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Thread: WW2 Willys - Greetings from Alsace!

  1. #1
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    Smile WW2 Willys - Greetings from Alsace!

    New to the forum - glad to be here! Recently reunited with WW2 Willys Jeep which made its debut in our wedding in France (27+ years ago). My wife's French uncle had been the proud owner of this beauty until March of this year, when I brought it back to her new home in Alsace. Cheers!
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  2. #2
    Super Moderator LarrBeard's Avatar
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    Wow! She looks very nice. Good looking bride too!

  3. #3
    Super Moderator bmorgil's Avatar
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    Very nice WW2 Willys! Super history. That one will bring generations together! What a great heirloom. Welcome!

  4. #4
    Super Moderator gmwillys's Avatar
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    Welcome Alsace!
    Great story. We look forward to hearing more on your Jeep!

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    Willys Tune-up Take 1

    Thanks for the nice comments! So, here we go! Made some minor tune up adjustments to kick things off. Replaced plugs, rotor, batteries and carb. She is pretty happy now, but I have 2 (minor issues - I think) which I would like toss out to the group.

    1) Carb replacement:
    Carb fuel line leak brass fitting not seating properly (see pic). Gas leaks from around the fitting. Tried (gently) 3 times to reseat the brass fitting, no luck. Any suggestions?

    2) Starting when cold:
    When starting, it takes 2-3 attempts for starter to engage / turn over. At first I thought it was a low charge on the battery (but check shows they are fully charged). The starter makes a slow growl on the 1st / 2nd attempt. Usually on the 3rd attempt, it engages and turns and the engine starts. I plan to clean all the connections tomorrow (leads / starter, etc.). Not sure if this is the issue?

    Many thanks!
    Tim

    Carb - After pic 2.jpg

  6. #6
    Super Moderator LarrBeard's Avatar
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    Leaks and drips and Growls

    [QUOTE=Willys_Alsace;11918]Thanks for the nice comments! So, here we go! Made some minor tune up adjustments to kick things off. Replaced plugs, rotor, batteries and carb. She is pretty happy now, but I have 2 (minor issues - I think) which I would like toss out to the group.



    Welcome to the Forum. It looks like the right angle brass fitting wants to tighten up about 90-degrees past where it should to mate with the gas line. Try some Teflon tape on the threads where they go into the carburetor body. Uh-oh, is that a Solex carburetor?

    Twice in the post you mentioned "batteries". Do you have one or two batteries? WWII Jeeps should have only one six-volt battery - unless they have been modified later on as radio Jeeps.

    As for the start problem, I'd check for a "flat spot" on the starter. That means there may be a place on the commutator bars that have been burned or corroded and if the starter stops in that spot, the brushes do not make good electrical connection the next time. Check the brushes as well, they do wear out eventually.

    It's never a bad idea to clean all of the connections between the battery and starter - and check how well the starter is grounded to the bell housing and engine block.

  7. #7
    Super Moderator bmorgil's Avatar
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    On the fuel leak, it looks like the male flare nut has been rounded off, possibly someone used an open end wrench with a lot of torque. When the wrench rounds the nut it causes it to deform. It will not seal again after that. Probably a prior repair. I would cut off the flare and install a new nut. Make sure to use a flare wrench when tightening.

    That is an inverted flare fitting It seals around the flare and relies on a uniform flare nut. Sealant is not used on flare fittings. The flare itself looks pretty smashed. It could be cracked at the flare.
    Last edited by bmorgil; 04-09-2020 at 05:39 PM.

  8. #8
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    Good looking Jeep there. You can get a lot of help here. Was wondering, is there a history about how your uncle became owner of the jeep. Was it something the Americans left behind?

  9. #9
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    Wow, you guys are great! Thanks for all the feedback. I am feeling a lot better about this project now.

    A couple tidbits I didn't mention, "the male flare nut has been rounded off". Unfortunately, it was in this state when I started. I will follow the points you all so kindly outlined above, and report back. "Solex carburator". Yep, this is what was on the Jeep when I received it. I probably jumped the gun when I ordered / installed the replacement (the earlier one was in pretty bad shape).

    As for the history, this jeep has an original war-time American Willys chassis (my assumption left behind in France, WW2 timeframe) and a more recent French Hotchkiss body. Hotchkiss (as you guys probably know) is a French company, and manufactured 28,000 jeeps under licence from Willys from 1956 to 1967. According to my uncle, when the French army wanted something complicated done to a vehicle, they sent it to an E.R.G.M. (Etablissement de Reserve General du Materiel Automobile) which was an official military "repair station" between 1946 and 1979. The ERGM's received crashed vehicles or vehicles with a blown-up engine or gearbox, so they frequently took parts from one or more vehicles to repair another one. So, today, you can see jeeps with a Willys chassis, a Ford engine and a Hotchkiss body … or variations of that. The biggest ERGM was La Maltournee near Paris, and my jeep left their premises on May 25th, 1970 after at least the body and engine were changed. The French army wanted to use more modern military radios, so they modified the jeep's circuit to 24 volts. My jeep was modified along the way, i.e. the ignition circuit to use 12 volts parts but working in a 24 volts circuit. Hence the reference to "batteries" in my earlier post (x2 6V batteries). Hope this helps.

    Thanks again!

  10. #10
    Super Moderator bmorgil's Avatar
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    Ah, so the 24 volt (two 12 volt batteries in series) system was "converted" by simply putting two 6 volt batteries in series, instead of two 12 volt batteries? Same wiring just different voltage?

    As far as the Solex vs. the Carter there is a lot out there for parts and information on the Carter for early Willys. Not so good around here on the Solex. We do/did pick on the Solex. We are in love with the Carter. The Solex is a very popular carburetor in Europe. This is probably why it is on your Jeep, based on your great story of its life. It (the Solex) is or was made in France under licenses to Mikuni which is a large Asian Motorcycle carburetor manufacturer. You may have better luck with it, you are right were they were made!

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