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Thread: '46 CJ2A Parts Runner

  1. #1
    Super Moderator gmwillys's Avatar
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    '46 CJ2A Parts Runner

    This is our CJ2A that has been within the family since the early eighties. When purchased, the engine was crude oil pump more than it was an internal combustion engine. There would not be a mosquito in sight when driven around the property. The heep spent most of the time in the garage as a catch all for many years, without moving. My Grandfather talked Dad into letting him take it to his farm for a chore workhorse. He couldn't stand for a vehicle to sit and not be used, so he took on ownership. First thing he did was pull the engine down to discover that one of the pistons had a hole in it. He replaced the damaged piston, and had it running in no time. He used it around the farm until his passing. I then in turn purchased it from my Grandmother for what they had in it for repairs, but then later received a check for Christmas for the amount of the purchase price. I have had the Jeep at my property ever since, and have been tinkering with it since. The first thing that needed attention was the front frame horns. The heep had spent most of its early career as a snow plow, so the frame was trashed. The front cross member was rotten, and the horns were encased in scrap iron to strengthen the rust. The first order of business was to salvage the front horns off a later 2A frame that was rusted out in the middle frame section. I didn't purchase a new front cross member because the steering drag link mount on the original was in good shape, and the ends of the original were the only rotten part. The Jeep had one of the best road manners of all the Jeeps that I have been around, so I didn't want to mess too much with the steering. After marking the dimensions of the front frame, and placing some plumb bobs and mark the floor to keep everything in check. A couple of cut off wheels later, the front frame was laying on the top of the scrap heap. Taking the measurements from the original frame section, and relating it to the replacement frame rails, then they were cut also. The new horns fit nicely in place on the original frame. The cross member was fixed by putting in sleeves inside the original center section. The trick is finding the correct diameter to match the outer diameter of the cross member. The cross member was drilled so the sleeves could be plug welded, then there was a 1/4" gap left between the original cross member and the replacement section to ensure proper fusion when welded. After the cross member was completed, then the frame horns were welded solid. he frame welds were dressed, then a fish plate was added to the inside of the frame channel. Being that the heep will not be a serious off road jumper, I opted that the frame didn't need the outside frame rail to be fish platted. When looking at the outside of the frame, there doesn't look to be any repairs done.

    The last two photos are of (1) the donor frame, (2) another early 46' CJ2A that donated some other useful parts. Everything structural on it was rusted away, so there was little that could be salvaged.
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  2. #2
    Super Moderator gmwillys's Avatar
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    The next step was to go through the brake system. All new wheel cylinders and master cylinder were installed. The cylinders came from Crown, and if I were to spend the money again, I would have spent a few more dollars and bought the Wagoner or Raybestos offerings. The Crown wheel cylinders required the holes on the backer plate to have to be hogged out in order for the mounting bolts to line up, along with the bleeder port as well. I purchased the brake line kit from Kaisers, and it was good from that point on. Everything went together without too much trouble.

    After the brakes were all in order, then it was time to rework the front fenders. The inner supports were both gone, so new replacement supports were ordered. A little sheet metal work was needed to complete, and then metal finishing. To finish them off, a coat of flat black was sprayed on to protect the surface.
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    Last edited by gmwillys; 04-30-2018 at 07:45 AM.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator gmwillys's Avatar
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    When greasing the drive shafts and topping off the differential dope, it was noticed that the rear end pinion bearing was toast. The pinion raised about 3 inches when the drive shaft was turned. The odd thing was that there was no noise or vibration when driving previously. I had an extra rear end from the early 2A that was salvaged, so it was swapped in until I get some time to rebuild the original.

    After the rear end was swapped out, then it was time to work on the body tub. The amount of bondo that encased the tub didn't leave much hope that there was much of the original metal beneath. There was a total of 5 coats of paint, (with the base layer of the original Normandy Blue on the bottom) with a hardy coat of bondo between the 3 and fourth coat. In some places, the bondo was a 1/2" slathering of plastic filler applied. The hood weighed twice as much than it should have. I had used they nylon 180 grit brushes in the past for stripping paint with a lot of success on the M38A1 project, so I tried it on stripping through the paint in bondo. They worked like a charm, eating right through it all, to the base metal. The base metal only needed to be wiped down with prep solvent in order to be primed. I chose to keep the bare metal look for the time being, and just clear over the surface. The tub was in descent condition, with some vintage body work being done sometime in the fifties. The repairs were brazed together, and it gives a good look for these days of the rat rod craze. Someday after I complete the wagon project, I will pull the tub and replace the floors and just about everything except for the cowl. Everything is solid enough for now, but to make it last for another 70 years.
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    Super Moderator gmwillys's Avatar
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    The seat frames were fairly rough. The floor mounts were rotten on the driver's seat, so they were cut off, sleeved, and replaced with tubing. The ends were bent and flattened to mimic the original. The seat cushions are actually boat seat cushions that fit rather well. They offer just enough cushion to make the ride tolerable, but not too thick to place you too close to the steering wheel.

    The windshield needed some attention at the lower, passenger side lock. It was rusted out around the clamp mount. Again, the rust was cut out, sleeved, and new pipe was added. The plexiglass wind screen was pulled, and the screw holes were filled and finished. A new inner windshield frame was purchased, and a local glass shop cut the tinted safety glass. The aftermarket glass seals didn't fit the thickness of the glass. The glass was installed with urethane calk in place of the seal. An original set of window arms were cleaned up and painted. They took a bit of adjustment to match up the frame to the arms. They now work fairly well. The only complaint is that the aftermarket inner frame does not have hole for the center latch to keep the windshield closed.
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    Last edited by gmwillys; 04-30-2018 at 08:46 AM.

  5. #5
    Super Moderator gmwillys's Avatar
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    The original harness was intact from under the dash board, to about 5 inches out of the firewall. From there on out it was a spliced mess. When the fenders were installed, new wires were run to form an vintage looking wire loom. I had a neighbor who worked for a power company generating plant. He brought me a spool of six pair, 10 gauge, nomex fiber, color coded wire. The wire was easy to work with, and with 3M heat shrink connectors, the loom should last forever. The nomex puts you in mind of the original fabric covered wires, but is fire resistant.
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    Super Moderator gmwillys's Avatar
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    When bringing out the heep this year, the clear coat was showing it's age. I figured it was time to dress up the sheet metal, and apply another coat of clear.
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    Super Moderator LarrBeard's Avatar
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    Start with a load of Scrap metal .....

    Well, if you start with a load of scrap metal and add a lot of time, skinned knuckles, dirt and money, you end up with ... a Heep!

    Why do we do it? It feels good and we can!

    Nice story.
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    Super Moderator gmwillys's Avatar
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    Since it didn't rain this weekend as predicted, it was decided to work on the tail lights of the 2A. The rear panels had been beat and caved in through the history of the heep, and slathered over with filler. I took the handy farm jack and pushed the rear panel and cross member back into place. The bondo popped loose to uncover the original quarter panel wasn't as bad as it was thought to be. A sheet of steel was over laid over the original sheet metal for reasons unknown to me. I cut off the offending sheet metal and welded up the seams. The new tail lights were then installed then wired. We have brake and tail lights again.
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  9. #9
    Super Moderator gmwillys's Avatar
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    More photos of the quarter fix.
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  10. #10
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    I had a CJ5 once that had some bondo in the area where the bow bracket is in the CJ2. The bondo started to come loose because it was too thick so I scraped it all off. When I was done The shallow dent looked much better in primer than it did with the filler and painted.
    Jeff
    '51 CJ3A
    '47 CJ2A

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