By Jon Maib
If you've ever purchased an older vehicle, you tend to notice all the poor repairs the previous owner had done to keep the vehicle running and held together. This is no exception with Rex. However, this is a 60+ year old vehicle that saw time on a farm somewhere in Kentucky. Im sure a lot of Rex's 'repairs' happened in the fields with a stick welder and whatever metal was laying around at the time. In the CJ2a community, these kind of repairs are known as 'Bubba' modifications. Bubba does what it takes to make it work and it doesn't have to be pretty, as long as it works.

Rex has its fair share of Bubba modifications. The front frame horns were crushed at some point and instead of replacing them or totaling the vehicle, Bubba took some 'C' channel steel and stick welded it on top of the damaged frame horn. While this does make it pretty strong, it is not the greatest looking repair. As I was rebuilding the steering colomn, I had noticed that the front cross member was not connected because Bubba's welds had cracked. It was time to clean up this Bubba mess.

Started the process by purchasing inner frame box plates from another CJ2a guy. These were designed to box in the inner frame rails by welding the plates inside, however, Rex's frame was so rippled, these were gonna just make it look straight and be even stronger. I had to cut the top portion of the C channel off in order to make it all look straight. As I cut the top off, I got to see how bad the front frame horns really were! Seeing this, I kept the side and bottom portion of the 'C' channel on the rails.

Once both sides were cut, the new metal was test fit and ground to create the right look. The metel was then welded in and then ground smooth to create straight frame raila. They were then shot with primer. Since I had everything appart, I decided that I needed to also re-create the front grille mounts as they were no longer there due to Bubba's fix. Grabbing some flat stock, I bent my own to CJ2a grille mounts. I had to then put the fenders and grille back on to get the proper location for the mounts. The mounts got welded on and then the frame repairs got hit with a coat of black paintt.

And that was just the front! Bubba worked hard making a 'custom' rear bumper for Rex. He had taken the old draw bar (used for towing and farm implements) and cut sections off of it to re-welded back on while adding a even more to it, probably for some sort of farming equipment. Needless to say, it was unique.

I have been slowly cutting pieces off for the past few years trying to make it look cleaner, but it was nowhere near original. I had picked up a period correct draw bar off a friends donor CJ and decided it was time to put it on. Removing the custom bumper that Bubba had built was no easy task. Bubba had welded bolts, scrap metal and whatever other metal piecies he had laying around to make this bumper functional. After much cutting and grinding, I was able to remove all that extra metal that was welded to the rear cross member. What was left was a mess.

I ended up cutting out a large section of the rear cross member so I could beat the channel back into shape. It had somehow been completely bent. After straightening this bent section, it was tacked back in along with some patches that covered the torn sections of the cross member.

Everything was then welded in and ground down flush, then came the need to cut out part of the old draw bar that still existed under the body. Once again, Bubba had welded this in with whatever was laying around. Once that was out I test fit the new draw bar. Once everything was lined up, hit the whole thing with primer and then black paint. The finish product brought Rex one step closer to its original configuration.

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