Builds Research Archives

To Top

Nate Completes Another Build

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features • TAGS: .

Readers will remember that at age 17, Nate finished his first flat fender build, a 1953 CJ-3A.  Not content to spend 2011 driving his jeep, Nate emailed me today sharing with me that he spent the past year building a second jeep with a custom suspension.  He’s been sharing his project with the folks over at earlycj5 site and has a variety of pictures that show build from start to finish.  Well done again Nate! (Some readers might also remember Nate’s ideas)

I only posted one pic below.  Here are all the pictures:  http://www.earlycj5.com/forums/showthread.php?88481-Building-a-new-and-improved-Jalopy-frame

 
To Top

Dan’s retreads from TDS

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features, Tires and Rims

Dan forwarded me some pics of his new tires from TDS. He notes these are particularly appropriate for this jeep, because all his grandfather bought for it were retreads.  Dan did note how surprised he was at how difficult finding retreads was, especially since they are supposed to be so environmentally friendly.

“Here is my jeep with five new re-tread tires. I cleaned and painted the wheels too. The tires are 215/85R16 all terrain by TDS in Spokane. That was about the smallest radial I could find and the widest tire that would fit on the old 16×4.5 rims. My only other option was to go with a bias-ply and tubes. I saved about $340 by going with re-treads vs the cost of new. I think that they are the perfect height and width for what I was wanting.”

 
To Top

Paul’s Jeep Project

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features

There haven’t been updates at Paul’s Jeep blog since 2009, but there’s still plenty of information and images. You can visit it here.  There are also a couple videos, too.

 
To Top

Dan’s CJ-5 / His Grandfather’s CJ-5

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features

Dan continues to make good progress on the reconstruction of his grandfather’s CJ-5.  Below, Dan  shares  both the latest images and images from 20 years ago, with him driving.  If you don’t remember the non running, poor condition of the jeep, you can view the early restoration pics here.  Thanks Dan and keep going!  And, I promise I’ll up there sometime this summer to collect the beer you offered 🙂

 
To Top

Builds: 1944 MB from Hardscrabble Farm

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features

Over a period of 9 years, between 1993 and 2002, this 1944 MB saw two major restorations.  The first, done by owner Richard Grace, was a partial restore, returning the jeep to its MB roots.  The second, done by Brian Mead, refined and corrected some of the previous shortcomings.

Click here to learn how the jeep went from this:

Into this:

 
To Top

Reader Builds: Some Jeeps out of Hawaii

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features • TAGS: .

UPDATE:  I’m running short of time tonight, so here’s a post from a couple years ago.

Here’s Frank’s flattie and some friends of his who have flatties as well.  The picture with multiple jeeps was from a run last October.  The next time you are vacationing in Hawaii, keep an eye out for these good looking jeeps.

frank_rodrigues1

frank_rodrigues3

frank_rodriques2

 
To Top

Builds: Diego finishes his CJ-2A

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features

After initially purchasing this CJ-2A, Diego shared some pictures with me.  It was pretty rough and I knew he was had plenty of work ahead of him.  He recently completed it, especially considering the rough condition of the original, has turned out really nice.

Diego write, ‘I finally finished my project after almost two years.  It has sometimes been a pleasure and sometimes a pain in the neck, but at least I’m pretty happy with the results.  And even though is CJ2A post war jeep, I gave it a military theme.   I always like the military style.”

Well done Diego!

You can see the entire transformation here.

Before:

After:

 
To Top

The Newlywed’s Willys Version 1.0

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features

Back in January of 2010, Dan contacted me saying he and his fiancee wanted to trade their Willys wagon for a flattie (wagon is to the left).  After patiently waiting four months, they finally found someone to make the trade.  Their goal was to do a low budget build with more modern running gear.  Even more ambitiously, they wanted to complete the project by the end of summer. Here is their story of creating version 1.  There is plenty of additional work left, but it runs and drives well, so congrats to the newlyweds (may you have many more great adventures together)! And, let me know when the second iteration is complete 🙂

Dan also notes he still has the complete 1946 Willys chassis and drivetrain available for sale if anybody wants it.  (He’s in central Idaho).

Dan writes, “My fiancée (at the time) and i decided to get ourselves a Willys since both of us had always wanted one ever since we were little…

We thought that we would spend our weekends working on it in the months preceding our wedding and then use it as our getaway car for the ceremony (I even suggested a 4×4 trail out into the hills for the wedding but that was pushing it a little bit too far 🙂
We found our specimen (see below)  on eWillys and traded our ’62 wagon for it. *sniff sniff*

The motor was shot, but that didn’t bother me as i was planning on putting a toyota chassis and running gear under it.  The original plan was to put all of our time into the chassis and suspension and engine to make it SOLID and drivable. Then, later, restore the body at our leisure. However, once i started stripping down the body it became apparent that the body wouldn’t hold together without immediate work; the floors had galvanized metal screwed over them to give them an appearance of -something- but underneath was just rust held together by an occasional shred of metal. So, diamond plate and 18g metal were quickly purchased to make new floorpans with and the welding and grinding started.

For 2 months of weekends all we did was cut, grind, weld, grind and assemble (see pics). As we wanted to keep the budget tight, we gathered a variety of parts, including:

1965 toyota 4runner chassis
1983 toyota pickup axles
Completely rebuilt 22r motor
1987 5sp tranny/t-case
Rear driveshaft shorted to 11″
Front driveshaft lenghtened aprox 14″
Bought an m38 arctic top from an ewillys user over the hill in montana

We were pushing the limits trying to get it done in time for our wedding in august of 2010, but then a week before our wedding K got in a serious car accident and all work on the Willys stopped (of course) as we attended to her broken bones.

We still got married the next week -her with her jaw wired shut and on pain meds but, sadly, the Willys wasn’t able to attend the wedding. The following months we focussed our energies on work ($$) and working on our house. After Christmas passed I again had some free time available and set about finishing the project which was mostly connecting the new engine, building a clutch/brake pedal assembly and creating a wiring harness.

Finally, after many long weekends, last week she ran! We took a weekend trip up to see the in-laws in it the very next day. Other than a clogged fuel filter (old tank) and the brakes being sticky from disuse, he did awesome! The power steering is nice; K says that he’s even easier for her to drive than my toyota pickup.

Today i built a rear bumper for him and put in some better (hopefully) seats. There is still much to do like a complete front bumper, custom fuel tank (today i spied an air-compressor tank that looks like it might be perfect to modify and bolt underneath the back end.) and create a new tailgate.  Sometime this summer we hope to get around to doing some body work but for now maybe we can just try our different colors with rattle cans to see what we like (hey, we could have a different color every week!)

Can’t wait ’til the warm weather comes and we can take off the hardtop!

 
To Top

Builds: David’s ‘New’ Wagon

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features

David wrote to me today to tell me about his first wagon project.  He got a great deal on it, especially for an eastern wagon, and has a restoration plan in place.

He writes, “My rough plan is sort of a rolling resto on a budget at first. Specifically, get motor running first…then brakes. Next will be things that need to be done for safe driving (signals, lights, windows fixed, emergency brake etc.).

After that I’d like to sand/blast to metal the worst of the unprotected areas (hood, roof paint pretty much gone) and epoxy paint and primer them, then gradually work on other issues. But first things first, have to get running and driveable cuz the wife is not gonna be very tolerant of it taking space in the garage if I can’t move it easily, lol.

On down the road I’d like to do a frame off. I’m not one of those chop em up and put a v-8 in it kinda guys, but not opposed to some mods like a brake upgrade or electric wipers to improve driveability. My overall goal of restoration will be to keep it as original as possible but I plan to use and drive it, not restore to mint or show condition (but who knows what the future will hold? I don’t plan to change anything that couldn’t be changed back to 100% original easily)”

Best of luck David!

 
To Top

Builds: Randy, His Boys, and Their Flatties

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features, Reader Stories

If you’ve never really looked at a map of Idaho, pull one out (or, I suppose you could use Google Maps).  Between where I live in Boise and Coeur D’ Alene in the North is one significant route — US 95.  Look to the East of US 95 and you’ll see National Forest after National Forest.  Then look about halfway between in central Idaho and, if you look close, you’ll see the town of Kamiah. That’s where a reader named Randy and his boys, Devon and Dusty, call home. And, at their doorstep are endless National Forests they can explore with their friends. It is a regular jeeptopia.

Before you get to Randy’s story, keep in mind, that each of these jeeps started as basket cases, so there is still hope for your project!  Also, a big thanks to Randy for taking the time to put together detailed descriptions of their rigs.  Finally, check out the last pic … I think Biscuit would fit in just fine there :-).

Randy’s Blue 1946 CJ2A: This Jeep was purchased new by my wife’s grandfather in 1946 and was used for decades on the family farm.  After her grandparents passed away we were able to purchase it from the estate for $200 in 1993; it was about $199 to much considering the shape it was in.

We completely rebuilt it from the ground up with a new steel tub and repaired fenders, grill and windshield. The tub is for an M38 but was all that we could locate at the time.  I did most of the body work and my brother in law painted it in our garage.  The motor, transmission and transfer case were all rebuilt and 11” brakes were installed, we also installed a rollbar, stereo, CB and a back seat.

I built a spare tire/gas can carrier/cooler rack on the back and we also have both a bikini and full soft top.  I run 32×11.50 tires in the summer and fall; 33×12.50 tires in the spring when running in the snow for better flotation.  The low range 2 wheel drive pill has been taken out of the transfer case and lock rights have been installed in both axles.  A Warn M8000 winch was installed a few years ago.

Dusty’s Green 1946 CJ2A: I (Randy) purchased this Jeep for spare parts around the year 2000.  It was a total basket case with a rusted up headless motor and most of the back of the tub missing.

We decided to rebuild and modify it for my two sons to share; at the time Dusty was a sophomore in high school and Devon was in junior high.  We started the project in November of 2004 and completed it for its first run on Memorial Day weekend of 2005.  The 4 banger was removed and a Buick 231 V6 was put in its place, the T90, Dana 18 and stock axles were all refurbished and reinstalled as were 11” brakes.

New front and rear floorboards along with new wheel wells were welded in and we decided to take out what was left of the tailgate area and welded a flat back MB style back panel in its place.  The lift is all from a spring over and we installed Saginaw power steering up front.  Racing seats and harnesses along with a full rollcage were installed for safety and a rear seat was put in for passengers.  A console contains a stereo and a CB is mounted to the front of it.

The tires and wheels are 35×14.50×15 TSL Boggers mounted on 15×12 Mickey Thompson wheels.  I did all of the body work myself and my brother in law painted it Olive drab in our garage, a star was put on the hood just for fun.  A Warn M8000 winch along with a winch mount and bumpers that we built ourselves were installed as well.  The Jeep stayed pretty much this way for 5 years until after we found another Jeep for Devon that had bigger and better components than were in this one.

Once it became Dusty’s Jeep alone, he decide to box the frame and install a warmed up 350 Chevy with an sm465 transmission, Dana 20 transfer case that has been twin sticked and axles from 1975 CJ5.  The axles are Dana 44 in the rear and Dana 30 in the front 3.73 gear ratios.  New gears and ARB air lockers have also been installed in both ends in the past year.  He currently has a set of wider Dana 44 axles to be installed some time in the future.  Dusty did the entire drive train swap himself with only minor advice from me.  He has since built a spare tire/gas can carrier/cooler rack for the back and plans on putting on a set of 40 inch tires after some fender trimming behind the back tires is done.

Devon’s Green 1942 MB: I purchased this Jeep off of E-bay for too much money but it already had the running gear that I was looking for which included a small block Chevy (283 not a 327 as advertised), sm420 transmission (no ceramic clutch as advertised), a twin sticked Dana 20 transfer case and Scout II axles; Dana 44 rear, Dana 30 front with 4.27 ratios.

The body was pretty rough and it had a thin skin of sheet metal installed all of the way around the tub that hid lots of holes and rust.  A home built gas tank was in the back where a seat normally goes and a heavy spare tire carrier/cooler rack was mounted on the back.  We started rebuilding this one on November of 2007 and had it mostly finished by Memorial Day weekend of 2008.

A warmed up 350 Chevy built to the same exact specs as Dusty’s was installed along with the refurbished running gear that came in the Jeep.  All new spring hangers and reversed shackle mounts were built and welded on the outside of the frame in the front because of the wider Scout II axles, a new mount for the Saginaw power steering unit was installed and the frame rails were boxed.

The rollbar was cut apart and welded back together then installed in the correct place.  The floor boards front and back were all replaced and the area between the rear fenders was increased by using narrower rear inner fender wells, as a result we were able to put in some comfortable small bucket seats.  The rear fenders were opened up 2 inches and the rear axle was moved back an inch to make room for bigger tires.

Racing seats and harnesses were also installed in the front along with a stereo and CB radio.  I had injured my shoulder during the winter and was dreading the thought of all of the sanding that would need to be done getting the body ready for paint when a friend of ours that owns a body shop (Orofino Body Shop) volunteered to do all of the body work and paint the Jeep as a graduation present for Devon; what a fantastic gift.  We also had a star put on the hood and Devon built a rear bumper with a spare tire/gas can/cooler rack mounted on it.

A Warn M8000 winch was mounted on a winch plate and front bumper that Devon built as well.  This winter he upgraded the axles to newer Scout II Dana 44’s in both ends with disc brakes in the front.  We turned the front knuckles 15 degrees which gave it 6 degrees of caster and turned the back of the pumpkin up 9 degrees for a better drive line angle, new perches were welded on to get the angles correct.  The axles now have 4.10 ratios with OX cable actuated lockers.  He built a center console that houses the locker shifters and cutting brake handles for each rear brake.  New shock mounts were welded on the axles and he built new shock hoops for the front, he added Bilstein 5150 shocks on both ends and a heavy duty tie rod and drag link set that is designed for Dana 60 axles was also installed, the tubing is 1.5 inch OD with .250 wall thickness and huge tie rod ends.

The tires and wheels are 13.50x37x15 TSL Boggers on Mickey Thompson wheels; 40 inch tires will be coming in the next year or two.  All most all of the work done recently has been done by Devon, I helped him with turning the knuckles and installing the lockers but he did everything else himself.

Here are the boys Jeeps at the inlaws cabin in OroGrande which is near Elk City and Dixie as well.  Every time the boys take their windshields off it rains, we got caught in a nice shower on this trip.

And, finally, this is a Jeep run with friends of ours that have cabins in the old mining town of Dixie (near Elk City) about 100 miles from Kamiah.

 
To Top

Builds: Chet’s 1965 CJ-3B Restoration

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features • TAGS: .

Chet contacted me today, telling me about the restoration he recently completed on his 1965 CJ-3B that was once owned by his Grandfather. He clearly suffers from the Willy’s sickness, as he’s got the restoration bug again and is thinking Surrey this time (but don’t tell his wife just yet).  His CJ-3B is evidence that any project he tackles will benefit from his good work.  You can read all about his restoration at the CJ-3B Page. (Make sure to read about the bottle opener.)

 
To Top

Builds: Mark updates us on his Jeepster Project

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features

During Mark’s last update, he got a steal on some Mitsubishi seats that fit perfectly into “Her Royal Highness”.  He’s made some additional progress since then.

Mark writes, “You may recall phase I consisted of making her safe, legal and roll down the road without leaking out all the  fluids. Phase II for me was to make it reliable and comfortable. Phase III is body & appearance and that one may take awhile. I’m rather fond of the aged patina look (alright I’m lazy).

After sitting in a barn for 18 years I’ve been leary of opening up the 265 on the highway because I was afraid the gaskets would fail so I replaced both diff. gaskets, the t-18 cover gasket and the oil pan gasket on the SBC. Once I got in there I was amazed at the pristine condition of the gears, they looked new. I installed a sound system and finished off with some sweet tan leather seats.  Replacing the orginal split bench with modern buckets changes the whole driving experience for the better.

One neat idea was to mount the seats with 1lb. rubber mallets cut and drilled to compensate for the uneven floor board. I’ve included some pictures.”

 
To Top

Builds: Hugo’s CJ-3A in Uruguay

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features, International

UPDATE: You can see the final build here.

A citizen of Uruguay, Hugo recently contacted me to appropriately correct me from confusing a town, Londrinha,  that doesn’t exist in Puerto Rico with one that does exist in Brazil (In this case, I believe I can blame Google Maps for my error!).

Because of this error, I got to know a little more about Uruguay, which it turns out I didn’t really know that much about.  One cool thing I learned is a hand was installed on (or more accurately into) the Punta del Este Beach in 1982 by Chilean artist Mario Irarrazabal.  He titled it the Monumento al Ahogado (Monument to the Drowned).  Apparently, he did another, different hand in a Chilean desert.

Hugo reports that the jeeping is excellent in Uruguay, though he hasn’t had much of a chance to jeep this summer (it is summer there of course right now), because his CJ-3A is currently dismantled in his garage for repair.  However, he did forward this picture.  Thanks for sharing!

 
To Top

Builds: Goose Fixes up His CJ-3B in only 4 Months

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features

Goose wrote me an email today, announcing he had finished the restoration of his CJ-3B.  Not only did he complete his budget-conscious restoration in only 4 months, but he also documented it in two different locations (see links below); not a trivial task!   He’s done a good amount of work in a short time and I think he’ll be happy with it for quite a while.  Well done Goose!

Goose writes, “Hey Dave. I finally got my jeep finished and wanted to share the story. I’ll include a couple pics with this email but feel free to pull any others down from the links below too. The first link is from thisoldjeep, which I discovered here and the second is from a site where I frequent due to my dirtbike passion.

http://thisoldjeep.21.forumer.com/viewtopic.php?t=578&highlight

http://www.thumpertalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=949807

Here are a couple before images:

Here’s a midway point photo:

And a couple completed photos:

 
To Top

Builds: Jeremy Finds a New Project

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features

Jeremy discovered just the project he was hoping to find.  Congrats!  You can see he has already recruited an enthusiastic assistant!

Jeremy writes, I “Found this on eWillys.com – was listed as a 1942 GPW.  Sent my wife down yesterday and got it today.  Turns out to be a 1943, but the frame and engine match – I am really happy with this jeep.  Lots of original parts and the owner James was super nice.  James was insistant that he sell the jeep as a whole unit to someone who will restore it rather than part it out.  I guess he just had to wait for the right buyer.  Looking forward to a long restoration.”

 
To Top

Gary Spends some Time in the Snow

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features

While out playing in the snow, Gary took some shots to share with us.  Looks beautiful Gary!

 
To Top

Builds: Ron nabs a Craigslist Find

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features, Willys Trucks

A reader named Ron wrote me the other day.  He spotted a great deal on a restorable truck at a great price and now has a website with pics of the early work (I’ve included a couple pics below).  Click on the photogallery to see all the pics. Ron already has a 1971 CJ-5 and his son a 84 CJ-8;  you can see pics of those vehicles in the photogallery as well. Congrats on the find and good luck with the rebuild!

Ron writes, “We are in the middle of the off frame restoration of the 61 Willys. It was purchased new in 61 by a lady with a farm in Connecticut. She ordered it with a snow plow and a hydraulic dump bed. It only has 22,000 miles. I bought it from her grandson.”

Here’s the truck before restoration.  It looks like a good starting point.

Here’s a look at how the rear of the dump bed frame looks.

And here’s a closeup of the dump mechanism.

 
To Top

Happy 17th Birthday Chris

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features

Over the past year and a half Chris (from Mossy Rock, Wa) and I have been trading emails every-so-often as he works his way through his flat fender project.  He recently figured out how to work with some bondo; he also tried his hand at using Herculiner.  You can see the results below.   It’s a bit of a trial and error process for him, but he’s making good progress.

January 1st is his birthday, so have a great birthday Chris and keep the pics coming!

 
To Top

Colin Provides Some Updates

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features

Colin provided a couple updates.  He’s got a new top for his Surrey and his son, Lee,  got their CJ-2A project running for the first time.

Colin writes, “I had a new top put on the Surrey.  Here are a couple of photos of it.  I also attached a couple of photos of our project 1952 CJ3A that is nearing completion. It has a CJ2A windshield and is now 12V with upgraded larger 11″ brakes.It still has the L-134 4 banger, but also sports an electric winch, custom built rollbar and custom bikini top.   These were taken the first time we fired it up..it ran like a Swiss watch!”

 
To Top

Stephen’s Merry Christmas

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features

A reader named Stephen is feeling quite Merry about this year’s Christmas after purchasing a CJ-2A project. Good luck and keep us updated!

 
To Top

Jim’s 1947 CJ-2A

• CATEGORIES: Builds, CJ-2A, Features • TAGS: , .

Jim recently purchased this nice looking CJ-2A.

He writes, “Here are a few pictures of my 1947 Willys CJ2A. It has had a ground up restoration several years ago. I bought it out of Kansas and now it is in the California Sierra Nevada Mountains where I use it at our cabin.

The Willys has a new tub body but original hood and tail gate. It has all the original plaques and auto numbers. All other parts reflect the period except a roll bar and a steering stabilizer. The engine runs like a sewing machine.

I am still working on it to make it better and original. The paint job also reflects the year. If I could find a restored flat fender with the original body and in this good of shape I might jump ship. Meanwhile I enjoy driving this vehicle where everything works like it did 63 years ago, which by the way is my age!”

Congrats Jim.  It looks like fun 🙂

 
To Top

Paul is back in the Garage — Year 25 …

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features, Reader Stories • TAGS: .

passenger_sideWith winter descending on Alaska, the time has come for Paul to direct his focus back on his beloved, shiny, stainless steel M-38.  One exciting difference between this year and the previous 24 years is that he is almost done — But no pressure Paul! Click on the pic to see the original post and followups.

Last spring, Paul reported that after some investigation, he discovered a M-151 radiator would fit perfectly into his engine compartment.  Recently, he took over an auto parts store (ok, maybe just a hose booklet in the store) to figure out a hose solution.  With that problem solved (it took 2 different hoses and a tube to link them), he now must figure out a fan solution.

With that background, take it away Paul …..

The Fan and Shroud

Paul writes, “After talking with the folks at Spal concerning their electric fans I ordered a 13 inch puller fan with straight blades along with a fan relay/installation kit.  The crazy part about this deal is when the Spal people wouldn’t sell me a fan over the phone, I would have to hang up and order on the internet and best of all I would pay over $50 dollars more for the fan and temp sensor/wiring kit than a Spal dealer in California was charging for the exact same items.  For some unknown reason The Fan Man (California dealer) sells lots of these fans at quite a discount and these are brand new fans.  No factory seconds, returns, or rebuilt units.

Anyway, the fan arrived last night undamaged and it looks great.  Thank you Fan Man!  The total fan thickness is slightly under two and a half inches and I have a little over three inches between the aft side of the radiator and the waterpump shaft.  Sweet!

The shroud on the M151 radiator has a 16 inch diameter circle for the fan so I bought a ten dollar piece of thin sheet steel, cut out a 16 inch diameter circle and tack welded this piece to the shroud.  After finishing with the tack welds I rough cut a 12 inch diameter slightly offset circle to allow for the correct placement of the new fan.  I didn’t have a compass large enough to layout a 12 inch diameter circle so I used a stir stick for paint and drilled a pivot hole in one end and another hole 6 inches away and large enough to hold the tip of a sharpie marker.  It worked slick.  Tomorrow I’ll finish welding the insert to the shroud, clean up the welds and trim the inner circle for a more precise fit to the fan assembly before I attach the fan to the shroud.

Things are looking good.  I really didn’t need the relay kit since I’d wired in a fan relay in the electrical box behind the passenger seat but it was cheaper to get the kit with the temp sensor and I could doublecheck the Willys wiring against the Spal wiring so I could identify any potential problems before mean old Mr. Electricity messes something up.

The Fuel Line

Today I received a 25 foot coil of copper/nickel 5/16th fuel line along with the needed fittings to attach the fuel line to the carb.  This is the same tubing I used on the brake and clutch systems (just a different size) and it’s a pleasure to work with.  The 3/16th tubing is flexible enough to be bent back to back 180 degree bends (with a one inch bend diameter so the tube now looks like the letter S) with no kinking, flattening or any defects at all.  Jeeze, I really like working with this stuff.  Check out the fedhillusa.com website, it’s amazing.    This latest batch of tubing should be more than enough to do all the fuel delivery and return lines with enough left over to cover any mistakes I might make along the way.

Modifying the Skid Plates

The local metal fabrication shop cut and bent an eighth inch thick skidplate for the V6 oil pan.  After drilling a one inch diameter hole for the drain plug (that’s the only size hole saw I have) I hand filed the hole to one and a half inch diameter before welding the skid plate to the pan.

I had to do a little work on the transmission/transfercase skid plate also.  When I welded up the exhaust assembly I included a joint below the tranny so the right exhaust pipe could be removed without touching the left side or the rest of the exhaust system.  What I forgot to figure in was the thickness of the clamp holding the exhaust pipes together at this joint so the skid plate had to be slotted to allow the clamp to protrude slightly.  To prevent rock damage (like I’m going to go bashing this thing thru boulders) I welded up a small deflector from eighth inch steel and welded this to the skid plate over the slot.  Just another little OOPSIE which needed to be worked around.

 
To Top

Mark’s Rear Seat Solution for his Jeepster

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features

Mark recently hit the 1 year anniversary with “Her Royal Highness” (That would be his Jeepster, not his wife).   He’s been updating her throughout the year.  Here he comments on his rear seat find.

Mark writes, “Halloween night marks the end of Year one for the 49 Jeepster I named “Her Royal Highness”. I’m a middle-age crazy rookie that knew very little about rebuilding an auto when I started (some strong arguments that I still don’t) [ed note: some days, I don’t feel to smart either!]. I decided to leave the aged patina Windsor green paint for now because there’s very little rust and it doesn’t look that bad. She’s a great runner and a fine Sunday truck.

I wanted to put in tan leather buckets to improve comfort and to be able to call her the original “King Ranch Willys”. A few days ago I saw an ad for 1999 Mitsubishi Eclipse seats, ‘$20 bucks and wife wants them out of my garage’. So, I went over to check out the seats. I discovered the buckets were trash, but the back was practically new. I bought it and carted it home.

Wouldn’t you know, that back seat fit into the back of the Jeepster like it always belonged! A couple of cleats, some zip ties, a little leather remnant from the fabric store over some 3/8″ ply and here you go. The seat backs fit on the original back frame with a little ingenuity. Folded down it makes for a convenient map table. The front buckets are still in my cross hairs and they will be found eventually, but who knew that backseat would fit so nicely, 50 years later!”

Here’s a reminder of “Her Royal Highness”

Here’s what it looks like with no seat:

Here’s the seat installed:

Here’s the seat folded down:

 
To Top

Pete’s got his Wagon on the Road (Well, at least the trail)

• CATEGORIES: Builds, videos, Willys Wagons

Pete, who operates the OldWillysForum, contacted me the other day to let me know he lives just down the road from me near Hailey, Idaho. When not working on cars, Pete designs beautiful homes.  Check them out at andersonarc.com!

Pete and his kids have been doing some work on a wagon that they recently made road worthy.  He shared a video with me that you can view below.  It’s always great to see a wagon on the trail, but the best part of the video are the short, funny comments made by his son.

 
To Top

Buttercup — A True Love Story

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features, Reader Stories

Buttercup has come home again.  Here is the story as told by Buttercup’s current steward.

William writes,  “I would like to introduce you to “BUTTERCUP” a 1946 CJ2A. My father “Skip” Taylor bought her in 1973 for $150.00 and brought her out to our family house on Clarks Island in Plymouth Mass.

Out there he put plywood floors in, added yellow paint(out of a can) and named her Buttercup after a cow that was once on the property. For 20 years she was our tractor and stuff hauler. I learned to drive her when I was 10. Sometime in the 80’s Skip added the wire wheels and had a trailer built.  By 1990 it was decided that she was getting tired and was replaced by a John Deer tractor.

After a while she was sold to a gentleman with the agreement that my father would get “right of first refusal” if she was ever put up for sale. Well, 3 winters ago that man kept his word and sold Buttercup (painted red) back to us with new floors and a rebuilt original motor.

She is now back on the island, going back together once again.  She has new brakes, a tune up, the wire wheels(off a 35 ford) and her bright yellow paint (out of a can). Buttercup is running great and driving the property cleaning up branches and taking the kids out for rides. She is a part of our family and hope to keep her going for another sixty years.

I asked William about the wire wheels and he said his father had the centers of some jeep rims cut out and welded into the 35 ford rims. Not road safe but good for an island.

Here are some pics of Buttercup.  Thanks for sharing William!

Continue reading