octavious Dork
6/5/22 8:41 a.m.

As some of you saw in in the regular forum I recently purchased a 1953 CJ3A. Purchase price was under challenge budget, but I'm not sure I can get it up and running and not go over. I am keeping a record of expenses just in case. It might be the slowest vehicle ever taken to the challenge. I'm told top speed is about 50 while traveling downhill with a good wind at the back. 

It came home, we gave it a bath with CLR, temporarily mounted the windshield frame and grill, then went on vacation for 8 days. I'm home now and trying to do a for real build thread. 

These are from when I looked at it in the sellers shop:



octavious Dork
6/5/22 10:18 a.m.

The seller's daughter was graduating from University of Tennessee so the seller delivered the CJ to me in Knoxville. 

Here are some outside pics:

octavious Dork
6/5/22 1:24 p.m.

It needed a bath in general but since painting it won't happen in the foreseeable future, and patina being a thing now, I started looking at ways to clean it without messing it up. I found lots of people posting about linseed oil but I didn't have any of that at the house. I saw other methods of cleaning it with Coca Cola, which I didn't have that at the house either. And then I found where some suggested using diluted CLR with warm water as a way to not only clean the gunk off, but take part of the surface rust off, and not damage the paint. We tried that method and it worked really well. Not perfect but better. I need to roll it back out and get some outside after CLR shots. 


This is one of the hood halfway done:

And a before and after of the passenger side fender. 


octavious Dork
6/9/22 6:27 p.m.

Here are my two biggest projects with the Jeep. I have an engine, it has compression, but other than that I know nothing. It has a carb of unknown condition.  And it is also missing some pieces, oil filter, distributor, alternator, and fuel pump. I'm told as long as the engine spins and has compression it is basically indestructible. Besides those other issues, I pulled the plugs and they have a pine smell to them. Almost like a mix of gas, oil, and pinesol. ?????  I've never encountered that before. 


octavious Dork
6/9/22 6:30 p.m.

The second is the wiring harness, if you can even call it that, is all hacked to pieces. Wires going nowhere, wires twist tied together, switches with all the wires cut out the back. I'm ordering a new harness, but it's been a long time since I messed with wiring on that level. 


Stampie GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/9/22 6:31 p.m.

I remember riding around in the back of one of these in the winter of 1990 downtown Atlanta.  Froze my ass off.  Still loved the Jeep.  That's cool on the CLR.  I might have to try that on Suprang.  Did you just wet a rag and wipe it down?

octavious Dork
6/9/22 7:26 p.m.

In reply to Stampie :

The ratio I used is 1 part CLR to 4 parts warm water. I just eyeballed it, but it has to be warm water. I tried with a rag, steel wool, and a Brillo pad. I found that the Brillo worked the best. I then rinsed with clean water. 

Stampie GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/9/22 7:33 p.m.

In reply to octavious :

Cool I'll try that.

onemanarmy Reader
6/10/22 2:13 p.m.

The funky plug smell is probably a funky mixture of bad gas and old oil.

jimbob_racing SuperDork
6/10/22 4:36 p.m.

I love how this Jeep looks with those white wagon wheels on it. 

octavious Dork
6/10/22 8:50 p.m.

Had to go to my in-laws this weekend, which means I shopped for parts along the way. 

old tailgate which has rust holes and spare tire mount in the wrong place 

and the "new" OG one I picked up that the guy had on a military look CJ2A 

and for cheaper than a new reproduction one. 


JAGwinn Reader
6/10/22 9:10 p.m.

Good move  on a complete wiring harness. Great find on the tailgate!!

Woody (Forum Supportum)
Woody (Forum Supportum) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/10/22 9:43 p.m.

In reply to octavious :

How flat are the inner surfaces of those tailgates?

I've been thinking about mounting one to the garage wall to make a drop down work space. 

octavious Dork
6/11/22 8:44 a.m.

In reply to Woody (Forum Supportum) :

not totally flat

octavious Dork
6/14/22 7:42 a.m.

well that looks better 

Mr_Asa GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
6/14/22 8:28 a.m.

This thread may interest you, not sure how much of the patina you are trying to clean?


cdowd (Forum Supporter)
cdowd (Forum Supporter) Dork
6/14/22 3:26 p.m.

I have 47 with the flat head also.  If you ever need pictures of something let me know.  Mine is cobbled together,  but give an idea.

octavious Dork
6/19/22 4:12 p.m.


ooo FedEx guy dropped off some stuff. Time to get busy 

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