CJ3A: Intro & General Specs - The JeepsterMan

CJ3A: Intro & General Specs

Historical Introduction and General Specifications of the Willys CJ-3A Jeep (1949-1953)

Click on any link below to shop now for Willys CJ-3A Jeep parts:

The Willys CJ-3A, produced from 1949 to 1953, was a utilitarian vehicle designed to meet the diverse needs of individuals and small businesses. Evolving from its predecessor, the CJ-2A, the CJ-3A boasted versatility, reliability, and a robust design, making it well-suited for various tasks ranging from farming and ranching to off-road adventures.



  • Minor updates, including changes to the hood and grille design.
  • Windshield wipers transitioned to a vacuum-powered system, improving visibility in adverse weather conditions.


  • The CJ-3A's production concluded, marking the introduction of the CJ-3B model with an updated body design to accommodate the taller "Hurricane" F-Head engine.

Identifying Features:

  • Distinctive one-piece folding windshield.
  • Flat front fenders and grille design.
  • Powered by the robust "Go-Devil" L-Head four-cylinder engine.
  • Renowned for its simplicity and suitability for agricultural and utilitarian tasks.
  • Typically adorned with the Willys Overland logo on the grille.


The CJ-3A found its place in various applications, including:

  • Agriculture and Farming: The CJ-3A's rugged design made it suitable for various farm tasks, such as plowing, towing, and transportation around the farm.
  • Recreational Off-Roading: Enthusiasts appreciated the CJ-3A's off-road capabilities, making it a popular choice for outdoor adventures and trail riding.
  • Commercial Use: Small businesses and utility companies often used the CJ-3A for tasks like mail delivery, maintenance, and transportation.
  • Personal Transportation: The CJ-3A provided a practical and affordable mode of transportation for individuals in rural areas.

General Specifications:

  • Length: 129 3/4” (3.29 m.)
  • Width: 59” (149.8 cm.)
  • Height (overall): 66 3/4” (170 cm.)
  • Mass (curb weight): 2,370 lb. (1,075 kg.)
  • Tire Size: 6.00-16, Front 26, Rear 28 psi
  • Electrical System: 6 volts
  • Transmission Type: 3-speed, manual, T-90
  • Transfer Case Type: Dana Model 18, 2 speed, manual
  • Front Axle Type: Dana 25, beam (solid) axle
  • Rear Axle Type: Dana 41, semi-floating axle
  • Wheelbase: 80” (203 cm.)
  • Engine Type: 4-134 “Go Devil” L-Head inline-four (463) (All Years)
  • Horsepower: 60 hp
  • Torque: 105 lb.-ft. (142 Nm)
  • Payload Capacity (on road): 800 lb. (363 kg.)
  • Payload Capacity (cross country): 600 lb. (272 kg.)
  • Fuel Capacity: 10 US gallons (37.9 liters)
  • Operational Range: 100 to 150 miles (160 to 240 km.)
  • Maximum Speed: 55 to 60 mph (88 to 97 km/h)
  • Ground Clearance: 8.75” (222 mm.)

Serial Number Chart & Location(s):


CJ-3A Serial Number Range


10001 to 12500


12501 to 38121


38122 to 62620


62621 to 84239


84240 to 107717


107718 to 118552

      NOTE: Please note that these serial number ranges are approximate, and variations may exist due to production changes and other factors. If you have a specific CJ-3A and want to determine its production year, it's recommended to check the serial number against historical records or consult with experts familiar with Willys Jeep models.
  • Data Plate: The serial number can typically be found located on the driver's side firewall.
  • Frame Stamping: Alternatively, the serial number can be found stamped directly onto the frame, often on the driver's side near the front end.

Engine Number Location(s):

  • Engine Block: Stamped on the side of the engine block, near the top or on the flat area between the cylinder head and the distributor.
  • Crankcase: Another common location is on the crankcase near the oil filter housing or engine oil pan.
  • Data Plate: In some cases, the engine number might also be recorded on the vehicle's data plate, typically located on the dashboard, firewall, or glove compartment door.

Stay tuned for Part 2, delving into the CJ-3A's mechanical specifications! For authentic parts and expert advice, explore the wide selection at JeepsterMan.

Back to blog