Category Archives: Jeeps

All Jeeps. Willys, AMC, and Chrysler.

Drive Shaft Options

This will detail the various options I have for both the front and rear drive shafts during my axle swap. Hopefully this will control costs while allowing me the most reliable options.

All prices are Midwest prices.

Decided on the standard SYE kit and a modified front XJ drive shaft.

Once You Go Black

Well it’s started finally…..the fade to black, as it were. Installed the new black headlight rings.

Before: After:

Next item up…the fuel filler door. Have the new one,just haven’t had a warm enough day to get it installed.

Now I just need to get the mirror mounting brackets changed out. Think he’ll notice i stole em off his? haha. The stickers are gonna be the last before i do the phantom flames. Wheels will wait until i need new tires…unless something falls in my lap. You just never know.

YJ Suspension Nip Tuck

I scheduled a half workday on Wednesday the 25th with the purpose of smoothing the ride and troubleshooting a vibration that had developed. I also was told that I should remove the rear shackle center bolt to maximize rear axle flex.

This was the first thing I did. In the end I didn’t have enough “junk” to flex it far enough for this to matter. I still had about 1/2″ before I would have hit the bolt anyway. It doesn’t hurt anything not having it in, so I left it out.

The most important thing I wanted to do was loosen shackles. Originally, the shackles were torqued to factory specs of 95 FT LB at the spring. Bear in mind that I am running boom shackles and during my research I found quite a few were only torquing to 45 FT LB. This was a little too far below factory specs for my comfort so I went with 60 FT LB all the way around.

I also decided to disconnect the sway bar to see if this had any affect, good or bad, on the ride quality. I left it zip tied to the frame until I get a few miles OTR before removing it permanently.

The results of these two things surprised me.

First, the ride quality improved immensely as measured by the scientific audible rattle method. When traversing bumps known to rattle any and everything as well as give me a good jolt were noticeably softer with less darting.

Second, the vibration I had been experiencing from full stop acceleration was almost completely gone. The vibration had been coming from, apparently, the front left. While it does still vibrate, it’s to a much lesser extent. Now I can hit the skinny pedal quite a bit harder and experience very little vibration at all. I attribute this most to the disconnecting of the sway bar and not the shackle work but I can’t say for sure as I did both before taking it for a test drive.

At this point, I have no plans to change anything I did. The benefits have far out weighed the minor body roll I am experiencing when turning. It doesn’t feel unsafe and hasn’t softened the steering to any great extent.

Some other things accomplished were to permanently attach the center console and secure wiring for the new stereo that was installed the week prior. I also upgraded the speakers in the sound bar and will replace the speakers in the dash once the weather warms up a bit more.

Our Jeep / Eagle Stable (Past and Present)

Since we’ve been licensed to drive, we’ve owned quite a few vehicles. Everything from 4×2 pickups to chevy citations and full-size 4×4 trucks. But here we are going to talk about the Jeep and Eagle vehicles we owned and what we think/thought of them.

Make: Eagle
Model: Talon
Year: 1993
Color: Red
Owned: 1993 – 1998

Car was a base model DL and quite the pooch. It also didn’t brake well in traffic. Automatic seatbelt not friendly to those who imbibe the occasional beer (hit to the head).
(blakbetty) Base model so not a lot of options. Great on gas mileage, sporty but not too much power to get into trouble. Not kid friendly.

Make: Eagle
Model: Summit
Year: 1995
Color: Dark Blue
Owned: 1998 – 2001

(blakntan) Wife got pregnant, needed a family car. This was our first attempt. We owned it for a few years, most commutes during this era were an unqualified disaster in my opinion.
(blakbetty) Zippy, great gas mileage, good commuter but I hit my head getting in every time … Made for short people.

Make: Jeep
Model: Cherokee (XJ)
Year: 1992
Color: Black Cherry
Owned: 2001 – 2008

(blakntan) Loved driving this Jeep. When you mashed the skinny pedal on this thing, it let you know. Worked outstanding as a family vehicle and was more than capable in the Iowa winters. It was only sold because the wife wanted a wrangler. It is now doing commute duty for my brother.
(blakbetty)I loved this vehicle; I could haul stuff like a truck and still had room for passengers. Never left me stranded.

Make: Willys
Model: CJ2A
Year: 1946
Color: Black
Owned: 2003 – Present

(blakntan) We drove out to Ohio to pick this up as a project, and a project it is. The frame was a huge disappoint, to the point where we were forced to buy a junkyard Jeep (1953 CJ3B) for a donor frame. However, the drivetrain (134 GoDevil and the rest) is in great condition. This project was still in progress until recently, but is now beyond my capability and time. I am currently in the process of parting this out.
(blakbetty) 24 hr road trip for a vehicle that didn’t run….Hmmmm. Took on a little more of a project than I think we could handle, but enough to get the Jeep bug started.

Make: Jeep
Model: Wrangler (YJ)
Year: 1994
Color: Tan
Owned: 2008 – Present

(blakntan) What can I say about my YJ other than I LOVE IT! Bought this recently from a mom N pops used car lot in completely stock, albeit in need of maintenance. Since purchase, I’ve done quite a bit of work; 4″ Lift, 3/4″ booms, 1″ body lift, tires, rims and more. It drives like a Jeep should and I’d rather be driving it than a 2008 Mustang. It has the Sahara trim package though most of it is gone. It was built according to Canada’s laws (built for use in Canada) but didn’t come with cruise or air, just tilt. I’ve removed the painted to match fender flares and steps. The steps have been replaced by custom, home built, boat sided rocker guards with massive under-tub coverage.
(blakbetty) Legos for adults.

Make: Jeep
Model: Wrangler (TJ)
Year: 2000
Color: Black
Owned: 2008 – Present

(blakntan) After getting my YJ, of course my wife had to had a Wrangler of her own … only newer. It proved my theory that for every dime I spend, a quarter goes to her :) Drives ok for a mallcrawler, but given the chance, I’ll take my YJ.
(blakbetty) Always wanted one and now I’ve got it. As with 99% of all wrangler owners, I want to make some changes but that’s just to make it my own.

“Two peas in a pod”
Full size images can be viewed in the Gallery.

It’s a JEEP World

We are now officially a 3 Jeep family. So long $$$$, jk.
The project jeep is going to be going away. lack of time, funds, space…..The 94 YJ (heep as Chris so affectionately calls it) is now the rolling project. My ’00 TJ is still stock, not looking to do too many mods. Have a ‘black out’ project planned but it will be just bits at a time. Here’s what I’ve got planned for it so far:
black headlight rings
black stickers
black door mirror mounts
rocker guards/side steps
new bumpers
tinted soft top windows
powder coat wheels

maintenance needed:
oil change
tranny service
diff service
replace door strap mounting bolt (maybe the door keepers)
fix window seals to slow/stop leaks
velcro for seat covers

I’m sure I’ll think of more, with Jeeps it’s never ending. :P

Jeep Restore Starts… Again

With springtime fast approaching, Ive started working on the Jeep again, as well as helping CJ get his garage in order for this season’s car maintenance.

During my winter research, I found a few interesting facts about the Jeep parts I have, and also some rumors about what the Jeep actually is…

Our Jeep History:

Our Jeep was purchased from a private owner in Lancaster, OH on May 1, 2004,
billed as a 1946 CJ2A. The amount paid was $300 and was in very poor
condition. The wife and I did a non-stop, round trip, from Des Moines, IA to
Lancaster, OH and back again to retrieve it.

Upon further investigation, it was found to have more M38 original parts
(produced 1950-53) than 1946 CJ2A parts.

This introduced us to the possibility of a full M38 body, with the serial
number of 42402. This serial is embossed on the firewall as well as all
access plates on the body.

Tear down to do a full, frame up restore, was started and we found that we
had an original T90 A-1 transmission, Spicer transfer case and a Willys
factory rebuilt L-134 “Go Devil” engine (possible rebuild indicated by red
paint). (CJ3A is the civilian
counterpart to the military M38)

Once we determined that the frame was not suitable for restoration we
started looking for a replacement. We found a 1953 CJ3B which we purchased
from a junkyard in Iowa for $150. The frame still had a body, completely
destroyed, attached to it but no serials present on this one either.

The body was an original CJ3B body as evidenced by the “Jeep” scripted
underseat toolbox as well as evidence of dataplates on the dash.

These plates were undoubtedly removed to register another Jeep. The State of
Iowa did not title Jeeps from this era, so this is a common practice amongst
the jeep restoration community. It saves putting a surety bond on the
vehicle for 48 months while awaiting title research that cannot occur due to
lack of records (which I was forced to do).

The story about this Jeep, as relayed via word of mouth, is such that this
Jeep was used as an aircraft tug at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, OH
after its production.

With the limited history in mind, we have decided to restore this jeep to as
near M38 (not A1) mil spec as we are able. And also to make it live again
in the spirit of “word of mouth” history to the extent that we have. Which
is to make it a “Follow Me” Air Force Jeep from it’s era (1950-1953) and
also to the configuration of it’s probable area of operation, the Republic
of Korea or Wright-Patterson AFB, OH during the Korean War. We are also
looking for any confirmed “field modified” versions of this type of
application for a possible restore target as well.

This is a reputed “Follow Me” Jeep from WWII:
This a reputed “Follow Me” Jeep (restored) from the Korean era:
This an unconfirmed “Follow Me” M38A1 Jeep:

If possible, we would like to confirm the color scheme and configuration of
a “Follow Me” Jeep from around the Kunsan, RoK or Wright-Patterson AFB areas
during the war, if they existed. Any pictures, contacts and personal
experiences are greatly appreciated! Any confirmation of the serial numbers
in our posession is also welcome.

A CJ2A.. or an M38? The world may never know.
We sure don’t!

1946 Willys Jeep

The wife and I have been looking for a Jeep for a little over a year now, but nothing seemed to fit our budget, so when the opportunity presented itself, we jumped on a 1946 project jeep. While it was only $300, a problem did present itself. It was located in Lancaster Ohio.


We rented a car transport from Uhaul and drove out to pick it up on May 1st. About half way through Illinois, and in the middle of the night, we found out that the trailer driving lights were inoperable. Nothing to do but press on and hope the state troopers didnt find us.

After an hour nap outside of Dayton, we continued to Lancaster, arriving about 9am. We loaded the Jeep (took a couple hours all told) and got back on the road.

We toyed with the idea of stopping at a hotel for some sleep but decided to finish the trip in one shot. After about 25 hours on the road, we finally had the Jeep home.

You can follow its progress in the gallery.

The first image is a map with pins marking where we are obtaining parts. Hope you enjoy the photo gallery!