CJ-3B Rock Crawlers

Serious off-road high hoods


J.W. Heater's "Roxanne"

2021 J.W. Heater is in Kansas City, Missouri, where he found his 1959 CJ-3B Roxanne at a local salvage yard in 2019. He installed a Buick 231 V6, T-90 TeraFlex low-range gears, Dana 30 front axle, lockers front and rear, power steering, disc brakes all around, and dual gas tanks. Check out the chassis with the V6 (420K JPEG) in J.W.'s shop.

This cool shot was taken at "No Left Turn" during the 2021 Easter Jeep Safari in Moab, Utah.

2021 Here's another shot from Moab, at the "Rusty Nail." J.W. says, "My first trip to Moab, EJS 2021 was a blast. I can't wait to go back."

See more photos of Roxanne in 1959 Owners' Photos.

Brian Palmer's "One Piece at a Time"

2014Brian Palmer in Michigan built this Jeep with used parts from Craigslist, and his shakedown trip in 2014 was the Tennessee Mountains Jeep Jamboree.

Powered by a 4.3 fuel injected SM420 from a Chevy S10, it also has overdrive, and power steering and brakes. Offset Dana 44 in the rear with the 30-spline flanged axle (the hard one to find), and Dana 30 narrow track limited slip in front. ARB lockers front and rear.

2014Brian's suspension is based on YJ springs with a spring reversal and 1-1/2 inch lift. There is also a 1-1/4 inch body lift, for 33" MTR's. If he wants to air them down there is a York compressor for onboard air. The Jeep has been given an RTI score of 795.

Brian says, "Frame flexing is a good thing as a complete system as it allows the stress to distributed evenly. I did box my frame along the rails under the tub. I used 3/16" steel with holes every six inches so as not to stiffen too much."

2014 "I put in a narrow track D30 with the large disk brakes up front, that made it 1.5 inches wider. Then running 33 X 12.5 with the wheel offset I'm at 64 inches from the outer tread pattern to pattern. This makes me rather stable from side to side on the trail and tracks like a Indy car on the road.

"I can't say enough for big brakes. You can find a lot of end-overs because the driver stepped on the brake and not the clutch. The end result... the transfer case low range overpowered the brakes."

Thanks to Anne Palmer for the photos.

Colorado Fall Colors, 2016

June 2016Here are a couple of CJ-3Bs which are a little closer to stock, and wearing tall but not huge tires, on the "Chinaman Gulch" trail during the 2016 Colorado Fall Colors Tour. The yellow one I wasn't familiar with -- it belongs to Keith Crimm. And on the left is Bob Westerman's clone of Willys prototype X98.

Jeff Petrowich posted a video on YouTube of X98 proving to be one of the few flatfenders to navigate the "Rock Garden" on Chinaman Gulch.

June 2016Jeff also took some photos of Bob taking X98 over "Crawler Ridge" at Rausch Creek off-road park in Pennsylvania in June 2016.

June 2016Bob takes advantage of the famous flex of the Willys frame, and a 1-inch body lift to clear the 7.50 x 16 tires. See Legendary X98 Brought to Life on CJ3B.info, for details on the other tweaks that make X98 into what Jeff calls a "super stock" Jeep.

Moab, 2016

2016At first glance it may look like this 3B is coming down the rock, but look closely and you'll see he's actually coming up Wipeout Hill, one of the obstacles that attract Jeepers to the Easter Jeep Safari in Moab, Utah.

The EJS isn't exactly a show -- it's a week of shows and trail rides, and is one of the biggest Jeep events of the year. You'll see a lot of new, modified and tricked-out Jeeps, but also quite a few Willys flatfenders.


This nice 3B didn't make it to the top of the hill -- the lack of locking differentials meant he couldn't quite get enough grip. These photos are from the YouTube video Willys Flattys on Wipeout Hill by Jeff Petrowich.

2016This year was the 50th annual Easter Jeep Safari, organized by the Red Rock 4-Wheelers. Part of the rocks that gave the club its name is another hill referred to as "The Escalator".

This heavily modified 3B belonging to a member of the Snake River Offroaders in Idaho powered its way up the hill.

2016But at the end of Jeff's video CJ3B on the Escalator the Jeep is tilted up against the wall and having trouble getting out.

Thanks to Jeff for posting the videos. He also shot video of this Jeep at Hell's Gate and Mickey's Hot Tub, where he uses a strap on the front end to prevent a possible backwards flip.

Around the USA

1963 CJ-3B"Little Red", a 1958 CJ-3B, belongs to Rick Kirby of Lenoir City, Tennessee. Rick told CJ3B.info in 2001, "My son and I purchased it 3 years ago and did a frame-up resto on it. We installed a 4.3 V-6, T-18 trans, 38" swampers, Scout axles, detroit lockers. We love it. This is my seventh Jeep."

Rear view"These pictures were taken at the Upper Tellico OHV area. It is close to Tellico Plains, Tennessee, which is about 60 miles southeast of Knoxville. It is one of the best places in the USA to offroad."

CJ-5/3B crossRob Richardson in upstate New York built "Shore Patrol", a 4.3L V6-powered CJ-3B. He said, "I shouldn't even call it a 3B because the donor frame and axles are from a 1955 CJ-5. I put an aftermarket 3B body on it and painted it canary yellow.

CJ-5/3B crossModifications to Rob's Jeep include a 4.3 Chevy motor (carburated), TH350 automatic tranny mated to Spicer 18 transfer case (Advance Adapters), 4-inch suspension lift (Skyjacker), power steering ('85 Chevy Blazer) and 33" x 12.5 Dick Cepek tires.

Rob commented, "I know CJ3B.info is dedicated to the preservation of the 3B, but I would love to see more modified 3B's, and find help from others who have gone before me."

June 2016Well, here's another one, a '57 belonging to Steven Van Zanten in Washington state. It's lifted with its original springs over the axles, and has 33" Super Swamper tires, but also a set of road tires for daily driver use. With a Buick 231 V6 and a Warn overdrive, Steven says, "This Jeep can crawl through the woods, and go 60 on the freeway." See more in 1957 CJ-3B Owners and Photos.

Thanks to all the owners for the photos. -- Derek Redmond

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Last updated 1 January 2023 by Derek Redmond redmond@cj3b.info
All content not credited and previously copyright, is copyright Derek Redmond