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Working on an M38A1 rescue. (pics)

Posted: Tue Jun 18, 2019 6:27 pm
by TonyRumore
I just bought this 1954 M38A1 last month for $1,000 (S/N MD77132). An older gentleman had bought it 15 years ago to restore, stored it in one of his aircraft hangars, but never did any work on it. Sadly, he passed away about a year ago and I bought it from his son, a very good friend of mine. It appears to have a rebuilt engine in it, just by the way it looks and it only took me a couple hours to get it fired up. Not a hint of smoke from the exhaust and I ran it inside my shop. It's got 55,000 miles showing the odometer, which seems like quite a lot compared to others I have seen.

It was originally registered here in Oklahoma in 1994, but it looks like someone was intentionally trying to be deceptive because they removed the delivery date data plate and registered it as a 1952 model. Unfortunately, I don't think I'll ever be able to fix the title. The story his son told me, was that the jeep had been used as a run-around vehicle on a large ranch here in Oklahoma and it appears so. There is a lot of Oklahoma redneck repairs that would make anyone shake their head in disbelief.

Anyway, I'll post pics later when I get the thing back to road worthy condition.

Tony Rumore
Tromix

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Re: Working on an M38A1 rescue. (pics)

Posted: Sun Jun 23, 2019 8:22 am
by 70th Division
Hello Tony,

Welcome to the G !!
That is a great looking M38A1 to restore, the body looks really good.
It appears that they lifted it some, it sits pretty high :D but that can be un-done.

These jeeps are among the most comfortable and roomy Army Jeeps out there.
Parts are very plentiful and not priced high at all, like WW2 jeeps.
Wee-Bee webbing makes great original style canvas tops for your jeep, I am ordering one in the future.
I just got one for my GPW, and it is beautifully made, here in the U.S. of A.

Good luck with the restoration, and keep us posted on your great jeep rescue !!!

Best Regards,
Ray

Re: Working on an M38A1 rescue. (pics)

Posted: Sun Jun 23, 2019 9:48 am
by Mark Jesic
Welcome to the site Tony, it looks like you have a really nice project there, good luck with it. :D

Re: Working on an M38A1 rescue. (pics)

Posted: Sun Jun 23, 2019 10:09 am
by Joe Gopan
The Army can pile the miles on in some units, the first high reading M-38A1 Speedometer I eencountered was 67,000 miles on a post motor pool Jeep at Ft Dix in 1960.
I have driven the M-38A1 I built from all factory and new surplus over 70,000 miles and it still has that "new" look and "feel".

Your Filler Pipe Cup was mailed yestersay.

Re: Working on an M38A1 rescue. (pics)

Posted: Wed Oct 30, 2019 3:54 pm
by jnissen
Our original odometer showed 98K miles! I could believe it. Think 90% of those were in its early life. Has rebuild tags as well from 1961 but engine had no wear internally and no smoke as well. Hopefully your as lucky as we were and the engine will be good.

We did have to completely rebuild the T90 and D18 gear-train as well as all new u-joints and in places yokes or drive shafts.


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Re: Working on an M38A1 rescue. (pics)

Posted: Wed Dec 11, 2019 11:21 am
by m35a22ton
I just picked up a near stick USMC M38A1 1952, last registered 1975 in CA, all plaques are in good readable condition. I hope registration is easy. I have another m38a1 heavily modified driveline that was registered incorrectly using the ord.ser.no and not the mfg.ser.no. you could barely read the MFG but it is there. Odd part no deliver date stamped. The m38a1 "story" spent its life in CA ft Irwin then San Bernardino county service when it was auctioned off to the guy I purchased it from. Pink slip has ord. Ser.no as vin and 1963 as year.
The new one has a much better restoration starting point.
On the odd topic I also have a 1946 cj2a when I cleaned off the firewall and vin plate I found that dmv missed a digit. Last one being a visible 1 when cleaned. I guess its close enough for government work!

Re: Working on an M38A1 rescue. (pics)

Posted: Wed Dec 11, 2019 7:43 pm
by jnissen
Yeah the DMV can be tricky. Hopefully you can get through the ordeal without trouble.