highlights efforts to fire up an untested Jeep Willys L134
four cylinder flathead engine. This engine was purchased to put into a
1950 CJ3A. To find out about the CJ3A, go here:The CJ3A Introduction Page.
Jeep L134 Flathead Engine Testing
2009, I was looking on Craiglist for an engine for my CJ3A
found an ad for a good candidate that was pretty local to me. I went
for a visit and found the seller to be a young fellow with a serious
Willys Jeep affliction. He had Jeeps, engines and parts all over the
woods in his backyard.
used a pine tree as his engine
hoist and the engine I was interested was hanging in the tree. I was a
little hesitant about buying an engine hanging in a tree, but then the
dad meandered over and started throwing in extra parts in order to make
the sale. I think he mostly wanted to clean up his backyard. So, with
an exhaust, generators, and springs thrown into the deal, I bought it.
The engine has a casting
number of 641087, but curiously the last 4 digits were ground off and
then stamped with the "1087" And the stamps look old. The engine
was promptly put away in a corner while I worked on other projects, and
years have passed.
But recently, the Jeep
whisperings have been bubbling to the surface of my brain, and a window
of time has opened up at Squids Fab Shop. It was time to get busy on
the Jeep. I had
test run the engine, and I wanted to hear it run, so the
engine was pulled out from it's dusty corner to begin work.
crude engine stand was my first mission. A cart was
fashioned with some lumber and casters. Old scrap steel was employed to
adapt the motor mounts and bellhousing to the cart. More scrap steel
was used to position the CJ radiator and shroud in front of the engine
to take advantage of the cooling fan. A small panel was made to hold
water and oil gauges,
as well as switches for the ignition and charging system (not shown
yet.) Note how previous owner did some custom stenciling on the side of
the block. Also note the head is not the same....keep reading below....
Bypass Oil Filter System
With the "stand" ready,
the engine systems were next: The old
Jeep flathead engines (like many engines in those days) used externally
mounted oil filters, and I was missing many parts. I sourced the
external oil lines from 4wd.com, but saved some dough by getting the
hard-to-find flare fittings at a local hydraulic supply company. (It
pays to search around...there can be huge variations in costs across
suppliers, both local and online.
Installing a new oil
filter mount disturbed a few of the head studs/nuts, necessatating a
re-torquing. Unfortunately one of the head studs broke while
approaching the torque value. So off came the head in order to drill
out the offending stud. While certainly a bummer, it did allow an
inspection of the pistons, cylinder walls and valves. The good news is
that it's in pretty decent shape and in fact still has standard bore
It seems that a crack in
the head gasket allowed gases to erode the stud which weakened it. I
managed to drill out and remove the stud without damaging the original
threads in the block. I sourced some Dorman head studs p/n 675-013 from
Amazon (sometimes you can get Dorman stuff on Amazon for extremely good
prices...woot) and switched to my blasted and cleaned "INDUSTRIAL" head
from the seized engine that came in the Jeep. (The head I removed was
riddled with cracks). I also inspected the tappets, and removed the
intake exhaust manifold which in turn required me to source new
manifold studs. I got those, shockingly enough, on a twirly rack at a
The original CJ Willys charging system was a 6 volt generator
with an external regulator. The components on the Jeep have long been
dormant and likely corroded beyond usefulness so I decided to "upgrade"
to a modern (well, 80's vintage) Delco 12si 3 wire alternator.
Delco alternator has internally regulated 12V output, it's cheap, super
reliable, and easy to use. The 12si is probably the ultimate unit to
look for (better internal cooling according to my research), but the
10si's are fine as well. The P/N I sourced is for a 1980 Camaro
minor glitch when using a modern alternator is the
relatively narrow pulley that does not work well with
very wide "V" belt the L134 crank and waterpump use. There are
suppliers that sell wide "tractor" type pulleys, or you can
chuck the narrow pulley in a lathe and machine the "V" groove
Adapting a modern
alternator to the little flathead requires a custom
bracket which can be had from some Jeep specialists online, but it's
easy to fabricate your own. My little box of scrap metal yielded enough
bits and pieces to weld one up. It's fairly thick steel so I used a
propane torch to preheat the metal for better penetration.
thing to do was to replace the cap, rotor and ignition wires. I figured
the rest should be okay since it was advertised as running when I
bought it. At the first start attempt, cranking speed was normal, but
there was no sign of a pop. A test for spark (with a removed spark
plug) was positive, but there was no ignition when installed. I put in
a new coil, and still nothing. I replaced the points, and bingo!
Instant ignition. A few leaks were attended to, and a few minutes of
run time indicated a dirty carburetor. The solex carb has a bunch of
plugs and caps that can be removed to access internal passages. I
removed all of them and blasted everything I could with carb spray
cleaner. A dramatic improvement to idle quality was observed and after
a little warmup, it revved nicely too. There is a bit of blue smoke I
think from leaky valve guides, but this little flathead is a decent
I made up a low quality phone video of the running engine:
To see the Willys Jeep CJ3A drivetrain
rebuild, click here!
Jeep Forward Control "Mighty FC"
Here's a really cool something Jeep engineers and marketing people came up with that they will never build. I'd buy a Jeep pickup if they would just make one. Oh well. Above is a link to an FC concept hype-mobile.
Here's another cool Jeep Pickup concept from about 2012:
1967 GTO Original Owner
These two videos feature an original owner GTO. This car was featured in Hemmings Muscle Cars magazine a couple years ago. Part 2 has inside and outside shots of the owner driving the car. Very nicely done.
"Mississippi" Fred McDowell. One of the great Bluesman. This is a documentary made in 1969.
Pinstriping the ol' fashioned way. Pretty nice.
Blues Traveler. Wow.
Blues Traveler plays often on the Dave Letterman show. Here they are playing a toe tapper with Paul Schaffer.
Pepsi has put out a "limited edition Throwback" version of
Pepsi with REAL sugar, instead of high fructose corn syrup which has been used since the 80's. Holy cow
there IS a difference; it's WAY better. Find some quick!