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Author Topic: project: crunchy roll (53 cj3a)  (Read 294 times)

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Offline Squishymonster

project: crunchy roll (53 cj3a)
« on: November 01, 2019, 11:56:42 AM »
My 53 arrived Halloween morning, along with the first snow of the year. Since it wouldn't start, I was pleasantly surprised to find a rough but functional tow bar in the cab. It is nowhere near a slop-free fit, but it did the trick for getting it towed into the barn without much hassle.

I only had about an hour and a half to get it moved and poke it a bit. It wouldn't start. Cranks, but I only got about one cylinder pop out of the whole endeavor. And unfortunately I'm about to head out on a two week vacation so this is going to be driving me nuts the whole time :)

There are several new parts under the hood. I don't know, but I get the impression that the previous owner was pumping some spare change into it trying to get it to run, and decided to cut his losses. The radiator has been rodded, the head and water pump have been serviced in some manner - they are both newly painted forest green. The block is old steel. New belt, carb, distributor, ignition switch, plugs, wires.

The carb's "cruise control" throttle and choke cables were disconnected. I can mostly make out how they work.

After cranking it a bit I started to pull the carb fuel-in line, but after getting it half off it was very clearly pressurized from my previous start attempts, so I put it back on. Spark on cylinder one was solid. Plug didn't seem wet to me, and after cranking it a few times with plug 1 out, I didn't see or smell excessive fuel in the cylinder.

There's a little nut (square head in my case) near the bottom of the carb on the side. I pulled that to see if I could detect fuel moving through the carb, but no. Behind the nut was a very small dark hole and I didn't see anything pour or spray out while cranking the engine.

I ran out of time, but inside the house I started learning some about the oil pump and distributor orientation / relationship - really neat!

This morning I quickly checked the distributor, and my cylinder 1 cable is _not_ in the factor stock location. Right now I'm thinking that I want to pull the distributor to check the oil pump notch orientation and work backwards from there.


Offline oldtime

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Re: project: crunchy roll (53 cj3a)
« Reply #1 on: November 01, 2019, 06:19:53 PM »
Is this the 53 CJ3A that was recently on CL in the KC area ?

I'm wondering because I'm hoping to find a 1953 3A that is titled in Mo.

Good Luck with it !

Offline Squishymonster

Re: project: crunchy roll (53 cj3a)
« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2019, 06:52:19 PM »
I'm not sure, but it sounds possible. I found it through willysforsale.com and its currently on page 6. Title for MO so far.

My searchtempest searches never brought it up in MO though.

I ended up paying $530 for hauling to IL. Check out uship.com if you find something further than you want to drive, and can handle the extra cost.

Offline Squishymonster

Re: project: crunchy roll (53 cj3a)
« Reply #3 on: November 01, 2019, 11:47:56 PM »
It almost wanted to turn over tonight, but lots of backfiring and exhaust. Way different from yesterday. Maybe the cold and sub freezing temps gave it issues. Also the starter sou ds line it free wheels and spins down after each attempt and that didnt happen yesterday.

It doesnt have a muffler at the moment. I might need to address that so the neighbors dont think I'm shooting at 9 in the evening :)

Offline Squishymonster

Re: project: crunchy roll (53 cj3a)
« Reply #4 on: November 10, 2019, 10:45:57 AM »
I'm out of state for another week so there's not much I can do, or is there? I ordered a muffler, tail pipe, hangers, throttle/choke cables, Nd the shop manual - all waiting at home for my return. After I I stall the muffler, I'll check the firing order before cranking it again.

I realized with about $/0 in Harbor Freight tools I could start learning how to move sheet metal so when it comes time to patch my passenger floor / tool box I wont be quite so clueless.

Here is a WIP top and bottom lid of a "lunchbox". Flatties are basically big lunch boxes on wheels, right?





Offline Squishymonster

Re: project: crunchy roll (53 cj3a)
« Reply #5 on: November 18, 2019, 10:48:59 AM »
I got home from vacation late Saturday. Sunday afternoon I had a couple of hours to work on the 3a. The 1st night I tried to start it it didn't do much at all - turned over, but didn't fire. The 2nd night it seemed completely different - it fired, and backfired loudly and often, but sounded like the timing was so far off there's no way it would run.

So on vacation I read up a lot on proper oil pump and distributor installation. First thing I did on Sunday was check the distributor. It has been installed at the incorrect orientation, I left it for now, and verified that cylinder one was wired to fire at TDC. When I saw that was correct my heart sunk a little. Luckily for me, firing order for 3 and 4 were reversed. I switched the wires and it started right up! It idled great, maybe needing a small amount of choke.

Next I needed to work out a seat. PO or PPO chopped the seat frames and mounted cloth high backs to them, they were not installed when I purchased it. Plus they were gross and rotted. I had to use the angle grinder to separate the original seat pan from the newer seat pan but I think I preserved the original pretty well.

I plopped that down loose over the gas tank, put a folded tarp on it, and sat down. I am not familiar with the transmission and transfer case levers, so it took some experimenting and a quick gear pattern search. I knew it started in neutral since I towed it to its current resting place. Pushing that clutch with no seat back is an exercise for sure... at first I couldn't get it into any gear - I could hear the gears still spinning and grinding even with the clutch pushed. Maybe it took some pumping to build up enough pressure to disengage - or something else was just stiff from non-use. After some futzing I was able to get it in to each gear properly, but it wouldn't move.

I messed with the transfer case levers, put the transmission in 1st, and she wanted to roll out, but kept stalling, like there was too much resistance to get even close to rolling (but there was some pull). I put the transfer case in lo and rolled right on out of the barn! I drove it in low in a big loop around the yard, then backed it slowly back into the barn. The master cylinder is completely out, so I couldn't go fast.

Getting her to drive without too much effort was really exhilarating. I shut her down and spent the next couple of hours finding the perfect seats. They are on order now. My next project is going to be installing the new master cylinder which the PO provided, and seeing what lines I need to splice or replace. I also found that 3 lug bolts on the front driver side are cut flush so only 3 are holding on - spaced every other lug. After I evaluate the brake lines I'll check the brake drums and decide what I need to order, including the lug bolts.

Oh, I also need to install my muffler and tail pipe... but I do love the old tractor sound.


Offline athawk11

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Re: project: crunchy roll (53 cj3a)
« Reply #6 on: November 18, 2019, 02:46:56 PM »
Congratulations on getting it started and running.
 
Keep in mind, the driver side wheel lugs were originally left hand thread.  Prior owner may not have known this, thus he snapped them off while trying to remove the wheel.
2-1949 CJ3As
1-1946 CJ2A

Offline Squishymonster

Re: project: crunchy roll (53 cj3a)
« Reply #7 on: November 20, 2019, 05:58:44 PM »
Is this the 53 CJ3A that was recently on CL in the KC area ?

I'm wondering because I'm hoping to find a 1953 3A that is titled in Mo.

Good Luck with it !

https://kansascity.craigslist.org/cto/d/kearney-1953-willys-jeep-cj3a/7010395098.html

Offline oldtime

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Re: project: crunchy roll (53 cj3a)
« Reply #8 on: November 20, 2019, 07:25:20 PM »
I kinda wish I'd have jumped on that one.
Pert nice looking 3A body on it too !
 
Sure could use a title and particularly hoping to get a Missouri titled 1953 3A.

Offline Squishymonster

Re: project: crunchy roll (53 cj3a)
« Reply #9 on: November 24, 2019, 09:08:18 PM »
I ordered some Carbeau suspension seats and wanted to see if I could find a comfortable spot to mount them. Unfortunately I dont think I can make them work without cutting the wheel wells. Theres just not enough leg room or space to get in and out. I think the main problem is the bottom back edge doesnt match the wheel well contour so I lose 2 or 3 inches.

Some * mouse chewed around the seat belt bezel and loaded the inside up with corn kernels so now I cant return them... Death to mice!

Next I switched to master cylinder prep. PO provided an unopened master cylinder. I removed the plunger from the pedal linkage, collected all the various master cylinder innies and outies, and got everything all cleaned up and ready to install. I wasn't sure how everything fit together so I did some googling. Since the front brake line is cut I need to get a few inches of line to splice in.

I also recently ordered original fuel tank hold down hardware but my tank doesnt have a rear hold down bracket welded on. I'm curious if this tank is modified or from a different model etc. Its also up on some 3/4 inch plywood and pipe strapped in with wood screws...
« Last Edit: November 24, 2019, 09:13:56 PM by Squishymonster »

Offline Squishymonster

Re: project: crunchy roll (53 cj3a)
« Reply #10 on: November 25, 2019, 11:21:29 PM »
I had 1.5 hours, plus my time at the auto parts store. I assembled the master cylinder, bench bleed, and installed it. I hooked up the rear brake line. The front line outlet has a plug, and the line needs a repair spliced in, but that will be the easy part compared to what I finished. Getting the rear line flexed in was a bit of a pain bit not terrible.

Offline Squishymonster

Re: project: crunchy roll (53 cj3a)
« Reply #11 on: November 26, 2019, 11:27:55 PM »
Ordered a single Smittybilt low back bucket seat for a cj5.

Spliced my front brake line and hooked in to master cylinder.

Sprayed the bleeder valves with rust disolves and tried to use a garbage vacuum pump. I'll have to get the wife involved tomorrow.

Shook 4 dozen corn kernels out of my new muffler, and test fit it. Death to mice.

I'm pleasantly surprised by how easy the bleeders are to access, and just plain surprised by how small a wrench they require (1/4). Luckily at least the back two opened easily so far.

Offline Squishymonster

Re: project: crunchy roll (53 cj3a)
« Reply #12 on: November 29, 2019, 01:06:39 PM »
I installed my muffler and tail pipe.

I tried bleeding my brakes, but the left rear is pushing a lot of air, then while trying the front right I noticed one of the rubber lines might be ripped through. I think I'm going to go ahead with a full replacement including brake cylinders.

I went for another ride around the house. I drove in 4x4 lo and hi. I couldn't get it out of 4x4. I hit 2nd gear hi!

Offline Squishymonster

Re: project: crunchy roll (53 cj3a)
« Reply #13 on: November 29, 2019, 06:12:56 PM »
I did actual work with my jeep today! I moved 4 bales of hay across the property over to the barn.

I read a bit about how you need to be in 4hi to get to 2wd, so even though the in/out lever was stuck more often than not, I did manage to get into 2hi for the first time. But since I still dont have brakes, I cant do much with it.

I got a couple of wrenches from the tractor store and was able to fit them over the bleeder valves on the front. Now I just need the daughter to fall asleep long enough for my wife to help.

Offline Rus Curtis

Re: project: crunchy roll (53 cj3a)
« Reply #14 on: November 29, 2019, 08:59:10 PM »
On a few occasions, I had to back up a few feet to "un-bind" the gears to get it out of 4WD.  Experiment the next time you're spinning around in the yard.
'54 CJ-3B "Green Gruntt"
Bantam T3-C