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Late M38 and mid CJ-3A visual differences (early 1952)

 Please contact me if you notice any errors or have any additions for this list. Click here for contact information. Thanks, BobW.





Cylinder head has outlet for coolant bypass hose


PCV system has 2 valves to pressurize crankcase for deep water fording

Common PCV system

Oil filter, Cuno non-replaceable cleanable element

Canister with replaceable cartridge element

Bellhousing sealed


All pulleys have 2 grooves for 2 belts

Single wide belt

Lifting rings bolted to head


Intake manifold has 2 plugs for optional primer jets


Engine numbers MCxxxxx

Engine numbers 3Jxxxxx





Houdaille Hershey Corp., Oakes Products Div. air filter has fittings for deep-water vent system

Donaldson air filter

Fuel tank filler is large, filler has retractable extension with filter screen, fuel outlet is on top, tank has vent line to the air filter, tank holds 13 gallons

Fuel tank outlet is on bottom, tank holds 10-1/2 gallons

Waterproof Carter YS carburetor

Carter WO carburetor


Exhaust pipes are connected with flanges, bolts and gaskets.

Slip fit exhaust pipe connections with clamps

Provision for deep water fording pipe.



Larger radiator is frame mounted on the bottom with a rod to the firewall on the top. It also has 2 links connecting to the motor mounts for powerplant removal.

Radiator is bolted to the grille on the sides

Grille is hinged at bottom to fold down



24 volt, all components and wiring is waterproof including ignition system

6 volt conventional

Large frame mounted voltage regulator

Conventional fender mounted voltage regulator

Trailer plug receptacle on left rear


Both 12v. batteries are mounted inside battery boxes

Single 6v. battery without a box

Blackout driving light on left front fender


Ignition switch doesn't require a key

Keyed ignition switch

Headlights "bulge out" from grille and have a guard over them

Headlights are more flush with grille and have chrome trim rings

Military lighting system with blackout lighting


3 circuit breakers behind dash

Single circuit breaker, part of headlight switch

Horn switch on steering box actuated by long rod from button

Horn contacts on steering wheel nut


Gauges are mounted on a removable panel

Gauges are mounted in the dash


The top cover/shifter has improved sealing, shifter is removeable from the top


Transfer Case

Has vent line to engine crankcase at fuel pump


Propeller Shaft



Front Axle



Rear Axle

Rear axle vent is a valve mounted in differential cover

Rear axle vent is a hole drilled in the left axle tube


Steering wheel green

Steering wheel black


Emergency brake handle left of steering column

Emergency brake handle right of gauges

Master cylinder cap has vent line to air filter


Brake drums are mounted outboard of hubs

Brake drums are mounted inboard of hubs


1/8" hole drilled near one lug nut hole


Lug nuts 3/4" across flats

Lug nuts 13/16" across flats

Extra raised area behind tire bead similar to more modern rims."safety bead"



Tie down points bolted to frame



License plate holes in left rear

4 lifting eyes, 2 front, 2 rear


Large M stamped on frame at front inboard reinforcements between bumper and round x-member. Also on mounting plate for underhood battery box and other locations. Military specific parts???


Reinforcements inside frame at rear axle rubber bump stop locations


Clutch/brake shaft pivot mount is bolted to the frame

Clutch/brake shaft pivot mount is riveted to the frame

Underhood battery mounting plate surface is closer to the frame.

Taller battery mounting plate

4 holes in center of frame for rear pintle hook

6 holes in frame

Frame is boxed at the front and provides mounting points for a winch


Springs and Shocks

No grease fitting on spring pivot bolts

Grease fitting on spring pivot bolts

Shocks are retained by nuts

Shocks are retained by cotter pins

Heavy duty springs



2 bumperettes on rear


Front bumper attached with bolts

Front bumper attached with rivets

Wood filler inside front bumper



Right front fender has formed area at the rear inner fenderwell for an accessory



Right side cutout for auxiliary power receptacle and fording intake pipe 



Drain gutter bolted on with hood hinge

Not stamped Willys

Stamped WILLYS both sides


2 wiper motors have large manual hand actuators, each motor has 2 hoses vacuum and vent.

Driver side motor only with 1 vacuum hose. Passenger side no motor, manual wiper

Glove box passenger side dash

No glove box


Rear seat mounting plates welded to floor at indentations

Body side reinforcement at fuel filler is located rearward to clear larger filler


Windshield vent bolted on, doesn't open

Windshield vent hinged and opens

Tailgate is reinforced and spare tire and gas can carrier is bolted to it. The tailgate is bolted closed. Not stamped Willys

The tailgate opens and has WILLYS stamping. The spare tire is mounted to the passenger side of the body near the rear

2 top bow brackets are bolted to body

4 top bow brackets are welded to the body

Front marker lights and rear taillights are recessed into body

Front marker light housings are part of the grille, taillight is bolted to the outside of the body

Notches in body side and mounting points for a shovel and axe on the passenger side


Battery box and lid in right side cowl between the firewall and dash


Soft top rear of door vertical rod locates in body hole

Rear of door vertical rod bolts to body

Reinforcement welded to each rear corner of body near the top


Large square hole with cover plate where wiring harness passes through the firewall on left side


Removable plate in passenger toe board floor


Master cylinder access cover retained by 1/4-20 bolts
Master cylinder access cover retained by sheet metal screws

Center of the floor over the transmission is removable


Dash has large rectangular hole for removable gauge panel and a round hole behind the data plates panel


Guard over fuel filler neck and guard over each headlight


VIN plate behind passenger seat on wheelwell

VIN plate passenger side of engine compartment on firewall

Footman loops not installed for half cabs

Holes drilled and footman loops installed for half cabs

Multiple data plates on dash

Single data plate on dash

4 reflectors, 2 on rear sides and 2 on the back

1 reflector right rear

Rifle holder mounting brackets on windshield frame


4 round drain holes in floor, 2 each side, with covers

2 oval drain holes, 1 in each side of the body

R/F drivers seat leg is behind PTO lever hole in floor

R/F drivers seat leg is forward of the PTO lever hole in floor

Mount bracket for radio power receptacle to the right of passenger seat on body side


Special Equipment and Accessories

Twist lock tool compartment lid

Spring catch tool compartment lid


Folding rear seat is mounted on the sides to the wheel wells.

Non-folding rear seat is mounted to the floor

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