Working on the MD Juan M100 again

Today I got the lower fender mounting tabs welded on. The tabs on the tub weren’t quite long enough, so the 5/16″ bolts wouldn’t fit through the fender and tabs. I had to use my die grinder to make the holes in the tabs a little bigger for them to fit. Once that was done, I installed a couple of bolts in the fender to hold it tight to the tub, then installed a bolt through the tabs to hold them in place, tight to the tub, while I tacked them to the frame.

Once both of them were tacked on, I removed the fender and primed the bare metal.

Next I moved on to the brakes. Removing the drum was actually easy! A little heat and penetrant and the 3 screws came right out! I cleaned the brake components up and greased them so they they moved easily. I will have to tear all of this stuff down for cleaning and painting before I’m completely done – I just got everything freed up today. Next, I cleaned the drum with the side grinder and wire wheel. Once that was done, I reassembled.

Then I painted everything OD. I scuffed and painted all of the hooks, tabs, handles and underneath the rails while painting.

The other side was the same scenario – easy enough! I went ahead and painted around the hooks and under the rails on both ends while I was at it.

Now I have to blast, prime and paint 1st coat on the fenders, install the wiring, install the lights, instal parking brake components, install shocks, paint inside tub, paint outside tub, paint fenders, paint wheels, install the drain plugs and install the shocks.


I was able to get back out to the shop for a couple of hours tonight. I decided to use that time to fabricate the B.O. light bracket for the right side tail light. Simple enough – mark a couple of lines on a piece of 1/8″x3″ flat bar, use a side f=grinder to score the line 1/3 of the way through. Bend the bar to a 90deg, cut to length, mark and cut the tapered side, mark and drill 4 holes and a couple other small details – DONE! Turned out pretty good!


I still have to repaint the actual lights I will be using (this is not them), straighten the original light brackets (the lights aren’t sitting straight) and paint everything.


Looks weird – why couldn’t they just make a straight bracket?


Will have to bend the bracket so the lights are straight.


Working on the MD Juan M100

I got off work this morning and threw down on the M100. First thing I did was to wire brush the axle and springs. I WAS going to remove the springs, tear them down, clean, paint and reassemble them. But the U bolt nuts were in such bad shape I figured I’d better not do that until I acquire some replacements. There is a bunch of dirt and crap in between the leaves and 4 of the 6 clips on both springs are broken. So after I wire brushed the axle and cleaned the backing plates and springs as much as possible, I sprayed the assembly with Rustoleum Rust Converter. I didn’t bother with the drums because I will be taking them off to check the brakes and bearings.


After the rust converter dried, I scuffed it down and sprayed with a couple heavy coats of 24052.


While the paint was drying, I moved on to disassembling the a frame and front casting. This took some penetrating fluid and heat to get the lunette nut and lunette loose – not to mention the bolts holding the frame to the casting! Once those were apart, I used a wire wheel on the side grinder to clean the rust and old paint off of them.

By the time I finished cleaning, the axle was dry. I installed the wheels on it and flipped the tub/frame on its side to mate up with the front pivots. I drove them in.


Sometimes it takes a little ingenuity to get stuff done by yourself – note the car ramps with the wire brush shim holding the frame at the perfect height to mate the pivots up! Then I rotated the rear of the springs to line up with the rear mounts. NOTE: the u bolt with the left hand thread goes on the left side with the left hand thread in the frame mount.


I also cut the frame mounted fender tabs off the frame and ground the leftover weld off. I will reattach those soon (after I get the fenders straightened and blasted).


Next, I got back on the front assembly. I wiped everything down and sprayed it with 2 good coats of paint.


I was worn out by this time, so I closed down the shop and went inside at 4pm. About 7pm I decided to go back out and move the parts inside. When I got out there they were completely dry. I had a little daylight left, so I decided to reassemble it! Everything went together perfectly in about 20 minutes. So now I have a rolling trailer again!


Now, I need to mark and reattach the fender tabs, blast, prime and paint the fenders, paint the tub inside and out, install the fenders, paint and install the lights, install the wiring harness, install the brake handle and cable, install the intervehicular cable, remove and clean the brakes and bearings, repaint the hubs drums and wheels, install new tires/tubes and paint some markings on it! Almost done! Yeah, right!


Working on MD Juan M100

I decided to NOT work on the jeep this time off. Well, I didn’t!

This afternoon I was looking around and decided to start on mounting the MD Juan tub on the M100 chassis.

I hooked it up to the side by side and pulled it around to the shop. As is, it would be too heavy for me to lift the frame onto the tub, so I removed the front frame and axle/springs.

Next, I began the tedious task of fitting the frame. All the measurements said it would fit right up, but I couldn’t get it to fit with the same frame reveal front to back. I found that the center support was hitting the frame, so I trimmed it.

Still wouldn’t go all the way down in the back, so I had to compromise. I had 2.25″ reveal on the front and 2.75″ at the rear. I pulled the front up 1/4″, so I only had 1/4″ difference front to rear.

I test fit a fender and found that the holes for the frame brackets are about 1/2″ too far up, so I am gong to have to cut them off and re weld them.

I tacked the front corners, then the rear, them came back and welded the sides in. Then I came back and welded the crewmembers to the tub. I had to use the floor Jack and a piece of 4×4 to close the gap for some of them. The rear crossmember set flat on the tub even though the side rails were 3/8″ off on the sides – explain that one! Wait, I will – it’s MD Juan!

After everything was welded up, I sanded everything down and sprayed Rustoleum Rust Converter on the stuff that was really pitted.

Then I scuffed the whole under side down for paint.

I sprayed 3 heavy coats of 24052 on everything. Hopefully the Rustoleum and the heavy paint will keep the rust at bay for years to come!

I’m back at work tomorrow, so maybe Monday I will Gerry back on it. I am going to have to strip and paint the a frame and castings and the axle/hubs before I reinstall them – I should be able to knock that out in a day! Then I can at least get it back on wheels and mobile. After that, I have to move the fender brackets, blast and prime the fenders, install the parking brake cable/handle, wiring harness and lights.

After writing it down, I guess there IS still a good bit left to do on it!

That’s it for this week.

2018 Denton Military Vehicle Show

We had a very good show this weekend in Denton, NC. I wasn’t able to get the Jeep running right, so I took it for show only. When we got there, we went for a short ride around the loop of the campground, then started down the main road – that’s when she started acting up. I took a right and went back to the camp site and parked her. I installed the top and she sat there until Sunday morning when we were loading up to leave.





The show drew a MUCH larger crowd this year! I don’t know the specifics, but I would guestimate twice as many vehicles AND vendors! A big draw this year was the helicopter rides. They had a Huey and a Cobra that you could take rides in. The Huey cost $85 for an 8 min ride or $75 for a veteran. The Cobra was pretty costly at $350 or $500 for a full ride of 14 min! Mandy and Jordan (my wife and daughter) took a Huey ride. Jordan loved it – Mandy was a little on edge. Since I’m scared of heights, there was no way I was getting on it!




They also had a machinegun shoot. They were only shooting blanks, so they had a bunch of malfunctions, but it was nice to hear them going off all day long Saturday! I didn’t get close enough to see what all they had, but I DID see a 7.62mm minigun, 1919a4, MG42, M2 .50cal and a small howitzer! I didn’t take pictures either. I heard that they were charging $20 for 50rnds – I don’t know what that was for (surely not the .50cal and DEFINITELY not the howitzer!) Anyway, I heard the minigun go off for 5-6sec at the time quite a few times – can we say $200 for 6sec of fun? Chokes me up just thinking about it! Makes the Huey ride look like a bargain basement price!

Before I loaded her on the trailer, I gave her another shot at redemption. We all piled into the Jeep and took off around the campground roads. She was bucking a little until she warmed up, but that got better as time went on. She still wasn’t running great, but at least she wasn’t trying to cut off every time I let off the gas! We rode around for about 10 minutes or so and Mandy took a pic of me in the Jeep before we went back and loaded her up for the trip home.


I’m really not positive on what to troubleshoot next. A part of me thinks the problem is related to the cam lobe for the fuel pump since it acts like it’s starving for fuel and I got 2-2.5# of fuel pressure when I tested it. But today I found a site that said 4.5-5# @1,800rpm! I tested at idle, so I’m pretty sure there would be less pressure @ 700rpm. Another part of me thinks that it lies in the ignition. Either the timing is off or the coil is out of spec when it gets hot – I never checked it hot. I guess all of this can be checked and played around with fairly easily. Maybe I’ll mess with it when I get home in the morning, or maybe I’ll take a break from working on it totally for a few weeks – we’ll see!

Some finishing touches

UPS showed up today with my top and strap kit from WeeBee Webbing.

I got excited and threw the top and straps on – they looked GREAT!

I took a drive up the driveway and around the field – she ran GREAT! After a little while, I took another drive – and she started acting up halfway up the driveway!

I took a break and decided to change the trans and transfer oils. I bought a transfer pump from Advance Auto a few months ago in anticipation of changing these fluids. I have a 5 gal pail of 80w90 military gear oil that I have been using to fill up a quart bottle – this is a PITA! I spent $15 on the transfer pump, although Harbor Freight had the same one for $7! This is A VERY good investment when it comes to changing or adding fluids to an M38a1! It took me about 20 minutes to change fluids!

I have one more day to work on the Jeep before the rally/show. Even though it’s acting up after a short drive, I don’t think I’m going to try to figure out what’s going on with it. I will spend tomorrow fixing small stuff.

Thursday will be spent pressure washing the trailer, washing the Jeep and getting stuff together for the show.

Almost ready for the show!

Well I’ve had a rough few days working on the Jeep! Nothing but fails. I couldn’t get it running right last week. I ended up testing coils and switching everything around and finally putting the points style distributor back in – then I couldn’t even get it to fire!

I gave up on it and decided to get my Army Jeep running and just switch the engines. It didn’t take long to get the Army Jeep fired up – ran and drove great. When I got back to the shop, I noticed a grinding or vibrating coming from the distributor – like a bearing going bad. I decided to pull the distributor. I’m pretty sure the bushings are worn out because it has a bunch of up and down movement and when you turn the shaft you hear and feel the chatter. I decided to put my spare distributor in with the breakerless ignition module from the original distributor. I switched everything out and installed it. For some reason, it was 180deg out! I ended up having to pull the oil pump to re index the distributor. Once I did this, I timed the engine again – the distributor body was pretty much up against the block when on TDC. I couldn’t get it to fire – finally gave up after a few hours of trying.

This morning I located a set of points and condenser at NAPA, so I ran to town to Walmart to pick up a battery for the Army Jeep and the points and condenser for the USMC one. I got back and installed the battery – it still wouldn’t fire. I moved on to the USMC one.

I pulled the points plate and installed the new parts, then reinstalled in the distributor. After a few little tweaks and a couple of shots of ether, she fired right up. I adjusted the idle down and a few tweaks on the mixture then took her up the driveway – in the rain. I got to the road and went to turn around – then she started the same ol’ crap again, trying to die! I limped back to the shop and coasted in – then she idled great!

I hooked up the timing light and dwell meter. The timing was somewhere in the 25 BTDC range – surprised she even cranked up and ran! I adjusted the timing to 5 BTDC and the idle to 700rpm – the dwell was fine at 42. I adjusted the mixture a little more and she idled perfectly. It was raining a little harder at this point, so I wasn’t going to take another test drive today – maybe tomorrow.

I still had a little time to play with, so I tested a spare speedometer and fuel gauge I had laying around – both looked good, so I sanded, painted and installed them. The speedometer face was a little more faded than the rest of the gauges, but hopefully it will work as good as it did with the drill. The fuel gauge showed a little over 1/4 tank when I tested it, but when I installed it, it went to full!


The last thing I did was to start cleaning. I wiped down the wheel wells, inner fenders, radiator – anything that was dusty or dirty. Then I took a rag with lacquer thinner on it and started cleaning overspray off of engine parts. I got the crossover tube looking new, part of the black paint cleaned off of the generator, and all of the blue off of the regulator. It’s a start anyway! I’ll clean everything and detail the engine compartment when I pull the engine to replace the main seal and clutch.


Well that’s it for today – it was nice to get a win for once this week! Hopefully the rain will be gone tomorrow so that I can do another test drive and get some more tweaking done. Hopefully the engine will run right without cutting up when it gets hot. Right now, at least I can drive it onto and off the trailer at the show and park it in the field for viewing. My top should be here either tomorrow or Wednesday, so I will have to fit the bow support rods and drill the holes for them when I install the top.

Dash labels

I was able to get the labels for the dash printed at work today. The first one was a little messed up. The larger ones are supposed to go over the gauge panel, and need to be about 8″ long. I printed them in 2 different sizes, but still couldn’t get it shorter than 11″.


The glove box label came out right, so I went ahead and put it on the glove box. I had the option to print reversed, but I think the yellow looks better since there weren’t many markings on this Jeep.