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Thread: Good Morning, new to the forum.

  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Good Morning, new to the forum.

    I am going to take possession of a 52 cj3a in a week or so from a PO in Idaho. This will be my first flat fender and the oldest jeep I have owned. It is as old as me so I am expecting a lot of minor repairs before I get her on the road. I think I have had about every CJ that Jeep makes, even a M38A1. but this will be the first L-head engine.

    I am sure I will make a few mistakes with it. I do not think that I will make it all original but I do want it to look as it should and be able to run down the road. I have been told that without an overdrive she should be able to run 40MPH and with overdrive it should make it to 60MPH. I want it to be reliable. Walk out and start her up any time I feel the need to go wondering. a lofty goal.

    One of my friends here said something about installing electric steering, I question that, but arm-strong steering may be a bit much for me to handle at 70 years old. A top for when the rainy season comes here in Washingto will be required some day.

    I know you will ask what I am going to use this old girl for. mostly run into town, grab a beer at the VFW, get the mail, and go fishing. maybe a juant up into the Olympic National Forest. Maybe take in a parade or two along the way.

    Any suggestions on what I should or should not do to make her road worthy would be appreciated.

    Thanks from an old Ret Vet.


  2. #2
    Super Moderator gmwillys's Avatar
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    Submariner,

    First and foremost, Thank you for your service. Welcome to the forum as well.

    A well serviced and maintained Willys is just about as reliable as anything carbureted. A clean fuel supply is the most important item to ensure reliability in my opinion. A maintained charging system and ignition system is next on the list. Some folks really like going to a solid-state ignition system and doing away with points. I keep an extra set of points and condenser and tools under the passenger seat for just in case, but have yet to break them out, (knock on wood). The drive train requires regular maintenace just like anything else, and the manual available here will answer all the questions you may ever need, although always feel free to ask on here. We love the questions and opinions. All in all and as you know, these are fairly simple machines, and will run another 70 years when properly cared for. Drop us some photos of your new rig and we can get a better idea of what you are working with.

    Thoughts on electric power steering? I'd have to investigate the options more. Again, a well-maintained steering system is fairly easy to steer even at a standstill with the "armstrong" steering. Now, on our Willys wagon, I have a GM Saginaw power steering box, and it can steer with one finger while running. The downside to it, is that the steering shaft runs through two pillow block bearings, through a hole bored through the front cross member to the gear box on the front frame horn. The placement of the box is for ease of picking up the stock tie rods. My thoughts on what I know of electric rack and pinions, one would have to revamp the entire steering geometry to retrofit the swap. Bmorgil will pop in here to verify if I am correct or not. He has tons more experience on what may be out there as a simple solution if available.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator bmorgil's Avatar
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    Thank you for your Service and my freedom Submariner!

    gm is correct on the revamp of the steering to go electric. You would remove the current steering system and go with an electric rack and pinion setup. It would require modifications to install the rack. It would be fairly simple to do, if you have the shop and skills.
    Last edited by bmorgil; 08-02-2023 at 07:11 AM.

  4. #4
    Super Moderator LarrBeard's Avatar
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    "I know you will ask what I am going to use this old girl for. mostly run into town, grab a beer at the VFW, get the mail, and go fishing. maybe a juant up into the Olympic National Forest. Maybe take in a parade or two along the way."

    That is a great way to spend retirement for both of you.

    A well tuned 6-volt CJ-3A will do exactly what you ask. Keep fuel clean, keep points and condenser in good shape, watch cables and connections and it will just keep going and going - like the battery bunny. Get the steering cleaned and adjusted and the armstrong steering isn't all that big a deal on those lil' guys.

    "I have been told that without an overdrive she should be able to run 40MPH and with overdrive it should make it to 60MPH."

    That's right on. With that little short wheelbase, much above 40 MPH gets to be a real adventure....

  5. #5
    Super Moderator bmorgil's Avatar
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    Larry brings the best points. At 40 the motor is running good, the vehicle is easy to drive. It will go 50 but, the motor is screaming. With an overdrive it will run along at 50 to 60, it will steer like you are doing 90 to 95.
    Last edited by bmorgil; 08-03-2023 at 05:41 AM.

  6. #6
    Super Moderator LarrBeard's Avatar
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    Only in a cartoon ...

    I'm going to hijack the thread just a bit - for a subject near and dear to all of us who drive the Old Jeeps ...

    We wish we could get 200,000 miles on only 10,000 gallons of gas. More like 20,000
    Attached Images Attached Images

  7. #7
    Junior Member
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    Thanks for the welcome. I am looking forward to getting this cj3a on the road and running around in it. Don't need to run express ways, just back roads will be fine for me. A bit slower will not be a problem. Just want a reiliable ride to get down to get the "mail".

  8. #8
    That sounds like a fun project! Enjoy

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