Late Model CJ-3B Restoration

1963 CJ-3B, Doug Hoffman, Boise, Idaho, USA


In the hillsWhen he wasn't busy being the behind-the-scenes honcho of the old CJ-3B Bulletin Board, Doug Hoffman of Boise, Idaho was working away for seven years on an extensive restoration of this nice '63 CJ-3B.

BeforeDoug recalls the beginning: "This Jeep was purchased in Denver in October 2005. The VIN tag was gone, and it didn't have the original engine or transmission. The paint and trim tag was there and reads: PAINT 228, TRIM 200. I found the number 112307 on the frame, so that fits as it is registered as a 1963. Also, there was no WILLYS stamping on the grille, tailgate or hood."

Dash before"This is the dashboard when I first bought it. The front end of the Jeep was also heavily modified, to incorporate a 283 Chevy."

New engine

"After sanding and grinding the frame (80K JPEG), I replaced the 283 with an F-134, and the Muncie M-20 transmission was exchanged for an original T-90 setup."

Yellowstone"The cut up frame on the front end was pieced back together and the rear cross-member replaced with one from a donor frame. I found a parts Jeep in Cody, WY that I bought just for the tub; it was convenient that the trip took us right through Yellowstone National Park."

Working"An original steering column/box was also installed. New brakes, fuel tank, windshield glass, rebuilt steering system, NOS instrument cluster and many other small parts. All body work, priming and painting was done in my garage and I hated every minute of the paint process and was very glad when it was done. Put on the roll bar and a bikini top from New Life Canvas. An overdrive is also now installed."

In the hills"It's been great to finally be able to drive the Jeep. I purchased many of the parts from folks on the Bulletin Board. Many thanks to all of those who have been so helpful over the years -- there were many e-mails, explanations and detailed photos to help explain how some things went together. Future plans include rebuilding the transmission, transfer case and carburetor. Two other big changes are coming in late 2012 -- my freshly rebuilt engine is almost done and I'm putting a Koenig hardtop on for the winter."

This shot was taken on a 6-hour trip into the mountains north of Boise, Idaho in July 2011. Doug says, "Anyone who might be in this area, feel free to contact me and maybe we can hit the hills."

"It was great weather, a fun time and beautiful scenery. Temps were in the high 70s, sunny, cool breeze, windshield down, wind in the face -- aaaahhhhhhhh!"

Doug also posted a video on YouTube.


"Monday I decided to take a little trip. It started off kind of cool (30s) and pretty much stayed cool the whole day. They had been calling for it to be 61 that day, that is why I wanted to take advantage of the weather. I got to splash through some mud puddles and climb a few small hills.

"I took some video with the GoPro camera. You can see the camera in the pics on a suction cup mount in the middle of my windshield. (See also a front view photo, 150K JPEG.) I think it works great!"

(Note -- you can see the video on YouTube. And check out the shot in the middle where Doug drives over the camera! -- Derek)

"One thing I've noticed with the GoPro is that in the video it appears that you're going really fast! Believe me, I'm not rocketing along these mountain roads! The little town you see at the end of the video is Placerville, ID. Population 53. But not the smallest town I've been to with the Jeep.

"As with most of my Jeep trips, it turned out to be over 100 miles and about 6 hours. No top on the Jeep and the heater was going full blast, and I never felt a bit of heat from it! It might be the last ride before the top goes on it for the winter."


Doug had the top on in November 2015 when these photos were taken. As he says, "We got into some mud that day."

Nice photo with Danskin Peak on the background. The top was not the only addition for that trip. Doug says, "This was the first trip where my 3B was sporting a newly-installed Superlift suspension."

Thanks to Doug for the photos. -- Derek Redmond

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Last updated 14 March 2016 by Derek Redmond redmond@cj3b.info
All content not credited and previously copyright, is copyright Derek Redmond