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Calling all Leftys!

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Holy Toledo View Drop Down
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    Posted: 01 Aug. 2010 at 2:46pm

Hello All,

    I took the opportunity this weekend to investigate a 2a that I have been watching sit for a few years.  What I discovered was a 1948 "Lefty" 2a.  I have read a few interesting postings about WO factory reversing the 2a's spare tire mount and bow pockets here on this Forum, but seeing one up close has gotten my curiosity aroused. 

   Per the Willys Overland Service Bulletin #48-27 titled "Vehicle Changes and Information" dated May 25, 1948, notice was sent to all distributers and dealers of a change in spare tire mounting location.  For a short period of time, March, 3rd through April,14th of 1948,  the factory switched the normal location of the spare tire mount to the driver-side which in turn necessitated the bow pockets to be moved to the passenger-side.  Here is the direct link to the document that I am paraphrasing from.

 

    http://www.thecj2apage.com/forums/forum_posts.asp?TID=8144&title=service-bulletins

 

  This quirky production change as the result of unidentified state laws have left me with a few unanswered questions and wanting to know more about a Lefty.  I was hoping existing Lefty owners and the other 2a owners may have leads, if not the answers to these and future questions.

 

 1.  What States and which laws made the switch inevitable for WO?  What's the rationale behind  the law(s)? Is it for the safety of walking pedestrians, the extended arms of parallel-parked drivers hand-signaling to pull out, or bicyclist riding to close with or against traffic?

              

 2.  What changed after April 14, 1948 to move the spare back to the original location?  The laws or the WO executives mindset?

              

 3.  How many Leftys are still out there as of today, working or otherwise?

              

 4.  Who has a Lefty 2a that falls outside ("with some exceptions") the serial # range of 176,061  through 185,769?

              

 5.  Who has an example (pictures) of the WO factory option, part # 670504, for a tailgate mounted spare tire kit?   

              

 6.  If you have a Lefty, would you say the additional weight of the spare adds more to the existing "Willys Lean" to the driver's side?

 

 Thanks for the help.   

Joel
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Holy Toledo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Aug. 2010 at 8:27pm
While trying to have some of my questions answered on the what states had motor vehicle laws that created the 2a "Leftys", I came across this bit of information on this web site.

 

               www.allpar.com/history/plymouth/1946.../plymouth-2.html

 

  The web site dealt with post-World War II conditions consumers and manufacturers of automobiles had to operate under.  The conditions that produced shortages of automobiles were the result of material shortages, lack of solid management direction, black market scalping of dealer waiting lists, and the sufficient time necessary to switch over from war material production.  What I found interesting was possibly a reason why we see early production photos of 2a's with only a steel wheel mounted to the spare tire carrier.  I quote this web site,

 

               " Government regulations dictated that spare tires and tubes could not be shipped

               with cars, including dealer drive-aways, a regulation that was lifted in December        
               1946”.

 

    If we can believe the research of the author of this web site, the Federal government, along with it price controls imposed upon the automobile industry was attempting to ration rubber well after V-J Day.  This spare tire and tube regulation will help date the photos of Jeeps without rubber spare tires on their spare steel wheels.  Here is example of a digital photo from the Los Angeles Public Library with out a date available.  Another photo in the series stated that local Willys dealers had supplied the Jeeps for the Orange Airlift.

 
  The caption to this picture reads, "Thousands of oranges were en route East by air today as a surprise greeting from California Elks to New York City, where the lodge's annual convention is in progress. The California delegation, riding in a fleet of Jeeps, will toss the oranges to crowds lining the parade route down Fifth Avenue tomorrow. Here preparing the oranges for shipment are Stephen A. Compas (AKA. William Frawley or Fred Mertz with pith helmet), past president of the California State Elks Association; Don Johnson and Elks band majorettes, Dorothy Rounds and Dolores Himebaught (right)".


Edited by Holy Toledo - 04 Aug. 2010 at 9:16am
Joel
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote p3ferris Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Aug. 2010 at 9:10pm
1. I do not know the states,it was because of possibility of hitting pedestrians.
2. The law was repealed because they decided it would make it imposable for other vehicles that would come into the states to adhear to the law. So I was told
3. mine ,WFB, and about couple dozen That I have heard about on another post here.
4.???   5.
6. Mine does not seem to do so.
Ed
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ricksslatts Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Aug. 2010 at 7:46pm

Hey, Holy Toledo  You asked about serial numbers that fall outside of the serial #s of leftys.....well I have firewall tag # 173313, with matching acm tub and tailgate #172465. Its a true "Lefty" So I guess they must have made a few leftys much earlier than what the production #s suggest. It even has the original engine I think. 193xxx is all that I can remember of the engine #.

Rick
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote sean Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Aug. 2010 at 7:57am
Rick:
Quote ...well I have firewall tag # 173313... 
Is that the body tag, or patent tag?

Sean
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ricksslatts Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Aug. 2010 at 9:35am

Sean, there was only one tag, and it said CJ2A 173313, and I think it also had the patent wording stamped below the serial number. There was no body tag. I dont think it was even pre-drilled for the body tag...

Rick
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Holy Toledo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Aug. 2010 at 10:53am

  Further browsing on Leftys and the spare tire laws brought me to the CJ-3b page.   Did I hear a "Bingo" to Question #5? The 3b folks vetted a topic on tailgate-mounted spare tire carriers and the article came with great detailed pictures of an Kaiser Jeep NOS tailgate spare tire mount kit # 670504.  Here is the link to the article.

 

 www.film.queensu.ca/cj3b/Tech/TailgateSpare.html

 

    My first impressions of part # 670504 is that it was under-engineered using the KISS theory.  The kit looks like it was made from parts and pieces supplied by a local lumber yard in Toledo and that the deadline for it to be available to the dealers was yesterday!  I bet the same vendor supplying hood blocks got the nod to do the white oak tailgate reinforcement panels for this kit.  Another insight into the production sophistication at work over at Willys Overland.

  Using these pictures, does anyone have a tailgate mounted spare tire set up like this kit on their 2a's ?

Joel
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Fred Ashbrook Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Aug. 2010 at 1:57pm
My lefty is tag #173304 - there was no body tag on the firewall & no holes for one.  Interesting that it is 9 numbers from Ricks 173313.

Re:  your last question, I think there is definitely more lean to the left, which I would rather not have...

Fred A
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ricksslatts Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Aug. 2010 at 8:43pm
Hello Fred, our leftys are pretty close together on tag #'s....If you get a chance could you check the the ACM tub gusset and tailgate #. I would like to know......
Rick
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Fred Ashbrook Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Aug. 2010 at 9:01am
Rick - the ACM is 171360.  I've not found a number on the tail gate before, but will check again today.  Any chance yours is emerald green?

Fred
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote sean Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Aug. 2010 at 10:00am
Rick & Fred:

You guys got me scratchin my head now Confused.  Would like to figure this out.

The numbers you're reporting are unusual:  they don't correspond with what we've come to believe about ACM vs. vehicle  vs. engine serial numbers.
  • ACM numbers are supposed to be about 10000 LESS than vehicle S/N.
  • Engine numbers (by this time in '48) were about 10-12000 GREATER than vehicle S/N.
Both your vehicle numbers are almost the same as ACM, NO 10000 point differential.

Rick, your engine number corresponds roughly to vehicle S/N 181-183xxx, and jives with your ACM number: 173313 (about 20000 point engine/ACM differential)

Do either of your rigs have a frame number?

Fred, do you have an engine S/N?

Wondering now if Willys pulled yet another bizarre number stamp shuffle?

Sean
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Fred Ashbrook Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Aug. 2010 at 1:04pm
Sean,

My engine # is J193038A.  I have never found a frame #, although I will look again.  Jeep's in storage instead of my garage, so will check it as soon as I can.
Fred A
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Fred Ashbrook Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Aug. 2010 at 2:43pm
Sean,

Checked the Jeep -- no frame or tailgate numbers.  Guess I still owe you a photo of the mirror bracket and mirror I got from you last year...
Fred A
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ricksslatts Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Aug. 2010 at 9:39pm
Thanks for the #'s Fred....My leftys is way left of you...I live in Oregon.
Sean, I took another look at mine and checked the engine #. No frame tag...
Here is the whole set of numbers
Firewall tag...173313
Tub-tailgate ACM # 172465
Engine #.......193933
Forgot to mention Fred, that my jeep is Picket Grey, which s the only color I can see on it..
Rick
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ricksslatts Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Aug. 2010 at 9:45pm

Actually, my engine number said J 193933....I did not look real hard at the end of the number to see if ther was any letter A

Rick
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote sean Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Aug. 2010 at 10:49am
Well Rick & Fred, you guys have very unusual and unique number sets!

Here's some data culled from Willys Service Bulletins, the database reports & your numbers.   Database marked (L) are confirmed lefties.

The table is sorted by ACM number, NOT S/N.  Notice these:
  • engine numbers all fall in order, including yours.
  • VIN numbers all fall in order, EXCEPT for yours! 
  • VIN to ACM, and Engine# to VIN deltas are consistent, EXCEPT for yours!
whos?ACMVINFrameBodyEngineVIN-ACMEng-VIN
database159552171816nonenone1846661226412850
Willys SB  -176061  -  -  -3/3/48 - begin lefty
databasenone177675nonemissingno engine
Willys SB  -178936  -  -1902343/10/4811298
Fred171360173303nonenone193038194320005
database(L)172355182476nonemissingnot original10241n/a
Rick172465173313nonenone19393384820620
database(L)174604184135nonenone196790953112655
Willys SB  -185769  -  -  -4/14/48 - end lefty
database177567187989nonenone2011201042213113
database179607188879nonenone202199927213320

Conundrums:

1) ACM 172355 falls right in-between yours, BUT it has VIN 182476! (consistent with "current wisdom")

2) both your engines would have been produced after 3/10/48 (w/in the "official" lefty range), BUT your VIN numbers would seem to indicate PRE-lefty production!

I just don't know what to make of this.

If the table were resorted by VIN, then both your rigs would fall pre-lefty, but then ACM & ENGINE numbers would be all out of order!

WT*?

Sean


Edited by sean - 06 Aug. 2010 at 10:50am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bob W Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Aug. 2010 at 1:01pm
Remember that CJ-2As were also being assembled in Maywood California from the end of 1947 on. This could introduce all kinds of unusual serial number patterns. Willys Service Bulletin serial numbers did not apply to West Coast built vehicles.

Edited by Bob W - 06 Aug. 2010 at 1:03pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Fred Ashbrook Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Aug. 2010 at 2:21pm
Bob's answer could be the case since - as far as I know - my Jeep was originally sold in Calif & spent its whole life there until military moves brought it East.

Fred
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