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Chuck’s “new” 1951 CJ-3A Hits the Trails

• CATEGORIES: Features

Chuck bought this CJ-3A just over a week ago and already got it on the trails. He shared a couple great pics of it.

He writes, “The new Willys was in its element this weekend blazing the trail – first ones in cutting and winching downed tress across the trail. I went with two Rubi TJs and kept up no problem. The Willys doing what it was meant to do and doing it exceptionally well!”

“That said, the 51 Willys wasn’t without issues. The front pumpkin was milkshake and rusty. Had to take it apart /clean. Transmission was a little milky. I just changed every single fluid in everything. It also has electrical gremlins. The battery blew up and I spent the night in a auto parts parking lot. New battery, changed the alternator from a three wire to a one wire, did some rewiring and was back on the road with just hand tools. Can’t do that with a new JK or JL! Anyway, put over 300 miles on the Jeep in three days. It was a great adventure. The Jeep did fantastic but I’ll be happy when I get a chance to rip out all the wiring and start over – it really needs it for me to feel it’s a dependable rig.”

These two pics are way above Bass Lake back by Clover Meadow / Granite Creek area called Jackass Meadows in California:



This pic is on the Bald Mountain trail above Shaver Lake. (It’s a listed Jeep trail):


5 Comments on “Chuck’s “new” 1951 CJ-3A Hits the Trails

  1. Chuck

    @ Bob in nc;
    15″ rim with 33 x 12.50 Tires. 5:38 gear ratio, sm465, dana18/w Warn overdrive. Has a final crawl ratio of about 80 to 1 and can run 55 to 60 mph on the highway (in the slow lane!) This is really a great little Jeep. Whoever built it knew what they were doing. And thanks to Dave for having it on his site. Dave posted an update showing a build sheet for the Jeep. Being old, I recognized the the old school mechanical parts list; I had to take a closer look. I’ve had more fun in this than I ever had in my YJ’s and TJ’s!

    The pics were taken this weekend in the Central California Sierra Nevada Mountains (due east of Fresno Ca) 7000′ – 8000′ elevation (still snow on the ground this year!) Lots of listed Jeep trails in this area. Being USFS land there are practically endless old fire and abandoned logging roads to explore. And you can camp where ever you want. A Jeepers paradise!

  2. Bob in nc

    Beautiful. Really.

    We have plenty of empty beaches here to drive on. Couple hundred miles of outer Banks beaches you can drive on. But the view stays the same. You can stop and camp and fish almost anywhere you want. Bring your own firewood.

    Really don’t know much about the 3a and not sure how it would affect your drive/ setup but for looks these little stock Jeep’s need as much help as they can get. The 16″ wheels with an agresove tire really do them right.

    Nice rig. Looks like a nice set up. What kind of beer you drinking on the west coast? Believe it or not, Coors banquet beer here on east coast. Sounds like the land of the Willy’s out your way. Enjoy it.

  3. Chuck

    Bob in nc,

    We have Pismo Beach, but the environmentalists are constantly trying to shut it down and have successfully decreased its size to about half of what it was. It used to be a nice place to go as a kid; camping out clamming and fishing. Nowadays it’s a three ring circus with all kinds of crazies and swarms of loud 2cycle quads like mosquitoes buzzing everywhere. Someone is always getting killed over there. It’s a fun place to visit. But not somewhere to get away and enjoy nature.

    I’ve never been to NC but hear good things about NC. If I was to live on the east coast NC would be the State I’d pick!

    The reason for 15″ rims rather than 16″ or larger rims for this area is to provide more tire sidewall to keep the rocks from tearing up the rims (rock rash). Lots big rocks out here!

    I love beer, but it makes me fat and stupid. Out here “Craft” beers are very popular. My favorite was IPA Craft beer made by Barrel House. But the calorie and alcohol content is to high for me. So I switched to Michelob Ultra Pure Gold. It has 85 calories and 2.5 carbs per beer and tastes great.

    So what are you driving, how’s your rig set up?

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