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.

Working on exhaust manifold



I had some free time yesterday afternoon, so I thought I would get back on the Jeep. I pulled the spare tire off my other M38a1 (that I had stolen for the Denton rally in April) and installed it back on the Jeep with the new lug nuts I bought from QTM Parts.

Next quick job was to pull the exhaust manifold off and replace the 3 stripped studs in the center. I started removing the nuts and noticed that there was no rear one – maybe there was a bolt installed there at one time instead? Once I removed the manifold (which was easy enough), reality hit me! The rear stud was broken off FLUSH with the block!


I went to the shop and cracked open a cold one to ponder my dilemma. After I thought about it for a few minutes I decided to go ahead a remove the other 4 studs while thinking about possible fixes for the back one. Might as well replace them all while the manifold is off.

They came out easy enough using the double nut trick. I also found out that the front and top center studs protrude into the water jacket – evidenced by the stream of water shooting out of them when I removed them! I inserted the old studs back in them to stop the flow.



I finished my beer and decided to try drilling a hole and using an Easy Out. The problem here is that there is about 3″ between the rear of the block and the firewall. The only way you can drill here is at an angle. Stupid me thought that this would work – even knowing that the Easy Out needs to be installed into a hole drilled STRAIGHT into the stud, not crooked! I center punched the stud, drilled a pilot hole, enlarged the hole and installed the Easy Out – it wouldn’t turn of course. I heated the area and sprayed it with PB Blaster a couple of times – still wouldn’t turn.

20170731_151739-1  20170731_154447

After messing around with it for 30 minutes I put my tools away and had another beer – have to think about it before trying again the next time I’m off.

I posted a request for ideas on the Facebook M38a1 page tonight and got a few replies that pointed me in the opposite direction from where I was heading. The only thing I was thinking was to either move the engine forward or remove it completely. It was suggested by Clint T. that I remove the fenders and move the BODY instead – much easier than moving the engine, and something I can do on  my own without a cherry picker. I also need to move the body back to install the patch panel for the rear panel that is bent up, effectively killing 2 birds with one stone!


Bought some parts and did a little work

On the way to Nashville, we stopped by QTM Parts (Quarter Ton and Military Restoration Parts) in Chickamauga, Georgia . I had a great time talking with Matt and exploring his store, warehouse and junk yard! I was able to pick up a few things that I needed and save the shipping costs (large and heavy things are expensive to ship). We were in the car, so I was only able to buy some small stuff and a seat back for the driver seat (it is rotted away at the bottom). Windshield hinges for my other a1, sending unit and side valve cover gaskets for this a1, left hand lug nuts and 1 right hand stud for this a1.


So today I had a little time and decided to work on the seat. The lower part of the seat back was rusted away, so it had to be replaced.


I could’ve bought an NOS driver seat from Matt for $125, but I didn’t have room for it in the car, so I bought the replacement metal (sorry, I didn’t take a pic of it by itself). I paid $43. It was easy enough to remove the old one – I used the angle grinder to grind down the easily visible spot welds and then pried against them with a chisel until they popped loose.  I also marked the old spot weld points before I ground them down.


Then I ground down the leftover weld metal.


Then I lined the new metal up (centered on the side tubing and tight against the bottom tube) and started spot welding. I started at the bottom center, then worked my way around from side to side and top to bottom – jumping around.


Next, I ground down my spots (because I am not a welder and they weren’t all pretty, lol) and sand blasted it to make it all uniform.


Lastly, I sanded down the rest of the frame a little to make it look decent when I paint it. I sprayed it with some gloss black Rustoleum – because I didn’t have any primer. I figured that would be better than nothing.


It’s not perfect, but looks a lot better than it did! Hopefully I will have time tomorrow to get out and sand/paint it.


2 more pieces of the puzzle

I received 2 more pieces that I was missing today.  Who would’ve known that these top bow brackets would be do hard to locate.  Come to find out, they are called “NATO” top bow brackets. I located a dealer in Holland that had them (reman), but no one in the US. The reman ones weren’t exactly the same as the originals,  so i held off on buying them. Plus,  the shipping was a killer! Finally,  someone on the g503 forum offered his “reserved stock” of NOS front brackets to me – of course i had to take him up on them!

Carb is rebuilt

I got an email from Rick the other day saying that the carb was rebuilt and he sent me some “Glamour shots”.

Today I received an email saying that he had finished testing the carb – he found a leaking float and replaced it and tuned it.

Carb testing

The carb was rebuilt and tested on an actual engine. He includes a 1 yr warranty from the time of install (including return shipping). The price of this rebuild including the missing choke bracket, new float and shipping was a good bit cheaper than Midwest Military who I have been using up until now. I don’t think Midwest has a warranty. Rick’s website is Old Jeep Carbs LLC


Goods from the rally 

I picked up my last expensive item for the Jeep at the rally this weekend – 5 new NDCC.

I also picked up a new light switch (since the second one I got from my other source only worked SOME of the lights). I tested this one on the Jeep right after I bought it to be sure.  And I bought another Temp gauge. 

And another goodie that one of the Steel Soldiers guys made to sell at the rally: 

A 30″ octagon fire pit made from 1/8″ steel. The invasion stars are laser cut. I shouldn’t have to ever buy another one!  I couldn’t pass it up at $100!

Windshield and seats

I picked up my windshield from Sigmond Auto Glass in Lancaster today. They did a good job, although he DID take a while to get to it. In his defense, I DID tell him when I dropped it off last Thursday that I wasn’t in a big hurry. Anyhow, he only charged me $25 to install the old glass with the new rubber – well worth it! When I got back home I re installed all of the hardware. I still need to buy new wiper arms/wipers and vacuum hose before it is completely finished.


Next, I installed the new cushions on the rear seat frame. I forgot how much of a pain it is to do this! There is a lot of pulling and stretching involved on the seat back. Also, the outer 2 holes on the seat back top were too far out – I had to drill a new hole on one side. A couple of install tips – 1)use an awl to make the holes for the screws – don’t try to screw the screw through the 2 (or more) layers of canvas, 2)Install at least one screw at the top, then pull down on the sides (or bottom) and install a screw on the sides (or bottom) – fill in the rest going from side to side to keep it even, 3) You won’t get them perfectly smooth, 4) the fabric will smooth out once it gets wet and tightens back up when it dries and with use. These are observations from my first Jeep upholstery and top.

It would be nice if WeeBee Webbing would make the seat back cushion about 1.5″ wider to fill the frame, but they say that they patterned it from an original, so it should be correct.


Lastly, I installed the cushions on the passenger seat. The seat back installed quickly with a little pulling to install the top middle screws, then work your way from side to side installing the side screws. The bottom cushion installed VERY quickly as usual since they  just bolt on,