Monday, 6 September 2021

Slow and steady Jeep m38 Progress

 The longest journey begins with the smallest step. In my case, several small steps. Each one getting closer to a the goal. 

The m38 has been getting some work here and there over the past few months, as I have time, and as parts arrive. I have confirmed that it has been converted to 12v from 24v, the Canadian Tire Motomaster 12v distributor helped confirm that. 

The work has been minor, meaning, I haven't been too inclined to update here. So here's an update with a lot of small things. 

Parking Brake

I knew the existing parking brake needed to be replaced. The backing plate was bent, and it was no doubt worn right out. In the very least the cable was cut. Using the brake off the spare transfer case, I tried out some evapo-rust. Colour me impressed. The drum, backing plate, and salvageable parts, came out looking like they just came off the shelf. 

Battery Cables

With a rebuild of the electricals required, the ancient, rotted, battery cables just wouldn't cut it. Using some 1/0 welding cable, lugs, and marine style clamps, I build a fresh set of cables. Fully soldered together at both ends. Along with building the cables, I stripped out all the wiring on the passenger side of the engine, as it was a mix of old, brittle, and corroded. It's ready for a new wiring harness. I've also installed some brand new spark plug cables in preparation for first fire up. 


The m38 didn't have a fuse panel, but I want one. I feel it's a worthwhile upgrade, and in terms of longevity, it just makes sense to go with something a bit more modern. I'm not aiming to make this Jeep a factory original restore. I want a reliable restored Jeep that I can enjoy. Being said, I ordered a 12 circuit universal fuse panel. I don't need 12 circuits, but it gives me some future proofing, should I decide to add a radio, CB, etc. 


Can't go all in with all this fancy electrical and not replace the gauges. I sourced some out that had the elusive (at least it was for me) km/h markings on the speedometer. The kit included fresh gauges, wiring, and lights. I know the m38 originally had blackout/low light dash lights. Again, with modernizing, I want to be able to see my gauges while driving at night... that is, if I end up driving at night. 


Given that the frame was in good shape, I wanted to keep it that way. I returned to POR15 to make sure that I could seal the frame up, and protect it for as long as possible. I used an engine hoist, with some questionable riging, to lift the tub about 8" off the frame. It gave me more than enough room to treat the frame. I have a few places to still get to when I remove the fenders, but overall, it was one of those small things to knock off the list. 

Thursday, 24 June 2021

1952 m38 CDN

While browsing for old, affordable(Ha!), Jeeps, I came across an ad for Jeep m38 CDN (A Ford built, Canadian Jeep). It included a bunch of tools, spare parts, and had been partially restored, only needing brake lines, electrical, and a fuel system (yeah, right). The price was too good to pass up. The downside, it was around 3.5 hours away from me. 

After approval from the CFO (my wife), and a few messages back and forth, a deal was struck. I had agreed to buy a sight unseen, 69 year old Jeep. Next I had to figure out how to get it home.

Originally, I was going to rent a U-Haul truck and trailer, however my dad stepped in and offered himself, and his F250. 
This in of itself worked out well. It gave me a day to catch up with dad, enjoy some good music, and the open road. Due to the ongoing pandemic, I've practically never left my home, and have really only been interacting with my wife and son. It was nice to have a days break from that routine. 

Two days after the deal was made, we were on the road at 7am to get my Jeep. We picked up the trailer near the sellers location, and made our way down to meet the him. He was an incredible person to deal with, and felt like a guy I knew for years right off the bat. 

I fully underestimated the amount of extra "stuff" that was included in the deal. It worked out to a full workshop worth of tools, spare and new Jeep parts, a second engine and transmission. To sum it up. It took about two hours of loading parts and tools, plus a Jeep, before we were back on the road. 

Dad's truck had no trouble with the load, and comfortably cruised home without breaking a sweat. I had much more confidence in his truck, than any U-Haul truck I would've rented.

We were back in my driveway around 6:30pm. The Jeep was unloaded and man handled into its temporary parking spot, another hour of us unloading parts and tools followed. 

With that, I'm the proud owner of one of only 2300ish Ford built m38's. It's originally from New Brunswick, but registered in Ontario now. 

I guess it can be said, that I'm into my mid-life crisis, and this is my "little red corvette". Is it a practical vehicle, no. Is it a wise outlay of money, hell no. Does it make me smile ear to ear, absolutely.

Wednesday, 16 June 2021

Mid-life Crisis


Short post, and yeah, it's been ages. 

Got some planning to do, and some work to do, but I'd like to introduce you to a yet to be named new Jeep in my life. 

This is a 1952 Jeep m38 CDN. One of 2300 built by Ford for the Canadian military. 

As it sits, the body has been mostly restored. It needs brake lines, fuel lines, and an electrical harness done up for it. 

Keep checking in for updates, and hopefully some YouTube videos, as I bring this piece of history back to life. 

Sunday, 25 August 2019

Airing Down the Easy Way

For the last 20+ years that I've been doing the Jeep thing, one thing that was consistent, was the way I aired down my tires. I always just pulled my valve stem cores, and chased my tires with a pressure gauge. 
It wasn't the most elegant solution, and there was always the risk of firing a core into the bush, but it was fast and it worked. Unfortunately, on my last trip to Bobcaygeon, I spent a little too much time chatting, and ended up having to actually inflate a couple tires, because I aired them down too much. 


While searching for Jeep "stuff" as I'm known to do, I found this tire deflator. It removes the valve core, but keeps it safely tucked in itself. It allows controlled release of air, and a handy pressure gauge to keep tabs on the tire. The kit included the deflator, four valve caps, a valve stem tool, and a handy storage box. 

Since pictures speak a thousand words, videos must speak millions. Here's a quick video showing how it works, and really, how simple it is to use.

Wednesday, 14 August 2019

Canada Jeep Show

On August 10th, I took part in the annual Canada Jeep Show. Arguably the largest all breeds Jeep show. This year Pavement Still Sucks was one of 436 Jeeps that came together for the show. Besides being all about Jeeps, the show raises money for Sick Kids Hospital here in Toronto.
Being that my son will (most likely) need open heart surgery before his 6th birthday, and that it'll be at Sick Kids, I can be doubly passionate about the event.

While I didn't win any raffle prizes, or the 50/50 draw, my Jeep did manage to win the "Best License Plate" category in the Show and Shine. Not bad for a 20 year old TJ that only really looks good from 10' away.

Not really much more to add, except that $15,000 was raised this year, so massive kudos to all those that help put this together.

Just a few photo, since they'll speak for themselves.

Beautiful CJ-3A

I can dream
The TJ always feels so old at these events. But if you look close, there is a CJ poking it's nose out

Panorama from the top of my Jeep

Thursday, 8 August 2019

Jeep Therapy - Trip to Bobcaygeon Ontario

Starting the day off
Something isn't right with us Jeep owners. Case in point, I spent July 21st either on my way to, on, or on my way from a trail. To put it another way, I drove 175km (110 miles) to the trails in Bobcaygeon, MAYBE, 10km (6 mile) on the trails, and another 175km home. It was a long day.
I also learned, that at 41, those kinda days are hard on my body.

Putting some country air back in my tires
I also had some time to think in my travels. My Jeep is the result of experiences gained while younger, and in a YJ. So when I set up myself to build the TJ, I made some very conscious decisions in my build.

With the TJ, I decided to go with as low a lift as possible, so rather than 4", I went 2.5". The YJ had no sway bars, the TJ does, and they don't get disconnected. The front and rear carried over the lockers with 4.88's, and the front Warn hub conversion.

It runs down the road as straight as an arrow, and can hold 110km/h (70mph) while doing so.
On the trail, I point it, and it does it. It claws, crawls, and pulls itself through what I throw at it.
It's a ten foot Jeep (looks good from ten feet away), reliable as an anvil, 20 years old, and only has 95000km (59000 miles) on the odometer.

The story of my therapy session is a simple one. Make plans with a buddy, head up to the trails, get some time in the Jeep in. A day when the only responsibility to to make it in and out of the trail and home safely.

Monday, 27 May 2019

Pavement Ends Sprint Top

I picked up a Pavements Ends Sprint Top (PN: 56840) for an absolute steal from Amazon just before Christmas. The down side, is that it's been sitting in my garage teasing me, making me wait for soft top season. Soft top season finally arrived.

As with any fresh top, it's best to get it out and warmed up before trying to get it installed. I had some time to let it sit, since the Sprint Top requires some parts from the stock top. The key parts required are the front bow, door surrounds, and tailgate bar. 

Removing the front bow wasn't difficult. It required laying out the stock top, removing a few screws, and the rear two bows, before flipping the front bow over to access the retaining screws. The screws didn't put up too much of a fight. 

Once the bow has been removed, it's time to drill out the rivets to install the new arms. The Sprint Top includes new arms that will need to be screwed into place. 

It should be noted, that if you don't have a stock sunrider from Jeep, you're going to have to drill a couple holes in your door surrounds for some brackets. For some reason, unknown to me, the measurements are all in metric. Now, I know you're thinking, "Kev, you're from Canada, that should be normal". Well, it's not. I learned to read a tape measure the right way, and millimetre is not it. To save you some time converting, and to assure you that you really don't need to measure out 23/32", here's the conversion that works:  18.5mm -> 3/4"
9.5mm -> 3/8"
19mm -> 3/4"

Now that all the drilling and re-purposing is over, it's time to mount this top. Start by snapping the pivot arms into the door surround brackets you just installed. Flip the header down, and latch it to your windshield.
There are two straps over the centre rollbar loop, get them started, but not cinched down
Flip the rear of the top over the rear of the rollbar, noting that there is an aluminum bar acting as a rear header that will rest against the rollbar. Pull the rear straps down, and loosely attach them to the inside of the tub.
Now attach the windows, and use them as a guide to centre the top. Mine was sitting too far to the drivers side, and the passenger side window simply didn't zip up properly.
Once the fit is right, tighten down all those straps.
Follow the remaining instructions for installing the windows (similar to stock) and you're set.
The top seals really well, doesn't flap too much in the wind, and the large windows are really awesome. I'm really looking forward to getting some use out of the flip back top, mostly because my Redneck Sunrider was a pain to work with, despite being a near zero cost mod.