View Full Version : L6-161 L -head flathead 6 paint color

12-13-2015, 04:42 PM

I've got a rebuilt L6-161 that will go into a 1950 Jeepster or a two wheel drive station wagon. What color should I paint it?

What was the original factory color?

Brian - Sacramento

12-26-2015, 11:09 AM
I reached out to Mike at Kaiser/Willys and he indicated that either black or gray would be a period correct color.
Thanks, Mike

12-26-2015, 11:42 AM
I've heard of the early Ford tractor gray being close. I think that's what I'll use when the time comes to paint mine.

12-28-2015, 02:13 PM
Black seemed to be the general consensus when I was asking the same question about this time last year. I looked at a lot of pictures of engines, and except for the olive-drab military, not much real information except "rust and grease".

I decided on a gloss black since it probably wouldn't show oil and drips badly. But, I didn't consider how it would show dust...

Here is a picture of the engine bay on the '48 2WD pickup.

Grey would'n show dust as badly, and it wouldn't make the engine bay as dark.

My, aren't we being girly about our vehicle colors - and we can't match shirts and pants...

12-30-2015, 12:24 PM
That works! Minty clean;-).....for now:-(

01-08-2016, 08:36 AM
I was looking for information about water temperature switches (sensors) and I found this:


All flathead blocks were painted black, all cylinder heads for use under an elevation of 5,000 feet were black, while those intended to be used at over 5,000 feet were painted blue. The six-cylinder flathead engine had a black block and blue head. 1950 and 1951 F head fours were painted red with a yellow cover.

Hmmm ... Black and blue

01-09-2016, 12:11 PM
So... My 1949 Station Wagon with a four cylinder F head would be Red with a Yellow cover?

Thanks so much for the research!!

I painted the L6-161 gloss black, even the head. I live in Sacramento, 129 feet above sea level. I guessed correctly.

Do you suppose the above 5,000 blue heads were shaved to increase the compression?

Brian - Sacramento

01-09-2016, 02:16 PM
[QUOTE=Brian-Sacramento;2765]So... My 1949 Station Wagon with a four cylinder F head would be Red with a Yellow cover?

"The Book" says Model 473 -SW (Station Wagons) had an F-head engine. I don't know when "473-SW" Station Wagons were built, but if that's what you have, "red and yellow" would have been the right scheme - at least according to that account.

If your Station Wagon is a '49, it might have had an engine transplant, like my '48 2WD truck, - or - equally likely, it's a '50 titled as a '49. Or, knowing Willys and their dealers - it could be a mixture of all of these!

And, yes, I'd guess the heads were shaved to compensate for "high altitude". What if you drove to the beach? Hmmm .....

From KWAS info page:

Engines for the Willys Station Wagon: (1946-50) L4-134 Go-Devil, (1948-50) L6-148 Lightning, (1950-1965) F 4-134 Hurricane, (1950-1951) L6-161 Lightning, (1952-1954) F6-161 Hurricane, (1954-1962) L6-226 Super Hurricane, (1962-1965) 6-230 Tornado.

4-134 F Head Motor(473)
Years Offered:
1950-1953 - (Station Wagon 4x4 Models)
1950-1955 - (2x4 Models 473 and 475 with Planar Suspension)
Engine Type: 134 CID (2.2L) F4-134 Hurricane 14
Number of Cylinders: 4
Cubic-In. Displacement: 134.2 cu. in. (2199,53 cm 3)
Horsepower: 72@4000 rpm
Torque: 114 lb-ft. (15,7 kg-m.)
Compression Ratio: 6.9 to 1
Valvetrain: F-Head

01-09-2016, 05:24 PM
My 1949 Station Wagon Data Plate lists: Chassis 1949 4x463, the serial is 10938. Is the correct engine a flat head 4 or the F head 4? I have both engines available.

The engine that the 49 wagon came with is the wrong engine, a seized Jeep V6.

You might be interested in looking at a 1950 Willys Station Wagon currently on craigslist? It looks to be all original! Sacramento, Ca craigslist, search willys. 1950 Willys Overland Station Wagon. Some very interesting historical information in the descriptor and lots of pictures.

Engine looks to be light blue with a red valve cover,

Enjoy, Brian

01-10-2016, 03:28 PM
I’m not an expert, all I do is look in the Willys Utility Vehicles Mechanics Manual, 1946 thru 1953, Second Edition, Copyright 1943 to try to figure out what goes with what.

I like what one guy said on his web posting about identifying Willys vehicles:

The basic design of the Willys pickup truck and wagon stayed pretty much the same throughout the years of production. There were several changes made in 1950, which make the pre-50 vehicles easy to spot. Willys Motor Company was known to make changes to the vehicles at various times not corresponding to the calendar year or the model year as defined by other auto manufacturers. They were also known occasionally to put together vehicles with whatever parts they had on hand, so sometimes there were vehicles produced with parts that were like those used in previous years.

Many times, the title was made out by the dealer when the vehicle was sold. The year on the title can be the year of sale rather than the year of production.

Mixed models
Also, many Willys vehicles have undergone modification over the years. Worn and broken parts have often been replaced with parts from Willys vehicles from different years. You could never put a door from a 1957 Chevy on a 1960 Chevy, but a door from a 1950 Willys pickup can go onto a 1960 Willys wagon with no problems.

My motto: “What you see is what you have..”

Here are the engine descriptions from “the book”:

Four Cylinder L-Head Engine: The four cylinder L-head engines used in Models CJ-2A, CJ-3A, 463, 2-WD and 4-WD are basically the same.

Six Cylinder L-Head Engine: This engine is used in Models 6-63 SW and 6-63 VJ (Jeepster).

Four Cylinder F-Head Engine: The four cylinder F-head engine … is used in Models 473 SW, 473 HT, 473-4WD, 4 x 473SW and 473 V; also in 1952 and 1953 Models 475SW, 4 x 475SW and 475-4WD

The only place I see “463” called out is in the four-cylinder L-head description, I’d guess that would be the engine for a 463 Station Wagon. 463's are not called out as using the F-head 4 cylinder engine.

Is the wagon a 4-wheel drive? Is that what the “4 x” designates?

Your serial number, 10938 gives us an idea of just when in 1949 it was built. From several serial number lists – all of which come from the same source – the 4 x 463 chassis was introduced in 1949, with serial numbers starting at 10001. Yours was one of the first 1,000 built; 4,472 were built in the 1949 model year. 1949 model year builds would start in August or September of 1948, so your wagon was built in late 1948 or early 1949.

01-11-2016, 06:42 PM
Thanks for the response. My data was also indicating that the flat head four was the right motor.

I may still put the F head in the 49 Wagon because there is room for the taller motor. Then I can use my flat head for an on deck CJ2A restoration (lower hood).

Thanks for fleshing out this thread! I'm sure others can benefit from the information.

Brian - Sacramento