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Willys M Jeeps Forums :: View topic - The small things matter
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The small things matter

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Joined: Nov 02, 2007
Posts: 436
Location: Seguin, Texas

PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2009 8:32 am    Post subject: The small things matter Reply with quote

One of the issues I had with this m38a-1 that I'm working on was that everything was packed full of sand. I don't know if the jeep spent some time on the beach or just too much time in west Texas but one thing was clear....if I was going to fix her up first I had to clean her up.....and getting rid of the sand was top priority. And of course it wasn't just sand, it was sand embedded in old grease and grime built up over years and years of neglect and no maintenance. If there were two parts that rubbed together there was sand in between....and if there was sand in between there was a lot of abrasion and worn out parts.

One of the places where sand was creating a big problem was in the clutch housing. The previous owner (probably just prior to putting the jeep up for sale) had plugged the drain hole on the bottom of the bell housing in an effort to mask the hugely leaking rear engine seal and front transmission seal. Doing so caused a build up of lubricating fluid in the clutch housing which mixed with the sand and pretty much destroyed the pressure plate, pilot bushing, and throw-out bearing. The sand apparently was entering the housing through the large hole where the clutch control cable enters the housing. The only thing left of the boot which normally seals off this hole was a bit of crumbling rubber on the boot fitting and the small metal clamp dangling loosely on the cable.

Naturally, once I got all the parts disassembled and cleaned up, I wanted to put them back together correctly. This meant I needed to replace the clutch control cable boot and the only place I found that even listed it was Midwest I ordered one. Appearance wise its a good looking part.....and it seems tough enough to hold up for a good in this regard I was satisfied. I had been told that there were no clamps available when I ordered the part....and that probably none were really needed......but I went ahead and made plans to purchase hose clamps once I had the part in-hand.

Turns out the really "difficult" part was getting the boot onto the clutch cable. My cable has the large ball where the cable locks into the release fork on one end and the other end has the adjusting bolt where it screws into the yoke. In the middle of the cable there is a dog bone looking fitting where the narrow end of the boot clamps to the cable. At first I just tried to push the small end of the boot onto the cable over the release fork way. I then tried putting some soap on the ball to slick it up and way.....the ball is way too big and there is really no way to push against the boot without it simply colapsing. Next I tried heating the boot up in hot water.....figured it would soften up some.....but no way. Next I removed the yoke and locking nut from the other end of the cable and tried pulling the boot on from that end. I got to the point where the adjusting bolt was just about flush with the small end of the boot before the rubber of the boot locked onto the threads of the bolt and I could push it/pull it no further. To make a long story short....yeah, finally......after vainly trying the soap and heating tricks on the bolt end of the finally downed on me to use the yoke to push the boot on by screwing it onto the bolt! It worked like a champ. The yoke pushed the boot clean up to the point where the bolt starts to taper. I then removed the yoke and stacked on a pile of washers with holes big enough to fit over the taper and bolt head and reapplied the push with the yoke until the boot cleared the bolt head. Pulling the boot onto the dog bone was a piece of cake after the stretching of the bolt head......and within a few minutes the boot had shrunk back down to a tight fit on the dog bone.

Given the toughness of the boot during installation I have no doubt whatsoever it will last for years and years! The fit is excellent....and appearance on the clutch housing excellent. It may reside out of sight and out of mind.......but it sure makes me feel better knowing its there to keep the sand and dirt out!! Well done Midwest Military! Thanks!

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Joined: Apr 04, 2005
Posts: 15175
Location: Wisconsin

PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2009 10:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for taking the time to not only post a positive report but to take the time to explain the tribulations of the installation.
Wes K
45 MB, 51 M38, 54 M37, 66 M101A1, 60 CJ5, 76 DJ5D, 47Bantam T3-C & 5? M100

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