I Fixed My 1948 Jeep And Now I'm Off-Roading In The Promised Land

After the tragic incident in rural Kansas that claimed my fiber camshaft timing gear, I had to tow the little CJ-2A the final 500 miles of the trip from Detroit to Moab. But now, I’ve swapped in a new timing gear, and oh my, she runs perfectly.

Just after diagnosing that strange camshaft gear failure, I called up Autozone in Grand Junction, Colorado and overnighted a new part. The following afternoon, my coworker Freddy and I—with careful use of a tiny rubber mallet we like to call “baby’s first hammer”—coerced that timing gear into place after lining up the timing marks.


Speaking of timing marks, have a look at how far off my old, broken gear was; my thumb shows the timing mark on the old gear. Compare that to the black dot at three o’clock on the new gear:

She fired right up!


That night at about 1 A.M., Freddy and I took the little Jeep out for some light off-roading on Fins ‘N Things:


And yesterday, I spent eight hours off-roading with heavily modified JK Wranglers on 7 Mile Rim. The Willys Kicked major butt. You can expect more off-road footage in the coming days, but here are two little clips:


I’m off to do some more off-roading.

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About the author

David Tracy

Writer, Jalopnik. 1979 Jeep Cherokee Golden Eagle, 1985 Jeep J10, 1948 Willys CJ-2A, 1995 Jeep Cherokee, 1992 Jeep Cherokee auto, 1991 Jeep Cherokee 5spd, 1976 Jeep DJ-5D, totaled 2003 Kia Rio