Buick V-8 CJ-3B in Action

William Mish, Phoenix, Arizona

Competition Hill

William Mish can put his 1955 CJ-3B "Wildcat" head-to-head with just about any hard-core modified Jeep. His Buick V-8 powered build-up has had almost the entire stock drive train replaced, to provide more power for extreme driving. But it continues to be a reminder that the high-hood, flexible-framed Universal Jeep is in many ways a still-unsurpassed design for off-road vehicles. Here's William's description of his Jeep:

"OK -- purists may scowl. My CJ-3B is extremely modified. The engine is a 340 Buick V-8, mated to an SM420 4-speed tranny via an aluminum Buick bellhousing, which houses the McLeod clutch, and the original model 18 transfer case (shift poppet removed for 2Lo capability).

"The front axle is a Scout model 44 with 3/4-ton GM spindles out to facilitate disc brakes, and Warn premium hubs. The rear axle is a full-float Dana 60 shortened on the right side for the offset output of the Spicer 18 t-case. The Jeep also has GM 3/4 ton ARB air lockers.

3B on the RTI ramp"Suspension mods consist of a front shackle reversal and swing from the center of the frame, and the springs are 2 1/2" Rancho units. Tires are 33 x 12.50 x 16.5 BFG muds mounted on aluminum rims, and I opened up the rear fenderwells to allow better axle articulation.

"This pic is on the ramp at the Arizona State Association of Four Wheel Drive Clubs roundup held in Florence, Arizona every October. My Jeep scored over 1000 on the RTI."


Competition Hill
"Other additions include Warn 8274 winch, power steering, tilt column, and custom aluminum dash, fenderwells, rocker panels and tailgate. There's a Linc-arc welder and alternator, electric fan, aluminum billet knobs, KC lites, backup lights, new Stewart-Warner instrumentation, Kenwood CD stereo, Cobra CB, custom front and rear bumpers, tire carrier, 1/4 doors and bikini top.

"This photo was taken at the top of Competition Hill in Glamis, California."

V-8 Engine and welderWilliam has pretty well filled every cubic inch of space in the engine compartment of his 3B. The Buick 340 V-8 has a Carter 4 bbl carb and HEI ignition from a '79 350 Buick (the 340 was made only in 66-67). Also squeezed in are the Link-arc welding system and ARB air compressor.

1955 CJ-3BWildcat rides on a boxed frame, and another heavy-duty welding job was the full roll cage. This photo also shows some of the Warn products William put to good use -- locking hubs, 8274-50 winch, and Saturn overdrive.

V-8 engine from the frontIn addition to the V-8 and welder, other modifications under the hood include an Optima battery, Carter electric fuel pump, electric fan, Cobra PA loudspeaker, and custom wiring harness.

DashWildcat's interior features Monte Carlo tilt column power steering, aluminum dash, 20mm ammo can center console, Kenwood CD, Cobra CB, Stewart-Warner instrumentation, and a Rubicon Express hand throttle.

3B at Chicken PointFor those long outback trips, William has added an 18-gallon spare gas tank, and a nitrogen tank. This photo was taken at Chicken Point, part of the Broken Arrow trail in Sedona, Arizona.

"The Jeep took 5 years to build, but it has been a happy experience and is my pride and joy." -- William Mish

Thanks to William for the photos and information on Wildcat. -- Derek Redmond

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Last updated 5 January 1999 by Derek Redmond redmond@cj3b.info
All content not credited and previously copyright, is copyright Derek Redmond