The M151 distributor mystery

In the 1970s and 80s my father worked for RCA in Massachusetts.  He started out in the “Jeep barn” designing testing equipment for Jeeps and other military vehicles.

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During this time the Army noticed discrepancies in the motorpool procedures for the M151 and M151 variants.  They ran a study that found an excessive amount of distributors were being replaced in the M151 vehicles.  There did not seem to be a flaw in the distributors though so they were in a quandry.

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My father was visiting a base motorpool one day and talking with a Sergeant.  Dad asked the Sgt. why so many distributors were replaced rather than just replacing the common wear items like the points.  The Sgt. asked my father to follow him to the supply desk.

When they reached the parts desk the Sgt. asked for points for an M151.  The soldier at the desk checked and said they did not have any.  Then the Sgt. asked for a distributor, the soldier ran back into the shelves and brought one up for him.  “This,” explained the Sgt. while holding the distributor,” is why so many distributors are replaced instead of points.”  The issue was not training or laziness, it was what parts were stocked at motorpools.

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(Images are of an M151A2 restored by Hanson Mechanical Restorations.)

April 22 Craigslist finds

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https://frederick.craigslist.org/cto/5470558852.html

1950 Willys Jeep Pickup Truck. $4,250 obo Has xx,xxx miles on the body. Engine has been swapped to more reliable Ford 302. Currently runs and drives. Body was recently resanded and prepped for Black Epoxy Primer. Bed has been done in “Rhino Liner” type material. Lift Kit. New gas tank. Brand new mud/snow tires. Great piece of history. Email me for pictures. I have title.

https://delaware.craigslist.org/cto/5532855164.html

1958 WILLYS CJ5 JEEP. $1,950.00 ALL NEW BRAKES (MASTER CYL., ALL LINES, WHEEL CYL’S AND SHOES). STARTS AND DRIVES GOOD. CURRENTLY USED AS A FARM JEEP, PULLING MANURE WAGON AND FETCHING FIREWOOD OUT OF THE WOODS. MATCHING SPARE TIRE AND CLEAN TITLE.

https://fredericksburg.craigslist.org/cto/5543674772.html

1963 Willys Pickup $2,900.00, has the original 262 6 cylinder super hurricane. Truck runs very good, no smoke, transmission, clutch and 4 wheel drive is good. Needs break work and need floor pans and rocker panels also need door handle mechanisms.

https://pittsburgh.craigslist.org/tls/5524237571.html

$400.00  Hobart gas Welder
300 amp dc welder 4 cylinder jeep engine
Runs great everything works as it should Willys Go Devil engine
NEW Welding leads included

April 18 East Coast Craigslist finds

See actual listings for more information.  Occasionally I will gather up Willys ads I spot on Craigslist from the Mid Atlantic through the North East and post them.

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https://maine.craigslist.org/cto/5510756916.html

1956 willys CJ 6 jeep, this is long wheelbase cj5. 4 cly, complete, runs good, first year of production, working original 6 volt electrical system, body is rough, frame is good, drive train is good. This is a rare, hard to find jeep. Asking $2800 obo. If the add is up it is available, first with cash takes it home.

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https://maine.craigslist.org/cto/5530716568.html

This is a late ’46 CJ-2A with an L-134 Go-Devil, T-90 Transmission and D18 Transfer case. Starts quickly. Runs, drives, shifts, and stops.

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https://providence.craigslist.org/cto/5519220427.html

1948 Willys CJ2A Jeep. Good condition. New wiring, fuel tank and lines, brakes, rebuilt carb, recored radiator, new thermostat, new rebuild transmission, new tires. Runs great. Great beach car or cruiser. All new body work on original body and new paint. Needs wipers if desired and possible brake light sensor. $9000 or best offer.

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https://hudsonvalley.craigslist.org/cto/5544488089.html

1952 Willys M38 Military Jeep Korean War Era
Overall in good condition, runs good.
Great cruiser and a lot of fun to drive.
Asking $9000 OBO
Please give a call if interested, I’m old fashioned please call no texts. Thanks for looking.

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https://jerseyshore.craigslist.org/cto/5543534662.html

Complete 4wd truck decent shape to run as is or restore , motor turns over freely . New distributor and carb , never finished it . Nj title

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https://newjersey.craigslist.org/cto/5544635854.html

This is a very original running Jeep Willys with a Meyer Snow Plow that is removable. Starts and runs nicely. Please call for any questions. Fast sale. See attached picture.

 

 

 

 

 

“For Pete’s sake”

I recived an email a while back from a fellow with a very low mileage CJ3B and a WW2 Jeep.  He wanted me to come and look over the CJ3B with an eye to making it roadworthy again and look over his WW2 Jeep just to let him know what he had.  The result was meeting a wonderful fellow who has inherited a Jeep and a passion for Jeeps from his father.

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The story of the jeeps began back in 1943 when the father, Pete, shipped out with the merchant marine delivering cargoes of Jeeps to Italy.  When they had shore leave Pete would keep a spare rotor in his pocket (in WW2 Jeeps did not have keys so the men would take the rotors out of the distributors to keep Jeeps from being stolen) and he would seek out a Jeep for his weekend on the town.  Pete became very fond of Jeeps during the war.

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When he returned from WW2 Pete bought a 1947 CJ2A, and then in 1960 purchased the CJ3B pictured here.  The 1959 CJ3B came from a quarry where it saw few miles, and it moved to Pete’s 60 acre farm where it roamed the woods and made occasional forays into town. Pete’s sons grew up driving the Jeep around the farm when it was running.

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Over the years the Jeep had many periods of downtime and so with mainly driving on the farm and then sleeping for periods the CJ3B only racked up 1,795 miles.

When Pete passed away his son, Jonathan, spent alot of time sorting out the estate.  The jeep went to him.  As Jonathan put in long hours a friend suggested that when all was said and done he should buy something nice for himself.

Jonathan already had a plan, as his father loved WW2 jeeps so much Jonathan wanted to buy a WW2 Jeep and name it something like “battling Pete” or “For Pete’s Sake.”

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It turned out the owner of his favorite gun shop had just acquired a WW2 Jeep.  Jonathan and he chatted about it and the owner brought the Willys MB to the shop for him to see.  Jonathan said he teared up because the Jeep already said, “for Pete’s sake” on the side.  It was like his father was talking to him he said.

Jonathan offered to buy the Jeep then and there but the owner wanted to keep it a bit longer.  As it goes when things are meant to be Jonathan received a phone call four months later that the Jeep was his if he wanted it.  And you can see how that went!

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The 1943 Willys MB is the nicest I have ever seen.  The restoration was impeccable and it retains its original tub.  Jonathan is the owner of two real gems and I am sure his father is proud of how he carries on this family tradition.

We will be working on the CJ3B to make it roadworthy and reliable and I will post more when it comes to the shop.  I was honored to hear such a wonderful story and see such examples of Jeep history.

9th Mason Dixon Willys Jeep show and Gettysburg tour

Nine years now……nine!!  Thanks to Mike Hardesty for arranging this show 9 years running, almost the entire time I have lived in Westminster, MD around the corner from where the show takes place.  This year the weather was great for us again, both days.

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Saturday we gathered at the outlets in Gettysburg, PA for a battlefield run.  A handful of Willys Jeeps representing the array of models from the 1940s to the 1960s, and a couple newer models, traveled the battlefield for an artillery tour arranged by Mike Hardesty.

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It was a great time to catch up with the regulars and meet some new folks including a couple fellows from North Carolina.  While I have attended the Sunday show for years I never was able to drive in the Saturday tour.  I had fun following a Willys Wagon owned by Bruce Kieta, we overhauled everything mechanical in this wagon last year for him.

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As we drove around the battlefield we made various stops to learn about the type of artillery scattered all around Gettysburg.  And of course this made for some great photo ops.

20151024_134424[1]20151024_143353[1]The tour went on until 3:00 and folks gathered later at 6:00 for craft beer, food and jeep stories.  The weather sounded better and better for Sunday as we kept checking updates. Sunday morning dawned and I pulled our 1941 outside, was met with a quick light rain and then that was it.  With the help of friend Richard Bleser we packed the 1941 Willys and picked some items for sale to load in Richard’s truck then off we went.

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There was the usual wide and colorful array of early jeeps.

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And some new and different ones including this 6 wheeler, number 9 out of 13 prototypes made.  It was brought by Oliver Davis who is interested in selling it.

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Another neat vehicle for sale was this 1959 CJ5 with 8,000 original miles.

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We had “Mortimer”, our 1941 set up with British equipment and tools beside other military Jeeps. (this shot was before everyone else rolled in)

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And among the military Jeeps was this midget built and brought by Bill Shaw.

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A really interesting piece this year was the Empire tractor, these were built with Willys engines and drivelines.

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In the words of one of our North Carolina visitors, this is a “down home” type of show.  And it is a wonderful way to wind down the Jeep season.  Thanks to everyone who organised the gathering, and everyone who came.  I am already looking forward to next year.

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9th Annual Mason-Dixon Willys Jeep Gathering

9th annual

9th Annual Mason-Dixon Willys Jeep Gathering
Sunday October 25, 2015 (10:00 am – 3:00 pm)
Historic Union Mills Homestead
Westminster, Maryland 21158

Bring your vintage Willys (or Kaiser) Jeep to historic Union Mills Homestead for this special gathering! Civilian and Military Willys Jeep vehicles are welcome and encouraged to attend! (MB, GPW, CJ2A, 3A, 3B, M38, Forward Control, Willys Wagons, Jeepsters, Willys Pick-ups, etc.) 5 Trophies to be awarded, including Best Work in Progress!

Where: Historic Union Mills Homestead 3311 Littlestown Pike (MD route 97 north) Westminster, MD 21158.
(7 miles north of the City of Westminster, MD and 17 miles south of Gettysburg, PA.)

General Information: This free, annual event is for Willys Jeep owners, Jeep enthusiasts, and the general public to share information and view a rapidly disappearing piece of American automotive history! Union Mills Homestead is a beautiful park setting rich in Civil War History, so be sure to take the tour! Pit Beef and refreshments will be available!

Gettysburg Battlefield Run: For those interested in making this a weekend event, we will hold a Gettysburg Battlefield run (paved surfaces) on Saturday October 24th (Day before the Show), weather permitting. We will meet at 12:00 noon at the Gettysburg Outlets (US 15 and PA 97) by the theater complex. After the Battlefield run, we will meet at a local restaurant / tavern for food and drink, and the opportunity to tell Jeep stories!

Registration & Questions: For more information or to register your vehicle, send an e-mail to admin@jeepchasm.com with the type of Willys vehicle you will be bringing. If you need a place to stay, we can recommend several Motels and Hotels.

Sponsors: Len Stoler Dodge Chrysler Jeep, Know Where 2 Jeep, Hanson Mechanical, PA Jeeps, BTW Off-Road, Off Road Consulting, Quadratec,Jeepchasm.com

1948 Willys Jeepster for sale $7,500 or best offer

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This 1948 Jeepster has been with the same family since 1950.  The father bought it from the first owner that year.

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One of the sons tells the story of he and his buddies driving to Williamsburg in the Jeepster back in the 1950s.  They were pulled over by a State Trooper.  They were puzzled as they knew they were not speeding.  The trooper explained that they were going too slow.  The son explained that he was going as fast as the Jeepster would go and with that they were let to continue on their way.

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The seats are in good shape as is the carpeting.  The steering wheel is obviously quite wrong and the former owner dismantled the speedometer for some reason.  Currently the state of the other gauges is unknown.

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The engine bay is very complete but due to a damaged block we overhauled another engine for the Jeepster.  The replacement engine received one new piston, all new piston rings, new bearings, seals and gaskets.  Currently we are only waiting on the starter rebuild to have the Jeepster running.

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The Jeepster also has a convertible top and all the side curtains.  Top and sides should probably be treated with a coat of water sealer.

The body is good, though you can see where some bondo may be hiding.  The paint is thorough but has some drips in areas.

For $7,500 or best offer you get a nice Jeepster in running condition that will just need some detail work.  That work you can either do on your own or hire us to do for you.  Cash or bank check only, no trades, no overseas sales.  Buyers have to arrange their own shipping.  Vehicle can stay one week after sale after which it accrues a $100 monthly storage charge.

If interested email me: merlin@hansonmechanical.com