Return to the index of 1954 Jeeps.
In early 2012, Stuart in Phoenix sent photos from before and after some recent restoration work on his '54, including elk hunting at Mormon Lake (200K JPEG) and trail riding in the Sierra Ancha Wilderness (210K JPEG)
"Sadly, on its maiden voyage last fall the freshly rebuilt engine was ruined due to oil pressure issues. I have rebuilt it again and it runs great but still has severe oil pressure fade after warm up. It needs a new cam and the 302 Ford bearing treatment I think.
"Luckily I met Eric Lawson here purely by accident while working one day. Turns out we live 15 minutes apart and his engine from his rebuild guide will be going in my Jeep. It still looks great inside after sitting for over a decade.
This photo is overlooking Roosevelt Lake.
"One day this spring these YIPAO license plates (120K JPEG) showed up in the mail. I have a theory that I must have gotten some Colombian parts during the rebuild, or I've spilled one too many cups of Colombian Cafe between the seats. Either way my Jeep must have gotten some Latin blood because it now makes a sound like a Cumbia when it idles. Even though my Jeep only hunts and explores in its retirement here in Arizona, it now pays homage to the working jeeps of Colombia and their folklore status in the Yipao festivals."
See also Stuart's Yipao Tailgate System.
In 2005 his beautiful photo from Colorado (100K JPEG) was on our cover. Stuart wrote, "Took it up to Taylor Park, Colorado this fall. Runs great even at 11,500 feet thanks to carb rebuild kit from the carb shop in Missouri. We took the Jeep on a run up an old railroad bed to an alpine tunnel at 11,500 feet on that trip. It was a nice change of scenery for the old Jeep which has seen action in Montana, Nevada and Arizona."
"I grew up with this Jeep. The neighbors bought it new and it has been in my family since 1968. It spent most of its life on a dairy farm here in western North Carolina, suffering from the effects of fertilizer, manure, and winter road salt. My original camo paint job (80K JPEG) camouflaged the rust, not the Jeep. The paint scheme was the US four-color woodland pattern from the early 70's, copied from the trailer.
"The Jeep retains the 6-volt system (I'm stubborn). Modifications include the addition of locking hubs, electric wiper, heater, fog lights, rear utility light, and block heater. I removed the factory PTO unit to install the pintle hitch and added the eleven-inch brake kit for trailering. It is still used regularly for farm maintenance and getting firewood, as well as some top-down cruising. For the trailer buffs, the ID tag lists it as a Model 416M-65 accepted for service in November, 1966.
"I have rebuilt about everything on her myself including a total drivetrain overhaul, engine, transmission, transfer case and both differentials. The F-head is bored .030 over and the head is decked .020. All gear boxes now have synthetic oil. I ordered a Crane electronic ignition conversion and a K&N air filter."
See more photos of Ed's Jeep in No Spring Chicken.
In case anybody needed a reminder that winter is on the way, TSgt. Joe Archambeault sent some photos of his mean plowing machine from Clifton Park NY. He says, "It's a 1954 CJ-3B, ID plate number 454GB2 24902, and engine number 4J261099. I have no more info on its history. I traded two snowblowers for it, and it runs and plows snow just fine."
See also a front view photo (90K JPEG).
Sergio in Colombia says, "We were on a trip in June 2005, and 'he' was standing on the side of the road, with a big sign 'FOR SALE'. OK, now I'm the proud owner of this CJ-3B, named by me 'Marco Aurelio'.
"It was imported bu Leonidas Lara Co. for the Colombian Coffee Corporation. Its original plate number is from Medellin, a city near the most important coffee area. Thirty years later the Jeep was purchased by a very old man who had a wheat combine and some tractors and bulldozers, and the Jeep was used to carry the fuel to the work sites. I think it has more or less 500,000 miles."
See more of Sergio's photos of his Willys on the Farm.
"My name is Ulises Olivas from El Paso, Texas. I have always loved old cars! I recently found this CJ-3B from 1954 for a very good price just a few houses up from my house. The photo of the blue jeep (190K JPEG) is the way I bought it. The man I bought it from is 82 and says he has had it for over thirty years, so I'm assuming he bought it sometime in the 70s. He said he used to use it as his hunting rig for many years but is too old to do any of those things anymore. The man actually did not have it for sale -- we heard from word of mouth he had a 1970 CJ-5 he was selling and when we went to go look at it, he's like 'I'll tell you what I got, this Willys in the back yard, gimme 1200 for both!' I was like, hell yeah! He said the CJ-5 was used for parts for the Willys so it has the CJ-5s rollbar and motor. 'My original Willys engine is still here, only it's in the back of the CJ-5. All you need to do is put her in and she'll run.' He said the old engine was starting to feel weak and it was cheaper for him to buy this entire CJ-5 than to fix the old motor. The tires are newer-style Mickey Thompson 31-inch tires, but the originals were still on the CJ-5!
"Anyway, he said, "Years ago when I parked it, it was running -- the carburetor is probably just bad, because it won't fire anymore." I didn't care if it was running or not -- I took the risk and bought em both! Sure enough, I drained the old gas and threw in a brand new Solex carb and she fired right up! She drives wonderful -- the 4x4 works awesome! It's my first Jeep ever, and man i like it! At the time I actually did not have the funds to purchase the Jeeps, but an old Willys is the only old car my dad has ever wanted. He says old cars are too much of a hassle, he would rather buy em new, but if he was gonna get an old car it would have to be an old Willys Jeep. So I went home and I sold the best guitar I own on eBay, to purchase the Jeep for my dad -- Armando Olivas -- so I guess he's the official owner now! Even though I'll be doing most of the resto work! I remember walking to elementary school as a kid and seeing this old Jeep in this old man's yard. I never thought one day I would end up buying it!"
See also a front view photo (190K JPEG).
"I am a member of the Snohomish County (Washington) Search & Rescue, and the team leader of our 4x4 unit. I built the 3B to use on SAR missions and it works great up in the mountains (120K JPEG). This is not my first Jeep; I have owned several CJs over the past 27 years but never a high hood -- this is the one I've always wanted since I was kid. I purchased it in 2007 from a guy in Oregon who had started the project and gathered a lot of the main components already. I did a complete frame-off restoration, and I have now completed the 2.5 year project.
"The engine is a 283 Chevy V8 (120K JPEG), with a Muncie 4-speed, Atlas adapter, Dana 20 T-case, custom C-V drive lines. The axles are late-70s CJ Dana 44 rear and Dana 30 front wide track with disk brakes. Both have lockers with 427 gears. The suspension is spring-under lifted, with a shackle reversal. It has Chevy power steering, Wilwood brakes and hydraulic clutch, Camaro 4-core radiator with electric fan, Painless wiring harness, custom full roll cage and seats, and Warn 8,000 lb winch (80K JPEG).
"The frame rails are original and fully boxed now. The tub and fenders are aftermarket from the Philippines, and I had a buddy of mine do the paint job. We took it to his shop in pieces and all the parts were shot with 3 coats of lacquer top to bottom, then cut and buffed. The color is 1969 Chevy Hugger Orange.
"I have more plans for the project down the road."
"I live in Mynämäki, Finland and have enjoyed Jeeps for 10 years. I have owned three fullsizers and one XJ but this is my first CJ. I got excited about CJ-3Bs when I test drove a friend's 1955 CJ-3B. I bought my CJ-3B VIN 454GB2 15834H in 2010. It has Volvo's B20 engine (100K JPEG) and 4-speed transmission. I am not sure but I've heard that the adapter might be Swedish-made by a local 4x4 shop whose founder made these adapters, but when he retired the new owner focussed on selling only branded parts.
"The previous owner has painted this in white. Body renovation and engine swap were made in 1988. It has a Bestop vinyl roof (200K JPEG) which has been modified in Finland with additional insulation (180K JPEG).
"When I bought my CJ the deal also involved a 1943 Willys MBT trailer (120K JPEG), VIN 70-P-72033. The oldest registration entries this trailer has in Finland as late as 1972. It might be some old army surplus goods by NATO from Norway or something. A great combination of vehicles, however. I moved the spare tire carrier from Jeep to trailer, and I moved that jerry can bracket too. I changed the rear trailer lights to older model Volvo BM combine harvester rear lights.
"I made a few modifications too; I moved the driver's seat (150K JPEG) about 12cm backwards. See also the dashboard (130K JPEG)."
"I live in Helsinki, Finland. 1954 is the first registration year of my Willys CJ-3B. Finnish registration number is in the frame near bumper: 4J-46880A (engine number?) It has no VIN plate. It has been a show car in American Car Show in Finland year 1987. Then the second owner before me built it in sailing style with wooden panels and black color. It has been green originally. I have done brake and electrical work. The owner before me has done mechanical work. It is very original; major changes are electrical fuel pump, carburetor, changes in fenders and tires. Original engine and transmission are working well. Some oil leaks. I have owned it since 2006."
Josh in Prineville, Oregon, says, "I bought my 1954 CJ-3B last April, and have slowly been restoring it to original. It came from a family in Eastern Oregon. I don't know the full history past that. It is my fifth Jeep. I owned a '53 CJ-3B in the 90's when I was in high school. A 1960 CJ-5, a 1966 CJ-5, a 1956 M38, and now the 54 CJ-3B.
I took out the homemade roll bar (150K JPEG) and took the homemade tow bar off the front. I took the seats out that were in it (they were not original, and had green moss growing on them) and replaced them with boat seats ordered from Cabela's.
This CJ-3B is pretty much original. I found a set of military 16" wheels to use, and put on a set of 600-16 NDT tires. I live on a cattle ranch in Central Oregon, and use the Jeep to hunt and play. We live about ten minutes from the national forest, so we run the Jeep up there to hunt, fish, and camp. My wife, kids, and I love that old Jeep, and so does our dog."
"Here's a 1954 CJ-3B that's just been fixed up for driving. It was originally Bristol Red (maroon) in color and had been repainted various colors before being stripped down for this paint job. Don't know the history of this Willys. It came from Wells, Nevada where it was used as a hunting rig for the last 20 years or so. It came with a spare F-head engine although the engine in it has never been rebuilt and still has good compression."
The rear view photo shows the rack for gas can and spare tire. "It swings open hinged on the right side. Obviously a homemade rack... came with the Willys when I bought it."
This Jeep belonged to an Esso station in Charlottesville VA until Bob Smith bought it in the early 1990's.
Current owner Ed Meiners says, "The Jeep followed me home from Bob's place to my home in Mason, Ohio. After some tinkering she is roadworthy, although her abilities are well camouflaged under replacement panels and rust. The most exciting accomplishment is the winch. It is the Koenig model that drives off the crankshaft pulley. There were a few parts missing so some fabrication was necessary. With the use of the manuals that are posted on the web and a brother-in-law who is a very patient machinist the unit is now functioning."
As of 2009, the Jeep is now painted red, and Ed says, "I have finished a frame-off resto and I figure I will get another 50 years out of this Jeep." He sent photos from on the trail (50K JPEG) and at a local Flat Fender Frenzy show (80K JPEG).
Bob Smith took some more photos, including the Koenig winch, when he first bought the Jeep.
"The previous owner had only had it for about 2 months, but had put a 2-inch Superlift on it, and another prior owner had replaced the tire rims and the seats. Other than that it was mostly stock. Engine, drive train, frame all seem fine."
For more photos, see 1954 CJ-3B Restoration Project Begins.
Dennis now lives in Jacksonville, Illinois, and has two '54 3B's. One is incomplete and in pieces, and he's thinking of turning it into a modified off-road vehicle. The other one seen here "still has not been worked on to be a running vehicle. But it's intact enough (with new seats done like originals) to pull it over to the 2006 Spring Willys Reunion in Springfield and display it. Our club, the Mid-Illinois Jeep Enthusiasts, is into all Jeeps, and we plan on having a club event to go for one day for sure."
"This is my 1954 Willys 3B. As I disassembled it to do some small repairs I found I had big problems. Everything was bad (70K JPEG). I took it down to the frame (70K JPEG) and started from scratch. I purchased another 3B body (ironically he called me as I was selling off the parts I no longer needed and he said he had a body he wasn't going to use -- what are the odds?). Anyway, that body wasn't perfect either, but better. I've modified this greatly -- it wasn't the plan to do all this but I didn't have much to start with. I love how it turned out (60K JPEG). It has a 350 engine, automatic transmission (350 turbo) and is two-wheel drive. I live in Ohio so cruising the 'flat' state is fine with me. The hood and fenders have been extended two inches to make room for the engine. Custom seats added as well. Many more modifications to get it running. There really isn't another one like it anywhere."
"My Jeep was bought in 1954 by the police department in Rotterdam, Holland. They used it to push cars that broke down on the highway. In order to do this the Jeep is slightly modified to ensure there is no damage done to the car that is pushed. After the police sold the Jeep to the national forest service, it was used to tow trees out of the forest and for inspection of the woods. This organisation didn't look after the Jeep, so it became in a very bad condition. I bought the car at an auction of government property and began the restoration.
"Some of the parts (seat covers and electric wiring) were in such bad shape that I had to replace them. We restored the car to almost the same condition as it was at the time the police used it. This is the first car we restored. We did everything ourselves including welding, wiring and painting. After we restored the Jeep we have already driven 5000 km with it (and it never failed!)"
See Rotterdam Police Jeep Restoration for more photos and details.
The drivetrain in this Jeep includes the original Hurricane engine, a T98 4-speed from a 1964 CJ-5, a Warn overdrive, the original front axle with a Lock Right, and a full-floating Dana 44 in the rear with limited slip and 5.38 gearing.
For more great photos of Doug's Jeep in action, see Hurricane on the Trails.
"My 1954 CJ-3B has been rebuilt twice that I can detect. About an equal mix of new and old -- old gauges, but new seats and so on. I will work towards a roadworthy restoration, but right now it will function as a plow/tractor around the house. Original paint was the pseudogreen, covered once with red and now with brown. A fair amount of rot to the drivers side body, but not unrepairable. It has an incredibly well preserved frame, original T-90 with long input shaft, and 15" wheels.
"It has a Dauntless V6 engine, installed in the late1960s. I hope to reinstall an original F4 (I have a spare from a late 60's station wagon). I'd be willing to trade the engine and drivetrain (or the whole vehicle) for an F4 with bellhousing and tranny or a complete 3B with the original engine in equal condition. Mine has a nice power angle hydraulic plow run off a Jeep hydraulic pump. I have the original oil bath air cleaner for the carb as well. The V6 appears to be a 1967 model, odd fire 225. My bellhousing has the original Jeep adaptor manufactured for a short time to mate the T90 with the V6 (before they modified the bellhousing), and the heavy flywheel."
"In the picture, the little guy you see is me when I bought the beast -- I was 17 years old at the time and I got a good deal on it. The story goes like this: the wife of my neighbor left him, so he got depressed and sold everything including the Willys which was sold for $1500, then the guy who bought it had too many cars and he sold it to me for $2500, which was still a good price in Costa Rica. I had it for 2 years before beginning to restore it. Now it's been a year since I drove it and hope to have it back on the road soon!
"Some of the things I've done on the Willys are the following: 2.5 inch tube roll bar, removed the original seats and put in sport buckets instead, complete overhaul on the original engine, put on a brand new YF carter carburetor that I found in California on the web (paid 320 bucks plus shipping to Costa Rica). Now I am doing a complete restoration on the body and will have it finished with a professional oven-cooked Sikkens polyurethane coating."
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