Features Research Archives

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Craigslist — A study in honesty

• CATEGORIES: Features, News

As a number of readers can attest, I've done a variety of craigslist deals (probably close to 40).  This time, I had a '73 CJ-5 radiator I wanted to sell, so naturally I listed it on Craiglist. A potential buyer contacted me and said he was very interested, but couldn't come look at the radiator until after I had left for Seattle.  So, I told him I would put the radiator outside and if he wanted it, to put the money into an envelope I pinned to the house.

Sure enough, two days later the radiator was gone and the money was inside the envelope. I was happier about the honesty than about the money 🙂

In fact, I've only had one deal where I didn't get all my money.  I swapped a dirty 350 Cadillac motor I really didn't want for some guages, competition coil and a few other parts.  The kids I swapped with was maybe 18 and didn't have a way to pickup the engine, so I said I'd charge him gas money to deliver it.  When I got there he said he didn't have the money yet, but would mail it.  Unfortunately, despite a couple reminders, I still haven't gotten the money. I plan to stop by his house next time I'm driving by (he's over an hour away) and remind him in person again.

 
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The Former Pittle Power

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features, News

I just got some pics from the owner (who shall remain nameless until he sends me his name 🙂 ) of the jeep formerly known as Pittle Power (I remember it as Piddle Power though).   I don't remember the history of the Jeep prior to Jim and Patty Carter purchasing it, but I believe they purchased it so their growing boys, Tim and Steve, wouldn't have to squish themselves into the back of Otis.  They purchased a stock CJ-3A, installed a chev 4cyl and attached desert dogs.   Otherwise (I'm told) they left everything else stock.  Pittle might not have had much power (hence the name), but it could go 99% of the places the modified WWJC jeeps could go.

The Carter's had a habit of naming all their vehicles.  There was Otis (the jeep), tote-us (the jeep trailer), Brutus (their first motorhome) and more.

Our To-Be-Named contributor writes:

"The Jeep I bought was owned by Jim Carter(original member of the WWJC). The race name was Pittle Power. Skip Baird helped me with my first swap with a V-6 and a top loader. Al Hamilton and I became very close infact I still have one of his pups Mandy she is a very stubborn German Shorthair."

Editor's note:  To the right is the only picture I have of Pittle Power from 1983 (and it's only the hind quarter) hidden behind Danny's CJ-5.  While the Pittle Power was never actually raced, I do remember a club trip to Liberty Trail one weekend.  After we made camp, Tim Carter decided he wanted to head down to the store and asked me to ride shotgun (somehow he knew there was a remote store at the bottom of the hill we were camped on). So, he drove me down that hill in Pittle Power, a ride I remember vividly because we were travelling sideways down the constantly turning gravel road for a good portion of it.    Come to think of it, one time Tim took me for a ride in his late 60's camaro and we travelled sideways heading onto the cloverleaf on ramp to I-405.  Maybe Tim always travelled sideways or I just brought it out of him.

 
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Fiberglass Body and Grille

• CATEGORIES: Biscuit, Body Parts, Features • TAGS: .

Here's a few pictures of the Body and Grille I grabbed while down in Springfield, Oregon a couple of days ago. I need to get a few better pics of it.  I've got it listed for $450 on Craigslist.  

The outside of the body is in excellent shape and would make a great racing shell for PNW4WDA racing. The interior of the body is well designed and strong and could make a good jeeping/street body, however the plywood attached to the bottom is bad in spots, but could be fixed pretty easily.  Also, the firewall has an extra large opening that needs to be closed.  Otherwise, the body looks straight and is pretty light.


Continue reading

 
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Willys Woodies

• CATEGORIES: Features, GPW (Ford MB), MB, Website, Willys Wagons

I wandered across this website in 2008 that showcases old woodies.  There’s a jeep section with a variety of woodies. The woodie at the bottom is made from an old MB/GPW.

“A French coachbuilder’s modification of the American Jeep into a wood-bodied fire fighting squad truck is similar to the work of Duriez.”

See some other old willys woodies here

 
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My Build — Transfercase Shifter

• CATEGORIES: Biscuit, Features

While you can purchase a dual shifting unit from Novak for your Dana 20, it's also possible to fashion one from scratch.  Note that I've never used the dual shifter on a Dana 20 transfercase without removing the center pins that move between the shift rods in the the shifting tower.  To remove the pins, you have to remove the shift levers, drill out the plugs on the sides (note where the red gasket sealant is on the side of the shift tower, and then slip out the oblong pins (they are elongated metal balls).  With these removed, you can push and pull the levers all you want (but don't try running high range in the front and low range in the back unless you feel the need to break something).

 
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How the transfercase shifting works

• CATEGORIES: Biscuit, Features

There was a question about how the shifting in my transfer case works.  (http://www.ewillys.com/?p=797)

The shifting might seem unusual, but it's not.  What's unusual is that I have removed the pins from the shifting tower that slide back and forth between the shift rods.  This allows for more shifting options.  To take advantage of those options, I installed two rather than one stick.   You can see that here in this video I made.

Here's an image the also demonstrates how the shifting works.  Please note if it doesn't make sense:-)

 
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Builds — Brian’s working furiously on his CJ-3B

• CATEGORIES: Builds, CJ-3B, Features

Brian sent me some updated pictures of his CJ-3B project.  He just finished reversing the springs in the front.  As a part of that reversal, he had to replace the front of the frame.  After conquering this task, he turned his attention to the rear differential, only to discover a big problem (which he'll update all of us about as he progresses through the issue).  

Brian explains more below about his spring reversal experience below …. 

"I wanted to do a spring reversal so I started by getting some universal after market parts to make things a little easier. Then I bought a early Cj5 frame for the front 8 inches then sold off a chrome bumper and ring and pinion at a small profit.

Here's what I did to lengthen the frame.

I cut a block to use as an template to cut off the front of the 3b frame. (Stan H. — from the Wandering Willys Jeep Club — always said to cut at a 45 degree angle though the frame.) I did the same with the pieces to be added. They lined up really nice.  

Continue reading

 
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My Build — A Custom Data Plate

• CATEGORIES: Biscuit, Features

Yesterday I made a first pass at a design for the gauges on the dashboard.  As a part of that exercise, I tried to find a space for the data plate I have.  The data plate is original to the CJ-3A I have and in good shape, except that it is faded, so it is hard to read.  In fact, I tried to scan it into my scanner and the scanner couldn't pick up the words or pictures at all.  After pondering the situation, I decided to recreate a data plate graphic and take it into a print shop to see if I can make a raise print or sticker of some kind.  As part of the customization, I've tried to recreate the fonts as closely as possible, however, much to my surprise, the data plate uses several different fonts, some of which are the same font but stretched or bolded or both.  Also, I've updated the data plate to better reflect the drive train I have installed.

Here's the current favorite mockup so far (note the font kerning and arrangement will be more precise on the final high resolution version).

 
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Old Jeep and Jeep attachment Brochures

• CATEGORIES: Advertising & Brochures, Features, Website

cj3b_brochure2UPDATE: It appears this site has changed — at least I don’t remember it quite like this …

The “Jeepsterman” Morris Ratner has a variety of old brochures for sale on his jeepsterman website.  You can see an example of one of those to the right, which is about the roper digger.   Did you know the roper digger can be used in multiple ways?  Now you do …  Another interest brochure compares the jeep to the scout.

See all the Jeepsterman brochures here

cj3b_brochure1

 
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My Build — Power Steering Hoses

• CATEGORIES: Biscuit, Features

I found a very helpful article from a toyota landcruiser owner at offroad.com about building custom power hoses.  In the article he provides pictures and a list of parts he used from Summit Racing.  Unfortunately, his part numbers don't correspond exactly to the numbers from the Summit Racing catalogue I have, but they are close enough to guide me correctly.  

To do my build the way I want (which is routing the power steering through the cross member) based on this article and the new summit racing catalogue, I believe I would need:

5 -6AN EAR-309106ERL 90 degree bend tube $16
2 -6AN EAR-300106ERL straight $7 each
2 -6AN EAR-983206ERL Straight Bulkhead $4 each
1 6AN to 11/16-18 Not sure on part number yet approx $7
1 –6an to 5/8-18 Not sure on part number yet approx $7
-6an power steering 6ft perform-o-flex hose EAR-406006ERL $45

That's a grand total of $161.  If I only do the power side, I can cut this amount in half.  I'm gonna talk to the folks at my local hydraulic store and see what they can do for me. 

 
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My first build — Old pix emerge

• CATEGORIES: Features, News

I assumed these pictures were lost, but they appeared in a trunk my ex-wife kindly gave back to me.  The first pic is a good shot of my first jeep’s roll cage.  The second pic is a pre-paint job pic of my first jeep stuck in the Rabbit Hole, a small mud pit at the Eastern edge of the Naches Trail.  The third pic should come with a caption “Oh does my nose hurt!”.  The fourth pic is a great shot of the jeep parked at Roche Harbor Resort on San Juan Island (Washington State) while working there in 1987.  The final pic shows the down side of oil pressure problems — broken rod, piston, and other parts.

 
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Builds — Mike Hardesty’s 1951 CJ-3A

• CATEGORIES: CJ-2A, Features

Mike got a deal on a $530 CJ-3A, but buying it was the easy part.  Mike's built an extensive website called Jeepchasm that follows his extensive rebuild from a cheap deal to best of show.

"We hope this site will serve as a resource and an inspiration to others who are interested in vintage Jeeps and in Jeep restoration. We will post and update links to various Jeep restoration resources on and off of the Internet. We will let you know where and how we found our parts, and the obstacles and challenges we had to overcome."

Visit Jeepchasm 

 
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Builds — Craig Ellis’ M-38

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features, M-38

I don’t know whether Craig is finished with his jeep or not, but he certainly had some terrible rot to deal with.  I’ve linked to the ‘Golden Triangle Jeep Club’s’ bulletin board for this Build story.  Below is the pic of Craig’s M-38 body:

you could draw a line down the middle of the body and replace all of the driver’s side floor to be safe. i’m gonna avoid catalog bought floor panels and construct my own from 16 gauge sheetmetal along with new crossmembers. i got a pair of Wagoneer Dana 44s last weekend and am working on the suspension, which will be stock waggy leafs in the front and YJ leaves out back. I picked up a Chevy 4.3 V6 to use and can’t decide on which tranny to go with, but i’m thinking SM465 b/c Novak offers a really short adapter to the Dana 18 case….”

View all the rest of Craig’s pics and related comments (10 pages) as he works through various issues.

 
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Builds — 1943 MB

• CATEGORIES: Features, MB

Andrew McGraw (and friends) gave new life to a beat up 1943 MB (to the right is an 'after' pic).  The only before and after pics are of the engine compartment, but the differences in those two pics is pretty dramatic.

"The Willys MB project was a feat in that it was completed in about 2 months. Having been in my friend’s family for many years, they were looking to do a restoration/upgrade on it.

It had undergone so many repairs and body modifications over the years. That fact, combined with the cost and relative impracticality of a full authentic restoration led to the decision to rebuild and modify. If I were in charge of the finances, I would have at least upgraded the powertrain/drivetrain to that of a YJ, at the minimum. A fuel injected 5-speed MB would be awesome. However, I wasn’t in charge of the finances or major decisions…."

http://www.ckmcgraw.com/afmcgraw/MB.htm 

 
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My Build — A couple cracks in the engine plan

• CATEGORIES: Biscuit, Features

Lyle from Bob's Mechanical called me today.  He left a message on my phone asking me to call back in a tone that made me wonder whether a relative of mine had died!  Turns out, the news was worse;  Both of my heads had one crack each between two valves. You can see one of these cracks in the picture to the right. 

Fortunately, my $50 engine had 2 good heads, though these heads weren't ported nor did they have their valve guides machined, they did have better seats.  Best $50 I've spent so far!  

 
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Are Sand Dunes a favorite for Jeeping?

• CATEGORIES: Features, Website

The American Sand Association operates a nice website with plenty of information about sand dunes across the United States. Here’s their bulletin board.

The mission of the American Sand Association is simple: “Unite, Inform and Mobilize: We accomplish that mission throught the use of the volunteers. We believe in responsible resource management for the people. The American Sand Assotiation supports a national cooperation of local and regonal sand sport organization and shares with them ideas and infomration to help them Unite, Inform and Mobilize.”

 
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Builds — Chris Olson

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features

This is a build done by Chris Olson that I found at the BC4x4 website.  He found a beat up '48 CJ-2A, made a variety of mods, and ended up with a highly modified, but ordinary looking, CJ-2A.

"At first glance, Chris Olson's 1948 CJ2A Willys looks rather plain next to his brother's LJ80 Suzuki. Your first impression would be that it's another flat fender Jeep with big tires and a spring-over-axle conversion. But like his brother's Suzuki, Chris' Jeep isn't what it appears to be. In fact, it is more Toyota than Jeep. This flat fender reflects Chris' pragmatic attitude toward building a 4×4. Choices were made due to cost, availability and functionality. He has no loyalty to any make or model of vehicle and because of that, he has ended up with a very unique vehicle.

When Chris first set eyes upon the Willys in 1997, it was sitting in a backyard, partially hidden by knee-height grass. It had a seized engine, the front axle housing was gutted, all four tires were useless, the interior was a rat home, and it sported a rollbar made of old driveshafts (including the yokes!). The important thing to Chris was that the body was in pretty good condition, especially for a vehicle built half a century earlier. For $400, it was his."

Read more at the BC4x4.com website

 
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My Build — Fixing a Power Steering Leak

• CATEGORIES: Biscuit, Features

One of the minor fixes on my list of things to repair (a never ending list it seems) was to replace the seals on the input shaft of my power steering unit to stop a small fluid leak.  At $15 (from my local NAPA dealer) for replacement seals this is an inexpensive fix. So, to make the fix more interesting, I taped my efforts for your viewing amusement and edification.

 
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Dana 20 with Dana 18 gears rebuild

• CATEGORIES: Biscuit, Features, videos

A couple weeks ago, after finally ordering and receiving my Bronco Dana 20 rear sliding gear, I got my Dana 20 with 2:46 ratio Dana 18 gears put together.  I decided to videotape the build and despite a few setbacks (such as trying to install the wrong dana 18 intermediate gear) I got everything together.

The video is hardly a complete document on how to rebuild a transfercase properly.  Clearly, I won’t be quitting my day job to go into TV!  However, I hope it’s educational and a little amusing.


A few related links:

This is a low resolution video, but is still 49mb.  It runs approx a half hour.

 
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Digitized Drawing

• CATEGORIES: Artists/Drawings, Features

This is a drawing a Boeing co-worker of dad’s drew of and for him many years ago (in the 80s I believe). We believe the artist was Bill Mandeville or Manderville (dad can’t quite remember any more).

 
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Dad’s First Jeep – CJ-2A (And Jim Carter’s first roll)

• CATEGORIES: Features, News

Every once in a while my dad will start talking and he'll talk about some event in his past I knew nothing about.  You'd think, for example, that I would have known my dad's first vehicle was a jeep — a CJ-2A — he got it when he was 16 as his first car.  But, no, today was the first day I've heard of it.  There are several reasons for this, mostly, I suppose, having to do with our father/son dynamic.  Though I wish I had heard about some of these stories earlier in my life, there is something nice about continuing to hear new stories.

As dad tells it, the year was 1949 and he was 16, living with his parents and two brothers in Holladay, Utah, now just a suburb of Salt Lake City.  The city of Holladay is south of Salt Lake City, laid out underneath Olympus mountain.  When dad lived there, off of Walker Lane, there was only wasatch blvd and 5000 vertical feet between his house and the top of Olympus mountain.  Now, I-215 with its six lanes of traffic has added a much bigger divide between the two.  Of course, there are many more houses and fences in the way as well.

One day, Dad decides to take his jeep and 5 passengers jeeping up the hill towards the base of Olympus Mountain.  Today this area is known as Olympus Cove, but at the time, I'm sure it was the great unknown.

As best I can interpret from Dad, he was driving his CJ-2A with his brother B.B in the passenger seat, and four other kids in the back (one was his other brother Tony and one was Jim Carter).  Dad was driving very slowly, crawling along when his left front wheel started over a bump or rise.  As they slowly moved forward the rise grew, shifting the jeep slowly toward the passenger side until the jeep tipped over onto the passenger side, dumping the four kids in the back onto the ground.  Miraculously, the jeep didn't tip all the way over and hurt anyone severely.  The worst damage was to Jim Carter, who suffered a cut on his knee or leg. Apparently, Jim fell the furthest, I guess he must have been on the driver's side back wheel well (dad couldn't quite explain this to me — sometimes dad's stroke makes these explanations more difficult).  

After getting off the ground and checking out the jeep, they decided to tip it back onto its wheels and head back home.   

Whatever physical damage the semi-roll caused Jim Carter, I guess he must have enjoyed himself, because he became a life long jeeper, a jeep club co-founder with dad, jeep racer, and President of the PNW4WDA for a year.  Perhaps we should all fall out of a jeep 🙂

 
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Early MB Mods — The SAS

• CATEGORIES: Features, MB, Website

From day 1, adapting the jeep was a necessary part of using or owning one.  In my mind, this is one of the attributes of jeeps that differentiate them from most other vehicles, even from other 4x4s.  Andy Carter highlights early desert modifications in this story with pictures from jeeps used in Africa by the British Special Air Service (SAS) during WWII.  Check out the grille in the picture on the right.  If you read through the site, you'll note that this was a modification done to many of the jeeps, not just this one. They look like a boxer who has been through a few rounds!

Here's an excerpt from the website about SAS Jeeps:

"The jeeps were stripped of all non-essential parts including the windscreen, most of the radiator grille bars and even sometimes the front bumper to increase the effective load carrying capacity of the vehicle. Thus the large amount of fuel and water needed for fast long-range raids could be carried avoiding the need for slower support vehicles. A water condensing unit was fitted to the front to reduce loss from the radiator which would otherwise have had to be topped up from the limited drinking water supplies…"

Learn more at Andy Carter's Military Jeep Pages 

 
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Builds — Bumble Bee

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features

Louis Dawson recounts, in this four page article on code 4×4, his 12 year building process for Bumble Bee, a 1947 CJ-2A.  Started as a restoration project, Louis discovered he'd rather focus on trail performance.

Louis sums up the experience with the following quote:  "Our ensuing 12-year restomod of "Rumble Bee" includes a huge amount of fun, plentiful stupid and expensive decisions on my part, and a final result that retains the flat fender look and feel, while being competent and safe enough on the trail to peg the fun meter. This "retro" project includes little of the latest tech — it's mostly older solutions that reached their peak a number of years ago, but it works."

On additional feature I like is the "what we did right" and "what we did wrong" on page 4 of the article.

Read the entire article and see the pictures. 

 
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Mini-Jeeps

• CATEGORIES: Features, Unusual, Website

UPDATE:  It appears east coast mini classics is no longer making the mini jeeps shown below. they can be found occasionally for sale on Craigslist. 

http://www.eastcoastminiclassics.com/

LargeLF outside Dan 1

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Builds – 1951 m38 Glendale, Az on Ebay — The Rhino Hunter

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

This build is for sale on eBay.  There are plenty of pics.  Note the m606 in the background of one of the ebay pics.

“This is a really unique combination of old and new and we’ve had a ton of fun in it. This rig started it’s life as a military M38 until the previous owner started modifying it as a back country rock crawler. When we got it, it had wasn’t much to look at, was missing a windshield but ran and drove so well we had to have it. It is heavily modified to be a safe, comfortable, go anywhere ride. We call it The Rhino Hunter as it has effortlessly shamed a few ORVs in the mud and rocks…”