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1954 WILLYS CJ3B -- Nellie Bell

Vital Statistics: 

Mileage: 7048 (presumed original miles)
Engine: 4-Cyl. F-Head 134ci.
Transmission: T90 3-speed. Dana-18 Twin-Stick Transfer Case
Differential: Front - Dana 25 w/locking hubs; Rear - Dana 44; original 5.28:1 gearing.
VIN Number: 454GB2-37130
Title: Clear, Texas
Builder:  Smittys Willys, Golden, Texas
The picture is what Nellie Bell looked like before and after restoration. I purchased this Jeep in April 2007 from a farmer near Golden, Texas. For many years it was used on a deer lease by the owner and on a farm. The Jeep showed the evidence. It is being restored for use as a tour Jeep for Crystal River Jeep Tours in Marble, Colorado. The requirements were simple: mechanical reliability, maximize customer seating without overloading the Jeep, and stay within budget.

The early Willys CJ3B "Universal" Jeep was manufactured from 1953-1967. According to the production records, this serial number was in fact manufactured in 1954.  Although the original data plate was missing, the serial number corresponds to that stamped on the chassis. It has a replacement data plate installed. Willys developed the CJ3B to fit the new F-head engine into the early Willys body design.

To the best of my knowledge the drive train is original. This Jeep has the F134 4-cylinder engine which is proper for this model Jeep.  

All components were dismantled and inspected. The following components have been restored, rebuilt or replaced:

1. The brake system was rebuilt with new lines, new front wheel cylinders and linings, the master cylinder was rebuilt, and a remote brake fluid reservoir installed. 
2. A new exhaust system was installed. 
3. The brake and clutch pedal system was rebuilt.
4. The radiator was replaced. 
5. New choke and throttle cables were installed. 
6. A new gel-filled battery was installed.
7. The original leaf springs were dismantled and derusted.  Overload springs were installed (Rancho Add-a-Leaf RS60712).  The springs were lubricated and reinstalled with new spring bolts, new shackle bolts, and new shocks. (In combination with oversized tires, this raised the differentials 1 inch and the chassis 2 inches over stock height which was the goal.) 
8. The breathers on the front differential and transfer case were extended to prevent them from sucking moisture.
9. The Ross steering box was replaced.
10. The drag link was cleaned, inspected and reinstalled, and the bell crank was rebuilt. The tie rod ends got new caps.
11. New hub seals were installed. Knuckles were filled with 140W gear lube.
12. The differentials were inspected and filled with fresh 90W gear lube.
13. All greasable components were cleaned, inspected and relubed.
14. A brace was fabricated for the hood to stiffen it properly. CJ3B's are notorious for their flimsy hoods.
15. The roll bar was modified.
16. Engine and transmission -- F134, T90/D18 from a 1964 CJ5.
17. Not to mention all the body work, paint job and extended rear seat.
The body was taken off, repairs made as needed and new body mounts were installed. The bottom of the body was derusted and sealed. The interior was sealed and painted with bed liner (black Hammerite). The exterior is brush painted with Hammerite blue.  A new windshield and seal was installed.  New welting was installed on the top of the grill. 

The electrical system has been rewired and wire looms added for neatness. The gauges were remounted in the dashboard and a tachometer mounted.

The rear seat is a custom-built Extend-a-Bed Storage Seat(tm). If you are interested in building one for your Jeep download the tutorial here. The design will fit any early Willys with a tail gate (CJ2, CJ3A, CJ3B, or CJ5). You may be able to adapt it for other model years.

The front seats are recovered on the original frames.  Note there are no seat belts or turn signals installed. The Jeep did not have them originally, and I did not build this Jeep for highway usage -- off road only.

It has 235/R16 BFG off-road tires mounted on original wheels and a 750/16 military NDT mounted on the spare. There is no soft or bikini top. Also installed a PTO and winch.

Pictures, before and during restoration.
Pictures, after restoration.


Chassis Height          before    after
    @Front Bumper         17"      22"
    @Rear Bumper          15"      19.5"
    Rear Spg Perch        10.5"    11"
    Front Spg Perch       10.5"    11"
    Differential, Front   8.00"    10.75"
    Differential, Rear    8.00"    10.75"

Ramsey PTO:    MDL PT1-J
Ramsey Winch:    MX200-R, 8000 lb, S/N 58365