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Rainy Days Go Away!

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features • TAGS: This site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated.

Ann is not afraid to get dirty!

Unlike our sunny Friday, today was a rainy day, so any thought of blasting the frame was put on hold. But, we did get nearly all the parts removed from the frame and the engine/transmission ready to pull out. The more we removed, the more we could see that poor Rusty had come from an abusive home.

Case in point: the transmission cross member. Both sides of the frame where the transmission crossmember normally attaches have been beaten, suggesting that the jeep was often bottomed or high centered. That would also explain the need to install a custom cross member:


You can see the wave along the bottom rail. I play on straightening it and then added an extra piece of metal to about a foot long to add additional strength along the bottom of the frame.

This net photo shows the rear passenger spring. The front portion of the bottom leaf is bent down quite a ways. This is slightly problematic in that there aren’t off the shelf springs for DJ-3A convertibles (that I know of anyway).


I don’t know which year this image was printed, but it highlights the different springs among models.


Note that the hardtop version had different numbers of springs on the left vs. right sides. From the CJ-2A Page.

To make it more confusing, I have five leafs in the front and four in the back (on both sides). I think I should have only 3 leafs. Perhaps the previous owner broke them and installed heavier ones? Or, the number of leafs was changed after 1956? I don’t know.

Another unexpected find were the spacer installed below the rear springs.


As you can see in this DJ-3A manual page, there is no bottom spacer. But, the number of leafs suggest that this is a DJ-3A hardtop or tailgate version. My guess is that the spacer was used on the convertible DJ-3A so that the same U-bolts could be used on all the models.


Speaking of springs, the front ones have lost some spring. This photo shows that the front bump stops have quite a bit of wear (I did not clean these … they are as I removed them). I see front springs in Rusty’s future as well.


Moving to the clutch arm. Apparently, there was lots of wear on it, because not only did one of the holes grow oblong, a second hole was also added.


Moving to the steering, the bushing inside the bell crank was worn. Somehow the bearings wore vertical grooves into the bushing as well.


The front brake line also provided a surprise. There appears to be grind mark in the line. New line time, too!


Rusty’s frame is just about ready for some sand blasting. The front bumper rivets have all had their heads ground down, but I still need to punch them through and remove the bumper.

2017-04-22-rusty 2017-04-22-rusty2





6 Comments on “Rainy Days Go Away!

  1. SteveK

    That’s a good helper you’ve got there. All signs seem to indicate Rusty was ‘used’ and under some extreme weighted conditions…or dropped from a plane? I guess that big ole tank on the back when you got it was ‘only part of the load’ Rusty has carried. Isn’t it amazing how much we don’t see in the excitement of acquiring a DJ at first? And then the ‘parts hunt’ begins. Good Luck! July’s coming fast.

  2. Ted

    Benz Spring in Portland has been in business many years. They can re-do your springs, or make new ones to order. Great place, have used them for about 40 years.

  3. Barry West

    Dave I have a clutch arm that came with that V6 I bought. It wasn’t used on it just came with the deal. I’ll take a look at it this and photo/measure it and them to you. If it will fit yours you can have it. I send it out to you. Was does the drawing for the DJ3A springs have so many leafs? 11?

  4. Nichael Henry

    Dave my son and have just finished rebuilding a 1965 dj3a. we used cj3a kit from kaiser willys.
    it included 8 leaf front springs in front and 9 leaf in back. the kit included shackles shocks and all the
    and other part needed. they have the cross member i also had to replace I recommend
    a skid plate for the crossmember. I have owned this 1965 DJ since 1966. If you have any questions just ask.

  5. David Eilers Post author

    Steve: Perhaps dropped off a cliff on the previous owner’s ranch? I have concluded that the rear gas tank straps broke ( broken remnants of both straps were not removed), dropping the tank onto the ground. That’s why I think the tank was moved to the wheel well.

    Bob & Ted: That’s certainly an option. I’ve never had springs re-sprung. I’ll compare that with CJ-3A springs.

    Barry: The drawing was probably just a re-used CJ-3A or some other model. We have determined that there are a number of inaccurate drawings in the DJ-3A manuals.

    Nichael: Thanks for the info. I have a cross member coming from Chris McKay. I’ll look into the cost of springs package from KW. I also acquired a skid plate, so I will be installing that. In fact, for this trip I will be carrying some extra weight, so some more leafs might be a good idea.

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