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AmmoX

New member
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Location
Cleveland, Ohio
Ok Guys, picking up my first M38A1 tomorrow. Rough but a driver. I can get your car down the 1/4 mile as fast as possible but just dipping my tow into these waters. Needed something else to wrench on and one of these has been on my list.

Been doing the research and here's where we're at, pictures attached.

- Title says '53 M38
- Hinged Grill
- Angled Fender Lines
- Thumb Screw Battery Box
- No Tailgate
- No Radiator Supports
- Dash Tag lists MC (this is a little confusing, shouldn't it say MD?)
- Dash Tag Serial # 379## (didn't list the entire number)
- Dash Tag Date Del. Date - Blank
- Dash Tag Inspected Date - Blank
- Patent Tag Serial # matches Dash tag
- Last picture is passenger side front fender, undercoating?

Don't have the other numbers yet, not loosing any sleep if everything doesn't completely match up. Just doing a little digging.

From what I've read this is an early model M38A1 but the Dash Tag reading MC seems incorrect shouldn't it read MD?

That's my first of what will probably be MANY questions.


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Last edited:

microjeep

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blairsville ga.
Hi welcome to the madness, always thought MA= original Willys Quad, MB= standardized WWII Willys flat fender, MC = M38, MD= M38A1? Could have been some overlap in coding? I'm sure someone on the site can clarify this.
 

AmmoX

New member
9
4
3
Location
Cleveland, Ohio
Hi welcome to the madness, always thought MA= original Willys Quad, MB= standardized WWII Willys flat fender, MC = M38, MD= M38A1? Could have been some overlap in coding? I'm sure someone on the site can clarify this.
Yep, that's what I thought as well. I'm sure it isn't etched in stone but figured this was the place to ask.
 

DeetFreek

Member
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45
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Location
New Sharon IA
Ammo, you have an early M38A1, it has all the right signs. I have a '53, serial# 49940. My plate does say MD though. It's not unlikely that it could have been registered for civilian use as an M38, don't know why though.

I'm going through a motor pool rebuild on mine currently, so ask away if you need to. I posted a lot of mine on the "Whay have you done to your Jeep today?" thread.
 

fasttruck

Well-known member
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Mesa, AZ
In case you have not figured this out, the indentation in the right front fender is there to install a slave receptacle in which has not been done with this vehicle. The slave plug would be wired into the battery box which is above on the cowl. Slave plugs allow for quick jump starts without having the risk hooking up clamp type jumper cables and reversing polarity. It also saves opening up the battery box itself.
 

AmmoX

New member
9
4
3
Location
Cleveland, Ohio
In case you have not figured this out, the indentation in the right front fender is there to install a slave receptacle in which has not been done with this vehicle. The slave plug would be wired into the battery box which is above on the cowl. Slave plugs allow for quick jump starts without having the risk hooking up clamp type jumper cables and reversing polarity. It also saves opening up the battery box itself.
Thanks, yep I did read that and added it to the list.
 

AmmoX

New member
9
4
3
Location
Cleveland, Ohio
Ammo, you have an early M38A1, it has all the right signs. I have a '53, serial# 49940. My plate does say MD though. It's not unlikely that it could have been registered for civilian use as an M38, don't know why though.

I'm going through a motor pool rebuild on mine currently, so ask away if you need to. I posted a lot of mine on the "Whay have you done to your Jeep today?" thread.
Thanks for the confirmation. That‘s what my rookie research came up with. Under coating under all genders and tub confirmed as well. Have some “lighter” green on the interior pans especially in the back tub. Obviously have had some tag swapping going on.

Working on the engine SN, looks to have been milled at some point but there are faint markings. Might have to do a rubbing.
 

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DeetFreek

Member
69
45
18
Location
New Sharon IA
Thanks for the confirmation. Have some “lighter” green on the interior pans especially in the back tub. Obviously have had some tag swapping going on.
Anytime, we're all here for a reason! Mine had a layer of almost neon yellow/green everywhere on it! I'm assuming it was used in a FD at some point. The wheelhouse tag was missing, but I did find a city of Carbondale property tag on the dash that had so much paint on it, I never knew that's what it was until I cleaned the dash panel off!
 

AmmoX

New member
9
4
3
Location
Cleveland, Ohio
Currently running a 2018 Dodge Demon. 100% stock as from the factory, no tune. 9.74 at 141 MPH in the 1/4 last fall at
Well that sounds like a damn good time! Pretty sure I wouldn't say no if one was offered to me lol.
Ok Guys, picking up my first M38A1 tomorrow. Rough but a driver. I can get your car down the 1/4 mile as fast as possible but just dipping my tow into these waters. Needed something else to wrench on and one of these has been on my list.

Been doing the research and here's where we're at, pictures attached.

- Title says '53 M38
- Hinged Grill
- Angled Fender Lines
- Thumb Screw Battery Box
- No Tailgate
- No Radiator Supports
- Dash Tag lists MC (this is a little confusing, shouldn't it say MD?)
- Dash Tag Serial # 379## (didn't list the entire number)
- Dash Tag Date Del. Date - Blank
- Dash Tag Inspected Date - Blank
- Patent Tag Serial # matches Dash tag
- Last picture is passenger side front fender, undercoating?

Don't have the other numbers yet, not loosing any sleep if everything doesn't completely match up. Just doing a little digging.

From what I've read this is an early model M38A1 but the Dash Tag reading MC seems incorrect shouldn't it read MD?

That's my first of what will probably be MANY questions.


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Ok, here's the latest.

- 12 v pointless distributor
- Autolite 847 plugs
- 24 volt alternator
- 24 volt starter
- 24 volt battery(s)
- no generator
- no voltage regulator
- couple of dash switches for headlights, taillights, etc...
- stock light switch "kind of" works.

Looks like a pieced together 12 v / 24 v hybrid conversion but I do have the original 24 v distributor, wires and plugs just no generator or voltage regulator. I may just keep things as is for now as this will be driver at least until the snow flies. May look at correcting the 24 v wiring though since it's already a mess.

Installed plugs we're gapped to .050+ , gapped to .030 and now starts right up and no longer need full choke. No choke when warm.
Distributor is set at full rotation clockwise, no more play. Having a heck of time finding the timing marks on the pully. Did enough cleaning to find the 5 and T marks on the cover. We'll find TDC and hook up Vacuum gauge today.

Question: Any hints on using stock 24 v electrical system with a 12 v distributor and getting power to the stock harness for now? Hope I asked that right.
 

DeetFreek

Member
69
45
18
Location
New Sharon IA
Distributor is set at full rotation clockwise, no more play. Having a heck of time finding the timing marks on the pully. Did enough cleaning to find the 5 and T marks on the cover.
Timing mark is the notch in the crank pulley.
Screenshot_20200629-125357_Gallery.jpg

As for the 12/24 V question, that one's above my pay grade. Mine had been poorly hacked over to 12V. Not spending the money to convert it back, so it will remain 12V. Not sure what you could do without a regulator or generator since that's pretty much your entire electrical system. I know you can run 24V off 12V, just not efficiently, but not the other way around.
 

AmmoX

New member
9
4
3
Location
Cleveland, Ohio
Pretty sure I found the notch, although not nearly as clean as the picture and.... its on the outside pully! Checked while at TDC and whatever I found notch or not is in the right place.

jeep runs pretty smooth but timing has to be set fully and advanced. Notch is about 2 “ above the belt and distributor is set fully clocked.
checked TDC and adjusted mixture screws, idle is almost completely backed out. Plenty of room to retard timing but engine stumbles pretty quickly.

Vacuum and compression test next. Timing being advanced that far is bothersome, possibly a coil issue.
 

DeetFreek

Member
69
45
18
Location
New Sharon IA
Starting to wonder if the timing dots were lined up. If the cam gear is off by one tooth, that's approximately 6° of variance. Can't really think of anything else that would allow the distributor to be set so far out.

What type of distributor is in it? You said pointless, so is it an aftermarket setup like a Petronix?
 

AmmoX

New member
9
4
3
Location
Cleveland, Ohio
Starting to wonder if the timing dots were lined up. If the cam gear is off by one tooth, that's approximately 6° of variance. Can't really think of anything else that would allow the distributor to be set so far out.

What type of distributor is in it? You said pointless, so is it an aftermarket setup like a Petronix?
I pulled The distributor and check the oil pump shaft. Big lobe is pointing to 1 o’clock just as it should be while at TDC. I didn‘t think the puly could be put on wrong but since it’s on the outside maybe it could.

Pretty sure it’s this one https://www.kaiserwillys.com/media/wysiwyg/923068-Installation-Instructions.pdf
 

DeetFreek

Member
69
45
18
Location
New Sharon IA
You got me, with it all being gear to gear, I don't know where else to say the issue can arise from. Crank pulley is keyed, cam gear is keyed so those can't shift. Short of dropping the oil pump and spinning it a tooth to realign the distributor, I'm at a loss.
 
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