Hodakaguy M38 - Pics and Misc Thread

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Hodakaguy M38 - Pics and Misc Thread

Post by Hodakaguy » Sun Apr 28, 2024 4:38 pm

Thought I'd start a thread to document maint and our exploits with our M38.

A flat fender jeep has been on my father and I's bucket list for years, we've talked about picking one up many many times over the years but for what ever reason have played with other toys and never made it happen. Recently we were discussing this idea yet again and decided to start looking for one. We wanted to find an M38 version, the last of the flat fender jeeps and still had the famous Go Devil Engine. The M38 has the WWII look of the classic flat fender jeep with a lot of great improvements over it's earlier siblings.

With the decision made we posted a Want Ad and started watching all the usual listing spots for a M38. Soon a gentleman contacted me saying he has a M38 that he would sell, a phone call filled in the details. His father Lloyd had restored the M38 and when he passed on his son had inherited the jeep and was looking to clear up space in his garage for his other cars. The Jeep hasn't been driven in quite a few years, being hauled on a trailer to shows and parked in the garage since restoration. After studying the pics and talking to the owner on the phone we decided to hook up the trailer to the Tacoma and head out to see it in person....from our home town in WA state all the way back to Michigan!

Here are just a few of the 40 plus photo's the seller sent me and our first glimpse of the Jeep. Equipped with some nice accessories.

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My father and I have went on a lot of long road trips to snag vehicles over the years, but this one was our longest yet. We traveled the 2250 miles in 2.5 days. The Jeep was exactly what the seller said it was and came with some nice bonuses, a replica Browning M2 & M1919 with Tripod, pintle mount and pedestal. With the deal done we loaded the Jeep on the trailer and headed back west!

We debated on pulling the top off the Jeep for the trip home and folding the windshield down for less wind resistance..... But we were concerned that if we hit rain we didn't want the radio and interior getting soaked with road grime so we decided to try towing with the top on and see how it goes. The top is very tight/secure and tows great, no flapping etc. (We kept an eye on it and it did great all the way home with zero signs of wear. We will probably pick up a small enclosed trailer for future towing).

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The first of many fuel stops on the way home.

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We didn't stop at many places except for fuel...but we did swing in to check out the worlds largest fireworks store. It was Huge!

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We made it to Blue Earth Minnesota on Monday afternoon and got a hotel for the night. Up until now we've had clear blue skies but the forecast was showing a major change coming that night. They were warning of extreme thunder storms along with heavy rain, hail and possible tornadoes the following day! The storm system would stretch all the way across South Dakota on Tuesday but would be sunny and clear again on Wed. We decided to hang out at the hotel on Tuesday and let the weather pass, the jeep was secured from the weather and it would give us a little rest from sitting in the truck.

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Tuesday and rain. The Jeep came with a fitted waterproof cover, we installed the fitted cover then a tarp over that. We lashed it all down tight with ropes to keep it from flapping/wearing anything, the setup worked great keeping the Jeep nice and dry in the storms heavy rain. We lucked out and didn't get any hail. I'm really glad we didn't push further west as the storm was more severe in SD.

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Checking out the replica M2 at the Hotel.

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Wed and back on the road. Clouds in the sky but the rain is gone, the extra days wait was a good call!

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The last hotel stop of the trip in Montana.

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We're being followed!

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Safely back at home in WA.

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Playing in the neighborhood a bit. I'm going to go through and change all the fluids before we go out driving it any further.

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A few misc pics of the radio unit. This unit is set up to transmit on Artillery frequencies. The unit powers up but I have no idea what I'm doing with it LOL. I'll study some manuals on it when I get a chance.

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Removed the doors and sides.

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Data plates.

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Dash

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The 40 has a new stable mate.

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Now to go through and make sure everything is in good condition then go play with it.

Maintenance posts in the near future.

Hodakaguy.


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Re: Hodakaguy M38 - Pics and Misc Thread

Post by Hodakaguy » Sat May 04, 2024 3:51 pm

Getting this baby ready to play with...

First up is to clean up both battery boxes. The Jeep came with the correct 2HN military style batteries installed, these are wet cell lead acid batteries and sitting for years hasn't done the battery boxes any favors. Luckily the corrosion wasn't to bad so we set to getting them cleaned up and re-painted.

We will be replacing the 2HN batteries with sealed 51R batts, I've had great luck with sealed batts over the years and the lack of corrosion alone will make the swap worth it. This is a practical swap that doesn't modify the actual Jeep, if someone wanted the correct batts it would be a simple swap back.

The batt compartments as purchased. Sitting in the garage for years didn't do them any favors.

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Front batt box removed, Baking soda and a good scrubbing to neutralize the acid on both boxes.

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Cleaning up the base and internal batt boxes.

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Sandblasting the smaller bits.

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A couple coats of primer applied.

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The new 51R sealed batts are about an inch smaller than the 2HN batts. I was going to fabricate my own hold down brackets then found these cool brackets for sale, custom made for the 51R's. Nice!

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And in primer.

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And in paint.

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Still wet so the color is slightly lighter since it hasn't dried yet.

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Time to flush and bleed the brakes. The master cylinder is located below the drivers side floor and the cap is vented up to the air filter assembly under the hood (Part of the fording capabilities of the M38). These Jeeps were set up to use DOT5 fluid, the fluid in this one looked clear and not purple (DOT5 is purple) so I flushed and installed DOT4 since it looks like that is whats already in there. All 4 corners were flushed and bleed. Also adusted the free play on the pedal to 1/2" and adjusted the brake pads on all 4 corners.

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Making a custom bent 1/4" wrench for the rear brake bleeders.

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Front and rear axles were drained and re-filled with fresh fluids. I'll be draining and re-filling the transfer case and transmission with GL4 soon.

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Hover Jeep lol. Pic was taken before the rear jack stands were installed....I'm not going under without 4 jack stands!

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Filling the front knuckles. I'm using JD Cornhead grease, this grease is between a grease and an oil...It's thick enough that it doesn't leak out like 80w-90 and thin enough it properly lubricates and circulates unlike regular grease that just sticks to the inside of the knuckle housing.

I heated the grease up with a heat gun a bit and poured it into a oil syringe, the syringe worked great for squirting the grease into the knuckle.

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As you fill the knuckle turn the hubs over by hand as you fill. This will get the grease all the way around inside the housing and allow you to completely fill the knuckle to the bottom edge of the threads.

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More to come.....

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Re: Hodakaguy M38 - Pics and Misc Thread

Post by Hodakaguy » Sun May 05, 2024 3:19 pm

Getting a bit more progress in.

Up early and changing out the oil pressure sending unit. The unit was acting weird during the short time we were driving the Jeep, the gauge would randomly quit then show pressure when the engine was off after the key was cycled. It's a good thing I have Go Go Gadget Arms as removing the sending unit is an exercise in dexterity. The new unit was just slightly smaller in diameter so I added a thin piece of neoprene rubber between the sender and bracket for a secure fit.

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Drained and re-filled the transmission & transfer case with Redline MT-90. I've found in my older vehicles that MT-90 works great and usually improves shifting. The oil is GL4 and safe for yellow metals. The old oil was nice and clean.

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Time to change engine oil. I drained the oil through a clean cloth to see if there were any bits or pieces that shouldn't be there, nothing was caught on the cloth. The oil was defiantly dark and ready to be changed. We ran a magnet through the oil to see if there were any metal fines present...nope, nice and clean. I'll clean the oil filter assy and air cleaner soon.

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Fresh oil going back in. In my older vehicles I like to run either Valvoline VR1 or Mobile 15w-50. Both of these oils have higher levels of Zinc for push rod and flat tappet engines. I've always had great luck with these oils so decided to use the VR1 in 10w-30 in the M38. I know oils can be a hot topic....for me these two have always been my go to oils for vintage engines.

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LOTS of zerk fittings to grease. Only took one pic of the process though, transfer case shift linkage.

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Rubber shoes going back on. I torqued the lug nuts to 3A specs at 60 ft lbs.

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Getting a couple coats of OD on the battery tray and outer lip on the cowl battery compartment. Paint is light here as it's still wet.

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I will paint the inside of the box after the edges dry completely.

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Under hood batt box completed, freshly painted inside and out after a full sand blasting.

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More to come....

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Re: Hodakaguy M38 - Pics and Misc Thread

Post by D Pizzoferrato » Mon May 06, 2024 4:40 am

From my many years of experience with MVs, which overlapped Lloyd Atkinson's MV experience, military surplus Dot 5 brake fluid was readily available in 1 gallon jugs for $20 at MV swap meets years ago. I'm sure Lloyd purchased the same surplus Dot 5 that many of us did. I still have some left from what I purchased 25-30 years ago. The Dot 5 was purple due to a dye being added to it. Over time, that dye disappears. My gallon jug is purple (from the dye) but the contents are no longer purple. My military surplus Dot 5 is now yellow, like yours.

I've interacted with Lloyd for years. We attended all of the same swap meets. He bought plenty of our canvas products for his restorations. We often discussed what we were working on. He was in tune with the times when we were all embracing the use of Dot 5 in our new brake systems. At $20 per gallon, why not?

If Lloyd went through the effort to affix the Dot 5 Warning decal, I'm sure that system contained formerly purple military surplus Dot 5.
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Re: Hodakaguy M38 - Pics and Misc Thread

Post by Hodakaguy » Mon May 06, 2024 6:02 am

D Pizzoferrato wrote:
Mon May 06, 2024 4:40 am
From my many years of experience with MVs, which overlapped Lloyd Atkinson's MV experience, military surplus Dot 5 brake fluid was readily available in 1 gallon jugs for $20 at MV swap meets years ago. I'm sure Lloyd purchased the same surplus Dot 5 that many of us did. I still have some left from what I purchased 25-30 years ago. The Dot 5 was purple due to a dye being added to it. Over time, that dye disappears. My gallon jug is purple (from the dye) but the contents are no longer purple. My military surplus Dot 5 is now yellow, like yours.

I've interacted with Lloyd for years. We attended all of the same swap meets. He bought plenty of our canvas products for his restorations. We often discussed what we were working on. He was in tune with the times when we were all embracing the use of Dot 5 in our new brake systems. At $20 per gallon, why not?

If Lloyd went through the effort to affix the Dot 5 Warning decal, I'm sure that system contained formerly purple military surplus Dot 5.
Thanks, makes sense as I wasn't aware the color would fade, I would have kept the DOT5 if that's what was in it. I know the two types don't play well together. If I have any issues I'll swap out the master and wheel cylinders and start over as the DOT4 is already in there now.

His son took it to a friend who added fluid and blead the brakes while getting owned it...hard to say what they put in.

Do you still sell canvas top parts/sets?

Thanks for the reply

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Re: Hodakaguy M38 - Pics and Misc Thread

Post by Hodakaguy » Thu May 09, 2024 8:36 pm

More progress....

Cowl battery box interior painted. Bottom holes are still taped over from painting in this pic.

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Even though we are installing sealed batteries I went ahead and added a battery mat under each battery. The battery mat adsorbs and neutralizes any acid that it comes in contact with, it also adds a bit of padding between the battery and the tray.

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Cutting the mat to fit the battery tray.

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Tray re-installed.

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Front battery box mounting plate freshly painted and ready for the battery box to be re-installed.

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Trimming the battery mat for the front battery tray.

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Adding some NCP2 corrosion inhibitor to the terminals.

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That's much better!

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Cleaning the Cuno oil filter. The oil filter on the M38 is a bypass unit, meaning only a slip stream of oil goes through the filter. Two different types of filters were used on the M38's, a Cuno filter (Pictured on our setup) and a cartridge style filter.

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Since we just purchased the vehicle we removed the filter assembly from the jeep and disassembled it for a thorough cleaning.

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The filter works by pushing oil through the tightly spaced disks. To clean the filter you rotate the handle on top of the filter and it turns the disks and combs the disks to remove any debris that have been caught. The debris falls down into the settling bowl where it can be drained out by removing the plug on the bottom of the bowl or disassembled for a full cleaning.

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Assembly cleaned.

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With the oil filter re-installed we removed the drain plug on the bottom of the filter and cranked the engine over without starting it to ensure we have oil flow/pressure. Oil quickly drained from the filter assembly indicating the oil pump is working like it should be...perfect! The oil looks dirty here as we basically flushed the old oil out of the oil lines in this process.

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Next up was to clean the oil bath air cleaner.

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Removal is pretty quick. Remove intake and snorkel hoses.

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Then remove the vent lines attached to the rear of the filter housing and remove the filter assembly.

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To clean the filter remove the lower oil bath reservoir, drain and clean the unit out.

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Then remove the internal screen cartridge from the main filter assembly. This unit is full of a wire wool material. Flush this unit with gasoline or solvent then blow dry. Refill the unit with fresh oil and re-assemble.

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Installing a new snorkel hose. The original snorkel is starting to crack and is needing replacement. With a new hose in hand its time to swap it out.

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Out with the old.

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Old vs New.

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And new installed.

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Drained the ancient fuel out of the tank and wiped the bottom out, then put in 5 gallons of fresh ethanol free fuel.

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Received my small rechargeable speaker today for the Jeep. I saved an audio clip of some military artillery radio chatter to an SD card then installed the card in the speaker. Now we can hide the speaker under the radio in the back of the Jeep and when people are walking around it at shows they will hear radio chatter that seems to be coming from the Jeep's radio unit. Pretty cool effect.

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Here's a quick video of the speaker in action.

https://youtu.be/rZdOyywWppU?si=opwWxCdhoJQTj6Ox

Now we are waiting on our carburetor diaphragms to arrive and a few other small bits.

More to come.....

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Re: Hodakaguy M38 - Pics and Misc Thread

Post by Hodakaguy » Sat May 11, 2024 7:20 pm

Someone pointed out that our hand throttle and choke knob are swapped in each other's positions. Time to make that right.

As we picked it up.

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HodakaPops getting some seat time in .

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Cables out.

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All finished.

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Re: Hodakaguy M38 - Pics and Misc Thread

Post by Hodakaguy » Tue May 14, 2024 7:10 pm

A little carb work today.

When we purchased our M38 the Jeep was having a rough time running, blowing black smoke, stumbling and running super rich. It was barely drive-able. The Jeep has been sitting for years at this point so we expected a few make run issues. We changed out the ancient fuel (yellow varnish at this point) with some fresh ethanol free fuel and..... it ran even worse! Sooooo we ordered up a carburetor kit and today set to see what we could find.

The Carb before the disassembly.

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Popped the elbow off the carb, the bowl isn't as bad as I thought it might be. Wiping my finger in the bottom of the bowl showed a film of greenish sludge.

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Removing the metering rod diaphragm. Not in the best of cond, it's cracking and more than likely leaking.

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Removed the entire carb from the Jeep and moved it over to the work bench.

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Disassembly.

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Main fuel strainer looked clean.

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Running parts through the Ultrasonic Cleaner. This machine does a great job at cleaning all the internal passage ways.

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Interesting find. The original metering rod was missing the pin the connects the metering rod to the diaphragm, the metering rod was just floating around loose. Well that's not good!

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New assembly.

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Going back together.

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Float height as found was off, a quick re-adjustment returned it to spec.

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More Re-assembly

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The engine starts and runs smoothly now with no smoking. Power/ acceleration is a bit lower than I would expect but I haven't tuned the carb yet, checked timing, valves etc...I'll be doing that soon.
I wish I would have measured the metering rod to verify the kit came with the correct rod for the M38 and not the M38A1, I may end up pulling it back out to double check.

Took a drive around the block with the kiddo and put it back to bed till the weekend.

More to come...

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Re: Hodakaguy M38 - Pics and Misc Thread

Post by Hodakaguy » Sat May 18, 2024 4:28 am

More progress and some fun!

Started the day by changing out the rubber cowl seal on the windshield frame. First up remove the top and fold down the wondow.

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Lools great with the windshield down.

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Removing the old seal, it's screwed onto the bottom of the windshield frame. Removal is easy and quick.

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Houston we have a problem. The new seal is shaped a bit different and the holes dont quite line up with the old seal. Hmmmm.....not sure now which seal is correct for the M38. I re-installed the old seal for now until I verify.

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Since the weather was so nice we decided to take the Jeep for a quick spin to the fuel station and back. Before we left I did a quick check of the timing....it was way to far advanced. The adjusting nut on the distributer was pretty loose so it probably moved on its own. With the timing set we gave everything a look over and found/tightened several other loose bolts.

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And we're off. The timing made a big difference, engine is running a lot better now and has the pep I expected (it was low on pep when I test drove it around the block after the carb rebuild). We decided to run with the windshield down this trip. Fun stuff!

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After getting fuel we drove around to a few yard sales....so much fun.

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Back at the house and time to get a bit more work done. Our jeep came with a decontamination unit but the previous owner had it just laying loose under the passenger seat...rolling around loose probably isn't the best idea. There are wooden blocks attached to the body just ahead of the tool box lid, these were installed at the factory specifixally to mount the decontamination unit.

Passenger seat removed, you can see the wooden blocks In this Pic.

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Here I'm cutting a rubber piece to install between the Decon mount and body.

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If you ever want to drill holes in rubber use a piece of tubing in a drill. Unlike a drill bit a piece of tubing leaves a nice clean hole. Use a bit of water as lubricant as you drill the hole.

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And mounted up. I placed the unit as far back as I could while still allowing the tool box lid to open freely. I'll remove the setup.amd paint the mounting bracket OD soon.

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Re: Hodakaguy M38 - Pics and Misc Thread

Post by Hodakaguy » Sun May 19, 2024 7:36 am

Cowl seal revisit. I had ordered the replacement cowl seal from Army Jeep Parts and had contacted them after the first test fit. They said the new seal is the correct seal and that our old seal is a cheaper incorrect reproduction. After looking at some pics it does look like the new one is correct and follows the windshield frame correctly.

With new information in hand I set to swapping seals again.

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I warmed the seal up in the sun and it allowed the screw holes to line up correctly.

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I used a bit of lighter fluid on a paper town to wipe off the white molding residue, leaving a nice black seal.

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Very happy with the results. If you need a seal I would recommend this one from. Army Jeep Parts.

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Note: With the old seal the latches were almost impossible to close (like the seal was to thick), with the new seal I can snap the latches down by hand now with good tension on the latch...perfect!

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Re: Hodakaguy M38 - Pics and Misc Thread

Post by Hodakaguy » Sun May 19, 2024 4:46 pm

Maintenance day. Although the Jeep is running fairly decent it is still starting hard and could be running better. Time to check/verify points, timing, plug gaps and valve lash adjustments.

The M38 is waterproof and equipped with a sealed ignition system, utilizing sealed plug wires and a waterproof distributer.

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Distributer opened up and the upper housing held out of the way with a piece of bent wire.

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The coil is enclosed inside of the distributer assembly.

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Adjusting the points to .020". As found the points were tight. Points were in great cond, same with contact surfaces on the Cap and Rotor.

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Timing marks on the crank pulley and timing cover.

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With the rough timing set it was time to adjust the valves. I bent a piece of tig rod to use as a feeler so I could feel when the piston was at TDC. The bent wire allows you to reach over the exhaust valve and reach the top of the piston. You can also set TDC on cyl #1 and then rotate through the firing order, I like to use the feeler as an extra verification.

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Valves were pretty close to spec. A couple exhaust valves were about. 001" - .002" tight, and a couple intake valves were slightly loose. All reset to .016" now.

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Cleaning and gapping the plugs. All 4 plugs looked pretty good. Cleaned and ensured gaps were set at .030". This Jeep came with civilian plug adapters already installed which allows you to run cheaper civilian plugs while retaining the waterproof feature of the M38.

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Gapped and cleaned.

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Back together again.

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The engine started right up and was idling nice and smooth. Now it's time to check timing with the timing light At idle. To do this you unscrew the shielded plug wire on cylinder one and install a non-shielded adapter so the pickup will function correctly on the timing light. After timing is set and distributer is locked down Rev the engine up and watch the timing mark, the mark should advance with increasing engine RPMs. If your mark doesn't change you have an issue with your advance mechanism. All looked good here.

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Out for a quick test drive and it's running and starting great. Sucess!

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Re: Hodakaguy M38 - Pics and Misc Thread

Post by illini » Sun May 19, 2024 4:50 pm

Really great write ups and pictures! Thanks for posting. Looking forward to the M38 adventure.
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Re: Hodakaguy M38 - Pics and Misc Thread

Post by Hodakaguy » Sun May 26, 2024 4:56 am

illini wrote:
Sun May 19, 2024 4:50 pm
Really great write ups and pictures! Thanks for posting. Looking forward to the M38 adventure.
Thanks Mate. We are having a lot of fun with it, getting it running good and learning about it's history.

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Re: Hodakaguy M38 - Pics and Misc Thread

Post by Hodakaguy » Sun May 26, 2024 4:57 am

Mobile Hanger...

Picked up a used 7x14 Aluminum Alcom Stealth trailer to haul the Jeep. Interior is 84" high allowing us to drive the Jeep into the trailer and clear the Snorkel....perfect. Will be nice to have the Jeep protected from the elements when traveling.

Truck and trailer loaded with the Jeep inside.

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Used the trailer to haul the Jeep to the first car show of the season, up to the Moses Lake WA car show. It was a great turn out and we got to talk to a lot of amazing people at the show, many who had driven M38's while in service.

Kiddo had a blast and wore his Korean War jacket and helmet to go along with the Jeep. I need to find him a correct set of pants, boots and shirt to make a whole outfit.

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Re: Hodakaguy M38 - Pics and Misc Thread

Post by Hodakaguy » Mon May 27, 2024 7:43 am

Speedo cable & hand throttle....

The speedometer quit shortly after we picked up the Jeep. The speedometer needle started jumping around right before it quit so I suspected the cable had snapped. With a NOS cable in hand it's time to swap it out.

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Found the speedo cable snapped at the drive end connection on the transfer case.

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NOS cable, before cleaning.

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Gauge cluster removed and cable removed from back of speedo. There is a small washer that is re-used on the end of the cable at the speedo end. The cable pulls out from this end.

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Lubricating the cable as it's slid into the housing.

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Next up is swapping out the hand throttle to the correct unit. Our M38 had the later model (M38A1) skinny lever hand throttle installed, I'm swapping it out with a NOS M38 wide handle hand throttle that matches the handle on the fording valve.

As found Skinny lever installed.

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Throttle removed and here you can see the difference between the two.

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Adding some sticky back foam to the inside of the wiring tray behind the instrument panel. This should help eliminate rattles from the waterproof Douglass electrical connectors resting on the tray.

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Buttoned back up with the new throttle in place.

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