Willys M38

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Willys MC / M38
Willys M38 JT-23-70 pic3.JPG
A restored Willys M38
Type14 short ton (230 kg)[a] 4x4 Utility truck
Place of originUnited States
Production history
No. builtmore than 45,473 produced[1]
Mass2,625 lb (1,191 kg) Empty
Length133 in (3.38 m)
Width62 in (1.57 m)
Height62 in (1.57 m)

EngineWillys MC[2]
60 hp (45 kW)
Transmission3 spd. x 2 range trf. case
SuspensionBeam axles on leaf springs
Fuel capacity13 US gal (49 l)
220 mi (354.1 km)
Maximum speed 60 mph (97 km/h)
Willys MC left versus MB right

The Willys MC or formally the 14-Ton, 4 x 4, Utility Truck M38 was a quarter-ton four-wheel drive military light utility vehicle made by Willys between 1949 and 1952. It replaced the World War II Willys MB and Ford GPW models, and had a total production of more than 60,000 units.[1] The M38 was a military version of the then-current civilian Jeep CJ-3A.[1] The M38 differed from the CJ-3A in numerous ways, including a reinforced frame and suspension,[3] waterproof 24-volt electrical system,[1] sealed vent system for the engine, transmission, transfer case, fuel system[1] and brake system.[citation needed] Some M38 jeeps were assigned to the Korean theatre of operations, but the majority of vehicles used in that conflict were rebuilt World War II vintage. Approximately 2,300 M38 Jeeps were manufactured by Ford of Canada for Canadian Armed Forces in 1952, designated as the M38-CDN jeep. Its successor was Willys M38A1.

The M38 windshield could be folded flat for firing and the body was equipped with a pintle hook for towing and lifting shackles front and rear. The headlights were no longer recessed as on previous models, but protruded with a guard wire in front. The "pioneer" tools (axe and shovel) which were carried on the MB's driver side were transferred to the passenger side of this vehicle.[4]

Rear of M38 jeep


The M38 had an empty weight of 2,615 pounds (1,186 kg) and a gross vehicle weight of 3,825 pounds (1,735 kg) on road.[5] The wheelbase was 80 in (2,032 mm), ground clearance was 9 14 in (235 mm) at the rear axle, maximum overall height was 67 14 in (1,708 mm), minimum width was 62 in (1,575 mm) and overall length was 132 1516 in (3,377 mm).[6]


  • Bore/Stroke: 3 18 in × 4 38 in (79 mm × 111 mm)[2]
  • Compression Ratio: 6.48:1
  • Displacement: 134.2 cubic inches (2,199 cc)[2]
  • Power: 60 hp (45 kW) at 4000 rpm[2]
  • Torque: 105 lb⋅ft (142 N⋅m) at 2000 rpm[2]
  • Main Bearings: 3[citation needed]
  • Carburetor: Carter YS 637S, 1 14 in (32 mm) downdraft[7]


The entire engine air intake and the axle system was fully vented to allow for operation while submerged under water. Its full-floating front axle (Dana 25) was supported by the wheel hub, rather than the axle itself, and provided greater load capacity. The rear axle (Dana 44) was semi-floating. Its drivetrain was the L-head 134.2 cu in (2.2 L) with a T-90 transmission and the Dana 18 transfer case.

A few M38 Jeeps were fitted with a transmission power take-off (PTO) driven winch. This feature was not used in regular production models due to increased weight on the front of the vehicle, as well as additional maintenance requirements.

M38 with hood and top up

Electrical system[edit]

The electrical system was upgraded to a 24 volt system which required dual 12 volt batteries connected in series. Its ignition and electrical systems were waterproof; a valuable feature in rainy environments and where deep river fording was necessary.

See also[edit]



  1. ^ Off-road load rating




  • Brown, Arch (1994). Jeep: The Unstoppable Legend. Lincolnwood, IL US: Publications International. p. 64. ISBN 0-7853-0870-9.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)

Technical manuals[edit]

External links[edit]