To Top

Builds: Jim hunts for an MB

• CATEGORIES: Builds • TAGS: .

misc-491Here’s another great purchase adventure from Jim.  Thanks Jim!

Jim writes, “Another flat fender adventure but this time with a happy ending (not that kind of happy ending).

The guy on the phone said, “its a WWII Willys MB, great shape, original, runs and drives etc $3000”. So, I drive 6 hours west to Flagstaff and pick up a buddy of mine, then turn around and head back the way I came to find this elusive rig.

misc-492We travel many miles east to Winslow, then the “fun” started as we began to follow what turned out to be a nightmare set of directions. Turn at the end of the pavement, follow the mining road, take the left side of the wagon trail over miles and miles of beat-your-truck-to-death-washboard, dust-covered, filthy, silty, rocky, brutal, teeth grinding, two-track trail for two straight hours! Good thing I had my truck washed and waxed the day before.

We get there, see the jeep and man am I unhappy in the middle of nowhere. It is bad, horrible, mismatched wheels, fat, flat, rotten tires, high back bucket seats, roll bar, filled with junk, a butchered windshield frame, and obviously not driven for years. Nowhere near a $3K MB.

misc-493I looked at the poor guy, surrounded by his huge collection of junk and said no offense pal but that’s a pile of parts shaped like a jeep worth maybe $500 and I’m not too happy you got me all the way out here for this mess.

He said well, I need the money and if that’s what its worth, hand me $500 and here’s the title. Um, well, that pretty much killed my next argument and shut me up.

After throwing away the seats and roll bar, filling a huge trash can with junk, garbage, pounds of dirt, alternators, a radiator, various parts of other cars and rat nests I started looking closer.

misc-494It has the right engine, though 12 volt, right trans, right axles, a super straight nose and dash, a decent tub, mmm…. I check my parts pile and find some correct seat frames, a gas tank, a perfect windshield frame (all from a Durango yard sale for $100) and even managed to come up with 4 civilian 16″ wheels with rollers so I could remove the fat, flat rubber and mismatched spoke wheels.

With a fresh battery we found it would turn over but not start, though it had good spark. Turns out a pack rat had been using the carb as a toilet! There was literally 2 inches of rat shit in the carb! We yanked a good carb off a CJ3A, bolted it up, hit the starter and what do you know, the motor not only ran but sounded great with 50+psi oil pressure. All of the sudden it looked like an MB, with the yard sale parts, skinny tires and wheels, you could start to see the past, faded olive drab ghost of its military history.

I think this is going to be fun, maybe build an SAS desert MB replica loaded with period correct gear and painted desert tan? What to do, what to do….



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe without commenting