Features Research Archives

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Builds: Mac and Jason’s CJ-2A Project

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features, Website

Titled, the “CJ-2A 1948 Willys Overland Jeep Restoration Project“, this blog follows the rebuilding of a 1948 Willys by Mac and Jason in Houston, Tx.  It’s clear they don’t know a great deal about jeeps (neither did I when I started on my jeep many years ago), but are jumping in with both feet none-the-less.  Kudos to them; it looks like they are learning already.

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Photos – From “03Jeepgirl”

• CATEGORIES: Features, Women & Jeeps

I was doing some research and found some pics from a female photographer on flickr who calls herself 03Jeepgirl.  She owns two jeeps, though she didn’t get specific about what she owns.  She’s posted a large number of old vehicle pics, including these flattie shots.

You can see all her pics here

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Builds: Josh’s WW2 US Navy Converto T6 Trailer

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features, trailer

Josh sent over some pics of a very rare WW2 US Navy Converto T6 Trailer.  Josh is curious to know if any other readers have or know of these trailers.  I’ll be happy to set aside some space for Converto trailer owners to gather and share information.

Also, he’s got another trailer for sale on eBay (Converto Airborne Dump Trailer — see post below this one).

Josh writes, “Here are some pictures of my WW2 US Navy Converto T6 trailer I mentioned to you a while back. I found it here in Boise, though it was never advertised for sale. It is almost identical to a more well known Bantam t3 or a Willys MBT.  During the war there were a number of companies producing nearly identical trailers for the military.  The only notable difference between my MBT or T3  and the Converto T6 are a different brake hand set up, dataplate, and, in the case of my trailer, a ball hitch that is stamped USN 1944. (My hitch is different from the two other Converto T6s I’ve heard about — They both have the standard military lunettes)   The data plate was originally riveted to my trailer but the past owner removed it to paint it grey again with spray paint. The under side of my trailer has what I believe to be the original paint and some yellow stenciling that has shipping info/load info. I plan to fully restore and hold onto this T6.

Converto also produced a T7 (same 1/4 ton trailer as the MBT/T3/T6 but with a tailgate) and a Converto Airborne Dump Trailer which is a 1/2 ton but used with the jeep. There is really little info I can find out on either the T6 orT7, but the Dump trailers do have a lot of info available including a military TM.  I have had a few Converto Airborne Dump Trailers.  They are very hard to find as it is estimated only about 6500 where produced. I’m unsure how many T6/T7 were produced. Not very many based on how few are still around. Maybe we can find a few more with your readers??”

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Club Run: Flatties on the Slick Rock in Utah

• CATEGORIES: Club Runs, Features

I’ve seen lots of pics of modified vehicles that crawl the slickrock of Southern Utah; so. it’s a nice change to see these two classic jeeps cover the trails without issue.

Randall writes, I thought maybe some other old school jeepers might like to see a few photos of a recent club outing to Moab.  The jeeps did great and the scenery was absolutely awesome. The “slickrock” on “Fins&Things” and “Hell’s Revenge” trails was amazing.

The M38 is a 1952, all stock with four banger, T-90, and Dana 44 with 5:38’s.  The other is a ’52 3A.  Also bone stock with Dana 41.  The only upgrade on it is 11″ brakes and 12v.  This was our first trip, but probably won’t be our last.  We went the first week of Nov. and hit great weather by luck.  We’d hoped to have more jeeps make it but too many conflicts for everyone.  Had a blast with just four of us in the two jeeps.  They climbed just about anything a sane, middle aged man would need to climb and the gears made descents very doable with little need for much braking.  HOWEVER, I was glad the brakes were in very good condition when we first went down some of the trails.

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Duke Edwards == Hot Rod Artist

• CATEGORIES: Artists/Drawings, Features, Unusual

I found the image below on eBay. The bidding has ended, but I”m sure it will return. I thought it looked very similar to Brian’s CJ-3B (or former CJ-3B — did you ever sell it?). After located a pic of the CJ-3B, I concluded it must have been used as the model of the drawing.

One image below is the drawing and one is a shot of the CJ-3B from the CJ-3B page (See more pics of it there — It’s a beauty!).

According to an old ebay listing, this particularly drawing is a run of 250 prints of a drawing by artist Duke Edwards.  I didn’t know who Duke Edwards was, so I did a google search and found the information below from the ‘Automotive Art Gallery‘.

“Duke has been “doodling” for almost 40 years but had limited his clientele to friends and local car clubs. Since making his work available to the public, he has received international recognition and has pieces on museum display as well as in private collections. For just “doodling” Duke is amazingly talented.”

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Old Pics: Phil Nelson’s Place

• CATEGORIES: Features, Old Images

UPDATE: Bob also snapped a picture at Phil Nelson’s Place in Columbiana. You can see it below.

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I’ve never been there, but these are some great pics of the place from Gerald.

“A small display outside of Phil Nelson’s place in Columbiana Ohio.  It is truely a treasure.”

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L-head and F-head performance

• CATEGORIES: Engine, Features, Website

I found this article on Automotive.com, though it’s really an article from JP Magazine.  The article highlights improving performance on a variety of Jeep engines.  Here’s two excerpts and a great pic.

Dual carburetor manifolds in the ’50s were available for just about any engine you could imagine and an old-time company, Burns, made a log-type manifold that utilized two Stromberg Ford V-8 carburetors for the Jeep four-cylinder. I’m sure these helped the four-cylinder flathead’s performance, but, still, the long-stroke 134.2ci engine needed a lot more than this…”

And a little on the F-head

The next step was to swap in a later model F-head engine. It wasn’t technically an engine swap because it was a direct bolt in. Still the same basic engine, but a new cylinder head design with the intake valves upstairs in the head instead of the block. Depending on the compression ratio, which ranged from 6.9 to 7.8 (depending on year and usage), it was rated at 72 to 75 horsepower at around 4,000 rpm and torque was up to 114lb-ft. This one got a balance job, some performance pistons from Speed-O-Motive, and a Holley carb from a Falcon six. My new performance motor maybe made 100 horsepower on a good, damp day.

Harry Buschert, who owned a farm implement repair shop in Hemet, California, was a real innovator in design. He built up a very-modified, four-cylinder F-head that even had a Paxton Blower that he had salvaged off a Packard….”

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Jim Boswell’s Seat Cushions

• CATEGORIES: Features, Parts

UPDATE:  Jim used to make these seat cushions, but no longer does.  I’ve decided to keep these here just in case someone is looking for ideas for Seat Cushions.

 

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Builds: More on Pauls Stainless M-38

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features • TAGS: .

If you haven’t yet read about Pauls M-38 project, go to installment 1 and installment 2.

Paul, take it away …

Paul Bierman again with a few more pictures of the never ending Willys project.  I didn’t want a rear seat (Who can fit back there anyway?) so I fabricated a storage box which spans between the rear wheel wells and is divided into two sections.  The half behind the passengers seat is the new battery location along with the circuit breaker panel, the master relay and circuit breaker and most of the switch relays.  The half behind the driver’s side is the home of a now vintage (but it’s still brand new, I bought it quite a while ago) ten disc cd changer with some room left over for an out of view storage compartment.  I’ve replaced just about all of the wiring with new (there’s some original wiring on the gas heater still but I’ll get to that sometime) with some fancy pants, super flexible cold weather wiring which stays flexible down to 55 below zero F.  Boy, doesn’t that just make you feel dandy.  If it’s that cold I’ll wait till spring, besides I try to draw the line on outside work when the temperature drops past 40 below zero F, nothing’s worse than having to take a leak when you’re wearing multiple layers of clothing eight inches thick and Little Mr. Wizzard shrunk up to an inch and a half.  No matter what you do you know at least one of your boots is going to get wet.

Moving the instrument panel above the windshield caused still more problems but the most annoying one was how I could get all the wires from the gauges down to the main body without my work looking like crap.  I was at work thinking this over (Ok, I was in the bathroom but I do my deepest thinking sitting down) when I happened to glance over at the wall and saw a beautiful stainless steel handle just the right size with curved ends, satin finished and everything!   Problem solved, until I mentioned this great solution to my boss and his exact response was, “Touch it and die.”  Geeze, guess I’ll have to spend my own money and purchase some handicap grab handles.  The local home supply store had quite a selection of stainless handles but I ran into a problem with an over enthusiastic clerk wanting to help me with my bathroom remodel.  He’d never heard of a 52 Willys bathroom renovation.  The handles worked out great, you can see them on the pictures of the windshield/instrument panel photos by the door posts.

Winter was late getting here (I love global warming!) but I have lots of cold dark days ahead of me so the Willys will get a great deal of attention before this latest batch of snow melts.  Next week I’ll have the side and rear window glass cut and then I’ll have to make patterns for the door window glass and they’ll be ordered when my wallet says it’s ok.

PS …  I’ve really enjoyed the comments left by fellow Willys wackos, the concern about welding above the jerry can was nice but the can had never been used and I threw it out after I’d made the gas can mount.  If I was to worry about welding safety I should have thought about the beef and bean burrito (with cheese and onions on top) I’d eaten for lunch, not so much for the flamability aspect (the poor garage just isn’t that tightly sealed) but the thrust developed after lunch could have blown me off those fancy bucket workstands!

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Some Registered Trademarks of Daimler Chrysler

• CATEGORIES: Features

I was doing some research on which Registered Trademarks relating to Willys or Jeep were related to Daimler, Chrysler (D/C) or their subsidiaries (and I was surprised at how many of these are owned by different subsidiaries within the D/C organizations).

A short primer on Trademarks.  Registered Trademarks are applied for with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. If the Office thinks you have a good case, they’ll grant you a trademark.  Sometimes you apply for a trademark with just words OR sometimes you apply with the words in a particular design.

When you apply for a Trademark, you apply for 1 or more different classes, with each class costing currently between $275 – $325.  As you see below, over the years, D/C has applied for additional Trademarks over additional types of goods and services (and in fact has applied for and then abandon some other categories also which I don’t list).

So, if you aren’t bored yet, keep on reading.  Below, I’ve listed all the valid Willys, Jeep and some other interesting Trademarks.  First, you’ll see the Trademarked Name, followed by the Registration number of the Trademark, and finally, notes about the particular Class for which the Trademark was granted.  In most cases, you’ll also see the year when it was first used in commerce, which is important for protecting your rights of ownership.

1) I was surprised to see that D/C only has registered trademarks for WILLYS in two classes, which is good for me because it leaves a large number of Willys names open should I want to Trademark some additional names.

A) Willys 2722568 IC 028 TOYS, NAMELY, MODEL REPLICAS OF LAND VEHICLES.

B) Willys 3387789 IC 012 G & S: Automobiles.

MUCH MUCH MORE ON THE NEXT PAGE

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Gerald found these great pictures to share

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features, Old Images • TAGS: .

Here’s a variety of pics from Gerald.  Thanks for sharing!

Here’s Gerald’s trailer and his jeep with Military Tires.  The tires make a world of difference.  You can see the jeep with the mini terras here.

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Here’s some old dealership photos:

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Damn, what a lucky kid this guy was … I’m gonna have to talk to mom and dad about this! I had to wait until I was 18 for my first ‘real’ jeep!

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I can’t tell how young/old this photo is:

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And this is just for fun.  If you didn’t catch it, there was a fascinating documentary on the 2006 auction of Star Trek Memorabilia.

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Builds: More pics from Paul

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features • TAGS: .

If you didn’t see the first round of pics, go here.  These are a second round of pics that Paul generously provided. Thanks again Paul and great work!

No stories with these pics, just eye candy 🙂

Here’s the steering:

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Click on the link below to see more pics …..

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Reader Builds: Paul’s Stainless M-38 Project

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features • TAGS: .

highway_signUPDATE: See the second round of pics here

A reader named Paul contacted me today.  He mentioned he was working on a stainless jeep.  Would I like to see some pictures?

By now you know my response … of course I would!  Well,  was I in for a treat.  Paul has got that unique combination of patience, welding talents, and ingenuity (check out his shifter knobs made from $5 stainless cups from a chinese restaurant).  He also seems to be a victim of the dreaded Willys sickness, which seems to coincide and peak with the dark Alaskan Winters.  So, for the last 23 years, Paul has been treating his Willys sickness by following the beat of his own drum as he rebuilds his (and his father’s) 1952 M-38.  Here’s his story and pics (Thanks for sharing Paul!):

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My father bought an all original 1952 Willys M 38 in 1964 from a local guy here in Anchorage who purchased three Jeeps as military surplus.  The M 38 my father bought came with a full aluminum top and doors (commonly but incorrectly called an Arctic Top), a 20,000 btu Southwind heater with all the heating ducts, a built in gas fired engine and battery heater, and a 24 volt waterproof electrical system all coated with numerous layers of olive drab paint.  This was my dads everyday driver for eight years until it was finally replaced by a new pickup truck in 1972 and the Willys passed into my ownership for the sum of ONE dollar.  I got screwed on this deal, here it is 37 years later and I’m still dumping money into this never ending project.  Boy, if you want to really mess with a kid give him a Jeep and he’ll be twisted for the rest of his life!

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I drove the Jeep off and on (it broke alot and money was tight) until fall of 1985 when just about everything broke, quit working or caught fire but it did get me home one last time.  It was decision time, should I scrap it or perform a rebuild to end all rebuilds?   January 1st, 1986 was the day I decided to rebuild the Willys and make some much needed modifications so I could keep up with traffic and even have brakes that worked.  Geeze, this thing was so slow (5.38 axle gears and an anemic flathead engine) bus loads of Nuns were giving me the finger.  Everywhere I went it looked like I was leading a parade and I couldn’t take back roads because there aren’t any.  We’re lucky to have the limited road system right now and there are no extra roads planned in the future.

I’d been drooling over Acme Truck Parts advertisements showing Stainless Steel Jeep bodies (I still have the magazine) so I ordered the complete body (tub, windshield, front fenders, grille, tailgate and floorboards) for the gigantic sum of $5,000 dollars paid upfront.  Lots of delays, problems and denials later the body finally arrived along with a new steel frame for $500 bucks plus shipping.  To condense this story down I spent the first five years rebuilding the body so the parts would fit before I modified the windshield to a vertical mount to match the original aluminum top.

The more I inspected the top the more hidden damage I found so I cut the top apart and duplicated each 50 thousandth thick aluminum piece in 50 thousandth thick stainless steel keeping the outside appearance original but modifying the interior so I’d fit in it better.  Since I’d duplicated the top it made sense for me to duplicate the doors, window sliders, hinges and door handles from stainless also.  I’d purchased stainless seats but I made my own fuel tanks and I put one under the passenger side instead of the original storage compartment.  That’s why the Willys has a recessed fuel filler on each side.  I know, the original M38 had huge fuel caps but the only stainless caps I could find were normal sized ones so the filler neck is much smaller in diameter and the recessed fillers were built accordingly.

When I sit in the Jeep the top of the dash is below my knees so I moved the instrument panel above the windshield and fabricated an overhead center console filled with a CD player and lots of switches.  Between the seats is a pair of stainless cup holders (1/4″ thick so I don’t worry about them getting damaged), the ignition switch and a bunch of shift levers.  The normal three speed, Warn overdrive, four wheel drive and high/low range … I call it a four on the floor!  The engine was replaced with a Buick 225 odd fire V 6, 11 inch drum brakes with hanging clutch and brake pedals, a hydraulic clutch slave and master cylinder and of course a five position stainless steel tilt steering column complete with a leather wrapped stainless steering wheel custom made by Ididit in Michigan.  The steering column alone has a heck of a story about it but that will wait for another time.  I’m just trying to give you a brief overview covering the last 23 years.

I’m not done, I’m getting closer but there’s still lots of items left on my to do and to buy list but at least I’m closer to being done than I was 23 years ago!  Normally I don’t like to say anything bad about my mom but I have to admit it appears she raised an idiot.

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[Editor’s Note:  Paul comments on the roof corners. The next four pics show the creation of a corner]   It took me four tries to make the first successful rear corner on the Willys top, the initial three attempts just irritated the metal and burned my fingers.  By the time I finally stumbled on the magic formula for making compound corners in stainless each successful corner took twenty hours to build.  The left rear corner (drivers side) is corner number four and the right rear corner (pass. side) is corner number five.  Naturally I had stupid people visit to see the progress on the Jeep, look at the corners and ask “What else have you done?”   I’m pretty sure it’s ok to kill the really stupid folks among us, don’t dumb people cause global warming or something?

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[Editor’s Note:  Below is the stainless cup transformed into a shifter knob]

The Goddess (that’s my girlfriend, her name is Deborah but many years ago she told me to call her the Goddess so I do and she’s still here) wanted to go out for oriental food since she didn’t feel like cooking so we went to an All You Can Eat and Keep Down Chinese buffet.  Naturally she wanted tea but I had a Coke which I just about blew out my nose when I saw the waitress setting down double wall stainless steel tea cups on the table.  Not only were these tea cups the perfect size for gearshift knobs, the bottom of the cup had an embossed ring slightly larger than a nickel.  With a stainless nut welded to a stainless fender washer and this assembly welded to the teacup, the welds ground down and buffed, the new shift knob installed on the lever I finished this installation by attaching a Buffalo nickel in the embossed ring.  I really did buy these teacups from the buffet folks, it’s kind of difficult to steal four cups from a table with only two people sitting there but I only had to give them five bucks each!  What a deal !  The big knob on the transmission lever was some kind of float for a pump operating in caustic chemicals which another friend found and gave to me.

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[Paul didn’t explain these, but this shows the transformation from stainless pieces into a door handle]

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[Editor’s Note:  You can see the old aluminum doors (right) and new stainless doors (left)]
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Ebro Trucks from a Jeep Pickups website

• CATEGORIES: Features, Fire/Police/Industry Vehicles, International, Unusual

Here’s some a couple great pics of an early Ebro Cameador.  You can view more images at http://www.angelfire.com/nb2/jeeppickups/Ebro.html.

Jeeps first started being assembled in Spain in 1952 by a company called VIASA, which means Vehículos Industriales y Agrícolas, S.A in spanish. I am not sure if VIASA ever made pickups, as I cannot find any records of them being produced. However, in the late 1970’s VIASA was absorbed into EBRO, another spanish company. The only pickup that I know of produced by EBRO was called the Campeador. It was a forward control pickup available in either single or double cab version, which was called the Duplex, as well as a van, called the Toledo/Furgon. At some time, Hotchkiss in France also produced these vehicles, but I can’t find any pictures of them. Production of these vehicles was from 1971-1985 in France.  The Ebro name was discontinued in 1980.

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Wooden Jeep Sonora, CA **SOLD**

• CATEGORIES: Features, Models, Unusual, Wood bodies

UPDATE: **SOLD** Was $600.

It runs and drives.

“This is a custom built 1/4 scale Willys Jeep with a wood and metal body using an electric motor from a walk along golf cart. It has a single disk brake and chain drive. The wheels are from a wheelbarrow. A real craftsman made this and he had lots of time on his hands!”

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The CJ-3B Page Interviews Jim & shows off his past 3Bs

• CATEGORIES: Features, News

Jim’s become a good friend.  He is full of stories, jeeps and life (and apparently cooks some mean brisket, too).  Derek Redmond gave him a call the other day and asked him to do a story for the CJ-3B Page.  It’s a great story and a nice synopsis of a good niche he’s carved for himself.  You might also remember that Jim builds seat covers that have been selling very well — buyers around the world are enjoying the covers.  Congrats Jim!  Below is one of his before and after projects (go here to see more pics of this):

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Stainless Steel Flattie Winston, OR **SOLD**

• CATEGORIES: CJ-3A, Features, stainless/jewels, Unusual • TAGS: .

stainless_flattie_winstonUPDATE: **SOLD** Was $8000

(08/21/09) It appears the suspension is customized as well.

“Stainless Steel Body (Body cost 6000.00) 350/350hp 4 bolt with 350 trans with extra clutches. Assembled with Advanced Adapters parts. Less than 1000 miles on engine and trans. Aluminum custom built radiator. Over 17,000.00 invested.”

 

 
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The “Jeep Coat” aka The Mackinaw Jacket

• CATEGORIES: Features

While doing some research, I wandered through Vintagetrends.com and happened upon a “jeep coat”. Having never heard of one of these, I did a quick search and landed on the olive-drab.com site.  The Olive-drab reports “the heavy ‘Coat, Mackinaw, OD’ was issued initially in 1938, intended for cold weather use by troops who did not engage in much movement, such as drivers.”  You can learn more about the different versions of coat at the olive drab website.

The coat at Vintagetrends.com is for sale, priced at $135.  The description of the coat, issued in 1944, is as follows:  This is final pattern Mackinaw field jacket commonly called a jeep coat. Jacket is in overall used condition and is stained to back and front, sleeves. Lightly frayed at cuffs, but there is no overall holes are damages. Perfect for the reinactor. All buttons present to front. We could not locate spec tag, but size tag states size 38 to collar.
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Don’t Be a Dope …

• CATEGORIES: Features, News • TAGS: .

There are a couple of great posters (?) that were posted on the 42FordGPW blog.   I love them!

 
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More Great Willys from Colombia

• CATEGORIES: Features

The eWillys Bogota-Col0mbia/Butler-Pennsylvania reporting bureau has contributed another great batch of pictures from Colombia.   When’s the last time you were out with so many nearly stock flatties? Clearly, Colombia will have to be a must-stop location on my trip around the world. Thanks for sharing Sebastian!

Sebastian writes:  I was able to put together some pictures of Willys near Bogota. As you can see, these pictures are very different from those that I shared with eWillys readers previously. Most of the Willys in Colombia are located near the coffee plantations, which is lower in elevation compared to Bogota (4500′ msl vs. 7500′ msl). In Bogota you don’t really see highly loaded jeeps; plus, since it is colder and rains constantly, every one has a soft top. These pictures are from a Willys ride last month. My father took my CJ-3B at the end of August for a nice ride with the “Willys Country Club” of Colombia. This is the club that we belong down there; Dad usually rides with them on his CJ-3A [editor’s note:  that’s the pic in the upper right].

The “Willys Country Club” of Colombia is a remarkable group (established in 1995). As you can see below, their Willys are in excellent shape. Even though I have ridden with them on many occasions, my 3B is not officially one of the club jeeps since they only allow low hoods. That is the reason why my father usually takes his CJ-3A.

I am attaching a map that hopefully will help you to understand Colombia better.

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Website: The Find

• CATEGORIES: Features, Website

I did a search on a “CJ-5 gas tank” and stumbled across a website called “The Find“. It had search results from Tellico, zaib4x4, 4 wheel parts, and a variety of others. So, I did a few more searches.  It looks like a great way to compare online prices.  They have an iphone app as well.

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A YIPAO and Willys from Colombia

• CATEGORIES: Features, Website

Sebastian, whom I mentioned in this post (a couple posts down), taught me a couple things about Willys in Colombia today.

1) Willys are very popular in Colombia.  They started arriving during the 50’s and immediately became a sensation. They are still used regularly in the coffee plantations.  He assures us that every single coffee beam that we enjoy in a Colombian Coffee has been transported at some point in a Willys (most probably a CJ-3B).  There are cities and towns where you can see Willys everywhere, being used as work vehicles. For somebody from this country it would be like going back on time. They are also used as taxis, carrying people by the dozen. [Editor’s note:  Nice work Sebastian; I am sold on a trip to Colombia :-)]

2) There are many Jeep festivals in Colombia.  Most of them occur between September and October; they are called “Yipaos”.  The festivals were started in 1988.  The vehicles are driven through the main streets of a city and the Jeeps with the largest amount of objects carried with the most harmonious arrangements earn prizes. In fact, in February 2006, a Guinness World Records was established for the “Longest Jeep Parade” in Calarca, with a caravan of over 370 Jeep Willys vehicles.  It seem to me that we need to break that record back! Here’s an article about it on the CJ-3B page.

Sebastian also sent me a powerpoint with some nice big pictures of one festival. You just gotta see it to believe.  Check out the mud flaps … I’ve been looking for some older looking mud flaps!

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Flat Fender Club of Butler Pennsylvania

• CATEGORIES: Features, Website

flatfenderclubofbutlerAs I mention in the post below, Sebastian wrote me yesterday and told me a little about the Flat Fender Club of Butler.  As I understand it, Sebastian launched the club website last year. It sounds like it’s kind of an ‘open source’ club.

Sebastian writes, “The Flat Fender Club of Butler is a very nice group. I am doing my best to help out.   A friend of mine from Colombia helped me with the logo and the t-shirt design and I started the blog at the beginning of the summer. The club is very informal, with no dues and no officers, only the president and founder Dave Zibrat (great guy!).  Butler is the place where the “Bantam” factory was located (the building is still there), and therefore it is the place where everything related to Jeep started.

It appears several of the club members are readers of ewillys and I look forward interacting with more.

 
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Sebastian in the U.S., CJ-3B in Colombia

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features

Yesterday (and today) I have enjoyed some correspondence from Sebastian, who hails from Colombia and currently resides in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

In 1994, Sebastian and his father (who owns a blue CJ-3A), rebuilt a red 1954 CJ-3B, which can be seen to the right and viewed at the CJ-3B Page (sixth down from the top).

He writes, “My Willys is still in Colombia, so I only ride a couple times a year.  Last May I went there for a week and put more than 250 miles on the jeep in less than five days. A couple years ago I became aware, and joined, the “Flat Fender Club of Butler” which is close to Pittsburgh. Butler is the place where the “Bantam” factory was located (the building is still there) and, therefore, it is the place where everything related to the Jeep started. The club is formed by a very nice group of people who are crazy about old willys.  You can see some of the recent events and history of the club at: http://flatfenderclubofbutler.wordpress.com/ This blog also shows some pictures of the owners and our new T-shirts and Caps!”

 
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Builds: Brian creates a new sending unit

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features

For all the customizations I’ve done, I have to say I was still surprised, delightfully so, to receive this update from Brian about his metamorphasis of a GM sending unit into a Willys tank.  Maybe it is just me, but it simply never occurred to me to try something like this.  Moreover, as I turned Brian’s work into a post, I learned a great deal about gas tank sending units.  Thanks Brian!

A quick note. After doing some research, I discovered one of the most common reasons for the older gas gauges to stop working correctly is a bad ground.  So, if you are having problems with your old gas gauge, check the ground at the gauge and/or sending unit.

Take it away Brian:

I have tackled a variety of planned tasks on my CJ-3B, but as with any project, I’ve run across some unexpected issues as well.  My gas tank sending unit is a perfect example.

*** DISCLAIMER:  Before I begin, please be advised that when doing modifications to a gas tank it would be prudent (understatement) to drain and dry the gas tank.  I hear gasoline is very explosive!!! ***

Prior to installing my gas tank, I decided to use an ohmmeter to test my sending unit to make sure it was in good condition.  Unfortunately, I connected my ohmmeter and discovered my unit was dead.  So, I thought this was a perfect chance to install a modern sending unit.

Btw, you can visit the 1945gpw website to get a nice overview about how to use an ohm meter to trouble shoot your old Willys sending units.

The stock unit on my CJ-3B is 40-0 ohm’s (which means the ohm meter would read 40 ohms when full and 0 ohms when empty).  As I am upgrading my gauges to auto meter gauges, I had to make sure I selected a gauge that would work.  There were four different gauges to choose from:  90-0, 30-0, 8-73, and 33-240 ohms.  Note that the last two gauges are backwards for our purposes — the gauges would have read full when empty, and empty when full (if they worked at all). Also with my new gauge, I felt I would run into a problem with the ground, so I decided to replace the sending unit and make it work right.

brian_gas_gauges

I had replaced a GM in-tank pump and sending unit on a friend’s truck and found a GM sending unit would fit though the tank opening of a Willys.  So, with that in mind, I started by disassembling the old Willys unit. First, I removed the sending unit and the sending unit base from the gas tank.  Next, I separated the sending unit from the base as I will be reusing this base (with some modifications) using my drill press.

brian_sendingunit1

With that apart, I turned my attention to the GM Assembly. I removed the sending unit off the GM assembly by cutting the tube up high. I went over to Mick C. and we machined a plug for the old unit (a machinist is a good friend to have!). This GM unit is 90-0 ohms, a perfect match to the Auto Meter 105-2641 gage. It is also internally grounded, note the two wires.

brian_sendingunit2
Here is the unit assembled. The new plug had a hole in the center so I could run the new gas line through it.  Also, the plug had a hole for the wires as well.   I drilled three holes around the radius of the sending unit base and welded the plug in place. You can see the welds in the image below.

brian_sendingunit4
Note the J-B Weld. There is about 1/8″-3/16″ between the top of the plug and top of the unit. I used J-B Weld to pot and seal the unit. J-B weld (http://www.jbweld.net/products/jbweld.php) claims to be resistant to gas (from the website:  “It’s strong as steel and impervious to water, gasoline, chemicals, and acids.”). DO NOT USE SILICONE!!!

[Editor’s note:  Mitch mentioned months ago that he had a problem using J-B Weld to seal an old gas tank.  Given the claims by J-B, maybe Mitch’s problem was more an adherence to the old tank rather than J-B itself?  Any thoughts Mitch?  This should be a good test of J-B and gasoline. ]

Now, I had to adjust the float to work correctly with the new unit.  I cut the arm at the first bend from the float then turned it 90 degrees. I also cut the float down an inch.

brian_sendingunit5

Note: there is a pattern to the bolt circle on the old unit. Index the sending unit on assembly so the float will clear the internal wall in the tank. The wall runs across side-to-side; the float will have to do the same.

brian_sendingunit6
Adjusting the float was easy.  I just held it to the top of the tank and bent the arm as needed.

One good thing about this modern sending unit is the rheostat can be replaced by removing two screws. You would have to get another one from a junk yard but can easily be rebuilt.
This works really well …  I love these types of projects.

Brian