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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.
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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.

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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.


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More Pics from Charles

• CATEGORIES: Features, Old Images

These first four are from the Korea War:

H14 H13 H2

Normandy 1944:

These photos show the Minerva, an armored jeep-like vehicle.  The famous MINERVA (built under license of land rover) not the nicest, but served for several years in the belgian army -this is an exceptional version (and very rare to find these days) of the recon group – it’s heavy plated and gunned – greetz


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$150 Kaiser Willys Gift Certificate Giveaway

• CATEGORIES: Features

The Alaska Or Rust Crew and Chris McKay (https://www.facebook.com/groups/533087846854829/) are giving away a second $150 gift certificate for Kaiser Willys. The winner will be chosen at random.

To enter, simply add a comment to this post OR, if you have a Facebook Account, add a comment to the Alaska Or Rust Facebook post. In your comment, indicate the first jeep you owned or drove (either one). On Thursday, July 6th, at 5pm PST we’ll select the winner.

Please don’t enter twice. We’ll be going through the all the names and then using a random number generator to determine the winner.

Many thanks to Kaiser Willys for these certificates! #alaskaorurst #kaiserwillys #ewillys



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Willys America Open House July 8th, 2017

• CATEGORIES: Event, Features

UPDATE: Dan’s laid out a caravan schedule for next weekend’s Open House.

Subsitute caravan leader Dan “scramboleer” here. Just a reminder that the Willys America Open House and BBQ is just a few Saturdays away on July 8.

The 2017 Caravan basically takes the morning to drive from Millbrae (south of San Francisco), across the Golden Gate Bridge, and then out through western Wine Country to Cazadero where Willys America hosts an open house and BBQ.

Here are the details:

Begin route on Hwy 280 North.

Stop 1: 8:00 am – 8:15 am Trousdale Exit on northbound Highway 280. (This exit is in Millbrae, meet on the east side parking area after the off ramp). The exit is about 5 miles north of Hwy 92.

Follow 280 North. Take 19th Avenue north through San Francisco to the Golden Gate Bridge (Hwy 101).

Stop 2: 8:45 am – 9:15 am Golden Gate Bridge vista point. (Located on northeast side of bridge.) Great picture spot!

Continue Hwy 101 north to Petaluma. Exit west onto Lakeville Road., Stop at McDonald’s at the shopping center on Lakeville Rd.

Stop 3: 10:00 am-10:20 am McDonald’s parking lot in Petaluma. (Exit west on 116/Lakeville St. and look for McDonald’s)

Continue on North 101 and exit at Hwy 116 West (Gravenstein Hwy towards Guerneville). Follow Hwy 116 through Forestville, Monte Rio and turn North onto the Cazadero Hwy. Follow Cazadero Hwy until you see Willys America, 6152 Cazadero Highway Cazadero, CA 95421.



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1950 Photo of Jeep Landing in Korea on eBay

• CATEGORIES: Features, Old Images

This jeep seems to be expecting to be deep in water.

“1950 Press Photo American Jeep with supplies for 1st Calvary Division
This is an original press photo. An American Jeep hits the beach in South Korea with supplies for the front lines. The U.S. 1st Cavalry Division smashed a 14-hour tank-led attack by the North Koreans,. Photo measures 9 x 7.25 inches. Photo is dated 07-23-1950.”

View all the information on eBay