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Time Capsule Navy CJ3A by Valentine APU

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Nick_ View Drop Down
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    Posted: 23 Feb. 2016 at 1:17am
This is the wild story of an unheard of Jeep.

It all started around November 2015 when I had a Craigslist ad for the HoosierWillys club, simply looking for members. One day a guy emailed me and asked if I was interested in buying some old Jeeps. Sure! I went to his house and checked out a nice MB, and the remains of a CJ2A. We made a deal. I ended up buying the 2A for the PTO system; I gave to my grandpa for Christmas, and Hugh Hedrick bought the MB to restore. 

A month later I get a text picture of some WWII paint that was for the MB. The brother found it in his basement. So I called him and he asked me if I wanted to take his Jeep off his hands too, which I knew about but couldn’t get any details on before. Later that I week I drove up to Indy to check out this paint and some Jeep that was the remains of a Navy jet starter.


Huh? What? Check out this information on APU Jeeps: http://warjeeps.com/articles/APUnavyJeeps/apu-jeeps.html

Essentially there were 3 & 4 wheeled variants. The 3 wheelers were 2WD and slung low for ships, while the 4 wheelers had standard tires, windshield, and 4x4 for ground jets. All Jeeps had a PTO-driven generator that hooked into early jets to start the engines. The model/engine correlation is still unknown as is much of the APU information since there aren’t many to base research off of, but we know for sure O.E. Szekely converted CJ3A’s with the l-head, and later pictures show inconsistently modified hoods for f-heads.



I did what research I could and arrived at the barn in the middle of town. In my head going into the barn, I thought the Jeep was pretty much a rolling O.E. Szekely shell. I was wrong. There lied a mysterious side emblem… Valentine Welder. We know Valentine did build contract welding Jeeps, but an APU? That’s unheard of! We walk around and not only does the Jeep still have the original military paint, but also the PTO system! Sure some of it was missing but there was some great engineering present. One thing that stuck out was how tiny the wheels were and lack of windshield. My best guess is the Jeep was modified for ship service just as the 3-wheelers.





Of course I had to have it, there was no way I was going to let the Jeep sit in the barn. The original owner purchased the Jeep from surplus and had the original government discharge paperwork. His son inherited and still had it. From what I can tell, he bought the Jeep in its current state from surplus and had plans of restoring it. Sitting in the back of the barn were original Kaiser-Jeep patch panels for the right side that has a little bit of rust. Front wheel hubs were removed. I am fortunate the project was never finished, because it left a time capsule. Everything is original and untouched. A true barn find. Check this out: Norfolk, Virginia base release March 26, 1962 to Henry Reitsma. The military I.D. at the top is the hood number.  




My family and I picked up the Jeep February 6th, 2016 late in the night on our way to the KY club ride. Here’s a video of the affair:

Just last weekend I had a chance to get home and clean her all up. The military repainted the Jeep once which isn’t bad for about 10 years of service. As a whole the condition is fantastic with the only serious rust being the hat channels in the front floor. It’s all straight, frame is solid, and just preserved. My plan is to find a CJ2A with an f-head so I can use it as a donor for the engine, tranny, radiator, battery, etc. The only thing “wrong” with this Jeep is the shifter tower is missing, thus a good amount of dust has gathered for 50 years.













One of the cool factors is that this is the only known Valentine-converted 3A APU to exist.

Only 4-wheeled APU to have this style equipment. This one is an NA-4.

Out of both brands this is the only 4-wheeled to wear its original paint and have documentation. It’s a double edged sword because there aren’t any other Jeeps to use as reference. This one will be the basis for historical research.

What we know for sure is there are a few different models of APU’s with varying power output. Mine is missing the generator and the control box, but I do have a couple neat pieces of equipment inside. I have the data tags on the dash:


Another interesting factor is the body serial number. It reads 451-BG1 13918 and has “X” at the end. My guess is this was an indication of the conversion. We know it’s a CJ3A, but it has a frame-mounted radiator system like a 2A. The serial number indicates a 1951, but the military registered it as a 1953 which was most likely when it was received.


The original tires were Goodyear 4.50-12 Studded Tread style, and I have found some on a lawnmower forum. But I don’t believe they make this style anymore so I’m not sure what I’m going to do.



A couple electrical boxes I have no clue what they are. Any ideas are welcome!




Lastly is my estimation where the Jeep served during its time. All of this is going off research and is non definite. The Jeep entered the service in ’53 and left in ’62. So I did some searching on the Norfolk base and the aircraft carriers that stationed there. Here’s some intriguing information:

-The USS Wasp (CV-18) departed Norfolk on September 16th, 1953 to participate in the North Atlantic NATO Exercise “Mariner” before entering the Mediterranean.

-It was involved in the Lebanon Crisis, part of the Arab Cold War July 15th-October 25th 1958 (pictured below with an APU)


-After loading food, clothing, and equipment, Wasp spent the period 11-18 January 1962 conducting antisubmarine warfare exercises and submarine surveillance off the east coast.

-After a brief stop at Norfolk, the ship steamed onto further training exercises and anchored off Bermuda January 24-31. Wasp then returned to her home port.

The timeline matches up perfectly with this Jeep and could very well be the answer of her military service.  It was stationed when the Jeep entered service, and returned with enough time to unload the Jeep and send it off to surplus by March 26, 1962.

I have been fortunate enough to rescue the Navy APU from its resting place in Indianapolis, Indiana. It is an all original, “one-owner” Jeep that has become a time capsule for 54 years. All those neat things like the RPM tach, hour meter, data tags, power system, paint and more are still present. This Jeep is unbelievable.

Barn find gallery

Cleaned up gallery

The only known picture of a Valentine CJ3A, and this picture was taken in Korea.


If you want to see more pictures and read more info I’ve uploaded some great information.
Original G503 thread: http://g503.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=84&t=268433
APU Jeeps in action: https://imgur.com/a/fMk4W
O.E. Szekely patent generator: https://patentimages.storage.googleapis.com/pdfs/US2500216.pdf
O.E. Szekely patent steering: https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwir9brcucbKAhUHsYMKHQNBDdEQFggcMAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fpatentimages.storage.googleapis.com%2Fpdfs%2FUS2559379.pdf&usg=AFQjCNGYPOK2F8UlojNM0IMq9SwNgMGi_g&sig2=zw-76QCPE7Qnyff9krP8PQ&bvm=bv.112454388,d.amc
Company comparison: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B6edWObkSS3Od3JKcUdiNUhOdnM/view

Original APU order: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B6edWObkSS3OcW9xRjJJU1J2Nnc/view

This is all new research. Feel free to input on ideas about APU's and the function of the electrical boxes!



Edited by Nick_ - 24 Feb. 2016 at 10:10pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote rocnroll Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Feb. 2016 at 2:32am
Cool project Thumbs Up
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bill Norris Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Feb. 2016 at 6:36am
That is very cool!!!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 67charger Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Feb. 2016 at 6:48am
Are you sure that jeep didn't come from East L.A.?  The little tires kinda give it the low rider look, they probably sold the chain steering wheel and hydraulics before you got it.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mbullism Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Feb. 2016 at 9:20am
I gotta tell ya, I'm duly impressed with the level of leg work you've done to this point Clap

If that was on the flight deck for 9 or so years, given the number of folks that went through that ship over that time...somewhere in a shoebox are pictures of that APU doing what it does...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote rocnroll Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Feb. 2016 at 11:06am
Wallace Wade Specialty Tires in Dallas could probably fix you up with some tires. Better to call though, searching the myriad of websites (mentioning his business) is somewhat inconclusive and really hard to accomplish anything.

LOVE that tachometer too! Thumbs Up







Edited by rocnroll - 23 Feb. 2016 at 11:42am
'47 CJ2A PU
'48 CJ2A Lefty

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote rocketeer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Feb. 2016 at 11:14am
That is truly an historic find and should be preserved/restored as such. Congratulations! Thumbs Up
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote athawk11 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Feb. 2016 at 11:35am
Very cool and unique Willys.  Full restore?  Or fix up the mechanical stuff and keep the patina?  Even the hand written stuff on the hood is cool!

Originally posted by Nick_ Nick_ wrote:

We know it’s a CJ3A, but it has a frame-mounted radiator system like a 2A.
 
Note:  It's not unusual to find factory installed bottom mount radiators on a CJ3A.

What is the wheel diameter?

Tim


1- 1946 CJ2A   
2- 1949 CJ3A
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote athawk11 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Feb. 2016 at 11:38am
Another question...

What do you think the advantage was for the small tires?  Maybe lower to the ground for easy in-and-out access?
1- 1946 CJ2A   
2- 1949 CJ3A
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote WeeWilly Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Feb. 2016 at 11:50am
   From the info Nick has given those are 12" wheels and it was to lower the vehicle so it could go under plane wings on aircraft carriers and that is the reason for no windshield also.

   Jim
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bruce W Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Feb. 2016 at 11:58am
Originally posted by athawk11 athawk11 wrote:

Another question...

What do you think the advantage was for the small tires?  Maybe lower to the ground for easy in-and-out access?

Or maybe to pass under the wings of aircraft? BW
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Joe Friday Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Feb. 2016 at 12:35pm
Nick, If you look at your original tire there should be a 6 digit mold serial number on it in the bead area.
If you can read it, I can tell you when the mold was manufactured to determine if these were the original tires.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ralf Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Feb. 2016 at 4:11pm
Nick, what a great find!
1947 CJ2A
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Nick_ Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Feb. 2016 at 6:10pm
Thanks everyone for the kind comments! I’ve spent a lot of time gathering information on this Jeep and it’s fun to see other people getting excited about this.

Originally posted by mbullism mbullism wrote:

If that was on the flight deck for 9 or so years, given the number of folks that went through that ship over that time...somewhere in a shoebox are pictures of that APU doing what it does...

That’s a good point, I never thought about that. Jim suggested I join the MVPA and see if I can spread the word in that community. Hopefully it’ll dig up some info/find someone that has some parts.

Originally posted by rocnroll rocnroll wrote:

Wallace Wade Specialty Tires in Dallas could probably fix you up with some tires. Better to call though, searching the myriad of websites (mentioning his business) is somewhat inconclusive and really hard to accomplish anything.
LOVE that tachometer too! 

I just called the place in Dallas and the guy asked me to email him some pictures to see what they could find. My fingers are crossed but I have a feeling I’ll have to find another similar style. The tach is super cool and I hope I can figure out how to hook it up.

Originally posted by athawk11 athawk11 wrote:

Very cool and unique Willys.  Full restore?  Or fix up the mechanical stuff and keep the patina?  Even the hand written stuff on the hood is cool!

I could never repaint this! One of the reasons I bought it was because the original paint, it’s important to me and I’ll keep it stored indoors. Right now my plan is to get it mechanically sound and find some tattered seat cushions, to keep that worn look.

Originally posted by Joe Friday Joe Friday wrote:

Nick, If you look at your original tire there should be a 6 digit mold serial number on it in the bead area.

If you can read it, I can tell you when the mold was manufactured to determine if these were the original tires.


I wish I was home and could check that out for you, but I’m down at school. After looking at all the naval pictures, I’m certain my rear tire is in fact original. Here’s a comparison:




Good news good news! Bob3b reached out and invited me to the Spring Reunion in Effingham, IL May 20-21st. You guys can check out this relic in person, and I can’t wait to have a unique Jeep there. My goal is to have it running by then.

As a side note I asked a buddy who’s an aeronautical electrical engineer about the big box, and he wrote:
Looks like it was set up as an Auxiliary Power Unit , a 30 volt DC power supply for starting aircraft. The box looks like it has a coil (inductor) for limiting the rush of current and possibly another smaller wire for measuring how much current is being sent to the aircraft. It's a radio interference filter. A coil (inductor) and a capacitor. It's a really big noise filter. Larger version of what you would use on a noisy car stereo.”

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jeeper50 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Feb. 2016 at 7:13pm
just an idea but some small boat trailer tires are 4.80-12 if you need tires till you can find something more fitting the provenance and history of the APU jeep
'53 Cj3B 4 cyl D25/D44 lockrights,11" brakes, Belleview ol skool winch.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ralf Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Feb. 2016 at 7:16pm
1947 CJ2A
1948 CJ2A
1953 Ford NAA Golden Jubilee Tractor

1941 J-3 Cub
1957 Farmall Cub Low Boy tractor
1942 Clarktor WW2 tug
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 48cj2a Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Feb. 2016 at 7:26pm
Here are some pics I collected off eBay a few years ago from lot of the Navy APUs they were auctioning off.
 
 


Edited by 48cj2a - 23 Feb. 2016 at 7:28pm
Art C

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bufordjeep Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Feb. 2016 at 7:27pm
Perhaps you've already looked at this site? Potentially a vet may have some info or a photo...
http://www.usswaspassociation.org/
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