View Full Version : Restoring Ham’s ’48 Willys – Major Event

09-25-2015, 09:44 AM
Well, for the first time since most of the trees in the county were just saplings, the old truck ran this week. We found answers to most of the issues that had delayed first engine start and fired ‘er up.

Of course the event wasn’t without its own set of adventures. We had hoped to avoid a fuel pump rebuild/replacement until a time of our choosing, but not to be. The fuel end of the pump was dead, so we used an external electric pump to get things started. The good news, after a bit of cranking, it did start. It doesn’t knock, thump or leak – but it does run rough and smells rich at the exhaust. Until we get the fuel pump issue resolved, we’ll not worry too much since the electric pump is putting a lot more pressure on the carburetor than the mechanical pump should. But, the good news is that the vacuum end of the pump still works and the wiper motor wiggles back and forth nicely. That is a plus as it didn’t work when the truck went into the barn ‘way back when. The repair/rework job on the wiper motor turned out well!

Another long term issue also showed back up and we have a resolution. Since the L-head engine (flathead) was replaced with the F-head, the temperature gauge has read backwards. Midscale was midscale so it didn’t really matter a whole lot, but I want it to be right this time.

As you look through catalogs (KWAS and others), you find references to 12-volt Stewart-Warner and 6-volt King-Seeley gauges. I had assumed (and we know what assuming does) that the F-head engine was still a 6-volt engine. It appears to be an early engine (probably a ’50 or ’51) so that should be a good assumption. But – not so.

So, I called the shop that had overhauled the instrument cluster and described the problem to them. His immediate question was “King-Seeley or Stewart-Warner gauges”?

My reply “I dunno, how do I tell”?

As it turns out, it’s kind of simple. If there is an insulator about the size of a silver dollar (remember those?) on the back of the gauge, it’s a King-Seeley set. Vehicles originally equipped with L-head engines and 6-volt systems probably (and let’s emphasize “probably”) had King-Seeley gauges. But, F-head engines, depending on when the original vehicle was built, can have either.

Folks, it’s a Jeep – as we’ve said over and over “What you see is what you have, trust nothing”. You never know what Willys-Overland, Kaiser or AMC did or who made changes and improvements in the last 60+ years….. (and, just to keep the pot stirred up, Henry-J and Kaiser-Fraizer parts find their way into Jeeps as well).

So, for the meantime we’ll order a new fuel pump (KWAS of course), get a new temp sensor and move on to other things. Later on today I’m going over to the “interior decorator” – the shop that’s going to do the upholstery and interior - to make final choices of color and things. Doors should get hung this week. The bed goes on the rotisserie rack so it can get the underside painted (a really durable black coating that resists chips and rocks). The interior of the bed, up to the “V” break, will get the same kind of coating, only tinted to body color.

No pictures today...