M38 really a CJ3B or M606?

1950 - 1952, M38, questions, discussions, regarding anything related to the M38.
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M38 really a CJ3B or M606?

Post by bill_oleary » Tue Nov 04, 2008 11:45 am

A guy I know was led to believe he has a 1951 M38, but I noticed that it varied considerably from mine. For one thing, it has a taller grill and higher hood that I've come to learn was characteristic of the later civilian CJ3B. I gather it was made higher to fit the later "Hurricane" engine that delivered more horsepower, in part using intake valves in the head rather than the block. Yet, his jeep is done up military style (though I haven't been able to see under the hood to see if all the waterproofed ignition, wiring, etc. is there) and he was told it was an actual Korean War veteran. I understand that there WAS a militarized version of the CJ3B called the M606, I believe. A couple of questions I was hoping you could help me with:
- Was there an M606 military version of the CJ3B and would it have the expected military features like waterproofed ignition/wiring, brush guards on the headlights, blackout marker lights in the grill, etc. (his definitely does not have the last two)?
- When was the M606 introduced/used? Did it actually serve in Korea?
- Is it possible the military used CJ3Bs as well, perhaps before the militarized M606 was introduced?

Just trying to ascertain what this vehicle is and whether its purported history is accurate. I suspect this is actually a CJ3B that someone did over in military paint, etc. at some point...

Thanks for any pointers.

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Post by raymond » Tue Nov 04, 2008 2:58 pm

I looked at a 606 when I was jeep hunting, and the owner told me it is nothing more than a CJ3B with a blackout light on the front driver's side fender. They were not used in tactical situations and thus did not have waterproof and shielded ignition components, or blackout marker and stop lights. Most M606s were made for export where a country did not want to spend the extra $ for all the above options that were included on U.S. tactical vehicles. I think the CJ3B page has some info.



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Post by Bob Shaw » Tue Nov 04, 2008 4:19 pm

The military also used CJ3b's ,Mike D in Plano Texas has one,and I have seen a picture of another one.They both are in the original OD paint and one is marked US Army on the hood with hood numbers.Both Data Plates say CJ3b.What I found interesting is the dual fuel tanks.(One under the passenger seat as well as the one under the driver's seat).
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Post by topfueler1 » Tue Nov 04, 2008 8:19 pm

I have a M-606 it is basicaly a beefed up CJ-3B. F-Head but no waterproofing, 12 volt not 24, heavy duty springs, pintle hook. military bumperettes, blackout light on fron left fender, blackout lights in grill, blackout lights in rear, front shackle lifting points, rear shackle lifting points, non script body like all military jeeps are supposed to be. You can go to a very informative web site "The CJ-3B Page" (enter this in search the web addrees is different) there is a section on the M-606 is was used by the army and navy both.

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Post by Cuz » Wed Nov 05, 2008 8:53 am

The civvy CJ3B was often purchased under small contracts by each of the services and was straight off the civvy production line. These were not known to have been employed in a tactical role. They usually only recieved bumperettes, add-on military property plates and revised spare tire mounting.

M606 was a Militarized (By Willys & Kaiser) CJ3B ordered under contract by the US Army for the (MAP) Military Assistance Programs if the 60's and early 70's. They were usually given to third world countries as military aid. The Army did also operate them on a small scale. In SEA at least they were operated in a tactical environment by both the US Army and the (RVN) S. Vietnamese Army. Switzerland, Spain, Greece, Argentina, Brazil and many other countries recieved them through MAP and direct purchase from Willys/Kaiser.

Many of these were shipped with additional equipment and specifications in that country's contract.

We have many owners as mebers of our CJV35/M38/M38A1/M606 series specific web sites and forums.


The M606 used the original civvy Willys service manual along with this supplement:
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