M38A1 12 Volt Wiring Harness

1950 - 1968, M38, M38A1, M170, modifications, sugestions, and ideas, official MWO's and unofficial field mods.
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Brian W. Emry
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M38A1 12 Volt Wiring Harness

Post by Brian W. Emry » Sun Mar 04, 2012 8:21 pm

I am just starting a restoration of a 1960 M38A1. Its a runner and has been coverted to 12 volt.

Is there a less exensive wiring harness available on the market that would let me to stay with the 12 volt system. I really don't want to purchase a $550.00 harness and then cut out the 24 volt connectors.

The existing harness is an original harness with the "Alterations".

Brian - Sacramento
1941 Dodge Power Wagon, Engine rebuilt - Restoration underway
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1952 - 1956 M38A1's (2 operational, 4 on deck)
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dfield
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Re: M38A1 12 Volt Wiring Harness

Post by dfield » Wed Apr 11, 2012 6:49 am

I'm looking for the same thing. Will be doing an M38A1 in 12 volt.
Looking for the following parts to finish my 1952 M38: fuel tank straps, front seat pans, battery cables, top bow rods, patch body panels for rear corners. NOS 0-60 psi oil pressure sending unit with Douglas connector. NOS head light dimmer switch.

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dfield
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Re: M38A1 12 Volt Wiring Harness

Post by dfield » Wed Apr 18, 2012 5:27 am

Anyone have experience with an after market 12 volt wiring harness. I am looking for a decent harness for a decent price.
Looking for the following parts to finish my 1952 M38: fuel tank straps, front seat pans, battery cables, top bow rods, patch body panels for rear corners. NOS 0-60 psi oil pressure sending unit with Douglas connector. NOS head light dimmer switch.

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Re: M38A1 12 Volt Wiring Harness

Post by wardo74 » Thu Nov 15, 2012 7:38 pm

Looking at the same thing. Although for a little more money and some patience with Ebay, it may be possible to get some decent 24V gauges at a decent price. Still, the harness is expensive, and I would like to have turn signals and maybe even hazard lights.
First Love (& car): 1957 Willys CJ5
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Current Project: 1952 M38A1 Ser # MD 26799

Marty, SoCal
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Re: M38A1 12 Volt Wiring Harness

Post by Marty, SoCal » Sun Nov 18, 2012 8:42 am

I think the guys over at Vintage Wiring of Maine will customize a harness for you, maybe leaving out uneeded circuits, M series end terminals left off for the gauges and lights, add in wiring for a 12V alternator, etc.

Otherwise, maybe a CJ-5 harness could be adapted?
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Re: M38A1 12 Volt Wiring Harness

Post by wardo74 » Sun Nov 18, 2012 1:25 pm

I was thinking of that too, the only question is the instrument gauges. On the Early CJ5 it was a combo gauge with Speedometer, fuel, & water temperature. Also I think they had a light for low oil pressure but I'm not sure. On the M38A1 all of the gauges are separate. I would like to have all the same gauges, but in 12 volt and then look for a harness that could do that. The early 12 volt gauges look the same size as 24 volt, but I don't know if they would work in the M38A1 instrument panel. Also the panel lights need to be in 12 volt.
First Love (& car): 1957 Willys CJ5
1999 graduate Vehicle Research Institute. Western Washington University
Current Project: 1952 M38A1 Ser # MD 26799

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wilfreeman
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Re: M38A1 12 Volt Wiring Harness

Post by wilfreeman » Sun Nov 18, 2012 3:41 pm

How bad is the original harness? Is it too bad to patch it and use it? I'm sure Vintage would modify a cj harness for separate gauges if that would work for you. Are you going with a "regular" light switch? That's the worst part of an 'a1 harness - maybe you could make your own harness (they aren't really complicated if you take out the military lighting and connectors).
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Mike C
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Re: M38A1 12 Volt Wiring Harness

Post by Mike C » Sun Dec 16, 2012 7:52 am

EZwire. http://www.ezwiring.com/wiring_harness.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
I have one of the 11 circuit harnesses in my A1. I wanted to keep the military look, but my jeep had been way too modified to worry about putting it back all stock. And like you, the cost to do so I found prohibitively expensive. I found the product to be well made and support was good, too.
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Re: M38A1 12 Volt Wiring Harness

Post by wardo74 » Fri Jan 11, 2013 7:18 pm

What did you have for gauges? I have a 12 volt system and want the look of the original M38A1, but with 12 volt gauges.
First Love (& car): 1957 Willys CJ5
1999 graduate Vehicle Research Institute. Western Washington University
Current Project: 1952 M38A1 Ser # MD 26799

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Mike C
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Re: M38A1 12 Volt Wiring Harness

Post by Mike C » Mon Mar 18, 2013 7:45 pm

I have a set of Autometer industrial gauges I got cheap years ago from Surplus Center. I ditched the speedo and run a tach instead. I run my A1 off-road only at this point. My camera focused on the shift ball, so sorry it's a little fuzzy.
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Mike C
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Re: M38A1 12 Volt Wiring Harness

Post by Mike C » Mon Mar 18, 2013 7:56 pm

I re-purposed WWII jeep switches for my A1. I removed the multi-function switch and put a plate in the opening. In that I put the dash light and blackout light switches which control the dash lights and my offroad driving lights respectively. The 6 volt switches can carry twice the current at 12 volts that they are rated for at 6 volts, so more than sufficient.
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