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Thread: 51 Truck

  1. #1
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    51 Truck

    Hello all, I've started a new project. It's a 51' Pickup with a Buick 231 V6. I saw this for sale earlier this year and I picked it up for a "song and a dance." I've been a Jeep guy for a long time. I had a YJ in high school but I've been without a Jeep for many years. I'm kind of an old soul. I'm not that old but for some reason I have nostalgia for old things and old ways. One of my other projects is a 51' 8n. It's not very practical and has lots of problems but for some reason, I love it. I feel the same way about this truck. It's a mess but I love it.

    IMG_9899.jpg IMG_9903 (1).jpg IMG_9900.jpg


    So, this Willys has a lot of problems... Once I got it home, I couldn't even decide where to start. I would really like to restore as much as possible/practical. That would mean taking the thing completely apart and starting from the frame up, which I really want to do. But, that would also mean lots of money and many years before I could get it complete. The frame up build will most likely happen, just not now. I really want to just be able to take it down to town. My wife says, "let's go for a drive in it!" I had to break it to her that the old girl won't be road ready for some time, even though it looks pretty alright. My other issue is, many things have been done to the truck over the years that someone thought was a good idea at the time but I don't like. It bothers me to take her down the street knowing there is some really messed up paint or what not that someone may see and think I did, haha.

    One of the reasons this is not going to be a restoration is the re-power. The old girl has a v6 Buick. Not sure where the motor came from but the carb is a 78' Rochester. I started with the carb because I've rebuilt a few before, mostly dirt bikes (insert hate for ethanol here). I got the kit and parts form Mike's Carburetors, great company.

    65368105958__BA84419E-14B5-4244-8C39-33CB5A963674.jpg

    I refitted the carb and shot some gas down the float bowl and what do you know, she fired right up. I have a replacement tank and fuel pump on order. She'll be able to go but not stop. Brake peddle just go's to the floor. I am a bit uneasy about what I'll find behind these hubs...

    -I humbly submit this post to the group's guidance, knowledge and experience.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator bmorgil's Avatar
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    tmonelo, welcome aboard! Great story. That is a perfect drive around Willys you have there. I like the V6 idea in the Pickup. You can never have too much power! The drive-able Willys Pickup is perfect no matter how you dress it.

    I do recognize that Rochester, that carbs been around awhile! I had one on a '65 Chevy, now that's getting older. Now LarrBeard, he drove his Dad's '48. I'm just saying....
    Last edited by bmorgil; 10-21-2021 at 07:15 AM.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator LarrBeard's Avatar
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    It's a Mess

    Welcome to the group. You say "It's a mess but I love it" but we've seen messes and you don't even come close to a hot mess - you have all of the windows and you can't see through the floorboards! The attached picture qualifies as a mess...

    The "Circle W" tailgate makes Jeep connoisseurs drool - intact ones bring an unreal premium if you have to replace them.

    You are wise to consider getting it stopped once you get it running. A lot of restorations/rebuilds have come to a sudden stop (pun intended) when the "good enough" brakes weren't. As that phone commercial said; "If the brakes don't stop it, something else will."

    Keep us posted - more pictures as things progress.

    Old Jeep Trucks Rule - they are chick magnets.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  4. #4
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    It’s a good idea to check the brakes before hitting the road after any maintenance to the wheels. I pulled the rotors on mine one day without opening any lines. I always had good brakes before and, since I didn’t need to bleed the brakes, I didn’t give it any thought when I hopped in it for a ride. I have a downhill run at the end of my driveway so imagine my surprise when I popped out onto the street in front of cross traffic with the brake pedal on the floor. I am glad the other driver saw me coming. After I got it stopped I put it in low range and drove back it up to the shop to fix what I thought was probably a blown hose. It turned out that the caliper pistons just needed pumped out with 4 or 5 pumps more than I had time to give them at the street.
    Jeff
    '51 CJ3A
    '47 CJ2A

  5. #5
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    Brakes

    Turns out brakes were as scary as I thought. Just as I suspected, I'll be ordering many parts to get them satisfactory. Rear hubs came off easy enough but the front ones were interesting. Same type of large locking nut as on the old 8n. Looks like someone used a punch, more than once, to take on and off those large nuts. The bearings are so stuck with 70 year old grease that they barley move. looks like someone stuffed the axel with molasses. I'll have to give them a good bath before I can assess if they need replaced. The shoes and hubs are decent, not perfect. The springs are garbage.

    The real joy are the wheel cylinders, they were completely locked full of corrosion (rust, sand, pure cancer?) I could not get them to pull apart until I scrapped out as much crap as I could and then... now, are we to share our shortcomings on this forum? Or, is this an "act like you never make a mistake" type of place? Just asking, not accusing... So, I had a simultaneously great and idiotic idea. I put my air hose to the inlet of the wheel cylinder to force it apart. It worked. The piston came flying out of one end... right into my leg! lol

    IMG_9905.jpg IMG_9906.jpg

    Anywho, It looks like in the online stores, the rebuild kits do not come with the metal piston, just the plunger, spring and boot. Is this correct? My pistons do not look serviceable. I'll have to open the wallet and get new complete units. Probly good anyways because the cylinders themselves have seen better days. New hoses will also be required.

    Master cylinder kit is already enrt. I'll let you know what discoveries arise when I get into that sucker.

    -TM
    Last edited by tmonelo; 10-21-2021 at 01:01 PM.

  6. #6
    Super Moderator LarrBeard's Avatar
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    Yep - I recognize those brake parts.

    KWAS has the whole set of stuff you'll need.

    OH, by the way - we share our mistakes. Maybe if we share them, somebody else won't make them. But, we are very inventive, we can usually figure out something new if we try.....

  7. #7
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    oh I'm real good at inventing new ways to screw up ha

  8. #8
    Super Moderator bmorgil's Avatar
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    tmonelo, I ended up with factory re-man stuff. The cylinders in everything, as well as the pistons were to pitted to use. watch out for cheap wheel cylinders and masters. gmwillys has posted about difficulties with cheap Crown Automotive brake parts. KW has some "Made in USA" wheel cylinders. I would look for USA made if you can.

    I could write a book on mistakes, some of them were video recorded forever!

  9. #9
    tmonelo, thanks for sharing your experience with your truck. I'm always interested to learn what others are doing and what problems or triumphs they experience. Hopefully, I can learn and apply these lessons to my projects.

  10. #10
    Senior Member TJones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tmonelo View Post
    oh I'm real good at inventing new ways to screw up ha

    TM your in buddy
    Why do you think we’re all in here? It’s surely not by our advancement it’s mostly by our mistakes and the need for Wisdom on to get us through our mistakes.
    I could write book like bmorgil on the many mistakes I made on mine like measure twice cut once you can’t believe how thankful I am that the Bride never was around for the tantrums and cussing fits or I would of never heard the end of it (for the rest of my life).
    Welcome!!!!
    Last edited by TJones; 10-21-2021 at 03:12 PM.

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