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Thread: M38a1 I think ??

  1. #1

    Question M38a1 I think ??

    Can anyone help me nail down my jeep type ? I picked up a 100 dollar project from a friend but i am not sure it is an M38A1. the title has 1954 with a vin starting with M, if that is significant. it has the correct battery box in the cowl, but it is running 12 volt and has standard plug wires not mil spec. however it has the correct springs shackle location on the front springs, the correct gauge package for m38a1 (not the round CJ cluster) but no switch box on dash for black out lights. The big one is that it also lacks the jump lead port on passenger side of body tub, was a civil services/ fire version made without this port. I would like to restore it for parade use , but I also would like to be true to what it was .

    Thanks for your help
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  2. #2
    Junior Member 57WillysCJ5's Avatar
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    My only correction is this...but its important...jeeps of that age dont have a vin number. They have serial numbers. Your serial number should be able to tell you what you need to know. However, there were many many special ordered versions for a myriad of applications. Everything from brush fire vehicles, to security vehicles, odd ball military versions for a specific purpose on certain base, hell ive even seen one that was an ice cream truck, lol. But heres the catch...ONLY military jeeps were set up to run 24 volts. So that they were standardized with the other wheeled vehicles. The battery box would suggest that at some point it was set up for 24v. But remember that those battery boxes, and cowl lids are pretty easily available, and have been for a long time. If i had to throw a guess at it i would say its a cj5 with at cowl battery box added later and a guage or dash swap. You can also look for evidence of a black out light mount on the driver front fender and a shovel mount under the hood. The grab bar on the passenger side dash and the glove box by the steering wheel point to M38a1 though......what an interesting mystery!!!
    To all the service men and women out there, active, inactive, reserve, veteran, and/or retired........Thank you!! We wouldn't get to do what we love in a country that we love without your sacrifice and your family's sacrifice.

    Glaine ár gcroí,
    Neart ár ngéag,
    Agus beart de réir ár mbriathar!

  3. #3
    Senior Member pelago's Avatar
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    I believe it is a m38a1, dash looks right, and i have two of them. it is the dash that makes my thought that it is a ma38a1100_1029.jpg here is a photo of mine after sandblasting
    Last edited by pelago; 10-03-2017 at 10:30 PM.

  4. #4
    Super Moderator gmwillys's Avatar
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    Upon closer inspection, it appears that the recess on the passenger side cowl is covered over. Maybe I've stared at it too long, but there appears to be a circular impression under the paint. It would be interesting to see the inside of the cowl, to see if there is any more evidence of the patch. The rear panel on the body is consistent with a M38A1, with the cut out for rear access coming later in the jeeps life.
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