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Thread: Worth keeping?

  1. #1
    Junior Member WW2Freak's Avatar
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    Worth keeping?

    The tub on my M38A1 is pretty badly rusted in a lot of places and has had some sections cut out. Is it worth trying to replace everything that's missing or should I just buy a whole new tub?
    20180317_134439.jpg
    I don't know how to weld so I would need to learn how to do that if I decided to keep the original tub. Any advice?

  2. #2
    Super Moderator gmwillys's Avatar
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    In my opinion, your A1 is not too far gone to be repaired. With that being said, the amount of rust removal will be very time consuming. The following pictures are of a M38A1 that I had done the metal work on. It was in similar shape as yours. It took a total of two donor A1s to supply most of the sheet metal to perform the repairs, along with some panels purchased from Kaiser Willys. The total cost for the donors and the replacement panels was very close to what a replacement tub would have cost. We were fortunate that three A1s were available for a low cost, that were too far gone on their own, but offered donor pieces. The ability to weld helps, but the vast majority of the work that is required to replace panels is either spot welds, or stitching. Spot welds or plug welding require that the base metal and the overlapping metal be fused together by filling the hole of the overlapping metal with filler (rod/wire) until both are melted together. Stitching is joining the two metals together that are butted up against each other, or overlapped. Floor sections need to be butt welded to the transmission tunnel. Stitching is a series of spot welds that eventually when complete, they are all joined together. The reason for stitching is so that there is not a lot of heat put into the metal in one place, for an extended time. Start at one corner, then the opposite corner, then a few toward the middle. Go back and forth between all three positions until the spot welds become joined, (takes a long time, but is worth the patience). This keeps the panel from warping or buckling from the heat.

    Replacement tubs offer a great deal of time savings, but there are some short comings. The following link is for an outfit that takes the MD Juan replacement tubs, and reworks them to clear up any of the discrepancies that were not correct on the tubs. Willys Overland offers their Replitubs for all the popular models, to include the M38A1.

    https://willysoverland.com/
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    Last edited by gmwillys; 04-05-2018 at 05:10 AM.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator gmwillys's Avatar
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    A few more pictures. The project was a couple year project on my part. I only did the sheet metal work, and it was done in my spare time. The last photo is of the final product.
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    Junior Member WW2Freak's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info. I was really on the fence about it and now I think I'm going to keep it. It's going to be tough but I feel like I can manage it. One of the bits that was cut out is the battery box lid area. Is there anyone who makes a repair panel for that or will I need to find one that I can salvage from another tub?
    Last edited by WW2Freak; 04-05-2018 at 10:14 AM.

  5. #5
    Super Moderator gmwillys's Avatar
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    In my opinion, I like working with original steel. The metallurgy that he steel was made from 65 years ago is a lot better than todays Chinese steel. It is easier to work with and weld. I have seen an example of one of the early Philippine produced tubs, and none of the holes matched up. The clutch and brake pedals were cut out with a torch, because the holes were about three inches out of position. The steel that was used must have been made garbage that was scrapped up from a wrecking yard. The tub had rust holes in the floor where the hat channel retained moisture. None of the fenders, nor the hood lined up, as can be seen in the pictures bellow. Need less to say, I'm not a fan. The Replitubs solve the fitment issues, but the steel still may be garbage.

    The link bellow is for a complete battery box. This is just for the battery box itself, and not for a patch panel for the cowl. The hole in the cowl is really simple to replicate. I assume that the previous owner covered over the cowl opening, and most likely ground down the lip? The battery box actually sticks up above the cowl by an 1/8" or so, then the cowl is pinch welded to the battery box. To make simple, if there is a cover welded over the cowl opening, cut it out undersize to the actual hole opening, and peen the excess upward to form a mounting surface to your battery box. It doesn't have to perfect, because the excess will be trimmed away. The first battery box photo is of an M38, so the lid is different. I didn't have a real good photo of the A1s battery box/cowl opening.



    https://www.armyjeepparts.com/p-1175...38-673423.aspx
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  6. #6
    Junior Member WW2Freak's Avatar
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    Thanks. The cowl area was actually cut out. There are saw marks around the area. I'll look into fixing it though.

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