The CJ3A Page

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Topic Summary

Posted by: OnlyOneDR
« on: October 07, 2020, 04:18:40 PM »

I love reading these stories!  Keep it coming.  My 3A is in 500 pieces and my Blazer has not driven in years...
Posted by: Doug_3B
« on: September 27, 2020, 09:25:00 AM »

After the rust was mostly gone, I painted the frame with POR-15.  It sure looked nice.

I threw the grille on it because I just HAD to!

About this time, I made the decision to take the Jeep back to stock.  I went out and found a stock steering column and an F-head, both from the CJ3B Bulletin Board.  I recouped my money on the F-head by selling the SBC.  Here are the engines side by side:

I finally had a solid plan.  First up though, I had to repair the front of the frame.  The battery box and original motor mount brackets were gone as was most of the crossmember and the front frame horns on both sides.  I got in contact with a guy on the Bulletin Board who had a rotted out frame, but the parts I needed were all good.  He agreed to cut off the parts and ship them to me.  I wish I remembered his name, super nice guy.  If you look close, you will also see that the springs once again sit below the axles.  Anyway, here is what I started with on the front of the frame:

It was a little sketchy getting things lined up with that cross member.  You can see that I didn't follow the measure twice and cut once thing; it's a good thing I was working with metal and not wood.  I ended up measuring once and welding twice!

I didn't get a ton of pictures through that whole project, but here is the final result:

Posted by: Doug_3B
« on: September 06, 2020, 09:39:17 AM »

I started to bog down on this project.  Many of you can probably relate.  I just kept finding more problems, saw never-ending work, and mountains of money that would have to be spent, but didn't see an end in sight.  I bought this Jeep to drive in the mountains, and I could plainly see that I would not be driving it anywhere in the near future!  I had to get a lot of inspiration from The CJ3B Page, and a lot of help and advice from the CJ3B Bulletin Board!  A guy at work told me this Jeep would never see the road again.  That REALLY lit a fire under my butt because now I had to prove him wrong.

I got to work and cut the homemade rear tire carrier off the cross member.  Took me forever with a cutting torch.

The cross member and V brace were in rough shape.

I found a donor frame at a local junk yard.  I still don't know what Jeep that frame was from, but I took the rear cross member for my use and ended up scrapping the rest a couple years later.

Here is the new cross member welded on:

Here it is with a little bit of POR-15 on it (not the best picture):

And finally, a comparison shot - the old with the new:

In some of these pictures, you can see that the Muncie M20 transmission is now gone.  I still planned to keep the 283, but was going to adapt a T-90 to fit it.  The Muncie caused too many issues that I did not want to deal with.  I was also keeping the local stores in business buying wire wheels for my drill to bust rust on the entire frame.  I was also able to locate the serial number on the frame which is good since the serial number plate on the firewall was long gone.  Busting rust on a Jeep frame is a dirty, nasty job.  Someone should invite Mike Rowe over to work with them for a day when they've set to that task. 

Here's a shot of a much younger me doing my most hated of tasks  (trying to catch the engine on fire  ;) ): 

Posted by: Doug_3B
« on: August 30, 2020, 10:46:33 AM »

One thing that I learned pretty quickly is that with a vehicle like this, the deeper you dig, the more problems you find. I started to dig.  I think that I was still trying to wrap my head around this project I got myself into.  I had never tackled anything like this before. 

I removed the tub.  It was really, really trashed.  You saw pictures of the rear fenders. The rear floor was totally gone and had been replaced with diamond plate. The passenger side toolbox was missing and the front floors were pretty rough shape. The dash looked like Swiss cheese. I guess, like many other old jeeps, the only good part of the tub was the cowl.  I'd never do it again, but it was my only option at the time:  I took the tub off in pieces.  No matter how rough the tub is, somebody can fix it. 

The tub being off exposed more problems, and my heart sank.  This monstrosity I had sitting in my garage looked almost nothing like what I was seeing on The CJ3B Page.

This homemade spare tire and jerry can holder, let me tell you, it was solid!  Must have been 3/8" steel they welded onto the rear crossmember.

This bracket setup - maybe for a plow setup? 

Piece of steel cable between the motor mount and axle  ???

I was still trucking along on this project with no real plan other than to get it on the road as quickly as possible.

Posted by: Doug_3B
« on: August 28, 2020, 02:32:49 PM »

Wow! I didn't remember all this.  Good idea transferring from the old site!  I wished I'd taken pictures of mine right after purchase.....

I hope some more people decide to do this Rus.  There were some amazing builds documented.  Seems like we lost a lot of people in the last forum move  :(
Posted by: Rus Curtis
« on: August 28, 2020, 10:15:58 AM »

Wow! I didn't remember all this.  Good idea transferring from the old site!  I wished I'd taken pictures of mine right after purchase.....
Posted by: Doug_3B
« on: August 28, 2020, 03:23:46 AM »

Here are a few more pictures after I got it home.  Sorry for the poor quality, these were taken with a 35mm, sent to the store to get developed, and several years later, scanned into the computer LOL

Grille moved forward to make room for a 283 SBC:

The amount of holes in the dash, to this day, boggles my mind and the wiring behind the dash was nothing short of atrocious.

If you run out of room for the battery under the hood, I guess the next best place is to just sit it on the passenger floor - near the fuel can between the seats.

Here is a shot of the drivers floor. You can see that it was cut up pretty bad to fit in the Muncie M20 4 speed transmission. The original floor was cut out under that raised piece of aluminum to allow more brake pedal travel.

Those are just a few photos showing a few select areas of the Jeep.  Believe me, everywhere you looked, more problems showed up!

I found that the coil went bad for whatever reason and that is why it wouldn't start when we got it home. I replaced that and got it running. After a short, but hair raising trip down the block and back, I was VERY uncomfortable driving the jeep. It was loud, the steering wheel felt like it was going to come off in my hand, and between the modified drive train and the spring over lift, felt very unstable. I pulled back into the driveway just as my wife came out of the house at the exact moment to see the headlight ring fall off. She thought it was humorous and ended up naming the jeep "The Bondo King."

After that outing, I knew that I had to do something with it since I wasn't comfortable driving it. Without a real plan, I decided to to tear into it and find out exactly what was going on under the surface.

I removed the roll cage and cringed to find what it had been resting on on the rear fenders.

Good thing I didn't roll it when I drove it down the street
Posted by: Doug_3B
« on: August 28, 2020, 03:01:47 AM »

I just looked on the old 3B Board, and there are a lot of build threads on there.  I hope some others take the time to move their threads over before they're lost.  There are a lot of awesome transformations documented there!  I am going to copy/paste from the previous build thread, and edit just what I feel needs to be edited.

I was first introduced to CJ3Bs when I was a kid.  My Dad had one - I believe a 1958.  From what he told me, the 3B body sat on a CJ5 frame and had the V6 Dauntless.  I vaguely remember riding in it when I was 4 or 5.  I remember running his trap line with him in the 3B during the winter.  By the time I was 6 or 7, Dad's 3B sat unused and slowly rusted away over the years.

My 3B went from a hacked up trail rig to a fairly stock machine. I tend to get a little long winded some time, so if it gets too boring, let me know or just ignore the writing and enjoy the pics. Hopefully someone can learn something from some of the bonehead stuff I did and I hope everyone else enjoys the pics.  I bought my 3B, my first jeep, in October 2005 on eBay. Looking back on it, it was a pretty bad deal. I will think long and hard before buying another vehicle without seeing it in person.  What can I say - I had been reading A LOT on The CJ3B Page and I had the fever!!

Being the brilliant person I am, I waited until I had sold my truck to decide to buy a jeep that would require a truck and trailer to tow it home. Luckily my good friend was all up for a road trip - all 1600 miles worth  Mountain Home, ID to Denver, CO. We drove straight there, losing a serpentine belt on the truck in the Middle-of-Nowhere, Wyoming!!

Upon seeing the jeep in person, my heart SANK. I was very disappointed to say the least, as it looked MUCH worse than the pictures. But, I had committed to the buy and we had driven all that way, so I became the owner of this bad boy. These are actual pictures from eBay:

After completing the paperwork for title transfer and sale, we loaded up the jeep (it actually ran and drove onto the trailer). This was about 7pm, we had been on the road since about 6am. We decided to head straight back home and all went well until we hit Cheyenne, WY. While stopped for fuel, we discovered that we had a flat on the trailer. Try finding a place to have a tire changed at about 10pm on a Friday night. We did, though. That was the last problem we encountered until we tried to unload the jeep.

The jeep would not start when we tried to take it off the trailer. There was no ignition switch, just 2 toggle switches and a push button to start. We ended up pushing it off the trailer and into the garage - a single stall garage that, per the landlord, no major automotive work was to be performed in.
Posted by: Rus Curtis
« on: August 27, 2020, 08:01:39 PM »


Looking Forward to it!
Posted by: Doug_3B
« on: August 27, 2020, 05:51:27 PM »

I am going to re-do my build thread onto this site.  It is the third build thread for this jeep, but the other sites are now unused and the links to photobucket are dead since I pulled all of my photos from there.  I've had my CJ3B since 2005.  My life has gone through many changes since then:  at least 5 moves, a divorce, remarriage, bought and sold a '69 Bronco, bought and sold a '69 CJ5, bought and sold numerous other vehicles, bought and absolutely love a '91 YJ, neglected the old 3B, thought of selling the 3B, and most recently, re-found my love for the old girl.  She has remained by my side and one of the only constants in my life for the past 15 years.

Since she sat, mostly unused, for much of 2+ years, I now have a list of things to do on her as long as my arm.  I'd like to ensure that everything is documented, from the beginning, in one location.

I'll post more later!