Features Research Archives

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Holey Hoses Batman!

• CATEGORIES: Features

Inspiration is a funny thing. You just never know what will inspire you. Unfortunately, sometimes its timing is terrible.

Case in point: A few days ago Patterson wouldn’t start. I checked all the usual suspects and finally decided it was the fuel pump. I shall not bore you with the machinations I went through testing the original fuel pump and two others I have. I hand tested them, then installed them and they’d fail. Then I’d remove them, manually test them, and they’d work again. It was bizarre.

I concluded that somehow it was the cam on the inside of the engine; that wasn’t an easy fix. With time working against me, Craig Brockhaus of theFCConnection.com recommended I get the same electric pump he has on his Tour Jeep. It was a good price and available on Amazon and I’d get 2 day delivery for free. Done deal.

For two days I worked on other things, waiting for that fuel pump to arrive. When it finally did, I took it out of the box, climbed under the jeep, and sized up possible installation options. I decided that since the gas filter had to precede the electric pump, I needed to bring that under the jeep with me. I got up and found the gas filter. Attached to it I’d left a 4″ piece of connector hose that originally connected the filter to the pump. As I looked more closely at the hose on the pump I realized that it looked roughed up by the clamp.

And then it dawned on me. Inspiration struck! What if there’s a small hole in that short piece of hose. When I had hand tested the fuel pump, I didn’t have the filter or 4″ hose attached. So, I held up the hose to my mouth, plugged the rear hole, and blew. I could feel the air rushing out a hole on the tube.

I quickly reinstalled the original pump, Then, installed a new short piece of hose. With everything tight, I turned the key a few times and before I knew it Patterson fired right up! It was a hole in the hose the hole time.

The question I have is, why couldn’t I have been inspired before I bought the electric pump? Life is a mystery!

As of this evening the engine is running smoothly and feeling peppy! I also had time to find a solution for installing a CB Radio. I didn’t want to drill new holes if possible and I wanted it easy to remove. So, I decided to build a small pedestal on top of the transfer case lever plate. It is something I can easily swap out for whatever reason.


You can see the square tube welded to the transfer case lever plate. The tube is cut at an angle and a plate is welded atop that. A CB holder bracket is bolted to the plate.


This shows the radio installed. You’ll note that just above the radio there is now a cigarette lighter for phone charging.

Tomorrow I install a tow bumper:



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More Pics from 2017 Willys America

• CATEGORIES: Features • TAGS: .

Matt shared a short note and some pics from his Willys America adventure this past week.

He wrote, “We drove out there in my 3A and yeah, it was pretty cool. BBQ burgers for lunch, got a Willy’s America T-shirt and got to check out all kinds of cool rigs. I was in a caravan with 3 MB’s on the way out there. (Been there, done that, AND got the T-shirt. literally)”

2017-willys-america-matt-betry1 2017-willys-america-matt-betry2 2017-willys-america-matt-betry3 2017-willys-america-matt-betry4 2017-willys-america-matt-betry5 2017-willys-america-matt-betry6 2017-willys-america-matt-betry7

Who can name all the hubs? Number them like innings, so the top left is “1” and the bottom left “2” etc up to “7”.2017-willys-america-matt-betry8

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1950s There’s a Jeep for Your Job Video

• CATEGORIES: Advertising & Brochures, Features, videos • TAGS: , .

UPDATE: For some reason this video is making the rounds on FB, BAT and/or other places, as several folks shared this on email with me. This video has been around a while. So, I figured I’d repost it.

Original Post March 2016: Listed as a 1940s promotional film, the inclusion of CJ-5s and the exclusion of DJs and FCs suggests to me it was created in 1955. There’s an extended look at a cargo personnel carrier near the end of the video There are also a variety of specialized equipment and hardtops shown.

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The King Family’s 2017 Sweetwater Run

• CATEGORIES: Event, Features

Thanks go to Jason King for documenting his family’s jeeping adventure from last weekend!


Jason writes, “This past Saturday the King family held our 7th Annual Sweetwater Run Jeep Rally in beautiful Parke County, Indiana (Covered Bridge Capital of the World). Family members came from as far away as Minnesota and Missouri to enjoy this yearly event.


Some of the older jeeps attending this year . . . 


. . . . and some of the newer jeeps.

The morning started off with a timed run on a pre-determined 10-mile route planned out by the hosts of the rally in their 46’ CJ2A some weeks earlier. The plan was for each of the 8 Jeeps to leave 5 minutes apart with at least a driver and navigator. Each navigator had a copy of the mapped route and was responsible for keeping the time clock for their respective vehicle. The the Jeep closest to the official time clocked by the hosts of the rally received a first place prize box full of moon pies. The timed event was enjoyed by all and should continue for years to come.



The timed event was followed by a wonderful cookout on a new Jeep fire pit made by my brother-in-law (he takes orders if anyone is interested). Shortly after the cookout we travelled east through Rockville to Bridgeton passing a few covered bridges along the way, stopped for ice cream and proceeded on to Mansfield Covered Bridge before returning home. Continue reading

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1941 Photo of Ford GP w/ Edsel Ford

• CATEGORIES: Bantam-FordGP-WillysMA-EarlyJPs, Features, Old Images

UPDATE: The original press photo that appeared in the newspaper at the bottom of this post is now on eBay.

“1941- Edsel Ford, in rear seat, and Brig. Gen. Charles Bonesteel go for a ride in the first Ford GP prototype jeep delivered to the U.S. Army after it rolled off the assembly line at the Ford River Rouge factory in Dearborn, Michigan. Photo measures approx. 7″ x 9″”

View all the information on eBay



Original posted 06/30/2016:
This photo and caption were published in the March 7, 1941, issue of the Owosso Argus Press. No article accompanied it.



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On The Mend

• CATEGORIES: Features

Thanks for all the kind thoughts! I didn’t make it out to the garage yesterday, but I felt good enough to do eWillys. As least the wild swings between fever and chills have subsided. I expect to be back in the garage today after running a few errands.

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More Pics From Charles

• CATEGORIES: Features, Old Images

I think these are from Korea?

C-34 B-25 B-26 A-36 A-45 B-05 RS27 RS12 RS21 RS9 H28 H14 H13 H2

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Baby’s Got New Shoes

• CATEGORIES: Features • TAGS: .

Just a couple updates today.

Patterson got some new tires today. We purchased some inexpensive Cooper Trendsetter 235/75/15 tires that have a bit of a vintage feel. We then moved Patterson’s old tires to Rusty’s wheels, so Rusty has some better shoes also.

Meanwhile, Ann added her touch to Patterson by painting the air cleaner lid (which is actually a cake pan mounted upside down) blue (you can see it sitting on the fender in the pic below).


Yesterday, I spent a good amount of time fixing items that I thought were fixed, but weren’t. For example, the brake pedal was hitting the column shifter rod (between the column paddle and the transmission). I thought maybe I had installed the rods incorrectly, but after removing the rods and puzzling through the situation, I figured out that the column itself needed to rotate clockwise several degrees. When I started undoing the bolts to make that happen, I found they were loose. That was a surprise, as I hadn’t worked on the steering column itself (though I had rebuilt Rusty’s column, which proved vital to deducing the fact that the column needed to rotate). Long story short, I rotated the column, tighten it up, reattached the rods, and the brake arm now clears the rods.

I also re-routed the vacuum lines that go down to the reservoir and back. Now they are more protected from the moved of the column shifting and away from the exhaust manifold.

I purchased a newer condenser yesterday and installed it, but I wasn’t really happy with the performance. I am going to get an NOS one from Old Car Parts (see the post below) and see if that works better.

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Old Car Parts Northwest

• CATEGORIES: Features

ocpn2I age a few years every time I enter an auto parts store these days. I ask about parts and the clerks stare blankly back at me. I was shocked at how many didn’t know what a center pin was or have any idea what a condenser for a distributor does. They (Oreilly’s in this case) don’t even stock fuel filters in the general area of the store … you have to explain what vehicle you have (of course, I’m preaching to the choir, but still, it is frustrating).

That’s one reason why on Friday Ann and I drove down the hill from my parents to visit a store called Old Car Parts Northwest. Several months ago I discovered it on Craigslist, then emailed, asking if they had Willys parts. The answer was that they had some NOS parts. I hadn’t had time to get there until Friday, so off we went. It’s hidden in an industrial section of Southwest Renton and there’s no sign hanging over the shop indicating it’s there. I could see through the glass on the outside that a few lights were on, so I wasn’t sure the place was even open. But, the door was unlocked, so I stepped in the door.

There wasn’t anyone to greet me, so I looked around at all the parts … carbs on tables, parts hanging from a wall, parts everywhere! It looks much bigger on the inside than I expected. After about a minute, someone finally came to say hello. I have since forgotten his name (I’m so bad with names), and he seemed more curious about why I was there than asking if I was looking for a part.

After explaining that I was just seeing what he had, he took me on a short tour. He explained most of the stuff was all NOS parts or rebuilt parts such as water pumps using original equipment. The owner of the place buys parts for a hobby and has amassed a large amount. The age of parts ranged from 1920s to modern day stuff. He told me the place had been opened for about eight months and they were still unloading and organizing parts. He took me to one location where there was a row of 1930s Willys Overland parts. While there, he pointed out some NOS water pump rebuilt kits for a jeep. I took a close look and explained that the pumps weren’t just for any jeep, they were 1941 Willys MA water pump rebuild kits!!

There were NOS carbs in their original box, such as a YF 951. There were 6 volt and 12 volt generators, regulators, and distributor parts. They also have original Timken bearings. He explained that a friend of his used to work at Timken and that you can tell the difference between made in the US Timken bearings by the stamp. If it says “Timken USA” it’s likely out of China, while “Made in the USA” stamped bearings are made in the US.

After exploring the place, I said I’d let readers know about it. I figured there just might be some hard t find jeep parts there. When i returned home I got online to check out their website. I learned that their online database is not very organized yet, but after playing around, I found the following NOS items for an FC-150:


It was definitely a cool place and there wasn’t a computer in sight!



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Having a Gas

• CATEGORIES: Features • TAGS: .

My wife has been having a wonderful time making videos of things not quite going as planned. Yesterday, we only had to be pushed by the neighbors twice into the driveway. I figure either there’s something in the gas, something wrong with the fuel pump, or the pressure is off on the fuel line. Outside of that, I followed Rick’s Old Jeep Carb method for timing the engine and it worked well. When gas isn’t an issue, the jeep starts up on the first turn of the key and just hums.

Here is the second time we needed a push (great way to reconnect with old neighbors!):

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1941 Photo of Bantam BRC-40 on eBay

• CATEGORIES: Bantam-FordGP-WillysMA-EarlyJPs, Features, Old Images

Nice press photo of a BRC-40 climbing a hill.

“Original 8″ x 10″ glossy press photo. Hand written on back : ARMY ARMORED SCOUT COMMAND CAR PEEPS. Dated May 4, ’41. Good condition for its age.”

View all the information on eBay



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JP Magazine’s Wicked Willys on eBay

• CATEGORIES: Features, Willys Trucks • TAGS: , .

Lots of great details about the build included within the description.

View all the information on eBay

1949-truck-jpmagazine-wicked-willys1 1949-truck-jpmagazine-wicked-willys2 1949-truck-jpmagazine-wicked-willys3 1949-truck-jpmagazine-wicked-willys4

” This is an Arizona titled (clean and clear) 1949 Willys Pickup built on a stretched 1997 Jeep Wrangler frame with a three-link front, 4-link rear, one-ton axles, manual transmission, 505 cubic inch Dodge/Chrysler RB Big Block engine. There are many many details that went into this build and I will try to list them here, but may miss some or forget some. Any really interested parties need to come see this truck first hand and ask questions. I reserve the right to cancel the auction any time in case of local sale, or if I decide to keep the truck. The truck drives great on-road and is extremely capable off-road. It has plenty of power, and turns heads everywhere it goes. Everyone loves it from Rednecks, to Hippies, and everyone in between.

Built as a Jp Magazine project Vehicle there are 8 or 9 3-4 page articles on the build. To see them Google: “Jp Magazine Wicked Willys”
You can also Google “Wicked Willys Ultimate Adventure” for more info on the truck and the UA trip

The truck, since I finished it in june of last year, has been on Petersen’s 4-Wheel & Off-Road Ultimate Adventure for 2016 (that included about 2000 miles of on road and trail driving) Over the Rubicon, Isham trail near Trona, CA, and part of Fordyce. Its also been on a few trails in AZ and all over Moab during Easter Jeep Safari 2017. It drives over almost anything the driver aims it at and is very stable off-road. I’d love to keep it, but I like to build 4x4s and can’t keep them all.
Continue reading

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The First Mile ….

• CATEGORIES: Features

After fixing some wiring and correcting the clutch cable length, I was able to take Patterson down the street and back. Brakes worked, clutch worked, and it felt like there was plenty of power. However, it’s definitely running rich, so we’ll tackle that tomorrow, along with improving the timing.

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Renegade Sumner Jeep Club Logo

• CATEGORIES: Features

Rob won these old club jacket patches and didn’t have a use for them, so he gave them to me. Given the art, I’d guess these (I have two patches) were produced in the 1970s or earlier. Sumner is a city about an hour south of Seattle. They are a laying on Patterson’s driver’s side fender, so that gives you a sense of their size. What great vintage jeep art they are.


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My Wife’s a Genius

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features • TAGS: .

This photo provides a good look at how frayed some of the wire was behind the speedometer. Worse, this wiring was sitting on the metal brace!! in the background is the volt-a-drop which provides stepped down voltage to the King Seeley speedometer).

Electrical Mess:

We’ve been working hard on Patterson the last couple of days. Most of our time has been consumed with checking wiring and rewiring stuff. Between frayed wires and mis-wired stuff, it’s filled our time. Apart from the types of frayed wire seen in the pic above, I discovered 1) the wires to the amp gauge and light were wired into the oil light (fortunately, all I had to do was pop out the light and plug it into the amp light), 2) the amp light was missing altogether (thankfully I could steal one off of Rusty’s speedometer), 3) the ignition jumper that screws to the back of the speedometer was laying on the metal brace (must have caused some shorting), 4) the oil light wire was wired to the fuel gauge (which explains in part why the fuel gauge didn’t work … well that and there was no wire connected to the fuel tank wire.

Dimmer Switch:


No more red paint on this dimmer switch.

The dimmer switch has been lubed, reassembled, de-painted, and installed.

The Horn Wire

Patterson came with a button attached to the side of the steering column that was used as a horn, but it didn’t work. Since we were already changing some of the wiring around, we decided to steal the column shift button wiring from Rusty’s steering column I wired last month and use it on Patterson.

To start, I knew we had to run some non-electric wire (similar to bailing wiring) through the length of the column in order to pull the horn button’s electric wire down the shaft. That sounded like a good idea, but several attempts at pushing the wire up the column  were a failure: the wire kept getting snagged as I pushed it up the column. I was getting frustrated.

But then, my genius wife had an idea. Why not blow some thread down the column using an air compressor nozzle. Once the thread came out the bottom, we could pull the bailing-like wire back through. I admit, at first I thought it sounded a little crazy. After all, near the bottom of the column shaft it narrows, so I thought for sure the thread would be stopped by it. But, then I took a breath and thought …. hmmm … what could it hurt to try?

Sure enough, she produced some thread, dropped a little down the column, then stuck the air nozzle into the hole. That thread blew threw the bottom of the column in a couple seconds. It was genius! Well, almost genius, as we had to upgrade our thread to thicker thread. Other than that, we had the column horn working in no time!


This is the thin thread we tried. It didn’t she enough tensile strength to pull up the wire. She just dropped some thread in and the air blew the rest of the thread down through that small hole at the bottom.


Once we shifted to the thicker, black thread it worked perfectly.

Continue reading

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A Comparison of Dumas and Carson Center Seats

• CATEGORIES: Features

Ted Jordan shared these photos showing a comparison between Dumas and Carson center seats. In the photo below, the Carson seat is shown on the left and the Dumas on the right.


carson-dumas-2 carson-dumas-3 carson-dumas-4 carson-dumas-5

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Alaska Or Rust T-Shirts

• CATEGORIES: Features

Help us out by buying an Alaska Or Rust T-shirt. They are now available for sale. They are 100% heavy cotton and are priced at $25 from the Alaska Or Rust site (to cover shipping**) or $20 in person. You can use paypal or use a credit card. If you’d prefer to send a check (or have questions), email me at d@ewillys.com.



Most of our shirt sizes are XL and L, but we have some XXL, M, and a handful of Smalls.

**If you live outside of the US or Canada, we may have to charge extra for shipping.

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Dec. 1945 Outdoor Life Magazine Story on the Jeep

• CATEGORIES: Artists/Drawings, Features, Magazine

UPDATE: Originally Posted July 26, 2014.

The December 1945 Issue of Outdoor Life Magazine contained an article titled “A Jeep Will Get You There”. It is filled with photos of a VEC CJ-2A used for a fishing trip. The photos aren’t the best, but still an interesting article. Outdoor Life also featured the story on the front cover.


1945-12-outdoor-life-article1 1945-12-outdoor-life-article2 1945-12-outdoor-life-article3 1945-12-outdoor-life-article4 1945-12-outdoor-life-article5 1945-12-outdoor-life-article6 1945-12-outdoor-life-article7 1945-12-outdoor-life-article8

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Happy 4th of July!

• CATEGORIES: Features

Thanks to Kevin for sharing these photos from Cranesville Auto in Amsterdam, New York. Inside the jeep there are red, white and blue flowers planted, too.



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1947 Popular Mechanics Photo of Front Axle Thaw

• CATEGORIES: Features, Magazine • TAGS: .

The machine shown below was used to thaw front axles, among other things I’m sure. It was published in the January 1947 issue of Popular Mechanics.


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Disassembling A DJ-3A Dimmer Switch

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features • TAGS: .

Last week when we were in Renton, we tested Patterson’s headlights and discovered the foot-based dimmer switch wasn’t always working correctly. After a little research, I discovered the CJ-3A page had a useful thread on the topic, but naturally the switch demonstrated wasn’t exactly like the DJ-3A switch. The one shown on the CJ-3A page had a square end, while the DJ (and I’m assuming others of the same vintage?) have a rounded end. In fact, It isn’t clear to me which models use which dimmer switches?


Example dimmer switch from the CJ-3A page forum.

So, here’s a look at Patterson’s switch. The first obvious difference is that the housing doesn’t have tabs. Instead, it has crimps and, let me tell you, those crimps wouldn’t bend easily outward.


Using a small screwdriver, I eventually got the crimps straightened. As soon as I tugged at the top part to remove it, everything kind of tumbled onto the table (oops).


  1. #1 is the bottom piece. When the actuator is depressed it catches on #1 on the bottom of the piece and spins it.
  2. The metal tab that sticks up on #1 connects to #2 and spins it. #2 is actually made up of 3 pieces a) the disc, b) a shaft, and c) a spring.
  3. #3 is a copper propeller that rotates in conjunction with #2 and #1 each time the actuator is depressed. As you can see, it is very dirty.
  4. Part #3 connects with copper highpoints on #4, which shifts the electricity from the high beam to the low beam, then to the high beam, etc, in a circular pattern. The contacts on #4 were dirty, too, but hard to clean without scraping the copper points. I did not have a good cleaner handy, so I only gently cleaned them.
  5. This is a gasket.


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1947 Popular Mechanics Article on Submarine Jeeps

• CATEGORIES: Features, Magazine • TAGS: .

Using the fording kit, a jeep could operate for more than 15 minutes while under a foot or more of water. It was published in the January 1947 issue of Popular Mechanics.


This December 1943 article from Popular Mechanics highlighted an early attempt at a water proof jeep. In this case it was accompanied by a waterproof trailer.



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Hubs on eBay

• CATEGORIES: Features, Parts • TAGS: .

1. Looks like these Allstate hubs are in reasonable condition.

“Sears Locking hubs for most early jeeps. Show normal ware but work great. Includes bolts. Removed from 1953 CJ3A.”

View all the info on eBay


2. These “heavy duty” Selectro units, which came out in the early 70s, could use some cleaning on the outside.

“Selectro 11024 Locking Hub GPW Jeep CJ CJ2A CJ3A CJ3B CJ5 M38 Willys 10 Spline”

View all the info on eBay


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Chris McKay’s on the Road Again

• CATEGORIES: Features

Chris Mckay will be doing a fast road trip to Indiana starting Wednesday.

“If anyone needs something hauled like parts and/or vehicles let me know. I’ll be going to northern Indiana and Grand Rapids , MI. I’ll be in MN, WI, IA, IL, IN and MI and NW Ohio” (nscustoms@hotmail.com)

Based on the above info, I drew up a map of his route. I might not have it quite right….


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1944 Popular Mechanics Article on Target Jeeps

• CATEGORIES: Features, Magazine • TAGS: , .

This April 1944 article from Popular Mechanics explains how target jeeps work. The photo shows a slat grille MB sacrificed for the greater good.