View Full Version : Wrenching on the Willys

08-18-2009, 05:39 AM
Yep, figured that'd get yer attention.

Thought it was time to post up where I'm at with ol'girl's overhaul. The 1952 M101A1 trailer goes to PJ's today for paint. The 1952 Willys bed will go in next week.

The rolling chassis will get back into the garage this evening for a well needed round of framework and restore, replace rear spring u-bolts, steering overhaul, front disc brake conversion, new front springs, possible front locker (lock-rite), electrical, install new 3pt seatbelts, stereo, new seats, and prep for paint at PJ's as well.

Need a place to get a few parts re-chromed, the last time I had this done was backin 1995 at a harley shop in texas...know it ain't gonna be cheap.

Will be replacing the pass side door, as whomever tried to repair it last time really screwed it away and the lower half of the door is beyond economial salvage.

Planning to get her done by Christmas at the latest, and am definitly taking her to PA Jeeps next year. Pictures to follow as soon as i figure out how to post on shutterfly.

08-18-2009, 08:19 AM
I just tuned in 'cause I though you said Wenching not Wrenching :moon:

08-18-2009, 08:46 AM
Sounds like a good time Tank. Wish I had the time to help, but as it sit's now, I only have about 4 weekends free from now until Christmas. :roflmao:
And if my wife has anything to say about it, I'll be busy then too.:(

I am very interested in the Disc brake conversion as well as the steering upgrades.
Still trying to figure out how I'm going to do the 48.

08-18-2009, 06:03 PM
If I thought I could get away with it, I'd do a hydraulic ram like Derick suggested....but that ain't all that street legal.....not that zuk parts in a willys really is either....but....

Will post up pics soon, can't wait to see what Jesse does to my trailer....better shine fine!

08-18-2009, 06:54 PM
If I thought I could get away with it, I'd do a hydraulic ram like Derick suggested....but that ain't all that street legal.....not that zuk parts in a willys really is either....but....

Actually. If it's just Hydro Assist. It is legal. Because the mechanical link is still there and if the pressure drops it can still be turned.

Now Fully hydro is a different story.

08-30-2009, 01:02 PM
Got some replacement doors in yesterday from Willys America out in Sonoma Ca. Basic unpopulated skins only, broke the eold 2 down yesterday as well, now ready for blasting and prime. The bed is loaded on the traialer for paint, but cruised PJ's yesterday AM and saw they were still doing prep work on the M101 trailer..... :eyes:

Should be shoving the chassis back in the garage for frame corrosion and suspension work by wednesday. :cool:

09-10-2009, 07:24 PM
Got the trailer back...not too shabby!

Big Red slowly coming apart.....

09-11-2009, 12:42 PM
It's looking real good!

09-26-2009, 09:03 PM
Not much done on the Willys today, a litttle more disassembly.

Did weld up the JKS track bar bracket, as well as bolted on the Rough Country daul steering stabs. Also finally mounted the windshield-level off-road lights and aux toggle switch panel (daystar). Looks good so far, will see how it holds up at Gore....

09-28-2009, 06:46 AM
So, for those of us that don't have time to come over and check it out, what the heck are you doing??????
Are you taking the Willy's back closer to stock?
JKS or JK's Track bar????? Windshield mounted driving lights????? steering stablizers????? Hold up at Gore?????
Willy's or Rubicon? Your all over the place. Wave off, Wave off!!!!!!!!

09-29-2009, 05:45 AM
Jim, you wouldn't be the first one to call me scatter-brained....

The Willys is getting a little closer to stock...but it seems the closer I get it the further it goes away. Willys gets new springs, front disc brake conversion, major paint/body work, and a whole lot more lovin' than I'm going into here.

The Rubi (aka the JK) got a JKS front trackbar reinforcement bracket, like the one you welded on Chantelle's rig, as well as the rough country steering dual steering stabilizers. A quick note for those who may want to install that particular combo....the track bar bracket interfere's with the install of the center support for the steering stabs....your options are to either drill a hole in the track bar bracket to accomodate the U bolt for the steering stab, or just cut the end off the bracket to give the clearance. of course I didn't realise this until the bracket was welded on, so I opted for drilling the hole. Came across a pair of windshield KC offroad light mounts somewhere, and finally got around to mounting them and the lights, which lead to the install of the "daystar" aux switch panel versus all those ugly loose wires that might pass in a trail-only rig, but hell, I'm tryin' to keep things straight for just a little while longer anyway.

Hope that cleared you up, Gunny, now reset the damn meatball, clear the deck, and rig the baracade...... I'm comin' in hot, hook up and no flaps!

09-29-2009, 06:26 AM
Cool. Alway's thought the Willy's would look better a bit closer to stock.

Safety is what matters most in restoring old vehicles. I wanted to do the disc brake coversion on my Willy's, but after more research I found out I can't use a disc brake conversion with the stock wheels. Brake caliper would interfear with the stock wheels. So, it's either move up from 9" to 11" drum's, or run wheel spacers with Disc's.

09-29-2009, 10:28 AM
Are you running 16" or 15" wheels on that? I was told by Northeast (where I got the kit for the dana 25) that they would work with the OEM 16" rims....although I'm not going to go and rework the oem rims and buy tires until I do the mod and do clearance checks for myself...

I'm still gonna leave the custom front bumper on there, but am not going to constantly keep the winch up there....have 4 5" chrome off road lights and a bar to attach up there which'll look a bit better, Ol' girl looks better a little lower, but I won't know how she'll look until all the apint and stuff is done and the bed is back on.....it may end up just as tall..... :compwork:

09-29-2009, 11:41 AM
It's not the diameter of the rim that will hit, its the dish. The Caliper sets too far out toward the wheel studs and will make contact with the wheel center. At least that is what I've read from several sites.
I'd like to test fit one of my wheels on a coversion to see just where it hits. Maybe when you get yours finished????

The disc brake conversion I've read about uses:
71-78 Chevy 4x4 caliper
73-91 1/2 Chevy 4x4 caliper mounting bracket
77-78 CJ rotors
Requires larger master cylinder.

The drum brake conversion uses: 11" drum vice the stock 9".
62-72 Wagoneer / 72-75 CJ complete drum brake setup
Stock master cylinder will work.

09-29-2009, 11:56 AM
Yep, hits the dish, sorry ....didn't get the term right, but was told that there was also a rim diameter issue. This OEM stated that I woudn't need a larger brake master....however, like I said, I'll believe it when i see it. :gag:

The kit you're referencing also requires some part of the front end get machined down, no? That was a selling point for the kt i bought in that there's no machine work required, unless you feel the need to "kiss" the rotors prior to install. i have the kit all spread out on the workbench at the garage....holler if you want to see it before i get it all "jacked up" trying to put it together!! :roflmao::roflmao:

09-30-2009, 06:19 AM
On the Willys, R/R rear axle-to-spring U-bolts, removed rear shocks, removed winch, mountings, towhooks and front bumper. Will probably start pulling the front springs/axle/steering box and linkage tonight!

Beats the hell outa running on a treadmill at the gym! :cheers:

09-30-2009, 07:25 AM
Yes, the disc conversion that I referenced requires clearancing the knuckle for the brake caliper. (Just a little grinding) I'm sure the kit you have uses larger rotors and calipers, therefor requiring a larger rim. Will it fit the stock 16" rim????
If so, I'll look into it more because I'm using 16's.

Changing out the master cyclinder isn't that big of a deal. Not sure you have to do anything if you already have a dual reservoir. Here's a place that sells a conversion (Herm the overdrive guy)

10-07-2009, 07:39 PM
Well, all it took was a little lunch at the St James to get my lazy arse motivated again. Tore most of the front end apart today, fragged the brake lines, as well as half the screws that held the lock-outs on.:cry:

This is the point that I realised that I won't be back together this weekend, as I still need to pull apart the steering, both knuckles, and the front end...gotta cut off the "spring over" perches, or they'll be bumpin' my bump stops....:boxing:

Also realised a 5 gallon bucket sized parts degreaser might be a good investment, based on all the crud on the knuckles and hardware removed so far, not to mention one of those pneumatic bearing packers. :compwork:

Will need to get the steering squared away, front axle pulled, cleaned, painted, and the front suspension r/r'd before I can begin to install the front disc brake conversion.....but Gunny, yer still welcome to come by and give comment as I'm cussin' and swearin' like a sailor over rusty bits that won't come apart. You should still be able to pick up the 11' x 2' drum brakes from the front end conversion...I ain't goin' back...no way! If'n yer bored, you can rob the rear parts from that D44 I scavanged from the 46 wagon, the brakes, brums, and rock guards should all be the same....nothin' a little sand blast and high temp paint can't fix, right? :pirate1:

Man, there's a whole lot to do before I can get anywhere near PJ's for paint....moving that date to the right like an SSIK for a P-3! ( except my junk'll be flying long after the P-3 is gone to the boneyard! )

Anyhow, that's all for tonite....gotta work for jeep parts tomorrow ( oh yeah, and to support my family too! :roflmao: )

10-08-2009, 09:17 AM
So, your going back to spring under, right? Good on ya!
Glad we got you motivated again.

12-14-2009, 06:57 PM
Been a while....well, made the call not to put in the front locker. Front end is cleaned up, cut off the spring over perches and blended the scars and painted. Flushed everything out and recoated the springs and hangars. Still need a few bit/piece parts but will endeavour to have her back on all fours before the weekend is out....easy, bad monkeys, I'm talking about the Jeep!

I did get the bed back from PJ's, didn't look that good when the old guy in brunswick fab'd it up back in the 50's. Still need to recover my double flare kit to fab up the new brakelines for the disc conversion, and score some new u bolts for the front axle to spring piece...

Here's a few pics so far, a long way to go yet...

04-03-2010, 09:10 PM
Got back in gear today, and got the passenger side of the front disc conversion done, pretty fair learning curve, driver side should go quick tomorrow.

The instructions weren't too bad, one burp in process while putting the pads in the calipers, but other than that, pretty straight forward.

one disadvantage, if you want to service the front knuckles, you have to pull the caliper.....:eek:

more to follow, as the wrench turns.

OBTW, I still have the complete front brakes (minus the drums) for ya, Gunny, juss come on by and pick 'em up!

05-09-2010, 10:41 AM
Finally got the brake mod done, new front springs as well, and back on all 4. Will be welding frame and body today, hoping to get her on the trailer and past PJ's for an estimate Wednesday this week. Still need to grind on the frame, and square away the cab inside and engine compartment.

05-09-2010, 08:13 PM
Looks good!

07-30-2010, 05:41 AM
Well, the beastie was ready for paint, but it seems paint is not ready for the beastie. Talked with Jessie over at PJ's and it seems that they're down 1 estimator and one auto painter, and they're 30 days backlogged. End game is come back end of August, beginning September to get a slot to paint the cab.

More to follow.....


12-05-2010, 11:30 AM
After getting the blow off from PJ's, had to go look for a new shop to get the beastie painted without knocking the local wild life and children cross-eyed. Well, Big Red is now in the hands of the Techs at Georges Auto Body. They're gonna smooth her out and make her shine. Looking to see the rolling chassis and cab back some time in late January. Was able to rework and upgrade the headlight housings (Rampage halogen) and polish up the housings and lenses for the directionals as well. Am holding off on the seat covers until I get her back so that things marry up. Doors and front/rear glass will be delivered to them on Monday...now if I can just find all the bits I took off! Went to All American Harley up in Hughesville to get a re-chrome quote for my OEM chrome bits....still waiting for that word, hopefully less than $250 (Grill chrome, headlight bezels, and dash gauge bezel). I can almost see daylight!

12-05-2010, 12:33 PM
Sorry to hear about the shop jerking you around I know austin had a hard time with PJ's too, looking forward to seeing her done :cheers:

12-05-2010, 04:47 PM
Kirk will take care of you. My dad is one of the mechanics there. They also painted Kara's dad's '79 trans am.

12-07-2010, 03:31 PM
Kool, always a better product when family and friends are around. Have to bring the doors over tomorrow if I can only find the p/s door handle!

12-17-2010, 05:32 PM
Getting closer!

Bill Dodson
12-17-2010, 07:19 PM
Looking good! Ready by Icebreakers? :laugh2:

12-19-2010, 08:29 AM
You are one funny man!

OBTW, y'all know, I'm in for Icebreakers....With the Rubi though....I'm gettin' a pucker right now juss thinking about getting the first scratch on the willys....

01-21-2011, 06:41 PM
Took the bed over to Georges today for color match. Sounds like the cab will see paint sometime next week. Founds a plating shop up by silverspring, run by a navy retiree, who quoted me 50% less than American Harley...that should be done and ready for insp next weekend as well. Still shooting for reassembly some time mid feb 2011. :cheers:

02-02-2011, 05:55 PM
Second coat of primer on. Some issues with the doors fitting proper...but nuthin' that money can't fix, right?

More to follow.....

02-02-2011, 07:04 PM
Cool, lookin good man.

03-05-2011, 04:34 PM
Baby is back in the Barn! Needs to go back when it gets warmer for buffing, and a few small issues. Bummed about the glass, the rear window is the wrong size, and the front window halfs were ground wrong, and the gasket is not sized correctly....other than that, looking good....

03-07-2011, 06:42 AM
looking good, nice and shiny. :cheers:

03-18-2011, 07:03 PM
Ta-daaaa! Look what poke it's nose outa the barn....dead-sexy, eh? Still lots to do, but she's looking more whole than in the last 3 years.....:cheers:

03-19-2011, 06:37 AM
I think it needs a big diesel motor and some stacks

03-31-2011, 06:10 AM
Soooo, Got the lights to finally agree to work, all mounted and set. Working the Grill chrome and cab interior next. Bed liner is in and in, looking better by the day. Finally feel safe connecting the battery without a firebottle at the ready!:cry:

Although both body shops did good work (paint and body) I'm seeing other issues that detract from their excellent work. For instance, noticed some paint bubbles on the P/S fender on the bed (PJ's) and a lot of overspray/missing hardware (Georges). Both shops said they'd make it right...but....for your money, shouldn't it have been done right the first time? or am I just a picky bastard?:gonnablow:

More to follow.....:compwork:

04-18-2011, 07:20 PM

04-19-2011, 06:36 AM
Looking good ....

04-19-2011, 06:54 AM
My suggestion is:
1- Buy a better camera
2- Host your pictures and link to them

This tiny a$$ thumbnails are killing me.

BTW, looking good from what I can tell from the tiny a$$ thumbnails. :moon:

Bill Dodson
04-19-2011, 06:55 AM
SWEEET :cheers:

04-20-2011, 05:57 AM
My suggestion is:
1- Buy a better camera
2- Host your pictures and link to them

This tiny a$$ thumbnails are killing me.

BTW, looking good from what I can tell from the tiny a$$ thumbnails. :moon:

See that, and you thought you'd juss grow hair on yer hand...ya go blind!

Can do Gunny...you know me, analog warrior in a digital realm, I'll get it figured out...

Bill Dodson
04-20-2011, 07:09 AM
See that, and you thought you'd juss grow hair on yer hand...ya go blind!

Can do Gunny...you know me, analog warrior in a digital realm, I'll get it figured out...

Hey Tank, forget the 'puters and ones and zeros and sh1t... just get that rig FINISHED!! :laugh2:

Any chance it'll be ready for Butler County in August? http://www.hardrockcrawlers.org/forums/showthread.php?t=2742


04-24-2011, 01:31 PM
OK Gunny, how's this?


So as of 1400 today, power on checks good, engine started right up. remaining maintenance is cab glass, cab interior, sound system, front shocks and steering stabilizer, and a little more wire protection on the bottom.

Barring any fires or earthquakes (knock on wood) she'll be in the carshow on the 14th!