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Offline athawk11

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Hawk...CJ3A 36662
« on: January 08, 2020, 10:05:14 AM »
This is generally a quiet time for the 3A/3B/DJ Page.  No trail runs, gatherings or Willys Picnics this time of year.  There are also less 'winter' Willys projects.  Speaking for myself, I've grown far less tolerant of cold weather and cold garages.

Since it's quiet, I thought I would share the story of my first Willys Refurbishment.  We didn't have a "Projects" page years ago, so I never really got a chance to tell the story.

It all started for me in 1991.  My neighbor had an old jeep sitting in his yard when I moved into the neighborhood.  He used it for hunting mostly, but as the years passed, I noticed that it never moved.  He wasn't hunting anymore.  He was getting older.  I asked him a half dozen times to sell it to me.  I really wanted that Jeep, but he couldn't let it go.






The years moved on.  I eventually moved away.  He passed away a few years ago.  I don't know what happened to this Jeep, but since then, I've wanted one.

In 2010, my wife Rachel started getting a hankering for some kind of convertible. She was fixated on a Karmann Ghia.   I threw up a ton of "red flags".  The most common concerns were "We aren't rolling in cash." "I don't know how to fix/maintain a vehicle like that."   Honestly, I had no idea how to fix or maintain any kind of vehicle.  I could do the regular stuff like oil changes, filters, new batteries, etc., but that was it.

I needed to find a compromise with Rachel.  Perhaps I could talk her into a Jeep?  It's the ultimate convertible.  It's 4 wheel drive, and I've wanted one since 1991.  I suggested it, and to my surprise, she didn't scoff at the idea.  In fact, she (not me) started to scan Craigslist for a Jeep.  I didn't know she was looking for one.  A few months had passed and I figured she had gotten beyond the desire for a convertible, but she hadn't.  She showed me this...








So, the story begins...
« Last Edit: February 11, 2020, 11:34:15 AM by athawk11 »
2-1949 CJ3As
1-1946 CJ2A

Offline aboyandhisdog

Re: Hawk...1949 CJ3A
« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2020, 02:39:29 PM »
So I guess we have Rachel to thank for OD.  Very nice!  Will we ever see her yellow jeep on the trails?  And how about Blackie?  Still waiting, Tim...
Tom


Offline athawk11

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Re: Hawk...1949 CJ3A
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2020, 11:06:28 AM »
Yes, I give Rachel full credit for ODie.  She set me on a different path that I have thoroughly enjoyed over the past 10 years.  I would have never met so many terrific people if it weren't for her.

I haven't brought the yellow 3A (Whitey) to any trail events because I don't have a top for it.  You know how dicey the weather has been on some of the trail rides lately.  Jpet is going to start making tops for 3As.  I'm thinking about getting on his docket.

I changed the name on the black 2A to "Smokey".  :(   I'll eventually have time to open that one up.  I have to keep some promises to Rachel first.  (bathroom remodels)
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Offline athawk11

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Re: Hawk...1949 CJ3A
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2020, 10:21:03 AM »
The details:

1949 Willys CJ-3A
Serial: 36662
G P W  L-134 engine with no serial number





The known history is a pretty short story.  For the 35 years prior to my purchase, the owner used it to plow the snow from his small car dealership lot in Lakewood, Colorado.  He was a shade tree mechanic and did a decent job of maintaining it.  Once the car dealership closed, he kept it, but it sat for a few years until he decided to sell it.  By the time I showed up, it was running again, and he had done a light rebuild on the T-90 transmission and TC.  We haggled a bit on price, ($1,500.00) then I drove it home.
 
That trip home was one of the more harrowing rides of my life.  It ran fine, but it didn't stop.  The brakes were horrible.  I kept to the back streets and planned well ahead of time when I needed to stop.

Like many of us, I wish I knew more of the history.  At the time of purchase, I just wasn't concerned about it.  As the first few weeks went by, I wanted to know more, but I didn't want to bother the seller.  I tried to find him a few years later, but was not successful.  I lost the original bill of sale.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2020, 10:22:42 AM by athawk11 »
2-1949 CJ3As
1-1946 CJ2A

Offline aboyandhisdog

Re: Hawk...1949 CJ3A
« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2020, 12:05:35 PM »
That's a good price for a runner.  But now I'm confused, are we still talking about OD?  'Cause OD has a lower ser. #.  This must be the 3A that became Rachel's jeep (the yellow one).  Am I right?  Smokey is the 2A, right?  Have you made any progress on the motor rebuild for Smokey?  Or are you still up to your elbows in home remodeling? 
Tom


Offline athawk11

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Re: Hawk...1949 CJ3A
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2020, 01:59:54 PM »
Hi Tom,
You might have missed my post...before this last post.  I answered a couple of your questions.

This thread is basically a look-back at ODie.  I have a ton of pictures, and thought some might find it fun to see the successes and failures through the process.

The yellow 3A (Whitey) is the fairly early 1949  3A - #13655.   ODie is a late 1949 3A -#36662 .
2-1949 CJ3As
1-1946 CJ2A

Offline aboyandhisdog

Re: Hawk...1949 CJ3A
« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2020, 02:16:30 PM »
Got it!  I always thought OD was the early 3A but see now that Whitey is the early 3A.  As I recall, we found that you, me, and Tumbleweed all have early 3A's that were likely mfg. the same month - maybe Jan. '49 as I recall.  Bruce L. (Calnderman?) has one of the last 2A's built - maybe Dec. '48 or Jan. '49.  Pretty cool!
Tom


Offline Bruce_W

Re: Hawk...1949 CJ3A
« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2020, 04:33:36 PM »
  Tom,
  Do you happen to know Bruce Lís serial #?  Dave R (Realdeal) has a very late CJ2-A too. BW
Until We Jeep Again...........

Offline aboyandhisdog

Re: Hawk...1949 CJ3A
« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2020, 04:50:05 PM »
  Tom,
  Do you happen to know Bruce Lís serial #?  Dave R (Realdeal) has a very late CJ2-A too. BW

I don't know the #, BW.  He did tell me once but, well...
As I recall, it even had some original equipment that you would normally see on a 3A.  In fact, if my memory serves, it is on a 3A frame.  I'm not 100% on that, but something like that.  It has to be one of the last 2A's and may have come off the line just before mine (14768).  He restored it about 25 years ago and it was an "all original" jeep at that time.  And he's tried to keep it that way.  He rebuilds everything!  But I know he did have to break down and put on a new volts reg. this fall.  Tried to fix the OE unit but just couldn't get it to run right.
Tom


Offline athawk11

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Re: Hawk...1949 CJ3A
« Reply #9 on: January 14, 2020, 12:47:45 PM »
I really didn't know what to do with it once I got it home.  I parked it and stared at it for a few days.  I knew I needed to fix the brakes, then get the title and license plates taken care of.

Looked to the internet and started to read.  I discovered the 2A, 3A, G503 Forums among other resources. I learned why I couldn't down shift into 1st gear while moving and how to tackle the brake issues.   I got the title transferred and the license plates.
 
I drove it (with very little confidence) over to visit a body shop guy I know.  In modern shops, they default to replacing every single panel that isn't perfect.  By the time I left, my head was spinning.  He suggested replacing every piece of sheet metal except the windshield.  I certainly wasn't going to do that.

 

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Offline athawk11

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Re: Hawk...1949 CJ3A
« Reply #10 on: January 15, 2020, 10:21:18 AM »
I mulled around for a while trying to decide what to do with this.  I liked the military feel, so I bought some camo green spray paint and went to town on it.  This could have been the end of the story.  It ran okay.  It now stopped when I pushed the pedal.  What more could I want?






Well, through multiple internet searches, I fell hard for the M38.  When I learned that the M38 was the little brother of the 3A I owned, I decided to make mine in that image. I did not want to misrepresent, I just wanted to hang tools on the exterior surface.  I mean, how cool is that?  8)




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Offline athawk11

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Re: Hawk...1949 CJ3A
« Reply #11 on: January 16, 2020, 12:03:05 PM »
The Snowball Effect...

Many of you have experienced what happened next.  My initial intentions were to clean it up, add a nicer paint job, add some M38 features, then have some fun.  The next thing I knew, this 3A was in a thousand separate parts spread all over my garage. One repair led to the next repair, which led to another...and so on.  I couldn't stop myself.  This was the first time in my life that I realized I was a bit obsessive. 

Remember too that this was in 2010.  The economy was in shambles.  I couldn't justify hiring anything out.  If this was going to happen, I was going to have to learn to do it myself.

The progression to the point-of-no-return happened slowly at first.  I knew I wanted a decent paint job, so I started to scrape, strip and sand the sheet metal.  This process exposed the first real challenge.  Rust, pitted panels, dents, disintegrated metal.









« Last Edit: January 17, 2020, 12:04:43 PM by athawk11 »
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Offline 1955CJ-5

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Re: Hawk...1949 CJ3A
« Reply #12 on: January 16, 2020, 06:46:13 PM »
Can't wait to see what happened next......could probably make a pretty good guess though.....keep the pictures coming!

Randy
1955 CJ-5, A friend for 58 years....1951 CJ-3A, a new addition. 1929 Model A Ford Closed Cab Pickup...

Offline athawk11

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Re: Hawk...1949 CJ3A
« Reply #13 on: January 17, 2020, 11:59:45 AM »
Hi Randy,
You're right, it does work out in the end. ;) 

My main reason for doing this is to add content to our site during a traditionally slow time of the year.  I have a bunch of old photos taken during the project and figure some folks might enjoy watching my failures and successes.  :)
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Offline athawk11

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Re: Hawk...1949 CJ3A
« Reply #14 on: January 17, 2020, 01:52:06 PM »
The sheet metal condition wasn't too bad when compared to some of the other Jeeps on this site. (Check out: "Too Rusty to Save?")   That said, I wasn't going to be able to leave it this way.

I needed a welder and to learn how to weld sheet metal.  Remember your first time?  Wow. I was bad at this.  I learned to stick weld years ago but this was a whole different animal.  I burned through.  I didn't get good penetration.  I didn't clean the surface well enough.  This was a brutal lesson, and one that frustrated me beyond belief. 

Eventually, things started to click.  I replaced the smaller rusted and damage spots, and slowly worked up the courage to do larger repairs.  You can see my patch panels in this photo.  Seems like there is always damage in the tire carrier location.  There was a rusty hole at the side wall support in front of the wheel well.  Also, the toolbox area side wall was replaced.  All pretty normal spots to fail after 70 years.

 
« Last Edit: January 17, 2020, 01:54:29 PM by athawk11 »
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