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Thread: 1964 Kaiser-Willys Jeep Gladiator Cindy

  1. #1

    1964 Kaiser-Willys Jeep Gladiator Cindy

    Want to introduce everyone to Cindy.

    1964 Kaiser-Willys Jeep Gladiator. 4WD, Long bed, 3 on a tree, tornado 6cyl.

    Survivor so want to stay true to original.

    Also going to be daily, so mods are fast approaching.

    She runs and drives, but I need reliable, so modernizing seems the way to go.

    Long list ahead, looking forward to suggestions and help!
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  2. #2
    Super Moderator gmwillys's Avatar
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    Welcome 5JeepAZ!

    That is a good looking '64! The possibilities are endless on modernizing. A late model drivetrain, Vintage Air air-conditioning system, would be high on the list in your climate. What are your thoughts?

  3. #3
    Super Moderator LarrBeard's Avatar
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    Very nice.

    Your climate lends itself to vehicles being survivors - no salt or snow slop to eat things up. Instead of rust and corrosion, you get "patina" - a fancy word for faded paint and character.

    Let us know how you get along with it ...

  4. #4
    Super Moderator bmorgil's Avatar
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    Nice! Those 64's were big boy's that's for sure. Some sweet Dana axles in that baby, strong and lots of parts available. Restored to original, that is one reliable truck. You shouldn't need to change much. In AZ Vintage Air would be a big plus. Add a big radiator and an Aux electric fan, and the air conditioning would run sweet.

  5. #5
    You all nailed it with the a/c. So I'm looking at jeep air in Florida as source. Is that good?

    I have upgraded the radiator to a 3 core. Original overheated so is in a box I kept. Installed in a way so if the original was put back, you'd never notice. So that was good.

    The upgrade from generator to alternator was a choice. I just wanted reliability, so did it.

    Next up are break parts. I'm going modern for the working bits, unless someone can convince me NOS are okay?

    Now for a question/problem. Appreciate any advice. So it's a tornado which seems solid. I am getting a valve job. But I am thinking electronic ignition. The original has some kind of resistor package I don't trust. Mechanic says it sometimes runs rough.

    Hey, check out the new bias plys. It is so much better on these. Stance, ride, steering, all better. Wanders, yes, but not unnaturally, and dang sure not because some tech part adjusted my input.
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    Last edited by 5JeepsAz; 08-30-2019 at 10:26 PM.

  6. #6
    Super Moderator LarrBeard's Avatar
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    A. Going with an alternator was probably a good decision, especially if you add electric A/C which will be a significant electrical load on the system.

    B. The overwhelming opinion of the group here is that you should not skimp on brakes. You should not have any problem getting new parts from a reliable parts store or a NAPA distributor. If the brake drums have been turned out to max, consider replacements - that made a HUGE difference in brakes on my '48 truck. Just remember what that phone commercial said: "Well, if your brakes won't stop you, something will ...'.

    C. You mixed two comments:

    "I am getting a valve job. But I am thinking electronic ignition. The original has some kind of resistor package I don't trust. Mechanic says it sometimes runs rough."

    Valves could make it run rough, but probably all the time - not just sometimes.

    The original ignition, with good parts and properly set points will run very smoothly. The "some kind of resistor package" could be that there is a resistor in series with the coil which is bypassed when the ignition key is in the start position. This gives the coil a bit more "oomph" during cranking for a hotter spark to start. Once things get running, the resistor is bypassed.

    An electronic ignition will require less maintenance (no points to adjust ..) but if there is a valve issue, it will still run rough.

  7. #7
    Super Moderator bmorgil's Avatar
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    The points do require maintenance. I made good money as a kid doing that for people! They are nostalgic and fun on an old vehicle. I so love electronically triggered ignition however. I could not resist converting my CJ3A to a Pertronix. I highly recommend it if you want a "set it and forget it" timing. It will also make up for a worn out breaker cams.

    The resistor is not used with the Pertronix. As Larry said, the vehicle starts on 12 volts then, runs on about 9 via the resistor. Without the resistor in a points system, the points would burn up prematurely. If you install an electronic ignition, you usually replace the resistor with a direct wire to the ignition on terminal.

    If you hook up a vacuum gauge and it is "jumpy" at idle, the valves 0r, their adjustment are suspect.

  8. #8
    I mistated a couple of items.

    No valve job. What I meant was need to tighten the rocker arm to spec, if they are loose. Big difference! Sorry.

    On the ignition, it may work completely fine as is. Thank you for explaining about the resistor. If I go to electronic, it will be when something breaks, not just to do it.

    On the brakes, might go to a 2 plunger instead of the one plunger it now has. Need to address emergency brake system.

    I need to find all of the grease bibs. Most were recently lubed. Some may have been missed, found at least two today which will improve performance if properly lubed.

    So a neighbor drove it today. He has driven racers, built his own, knows his stuff, knows this engine. He thinks it runs fine. Got into a longer talk about performance. Watching someone drive it who knows what it does / should do was an eye opener. Some of my concerns are self inflicted. I'm worried the thing will stall, and it actually runs great. I realized today that driving an old Jeep truck is an entirely new experience. I've never driven a survivor truck from the 60's. No idea how do do it,
    really. It behaved very differently when done by this guy who knows how to drive a truck like this. He kept kept it low rpm. He didn't use too much gas pedal. It does what you ask. So my learning today is slooooow down. Stop trying to hot rod!

  9. #9
    Super Moderator LarrBeard's Avatar
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    Driving an Old Jeep Turck

    " I realized today that driving an old Jeep truck is an entirely new experience. "

    You have a way with words. I think that sentence catches just about the whole Jeep experience in one short line.

    It takes a little patience, a little skill and a lot of understanding at times. None of my kids or grand kids have quite mastered the gears on the '48. They over-rev at shifts, they can't feel the slots in the shift pattern and they haven't figured out how to listen to the engine to let it tell you if you need to down shift or just clutch and run. First and reverse are not synchronized, so you have to grind a few teeth on occasion - but they haven't figured out the difference between a few and a pound!

    Practice makes better. "Let the Force guide you Luke" applies to old trucks like it does Star Wars characters.

    It sounds like you have a pretty good starting place with this truck. Enjoy it!

    Oh, by the way - you will get noticed!

  10. #10
    Super Moderator LarrBeard's Avatar
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    This bias-plies look a lot like STA Super-Traxions - they will talk to you ...

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