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. 

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