beans and my customer flew her home.

That Monday I went to my customer's hangar and drained both tanks empty. Then using the metered pump I filled both. Both of these 25 gallon aluminum tanks only held 20 gallons! Apparently over the years they had been reskinned and the repairman failed to keep the size where it was.

Is there a moral to this story. It's a little routine I always did whenever I buy a used car. I put a 5 gal can of gas in the back and drive it till she quits. I take a marker and mark the position of the needle in the gage. I will never run out of gas with this car since I know exactly where the gage reads a true empty. Now I know you are all laughing cause this is an airplane! Well if it had a single tank you should be laughing. But it has two tanks so you run both down to about 1/2 tank based on flying time. Then you run on a single tank til the engine sputters then you switch to the other tank and land. Now determine the remaining fuel level in the tank you had run empty. Drain the remaining gas from that tank in a measured container. This is your trapped or unuseable fuel for that tank. Now fill that tank record how much fuel it actually holds. Record that number and right next to it right the unuseable amount. Now go fly again and do this all over with the other tank.

Long winded I know but it was a lesson learned and appreciated by that customer.

Now back to Ryan. We all know that the most unreliable system on the M38 is it's old electrical gauges. Knowing this the only alternative to insure adequate fuel is to verify fuel level in the tank. Here's where you reach in the glove box and grab that flashlight and that calibrated dipstick! Shocked
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Wes K
45 MB, 51 M38, 54 M37, 66 M101A1, 60 CJ5, 76 DJ5D, 47Bantam T3-C & 5? M100

Mjeeps photo album: http://www.willysmjeeps.com/v2/modules.php?set_albumName=Wes-Knettle&op=modload&name=gallery&file=index&include=view_album.php
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Ryan_Miller
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Location: Kansas

PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2018 10:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think I am going to put a fuel can with a few gallons on the tailgate bracket too!
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Ryan Miller
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wesk
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2018 11:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I never went up into the Black Hills of SD hunting in my M38A1 without two cans! Flashlite, dipstick & tool kit.


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Wes K
45 MB, 51 M38, 54 M37, 66 M101A1, 60 CJ5, 76 DJ5D, 47Bantam T3-C & 5? M100

Mjeeps photo album: http://www.willysmjeeps.com/v2/modules.php?set_albumName=Wes-Knettle&op=modload&name=gallery&file=index&include=view_album.php
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Kendall
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Joined: Feb 25, 2006
Posts: 258
Location: Wichita, KS

PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2018 7:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey Ryan,
Your situation reminded me of an early experience with my M38. One of my first major maiden voyages in my recently restored M38 was to pick up my son from school about 8 miles away. As soon as I arrived some of the students gathered around and one of them said I had a leak. I heard a PSSSSSS noise and all sorts of thoughts entered my mind as what could be the trouble. Turns out it was a tire tube that was leaking (was still running the vintage tires). Fortunately I was at my son's Auto Mechanics class, so we removed the tire from the jeep and the students helped removed the tire from the rim on their tire machine. Went back a few weeks later with a new tube and the teacher allowed me and my son to use their equipment after school.
These events are what build character in our children. Cherish the time!
Kendall
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1952 M38
1952 M38A1
1942 Dodge WC-55
1951 M100 trailer
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Ray101
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Joined: Jun 03, 2015
Posts: 41
Location: Forest Lake, MN

PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2018 10:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Never trust your fuel gauge or memory. I have a '64
Olds Cutlass with an unreliable fuel gauge. i keep a logbook in the glove box with the date, mileage and fuel added or maintenance done (I actually do this for all my cars).
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oilleaker1
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Joined: May 14, 2009
Posts: 965
Location: South Dakota

PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2018 1:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A wooden stick never lies! Laughing

You need to come back to the hills sometime Wes! Wink
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dpcd67
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Joined: Nov 25, 2016
Posts: 138
Location: Iowa

PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2018 5:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

During most of the 70s, in the Army, my daily driver was a 53 F100; gas gauge didn't work. I carried a can in the back and never ran out of gas. Then during most of the 80s, I drove an M38, again, gas gauge didn't work. I carried a gas can and...once on RIA, I ran out of gas right in front of the Confederate Cemetery. And of course, my can was empty. About 2 minutes later, an arsenal policeman pulled up behind me and said, get in, I'll take you to get gas. So off we went, but when he stopped at the post gas station, I (in uniform), said, 'I can't use this gas; this is a POV". He laughed and said, "I'll take you off post anyway", and he did.
Lesson, if your gas gauge does not work, carry some.
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M38 23100 June 51
M38 34523 Sep 51
M606/CJ3B 1964 Kaiser 57348 118458
M37B1 1963
Willys MB 1944
Ford GPW 1942
Dodge WC63 1943
Dodge Power Wagon WM300 1967
Plymouth Barracuda, 1973, 340 4 barrel
All ground up restored by me.
Lots of others.
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dpcd67
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Joined: Nov 25, 2016
Posts: 138
Location: Iowa

PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2018 5:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another running out of gas story; once at Ft Stewart, the Battalion Commander, in the field, said to me; "You son of a $%#$^, you caused my jeep to need a new engine".
The back story was, we were all at a meeting in the field, and his driver had asked my driver for some gas for his jeep. My driver emptied his 5 gallon can into the Battalion Cdr's 151. Turned out, it was 5 gallons of DIESEL fuel.
Yes, my driver was an idiot. I had a few words with the First Sergeant and he got me a new driver. (also a reject). Which is why I often drove the 151 in the field. Which we were not allowed to do.
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M38 23100 June 51
M38 34523 Sep 51
M606/CJ3B 1964 Kaiser 57348 118458
M37B1 1963
Willys MB 1944
Ford GPW 1942
Dodge WC63 1943
Dodge Power Wagon WM300 1967
Plymouth Barracuda, 1973, 340 4 barrel
All ground up restored by me.
Lots of others.
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