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January 2008 Dana 44 Taking it apart

• CATEGORIES: Biscuit, Features

The Goal .. take apart my Dana 44 housing and install a Detroit Locker along with new bearings and seals.  Sounds easy enough, right?

When building my last jeep, I did not have to rebuild either of the axle housings.  In the rear I had a Dana 44 from a mail jeep.  Mail jeeps come with detroit lockers:  note that the housing is a little narrower than a standard jeep by approx 2".  To fix this, you can have some shims machined that will allow you to use standard flanged jeep axles.  

Fast forward to the new jeep.  I had a Dana 44 I knew nothing about and a detroit locker I wanted to install inside it.  I figured this would be a good opportunity to learn about ring and pinions; and, learn a thing or two I did!

The First Issue – Broken teeth

Naturally, the first step was to pull off the housing cover and examine the condition of the gears.  Unfortunately, the news was not good.  I quickly discovered that I had a very broken tooth on the ring gear.

Interestingly, there was no evidence of broken pieces in the oil.  This lead me to suspect that the previous owner may have discovered the damage while changing the gear oil and 'forgotten' to mention it to me.  Also, once I pulled everything apart, I would also find the pinion gear broken as well.  

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February 2008 Fiberglass Seats

• CATEGORIES: Biscuit

Last year I purchased some plastic racing seats to put into Gus.  However, I was never very happy with them.  I never felt like I fit as well in them as I did in the seats I put into my first jeep.  After searching for months for seats, I finally discovered a pair of beat up seats exactly like what I used to own on Craigslist for only $20.  

To get them to meet my my needs, I needed to repair the fiberglass (extensive holes and cracks) and then drill holes for side belts and shoulder belts.

Continue reading

 
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Fall 2007 — Gus’s Frame Makeover

• CATEGORIES: Biscuit, Features

At left is a pretty stock CJ-5 frame.  There were some cracks where the front crossmember attached to the passenger side frame rail.  Because of this, I felt the crossmember had to go so I could box in the front of the frame.

At the back of the frame, the driver’s side was slightly lower than the passenger side.  Also, because I wanted to outboard the back springs, I needed to add a bracket onto the side of the frame to help support both the front and the back of the springs.

To make all these changes meant a great deal of work .. welding, grinding (and welding and grinding again) and painting.  I am pleased with the results.

Click here to see many more pics of the frame transformation.

 
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The Meeker Trail aka the Naches Trail

• CATEGORIES: Features, News, videos • TAGS: .

I've heard rumors that a TV show in the 1960s did an episode on the Naches Trail.  Good News!  I finally found the episode, which was created by Exploration Northwest.  The best news is you can buy a copy of it and some other early jeep videos on DVD from the Don McCune Library.

Jeeping 1 (Click link and scroll down to Jeeping 1) 

This DVD features 3 episodes:

1.  The Meeker Trail: "Join this spine-rattling trip with the Yakima Ridge Runners Jeep Club as they retrace the oldest route across the Cascades: Naches Pass. Filmed in black-and-white in 1965, it is based on Ezra Meeker's book "Pioneer Reminiscences of Puget Sound", which recounts traversing this old Indian trail with the first immigrant wagon train of 148 people in 1853."

2.  The Doe Run:  "The female members of the Seattle Jeep Club leave their families at home and enjoy a weekend 'Doe Run' on the rugged backcountry roads of the Cle Elum and Salmon La Sac area in the Cascade Mountains."  (The WWJC club did something similar about this time – my mom and grandma went)

3.  The Mud Race: " Yakima Ridge Runners Jeep Club race their specially-equipped jeeps through a mud-hole track in central Washington."

The Desert Races DVD  (Click link and scroll down to Desert Races)

This DVD features 3 episodes

1.  Mattawa 100:  "The 1975 Mattawa 100 features 750 dirt bikes racing across 100 miles of sand and sagebrush near the eastern Washington town of Mattawa.  Aerial and slow-motion photography offers an exciting view along with comments by contestants.  The Everett Highriders Jeep Club and the Stump Jumpers Motorcycle Club assisted in the event".  (I think I was at this race.  Our jeep club was helping run a checkpoint.  Guys were coming to the checkpoint bloody from falling. Very memorable).

2. The Sunfair 300: "Sponsored by the Washington Off-Road Racing Association, the Sunfair 300 is a desert race with 4-wheel-drive vehicles and rails (dune buggies) on a 225-mile course near Yakima that ranks as one of the toughest in the nation!  Members of the Yakima Ridge Runners staff the race course check points."  (I believe this was what my original racing jeep — that I purchased for $600 — was built to compete in).

3.  A retrospective of the life of the host, Don McCune. 

 
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1948 CJ-2A San Diego, Ca $4500 obo

• CATEGORIES: CJ-2A • TAGS: , .

I find this jeep slightly puzzling. I love the nice detail and old school upgrades — the full roll cage, the extra large windshield, a good front bumper mod, the nice paint job, updated seats — yet it still sports an F-head?  This jeep looks like it should go fast, but can’t.

“Fresh F-Head 4 Cyl., new exaust, 3 speed w/overdrive, 8000# Winch, full roll cage, front disc brakes, custom tall windshield, custom seats, rock bars, custom bumpers — $4,500 o.b.o.,”

 
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1946 Sand Jeep

• CATEGORIES: CJ-2A, Racing • TAGS: , .

Looks to be street legal. Has lights and a license plate.

“Selling my toy. 1946 Willys Jeep .The only thing on the jeep that is a 46 Willys is the Tub and Title. Motor is a Pontiac 468 with 1970 Ram Air heads 500+ HP, New narrowed 9″ 31 spline axels with limited slip,frame lengthened 12”,aluminum hood,aluminum fenders and tail gate.Turbo 400,new transfer case,new paint,custom headers. Have full canvas and doors.two sets tires sand and street. street legal, Jeep is at the dunes at Coos Bay until April then will be in Grants Pass …. “

 
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MB Body on CJ-2A frame

• CATEGORIES: Body Parts, How To

A reader asked how well a MB Body would fit onto a CJ-2A frame.  My guess was that it fits pretty well, though some minor mods are necessary.  This website provides some further clues http://www.dlbensinger.com/website/FAQ.html.  The site suggests that body mounts might have to be changed slightly.

Anyone have experience doing this? 

 
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April 2007 Purchasing the CJ-3 Body and parts

• CATEGORIES: Biscuit, Features

I purchased this jeep CJ-3A body and parts for $450.  It came without running gear, but with a recently rebuilt engine and transmission.   I just happened to have a rolling frame without a body, so I put all the parts I didn't want on the rolling frame and sold that.  I ended up making all my money back from this purchase and was left with the fenders, hood, windshield and the data plate that goes on the dashboard 🙂

 
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March 2007 Buying the CJ-5

• CATEGORIES: Biscuit, Features

I decided to purchase a CJ-5 to get a better frame and running gear.  Here's some pics of it.  It's a 1973 CJ-5 with a Chev 350, a sm420 tranny, center rear differential with the dana 20.  I ended up parting out most of it.  

 
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Biscuit’s Bobcat Body Makeover

• CATEGORIES: Biscuit

In January of 2007 I traded some cherokee axles for a Bobcat fiberglass body.  It was a bit hacked up, but after many hours I revived it. Here’s an accounting of some of the work.

The body before any work was done:

fiberglass2 fiberglass3 fiberglassbody

Body after some trimming:

body_getshome1 body_getshome2 body_getshome3

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Year? GPW Roseburg, OR **SOLD**

• CATEGORIES: GPW (Ford MB)

UPDATE: **SOLD** Was $1200.

Not sure how much value is here.

“Have a Willy’s jeep. No title asking $1,200”

year-gpw-roseburg-or1 year-gpw-roseburg-or2 year-gpw-roseburg-or3 year-gpw-roseburg-or4

 
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1964 DJ-3A Salt Lake City, UT **SOLD**

• CATEGORIES: DJ-3A • TAGS: .

UPDATE: Very stock late model DJ-3A. It’s missing the gas tank inlet in some of the pics. The August 2017 auction ended at a high bid of $3300. 

“THIS RARE 1964 WILLYS DJ-3A DISPATCHER JEEP IS PART OF A LARGE COLLECTION OF ORIGINAL WILLYS JEEPS THAT HAVE BEEN IN STORAGE FOR THE PAST 40 YEARS, AND JUST NOW BEING OFFERED FOR SALE.

THE WILLYS DISPATCHER WAS MANUFACTURED BETWEEN 1955 AND 1965…ONLY 13,600 UNITS WERE PRODUCED OVER THE TEN YEAR PRODUCTION, AND MOST OF THOSE HAVEN’T SURVIVED….SEVERAL MODELS OF THE DJ-3A WERE OFFERED, THIS RARE ENCLOSED MODEL BEING ONE OF THEM. THESE HARD TOP VERSIONS WERE USED PRIMARILY FOR BUSINESSES AS DELIVERY VEHICLES, AND ALSO WERE UTILIZED BY THE US POSTAL SERVICE.

THIS PARTICULAR JEEP WAS NOT A POSTAL JEEP, HOWEVER. THIS IS AN EXCELLENT ALL ORIGINAL RARE EXAMPLE, WHICH STILL HAS ITS ORIGINAL FACTORY PAINT, ORIGINAL SEATS AND SEAT COVERS, AND ALL BODY AND MECHANICAL PARTS . THIS JEEP HAS THE POPULAR 134.2 CUBIC INCH 4 CYLINDER L HEAD ENGINE, AND MANUAL 3 SPEED COLUMN SHIIFT TRANSMISSION.

IT ALSO HAS THE OPTIONAL HEAVY DUTY HEATER AND WINDSHIELD DEFROSTER…..GREAT FOR THOSE COLD WINTER MONTHS…… IT HAS NO BODY DAMAGE ANYWHERE.…. NOTHING HAS BEEN DONE TO THIS JEEP. IT IS STILL AS IT WAS WHEN DELIVERED FROM THE FACTORY……IT HAS BEEN WELL MAINTAINED …. IT STARTS AND RUNS GREAT, HAS ONLY 20420 MILES ON THE ODOMETER.”

1964-dj3a-slc-ut1 1964-dj3a-slc-ut15 1964-dj3a-slc-ut16 1964-dj3a-slc-ut17

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1946 Al Toy Avondale, AZ Auction

• CATEGORIES: toys

This could go for a low price if folks don’t know the value of this.

“Toy 1940s Willys Jeep Cast Aluminum AL Toy Wonderful vintage toy vehicle, “Willys” Jeep. Made in 1940s, originally manufactured for Willys-Overland Executives and Dealers to give as gifts. All of the Al-Toy promos were cast aluminum, done by Toledo Casting, dba Central Casting and Toledo Brass in Toledo, OH. This model / replica features the original red paint, a collapsible windshield and a hood that opens. The wheels / tires also appear to be original and are marked “AL Toy 6.00-16″. Shows some paint loss but has no major dents or dings. In overall good condition. Measures 5.5″ tall x 10.5″ long. Tag Words: Children’s toy, adult collectible ZB9728 MKL”

http://www.auctionzip.com/cgi-bin/auctionview.cgi?lid=2866388&kwd=willys&zip=&category=0

altoy-az

 
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1942 GPW Tucson, AZ $700

• CATEGORIES: GPW (Ford MB)

Given the slat grille, maybe this is a mix of parts? Gotta love the windshield.

“For sale 1942 ford jeep body in bad condition no title has original engine trans and differentials. It ran and drove about 15 years ago and has been sitting every since. It is a project but it is somewhat rare since it was built by ford in 1942 when jeep could not keep up with its military contract and the contract was split up to fulfill the military needs. The windshield was put on it by my father it was from a vw bug it does not belong on it . the price is $700.00 obo if interested please call five 20- four 19- 498zero thank you.”

http://tucson.craigslist.org/cto/4096412247.html

1942-gpw-tucson-az01

1942-gpw-tucson-az02

 
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Thank You Letter 2017 Alaska Or Rust

• CATEGORIES: News

alaska-or-rust-crew-2017

The Alaska Or Rust 2017 event was a great success, due in part to your support. Initially, Our goal had been to gather thirty jeeps together, but by the time we departed the list of people who wanted to go initially (more than 100) fell to eleven jeeps and twenty-four people. That turned out to be a blessing, because the size made the event more easily managed. Those that took the brave step to join us—knowing that we’d never put on anything like this—were a great bunch from all over the US and Brazil, with a wide range of experience and ages spanning twenty-two to eighty-four years old. Everyone bonded well and, even one month after the trip, we are in constant communication on Facebook. Our hope is to do another trip together, someday.

Highlights from the trip began the morning we grouped in Dawson Creek at our motel. There, a group of Canadian Mounties stopped to visit, take photos, and sign our jeeps. They even cut some patches off their vests to trade for Alaska Or Rust shirts.

2017-07-29-mounties-hugo-2

Another favorite highlight was our stop in Fort Nelson, Canada, where Todd Penney hosted a dinner for us at his auto shop, Dalex Auto, and invited folks from around the town to attend. We even landed on the front of the city’s newspaper!

2017-07-01-fort-nelson-front-page

The next day we drove to Watson Lake. There, the chamber of commerce was thrilled to see all the jeeps, so everyone lined up in front of the sign forest (with tens of thousands of signs) and took pictures. A truly unique spot!

2017-08-01-brittany-jeeps7

In Whitehorse, the main capital of Yukon, we had rooms in a downtown hotel, where people could wander by, check out the jeeps, and sign them. Meanwhile, we celebrated Hugo Vidal’s 84th birthday with a free dinner hosted by the Discovery Yukon, the tourism arm of Whitehorse. A few days later, Hugo was featured in the Whitehorse Star newspaper.

2017-hugo-whitehorse-newspaper-article2
When we left Whitehorse the next day, the group stopped for lunch at a small gas station along the Alaska Highway. As we walked inside, we were surprised to hear Hugo’s voice. An interview he’d given the night before was broadcasting all over the Yukon! You can listen to it here:

https://soundcloud.com/cbcyukon/vidal-retraces-1955-alaska-highway-journey

Eventually, we reached Alaska, then Fairbanks. We celebrated with two public meet-n-greets, one at the Fountainhead Antique Auto Museum of Fairbanks and the other at the local Jeep Dealership. At both stops we met followers of the trip and jeep enthusiasts.

2017-08-04-dealership-jeeps-lores

In terms of visibility, Alaska Or Rust served up an average of 1000 pages a day over six months, meaning readers saw your logos over 180,000 times. Meanwhile, eWillys received an average view-rate of 10,000 pages a day, meaning logos were seen 1.8 million times between April and September. Of course, we can’t possibly count all the people who stopped to admire and sign jeeps along the way, but we certainly attracted attention wherever we went.

2017-07-26-signees-otokos

Our one disappointment was that service was so bad throughout Canada and into Alaska that we could not do the Facebook Live videos like we’d hoped. We even had a radio personality along who could have done the spots well, but the technology failed us. In fact, updating the websites were a challenge at times, but fortunately, we were able to hunt down enough bandwidth to do that.

So, from all of us who experienced Alaska Or Rust, we offer a hearty thanks for your support!

2017-08-03-alaska-sign

 
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1945 MB? Reno, NV $2500

• CATEGORIES: MB

The frame may not be original.

https://reno.craigslist.org/pts/d/sparks-45-willy-jeep/6978255321.html

“Buick V6
Was running but he sat for years, missing title. Great project or scrap
2500obo”

1945-mb-cc-nev7 1945-mb-cc-nev8 1945-mb-cc-nev9

 
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Unknown Body out of California

• CATEGORIES: Body Parts, Features

Anyone recognize this body?

fiberglass-body-onepiece-unknown-mfg1 fiberglass-body-onepiece-unknown-mfg2 fiberglass-body-onepiece-unknown-mfg3 fiberglass-body-onepiece-unknown-mfg4

 
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ANSWERS to 1951 Salesman Quiz

• CATEGORIES: Features

::ANSWERS ::

Here are the answers to the Salesman Quiz.  To see or take the original quiz, click on this link.

Thanks to Colin for finding the answers.

1. There are ……….. different Willys chassis.
(1) 2
(2) 5  — 2WD station wagon and panel; 2 WD Jeepster; 4WD station wagon and panel; 4WD pickup truck; 4WD Jeep (CJ3A and M38)
(3) 6
(4) 8

2. In the Jeepster, the basic rugged frame is made …………………… to compensate for the open-type body.
(1) more flexible
(2) stronger — Jeepster frame has a huge X member in the middle for strength.
(3) more streamlined

3. Planadyne suspension provides a comfortable, big-car ride without ……………………..
(1) shock absorbers
(2) unsprung weight
(3) excessive weight and long wheelbase — Planadyne suspension provides comfort and ride without excessive weight and long wheelbase.

4. Hotchkiss drive uses the car’s ……………………………… to transmit the push of the drive wheels to the total car.
(1) drive line — Hotchkiss drive uses the driveline to get power to the drive wheels
(2) rear springs
(3) torque tube

5. A measure of long clutch-life is ……………………, and on this basis, Willys clutches are outstanding.
(1) frictional area per horse-power handled
(2) horsepower per cubic inch of piston displacement — Long clutch life attributed to frictional area per horsepower handled.
(3) area of clutch throwout bearing surface

6. The Hurricane engine’s ………………….. is in the cylinder head, resulting in better control of the temperature of the air-fuel mixture
(1) intake manifold — The Hurricane engine has the intake manifold cast into the cylinder head.
(2) carburetor
(3) exhaust manifold

7. The F-head design of the Hurricane engine permits ………………..
(1) a larger intake valve — The F-head design permits a larger intake valve.
(2) a smaller exhaust valve
(3) location of the exhaust valve in the cylinder head

8. The Hurricane engine has the high compression ratio of ………………… yet premium priced gasoline is not required.
(1) 7.2 to 1
(2) 7.4 to 1 — The Hurricane engine has the option of 7.4 to 1 compression ratio( Willys ad from 1950-51)
(3) 7.8 to 1

9. In the Hurricane engine the arrangement of intake and exhaust valves is ………………..
(1) both in the cylinder head.
(2) both in the block.
(3) intake valve in head, exhaust valve in block. — Hurricane engine design has the intake valves in the head, exhaust valves in the block.

10. On the basis of horse-power per cubic inch of piston displacement, the Hurricane engine is the ………………….full-sized American-built automobile engine.
(1) lightest-weight
(2) most efficient — Hurricane engine is the most efficient engine based on horsepower per cubic inch (.53 horsepwer per cubic inch) Divide horsepower(72) by cubic inches (134) or 75hp divided by 134= .55 hp per cubic inch depending on which horsepower rating Willys used at the time
(3) highest compression

11. All of the Willy chassis are designed and built …………….
(1) identical in construction.
(2) to do their particular transportation jobs. — All Willys chassis are designed for the job they are intended to do.
(3) with excess weight to get comfort.

12. The Willys ………………… is universally recognized as the most dependable 4-cylinder, L-head engine in the history of American motor cars.
(1) Hurricane engine
(2) Lightning engine
(3) ‘Jeep’ “Go-Devil” Engine — The Willys “Go-Devil” is the most dependable L-head 4 cylinder engine in the history of American cars. ( Hurricane was 4 cylinder F-head, Lightning was an L head 6 cylinder engine)

<======= Go back to original quiz, click on this link.

 
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4-wheel-steers

• CATEGORIES: GPW (Ford MB)

Here’s the most complete information on 4 Wheel Steering that I could find. I found it at JeepStation.com (http://jeepstation.com/main/?q=node/18). Looks like Ford built 100, Willys 50 and Bantam 50. If anyone knows more, please add info. This is likely a GPW-4WS.

BRC-40-4WS: American Bantam Jeep, 4 Wheel Steering – 50 built. (62 according to this site)
MA-4WS: Willys Military model A with 4 Wheel Steering – 50 built.
GP-4WS: Ford First model Military with 4 Wheel Steering – 50 built.
GPW-4WS: Ford Military 80″ wheelbase, Willys design with 4 Wheel Steering – 50 built.

1942-gpw-four-wheel-steering-prescott-az0

1942-gpw-four-wheel-steering-prescott-az1

1942-gpw-four-wheel-steering-prescott-az2

1942-gpw-four-wheel-steering-prescott-az3

1942-gpw-four-wheel-steering-prescott-az4

 
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1942 MB Warner Springs, CA **SOLD**

• CATEGORIES: MB • TAGS: .

UPDATE: **SOLD** Was $2500.

Not sure how much value is here. Has an interesting hardtop.

“1942 Willies Jeep. Needs work. We have extra parts.”

1942-mb-warnersprings-ca1 1942-mb-warnersprings-ca2 1942-mb-warnersprings-ca3 1942-gpw-warnersprings-ca4

 
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1945 GPW? East San Jose, CA **SOLD**

• CATEGORIES: GPW (Ford MB)

UPDATE: Pics now provided. Not a perfect body, but still looks like a great price!

Good running “ranch jeep”…some rust…runs great, good tires, frans oil filter,front hitch”

1945-gpw-mthamilton-ca1 1945-gpw-mthamilton-ca2 1945-gpw-mthamilton-ca3 1945-gpw-mthamilton-ca4

 
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1943 GPW Whidbey Island, WA $5000

• CATEGORIES: GPW (Ford MB) • TAGS: , .

Looks nice.

1943 Ford GPW all matching #’s,flat head 4cyl. 3 spd tranny.runs great,4wd.New fuel tank,new brakes,rebuilt/new radiator,new Hubs,new fuel sending unit,good tires,original top but not useable!body not in best shape,paint ok.looks good from far!not much rust for how old it is,but not perfect by all means.clutch and tranny needs rebuild!!! Great,Great runner!!! Very Rare!!!! $5,000.00 -“

http://seattle.craigslist.org/see/cto/4470182943.html

1943-gpw-whidbeyisland-wa

 
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1962 CJ-3B Demorest, GA $5500

• CATEGORIES: CJ-3B • TAGS: .

UPDATE: Price dropped to $5500.

“I am selling my 1962 CJ3B. We put this Jeep in car shows and parades every year and it is a huge hit everywhere we go. It is garage kept. It runs great and drives great. It has good tires and a newly rebuilt engine from last summer. The seats nor the paint are perfect, but this little Willys is awesome! The first 5500.00 takes the Jeep home.”

http://atlanta.craigslist.org/nat/cto/3759453852.html

 
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Year? Hotchkiss? Santa Fe, NM **SOLD**

• CATEGORIES: GPW (Ford MB), MB • TAGS: .

UPDATE: **SOLD** Was $3500.

“This vehicle needs a ground up going over. After some research it appears that this Jeep went through the French Army rebuilding program first in the early 1950’s then again in 1962. This is a Willy’s. It belonged to my father and sat in a barn back East for 20 years. The engine is seized because of rust. It is complete with all parts. It has the oversize generator and battery box between the seats for powering radios. The body has some bondo under it’s last military paint but has no rust through and is solid. Hotchkiss.”

year-hotchkiss-santafe-nm1 year-hotchkiss-santafe-nm2

 
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How to Identify a Very Early CJ-2A (VEC) Jeep

• CATEGORIES: News

UPDATE: Currently no comments allowed.

As editor of eWillys, one question readers often ask is how to differentiate between a Very Early CJ-2A (VEC) and a regular CJ-2A. The visual and timeline explanations herein should help reader better understand how the VEC evolved into the more recognizeable CJ-2A.

1945-Willys-Overland-Model-CJ2A-front-view

Claus’ 1945 VEC CJ-2A — exported to South Africa

Over the five year life of the CJ-2A (1945-1949) the CJ-2A underwent changes from time to time. Some were very noticable, such as the disappearance of the driver’s side tool indents, while others were less noticible, such as the mid-1947 parking light change.

The biggest changes were made during the first year of production (roughtly 08/45 – 08/46), hence these early CJs developed a reputation for being different from later CJ-2As. At some point, these early CJs were designated VEC CJ-2As, though who crowned as such is not known. Because Willys-Overland never officially identified the VEC as a specific model, the term does not have a precise definition nor an exact serial number. For example, I’ve seen an ending serial number of #34530 labeled the last VEC, yet the column shift wasn’t abandoned on the 2A until #38221, so maybe that’s a more natural end point? However, I’m not here to debate the proper ending point for VEC production. Instead, I just want to highlight what people new to VECs should consider when trying to identify them.

One great source of information regarding the CJ-2A alteration history is at the CJ-2A History Page. I’ve found that page very helpful in my research. While I highlight six items below, there are many other subtle changes that occur over the life of the CJ-2A. For example, this CJ-2A.com link highlights how the windshield adjusters changed. And this link from the CJ-2A Page provides a long list of minor changes and their associated part numbers.

SIX MAJOR VEC-ITEMS YOU WILL WANT TO WATCH FOR WHEN LOOKING AT CJ-2As:

1. Floating Hubs Dropped: In early 1946 at serial number #13454 Willys-Overland switched from full floating rear ends to the standard rear end. Of course, sometimes people have replaced later CJ-2A rear end with WWII military rear ends OR added aftermarket full floating axle packages to standard CJ-2A rear ends. Thus, this identifier is never a conclusive indication of a VEC.

floating-hubs-dropped

strong>2. Exhaust changed: The first VEC was reportedly built with the muffler under the driver’s seat. The muffler was switched to the passenger side from #10002 – #18638. After that, the exhaust was routed to the rear of the jeep, with the muffler located under the rear cargo area.

exhaust-changed-side-to-back

3. Square bow holder bolts on the windshield: Bolts were inserted through the windshield to afix small hangers to the windshield. These hangers were used to carry the straight portions of the soft top bows (the curved portions were intended to be stored on the side of the jeep). The bow holder bolts changed from square to round about 22XXX.

windshield-bow-holder-boltheads-vec

4. Tool indents dropped: At about serial number #29500 the tool indents were eliminated from the CJ-2A design. The tool indents can be confusing for some new jeep folks, as they are often used to identify WWII jeeps. However, most anytime you see tool indents AND a gas inlet, it’s a sign of a VEC CJ-2A. If there are bow holders (not always there), the body is just that much easier to spot.

tool-indents-change

5. Column shift dropped: At #38221 the column shift was changed to a floor shift, though apparently a column shift option was available(?).

column-shift-to-floor-shift-change

6. Steering wheel switched from spoke to resin (the photo above illustrates this change): Willys-Overland changed the steering wheel from the metal spoked version commonly found on WWII jeeps for a solid resin steering wheel. However, this wasn’t the same wheel, as WWII wheels were green, while the CJ-2As were black.

There is some debate about when the switch occurred (see this CJ-2A Page forum discussion), but it seems to have been after #18092 and before roughly #26xxx. While an official document puts the changeover at #38070, the anecdotal evidence suggests it happened earlier. No matter when it happened, if you see a spoked wheel on a CJ-2A, look closer for other VEC elements.

(Bonus) 7. Data plate changes: Anytime you see three data plates on the dash instead of one take a closer look at the jeep. The three dash system was a hold over from the WWII jeeps. Over the early life of CJ-2As there were several variations of the three plate design. Then sometime around #46xxx the three plate system gave way to the one plate motif, though that design also changed a few times. The CJ-2A.com site has a nice overview of the different plate types:

http://www.cj-2a.com/oldsite/marks/dataplates/survey

Of course, one of the greatest challenges in looking at old jeeps is the problem of part interchangeability. The replacment of later parts on early jeeps, along with additional modifications, can make identifying VECs a challenging task. Hopefully, this essay helps make the task a little easier.

 
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