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Thread: Cj3a restoration

  1. #1
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    Cj3a restoration

    Hey everybody! I知 new to the forum and am excited about all things Jeep. I have wanted to restore an old willys Jeep for a long time. I cut my teeth restoring a 1968 Chevy short bed truck and found that I enjoyed the challenge. I recently bought a 1951 Cj3a with a frame of restoration in mind. It was a real basket case but the bones were there and I felt like it was a job I could handle. As of now I have the old girl torn down to the frame and have had it sand blasted and painted. The engine needed to be rebuilt so I found another engine already rebuilt and got it for a song. So far I have painted the engine and all of its add ons. I wanted to paint it the original Luzon red but could not find a paint specialist who cold match the old paint codes, so I matched it as best as I could but the engine came out as a pink plum color.it doesn稚 look bad it痴 just not what I wanted. So if anybody out there know the modern paint code to Luzon red or knows where I can find either the code or paint be sure to let know. Many thanks in advance. The next stage is the differential rebuilds. They are a little above my skill set so I will be sending them out to be to be worked on. In the mean time I have begun researching transfer cases and transmissions. Thanks averybody for the educational videos. I知 still learning but I think I can handle the rebuilds myself. We値l see. I知 also wrestling with the decision wether to add a overdrive or not. Does the benefits out way the cost? If anybody has any insights I would appreciate them.well that brings you up to speed on my project. Thanks again for any help you might provide. Good night from the river valley ( border between Arkansas and Oklahoma)

  2. #2
    Senior Member bmorgil's Avatar
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    Welcome Kmorris! Well your first steps seem perfect to me! I have a very similar story to yours. My first "body off" complete rebuild was a '59 Chevy pickup. I found the CJ3A to be a very similar project. HOWEVER.... there wasn't an internet in 1980. I was a young heavy transmission technical service guy, who just got a sales job, far from home. I can tell you this forum and Google changed the experience insurmountably. The help from the Members here is fantastic.

    I hope you have the service manual and the parts manual. They are a big help every now and then. When it comes to some things it's in the tools". For instance there are occasions on the axle, trans, transfer case etc., that may require them. A press, or a certain type of snap ring pliers. If you read the process and understand it, as well as how to use or make a tool, you can handle it. There is no doubt you can save considerable cash providing labor yourself. There are a lot of videos on the internet on the powertrain rebuilds.

    On your paint I just went through something on mine. I ended up using the paint code from KW's catalog. From there I went to the largest automotive painter supply around. The old codes match nothing you will find. The Google god's don't know this one! The paint guy called a guy at the Ditzler/PPG factory, who looked in the "Archives". Like magic I have the illusive "Emerald Green".

    The overdrive depends on how fast and how far you want to go. A member here LarrBeard, will certainly be able to tell you about travel with low rato final drives! I think he will tell you with out overdrive, 45 mph might be it (with the motor screaming). I am not sure what the overdrive adds. It can't be much. You are working with a very low ratio axle. Personally I think maybe too much faster in an early CJ might be questionable.
    Last edited by bmorgil; 06-14-2019 at 07:20 AM.

  3. #3
    Senior Member TJones's Avatar
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    Welcome Kmorris!!!!
    You are definitely starting out with the right attitude on your restore, Not saying you wont get frustrated from time to time but you will get through it. This is a great forum and the 3 guys that watch over it gmwillys,LarrBeard, and Pelago probably know more about Heeps than Jeep did when the started building them, so don't be afraid to ask anything like gmwillys always tells everyone " there is no such thing as a stupid question"
    The Heep I am working on had a Warn overdrive in it when I found it in a barn. I asked the guy (Chuck Wright) building my motor if I needed to change my 5.38 ratio out so the motor isn't red-lining on the highway.
    Chuck builds NHRA and IHRA chassis and is a transmission/gearing wizard so he did a little calculations and told me with the OD engaged the 5.38's would change to 4.11's with the transfer case in hi range, I don't have it finished yet to try it but when I do i'll let you know if he knows what he is talking about.
    Last edited by TJones; 06-14-2019 at 07:34 AM.

  4. #4
    Super Moderator LarrBeard's Avatar
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    Overdrive:

    Engines like to run at the peak of their torque curve. If you can stay right at this peak, things run well, run economically and run for a long time. I am told that the new Ford Ranger has a 10-speed automatic transmission to keep it right around this peak. The L-134 flathead and F-134 over-and-under engines were rated as 6-/70 HP at 3000 RPM - but that is well above their peak, which is about 2200 RPM.

    In my '48 2WD pickup, I have a 5.38:1 differential. (An option in the 2WD trucks was a 6.17!). The truck will pull a train, just not very fast. As I putter down the roads, the truck's happy place (speed wise) is about 40 - 45 MPH depending on the day and the mood the grumpy old beast is in. Several of worked out a spreadsheet that looks at tire size, gear ratios, etc and figures out RPM. Guess what, the happy spot is right around that 2200 RPM place. Slower and she wants to "giddy-up" and faster, she bogs down badly.

    Overdrive is simply a "higher" gear. In the Borg-Warner overdrives used on many 1950's vehicles, including the VJ Jeepsters, it ran bout 25% faster than engine speed. Modern Saturn overdrives work with every gear in the boxes - it will give you more gear ratios that a White Freightliner.

    When a lot of guys put a small Ford engine in a Jeep, they end up with a high RPM gas guzzler - the torque curves and gearing just don't match. If you are doing a lot of highway travel, an overdrive will move you from point A to point B quicker and more efficiently. If you're just puttering around town for ice cream or driving through the woods looking at the trees, maybe not so much benefit. Your call.

    Keep us informed on how things go. Ask questions. We've probably made 90% of the mistakes in the book, so we might save you some time and busted knuckles. Good Luck.
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  5. #5
    Senior Member bmorgil's Avatar
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    Good info there. Taking what LarrBeard provided, there will be a 25% change, 25% is a big overdrive. So if you were going 40 mph at the magic 2200 rpm, you will be going 50 in overdrive. You will want to be sure the extra 10 mph is worth it. Now a 3.73 axle would be awesome! That would put you at 55 mph.
    Last edited by bmorgil; 06-23-2019 at 08:33 AM.

  6. #6
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    Thanks everyone you insights are invaluable I’ve just about decided not to is stall do to the fact most of my driving will be local with an occasional trip to a car show which I can trailer the old girl. Paying 1000 buck for 5 mph more doesn’t seem reasonable to me. On with the adventure!!!

  7. #7
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    Thanks everyone you insights are invaluable I’ve just about decided not to is stall do to the fact most of my driving will be local with an occasional trip to a car show which I can trailer the old girl. Paying 1000 buck for 5 mph more doesn’t seem reasonable to me. On with the adventure!!!

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