View Full Version : Restoring Ham's '48 Willys 2WD Truck: Project update

01-28-2015, 01:14 PM
The sheet metal work on the cab is finished and the cab is in primer. Next step, spraying the underside with a tough bed liner as an undercoat. We plan to bring the black bed liner up to the seam in the firewall on the engine side and as a undercoat for the area on the floorboard that will be covered by the floor mat. The bed liner will be tougher than just an underbody paint, and even though I don't plan to go off roading with it, even normal roads end up a lot like gravel roads anymore.

The sheet metal work on the doors is done as well and they have been hung as a trial fit to make sure seams and gaps are OK. The front fenders are hanging in the paint booth after first prime and a lot of the ancillary sheet metal panels are either primed or done. Rear fenders are primed and sitting in the bed, safely out of the way. Fenders and the underhood areas not coated with bed liner will be painted as body color (Luzon Red) like the original. I will have bed liner under the fenders to protect against stone chips.

I looked at the rear springs while the bed is up on the lift rack. I knew, in my younger days, that I had really overloaded the truck a number of times, but overloads and time really did a job on that left rear spring pack! We're going to make a road trip over to Toledo in early January to pick up a used steering column, steering box and shift levers - mine was going to take more time to rework than getting a different one. Who knows what other goodies may come out of the trip?

Well, the trip didn't happen. The day it was planned the temp was about -2 degrees and the big diesel hauler decided it was too cold to start. It probably had better sense that we did, so we'll wait for a better day.

The list of parts we need keeps growing - doesn't it always. Most Jeeps have rust, maybe dings and missing corners, but, with over 200K miles on a '48 Jeep this pore 'ol thang was just plumb wore out. Most pieces have been shade tree reworked at some time, but now - there just isn't anything left of some parts. (For example, door latches with oval shaped holes where rivets have wallowed out original holes).

Most sheet metal is done and up on the shelf. The hood turned out very well - it had blown up in my face at least once and that wrinkles things a lot. Next comes bed and frame work. The frame will have to be braced and jigged - several places are just so badly eroded they have to be cut out.

The project does have a deadline now. Next September is my wife's 50th Class Reunion, and since the truck was built about the same time as most of the folks in her class, it's the official parade vehicle. I have to build "Princess Handles for the bed... Who ever thought?