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Thread: New '63 Willys Pickup Owner

  1. #1
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    New '63 Willys Pickup Owner

    Nice to meet you all. Fair warning, I am NOT a gear head, but I do enjoy tinkering or wrenching as long as I think I have a fair understanding of what I am doing.

    Recently picked up this '63 pickup .. serial number says 55268 753000.

    I didn't get much history, but it seems the previous owner slammed a Chevy 327 into it with straight pipes and enjoyed driving the dickens out of it. Had to have a shop help me get the transmission and transfer case rebuilt, attaching speedometer, and while they were at it helped me repair some leaks and aligning the engine to the driveshaft better. Course nothing goes to plan and the mechanic they had quit and then they started screwing things up. Needless to say now I have it back and have begun tinkering and working on it, starting with replacing the original tank and cork float so I can tell roughly how much gas I have (even though the gauge stops at 3/4 tank so far) and resolving the plug in the gas tank fuel line as a result of the last mechanic thinking it was fine to put the cork float back in.

    Somehow they managed to overfill the transmission, and it got too hot way to quickly and didn't want to go over 50 or so, now I am wondering if they put the right fluid in also ... currently it shifts perfect until it gets hot (30 minute drive or so) and will do about 65 or so before I get cold feet as the steering is all over the place, then it start getting finicky and sometimes doesn't want to go in 2nd from 1st, or the entire stick starts wanting to swivel as I try to figure out why it doesn't like 2nd all of a sudden .. but usually I can manage without grinding anything or having to stop. wish the temp gauge worked but the wiring is still a hot mess of old fragile wires and some new wires .. seems every time I get something new working, something old stops .. but it's a blast so far .. I LOVE this truck

    Next up is the brakes on all 4 wheels and seeing if I can tell why the emergency brake has a ton of slack in the cable and obviously doesn't work. Looking around seems 63 was an odd time for Willys and depending on where I look, almost looks like they didnt even build these trucks in 63, serial numbers and production numbers seem to stop at 61? .. I think I saw someone mention the willys logo on the tailgate wasn't something they did in '63 but somehow I seem to have one .. interesting .. anyway

    Happy to read your stories and get any feedback you guys have.
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  2. #2
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    That is a good looking truck for sure, and it looks like you have several issues to work out. Take your time and you will get through it.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator bmorgil's Avatar
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    Man those old Willys trucks you guy's are coming up with are cool! You are officially a "Gear Head". Anything with a classic Chevy 327 swapped in, is as gear head as it gets. It won't be long and you will be mastering that old school hot rod!

  4. #4
    Super Moderator LarrBeard's Avatar
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    1963 4WD Truck - Nice!

    Even with all of the issues that you describe - that is one good looking truck.

    Most of the serial number lists tie back to this master list:

    http://www.public.asu.edu/~grover/willys/serial.html

    The note at the head of the list explains that after 1961, the Jeep people just didn't keep records of model/year/serial number. We have decided that, after looking at some of the hodge-podge things we see, Jeep did not throw away anything but records!

    "These production totals and serial number series for all Willys-Overland models, are taken from compilations handwritten by Norton Young, 1959-61. Mr. Young was an employee in the Willys-Overland Engineering Department. The figures are currently being transcribed by Charlie Weaver, Winston-Salem, NC, who says:

    "In a talk with Norton Young a week or 2 ago, he told me that by 1961, the folks in the corner offices at K-F had no more interest in these statistics so he quit keeping them. He also said that he had difficulty getting "timely" reports from the production people, and often had to go thru the unit sheets himself and try to piece the info together. He admitted that there may be some errors
    ."

    The last serial number in 1961 for that model is in the 68500 range with about 7500 built that year. A couple of more years would make your serial number very reasonable for a 1963 truck - originally with the 6-226 L-head (flathead) motor. It wasn't that they didn't build the truck that year - it's just that nobody has a list showing the numbers for that time.

    You fix a truck like you eat an elephant. Pick out one piece at a time and work on it. Just an opinion - brakes first. If the brakes don't stop it, something else will!

    Post pictures and tell stories. Good Luck!
    Last edited by LarrBeard; 06-04-2020 at 07:51 PM.

  5. #5
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    Thank you everyone - yes I am quickly becoming a gear head and I'm sure it was actually made in 63 just cracks me up that by several different places there is no record of them making this truck I am SOOO glad they did. I will keep you all updated on progress and look forward to hearing your advice as I tinker with her

  6. #6
    Senior Member 5JeepsAz's Avatar
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    Great looking truck. I have the next newer version, 64, Gladiator, that later became j-series. All the Willy's parts that fit your year, breaks etc, don't fit the next mode I gotl. So you might be in luck. Lots of folks selling parts knew all about your vintage, but I never verified since they did not sell for mine. Yours is that coolest of Willy's. Good luck and I'll keep watching your progress!

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