HomeWillys CJ2A Jeep Q&A

This page contains questions and answers taken from the CJ2A Message Board.  Most answers are taken directly from the Message Board and may be edited for puntuation and syntax.  If you find any of the answers to be in error, please e-mail me and I will post the correct answer.  I'll be adding to this page from time to time as I clean out the Message Board and as new questions come in.  I'll also be organizing the questions into categories and providing target links.

Engine | Body | Frame | Transmission | Wheels and Tires | Suspension and Steering | Paint | Lighting | Accessories

Q:  I want to set the timing on my 1946 CJ2A and I am not sure what is the right mark: EO TC ING or IO.  Can anyone help?
A:  Timing information can be found in Your Operation and Care Manual in the timing section.

What's this?
Q:  Can anyone tell me what the silver item located behind the thermostat housing on the head of an '46 L134 engine is? It appears to have 2 spade connectors on top but mine is currently not attached to anything. I can't seem to find any mention of it in my service manual.
A:  Would you believe a heater?  Headbolt heaters were very common when flatheat engines were very common.

Q:  Can I replace the Carter Carburetor with a Solex unit?
A:  Yes.  One Message Board poster writes:  "I put a Solex on my '48 CJ2A and I love it! It bolted right up, no adjustments were necessary, and evrything I have has bolted right up to it. The original choke and throttle  controls hook right up to it. I am not sure of the air horn, my air cleaner is missing pieces, so I put a 3" round paper filter on top of the carb until I can locate the rest of the oil-bath air filter pieces."  The original poster wrote later: "As a conclusion to my Solex Carb saga I thought an update would be in order. Carb was purchased from Krage Motorsports, price was right, friendly, knowledgable and  quick delivery. Bolt holes for my application (CJ2A) did not quite line up. I reamed the holes a little to line up, used a new gasket that I had from the carter, and bolted it on. The piece for the throttle cable was not seated properly on the carb and had to be removed so the throttle could move easily. At this point I was a little worried. All other linkage and choke cable fit fine. I fired the jeep up and after warm up and an adjustment to the air mixture, it has not run better since I have owned it. Smoother idle, quicker starts, and maybe a little better acceleration. I am very pleased, air horn fit like a glove also. It is difficult getting used to the different use of the choke and a change of driving habits (Carter was tempermental and I learned to compensate), but after two days I am all set. Pertronix ignition conversion is next, ordered it today! (ps: I did not use the thick gasket and diffuser) "

Q:  I have a governor that "came off a CJ2A." It's mount does match the L-134 head bolts. Most noticible difference between the familiar types and this one is that the Front drive pulley is spring loaded against a friction disc. Nameplate data almost vanished. Anybody have any idea as to what this really is?
A:  According to the CJ2A Operation and Care Manual, the stock Govenor for a 2A was either a Monarch or King Sealey. The manual says the Monarch has an external lever on the body of the govenor to engage the unit where the King Sealey has a locking device on the front of the pulley.

Engine crack
Q:  My L-head engine has a small crack in the block under the distributor.  How can I fix it?
A:  Take it to a engine machine shop, if they don't have a welder to fix it, they can point you in the right direction.  Almost all the WW2 GPW engine blocks have a crack in the same area. There is a powder welding system out now that can repair the block and not be able to see the weld.

A:  "I had a 1946 CJ-2A column shift as a teenager from 1957 until about 1963. One of the features was a cracked block in roughly the same area as described in the Q&A above.  It seeped coolant and bothered me, so I repaired it in a simple but unorthodox fashion.  After cleaning the area all around the crack, I painted on several coats of Fiberglas resin over and around the crack.  After the resin cured, I painted the engine.  The thin layer of cured resin was flexible enough to withstand the small amount of expansion and contraction. The crack was not noticeable and never caused a problem."

Q:  I need to get new head/valve cover/oil pan gaskets for my CJ2A.  Where can I find good ones?
A:  Any local or chain parts store can get them for you in a day or so.  If they can't find them, call Walck's, Turner or any 4wd store.

Oil pressure
Q:  What should my oil pressure be?
A:  Standard gauge reading is approximately 35 at 30 miles per hour and 10 at idle speed.  See the General Lubrication Page.

Fuel lines
Q:  Does the hard line from the tank to the fuel pump run inside the frame rail, next to the frame rail, or on top of the frame rail? Are there any problems with heat from the exhaust being so close? Should I insulate the lines?
A:  The line coming out of the tank is solid but quickly turns into standard gas line hose. It runs inside the frame and is close to the exhaust pipe. I haven't caught fire yet.

Changing bodies
Q:  Will a CJ2A body tub fit on a CJ3A frame?
A:  Yes.  The 2A and 3A have essentially identical frames. Many of the aftermarket tub sare described as "CJ2A, CJ3A, MB" since they do share the same frame essentially.  If you buy an aftermarket body, be sure to get one that is model-specific.

Replacement panels
Q:  I have a '47 CJ2A with most everything good except the floor pan, which is well rusted. I am considering a replacement tub. Anyone have experience with this?
A:  There is a place in Maine called JeePanels Plus that makes all perfect repacment panels inside and out.  See  #1 207 743 7671.

Q:  Where can I get a hardtop, and how much do they cost?
A:  Hardtops are sometimes hard to find.  Check out eBay, as they sometimes have them there.  They seem to sell for between US$200 and US$500.

Body blueprints
Q:  I am looking for photos or mechanical drawings of the underside if a CJ-2A body tub for restoration purposes.  Any one out there?
A:  Check out D&L Bensinger.  They show pics of their tubs undersides.

Q:  I am trying to fix up a highly mutulated frame where most of the brackets have been cut, moved, welded, vanished, and broken etc. I was wondering if anyone has a photograph or a good drawing that shows the general location of most brackets and things.
A:  Your Operation and Care Manual contains an over head view of the frame on the Lubrication Chart.  The Service manual for Universal Jeep Vehicles CJ-2A through CJ-5 and -6 has a reasonably good image of the bare 2A frame from top and side view. These manuals are available from Turner's, Walck's, Beachwood, and lots of other suppliers. The kind of restoration you're doing would require a good manual

2WD Low
Q:  I recently rebuilt the transfer case on my 48 cj2a (Spicer model 18). I appears to me that it could be reworked to add a low range rear wheel drive only option (simple matter of omitting the interlock pin!). Anyone ever done this? Am I overlooking something?
A:  People like having low range two-wheel drive, but be careful on hills and while towing because of the extra torque.  The concensus is that as long as you are careful this is a nice modification to make.

Column shifts
Q:  How common are column-shift CJ2As?
A:  According to the Jeep Illustrated Buyer's Guide by Jim Allen, the column shift appeared on the 1945 and 1946 CJ2As, ending with s/n 38220.

Wheels and Tires
11" Brakes
Q:  Can I use 15" wheels with 11" brakes?
A:  One reader reports that he is using 15" wheels from a postal jeep,  but others report that stock 15" wheels won't fit over the 11" brake drums.  (Ref. The CJ3B Page.)

Where can I get wheels?
Q:  Where can I get wheels for my CJ2A?
A:  JC Whitney carries steel wheels for your Willys.  You may also check Walck's 4WD.

Replacement tires
Q:  Suggestions on replacement tires for military treads on a civilian CJ2A? The military tread looks great, but it is bad in the rain & ice. Any suggestions
 that preserve "the look" but are more sure footed on wet pavement & gravel.?
A:  The CJ3B Page has a section on choosing tires. They show a tire the same as an original NDT tire, but the block have a slight angle back to improve rain and snow traction.

Suspension and Steering
Leaning Jeeps
Q:  I'm told that if your jeep leans to the drivers side, you can place a one-inch block under the springs on the opposite (passenger) side.  Is this true?
A:  The CJ-3B Page has a discussion on this. Check out the Tech Tips section.

Pulling the steering wheel
Q:  How do I pull the steering wheel?
A:  Once again, The CJ3B Page to the rescue!  Here are the instructions.  Thanks, Derek!

Willys Death Wobble
Q:  Willys Death Wobble.  If I'm driving at a slow speed on a rough road, my Willys will develop a low-speed shimmy/wobble that makes it uncontrollable as the steering wheel bounces left and right.  I have to stop the vehicle and it's okay when I start up again. The '48 I owned back in the '80s did the same thing. What causes this, and how can it be fixed?
A:  There are several things to look at.  Are your springs flat up front?  How's your wheel alignment?  Check the shims in the steering knuckles.  Are your wheel bearings loose?  Is your bell crank worn out? And yes, a steering dampener works well.  Still check out other items first.

A:  "Just wanted to chime in that another very common problem is king pin bearings being worn. If you remove the kingpin and look at the cup which is pressed into the axle housing you will usually notice that it is worn ( known as brunelling , may not be spelled correctly). The cup should be smooth. This is very common on a vehicle that has lock out hubs. Since they are driven with the front axle disengaged and not spinning , the upper kingpin does not get properly lubricated. Another thing is to fill the knuckle after your rebuild with chassis lube instead of 90 weight. The only draw back is in really cold weather it makes the vehicle harder to steer initially. Hope this helps all that are interested."

If you have any information on modern formulas for the original colours, please send them to me by e-mail and I'll see that they get on the Paint Chips page.  Thanks!

Where can I get paint?
Q:  Where can I get Harvest Tan paint that's a perfect match?
A:  The respondant to this question writes: "I have found a paint distributor that has the formula for Harvest Tan. The company is PPG Automotive finishes, I believe they are nation wide. I went into the store and had  a piece of metal I cut out of my '46 hoping we could match it up, when the guy said he had the paint colors for Willys Jeep in the system I was stunned. PPG sells there  product through local distributors, the actual store I went into was Auto Color, Inc here in Chattanooga, TN. Hope this helps some jeepers out there, I know I was worried I  was not going to be able to match the orginal color."

What colour wheels?
Q:  What colour should my wheels be?
A:  Check out any color advertising you can find.  For example, period ads depict Pasture Green Jeeps with yellow wheels and Harvest Tan Jeeps with red wheels.  Red wheels also seem popular on Picket Grey Jeeps.

Q:  What bulbs are used in the parking lights and the brake lights?
A:  Lamp bulbs may be found on the Specifications Page.

Q:  Where can I get 1948 front marker lenses?
A:  You might try Walck's 4WD.  Also, they appear on eBay from time to time.

Q:  Did CJ2As originally come with a winch mounted on the rear?
A:  The CJ2A was available with a PTO-powered capstan winch for the front. From what I've seen, there are more rear PTOs than front ones. I don't know if there were winches available for the rear PTO.

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