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Willys M38 Jeep Project Page

This section of the site will provide a record my work on my Dad's 1952 Willys M38 Jeep. He bought it in 1978 and drove it regularly until 1984. It's been sitting since 1993 (and pretty much sat from 1984 to 1993).

My plan is to get as much work done on it as I can while I'm down at my parents' house for a few months, then drive it to Idaho (my new home) via Oregon (my old home). The end goal is to have a usable Jeep for getting to trailheads, etc. It's definitely not going to be one of those "pretty, but sits in a garage under covers all the time" Jeeps. :-)


  1. Mechanical (get 'er runnin')
  2. Body (including painting)
  3. Restoration (to a point)

Details known prior to starting the project

  • There's going to be a LOT of rust
  • Air filter and intake is not original (was an oil bath type)
  • Was converted to 12V (from 24V) with a modern alternator at some point - I'll be retaining this change
  • Has aftermarket 11" brake drums (upgraded from 9")
  • Has electric fuel pump (instead of original mechanical) which needs to get moved to prevent vaporizing on hot days
  • Parking brake needs connected
  • Had an aftermarket heater stuck in behind the driver's seat, but my dad removed that. Brrr!
  • Seats have been replaced (out of a Mustang?)
  • Arctic top has been modified by someone cutting the back out and sticking in a hinged panel
  • Master brake cylinder probably needs a rebuild (needed in 1993 to get it running)
  • Did I say there's going to be a lot of rust?

Skills I'll need to definitely learn

  • TONS about how a vehicle is put together and runs. That's actually part of the appeal of this project - it's not very complicated!
  • How to actually fix said vehicle
  • Welding
  • Body work

With that said, here are some photos of the M38 as it started out. I took these photos after doing basic vacuuming and prodding with a screwdriver. I should have taken the photos before removing cobwebs and random stuff piled inside, but I forgot. The thumbnails are links to the full-size versions.

Work Logs

December 2010 - January 2011
February 2011
March 2011
April 2011

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