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.

Got it running!


I started yesterday – put the batteries in and rigged up a fuel line with a funnel for feeding the gas. It would fire off with ether, but wouldn’t run from the carb.

First start with ether

Today, I pulled the carb off and cleaned it. The needle was stuck so no gas was getting to the bowl. It runs ok, but we’ll see what happens when I get the tank cleaned and fuel line (that was cut to install an electric fuel pump) replaced. This was only temporary to verify that the engine would run and wasn’t knocking or anything.

Starting with ether and running from carb

Running from carb only

After I found that it ran Ok, I pulled the tank out and electric fuel pump crap off. I also blew the fuel line out from the shutoff valve back to where they cut the line off. I don’t know if these tanks were galvanized or anodized (it looks like anodizing), but the sand and mud trapped between the tank well and tank destroys these things! This Jeep has been under a shed since this tank was installed NEW and is already rusting. Check out the gallon of crap I drained out of the tank and lines!

I DID find some rust in the tank well that I didn’t catch. Perhaps the undercoating was covering it up. It wasn’t bad enough to cut out and replace the well, so I cleaned it and put a couple of heavy coats of Rustoleum Rusty Metal Primer on it and on the places that were rusting on the tank.

After I finished with this I De-civilianized the Jeep. There was a lot more wiring added than I thought. The turn signals could’ve been added a lot easier than this! It sure does look a lot better without all of that crap on it! Check out the custom Yeti Jeep cup my wife made me for Christmas (and my favorite beer).

I guess the next thing I need to do is clean and paint the tank, paint the well, install the tank an replace the fuel line. Then I can work on the brakes and make it mobile again!

1964 USMC M38a1

So I ran across a 1964 “Army jeep” for sale on Craigslist the other day. After looking at the 4 pics on the ad, I decided that it was probably a USMC version. I called the number and talked to the owner. He said it was very original and that he replaced the carb and fuel tank and they would drive it around the farm. I figured we could go look at it on New Years day because that’s the first day I would be off.

We took a day trip and rode over to look at it (about 85 miles away). I took everything I would need to do a thorough inspection – a bag of tools, ground cover, coveralls, multimeter, compression tester, 2 batteries, starting fluid, oil and a jack. When we got there I did a quick assessment and was impressed – 1 place in the passenger floor had rust and the rear panel had a little damage and not too many dents. I dug a little deeper. The engine compartment was complete and original. The radiator didn’t leak. The tank wasn’t full of rust – just varnish! The tank well wasn’t rusted through and there was no rust in triangular cowl braces, tool box or hat channels! The parking brake assembly is complete, although the pads are worn out. It had the front AND rear limited slip diffs. It even had the rear seat frame and all 4 shackles!

Things that are missing: Blackout drive light, gas can carrier, spare tire/wheel and mount and pintle hitch.

Things I know that will need replacing: Fuel pump and line to carb, exhaust pipe/muffler, 2 wheels/all tires, light switch, 1 front spring (top leaf), bellcrank rebuild and seat cushions.

Here are some of the initial pics. I’ll get started on it as soon as I finish the fuel pump install on the Army Jeep. So technically, this is a 1964 KAISER M38a1.

wp-1483567966644.jpgwp-1483567966713.jpgIncludes the rear seat!No idea what the stripes on the bumper and rear panel were for. Love the 70's CJ stripes on the hood, fenders and sides.wp-1483567965672.jpgwp-1483567966529.jpgGas tank was replaced years ago.wp-1483567966527.jpgMost of the rust in the floorboard is surface. The rust at the cowl brace on the floorboard is the only rust through on this Jeep!Gas tank was replaced years ago.The only rust through - coming from the floor at the cowl brace.USMC only passenger seat toggle to hold it up.Floor rust at the cowl brace. Those are paint chips on the floor.Behind the seat body serial tag.No rust in the toolbox, but a couple of places rusted through in the seal channel and the hinge pins are missing.USMC security device?Don't have a clue on the stripes. The damage on the rear panel and the rear bumperette is the only major things wrong with the body. Those tail light gotta go too!ALMOST a '65 model. Serial #95889Got to replace that civvy speedometer and fuel gauge.Why did the top 3 fade so bad while the bottom 3 didn't?Fuel pump is there but bypassed - I pumped the primer and it didn't feel right. I'm guessing the pump is inop.Correct air cleaner and solis state voltage regulator.Marine Corps responsible agency tagwp-1483567966149.jpg12v turn signal wiring messwp-1483567966045.jpgUSMC rubber covered accelerator pedalKaiser Jeep fendersUSMC rear bumper and shacklesLimited Slip rear diff tagwp-1483567965922.jpgExhaust system mess. That exhaust pipe is crimped down to 3/4" where it is bent.Wheel wells aren't dented up.Rear panel and bumperette damage