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M38A1 Mods

Discussion in 'Early CJ5 and CJ6 Tech' started by p38L5, Feb 6, 2012.

  1. Feb 6, 2012
    p38L5

    p38L5 Member

    Napa CA
    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2012
    Messages:
    94
    I have a 1953 M38A1 and I would like to do the following modifications: Saginaw manual steering, lift kit to accommodate 33" tires, 11" drums/brakes, warn overdrive, selectable front hubs, heater and winch. I know - sell it and buy a new jeep; I have thought of this, but I have owned this jeep since my dad gave it to me when I was in high school - 1971. So, any advice from someone who has done these mods would be appreciated. I am in northern Calif, recommendations for shops in the area would also be appreciated. I bought 2 parts jeeps to supply some of the modification components. I have the warn overdrive, winch, and front and rear axle assemblies with 11" drums/brakes - selectable front hubs and possibly posi-trac rearend(s) - we haven't taken the covers off to look yet. I understand Advance Adapters sells a saginaw conversion kit complete with steering box. Any comments regarding personal experience with this conversion are welcomed. I do not know where to go for the lift kit. The heater will be fabricated unless someone can tell me of another option. The plan is to relocate the battery to the engine compartment and utilize the battery box for the heater.

    Thanks in advance for any and all assistance. My direct email is: p38@fcs.net
     
  2. Feb 6, 2012
    66cj5

    66cj5 Jeep with no name

    NorthWest Indiana
    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2003
    Messages:
    2,071
    Would also go with a dual circuit master cylinder. the warn od is a little tricky to install (mostly the lock ring, and the shift linkage)
     
  3. Feb 6, 2012
    hotrod351

    hotrod351 Member

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    Sep 30, 2006
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    225
    i also have a m38a1. i did a power steering conversion myself. easier than i thought it would be. i got the pump, box and steering column out of a 86 camero. made my own box bracket, then i filed the pitman arm index slot so i could put it on where i wanted to. i still use the stock tie rods, been working for years, off and on road. handles perfect and never any problems.
     
  4. Feb 6, 2012
    djbutler

    djbutler Sponsor

    Rio Linda CA
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    Nov 5, 2007
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    722
    Northern California where?

    Don
     
  5. Feb 6, 2012
    piffey263

    piffey263 Active Member

    Yreka, CA
    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2008
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    1,214
    I haven't done allot of mods im still in the get mine driving part...,

    but for your heater allot of had good luck with Summit Racing Heater or a heater out of a the Back of a Chevy Astro Van, or if you still have to stock heater switch the motor from a blazer.

    As for the lift kit personal preference, order online or you might have a 4wd store in napa I know there is one in Santa Rosa

    is this strictly offroad or onroad and offroad?
     
  6. Feb 6, 2012
    jzeber

    jzeber Well-Known Member 2019 Sponsor

    Morgan Hill, Ca
    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2003
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    2,520
    X2, in San Jose
     
  7. Feb 6, 2012
    colojeepguy

    colojeepguy Colorado Springs 2019 Sponsor

    At the foot of...
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  8. Feb 6, 2012
    Warloch

    Warloch Did you say Flattie??? Staff Member

    Falcon, CO
    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2003
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    4,614
    For the Saginaw - get ahold of McRuff here on the board. His stuff is better than the AA stuff and priced better too. I use Ididit, Flaming River or now Summit has columns that fit fine. Add a Borgesen shaft or do it yourself, and your there.
     
  9. Feb 6, 2012
    Dingado

    Dingado New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2011
    Messages:
    40
    Midwest Military Jeep Parts has complete heater kits, ductwork and all $325 can be found on page 11
     
  10. Feb 7, 2012
    p38L5

    p38L5 Member

    Napa CA
    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2012
    Messages:
    94
    Karl - Thanks, I will add the mc to the list. I heard that about the od. There is a guy here in Napa who rebuilds them. Once I pull the tranny/trans/od from the parts jeep, he is going to remove it, rebuild if necessary and install it in my new overhauled tranny/trans.

    Hotrod351 - For now I think I'll stick with manual, unless my researce convinces me to go with power.

    Don - Napa County - just south of Yountville

    piffy263 - Thanks, I'll check out summit. No 4wd store Napa that I am aware of, I'll check the directory for SR. Onroad with some offroad. Driving around the valley, maybe to the coast, and the Berryessa/Knoxville/Middletown loop. I have a few places to go offroad here in Napa, and would like the option of doing some more serious offroading - no hillclimbs, rockcrawling, etc. No deep mud and definitly NO camping (wife)

    jzeber - Thanks.

    Doug - yes, thanks. That was the link that got me to this forum. Seems to be mostly power conversions - I'll go back through it.

    Chuck - I sent a pm to McRuff, thanks.

    Dingado - I'll check it out.

    Guys - thanks for the responses and the leads.

    g
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2012
  11. Feb 7, 2012
    Warloch

    Warloch Did you say Flattie??? Staff Member

    Falcon, CO
    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2003
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    4,614
    Something folks new to the Saginaw swap don't sometimes realize is its the same process for the box with either power or manual. The only difference is the position you can use for the box mount (Power box is larger) and placement of the pump.
     
  12. Feb 7, 2012
    p38L5

    p38L5 Member

    Napa CA
    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2012
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    94
    Thanks Chuck, that is something I did not know. I have not heard back from McRuff. Do you have a contact for him?
     

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