Transform CJ3A to M38

1950 - 1952, M38, questions, discussions, regarding anything related to the M38.
Post Reply
AgusWernli
G-Private First Class
G-Private First Class
Posts: 12
Joined: Thu Sep 10, 2020 8:08 am
Location:

Transform CJ3A to M38

Post by AgusWernli » Wed Nov 11, 2020 3:39 pm

Hello there,

I would like to know if its possible to transform a CJ3A to a M38. I am sure that in my country there are no m38s, but i found some Cj3As. I know that some people in this forum dont like this type of transformation. However, i would like to know if someone had done this, as well as, i would like to see some type of picture or video.

Thanks!


User avatar
dpcd67
G-General
G-General
Posts: 7936
Joined: Mon Jul 25, 2011 4:41 pm
Location: Iowa

Re: Transform CJ3A to M38

Post by dpcd67 » Wed Nov 11, 2020 8:17 pm

I like this kind of transformation because it is what you want to do. Yes it is possible to do what you want; HOWEVER, it will cost you a fortune.
Here are the differences and I am sure I forgot a ton.
Frame reinforcements.
Bumper is bolted on. not riveted.
Gas tank and the larger filler port.
M38 Wheels which are different than cj.
Tail lights are mil spec.
Special tail gate; reinforced for spare tire carrier and gas can carrier.
Gauge panel and mil spec gauges.
M series light switch and ignition switch.
Numbered, waterproof M series wiring.
Black out drive and marker lights.
Plumbed for underwater driving; valves, tubing, etc.
Special carburetor.
Windshield does not vent; bolted shut.
Has a glove box
Has pioneer tool indents on the passenger side.
Now; here is the hard part; all 24 volt components and wiring, which will cost you $3500. Wiring alone is $850. If you do all the work.
And lots of other differences.
You need to get the green book; M38 Restoration guide and it will tell you everything. Lots of pictures of the differences; no video exists. No reason to make this transformation here; just buy an M38. I have one I will sell you.
Good luck.
Study a lot before you start this; not for the timid or poor.
U. S. Army 28 years.
Armor Branch

IvorGPW
G-Command Sergeant Major
G-Command Sergeant Major
Posts: 215
Joined: Tue May 24, 2016 2:56 pm
Location:

Re: Transform CJ3A to M38

Post by IvorGPW » Wed Nov 11, 2020 10:30 pm

I wouldn’t imagine you’d be looking to convert it to 24 volt. I’d imagine you’d instead just get a M38 grille and other military bolt ons.
Here’s an example of what I’d consider to be the best of both worlds, a high quality restoration of a CJ3A with some military elements added. Tim Hawkridge the owner on this wonderful jeep and known as athawk11 in the CJ2A and CJ3A forums. I don’t know if he is on G503 but he would be the one to talk to.
https://cj3apage.com/Forum/index.php?topic=4514.0
Tate Christensen
1944 Ford GPW #234613 USMC Radio jeep
1943 Willys MB #263100
1945 Willys CJ2A #10226
1941 Ford GP #9687

User avatar
dpcd67
G-General
G-General
Posts: 7936
Joined: Mon Jul 25, 2011 4:41 pm
Location: Iowa

Re: Transform CJ3A to M38

Post by dpcd67 » Thu Nov 12, 2020 7:39 pm

That guy did a good job. I would have also installed an M38 gauge panel in it; that would be easy to do. Also, put the suite of M38 data plates on the dash, beside the glove box you are going to weld in.
U. S. Army 28 years.
Armor Branch

parker007
Sergeant Major of the Gee
Sergeant Major of the Gee
Posts: 425
Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2019 5:35 pm
Location: california

Re: Transform CJ3A to M38

Post by parker007 » Thu Nov 12, 2020 8:13 pm

If me i would just paint olive drab with stenciling , install some basic boltons, and drive it. most wont know difference.

User avatar
dpcd67
G-General
G-General
Posts: 7936
Joined: Mon Jul 25, 2011 4:41 pm
Location: Iowa

Re: Transform CJ3A to M38

Post by dpcd67 » Fri Nov 13, 2020 8:18 am

Exactly; no one around here would know; if it's any shade of green, it's Army, is the rule here; a local guy does have a CJ2A, painted green with all kinds of military paraphernalia nailed to it, and he is in all the parades and air shows. NO one knows the diff. Except me.
But, since the OP does know the difference, he might want to go whole hog. I would.
If he ever comes back to this site.
U. S. Army 28 years.
Armor Branch

mdainsd
G-Colonel
G-Colonel
Posts: 1489
Joined: Mon Oct 16, 2017 2:01 pm
Location: San Diego, CA

Re: Transform CJ3A to M38

Post by mdainsd » Fri Nov 13, 2020 8:41 am

Here is one of mine. CJ-3A with M38 body and other parts. 12/24V system. I love this Jeep, dont worry about scratches or some one touching it. It gets more attention than the fully restored ones too.
patinaJeep.jpg
52 M38 2X, '52 M37, '44 WC51, '42 WC 56/57, '50 CJ-V35(U), '42 GPW, '44 M3A1 Scout Car, 2010 M-Gator

42rocker
G-Sergeant
G-Sergeant
Posts: 48
Joined: Tue Oct 27, 2020 2:09 pm
Location: Tampa Bay Area Fla

Re: Transform CJ3A to M38

Post by 42rocker » Fri Nov 13, 2020 11:16 am

Well good luck with the redo.

mdainsd
Looks nice.

Stay Safe
Owner of "The Swiss Miss"

AgusWernli
G-Private First Class
G-Private First Class
Posts: 12
Joined: Thu Sep 10, 2020 8:08 am
Location:

Re: Transform CJ3A to M38

Post by AgusWernli » Sat Nov 14, 2020 9:12 am

dpcd67 wrote:
Fri Nov 13, 2020 8:18 am
Exactly; no one around here would know; if it's any shade of green, it's Army, is the rule here; a local guy does have a CJ2A, painted green with all kinds of military paraphernalia nailed to it, and he is in all the parades and air shows. NO one knows the diff. Except me.
But, since the OP does know the difference, he might want to go whole hog. I would.
If he ever comes back to this site.
Mate, i really appreciate all your answers. First, i live in Argentina, so its kind imposible to import an original m38, the problem are taxes and all the stuff that i would have to sign to import a car. However, thanks for your offer hahahha. Second, i saw the post that IvorGPW had posted in a reply. Would be so pricey to do something as that dude did with his cj3a? I also saw that kaiserwillys sells jeeps bodies, but i dont know if they can send them to Argentina, and if this idea is cheaper than modify a cj3a.
Last but not least, which is the book that you recommend me? Its this one? https://www.amazon.com/-/es/Willys/dp/B00435KU2Q

Thanks man for all your answers.

AgusWernli
G-Private First Class
G-Private First Class
Posts: 12
Joined: Thu Sep 10, 2020 8:08 am
Location:

Re: Transform CJ3A to M38

Post by AgusWernli » Sat Nov 14, 2020 9:16 am

IvorGPW wrote:
Wed Nov 11, 2020 10:30 pm
I wouldn’t imagine you’d be looking to convert it to 24 volt. I’d imagine you’d instead just get a M38 grille and other military bolt ons.
Here’s an example of what I’d consider to be the best of both worlds, a high quality restoration of a CJ3A with some military elements added. Tim Hawkridge the owner on this wonderful jeep and known as athawk11 in the CJ2A and CJ3A forums. I don’t know if he is on G503 but he would be the one to talk to.
https://cj3apage.com/Forum/index.php?topic=4514.0
Ivor, you are amazing dude. I found that athawk had posted in 2012 some photographs in a former post. Hovewer, i couldnt see those pictures. I really dont know that all jeep models have differents forums. Thanks dude!

User avatar
dpcd67
G-General
G-General
Posts: 7936
Joined: Mon Jul 25, 2011 4:41 pm
Location: Iowa

Re: Transform CJ3A to M38

Post by dpcd67 » Sat Nov 14, 2020 5:04 pm

I mean the M38 Reference Book, although you should get the M38 TMs to see what you can do. I am sure that a new tub will cost more than if you modified a Cj. Tubs cost $2000. You can weld in a glove box and pioneer tool indents and cut out for an M38 instrument panel, for a lot less than that.
Go for it.
Attachments
M38 book.jpg
M38 book.jpg (20.33 KiB) Viewed 234 times
U. S. Army 28 years.
Armor Branch

JMZ421
Sergeant Major of the Gee
Sergeant Major of the Gee
Posts: 483
Joined: Sat Jun 02, 2012 2:21 pm
Location: N.E. Ohio

Re: Transform CJ3A to M38

Post by JMZ421 » Sun Nov 15, 2020 8:49 am

It would be interesting to find out exactly how much it would cost to import a M38. I don't know the rules or logistics but there has to be a dealer around that imports. Maybe you could sell your cj to offset all this cost to obtain a real M38
Good luck. John


Post Reply

Return to “M38 Technical Knowledge Base”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests