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FC Updates

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Some pics from this weekend’s progress. The first is the completion of the flip-down fuse box. Fuse boxes often have to be put in awkward locations, so I thought I would try a flip down box, which stays hidden most of the time, but can be dropped down with a single long pin removed (still need to make that pin, but the two small bolts do the trick for pics).

I really don’t know how well this will work, but figured it was worth a try.



A closer look at the fuse box bracket. The hinges are some kind of cabinet door hinge (I think); Dad had a container of these hinges for some unknown purpose.


Here are some pics of the accelerator brackets. The one on the left acts as a guide for the accelerator cable (the red/green wire is a stand-in for that. The left bracket also acts as an anchor point for the spring. The right bracket rotates, in this perspective, clockwise when the pedal is depressed. The bolt and spring acts as an adjustable stopper for fine tuning.


Not the best pic, but this shows how the gas pedal connects to the hem joint, how it goes through the floor, and how it then connects with the cam bracket.


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FC Tour Jeep Updates

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In between various chores, I’ve completed the gas pedal linkage. It is most definitely a stronger setup and, to be honest, a bit of overkill, but it should hold up well. I will get some better pics when I tear it apart for some final clean up and paint.


2024-05-19-gas-pedal-linkage1Underneath, there is a bracket that secures the cable in place and provides a place to secure the spring. Forward of that is the cam. When the pedal is depressed, the cam arm is pushed down, which rotates the assembly counter clockwise, pulling the accelerator cable forward. 
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You can also see in the pics the new cover plate where originally the transmission shifter would come through the wheel well and, in the case of this FC, a spot that was updated to accommodate the Wilwood proportioner. The proportioner has been turned sideways and now must be access via the engine compartment, which was done to stop curious hands from playing with it.

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1956 Willys Truck Rebuild Thread

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This thread of a 1956 truck rebuild was shared by Bill. It looks like this has become a non-stock rebuild.×4-rust-style/260951/page1/


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FC Tour Jeep Update – Driver’s Seat

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It continues to be a busy month. Yesterday felt like a 2-step-forward, 1-step-back kind of day. The new raised garden is about done, as seen below. Still some details to complete, such as adding some plastic sheets at each corner of the raised beds, because, as it turns out, the corrugated sides create gaps at the corners, which allows dirt to fall onto the ground. So, we will need to dig up each corner and add some plastic sheets to stop that. Once we get all the plants in and gravel laid, I’ll take some final pics.


Yesterday morning I spent some time working on the FC. My goal had been to create the cover plate for the mini-gauges and power switch that will sit on the angled area of the dog house.


I cut a raw piece of 14 gauge steel, rounded the edges (not shown), then, to test the size and look, placed the plate on the dog house. That’s when I noticed the plate didn’t lay flat. After testing some flat edges, I eventually concluded that there’s a slight twist in the dog house at the very spot I want to put the gauges. It’s not undoable, but I’d rather the plate sat flat (passenger side is flat).

This pic shows the angle. You can see the slope increase as the angled portion moves to the front.


That problem led to me removing the driver’s seat (for the first time) so I could better evaluate my options.


I eventually concluded that it will take some clamps and braces to straighten it (if even possible). Since i didn’t feel like tackling that project right now, I turned to the driver’s seat.

First, I installed an original driver’s seat just to see how it fits vis-a-vis the steering wheel, which proved to be a comfortable angle (whew).


I removed the seat, then pondered the areas where the seat originally mounted. It was immediately clear that the original driver’s side seat mount areas had been patched and welded. My guess is that the area had been fatigued over the years. In addition, a portion of one seat mount bolt remained in it’s original hole, while the other mount area holes had been filled entirely.  Continue reading

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FC Tour Jeep Transfer Case Shifter Update

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Now that I have the longer, six foot cable, I had a chance to continue with the transfer case shifter. The bracket that was provided by JB Customs, caused the shifter cable to run into the engine, which didn’t seem like a valid strategy, so I roughly calculated the angle, then made two cuts into the aluminum bracket. This allowed me to re-mount the bracket and then bend the bracket into the right position, but maintain the correct bracket-end distance.

Here are two pics of the original bracket:



This pic shows one of the two cuts plus the new angle. Even with that small bit of metal holding up the bracket, the shifter could easily shift through the gears. So, next I’ll repair that gap.


Here you can see how the cable angles upward, the veers toward the driver’s side. I haven’t determined where I’ll be securing the cable.

2024-04-24-4wd-shifter4The shift boot needs to be reattached under the bezel. The bezel is the original bezel with the colorful surface sanded, which turned out to be exactly what I wanted. I’ve painted it red since this pic was taken.


Here’s the shifter all the way forward. It’s surprisingly (to me anyway) easy to shift.


Next up I was going to build the final parts for the transmission oil cooler and fan bracket, but I have misplaced a couple pieces that I created and now can’t find them. So, I’ll work on the 1.5″ gauges next. Then, the gas pedal.

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16 Minute 1943 MB Rebuild Video

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Blaine shared this MB rebuild video by Al’s Garage. There are a few deviations from stock, but still it’s clear a lot of time was put into saving this old MB. Kudos for documenting this as getting the light and other details correct while focusing on rebuilding is a tedious task!

To view the video, you’ll need to go to Youtube:


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Steering Parts Gathered

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The 60 to 70 degree highs the past few days made for some optimal outside work weather, so there was lots of recovering from winter (picking up branches), to restocking with hay for the next month, to spraying fence lines, among other tasks, so there was no time for eWillys. I did get a little work done on the FC, but not much.

Below is a pic showing how the steering column goes from the rack and pinion’s stock connector (2000 Ford Explorer), switching from the Ford V connection on the R&P to the 3/4 DD shaft (not shown is the 1″DD to 3/4″ DD Borgensen joint that will over the joint). A 3/4″ Heim Joint will help keep the shaft in place, but the mount is yet to be built.

The 3/4 DD shaft enters a 3/4″ DD / 3/4: 36-spline U-Joint, which connects to the VDog 90 degree joint. The V-Dog has an aluminum block mount that will bolt to a yet-to-be made mount to the frame. The V-Dog will also bolt to the bottom of the floor access cover.

Here is the pic from a below. Atop the VDog is a temp plate for testing how it will fit. It’s a close fit between the frame and cab, but everything clears with room to spare.


From the top of the V-Dog another 3/4″ DD / 3/4: 36-spline u Joint connects to the column. The column itself is a IDIDIT 28″ tilt column with hazards and turn signals.  As it sits, it’s a couple inches higher than stock, but it’s at more of an angle, so it looks in the pic like it is sticking up higher than that.


Before I can mount the column, I need to finalize the pedal. I made a prototype today, but it’s pretty ugly. I hope to have a final version in the next couple of days.

The column is larger around (2″) than a stock column, so I might not use the stock column mount as I’d planned to do.

Again, this is all rough work to make sure things fit.

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Scott’s “TTT” Tiny Trash Truck

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Cowboy shared this photo from Scott Ingram, who built a Tiny Trash Truck out of an old DJ-5 (Scott operates a garbage collection firm in Paris, Illinois). I don’t see an obvious seat, so this may only be for show. That’s something I’ve never seen done with a DJ-5.


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Race Jeep Instructions

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Ann fired up her Cricket yesterday and printed out some labels that also act as instructions for starting and managing the jeep. She also add “ON” and “OFF” labels to make clear what switches need to be pressed. Starting the jeep is a five step process:

  1. Power
  2. Fan
  3. Fuel pump
  4. Ignition
  5. Start (button)

In the first pic, the “2-” for the fan label is hiding behind the switch.

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Racer Progress Pedaling Along

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More progress made on the racer this weekend. The floors are installed and mostly bolted. The pedals are all in place. The steering was in place, but I was unhappy with the final angle of the front support bearing, so I plan to redo that support so that it angles differently. Hopefully, I will get that done and installed today.

Here’s how the rear top crossmember that holds the rear fire extinguisher looks. The two holes on either side are the shoulder strap attachments.


Here are the three pedals (with the steering drive shaft disconnected from the quick-turn unit).


One thing I still need are a brake and clutch pedal pad. Any recommendations on what I can use that has a similar mount point and size? (these were from the yellow racer .. I didn’t like the other racer’s pedals). These look to be rubber casings over metal pedals, but both pedal bolts are in bad shape. this is the good one …

pedal2 pedal1

The master cylinders are attached (the brakes are ready to go). I have to get an adapter to connected the clutch line to the clutch master cylinder. Everything is fitting well. I have to say the fire wall turned out better than I thought. Remember, I flattened the old firewall from the yellow racer and re-bent it into the shape I wanted.


Here side view of the gas pedal setup. One thing I learned from my first race jeep was that having a firm, stable gas pedal was greatly beneficial when racing, due to the bouncing. I could plant the bottom of my foot firmly, while using the top of my foot to feather the gas. This setup is based on what I built for Biscuit, but heavier duty.

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Racer Updates

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I’ve made some assembly progress. The tank is installed and hooked up (which took me a short while to remember exactly how I fit it into that tight space, lol), the battery is setup, the upper wiring is in place, the rear sway bar is installed, the rear lights are installed and wired and the gauges are in place.

Currently, I am focused on setting up the wiring. I saved the previous wiring, since little will electrically, so it shouldn’t take too long to alter some wire distances. 
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Feel Good: A Group of Students Rebuild Jeep

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Bill shared this nice story about a group of students who rebuilt a family’s jeep after the owner died.


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John’s Completed His 1955 USAF M-38A1 Build

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John’s complete the build of a 1955 M-38A1 USAF. Looks well done!

My 1955 M38A1 is finished.
I bought it in late 2021 and has Dave Arnold (the area’s leading MV guy) go over it.
It had recently had an engine rebuild, so it was just the usual stuff as well as all new seals, radiator and wiring harness.

Wanting seatbelts, I wanted something period correct, so I used aircraft seat belts like the motor pool could have gotten from base supply. They were reconditioned by an aircraft supply store.
I also got an orange/white “flightline flag”, that vehicles had to display back then. The holder used an existing hole. Finally, there is a decal on the dash explained the control tower traffic signals; back then they used a light gun in place of a radio.

The power plug is operational and I bought a slave cable that is compare with airplanes (today’s planes use the same 24v plug). So when I’m at the airport, I could jumpstart aircraft.

Lacking a hood number, I put it in USAF Markings and made it from Larson AFB (Moses Lake, WA), and my dad’s unit circa ’55-57…the
62nd Troop Carrier Wing. I was born at Larson a couple of weeks before the Jeep was built.

The current Hood number is, in AF style:
55 (year contracted for),
K (Military vehicle, General Purpose),
82551 (Willys serial).

The paint is the PPG formula, (I fixed test shots of the other two and This looked best). Growing up in AF based and spending 20 years in myself, I knew what looked correct to me.
Since gloss finish shows body issues, I had some minor bodywork and final paint done by a pro body guy.
When our purchased, it was straight (except the back panel was pushed in a bit from a backing accident…we straightened it, but most of the damage was covered by the spare tire) with no rust except in the fuel tank well.”

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Unusual Customized CJ-3A(?)

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David Adams posted this oddity on Facebook. He was hoping to learn more about it. The jeep appears to be a CJ-3A that’s been modified for some purpose that’s not clear.  The side looks kind of like a Willys Quad; was that a coincidence?

Here’s one of his posts (there were several posts and I got several IMs about it).

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Making More Progress on the Racer

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Sorry the pics aren’t better, but the focus is on creation and not documentation. The goal is to be able to drive it during the first week of May.

The clutch and brake pedal system are all ready for install, though it’s apart for paint. The floor framework is partly complete as of today. I should have the floor frame and floor itself ready for some paint by Sunday (assuming there aren’t more distractions (there have been plenty of those ..).

I ended up building a custom bracket system for the clutch and brake. Because of the holes in the firewall from the old clutch/brake system, I sandwiched the firewall between the bracket I made and a thin sheet of metal to make it look cleaner. Here’s a very rough look from a few days ago. Both pedals had bends, which I straightened (and are straighter than shown below) with the press (as I didn’t need the bends).

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Below are some of the parts with a layer of paint. There’s nothing fancy here. I’d love to have the time to tear the whole jeep down, properly clean it, then paint it. But, I want to run the racer first to see how it does before investing more time doing a big overhaul.


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Propane Powered 6×6

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Barry Andre posted pics of his 6×6 to Facebook. It’s a pretty cool rig.


“Here’s my 6wd Willys 231 Aluminum Industrial Buick 231 V6 on Propane Twin Stick Transfer case Hydraulic Steering and all 6 wheels drive when it 4wd”

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Cage Progress and Corner Brackets

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The weather has warmed up some, which made working outside much more pleasant! Since the last set of pics, I made some corner brackets and added them to the cage. I’ve also added a cross bar that will be the base for the sets and some curved support bars on eat side of the front loop.

I’ll post some pics of the cage below, then add some pics of how I made the brackets (in case that’s of interest to anyone.


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Below I show how I made the corner pieces.

This first pic shows 5 1/2″ x 5 1/2″ 16 gauge steel squares. The paper above it shows my attempts to figured out the rough size I wanted:


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Racer Update

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Once the water got fixed (found a retired local plumber who still does small jobs and did previous work on our house, so that worked great), I returned to the cage.

The front “loops” have been bent and added, along with a top and mid cross bar. I also added one side bar, with the other almost ready to spot-weld in place. Unfortunately, I ran out of materials, so I need to get a couple more tubes.

As you can see below, I found a seat placement I like. My head rests just below the top of the seat, so plenty of room for a helmet. Now, I just have to figure out how I want to mount them. I was going to weld in the seat frames, but I think I am going to bolt them. This will make it 1) easier to install the floor pan and 2) allow me to change up the seats/position if I’m unhappy with how it feels.

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Back to the Racer

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After an unexpected detour of 6 months, I finally had a chance to return to working on the racer.

My first project was to create the side bars by reusing the 2 1/2″ side bars from the yellow racer. You can see them mounted on the old racer here (my finger is accidentally pointing out the driver’s sidebar in this pic). I cut both of them off this chassis.


Here is a side view of the old chassis. These sidebars are angled upward to attach at the angled portion of the frame near the engine mounts. I liked the look of them, so figured I’d reuse them. At this point, I also plan to build the new racer cage similar to what you see blow, but with a few changes.


Somehow, I managed not to take many pics of this process, but I started with my new metal saw by cutting the side bars so they’d sit flat (I removed the sidebars from the other chassis with a sawz-it-all, so the cuts weren’t great).

Trying to get this angle just right on the front portion of the bars was tricky. So, I cut the back bar first to the optimal length, then dropped the front of the bar over the edge of the table until the tube was level. Then used the flat edge of a carpenter square to draw a straight edge on the bar.


Here, the cut has been finished.


Next, I welded plates to each tube end. Then, I clamped the tubes to the sides of the frame. With that done, Ann and I put the body in place to make sure it fit over the angled side bar, which it does.

2023-01-08-racer-build6Here’s a view from the back:

Since it looks like things will fit correctly, I will pull the body back off, pull the side bars off, clean off the paint where I need to weld on the frame, and attach the sidebars.

Next, I’ll spend some time determining how the floor, cage, firewall, and the seats will mount, and how the side of the body will attach to the cage (the body sides are weak rather flimsy, so it needs a good mounting system).

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Custom CJ-3B Build

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Robert Baxter posted this “CJ-3B” to Facebook the other day. He spotted it at a car show in El Segundo, California. The chassis is a deuce-and-a-half. It looks like the body is extra tall and stetted, which gives it an unusual look. Cool rig!

cj3b-el-segundo1 cj3b-el-segundo2

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Disassembled the Black & Green Race Jeep

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A couple days ago I took disassembled some of the black and green race jeep. The cage for the narrow body is tool small to be useful for me. So, I will bend my own cage, built for the yellow parkette body, and outboard the rear springs while I am at it. I will also swap out the current swing pedals for the ones on the yellow racer. Hopefully, I can get this project done by August, in time for Summer Convention. We will see….

Here is a comparison of the Parkette full-size body vs. the narrow body. The difference is enough to give a person more room at the feet (more room for gas, brake and clutch). The narrow body would probably work better for an auto transmission with just a gas pedal and brake (I prefer to have enough room to the left of the clutch to help brace myself.

The narrow body seems better built, perhaps a slightly thicker fiberglass job. The Parkette needs some reinforcement in my opinion (which I will do).


Her’s the narrow body racer without the body. Thankfully, unlike the other racer, this cage was bolted, rather than welded, to the frame.


Well, the seat support piece was welded to the rollcage and to the frame, but it was easy to cut. I will have a different setup for the seats. Note the broken driveline ‘safety’ loop, that wasn’t very safe. I have a much stronger one from the other chassis.


Here is a trail run of Parkette body on the racer.

2022-06-02-race-jeep-2Besides the new roll cage and the rear springs being out-boarded, the side bar will need replacing (it was built for the narrower body). A new firewall needs to be built (it will be wider, thanks to the wider parkette body, than the current one). The steering wheel needs to be angled differently and will have a tilt column (my preference).

Thankfully, the power train can remain in tact, as will the front spring setup. So, that saves a bunch of work.

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Closer Look at “Little Miss Sunshine”

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Ann has dubbed the yellow racer “Little Miss Sunshine”, due to the yellow color. I don’t know if that’s the end-all name, but it’s a fine name for now.

Yesterday, I decided to remove the body so I could get a better look at the condition of the cage and the suspension.

Let’s take a look first at the rear suspension. The suspension in the rear consists of 2.5″ ranch springs that have been outboarded, to which a sway bar and arms have been added. In the pic below you can see the sway bar behind the axle and the arms in front, connected under the frame. The springs are outboarded six inches. For example, the spring holder in the back consists of a 2×4 rectangular tube, positioned horizontally (under which the spring holder is welded), was welded to a 2×3 tube positioned vertically, which was welded to a 1/4″ plate that was then welded to the frame.

The front of this rear setup is similar, only for additional strength, a 2.5″ tube was welded to the spring holder and frame, which is then welded to the side bar that sits outside and under the body.


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1946 CJ-2A With Custom Body and Top

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Eric postedthis cool little jeep to the Willys CJ-2A Facebook page. His grandfather did the original work. The redesigned jeep had fallen into disrepair before Eric began the work necessary to resurrect it back to how his grandfather’s build.

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Dutch’s High Hood to Low Hood Project

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Bill shared this post about a rough CJ-3B that was rebuilt into a CJ-2A-looking jeep. The result looks good, but it is also a good reminder that what appears to be a particular model may not be so thanks to the interchangeability of parts.

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MotorTrend Article on a CJ-2A M-38 …

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Bill shared this article that describes this custom build as a 1948 M38. However, it’s appears to be a modified CJ-2A. It’s an interesting build, but calling it one of the “greatest flat fenders ever built” is a stretch (in my opinion).

“Fans of the War Wagon, the Scorpion MK1, and this apocalypse-ready toy hauler might already be familiar with this Willys M38 (the military version of the civilian Jeep CJ-3A) built by Soni Honegger. It’s been called the “Slickrock Spider” for its remarkable ability to articulate its way over and through some of the hairiest obstacles known to four-wheel drive vehicles, especially with Soni at the helm. Let’s take a look at what makes this machine one of the greatest Flatfenders ever built.”