M38a1 too much rust?

1952 - 1968, M38A1, M170, questions, discussions, regarding anything related to the M38a1 series.
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mosinlover
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M38a1 too much rust?

Post by mosinlover » Thu Jan 19, 2023 6:01 pm

Hello all, I committed to purchase this jeep today for a long term project. Just curious what you all think about the rust. I'm decent on patching just figured it may be worthwhile to start with a new tub?
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mosinlover
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Re: M38a1 too much rust?

Post by mosinlover » Thu Jan 19, 2023 6:02 pm

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mcj115
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Re: M38a1 too much rust?

Post by mcj115 » Fri Jan 20, 2023 7:31 am

I am working on a similar (maybe a little more rusty) M38a1 at the moment. At the core you need to decide what direction you want to go with the jeep, and your budget. The plan for my jeep is to get it running mechanically well, running/driving first to make sure there are no surprise gotcha's then focus on the body. Once the mechanical works then I'll work on the body; something has to be said for oriogaly sweaty condition that can't be duplicated. I plan to do minimum viable repairs to the stock body, before taking any large steps. My process would be to pressure wash what is there to see what holes show up. For smaller holes 1 inch or less I plan to patch with POR15 patch and some drywall mesh tape( for support) ...which may or may not work. For the larger areas I have some old metal shelves that I'll use for patching. I then plan to coat the floors ( top and bottom) in rust converter paint( leaving the sides with the old patina). I figure that I'll have ~$100 in supplies and a couple of hours for a dirty fix before I diecide what direction to go. The biggest thing is to try to stay away from abrasives as holes can/will quickly grow.

70th Division
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Re: M38a1 too much rust?

Post by 70th Division » Sat Jan 21, 2023 7:29 pm

mosinlover wrote:
Thu Jan 19, 2023 6:01 pm
Hello all, I committed to purchase this jeep today for a long term project. Just curious what you all think about the rust. I'm decent on patching just figured it may be worthwhile to start with a new tub?

Resized_IMG_0036.jpeg
Hello,

This looks like a great project !

The body tub looks fully restorable, I think you could easily repair any rust holes, and hat channels under that may need patching.

Once you media blast it, don't use sand, but I would use glass abrasive made from crushed bottles that has no dangerous free silica like sand has in it.
You can even get a blaster that hooks up to a power washer, and make quick progress.

Once you get it clean with blasting, primer it, and use Metal to Metal metallic body filler to fill in any pitting on the floors.
That stuff will last forever, and never absorb water like bondo does.
Sand it smooth and it blends right in to the metal surface.

Weld some patches into any holes, and grind the welds smooth, being sure to use eye and ear protection.
Metal filler over you repairs and sand smooth, they will blend right in.

Make a restoration post here on the G, as I am sure many would love to see another beautiful M38-A1 jeep saved and brought back to life :D !

The steel is much thicker than found on WW2 jeeps, and thus easier to weld and make patches.

I have 2 M38-A1 Jeeps, and they are on my list, once I finish the 2 WW2 jeeps that I am restoring side by side.


These jeeps are referred to as the most "comfortable jeep" with regards to leg room, and thick spring cushions compared to earlier models.
All the parts you need are available to do a nice restoration.

WeeBee Webbing makes the seat cushions, and beautiful canvas tops, and any strap you need for it.

I am sure the seller has seats, and other parts you need, if you get the jeep.

Keep us posted !

Best Regards,
Ray

Kendall
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Re: M38a1 too much rust?

Post by Kendall » Tue Jan 24, 2023 2:31 pm

Be careful. You could be upside down financially on one of the least valuable of military jeeps pretty quickly.

AFM38A1
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Re: M38a1 too much rust?

Post by AFM38A1 » Tue Jan 24, 2023 8:08 pm

M38A1, the LEAST valuable!!!
Not mine (at least not after what I have put in it). :lol:
I told my wife I can get more for it than I have in it...which is still sorta true after a couple of restoration cost over runs.

Seriously, does a replacement tub effect the values of restored Jeeps?
I'm sure it depends on part on type and provenance, and would be not as critical in a M38A1 or run of the mill civil Jeeo, but is there a "rule of thumb"?
M38A1 MD 82551. Built 3/1955. Purchased in Nov. 2021.
Former owner/restorer of 1977 Jeep CJ-5 Renegade Levis Edition.
All stock w/factory V-8. Used as a daily driver for 7 years.

mosinlover
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Re: M38a1 too much rust?

Post by mosinlover » Fri Jan 27, 2023 9:42 pm

Thanks I'm not too worried about financials. Worried about not having anything solid to attach too. :D

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dpcd67
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Re: M38a1 too much rust?

Post by dpcd67 » Sat Jan 28, 2023 12:14 pm

Ive restored far worse condition than that one. Here is how I do it.
Get it.
Rip it all apart.
Have it all sand blasted.
Evaluate; repair, or replace sheet metal.
Replacement body parts?; no one cares. Except .001% of G503 members.
NEVER keep track of what you spend. It will make you depressed.
Yes, the M38A1 is the least desirable of all military jeeps; widely ignored by collectors, meaning me. But since there are no more WW2 jeeps to restore, guys are looking at them. Case in point; here.
No one cares about the financial end of it; this ain't a stock market. It's a hobby.
Most of all, have fun.
And you like Mosins, as do I; I build all kinds of things on them; doing a 50 Alaskan now.
U. S. Army 28 years.
Armor Branch


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