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About My 1953 CJ3B
CJ3B 1952 161cid
My dream was to be cruzing around town and off road with the CJ3B all shiny and neat. It had been through a flood and then sat for some time. I tore it down and started cleaning and realizing the motor was shot I set out to find one. I didn't have much luck at finding an F head four. I don't think I even found any. I found a 1952 Willys Aero Wing that was in good condition. Yep, I junked it to put the f head 6 in the CJ. I have regretted not fixing the Aero instead of the 3B but I was just a kid who wanted a 4x4.
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I had taken the rusty 3B body off. The body had been rebuilt once in the past when it belonged to a shop teacher. A locale auto enthusiast helped me with some motor mount changes. After fitting the motor to the mounts the F head 6 was removed for a rebuild. I was probably 17 at the time and hadn't gone farther than a Briggs and Stratton teardown. I had another guy rebuild it but after installation it didn't turn over. That's when I decided I needed to know more and do more for myself. Soon I discovered the new rear main bearing was an undersize on a standard shaft. After fixing that problem we fired it up.
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I worked on the body and chassis throughout a three year period with lots of brakes like any teenager might take. I made fenders from a 70 Chevy hood and gas welded all the seams. Eventually the body was brazed up enough to be placed back on the chassis. . After the body fill I primed it and purchased a vinyl top. I wasn't ready to take on a real paint job so I got it licensed and started driving it. Some time later, soon after I was married, I painted the CJ3B red. I remember my wife showing up with it, gears grinding, to tell me the pregnancy test was positive. The paint was barely dry and she didn't know how to drive standard. My first son was born in April of 79. So that was some time in 1978.
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After all these years: The 161 is still running. The tires are at least 25 years old. The heater still works. The vinyl top is long gone. The body is about spent. With the rust holes, the exhaust is a killer. Oh that aluminum top is noisy.
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When my stocks come in, I'm going to get that new tub.

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Keep on Workin Willys
o~~~~~~ Last update 12-21-07 ~~~~~~o
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