Aloha Jeep

1955 CJ-3B, Kealoha "Jax" Jackson, Hawaii, USA


Jax did something that a few other people have also found themselves doing: a complete restoration by accident. I'll let him tell you how it got started, and then just show you the photos that were taken along the way:

"It all boils down to the form and function of what you want. I started out with the idea of just doing a brake job, adjusting the valves and cleaning the carburetor. Before I knew it we had it completely disassembled in the garage, taking up the whole space and ended up doing a frame-off rebuild, with modifications for safety. She came out shiny but meant to get muddy."
























"About two months ago, I was closing in on 5000 miles after the rebuild, trying to follow advice on breaking in a rebuilt engine. She was running sweeter every day. After a ride up in the hills I started her up there was a small ping and was running a little rough so I shut down to take a look under the hood.

"Nothing obvious, started up again and she seemed to be running fine. About ten miles out and a mile from home, the motor pinged again, stuttered rough and lost power so I shut down, coasted, engine off, fortunately down hill, back home."

"We checked compression... #1 and 4 were good, 2 and 3 had 0. Long story short... a hardened valve seat from before, somehow came out and broke up on #2. We pulled the head and on inspection found the top of piston 2 and 3 scored and gouged, with no hardened seat in #2 and a small piece of metal wedged open under the #3 intake valve. No clue as to where the rest of that was... out the exhaust?"

"We pulled the engine found the cylinder walls were OK. Broke the motor down, sent the block and head to the machine shop. He honed the cylinders, new valves set and adjusted, hardened seats, pistons and rings (a set of 4 was cheaper than 2 individually,) turned the crank, new bearings."

"All this from a $6.24 hardened intake valve seat that failed. I guess we should have done that the first time. Sometimes "stuff" just happens. Reassembled... we put her in last week. Now she's back on the road, so far running sweet again."

"Cruising the slow roads and came by an old-school, family-owned store in business since the 1930's. Real nice people, good conversation, and grandpa had a Willys like mine a long way back. After a couple of hours, a great burger 'n' Coke, I was on my way with a lot of good stories and a great day's ride."

Thanks to Jax for the photos. -- Derek Redmond

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Last updated 30 December 2017 by Derek Redmond redmond@cj3b.info
All content not credited and previously copyright, is copyright Derek Redmond