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1948 Willys Overland CJ-2A

Posted in Project Vehicles on March 1, 2002 Comment (0)
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p162110 large+1948 Willys+Passenger Side
p162111 large+1948 Willys+Rear Driver Side
Tucked behind the 4.3, the 700R4 was hard-wired to allow for a manual torque converter lockup. Behind the tranny, the 231 has a slip yoke eliminator kit to level the spring-over uprising. Wrangler springs and spring-over yield a total of 6 inches of suspension lift. Narrowed to 58 inches, both front and rear Ford 9-inch axles have 4.56 gears. Components like a front Auburn limited slip and a rear Detroit and a Currie high-pinion third member are in place for the rough stuff. Stopping happens with four-wheel discs and a Cadillac master cylinder. Tucked behind the 4.3, the 700R4 was hard-wired to allow for a manual torque converter lockup. Behind the tranny, the 231 has a slip yoke eliminator kit to level the spring-over uprising. Wrangler springs and spring-over yield a total of 6 inches of suspension lift. Narrowed to 58 inches, both front and rear Ford 9-inch axles have 4.56 gears. Components like a front Auburn limited slip and a rear Detroit and a Currie high-pinion third member are in place for the rough stuff. Stopping happens with four-wheel discs and a Cadillac master cylinder.
Owning a machine shop sure helps when making modifications to and for your four-wheel drive. Both front and rear bumpers were fabbed by Colledge Machine, who also boxed, reinforced, and gussetted the frame for durability. The CJ sits on stock rally wheels off of a ’74 Blazer and uses 33x12.50x15 BFG Mud Terrain tires. Owning a machine shop sure helps when making modifications to and for your four-wheel drive. Both front and rear bumpers were fabbed by Colledge Machine, who also boxed, reinforced, and gussetted the frame for durability. The CJ sits on stock rally wheels off of a ’74 Blazer and uses 33x12.50x15 BFG Mud Terrain tires.
Jed’s buildup advice: “Pick your drivetrain—engine, tranny, transfer case—and build your truck’s mechanical integrity on that platform.” As opposed to choosing a diverse assortment, all of the Willys drivetrain components were donated by a ’92 GMC Sonoma. A throttle body 4.3 with Lunati camshaft, a 700R4, and an NP231 transfer case were all swapped in with the help of a Painless wiring harness. Jed’s buildup advice: “Pick your drivetrain—engine, tranny, transfer case—and build your truck’s mechanical integrity on that platform.” As opposed to choosing a diverse assortment, all of the Willys drivetrain components were donated by a ’92 GMC Sonoma. A throttle body 4.3 with Lunati camshaft, a 700R4, and an NP231 transfer case were all swapped in with the help of a Painless wiring harness.
The interior makes use of ’85 Pontiac Fiero seats with factory speakers, usually not built for longevity. It was easy for Jed to insert new speakers into the seat headrests and a Sony Xplode stereo for massive head thumping. A Grant steering wheel and VDO gauges grace the dash. Other JedJeep modifications consist of wheelwell hacking with neatly folded and finished edges to maintain structural sheetmetal integrity. The interior makes use of ’85 Pontiac Fiero seats with factory speakers, usually not built for longevity. It was easy for Jed to insert new speakers into the seat headrests and a Sony Xplode stereo for massive head thumping. A Grant steering wheel and VDO gauges grace the dash. Other JedJeep modifications consist of wheelwell hacking with neatly folded and finished edges to maintain structural sheetmetal integrity.

Rugged, durable, and unstoppable—words that describe an American classic. Both Willys Overland Motor Company and Ford Motor Company manufactured what was to become a four-wheel-drive icon—the jeep. Between 1941 and 1945, for a mere $738.74, the U.S. government was able to purchase roughly a half million jeeps. When WWII was nearly over, Willys Overland retooled and began marketing a civilian version of the military’s “jeep that won the war,” and between 1945 and 1949 the company made the CJ2A.

Aside from owning a part of the Jeep character, Jed Colledge wanted to explore the great outdoors. His ’48 buildup is a story not unlike the classic ¼-ton itself. Practically built from the frame, his CJ2A is modified to favor rockcrawling more than anything else. That means that the components Jed selected, like twin Ford 9-inch axles, a well-laid-out/well-functioning drivetrain, and a spring-over with Wrangler leaf springs, make for one heck of a good time.

Jed Colledge: Proud owner of a ’48 Willys Overland CJ2A.
Envy: We want it.
Enjoy the outdoors: The purpose for which it was built.
Perfect tools: What’s better than a backstage pass at a Metallica concert? An all access pass to your dad’s machine shop. Think tube bender, grinder, and all sorts of amusing metalwork gear.

Custom six-point rollcage built by Colledge Machine of Lindon, Utah, and painted DuPont red to match the rest of the rig.
Jeep: The American icon.
2 years: That’s the time it took Jed to build the ¼-ton.
Air tank and compressor built into the rollcage make for convenient, compact air and tool access.

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