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WellFedHobo's '48 CJ2A project (#158011)

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WellFedHobo View Drop Down
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    Posted: 30 Aug. 2020 at 11:58pm
Finally, I get to come play in the Jeep project section instead of only lurking in the Bantam trailer area for a decade.

I've certainly hit the "what have I gotten myself into" stage just a day after buying this. It's a "barn find". Been parked since around '96 in a barn/shed thing as best I can tell. Critters have gotten into the wiring, which may or may not be correctly converted to 12 volts. If the odometer is right, it has 81637 miles on it. It's full of ants and dirt daubers. I've only found one wasp nest so far, hope to not find any others. The temporary previous owner (bought it off the family of a friend who had passed) had parked it outside and thought it had been sitting up for around 40 years, but receipts for parts say otherwise (only ~24 years). He allegedly got it to fire after cleaning the points and giving it the old bottle feed method. I have yet to hear it run, though.

The tailgate is solid. Often the bottom is toast. The windshield frame is solid. Often the inner windshield frame at the bottom is toast. The body is pretty dang solid except for the usual. Hat channels are toast, passenger floorboard is "bubba" replaced. Toolbox is gone. Front bumper was customized by the rare "smart bubba" who booger welds but the design and workmanship actually isn't so bad. But it has a lot of good going for it. Frame appears fine aside from the bubba front bumper. 

I never know how many pictures are too many pictures so I'll restrain myself for now.

Here's the listing picture. 


Here's the result of a long weekend of getting it to my garage and up the steep hill, sitting next to T3C 1431



Edited by WellFedHobo - 05 Sep. 2020 at 9:19pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TateC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 Aug. 2020 at 1:25am
Nice looking jeep, looking forward to following this thread. 
Tate Christensen
1941 Ford GP #9687
1943 Willys MB #263100
1944 Ford GPW #234613
1945 Willys CJ2A #10226
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rockgod1619 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 Aug. 2020 at 6:20am
Woohoo! Looking forward to following along!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote rocnroll Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 Aug. 2020 at 9:08am
Looks solid from here.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Flatfender Ben Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 Aug. 2020 at 8:11pm
Wow what a great looking jeep!!
Never to many pictures... keep them coming Clap
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote WellFedHobo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 Aug. 2020 at 10:31pm
Maybe some of you know the answer on this one. The title on this thing is from the 70s. It lists the "VIN" as a 6 digit number. This number is not the body tag number on either body tag on the firewall, and it's not the number stamped on the plate above the water pump. Where else should I look to make sure that this number is what I expect it to be for registration purposes? It seems that there may be another plate under the oil filter to look at, and there are casting numbers on the passenger side of the block that are caked in grease that I need to unearth. But there's also supposed to be a tag on the driver's side frame rail? (I didn't see one. Not sure if it's a victim of the bubba front bumper or not.) From what I understand, they used to use the engine number as the VIN with this era of vehicle? 

I looked underneath the front of the thing for the first time and... well, it's not as clean as it looks from the outside. The transfer case is definitely leaking because the whole underside is caked in gunk and it doesn't look like a new leak. The outside makes it look like the whole frame was painted but it's about as rusty as the Bantam trailer was.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote WellFedHobo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Sep. 2020 at 12:59am
I can't decide if I should have gotten under the Jeep and looked at the tub closer before I bought it, or if I should have let ignorance be bliss and not taken a closer look... (hint: I think I overpaid)

It seems that this beautiful old "solid survivor" is not as solid as it seems. There's some replacement sheet metal just welded over the swiss cheese on both sides. Hat channels are worse than I thought. I wondered why it had no parking break and the answer is that there's not much to connect to. The hand brake clevis, clip, pin, cable, retracting spring, return spring link, etc. are just not there. 







This is fine. There's just a few speed holes.  We're just going to forget we saw all this and carry on.

I guess I need to plan for some tool purchases. A Harbor Freight angle grinder, some death wheels, a welder of some kind, paired with a lot of YouTube welding tutorials, a tetanus booster...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TateC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Sep. 2020 at 9:56am
That’s the rust that about all of them have, so I wouldn’t be too worried 
Tate Christensen
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1943 Willys MB #263100
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1945 Willys CJ2A #10226
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Stev Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Sep. 2020 at 12:05pm
That floor looks about right for a 70 year old Jeep that has been used in the winter on and off over the years.  It can be replaced.  Not that big of a deal.  Don't get discouraged by it.  

Order a floor, tack weld in some structural support to hold the Tub square, Pull the tub, remove the old floor, weld in the new floor, and reinstall the tub.  A few days work.  All good.

You got this!

Stev
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote WellFedHobo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Sep. 2020 at 4:29pm
I've only welded once before with a friend's harbor freight wire welder and it wasn't pretty. I'm a little bit of a perfectionist so I'm not sure how this will work out. I did go ahead and grab an angle grinder and some cutting and grinding wheels in preparation for this, though. Luckily, bondo and paint can cover all your sins.

I don't suppose anyone can offer up a suggested "order of operations" for a project like this. It feels like I should be getting it up on jack stands and making sure the engine runs alright first with a redneck fuel system before I start the long tear down and repair process. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tartone Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Sep. 2020 at 6:12pm
I went in this order: transmission rebuild, engine rebuild, carb rebuild, brakes, exhaust, electrical, body, then seats. But I was mostly chasing down issues as they arose and I still have plenty more! I guess it depends  on what your end state is.  Full restore or just a fun rig to drive?  Honestly with the body off you can still go through checking to see if the engine runs with a home made set up.  

As for the welding, get the best one you can afford and practice.  I have a small Century flux core and it has met all my needs.  I practiced with it a lot before proceeding to Jeep work.  I used it for body work and repairing hat channels on the drivers side.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote WellFedHobo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Sep. 2020 at 10:40pm
I thought I could do a quick refresh just to be able to drive around for a beer run or two, but the end goal is a restoration that's mostly true to original.

Today I found that the master cylinder was dry and full of rust so I topped it off with some DOT3 and gave it a few pumps and found no leaks so that's probably alright...Right? Tongue heh. It didn't seem to build pressure at all. I'll properly bleed them when I have help from rcrhea on here and see how many leaks they have. Given the rust in the master cylinder and the overall condition of the hard lines and soft lines, the safe thing is probably replace everything from the master cylinder to the wheel cylinders. Might be a good time to find out how to upgrade to a dual reservoir master cylinder.

Fuel tank is rusted out so that's fine, just gotta drive fast before it all leaks out. Fuel pump is full of varnish. That's flammable enough, I hope. The motor turns over by hand alright. The previous but short term owner cleaned the points and says he got it to fire but not run and drive. 

The transmission seems to shift fine without the engine running. Shifts to high and low just fine. We'll see if it pops out of gear if it ever gets to running. I need to learn how to properly shift it safely.

The tires are 1980s fresh, apparently. They're good for about a mile before the tread finishes falling off from the dry rot. A fresh set of NDTs or NDCCs are on the horizon. I have a full set of questionably safe combat rims that will work as good rollers for awhile until all 5 solid rims are sand blasted and powder coated. 

(You'll need to read some of my posts as dripping with sarcasm in the style of Derek from Vice Grip Garage. His approach to rescues is upbeat and funny, which is something I need in the face of such a project.)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote nofender Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Sep. 2020 at 6:06am
What you describe is pretty typical of these old gals. 

If it were me - as long as your feet don't go through the floor, get her running, address the brakes and start driving it! Enjoy it for the find that it is. Then you can decide what your next step is. 

I've done a couple frame off, full on refurbs. In fact in the middle of another now. While extremely rewarding in the end, you do miss out in the fun of driving them in their most raw form. I regret not doing that! 

That's a pretty cool Jeep you got there, BTW. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mbullism Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Sep. 2020 at 7:01am
Originally posted by WellFedHobo WellFedHobo wrote:

...Today I found that the master cylinder was dry and full of rust so I topped it off with some DOT3 and gave it a few pumps and found no leaks so that's probably alright...Right? Tongue heh. It didn't seem to build pressure at all. I'll properly bleed them when I have help from rcrhea on here and see how many leaks they have. Given the rust in the master cylinder and the overall condition of the hard lines and soft lines, the safe only thing is probably replace everything from including the master cylinder to the wheel cylinders. ...

FIFY... do it right, do it once... put it behind you, then move on to the next.  Doing it piecemeal is only leaving gremlins.

.02
1946 CJ2A #69750 - "Plowshare"
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Analog spoken here....
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote WellFedHobo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Sep. 2020 at 9:37pm
Well that escalated quickly. 



After a lot of painstaking work, we got all the rusty bolts on both fenders and the grille loose and removed. Unfortunately, it seems this Jeep has had some interesting history and some of the fender tabs were not actually holding the fender to the frame. We had 3 of 4 of the frame tabs just fall off. We did break a few bolts off in the frame or in their captive nuts as well. This will require some extracting later on... (This means we get to practice welding on the hidden parts of the fenders before potentially working in the body.) Both fenders are mostly solid but will need some work to go back on and hold the fenders in place. The grille took a lot of effort as well. The passenger fender however...



It seems that when the previous owner had this replacement or custom front bumper welded on, they welded the driver's side just fine but the passenger side had this bracket welded to the new piece and to the frame. After a good 10 solid minutes of grinding, this is still welded on pretty solid. Gonna have to try again tomorrow, don't want to annoy the neighbors with all that grinding later in the evening... At least I had the foresight to make a run to Harbor Freight for an angle grinder earlier this week. 

The paint chips below all the body panels is giving us an interesting history though. Looks like it may have originally been Harvard Red, then was painted green, then was painted Luzon Red. Though there is one area on the front crossmember that makes me think it might have been Luzon Red, then Harvard Red, then green, then Luzon Red again. Not sure. Doesn't matter, we most likely won't be going with an original color in the end. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote WellFedHobo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Sep. 2020 at 7:29pm
After a solid 40 minutes of grinding, the passenger fender finally came off. I'm dreading the amount of work that will be required to remove the custom front bumper and get a stock one fitted back to it. It may require cutting the frame horns forward of the crossmember. I don't know yet. This is, of course, all new to me. 

We also did get the radiator pulled off. It was still full of coolant and the coolant was green, not rusty, so that was a good sign. The engine does seem to turn freely. Perhaps too freely, though. I wasn't really feeling where it was building compression. With the spark plugs in, it should have been harder to turn at some point? Another chunk of work I'm not really particularly looking forward to: an engine tear down and rebuild. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bill2A Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Sep. 2020 at 8:22pm
At one time (before Bubba) there was a data plate on the outside of the drivers side frame horn that had the frame number on it.
If you find an engine number it will be different.
It could well have been replaced anyway.
If you know for sure you will be taking the tub off soon, that would be the time to add the dual master cylinder.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote WellFedHobo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Sep. 2020 at 8:36am
The frame rail plate is covered  by quarter inch steel plates that were welded to the frame rails to create a support for a new front bumper. I can see the rivets sticking out through the back of the rail where it used to be.
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