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1952 Test of an Auto Transmission in an M-38A1 on ebay

• CATEGORIES: Documents, Features

1952-m38a1-transmission-document6In the March 2015 Inaugural issue of The Dispatcher Magazine, Bob Westerman wrote an article about Willys-Overland’s test of an Allison Transmission in an M-38 and the failure of that transmission to meet the needs of the military. The document below depicts WO’s effort to follow up that test with a second test, using M-38A1s and a slightly more robust automatic transmission. though improved, this transmission still did not meet the needs of the military, as the below report highlights.

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“Here I have a VERY RARE 15-Sheet Plus Folder RESTRICTED CONFIDENTIAL STUDY AND CONSIDERATION
WILLYS-OVERLAND ¼ TON, 4×4 TRUCK MILITARY MODEL M38-A1
FEATURE OF GENERAL MOTORS ALLISON MODEL AA TORQUE CONVERTER AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION

4 of the 15 sheets are foldout drawings
(See Photos)

This was put together for study to consider using the GM Allison Torque Converter in the Jeep M38-A1

In October of 1953, Willys Overland produced several M38A1 Jeeps with the automatic transmission for testing. These were tested at Aberdeen, Fort Benning, Fort Bragg and Fort Knox. After the testing, the Chief of Ordnance issued a directive that the automatic transmissions would not be used in any vehicle under 2 ½ tons.”

 

4 Comments on “1952 Test of an Auto Transmission in an M-38A1 on ebay

  1. GOMER PYLE

    that’s great — I never knew willys was thinking of putting a slushbox in a m-38a1 ? — makes sense , most gi’s aint got brain 1 to shift a manual tranny — 3 stick-shifts ? — GOLLLLY SARGENT ???

  2. JOHN DEUTCHENDORFF

    why didn’t they use them ? — I used to fix big trucks with allisons — BULLETPROOF !!

  3. Nick

    About a year or two ago, someone contacted me trying to sell an automatic trans Jeep. I want to say it was an M38, but could be an M38A1. It had a special Navy data plate. I’ll have to see if I can dig up the pictures.

  4. David Eilers Post author

    Nick: There were some Navy DJ-3As that had automatic transmissions. We’ve identified a handful.

    Vernon: They overheating and reliability problems both in the M-38s and in the improved versions installed into the M-38A1s. Maybe the trucks used a later version or larger version??

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