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Old 08-27-2012, 08:08 PM
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49 willys jeep overhaul

Dad and I picked up this project today.

It is a 1949 willys jeep. Basically a mut of military and civilian jeep. Its a CJ2A.

So far we were just able to bring it home and get it tucked away in the garage. We have a buddy coming over tomorrow and doing an initial assessment on how we can bring this thing back to its glory and then some.

Goals for this Jeep:

1) get it back to as new condition as possible. it has a lot of rust in the tub. The windshielf frame is ok. The hood likely needs to be replaced because the PO put a diff motor in it .

2) engine options. This jeep will be built for weekend driving and occasional offroading.

Any advise is greatly appreciated. Specifically places to start sourcing parts and engine options. Budget cap for this project is 10k.

2014 Anvil JKU Mutt
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Old 08-27-2012, 10:22 PM   #2
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My first Jeep was a shared CJ2 with a buddy at the last of the Eisenhower era.

Simple tools, bare knuckle Jeep design, sterling virtues and endless ways to curse & spend more money.

The OEM power plant/brakes/clutch/tranny all make a coherent interrelated unit. Tire size on the stock rims will take it around the world in hostile environment.

IMHO, the only cost-effective upgrade is to 12V. The heaters barely functioned, defrost was ineffective/non existent. The canvas top can be relatively water resistant, but internal space will be high-humidity water vapor condensing on the windshield if you make it too tight.

Top down/windshield down on some winding track in the Outback will give you years of pleasurable memories. Make sure your towing insurance is intact, eventually it will pay for itself.

As soon as such as freewheeling front axles, bigger engine/tranny (old smaller Buick V6 did wonders but caused as many headaches as it solved) in what other buddies did to theirs.

They were designed to move any where at their own pace. You can spend a fortune trying to make it do more than that and not have nearly as much pure fun.

Get it moving, get it reliable, explore it's capacities as stock version allows. Get out off the pavement & you'll be surprised and happy.

Try to drive it across the country on interstate above about 45-50 mph you'll be walking more than you expect.

I admire your choice.

get in--buckle up--hang on
"soothing agricultural implement/personal servant/Walter Mitty multidimensional access utility device conveniently travels on pavement when necessary and often keeps me warm/cool/dry/soothed as needed."
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Old 11-06-2012, 01:42 PM   #3
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There are tons of places to get ideas for a build. jeep forum, pirate, just to name a few. what are the main plans, keep it as original as possible or go with 40s and a 6.0 full cage or somewhere inbetween? whatever you decide keep us posted , love the looks of the old ones
good luck with it and have fun.
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Old 11-28-2012, 12:38 PM   #4
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See the Flatfender forum at eralycj5.net/forums
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Old 11-28-2012, 07:06 PM   #5

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Please post your rebuild/restore photos. I can't wait to see this. The CJ2s are fantastic jeeps. They are simple and dependable. They are excellent for off road use as long as you know its limitations and yours... like any other vehicle. The only shortfall is driving on the road. It is difficult to drive "slow" on the street when you are used to other vehicles' speeds. You have to drive it patiently and it will be so much fun!! I truly loved my MB. If you want to see a lot of information on the old jeeps, check out my signature below and look at the "WWII Jeep information". It will help out a lot and provide a wealth of information for you. I hope you and your father have a great time rebuilding this jeep.

Take care,
Check "YJ V6 Conversion Swap" if you want to see my "frame up" restoration that anyone can do.

Check "WWII Willy's restoration and usage..." if you want to see THE ORIGINAL JEEP IN ACTION.
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Old 11-29-2012, 07:19 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by lynn View Post
See the Flatfender forum at eralycj5.net/forums
oops... that should read " earlycj5.net/forums "

'05 LJ
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Old 11-29-2012, 07:46 AM   #7
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Crownjeep.com will have all the hard to find brake parts like shoes and self adjusters, master cylinder ect... And the really fun to find e-brake shoes for that awesome e-brake mess on the back of the transfercase....
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Old 11-29-2012, 07:48 AM   #8
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wish I had the time, place, and ability to do this. So I guess for now I can live through you all

Random Guy: "Is there anywhere that thing cant go?"
Me: "Yea, past a gas station..."

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Old 12-03-2012, 02:30 PM   #9
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That looks like a great project there.
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Old 12-17-2012, 09:00 PM   #10
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Update on the Willys:

The original motor started up and sounded smooth. Looking for a spring time start up on tear down. If anyone is up for lending a hand, we got beer
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Old 12-17-2012, 09:54 PM   #11
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I aint a great mechanic but I can follow directions while drinking a beer
"Shiny side up, Greasy side down"
"Where's the shiny side?"
"Brown side up, Greasy side down" - Piper54

Vehicles: '91 YJ (Sold), '90 Nissan 300ZX N/A. '94 YJ Sahara Edition. 2.5 inch Trail Master Suspension Lift, 32X11.50X15 BFG AT T/A KO2
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Old 12-18-2012, 10:38 AM   #12
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49 was the last year for 2A's and also the start of 3A production. From your photo, yours appears to probably have a M38 or modified 3A windshield and probably the later F head engine (hood dog on house). If you are just planning a "driver", both are improvements but you will want to check the windshield frame closely before getting a new top.
1947 CJ 2A, 1949 CJ 3A, 1955 CJ 3B, 1968 CJ 5, 2012 JKUR
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Old 01-01-2013, 09:08 PM   #13
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I can relate here, I have a 46 that I am doing a frame off resto on. It is a lot of fun. You look like you have a good start....that OD Green Disease...Oh Yeah!
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Old 01-06-2013, 10:47 PM   #14

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My 1st ..................


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Old 01-09-2013, 10:37 PM   #15
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Just saw this post. I've found the kaiser Willys site and Willys overland websites a good place for most of my cj2a replacement parts, if you are wanting to keep it original. Google Repli-tub if you decide you have to replace the body vice patching it. I agree with the earlier post about the 12 v conversion, the 6 volt can be a pain, especially in cold weather. Second major change I'd recommend is upgrade brakes to disc and dual master cylinder. Other than that, it's great as is.

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