View Full Version : Restoring Ham's 48 Willys; Moving Along...

04-25-2015, 10:10 AM
The guys were busy last week while I was gone.

They decided to leave the frame up on the lift to finish hanging the brake lines and stuff (especially the lines around the back of the steering gear box down to the master cylinder). They discovered what those of us with the old trucks already knew - there's no easy way to put brake fluid in that old truck. Why not cut an access hole in the floor pan? Well - because there is a firewall brace in the way - and the master cylinder is way down on the frame.

You lay on your back, reach up over your head and loosen the cap with a Tennessee socket wrench (an adjustable wrench) and crack the cap loose. Then you unscrew the cap - pour brake fluid in until it runs over (you can't see the opening), then put the cap back on. (More fluid seeps out). Then, get a rag and clean up the mess. Oh - did you forget to put paper on the floor? If not - now you have a brake fluid stain on the driveway or garage floor...

But - all of the brake lines and pieces are in place, ready to be bled. The emergency brake cables are rigged too. One little part put a four day delay in things - the 2-port brake hose Tee on the rear axle had a stripped thread on one port. It took a while to order a new one - not available locally. Shocks are installed, new brake hoses - looks fancy. The engine is back - sitting on a skid by the bed. The transmission is at the transmission shop - no bad news yet, but one always has fears and worries about a gearbox with maybe 250K miles on it.

The Tennessee turkey hunt was, well, a hunt. If anyone says something was like a turkey shoot - it really doesn't mean that it was an easy task - more like a challenging and difficult job. No turkey. But - a couple of goodies did come out of the trip. The truck has been in the family since mid-1954 as far as my brother and I can remember. He went stirring around the old garage and found a bunch of old Tennessee license plates stuck behind posts. One of the plates was a 1955 farm truck plate, still the old style that wasn't square, but shaped like the outline of the state of Tennessee. This plate was probably the first plate my father put on the old truck (he may have plated it in 1954 - but back then he probably would have just left the old plates on it). At any rate - it is certainly the first full year plate for the truck.

Then, another find. There was also a 1964 Tennessee farm truck plate. By then they were the standard rectangular shape - nothing really unique about the shape. The special thing about this is that my father died in the fall of 1964. This plate would have been the plate on the truck the year it came into my possession. As I read a lot of blogs on this forum about how old Jeeps are passed down in the family, being able to find things like this make it even more of a part of a family history.

Next week I plan to take the trip over to Toledo to pick up the new (to me) steering column and a bunch of other parts. We'll get the steering column overhauled (overhaul kit is already here) painted and it will be ready to join the rest of the body work. I also have the carburetor overhaul kit - I recognize most of the parts in it (except for that little bitty "G" shaped spring. I'll have to look really close at the pictures, but I suspect it's somewhere around the top of the accelerator pump). The carburetor has several aluminum plugs in the body to close off passages and the kit has nice brass plugs for replacements. I don't know if I'll pull out the old ones - if it ain't broke.... (work on it until it is).

Pictures next week...