Builds Research Archives

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The Jeep-Engine Powered Chum

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features

Gayland shared this do-it-yourself boat project that’s designed around a jeep-engine. It’s called the Chum. Below is the first page. Download the PDF to see all the instructions. There’s even a Willys marine engine for sale right now.

https://www.diy-wood-boat.com/support-files/chum.pdf

 
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The Hudson Hornet Steering Modification

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features

Just a few posts today, but some good ones!

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1951-1953 Hudson Hornet steering box installed on John’s CJ-2A.

I’ve been very interested in the Hudson Hornet Steering Modification since I heard about it a decade ago. Unfortunately, there’s scant information about implementing the modification, but reports were that it was a relatively easy one that produced fantastic results, offering a power-assist feel to the steering and reducing play (a similar, alternative steering modification is the use of a 1980s Ford Ranger box, which Lawrence Ellliot shared back in 2018).

Now, thanks to Adam, we have some new insights into the obstacles and benefits of installing a Hudson unit into a vintage jeep! Perhaps the most difficult obstacle to overcome is locating the steering box itself! Adam’s provided some great details below, but If you want to ask Adam more questions directly, he’s offered his email ahedgcock @ gmail.com (remove the spaces around the @).

Below, Adam shows some of the differences between the Hudson and Ross (Willys) units:

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Here’s Adam’s description:

  1. Find box. Perhaps the most difficult task .. 51 to 53 Hudson Hornet.
  2. Pitman Arm/Get Drag Link. Try to get the bell crank and drag link. The Hudson splined pitman shaft is quite a bit larger than the willys splined shaft so it is good to use the original. The pitman arm itself is similar in how it bends, but is 7” long ( instead of 5” on the willys)
  3. Pitman Arm Ball. The pitman arm ball end on the Hudson is larger than the willys, so I welded the Hudson drag link end onto my willys drag link.
  4. Hudson Box bolts right up, but …The Hudson box could be bolted directly to the frame rail with 3 bolts, but the steering column will be 2.5” too far on the drivers side to hit you body tub hole. Having all stock brake and clutch pedals, and not wanting to make my tub Swiss cheese, I chose to move the box 2.5” off the frame with a fabricated spacer. This would be similar to the level of fab needed to convert a Saginaw box up front.
  5. Or Shift the Hudson Bracket. The cast steel Hudson bracket could be cut and re-welded to the box 2.5” over also, with the same results.
  6. Modify the Column Tube. The steering column is similar to the willys but the Hudson column tube is larger than the Willys. I welded a larger OD sleeve at the base of an existing willys column, cut a split in it and welded on 2 ears so I could clamp it tight.
  7. Steering Shaft Differs. The steering shaft does not have the same end spline for a willys steering wheel, so you can either cut and weld a willys spline to the end, or find a Hudson steering wheel.
  8. Gear ratio. I did not take the box apart, but it is clearly a roller bearing worm shaft, and this thing came tight, even after presumably many years of use. The Hudson box is 6 turns lock to lock, and the Ross is 3 turns. It is worth noting the pitman arm is longer, 7” vs 5” on the willys, but you get a definite advantage in ratio. A bit less than half the effort to turn the wheels. I have taken it on road, and there is not the same “twitch” at speed, and off-road it does not tear your thumbs off like before. The wheel still happily spins back to center by itself nicely when you let it go, just more revolutions.
  9. Placement of box. This will be subjective, I have a Buick V6 and I found the longer pitman arm worked better because it swings below my bellhousing rather than ramming I to it with the Ross. Just like placing an engine, you would want to mock up the ideal spot, and make the bracket accordingly.
  10. Original look. This is basically a similar box, and does not effect the outward appearance at all.
  11. Finding parts…this is the fun part, I needed to talk to people, and ultimately find a person willing to go digging through an old barn. Once I found my source, I bought 2. Paid $200 each.
  12. Very fun swap, more original than the Saginaw, similar performance to a manual Saginaw provided to have a good tight bell crank and good tie rod ends.. I don’t see any need for a steering stabilizer

Hudson Horney Box casting number 34641.

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John’s Cutlas Selective Hub Rebuild

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features, How To • TAGS: .

John recently rebuilt a set of Cutlas Selective Hubs, the type with the knob that rotates to engage and disengage the hub. There appear to be at least two styles of these hubs, one with a flat top and one with a groove, so that a tool (or improvised tool) can be used to help engage, disengage the hub.

This exploded overview from 1961 shows how the parts assemble (see the full brochure below this post):

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As you can kind of see from this diagram, there are two sections: 1) is the hub cap that holds the knob and the spring in place (from part 107-2 in the middle and everything to the right of it) and 2) the hub base (part 108-2 and everything to the left of it).

John wrote, “Overall I’d say these are my favorite hubs I’ve worked on so far. I have a pair of Warn hubs (with the tiny needle bearings) and a pair of Selectro hubs (big chrome knob type). The Warns seemed like a real pain to rebuild since the needle bearing were in rough shape. And the Selectro hubs, while very easy to operate, were probably the weakest design I’ve seen.”

Here’s a look at John’s finished product, as it’s the best example a complete hub next to a hub with the top separated from the base:

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I went with a 2 tone paint job just for fun. If it doesn’t last for any reason I’ll end up with the whole thing gloss black and a chrome knob. The body was so badly pitted there was no saving the original finish

HUB CAP:

We’ll start with the hub’s cap first. John provided the following note: “To remove the coupling piece (part 102-2 Coupling) from the chrome cap (with the cutlas knob) you have to line it up right with the correct groove, then push down firmly against the spring inside (part 110-2 coupling spring). While pushing down spin the coupling, and then the coupling spring will pop the coupling right out and its free.”

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With the inner portion of the cap apart, you can see the coupling ring, the coupling, the coupling cam spring (part 107-2) and the coupling cam pins (parts 105-2).

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Dan Details the Thor “Lectro-Matic” Hub

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features

UPDATE: I posted this Thor post over a decade ago (how times flies). Below is a look at the switch used to engage the Thor “Lectro-Matic” Hub, which came from this post. Since the below post was first published, there’s also been some history about Thor Products on a shared on another post.

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Originally posted January 2010: 

Dan dropped this into my inbox this evening.  It’s a detailed look at the Thor “Lectro-Matic” Hub (or lectromatic hub). Dan completed this 18 page document, with disassembling the hubs and discussing each step.  You can download the PDF here Great work Dan!

Dan writes, The Thor “Lectro-Matic” hubs off of my 1955 CJ-5 were a bit of a mystery. These must have been some of the first “push button” 4WD systems to come out. There was little to no information on them so I decided to take them apart and see just how they work. Here is what I have learned.

When my Dad said that they were electric, I assumed that they had a little motor that would “spin” them in or out of engagement. What I realized was that they were more like a solenoid or electromagnet.

There is a coil of wire on the wheel side of the hub. When power is applied to the coil it becomes a magnet and draws itself to the axle side of the hub. There are little “teeth” machined into the facing sides of the hub. These teeth engage and the axle side of the hub turns the wheel or magnet side of the hub. A wire is ran through the back of the backing plate through a hole and provides the electricity to the magnetic coil. A contact mounted on a spring transmits this electric power through a slip ring inside the brake drum to the hub.

I imagine that the hubs could be engaged while the vehicle is moving, but I think this would cause the teeth to slip for a moment and lead to premature wear of the teeth. A toggle switch or a maintained push button could be used to turn the hubs on and off. One could even use a limit switch on the 4WD lever of the transfer case to automatically turn them on when the vehicle was shifted into 4WD. The hubs would only remain engaged as long as power is applied to the magnetic coil. If you left the switch on and had run power directly off of the battery to the switch, it would eventually drain your battery after the engine is shut off. If you ran power from the ignition switch to the on/off switch, your hubs would automatically disengage as soon as you shut off your engine.

If for some reason they didn’t want to work, there was a little screw on the outside face of the hub that you could turn to manually engage or disengage the hubs (as you can see below).


On the top of the hub you can see the wire that passes through the brake drum to power the magnetic coil.

Download and read the entire document here

 
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Bob’s Longtime Militarized CJ-2A

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features
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Bob Le Marchant’s militarized CJ-2A

Bob Le Marchant discovered eWillys last month. Now 72, below he shares some tales with his beloved CJ-2A.

Bob started jeeping at age 17. His ‘crazy neighbour’s’ father (an ex-submarine captain) ran a yellow Ford Jeep. He dearly wanted one too, but ended up with a 1946 CJ-2A. It was not only his first jeep, but also Bob’s very first vehicle. Metamet, a British company that offered a wide variety of modified WWII jeeps, soon became his central place for purchasing spare parts. He loved going up to London and finding Daleham Mews.

The CJ-2A, being his first vehicle, was what he used to pass his driving test (the tester spent the whole test reading the dash plates and talking about Jeeps … he had driven jeeps in the war). As a teenager, Bob discovered there were two sorts of girls: the ones who looked crest fallen and said ” Oh, shame it isn’t a little sports car”, and those who said “Wow!! Where shall we go in that!”

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After graduating as a mining engineer (he proudly notes that Ben Carlin was one too), he shipped his Jeep out to South Africa to work. For a while he worked near Johannesburg in what was then the second deepest mine in the world at 11,700 feet. Bob wrote that, “At that depth the intrinsic rock has a hydraulic pressure: the floor is as much likely to burst up as the roof fall down. Square tunnels soon become circular as shards come off. The natural rock temperature is 150 degrees or so, with 100% humidity. Heat stroke was the main killer down there. Everything he has  ever done since then has been a “piece of piss!”

Later, in the 1970’s, he DROVE his jeep back to the UK to do work a job blasting a tunnel for the Ffestiniog Railway in Wales. However, to get to Wales, he had to take the long way because, due to politics, he couldn’t get north of Kenya, so he shipped his jeep to Bombay, then drove northwest via Kyber Pass and Istanbul.  The adventure was a trip of a lifetime.

“This Jeep has travelled,” he noted. Unfortunately, his ex-wife has all the pics.

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Currently, he lives in Devon in South West England. His longtime CJ-2A is still a very road worthy, nearly everyday vehicle. The engine uses a Hotchkiss block. He also has a Metamet dash plate on the wall. He loves his jeep!

 
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Icon 4×4 Rebuilt 1965 Jeep Wagoneer

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features

Maury shared this video and article about Robert Wood and Icon 4×4’s rebuild of a 1965 Jeep Wagoneer into a more modern driver: https://www.automobilemag.com/news/icon-1965-kaiser-jeep-wagoneer-reformer/

Also, if anyone has a circa 1965 Wagoneer steering wheel, Robert Wood might be interested buying it. They are looking for one for their Cherokee. Email me at d @ deilers.com (no spaces around the @) for Robert’s contact info.

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Javier’s Restored M-38

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features

Javier rebuilt this nice looking M-38, thanks it part to finding parts through eWillys and readers comments. During the rebuild, he added a few additional safety features such as Herm’s dual reservoir setup. He notes that M-38 does have a few CJ parts on it as well. The unique frame for the winch was something he and a friend built after testing out different scenarios with cardboard. The winch cover is a nice touch, too. Thanks for sharing Javier!

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Customized VEEP

• CATEGORIES: Builds, VEEP (VW Jeep), Scamp, Others

Mike bought this VEEP in September of 2018 in Arizona. It ran, but had lots of surface rust on the paint. So, he blasted the body, rebuilt the engine (to 1915cc), redid the engine compartment, and added some other custom elements. His goal was to enter it in local car shows and, so far, he’s won four trophy’s with it. Nice work!

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1949 Directions For Building Toy Willys Wagon

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features, Models

On August 04, 1949, the Wolcott Beacon out of Wolcott, Indiana, published directions on how to build a toy Willys Wagon for kids. The length of this toy is about 7″.

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Headlight Bezels Over the Years

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features

The other day someone asked me about headlight bezels (or if you prefer, headlight ‘heads’) and how they changed through the years. I did not have a good answer to that reader’s question, so this working thread about bezels is the result. Along the way, I learned that some folks call these parts “heads”, but perhaps that is more military related?

1. 1945-1946 Early Painted Bezels on CJ-2As
Early CJ-2A bezels were painted, not chromed, until approximately #38687, according to the CJ-2A page. As far as my research indicates, only Walcks carries new, unpainted bezels. This is the flatter style of bezel without the tab.

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2. 1946-1953 Later CJ-2As, CJ-3As and 1956-1959 DJ-3As
After roughly CJ-2A #38687 the bezels were chromed, but their shape was the same. They lasted through the end of the CJ-3A production run and into the early DJ-3A production run (1956-1959). These example images are from Kaiser Willys.

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3. 1950-1952 M-38s, 1953-1971 M-38A1s, and M-170s:
I didn’t realize that M-38 and M-38A1 bezels were the same. It’s on the M-38a1 site that I encountered the alternative term “head” for the bezel. Peter Debella has NOS rings.

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4. 1950 USMC CJ-V35 Blackout Lights ‘bezels’
Thanks to Mike Wixom for helping me out with these rare blackout lights.

This type of headlight bezel, or more correctly blackout ring (although not that effective), was used only on Marine Corps Radio Jeeps as far as I know. Specifically on the CJV35/U and possibly on the MZ-2 and MZ-3 Radio Jeeps from Late WW2. They were installed at the factory on all 1000 CJV35/U Jeeps built in May of 1950. These were eventually replaced by the actual blackout lights found on the M-38.

Because these aren’t readily available, someone posted this writeup on how to inexpensively recreate them:

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Here is a different, larger version of a CJ-V35 bezel. Mike believes the ones shown below may have been fabricated and not original, but perhaps the owner can offer input on this.

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A Slat Grille Rebuild

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features
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Kees’ nearly restored Slat Grille MB.

There was some debate on G503 back in 2016 about whether a modified jeep for sale was a slat grille MB or not. After seeing the jeep for sale in October of 2016 on eWillys, Kees took a chance that it was a slat grille and bought it.

He had it shipped to Rotterdam, only to learn it was in worse shape than he’d hoped. What happened next was several years of hard work to bring it back into drivable condition. Here’s his story:

Hi Jeepers,

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In October 2016, I bought a Jeep that I saw for sale on Ewillys. I had hoped it the Slat Grille I had been seeking, but was it really a Slat Grille?? A lot of folks on G503 were not convinced. Nonetheless, I took the risk.

When it arrived in Rotterdam I was shocked. It was in VERY bad shape. The body was covered in a layer of bondo, up to one inch in places. The sidepanels were almost gone. The gas tank was a drum bolted onto the cargo bed and the body was bolted to the frame with pieces of scrapmetal. There was a giant dent in the dashboard and the front of the jeep was a mess, replaced by bubba modifications. No effort had been made to clean the jeep, so it was covered with rust and dirt.

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Did I feel lucky? Not at all. But, it’s not like I could send it back! So, I started forward, one step at a time.

The first thing I did was bring it to our version of the DMV for inspection. The VIN in the title was 11358, but we could not find it on the frame. Fortunately, we did find a body number of 15160. With those two ID numbers the department did some investigation with their American collegues and found out the VIN is 111358. That was great, because they were able to determine that it was an original Slat.

Once that was settled, I sent a lot of detailed photos to an friend who is an expert on Slats. It was from him I learned I had a lot of rare Slat details like axles, body, frame and some engine parts.

The first year was no fun at all. None. Zip. Nada.

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I spent month after month cleaning, sandblasting and torching bondo. Yet, under all that bondo, I found perfectly good, shiny metal in some places.
When the body was clean I brought it to a welding expert, a pensionado who liked to keep busy welding. Thankfully, he was not expensive because it took him many weeks to reshape the complete body. The only replacement he did where the 2 side panels and the fuel tank container. He was able to restore all the other parts. In the meantime I was busy cleaning the frame. Continue reading

 
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Flattening a Mitsubishi Fender

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features

Gary shared this Instagram post by catskill_mtn_customs that demonstrates how to alter a Mitsubishi fender into a CJ-3B style fender.

flat-fender-catskill-mtn-customs

 
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Hudson Steering Modification Pics

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features

Barry Ogletree has been working on another great project, this time has installed a Hudson Steering system on a Willys frame. I’ve seen several jeeps for sale with this system over the years, but I’d never seen the parts up close. According to Barry:

I have found a unique steering conversion on the chassis of the wooden bodied Willys (Woody) that is worth a look. I have tracked down that it is a Hudson Car box. The beauty is that it sits about perfect in the Willys frame rail. 3 bolts and you are done, and it tucks perfectly against the frame for exhaust/pitman arm clearance. This is the best fit that I have seen in years of this kind of work. Regards Barry Ogletree.

Barry was awesome enough to post a bunch of pics at this location: https://texasflatfenders.smugmug.com/STEERING-BOX-HUDSON/

Below are a handful of pics: hudson-steering-mod-barry01 hudson-steering-mod-barry0 hudson-steering-mod-barry2 hudson-steering-mod-barry3 hudson-steering-mod-barry4

 
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The Swiss Knife of CJ-5s

• CATEGORIES: Builds, CJ5, Unusual • TAGS: .

UPDATE: Back in 2012 I ran across a pic of this CJ-5 on Flickr (1st one shown below). Now, thanks to rob, we have a series of photos of this North Carolina CJ-5, custom built by the owner.  Sure looks handy!

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Paul Finished His Stainless M-100 Trailer

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features • TAGS: .

As always, Paul’s detailed work has resulted in a work-of-art. Well done Paul!

Paul writes, “The earth has calmed down these last few months so I’ve made good progress on the M100 trailer rebuild. In fact, other than measuring the length necessary for the trailer safety chains and the electrical harness everything else is finished. While I still spent over 300 hours to build the stainless steel box and rebuild everything I planned on reusing it was easier than I’d anticipated. I had no idea I’d need so many 2X4’s but the local Home Depot store was happy to take my money.

This photo shows the jig I made to keep the trailer box in alignment while I fabricated the upper tube reinforcement and rolled the sheet metal before tack welding the edges.”

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The upper tube has been fitted and held in place with strips of plywood and 24 6 inch C clamps.

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I used a plastic hammer to gently form the sheet metal over the curve of the reinforcing tubing. The C clamps were repositioned often to allow hammer access to the 20 feet of 18 gauge stainless sheet metal around the upper edge of the trailer box.

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The tack welds are complete so the 2X4 jig can be removed

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The replacement box is bolted to the original trailer frame and tie down straps hold the frame to the work tables. I had to plan my work around earthquakes.

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Carl Jantz’s Super Jeep

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features

This article, titled SUPER JEEP: A 1942 WILLYS THAT CAN’T BE KILLED, ran a couple years ago on driving line.com, but is still an interesting look at a unique build.

https://www.drivingline.com/articles/super-jeep-a-1942-willys-that-cant-be-killed/

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Terry’s CJ-3B

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features

Terry bought this running late model CJ-3B for a great price, then doubled his investment in the jeep by fixing it up and adding some fun extras like rear duallies, a hardtop, and rope (just for kicks). Despite the additions, almost none of it altered the original jeep he bought. He says the changes made the jeep popular with folks and 99% of people didn’t realize it was not a military jeep.

The other day he went into a dealership and the dealer offered to buy it. Though not planning to sell the jeep, the amount offered by the dealer, double Terry’s entire investment in the jeep, was too good to refuse, so he sold the jeep. With his new found cash, he picked up a wagon that he plans to restore. Here are a few pics of the CJ-3B.

Before his changes:

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After his updates, including the purchase of a hardtop:cj3b-5 cj3b-6 cj3b-7 cj3b-8 cj3b-9

 
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Dave’s 1948 Dually CJ-2A

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features • TAGS: , .

Dave just scored a Dually adapter kit off of eBay. He’s also got a set of fenders. I really like those Free-Lock hubs, too.

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GPW/Truck From Indonesia

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features • TAGS: .

Rahadian Dhian of Badung, Indonesia, shared on Facebook this custom jeep made from a GPW and a 1950’s Truck. The top really finishes it off nicely.

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1947 CJ-2A Rebuild in Minnesota

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features

This article in the Chanhassen Villager, out of Minnesota, highlights Steve Knigge’s rebuild of a 1947 CJ-2A.

https://www.swnewsmedia.com/chanhassen_villager/news/opinion/columnists/commentary-can-do-guy-takes-on-a-jeep/article_624738c6-6b76-5d4b-acac-2a3f537aa624.html

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Knarly Rolls Sees the Light of Day

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features • TAGS: .

Paul ceremonially rolled Knarly Rolls out of the garage on Monday.

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Knarly Rolls seen peeking out of the garage, wondering if it’s safe.

He writes, “Today (May 7th) I opened the garage door and then removed two of the four insulated panels positioned against the outer surface of the garage door so there would be enough room to move the little Willys from the dark garage and into the May sunshine. I quickly learned I need sun glasses. Most of the body has a brushed pattern on the stainless steel but even brushed stainless is rather reflective when the sun is shining. I’m real glad I didn’t polish the body, that would have been blinding on a sunny day.

The little Willys has been moved into the connex where I’ll fuel it up, check for leaks and see if the engine will start. Once the engine runs well I’ll support the Willys with jack stands and begin testing the operation of the transmission and axles.

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However, before I begin any ground running I’m going to repaint the interior of the garage. The last time I painted the garage was 30 years ago so new paint is long overdue.

Anyway, here’s a photo of the little Willys escaping from the garage. It was a whole different perspective for me since the small garage only allowed me close up views but once it was outdoors I was able to back away and get a view of the entire Jeep. Quite different from what I’m used to.

I’m still having a hard time believing the little Willys is finally done but seeing it outdoors makes it seem more real.”

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Matt’s Rebuilt CJ-3A at Kaiser Willys

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features

Matt shared a feature story about his rebuild of a 1952 CJ-3A. Looks great!

http://blog.kaiserwillys.com/the-restoration-of-ruby-the-1952-willys-cj-3a

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Knarly Rolls Rolls for Reals, 32 Years Later ….

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features • TAGS: .

Well, he did it. A big CONGRATULATIONS TO ALASKA Paul. He installed the final part onto his stainless 1952 M-38 Knarly Rolls on May 2nd, 2018. I, for one, look forward to hearing about the inaugural run!

From: lemonade

To this 32 years and 5 months later: paul-m38-1

Here’s what Paul wrote,

“Somehow, despite my best efforts, I finally managed to complete the never ending rebuild of the little stainless steel Willys. The last part (the rear driveshaft) was bolted to the axle at 12:30 pm today, May 2nd 2018 ending a multi decade effort that began when I dropped the engine off at the rebuilders on December 2nd 1985. Over the years I’ve used the date the stainless steel body was ordered as the project start date but that happened over a month after the engine went to the rebuilders.

From the starting date to the completion date this project took 32 years and 5 months of time. I realize I’m slow but I never expected I’d take over three decades to rebuild one Willys Jeep …… it’s good I don’t do this for a living. I’m glad I finished it while I’m still flexible enough to climb into the driver’s seat, the Goddess suggested I make a stainless steel walker because I might need one before I finished the little Willys. She’s helpful that way.

The backyard is quite soggy so I’ll have to wait a week or so before I can reposition the Willys from the garage to the connex for leak checks and static runs. If things go well I hope to be cruising thru the neighborhood by late May.

Naturally, the garage must be filled with a project before winter so this fall I’ll move the remains of the 1951 M100 trailer inside where I’ll begin to fabricate a stainless steel box on the original frame.

Other than that the Goddess and I are having fun under the midnight sun here in the northland. By mid May the trees should have leaves, the night time temperature should stay above freezing and we shouldn’t have anymore snowfall until late September.”

 
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Danny’s Junk to Jewel Jeep

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features

Danny recently finished the restoration of his jeep (MB?). It only took him two years (“that’s 2 years of hard graft,” he wrote). A recent, unusual storm, in the United Kingdom gave him a chance to snow-test it. Looks like he had fun!

Before:
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Nate’s Hydraulic Assist For His CJ-3A

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features • TAGS: .

Nate’s at it again. He got to thinking about upgrading his steering on Ted, his CJ-3A. One thing led to another and soon he was developing a fairly non-invasive (no saginaw-like alterations) way of improving his steering. He’s spent the past month and a half writing it up on the earlyCJ-5 page.

http://www.earlycj5.com/xf_cj5/index.php?threads/teds-steering-upgrade-with-a-twist.128518/

Here are a few pics.

powersteering-nate3 powersteering-nate2

powersteering-nate