View Full Version : Restoring Ham's '48 Willys - Another Milestone

06-17-2015, 08:14 AM
I stopped by the shop early last week and the project had moved to the point that it was time to start setting the doghouse onto the cab. We walked around and looked at the fenders and grill and wondered just how to start. The grill was the obvious starting place, but we wondered how to set its height. There had originally been a spacer between it and the frame cross member, but it was so badly deteriorated it really didn't tell us much. But, the mounting bolt for the grill had worn a keyhole slot onto the cross member mounting hole. So we checked the mounting bolt and sure enough, there was a worn place on it that gave us a starting point, about an inch. That proved to be a good starting point and the grill and fenders aligned pretty well. There are still some adjustments to be made, but all of the wear marks lined up and it's looking good.

The hood sat down pretty well, but if you recall, I have remarked that it had blown up in my face 'way back when - a couple of times actually. It needed a tuck in the rear stiffener to get it to sit down right, and it looks like there is enough spread in the front end that I will have to add a pair of front hold-downs to keep it from flapping in the breeze. Hold-downs are not that rare in trucks of this vintage, so I think that's an acceptable addition.

And, once we got that done, we discovered that there had been six little bumper pads on the grill that snubbed the hood down. We borrowed a set off the '51 truck in the yard next door to check fit, but I can't keep these, the guy who owns the '51 wants to keep them. Now - guess what nobody makes any more..

The radiator has been set for a trial fit - and we found that the fan shroud that fits the radiator won't align with the fan on the engine. We'll look at the old fan shroud and make it fit - another little job we didn't count on. We decided to send out the chrome parts to get them stripped and repainted - there was enough pitting on them that they needed it. We also ordered glass this week. We decided on clear glass, not dark tinted or the light green tint found on many vehicles of that era. Our original glass supplier has gone out of the auto glass business, but another local source still cuts flat auto glass and he gave us a really good price for glass, one of the few "bargains" we've found so far.

Little tasks are ongoing. The doors got painted this week. Heater and windshield wiper pulleys are in place - wiper motor works on shop vacuum pump. The steering column tube and shift rod got their finish paint after the chassis fitting was done. RJ45 spark plugs aren't readily available, we'll settle for RJ45R's. Rounding up distributor rotor, cap, points, condenser, new wires. We'll not put the steering parts on until later - it makes it easier to push the chassis around the shop with the front wheels loose. We've decided to order all new panels for the floor of the bed. It would take more work to patch and fix than we'd save by buying just one panel. And I still need to finish the stinkin' carburetor.... .

Lots of things getting done.