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Thread: The Frankenjeep

  1. #11
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    I couldn’t find used tires to fit the 15 inch rims anymore. The old rims were corroded and leaking at the bead so I finally got frustrated enough that I bought all new. After hitting wall after wall looking for affordable 16 inch steel rims I ended up going back to a 15 inch. Once I made the decision to use 15 inch rims, they were on the jeep the next day.

    I have been looking at what can be salvaged and pricing replacement parts for the body. The floor needs replaced from the firewall to the tailgate. The rear wheel wells are broken out and I don’t think there is any good hat channel left anywhere (there is more oak than hat channel). There isn’t a big price difference between buying all the parts separately or buying a tub from Kaiser Willys. To save money, the rear wheel wells could be salvaged and the floor could be replaced with generic sheet metal or diamond plate but it wouldn’t look right (especially with me doing the work). I don’t have a clue where the current steel replacement tubs and panels come from. I believe the stainless came from the P.I. but I didn’t see anywhere to buy now. It will come down to how much I want it to keep it looking like a jeep or maybe how bad I want to avoid it looking like it was cobbled together in someone’s backyard (like it does now).

  2. #12
    Super Moderator gmwillys's Avatar
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    It all boils down to money and time. I agree with you about the generic sheet metal or diamond plate. Most all of the individual body parts that Kaiser Willys sells is made in the U.S. The tubs and assemblies bearing the Willys name, are under license and trade mark from Chrysler, and MD Juan holds that license. I do not know of any other outfits that make complete bodies. I did an M38A1 a while back, and all of the floor was hashed or missing. I did have three donor heeps at my disposal, so I was able to piece together some original steel to make one. The only replacement parts used was the fuel tank well, passenger floor, tool box riser, and right side lower rocker. We had found some hat channel that matched the dimensions, but were straight. The cost on the channel was a fraction of the cost of the kit, but I had a lot of time in constructing the bends. I also had to make spacers to eliminate the white oak stiffeners, to reduce the chance for rust in the future. On my current project, I purchased a 4' X 10' sheet of 18 gauge, and will be making my own floor boards. The wagon floors are flat, so the only fabrication that I will need to do to match the originals, is to bend in the stiffener reliefs in the center. The only tough part about the build will be at the rear hatch. It will be tedious to match the ridges of the floor, because that is the one piece of sheet metal that isn't reproduced. So it will be cutting metal to make the top section, then cutting pieces to form the sides. It will be fun to metal finish, because you will be constantly using the tip of the grinder to blend everything in. A die grinder would work better, but then it slows down progress. Odds are I'll use the die grinder. If you want to see a true metal craftsman, you should Google Grand Willys Project. That guy is a true craftsman.

    As far as tires go, I like the turning radius given by using the 15" tires and wheels. The 16" required the stops to be turned out considerably, or the tire would rub both for and aft of the frame.
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  3. #13
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    Thanks for the input and insight. I had noticed some of the parts on the Kaiser website are advertised as being made in the USA. I buy domestic when possible. I called Willys-Overland for info and pricing. Whatever I do it won’t happen fast. Now that I can actually take it down the road other issues are coming to light. It sounds like a throwout bearing change is in my near future. I also need to pull one wheel and tack weld two studs into the drum. The holes are worn out and it turns out the studs I have are oversized. I would replace the drum but am mulling over a swapping the rear to disc brakes, I am just not in a hurry to part with that $1100.

    I am surprised the 16 inch rims caused interference problems. Was the tire size different as well? The tires I ended up installing were the same overall height and width (~30.5x 9) as the tires I had planned on buying for the 16 inch rims.

  4. #14
    Super Moderator LarrBeard's Avatar
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    Just a test here to see if we have a problem with links.

    I copied this one directly from the url header and pasted it in.

    https://willysoverland.com/

    It looks like it's there - now let me post this and see if it stays.

    Yep it stayed.

    Just testing - thanks for letting me use your space...
    Last edited by LarrBeard; 02-04-2018 at 05:29 PM. Reason: Testing copy/paste of links

  5. #15
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    I missed the fire truck picture somehow the first time through. I had considered setting mine up as one but then pretty much decided against it because I want to use it. It might have been handy today though. We had 3 brush trucks stuck but a jeep might have been light enough to get through okay. Side by side atv’s are getting popular. Our department has one but it never seems to run.

    Being able to post links seems kind of random. Sometimes they post and sometimes they get sent through a moderator.

  6. #16
    Super Moderator gmwillys's Avatar
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    Yep, the fire truck photos were in forum jail until they were looked at by the moderator. It seems almost every time I try to add a link to ewillys, or other useful links, it gets flagged.

    The fire department that had the Dodge, used it some for grass fires. It was originally set up with a 500 gal water tank, but proved to be way too squirrely on the road. The tank was nearly as tall as the cab. They trimmed it down to a 200 gal tank for stability. When the Dodge was retired, it had 10,000 original miles on the clock. The only problems that the department had with the M37, was that the younger fire fighters would dump the clutch, and break an axle under load. The 48 CJ2A was a factory built fire apparatus. It was with the same department from new. It was clean as a pin when auctioned off. The photo was lifted off of the Midwest Willys Reunion, a couple of years back. Before that, I hadn't seen the Jeep in almost thirty years. Glad to see her being well taken care of! As far as the side by sides. In my mind they are a huge waste of money. A department can set up a Jeep to do the same job. You don't need a tow rig and trailer to deliver the go kart on scene, so that saves money right there.

    The tires are 700X16". They were the tires that were on my 47 when I purchased it, and would fair to say they may have been the originals to the Jeep. When the 16''s are put on the Jeep, the steering stops need to be adjusted out to keep the tires from rubbing the frame. With the 15"s on there, the stops were adjusted all the way in. There is plenty of room now. The profile looks nicer with the 16"s, and the price of tires isn't that much different between the two.

    Your wheel stud issue,( more than likely) was caused by someone along the line pressing out the wheel studs without cutting the peened section above the stud. When the studs were installed new, the stud was pressed in, then the section of the spline just bellow the threads is pressed into the hub. There is a cutter available that cuts the pressed section out, so then you can finish pressing out the old stud. Many times than not, the stud is pressed out through the hub, pulling excess material of the hub with it. Sounds like your hubs are hogged out enough for the original studs to be loose in, but not worn enough for the oversized.
    Last edited by gmwillys; 02-05-2018 at 06:08 AM.

  7. #17
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    My first thought was to just get oversized studs but the splines measured at the max oversize available (through NAPA anyway). A couple of quick bumps with the mig welder took care of it. The lug nuts didn’t even get hot. There is nothing but an axle insde the drum. The only brakes I have are the discs on the front powered by a stock master cylinder. Probably not legal but I have have plenty of stopping power on the road.

    I went to install the new locking hubs (Warn) yesterday but that got put on hold while I wait for new bearings/races to come in. I installed a new seal on the rear output shaft on the transfer case a while back but now it looks like the shims under the bearing cap are leaking. I am not sure what I am going to do about that. Can’t put sealant on shim stock and expect the desired dimension to stay the same. One of the pinion seals and the rear seal on the engine has started leaking too. I should just drop the transmission and transfer case since it needs a throwout bearing anyway. Thirty years ago I was doing that kind of work unassisted but I suppose I better go buy a jack if I am going to do it now.

    Am I the only one who must login a second time to make a post?

  8. #18
    Super Moderator gmwillys's Avatar
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    Logging in twice happens from time to time.

    Years ago, I put a turbo 400 in a Chevy 3/4 2X4 truck with no jack, nor any one else around. There was just enough room to slide the transmission under the truck, then position myself under the engine. I pulled the trans forward, on top of my legs, until my feet were behind the trans pan. Holding on to the bell housing, I brought my knees to my chest. The transmission ended up being pretty darn close to being lined up. I was able to start a couple of bolts toward the bottom. The fun part was picking up on the tail shaft enough to slide it all the way on the dowel pins, and starting the remaining bolts. It only took about an hour to do, but I tend to think I can feel it to this day. I have since invested in a transmission jack, and a house with a concrete driveway. It's a cheapy from Northern Hydraulics, but I've had it for about 15 years with no troubles. Most shim packs I've run across have been shellacked. A real fine layer of the gunk will seal just about anything, and won't throw off your clearances by much. There is probably a better way, but I can't think of any at this moment. I'll look into it.

    The hub is pressed onto the brake drum. The tach should hold up just fine. As long as the lug nut stays torqued, you shouldn't have any issues.

  9. #19
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    Starting to get a little more serious about working on this thing. I Picked up the cheapest transmission jack Harbor Freight sells and crawled underneath to have another look at what I need to do to fix leaks. What’s the best way to clean this up before I start? In the past I have used oven cleaners, mineral spirits and the carwash degreaser. I like the carwash because it doesn’t make a mess in my driveway but I am curious what products are being used.
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  10. #20
    Super Moderator LarrBeard's Avatar
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    I went to Dollar General and got a couple of bottles of their dishwasher gel.

    Dishwasher soap really cuts grease and doesn't suds up a lot. It's nice for under hood cleanups.

    I spray it on with my bug/weed sprayer, then wash it off with the hose for a little pressure to move stuff.

    But, I like the car wash idea too- that's where I clean deer blood out of the back of the truck. Make a mess somewhere else..... !

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