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Thread: Ve cj 2?

  1. #1
    Super Moderator LarrBeard's Avatar
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    Ve cj 2?

    Yesterday a guy came up and we started talking Jeeps.

    He has an interesting project going on; he calls it a 1946 VE CJ 2. Right now it is a painted chassis and a LOT of parts. It has the L-134, but his block was cracked and he has found a used air compressor or generator block that looks like it will do the job. He insists it is a CJ 2, not a 2A (The VE is his own designation as Very Early) because it has a three-speed column shift. He didn’t say anything about a transfer case, and I didn’t think to ask.

    What’s the story on Very Early CJ 2 Jeeps? Was there a column shift 4WD?

  2. #2
    Super Moderator gmwillys's Avatar
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    VEC is actually the designation. The Very Early Civilian body's consisted of remaining MB parts to include the tool indentations for the pioneer tools. The next easiest identification item is the earlies were column shift 3 speeds. Another item was the dash data plates were three separate plates going across the dash.

    http://www.ewillys.com/tag/vec/

    An air compressor engine typically utilizes the number two and three cylinders to actually compress air, while one and four are powered normally. The heads are reportably different for the air compressor, but the blocks are the same as any Willys engine. A generator would be a typical block marked as industrial in the serial instead of a CJ prefix.

    http://www.ewillys.com/?s=air+compressor
    Last edited by gmwillys; 08-20-2020 at 05:13 AM.

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    Super Moderator bmorgil's Avatar
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    gm you are amazing.

  4. #4
    Senior Member 5JeepsAz's Avatar
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    my research says the column shift was touted as an advanced design over the floor shift, at the time. could be marketing but it fits why they would, when they did. Automatic had column shift for longer, so it didn't last in manual transmissions

  5. #5
    Super Moderator gmwillys's Avatar
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    Too many moving parts for the masses. It was fine tuned by the time your truck came along, but not much. I had a '67 International truck that was a 3 on the tree.... You could. Grab the handle and wave it around in a large circle and never hit a gear. If you did, it would jam 2nd and reverse together, and you had to dive under the hood to pry the linkage back into shape.

  6. #6
    Super Moderator bmorgil's Avatar
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    Haha gm I can't believe it, I had a 78' Chevy 1/2 ton that did the same thing! Unfortunately I had to crawl underneath to get it UN-jamed.

  7. #7
    Super Moderator gmwillys's Avatar
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    Between that and running a C-60 dump truck that every time it was cold out the two speed rear end would hang between gears, you had a workout. I was pretty good at bailing out and bashing the two speed with a hammer, and jumping back in before the truck would come to a complete stop..... on flat ground, but as usual, the two speed would go out on a hill when splitting gears.

  8. #8
    Super Moderator LarrBeard's Avatar
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    When I was talking to the guy about his VE CJ, he mentioned that the original tub that was too far gone to save had the indentations for the pioneer tools. I'm going to suggest to him that if that area is at all salvageable, splicing that back into the MDJuan tub would be a great way to keep some of the originality.

    He also has a repro hood and fenders. He commented that the repro hood weighs a lot less than the original - he's going to salvage the original.

  9. #9
    Super Moderator bmorgil's Avatar
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    You have to be careful when you buy the re-pro stuff. While I think all of it now is made at MD Juan, there are different thickness out there. I have read through some discussions with the Quality Manager of MD Juan, about the evolution of the MD Juan parts. They made quite a few changes a few years back. The material on mine was fairly heavy gauge. Supposedly they went to the original thickness.

    This is an interesting thread from the CJ3 page to read through if you are looking into re-pro parts. https://cj3apage.com/Forum/index.php?topic=3858.0

  10. #10
    Super Moderator gmwillys's Avatar
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    In my opinion, I would not go the MD Juan route for this instance. I would evaluate what was good on the original, and replace what is too far gone. The replacement panels offered by KW are made in the USA, and match close enough that only some minor trimming is needed for proper fitment. There are not many VEC 2s running around, and would hate to see the tub end up on the scrap heap. In order to be semi-correct, an CJ2A body would have to be used, because there are several items that would have to b e changed on the MB to be correct. On the MB body the dash would have to be filled in where the glove box is on the MB. Then the driver's floor would have to be changed to a flat piece to remove the fuel tank well and a fuel tank neck cut out of the driver's side for the civilian fuel tank. The rear wheel wells would have to be filled in where the tool boxes are located on the top of the wheel wells. Either which route, you have a major undertaking to be made.

    The following pictures are of a MD Juan bodied M38/CJ3A compared to an actual M38. The steel used for the Juan body must of consisted of all the scrap yard sweepings from around the Philippines. The steel was very thin, and difficult to work with. This one was built in the mid eighties, and within a couple of years it rusted out on the floors and at the corners of the front fenders. The M38 was also rusty, but it had been kept outdoors for decades.
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    Last edited by gmwillys; 08-21-2020 at 11:47 AM.

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