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1943 Jeep Willys CJ-2A Diesel - Green N Smokey

Posted in Project Vehicles on April 1, 2007
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To keep the CJ looking this correct with the wider-than-stock front axle, Chris added 2 1/2 inches of material to the front fenders, making them wide enough to nearly cover the front Swampers. This may seem like a fair bit of work for a trail rig, but this capable Jeep is more of a wilderness exploration rig, not an extreme rockcrawler. Plus, taking steps like this also allows it to be driven on the street without raising too many eyebrows. Some things just look better on certain 4x4s, such as the classic Warn 8274 winch and the appropriate lifting shackles on the front bumper.

Every now and then we come across one of those trucks that bring up that dangerous green emotion...envy. Recently we felt that twinge of desire for a little trail Jeep from Canada. It's not uncommon that some of us 4x4 guys get all ga-ga over early Willys flatfenders, but when you mix in the clean fabrication of this custom four-by with the ingeniously unique yet tough drivetrain we're just blubbering babies.

This flatfender was built by Chris Olson with help from his twin brother Ben out of their small machine shop in Burnaby, British Columbia. Their shop (OTT Industries) is known for meticulous metal merchandise for the custom 4x4 builder, and as such their own rides are quite sanitary. The cool thing about the Olsons is that they don't get caught up in building the normal run-of-the-mill parts or project trucks. For example, this '48 Willys CJ-2A has a turbodiesel under the hood, an airbag suspension, and 1-ton axles, but it still looks properly proportioned on 38-inch tires. Another thing we like about this Jeep is that it was built to be a good all-around vehicle, not just a rockcrawler.

In fact we cringed when Chris took it into the rocks because we know the damage that can result, but it took most of the obstacles in stride. In the end this little camping backwoods explorer could still clatter down any trail across Canada or the U.S. and make guys like us jealous.

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TECH Specs

Engine Scout/Nissan SD-33T turbodiesel inline-six
Transmission Scout wide-ratio T-19
Transfer Case Scout Dana 300
Front Axle Dana 60 narrowed to 63 inches (wheel mount to wheel mount), 4.56 gears, LockRight locker, OTT steering arms
Rear Axle GM Corporate 14-bolt, dualie hubs for 63-inch width (wheel mount to wheel mount), shaved for ground clearance, 4.56 gears, disc brakes, Detroit Locker
Tires & Wheels 38x12.5R15 Super Swamper SX on classic 15x8 white-spoke steel wheels
Front Suspension BDS rear 2.5-inch Jeep YJ rear springs
Rear Suspension Goodyear airbags with three-link and wishbone

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