View Full Version : Restoring Ham's '48 Willys - Bits and Pieces

12-29-2015, 01:54 PM
I sat on my newly upholstered seats today and started the truck for the first time in over 35 years. It may sound a bit silly to you as you read this, but it felt like coming home. The pedals were right where my muscle memory told me to reach, and the right heel on the gas and toe on the starter was instinctive.

She cranked - briskly; a bit of choke and off she went. Still rich and rough, but alive. The gauges came to life. Amps showed a good strong charge. Oil centered right up at about 30 PSI. Temp gauge still runs bass-ackwards, but that's still a wrong sensor in the head. Fuel pressure is 2.4 PSI at carb, just where it should be. Manifold vacuum at carburetor port is 20-inches - great! The rebuilt distributor showed us just how badly worn the old one was. A bit of wisdom - you can waste a lot of shop time when replacing a worn out whatever is the right thing to do.

Pictures of bits and pieces here; pictures below:

A. New headliner and visor. The liner is in the same general pattern as the original, but it's cloth instead of raffia or whatever Willys used.

B. Spare tire up; with the big new tires it should never be needed. It's the best of the five tires that came out of the barn - more for looks than anything functional.

C. A view of the heater/defroster. The original heater was about the size of a coffee can and it was way too small for Indiana winters, so it was replaced with this one about 1969. This one came from a station wagon I found sitting in a barnyard. When I got ready to pull the heater, I found out that there was a dead goat - a very dead goat - in the back of the wagon. That helped speed up the job.

D. On the trucks, the hole for the gas tank filler neck was tear-drop shaped. In my memory there was never a rubber insert in that opening, so the filler neck was always unsupported and it broke off several times. On the Jeepsters and Station Wagons, the filler neck came out through a round hole, with a rubber supporting insert. When we replaced the gas tank, we made an sheet metal insert to fill the tear-drop out to a round hole so the available rubber inserts would fit. No more unsupported gas tank neck!