A Frame Off Restoration

It's USMC Forest Green!

Photo of painted Jeep Grill
We started the last leg of the body prep by painting the tub bottom undercoat, the hood and the grill Marine Forest Green.

Added Undercoating

Photo of undercoating Jeep tub
After priming the tub bottom we added a healthy layer of rubberized undercoating to protect and preserve. It is a “paint over” coating which allowed us to cover it with the the original Marine Forest Green.

Prep Hood, Grill, Tub Bottom

Hood Prep
We prepared the hood, grill and tub bottom with rust prohibitive prior to the primer.

Sandable Grey Primer

Photo of jeep tub primer coat
We’re used sandable grey primer for the first three coats. In retrospect we should have used the red oxide primer.

First Coat of Primer

Photo of first coat if primer
We applied the first coat of primer.

Ready for Primer

Photo of tub ready for paint
After prepping the tub we set up the garage for applying the primer.

Completed Tub Prep

Photo of Jeep tub ready for paint
A little dent repair, a little Bondo, and a lot of sanding and the preparations for painting the tub was complete. Thanks to all in the Motor Pool who lent a hand!

Sanding, Sanding, Sanding

Photo of sanded Bondo
We continued to do more sanding. It took serval application and hours of sanding to flatten the panels.

Patching Holes

Hole Patching
We devised a good way to fill unwanted holes and large open areas. We spot welded a sheetmetal patch on the back and then filled it with Bondo. It’s a strong patch that turned out virtually invisible.

Fixing a Few Hood Dents

Hood Repair
We completed the hood repair and final coating of Bondo with a little help from Danny.

All the Help We Can Get!

Extra Help
Tiffany brought her family over for a little quality sanding time! Unfortunately we lost power in our neighborhood that day so we had to cut the time short.

New Pinion Oil Seal

Oil Seal
In preparation for installing the tub we completed repair and replacement of parts when it was easiest to get at them. We replaced the rear pinion oil seal which had been leaking before the restoration. We should have replaced all the seals in the transfer case as well. As it turned out we wound up replacing them later from under the jeep—much harder!

Sanding Help

Tiffany sanding Jeep
We needed all the help we could get! There were hours of sanding and filling to do!

Body Filler Day 1

Body Filler Day 1
When the rough stuff was done, it was time to start leveling the high and low surfaces. We used a combination of long and short fiber and Bondo.

First Application of Body Filler

first filler
We started adding the first application of body filler. We started with long fiber filler for all the holes and small openings followed by some Bondo and glazing. At that point we hand many hours of sanding ahead of us!

Finished Grinding the Welds!

Grinding Finished
We finished grinding all the welds; another milestone! It was a relief for our neighbors to have their nice quiet cul-de-sac again.

Completed Welding!

Last Weld
We completed all the welding on the tub; a milestone event! Two years before we joined the halves then it was time to finish the grinding.
1953 M38A1 Navy Jeep

Phase II Restore

With the easy part behind us it' was time to start restoring or replacing parts. This took the longest time because each piece had to be cleaned, inspected, refurbished or replaced. It was fun to learn about each component and gratifying to see each part repaired and ready to install.

Click the Phase II link below and scroll to the bottom to see the progression.