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Thread: 1947 CJ2a Digging in...

  1. #1
    Junior Member LilWhip's Avatar
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    1947 CJ2a Digging in...

    Just purchased my first Jeep. She's a beauty. 1947 CJ2A. From what I was told, the Jeep has been sitting in a barn for 30 years and hasn't been started. I have been doing a lot of work, or should I say, removing old rusty bolts and buying lots of replacement parts Part of the fun right? This weekend I took off the water pump and noticed that there is old crusty antifreeze that needs to be flushed/removed. This now begs the question...what should I do? My gut instinct is to start the engine rebuild process but need some help and guidance. I also took off the head and the cylinders don't look too bad. See the pictures below and let me know your thoughts. I have done a lot of car work, but never rebuilt a car engine, only the little briggs and stratton mower engines. I am a newbie.
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  2. #2
    Super Moderator gmwillys's Avatar
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    An engine is an engine, everything comes apart and goes back together one bolt at a time.

    Invest in the Willys shop manual if you haven't already done so.
    Shop around for a good, (trusted) machine shop to check everything over/ true up the block/head.
    Double check all the measurements before ordering the rebuild kit.
    Have a clean place for re-assembly.
    Take your time.
    Take all the time you need to be sure everything is right and proper.
    Patience.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator bmorgil's Avatar
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    Diggin' in is the first step to a great project LW! The shop manual is the most important purchase. Reading it is the best way to have a good project. The book and the proper tools will go a long way.

  4. #4
    Junior Member LilWhip's Avatar
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    Great feedback! I have the manual and will start reading I was able to pour a couple of cups of water through the water pump port and A LOT of old sludge came out through the head plug behind the generator. But the good news is that it is looking much cleaner. I took the head off and cleaned around the pistons to see if there were any cracks on the block and everything looks pretty clean. I also blew everything out with compressed air. Would it be a bad idea to put a new head gasket on and go through the process that LarrBeard outlined in starting an old engine? or should I just embrace the rebuild now

  5. #5
    Super Moderator LarrBeard's Avatar
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    "...only the little briggs and stratton mower engines. I am a newbie."

    A. The L-134 isn't a lot more complicated that the B&S lawnmower engine, just a bit bigger and 4X on cylinders. If you've rebuilt B&S engines, you've done just about everything you will need to do on the L-134. Get a Shop Manual. Put it in the library and look at it often.

    B. Every one of us was a newbie "once upon a time, a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away..". You get over being a newbie by just getting in and doing it.

    C. What we see of the engine's innards doesn't look all that bad, but with as much crud as I can see in the water pump opening, IMHO, you need to get that block boiled out (hot tanked) to loosen up all the stuff you can't see. If not, you'll chase it forever.

    D. Did anyone give you an idea as to why it was parked in the barn? What broke?

    Keep us informed on how things are going. It looks like a nice starting place for a project.

  6. #6
    Super Moderator bmorgil's Avatar
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    Since you have the head off, if you aren't on a strict budget, now would be a good time to rebuild it. Did you check the compression prior to pulling that head? If it was low definitely time to rebuild it. If you didn't, its really a budget thing. You could clean it up and vacuum the cylinders out, put on a new head gasket and give it a try.

  7. #7
    Junior Member LilWhip's Avatar
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    Thanks for the advice, everyone! I decided to begin the rebuild process. The good news is that I have successfully removed all head stud bolts (except for the back three which are under the firewall) without breaking any yet. So far the engine block looks good with no visible cracks. Excited to get it to the machine shop for a hot bake and to see the true condition. This now begs the question...should I keep going and rebuild the transmission and transfer case? Much easier when everything is out, right? Plus I think it will take the machine shop a couple of weeks at minimum to turn things around on the block.

  8. #8
    Super Moderator LarrBeard's Avatar
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    Welcome to thie slippery slope!

    Yes, it is easier to get to the transmission, transfer case and differentials now than it would be with an engine in the way. It is a pretty good guess that the seals are going to leak with fresh lube in things as well as unpleasant surprises with bearings, worn/corroded gear teeth and the like.

    The ride down that slope is an exciting one!

  9. #9
    Super Moderator gmwillys's Avatar
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    Do everything that you can while it's easy to get at. You'll be happy you did.

  10. #10
    Junior Member LilWhip's Avatar
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    Okay, was able to spend this last Saturday pulling the engine and transmission. Everything looks good except for this lovely self-fix on the engine block. It looks like the original owner was trying to prevent a crack or something by bolting a bracket onto the block by the distributor. After looking closely it doesn't look like a crack but not sure. Not super happy that there are 14 drilled holes in the block, but I am not giving up hope. At least the holes are threaded and I am thinking I can either plug the hole or put the plate back on when I rebuild. Let me know your thoughts on the repair process. I am going to take it to the machine shop for a hot bath so I can see what the engine looks like when it's clean. I really want to fix this as it appears to be the original engine.
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