HOW TO BAG THE BEST DEAL

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - Buying & Selling -

1 RUST

If the lad­der chas­sis is rot­ten or cracked, putting it right can add sig­nif­i­cant cost. If you find re­pair patches, how strong are they? The car needs its orig­i­nal chas­sis if the seller is ask­ing top money. Hotchkiss Jeeps have a thicker-gauge chas­sis.

2 EN­GINES

War­time ‘Go Devil’ 2.2-litre petrol ‘four’ con­tin­ued in early CJs and M201s. Parts avail­abil­ity is mostly good. F-head Willys Hur­ri­cane en­gine used from the CJ-3B on­wards.

3 TRANS­MIS­SION

A com­mon oil leak cul­prit is the trans­fer box’s rear out­put seal. Long-term leaks may have led to pre­ma­ture wear, caus­ing jump­ing out of gear on the over­run. Early mil­i­tary mod­els have three-speed man­ual gear­boxes.

4 TRIM & PARTS

Orig­i­nal equip­ment such as ra­dios, weapons and can­vas bags can push up the cost, but ve­hi­cle con­di­tion should take pri­or­ity. Trim is vir­tu­ally nil, but check gauges and electrics. If fit­ted, make sure the can­vas hood is in­tact. Re­place­ments can be bought, along with many af­ter­mar­ket ac­ces­sories.

5 SUS­PEN­SION

Leaf springs and beam axles are fit­ted front and back, both for the mil­i­tary Jeeps and the later CJs. Cor­roded leaves will cause a harsh ride. If the leaves are splay­ing, it’s time for re­place­ment. Sus­pen­sion mod­i­fi­ca­tions are com­mon.

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