View Full Version : 52 willys wagon with 4 levers on the floor ???

10-19-2015, 11:46 AM
What are the four levers on the floor. I know one is for the 3 speed. The others ??

55 Willys Wagon
04-04-2020, 04:39 PM
1st lever is the transmission
I'm still trying to figure out what the second lever does (anyone else?)
3rd is 2WD (forward) or 4WD (back)
4th lever is the overdrive with high (back), neutral (center), and low (forward)

04-05-2020, 12:03 PM
I just installed an overdrive on my '59 CJ5. This gives me a 4th lever plus the trans, front axle drive in/out and low/high FWD range lever.

04-05-2020, 03:18 PM
I just installed an overdrive on my '59 CJ5. This gives me a 4th lever plus the trans, front axle drive in/out and low/high FWD range lever.

You're almost up to running a backhoe with all those levers.....

04-05-2020, 04:17 PM
The only thing more fun is the old twin gear box Macks. 5 speed with an auxiliary 4 speed Brown transmission. You had to reach through the steering wheel and steer with the crook of your elbow while pulling the main shifter to the next gear... All while pulling the aux into the next range. Put on top of that double clutching, and you get a work out.

04-05-2020, 05:06 PM
OMG gm, I can't believe you know what those are! I spent a good deal of time in my young life in San Leandro California rebuilding those.The Mack trans was brutally strong, and combined with the Brown and Lipe, it was a nice Usable 20 speeds. The only thing more difficult to drive was the 16 speed Spicer twin stick. Two 4 speed transmissions one in front of the other, hooked together in the middle. Two shifters right next to each other in the cab. Some serious tricks in those rebuilds. Putting the two together was called "Marrying the Cases" and it was aptly named. The shifts from 4th to 5th, 8th to 9th and 12th to 13th were called the "Double Swaps" It took great skill. In the mountains coming down, it was serious work I can attest to it. If you missed the swap you bought neutral in a big way. Often referred to as "Angel Gear". I cannot imagine going for the auxiliary. I Have a black and blue mark to this day from rebuilding the "Brown and Lipe" auxiliary box you reference. They were nicknamed "Brownies". I am not sure if these are good or bad memories!

04-05-2020, 06:35 PM
Brownies backing up an 8V or on West coast runners the 12V two stroker Detroits, made for a short throw shifts. The RPM would climb so fast that you had to be quick. Then if you completely screw up and jam a gear, the engine could come to a dead stop, then roll over backwards and run away. Then you have to snuff off the exhaust pipe because it's drawing air in the exhaust, and exhausting out the air cleaner. Good times!

04-06-2020, 04:48 AM
WOW gm that brings back memories of the first lowboy tractor my grandfather bought, it was a 1966 B model single axle Mack with a Tri-plex transmission and I rode with my Dad moving equipment around and like you said he had to reach through the steering wheel to shift it and I thought to myself I hope the Ole man gets rid of this b4 I have to start moving stuff around LOL.....

04-06-2020, 06:39 AM
We sound like the boy's around the mess deck, out to sea in the the "Orca" from Jaws.

04-06-2020, 07:19 AM
My Grandpa and Great Uncle had a pair of single axle Chevy C-60s. Four speed with the two speed axle. My job as a youngster was to jump out of the cab to knock the hell out of the two speed actuator in the winter time when it would hang up. The '64 had the gasser 348 BBC, and the '70 had the 366 gasser. The 348 was by far my favorite, because it had a lot more grunt to pull equipment around.

We do need a bigger boat.

04-06-2020, 08:18 AM
Talking about those engines running backward, we had a 2 cylinder John Deere tractor. If you just about were to kill it and pull the clutch it could kick back and run backwards. It did have a decompression lever and my dad told me if it happened to just push the decompression or else put it in 6th gear and slam the clutch in. Happened to me twice. Also had Ajax 1 cylinder motors that run these pumping units do it once. If the engine about died the counterweights would rock the unit back and the engine could start running backwards. Those were two cycle engines with ports and not valves and it didn't seem to hurt them to run backwards.

04-06-2020, 08:34 AM
Twin stick transmissions, 2 speed axles and engines running away backwards OH MY!

We need a KW hoedown!

It's a darn good thing 55 Willys Wagon resurrected this October 2015 thread!

04-06-2020, 11:20 AM
Don't even get me started on John Deere 2 cylinders. The only complaint I had was the oil pump coupler shearing off.....Great idea for when there is water that gets in and freezes around the oil pump, pain in the back side to change.

04-06-2020, 02:34 PM
The only story I can come close to in this group starts out “One day as the old ship was pulling into Naples … .”


The USS Shasta (AE-6) was built about 1940 intended to be a banana boat (really) but was taken by the Navy and turned into an ammunition ship. She was a diesel ship (a Motor Vessel) with two 9-cyinder Nordberg engines rated at about 3100 HP at 225 RPM. (See the attached picture). (The bottom of the engine foundation was on the keel, there was a platform deck about halfway up the engines and the top of the engine was on another deck about waist high.) These engines would idle at about 45 rpm and you could see every head jump as the cylinder fired. The engines were geared through a set of reduction gears and clutches to a single shaft.

Since we did not have a reverse turbine like steam driven ships, it would take a while to execute a change from “All Ahead Slow” to “Back One-Third”. Now, I was an electronics twidget, but I still crawled in the engine room since I had some depth finder stuff poking through the bottom down there. I learned a bit about the propulsion plant.

If we were entering port where maneuvering might be needed, the engine room had a protocol they followed. If an “All Stop” was given, it might be in preparation for a ”Back One-Third”. In this case, one engine was left at idle and disengaged from the reduction gear and the other engine would be shut down awaiting the next command. To reverse one of these engines, somewhere in the timing system an air driven cam had to be rotated to alter when things happened. Since it took time to stop, swing the cam and restart the engine that is why one engine was shut down; the other engine could handle slow speed “Ahead” maneuvers.

BUT, most good stories start that way, one day as were heading into Naples the harbor pilot we had on board did not appreciate the delicacy of handling 12,000 gross tons of ship and high explosives, the slow engine room response of a Motor Vessel and just what would happen when a gust of wind hit the sail area of the hull and superstructure. Things got out of hand and the Pilot’s engine commands went from “All Ahead Slow” to “Back One-Third” with no “All Stop” to get ready.

The port engine was disengaged and dumped to idle, the starboard engine was disengaged and the “Back One-Third” command was acknowledged, but in an effort to react to the engine commands “smartly” (that’s Navy for dang fast before we hit something), whoever was on the high pressure air start manifold hit the start air before the engine had come to a stop from running “Ahead”.

Things got really busy all over the engine room. When the high pressure air hit the top of the cylinder(s) coming up to compression, relief valves opened all over the place. There was smoke, dust, dirt, rust, scale and exhaust everywhere. To those of us elsewhere in the ship – it felt like an explosion and nothing bothers an ammunition ship sailor more than an explosion. Most of us were at General Quarters before the alarm even sounded and the smoke and stuff coming out of the engine room ventilators didn’t make us feel very good.

But, things did settle down quickly. No fire, the other engine went to “Back One-Third”, we didn’t hit anyone. The only material damage was a pipe plug that blew out of a high pressure air line, sailed past an Engineman’s head and went through two metal lockers like an artillery shell.

The engineers did some teardown to inspect things, no damage to that big Nordberg. It took several days in port to clean up all the dust, dirt and soot in the engine room, the laundry did extra loads of underwear and the Engineering Officer of the Watch and the Throttle man got some extra instruction in how to do things.

But, after all these years as I tell this story – I just had a thought cross what is left of my mind. About six months later that engine developed a crack in the bull gear that drove the induction blowers. The engine was shutdown and we limped home from Turkey to Norfolk at 8-knots. It was an engineering casualty that eventually led to the end of Shasta’s service – she was just too old to fix. I wonder if that abrupt stop may have started a fatigue crack?

04-06-2020, 06:16 PM
Awesome story Larry! I would wonder about the crack. A 1940 Banana Boat? Is our Military budget really in that bad of shape?

Is that you standing next to the Engine?

04-06-2020, 07:21 PM
You'd be surprised what the armed forces budget will and won't buy....
Liberty ships were built so fast during WWII that the first few broke in half in rough seas. After that they added extra reinforcement mid ship to prevent fatigue.

04-06-2020, 07:24 PM
Great story!

04-06-2020, 08:48 PM
Awesome story Larry! I would wonder about the crack. A 1940 Banana Boat? Is our Military budget really in that bad of shape?

Is that you standing next to the Engine?

That is a photo from a Nordberg photo archive and it was probably taken in the early 1940's. That is an Officer - not to be confused with a Senior Chief.

In the 1930's it was common for the US Maritime Commission to contract with shipyards to build ships for commercial service and then allow a company to lease them rather than having to front the money for ship construction. The USS Shasta was originally the MV Comet (MV = Motor Vessel), but she was taken over by the Navy and finished or converted to an ammunition ship. Seven other ships were built along the same lines, the Lassen Class ammunition ships.

Had the Navy not taken her, she probably would have gone to lease with the United Fruit Company - yep, a banana boat.