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Author Topic: M38A1 -Build  (Read 5462 times)

Offline Freefree

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M38A1 -Build
« on: January 15, 2013, 09:25:36 PM »
I'm not sure if anyone here is interested in my "build".  I am by no means a builder or good at fabrication- I also have not documented this build as well as some others on the site have.  I am learning as I go and relying on a few friends to do some work for me and bail me out when I am over my head.  
I have been wanting a retro style wheeler for a while now- and here it is.  
I picked up the 1954 M38A1 this summer- I saw it and I had to own it.

« Last Edit: January 20, 2013, 03:38:26 PM by Freefree »

Offline Freefree

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Re: M38A1 -Retro Wheeler
« Reply #1 on: January 15, 2013, 09:43:30 PM »
Once I got it home I parked it and brainstormed how to attack it.  It is (well was) very original.  I'm not sure about it's military history but after it was decommissioned it served as a run about for a state school- which is how it got it's blue and purple paint job.  The guy I bought it from used it to brings his family 100 yards down the road to the lake near his house.  It became to much work and he parked it in the garage.  At some point it was converted to 12 volt and someone sanded off some of the blue paint in preparation for paint.   It has some rust but not much- the spot in the picture below and then the front floor under the deep well gas tank and the front driver's hat channel.

Offline Bradman

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Re: M38A1 -Retro Wheeler
« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2013, 12:46:59 AM »
Nice project ahead. Good luck

Offline Axle

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Re: M38A1 -Retro Wheeler
« Reply #3 on: January 16, 2013, 08:26:37 AM »
love it!
85 cj-7

Offline Posimoto

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Re: M38A1 -Retro Wheeler
« Reply #4 on: January 16, 2013, 06:58:06 PM »
I knew you had this just waiting for you to come clean   ;D

Going with a beefy 4 speed? Plans?

"That's the trouble with research on the internet, there's no way of verifying its truth" --Abraham Lincoln

71 CJ5 V6/T14/D18/Warn OD (from CO)
79 CJ5 304/T-150 Silver Anniversary
79 CJ5.5 360/T-18/4.1 D-300
77 CJ5 360/T-18/3.15 D-20
77 CJ7 258 Fuel Injected T-18/D-20 (from CO)

Offline Freefree

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Re: M38A1 -Retro Wheeler
« Reply #5 on: January 16, 2013, 09:48:16 PM »
I started the work a few months ago- recently, with tons of help, I have made some final decisions on it and done a decent amount of work.
I will go through the story of the build as I have time but since Chuck asked. 

Buick Odd fire V6- Ford t-18- Teralow 18 t-case- BDS 2.5 inch lift- 34x10.50 Swamper LTBs on Renegade 15x8 Steel Kelsey Hayes wheels original axles with 5.38s.  I love the patina so I won't paint it- just patch the holes.

I figure it will happen in a few phases.  For now I am focusing on the drive train - lift and tires...Then I plan on using it to see what it needs next. 

Trying to keep it simple and cheap-

Offline Posimoto

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Re: M38A1 -Retro Wheeler
« Reply #6 on: January 17, 2013, 12:00:48 PM »
Ford t-18- Teralow 18 t-case
With the stock axles you'll have a nice 107 crawl ratio.
"That's the trouble with research on the internet, there's no way of verifying its truth" --Abraham Lincoln

71 CJ5 V6/T14/D18/Warn OD (from CO)
79 CJ5 304/T-150 Silver Anniversary
79 CJ5.5 360/T-18/4.1 D-300
77 CJ5 360/T-18/3.15 D-20
77 CJ7 258 Fuel Injected T-18/D-20 (from CO)

Offline jps4jeep

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Re: M38A1 -Retro Wheeler
« Reply #7 on: January 17, 2013, 03:10:29 PM »
Is this the rig you were telling me about when we swapped tires?







The Q's would have looked way nicer then the ltb's  :deadhorse:

Looks great!
Dad always said "If it has boobs or spark plugs it will be fun AND will cause you problems."

Offline Freefree

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Re: M38A1 -Retro Wheeler
« Reply #8 on: January 17, 2013, 03:44:55 PM »
Yes a 107 crawl ratio with the 5.38s I thought about using a set of 4.88s to get a little more MPH on the road and a crawl ratio of 97 but it was easier and cheaper to keep the 5.38s.

Yes and no John- this is the same concept but it is being done with a Jeep that needed less work- these are the LTBs I traded your Qs for...I kinda wish I didn't but I think the 34s will be a tight fit and they look pretty good to me.  They are basically new and I traded a set of 5 for 4.  This is them on the Kelsey Hayes wheels that I sand blasted and painted semi-gloss black.   I'm planning on balancing them with 8 oz of airsoft pellets.

Did you ever got the 39s on your Jeep?

Offline jeepgod

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Re: M38A1 -Retro Wheeler
« Reply #9 on: January 17, 2013, 06:56:36 PM »
Love it, but that rear axle isn't going to last very long with a v6, t18 and d18 with 3.15 low range add in 34" ltb and 107 crawl ratio and it is doomed . . . . . . .

First hand experience


And while you are at it, loose the frt d27 axle as well. A d30 from a narrow track cj will basically bolt it. Better brakes, disc if you want and open knuckle


The other huge thing you need to address is the steering, that stock steering blows big monkey balls and beyond not being very strong it is very difficult to keep in good working order. And since you intend on swapping the motor if I were you I would look into swapping in a  later style Saginaw power steering box.

Man, I could go on and on and on. Early cj's are cool but require quite a bit of work to make them perform well offroad and on road.


Good luck, like I said cool project
DISCLAIMER: 90% of the time the things i write on this forum are meant as a joke! Please be advised that these jokes are not meant to upset or hurt any one individual. if i offend you i am sorry. the other 10% of the time i am serious. if you are unsure pm me and i will be glad to explain.  thxs

Offline jps4jeep

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Re: M38A1 -Retro Wheeler
« Reply #10 on: January 18, 2013, 07:29:22 AM »
Ya, I put the 39's on the jeep.. the rears didn't fit. I had to strech the rear back a couple inches to get them to fit and cut out more of the tub, then I moved on to my pick up project so the jeep got pushed to the back of the garage and just sits there.
Dad always said "If it has boobs or spark plugs it will be fun AND will cause you problems."

Offline Posimoto

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Re: M38A1 -Retro Wheeler
« Reply #11 on: January 18, 2013, 07:53:13 AM »
I agree with Todd with some side notes.

You wouldn't be able to run front disc with the Kelsey- Hayes rims they won’t fit over the caliber. You could run drums 72-77 CJ or go disc and use different rims.

You have 1 choice for a direct fit upgraded rear axle and that’s the 70 ˝- 71 CJ 44 the only other direct fit upgrade would be the 72-75 CJ but you would need to swap out your D-18 for a D-20. I know you recently had a 71 rear up for sale if it hasn’t sold I would suggest hanging on to it.

PS with a V6 would be the way to go but manual sag is a huge upgrade over the Ross steering as well. I know a mechanist in Alabama that makes up kit for mounting the sag box upgrade.

IMO, you could leave it stock and run 31” and have at it and chances are you won’t break but the snowball starts rolling when you add upgrades. Whatever you decide, your Jeep is the canvas and you are the artist.
"That's the trouble with research on the internet, there's no way of verifying its truth" --Abraham Lincoln

71 CJ5 V6/T14/D18/Warn OD (from CO)
79 CJ5 304/T-150 Silver Anniversary
79 CJ5.5 360/T-18/4.1 D-300
77 CJ5 360/T-18/3.15 D-20
77 CJ7 258 Fuel Injected T-18/D-20 (from CO)

Offline Freefree

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Re: M38A1 -Retro Wheeler
« Reply #12 on: January 18, 2013, 08:04:19 PM »
I'm glad people are interested in my build and I welcome advice and opinion and a matter of fact a appreciate the support.
Jeepgod and Posi- you guys bring up a lot of great points/ideas that I have or will consider

I have a 30 spline offset narrow track dana 44 rear and I am looking for an open knuckle narrow 30 with drum brakes (so I can keep my Kelsey Hayes wheels)  Eventually they will get selectable lockers and either 4.88s or 5.38s and upgraded shafts.

I am planning on upgrading to a dual master cylinder brake system

Power steering is on the list of future upgrades- I am looking into better linkage options

Hydraulic clutch is also on my list-

The M38a1 frame seems to be thicker and is boxed in more sections than my other early 5s and the shackles are reversed. 

At the end of the day this Jeep is going to get me into the sport- It, like all Jeep projects, will be never ending. 

Offline Freefree

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Re: M38A1 -Build
« Reply #13 on: January 22, 2013, 09:13:25 PM »
Chuck- I just re-read your post- can you forward me more information about the mechanist in Alabama that makes the kit you are talking about.


Offline Posimoto

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Re: M38A1 -Build
« Reply #14 on: January 23, 2013, 08:32:23 AM »
PM sent
"That's the trouble with research on the internet, there's no way of verifying its truth" --Abraham Lincoln

71 CJ5 V6/T14/D18/Warn OD (from CO)
79 CJ5 304/T-150 Silver Anniversary
79 CJ5.5 360/T-18/4.1 D-300
77 CJ5 360/T-18/3.15 D-20
77 CJ7 258 Fuel Injected T-18/D-20 (from CO)


 



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