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Thread: Re: 1948 Willys Jeepster

  1. #1
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    Re: 1948 Willys Jeepster

    Have a question regarding the rear axle on my 48 Jeepster. The field guide in the K-W catalog says that the vehicle has a Dana 23 rear end. The tech/shop manual issued by Willys says that the rear end is a Spicer model 23-1. I ask because the rear has a leak at the pumpkin and can't seem to find a gasket for this. K-W catalog shows rear cover gaskets for almost every Dana rear except the 23. Appreciate any help given.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator bmorgil's Avatar
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    rabwood, welcome! The Spicer (Dana) Models 23, 25, and 27 are all based on that original Model 23. The model 27 gasket will work.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator LarrBeard's Avatar
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    Post us a picture of the Jeepster, they're rare��

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    Thanks for the help. Will look into this. Have found another interesting problem. It seems that the speedometer reads about 17 mph too low!! Checked my speed with my GPS while cruising on a nice level stretch of road. Initially, I found that the cable was loose where it connects to the speedometer. Tightened it up and did not seem to help. Also, when driving at a constant speed, I noted that the needle keeps bouncing around and doesn't hold at one speed. Any suggestions or thoughts??

  5. #5
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    The cable might be binding up causing the jumping around. You could take it off and work some penetrating oil down the inside of the cable. As for the speedometer reading low, that sounds like maybe some gears have been changed or much larger tires.

  6. #6
    Super Moderator LarrBeard's Avatar
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    Jumpy Speedometer

    Quote Originally Posted by rabwood View Post
    Thanks for the help. Will look into this. Have found another interesting problem. It seems that the speedometer reads about 17 mph too low!! Checked my speed with my GPS while cruising on a nice level stretch of road. Initially, I found that the cable was loose where it connects to the speedometer. Tightened it up and did not seem to help. Also, when driving at a constant speed, I noted that the needle keeps bouncing around and doesn't hold at one speed. Any suggestions or thoughts??
    A. Agreed. The jumpy needle is an indication of the flex shaft binding in the housing.

    If you want to check out the speedometer, pull it out and drive the square socket in the back of the speedometer with a variable speed power screwdriver. That will tell you if the speedometer's innards have an issue. The biggest issue is getting yourself wrapped up under the dash. The next is getting the screws back in after you're done. I use masking tape to hold the screw, lock washer and flat washer in place on a Philips screwdriver.

    I've gotten to the place I can get mine in or out in about 15 minutes with reading glasses and a headlight. I just can't walk the next day.

    I fought the speedometer on the '48 truck for about three years trying to just fix this or that and I ended up replacing the armored housing (it had a kink in it) and the flex cable as well. Trying to fix one thing at a time was time wasted and just replacing the whole assembly was money well spent.

    BUT - a standard truck/wagon/sedan delivery cable might be too long for the Jeepster. The cable from KWAS was longer than my original, but I was able to make the bends on larger radii and it went in OK.

    B. Speedometer accuracy depends on transmission drive gears (large effect), differential ratio (medium effect) and tire size (smaller effect). Tires and differential are hard to mess up much, so I'd guess gear. After you get the cable issue fixed, I'd check the drive gear next - you never know who put what in there at one time or another.

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