Farm Jeep
1947 Willys Jeep CJ-2A:
Project "Old Yeller"
Part 3 - Breaks and Brakes


The plan was to do a quick tune-up (oil change, spark plugs, new fan belt), a little brake work, and move on to tooling around in “Old Yeller.” That was the plan…

The good: the number 1 and 4 plugs came out perfectly.
The bad: number 3 plug is about to snap off.
The ugly: number 2 broke off in the head.

After consulting the expert mechanics in and out of the family, we bought a couple of cans of PB Blaster and are soaking the remainder of the plugs stuck in the head until next weekend. Patience they say, shall deliver us from re-tapping the head… we’ll see.


Changing out the old master cylinder was a piece of cake; unfortunately it didn’t solve our brake problems. It appears the Jeep has been stopping on the rear brakes for years. The front drums are rusted and unused. One rear brake spring was broken and only the passenger rear brake looked normal. it appears the PO (previous owner) hadn't been too concerned about stopping for some time

From the top:
Barry with examples of whole and broken spark plugs.
The head with a piece of the #2 plug stuck in it.
Plugs shouldn’t look like this.
Master cylinders, old and new.
Evan installing the new master cylinder.
Barry pulling the last of the brake drums.

Barry's notes:

I remember the old '46 had the plugs "rust welded" to the head. When we would blow a head gasket, we cleaned the plugs the best we could with the head removed. I wouldn't be surprised if these plugs have been doing their job for a couple of decades or more. Can hardly wait to see how it will run with new plugs. Parts are on order. The cost meter is running.

Evan's notes:

While crawling around under the Jeep I was really pleased with how good the frame and mechanicals looked. Unfortunately, as you would expect the body looks much worse from below; in fact the hardest part of installing the master cylinder was keeping the pieces of body (rust) from falling off into my eyes. While we were under there, we hit all the grease fittings on the chassis (probably the first time they’ve been lubed in decades). Other items of interest included the discovery that all the lugs on the driver side wheels are left hand thread. This isn’t a problem once you figure it out, but it does make getting that first lug nut off a bit frustrating. We also have four different style wheel hubs, again it’s not really a problem, it just took four different methods to get all the hubs off.

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Last updated: 08/09/2002

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