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What was your motivation?

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Ol' Unreliable View Drop Down
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    Posted: 18 Feb. 2019 at 10:35pm
November '77 huh Rick?  That was the year and month I got out of the Navy... heck, yer just a pup!  LOL
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rick G Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Feb. 2019 at 1:29am
It was the summer of 1975.  I was 6 years old and my family and I were living in Durango, Colorado.  My Dad worked for Telluride Iron Works and he got off pretty early in the afternoons so we were always up in the mountains sightseeing and just enjoy where we lived.  Up 'til then, we rode around in Dad's 1970 Chevy pickup (which I so wish I had now).  One day we were driving out towards Hermosa Park and spied this green and white 1955 Willys Wagon for sale.  I suppose Dad knew about it and that's probably why we headed out that way.  I don't know how much he settled on, but I knew the next day we went back out there to pick it up.  I thought it was a cool old vehicle; the smell, the sound of that Super Hurricane and the whine of the T90 hooked me for life.

It was another year later before Dad actually let me drive it. He put it in low range and I just putted around a field because I didn't know how to shift gears yet, actually I couldn't really even reach the pedals.  I could reach the gas pedal because I wore a steel brace on my leg (like Forest Gump) and it was about 4" longer than my actual leg.  Anyhow, from that day on, I have been a Willys guy.  I just loved the look and capability of the Willys.  As soon as I would get out of school each day, I would head out to the Willys Wagon and practice shifting gears as best as I could.  Awwhhh, I can still remember the smell of the inside of that old Willys....

In the summer of 1989, I became the immensely proud owner of Gus.  He was all original, except for having an old thin coat of oxidized green paint, wagon wheel spokers, and a new set of Pathfinder retreads (which stayed on him until 2014).  I keep saying I'll get around to documenting Gus' transformation on here, but I'm too busy working on him or driving him to actually sit down and post all the pics along the way.  Maybe this year...

Here's my Dad, me, and the Willys Wagon in November 1977.


Here's me, my uncle (Dad's brother), and the Willys Wagon on the same day as the previous pic.  

Well, that's the Willys story for me.  I've been blessed to have known and enjoyed the coolest vehicle in America, nay the World, since 1975.  My dad has owned just about every Willys model, except the original Jeepster, he even owned a Mighty Mite for a while.  For me, I can't imagine life without at least one Willys jeep...
1947 CJ2a #119929    "Gus"
1951 CJ3a #451-GB1-24268   “Some Assembly Required”

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote snave Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Feb. 2019 at 8:14pm
Keith sounds like you have been there. I never bought from the "new store'. The old store was a "trip". I would have been in my late teens when i picked up some stuff at American. My boss's Saturn overdrive came from there. If I remember the "layout' of the new store was as you say. 
As I write this I realize that these Jeeps we now treasure  were only 20 to 25 years old at the time. 
Don't know about the American to later auto parts stores. Ron said the family sold out and he moved on few years later. Regardless it is a small world when it comes to these little Jeeps. I imagine many of the page members ordered stuff from there. 

Still a neat thread!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Joe Friday Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Feb. 2019 at 7:41pm
Thanks Fuzz.

I suspect the bodies were ACME brand, and hanging in the high bay on the west end. I recall a 3A and a 3B.

The showroom was on the South side, and the back wall had framed copies of the original Sessions paintings used in the Jeep Ads (featured in Fred Coldwells All American Wonder)

That's actually where I got the idea to collect one of each and frame them.

If that American Auto Parts was a franchise of Gulf and Western before they converted to Big A Auto parts, the world is getting smaller. My brother Craig was the region manager that closed the location and shipped back the inventory.

Edited by Joe Friday - 17 Feb. 2019 at 7:43pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote snave Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Feb. 2019 at 5:31pm
When SE Kansas 46 CJ mentioned he bought a new frame from someone on Kansas City, I was pretty sure I knew whom he was talking about. Joe Friday is correct it was Mid America Auto Parts. I have a good "wheelin" buddy named Ron Istas who worked there over forty years ago. Originally American Auto parts they started business in KC sometime before WW2. Details and time lines are sketchy but they may have had something to do with airplane parts or supplies. Remember KC also produced Jeeps during the war effort. A steel plant was converted and they produced as far I know GPWs. The building was known for years after as the old "Ford building". 
American most likely saw the hand writing on the wall and when the war ended they procured massive amounts of Government surplus. The most popular of these was of course Jeep parts. The company was owned by the Glaser (hope I spelled that right) family. They were located down on 18th street in the heart of KC. They soon took on other vendors who produced Jeep aftermarket parts. They were a huge mail order business before it was popular. Ron says he shipped Jeep parts all over the US and abroad.
Ron worked for them for around ten years. National Auto parts out of Barstow CA purchased them and evidently renamed to suit the KC area. Thus became Mid America Auto Parts. 
Since I was raised near KC I have been to the old store. (still American at that time) A small city counter behind a large unseen warehouse was manned by an old boy named Jerry Levy. Cramped and dingy it was almost out of an old movie. You could walk in, ask for a part, Jerry would reach back behind him, bring out the part and give you the price then and there. Took longer to write this than be on your way. They had a "code" on the bins that gave the counter men pricing as they picked it up. (story for another time) 
Ron worked for them a while after the buyout. They moved down the street to newer modern type building. Sometime around the mid nineties they closed up shop. 
The following comes more from Bridog than my old memory. A disbursement company was clearing out the warehouse. Brian caught wind of it and that "leftover parts" were cheap. Brian and me went there one afternoon and perused what was left of Mid America. Two complete flat fender bodies hung over the entryway inside. They were complete from grill to tailgate. He thinks they were priced around $1,200.00 or so. Cheap even then. He found some certain Dana gears that allowed him to build two complete Dana twenty cases using the Bronco gear giving him a 2.46 setup. 
There wasn't much left but I remember a huge amount of leaf springs, gears and other stuff. Most of it still in protective wrapping. 
Sorry for straying off "thread" but Mid America helped motivate a lot of future Jeepers by being a huge source of parts nearby. The mid west location made availability possible. 

Thanks for listening.

Fuzz
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tsip 46 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Feb. 2019 at 8:20pm
Hi everybody!

I've been the owner of a 1946 CJ2A since 2001, and have been getting information from the 2A page for a long time now. I have found the discussions on this site very helpful to get my car repaired and interesting to read. Thank you all for this great page.

I was first exposed to the jeep world when I was a young boy, going on trips and hunting with my father and brother (pictured below in 1966 with a 3A). In those days, jeeps were the only vehicles that would take you to hunting grounds.



In 2001 I bought my own 2A and reconnected with my boyhood memories. It has been a joy to share this part of my life with my wife and kids, and make the acquaintance of fellow enthusiasts. Below you'll see my 2A along with my daily driver, TJ.



Thank you all,
Costas
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 3A Steve Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Feb. 2019 at 4:25pm
As a kid in the 50's thru 70's my parents used to go camping in the Southwest. Ouray was a regular stopping point. First used to go on commercial jeep tours with Buddy Davis in his stretched and propane fueled flat fenders. After he died in a hunting accident at the end of the 50's, my dad used to pleed with  Al Fedel at the now long gone Conoco gas station to rent us his white CJ3A with the Conoco symbol on the hood. This was the first jeep I ever drove (for a very short distance) when (I think) I was 14. After the jeep rental operation opened at the old Western Hotel we rented jeeps there and I drove after I was legal.

Had a 47 2A in high school. Drove it all over Southern Illinois. Friend rolled it on a gravel road with 3 of us on board on the way to a campground. No roll bar and no damage to anything other than to my windshield which crunched once and settled a few inches shorter. Sold it to a local cop who told me the engine fell out (I think he exaggerated but apparently the bellhousing was missing a few bolts).

Had a Scout after that. Drove it to Canada and to Baja. It was road capable and good offroad but it wasn't a jeep. 

Had a diversion into sports cars. Got married, had kids, retired, and didn't have another 4WD until I got a 2012 Toyota bare bones Tacoma (wind up windows). Thought that would rekindle my desire to return to 4 wheeling. Liked the Taco but perusing eBay and dreaming ended up with buying a 51 3a in New Mexico. After 4 years now the itch is scratched. Well not totally, I did pick up a 51 Willys Wagon last year in Missouri... always liked the looks of them. 

Don't know if it is the same for women but I think there is a little boy in most men that loves a jeep and the imagined adventures that go along with it.  (Yes I do like the Bronco and the old FJs and maybe even the old Datsun Patrols and even would love the v8 Scout)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Nothing Special Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Feb. 2019 at 12:54pm
Originally posted by Oilleaker1 Oilleaker1 wrote:

Don't feel bad. I own a Scout also. Wink

I don't feel bad.  I just know I'd feel better if I also owned a flattie!
Bob

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Oilleaker1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Feb. 2019 at 12:50pm
Don't feel bad. I own a Scout also. Wink
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Nothing Special Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Feb. 2019 at 12:47pm
Originally posted by Oilleaker1 Oilleaker1 wrote:

....  The Scouts and Broncos of the day were faster and more comfortable, but just weren't cool....

I suppose I could pretend to take offense at that statement (although I also suppose doing so on a flatfender Jeep site might be frowned upon Wink).  But honestly I agree with it.  With my Bronco now being 48 years old I would say that it's cool now.  But even though the '75 CJ5 I used to have was newer and (arguably) more common than a '71 Bronco, driving it with the top and doors off was just so much more fun than driving my Bronco (I often take the soft top off, but the hard doors always are on).  As I've said on here before, I can't see giving up my Bronco (it's just too good at what I have it for, family 'wheeling), but I sure hope to get another Jeep some day.  And since I already have the practical family 'wheeler, getting something older and smaller than that CJ5 is more thinkable than it used to be.  And who doesn't think a flatfender is cooler than a CJ5!
Bob

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SE Kansas 46 CJ-2A Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Feb. 2019 at 10:54am
Originally posted by Joe Friday Joe Friday wrote:

Originally posted by SE Kansas 46 CJ-2A SE Kansas 46 CJ-2A wrote:



Over the years, the mashed up frame was replaced by a brand new M-38 frame I ordered from an auto parts company in Kansas City (since out of business) and it was shipped from the Philippines.
   


If that auto parts company was Mid-America Auto parts, chances are very good your new frame was an original Midland Willys frame.

Mid America was the source of all the export model 44 10 spline front and rear axles for flat fenders that were available till about 1995?


It was Mid-America Auto Parts. I only had to make one modification to make the engine fit. Of course you know that that would be the left hand motor mount had to be relocated. If I had it to do over today I would have just replaced the front engine plate. I didn't know that at the time.

Anyway, even though the M-38 frame isn't CJ-2A original, most people don't know that and only a true flatfender fanatic could spot the modification and know what was done.

46 CJ-2A #64462 "Ol' Red"



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Oilleaker1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Feb. 2019 at 7:33am
My addiction began watching WW2 movies and Rat Patrol. I wanted a WW2 Jeep bad. I mowed lawns, shoveled snow, stacked hay, and did just about everything I could to save up money to buy a Jeep. I would drool over the old flatties during the early days of the Black Hills 4 wheel drive club events. I even rode to the top of Harney Peak when a concession "Jeep To Harney Peak" was allowed. The Scouts and Broncos of the day were faster and more comfortable, but just weren't cool. 

Not only TV had helped with the motivation, but at a younger age of 7, I was walking up a alley in Cedar Rapids , Iowa and was stopped cold. There was a Willys Jeep parked next to a garage. The old guy who owned it came out and noticed me drooling over it. It just had that look. He asked if I would like to ride down the hill to get his mail with him. I did. I liked it. 

My day came at 13 years old.  I had $305.00 dollars saved and a 1948 Red CJ2A came up for sale for $300.00. It was all mine. I had to drive it in a field among aspen trees for a few months before I turned 14 and got my restricted drivers permit. 

I kept that Jeep until I graduated from high school and needed a car to drive to college. I think I tried everything possible in a Willys Jeep by the end of my relationship with it. I still think of it. If I knew where it was, I would buy it back. 

Once you own one, and love it, you will never be able to get Jeep out of your blood. it's fatal. Wink
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Joe Friday Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Feb. 2019 at 10:55pm
I guess I'm another one of those that's going with the short version (or shortest I can make it) and hoping to update it later as I get time.

In the early 1950's my dad worked on a heads-up night vision system for the M38 at Fort Belvoir. He apparently decided right then and there he would own an old "Army Jeep" someday. In 1975 He found a 1944 Willys MB advertised in the Norwalk Hour newspaper for $600. It was in Rowayton Connecticut, and had been used for 5-10 years to deliver newspapers. Previous to that, it belonged to the Hanes Concrete Block company in Stamford. It had no rust, but was almost undriveable due to steering slop, a worn out T84, and burned valves from trying to drive at 65 mph up and down I95.


Prior to him bringing it home, I'm not actually sure I had ever heard of a Jeep, or four wheel drive for that matter. We had a 64 Corvair Convertible and a 66 Grand Prix at the time. And what the heck was a transfer case???


Anyway, I helped him work on it. I then turned 16 and asked to drive it to school. He said no. So by the time he got back from his next business trip, I had 3 in the backyard. My first was a 1949 CJ3A. It was apparently used to plow the lot at a Junkyard in Chicopee Mass. It's been over 40 years and I still remember the sellers name was Harold W. Cote. The Jeep was not very straight to say the least. I recall parking it between 2 Oak trees in the neighbors yard and using a bottle jack and 4x4 lumber to straighten the body.

(That is the brown 1949 CJ3A that now lives at Mike's thirsty dirt ranch)


I had more time than money or sense, so I kept going through the bargain hunter and trading times publications and bought 10 Jeeps the first year for a grand total of $1000. I think in 1976 I bought every CJ2A and CJ3A for sale in Connecticut.


Working on the Jeeps (initially with my dad) gave me the chance to learn how to work with sheetmetal, weld, paint, rebuild engines, transmissions, axles, and change tires. Although I eventually became a Mechanical Engineer working in the auto industry in the midwest, it was the 'hands-on' experience in knowing how things work that helped me stay employed and to feed my family.

I spent summers driving the old Willys through the Granville State Forest, and the Colebrook River Reservoir area.


When raising kids and pursuing a career kept me out of the garage, I dabbled in learning early Jeep history. I'm hoping when I retire I'll have time to work on a few of the Jeeps that followed me home over the years. Although my dad's original 44 MB was sold to someone in Long Island, I have his 42 MB and 54 M170 to enjoy with the kids and grand kids.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ol' Unreliable Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Feb. 2019 at 10:30pm
Great story, Bruce!  I think the statute of limitations has run out on the flat-top trees.  LOL
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bruce W Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Feb. 2019 at 10:12pm
OK, I guess I gotta do this. Beware - long story follows! Big smile

  When I was a young Boy Scout, 11 or 12, (this would be 1961-62) in Buena Vista, Colorado, someone got the idea that the Scout troop could go into the woods and cut Christmas trees to sell as a fund raiser. On the appointed day, we started out with a 1954 (+/-) Ford farm truck, a model A pickup pulling a two-wheeled trailer, and a jeep. I don't know much about the jeep except it was old, had flat fenders and a hard top. We had 3 or 4 adults and a bunch of Boy Scouts. We didn't get far - even before the road became a trail, we found a rock about the size of a VW Beetle in the middle of the road. All of the Scouts and adults were not able to budge it. One of the adults proceeded to destroy an axe by using it as a sledge hammer to try to bust the rock. When the boys became restless and started to wander about, the Scoutmaster decided that we needed to either turn back, which no one really wanted to do, or go on the best we could. The jeep was able to get around the rock, so we hand-pushed the trailer around it and hooked it to the jeep. We left the truck and the model A there and went on. The jeep was full of scouts, the trailer was full of scouts, and we had two scouts riding on the hood of the jeep with their feet resting on the bumper. I was one of the scouts on the hood. I guess that's when I fell in love with the famous Willys Jeep fan whir, and the sound of the transfer case singing its song. As we went on, the snow got so deep that it would often come over the bumper and push our feet off of the bumper, but that little jeep loaded with adults and scouts went on. I was more than a little bit impressed. We got to the tree-cutting site with very little trouble.
   As an aside - there were no Christmas-tree-sized trees in the area of our destination, what do we do now? No problem, I climbed a tall tree with a bow saw and cut the top off. What Fun! Climbing high into the sky to cut the tops off of pine trees! To this day, the Forest Service wonders why trees in the area have flat tops instead of being pointed like pine trees should be. LOL  Right Mike? Wink
  We wound up with the trailer piled high with Christmas trees, and trees piled high on top of the hard top on the jeep. Now the inside of the jeep was full of adults and the hood was the only place for scouts to ride so we took turns. The rest of the time most of the scouts helped to push the jeep and trailer down the trail , but not much pushing was needed. When we got back to the rock we hand-carried the trees around to the truck, the jeep pulled the trailer around the rock, and we went home. We didn't have as many trees as we would have liked to have, but we had a good time, and we made a few dollars for the troop.
  My love for the jeep was set in stone that day, as surely as that big rock blocked the road. I knew that some day I would have a jeep, and a flat-fender at that.
  Fast-forward a bit, to 1970-71 when I worked for my Uncle Sam, and spent most of my time driving the CO's M151A1 or a Kaiser deuce-anna-half for the supply sargent. I spent a lot of my idle time trying to figure out how I could have a jeep (I never heard them called "mutts" until well after I got out) for my own after my commitment would be over. I would still like to have one. One of them never killed me, although I gave them plenty of chances. Big smile
  My first jeep of my own was an M38A1, a basket-case that was missing about one basketful of parts. I bought a CJ3B for parts at a farm auction, and wound up using the A1 for parts to repair the 3B. As Pop said, "You really wanted a flat-fender jeep anyway." I have little use for a "round-fender" today.
  Now I have the jeep that my Uncle Linden owned when my Dad worked for him on the farm when I was a little kid, years before the Boy-Scout Christmas-tree ordeal. I was very young and don't remember it much, but I'm surely glad to have it. How that came to be is another story.
  I'm not young anymore, and I don't know how much longer I can keep having fun, but one thing is for sure - those old jeeps are sure as heck helping me to enjoy life!     BW
  
Happy Trails! Good-bye, Good Luck, and May the Good Lord Take a Likin' to You!

We Have Miles to Jeep, Before We Sleep.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote JeepFever Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Feb. 2019 at 10:05pm
Originally posted by snave snave wrote:

 
 . .  Mostly we Love wheelin with our family and friends. . . 
 
 
That is definitely one of the biggest motivations  . .   from the beginning it was always about the fun we had with friends and family.       For me it started with the local wheeling with friends as a high-schooler . .  later in life I took my nearly stock (except for engine) '2A on my first Jeep Jamboree in Murphy NC.   Not only were the trails like nothing I had seen before,  but the comradery and friendship of Jeepers was very infectious.   I attended at least one Jamboree-type event each year for 15 years after that.  First with a good friend,  then later including my sons as they got older. 
 
Jeeping is fun . . especially with others  
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Joe Friday Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Feb. 2019 at 9:49pm
Originally posted by SE Kansas 46 CJ-2A SE Kansas 46 CJ-2A wrote:



Over the years, the mashed up frame was replaced by a brand new M-38 frame I ordered from an auto parts company in Kansas City (since out of business) and it was shipped from the Philippines.
   


If that auto parts company was Mid-America Auto parts, chances are very good your new frame was an original Midland Willys frame.

Mid America was the source of all the export model 44 10 spline front and rear axles for flat fenders that were available till about 1995?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote snave Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Feb. 2019 at 7:57pm
What a neat thread! Knew the first time I saw it, we would have to post something. 
When we have our Rockfest every year, we have a clipboard out there for people to fill out. The only question is, "tell us about the first time you were in a Jeep" (or something close). The answers are varied and awesome. Anywhere from "as a kid" to "my boyfriend had this old Jeep". 
My father was a mechanic/welder so I was raised as a gearhead. Not particularly talented but interested. 
I built my first Jeep when I was around 13 or so. It was half as long, half as wide and half as tall. It was in essence one fourth size as a real Jeep. That point got argued a lot, so I know what you are thinking. It had a one inch square tubing frame, 8 inch wheels and a lawn mower transmission. Managed to buy a new 5 horse Briggs engine for it. It had a lot of other stuff from an old "Opal" car such as steering and brakes. I even made a two speed transmission for it. Imagine the "workmanship". Sold it before Sue and I got married. Have been trying to find it for many years but the trail went cold years ago. 
When I was 16, I built a glass body dune buggy. Imagine how safe that was! Traded it for a '42 GPW. Six cylinder, 170 Comet motor and all, got us up Antero 50 years ago. 
Even though we had some years with Broncos (see Brian's post above) we got back into Jeeps as he said in the early nineties. Haven't looked back and we ALL Love it. 
Rojo is our most recent Jeep and we enjoy it tremendously. Mostly we Love wheelin with our family and friends. 
A little side note to Brian's post. The Chiltons repair manual was the small version, cost us $7.95.
That book got us back on the Jeep track and a fair amount of friends as well. We jokingly say that little book cost us and our friends several hundred thousand dollars. Sounds "far fetched' until you do the math. 
Thanks for the time and the cool thread! Look forward to many other "motivational stories".


Fuzz
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