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Reader Builds — CJ-3B Ugly Duckling Transformed by Jim

• CATEGORIES: Builds • TAGS: .

Jim writes that this one was “One of my favorites, had a lot of character. This CJ3B was a really ugly ranch jeep I found in Montrose Colorado. Ran and drove well and after I got it home, figured out a way to make use of that ugly bed extension. Every tourist and kid in downtown Durango loved this thing!”

When I saw this thing for sale, I bluntly said I didn’t understand it.  But, after looking at the ‘before’ pictures, I can see Jim took the hand he was dealt and played it creatively.  Make sure to see the pics of the backend.





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1957 FC-150 Bowie, MD $1500

• CATEGORIES: FC150-FC170-M677

1957_fc150_bowieIt’s rough, but runs.

“1957 Jeep FC-150. Runs and drives, but needs total restoration. Stock drive train and axles (F134, T-90 trans, dana 18 tcase, 25 front, 44 rear). Cab is rusty – bed is solid. Missing heater and wipers. Needs new glass all around. Recent work perfromed: Rebuilt carb.  New master cylinder. Installed 11″ drum brakes on front axle. New rear cross member. Rebuilt steering components (drag link and bell crank)”

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1951 CJ-3A Campverde, Az $2500


1951_cj3a_campverde2UPDATE:  Price dropped to $2500.

I suspect that the suspension has been modified to accomodate those tires.  I’m not positive this is a CJ-3A.

“1949 willys jeep $2500 firm it is worth every penny, runs and drives geart, original flrt head 4 banger, new exhaust, seats in brand new condition, 4×4 works great, 36″ goodyear military tires, 12 volt very relieable. call dave at 602 740 8080”

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1951 CJ-3A w/ trailer Sedalia, Mo $1200

• CATEGORIES: CJ-3A, trailer

No pictures provided.  Sounds like the jeep might be rough.

“1951 willys flat fender jeep,no motor last was set up for small block chevy,stock transmision transfer case,back yoke broken off trans,suspet it was small block chevy that twisted it off, has a newer top but some but cut slashes in the back side windows of it, doors and back window still good, comes with a 1952 army trailer w/military tires, clear titles for both, also have extra pair of milatary wheels and tires, $1200.00 can see at 416 w main street in sedalia and please call 660-221-8813”

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1948 CJ-2A **SOLD**

• CATEGORIES: Builds, CJ-2A • TAGS: .


“The good stuff and everything I’ve added, replaced, rebuilt, etc: Clear Colorado title, Jeep is turn key, start it and go, needs nothing major right now.  Original flathead 4 cylinder, Solex carb, 12 volt, rebuilt a few years ago, runs great, excellent oil pressure, no smoke etc. Original transmission/transfer case, also rebuilt, shifts tight, quiet, never does the “2nd gear pop” like so many Willys. Body’s in great shape, CJ3A windshield frame, The usual minor rust in the tool box (see picture) and at the ends of the hat channels. The rest of the Jeep’s in great shape, perfect floor boards front/back, some dents in the rear corners that someone repaired with bondo in the last 60 years….”

Below are some exclusive before pictures of this jeep:





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Upgrading / Changing brakes on older jeeps


Consider this a draft post that I’ll be expanding.

Jim mentioned in one of his emails to me that he once test drove (and purchased) a CJ-2A with stock brakes that stopped so fast, it surprised him.

cj2a-187Jim wrote, “The old guy I bought this sweet (seen to the right) all original 2A from laughed at me when I test drove it. I hit the brakes and about put my face through the glass, not normal for a Willys right? I asked what he had done, I had already looked underneath and knew it had stock drums. He laughed and said youll figure it out young man. Master cylinder was stock, brakes were stock but this thing would stop on a dime like no willys I had ever seen. Under the passenger side, I found a 1950s era huge vacumn powered brake booster, done so well it looked like a factory item, just brilliant!”

vacuum_brake_boosterThat got me looking around the internet and found a great page on the CJ-3B site about some power boosters that were offered as early accessories on CJ-3Bs. To the right is an image of a brake booster from the CJ-3B site.  These boosters were used along with the stock 9″ brakes.  There’s debate on the CJ-3B site about the wisdom of using the boosters with the 9″ brakes due to heat build up issues.   It’s an interesting solution if you only use your jeep occasionally, but probably not the best solution if you are going to use it often.

The JP website has a nice historical look at jeeps and brakes.  As puts it, “The stock brakes on a CJ-2A are frightening by modern day standards. They use a single cylinder master cylinder that has no redundancy and small drums all around. ”  So, there’s good reason to update those older brakes if you plan on seriously driving your older jeep.  There’s a variety of web page “how to’s” on upgrading brakes on older jeeps.   I’ll have to do some web searching to find the good ones, but here’s a draft list of options (and the options could vary depending on the front and back housing you run):

  1. STOCK BRAKES: Stick with your stock brakes, stock pedals and stock master cylinder.
  2. BOSTER PUMP: Add the booster pump.  Here’s info about the booster pump.
  3. SINGLE TO DUAL MASTER CYLINDER: Change your single master cylinder to a dual master cylinder
  4. 10″ BRAKES: Upgrade to 10″ brakes.  I had 10″ brakes on my Dana 44 that I pulled off a mail jeep.  I’m not sure where you find 10″ backing plates from the front.
  5. 11″  BRAKES: Put on 11″ brakes.  You have a couple options, you can use 11″ backing plates from a 60’s J-10 or redrill later-model backing plates (such at CJ-5 or CJ-7 backing plates from mid 70s).  Here’s a discussion of both options from the CJ-2A site.
  6. HYDRO-VAC: Install a Hydro-vac unit.  I ran across this as part of the sale of a jeep.  Apparently, these little devices were used on Trucks and Buses to improve hydraulic pressure. Here’s an image of one and more info.
  7. EARLY DISC BRAKES: Put on disc brakes from a mid 70’s chev truck. Here’s more information on it.  & Here’s a great overview from a Pirate 4×4 installation of disc brakes on a ’47 CJ-2A.
  8. LATER DISC BRAKES: Put disc brakes on the front from a late 70’s early 80’s CJ-5 or 7 (if you are running a dana 30).  Though the knuckles for a Dana 30 from a drum and a disc might look similar, they have slightly different outside bearings and slightly different knuckle shapes.  So, if you use a disc brake setup on a knuckle designed for drums, you’ll need to grind a little off the back of the knuckle.  Here’s one link on the subjectHere’s another Dana 30 drum to disc swap discussion.

Here’s some additional links

(Willys Brakes — Jeep Brakes — Upgrading Brakes)

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Reader’s Builds — Jim’s Barn

• CATEGORIES: Builds, News • TAGS: .

A reader named Jim has been working with jeeps for quite a while, rebuilding roughly 70 jeeps over the years. He started rebuilding jeeps by adding v8s, lifting them, and hot rodding them a bit.  Over the years, he did something unusual, he paid attention to what customers seemed to want.  The result, as you will see, is that he has taken a variety of jeeps, provided a military theme, and accessorized them well without investing large amounts of time or money.  He said he found that people seem to really respond to the military theme.  In addition, he wrote to me, “I cant stand to see an old ranch jeep neglected in some field or some backyard; I have to make it run, make it fun, and bring it back to life again.”  He’s found a great niche, has fun, and gets to collect some jeeps.  We should all be as fortunate 🙂

Here’s got 9 willys, an m-38, m-38a1, aussie land cruiser troop carrier and plenty of extra parts.  Here’s a shot of his barn.  I’ll be provided some glimpses of his projects over the next few days (I’ve run out of time tonight).  Thanks Jim!


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1948 CJ-2A West Seattle, Wa $2500


1948_cj2a_westseattleHere’s a CJ-2A that needs some work, though the nature of the work isn’t clear.  Looks good.

“This is a little too much project for me.  1948 Willys CJ2A with the following, 64 ford 260v8, new Chevy alternator, rebuilt t90 trans 3speed, resealed transfer case twin stick, stock Dana axles 5:38 open gears, 2 to 4″ shackle lift, 35″ Tires Wild Country (75% tread), new master and slave cylinder for clutch, new clutch, throw out bearing, pilot bearing, pressure plate, resurfaced flywheel, rebuilt motorcraft 2100 carb ….. ”

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White Rims Portland, Or $100

• CATEGORIES: Tires and Rims

white_rims_portlandHere’s some great looking white rims in Portland.

“5 on 5 1/2″ bolt pattern. 15×10″. Fits ’86 and older Jeep CJ’s, Willys, 1/2 ton Fords, Bronco, Scout, Samurai, some Dodge, and others. $100 for all 4. Excellent shape. Much better quality than most of what you buy now …. ”

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1947 CJ-2A Ellsworth, KS **SOLD**


1947_cj2a_ellsworthUPDATE: **SOLD** Was $5000

“my step dad passed away and now im helping my mother sell his jeep willys. not sure how long he has owned it but can tell you it was longer than 12 years. it has always been stored inside while he owned it. since him and my mother have been together in 96 it has been driven only bout a dozen times. maybe once a year. was always taken good care of. i do not know the extent of what kind of resto was done. the frame appears to have been painted at one time…..”

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1945 CJ-2A Snohomish, WA **SOLD**


1945_cj2a_snohomishUPDATE: **SOLD** Was $1700

It appears a good deal of work has been done throughout the frame, suspension and drivetrain.  It also includes a second V6.  If you can get it started, this would be a very good deal I think.  While it’s missing the driver side step, I think it that won’t slow it down in the trails.  Nice aluminum slot rims.

“To many projects, got to get rid of some. Jeep used to run would probably fire up with a little work, haven’t tried yet. This jeep is super flexy, it is spring over in the rear and under in the front. Frame has been beefed up with custom bumpers on both ends. It has a older 231 V6 with a rebuit turbo 350 automatic. Wrangler springs, 30 disc brake front end with a lockright and a 20 rear with 1 piece axles and a welded dif. Full cage, 3a windshield, power steering, full harnesses, ok tub and good full top. Have a newer 231 that goes with it. With a little work it will be a nice offroader. It has 33 swampers on it now the price above is without these wheels and tires. You can have it with them for 2200.00. Jeep has been sitting for about 5 years. It is titled with collector plates.”

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1960 CJ-3B Magalia, CA **SOLD**


UPDATE: **SOLD** Was $5200

It seems the hood overhangs the grille a little more than I would think it should.  Not sure exactly why that is.  I also haven’t seen too many batteries mounted on the driver’s side.

“Classic Willys Jeep Rare. 6 Cyl. 4 speed. full canvas top, 6 pt. roll cage. wipers, turn signals, tow bar, locking hubs, steering stabilizer, bucket seats, 31″ knobby tires on white spoke wheels with spare, Edelbrock manifold, elec. ignition, high output alternator, Headers, Dual Mufflers-exhaust pipes to tail, high volume/low pressure oil pump/external oil cooler, all gages. Garaged. No rust, Great shape.
$5200.00 OBO ”


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Readers Builds — William’s 1948 CJ-2A

• CATEGORIES: Builds, CJ-2A, Features

William, a reader from Costa Rica, contacted me this weekend with a question.  After exchanging a few emails, he offered to share his project with readers.  The 1st picture was taken in April of 2005 and the second in November of 2007.  He has made some nice improvements that have made this jeep look much better.  You can see all the pics here at  Thanks for sharing William!



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Hand Crank Heater 796-A by Stewart Warner


UPDATE:  Here’s a post of a Ypsilanti Machine and Tool Company Hand Crank Heater

UPDATE:  I’ve posted pics of Dennis’ hand crank heater here.  Here’s another from Nathalie.

UPDATE:  Here’s a video of a Stewart Warner Heater in action.

ORIGINAL POST:  I was at Josh’s when I spotted an odd device I didn’t recognize.  When I asked what it was used for, he explained it and then offered to send images of similar heaters along with a couple brochure images.  Cool stuff!



Pics of actual heaters on full post page ….

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Brian’s Warehouse Clearance


Brian’s, of Brian’s Military Jeeps Website, is clearing out his storage lockers and has a variety of things for sale.  Items include “ACCESSORIES FOR MOTORCYCLE, TRUCK, AMBULANCE, 1/2 TRACK, TANK GMC, DODGE, CHEVROLET, STUDEBAKER, WHITE, HARLEY, KAISER, AM GENERAL”.

You can view his list of items here

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1952 CJ-3A Windsor, CO **SOLD**


UPDATE:  **SOLD** Was $3200.

This jeep likely deserves a better description.  I suspect that along with tilt steering and a nice roll cage, this CJ-3A probably has a variety of other good mods.  On the downside, the large diamond plating suggests that the sides may not be in the best shape (not sure why you’d put such large pieces on the sides except for that reason).”

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Mods – Steering upgrade options for Early Jeeps


UPDATE: 08/12/2010: I’ve added a link and section regarding the rack and pinion mod implemented by Sam.

UPDATE 01/19/2010: Here is a link to the post about Lawrence Elliot’s nice little mod of the bell crank to eliminate sloppiness.  This is a simple way to improve steering sloppiness while keeping everything else stock.

UPDATE:  The picture below is how NOT to update your the steering in your jeep! I found a picture of this crazily creative solution for updating the steering mechanism on an early jeep at JP Magazine, so I’ve added it to a post I made about steering upgrades last April.  I’ve also updated this post with images from two different jeeps that installed a saginaw non-power unit within the engine compartment and can be found under section 3B.


Modifiying the steering system of early jeeps might be one of the most common upgrades around.  It often follows the upgrade of the engine to a V6 or V8, right after the jeep owner discovers how much work it is to turn the wheel while jeeping.  So, here’s my list of steering options:

1)  Keep the stock setup (but this is often impractical when upgrading to a v6 or v8).  This is a Ross worm/sector manual steering box and a drag link that connected to a frame-mounted bellcrank.

hudson_steering_wheel2)  Swap in a Hudson steering unit.  I exchanged emails with with a reader named Larry who had one of these in a CJ3B and loved it (calling it the sweetest driving jeep he’d ever owned — he planned to put one in a  1949 CJ-2A he just bought).  I’ve never tried the swap nor tried driving a jeep with the setup in place. I doubt these would work on a MB/GPW setup. (To the right is an image of a Hudson steering wheel in a jeep from Jp Magazine.)

These can still be found using craigslist and junkyards. Here’s a quote from the CJ-3B site.

“Forget the power steering and get a 1949-1954 Hudson steering set up. You can swap out the whole steering column or just machine the steering box to fit your original steering column. They both used Ross steering boxes, but the Hudson used a tapered roller bearing with a different gear ratio, making it feel just like power steering and gives you the tighter turning radius.”

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Off Road Action — Old School Off Road Website

• CATEGORIES: Other 4x4s, Website

For those of you who like old school offroad racing, Wes Kibble operates a site called Offroadaction, which he has recently revamped.  He’s got some interesting posts of his own as well as links out to some great offroad racing forums and websites.  Here’s an example of two interesting things I found:

Wes indirectly links to a very interesting article on Parnelli Jone’s buildup of his famous Oly Bronco Racer.  Here’s a before and after pic of it below as part of an interesting story on



From Wes’ site, I followed a link from a post of his to a forum at with a large number of old school racing truck photos.  One of the best was this one image of racing buggys parading down the middle of old downtown Vegas.


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1946 CJ-2A Miami, Fl $5,599


Here’s an early ’46 CJ-2A with a column shift and the driver indents.   This appears to be in excellent shape.  I don’t think it’s a bad price.  I’ve added a second pic below to show both the column shift and the state of the floor, which looks excellent.

“1946 WILLYS CJ2A, Restored 1946 Willys Jeep, new yellow paint, street legal, titled in Florida(Collector car), custom new bikiny top, new tires and tubes, fun to drive. ALL ORIGINAL. 3 speed manual, colum shift(DJ), used by mail courriers on WWll. Purchased from original owner in Colorado. Original papers to prove it. Included many NOS spare parts. Call me and check it, you will love it. I’m finishing an M38 1951 all military……”

View all the pics at Auto Trader



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1945 CJ-2A Huntington Beach, Ca **Sold**


UPDATE:  Lee just bought this Jeep. Congrats!

This restoration looks beautiful, though if this is really a ’45, then I think it should have the column shifter.  It’s beautiful and I rather like the burnt (?) orange.  The one element I don’t like is the ‘all wheel drive’ plaque on both sides of the hood.  It’s also missing the rear soft-top bars holder on the driver side.

“The vehicle IS titled as a 1943 though the serial number on the vehicle matches the code for a 1945. The transmission is a 4 speed.”


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1951 CJ-3A Scottsdale, AZ **SOLD*


UPDATE: **SOLD** Was on eBay.

This is a beautiful, well done restoration of a CJ-3A.

1951 CJ3A Willys four wheel drive Jeep. Total body off restoreration. New NDT tires. New Beachwood 1/2 top, no doors, they can be added at any time you want  (This is Az). New full top, black vinyl Best Top with doors. Just get in and drive is all you have to do. Shipping is buyers responsibility…..”


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1951 CJ-3A Montrose, Co **SOLD**


1951_cj3a_montroseUPDATE: **SOLD** Was $995.

Get this while it lasts!  This is a RUNNING CJ-3A for $995.  The body looks pretty straight with no obvious issues.

“Hard to find, 4 cylinder (original engine), 3 speed, 4×4. Engine runs, drive train & 4 wheel drive good. Needs, battery, tires, some brake work.”

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1948 CJ-2A Orange City, Fl **Status Unknown**


1948_cj2a_orangecityUPDATE: **Status Unknown** Was $3500.

Looks pretty good.

“1948 Willy’s Jeep, 4 Cyl, 3 Spd, 4 Wheel Drive, Mostly Original, Runs Great, Body Fair/Good. New items; Brakes, Wiring, Lights, Gauges, Fuel Pump, Carb. A Classic Jeep. $3900 O.B.O. Located in Orange City Florida (just south of Deland).”

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Reading about Beer Soup


world_of_caffeineOk, this has nothing to do with jeeps, but the recipe was unusual enough that I thought I’d write about it …..

One of the first things I do when I move to a new place (and I’ve moved a lot) is that I get myself a library card.  I love to read and pretty much exclusively checkout non-fiction books.  I try to read about 5 a month or 60 a year, which I suppose makes me a book worm compared with the national average of 4 books a year.  However, my reading pales in comparison to someone like Teddy Roosevelt (I highly recommend this book about TR), who even as president would read several books a day in multiple languages, reading 10s of thousands of books during his lifetime. Even more amazing, with his photographic memory, apparently he had an astounding ability to recall details of what he read even years later.

So, last night before going to sleep  I was reading a book called The World of Caffeine, a history of caffeine (coffee, tea, chocolate).  As I read through the book, I came across this recipe for something I had never heard of before, Beer Soup, a popular breakfast dish up through the 18th century.  As a former chef, an interesting recipe always catches my eye.  This recipe was unusual enough, some might say gross enough,  that I thought I’d share this treat(?).

BEER SOUP RECIPE from rural Germany in the 18th century:

“Heat the beer in a saucepan; in a separate small pot beat a couple of eggs.  Add a chunk of butter to the hot beer.  Stir in some cold beer to cool it, then pour over the eggs.  Add a bit of salt, and finally mix all the ingredients together, whisking it well to keep it from curdling.  Finally, cut up a roll, white bread, or other good bread, and pour the soup over it.  You may also sweeten to taste with sugar.”

Now you know ….

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1952 CJ-3B Markham, IL $2500


1952_cj3b_chicagoUPDATE:  Still Available

A reader submitted this great find.  As the seller suggests, this looks pretty bone stock.  I can’t quite tell if the sides of the body are rusty or not.

“1952 willys jeep, runs and drives good, good heat, is bone stock,steel top and doors(military?)good title, very recently added plow works, use it to do the drive way and to go hunting. All guages work,nice seats, many new parts. $2850.00 firm cash only in person only no trades 708-675-0990 cell or e-mail”

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