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Old 3rd March 2013, 14:33   #1
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Default Barn find – 1959 Willys CJ3B

I am sharing one restoration experience because of few reasons.
1) Nowadays Its uncommon on T-bhp to find a active restoration thread on ‘Willys-CJ3B’
2) Although I would cover finer details on restoration but I also wanted to share other side of story of on how we got hold of such a lovely jeep and what started as a lookout to a good ‘Modified’ jeep ended-up as ‘Impulsive buy’
3) How difficult it is to restore an old jeep at a dusty town without any access to a parts shop (there were times when my person had to travel 500 plus kms just to find that he got a wrong pipe for oil filter)
4) How an old gentleman/mechanic (in his early 80s) came to our rescue to restore just for the sake of Jeep. His only intent was to see last original jeep taking shape in front of him and under his guidance
Attention: it’s a long story and I may not be able to post too many pictures as all work is being done remotely.
Prelude – It all started in 2011, I shifted to Poona for a new job and started missing my jeep as it was the longest time (around two years) in last 10-12 years that I didn’t have jeep/Gypsy with me. Because I was involved in offroading, jungle driving and expedition since my childhood and always had Jeep/gypsy with me. I started searching for a good short chassis jeep aka CJ3B, but I couldn’t find a good example at the price I wanted. Few months passed and I attended 2-3 OTRs with Poona offroaders, these OTRs kindled my desire to get one jeep ASAP. Although we had few jeeps at home:
1) Ford GPW: I used this Jeep while I was in post-graduation in Poona, as I moved to Delhi after my post-graduation, this vehicle was parked at my home town. We have this jeep from decades, but over the years it got converted to right hand drive, Nissan engine (CD-17), 2WD etc (chassis, body, few accessories etc are still original). It was fun to drive this during college as it had silent diesel engine with very good fuel economy (13-14 in city and 17-18 in highway). Initially I thought to convert it to 4WD, put Isuzu engine and take it back to Poona, then after discussion with UBS sir, I was in agreement to not torture this beauty further and start collecting parts for this historical piece to make it all original over a period of time.

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2) MM540: we had this jeep fitted with DI engine (MDI engine with heavy crank) but 2WD, this jeep was occasionally being used by my brother for going to villages, farms, jungles etc. as this jeep was not used much thus it was an easy for me to get 550 diffs, gearbox and transfer case and start enjoying this vehicle. As I have always used CJ3B, somehow I was not very comfortable using bulky long chassis, one more point advised against this was reliability of conversion. I have seen and done few conversions which are running fine but this jeep was supposed to be used primarily for extreme off-road purpose. Rejected this option, but later on this jeep got converted to 4WD with 5+1 gear box and still serving to one of our friend who later bought it.

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3) Gypsy King 2009 MPFI: We bought it brand new and installed aircon, Scorpio side steps, alloys etc. this vehicle was very dear to my brother and being used for weekend/fun drive, never used for extreme off road except some jungle slush etc. I didn’t want this fine piece gets broken in extreme OTRs

Barn find – 1959 Willys CJ3B-dscn0036.jpg

4) Willys 63 LHD with F4-134 engine: my uncle still uses it, this jeep was bought brand new and everything is original. Even engine was never overhauled and only modification done is LPG conversion to save cost on petrol. Although it was good choice but two facts decided to go against it. One, I couldn’t use it for day to day purpose because it was petrol. Second, I didn’t want to ruin this original beauty by converting it into diesel.

5) Invader DI – brightest among all but sadly it was a 2WD and practically impossible (many members might disagree) to convert to 4WD.

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Gradually I started losing interest in a CJ3B and even tried to buy new Grukha but as every one know, I got cold response from Force motors. My internet search was on, and I even went to Bhopal and Indore one weekend to search for a good jeep and came across few very good CJ5s and CJ3Bs converted to diesel. I almost made my mind to buy one but then again from inside I was in opinion that ‘Real Jeeps are built, not bought’. Meanwhile I was using my 2009 Safari (2WD) for my weekend excursions and there were few instances when I got really stuck during odd time at unwanted places. This further fuelled my desire to have 4x4.

to be continued......

Shubhendra Singh
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Old 3rd March 2013, 14:41   #2
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Default Re: Barn find – 1959 Willys CJ3B

One day my brother called me to inform that one of his mechanic informed him about a ‘Willys’ in a nearby small town which is 50-60 kms from hometown lying in a godown and is not being used from last few decades (although we didn’t know whether it was up for sale or not). This got us into thinking, I thought whatever be the condition of this jeep at least I will get chassis, body and papers to start with and I then I can put XD3p with 550 diffs, gearbox etc to make it a good off road vehicle. We asked our mechanic to find out more about this jeep. After few days he informed that although he couldn’t see the vehicle but he has arranged number of owner. My brother spoke to him, and gentleman was not sure about selling his jeep but asked my brother to come and see the jeep and then he will decide. In the meantime I also reached my hometown for some work and I was supposed to be there at home for a week.

We went to meet the gentleman and he informed that this jeep was bought by his father and as his father has passed away, this jeep couldn’t be sold due to family dispute and was lying in a godown since 1978. He was sure about year in which it was last used because his father used it in election campaigning and during campaigning this jeep developed some problem in engine and parked in old big garage. We went inside of that big garage which is now being used as godown, it was dark and damp, and we couldn’t see anything. Gentleman got the torch and this jeep was lying right in the corner, initial sighting was not confidence inspiring as Jeep was resting on stones with layers and layers of dust, it was pitch dark and with the help of torch and our mobiles we were inspecting it and it was tough to check anything. Then gentleman opened one of the shutters at the back and my impression of this whole thing changed. Everything and I mean everything was intact except front propeller shaft and everything was original. Jeep had original carter carburetor, 6 Volt electric system, Lockheed Martin break cylinder, hood, rims, seats, meter (a single big meter which has speedometer, temp meter, fuel meter, oil light, battery light, turn indicator and high beam indicator), steering, fuel pump, original pull knobs for choke and throttle, front dana 25 and rear Dana 44 diffs, bonnet, rear door (even latches were original) etc. I think this was expected from the jeep because it’s last used in 1978 and at that time spares for Willys were easily available.

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Shubhendra Singh
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Old 3rd March 2013, 14:49   #3
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Default Re: Barn find – 1959 Willys CJ3B

We were super excited and asked owner about price and here came the first glitch – this jeep was bought by his father and after his father died, he and his brothers had dispute on this Jeep as everyone wanted to make some money by selling this piece to a scrap dealer. This gentleman was more interested as this jeep was lying in his land portion and he wanted to get rid of it. In fact a wall has been erected just in front of jeep by his brother and this jeep was blocked by wall from three sides (front, rear and right hand side). He asked us to talk to his brothers and whatever price we pay he is ready to divide among brothers. His brothers have shifted to nearby small city and my brother spoke to one of his brother, initially they were reluctant as everyone wanted maximum share of sale but few local contacts finally sorted it out ( never thought we will have to do such tricks to get this Jeep).

Once they all agreed to sell this jeep, topic of discussion moved to money and document aspect of deal. They all agreed to sign heir deed or something of that sort which was required by RTO for transfer but price decided by them was way too much and not even realistic. As money received from this sale was supposed to be distributed among them they all wanted more without realizing that at least they were getting something. During this time I saw few jeeps but they all were either butchered up or 2WDs (in our part of country no one uses 4WD, and whoever had 4WDs they had because it came factory fitted). During my search while at home I spread my requirement to entire region and one day I got lead of a MM Classic. I got super excited because it was bought by our family when Classic launched (in fact first Classic in our region) but it was sold very soon because no one used it for utilitarian purpose for which it is being bought (remember, Jeep is a MUV), it changed one more hand in process and finally used by a young lad who didn’t know anything about jeep except it’s a short chassis jeep

I came back to Poona cursing my luck for not getting a good jeep. Few days later, after two rounds of visit and negotiations we picked up Classic and I got busy in restoring Classic as AKC 2011 and EXAMM 2011 was approaching and I was dying to attend these events. Although we became busy in restoring Classic (we did almost ground up restoration) but I still wanted to get this jeep.

Barn find – 1959 Willys CJ3B-600669_10150962125167453_571078982_n.jpg

In the meantime owner or owners of jeep somehow decided to sell this at a reasonable price (we got to know they contacted few scrapwallahs but must have been disappointed after scrapwallah must have quoted low rates). We again contacted them and finally deal concluded.
Next headache was to get this resting beauty to our town. We sent our tractor with trolley to get the jeep, but driver and helper were helpless because first jeep had to be moved to sideways then only it would have been brought out. Another challenge was to load Jeep on trolley and getting tractor trolley to that point (unplanned construction over years made approach road very narrow). After hours (one full day) of circus finally jeep got loaded to trolley and reached one of our homes in nearby city late night. It was parked initially for few weeks till we arranged one person to do basic work at our place and then run it for few months before staring ground up restoration.

to be continued......

Shubhendra Singh
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Old 3rd March 2013, 15:00   #4
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Default Re: Barn find – 1959 Willys CJ3B

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shubhendra View Post
I am sharing one restoration experience because of few reasons.
1) Nowadays Its uncommon on T-bhp to find a active restoration thread on ‘Willys-CJ3B’
2) Although I would cover finer details on restoration but I also wanted to share other side of story of on how we got hold of such a lovely jeep and what started as a lookout to a good ‘Modified’ jeep ended-up as ‘Impulsive buy’
3) How difficult it is to restore an old jeep at a dusty town without any access to a parts shop (there were times when my person had to travel 500 plus kms just to find that he got a wrong pipe for oil filter)
4) How an old gentleman/mechanic (in his early 80s) came to our rescue to restore just for the sake of Jeep. His only intent was to see last original jeep taking shape in front of him and under his guidance
Shubhendra Singh
All the above reasons and also your statement - "Jeeps are built.." and most importantly the passion to bring this back to life, is what makes sharing this restoration experience a must and a worthwhile one at that.

There are just a few noted people who can restore the Willys back.. A mechanic at 80 that too in a remote place, seems even he is equally passionate. Wishing you all the best and luck with your restoration.
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Old 3rd March 2013, 15:38   #5
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Default Re: Barn find – 1959 Willys CJ3B

This thread is looking awesome already shubendra. Am hooked on it and looking forward to the updates and whatever photographs you do have. Is the job complete now and if so, how is the vehicle running.
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Old 3rd March 2013, 15:58   #6
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Default Re: Barn find – 1959 Willys CJ3B

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Originally Posted by pganapathy View Post
This thread is looking awesome already shubendra. Am hooked on it and looking forward to the updates and whatever photographs you do have. Is the job complete now and if so, how is the vehicle running.
Dear P ganapathy Ji,
Thanks for appreciation, mechanical restoration is complete along with tinkering work. we need to now put body tub on chassis for fine tuning, and then painting, hood, upholestry etc...
restoration was on back burner from last two months as we got busy in restoring a Yezdi.
Hope to start work in next few weeks.

Shubhendra
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Old 3rd March 2013, 16:27   #7
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Default Re: Barn find – 1959 Willys CJ3B

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shubhendra View Post
We were super excited and asked owner about price and here came the first glitch – this jeep was bought by his father and after his father died, h
his at a reasonable price (we got to know they contacted few scrapwallahs but must have been disappointed after scrapwallah must have quoted low rates).

......to do basic work at our place and then run it for few months before staring ground up restoration.

to be continued......

Shubhendra Singh
Congrats for the find . Can see the passion in you that would defy all logic/logical experts around and get you to rebuild the vehicle to its' fine nature.

There is a CJ3B thread from Samurai...very informative and lot of discussion/inputs from many seniors and experienced people around. A fine guy in Germany might be watching this thread very closely...

Last edited by jmvivek : 3rd March 2013 at 16:30. Reason: typo
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Old 3rd March 2013, 20:02   #8
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Default Re: Barn find – 1959 Willys CJ3B

Quote:
Originally Posted by jmvivek View Post
Congrats for the find . Can see the passion in you that would defy all logic/logical experts around and get you to rebuild the vehicle to its' fine nature.

There is a CJ3B thread from Samurai...very informative and lot of discussion/inputs from many seniors and experienced people around. A fine guy in Germany might be watching this thread very closely...
Thanks Vivek ji for encouraging words. I believe Samurai had thread for CJ340 not for CJ3B. Can you please share his link for CJ3B?
I couldnt decipher your last sentence, can you please elaborate?

Shubhendra
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Old 3rd March 2013, 20:42   #9
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Default Re: Barn find – 1959 Willys CJ3B

Banna,

The whole process you went through to get this Jeep officially designates you as a mad Jeeper and proud of it! Awesome start to a thread. I oversaw a family friend's CJ3B restoration last year (link (1970 CJ3 : Rock you like a Hurricane!)) and will be more than happy if I can help you in any possible way with parts or whatever. Am sure you've figured most things out but nevertheless lemme know if you need anything.

I am also thinking of picking up a similar CJ3 so if you run into something like this again, please let me know.

Cheers,
Adi
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Old 3rd March 2013, 22:39   #10
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Default Re: Barn find – 1959 Willys CJ3B

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Originally Posted by Shubhendra View Post
Thanks Vivek ji for encouraging words. I believe Samurai had thread for CJ340 not for CJ3B. Can you please share his link for CJ3B?
I couldnt decipher your last sentence, can you please elaborate?

Shubhendra

True....My mistake...was a 340 and not a 3B...


Was referring to this quote for your good find... and the young guy Spiky associated with this conversation.

"
Dear .....all - as the 90s gave way to the millennium and as the first decade of the millenium gave way to the second, it became "very safe" for people to dis-associate themselves from anything that was not even remotely mainstream. This legend of a vehicle (nothing comes close, not even my Thar) was never mainstream but the guys never understood it, or never wanted to. If you tried, it was like hammering your head against a wall.

Then there was this large bunch of guys "in there" whose only job was to give "gyan" (enlightenment) to us, saying - "Question Everything" blah blah! That's all they did and it was just a lot of talk. I have been an unfortunate participant in meetings where even the basic purpose of having 4WD was questioned, based on the discussion that "somebody had with somebody in a swanky conference room" on the subject, that if "something" is provided, (guess what guys, guess. Pratheesh, please keep quiet), 4WD is not required at all and "cost will be saved"! HaHaHa. How funny!

When I asked "what happens to low range?", expecting an answer, I finally got "gyan" that day! I understood that the swanky conference room types did not even know that there is something like low range (but they would never admit)!

The guy who took the decision to scrap CL340 dies resigned and went away merrily 3 months after the deed was done. The reason for scrapping was to clear the "so-called un-used" inventory of tools, which must surely have been based on some advice of some "Guru" who used to come, say something and go! I am not joking!

LONG LIVE CJ3B IN OUR MEMORY. IT IS THE BEST 4*4 ONE CAN EVER HAVE.

A 1964 model CJ3BLHD (my dream vehicle), the vehicle in which the then Pope drove through the streets of Mumbai still stands inside Kandivli plant. MH01P2541, a yellow Invader based on a 1994 model CJ340 still stands next to it. I hope they stand there forever! I hope one day M&M builds a museum just like many other manufacturers, including Mercedes have.

Thanks Fazal for posting the eternal photograph. There is nothing more to say!

Best regards,

Behram Dhabhar "

Thnx,Vivekj
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Old 4th March 2013, 11:22   #11
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Default Re: Barn find – 1959 Willys CJ3B

Quote:
Originally Posted by AVR View Post
Banna,

The whole process you went through to get this Jeep officially designates you as a mad Jeeper and proud of it! Awesome start to a thread. I oversaw a family friend's CJ3B restoration last year (link (1970 CJ3 : Rock you like a Hurricane!)) and will be more than happy if I can help you in any possible way with parts or whatever. Am sure you've figured most things out but nevertheless lemme know if you need anything.

I am also thinking of picking up a similar CJ3 so if you run into something like this again, please let me know.

Cheers,
Adi
Aditya Bhai,


How can i miss your thread, i went through both of your threads (CJ3B and Toyota540). Will definitely shout out loud for spares very soon. Most of spares are being arranged.
My mech is always on lookout for any old Jeep in our area (as instructed by us to keep looking for old Jeeps), most of old jeeps in our area are dieselized, stretched, and converted to 2WDs. Hope, we might get something interesting for you.

Shubhendra Singh
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Old 4th March 2013, 11:50   #12
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Default Re: Barn find – 1959 Willys CJ3B

Vivek Ji,
People (including me) who make hue and cry over this thing need to understand ‘Business Case’ defies our love and lust to 4Wds and Jeeps.
People now claim that M&M Classic is one of the best retro looking offroad Jeep ever in India, then why people didn’t buy it when it was available brand new from 1996 to 2000. ‘Volume’ is something which every manufacturer looks at. People like us are not a sizeable chunk to convince any manufacturer to develop a no frills offroad machine or keep old machines alive.
My above statement may see downpour of replies but this is how I perceive things at a big corporate giant.

Shubhendra Singh

Last edited by manson : 22nd March 2013 at 18:12.
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Old 4th March 2013, 15:26   #13
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Default Re: Barn find – 1959 Willys CJ3B

Jeep restoration finally starts:
During this whole process, I was in regular touch with UBS sir, updating him about progress as well as getting words of wisdom as well as moral support. When we finally planned to start work, it was decided that first we will try to start jeep to know what is wrong. Our mechanic started with all basic work:
1) Cleaning/changing fuel line, oil filter, cleaned fuel tank, cleaned air filter
2) Put new alternator
3) temporary new carburetor,
4) serviced starter motor
5) changed lubes
6) tappet set
7) point and timing cleaned/set

Finally D day came and our mech started the jeep, after few failed attempts (check fuel, check current cycle) finally it started with lot of white smoke. Though everyone was happy that jeep started but on a flip side we knew that we need to overhaul engine and other allied mechanicals to make it running. Mammoth task was where to get all this work done, will we find a competent mechanic at our hometown to do it or should we send it to Bhopal (Jeep mecca in MP)? We searched fruitlessly for few weeks to realize that there is not a single mechanic left in our entire region who is either conversant with hurricane engine or wants to work on the same. We also recognized non-availability for parts (original) for engine, gearbox& transfer case, steering, brakes etc…..
We had no other option left but to send this jeep to Bhopal which is around 450 kms from our town. One fine day, we towed our beloved CJ3B to bolero and sent jeep to Bhopal to one of our mechanic who has worked on different jeeps for our family. As luck favored us, he couldn’t start work on our jeep due to other commitments and then……………

Sequence of events that led us to towed our jeep back to hometown:
My brother met one old gentleman who used to work on our petrol jeeps till few years back, it was a random meeting. During conversation my brother told him that due to unavailability of mechanic of his stature we had to send our jeep to Bhopal and Jeep is still lying due to our mech at Bhopal has prior commitments. Old gentleman got interested and he told us he might be helpful to us as even he wants do something similar so that current generation can at least see what actual jeep used to be. As he has a well-equipped garage where his son along with his grandson works now a days. It was decided that his team would do all the work under his supervision as at his age he can’t work on machines now. We brainstormed to see how feasible it is to tow our jeep back to our hometown where we do not have supply of spares etc. but then what is the fun without getting your hands dirty while making a jeep. Heart won our mind and Jeep again towed back 450 kms to our hometown.


Our mechs got into action. First they removed engine and allied parts, gearbox, transfercase, prop shafts.
Barn find – 1959 Willys CJ3B-384317_10151172746977453_206739053_n.jpg

Barn find – 1959 Willys CJ3B-548840_10151172746912453_560750947_n.jpg


Then chassis has been sent to chassis guy to evaluate chasis and does minor repair (battery clamp was cracked, extra weld at front for a clamp etc). It didn’t take too much time to small corrections on chassis. Next was suspension, as usual extra leafs were added which is very common in old jeeps, extra leafs removed and all leafs recambered. It was opportunity to put primer and paint all leafs separately to have better end product. All leafs painted, new shackles, brass bushes etc. were fitted and chasis sent back to mech’s garage.

Barn find – 1959 Willys CJ3B-185291_10151172747182453_1131620599_n.jpg

Barn find – 1959 Willys CJ3B-196531_10151172747117453_327711981_n.jpg

Barn find – 1959 Willys CJ3B-246790_10151172747157453_1069320293_n.jpg

Barn find – 1959 Willys CJ3B-264220_10151172747262453_960890456_n.jpg

Barn find – 1959 Willys CJ3B-388889_10151172747082453_2098279826_n.jpg

Barn find – 1959 Willys CJ3B-430387_10151172746762453_1181185209_n.jpg

Barn find – 1959 Willys CJ3B-img00211201209191306.jpg

In the meanwhile body tub, fenders, bonnet and grill were sent to denter to work. Bonnet, grill, rear door and fenders were flawless and didn’t require any work other than small straightening job. Body tub had rust at only one place – near tool box which was fixed. There was a dent at side spare tyre carrier and spare tyre mount hit body resulting small undulation, this also been taken care and paint on beneath of body tub removed and primer and anti-rust coating done.
Now came mechanical work, which difficult of them all. Though our main mechanic has enough knowledge on CJ3Bs but we are from a town which still has Jeep as mainstream vehicle but spares for Cj3B is rare to come by. We decided to open everything, prepare a list for parts required and then hunt for all required part in one go.

Regards,
Shubhendra Singh
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Old 4th March 2013, 16:40   #14
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Default Re: Barn find – 1959 Willys CJ3B

Thanks for a detailed write up....watching this space for more.
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Old 5th March 2013, 16:49   #15
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Sourcing parts:
it was and still is more than a nightmare for us. 40% generic parts were easily available in local markets (bearings, brake parts, common packings, grease, oil etc) but sourcing remaining parts was treacherous. I wish we could have online portals similar to US to source these parts from distributors or old stockists at a REASONABLE PRICE. Son of our mechanic spent one full week in Jabalpur (250 kms from our town) only to fulfill 30% of our total requirement. He scavenged few old shops and sometimes had to spend half day convincing old time shops to convince them to at least open their old godowns just to take a look in hope for getting some good old original spares. And we (I and my brother) indebted to him for doing this for the love of a JEEP. There were stances when restoration came to the halt for weeks just for the need of as small as packing or a small pipe. I want to highlight two stories.
First, we searched for weeks to get hold of a Jeep’s fuel pump only to find out it had brittle rubber packing (I don’t know name of that part, it’s a circle shape rubber pad with spring in middle of it), just for this small part we spent another week and a trip to Jabalpur (250 kms from my town) but couldn’t get the same, and finally we got it from Allahabad ((250 kms from my town).
Second, when engine rebuilt was complete, we found out that pipe from oil filter was leaking, as it was not available in local market, we sent our person to Bhopal (450 kms from my town) only to find out that he returned with oil pipe of ‘Go-devil’ engine instead of ‘ Hurricane’ . As I am writing this, we are still short of few parts, but we are still hopeful that one day we will have all required parts.

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