Features Research Archives

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Builds — More pics from Gerald

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features

Here’s some more pics from Gerald.

“Here’s a picture of me with the same tires back in 83.  Taking the turn hard in our 46 2A.”

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I have several sets of wheels and tires.  Guess they are kind of like shoes. 225 75 15 mud and snow on CJ steel rims on my 3B  before green paint next to my brother’s M-38.

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Here’s the CJ-3B with 700 16 Non Directional military tread on 4.5 x 16 rims

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LT 245 75 16 All Terrain on black spoke wheel 16 x 7, good  tires but heavy,

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700 x 15 bias ply Good Year work horse on old split rims with tubes, great snow plow tire for chains and drag racing,

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33 12 15 bias all terain tires on 8 1/2 x 15 steel wheels I love these rims but the tires are just too big.

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Finally my new set of mini terras.  I have a couple more combos I would like to try but they will have to wait.

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My Rebuild: Creating the Transmission Cover

• CATEGORIES: Biscuit, Features

Another of the projects I was putting off was the creation of a transmission cover. It’s really nice to be crossing these small projects off the project list. It’s not a thing of beauty, but it will do for now.

It turns out that the bad hood I had from one of the jeeps I purchased has been a great source of foldable, flat steel. So, I used a chunk of it to fold together a cover.

Before doing any cutting, I used some cardboard pieces to create a mockup. Here’s a look at most of the pieces in place (I actually had more, but removed them, then realized I hadn’t taken a pic, so I threw a few of them back on ..)

tranny_cover_mockup

Here’s a pic of the flat steel from the hood:

tranny_cover_beginning

Next, I drew some basic lines that I used as an outline for cutting and bending the piece. Then, I used a cutting wheel to create a rough cutout of what I wanted. Boy I wish I had had a cutting wheel for my first jeep! That little 4.5″ cutting wheel has been invaluable.

Once I did a rough cut, I made an initial bend (note the clean working space .. lol):

tranny_cover_cutting

Because of the odd and curved shapes, I cut a little, tested it, cut a little and tested it again. Once I was convinced it would work, I sanded it down and made some additional folds:

tranny_cover_bending

After testing it some more, I made the last fold and riveted it in place.

tranny_cover_almostdone

With it finished, I drilled the holes necessary to mount the rubber boot on top and to attach the cover to the body.

All that was left to do was to paint the piece with Herculiner to match the body floor. By this morning the paint was dry, so I installed the cover:

tranny_cover_final

And, from the other side:

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Once I grab a rubber dual boot for the transfer case shifter (if any one has one of these, I’m open to a trade or cash!),  I’ll create a small piece to complete the cover.

 
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Wayback Machine: Old Jeeping Photos from late 70s

• CATEGORIES: Features, Racing • TAGS: , , .

Here’s some great old photographs from the 1970s.  They document some of the events attended by the Good Time Four Wheelers.  The image below was from the 3rd Annual Green River Valley Jeepers in 1976.  I attended one of their playdays in 1981 (I think).  It was located between Black Diamond and Enumclaw;  I wouldn’t be surprised if the area is full of homes now.

I’m suprised that as late as ’76 they weren’t requiring cages to race.  It wouldn’t be too long before they were required.  View all the pics (lots of desert dogs) at the pnw4wda forum.

oldracing_grvjc_1976

 
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M-38 Pilot models from the CJ-3A info site

• CATEGORIES: Features, M-38 • TAGS: .

Bob Westerman has written a detailed overview of the M-38 pilot models.

From the website, Bob writes:  “NEW: 1/1/2009 In the time since this web-page was published some new photos of the Pilot Models have surfaced. The photos reveal that the pilot models were in a constant state of change as different features were implemented and tested. The new information shows that some previous assumptions are no longer valid. See the MVPA’s magazine Army Motors #126 for the latest information.

Visit the CJ-3A.Info website to learn more about the M-38 Pilot model history.

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Exploration Northwest and the Meeker Trail

• CATEGORIES: Features, videos • TAGS: .

UPDATE:  It turns out that Wally Klingle’s Jeep and the High Hood featured at the beginning are still around.  Wally’s 2nd cousin, who’s name I don’t know yet, commented on the video at youtube.  I’m trying to arrange a visit on my way through Yakima so I can take some pics and learn more.

In his comment on the youtube page, he wrote, “Wally Klingle, the guy they lower down that old cliff they have since shut down, is my 2nd cousin.  He started the ridge runners with a few others.  He still has that jeep.  My grandpa is in the video too and my uncle still has the high hood he was driving. He s..t when I told him about this video.”

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Linda McCune from the Don McCune Library kindly has given me permission to provide some clips from the Jeeping1 DVD, a collection of 3 episodes of Exploration Northwest related to pacific northwest jeeping. To order this DVD, you can contact Linda McCune at 206 726-2650 and ask for the Jeeping1 DVD.  It costs $24.95.  I encourage you to purchase is as she has the video for a Jeeping2 DVD, but has not created it yet.

The first of the three 30 minute episodes on the Jeeping 1 DVD is The Meeker Trail (Naches Trail) episode (1965). The second episode covers the “Doe Run”, a women only jeeping excursion (1974).  The third episode highlights the Yakima Mud Bowl (1977).

From that 30minute Meeker Trail episode follows a dual narrative, discussing the original Meeker trail pioneers and their travails while following the ‘modern day’ jeep pioneers. I’ve agreed to publish only two clips from this episode.

In the first clip,  Don McCune introduces us to the modern day pioneers as they double check their jeeps and head towards the beginning of the trail.  Check out these jeeps from 1965, no fuss, no chrome here.

Jeepers familiar with the western side of the Naches trail will recognize the steep drop off.  It might not look that steep in the video, but it is steep.  A bypass to that hill was created so jeepers could avoid it.  I’ve hiked it; it’s slippery and steep.  Below this video is a shot approx 15 years later, with the sign seen in the video present at the left.

 
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Seat Cushion Examples

• CATEGORIES: Features, Website • TAGS: .

UPDATE:  These are no longer for sale.  I keep this post just for ideas.

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Jim writes, “I’m tired of not having anything out there anymore for Willys. For example, the only replacement seats you can get for an early Willys are either military or black vinyl.  How boring! There are no more bikini tops of any variety – everyone pretty much runs the same boring top.  Continue reading

 
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The German Schwimmwagen

• CATEGORIES: Features, GPA (SEEP), International, Other 4x4s, Unusual • TAGS: .

On the heals of yesterday’s GPA, I thought I’d do a brief shout out to the Schwimmwagen.  You can read more and see more pics about the Schwimmwagen at Brian’s site. Here’s a pic (below) from July 12 1944 (from Brian’s site as well).  Here’s some youtube videos.

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Another Jeep with a Front Loader

• CATEGORIES: CJ-2A, Features, Unusual

To keep with our recent front loader theme, Steve sent me some pics of what I’ll call a ‘custom’ loader (at least, I think it’s a one-off) mounted on the front of an old flattie.  Don’t try this at home!  Please!  This was sold at an auction in Ames, Iowa a few years back.

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Continue reading

 
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Rotabuggy or Blitz Buggy — The Flying Jeep

• CATEGORIES: Features, Unusual • TAGS: .

interior_rotabuggyOn some post somewhere I have an image of the flying jeep.  I recently found a trove of information and images of the Rotabuggy, (actually, I just did a google image search of a rotabuggy) including pictures of a recreated model.  One of the more unusual images is an interior shot, which I show to the right.

From the willys-mb.ru website:

In the early 1940s flight tests had been carried out on a number of one-man gliders known as Rotachutes. During this time Raoul Hafner decided to apply the same principle on a larger-scale military vehicle. On 3 April 1942 the Rotary Wing Section of the Airborne Forces Experimental Establishment AFEE) at Ringway, Manchester, submitted a proposal for the application of the system to the Blitz Buggy or Jeep.

The Unreal Aircraft website records an eye witness account of one flight, which left the driver exhausted.

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Here’s an image of the Rotabuggy Replica

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WWI Four Wheel Drive Star — Nash Quad

• CATEGORIES: Features, Unusual • TAGS: , .

It was one of those days where I was searching for one thing and found another:  The Nash Quad Truck (the truck to the right is a 1919 Nash Quad, Owned by Bruce and Melanie Rice #8880).  These are 4wD with four wheel steering.  (see the video below to see a quad and its steering in action)

It turns out, these were a big hit during World War I.  In the Story of the Jeep, Patrick Foster writes that the Quad ” … dramatically proved it’s worth … and proved the value of four wheel drive …”

Here’s a brief history from the Pioneer Flight Museum:

The Nash Quad was first manufactured in 1914 by the Thomas B. Jeffrey Company, which was located in Kenosha, Wisconsin. It became quite popular during World War I and was used by the armed forces of not only the United States, but also Russia, France and Britain. One of the first motor vehicles to offer four-wheel drive, the Quad proved very suitable to the rough, unpaved roads of the time. In 1916, Jeffrey sold the production rights to the Nash company. Because of its popularity, it was produced in large numbers, including license production by Hudson, National, and Paige-Detroit. Exact numbers aren’t known, but apparently over 11,000 were produced in 1918 alone.

Here’s a video of a Nash Quad being started and driven:

 
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The Evolution of Water Fording

• CATEGORIES: CJ-3A, Features, Old Images • TAGS: , .

One of the more interesting early modifications for water fording is visible  in the picture below.  Note how the jeep facing the reader has the exhaust vented out the front of the grill with the muffler laying parrallel to the grille.  I can’t say I’d ever seen that before.

The CJ-3A.info page notes: “The recommended maximum fording depth of an unmodified jeep was 21 inches. That is about the height of the fuel pump and transfer case vents. Any deeper and things would start to fill up with water. Even at this relatively shallow depth the Technical Manual (2) advised that the generator brace should be “pulled up to release tension on the fan belt and stop the fan from throwing water over the engine”. That would be important in order to keep water off the ignition system. During a combat landing the 21″ maximum fording depth was not adequate.”

Read more about the Evolution of Water Fording here

 
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30 Epic Failures at Jalopnik.com

• CATEGORIES: Features, Website

This list of 30 images of epic failures from Jalopnik.com was funny.  I’m sure we could all add a pic or two to this list.

“We’ve seen some pretty crappy DIY craftsmanship before, but these examples take the cake. What’s amazing is these DIY’ers know how to post on the internet, but not how to research.”

Here’s a couple images:

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Giant Flatfender Jeep in Dubai

• CATEGORIES: Artists/Drawings, Features, Monuments/Statues, Museums

UPDATE:  Joshua alerted me to The May edition of JP Magazine.  It provides some information on the giant jeep shown below. The jeep is located in Dubai.  I thought it was just a fake prop of some kind, but apparently it’s being built on the framework of a large quarry mining truck.  Click here to read the brief news piece in JP Magazine (scroll halfway down).

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Here’s a second pic from this page at JP Magazine:

 

 

 
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Bill Mauldin’s Willys Cartoons

• CATEGORIES: Artists/Drawings, Features, Magazine, News • TAGS: .

smithsonian_cover_1992As I mentioned in a post when I first launched eWillys, which appears to have disappeared in last year’s database disaster, one of my favorite Jeep Cartoons was drawn by Bill Mauldin and placed on the front of the November 1992 issue of the Smithsonian Magazine.  You can see that one to the right (or see a larger version here).  No doubt many of you have seen this before.  At the time I wrote the post, it never occurred to me to search for any other cartoons by Bill.

However, for mystical reasons that remain unclear, it occurred to me tonight to search for other ‘Willys’ cartoons by Bill.  Here’s the results of my search. (send me others or links to others if you know of more ….

billmauldin1Th’ hell with it, sir. Let’s go back to the front.

billmaudlin2Thanks

billmauldlin3Why ya lookin’ so sad? I got out of it okay.

billmaudlin4 I’ll never splash mud on a dogface again (999) … I’ll never splash mud on a dogface again (1000) … Now will ya help us push?

billmaudlin6It’s a habit Joe picked up in Rome.

Here’s more links about Bill

 
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A Brief History of the Cannonball Run

• CATEGORIES: Features, News

cannonballToday, as usual, I was browsing CNN when I came across a list of the ‘10 best’ car chases on film.  I’m not sure if these really are the best 10, but one item that did catch my eye was the note attached to #10, the Cannonball run about George Baker.

I’d  heard of the Cannonball Run, but didn’t really know anything about it other than the casual reference to a movie by that name until last summer.  One day last summer I was browsing the new books section of my library and came across a book called The Driver, by Alexander Roy.  That provided me some background on the race, with which I’ll end this post.

Note:  I’m no expert on rally racing or it’s history, nor much of an expert on anything at all, but I’ve never let that stop me from writing anything else.  So, here’s a brief Cannonball history for those that like this sort of thing.

Mr. Cannonball Express:

In 1915, Erwin George Baker drove a Stutz Bearcat across the country in only 11+ days (this was one of 143 driving records of various kinds he set).  The next year he drove a Cadillac 8 from LA to NY in only 7 days.  This feat earned him the nickname (or a reference of) the Cannonball Express.

The Cannonball Express was a reference to the fastest train, at least at the turn of the century, that motored between Chicago and New Orleans.  It’s the same train that was operated by the immortalized Casey Jones, who would be killed at the reins of the train, attempting to slow it before it crashed into boxcars.

Continue reading

 
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Austin 7 — Grandfather of the Jeep?

• CATEGORIES: Bantam-FordGP-WillysMA-EarlyJPs, Features, Unusual • TAGS: .

So, I’m doing my best to avoid going out to my parents very cold, damp garage to finish fixing my mom’s car.  Of course, the internet is one of the best avoidance tools ever invented.

FLAT FENDER BABES:
On a lark, I typed in ‘Flat Fender Babes’ into google just to see if anything came up.  While most of the links were garbage, one link lead me to a list of significant production automobiles, created by Angry Stan at AngryStan’s blog.  Naturally, one of the vehicles listed was the Willys MB.  What was interesting about the MB’s inclusion was Stan’s comment that the MB was “very loosely based on the Austin 7”.

Whoa .. news to me.  What you talkin’ ’bout Stan?

Continue reading

 
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The History MB-CJ3B Willys-Viasa

• CATEGORIES: CJ-3B, Features, International • TAGS: .

Here’s a good history of the MB-CJ3B Willys-Viasa with a variety of pics.

In the late 50’s, Willys Overland gave the rights to the V.I.A.S.A. firm to allow them exclusively to build the Univesal Jeep in our country. In 1959, the first permit to import parts and machinery is given by the Trade Ministry, in order to assemble the first units  in the V.I.A.S.A’s factory located in Zaragoza. These units weren’t launched until 1960.

It seems that that permit let V.I.A.S.A build the CJ3B model, with different engines and features from the original American model …”

Learn more about the Viasa here

 
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Builds — David and friends

• CATEGORIES: Builds, CJ-2A, CJ-3A, Features

David and his friends transport themselves back in time each each fall by getting out their jeeps, heading to the woods, and cleaning brush, trees and other obstacles out of the way in preparation for winter snowmobiling in New York.

David’s owned his (the gray ’51 CJ-3A) for six years.  His friends have owned their 1947 CJ-2A and 1949 CJ-3A for about 25 years.  Thanks for sharing David.

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Continue reading

 
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Fred Smith, Rare Jeep Collector

• CATEGORIES: Bantam-FordGP-WillysMA-EarlyJPs, Features, GPA (SEEP) • TAGS: , .

While reading through the extensive history of the half track, I stumbled on the fact that the owner of the rarest of these half tracks was Fred Smith of the UK.  Having recently read that Fred Smith also owned and nicely restored the Ford Budd prototype, I got curious about who Fred Smith is.  At this point, I don’t know anything about him other than he’s got quite the jeep collection.  Here’s an approximate list (this list is a guess based on what I’ve read online):

  1. 1940 Ford Budd Prototype
  2. T-28 Half Track
  3. Willys MT-TUG 6×6
  4. 5 or 6 Ford GPs
  5. Ford GP four wheel steering
  6. Ford GPA (seep)
  7. Willys MA
  8. Willys MB

Not a bad collection!  Apparently, Fred shows these on occasion (or often) at the War and Peace Show at Beltring in Kent, UK.

 
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Spicer & Dana: Where did the Spicer 18 come from?

• CATEGORIES: Features, Transfer Cases • TAGS: .

spicer_manufacturingI spent some time earlier to day trying to track down what came before the Spicer 18 transfer case.  Unfortunately, I can’t find anything such as a Spicer 12 or a Spicer 3 anywhere.  If the Spicer 18 was the Dana Corp’s first try at a transfer case, then it’s entirely reasonable to say they hit a homer with it, as it stayed in the jeep (though ratios and other minor changes were made) from 1941 to 1971, when the jeep started using a center pumpkin and the Dana 20 transfer case.

So, here’s some interesting facts I learned during my searches.

  • The Dana Corp was originally founded as the Spicer Corp by Charles Spicer in 1904 when he was 29 to manufacture universal joints.  Here’s an 83 page PDF book of the first 100 years of the company.
  • The Spicer Corp’s success seems to be the result of the industry standardization around their products due to their high quality and competitive pricing.
  • In June of 1940 during a meeting between Bantam, government, Spicer and Timken representatives, Bantam and Spicer worked out the details of the drive train, for which Spicer received 130,000 for the tooling costs. (from the m38a1 site).  The front end was also worked out during this meeting by an engineer from Spicer.
  • While the Willys used the passenger side drop transfer case (a spicer 18), the Ford Pygmy (Ford’s prototype jeep) and the Bantam BRC Mark I (the very first jeep prototype) and the BRC-60/Mark II (Bantam’s 2nd prototype) relied on a driver side drop transfer case from spicer that was also a Spicer 18. (Here’s more about it)
  • I could only find 4 spicer transfer cases.  The Spicer 18, 20, 23 (for Chevrolet 4wd conversions) and 24 (for Ford 4wd conversions) (see Napco history).  There’s likely more, I just didn’t find any info about them.
  • Charles Dana joined in 1913, injecting money into the company.  In a couple years, Charles assumed the presidency.
  • In 1946, the company was officially renamed the Dana Corp, which by that time was a holding company for Spicer as well as Parish, Salisbury, Brown-Lipe and others.  The idea was to continue using the brand Spicer for the drive train products due to the strong brand name.  For some reason, that’s not clear to me, over time the Spicer brand name seemed to disappear in favor of the Dana name.

Here’s some other links about this early history:

 
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Builds — Oklahoma Green and One Bad Apple

• CATEGORIES: Builds, CJ-3A, Features • TAGS: .

I was searching for an image of original CJ-3A gauges when i stumbled upon this article.  Both of these are well modified, good looking road and trail jeeps.  One of the more interesting features of the ‘Oklahoma Green’ Jeep is the number of gauges that are installed.  One Bad Apple certainly has an usual paint job.

Here’s 2 excerpts from an Off Road Adventures Article; each one discuss a little bit about each jeep:

oklahoma_greenOklahoma Green: “… Below the CJ3A Willys’ windshield is a dashboard that would be more than adequate in a J3 Super Cub airplane of the same vintage. The aircraft-like dash sports a full compliment of gauges: fuel, fuel pressure, oil pressure, oil temp, water temp, vacuum, and air pressure gauges along with a voltmeter, hourmeter, and altimeter by Hobbs. A Lev-O-Gauge rounds out the impressive array. Lights and buzzers backup the critical gages. From the dash, Ken can switch on the fuel pump, fast idle solenoid, headlights, heater, and winch. Indicator lights report the status of 4WD, seat belts, ARB, emergency brake, and air compressor…. ”

one_bad_appleOne Bad Apple: “… The frame was lengthened 6-inches to incorporate a GM 4.3 V6 CMFI 195 hp at 4500 rpm engine with K&N Air Cleaner and Painless Wiring, a GM 700R4 with a manual shift kit, and a Dana 300 transfer case with CV driveshaft. With 4.88 gears, the final crawl ratio is 80:1. The front axle is a Dana 30 with an ARB Air Locker and disk brakes. The rear axle is a Dana 44 with a Detroit Locker. Four-inch lift springs, an off-road track bar, and Rancho 5000 Shocks control 33×12.50 BFG Mud Terrain T/As …..”

Check out the full article here

 
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Readers Builds — William’s 1948 CJ-2A

• CATEGORIES: Builds, CJ-2A, Features

William, a reader from Costa Rica, contacted me this weekend with a question.  After exchanging a few emails, he offered to share his project with readers.  The 1st picture was taken in April of 2005 and the second in November of 2007.  He has made some nice improvements that have made this jeep look much better.  You can see all the pics here at cardomain.com.  Thanks for sharing William!

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Working Jeeps from Offroad Adventures

• CATEGORIES: CJ-2A, CJ-3A, Features, Website

offroad_adventures_workingjeepsI’m not familiar with the “Offroad Adventures” publication.  Instead, as usual, I stumbled upon it while looking for something else.  It’s a compact 2 pages article with a variety of pics of cjs accompanied by different hydraulic implements.  I’m not a big fan of the myvirtualpaper’s interface, but the pics are still cool.

See the working jeeps article

 
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1947 Empire Tractor (uses Willys drive train) Drexel, Mo $3500

• CATEGORIES: CJ-2A, Features, Machinery, MB, Unusual • TAGS: , .

1947_empiretractor_drexelWell here’s something I didn’t know, submitted by a reader.  Empire Tractors were built from parts that are also used by Willys, such as the transfercase (spicer 18), transmission (t-90), differential (spicer 25) and more.  You can learn more about the specs for these tractors here.  Note that the seller claims these were built out of surplus WWII jeeps, however the t-90 was a CJ-2A tranny, so it seems more likely to me that they shared parts with the CJ-2A rather than built from the MB.

“HERE WE HAVE A RARE 1947 EMPIRE TRACTOR. MODEL 88-90 MADE IN 11-47 SERAIL NUMBER 6352 IT WAS RESTORED ABOUT 10 YEARS AGO AND HAS BEEN KEPT INSIDE ALL IT’S LIFE. THIS HAS WILLYS JEEP ENGINE AND TRANS,AND ALOT OF OTHER JEEP PARTS IN IT,THAT ARE ORGINAL TO THE TRACTOR. THESE TRACTORS WERE BUILT AFTER WWII OUT OF SURPLUS ARMY JEEPS. THE PAINT SHOWS SOME WEAR . THE TIRES ON BACK ARE ORGINAL AND FRONTS HAVE BEEN REPALCED. COMES WITH ORGINAL LIGHTS AND GENERATOR IN A BOX. IT HAS HAD ONLY 3 OWNERS AND RUNS AND DRIVES LIKE IT SHOULD, READY TO USE OR SHOW. THIS COMES WITH A BELLY SICKLE MOWER,THAT HAS NOT BEEN USED IN 20 YEARS. 3500 FIRM. MY NUMBER IS 660-267-3282 THANKS FOR LOOKING”

http://www.empiretractor.net/spec.html

 
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Reader Builds — All Jewels Flattie

• CATEGORIES: Builds, CJ-3A, Features, stainless/jewels

A reader wanted to share a pic of this beautiful all Jewels Flatfender he built over many years and recently sold.  He says he already is at work on another jeep.  Hopefully, he’ll provide us with some updates as works on his new project.

randy_jewels_flatfender