Replaced some more metal today


Today I added to rear panel tab to bolt the rear panel to the cross member. I primed and painted the back side of the replacement panel before setting the body back down on the frame and lining it back up with the body bolts.

Then I moved on to the passenger side rust through. I was going to cut out 2 different sections, the small floor piece and the bottom of the cowl brace. After looking at it for a little while, I decided to just cut one large piece out of the side instead. I’m glad I did that – it made it easier to get in there to replace the floor and cowl brace. When I peeled the skin back, I saw that the whole back side of the cowl brace was flaking rust and there was some rust in the tool box area.


I used a piece from the leftover rear patch panel to make the floor patch since it already had the correct lip on it. I cut the bottom of the cowl brace off as well.


I welded the floor patch in and started fabbing the lower cowl brace replacement. Yeah, not pretty at the moment. I am NOT a welder to start with, and trying to tack to half rusted old metal made it that much harder!


I used a piece cut from the tub skin I cut out to form it. I used a piece of cardboard to get the dimensions and folds right so that I wouldn’t waste metal (sorry, I didn’t take a pic of that). Then I transferred the template to the metal and bent it using the bench vise and a hammer. I’m kinda proud of how it turned out – being the first piece I EVER fabbed!


I welded the brace patch in with a bunch of tacks and then tacked the inside to the floor as original.

I used a combination of the side grinder, die grinder with carbide burr and angle die grinder to clean up my crappy welds as much as I could. Then I painted everything with a heavy coat of red oxide primer. Turned out pretty good!



I don’t think I’m going to replace the metal in the toolbox at this time – I really don’t want to get into removing the toolbox to get to it. I put a heavy coat of rust converter and primer on it instead. I will deal with it when the time comes.

Tomorrow I will go pick up a piece of metal to re skin the side and move on to the next project.



Rear patch panel done

I started replacing the bent up piece of the lower rear panel this afternoon. I ordered it from Classic Enterprises M38a1 body panels.

I started off by deciding what needed to be replaced compared to the size ood the repair panel.  After I marked our what was to be cut out, I used a cut off wheel to cut the old piece out. Since this piece was spot welded to the rear floor, I used a spot weld cutter that I bought from Northern Tool a while back to cut the door welds out.

I used an angle grinder to clean up the rear floor panel lip and the cut off wheel to remove the spot weld. I sprayed weeks through primer on the lip and the back side of the repair panel after I cut it to size.  The piece that I cut out was pretty messed up.

I spot welded the new panel in and used a side grinder to grind the welds down,  then the angle grinder to clean them up even more.  While I had the welder out, I welded up the holes that the previous owner drilled for external rear lights.

Don’t laugh – I never said I was a body man!  At least that panel is in and I can move on to putting the body back on! I can get a little more practise when I fix the Smalltalk holes and floor on the passenger side.

I have the other half of the rear patch panel left is anybody needs it – I’ll let it go cheap!

Exhaust manifold stud work

I decided to unbolt the body and shift it around a little in order to get a straight shot at the broken stud. I was able to get it moved just enough to accomplish this. Check out this sketchy support system:



I ended up drilling out the old stud because the easy out wouldn’t move it. After I drilled it to size, I tapped it out with a 3/16-16NC tap. Then I used my angle air grinder with a course scotch brite pad on it to polish the mounting surface.


I took the manifold into the shop and used my die grinder with a carbide burr to smooth and polish the inside of the ports then used the angle grinder with a 40 grit disc to clean the gasket surface. Maybe this will boost horsepower by .1%, lol.


My rear end patch panel arrived today from Classic Enterprise. I think I am going to just replace the bent up part on the left, about halfway across the top of the pintle arch.



I’m guessing this panel is for a CJ5 since it doesn’t go all the way across and (I guess) holes for tailgate hinges. Anyhow, the pintle arch and halfway across to the tail light is the only part I need to fix on my rear panel.

Done with blasting – FINALLY

I figured it would be a waste of time to write about the little bit of stuff I got done yesterday. All I got done was disassembling and blasting the w/s frame, painted the fan and installed the valve cover.


I picked up 200# of Black Beauty and 50# of glass beads from Porter Warner first thing this morning, came home and started blasting. 4hrs later the seats were blasted and primed.

I switched out the Black Beauty in the blast cabinet for glass beads. Then I blasted all of the small w/s parts and primed them.

Here is a pic of the parts I have done this week. Next week I’ll have to paint all this stuff!



Next I moved on to the front fuel line. I had originally planned on replacing the line. When I pulled the old one off to measure it, it didn’t look very bad. I blew air through it and go this crap out of it, so I filled it up with Super clean and heated it up with a propane torch – then I let it sit for about 30 minutes.


While that was working I blew out the fuel line from the tank to the tee where the front line fits. Amazingly, only (fairly) clean gas came out! Once I guessed the Super Clean had done its job, I dumped it out (it was dark orange) and washed it out with a garden hose. I filled it up with Super Clean again and let it sit.

I grabbed my spare carb and went to install it, but thought it looked a little rough. Since I had glass beads in the cabinet, I taped it up and cleaned her up!

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After that, I taped off the top and painted the base gloss black, then I removed the tape and sprayed the whole carb with gloss clear to keep it shiney! I’ll install it tomorrow along with the tank – and HOPEFULLY get the thing mobile again!

I dumped and washed the fuel line and the Super Clean had barely changed color, so I figured it was clean enough! I blew air through it onto the towel and got a little orange out of it, but not much. HOPEFULLY the fuel system is clean now!

I installed the line back on the Jeep with the cleaned up shut off valve – I should’ve blasted it while I had the cabinet set up! I think I am going to install a primary disposable filter right after the shutoff and replace the one before the carb. After I am SURE that all of the lines and tank are clean, I will install the correct flex line from the shutoff to the pump and install a new hard line from the pump to the carb, omitting the disposable filter.



Plan for tomorrow is to install the carb, 2 disposable filters and tank. I really need to finish up the rear interior before I install the tank though.


Cleaning the gas tank (again)

I pulled the gas tank out and removed the sender and pickup (again).  Then I added about a cup of TSP and a quart of Purple Power cleaner – all I had. I found this method on an online tractor forum. I heated a 3 gal pot of water on my camp stove to about 150 deg and poured it in and sloshed it around. I heated another pot and added that.  I’m sure that boiling water would work even better, but I didn’t have enough propane to heat it for that long. The sending unit float had gas in it,  so I took the one off a spare sending unit I had and replaced it.

While the tank was cleaning itself I went ahead and pulled the grill off the Jeep so that I can blast it the next time I’m off.

So after the tank sat for about an hour, I checked it. It was doing pretty good – fairly clean up to the water level.  The bottom was VERY clean! The pickup filter was pretty clean too, although this pic doesn’t really portray that.  Once I sprayed it off with the water hose it looked pretty good.

 I heated another pot of water while I disassembled the grill for blasting.

The third pot of water brought out up to almost 3/4 full.  I’ll let they work until tomorrow afternoon,  when I’ll dump it and maybe repeat the process until she’s all clean. I’m also thinking about replacing the front fuel line since I have easy access with the grill off and don’t know if that one is plugged with this gelled gas or not. That way I’ll know that everything is clean from the tank to the carb – BEFORE I install my good carb again.  I’m also going to install my new valve cover gasket and maybe paint the engine and radiator/shroud while the grill is out.

Body work

I spent the whole day working on the body. I started out working on the interior and within 15 minutes I was working on the body! I don’t know why I don’t want to work on the interior. When I first went out, I realized that I had left some stripper on the passenger cowl – evidenced by the bubbled up paint. I stripped it with a paint scraper and this is what was revealed.


Any idea what it means? This is the exact location. The characters are 3/4″ tall.

UPDATE: 2320-835-8319 is the ordinance stock number for the M38a1 – Wes from Willysmjeeps confirmed this.


I quickly figured out that the DA and 80 grit paper wasn’t going to work. So I grabbed the grinder with a wire wheel. That made quick work of stripping the white and blue paint. I finished up with the DA. I stripped the whole driver side and the right rear quarter before I used up my wire wheel.


I had to do a little hand sanding where neither of the power tools would reach, but not much. I went ahead and primed all of this and used the DA to strip about a third of the hood. I still don’t know what that white paint is, but 80 grit has a hard time with it! I think I’ll buy some 60 grit to do the rest. I also sanded down the front of the passenger side fender.


I’m pretty sure I am going to pay somebody to blast the grill – it would take FOREVER to sand it!

It looks like a little more body work than originally thought, but nothing major – other than the rear panel, passenger floor and fenders.


Dash installed, other stuff DONE

reI pulled the batteries out, then the battery trays (one wasn’t even bolted in – just laying on the battery box bottom) and the battery box bottom. The trays are pretty much toast, but replacing those will have to wait – more important stuff needs to be done first! I had to soak and heat the screws holding the bottom on – they were holding fast, but finally gave way!

Once out, I wire brushed the heavy rust and sprayed with Rustoleum Rust Converter to stop the rust. When that was dry, I sprayed a couple of heavy coats of Rustoleum Rusty Metal Primer. When that was dry, I sprayed a couple of coats of Rubberized undercoating on everything. Hopefully, this will keep the rust at bay until I get around to replacing the pans and bottom. The box is in good condition.


When everything was dry (ish), I re assembled it.


Next, I started sanding on the floor and shifters. My fingers are RAW! The USMC “security system” on the shifter had to be removed so I can replace the boot, so I ended up cutting that off with a cutoff wheel. I sprayed everything with Rustoleum primer and let it dry before putting 2 coats of paint on it.


While I was painting, I decided to go ahead and paint my blackout drive light, bracket and data plate. I STILL had paint left, so I scuffed the rear wheels and cleaned them with thinner – used a piece of cardboard as a paint mask and sprayed 2 coats on them.

I got my daughter to help me out installing the dash in the Jeep so I wouldn’t scratch it. That went perfectly. Then I installed the cables, steering shaft support, window latches and ignition switch.


Lastly, I installed the batteries and lid.

Long day, but feel like I got something accomplished!