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Thread: M38A1 Starter Motor

  1. #1
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    M38A1 Starter Motor

    My 1953 M38A1 was converted to 12 volt after it was surplussed out of the Corps of Engineers (exact time frame unknown.). I have been working on getting it started again and found that the starter motor is 24 volt and looks original. Is this good, bad, or indifferent? Are there options in starters that would be helpful?

  2. #2
    Super Moderator gmwillys's Avatar
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    Col. Ken,

    12 volts will turn a 24 volt starter, but the performance will be sub par. You can throw 12 volts to a 6 volt starter without problem, but 12 to 24 will cause you headaches.

    Just a couple questions. Is your A1 running an alternator or a generator? Is it still set up for two batteries? It is possible to run some systems on one battery, then run the starter off the batteries in series to get your 24 volts. The accessories can be run off 12 volts through a ballast resistor, dropping it down to 12 volts.
    Your options would be to trade your 24 volt starter to someone who wants to convert their 12 volt M38A1 back to the original equipment. The second option would be to purchase a 6 or 12 volt starter, and hold on to the 24 volt starter for future conversion back to original.

  3. #3
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    The vehicle came with an alternator and one battery connection. Generator is gone. Where would I find a 12 volt starter to fit my engine?

  4. #4
    Super Moderator LarrBeard's Avatar
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    12-volt M38A1 Starter

    Quote Originally Posted by col_ken View Post
    Where would I find a 12 volt starter to fit my engine?
    I went poking around and here is a note from several years ago from another group:

    You can buy a rebuilt exchange starter for probably $150 by just asking for a 1958 to 1971 4 cylinder CJ5 starter . Models MDM-6005 or MDU-7004


    Another starter story:

    https://forums.g503.com/viewtopic.php?t=225958

    Let us know what you find ...

  5. #5
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    Mar 2018
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    Will do, thanks!

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