Our 1954 CJ-3B “ HIGH HOOD” JEEP
We found this 1954 CJ-3B in the summer of 1999 with a for sale sign in the windshield out north of Spokane Washington. We bought the jeep shortly after we spotted it. I have always had a soft spot for the high hood look. Our “ high hood” s/n is 454 GB2 31396 and the engine s/n is 1T54994. As far as I know this is the original F-134 engine.
We were told this jeep came from a ranch in eastern Wyoming. It had only been licensed once and I believe it was in Wyoming. It was obvious when we got it home that it had been out on a range somewhere, there was straw packed under the floor board and on top of the transmission so tight it had to be chiseled off with a screw driver. There were other tell tale signs of ranch life for the “ HIGH HOOD “ too. I drove the jeep home about 15 miles from where we bought it with no problems. It looked a little rough, but was quite sound. No rust and only a few minor body dents to straighten.
I did not start working on the “HIGH HOOD” until the next spring. I had plans to retire my 1968 CJ5 from trail rides and build the “ HIGH HOOD” to take its place. I ordered my CJ5 new from a dealer in Western Washington in the summer of 1968 and it has been ‘jeepin’ ever since, I still drive it on a daily basis, but not on trails much any more. The “HIGH HOOD” has become a much more fun jeep to drive off road, and it gets a lot more attention.
I started on the “HIGH HOOD” by designing a roll cage for it and had it custom built. We straightened some of the worst wrinkles in the sheet metal, ( jeep sheet metal was not all that straight from the factory ). I knew I had to change the steering on the 54’ because of my experience with my 68’ so it has a 70s vintage manual Saginaw box from a Nova and a 76” chevy tilt steering wheel assy, Shortened. I knew I had to change the brakes also, so I have replaced the 9” stock brakes with those from a 1970 jeep wagoneer 11” drums and installed a dual master cylinder from a 1985 cherokee with the overhanging pedals. This change gave me the opportunity to replace the stock manual clutch linkage with the 1985 hydraulic clutch master and slave cylinder linkage. I had to design custom brackets for the slave cylinder mounting.
My idea for our trail rig was to keep the running gear as close to original as I could but to update or change things that I had experienced with my 68’ jeep on the trails. My experience has told me that more power usally leads to broken stuff on the trail, so I wanted to stay with the F-head four banger and prove I could stay up with ‘big boys’. And I can.
To continue on with the list of changes, I have converted the electric system over to a single wire 12v alternator with everything in the jeep being 12v. I have installed from a 1971 CJ5 the two speed 12v electric windshield wipers. I replaced all of the original wire and have installed a fuse panel from 85’ Cherokee. We found and installed bucket seats. I have upgraded the suspension to a 2 ½” Rancho lift kit.