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Paul unpacks 60 Year-Old Parts

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features • TAGS: .

Paul wrote to share his experience unwrapping some old parts as he continues his M-38 rebuild.

Paul wrote, “One of the first jobs on my Willys rebuild list from many years ago was to overhaul the axles. Naturally all bearings and races were replaced with new, new ring and pinion gears with 4.27 ratios were installed along with a complete set of 11 inch backing plates and brake drums. Well, sometime during the past 25 or so years the new steering knuckle seals failed due to old age. Geeze, I haven’t even driven this thing yet and now I’m having to replace the replacement parts which are still new but old.

Oh well, it was time to go shopping once again. I was able to purchase a set of heavy duty steering knuckle seals from the local parts store (that can even be rebuilt when necessary) in addition to an extra set of replacement rubber seals for future use. Today I installed one seal kit on the left front knuckle with no problems, everything fit like factory, nothing was missing and the quality was perfect but that’s just what I’d expected. You should understand that these steering knuckle seal kits were packed by Willys Overland Motors for military use in May of 1952. The package had never been opened and all the parts were still coated with a preservative grease like coating, which required lots of paper towels to remove.

I can’t imagine whoever packed these parts so long ago had any idea that 60 years into the future some guy in Alaska would need these parts for his M-38 but I’m sure pleased the packer did such a good job protecting these seal kits. I took pictures of each step as I opened the package and the final photo shows the clean, new parts visible for the first time in over 60 years.”


8 Comments on “Paul unpacks 60 Year-Old Parts

  1. SE Pennsylvania Steve

    Dave, what do you think all those people who assembled our jeeps years ago would say if they knew that 40, 50, 60+ years into the future that we would be still using and treasuring them? Do you think they had any idea we would?

  2. mmdeilers Post author

    Yes. I was going to note that you were both Alaskaninians or Alaskanites or something similar, but my brain apparently shut down before I finished both posts. That often happens late in the evening, if you hadn’t noticed by the quality of some posts 🙂

  3. Paul

    I prefer the term POLAROIDS when talking about the geezers in the freezer here in Alaska. Howdy Zack!

  4. Sam

    Hello Paul, I hope this note finds all well. Where did you find the Willys kits?? Are they still available for sale?? Please let me know – Thanks for your help, Sam

  5. Paul

    I purchased the seal kits from E. A. Patson Parts and Equipment here in Anchorage, Alaska. Their telephone number is 1 907 333 5682 … ask for Rod and tell em Paul sent ya.

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