Rusty-DJ-3A Research Archives

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Rusty’s New Carb

• CATEGORIES: Features • TAGS: .

it still needs a rebuild. It’s a Carter O-1538.

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Rusty’s Windshield

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I had a chance this past week to begin taking apart the windshield. The windshield frame has only surface rust, so that’s a relief, but it does have two cracks. One crack should be easily fixed, but the other is on the arm. It is complete severed except for the cables(?) on the inside. This will be a little more of a challenge. Here are some photos:


Fractured support arm:

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Rewind — September 5-7: Our “Rusty” Trip

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Lloyd’s modified GAZ. Pretty cool vehicle.

Normally, I’m good about updating our adventures daily, but we usually don’t do these hellacious long drives (which is by design). So, this post will cover the last few days …


Almost 2000 miles to bring home and store Rusty.

On Monday morning September 5th we left Missoula, bound for Billings. we arrived at Lloyd’s place near Billings, Montana. We drove a for a few hours, cresting the Continental Divide with temperatures of 34 degrees and some thick almost-snow-like rain, making it clear summer in Montana was near an end. Wanting to avoid putting on chains, I thought it best to avoid going back through in the dark, so I my goal was to sleep Monday night at Bozeman, where we could do all three passes (the divide and the two in Idaho) during daylight hours.

We arrived in Billings in the early afternoon. By then, the clouds that had dogged us since Idaho had given way to sun and warm temperatures. When we pulled in front of Lloyd’s shop, the cross-eyed DJ was parked out front. As soon as I saw it, I was convinced it was going home with us. We hopped out and Lloyd introduce himself.

A forest fire fighter by trade, the trim sixty-seven year old man still had plenty of bounce in his step. He explained that he spends much of the non-fire months restoring/refurbing vehicles. It was both a passion and a practical way to reduce his taxable income. He estimated he restored one automobile a year.

As I looked over the DJ I asked Lloyd if he’d originally planned to restore it. He said know. He’d seen this parked at a nearby house, but the owner wasn’t interested in selling. When the owner died, Lloyd purchased it at an estate sale. He told me he’d never seen a 2WD jeep and didn’t know anything about the Dispatchers. He just had a gut feeling about it and decided to pick it up (and probably make a few dollars in the process).


One of the first things I did was try shifting the transmission. I pushed in the clutch, which had good resistance, and awkwardly moved the column shifter about (my first time using one). After some testing, it seems to smoothly move between all the gears (at least that’s my impression). Next, we opened the hood. Lloyd demonstrated that the engine spun. That confirmed I was buying it.

2016-09-06-lloyds3Lloyd’s dog “Crazy” helping me survey the underside of the jeep.

It didn’t take much more looking to see the body wasn’t quite as solid as I’d hoped, with rust a the steps and in a couple spots on the floor. Having seen other save bodies far worse, I knew we were in good shape with this one.

Satisfied, I gave Lloyd his asking price. I felt is was a fair price and I told him that. Besides, not only had he held the jeep for me without a depost, but he was generous with his time. I also hoped he’d give me a tour of his projects.

With the deal done, we pushed “Rusty” onto the trailer. Lloyd helped secure it, even giving me a few heavy duty come-a-longs to help secure my back up chains. With the jeep secure, Lloyd asked us to follow him into his shop. He had a jeep he wanted to show us. Here are some photos of the vehicles we saw. This is a Gaz on a modern chassis. I thought it looked pretty cool!


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“Rusty” Photos

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UPDATE: I’ve added engine photos to the bottom of the post.

Rusty was owned and driven (apparently very roughly) on a farm near Billings, Montana. There are numerous welds, necessary to fix the cracks that appeared. The hubcaps have all kinds of dents, as does the body, the grille, hood, and the fenders. No part seemed spared. According to Lloyd, the man we bought it from, he purchased at an estate sale. The fact was, the farmer who owned it refused to sell it while alive, so Lloyd had to wait until he died. Lloyd was told it ran until it was parked and that it was parked due to the man becoming unable to drive it. At least, that’s the story. Still, the engine spins, the tranny shifts, and the jeep rolls easily.

Glenn tells me this was manufactured in late 1955 and made available for sale in 1956. I believe the color is pine tint, not far from the sea foam green color I’d intended to paint Biscuit (before I receive the wrong color from the paint company, but that’s another story).

Here are more than thirty photos that show the good, bad, ugly. What I can’t photograph is the smell emanating from the seats. lol.


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No Updates on Tuesday

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We had a long but enjoyable day yesterday. We picked up the DJ-3A, #56337 10538. Naturally, it will needed more work than it showed, partly because whomever owned it before Lloyd beat the thing up. But, the engine spins, the column-shift transmission shifts. and it’s got plenty of original parts to make it work the trip.

We also had a great time viewing Lloyd’s creations, which I’ll feature on Wednesday, and had a great evening with Robin, who shared his collection of jeeps with us.


Yes, that front grille was pushed inward, I have some ideas for pulling it back out again.


The color isn’t quite right on this, but this is pretty close to what it should look like. I don’t believe mine came with the chrome front bumper.