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Author Topic: CJ-3A...Maybe  (Read 338 times)

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Offline Gonavy688

CJ-3A...Maybe
« on: January 05, 2021, 09:36:19 PM »
I bought this jeep nearly 15 years ago for $50. Came with a plow and a story I can't really remember. It is a real franken-jeep. From what I can remember I think it was originally a late CJ-3A. It has a L-134 with a Willys Industrial head but it has a CJ-5 body (well several CJ-5 bodies) bolted on. At least I think its a CJ-3A with a CJ-5 body bolted on. What can I look for on the frame and/or running gear to solve the mystery?

Offline Bruce_W

Re: CJ-3A...Maybe
« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2021, 10:01:53 PM »
  Measure the wheelbase (center of front wheel [in straight ahead position] to center of rear wheel. CJ3A will be 80", CJ5 will be 81".

  See if the back end of the body sits flush on the back crossmember of the frame. CJ5 frame is longer by several inches than the CJ3A.

BW
Until We Jeep Again...........

Online Rus Curtis

Re: CJ-3A...Maybe
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2021, 09:53:31 AM »
I would certainly measure the wheelbase.  There are some other measurements that may help. 

The Service Manual (SM) frame section, Section R, will give you multiple numbers to check.  The flat fender frames are all lumped together - same dimensions.  The frame widths (no matter what model) are all the same.  For the CJ-5/6, the springs are different (from the flat fenders) so the perches will be different.  The diagonal measurements also (a bit tough with axles, body and drivetrain mounted).  Overall length (pointed out by Bruce) will also be different.  Do you have a SM to reference?

A weighted string with tape on the floor will help mark locations to make measuring easier.

I'm also betting that there hasn't been a CJ-5 with a factory installed L-head.  Therefore, looking at the motor mounts could also help.  Either a CJ-5 frame has been altered or the motor mounts look like they're in the factory locations.
'54 CJ-3B "Green Gruntt"
Bantam T3-C

Offline Mark W.

Re: CJ-3A...Maybe
« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2021, 07:11:41 PM »
CJ-5 frame is 2.5" longer from the Floor Riser to the rear then a Flat fender
CJ-5 Rear Springs are 44" Spring hanger bolt center to Shackle hanger center
CJ-5 81" wheel base Flat fenders all 80"
Both frames are the same width.
Front Cross member under the radiator on a CJ-5 is shaped like a HAT and square in cross section it is ROUND and slightly arched up in the middle on a Flat Fender (possible the 3B used the Hat shaped cross member no experiance with them.
Chug A Lug

1948 CJ2A Tub and Title
1949 CJ3A Windshield
1957 CJ5� �Frame and Springs
134L T90 9.25" D18 D25 and D44 30 spline
11" Brakes, Saginaw Steering, 12V electrical
currently in a zillion pi

Offline athawk11

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Re: CJ-3A...Maybe
« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2021, 07:13:45 PM »
It's really hard too tell with just these photos.  The frame horns have been modified.  They don't have the typical 3A contour.
2-1949 CJ3As
1-1946 CJ2A

Offline Bob W

Re: CJ-3A...Maybe
« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2021, 09:08:43 PM »
A CJ-3A frame front crossmember is round. A CJ-5 frame front crossmember is rectangular.

Just noticed that Mark W. also mentioned the same thing!
« Last Edit: January 06, 2021, 09:13:03 PM by Bob W »
Bob W

Offline oldtime

Re: CJ-3A...Maybe
« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2021, 10:02:01 PM »
The cj5 rear springs are 46-1/8 not 44.
All flat fender frames interchange with relatively minor differences between them
 Cj5 vs flat fender body mounting positions are notably different.

Offline Gonavy688

Re: CJ-3A...Maybe
« Reply #7 on: January 07, 2021, 03:42:51 PM »
Thanks everyone for the suggestions. The vehicle is up in CT while the Navy has me in MD so I'll get my father to look at some of the easier things like the cross member and wheelbase to sort it out.
Plan is to put this back to original condition...not show room condition...but like you'd find it on the farm. The frame on this one is rough. The aft end is not solid at all and the front has been heavily modified for the plow. I'll likely be in the market for a donor frame and obviously a body to replace the CJ-5 on top. I'm rolling off a sea tour to a few years of no deployments and this is my project for that time. I also have a G-518 trailer in solid shape to go along with it.
Again, thanks for the help. I'm not starting this for a couple months but I'll keep posting as the project gets going.

Offline Mark W.

Re: CJ-3A...Maybe
« Reply #8 on: January 07, 2021, 11:26:20 PM »
If those are your plans keep in mind everything CJ-5 that your wanting to do away with someone will be interested in trading for or buying. Nothing pre AMC Jeep is not wanted by someone.
Chug A Lug

1948 CJ2A Tub and Title
1949 CJ3A Windshield
1957 CJ5� �Frame and Springs
134L T90 9.25" D18 D25 and D44 30 spline
11" Brakes, Saginaw Steering, 12V electrical
currently in a zillion pi

Offline Gonavy688

Re: CJ-3A...Maybe
« Reply #9 on: January 08, 2021, 10:24:22 AM »
Thanks Mark. I should have included pictures of my father's garage so you'd know that nothing gets thrown away in my family  ;)

Offline Mark W.

Re: CJ-3A...Maybe
« Reply #10 on: January 14, 2021, 12:59:19 PM »
The cj5 rear springs are 46-1/8 not 44.
All flat fender frames interchange with relatively minor differences between them
 Cj5 vs flat fender body mounting positions are notably different.

I was giving the measurement from the Hanger bolt hole to the Shackle mount hole. Not the spring length
Chug A Lug

1948 CJ2A Tub and Title
1949 CJ3A Windshield
1957 CJ5� �Frame and Springs
134L T90 9.25" D18 D25 and D44 30 spline
11" Brakes, Saginaw Steering, 12V electrical
currently in a zillion pi

Offline oldtime

Re: CJ-3A...Maybe
« Reply #11 on: January 14, 2021, 02:55:27 PM »
My bad.
I should read slower.

Offline Gonavy688

Re: CJ-3A...Maybe
« Reply #12 on: January 14, 2021, 03:38:09 PM »
Well, it seems like I may have a CJ-5 with a L-134 transplant. My father took a look and said the cross member was square. With some research and the arrival of my CJ Mechanics Manual this was likely a 65 to 69 CJ-5...if the front body is original to the vehicle. Its obvious that the tub and windshield are not original.
So on one hand I have a bad frame with a bad tub and the wrong engine but a good CJ-5 front clip and running gear which will require a donor frame and a tub.
Then on the other hand I have what should be a good motor, tranny, transfer and axles for a CJ-3A and would still need a donor frame and body to make a CJ-3A out of it.
Making a CJ-5 would probably be easier but problem is...I already fell in love with flat fenders! I guess I have some decisions to make and some classifieds to look through  ;D


Offline SteveKfl

Re: CJ-3A...Maybe
« Reply #13 on: January 14, 2021, 04:14:58 PM »
Are you sure you don't have a CJ5 tub and windshield?  Compare yours to this one, a 1959 CJ5 nicely detailed with lots of pics... https://www.motorcarstudio.com/vehicles/758/1959-willys-jeep-cj5 
If tub and running gear is workable, maybe just changing from the "flat head" to an Overhead valve head=F-Head is all you need to complete your CJ5, or, get it running and/or sell it "as is", and then look for a Flat-fender model to buy/build.  Options.   
My Concept Roadster
62 DJ3A Dispatcher Half Top

Offline Gonavy688

Re: CJ-3A...Maybe
« Reply #14 on: January 15, 2021, 10:36:15 AM »
Steve, the tub and windshield are of the CJ-5 variety but based on the info from my Willys Mechanic's Manual they are not correct for the year that the frame and front end body lead me to believe it is. Tub and windshield are likely from a 69 or 70 CJ (wiper location, dash layout and fuel filler) while the bones should be 65 to 69 CJ-5. The 65 to 69 estimate is based on the front turn signal size (changed to larger lights in 69/70) and the lack of a cowl battery box blank and drivers side side mirror blank on the cowl that was there for the M38 when the bodies were all made the same before 1965. The tailgate is of the CJ-7 variety that was made to 'fit'.
I didn't post pictures of the *rear end end of the jeep originally but here they are and it is nasty...patches riveted into the tub, holes, bolts seemingly everywhere that bolt to nowhere, rot, rust, everything. Rear frame is also a casualty of New England winters and years of being used as a plow vehicle. The previous owner had this parked beside his garage and would fire it up to make a pass or two down his driveway when it snowed and then back it right back beside the garage to wait for the next snowfall.
Since this one set me back $50 nearly 15 years ago I am certainly not married to it. So little is salvageable (or correct) that I believe I will strip this down, keep what is useable on a flat fender, sell the rest and keep my eye out for a flat fender in need of love. Maybe an early CJ-5 will find its way to me instead. You are correct, plenty of options and I still have some time before I am settled in on my shore tour to start this up.

And yes, that CJ-5 in the link is gorgeous. But I still like those flat fenders  8)