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Patterson Runs Again .. $8000

• CATEGORIES: Features, videos • TAGS: This site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated.


I spent Saturday and part of Sunday working through some fuel system issues. What I thought was a bad fuel pump (I spent a short time on it this spring) seems to have been some kind of blockage in the line. So, I drained the tank (the updated stainless rear tank has a drain at the bottom), blew the line, then refilled with new gas and, viola, it ran. I think it just sat too long at mom and dad’s. I also replaced the old generator (which didn’t work) with one given to me by Joe-in-Mesa during our Feb visit. So far, it seems to be working.

Below is a short video clip. So, that makes 2 of 4 jeeps running! That’s progress!

The downside for me with this jeep is that I don’t fit in it well (too long of legs). it could also use an alignment. Finally, I wish the brakes stopped a little better, but that’s not a priority at the moment.

The body is rust free. You can drive it as is or repaint and restore it. The jeep includes a very rare Allstate window wash spray system and an equally rare Vacuum tank that adds power for operating the windshield wipers (one is missing a blade .. I haven’t needed to use them).

Being a convertible model, it has the original windshield with twist knobs across the top. I have nearly all the convertible top parts that attached to the body. The convertible loop only has the main bar, not the secondary bar that leaned off the back of the main bar. There is not soft top either.

The tow setup includes a towbar (not shown) that connects to a bracket mounted on the front bumper that uses stock holes, so the bumper remains unmolested.

So, if someone wants to buy this from me for $8000, contact me at d @

I’ll throw in this three axle trailer for another $8000. I bought it along with the FC Tour jeep, but I think this trailer with just be sitting around and not used much. Since we already have a tilt trailer that can handle the FC, I don’t really need this one. I can take more pics or supply more info if anyone is interested. We towed it from Arizona and, once we got the wiring sorted out, it worked great for us.


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Worked on Patterson Saturday

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I pulled out Patterson yesterday to being making a few minor repairs. You might remember (though I’d rather forget) that the driver’s side rear got a little crunched when Patterson bumped up against the UHaul trailer last fall (Ugh).

On Saturday, I pulled off the surrounding equipment, then using clamps and counter-force (slow and steady), pulled everything back together. It came together surprisingly well. Next steps are to replace the rear lights, replace the generator, and reduce the friction between the brake and clutch pedal (push one down, the other drops a little).

Once the work is done, I will put it up for sale. Do we want to sell it? Not really, but we are working on getting another vintage jeep to replace Patterson, something far cooler. Once everything is settled, I will announce it.

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Finally, All Three Jeeps in the Shop!

• CATEGORIES: Biscuit, Cosmic-Crisp-Race-Jeep, Features • TAGS: This site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated.

Yesterday, with cold weather arriving soon, I took advantage of a warm, but very windy day, to pull Biscuit off the trailer and put it on the hoist. Now, all three jeeps are in the shop.

But, before we gathered the jeeps, both Ann and her son Daniel, who has been helping us around the property, each took the race jeep for a run in the pasture.

Here I am giving Daniel a ride. Unfortunately, my long legs preclude me from shifting into second gear (that’s how tight it is). Once I fix that, I can go much faster.

Here are some still shots. First up is Ann in the cockpit:

Here’s Daniel just finished with a run around the pasture:2021-11-15-daniel-race-jeep

Ann’s stomach surgery this summer, which as helped her in numerous ways, including solving her several adverse reactions to gluten (unsure why?), has also helped her lose quite a bit of weight. This has helped reduce her over all pain and also allows her to easily fit into the race jeep. Though she didn’t drive too fast, she did have fun racing around our back pasture. Once she gets used to it, I expect she will enjoy racing at a PNW event.

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Day 2: Patterson Arrives in Pasco

• CATEGORIES: Alaska Or Rust Trip, Features • TAGS: This site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated.

<– Day 1: July 21, Alaska Or Rust Has Begun | Day 3: July 23,  Alaska Updates  –>

UPDATE: To clarify this post, I’d been spending several weeks getting Patterson ready for the trip. Like everyone else, I had to deal with last minute issues, like my front hubs getting too warm. Here’s my efforts to pull our 1956 DJ-3A from Seattle to Pasco, Washington, where we would officially start our leg of the trip with Brazilians Hugo and Fernando Vidal.

Original Post July 22, 2017: Well, folks, we are one step closer to Alaska; I successfully pulled Patterson over to Pasco yesterday. Normally, the drive takes just over three hours. However, I took the scenic, slow route, with some stops along the way to adjust my front wheel bearings. Apparently, I tightened them too tight (I thought I had left some play, but I guess not enough). I suspected this when I finished installing them on Friday, which is why I made a decision to bring along my hub puller.

About 10 minutes into my journey I pulled over and felt both front hubs. They didn’t feel hot. Then, I got stuck in stop-and-go traffic for about an hour heading eastbound on I90 (for those that know the area … from Tiger Mountain on Highway 18 all the way to the first big curve on I90 east of North Bend).


Traffic was awful!

I climbed the pass on Interstate 90, then pulled off at Snoqualmie and felt the hubs. They were hot to the touch. So, I loosened the bolts, let them cool, and had some delicious BBQ at Webbs. We’ve eaten there twice and everything that we’ve tried — pulled pork, brisket, sausage, potatoes, coleslaw and corner bread — have been excellent and surprisingly affordable!

2017-07-21-snoqualmie-passThere are worse places to hangout and eat.


Everything was delicious!

The hubs were still feeling hot by the time I reached Indian John Hill east of Cle Elum. So, I readjusted them again. About that time, a father and his sons walked up and asked about the jeep, so I had them sign the right fender.

After Ellensburg, I took the Ellensburg-Selah Canyon Road (not sure what the name is offhand) and stopped to feel the hubs again. Loosening the bolt wasn’t working, so I retrieved my tools and worked on the driver’s hub.


Nice evening and view for working on the hubs. This passenger side hub was particularly difficult.

It wasn’t easy, but I finally got one stubborn hub to give. The second hub (passenger side) was more difficult and, after breaking an older torque wrench (it was already in bad shape) I decided to leave the nut a little loose AND try some rougher back roads. It took several hours at 30-40 mph, but finally the bearing was pushed out a little. After that, I was able to up my speed to 60 mph without any heat buildup.

I made it back to Pasco about midnight feeling victorious!

<– Day 1: July 21, Alaska Or Rust Has Begun | Day 3: July 23,  Alaska Updates  –>

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Brake Cleaning & Axle Swap

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I spent a long time in the garage and now it’s the wee hours of the morning, so just a few posts today. This isn’t much of a post, but you get the idea …

I pulled the brakes and wheel cylinders off the front. The front wheel cylinders were full of crud, but the cylinders themselves, along with the rubber, were still in good shape, so I honed the cylinders, cleaned the parts, and reassembled them.


Since I have everything apart, I decided to installed a different axle. It’s clean and I’m not sure it’s every been used.



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To(w) Hell & Back

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features • TAGS: , This site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated.

Patterson looks ready for the big tow to Eastern Washington.

Claiming that Sunday was “Tow Hell” day might be a slight exaggeration, but I wouldn’t call it a winning day either. Let’s recap the last couple days as I’ve been so busy I haven’t had time to photograph some of it.

I finally got the jeep running well on Friday after determining there was an air leak in a short piece of hose (let air in, but did not let gas out). I then timed it by ear and feel, rather than diagnostics, and that seemed to do the trick. On Saturday, I built a tow setup that utilized existing holes in the front bumper. I wanted some thing strong, but didn’t want to drill into the bumper.

Once the tow setup was ready, I turned to the exhaust. I’d already had Ann go to a muffler shop to replicate the 1.5″, 7′ section of tailpipe I needed (thankfully I had an original end section leftover from one of the DJs to use as a template). I combined the tail pipe with a Walker muffler I bought off Amazon and some Oreilly’s clamps and assembled the exhaust with relative ease.

I thought we were ready to head for Pasco on Sunday morning.


The early DJ-3As has an exhaust that pretty much was straight. The only bends needed were 1) the bend on the front piece from the manifold down to the cross member, 2) the exhaust piece has to bend over the rear axle, and 3) the exhaust bends to the outside past the gas tank (not pictured). (1955 DJ-3A manual). Good luck finding a shop that had this series of bends in their shop manuals or computer!


For comparison, this is the more likely setup that you’ll find at a muffler shop (if they have anything this old). It’s a more typical setup for 2As, 3As, 3Bs, etc. This doesn’t work for the DJ, because the muffler is positioned where the rear gas tank is installed.

We spent the first part of Sunday morning cleaning up the garage. It was a bit of a mess! Once that was done, we hooked up Patterson and began slowly towing him. We didn’t make it through the first intersection of my parent’s quiet neighborhood before I realized that the jeep wasn’t tracking around the corner. When I turned slowly right, it began to turn slowly left, forcing me to hit the brakes.

What the hell? I’ve towed a number of vehicles and never, ever run into this type of trouble.

We carefully tried a couple more corners and each was the same. The jeep began to turn the opposite way. I’d have to hop out and correct Patterson’s direction. After a trip around the block, we arrived at my parent’s house once more.


Testing the tracking at a very slow pace.

I pulled out my googler, but couldn’t find anyone having a similar problem. I concluded the drag link/ross box was somehow interfering with the jeep from tracking properly. I did read were “Dr. Verne” (aka Verne Simmons) would remove his drag link to tow it, but my custom radiator made that strategy near impossible without disassembly of multiple items. I was just about ready to remove the drag link when I decided, on a lark, to unscrew the control screw(could be the wrong name for this) on the Ross box. My assumption was that this would loosen the Ross mechanism, freeing the drag link to spin the steering wheel more easily.


Me trying to work through the steering problem.

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Baby’s Got New Shoes

• CATEGORIES: Features • TAGS: This site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated.

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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Having a Gas

• CATEGORIES: Features • TAGS: This site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated.

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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My Wife’s a Genius

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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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Disassembling A DJ-3A Dimmer Switch

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features • TAGS: This site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated.

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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Proof of Life!

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On Tuesday afternoon, Patterson sprang to life with it’s new transplant!


We started Tuesday morning working through the wiring. I asked Ann to rewire the low-beam/high-beam floor switch, since much of the fabric had fallen away. That led to rewiring more of the harness than expected, which in turn delayed messing with the engine.

Once I could focus on the engine, the first thing I did was swap distributers, as Patterson’s engine had newer internals (and I knew for sure it worked). When installed, I tried starting the engine a few times, but didn’t have success. So, I rotated the distributor wires 90 degrees. When that didn’t work, I rotated them another 90. When that didn’t work, I rotated them another 90. That’s when I got the engine to fire, but not run. At that point I began rotating it a few degrees, then cranking the engine, then rotating again, so I could get a feel for which position seemed to fire the best. But, after trying this a few times, we still didn’t get it to run.

At that point, Ann suggested we try different spark plugs. I’d forgotten I hadn’t installed the ones that had been on Patterson (still attached to the head). So, we pulled them, checked the gaps, then installed them in the “new” engine. We got it to fire again, but then, mysteriously, it stopped firing no matter where the distributer was located. That was puzzling. About that time, ann noticed some heat at the generator. I suspect the regular got stuck, causing the battery to discharge into the generator, creating heat (at least that’s what I determined later of after doing some reading). So, I pulled the battery cable and let the system cool.

Once it was cool, I rotated the distrbutor back to teh position where it had fired the best, then climbed into Patterson to start the jeep, simultaneously working the choke and gas pedal. Sure enough, Patterson just needed some physical presence in the driver’s seat, because he started right up. At that point, I climbed out and played with the distributor to locate the sweetest sounding spot. (see the video on Facebook … I can’t seem to make it appear on eWillys … it lacks a muffler, so it’s a little noisy).

So, Patterson runs again. But, we discovered the temp gauge and oil gauges are not working, so those will need some attention. Unfortunately, we had to return to Pasco last night, because Ann has a doc appointment Wednesday. I accompanied her back to Pasco, as I have some updating to do to the website and need to organize the sale of some Alaska Or Rust t-shirts. More on that Thursday morning. We plan to be back in Renton early next week. My mother has knee surgery scheduled for the 5th, so we need to be around to help out.

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Looking Like a Jeep Again

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features • TAGS: This site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated.

Now, if only it sounded like a jeep. It seems the timing it off, so I’ll be working my way through that Tuesday morning. One fun fact I didn’t know … there’s no top center on an L-head. I wished I’d known that BEFORE I assembled everything. I didn’t check to see whether my flywheel has the flywheel marks.

Anyway, Patterson is all assembled. We only had one oil leak, but that was only because someone forgot to tighten the inlet line at the block. We also had a minor gas leak at the carb, but that was a trivial issue. Some plumbers tape solved that.

So, now I believe it’s down’ to timing. For those looking for a good resource on L-head timing strategies, this thread on the CJ-2A page is helpful: The also may be helpful:

Here are a few pics from the day:


This rewiring is Ann’s handiwork.


Ann also produced some seat covers that have pockets at the front for things like a phone or wallet.


The grille installed.


The radiator is installed. Just need the driver side fender installed.

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More Progress…

• CATEGORIES: Features • TAGS: This site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated.

It was a productive evening yesterday.

My wife spent her second-birthday helping me in the garage (The 25th of June is the day of her bombing .. she says it was like a whole new life after that). She’s a great help; she does any task asked without complaint. I couldn’t ask for a better co-mechanic!

It’s late, so I’ll make this short. We made good progress today. We installed the vacuum holding tank, installed the passenger seat, bled the brakes, rewired some of the frayed wires, connected the transmission and engine, and slid the power train back into place. Now we just have to re attached some wires, hoses, and tighten a few things and we’ll get to test it. Here are a few


It’s hard to leave the computer, even in the garage!


Ann’s helping center the engine.


Cleaning up after a long dirty day.

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A Little Confused …

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A couple things confused me today. In this first example, we have at top the original gasket between the intake manifold and carb. On the bottom is the replacement gasket included in a rebuild kit. As you can see, it won’t work. Is the DJ-3A intake that unique? I know it uses a Carter YF 2392, so that’s unique.


Next up, the ends for the dragline. On the left is the new end and on the right the old one. The new one is taller and has shallower slots for installing it. The old end is shorter and has much deeper slots (those deeper slots are really helpful) . Anyone know why these are so different? Between the longer end and longer springs, I couldn’t put all the parts together around the bell crank arm (and I tried). In the end I was forced to use some old and some new parts.2017-06-24-draglink-end-piece-comparison

Note the difference in the spring heights. Try as I might, I could not compress the spring enough to install an end. I changed to the old end.2017-06-24-draglink-spring-comparison

Once I used some of the old parts, I was able to get the draglink installed.2017-06-24-draglink

I also installed the dual master cylinder. The rear brake line connected perfectly. I just had to add one bend. The front brake lines were a big problem. You’d think trying to locate an 3/16-1/4 adapter would be easy, but it turned into multiple trips to the auto store, where I hunted for the right sizes with the right threads. The staffs at two different auto stores were not useful (nice, but not helpful). So, this will work for now, but I’d like to get the proper adapter and remove the connectors and line on the right side. 2017-06-24-master-cylinder-brake

Sunday morning we’ll 1) bleed the brakes and then, if all goes well with that, 2) replace the front springs and then 3) drop in the engine.


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Creating Patterson’s Transmission Crossmember

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Someone on Facebook the other day claimed that DJ-3As were made from surplus parts. As with any model during those years, there were some DJ parts used on other models. But, as with other models, there are parts unique to the DJ-3A and I’m learning more about them daily, one part at a time.

Today I spent time working on the transmission crossmember. Because finding a DJ-3A crossmember was near impossible (and since Rusty did not have a normal crossmember), I got a CJ-3A crossmember from Chris McKay for Rusty. But, I’ve decided to use the stock DJ-3A crossmember off of Patterson on Rusty and keep that jeep as stock as possible, and DJ-3A-matize the 3A crossmember for Patterson. Here are a couple pics:

dj3a-transmission-crossmember3 dj3a-transmission-crossmember1 dj3a-transmission-crossmember2

So, to make the CJ crossmember a DJ unit, I will have to remove the transfercase cup and drill several holes.

Unfortunately, as I disassembled Patterson’s crossmember I ran into a couple problems with the rubberized mount for the transmission. Here’s a look at what I pulled off of Patterson. Note how narrow the two holes are for mounting the rubber piece to the transmission (too narrow for a standard T-90 mount:


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DJ-3A Gas Pedal Linkage

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UPDATE: More DJ-3A carb info here:

On Thursday evening I spent time moving parts from Patterson’s stock, but tired,  DJ-3A engine to Rusty’s rebuilt M-38 engine so I could install it in Patterson. One item that caught my attention was Patterson’s DJ gas pedal linkage versus Rusty’s. Patterson’s appeared stock, while Rusty’s had a modified pivot point, probably the result of using the M-38 block. I decided to keep Patterson’s as it was and recreate the part for Rusty’s engine.

DJ-3A gas pedal Linkage: The linkage goes through the firewall to a pivot point on the driver’s side. When the gas pedal is depressed, a rod pushes an angle piece around a pivot, forcing a second rod upwards to a YF 2392S carb, causing the gas flow to increase.

yf-2392s-carb yf-2392s-carb2

Patterson’s real pivot piece (and it seems I misspelled carburetor in my pic).


This shows the piece after removing the parts. The pivot bolt is solid on the end with a hole for a cotter pin.


Example of what I removed from Rusty (bottom) and the bolt I will use to make a new one (top with new threads extended up it so I can add a bolt). The biggest problem with the custom piece at bottom is that it had no cotter pin. It was only held on by a bolt, which could have easily have come unscrewed as the gas pedal pivot piece moved back and forth.
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Ark-Les Switch Repair

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Patterson has a Harrison Heater, common in the early DJ-3As. Attached at the bottom of the dash is an Ark-Less four position switch (Off, Low, Medium, High) that controls the fan speed. The switch wasn’t delivering current, so I spent the day figuring out how to pull it apart and clean it up in the hopes that the switch could be resurrected.

The switch is held together by a long pin in the center. The switch also rotates on this pin. To remove the pin, the rounded edges on the pin must be drilled/pressed together/or someone modified. I chose to drill out the ends.

Here’s what it looks like to begin (not my switch .. I forgot to take this pic .. thanks to the page)


Note the small hole. That pin must be pushed out

Now, here’s my switch. It received some paint when Patterson was repainted (I believe the paint was touched up some at some point). Once I drilled out the end of the pin a little, I used the nail to push the pin through.


Here’s the other side of the pin. Now that it is sticking up, I can remove it.arkless-harrison-heater-switch4

Pin removed. I didn’t put much pressure on the pin when I first pushed it through, so I *think* the pin was already bent somehow.arkless-harrison-heater-switch5

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Good Day

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We had a good day of work on Patterson today. First up, we confirmed that all the lights, blinkers, and even the hazards work. The brake lights don’t work yet, but that’s related to the master cylinder. I’ve ordered a dual master cylinder system from R&P, which ought to solve the brake issues.

The last electronic issue to debug is the heater motor. That’s on deck for tomorrow morning.

We took a look a closer look at Patterson’s engine and concluded it needs a full rebuild. There are multiple areas of pitting on the piston walls. Examples:


Wall of piston #4. Several instances of pitting.


Pitting on #2

So, we turned our attention to Rusty’s engine, one that is marked as a rebuild. Ann tackled the cleaning of it. It was supposed to be a “good enough” job, which she surpassed.

2017-05-29-ann-cleaning-block Continue reading

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Patterson’s Vacuum Reservoir System

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In case anyone’s curious, this is how Patterson’s vacuum reservoir is setup. Based on what I’ve read, a reservoir was important if running dual wipers. The vacuum begins at the manifold, then winds down under the body.


It winds up underneath to a reservoir tucked in between the frame and the spring for the parking brake.


This is a close up look at the TRICO valve on the reservoir.


This is a not so perfect illustration of how it mounts. Because of the support channels on the floor of the body, the reservoir had to be shimmed down about an inch. The solution was a set of three nuts between the body and the reservoir. Continue reading

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Patterson Losing Its Head

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I pulled the head on Patterson last night. I don’t see any cracks in the block nor do I see any obvious signs of coolant, though there might be a tiny bit of residue on the tops of pistons 1 and 2. My initial reaction is that coolant is entering the oil elsewhere. The engine does appear to have a recently replaced water pump. Anyway installing that incorrectly would result in mixing coolant and oil??

The first two photos show how the pistons and head gasket looked right after pulling it. 
2017-05-23-head-gasket1 2017-05-23-head-gasket2


Then after pulling off the gasket and vacuuming up the dirt:

The head gasket:2017-05-23-head-gasket5

The bottom of the head:


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What the Bell Crank?

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I made an puzzling discovery about bell cranks the other day. I ordered a rebuild kit for Rusty’s bell crank. When I began assembling it, I discovered the original and new bolts were different. So, I had to use my old bolt (which fortunately was in good shape). Going back online, all the bell crank rebuild kits show the left hand bolt below (anyone need a new bolt .. I don’t). Do any other jeeps use the shorter bolt in their bell cranks?

Both of the DJ-3As have the same setup. The bolts they use lack an indent (used to secure the bolt to the bell crank mount). They are slightly shorter and 1/16th larger in diameter than the replacement crank. The DJ bolt lacks the hole at the end.
2017-05-22-bell-crank-bolts2 2017-05-22-bell-crank-bolts1

Here it is reassembled. The horizontal bolt clamps the unit together, but does not anchor the bolt.



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Patterson’s Windshield Sprayer

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One unique feature that came with Patterson is this foot pump activated windshield sprayer. This is how the bag looked when we bought it. The top was corroded and the bag was empty and dirty.  You can see the hose running from the top to the firewall.


Under the dash, the hose ran to the pump.


Here’s the whole system after the parts were cleaned up.


Unfortunately, the rubber on the pump isn’t any good. I found an NOS food pump on eBay that’s affordable, but would love to find the same pump again. Continue reading

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Fixing Patterson’s Seat Mounts And The Extra Channel

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UPDATE II: Add are some instructions (thanks Terry!) for installing DJ-3A seats:

1956-06-15-dj3a-seat-install-directions1-lores 1956-06-15-dj3a-seat-install-directions2-lores


ORIGINAL POST UPDATE MAY 2017: I’ve added a couple pics at the end and included a discussion on the extra channel DJ-3As have.

Last fall, when disassembling Rusty, I thought it was odd that the 2/3 1/3 seats had been mounted on wood blocks. I assumed this had been done by the previous owner to raise the seats.

Yesterday, I discovered that Patterson’s passenger seat was loose. When I examined it more carefully, I learned that it was loose because one of the wood blocks under the seat had broken. I can only conclude that all DJ-3A’s with 2/3 1/3 seats were mounted on wood blocks? Or maybe only the early ones?

The photo below shows the passenger seat tilted forward. The front of it is mounted in a way that allows it to pivot forward. The mounts are bolted through a piece of wood, then through a piece of cloth, through the body, and into a welded bolt. The rear of the seats rests on the two mounts at the back of the well. The long piece of wood is a well-seasoned (at least 45 years old) and stained piece of oak that will work perfect for replacement blocks.


Unlike the passenger seat, the rear of the driver’s seat rests on two posts; slide onto the ends of the posts are rubber feet. Those rubber feat sit on blocks of wood also. 2017-05-20-seats7

A close up of the rubber foot. The hole is 1 inch in diameter, so I ought to be able to find rubber feet to replace these tired ones.2017-05-20-seats8

This shows how great the floor on this DJ is.


Another angle. Blocks 1, 4, 5, and 6 were the same size. Blocks 2 and 3 were larger and screwed down to the body. The rear 2/3’s seat rested atop those blocks.


I’ve drilled cut and drilled the blocks. They are ready for installation. I plan to add a thin piece of rubber under the blocks. Once I remove the rusted end of one bolt that broke, I’ll be able to reinstall the seats.

If you take a look at wood block #1 and block #6 there’s something curious. While the body area under wood block is similar to a CJ-3A, the body area under #6 has an additional channel (btw, we’ve yet to document any under DJ-3A body channels with wood in them).

This is the passenger side with the extra channel and a welded bolt.

No channel on the driver’s side even though there is a bolt welded there. patterson-dj3a-underside3

Finally, the DJ-3As used wood blocks between the frame and transmission crossmember.



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Assembling a DJ-3A Column Shift

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Yesterday I assembled Rusty’s column shifter. In my head, I took all kinds of photos. One in particular I took (again in my mind) showed the layout of all the parts prior to assembly. Alas, somehow that photo never made it onto my phone!

The DJ-3A shifter is slightly different from a VEC CJ-2A shifter. I can’t say how much it differs from a Jeepster or wagon column shifter. But, i can say that following these VEC CJ-2A instructions were very helpful.

After laying out the parts (and not taking a photo) I began the assembly process by learning how to install the horn wiring. After looking up how to do it on a 3B (thanks CJ-3B Page!), it turned out to be quite easy.

Step 1) Thread some of my grandfather’s wire through steering shaft.


Step 2) Attach the wire to the horn wire end. In this case, I ran it through wire connector and then bent it so that the wire would not pull back out of the connector. 2017-05-20-column-shift-assembly2

Step 3) Pull the wiring carefully through the end of the shaft.  2017-05-20-column-shift-assembly3

With the wire installed, next on the list was assembling the shifter. The first step involved installing a washer, a spring, and a second washer onto the column shift tube Next, the interior shift lever must be screwed onto the shift housing. Then, slide the shift housing onto the column shift tube, pushing it far enough up so that a special metal pin can be inserted. Once that is done, you have to weld the end of the tube to the pin to secure it.2017-05-20-column-shift-assembly4

Continue reading

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Fixin’ Patterson’s Windshield

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Another item I tackled yesterday was Patterson’s windshield, specifically the twisters and a rear view mirror.

It wasn’t until yesterday that I realized Patterson didn’t have a rear view mirror. Fortunately, I had the mount from Rusty and a nearly correct mirror thanks to Chris McKay. This is before I added the mirror:


And after the mirror. 2017-05-20-windshield2

Next I addressed a couple of broken twisters. These are one of the unique features of a DJ-3A Convertible. The windshield is nearly like a CJ-3B, accept for the way the convertible top is supposed to attach to the windshield. Instead of a sliding mechanism, it uses those twisters. Two of Patterson’s twisters were broken. I had a few that I removed from Rusty (most of Rusty’s were broken), so I installed two of those onto Patterson. 2017-05-20-windshield3

The windshield is now complete and ready for a convertible top.