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Brian’s CJ-3B

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features

Just one post tonight. I have a meeting in the morning and then will try to do some posts on our way south Tuesday in the late afternoon.


Imagine heating up a pan on the stove. Now, imagine the sizzling sound of a water droplet landing on the hot skillet. That’s what I heard this morning as Ann piloted the jeep amongst the beautiful mountains south of Baker City, Oregon. The sounds of sizzling might be appropriate inside a kitchen, but it is not the type of sound one wants to hear while inside their new jeep.

The first time I heard a sizzle, I thought it was my imagination. The second time I heard it, I began to notice the smell of smoke; still, I thought it was my imagination. I would have asked my wife if she heard it, but she was busy cruising down the road wearing her earphones and listening to a book on tape, while I tackled more edits on my book. With no sanity check available, I returned to the dire situation faced by my characters.

The third sizzle sounded longer and more clear. No longer suspecting it was my imagination, I reached down to the passenger floor where the small portable pump for an air mattress was charging. One touch of the pump and I knew we had a problem. I immediately unplugged the pump and held it up so Ann could see it. She looked over and saw smoke coming out of the top. I too saw the smoke. I’m pretty sure it wasn’t supposed to do that.

As I held it, I heard another sizzle. I began to wonder if I was holding a potential bomb. Shades of the Boeing Dreamliner batteries and cockpit fires flashed before my eyes. I looked at my wife. She looked at me. Figuring we need to do something, she hit the brakes and veered off to the side of I-84, no doubt freaking out the few drivers behind us.

I put the still sizzling and smoking pump on the ground. I watched it, wondering what to do next. Deciding the worst was still not behind us, I grabbed a water bottle and doused the pump. As the water poured into and threw the pump, the smoke and heat subsided and the threat diminished. We were soon back on the road. An hour later, we properly saluted the pump as we unceremoniously disposed of it.

Shortly following our pump adventure, Brian emailed me to see if we could arrange a time to meet near Salt Lake. He said he’d bring his CJ-3B. Of course, jeeps are crack to me, so I couldn’t possibly turn down that offer. Though we only had a brief visit, it was fun to look through what he calls his “Frankenjeep”. It’s got an aftermarket body that’s in great shape and has a few other oddities, but the drive train appears stock and it’s a jeep that the family enjoys.

Thanks for taking the time to meet Brian!




4 Comments on “Brian’s CJ-3B

  1. Ed Lee

    Reminds me of an old VW Beetle I had back in my school days. Came out of class one afternoon and threw my book bag into the back seat. Two blocks from home I was driving through an older neighborhood and began to smell something burning. I must have examined every roof top expecting to see smoke until I realized it was the back seat of my bug on fire. The weight of the book bag caused the rear bench seat to short out the battery and the seat caught on fire. I had stuff tossed out onto the street with the back seat on fire. The old man who’s house I stopped in front of sat on his porch laughing. I sat on his front yard watching the seat burn laughing. That smell never did leave the car.

  2. Andrew Bowen

    had a brand new from the dealer JK a few years back, put some tools in the back of course. driving around a few days later every hard left run there was a buzzing from the back of the jeep. tried to track it down to no avail. back to the dealership, they couldnt find the source. this went on for a long time. then one day i need the the cordless drill. lo and behold the battery was near dead. when i turned hard left a wrench shifted and hit the trigger of the drill, only to fall off it when straight.

  3. jeepjunkie

    Now that is a Jeep story.
    Reminds me of something that would happen to an older Cloud Shelby. (Year of the Jeep)

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