Farm Jeep
1949 Willys Jeep CJ-3A:
Project "Ole Blue"
Part 14 – Wire Was I Again
dimmer switch, looking up from the floor

With the gas tank in place, Barry could connect the fuel gauge sender and work on the remainder of the wiring under the dash. As stated before, the wiring harness made connections simple, but we were missing a few holes in the reproduction body. Putting holes in the freshly painted body is not something Barry enjoyed. Luckily, the holes were small and we had the original body to use as a template.

With the dash wiring nearly complete, Barry moved on to installing more of the wiring harness. The harness comes in sections and Barry once again turned to our friends at the CJ-3A Information Page (via the CJ-3A Page forum) for mounting instructions. Other than the need to drill even more (small) holes, this part of the wiring was straight forward.

The rear lights are just the standard replacement type and not the original 3a style. That might be a future upgrade. The 3a has a single terminal block mounted on the driver’s side fender, just in front of the horn. With the wiring harness temporally in place (proper clips are on order), we could start and move the jeep without fear of a loose wire getting wrapped around a driveshaft or the fan.

Taking a turn
Do Farm Jeeps need turn signals? Jeep Tractors didn’t even bother with headlights. However, we do plan to drive Ole Blue to town now and then and we do want to be safe and civil. Back to that civil part in a minute.

We purchased a “universal signal switch” that mounts via a metal band to the steering column. We purchased the wiring harness with the turn signal option, so again, the wiring was a very straight forward process.

Speaking of straight and civil, the switch doesn’t have automatic cancellation (automatically returning to the center position after you complete a turn), so the odds are high that we may be seen driving down the road doing the “perpetual turn.” In researching turn signals for the front (still to be done), we came across an article where options were discussed for alerting the jeep driver of this condition. Suggestions included load flasher units or a small warning light mount on the top of the windshield. Maybe in a future release.

Lit up like a Christmas tree
We are building our 3a with the 12 volt option. With the wiring, except for the headlight and front parking/turn signals in place, Barry went shopping for the appropriate blubs. He printed off the electrical information page over on the CJ-3A page ( and headed to the local auto parts store. All the bulbs were available, with the exception of the headlights. They would have to be a special order. By chance, Barry’s second stop of the day was the local farm supply store for some more hardware. He wandered down the automotive aisle and there on the bottom shelf in boxes that appeared to have survived the flood with Noah, were model 6014 blubs. Columbus did experience a flood earlier in the year and they may have gotten wet, but at $8, we will take the risk.

Barry installed the blubs in the various sockets, dropped a new battery in place, pulled out the light switch – and they worked! Well at least the tail lights, brake and turn signals worked. The dash light didn’t, but that was a grounding problem. Barry had to remove the fixture and grind the paint off the dash hole. The wires on the turn signal were reversed, but this was a simple reversal of push-in connectors. We have lights!

Next up – Drum roll please

Barry’s notes –

Evan’s notes –