Builds Research Archives

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1946 CJ-2A With Custom Body and Top

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features, Unusual • TAGS: , .

Eric postedthis cool little jeep to the Willys CJ-2A Facebook page. His grandfather did the original work. The redesigned jeep had fallen into disrepair before Eric began the work necessary to resurrect it back to how his grandfather’s build.

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https://www.facebook.com/groups/18657808157/permalink/10159871614563158

 
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Dutch’s High Hood to Low Hood Project

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features

Bill shared this post about a rough CJ-3B that was rebuilt into a CJ-2A-looking jeep. The result looks good, but it is also a good reminder that what appears to be a particular model may not be so thanks to the interchangeability of parts.

https://www.curbsideclassic.com/cars-of-a-lifetime/coal-1946-jeep-cj-2a-1953-cj-3b-mechanical-mules-and-a-covid-project/

 
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MotorTrend Article on a CJ-2A M-38 …

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features

soni-m38-cj2a-motortrend

Bill shared this article that describes this custom build as a 1948 M38. However, it’s appears to be a modified CJ-2A. It’s an interesting build, but calling it one of the “greatest flat fenders ever built” is a stretch (in my opinion).

https://www.motortrend.com/features/willys-m38-flatfender-rock-spider-soni-honegger/

“Fans of the War Wagon, the Scorpion MK1, and this apocalypse-ready toy hauler might already be familiar with this Willys M38 (the military version of the civilian Jeep CJ-3A) built by Soni Honegger. It’s been called the “Slickrock Spider” for its remarkable ability to articulate its way over and through some of the hairiest obstacles known to four-wheel drive vehicles, especially with Soni at the helm. Let’s take a look at what makes this machine one of the greatest Flatfenders ever built.”

 
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Green Army’s Wood Body Reproduction

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features, Wood bodies

Here’s a good bit of history on the efforts to create a wood body for the WWII jeep. This group built a wood body replica, which, given the lack of specific info, was a good challenge. Check out the finished body using the link below:

https://www.greenarmyproductions.com/wooden-jeep-body-project/

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Collecting Jeeps in the Dominican Republic

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features
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Antonio and his jeep collection.

Antonio reached out to me from the Dominican Republic the other day. He told me he collects jeeps and was working on restoring an M-38. He needs the following parts: A windshield, the hood and the radiator front grill. Can be used but in good condition to restore. (If you think you can help him out with the parts he needs, email me at d@deilers.com and I’ll share his email.)

I wrote back and asked if he could send some pics. He generously shared the following pics and a short history of how he got hooked by the Willys Sickness.

“My first vehicle was a Willys cj3 b that I bought in 1989, after several years using to work on it, I sold it. Several years later, in 2002,

I acquired another cj-3b which was very poorly rebuilt and I decided to convert it to military originality, (M-606 Sand desert in the photo), then I acquired an M-38-a1 and rebuilt too.

From, that moment I have not been able to stop. Now, I have several military Jeeps which I have rescued and rebuilt as best as possible.

I also have other willys from Japan and another from Spain, Ebro brand.

In the future I intend to create the first jeep museum in the DR. It would be located in my hometown, Constanza, a military city located in the center of our island, which is the coldest and highest city in the country.”

Here’s a good pic of his collection:

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This show one of Antonio’s sons jeeping with a 3B in the mountains of the Dominican Republic.

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1969 CJ-5 “462” Profile on Hemmings

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features

Bill shared this story from Hemmings about a restored 1969 CJ-5 with the 462 package.

https://www.hemmings.com/stories/2021/12/30/after-eight-years-of-commuting-and-four-decades-of-plow-duty-this-1969-kaiser-jeep-cj-5-has-been-restored-for-leisure-use

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Jordan’s 1964 Tux Park CJ-5: “The GoGo Gadget Jeep”

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features

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Jordan offered to share some pics of his uniquely modified CJ-5. It’s a pretty cool jeep with lots of details. It looks like it was a serious jeep for off road exploration. Here’s Jordan’s story:

I call it the GoGo Gadget Jeep. I bought this CJ-5 about 7 years ago in the foothills between Sacramento and Tahoe. The guy I bought it from had not had it very long and had not done much with it. He bought it from the estate of the guy who built it. It probably sat around since the early ’90’s when the guy died or just stopped driving it.

Apparently the original owner did search and rescue work with it in the Sierras. I have taken some stuff off that I did not want, a rack over the rear bumper, 9 horns, a single side band radio, a winch fairlead that folded down (probably built to pull rigs up cliffs), and a few other things.

The wiring is still a mess, but I am driving it around the Estacada, Oregon, area. It came with a brand new in the box full top (white), the bikini top in the pice, a worn out full top, some extra motor parts (Buick 225), a second set of tires that are in some of the pictures-I had to get new rims because I got 5 tires, but 3 rims of one type and 3 of another), and a few other odds and ends.

The extra set of tires are Goodyear Wrangler Mud Grips. I have only found one picture of them online, and no info.

It runs great with about 40,000 miles, overdrive, PTO Winch, turning brakes (those are the tall levers between the seats). The levers between the seats are the turning brakes, then the PTO engagement lever, then the overdrive lever, and then the shifter. The transfer case shift or is down below the dash.

I wish I would have met the guy that built it. It seems he was an aerospace engineer, based on some of the stickers on it. It may be that someone on your site will recognize the jeep. I would love to hear from them if so. I imagine that it was well known when it was running around the Sierras way back when.

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Scott’s “De Luxe” Wagon Remodel

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features

Speaking of De Luxe wagons,  I wanted to share Scott Gilbert’s effort to create a De Luxe looking wagon from his wagon. He was diligent enough to locate NOS cane stickers for the sides, an item stored away for years that was owned by someone on a non-jeep forum. I’m looking forward to seeing how his wagon looks once he finishes the restyle.

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CJ-5 Truck

• CATEGORIES: Builds

Blaine shared this build that combined a CJ-5 and a GMC bed was featured a few years ago on Autowrecking.com. It was a product of necessity; he builder had an old CJ-5 and needed a truck.

https://www.autowrecking.com/blog/custom-1957-willys-jeep-CJ5

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Anyone Recognize Tracy’s 1944 MB

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features, Sedan-jeep • TAGS: .

Tracy shared pics of his grandfather’s WW2 jeep that was customized at some point, either motor-pool modified or post-war modified. He’s hoping someone might have more information about it.

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1944-mb-tracy1“This Willys came to me by way of my grandfather, a WW2 veteran of Normandy where, D-Day+1 his unit was shelled by 88’s and he lost his leg.

I have no idea when he, himself, acquired it as I never even knew it existed until I was called to remove it. Since my father never mentioned it to me, it is likely he didnt know either.

I can only assume he had visions of restoring it. Now, that falls to me, and I gladly accept that.

My plan is to do more of a “restification” on it than an all out restoration.

You see, the modifications that have been made are completely, and thoroughly welded in place. As it looks to have been this way since, at least, the era that it was acquired as surplus, if not before, it has really become part of the vehicle’s story and it will remain. The workmanship is very well done and, whoever did these modifications was a very skilled welder/fabricator as all welds, fit, and finish are top notch.

So, I share it here in hopes that I may find information on that history.”

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2004 “Corveep” Build

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features

Here’s a unique build that married a wrecked 2004 Corvette with a free 1968 Jeepster Commando. The builder calls it a “Corveep”. There’s a series of pics that document some of the challenges involved in marrying the two vehicles, including lengthening the Commando body.

http://bobpelikan.com/?p=54#more-54

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Jane Bundy’s 1947 CJ-2A

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features

This nice looking CJ-2A wasn’t restored to 100% original, but it sure looks nice and will provide owner Jane Bundy with a great vehicle for years to come. The Miller Brothers Hot Rod Barn in Wilkesboro, NC, did the work.

https://statesville.com/news/local/my-classic-car-jane-bundys-1947-cj-2-willys-jeep/article_0b29b0b2-2394-11eb-a8cb-9f13bbeae594.html

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A Turbo Hayabusa Suzuki Powered Jeep Build

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features, videos

Bill shared this post from thedrive.com about a youtuber named DJ (youtube channel Limitliss) putting a Turbo 1.3 liter Suzuki Hayabusa engine into a jeep-rod build. He was originally going to install a ZX10R, but found it to be too damaged to proceed, so he switched to the Suzuki engine.

https://www.thedrive.com/news/37571/a-turbo-hayabusa-powered-willys-jeep-is-enough-to-make-you-forget-ls-swaps-forever

Here’s Limitliss’ ‘reveal’l of the jeep build, but it’s not the first episode (call it episode 0):

This is episode 1:

You can follow the rest of the build here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLNbNJv69UAARr6Sqxaq-RqBM10eKKaYkp … there are currently 19 episodes.

 
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Willys Truck & 2014 JK Chassis

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Willys Trucks

UPDATE: apparently, this one is up for sale

This nice looking truck is a Willys body and look adapted to a 2014 JK Chassis. No doubt it cost a few bucks to assemble. The result sure looks nice. Note that the whole truck had to be widened.

See all the pics here: https://www.quadratec.com/c/blog/brothers-challenge

Some of the stats:

  • 1955 Willys Truck mounted on 2014 JK chassis
  • 118” wheelbase
  • 4800 pounds
  • 3.6 Pentastar with RIPP Supercharger
  • Automatic transmission
  • 440 hp at crank
  • Dual exhaust with catalytic converters.
  • Fuel 17” wheels
  • Toyo Open Country C/T 35” tires
  • 3.5” Rock Krawler Long arm lift kit
modified-truck-moab

PHOTO CREDIT: Quadratec.com

 
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1955 Truck Project

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features

Bud Wilkinson of the Republican-American reported on this Willys Truck rebuild. https://wheels.rep-am.com/2020/07/my-ride-out-of-the-dump-and-into-the-willys-jeep/

 
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The Jeep-Engine Powered Chum

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features

Gayland shared this do-it-yourself boat project that’s designed around a jeep-engine. It’s called the Chum. Below is the first page. Download the PDF to see all the instructions. There’s even a Willys marine engine for sale right now.

https://www.diy-wood-boat.com/support-files/chum.pdf

 
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The Hudson Hornet Steering Modification

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features

Just a few posts today, but some good ones!

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1951-1953 Hudson Hornet steering box installed on John’s CJ-2A.

I’ve been very interested in the Hudson Hornet Steering Modification since I heard about it a decade ago. Unfortunately, there’s scant information about implementing the modification, but reports were that it was a relatively easy one that produced fantastic results, offering a power-assist feel to the steering and reducing play (a similar, alternative steering modification is the use of a 1980s Ford Ranger box, which Lawrence Ellliot shared back in 2018).

Now, thanks to Adam, we have some new insights into the obstacles and benefits of installing a Hudson unit into a vintage jeep! Perhaps the most difficult obstacle to overcome is locating the steering box itself! Adam’s provided some great details below, but If you want to ask Adam more questions directly, he’s offered his email ahedgcock @ gmail.com (remove the spaces around the @).

Below, Adam shows some of the differences between the Hudson and Ross (Willys) units:

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Here’s Adam’s description:

  1. Find box. Perhaps the most difficult task .. 51 to 53 Hudson Hornet.
  2. Pitman Arm/Get Drag Link. Try to get the bell crank and drag link. The Hudson splined pitman shaft is quite a bit larger than the willys splined shaft so it is good to use the original. The pitman arm itself is similar in how it bends, but is 7” long ( instead of 5” on the willys)
  3. Pitman Arm Ball. The pitman arm ball end on the Hudson is larger than the willys, so I welded the Hudson drag link end onto my willys drag link.
  4. Hudson Box bolts right up, but …The Hudson box could be bolted directly to the frame rail with 3 bolts, but the steering column will be 2.5” too far on the drivers side to hit you body tub hole. Having all stock brake and clutch pedals, and not wanting to make my tub Swiss cheese, I chose to move the box 2.5” off the frame with a fabricated spacer. This would be similar to the level of fab needed to convert a Saginaw box up front.
  5. Or Shift the Hudson Bracket. The cast steel Hudson bracket could be cut and re-welded to the box 2.5” over also, with the same results.
  6. Modify the Column Tube. The steering column is similar to the willys but the Hudson column tube is larger than the Willys. I welded a larger OD sleeve at the base of an existing willys column, cut a split in it and welded on 2 ears so I could clamp it tight.
  7. Steering Shaft Differs. The steering shaft does not have the same end spline for a willys steering wheel, so you can either cut and weld a willys spline to the end, or find a Hudson steering wheel.
  8. Gear ratio. I did not take the box apart, but it is clearly a roller bearing worm shaft, and this thing came tight, even after presumably many years of use. The Hudson box is 6 turns lock to lock, and the Ross is 3 turns. It is worth noting the pitman arm is longer, 7” vs 5” on the willys, but you get a definite advantage in ratio. A bit less than half the effort to turn the wheels. I have taken it on road, and there is not the same “twitch” at speed, and off-road it does not tear your thumbs off like before. The wheel still happily spins back to center by itself nicely when you let it go, just more revolutions.
  9. Placement of box. This will be subjective, I have a Buick V6 and I found the longer pitman arm worked better because it swings below my bellhousing rather than ramming I to it with the Ross. Just like placing an engine, you would want to mock up the ideal spot, and make the bracket accordingly.
  10. Original look. This is basically a similar box, and does not effect the outward appearance at all.
  11. Finding parts…this is the fun part, I needed to talk to people, and ultimately find a person willing to go digging through an old barn. Once I found my source, I bought 2. Paid $200 each.
  12. Very fun swap, more original than the Saginaw, similar performance to a manual Saginaw provided to have a good tight bell crank and good tie rod ends.. I don’t see any need for a steering stabilizer

Hudson Horney Box casting number 34641.

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John’s Cutlas Selective Hub Rebuild

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features, How To • TAGS: .

John recently rebuilt a set of Cutlas Selective Hubs, the type with the knob that rotates to engage and disengage the hub. There appear to be at least two styles of these hubs, one with a flat top and one with a groove, so that a tool (or improvised tool) can be used to help engage, disengage the hub.

This exploded overview from 1961 shows how the parts assemble (see the full brochure below this post):

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As you can kind of see from this diagram, there are two sections: 1) is the hub cap that holds the knob and the spring in place (from part 107-2 in the middle and everything to the right of it) and 2) the hub base (part 108-2 and everything to the left of it).

John wrote, “Overall I’d say these are my favorite hubs I’ve worked on so far. I have a pair of Warn hubs (with the tiny needle bearings) and a pair of Selectro hubs (big chrome knob type). The Warns seemed like a real pain to rebuild since the needle bearing were in rough shape. And the Selectro hubs, while very easy to operate, were probably the weakest design I’ve seen.”

Here’s a look at John’s finished product, as it’s the best example a complete hub next to a hub with the top separated from the base:

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I went with a 2 tone paint job just for fun. If it doesn’t last for any reason I’ll end up with the whole thing gloss black and a chrome knob. The body was so badly pitted there was no saving the original finish

HUB CAP:

We’ll start with the hub’s cap first. John provided the following note: “To remove the coupling piece (part 102-2 Coupling) from the chrome cap (with the cutlas knob) you have to line it up right with the correct groove, then push down firmly against the spring inside (part 110-2 coupling spring). While pushing down spin the coupling, and then the coupling spring will pop the coupling right out and its free.”

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With the inner portion of the cap apart, you can see the coupling ring, the coupling, the coupling cam spring (part 107-2) and the coupling cam pins (parts 105-2).

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Dan Details the Thor “Lectro-Matic” Hub

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features

UPDATE: I posted this Thor post over a decade ago (how times flies). Below is a look at the switch used to engage the Thor “Lectro-Matic” Hub, which came from this post. Since the below post was first published, there’s also been some history about Thor Products on a shared on another post.

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Originally posted January 2010: 

Dan dropped this into my inbox this evening.  It’s a detailed look at the Thor “Lectro-Matic” Hub (or lectromatic hub). Dan completed this 18 page document, with disassembling the hubs and discussing each step.  You can download the PDF here Great work Dan!

Dan writes, The Thor “Lectro-Matic” hubs off of my 1955 CJ-5 were a bit of a mystery. These must have been some of the first “push button” 4WD systems to come out. There was little to no information on them so I decided to take them apart and see just how they work. Here is what I have learned.

When my Dad said that they were electric, I assumed that they had a little motor that would “spin” them in or out of engagement. What I realized was that they were more like a solenoid or electromagnet.

There is a coil of wire on the wheel side of the hub. When power is applied to the coil it becomes a magnet and draws itself to the axle side of the hub. There are little “teeth” machined into the facing sides of the hub. These teeth engage and the axle side of the hub turns the wheel or magnet side of the hub. A wire is ran through the back of the backing plate through a hole and provides the electricity to the magnetic coil. A contact mounted on a spring transmits this electric power through a slip ring inside the brake drum to the hub.

I imagine that the hubs could be engaged while the vehicle is moving, but I think this would cause the teeth to slip for a moment and lead to premature wear of the teeth. A toggle switch or a maintained push button could be used to turn the hubs on and off. One could even use a limit switch on the 4WD lever of the transfer case to automatically turn them on when the vehicle was shifted into 4WD. The hubs would only remain engaged as long as power is applied to the magnetic coil. If you left the switch on and had run power directly off of the battery to the switch, it would eventually drain your battery after the engine is shut off. If you ran power from the ignition switch to the on/off switch, your hubs would automatically disengage as soon as you shut off your engine.

If for some reason they didn’t want to work, there was a little screw on the outside face of the hub that you could turn to manually engage or disengage the hubs (as you can see below).


On the top of the hub you can see the wire that passes through the brake drum to power the magnetic coil.

Download and read the entire document here

 
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Bob’s Longtime Militarized CJ-2A

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features
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Bob Le Marchant’s militarized CJ-2A

Bob Le Marchant discovered eWillys last month. Now 72, below he shares some tales with his beloved CJ-2A.

Bob started jeeping at age 17. His ‘crazy neighbour’s’ father (an ex-submarine captain) ran a yellow Ford Jeep. He dearly wanted one too, but ended up with a 1946 CJ-2A. It was not only his first jeep, but also Bob’s very first vehicle. Metamet, a British company that offered a wide variety of modified WWII jeeps, soon became his central place for purchasing spare parts. He loved going up to London and finding Daleham Mews.

The CJ-2A, being his first vehicle, was what he used to pass his driving test (the tester spent the whole test reading the dash plates and talking about Jeeps … he had driven jeeps in the war). As a teenager, Bob discovered there were two sorts of girls: the ones who looked crest fallen and said ” Oh, shame it isn’t a little sports car”, and those who said “Wow!! Where shall we go in that!”

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After graduating as a mining engineer (he proudly notes that Ben Carlin was one too), he shipped his Jeep out to South Africa to work. For a while he worked near Johannesburg in what was then the second deepest mine in the world at 11,700 feet. Bob wrote that, “At that depth the intrinsic rock has a hydraulic pressure: the floor is as much likely to burst up as the roof fall down. Square tunnels soon become circular as shards come off. The natural rock temperature is 150 degrees or so, with 100% humidity. Heat stroke was the main killer down there. Everything he has  ever done since then has been a “piece of piss!”

Later, in the 1970’s, he DROVE his jeep back to the UK to do work a job blasting a tunnel for the Ffestiniog Railway in Wales. However, to get to Wales, he had to take the long way because, due to politics, he couldn’t get north of Kenya, so he shipped his jeep to Bombay, then drove northwest via Kyber Pass and Istanbul.  The adventure was a trip of a lifetime.

“This Jeep has travelled,” he noted. Unfortunately, his ex-wife has all the pics.

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Currently, he lives in Devon in South West England. His longtime CJ-2A is still a very road worthy, nearly everyday vehicle. The engine uses a Hotchkiss block. He also has a Metamet dash plate on the wall. He loves his jeep!

 
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Icon 4×4 Rebuilt 1965 Jeep Wagoneer

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features

Maury shared this video and article about Robert Wood and Icon 4×4’s rebuild of a 1965 Jeep Wagoneer into a more modern driver: https://www.automobilemag.com/news/icon-1965-kaiser-jeep-wagoneer-reformer/

Also, if anyone has a circa 1965 Wagoneer steering wheel, Robert Wood might be interested buying it. They are looking for one for their Cherokee. Email me at d @ deilers.com (no spaces around the @) for Robert’s contact info.

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Javier’s Restored M-38

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features

Javier rebuilt this nice looking M-38, thanks it part to finding parts through eWillys and readers comments. During the rebuild, he added a few additional safety features such as Herm’s dual reservoir setup. He notes that M-38 does have a few CJ parts on it as well. The unique frame for the winch was something he and a friend built after testing out different scenarios with cardboard. The winch cover is a nice touch, too. Thanks for sharing Javier!

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Customized VEEP

• CATEGORIES: Builds, VEEP (VW Jeep), Scamp, Others

Mike bought this VEEP in September of 2018 in Arizona. It ran, but had lots of surface rust on the paint. So, he blasted the body, rebuilt the engine (to 1915cc), redid the engine compartment, and added some other custom elements. His goal was to enter it in local car shows and, so far, he’s won four trophy’s with it. Nice work!

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1949 Directions For Building Toy Willys Wagon

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features, Models

On August 04, 1949, the Wolcott Beacon out of Wolcott, Indiana, published directions on how to build a toy Willys Wagon for kids. The length of this toy is about 7″.

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Headlight Bezels Over the Years

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features

The other day someone asked me about headlight bezels (or if you prefer, headlight ‘heads’) and how they changed through the years. I did not have a good answer to that reader’s question, so this working thread about bezels is the result. Along the way, I learned that some folks call these parts “heads”, but perhaps that is more military related?

1. 1945-1946 Early Painted Bezels on CJ-2As
Early CJ-2A bezels were painted, not chromed, until approximately #38687, according to the CJ-2A page. As far as my research indicates, only Walcks carries new, unpainted bezels. This is the flatter style of bezel without the tab.

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2. 1946-1953 Later CJ-2As, CJ-3As and 1956-1959 DJ-3As
After roughly CJ-2A #38687 the bezels were chromed, but their shape was the same. They lasted through the end of the CJ-3A production run and into the early DJ-3A production run (1956-1959). These example images are from Kaiser Willys.

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3. 1950-1952 M-38s, 1953-1971 M-38A1s, and M-170s:
I didn’t realize that M-38 and M-38A1 bezels were the same. It’s on the M-38a1 site that I encountered the alternative term “head” for the bezel. Peter Debella has NOS rings.

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4. 1950 USMC CJ-V35 Blackout Lights ‘bezels’
Thanks to Mike Wixom for helping me out with these rare blackout lights.

This type of headlight bezel, or more correctly blackout ring (although not that effective), was used only on Marine Corps Radio Jeeps as far as I know. Specifically on the CJV35/U and possibly on the MZ-2 and MZ-3 Radio Jeeps from Late WW2. They were installed at the factory on all 1000 CJV35/U Jeeps built in May of 1950. These were eventually replaced by the actual blackout lights found on the M-38.

Because these aren’t readily available, someone posted this writeup on how to inexpensively recreate them:

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Here is a different, larger version of a CJ-V35 bezel. Mike believes the ones shown below may have been fabricated and not original, but perhaps the owner can offer input on this.

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