View Full Version : 1954 Willy's Jeep Restoration Planning

07-14-2017, 12:38 PM
Around November/December I will be acquiring a 1954 CJ-3B Jeep Willy's to restore. I would like some recommendations. I intend to do a frame up restoration, but would love any advice or guidance as I go through this project. Attached are pics of the Jeep as is, the engine runs, but smokes badly, so will need to do an engine rebuild as it is the original engine. I also intend on removing the tub from the frame and need ideas of how to accomplish this and the difficulty level of removing it. I have already started a list of all rebuild kits I will need on Kaiser's website and have an approximate cost for all kits. There is no deep rust, only some minor surface rust, so body work should be minimal. I would also like suggestions on keeping it original, versus doing some mods, such as power steering pump, leaf over and anything like that.

Wayne Jeffries

07-15-2017, 05:59 AM
just dive on in and get greasy and join the busted knuckle bunch, am doing the same with a 1952 M38A1 and now have the frame sandblasted and ready to paint good old USMC OLIVE DRAB

07-15-2017, 09:02 AM
Welcome to the busted knuckle, greasy, rusty, dirty and happy group.

A. Keep it original, no disc brakes, power steering, 12-volt electrical, high lift, big tire conversions.

It's a classic 60+ year old Jeep, there aren't going to be any more of them. It looks like you have a lot of good stuff to work with.

On that little short wheelbase vehicle, power steering isn't needed,, but do a good overhaul on the steering components. It's a light vehicle - power or disc brakes aren't needed either if the hydraulics are well maintained, you can lock up all four wheels easily! Millions of old vehicles started and ran with 6-volt systems, but you need to pay attention to details; cables, connections, good starters and generators (check the brushes and commutators).

B. Go ahead and fix what you find as you find it. It will never be easier than while you have it torn apart now. And, you WILL find surprises!

C. Get the Shop Manual! Put it in the basket in the bathroom (also known as the library).

And - one more warning. Once you get it done, it will be a little kid and chick magnet. Little kids want to sit in it and "drive" it and the girls (from 5 to 75) think "its so cute". Have fun!

07-15-2017, 09:23 AM
Dont forget "get 60 yr old rust and crap in your eyes when underneath

07-17-2017, 03:04 PM
When removing the body from the chassis, is it necessary to have pulled the engine or can the tub be removed without removing the engine? I have already compiled a parts list of parts from Kaisers totallying approximately 3300.00:
Engine Rebuild
Front & Rear axel rebuild
Complete wiring harness
Master brake overhaul kit
Suspensionoverhaul kit

07-18-2017, 06:59 AM
The tub will come off without removing the engine. The biggest job a lot of folks have with getting the tub off is pulling the steering wheel! Patience my son - and a lot of penetrating oil. Cussing at it really doesn't help; it makes the kids giggle and irritates your wife. Your steering wheel already has a crack in one arm, so be cautious.

The engine rebuild will add about another $3K to that list if you have it done in a machine shop. Add steering gear overhaul to the list. Most steering gear boxes are full of grease - they should have 90/140 gear oil to make sure that all the parts get lubricated. People grease them because the seals leak and bushings have worn.

Look on the CJ Forum for a lot of discussions about steering gears. The CJ Forums have a lot of detailed technical info.

09-05-2017, 10:25 AM
The tub is fairly easy to remove. The prep is the biggest time consumer, i.e. using penetrating oil on all the fasteners. Pay special attention to the front fender mounts that bolt into the frame. The bolts are fine thread, so a little heat will allow the penetrant to seep into the threads. Makes life a lot easier, if the bolts do not break off in the frame. I work alone 99% of the time, here is an example of how I like to pull the body off the frame. 17561757

One this example, it is an M38A1, and the transmission cover was a large enough opening to pull the tub with the steering wheel still in place. Good luck to you, and don't be afraid to jump right in.


09-09-2017, 05:38 AM
wish my tub looked that good!!!!