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Thread: New with a 1950 CJ3A

  1. #1
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    New with a 1950 CJ3A

    Hello everyone. I'm new here, and just bought my first flat fender, a 1950 3A. It has a few issues and has been sitting for 20 or so years in a shed in Beulah CO, but is pretty much all there and has only one quarter sized rust spot that I could find. The hood had been modified at one point to accommodate a larger radiator for a Studebaker 6. They switched back to the Go Devil at some point and pop riveted a galvanized patch in. That seems to be the major damage, aside from dings and dents from being a farm Jeep, as well as a bent front bumper, I'm sure from pushing stuff around. The real issue with it is the dreaded no title, but the price was so cheap I was willing to risk trying to get one. I have had luck before getting a title, but this one may be a bit harder. We shall see. The seller will be delivering it to me on Saturday as he is about 80 miles from me and has a trailer to haul it on. Cant wait to get it cleaned up, and start with trying to title it!
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  2. #2
    Super Moderator LarrBeard's Avatar
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    Yup - it's a CJ 3A. You are lucky to get it delivered.

    The first job will be to find a serial number to start the title search. The license plate might help in working backwards through some registration paperwork.

    Good Luck!

  3. #3
    Super Moderator gmwillys's Avatar
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    Doesn't look bad at all! As long as you have a serial number, it shouldn't be a big deal outside of jumping through a few hoops.

  4. #4
    Super Moderator bmorgil's Avatar
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    That will be a nice start. It sounds like it is pretty solid. The frame and drive train are probably quite solid if all you found was a small spot of rust. There aren't a lot of CJ3A's running around. The 1949's and 50's can be very unique to be sure. The Willys Facility was scrambling to introduce the CJ's into the market. Their record keeping was notoriously poor. The old Timers still alive here in Toledo at the Jeep Fests, remember the scrambling well. Willys trucks were not moving as they wanted. The CJ2A was phasing into the 3A. Consequently you will find original Early CJ3A's with a variety of combinations. 3A frames were introduced prior to the use of all 2A inventory. You may find 2A motors adapted to 3A frames from the factory. Though some 2A motors were swapped in in the field, unknown to a lot of Willys Jeep enthusiasts, quite a few 3A's were produced with inventory that was repurposed. Truck engines and 2A engines as well as 2A rear model 41 axles and other little things may show up. Just remember LarrBeards rule. "Never say Willys never...". It will be cool to see what you find.

    Good luck and definitely post some pictures. We live through each others projects.

  5. #5
    Senior Member scoutingranch's Avatar
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    My '50 came from Colorado. A little heads up, some states used the engine number as the I.D number on the registration. Colorado did this. If there is no title it isn't the end of the world. First do a title search thru the Highway Patrol to see if stolen and or out of the system.
    If clear, you should be good to go. I use a private State Certified mobile service that comes to the house to verify the Vin number. Once that sheet is filled out just go to AAA. I've done this many times over the years.
    Just helped out a fellow here in SoCal and it went smooth as it is all legal.
    If it clears HP then use the number on the tag, not the engine number. It will make you life easier in the end.
    Last edited by scoutingranch; 07-31-2020 at 10:30 AM.
    "Options are for girls"

  6. #6
    Junior Member
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    I'll start working on the title this week. The one DMV in my county was out of commission last week because the employees (all 3 of them) were all out sick. Hopefully next week they will be open. The seller dropped the Jeep off at my house yesterday and I was able to take a closer look at it. It has very little rust. One little spot next to the floor drain as a previous owner plugged those up, and a spot or two on the little body supports that run under the floor. The back deck is crusty from having carpet on it, but still solid. The long panels on the tub are pretty banged up and will need to be replaced at some point. The hood is also pretty banged up and has the galvanized patch, so I will need to rustle a hood up. The two coats of paint over the original gray are quite thin. I may try to use graffiti remover and see if I can bring back the original paint. I've had luck doing that on VWs.

    A couple questions. The jeep came with some bucket seats (and the original drivers seat). Are the bucket seats from a later Jeep? See pictures. Also, it has 15" rims. Do these look original? If they are I will just have to go with them because I need to get this thing so I can roll it around the driveway. I'm looking at Deestone D503 tires. Very classic, and also very affordable (I'm on a tight budget). 8 ply might be a little stout, but the roads around here shred tires. The engine number is under the oil filter bracket, correct? Thanks guys!


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    Last edited by 65riv; 08-02-2020 at 09:09 AM.

  7. #7
    Senior Member scoutingranch's Avatar
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    Potomac Gray, 16" wheels, seats incorrect, Deestone tires made in China, India something like that. Try Specialty Tires of America for a proper jeep looking tire made in the States. The engine number is on the boss on the front of the engine behind the fan blade.
    If I have written incorrectly the boys will point it out.
    "Options are for girls"

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