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52 M38, Farm find in NC
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Mjp83
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Joined: Jun 27, 2021
Posts: 49
Location: Carthage, North Carolina

PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2023 9:24 pm    Post subject: 52 M38, Farm find in NC Reply with quote

Cars to some, are modes of transportation. To others valuable status symbols. However, to most of us here, Jeeps are more, they are part of the family.
My story began with my mom driving a Willys MB the day before I was born. This very Jeep would bounce me to sleep as my parents traveled along a snowy road to our cabin in the mountains of Austria. The MB was traded on a '76 CJ-7 as it was much larger and even had a fiberglass hard top.
Fast forward many years, an immigration to the very land that built these machines, and several jeeps of my own, but never a "flatty".
Well, my dad passed, and I had found another CJ-7 to restore in his remembrance. I was looking for a flywheel and was told a local farmer would have one, as he had several jeeps. As we were indeed negotiating the price of said flywheel, my son got my attention as had seen something down in the clearing of the field. The old farmer suddenly perked up, rushed down the clearing and joyfully pulled the weeds and bushes off this jeep as he acclaimed it was his Army Jeep.
A quick look and I could tell this was a flatfender, it had tool indents like our old jeep did, but on the wrong side of the tub! No matter, we agreed on a price, an hour later the Jeep was loaded and we exchanged money for title. I could not believe it, he actually had the title from 1972, the day he bought it from the army!



NOTE: Please do yourself a favor, download the correct manuals from this forum (look up Wes K's downloads and also his photo album, and buy Ryan Millers Reference Guide, they are an absolute must to begin this journey and finish successfully!


Last edited by Mjp83 on Sat Feb 04, 2023 6:32 am; edited 8 times in total
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Mjp83
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Joined: Jun 27, 2021
Posts: 49
Location: Carthage, North Carolina

PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2023 9:48 pm    Post subject: What it really was Reply with quote

With the help of Wes K, and this forum, I realized this was a M38. Looking at the data plates, the engine serial number and the hood numbers, I was able to deduct this was a numbers matching 1952 M38, just as the title said.
The serial number placed the Jeep within 200 digits of two other documented May 52 builds on this site.
After pressure washing years of mud, moss and rust off, I realized how complete this vehicle was.


Last edited by Mjp83 on Sat Feb 04, 2023 6:34 am; edited 2 times in total
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Mjp83
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Joined: Jun 27, 2021
Posts: 49
Location: Carthage, North Carolina

PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2023 9:52 pm    Post subject: So it begins Reply with quote

Out came the zip lock bags and markers, to bag and tag whatever bolds and hardware would actually come off the Jeep. My little tractor has been a major help so far!



Last edited by Mjp83 on Sat Feb 04, 2023 6:35 am; edited 1 time in total
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Mjp83
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Joined: Jun 27, 2021
Posts: 49
Location: Carthage, North Carolina

PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2023 9:57 pm    Post subject: Body inspection Reply with quote

My Tub is a lost cause, and it would have been cheaper and saved on time to just buy a replacement tub. But, I want to know that I am sitting in the Jeep which some Willys employee built 70 years ago. So, out came the measure tape, notebook, drill and cut off wheel!


My son and I removed the floor, and I was hoping that would be it. Unfortunately, that was not the case.....


Last edited by Mjp83 on Sat Feb 04, 2023 6:36 am; edited 1 time in total
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Mjp83
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Joined: Jun 27, 2021
Posts: 49
Location: Carthage, North Carolina

PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2023 10:00 pm    Post subject: Rust, that's what I found Reply with quote

I kept cutting and removing spot welds, exposing more and more rot.


This was a good thing, actually, as pulling the side panels will allow the sand blaster to get into all the nooks of the tub.
By the time I was ready to carry the tub to the metal prep shop, not much was left!!


Last edited by Mjp83 on Sat Feb 04, 2023 6:39 am; edited 1 time in total
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Mjp83
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Joined: Jun 27, 2021
Posts: 49
Location: Carthage, North Carolina

PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2023 10:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The body was sand blasted by a local metal shop and I sprayed it with black epoxy primer to seal it. This would preserve the metal until I was ready to rebuild the tub. I placed an order with a large online retailer for the full main floor section, and it was on backorder......it arrived 7 months later. So I began working on the frame....


The little tractor again came in handy, and we carried off the engine to my local rebuilder. A month later, and a whopping $2,600 later, I had a shiny new L-134!!


Last edited by Mjp83 on Sat Feb 04, 2023 6:40 am; edited 1 time in total
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Mjp83
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Joined: Jun 27, 2021
Posts: 49
Location: Carthage, North Carolina

PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2023 10:17 pm    Post subject: Frame, springs and Spring eye bolts Reply with quote

The frame was in excellent shape. I happened to score a CJ2a rolling chassis, and cut some of the rear frame braces and welded them into the non boxed rear section of the M38 frame. I definitely feel better about where the rear spring hangers attach to the C channel frame now. I also replaced the odd shackle mounts, having to cut the tubes from the frame mounts. I also learned about right and left handed thread shackle bolts. So, the driver side of the jeep has LEFT hand thread WHEEL lug nuts, but....

The driver front lower spring eye bolt is LEFT hand thread.
The passenger rear lower spring eye bolt is LEFT hand thread.
That I found to be interesting......

I removed all the hardware down to the frame rails and carried it to the sand blast shop. $125 later, and I sprayed it with black epoxy primer, followed by two coats of OD green.


[/b]
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Mjp83
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Joined: Jun 27, 2021
Posts: 49
Location: Carthage, North Carolina

PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2023 10:40 pm    Post subject: Speaking of OD green Reply with quote

I had lots of questions about paint color. I have taken a paint class at my local college where I also teach. I painted my wife's 1973 Beetle there, and also my 1980 CJ-7 Laredo.
As I was researching paint, I looked at some intact samples on my tub. Several forum members were kind enough to share their paint codes with pictures of their Jeeps taken in various lighting conditions. I quickly realized, unlike civilian vehicles, the army was very limited on paint choices, and the M38 came in one paint code from the factory, 2430. Most M38 were later resprayed with 24087, which also was found on the round fender M38A1, the Korean war Jeep.
Two things I was able to confirm:
1. My Jeep indeed did leave the factory in OD WW2 Green, current Gillespie code 23070 (originally 2430), with a more "yellow or lighter coat" of the same green below it (primer coat on some panels), and
2. Some parts of the Jeep also showed the later respray of OD 24087, the much more brown OD green. This was done with the jeep intact, not much was taken off.

HOWEVER, today's 23070 just did not seem right to me, and the Korean era 24087 was just too brown.
I ordered a color sample packet from a paint supplier, along with several of their can spray paint.
I ended up mixing a one to one ratio of Gillespie 23070 and Gillespie 24052.
This darkened the WW2 color and removed the "yellow" hue. Coincidentally, I removed the rear shackle tie down mount behind the bumperette from the old rear cross member after I painted the frame, and it was a very very close match!! Much closer than the samples I had sprayed earlier of the 23070 (too light), 24087 (too brown), and 24052 (too green).
I had hoped my Jeep was a USMC Forrest Green special vehicle, but Wes confirmed with the data plate that it was not.

I am very happy with the slightly darker shade.

Note the shackle mount with the blue paint is the original, versus the newly painted frame.

Here it is against the engine, note the piece with the blue paint is original.


Here is a friends Frame, with the KW version of the 2430. I am just not sure as this DID NOT match my original paint at all. It was way too light.



Last edited by Mjp83 on Wed Jan 18, 2023 11:32 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Mjp83
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Location: Carthage, North Carolina

PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2023 10:58 pm    Post subject: Engine, trans and Tcase Reply with quote

Well, I had plenty of time to wait on body parts, so I went ahead and rebuilt springs leaf by leaf, (the farmer had cut 4 springs off each pack to make the ride softer!), cleaned and re-sealed the axles, and also rebuilt the steering knuckles. Those I filled with John Deere Corn grease, after replacing both axle shafts with the later Spicer type joints (I had Bendix style, and was actually missing the passenger side shaft). After watching "Metalshaper" on youtube, I made sure to REMOVE the rubber dust seals on the spicer universal joints of the front axle shafts before inserting them back into the housing. With the rubber dust seals removed from the bearing caps, the corn grease has a better chance to lubricate the roller bearings.
The T90 trans and D 18 Tcase were next. Plenty of good videos out there, and I am very thankful to Novak Enterprises for their excellent parts and great printable instructions. I did use the metal tube trick to re-assemble the Transmission, which I had the pleasure of doing 3 times. Yes, three times. Don't ask. Just count your roller bearings carefully so you do not second guess yourself and "to be safe" remove the center shaft to count them once again!
Then, I was cleaning my bench, and found this one really big flat shiny washer. Well, it was the oil splash guard or something, and it needed to go right against the main bearing inside the front side of the case!
The T case went much smoother. Although at first I thought I could just clean it, and re-assemble it, upon removing its center gear, I realized that the roller bearings and shaft were toast. (but it sounded really good and rolled very smoothly!).
The transmission slid right into the new clutch assembly and the oiled pilot bushing in the flywheel. I did order a new clutch fork along with the throw out bearing, but it just did not fit right. The new fork was golden in color, and a VERY POOR reproduction. Luckily a friend of mine had a stock fork in a pile of parts!!
The T case was easy to bolt up once I installed the drive gear. NOTE: I used GL1 90 weight gear oil from NAPA for both.

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RonD2
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Joined: Oct 02, 2014
Posts: 1872
Location: South Carolina, Dorchester County

PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2023 2:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Martin,
I'm following your thread with interest, but the tiny photos are hard to see any detail.
If you click on the photo in your album it will enlarge ("resized") and if you post it using that URL the photo will be much easier to see.

Just a suggestion.
Keep up the good work!

Good luck!
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Ron D.
1951 M38 Unknown Serial Number
1951 M100 Dunbar Kapple 01169903 dod 5-51

“The only good sports car that America ever made was the Jeep."
--- Enzo Ferrari

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wesk
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Joined: Apr 04, 2005
Posts: 16202
Location: Wisconsin

PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2023 3:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mjp83,

I took the liberty and loaded the mid size version of your photos to replace the thumbnail size you were using.

When you open your photo album the first page that appears will show small thumbnail copies of your original photo. If you click on the thumbnail itself the middle size will pop up. This middle size photo is the one we prefer you use in your postings. The large size normally makes your post take up to much web space. If you wish to offer folks the large size so it can show more detail then just click on your photo album and click on the thumbnail, then click directly on the mid size photo and the large one will appear. Now right click on that large size photo and a drop down list will appear. From that list select by left clicking on it the selection labeled: "COPY IMAGE ADDRESS" now go back to your post and make a Note "For more detail see large file size photo at: you then PASTE THE LINK HERE.
http://willysmjeeps.com/v2/modules/gallery/albums/album805/Frame_done_drive_train_re_assembled.jpg
_________________
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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Mjp83
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Joined: Jun 27, 2021
Posts: 49
Location: Carthage, North Carolina

PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2023 6:41 am    Post subject: Thank you Reply with quote

Wes and Ron, thank you I figured something was not right. Wes, I figured it out and fixed the rest of the pics.
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Mjp83
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Posts: 49
Location: Carthage, North Carolina

PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2023 7:57 am    Post subject: Body Work Reply with quote

Ordered a new rear floor riser and driver side taillight panel with the trailer plug provision. It fit like a glove after some minor trimming and once primed with 3M weld through primer on the attaching sides I zapped it in.
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Mjp83
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Joined: Jun 27, 2021
Posts: 49
Location: Carthage, North Carolina

PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2023 8:02 am    Post subject: Floor Section Reply with quote

I also ordered a full front floor section from KW and it finally appeared 6 months later. I had high hopes that this would be the center piece on which I could rebuild my tub. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Not only are there ZERO body mount holes to locate the floor on the frame, there are also several important brackets missing, such as the parking brake return spring, seat mount reinforcement plates and also the vertical brace brackets which align the fire wall braces to the frame (this may be a M38 specific thing, have not seen these tabs on other tubs??) In order to locate this tab on the brace I was able to trace the old existing brace and copy it on a piece of notebook paper, and then transfer its location on the new fire wall brace. Not going to weld anything here, as I have changed my plan, and I will locate the rear of the tub on the frame first, as it has factory mounts in place, and then I will work my way forward. I also plan on re-installing the fenders and grill, mount the remaining cowl to the fenders and then try to align everything to the floor before welding anything together. I may even use sheet metal screws to attach the side body skins to make sure it aligns.


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Mjp83
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Joined: Jun 27, 2021
Posts: 49
Location: Carthage, North Carolina

PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2023 8:12 am    Post subject: Rear of tub Reply with quote

Wow, the sandblaster really did a number on the rear floor. Thinking it was fairly solid, it was yet another factor in trying to save this tub. Unfortunately this was not the case, and more work had to be done! The rear floor riser was rusted in too many spots to save, so I replaced it with a new pop out from Classic. Then I purchased some 18GA steel sheets from a local grill manufacturer (who knew!? the local metal shop was not able to get 18GA material), and proceeded to cut some patch panels. I watched several videos, and found cutting a larger panel, and welding in one straight side first, then cutting with a cut of wheel at an angle one straight run at a time would create a nice tight seam. I then tacked a few welds in and proceeded to cut more of the new and old panel simultaneously. I did have to change to 25GA wire on my welder and play with the settings as it was creating thick spot welds.
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