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1948 Willy's CJ2a Build

1946 Willy's CJ2a Build

Traded a rifle for a 1946 CJ2a.

I was surprised how un-bubba'd the jeep was. The last time is was registered was 1992.

Worse thing besides rust on it was the white marine upholstery on the seat frames, but they are in the garbage now.

My daughter has claimed it as hers

I believe the Jeep was restored or attempted to be restored in the late 80's. The original color is Harvard Red, but it was plastered with green, on the body, tubs, frame and rims. And a generous job of rubber truck bed coating was applied over the frame, and body. It is now flaking away but it did seem to help some in the rust area. The rear bed has zero Rust holes in it. Front floors not so much. The passenger side was repaired at some pioint but poorly done. The floor under the gas tank was repaired with a piece of sheetmetal and an floor drip pan screwed to the remnants of a floor.

My plans are to keep it mostly original with the exception of putting disc brakes up front and add a dual resovior Master cylinder. The rear brakes are going to stay the original 9 inchers.
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I went through the rear Dana 41. Took the cover off and was extremely happy to find out there was no water or rust inside. Oil poured out but there was thick old mush on the bottom, but it cleaned out. The Dana 41 has one small ring gear. The original tag was still on the cover 43/8... so it has 5.38 gears, which pretty much was a given for the year.

The previous owner said the lug nuts were rusted on the one wheel, but it turned out he just was trying to remove the lug nuts the wrong way. They were the original "L" marked studs. All the rims came off and the hubs came off just fine. Lots of spider webs and mud daubers in the brakes, but they were realtively clean. The brake shoes looked to have been new, and i replaced the wheel cylinders cause i had new ones included with the jeep.


New and cleaned.

I did not sand blast or anything. I scraped off the mud and dirt and rubbed it down. And will assemble it. The axle housing will get a coat of paint, just not caring much about the inside.
Got a little more done today.

I took the cover off of the Transmission. Not bad, the oil is thick and older, but no signs of water. A little rust on the splines but nothing i am worried about

I took the inspection cover off the bellhousing to see if anything was living in there but it is also real clean.

I also looked at the dana 18 and noticed that it maybe a large intermediate shaft version. I wont know until i take a tape measure to it. I am soaking the bolts holding skidplate off before i can drain all the gear boxes

I got into the front axle. The passenger side was relatively clean on the inside, but that also means there wasnt much lube in there. The Bendix and axle shaft was dirty with axle shaft had old sticky oil/grease covering it.

The driver side had a bit more "muck" inside the knuckle.

I went through and cleaned up the bearings, spindle, axle shafts and locking hubs. I ended up chasing all the bearings from the bendix ujoint since they fell out of the axle. I pressed out the old lug studs to remove the brake drums. I decided that i am going to order a set of 11" brakes from Herm, because the price just wasnt bad at all.

I tried to get inside the differential to start cleaning but i had to stop because of a stripped bolt. i didnt have an oxygen for my torch and i just could get it to heat with just the acetylin. :(

I will order the brakes this week and hopefully get the front axle done and the brake system together. Then i will order a new radiator and the mechanical side of the vehicle will be done. On to the body.


That thing is in so much better shape than mine. I know I will have to do work on the trans in mine, it likes to pop out of second (at least that is the story I've been told). Looking good.

On the transmission, if its like my rover, it needs GL-4 oil. You can get Sta-Lube at NAPA, they usually have it in stock in a gallon jug. It also comes in 1 quart, but you'll have to order it off of Amazon.
Got the knuckles cleaned up and got the last stripped bolt to come free from the differential cover.

No water came out of the diff, just some old gear oil. I need to get some cleaner tommorrow and give it a bath :)

Now i have to wait till i get the 11" brakes and master cylinder and get that front axle buttoned up and do the brake plumbing.
I patched a few spots on the frame, mainly about the passenger side spring mount, round crossmember and battery tray. I primered and paint the frame and gave a little dusting of the gear boxes and such to clean it up. Added new knuckle seals. Installed a new fuel pump. This week i ordered a new aluminum radiator, rubber hoses, brake parts and new floor pans.


Yeah the exhaust looks like crap, but it is not broken, so it stays for now.
I got some jewelry for the CJ2a from the brown Santa.
Since I accidentally hit my radiator with the pressure washer (but it was pretty janky looking anyway) I was going to get a new radiator or the Flatfender. When i had my old CJ3a i found radiators were a bit pricey for new. I was looking for the cheapest price for them and found an Aluminum replacement radiator.


It is a bit skinnier and there is no shroud

But it fits the bottom mounting points and looks real nice. Eventually i will probably spray it black so it is not as loud for the jeep :)

I found the radiator on Amazon for $189 with free shipping... and it also came with a free electric fan, which i will just put aside for a later project. So it may make the purist cringe, i am very happy and cant wait to get it connected. The upper hose i got ended up being too short, thanks Rock Auto :(


Whether it is a trailer, a cooker, a Toyota, a Jeep, or whatever, I always enjoy following your builds! Keep it up!
I'm exhausted and I read that as a trailer, a cookie, ....

I was thinking yeah, he does bake, probably makes some good cookies, then I realized it said cooker...:la:
Not that many pictures of progress, mainly waiting for parts to come in.

I installed the Intermediate CJ5 MC on the frame rail

The brake lines are run, i am waiting for two "S" lines to come in so i can fully plumb my front brakes. The 11" brakes are installed, and i replaced the rear seal on the Tcase because it didnt want to hold the oil in anymore, and i have to do the same on the rear axle pinion seal.

Today Brown Santa came and brought me the last of my goodies.

The front floor pands came in last week and today i got the sheetmetal where the floor raises front the front floors to the rear pan.
Got the Tub up in the rotisserie.
I still have to get some material to connect the ends because when the tub is flat The front side mount wants to do a wheelie on the floor.

Well got some more work done tonight. This rotisserie is the bees knees.

First i popped off the tool box. Found a mouse house. No live meeses were there anymore. It is pretty rotted so i will have to get a new one, no need to save this

Welded up the braces to support the body for me to cut out the floor

And time to cut. Even though i hardly use my plasma cutter, it was nice to just cut everything out like butter. Center riser has been removed.

I am going to cut some more out of the floor so i can slip the new center riser in, and of course clean up the existing metal for the riser to fit in. Then the floors will be next.
I got the new riser mocked in. i am not putting it in yet because i have some rust to deal with on the sides, so next up is to cut out the floors. Such shiney new metal :)