M-38A1, 42 NON STOP YEARS OF M-38A1 FUN

1952 - 1968, M38A1, M170, questions, discussions, regarding anything related to the M38a1 series.
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Joe Gopan
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M-38A1, 42 NON STOP YEARS OF M-38A1 FUN

Post by Joe Gopan » Sun Sep 18, 2016 5:36 pm

I built My M-38A1 from scratch during 1974-1975, all parts NOS from Jeep, DRMO, surplus dealers, scrounging, and favors, etc. Only used parts are the Radiator Guard and Battery Box Cover. Crated NOS body tub cost me $200.00 at friend Bud Werners.

The seed for this project was sewn beginning in 1966 when I purchased a NOS M-38A1 Frame and Radiator at Ft. Devens. And became a new Jeep project in the early 70's when the clean M-38A1's at DRMO sales suddenly got scarce. The only way I could get a nice M-38A1 was to build one. Friend Lawrence Nabholtz told me that Charles Anderson, Fire Chief in Idabel Oklahoma was buying NOS M-38A1 bodies back east. A call to Mr. Anderson resulted in my buying several NOS bodies from Bud Werner.

I completed it in summer of 1975 and its shake down was a 1000 mile weeks vacation trip the following week to the White Mountains. The 9 mile trip up Mt. Washington and 9 Miles down were trouble free. The trip down was mostly in second gear using compression braking to avoid brake fade. It never jumped out of 2nd gear once during the decent , even at 20+ mph. PM and inspection after returning home revealed no loose parts or need for maintenance.
I have logged 70,000 trouble free miles on her since assembling it 41 years ago, and have never had a stoppage or had to boost or tow it. The first engine lasted just over 50,000 miles until it was majored due to oil consumption. The engine was assembled starting with a NOS block and a NOS GPW Crankshaft. After 50,000 miles the crankshaft mike'd standard and need no polishing. That crank is now in Manny Rogers GPA and a NOS Jeep factory shaft is now installed.
The M-38A1 still has a fresh look due to a light coat of GI Issue 24087 every 10-12 years and still drives as tight as new.
Good old Jeep factory training combined with excellent Army service schooling are a winning combination. PM is done on schedule and all moving parts are maintained to factory specification. Good Army maintenance is a must and all Army mechanics are taught that a soldiers life depends on good vehicle maintenance.
Last edited by Joe Gopan on Tue Aug 13, 2019 9:54 pm, edited 5 times in total.
2011 MVPA PIONEER AWARD - MVPA #1064
HONOR GRAD-WHEELED VEHICLE MECHANIC SCHOOL 1960 - US ARMY ORDNANCE SCHOOL(MACHINIST) ABERDEEN PG 1962 - O-1 BIRD DOG CREWCHIEF - 300,000+TROUBLE FREE M-38A1 MILES
LIFE MEMBER AM LEGION-40/8-DAV
7 MIL SPEC MAINTAINED MV'S
COL. BRUNO BROOKS (ARMY MOTORS) IS MY HERO

JMZ421
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Re: M-38A1-41 YEARS OF JUST PLAIN FUN

Post by JMZ421 » Tue Sep 20, 2016 7:12 pm

Hi Ben, another great story and appreciate the maintenance tips. John

Joe Gopan
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Re: M-38A1-41 YEARS OF JUST PLAIN FUN

Post by Joe Gopan » Tue Sep 20, 2016 7:39 pm

And do not forget that there are other proud G503 members with a JEEP who are also well trained by the US Army and still maintain their own MVs to the high standards of the US Army.
Part of owning an M-38A1 is to relive a small bit of the experience of serving in the military and maintain the Jeep to the high standards of the military. There is nothing like honing your M-38A1 Army Jeep skills on the same M-38A1 for over 40 years. Mechanic school comes back like it was yesterday along with the friendly faces of the instructors. And memories of my friendly CO, Capt Nowicki peering down at me in the grease pit while I maintained his Jeep are also vivid. :wink:
2011 MVPA PIONEER AWARD - MVPA #1064
HONOR GRAD-WHEELED VEHICLE MECHANIC SCHOOL 1960 - US ARMY ORDNANCE SCHOOL(MACHINIST) ABERDEEN PG 1962 - O-1 BIRD DOG CREWCHIEF - 300,000+TROUBLE FREE M-38A1 MILES
LIFE MEMBER AM LEGION-40/8-DAV
7 MIL SPEC MAINTAINED MV'S
COL. BRUNO BROOKS (ARMY MOTORS) IS MY HERO

Joe Gopan
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Re: M-38A1-41 YEARS OF JUST PLAIN FUN

Post by Joe Gopan » Sun Apr 09, 2017 7:33 pm

Year 42 on my present M-38A1 is here. Not one breakdown or stoppage in 42 years, Army PM by the book works. :wink:
2011 MVPA PIONEER AWARD - MVPA #1064
HONOR GRAD-WHEELED VEHICLE MECHANIC SCHOOL 1960 - US ARMY ORDNANCE SCHOOL(MACHINIST) ABERDEEN PG 1962 - O-1 BIRD DOG CREWCHIEF - 300,000+TROUBLE FREE M-38A1 MILES
LIFE MEMBER AM LEGION-40/8-DAV
7 MIL SPEC MAINTAINED MV'S
COL. BRUNO BROOKS (ARMY MOTORS) IS MY HERO

Joe Gopan
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Re: M-38A1, 42 NON STOP YEARS OF M-38A1 FUN

Post by Joe Gopan » Wed May 23, 2018 6:14 am

Year 43 has begun. All systems are "go" Thanks to NOKO Genius 24V Smart Charger, it looks like the 2HN GI Issue Batteries are going to exceed 10 years, I have10 Dry Charge 2 HN's on the shelf, they should last me for as long as I am able to drive the M-38A1 . PM this season will include Steering Knuckle service to inspect and repack the trunion bearings and change the seal on the steering gear.
This is my rainy day parade Jeep - don't want to get the MB wet, especially without the top.. :wink:
2011 MVPA PIONEER AWARD - MVPA #1064
HONOR GRAD-WHEELED VEHICLE MECHANIC SCHOOL 1960 - US ARMY ORDNANCE SCHOOL(MACHINIST) ABERDEEN PG 1962 - O-1 BIRD DOG CREWCHIEF - 300,000+TROUBLE FREE M-38A1 MILES
LIFE MEMBER AM LEGION-40/8-DAV
7 MIL SPEC MAINTAINED MV'S
COL. BRUNO BROOKS (ARMY MOTORS) IS MY HERO


Joe Gopan
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Re: M-38A1, 42 NON STOP YEARS OF M-38A1 FUN

Post by Joe Gopan » Wed Oct 31, 2018 1:05 pm

Year 43 on the M-38A1, made posssible by Lawrence Nabholtz tipping me off about the NOS M-38A1 bodies Bud Werner offered along with NOS Windshields, Front Seat Cushions, Hoods, Dash Boards, etc.
2011 MVPA PIONEER AWARD - MVPA #1064
HONOR GRAD-WHEELED VEHICLE MECHANIC SCHOOL 1960 - US ARMY ORDNANCE SCHOOL(MACHINIST) ABERDEEN PG 1962 - O-1 BIRD DOG CREWCHIEF - 300,000+TROUBLE FREE M-38A1 MILES
LIFE MEMBER AM LEGION-40/8-DAV
7 MIL SPEC MAINTAINED MV'S
COL. BRUNO BROOKS (ARMY MOTORS) IS MY HERO

BamaJ
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Re: M-38A1, 42 NON STOP YEARS OF M-38A1 FUN

Post by BamaJ » Thu Nov 01, 2018 7:13 am

I would love to see pictures!

Joe Gopan
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Re: M-38A1, 42 NON STOP YEARS OF M-38A1 FUN

Post by Joe Gopan » Tue Aug 13, 2019 9:58 pm

Year 44, still mission ready, still has that new factory feel after 44+ years and 70,000 plus miles.
Will come up with pics.It is still all OEM factory parts with only two minor changes, A Solid State Voltage Regulator and the BAT/GEN Gauge . The AN/VRC 10 Radio was also installed new.
The VRC 10 usually has a 10 mile range but on certain days it receives traffic from PD in California 3000 miles away.
2011 MVPA PIONEER AWARD - MVPA #1064
HONOR GRAD-WHEELED VEHICLE MECHANIC SCHOOL 1960 - US ARMY ORDNANCE SCHOOL(MACHINIST) ABERDEEN PG 1962 - O-1 BIRD DOG CREWCHIEF - 300,000+TROUBLE FREE M-38A1 MILES
LIFE MEMBER AM LEGION-40/8-DAV
7 MIL SPEC MAINTAINED MV'S
COL. BRUNO BROOKS (ARMY MOTORS) IS MY HERO

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