Military Vehicles, November 1996,: RE: Differences between a CJ-2A and a MB -Reply

RE: Differences between a CJ-2A and a MB -Reply

WIDD-James (
Tue, 12 Nov 1996 10:46:50 -0600

Todd's assessment and characteristics are right on the money. It would
be a waste of military parts to put them on a CJ-2A. As he said, you
would be much better off to simply get an MB or GPW project. I think
you would sink more money into the conversion than you could ever
hope to recover because the demand for this type vehicle would never
likely materialize. If nothing else, restore to original CJ-2A specs and sell
to fund a military jeep. It would likely bring more as a quality rebuilt CJ
than hybrid military. Of course, this is just my opinion.

Jim Rice

>>> Todd Paisley <> 11/12/96 10:09am >>>
>Would someone please tell me the difference between a CJ2A and a
MB, in
>the engine, frame and the body. I would like to see a side by side
>comparason between the two. I am having an engine of the the CJ2A
>rebuild and it should be ready by December 1st and would like to do in
>military style. I have already done work on the springs, the brakes and
>the steering system. The frame and the combat wheels has already
>sand blasted, primed, undercoated and painted OD. It looks great.There
>is not one nut or bolt that my hands have not touched yet. I would
>really like some help on this.

There are a lot of difference between the CJ2A and the MB. They may
look similar and have some parts in common, but they are 2 different
animals. You might be better off selling the CJ-2A and buying a MB.

Frame differences:

1) Front frame horns - CJ-2A cut straight across, while the MB is angled
at 45 degrees.

2) Bumper - CJ-2A used heavier gauge steel.

3) front cross member - CJ-2A had the steering bell crank on the front
cross member.

4) body mounts - CJ-2A had body mounts on the outside of the frame
rail, while the MB had one on the inside and one on the outside.

5) intermediate cross member - The intermediate cross member on the
MB had a plate for the machine gun mount.

6) rear shock mount - the rear shock mount on the CJ-2A was different
to lay the shock back so the rear floor didn't need to have a cut out.

7) rear cross member - CJ-2A had provisions for a PTO.

Drive train:

1) Transmission - MB had a T-84, while the CJ-2A had the T-90.
2) radiator - CJ-2A had extra tin to aid in more effective cooling.
3) rear axle - CJ-2A had 5:38 gears, while the MB had 4.88s. Your
'48 had a semi-floating rear, while the MB had a full floating axle.
4) front axle - Same differences as rear, but MB had provisions for the
bell crank on the axle.
5) Engine - If you just want functionality, the engine are quite similar, but
the accesories are different.


1) grille - CJ-2A had 7" headlights, while the MB had 5" lights.

2) front fenders - The MB had reinforcements for the voltage regulator
mounts on the passenger side front fender.

3) windshield - MB had a lower windshield.

4) hood - CJ-2A had "WILLYS" stamped into the hood, while the MB as

5) body tub - Lots and lots of differences

a) dash - CJ-2A did not have a glove box, while the majority of the
MBs did have one. The CJ-2A had a cutout for a column-shift
mechanism. The holes for some of the things like lights and
cables are different.
b) front floor - The MB had a sump in the floor for the gas tank, while
CJ-2A did not have this cutout. The hat channels under the
floor is different. The CJ-2A had a hump in the center for the
shaft. CJ-2A had a toolbox area under the passenger seat,
the MB did not.

c) Rear floor riser - The CJ-2A had a straight across rear floor riser
the MB had a semi-circle in the center to make room for the
machine gun plate.

d) driver's side rear side panel - MB had the gas tank filler under the
seat, while the CJ-2A had a cutout in the panel for an external
gas tank opening.

e) rear floor - The rear floor on the MB was flat metal, while the
floor was ribbed. The MB had little shock covers with a cutout
for the rear shocks.

f) rear panel - MB had a fixed panel in the back, while the CJ-2A had a

f) wheel houses - MBs had tool boxes in the back of the wheel houses
while the CJ-2A did not.

g) seats - MB seats are lower than CJ-2A seats.

There are a lot more differences, but I think you can get the picture. You
can probably convert a CJ-2A to a MB, but why. It would be much, much
easier to just start with a MB.

Todd Paisley

'41 Willys MB "slat-grille" (restoration in progress)
'42 Ford GPW "script" (very rough)
'44 CJ2 Agri-Jeep (#12 of 12 prototypes built for testing
whether Jeeps had a civilian use!)
'45 CJ2A (68th CJ ever built!) (Just a pile of parts...) '46 CJ2A (early
column shift)
'46 CJ2A (late)
'47 CJ2A (Farm Jeep with 3-point Monroe hydraulic implement lift)
'48 CJ2A (trencher)
'64 CJ5A (Tuxedo Park Mark IV) (column shift with front bench seat
'64 Wagoneer (with IFS option) (39,000 original miles)