Project Pieces and Parts - Introduction
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by: Terry L. Howe

Engine is full of water
The heads were off and the cylinders were full of water
CJ-2A from the back
It just needs some fixen up.....

At a quick glance this almost looks like the "after" picture of a project CJ, but the picture hides a myriad of problems. The previous owner had done a build up of sorts, but it had been sitting for 12 years.

The body has a severe rust problem despite lots of body filler and metal work. The engine is full of rain water since the manifolds and heads were pulled several years ago. Clearance for the bald and rubber rotted 35s has been gained by a wood block body lift. Just about nothing is right and this Jeep is far from hitting the road, not to mention the trail.

Considering only the condition of the Jeep, parting it out is the most reasonable thing to do. The only thing that prevents me from doing just that is its heritage. The title that came with it stated it was a 1950 CJ-3A, but the serial number indicates that it really is a 1945 CJ-2A. 1945 was the first production year for the CJ and due to a strike a Willys Motor Company, only 1,824 CJs were produced that year. There are unique features of the first year that make them a bit different from later years.

Unfortunately, many of these distinguishing features have been removed over the years, but since this Jeep has already been "ruined" by previous owners, it is ideal for a trail build up. The unusual parts that remain on the Jeep will be saved for people doing restoration work. The esoteric will be replaced with more practical (and hopefully sturdier) parts.

A couple years were spent just collecting a garage full of parts from a wide variety of sources that will be incorporated into the final product, hence the name "Project Pieces and Parts". The goal of the project is to build a unique Jeep, that can handle the toughest trails, without spending buckets of money.


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