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WillyWilly Aluminum Head Northeast, AR $1000

• CATEGORIES: Parts

UPDATE: Sometimes, we don’t know what we don’t know. In this case, Ted Robinette corrects the record regarding his creation of the WillyWilly (one word) Aluminum head:

NOT A HICKEY HEAD: The WILLYWILLY cylinder head is not a copy of or a rebranding of the Hickey head like the Chuchua head was nor “originated as a Vic Hickey product” as mentioned in the preceding comments.

THE DEVELOPMENT: I did purchase a well used Hickey head in California during the late 80’s and once I got it home to Australia found it to be only suitable for wall art so set about designing my own version.

To say it is a copy or rebranding belittles the development effort and investment involved in creating the pattern and core boxes to my own design here in Australia. While the top shape is inspired by, but not the same as, an early HICKEY head the water jacket is a different shape with strengthening ribs added internally plus internal bosses for the temp sender and bypass etc to thread into. The combustion chamber shape is my own design as is the use of 3/4″ reach spark plugs. The deck and walls are also made thicker to add stiffness to the head and as a consequence to the top end of the engine block. This latter point is more relevant to the Whippet and Willys 77 (48 hp) pre-war engine blocks for which the head bolt pattern in my casting could be drilled to suit.

THE NAMES: RO-ETT is my surname shortened. Nothing to do with ‘Rockett”.

The cylinder head is named WILLYWILLY, written as one word, being the word Australian Aboriginals used to describe a dust devil, gust or other strong wind. This name was chosen as a play on Willys use of Go Devil, Hurricane, Tornado etc to label the engines they produced. The WO part number cast into the top of the WILLYWILLY head is a play on the Willys part number for the circa 1939 factory aluminium cylinder head.

THE ARKANSAS HEAD FOR SALE ON FACEBOOK: I took the pattern out of retirement to specially make the WILLYWILLY head, #A715, shown in the Facebook sale for a guy in Arkansas who had an aircraft powered by a Jeep L134 engine. The L134 has since been replaced by a radial engine. In the last ten years I have only made three heads being the aircraft #A715 and another for a bellytank based Lakester race car and a twin spark plug conversion for my own Speedster.

ANY MORE HEADS FOR SALE? NO, I do not have any WILLYWILLY heads for sale.

OTHER ITEMS: A few years ago I made the patterns and core box for a twin downdraft carburetor manifold (Roett-Duett) to suit the L134 engine and have cast a few. Again the manifold is my own design and not a copy of the BURNS or DARLAND manifolds I have but found not suitable for my vehicles. More recently I made a pattern to cast a few aluminium sumps to suit L134 engine projects I am involved with. Unfortunately the closure of one foundry and then covid has caused foundry backlogs and materials and manufacturing cost hikes that might discourage making more of the manifolds and sumps. Time will tell.

Best Willys Regards
Ted Robinette
Australia

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This is a very rare head.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/WillysSwapMeet/posts/3172568699683054/

willy-willy-aluminum-head

 

8 Comments on “WillyWilly Aluminum Head Northeast, AR $1000

  1. John North Willys

    it supposed to say ” ROCKETT “… I dont see an advantage to an aluminum flathead — better heat dissapation ? — different compression ratio ?? — aluminum doesnt rust , it rots ..

  2. Gopher4x4 Louie Larson

    This cly head is from Australia. I have purchased this alum head and the dual carb intake manifolds
    in the days gone by. Its been so long i can’t remember the price. The person I got them from said
    they were used on MB GPW engines in there short track dirt race cars. You can’t use the dual intake
    manifold on your MB/GPW, 2A,3A and close the hood. It works perfect on your Jeepster, Truck or Wagon

  3. David Eilers Post author

    Allan: My guess is that it originated as a Vic Hickey product. This post includes a look at a jeep Vic built that appears to include an early version of that head.

    Louie: That’s good to know they were used in Australia. That would make sense as to why they are so hard to find in the US.

    I have seen some folks add a dual intake to flat fenders with an l-head. Here’s an example of an Edmunds dual intake (I don’t know if you are familiar with it or not): http://www.ewillys.com/2018/11/25/edmunds-dual-intake-fish-creek-wi-no-price/ and Colin’s installation of a dual intake with a Hickey head on his DJ-3A Surrey: http://www.ewillys.com/2015/10/21/colins-surreys-head-games/

    Nate built this custom dual intake for a flattie as well: http://www.ewillys.com/2013/03/21/nates-dual-carb-setup/

  4. Allan J. Knepper

    Gopher 4×4……great information. The Australia and New Zealand guys have a great history of building and racing dirt track oval midget and sprint cars like the US. I have had several old 1940’s era rail frame midget race car projects. I actually sent one to NZ. Really good folks to deal with. These old race cars really used a “diverse” array of powerplants…….Ferguson tractor…….Elto outboards……Willys……and finally Ford V/8 60hp flatheads which changed things forever.
    Not sure if I have another project left in me at 76yrs old, but the Willys rail frame midget tumbles around in the back of my addled head !! Have fun

  5. Terry

    Must be made in Australia, if you look before the Willy Willy on the head you will see the map of Australia .

  6. Ted Robinette

    Some disinformation in the above comments so here are the facts:

    The WILLYWILLY cylinder head is not a copy of or a rebranding of the Hickey head like the Chuchua head was nor “originated as a Vic Hickey product” as mentioned in the preceding comments.

    I did purchase a well used Hickey head in California during the late 80’s and once I got it home to Australia found it to be only suitable for wall art so set about designing my own version.
    To say it is a copy or rebranding belittles the development effort and investment involved in creating the pattern and core boxes to my own design here in Australia. While the top shape is inspired by, but not the same as, an early HICKEY head the water jacket is a different shape with strengthening ribs added internally plus internal bosses for the temp sender and bypass etc to thread into. The combustion chamber shape is my own design as is the use of 3/4″ reach spark plugs. The deck and walls are also made thicker to add stiffness to the head and as a consequence to the top end of the engine block. This latter point is more relevant to the Whippet and Willys 77 (48 hp) pre-war engine blocks for which the head bolt pattern in my casting could be drilled to suit.

    RO-ETT is my surname shortened. Nothing to do with ‘Rockett”.

    The cylinder head is named WILLYWILLY, written as one word, being the word Australian Aboriginals used to describe a dust devil, gust or other strong wind. This name was chosen as a play on Willys use of Go Devil, Hurricane, Tornado etc to label the engines they produced. The WO part number cast into the top of the WILLYWILLY head is a play on the Willys part number for the circa 1939 factory aluminium cylinder head.

    I took the pattern out of retirement to specially make the WILLYWILLY head, #A715, shown in the Facebook sale for a guy in Arkansas who had an aircraft powered by a Jeep L134 engine. The L134 has since been replaced by a radial engine. In the last ten years I have only made three heads being the aircraft #A715 and another for a bellytank based Lakester race car and a twin spark plug conversion for my own Speedster.

    Please note I do not have any WILLYWILLY heads for sale.

    A few years ago I made the patterns and core box for a twin downdraft carburetor manifold (Roett-Duett) to suit the L134 engine and have cast a few. Again the manifold is my own design and not a copy of the BURNS or DARLAND manifolds I have but found not suitable for my vehicles. More recently I made a pattern to cast a few aluminium sumps to suit L134 engine projects I am involved with. Unfortunately the closure of one foundry and then covid has caused foundry backlogs and materials and manufacturing cost hikes that might discourage making more of the manifolds and sumps. Time will tell.

    Best Willys Regards
    Ted Robinette
    Australia

  7. SteveK

    Very interesting. I wish I could see the other side of the head’s design. One thing I’ve wanted to create is a “center fire L-head” with the spark plug located directly over the piston. In all of the ” head re-design work”, I’m wondering if that was considered, and if so, why was it ruled out? I love the “creativity”. IMO… not every Willys needs to be a “museum piece restoration”. Thanks for sharing the history too.

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