Farm Jeep
1947 Willys Jeep CJ-2A:
Project "Old Yeller"
Part 10 “Lipstick on a Pig”


Lipstick on a pig
No one has called our jeep pretty. Not even cute. Too many holes and too much rust. Nothing but a body transplant will do and that has to wait. For now, the task is to make the jeep into a real work machine, or at least outfit it with farm jeep tools.

Over the past few months, we have gathered the parts to add to the basic farm jeep setup (rear PTO and draw bar). These included a governor, hydraulic lift to replace the draw bar and a front counter balance weight. These are all bolt-in or drop-in items designed to make the original CJ2a a real farm jeep.

Putting on a little weight
The front weight is a 265 pound work of beauty, forged to set snuggly between the front bumper and the grill, it rests on the frame. Just in case you are concerned with it bouncing out, or being taken while you are not looking, it was cast with mounting holes. And for that easy lifting, it has built-in handles. It also comes with a crank handle hole.

Old Yeller has a plate bolt in between the frame rails. It came with a couple of tow hooks (one broken) and a strange i-bolt contraption welded to the front bumper. The first task was to remove the plate and make room for the weight.

While Barry did a quick paint job on the weight, Evan attacked the plate with the impact wrench. Next came a round with the saws-all and angle grinder to remove the unnatural parts. We did notice the frame has some rough but functional welding. We didn’t bother to clean it up at this point.

Ev pulled the jeep up to the weight – it is not something you want to carry very far – and helped Barry lift the weight in place. The weight has a front lip that slips under the bumper. Inserting the weight involves setting it on the frame and tipping it slightly. The weight fits like a glove.

A little lift here
Barry had already removed the all drawbar and PTO in preparation for installing the lift. We had hoped to test the pump and lift before mounting, but we are still hunting for a suitable pump. With lots of towing jobs around the farm, we need a hitch, so the decision was made to go ahead and mount the lift.

The lift weighs over a hundred pounds and is shaped something like a “T”. Using a combination of floor and bottle jacks, we were able to position the lift and raise it to match the mounting holes on the bumper. That was the good news.

When Barry had removed the drawbar, the tie-in bar to the frame on the driver’s side had been broken loose. At some point in the past, the PO has pulled really hard on the corner of the jeep. The bumper is bent out enough so that the hole on the rear cross member of the lift and the hole on the frame cross member are about ½” apart. And for some reason, the lift frame is hitting the body and will not go up as far as needed to meet the frame cross-member.

Rather than fight taking the lift off now, the decision was made to use the bumper bolts to secure the lift and limit towing to light loads. When the pump arrives, we will lower the lift and see if we can make it all fit.

That just doesn’t look right
The final accessory was the governor. This was going to be a quick bolt-on and we would have to wait to add the belt to make it operational. But it would be fun to have it in place. Evan was able to mount the frame to the engine block and quickly mounted the governor.

This governor was one of our first finds, but has been sitting in a box for several months. If fact, other than having it out to take photos, we hadn’t paid much attention to how it might work. Once the governor was mounted, it became clear that we either have a governor for a different engine (a stationary engine?), or we are missing a piece that controls the carburetor. In either case, it just isn’t right. Even though we know we have the correct mounting bracket and control cable, it is back to the Net to look for some answers.

Barry's notes:
As much as I love using my CJ7 around the farm, this jeep is different. It may not be pretty, but it is functional. I can hardly wait to get the lift working.

Evan's notes:
Between the groans of frustration, busted knuckles, and expletives, it might not be obvious to the untrained observer that working on the jeeps is really fun (no, really it is!). Seeing a part here or there go in to place, solving an assembly mystery, or just turning a wrench even when there is no visible proof of progress, always makes me happy. After we finished our tinkering for the day, Barry and I, along with trusty jeep dog Bruin, took the Willys on some of the old trials that run through the woods of the family homestead. Running over logs, through creek beds, and up a 50 degree incline in the old '47 with smiles on our faces and tongues (and tails) wagging reminded me of another reason I like working on the jeeps: sometimes you get to drive them.

Farm Jeep Home | Previous Part | Next Part

Last updated: 07/05/2003

Copyright 2003