Features Research Archives

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The Austin Gipsy (another British 4×4)

• CATEGORIES: Features

Expanding from the previous post about Austin Champs, and continuing our brief tour of british 4x4s, the Austin Gipsy was a chance for Austin Champ designers to start from scratch using what they had learned from the Champ.

One of the most interesting features was an independent suspension design as seen in the drawing to the right.

Austin Gipsy Links:

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1953 Austin Champ (British 4×4) Midland, MI **SOLD**

• CATEGORIES: Features

UPDATE: **SOLD** Was $2000

Brian forwarded this ad to me.  I’ve never knew these existed.  According to Wikipedia, these were built from 1951 – 1956 and were excellent cross country vehicles, apparently surpassing the capabilities of the Land Rover.  However, though the Land Rover could only do 80% of what the Champ could do, the Land Rover cost much less to produce, so the Champ contract was eventually cancelled.  Interestingly, the Champ had a 5 speed synchromesh tranny with reverse adapted to the rear drive line apart from the tranny, so that the Champ could do 5 speeds backwards as well.  Finally, the Champ had no transfercase, instead the driveline went to the rear differential and then there was a takeoff to the front differential (which had a clutch to control 2wd/4wd mode).  These would make a very interesting project.”

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Jumping a Jeep

• CATEGORIES: Features, videos

If jeeps were meant to fly, they’d have wings.  What are these guys thinking?  Can you imagine the stuff they did as kids? Note that someone at least had the sense to tell the passenger NOT to hold onto the outside of the roll bar.


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Puzzled about Brake Line Sizes

• CATEGORIES: Features, News

Once again, I’ve been searching the internet.  The newest quest for information involves brake line sizes.  Specifically, as I posted a few days ago, I pulled brakes lines and a combo valve from a late 80s Cherokee.

One of the things I didn’t realize initially was that the front brakes lines are 3/16″ while the rear line is 1/4″.  The question I had was, does that matter?  After some searching, I landed on the Hotrodders site where readers discussed this issue.  The nut of the discussion was that this should not be an issue and, in fact, has been done on many newer vehicles….

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• CATEGORIES: Features, Website

While doing some research on brakelines, I came across certifiablejeep.com, a website that appears to mostly follow CJ-5s and CJ-7s.   There’s some good information on the website.

“This site is dedicated to all that is Jeep. Mostly CJ’s are depicted and discussed on this site, but it isn’t limited to just CJ’s. We have been live now for for a little over 3 years and in that time we have met and talked with many people. The site has grown by leaps and bounds since its inception. It is still geared towards those who want to enjoy the Jeep lifestyle and gain and share knowledge about Jeeps.”

Certifiable Jeep.com

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Anyone know where to find Vintage Mud Flaps?

• CATEGORIES: Biscuit, Features

This afternoon I spent some time searching the internet to find some type of vintage mud flaps, without much success. I’m looking for some flexible rubber flaps with some type of 4×4 image or logo on them. Here’s an example of what I had on my last jeep (I should have kept those …).

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Reader’s Builds — Don Giovanini’s CJ-3B

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features

Don’s got a beautiful CJ-3B that he’s clearly spent a great deal of time building.  Only a labor of love would produce details as unique as ‘a 4 barrel with a holley from a scout’.  If you don’t see this weekly driver around town, then he’s likely in the the hills of Colorado.

Some stats:

  • A 1954 CJ-3B that has the nomenclature plate for government service.
  • 231 buick bored .030 balanced
  • Eldebrock performer 4 barrel with a holley from a scout with a small venturi
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Rare Backhoe for FC 170 $2750

• CATEGORIES: FC150-FC170-M677, Features

Dan asked me to post a rare backhoe and a DRW 170 for him.

FC 170 Backhoe Ottawa model LX: I just have too much and need room for my restored backhoe coming in. I thought I’d let FC guys know about it before listing it on the evil Ebay. But I do need to get it out of here. I have 22 FC’s right now and need to let loose this one for space.

This is the correct backhoe for a FC 170 DRW (here’s more about the DRW). I was going to put it on a DRW but found an original complete FC with factory backhoe so no need for this one. A backhoe is one of the rarest configurations for an FC. This isn’t a parts unit used for my other one. This is complete. It will need to be restored. Price $2,750.”

Rare factory 4 speed T98 DRW truck: This was the truck I was going to use for the backhoe. A Rare 4 speed T98. One of about 20 factory 4 speeds known. No bed but complete and it needs a total restoration.  Price reflects condition but it is restorable.  Price $1,200. I can send pics if your interested. (here’s more about the DRW)

Located by Burbank CA. If your going to Roy’s Roundup about 60 miles away, I could meet you there there Sun.  Email dan@carousel.com or call 818-203-9708″

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Builds — Vivek’s CJ-3B

• CATEGORIES: CJ-3B, Features

Vivek purchased a 1967 CJ-3B right hand drive Mahindra at the end of 2004.  According to his early blog notes, the jeep barely started, was missing the front drive line, and generally needed a lot of work.  When he finally did pick it up, on the way back it stalled, requiring the help of some local builders to move it out of the way of a bus.  Fast forward several years later and you can see Vivek and his CJ-3B pictured on the right.

Among Vivek’s challenges was his effort to get the papers.  Not only were the papers absent, but apparently the owner wanted to sell the jeep, but the owner’s son did not.  It took a few weeks before Vivek could get the original papers, insisting the owner drop the price slightly further for all the trouble the owner caused him.  You can read about the purchase here.

Learn more about Vivek’s recent engine rebuild, the jeep club he belongs to, and some recent jeeping pictures. Also, check out Vivek’s friend UBS and his one-of-a-kind jeep collection.

Vivek’s working for the next few months in Milipitas, California.  When he heads back in December, he hopes to take back a lift kit with him.  If anyone has any suggestions, comment below.

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One owner, 5 mechanics & 45 flatfenders …

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features

A gentleman named Vivek contacted me last night.  He ran across ewillys while searching for some jeep parts.  He’s from India and owns a CJ-3B that he restored.  He’s currently working in California for a few months, before heading back to India, so he’s looking to locate a few parts he can take back with him (there’s enough jeeping in India that maybe I ought to head there and work for a few months — can I get a job with my MBA Vivek?).  I’ll be highlighting him and his efforts in a post I’ll write in the next few days.

For now, I want to thank Vivek for opening up the interesting world of jeeping in India to me.  After a few email exchanges, he pointed me to a gentleman named Mr. Uday Bhan Singh.  Mr. Uday, it turns out, owns 45 flatfenders that he has collected over the span of 40 years.  This month, autocarindia did an article on him, which has been copied and posted to the Jeep Thrills website, which is also Vivek’s jeep club.

Here are links to the article pages which is worth reading (once open, click on the page to zoom into it):

Page 1, Page 2, Page 3, Page 4

To say Mr. Uday is passionate about jeeps likely understates things; The article’s description of him as a Jeep Junkie is likely more accurate.  One look at the images of his “great arc” jeep and you’ll see he not only knows jeeps, but uses and jeeps with them.  Last year in his MB he navigated the length of the great arc, the 78th meridian that bisects India.  The meridian itself stretches about 583 miles as the crow flies, however the actual driving mileage was just under 1200 miles.

To complete this drive, Mr. Uday went prepared.  This jeep carries a few extra parts, such as 2 sets of springs mounted to the underside and a special contraption made of poles for helping winch out of difficult places that are strapped to the driver’s side.  I highly recommend reviewing the pictures.  Even the paint job is nicely unique (reminds me a bit of the follow-me jeep paint jobs).


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My Build — More on the hood

• CATEGORIES: Biscuit, Features

There are several important lessons I learned from web and software development:  1)  Real artists ship, meaning that sometimes you can’t have everything you planned or wanted in a project if you want to get it out the door; and 2) there’s always a 2.0 version.

With those lessons in mind, after several days of fiberglass filler and sanding, fiberglass filler and sanding, I’ve finally got a roughed out shape I can live with.  The reality is, more sanding is necessary to get the slopes on the bump smooth, but I can live with its imperfectness (like anything else is perfect).

I have a little final trimming on the hood edges.  After that, it’s time to pull it all apart, prepare the body for sanding/paint, drill the gauge holes in the dash, fix my brake line, and complete some odds and ends in preparation of permanently putting the body on the frame.  Oh yeah, and clean up the garage — it’s looking pretty messy in the pictures!

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My Build — The hood vs. the air cleaner

• CATEGORIES: Biscuit, Features

One of the issue’s I’ve put off until now has been the air cleaner.  I knew fitting an air cleaner between the hood and carb would be tight, a consequence of the tall Kenne Bell intake manifold.  However, I thought I might sneak it in there, but after finally fitting the hood onto the front clip, I discovered that even a low profile air cleaner won’t fit.  Unfortunately, the engine can’t drop much more (not that I want to drop and reweld the engine mounts for an extra 1 1/2 inches).  The only solution left (that I could think of) was to put a bump into the hood.  I REALLY didn’t want to do it.  But, I need to keep moving forward on this project, so I decided it was the most expedient solution.

Once decided, I then had to decide the type of bump.  After mulling it over, I chose to do a simple bump that follows the lines of the hood.  The first step was cutting the hole in the hood.  Next, I created a form out of a 2×4, putting a 20 degree edge, the same degree, but opposite, of the angle of the stripe on the body.  I laid two coats of fiberglass and resin and let it setup.  The good news is that the results are even and the angles correct.  The bad news is that I’m not thrilled with the results.  I’ve thought about adding some angles to the front to make the bump more interesting, but I think I’ll keep it simple and save the details for version 2 of the hood.

Here’s the hood precut

Here’s the hood with 3 sides cut.  I used a cutting wheel to do the cuts and a flat piece of steel as a guide to create a straight line.

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My Build — Hood Mounted

• CATEGORIES: Biscuit, Features

Last night i got the hood mounted, trimmed and latched. Once I determine where to mount the blocks (not sure what I'm going to make those out of yet), then it will be ready to patch, sand and paint.  

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My Build — Hood version 1

• CATEGORIES: Biscuit, Features

Over the past week I completed the form for the hood, applying a second coat of drywall mud to smooth the curves.  I had to create the hood because I lengthened the front clip about 4.5 inches.  Following that, I rubbed some turtle wax onto the form as a release agent.  Then, I laid 3 layers of fiberglass & resin.  Finally, I laid the hat channel I pulled from a different hood I had (which will serve two purposes — to hold the curve of the hood and provide support for the hinge).

As you can see below, the turtle wax didn't completely release well, so there will be some sanding.  Also, rather than apply the gelcoat to the surface of the form (which I figured would not release well at all), I have decided to apply it once I finish sand the hood.  Finally, I have done an initial trim on the hood and it fits well, but not perfect.   It will take some additional trimming, patching and sanding to finish this, but it should do fine for a first hood (much better than the first hood on my first jeep).

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My Build — Creating the Hood

• CATEGORIES: Biscuit, Features

I've decided to tackle the hood.  Because of the 4.5" extension to the front clip, I've had to decide what to do with the hood.  As I documented in previous posts, I've lengthened the fenders.  Now, instead of trying to lengthen an existing hood, I've decided to create my own fiberglass hood:  Nothing fancy, just a straightforward simple hood.  I'll save a more complex hood for a second form.

Since I had an existing hood that had a good hinge and a good rib, I decided to remove those from the hood and use them on the fiberglass hood.  To do this, I had to drill out the rivets that attached the rib to the hood.  Once drilled out, the rib came right off.  You can see the rib and the hinge below.

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James’ newest find …

• CATEGORIES: CJ-2A, Features

James found this cj-2a with a m38 body on Craigslist for $2,000.  He pounced on it immediately.  I'm not sure how I missed it during my searches!  Just goes to show I can't find them all.

This is an excellent find, especially since the body is in excellent condition reports James.  It's also one of the best California deals I've seen … 

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Reader’s Builds — Brian’s new bumper for his CJ-3B

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features

Brian's been busy creating a new bumper for his CJ-3B build. He's says it's nothing fancy, but I think it's pretty nice.  Here's a start-to-finish explanation of the work it took to make his bumper.  Thanks for sharing Brian!

"Because the springs are longer than stock, I had to come up with a way to lengthen the frame a little in the rear. So, I fabricated  a new rear bumper and incorporated a swing out spare tire mount.  In addition, rather than cut holes into the body, I decided to put the tail lights in the bumper. To make the bumper, I only need to use a grinder, drill press, and a Mig welder — it's nothing fancy."

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Four Wheeler Magazine Flashbacks

• CATEGORIES: Advertising & Brochures, Features, Magazine, News • TAGS: .

Recently, Four Wheeler Magazine flashed back to 1978 and 1968 issues.  The 1978 issue had a back cover advertising Desert Dog Tires, including the tires that had Xs on them (I had forgotten about them).

Four Wheeler also has a short retrospective about tires, including an advertisement that shows the wide variety of tires available.

The 1968 issue had an article that underscores how popular jeeping had become.  One event in California, the Desert Safari, organized by the Tierra Del Sol 4wd club, brought in 600 jeeps and over 2500 people.   Below is the cover story’s picture.

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Jeep Trailers – Signal Corp Trailer in Portland $500

• CATEGORIES: Features, trailer

One of the ewillys readers asked me about jeep trailers for sale in the northwest.  A quick search yielded a particularly interesting trailer from ww2 — a signal corp trailer.

" WW2 Jeep K38 trailer used by the U.S. army signal corps. This one looks like the one shown in a U.S.M.C manual from 1945."


Here's some links for some other bantam or bantam-like trailers that vary in price up to $1000:

Here's two in Boise:

Here's two in Seattle area:

Here's some from Colorado:
http://denver.craigslist.org/cto/791160878.html (very heavy duty trailer)

And Utah:
http://saltlakecity.craigslist.org/rvs/763935116.html (modern, but probably looks nice behind a CJ-5)

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Fiberglass Flat Fender Racing bodies — Southern Ca $1200

• CATEGORIES: Features, Racing, Vendors

I’m not sure what the exact story is here (might be a vendor?), but these look brand new.

Flat Fender Style One piece fiberglass Jeep bodies. Call Matt for complete details. (909)239-8463

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Blueprints for Willys

• CATEGORIES: Artists/Drawings, Features, Website

Here's an interesting site I found. Blueprints.com  claims to have over 24,000 automobile blueprints online (though they appear more like a single drawing rather than full blueprints), including a variety of jeeps.  To the right is a jeep labeled CJ-4.  The site manager states:

"I do not claim to have made, scanned or drawn all of the blueprints on this website. I did on the other collect, edit and host all of them, free of charge, in my spare time.

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My Build – Fender Update

• CATEGORIES: Biscuit, Features

I made good progress over the weekend. As you can see, I was able to mount the fenders and take a few shots of the jeep with the fenders.  It will look good.

In order to fit the fenders, I had to make cutouts in the wheel wells for the headers.  But, as I mentioned in an earlier post, I wanted to fill around the headers.  So, I bought a little bit of stove pipe and used that as a form to wrap fiberglass around the headers.  

The last pic is the fenders with the new covers for the headers.  To match the rest of the underside of the body, I'm going to paint herculiner on the wheelwell of the fenders (which saves a bunch of finish work) and fill in the gaps and paint the top and inside of the headers.

Here are some pics below.

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Reader Pix — David’s Parents at the Sand Dunes

• CATEGORIES: CJ-2A, Features, News

A reader named David has shared an old picture of his parents racing around the sand dunes in what looks to be a CJ-2A.  This picture is a good reminder that you don't need a fancy jeep to go out and enjoy a day in the sand.  David will be sending a few more pictures along with some background text soon.  Thanks David!

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Why a Roll Cage is a good idea

• CATEGORIES: Features, News

Take one look at this photo and you can see why having a good roll cage is smart.  The driver of this jeep, 63 year old Alvin Baldwin, died in the rollover after being ejected.  The link to the original article no longer exists.  It occurred outside Virginia City.

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Drive Cycles and Emissions

• CATEGORIES: Features, News

Well, I learned something new today:  Drive Cycles …. 

A couple days ago my 1997 BMW 540i failed an emissions test (for the second year in a row).  Last year I had shown enough money spent on the engine to get a waiver.  This year, I was a little nervous because I didn't know whether they'd give me a second waiver or not.  (This vehicle is a blast to drive and a PIA to take care of or work on!!)

Well, I just got done speaking with the head of the Air Quality Testing for ADA County, my new friend Roger (I have to say that it's nice to be able to talk to the head of the department — that's one nice thing about living in a small populated state).  What happened was not that I failed, but that they couldn't read my car's computer.  The reason was that I have not completed a drive cycle since the last time I reset my car's computer codes (Any time I work on it, I reset the codes to see if I have fixed the problem).  I figured anytime I got into the car and drove it that the computer would be on and recording normally.  However, until a drive cycle is complete, none of my monitors (which are really groups of codes) are actually capable of being read.  So, Roger, who said he consulted with the EPA back in 1992, said he had a good deal of insight into what constituted a drive cycle.

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