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.


Brakes and test drive!

I moved my Side by side and lawnmower out of the shop to make room for the Jeep. But before I could pull the Jeep into the shop, it needed brakes (because the shop is on a slope). I pulled it out of the tent do that I could get under it in the open to examine the parking brake. I figured that would be sufficient to get the Jeep into the shop so that I could work on the brakes.

Once underneath, I noticed that the parking brake lever was real loose and there was no adjustment (threads) left on the rod. My only option was to disassemble the parking brake assembly to see what was going on with it. After wrestling with the outer shoe cotter pin for a while, I finally got it all apart and took it to the shop for a cleaning. This is what I found:


YEP, that’s metal – not brake lining! The outer shoe was paper thin too.

It just so happened that I had ordered a pair of NOS shoes a few months back for my other Jeep that I had yet to install, so I used the new inner shoe and the old outer one. I reassembled it on the Jeep and tested it out – still noisy, but at least it held!

I pulled the Jeep into the shop using the parking brake and low range and got to work on the brakes. First off was to reinstall the brake light switch – no problem there. Next, I added fluid to the master cylinder – it had all leaked out because it didn’t have a switch installed. I pumped the pedal slowly a few times, then wedged a piece of 2×4 between the pedal and fuel tank. Then I went to the front wheels and cracked bleeders – got a little air out of them. I went to the back and bled them. I repeated the process until I had a little bit of a pedal.

I couldn’t stand it any longer – I had to take a test drive!

I was impressed! The engine was smooth, as well as the transmission and transfer case. The transfer case levers were pretty stiff at first, but as I worked them, they operated easier. The clutch needs adjusting as well as the brakes need more attention. The only gauge that worked was oil pressure – the speedometer was jumping around.

I went back to the shop to start on the list of items I need to work on. I pulled the gauge cluster off and hooked up the NOS temp gauge I bought at Denton to the sending unit wire – it went up to about 140deg. So I removed the old gauge and painted the new one. Once it was dry, I installed it. I hooked up the ignition wire to the spare volt gauge I had – and it worked. This gauge doesn’t have a hold down bracket, so I couldn’t install it. I was done with the gauge cluster for the day.

Next I jacked up the rear end and put a jack stand under the driver side so I could change out the rear brake flex line. Pretty straight forward and quick fix. The old one was pretty ratty!


I took another test drive (without bleeding the rear brakes again). The temp gauge took FOREVER to start moving! Once it did start, it only went up to 140deg even after about 10 minutes of driving around the field! When I got back to the shop, I used the temp gun to get an actual temp – the water temp at the filler was about 134deg! Weird! The head temp was only about 205deg. The lower radiator hose read about 90. I’m going to have to investigate that.

Next, I checked my lights. No headlights, the right front bo marker light didn’t work, rear running lights didn’t work but the bo marker lights did. No dash lights work. I wiggled the levers and the harness connector – no change. So I grabbed my NOS replacement and hooked the connector to it. Viola! – headlights, rear running lights, rear bo marker lights and driver front bo marker worked! The dash lights and front passenger bo marker still don’t (I think the dash lights are bulbs and the marker light is a ground issue).

The last thing I did was to clean the sand off the top of the shift tower as well as remove a bunch of silicon the P.O. put under the shift tower cover. I vacuumed a bunch of blasting media from all around the inside of the tub and toolbox area and the sand from the top of the shifter tower. The I re installed the shift tower cover.

The plan for tomorrow is to install a second inline filter on the fuel line and hook the fuel line back up to see if it will run right from the tank. After that, I might pull the rear drums to inspect and clean the brakes and replace the wheel cylinders.

It’s nice to see both of them in the shop side by side!


Getting it running again

Yesterday, I was doing a step by step for troubleshooting found on I found that I had a voltage drop of .6v from battery voltage to the #12 connector at the distributor.

So I decided to start cleaning connectors and connections. I started with the battery clamps. I cleaned them on the bench grinder wire wheel. I cleaned the cable ends with a wire brush.  Once clean, I reassembled using an anti corrosion grease.


Next, I moved on to the battery to frame ground wire. I disassembled it and cleaned everything with a wire brush and wire wheel and reassembled with anti corrosion grease.


While I was cleaning electrical stuff, I moved to the starter pedal contacts. I pulled all of the wires and the contacts off. I disassembled it and cleaned everything inside and out.  The insulation pads were in good condition. I repainted it, reassembled and reinstalled using anti corrosion grease.


When I retested, I was only .1v off of battery voltage! Success!

Next, I moved on to the timing. I ended up removing the original distributor and installed my spare (with points) because I was getting an irregular spark. When I screwed the #12 wire in, the insulation on it crumbled. So I ended up replacing a 6″ section of the wire with a new one.


As it turns out,  the timing was about 30deg off! No wonder it was spitting and popping and wouldn’t start most of the time! In order to get enough rotation of the distributor,  my only choice was to re index the distributor – which means re indexing the oil pump too.


An easy way to do this (by yourself) is to

  1. Put the engine at #1 TDC,
  2. Loosen the 3 bolts holding the oil pump in and drop the pump out of the block about 3″. You might have to use something to keep the pump from falling out completely.
  3. Go around to the other side and turn the rotor until it is pointing at the lower middle dist cap screw hole, which is about #1. You might want to turn the dist body until it has enough swing to adjust the timing also.
  4. Go around to the driver side and try to push the pump back in the pump. It will prob come to about 1/4″ of the block. At this point, I wedged the wooden handle of a wire brush between the pump body and the steering gear to put a little pressure on it (if you have a helper to push it, it would be that much easier).
  5. Go around to the passenger side and turn the rotor until the pump and dist shaft align and the pump pops up to the block. This might not happen though – if you don’t achieve engagement by rotating from 9 o’clock to 4 o’clock, try again. If it engages (and is pointing at the #1 position), stop here. If not, continue to the next step (#6) below.
  6. Go back around to the oil pump and drop it out of the block until you can get to the gear.
  7. Rotate the gear clockwise by about 2 teeth. and go back to step #4.
  8. Repeat the process until you end up with the rotor pointing at #1 with the oil pump seated.
  9. Bolt the oil pump back to the block.
  10. Make sure that the rotor turns when the engine is rotated.
  11. WIth the timing pointer set at 10deg BTDC, rotate the dist body until the points spark.
  12. Tighten the dist down so that it is hard to turn (but can be turned to adjust the timing.
  13. Hook up your timing light and adjust the timing to 10deg BTDC.
  14. Lock down the distributor.

Note: To hook up a timing light, you can use one of 2 methods: 1) Military timing light adaptor screwed onto your spark plug wire and onto the plug – clamp the pickup around the adaptor wire and hook the power up to ONE battery. Or 2) Remove the military waterproof wire and plug and install a civilian wire into the dist cap and a civilian plug – hook the timing light up as above.

Once I got the distributor set right, I turned on my gravity feed fuel tank (2 gallon gas can sitting on the cowl with a fuel line running to the carb.) and tried to start her up. After about 5 seconds of choke, she fired right up and idled pretty good! I shut her down and had a beer to celebrate.

After that, I went back out and fired her back up for an idle check.

Next, I re installed the valve cover, air cleaner lid and vent lines. Then I added water to the radiator (I will put antifreeze in it after I KNOW everything is right) and fired her back up so I could run her until warm. I checked the timing and adjusted the carb. THEN I realized that I never plugged the vacuum tee! I plugged that and had to readjust the carb again. This thing runs smoother and quieter than my original Jeep! I jumped in and pulled her out of the tent and let her idle out there for a couple of minutes until it started raining, so I backed it back in. It feels pretty powerful too!

I guess the next project will be to get the brakes bled so I can take her for a test drive!


My week off has ended – happy with my progress on the M38a1 this week!

I like the way I listed the progress yesterday, so I am going to stick with that format for a while.

Today I primed the fuel line, hooked up the fuel pump, installed a fuel filter, test drove while running from the fuel pump, checked plugs/points/rotor/cap, checked the parking brake, checked the gauges, stripped and painted the rear hubs/drums and switched the rear tires/wheels.

First: I installed a 2′ section of fuel line onto the hard fuel line after the shut off valve and hung it over the fender. Next, I stuffed a rag into the filler neck to keep the air pressure from escaping. I used my air hose to pressurize the fuel tank to push gas through the new fuel line through the rubber line hanging over the fender. Once fuel was coming out of the rubber line, I shut the shut off valve – the easy way to prime that line! No leaks were observed and I’m guessing the in tank fuel filter is clean!

Second: I was curious about the stock military fuel pump since it seemed to be pulling (as shown by the vacuum gauge). So I hooked up a temporary nipple on the pump inlet and installed a short section of rubber fuel line from the shut off nipple to the fuel pump nipple.


At the point where the previous owner cut the hard line going to the carb (for some reason it was cut where it curved going over the valve cover), I installed the 2′ section of rubber hose and ran it over the fender again. I cranked the engine with the ignition off – gas was flowing very quickly. So I guess the military pump is good! I checked the oil level and will keep an eye on that to make sure that the pump isn’t dumping gas into the oil because of a bad diaphragm. Since it was pumping, I installed a short piece of rubber hose, a filter and another short hose to connect to the carb nipple.


I took a test drive and it seemed to have enough gas to run the whole time, so I guess the fuel system is sorted until I get my new flex fuel line. I am going to leave the fuel filter on for a while in case some of the left over crap in the fuel line breaks loose.

Second: I pulled the plugs/checked the rotor and cap. The plugs were covered with soot – running too rich with that electric fuel pump I guess.


I cleaned and gapped them. The gaps were set VERY tight – .020″! Not to mention they were the wrong plugs and one of the electrodes was broken! I replaced the broken one and gapped the rest – reinstalled them. Fired it up and it still had a skip. Next I pulled the cap. The rotor had some carbon tracking on the edge of the electrode, so I cleaned it off. The cap also had some carbon tracking around all of the posts, so I cleaned them.


While I was in there, I noticed that it already had the pointless ignition upgrade installed!


I fired it back up – still has a skip. I guess the only other thing it could be is the plug wires. I guess I’ll put my spare set on to check that the next time I’m off. I did notice that there is an exhaust leak – sounds like it is coming from the exhaust manifold.

Third: I crawled underneath to adjust the parking brake. No luck there – no adjustment left on the rod and the shoes look to be VERY thin! Guess I’ll have to either get them re lined or buy new ones.

Forth: I checked the gauges. The oil pressure is working. Fuel is a 12v, so I couldn’t check it. Volt meter wasn’t working. Temp wasn’t working.

For the volt meter, I polarized the generator since it has been sitting a while. That involved disconnecting the generator to regulator cable, inserting a jumper in the “B” hole (lower left – it’s marked), and touching the starter hot post until you see a small spark. I fired her back up – it still wasn’t showing a charge. So I put the multimeter across the batteries – it WAS charging (28.5v). I tapped on the gauge and it jumped up to show a charge! Gauge is sticking!

For the Temp meter, I followed the testing procedure (I will email it to you if you need it). I disconnected the wire to the sender. I connected the Pos multimeter lead to the sender and the Neg to ground. I noted the Ohm reading. I started the engine – as it warmed up, the Ohms DECREASED. This tells me that the sending unit is GOOD. I went inside and pulled the gauge cluster. I connected a jumper to the terminal from the sending unit and grounded it. I turned on the ignition switch and nothing happened. The needle is SUPPOSED to jump to full scale and back full left when the switch is turned off. This tells me that the gauge is bad. I confirmed this by pulling the gauge out of my other Jeep and hooking it up.

The Oil pressure gauge is working. I had a spare Fuel gauge, but it has Douglas connectors. I hooked it up temporarily to test that the fuel sending unit works. It does – the fuel gauge jumped to 1/4 tank.

Last thing I did: I switched wheels/tires. I checked the wheels on my other Jeep and found one wheel/tire (the spare) was the newer replacement (with a flat on the center section where it meets the rim). I pulled it off. Next, I checked my M100 – it also had one newer wheel, so I pulled it off. I pulled the rear M151 wheels off of the Jeep. While I had the wheels off, I figured I might as well go ahead and strip/paint the hubs and drums. So I scraped and wire brushed until they were fairly clean. I pulled the hub caps and cleaned them and the lug nuts with the wire wheel on the bench grinder. I sprayed them with Rustoleum Rusty Metal Primer and let that dry. Then I mixed up some Behr 24052 and diluted with water and sprayed everything. After that dried to touch (only took about 30 min), I wire brushed the wheel studs and put the new tires/wheels on. Now it’s looking better!

20170118_163103Too bad the hubs are OD 24052  and the wheels are OD 24087 – I’ll take care of that little discrepancy at a later date. It’s looking more like a military Jeep now! I guess I need to blast those front ones to even it out.

I went ahead and put the windshield and hood back on to get them out of the way while I’m away at work.

I guess it’s time to order some parts so I’ll have something to do the next time I’m off!

Almost done with the fuel system

Today I installed the gas tank, fuel sender, pickup, seat, made seat bottoms, freed up the pedals, bled the brakes a little, set up a redneck fuel tank, took a few test drives, washed the engine bay and installed the new fuel line – a jam packed 5 hrs of work!

First things first: Gas tank install. I put the foam strips down in the gas tank (they should be rubber strips) and set the tank in place – simple enough. Then I realized I had a little bit of water in the tank, so I had to take it back out to tilt it enough to vacuum it out. Then I put it back in. The old lines will have to be replaced – the canvas loom is rotten on both of them, not to mention the lines look like crap!

Next up : Install the pickup and sending unit. I didn’t have the correct gaskets, so I used black RTV sealant and let it sit for a few minutes before installing. One thing that I forgot to do is chase the threads in the tank, so some of the screws wouldn’t go all the way in (plus they were worn out Philips screws). When I put the sending unit in, I clocked it in the wrong direction, so when I pull the seat back out to re clock it, I will chase the threads and put new, correct screws back in. After I put the sending unit back in, I put the tank strap on and tightened her in. Then I put the seat in.


Third: Free up the pedals. They were all bound up with old grease – I couldn’t even push any new grease through the zerks. I replaced them and I still couldn’t get any in. So I pulled them back out, sprayed PB Blaster in the holes and worked the pedals until they were moving fairly easy. Then I put the zerks back in and was able to get some grease in them. While I was underneath, I realized that the brake pedal return spring was hooked around the shaft and not the pedal arm, so I fixed that problem too.

Forth: I realized I needed something to sit on if I was going to drive this thing today! So I found a couple of small pieces of plywood and cut them to 18″x15″, marked the holes from the seat frames, drilled them and bolted the bottoms down. It will do for now! I just need to paint them OD.


Fifth: Bleed the brakes. Not that simple by yourself! I tried to hook up my power bleeder for the deuce, but it just wouldn’t fit in the tight space. So I rigged up something with the power bleeder that gave it a little pressure, but leaked everywhere. I got a little fluid from the back brakes and left front, but not the right front. I had a little bit of pedal though.

Sixth: Redneck gas tank. I took a 1 gallon gas can, inserted a 5/16″ fuel hose in the spout (which was a perfect tight fit), and slid the hose over the 5/16″ nipple I installed a couple of days ago for the funnel. This provides a decent gravity feed to the carb and lasts a LOT longer than the funnel!


Seventh: Wash the engine bay. I drove over to the other side of the house (because I don’t have a water line at my shop) where I sprayed the engine compartment down with a heavy concentration of Purple Power, let it sit for about 5 minutes and then washed it off. Surprisingly, It barely even touched the built up gunk on the engine, axles and skid plate area! I guess I’ll have to come up with something else to clean it up.

Eighth: Test drives. After washing the engine compartment, I drove up the driveway and tested 2wd, 4wd high and 4wd low – everything seems to work fine. It was still idling high, so I pulled up to the shop and adjusted the carb a little. It has a pretty rough idle, so I’m going to have to check the plugs, cap and points to figure that out.

Youtube link of it idling (sortof)

When I started to pull away from the shop it started to spin (it is a slight uphill grade), so I shifted into 4wd high and it pulled right off. Later, I saw that the posi in the rear IS working because I have 2 wheel marks in the mud! Those slick tires sure can spin.


Finally, I pulled up to the level area where I work on my cars so that I could get to work on that fuel line. I bought a 5/16″x72″ piece of steel fuel line at Advance Auto the other day. I pulled the old one out – it was connected to the brake line with quite a few clips. I used the old one to bend the new one to the basic shape – come to find out it was the perfect length and was bent right the 1st time! That’s a first for me! I got both ends hooked up and everything clipped back together in no time.

Well, the time was up for the day – I had to go pick my daughter up at school and take her to Tae Kwon Do practice. I backed her into her new (temporary) home for the night. I have one more day off and it looks like good weather, so we’ll see if I can either get the original fuel pump going or the civilian pump installed and pumping tomorrow!



Painting done (for now)

I went out this afternoon and dumped the tank to start with. I had to use a hand pump to get the level down far enough so I could carry the tank. Once empty I could see the sludge that was left on the bottom. I used a putty knife to scrape as much as I could reach. Most of it was easy to remove, but there was still a 1/4″ of hard stuff that I couldn’t get out. Once I scraped it, I washed it out with Purple Power and water and dumped it again. I wish I could’ve gotten it ALL out, but didn’t want to take it to a radiator shop to get hot dipped. If I start plugging up the filter I guess I’ll have to bite the bullet and get that done!

Next, I cleaned the outside with Purple Power and started sanding. The tank must not have been prepped correctly because the paint that was on there would not feather out – I had to strip the whole damn thing to bare metal! One thing I found was bondo on the areas where the baffle was welded in.


Once stripped, I blew it off, wiped it down and painted the bottom. It was cold outside, so after about 1.5hrs it was dry enough to move.



Then I moved it over to the swing set and hung it up to paint the top.


I primed and painted the fuel gauge and pickup while I had paint in the gun, but I didn’t take pics of that. The tank still wasn’t dry 2 hrs later when I was ready to come inside.

While the tank was drying, I decided to see if I could uncover the hood numbers. I started on the driver side using the DA sander. That was a mistake – strike 1, found nothing. Then I moved on to the passenger side – HAND SANDING this time. After about 5 min using 100 grit, I thought I started seeing faint number shapes. I switched to 220 grit and spent another 10 minutes – I had a hood number! After that, I spent another 10 min refining the numbers as much as I could until I was 90% sure of the number. I took a couple of pics before I sanded for another 10 min to see if I could make it even more clear. It slowly disappeared instead.



Hood # USMC 316784



Got some REAL paint on it!

I ran to Home Depot and had some paint mixed up for it today. The word on the Steel Soldiers forum is that Behr Marquee exterior latex (yes, I said LATEX) is a great paint for military vehicles! It takes a little longer to completely harden, but includes primer and sets up HARDER the enamel. Another plus is that you can pick it up the same day instead of having to wait a week and pay shipping and Hazmat fees! It is a little pricey, but still cheaper than ordering. I got him to mix up a gallon of FS#24052.

While I was out, I stopped by Big Lots and picked up some generic Oxyclean and Scotchbrite pads, and Advance Auto to get the 5/16″x 72″ fuel line.

Once home, I removed the sending unit and pickup from the gas tank. Then I mixed up the Oxyclean (1 scoop/gal) and poured it into the tank until it was full to the top (it held 17gal). I also put the sending unit and pickup in an old cooler and covered it with the same mixture. Within 15 minutes, you could see the mixture moving and bubbling in the tank and cooler.

You can see what ethanol gas does when it sits up for a long time (the sending unit and pickup) – turns to a bubble gum consistency!

Here’s a video of the Oxyclean mixture working. We’ll see how that turns out tomorrow. There was gum in the bottom of the tank also.

Oxyclean tank cleaning method

While that was working, I went ahead and started chipping and sanding on the driver side floor area of the Jeep. I wanted to get that painted before I put the tank back in. I sprayed about 3 good coats on it. The latex turned out pretty good in my opinion. I had a little trouble getting the gun adjusted to spray the thick paint. I ended up thinning the paint with 10% water and turning the air pressure up to get it to lay down enough paint to get the semi gloss look. I also went ahead and painted the driver seat and tank strap. I’ll paint the tank tomorrow.

After about 3 or 4 hrs, I pulled the sending unit out and cleaned it with a scotchbrite pad and scraped the paint off of the cap. I also checked the ohms to make sure it worked and replaced the rubber connector. The float wouldn’t even move before the bath! Then I pulled the pickup out – it cleaned up fairly easy with the scotchbite and scraper. THEN I pulled the filter! Man, that tube was SOLID gum and so was the inside of the filter! That stuff is a PITA to clean – I ended up rodding the tube out and soaking everything in carb cleaner. After about an hour working on that, it was clean and ready to install when the tank is clean.

So that’s it for today. Tomorrow the plan is to dump the tank and get it painted. Hopefully the gum in the bottom will be dissolved or at least soft enough to scrape out easily. If not, I guess I’ll have to take it to a radiator repair shop to dip. Once it is cleaned I can install the sending unit and pickup and paint it. Then I can install the tank and new fuel line.