90% finished now

Today was a very productive day! I stopped by Tractor Supply on the way home from work this morning – bought a tube patch kit and 2 – 3/8″ x 48″ round rods. When I got home, the first thing I did was to patch the 2 tubes that weren’t too torn up. Once they were patched, I set them aside to cure while I did other stuff.

The second thing I did was to paint the markings. I started with the little long term storage stencil on the rear.

Then I moved on to the larger long term storage stencil on the cowl.

And finally the most obvious ones after I had a little experience under my belt.



I sprayed 3 coats on all of the stencils. It didn’t cover completely – was still slightly opaque. Once the third coat was on, I let it tack up for about 10 minutes, then started peeling off the masking paper and paint mask. The hood numbers were very hard to get to stick down completely – I had quite a few places that puckered up because of the compound curves on the hood. These places bled by a little. At least the paint didn’t peel off like my other a1.

Between coats, I scuffed the wheels with Scotchbrite . After I finished the markings, I sprayed the wheels with 24052.

That was a good stopping point to go install my tubes and tires on the spare rims. On the way to my friend’s house, I stopped by and picked up my flywheel that I had resurfaced.


This time, it only took me about 10 minutes to install both tubes and tires!


Once back at home, I got to work on the top bow support rods. The drawing I had showed a total length of 39.75″ with one elbow end 1.375″ and the other 1.875″. After I cut and welded the ends on, I test fit one of them. With the support rod level, I marked the point where I need to drill the hole in the forward bow. Then I measured from the rivet up to the mark – It was 25″. Next, I measured the same points on my other Jeep – it measured 25.5″. I measured the length of the support rod on my other Jeep – it was 37.5″! I guess I’m going to have to wait until my top comes in to make sure the front bow will be in the correct position before I drill any holes in the bow.


The last thing I did was to work on getting it running again. I static timed it and got it to run – rough! So I played around with the distributor until I heard a hissing noise. I grabbed my propane bottle and pointed it at the carb – the idle leveled out a little. Then I felt around the carb base and found a leak! So off came the carb, replaced the gasket and reinstalled the carb. It fired up and idled perfectly! I took her for a ride up the driveway, turned around to head back and it started acting up again! I pulled into the yard and snapped a couple of pics before putting her back in the shop.



I will work on it again when I get back on night shift next week, but for now I’m done. I guess the next thing to do is to get her running smoothly and reliably. Then I can move on to changing the clutch. Other than that, I think everything the HAS to be done is done!


Grill welt installed

After work this morning, I decided to get the grill welt installed. I’ve been putting it off for a WHILE – since I realized that I threw the tool away that I made for my other Jeep grill welt.

So I scrounged around my metal pile and found a 5/8″ bar and cut a 3/8″ thick chunk off of it with my band saw. Then I put it in my mini mill and used a 1/4″ round nose bit to make  two 1/16″ deep groves in it with a 1/16″ space between them. When I finished this I tested the fit on the grill. It was a little big, so I used the bench grinder to thin the piece to about 1/4″ thick and 1/2′ long. I tested one more time and saw that it would work, so I tack welded it to an old pair of vise grips.


Once this was done, I had to do some trial and error to try to remember how to use the pliers. I messed up one rivet in the process – luckily, Matt (at QTM Parts) included extras in his grill welt kit! I started by finding the center of the welt and lining that up with the center hole in the grill. I punched a hole in the welt with a metal awl, inserted the rivet and spread the legs of the rivet with a small screwdriver (still small enough to fit through the hole). Once in the hole, I lined up the tool with the rivet legs and gave it a squeeze. It still wasn’t tight at this point, so I adjusted the vise grips and squeezed again – this time it held tight. I moved out, rivet by rivet, toward the end of the driver side. As I got closer to the end, I realized that I needed to stretch the welt to make it to the end hole at the fender. Also, The last 3 or 4 holes are not really accessible to the tool, so I had to use a pair of needle nose vise grips to clamp the rivet legs down (the rivets aren’t really long enough to use the tool either – because the grill is double thickness at the corners). Once I finished the driver side, I repeated the other side. Then I re attached the front wiring harness to the grill.

I think it turned out pretty good other than some scratched up rivet heads (they are a black or dark green color instead of the brass ones on my other Jeep). At least the welt is tight on the grill and now the hood won’t vibrate or get scratched up on the grill.

Nice blurry picture here. I’ll get a better one tomorrow.


Tomorrow is the first of my 2 days off this week – the 2nd day will be spent with my family since they are on Spring Break. I am planning on getting 2 tubes patched, install 2 tires on rims, scuff and paint the rims on the Jeep and spares, fab up top bow rods and install (to get ready for the top next week), paint the markings and install the pedal draft pads – any bets on how much of that will get completed?

At that point, all I will have left to do before the rally is: clean and re install the seat belts, get it running right and install the new clutch!


Seals installed

I had a little time when I got off work this morning, so I stopped by Walmart and picked up a 1oz. tube of 3M weatherstrip adhesive and headed home. I had to dig around my parts stash to find the seals that I ordered a while back.

I pulled my glovebox door, battery box lid and toolbox door off and put them on the bench. There was a little bit of residual foam and glue on the glovebox door, so I scraped it off and wiped everything down with lacquer thinner. The directions said to apply a thin coat on both surfaces and let dry. Then stick them together. So with that in mind, I started an assembly line. I just went through and put the glue on all of the parts and then came back and applied it to the seals. By the time I finished the last seal, I was able to start attaching the seal to the glovebox door. It stuck immediately and formed around the corners easily. I had to trim about 1/4″ off the end. It took a total of maybe 15 minutes to prep, apply the glue and install the seal. That’s the original paint on the inside of the door.


Next I moved on to the battery box lid seal. I didn’t really like this seal – it is a really thin (a little more than 1/8″) foam rubber material. It was harder to make it form to the corners. I was short of about 1/2″ of material on this one, so I stretched it as much as I felt comfortable with. It turned out OK, but I’m not happy with it – I guess it will serve its purpose though.


The toolbox door seal was a VERY nice piece. It is a custom molded neoprene seal that is about 1/2″ x 1/2″ with a depression in the top to accommodate the toolbox lip – very nice. It formed around the corners like it was supposed to. I had to trim about 3″ off the end.


I bought all of these seals from Peter Debella Jeep Parts  . The toolbox seal was $15 and the other 2 were $8 ea.

I won’t be working on it in the morning, but Monday morning I am planning on getting the grill welt installed, Tuesday getting the last 2 tires put on rims (plus getting the tubes patched) and trying to get the thing running again. Wednesday will be getting it running and painting markings. Thursday (maybe) will be changing the clutch.

Progress to date and mail call

It’s been awhile since I updated the blog, but I have been making progress.

We went to Atlanta last week and while we were there, my daughter and I drove to Chicamauga, GA to visit the Civil War battlefields and to visit Matt at Quarter Ton and Military Parts (QTM Parts). I picked up a gallon of 24052, 4 spray cans of 24052, 1 can of 24087, a bunch of hose clamps, a late M38a1/early M151 rectangle mirror and a throw out bearing return spring. While we were there, we also got to play in the British APC that is on site.

While we were gone, my stencils that I ordered from Delta Team Decals arrived, along with my reproduction top bows and radiator cap from Ron Fitzpatrick G503 , my 3 Jerry can cap seals and my gas cap gasket that I ordered off of eBay.



I also ordered a couple of 24v Mrap headlights for $12 + $24 shipping ($36 total). They are the type that have the 3 prong plug, but came with the pigtail – worth a try. Can’t beat $18 Wagner bulbs!



Next up, I had to get the Jeep ready to take to my brother’s body shop Auto Exteriors to paint it on Saturday. I blew out the fuel line and replaced the fuel hose before the pump and before the carb. I also hooked up the line to the tank and primed it up. Once I had it running, I noticed that the fuel was just “spurting” into the clear filter – which didn’t look right to me. I decided to pull the rebuilt fuel pump off of my other Jeep and put it on this one. Once that was done, I primed it back up and fired it up – SAME THING! Maybe it is doing exactly what it is supposed to do?


I cleaned up the old pump so that it will be ready to install on my other Jeep – since there isn’t anything wrong with it!

Saturday morning came and I loaded up the Jeep and headed to the body shop – the day has finally come for some color!


Once there, I pulled it into the booth and prepped it with red Scotch Brite and taped it up – I forgot how much work is involved in getting a car ready for paint!


I sprayed the first coat and let it dry for about 30 minutes – it turned out pretty flat!


After the second coat, it was actually a little more glossy than I like – but I know it will flatten out some, just like my other Jeep did.


Once the second coat was on, I baked it at 125deg for about 15 minutes while I was cleaning the paint gun and the rest of the stuff up.

I went home from the body shop and painted some small things that were to be installed today and other accessories – top bows, rear lights, mirror and arm and Jerry can.


I went back after church today and picked it up. After inspecting it pretty well, I found a few places in the paint that aren’t perfect (mainly a few sanding scratches and a couple of dry spray spots on the hood and a few places that weren’t sanded smooth). The body work on both sides below the doors aren’t perfectly smooth, but the passenger side (which I did the body work on) looks better than the driver side. I wasn’t going for perfect with this Jeep – I was going for a Motor Pool resto which I think I am pretty spot on!


Once I got it back in my shop I started reassembling. I installed the bumperettes, pintle and trailer chain plate, spare tire carrier, rear lights, reflectors, top bow brackets, windshield and mirror arm/mirror.




I had to repaint a few items because the latex house paint didn’t match the Gillespie. I have the gas can carrier and B.O. driving light painted and ready to go on tomorrow. I still have to repaint the shackles and pins.

Tomorrow, I plan on repainting the dash, installing the new steering wheel, B.O. driving light, making the gas can carrier spacers out of a big bolt (see pic below) and installing that, installing my rebuilt carb, installing cushions on the driver seat and installing all of the seats.


Ready for paint?

I got out to the shop this morning and checked out my new wheels. 2 of them are in real good condition and the third is bent in a few places (on the back side, so it will be good enough for the trailer that won’t get much use). I guess I still came out alright though – 2 good ones for $60ea and one that is useable for free (that’s the way I’m looking at it anyway). Looks like all they will need is scuffing and painting. None of them are late model wheels, but I guess it really doesn’t matter for a spare.


After checking those out, I got to work wet sanding the red oxide. I started on the cowl, down the passenger side, rear panel, up the driver side and then the hood. I had a big run on the passenger side right behind the door that I wasn’t able to sand out without gouging, so I had to spot prime that area again. The area under the passenger side door turned out great this time.


The driver side sanded out wit no problem areas.


Then I got to the hood! It HAS to be right since this is the biggest area (and most noticeable) on the Jeep. I sanded each section cross hatch, then cleaned and dried it, sanded cross hatch again after I touched up the spots I missed, washed and dried it. Then I came back and sanded (dry) one last time. It came out baby’s butt smooth!


Hopefully ready for paint the next time I’m off on my 7 days!


Still on bodywork

Today, I block sanded the passenger side with 120, then 220 (because that’s what I had). Then I taped the whole passenger and the rear up. I mixed up about 6oz of Rustoleum red oxide with mineral spirits and sprayed the passenger side repair (to cover up the gray primer) and the rear panel.



I still had plenty of red oxide left, so I sprayed over any area that I had sanded down to the metal or gray primer on the rest of the Jeep.


I STILL had plenty left, so I put the hood on saw horses and sprayed it!


Glad to get this done – now I can wet sand one last time tomorrow and (hopefully) have a perfectly smooth body for final paint! Even if it’s not, I won’t be priming again – it’s on to final paint after I wet sand. The passenger side turned out good and I fixed one other spot on the driver side rear quarter (you can see the gray primer in the pic above).

My Father in Law picked up 3 M38a1 wheels from a guy in Fayetteville for me today, so I will have a spare tire for BOTH M38a1s and the M100 trailer. I’ll post some pics of those tomorrow. One more missing piece (or 3) of the puzzle!

Back to the bodywork

It’s cold and rainy in SC today and I just got off work this morning. So after a quick nap, I headed to the shop to work on the Jeep.

I had an idea about using the red oxide primer as a sealer so that I wouldn’t have to prime, sand, then paint. I read the cans (spray bomb) of the Rustoleum 2 in 1 filler primer and the generic red oxide primer. The Rustoleum said you could spray the finish coat as soon as it was dry. The red oxide said to sand 30 minutes after it dried – didn’t say anything about recoating after it dried. So I did an experiment on the rear quarters. I sprayed one quarter with each of the primers – 2 light coats each covered well. When dry, I recoated with 3 light coats of 24052.

The red oxide was completely covered and smooth.

The Rustoleum 2 in 1 was the complete opposite – wasn’t completely covered, rough and lighter color. The camera actually caught dust floating in the air, so this pic isn’t the best.

Looks like I am going to be spraying (testing first) Rustoleum red oxide as a sealer before I paint!

Next I got to work on the passenger side body work. I sanded it back down to the Bondo, cleaned with paint thinner, then spread a 1/4″ thick coat from the fender to the rear wheel well for good measure (to make sure I got everything covered this time). I used the DA to smooth it out, then blocked it with 80grit. I had a few places that weren’t smooth, so I spread some glazing putty over them (plus a little extra for good measure).

While that was drying, I noticed how bad the front frame rails looked, so I sanded them down and repainted them.

I had a little paint left in the spray can, so I painted the top bow brackets that I cleaned and primed the other day.

Once the glazing putty was dry, I blocked it down, added a little more in a couple of places, blocked it again, taped it off and sprayed 3 coats of primer on it. I’ll sand that down tomorrow and prime with red oxide (I have to go buy some – the little bit I had was bad). I think i got the body work right this time! One step closer to final paint!